Harrier


AKC Group: Hound
The Harrier is believed to have been bred from the English Foxhound from selective breeding. The name Harrier means “hound” in Norman-Saxon. It is believed that the Harrier was brought to England alongside the Normans. Harriers were developed to hunt hare and have also been used in fox hunting. Harriers are a rare breed in the U.S.
Size: 19 to 21 inches tall; 50 to 60 pounds
Color: Any color.
Life span: 10 to 12 years
Health problems: Lens luxation, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia.
Harriers are good natured, eager, responsive dogs that make great family pets. Known for their friendliness and sweet nature, they can also be stubborn, willful and have an independent streak. Harriers have plenty of energy and enjoy a wide array of outdoor activities. They need plenty of physical and mental stimulation to avoid boredom and destructiveness. Harriers love to explore and shouldn’t be allowed off leash and you should provide a secure fenced yard. A Harrier is not a good choice for you if you have little time to devote to a canine. Harriers get along well with children and is friendly to strangers. They do well with other dogs but require socialization to get along with smaller companion animals. Some Harriers are difficult to housebreak. General training can be
difficult due to their independent streak. In general, though, they are quick learners. For successful training, you should be confident and assertive. Start obedience training at an early age. Harriers also love participating in agility or tracking pursuits. In general, apply a Nothing in Life is Free training mentality with your Harrier. Make him work for things. Harriers adore food, so that can be a strong motivator for them. As a hound, they bay.Some Harriers like to dig.
A Harrier looks like a mini Foxhound. The medium sized Harrier have sturdy builds with an eager expression. The Harrier coat is short and hard. Grooming requirements are low. Brush him occasionally. Check his low hanging ears often to ensure they’re clean and dry to help him avoid infections.
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Greyhound


AKC Group: Hound
One of the most ancient breeds of dog, the Greyhound can be traced to almost every continent on the globe. Greyhounds were first brought to America in the 1500s by Spanish explorers to guard, hunt, intimidate and punish their enemies (in those days that would be the Indians). The name “greyhound” is thought to derive from Graius, meaning Grecian; Old British word Grech or Greg meaning dog or from the color of the breed itself. The Greyhound is also the fastest breed of dog.
Size: 17 to 30 inches; 60 to 70 pounds.
Color: Solid black, gray, red or fawn; brindle or spotted.
Life span: 10 to 13 years.
Health problems: Thyroid problems, bloat, progressive retinal atrophy, digestive problems, bleeding disorders and allergies to drug or chemicals.
Agile, graceful and determined, the greyhound had been used for many years and prized for their speed. Friendly and gentle, a Greyhound makes a lovely companion. They are sweet and sensitive and loves the peace and quiet with the companionship of his beloved family. However, the Greyhound is not a clingy companion; they retain an independent spirit. They will need to run a few times a week. What they don’t need is excessive exercise time. They get along great with children, though they prefer older, considerate children. They do well with companion animals, though they may chase. (Try to socialize that out of him.) With strangers, a Greyhound is polite but reserved. Look out for your Greyhound to steal toys and food. Always approach him with calm, positive training methods.
The Greyhound is a large, svelte, graceful dog with a long, thin muzzle. His coat is fine and lays close to his body. An occasional brushing will keep his coat sleek and clean. Greyhound have been described as “catlike,” so approach training with a sense of humor — and expect a challenge. His prey drive is awesome. Walking off-leash should always be forbidden. Organized course events are a great way to channel their love of speed.

Norwegian Forest Cat


Norwegian Forest Cats have strong bodies, large eyes, a bottle brush tail and a luxurious mane. (They sound part lion.)
The thick double coat cannot hide the instantly recognizable body shape. A Norwegian Forest Cat body is solid, well-balanced muscle with a noticeable girth — but it’s not a fat cat. Males are extremely large (10 to 16 pounds) while females are more refined (8 to 12 pounds).
Norwegian Forest Cats are extremely slow to mature, taking five years! The legs are medium in length; the hind legs are longer than the front. (This makes their rump stand higher than their shoulders.) Thighs are heavily muscled and the lower legs are substantial. Paws are large, round and have heavy toe tufts. (The climate of Norway is not easy to endure.) The tail is long, bushy and broader at the base.
A Norwegian Forest Cat head is an equilateral triangle. The neck is short yet muscular. The forehead is flat. Chins are firm but gently rounded. Ears are medium-large and rounded at the tip. The ears can feature lynx tips (ear tufts), but it’s not a breed standard. The eyes are large, almond-shaped and expressive. Eye colors are shades of green, gold or copper. White Norwegian Forest Cats can be blue eyed.
The Norwegian Forest Cat’s coat features a three-sectioned bib. A short collar at the neck, side mutton chops and a ruff. The coat is fuller in the winter (obviously). All colors and patterns occur. The newest color (non-agouti amber) was accepted in 2013. This coat is a recessive yellow color that appears as a dark honey-chestnut color.
Referred to  as Wegre (pronounced Wee-jee) by fanciers, or Norsk Skogkatt if you’re Norwegian, this breed is growing in popularity and recognized almost everywhere. Norwegian Forest Cats were bred by Mother Nature yet no wild blood can be found in their veins; they are truly a domestic (Scandinavian) breed. Norwegian Forest Cats can be found as far back as Norse mythology — long before written history.
The 1930s saw the first effort to bring Norwegian Forest Cats to the cat fancy. In 1934, the first club devoted to the breed was formed and four years later, the first Norwegian Forest Cat was shown at an Oslo cat show. World War II almost obliterated the breed as did subsequent breeding with shorthaired domestic cats. It wasn’t until the 1970s that fanciers started a serious breeding program to save the (pure) breed. In 1975, the Norsk Skogkattring (Norwegian Forest Cat Club) was formed to protect and promote the breed. In November 1979 the first breeding pair arrived in the U.S. The first litter of (American) Norwegian Forest Cats was born in March 1981. The breed has slowly been increasing in popularity. In 2013, the breed ranked as the fourth most popular longhaired breed (the 11th overall).
Don’t let the Norwegian Forest Cat’s size fool you, these cats are mild-mannered, tolerant cats that seem to have muscles full of love. Gentle and friendly, the love for their family seems to ooze from their pores. They love to sit beside you, gaze at you lovingly and soothe you with their purr (best described as a motorboat). Their ancestors had to prowl the cold, harsh Norwegian forests, but thankfully, modern cats don’t. They are quite content to curl up by the fire and be adored.
Intelligent, courageous and playful (more so during their youth), Norwegian Forest Cats are pranksters. They carry that spirit through adulthood and remain prolific hunters that don’t know how to throw in the towel. (Give up? What does that mean?) Indulge your INDOOR Norwegian Forest Cat so he doesn’t turn mischievous with stuff he shouldn’t “hunt.” Catnip mice, soft balls, interactive toys — he’ll love them all. A whirling feather toy is even better. A tall cat tree will keep your Norwegian Forest Cat off bookcases, fridges, counters and window coverings (hopefully).
They are reserved around strangers until you earn their trust. Then they turn loyal and loving, able to bond to their entire family unit. They aren’t liable to be a lap cat, they prefer to be beside you. They don’t like to be held, cuddled, restrained nor kissed. Norwegian Forest Cats express love through petting, head bumps and prefer chin scratches. They love grooming time.
Their former home required adaptability. This is a trait the breed has never forgotten either.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog


