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American Staffordshire Terrier

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About the American Staffordshire Terrier

Stocky and muscular with a strong, powerful head, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a cross between the courageous Bulldog and the spirited, agile terrier breeds. 

Temperament

Friendly, intelligent, confident and loyal, this people-oriented breed thrives as part of the family. American Staffordshire Terriers are full of personality, and like having a “job.” 

The AmStaff is very trainable, and enjoys activities that challenge him mentally and physically.
This breed requires regular exercise.

Characteristics

The behemoth of the Terrier group, the American Staffordshire Terrier is burly and massively muscular, with a broad head and square, strong jaws. The breed has a stiff, short coat. 

In contrast with his body builder-like physique, he moves gracefully with a bouncy gait. 

Lifespan

12 to 16 years

Colors

American Staffordshire Terriers can have coats of almost any color, including brindle. They can also have a wide variety of markings such as masks, spots and patches.

Shedding

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a seasonally shedding breed, but caring for his short coat is easy. A quick weekly brushing with a soft-bristle brush is all the grooming he usually needs. 

Health

As a breed, American Staffordshire Terriers are strong and healthy. Genetic conditions such as canine hip dysplasia, cardiac disease, and skin and coat allergies are concerns that responsible breeders screen for in their breeding stock. 

Best Dog Food for Staffordshire Terrier Dogs & Puppies

American Staffordshire Terriers generally do well on a quality adult dog food. For AmStaffs who need help with weight management, consider a healthy weight formula
AmStaff puppies should eat puppy food for their first year of life to aid in their growth and development.  

History

It’s hard to believe that this breed got its start as a fighting and baiting dog. In Great Britain, predecessors of the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Bulldog and the Bull Terrier, were bred to fight for sport. 

While there is debate over which breeds are hiding in the AmStaff bloodline, we do know that after the Staffordshire Terrier arrived in America in the mid-1800s, U.S. breeders developed a larger version of the English breed.

Today the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes both the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier.  

Facts

  • An American Staffordshire Terrier named Bud rode along on America’s first cross-country auto trip in 1903.
  • AmStaff celebrities include Petey, of the 1930s “Our Gang” film comedies, and Tige, the dog in the Buster Brown Shoes logo.
  • AmStaffs love to chew and to dig. 
  • The most decorated dog of World War I was an AmStaff named “Stubby,” who earned the rank of Sergeant.

American Water Spaniel

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About the American Water Spaniel

Intelligent, energetic and eager to please, the American Water Spaniel is a versatile hunting dog and devoted family companion. One of the few breeds developed in the U.S., this rare breed only has about 3,000 registered dogs. The American Water Spaniel is an active dog that needs regular exercise. His naturally curly coat requires regular grooming and twice weekly brushing.

Did you know
The American Water Spaniel is an excellent swimmer, even in rough waters, using his tail as a rudder.

American Wirehair Cat Breed

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About the American Wirehair Cat Breed

Intelligent and highly adaptable, the American Wirehair is an American original, with a completely unique wired coat.

Temperament

The American Wirehair has a relaxed, loving, sweet personality, making her an ideal companion for families with children and other pets. This breed is playful, but also laid back, and keenly interested in her surroundings.

Although happy as lap cats, Wirehairs also enjoy their independence. They are considered moderately talkative and are enthusiastic purrers.

Characteristics

The American Wirehair is distinguished from other breeds by her wiry, dense coat, described as feeling like steel wool or lamb’s wool. There are several degrees of wiriness, varying from spiked to curly, with the individual hairs being crimped, hooked or bent.

The ideal Wirehair coat is dense, coarse and crimped over the whole body (including the whiskers). This coat is unique, and not genetically related to the rexed coats of Cornish Rex or Devon Rex cats.

Lifespan

7 to 12 years

Colors

American Wirehairs can be seen in all colors and patterns.

Shedding

The American Wirehair is a low-shedding breed. Because of her special, delicate coat, grooming is actually discouraged—unless she is shedding heavily, do not brush or comb her.

Regular bathing can also help remove loose hair, and any greasiness from oil secreted by the skin.

Health

The American Wirehair is a generally healthy breed. However, because these cats can be bred with American Shorthair cats, they can develop some of the health problems associated with that breed, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Best Cat Food for American Wirehair Cats & Kittens

American Wirehairs will generally thrive on the nutrition of a quality adult cat food. For Wirehairs who need help with weight management, consider a healthy weight formula.  

American Wirehair kittens should eat a kitten food for their first year of life to aid in their growth and development. 

