Cane Corso

AKC Group: Working

Cane Corso dogs come from Italy and are the direct ancestor of the Canis Pugnax (the old Roman Molossian breed). They hunted large wild animals. They were then used to guard property and livestock. They were once rampant throughout Italy, but today are centered in Southern Italy. Their name comes from the Latin word “cohors” which means “guardian” or “protector.”

Size: 23.5 to 27.5 inches tall; 90 to 110 pounds

Color: Black, light or dark gray, fawn, red. Fawn and Red Corsoes should have a black or gray eye mask. Corsoes may be brindled. White patches are sometimes seen on the chest, throat, chin, toes or on the back of pasterns.

Life span: 10 to 11 years

Health problems: Bone or joint problems that typically affect large breeds, such as hip or elbow dysplasia.

The Cane Corso is a sturdy, medium-to-large sized dog. They have powerful muscles that exude strength and elegance. Cane Corsoes are loyal, eager to please, quiet dogs. They are intelligent and easily trainable. They are great with kids; they are very even-tempered, docile dogs. Extremely affectionate, yet they make effective watchdogs. They tend to stick close to their home and can be taught to be protective of people (though they don’t make great fighters). They don’t seek out a fight, but they don’t back down from one either. Early socialization is important so they don’t become aggressive with strangers. Full obedience training is recommended for a Cane Corso. They are also recommended for an experienced dog owner.

Grooming is easy: occasionally brush and comb them to remove dead hair.

Ever Heard a Clouded Leopard Kitten Meow?

This cutie pie lives at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. Isn’t it amazing that even the biggest cat species start out this tiny and unable to “meow” or “roar” properly?

The kitten was born a few months ago, so he or she is a bit bigger than this now. As Clouded Leopards are an endangered species, the vets at Lowry Park are keeping a close eye on this little one. Clouded Leopards are actually the smallest species of the big cats. They are found in the rainforests or forests of Southeast Asia. They are very difficult to spot in the wild because they are very, very reclusive.

European Burmese

European Burmese cats are athletic and muscular with a gently rounded appearance. They tend to fall between svelte and cobby. They appear to be heavier than they are. Males weigh 10 to 15 pounds, females usually weigh between 7 to 10 pounds. Chests are strong and rounded, the back is straight. Legs are slender with longer hind legs. The tail is medium in length and tapers to a rounded tip.

The head is rounded. Ears are set well apart. Wide cheekbones taper to a short, blunt muzzle. The lower jaw is strong and so is the chin. Their eyes are large and alert.

European Burmese have a fine, short coat that lays close to the body with a glossy, satiny feel. European Burmese come in a wide variety of colors. They also have color patches distributed over their entire body and on their extremities. Their undersides are paler than their backs.

Burmese and European Burmese came from Wong Mau. Two of his descendants were imported to Britain by a Siamese breeder. The female was already pregnant buy lost her kittens while they were in the six-month quarantine. The breeder then imported a female Burmese from the U.S. and later imported a male cat. From these cats, the European Burmese was developed.

European Burmese are lively, entertaining, intelligent and loving. They make faithful life-long companions who’ll spend their waking hours engaged in interactive games or cuddling with its family. Young European Burmese cats will engage in acrobatic feats. They remain quite playful their whole lives.

Don’t engage in a battle of wills with a European Burmese, you’ll lose every time. That’s okay though, they’ll make a great companion for children (who play gently), other cats and dogs that like cats. They do need another pet in the home; European Burmese become unhappy and/or depressed if left to their own devices. (If having a companion animals isn’t doable for you, you should look at another breed.)

Canaan Dog

AKC Group: Herding

It’s said the Canaan dog dates back to biblical times. Canaan dogs roamed ancient Israel to herd and protect farm animals. In the second century when Romans “removed” the Israelites, Canaan dogs took refuge in the Negev Desert, which became an oasis for Israeli wildlife. Eventually the dogs were then used as guard dogs in Jewish settlements and became the Canaan breed of today.

Size: 19 to 25 inches tall; 35 to 55 pounds

Color: Predominantly white with a mask (that may or may not have additional patches of color). Solid colors of black, brown or red with or without white trim. Masks should be symmetrical and cover both the eyes and ears.

