Pixiebob

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The Pixiebob is a purely domesticated cat breed that is supposed to resemble a bobcat. The Pixiebob body is medium to large, heavily-boned and well-muscled with a broad, well-developed chest. The back dips behind the shoulders. The hips are prominent, medium in width and are slightly higher than the shoulders.  The flanks are deep and powerful. Both males and females have a belly pouch. The legs are long with heavy boning and muscular. The feet are large, long and wide. They appear to be almost round, but must have big knuckles and fleshy toes. Polydactyly is allowed —
but they should have no more than seven toes per paw. When viewed from the front, his legs and wrists must be straight. All toes must point forward and rest on the floor. Makes weigh 12 to 18 pounds; females weigh 8 to 15 pounds.
The minimum length of the tail should be two inches, the maximum is the length of the hock when the hind leg is fully extended. The tail should be carried low when the cat is relaxed. The length of tails are not consistent, so tail length varies from extremely short to ordinary length. A Pixiebob with a docked tail is not allowed in championship shows.
The medium-to-large head is an inverted pear shape. The muzzle is broad with fleshy whisker pads. The area of the nose, muzzle and chin is described as a soft-sided diamond. The nose is wide and slightly convex with large nose leather. The medium-tall ears are wide and set as much on the side as the top of the head. They are rounded at the tips and should feature lynx tips (tufts). The deep-set medium-sized eyes should be one eye-width apart and heavily hooded with bushy brows. (Your Pixiebob should always look half-asleep and have partially closed eyes.) A band of cream or white should surround the eye and mascara lines should go from the corner of the eye down to the cheeks. Eye color should be gold to brown, gooseberry green is seen, but not preferred.
Pixiebobs come in both long- and short-haired varieties. The shorthaired Pixiebob is soft, woolly and his hair stands up off his body. The belly hair is denser and longer than the rest of his coat. The longhaired Pixiebob has a coat no more than two inches long. It is semi-dense and his belly hair is also longer than the rest of his coat. His coat is softer with closer lying hair to the body than the shorthaired. Both varieties have full facial hair that looks bushy and grows in a downward pattern with heavy fur above the eyes. The coats are weather-resistant. The ideal coat color is light to medium shades of brown spotted tabby. Warm, reddish tones are coveted. Small spots with or without rosettes are muted by heavy ticking. The belly is also spotted.
The exact origin of the Pixiebob is a conflicted affair. The most commonly accepted theory is Pixiebobs indeed were the spawn of bobcats with randomly bred domestic cats hybrids (called Legend Cats as none of these breedings were documented nor can they be proven). However, no scientific evidence exists to support that Pixiebobs have any wildcat blood. Domestic cats have mated with closely-related wildcats (the Bengal came to be from such roots), but most felines (wild or otherwise) tend to stick to their own species unless they are closely related or have limited mating possibilities. The other most accepted theory believes the Pixiebob is a domestic breed that developed a tail mutation.
What is universally accepted (and credited) is a cat fancier acquired a short-tailed spotted polydactyl male kitten from a couple who lived in the foothills of the Cascades in Washington State in 1985. (These owners claimed this kitten was the product of a bobcat/domestic cat mating session.) Early in 1986 she rescued a very short-tailed stray with a feral appearance. She named this cat Keba. Keba was so large that his back was level with the fancier’s knees. Keba mated with a domestic neighborhood cat. They had a litter in the spring of 1986. She adopted one of these kittens, a bobtailed spotted female. She named this kitten Pixie, who became the foundation female. She was also the inspiration for the breed’s name.
Pixiebobs are loving cats. Due to bloodlines and outcrosses, the Pixiebob personality may vary. For the most part, a Pixiebob is an intelligent, social, people-oriented, active cat. The Pixiebob become attached to their entire family and gets along well with everyone. It’s extremely rare to see a Pixiebob bond to just one person. Some Pixiebobs readily accept company, while others will hide under the bed until the coast is clear. They enjoy children that play gently and cat-friendly other animal companions.
Tail lengths do vary with this breed. Some may have a tail so short it appears tailless while others may have a full tail. These cats usually have their tail docked to make it easier to sell.
Most Pixiebobs are quiet, while others talk with quiet chirps. Pixiebobs are readily able to pick up the meaning of useful words like “treat” or “carrier.”