History

The first American Wirehair was a surprise in a litter of six kittens born to normal-coated domestic shorthair cats in Verona, New York. He was a male with a sparse, wiry red-and-white coat—every hair, including his whiskers, was crimped.

Local cat breeder Joan O’Shea recognized the kitten’s potential, acquired him and bred him with a local female cat. The resulting kittens also had wiry coats.

A second breeding with another unrelated female also produced wiry coated kittens, establishing that the gene causing the wiry coats is a dominant gene. Further analysis by noted British cat geneticists A.G. Searle and Roy Robinson confirmed that the American Wirehair coat is unique and not genetically related to the Cornish Rex or Devon Rex.

Wirehairs were first accepted for CFA registration in 1967 and for Championship competition in 1978.

Facts

  • The gene behind the wired coat and whiskers of the American Wirehair resulted from a spontaneous natural mutation.

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

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About the Anatolian Shepherd Dog

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog originated in rural Turkey about 6,000 years ago to guard livestock and serve as a companion to shepherds. Large, powerful and possessive, this breed adores his family but can be suspicious of strangers. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog has two coat varieties, Short and Rough, both which require little grooming. The breed does best with moderate exercise.

Did you know
This breed is slow to mature, reaching adulthood at about 4 years of age.

Australian Cattle Dog

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About the Australian Cattle Dog

Agile, strong and courageous, the Australian Cattle Dog was developed in the 1800s in Australia. An intelligent and determined high-energy working dog, the Australian Cattle Dog is happiest in large, open spaces with an engaging job to do. This loyal and protective breed bonds closely with his family, but his owners must establish themselves as the pack leaders. The breed’s smooth, short coat requires occasional bathing and brushing.

Did you know
The Australian Cattle Dog has helped the beef industry of Australia thrive by enabling farmers to maintain huge herds. Australian Cattle Dogs are born completely white.

Australian Shepherd

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About the Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd, or the “Aussie,” is known by many as the cowboy’s herding dog of choice but is also often found competing in agility or herding trials with owners who appreciate these sports.

Temperament

Australian Shepherds are smart, work-oriented and exuberant. This breed is usually even keeled and good natured. This medium-sized worker’s impulse to herd means they might not be a perfect fit for every household, but if you want an active dog who can train or work alongside you, the Australian Shepherd might be the dog for you.

Characteristics

Australian Shepherds are intelligent working dogs with strong herding and guarding instincts. In fact, they’re known to herd anything from birds to kids to other dogs.

Aussies are extremely active and require a lot of exercise. They love taking long walks or hikes with their owners and also make good running companions. Australian Shepherds thrive in canine competitions like obedience, herding, agility or dock diving.

Lifespan

12 to 15 years

Colors

Australian Shepherds' coats can be black, blue merle, red and red merle with tan points or white markings.

Shedding

The Australian Shepherd has a waterproof, double-layer coat that requires weekly brushing sessions. During shedding season, they require more brushing with an undercoat rake to remove dead hair.

Health

Australian Shepherds are a generally healthy breed, but they do have some health concerns, including hip dysplasia, epilepsy, cataracts and certain forms of cancers.

Best Dog Food For Australian Shepherds

Since Australian Shepherds are an active breed, they may benefit from a sport dog food to maintain their ideal body composition.  

These foods include:

Best Dog Food For Australian Shepherd Puppies

When choosing a food for your Australian Shepherd puppy, look for a formula with DHA to nourish brain and vision development and antioxidants to support their developing immune system during their first year of life.

The following foods meet the needs of a growing puppy:

History

The Australian Shepherd descended from a line of Europe’s finest herders. The breed started near the Pyrenees Mountains where the Basques built a reputation as world-class shepherds. In the early 1800s, the Basques began pushing into the continent’s vast interior in search of rich pastureland for cattle ranching, eventually sailing east to the virgin Australian continent with their herding dogs in tow.

After building up their flocks, the Basques left for California, in search of better ranching land. California ranchers admired the breed, misinterpreting their place of origin, giving the name, “Australian Shepherd.” They’ve been part of cowboy culture ever since. Working the land isn’t their only skill, however. Australian Shepherds are versatile, working as therapy dogs, drug detectors, service dogs and search-and-rescue dogs.

Facts

  • The Australian Shepherd’s name comes from his association with the Basque Shepherd Dogs that came to the U.S. from Australia in the 1800s.
  • As they age, their coloring darkens and becomes more “pure.”
  • The Aussie is a popular breed, appearing at rodeos and horse shows and in movies and TV shows.
  • Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd originated in the Basque region of Europe and is not registered in Australia as a native breed.
  • Although the breed has been around since the 1800s, they weren’t officially recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1993.