AKC Group: Working
One of Switzerland’s oldest dog breeds, the most popular theory of origin suggests they came from Mastiff-like dogs that were brought into the Alps by the invading Romans. They were used to herd and guard livestock. By the 1900s, the dog’s job was being done by other breeds or a machine and their numbers began to dwindle. In 1908, a canine researcher, Albert Heim, recognized a pair of the breed as being a larger version of the Sennenhund type. (The Sennenhund is a family of four breeds that includes the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.)
Size: 23.5 to 28.5 inches tall; 85 to 140 pounds.
Color: Black and rust with white feet, chest, tail tip, muzzle, blaze and (maybe) the collar. A rust color should always be present between the black and white markings.
Life span: 10 to 12 years.
Health problems: Bloat, epilepsy, digestive disorders, hip dysplasia and distichiasis.
Dedicated, faithful and loving, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog makes a wonderful companion. They are great with children and usually great with smaller companion animals. however, they do like to chase and should never be allowed to do so. Eager to please, protective, loyal and affectionate, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog will never fail to sound the alarm. This, coupled with non aggressive tendencies, make a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog an effective watchdog.
Greater Swiss Mountain dogs are a mass of muscles and heavy bones, yet they have a gentle expression. Thanks to their original work in the mountains, these dogs are as agile as a dancer. Brush him weekly. He sheds seasonally twice a year and will require more attention. Extremely intelligent, Greater Swiss Mountain dogs excel in athletic/sporting pursuits. Obedience is a great first step. Training shouldn’t be a problem, especially if you have previous experience training other large breeds.

Great Pyrenees


AKC Group: Working
The Great Pyrenees dates back 5,000 years from the area of the Pyrenees Mountains (today that is southern France and northern Spain). They weren’t seen outside the area until people began venturing to mountainous regions in the late 19th century. A large breed, they were used during wartime pursuits (harnessed with artillery-laden sleds that they pulled across the mountains). They were not only adept at being able to make the journey but guarding the lot as well. Today, they are found on farms or ranches. They can live in the urban/suburban world, but they require a yard with a good quality/secure fence. (Sorry, apartment dwellers.)
Size: 25 to 30 inches tall; 85 to 150 pounds.
Color: White; white with markings or gray, badger, reddish brown or tan. They are born dark (gray with white spots) and grow into their adult color by the age of 2.
Life span: 9 to 12 years.
Health problems: Elbow or hip dysplasia, luxating patella, entropion, cataracts, spinal problems or bleeding difficulties.
Even though they’re huge, the Great Pyrenees are gentle, friendly and affectionate. A people lover, a Great Pyrenees is a great choice if you have adequate space for him. (He requires a lot!) Intelligent and a quick learner, a Great Pyrenees is also courageous and protective. They can be stubborn and too independent. (It will be easier for you both if you have previous experience with canines.) Indoors they are quiet and lazy, but open the door and you’ll see a much different dog! He loves to run, play and release all that pent up energy. They also love to wander and explore.  (That’s why you need that good quality/secure fencing.) They do great with kids that they’ve been raised with. He is a protector of his whole family — adults, children, even other companion animals. With wild animals, he may try to chase. Always be assertive with a Great Pyrenees otherwise he may try to assume leadership. Obedience and early socialization are definitely needed.
The Great Pyrenees coat is long and coarse atop a dense but fine undercoat. They look cuddly thanks to that coat, but underneath is a sturdy dog that carries himself with dignity. Brush him weekly. Keep his eyebrows trimmed so he can see. He sheds seasonally twice a year and will need more attention. He is normally a heavy shedder. Training a Great Pyrenees is a challenge. They prefer to make their own decisions. You will have to gain his trust before he will listen. How? Always be fair. A Great Pyrenees has an innate sense of justice that develops as they age. Obviously there are basic commands that need to be established to make life harmonious that shouldn’t be questioned. To gain cooperation, prove to him that you can be more stubborn. Housebreaking is made easier when using crate training. As always, socialize as early as possible.