Kuvasz

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AKC Group: Working
The Kuvasz is one of the world’s oldest dog breeds. They have existed in eastern Europe for the last 2,000 years. They are most associated with the Magyar people of Hungary since they’ve been nomadic herdsmen. The Kuvasz were used to herd and guard horses, sheep and cattle. In the 15th century they became associated with Hungarian royalty. Their numbers fell to their lowest point after WWII, when a factory owner stepped in wanting two Kuvasz dogs to guard the factory from looters. Today’s Kuvasz dogs have descended from these 30 survivors.
Size: 26 to 30 inches high; 70 to 120 pounds
Color: White
Life span: 10 to 12 years
Health problems: Thyroid problems, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, torsion, sensitivity to drugs or chemicals, osteochondritis dissecans, and low metabolism.
A Kuvasz is a loyal, protective dog with courage, spirit and determination in spades. Protective of his family, he is wary and distrustful of strangers. They can be aggressive with other animals in
attempting to protect his family or territory. Early socialization is vital, and is best suited for a family with an experienced background in canine life. He will require you to be assertive,
confident and provide him with a life of variety for mental and physical stimulation to avoid behavior problems. He needs a walk every day and a secured, fenced in yard. When he is getting the stimulation and attention required, a Kuvasz is a loyal, devoted and loving companion. Housebreaking is an easy concept for him to catch on to. Don’t punitively punish him during training, it will cause him to lose respect for you and make further training extremely difficult for both of you. Begin with reward based play and socialization. You can slowly make it more strenuous, but never include severe punishments. If he does something wrong, reprimand immediately. Even a few seconds later can cause him to take the reprimand out of context. Always remain firm and consistent. Don’t let other people train him. He only accepts training from his “alpha.”
A giant dog, Kuvasz dogs are of a sturdy and robust build. The coat can be long and either flat or wavy, with a soft undercoat.

Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA)

The aorta is the main artery that feeds oxygenated blood from the left side of the heart to the body. The pulmonary (lung) artery travels from the right side of the heart to the lungs, carrying deoxygenated blood to be oxygenated. Once the blood has been oxygenated by the lungs, it then returns to the left side of the hearty through the pulmonary veins to be pumped out into the body by the aorta.

In the womb, the fetus’ descending aorta is connected to the pulmonary artery by the ductus arteriosus blood vessel, allowing blood to flow directly from the right side of the heart to the aorta, without stopping for oxygen in the lungs. This is because the fetus gets its oxygen from the mother’s bloodstream and does not yet need to have its own blood oxygenated.

Normally at birth, this connection is no longer patent (open). Once a newborn has begun to breath on its own, the pulmonary artery opens to allow blood to flow from the right side heart into the lungs to be oxygenated, and the ductus arteriosus closes. But in patent ductus arteriosis (PDA) the connection remains patent. Consequently, blood is shunted (diverted) in abnormal patterns in the heart. PDA allows blood to flow from the aorta into the pulmonary artery, and then to the lungs.

If the shunt is moderate to large, it can cause left-sided congestive heart failure from blood volume overload on the left side of the heart. Less frequently, a large-diameter PDA will cause injury to the blood vessels in the lungs, from the excess amount of blood flowing into he lungs. High blood pressure in the lungs, and reversal of the shunt so that the blood goes from right to left (pulmonary artery to the aorta), as well as the typical PDA shunt direction of left to right (aorta to pulmonary artery) can be expected.

This atypical right to left shunting of a PDA can cause the aorta to carry blood that is low in oxygen, sending a signal to the body to produce more red blood cells (since they carry oxygen), making the blood too thick.

PDA can affect both dogs and cats.

Look out for respiratory (breathing) distress, coughing, exercise intolerance and increased breathing rates, hind legs may be weak during exercise, arrhythmias (an irregular heart beat), a blood clot from the right to left, pink or bluish gums, bluish skin around the anus or vulva, left-sided congestive heart failure, a rapid and irregular heart beat and stunted growth.

PDA is a genetic predisposition, a birth defect, and for owners, there is no way to prevent it. Breeders should not be breeding dogs with PDA.

To diagnose PDA, your veterinarian will need to perform a thorough physical examination, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis and an electrolyte panel. Your dog’s level of oxygen in his blood may also be tested (expect blood samples to be taken from different locations for comparison). Your vet may also need to use radiograph or ultrasound imaging to look at your dog’s heart. Oftentimes, an X-ray can show left heart enlargement, but a heart with PDA will appear as normal size on an X-ray.