Australian Terrier

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About the Australian Terrier

The Australian Terrier is a spirited, alert and self-assured dog bred in Australia to control vermin population and guard livestock. Friendly and affectionate with a strong sense of devotion, the Australian Terrier is an excellent family dog. This small, sturdy breed can live comfortably in the city, country or suburbs. His waterproof coat sheds little and is easy to maintain.

Did you know
The Australian Terrier was the first breed to be recognized and shown in dog shows in Australia.

Balinese-Javanese Cat Breed

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About the Balinese-Javanese Cat Breed

The Balinese, also known as Javanese depending on coat color and pattern, is regal and aristocratic in appearance, but a curious kitten at heart.

Temperament

This breed may appear to be the picture of refinement, but in this elegant body beats the heart of a kitten who loves to have fun.

Balinese and Javanese adore people, and want to be with their people. This makes them wonderful companions for those who have the time and desire to appreciate this most intelligent, entertaining companion.

Balinese and Javanese are talkative, similar to the Siamese. They are extroverts who get along well with children and other four-legged family members.

Characteristics

A Siamese in every nature except for their medium length, silky coat, the Balinese and Javanese also have a distinctive, luxurious tail plume. This long, slender cat is lithe but muscular, with a Siamese-style head, blue eyes and large, triangular ears.

Lifespan

15+ years

Colors

Balinese coat colors are always colorpoint, and include red, seal, chocolate, cream, blue, lilac and tortie points. Javanese can be seen in lynx point, plus various patterns and shadings.

Shedding

The Balinese and Javanese are a moderate shedding breed, with medium coat length and no undercoat.  Her coat requires only weekly brushing to remove loose hair and maintain a healthy appearance.

Health

A generally healthy breed, Balinese and Javanese may be affected by lysosomal storage disease and feline acromelanism, a condition that can causes changes in coat color with temperature variations. They may also develop Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), strabismus (crossed eyes) and hereditary liver amyloidosis.

Best Cat Food for Balinese-Javanese Cats & Kittens

Balinese and Javanese will generally thrive on the nutrition of a quality adult cat food. For Balinese and Javanese who need help with weight management, consider a healthy weight formula.  

Balinese and Javanese kittens should eat a kitten food for their first year of life to aid in their growth and development. 

History

The generally accepted explanation for the origin of this breed is a natural mutation for long hair in the Siamese cat breed. In fact, this coat length is the primary difference between the Balinese and Siamese.

Although longhaired Siamese kittens had certainly been making occasional appearances in litters, the first real breeding program for this breed didn’t begin until the 1950s.

Facts

  • Graceful dancers from the island of Bali inspired the name for this breed, which is also known for its elegant, graceful form.

Basenji

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About the Basenji

An elegant, lightly built hunting dog from Africa, the Basenji is known as the “Barkless Dog” due to his making a noise that sounds like a yodel when excited. His distinctive features are a wrinkled forehead and tightly curled tail. Though aloof around strangers, the Basenji is an affectionate, alert and intelligent breed full of activity and play. The Basenji’s short, odor-free coat requires minimal grooming.

Did you know
One of the oldest dog breeds, it is believed that Basenjis were given as gifts to the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt.

Basset Hound

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About the Basset Hound

Despite his short legs and stout body, the ever-popular Basset Hound boasts strength and stamina to rival that of big dogs.

Temperament

The good-natured and affectionate Basset Hound is patient with children and gets along well with other dogs. The loyal Basset is an exceptional scenthound used to hunt small to medium-sized game, including rabbits, birds, fox and deer.

Despite his charming qualities, the Basset Hound is stubborn and strong-willed, which can make training difficult. Early, regular training and socialization from puppyhood can help overcome this obstacle.

Characteristics

Basset Hounds are easily recognized by their short legs, long, droopy ears and soulful eyes.

The short legs and longer body move effortlessly, but the Basset is not necessarily fast.

Lifespan

12 to 13 years

Colors

Bassets can be a wide range of colors, including black and white; black, brown and white; black, tan and white; black, white and brown; black, white and tan; brown, black and white; lemon and white; mahogany and white; and red and white.

Shedding

As moderate shedders, grooming Bassets several times a week will help keep it under control.

Health

The Basset Hound has a high risk of obesity. He also has a higher risk for ear infections, hip and elbow dysplasia, bleeding disorders, glaucoma, hypothyroidism and luxating patella.

Responsible breeders screen their stock for such conditions to help produce the healthiest Bassets possible.