Life span: 12 to 15 years

Health problems: Thyroid issues and seizures are often noted.

Canaan dogs have a sturdy, yet sleek build and an alert expression. They have straight, harsh coats with medium to long hair. The undercoat is close fitting to the body.

Canaans are loyal and affectionate, eager to please, enthusiastic and resourceful dogs. They aren’t overly demanding of attention, they’re independent dogs that can lean towards being manipulative and display a strong will at times. They are an adaptable dog that require a great deal of mental stimulation from their environment to stem destructiveness. Canaans have a natural tendency towards distrustfulness, so don’t expect them to apply for a spot with Welcome Wagon. He is protective and territorial, making him an effective watchdog. If he’s raised with children, they get along famously. He tends to be aggressive with other dogs and will probably chase smaller companion animals. If they are brought up alongside other animals, they do well and find a way to suppress the instinct. They love to dig and bark readily.

You can keep a Canaan looking gorgeous with a weekly brushing. He sheds seasonally and needs more brushing and grooming during these times. Training is easy if you get them to consider you their “herder.” Highly intelligent, Canaans pick up tricks and commands with ease. Show them something once and they figure out how to repeat it themselves. If a Canaan isn’t challenged enough, he’ll become bored. They require motivation and crave new tricks and challenges. Setting up “hunts” in the yard or during a walk or letting them herd in the yard will put their natural abilities to work and will suffice as mental exercise once he’s exhausted learning the bag of tricks. Early socialization and behavior expectations will make life with your Canaan easier as he ages.

Cairn Terrier

AKC Group: Terrier

Cairn Terriers were originally used as ratting dogs, hunting on farmlands on Scotland’s Isle of Skye in the 1500s. The Cairn Terrier is considered to be the closest ancestor of the Scottish Terriers that came from the area. The Cairn was named after its ability to push itself through the rocks that formed cairns or stone fences. They excelled at pushing large animals or rodents out of cairns and hunting and killing small animals.

Size: 9.5 to 10 inches tall; 13 to 14 pounds

Color: All colors except white. They usually have dark ears, muzzles and tail tips.

Life span: 12 to 15 years

Health problems: Cataracts, glaucoma, Legg Perthes, luxating patella, blood disorders, kidney disorders, progressive retinal atrophy, craniomandibular osteopathy, seizures, allergies, thyroid problems.

Cairn Terriers are small dogs that rose to fame in the 1930s when a Cairn starred as Toto in The Wizard of Oz. Cairn Terriers have a weather resistant coat and an alert expression. They have double coats: A long, harsh outercoat protects a soft undercoat.

Cairn Terriers make excellent companions. They are bold, inquisitive, gentle, energetic and playful. He is a dog that loves to be involved in your activities. If you can believe it, Cairn Terriers make decent watchdogs because they do bark to sound the alarm when needed. Cairn Terriers are up for anything. They can be quite stubborn and a little too assertive at times.

They do love kids but seem to get along better with older children (because older children won’t let them get away with murder). He should get along quite well with other pets too, but will boss them around. (This is a breed that doesn’t realize how small they really are.) Cairns tend to be aggressive towards other male Cairns. Regarding strangers, his natural personality will determine his reaction: Some are reserved while others are friendly. Cairns love to dig (sorry, gardeners).

Cairn Terriers should be brushed twice a week and rubbed down with damp towels when necessary. Normally a low shedder, he does experience seasonal shedding. Have his coat clipped frequently and regularly check his nails and teeth.

Training will require consistency and creativity. Overcome his independence with praise and positivity. Repetitive training methods will eventually fall on deaf ears; they need you to shake it up to avoid boredom. Obedience classes is never a bad investment for them. The best method to employ when your Cairn acts up is to ignore and remove your attention briefly. Cairns pick up tricks and commands easily. They are very intelligent and love to learn new things. Don’t be surprised if they seem to know what you’re thinking about. To overcome their possessiveness, they should be trained as puppies to relinquish their stuff. Teaching them to cease their barking on command during puppyhood can help to quell excessive barking later in life. If digging becomes a problem, you’ll have to provide him with a spot where he’s allowed. Unfortunately, Cairns can’t just stop; it’s what they were born to do. Otherwise, socialization as a young puppy is important for him to learn what’s acceptable behavior and what isn’t.