Best Dog Food for Basset Hound Dogs & Puppies

Adult Basset Hounds will do well on a complete and balanced dog food. Basset Hound puppies should eat a complete and balanced puppy food for their first year of life. Puppy food has all the essential nutrients Bassets need for their growth and development.

History

The Basset Hound hails from France and Belgium. The breed is thought to be a cross of older French breeds by friars. Bassets were bred to be scenthounds who could lead hunters by foot to prey such as rabbit and deer. Their accuracy as scenthounds made them a popular breed among the French aristocracy.

Facts

  • The Basset Hound may have developed from genetic dwarf dogs from litters of French hunting hounds.
  • In French, the word “bas” means “low.”
  • It’s thought that Lafayette gifted George Washington Basset Hounds following the American Revolution.
  • A 1928 issue of Time magazine featured a story on the 52nd-annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, written from a Basset Hound puppy’s perspective.

Beagle

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About the Beagle

Once used as a hunting companion by English gentlemen in the 1500s, the Beagle is a friendly and cheerful family companion

Temperament

Beagles are affectionate, smart and energetic.

Characteristics

Beagles not only have an adorable face, but they are also generally loving and loveable, happy and companionable, making them great family dogs.

The Beagle is an intelligent pack dog who loves the company of other dogs and people. In fact, it was bred to work in packs, so they are happiest when they have company. A Beagle left alone for too long may get restless and destructive.

Although energetic, your Beagle's specific exercise needs will depend on their age and health. Over time, you'll get to know your dog and whether they prefer lots of exercise or lounging on the couch. They are known escape artists, so watch them outside. When on walks, it's important to keep him on a leash, as his instincts are to run off and track if he catches a compelling scent.

As trackers, they love to follow their nose and chase balls or their favorite people. They also love to play, so teaching tricks and playing games are always hit with this breed.

Lifespan

10 to 15 years

Colors

Beagles are commonly tri-color (black, tan and white), but their coats also come in combinations of black, tan, red, white, brown, lemon, blue and redtick.

Shedding

The Beagle's smooth, dense double coat gets heavier during the winter and sheds in the summer. They also shed moderately throughout the year.

Health

Responsible breeders screen the Beagle breed for conditions like hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, luxating patella and eye disorders.

Best Dog Food For Beagles

When it comes to choosing the best dog food for your Beagle, it’s important to take his or her unique breed traits into consideration. As an active breed, they may benefit from sport performance formula, but provided their food is completed and balanced, they'll  get the nutrition they need to be healthy.

Food for Beagles can include:

Best Food for Beagle Puppies

When choosing a food for your Beagle puppy, remember puppies of any breed have specific nutritional needs during their time of development. A formula containing DHA nourishes brain and vision development and rich in antioxidants supports their developing immune system to help them thrive during their first year of life.

The following foods meet the needs of a growing puppy:

Facts

President Lyndon B. Johnson owned three Beagles named “Him,” “Her” and “Edgar.”

The National Beagle Club was formed in 1888.

There are two varieties of Beagles, 13 inch and 15 inch.

One of the most famous Beagles in U.S. popular culture is Snoopy.

Beagles are scent hounds used primarily for hunting rabbits to larger hares.

History

Beagles may be one of the oldest dog breeds, but their origin is a bit of a mystery, as is their name. Some experts speculate “Beagle” comes from the Gaelic word “beag” which means "little". Others presume the breed was named after the sound they make while hunting: “be’geule” in French.

Small pack-hounds were employed to hunt rabbit and hare in England before 55 B.C. By the 1500s, most English gentlemen had Beagles as hunting companions. They used larger hounds to track deer and smaller hounds to track hares. The modern-day Beagle is an ancestor of the smaller version of the breed.

Beagles are known as “foot hounds,” meaning they track on foot without needing a horse, making them popular among those who couldn’t afford to feed and stable horses or had difficulties riding horseback.

The breed was imported to America after the Civil War and was popular amongst U.S. rabbit hunters. Beagles were registered with the American Kennel Club in 1885.

Bearded Collie

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About the Bearded Collie

One of Britain’s oldest breeds, the Bearded Collie is a strong, agile herding dog with a shaggy coat. His name comes from the long hair, or “beard,” under the chin. Known for his playfulness and ever-wagging tail, the Beardie is an active, intelligent and devoted companion. This working breed requires extensive grooming due to his long coat and fine undercoat.

Did you know
Originally known as the Highland Collie, the Bearded Collie’s name was later changed because unlike other collies he has long facial hair. “Beardies,” as they’re fondly called, descended from another European shaggy herding dog, the Komondor.