Your vet may prescribe oxygen therapy, nitrates and cage rest. When he has regained stability, he will need surgery as soon as possible. The operation may be performed on puppies as young as seven to eight weeks of age. Unfortunately, if your dog has right to left shunting, he will not be eligible for surgery. After surgery and two weeks recovery time, your dog should be perfectly fine and you will all soon forget he was ever sick.

Kooikerhondje (Kromfohlander)

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AKC Group: Foundation Stock Service
Kooikerhondje canines have been around since the sixteenth century in Holland. They were bred to attract waterfowl with their bushy tails, then lead them along the banks of canals and into a catching pen. When the job of duck decoy waned, so did the popularity of the Kooiker breed. By 1939, it was believed that there were only 25 still in existence. Thanks to breeder Baroness von Hardenbroek, the breed came back full force. Kooikers are a rare breed in the New World, but efforts are underway to popularize the breed worldwide.
Size: 14 to 16 inches tall; 20 to 40 pounds
Color: White and red. May have black ear tips.
Life span: 12 to 14 years
Health problems: Cataracts, epilepsy, von Willebrand’s disease, degenerative muscular disorders (especially nectrotic myelopathy).
The best way to describe the Kooikerhondje breed is FRIENDLY; assuming that the dog knows you well. If he doesn’t, you may describe him as anti-social and/or loud. But when this dog knows you, he’s an enthusiastic greeter and a bit of a shadow. This attitude also applies to other animals. He does fantastic with other companions he’s been raised with. Once that bond is broken, it’s hard to him to accept a new friend. Kooikers are sensitive to human tone and touch. (This is why socialization is vitally important for this dog.) Around kids, they need to control yelling and roughhousing. A Kooiker is so sensitive that a harsh professional trainer will not succeed either. Always speak quietly to your Kooiker, but be firm when he does something wrong. His natural sensitivity to your words will make him (over time) avoid the behavior. Reward a Kooiker with play or exercise. This way you can also sneak in trick teaching or obedience tasks. Avoid using food. Kooikers have a large appetite in general and excess food can lead to weight gain and he will always expect food and won’t appreciate it when there is no food reward.
A Kooiker is a medium-sized dog, similar to a Spaniel. Their coat is somewhat thick and medium in length. Their most distinctive feature are the black ear tips known as “earrings” on their long, feathered ears. (The longer their earrings, the more desired your dog will be for breeding or showing purposes.) Legs feature feathering as is his white underbelly fur. The tail is extremely feathered. They have a fairly thin muzzle (like a Spaniel’s face) and should form a “scissor” jaw. Despite all their hair, the grooming needs of a Kooiker are light. Brush him well about once a week for most of the year; more frequently during seasonal shedding season. Brushing will remove dirt and mess. Their years of service as a duck decoy have made their coat waterproof. This cuts down on bathing needs. In fact, frequent bathing will strip his coat of its waterproof-ness. Only bathe when necessary.

Komondor

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AKC Group: Working
The Komondor has an intertwined history with the Puli breed. It is thought that they descended from Tibetan dogs. They were used to guard sheep during the night. Some researchers believe Komondors came to Hungary from the nomadic Magyars, while others say the Cumans. (Koman-dor means dog of the Cumans.) The earliest reference to a Komondor is from the 16th century.
Size: 20 to 25 inches high; over 100 to 125 pounds
Color: White
Life span: 10 to 12 years
Health problems: Bloat, hip dysplasia, entropion, cataracts, drug or chemical sensitivity and low metabolism.
Komondors are a loyal, dignified, protective breed. He is devoted to his family and protective of all the members. This can lead him to be overprotective around strangers: adults, children or animals. Independent and self reliant, energetic and playful, a Komondor calms down as they mature. They get bored with routine and need a variety of mental and physical stimulation. A Komondor needs a secure, safe area in which to exercise. They can be territorial and determined, training can be a difficult undertaking. He needs a confident, assertive, positive owner. You should also have enough time and energy to be able to devote to him. If you need to go with a professional trainer, it’s okay; this can be a very difficult breed to train. The risk of him attacking an animal or a person is always there. Though they are smart, they get bored so easily. Proper obedience will go a long way with him. A Komondor is not recommended for those with small children or other companion animals.
The Komondor is an unusual looking dog. They are gigantic. Powerful and muscular, their coat is corded to resemble a string mop. The cording covers his entire body. He also has a double coat. His cords will need to be separated at several week intervals for trimming and clipping. Bathing can take up to 2 hours to ensure each cord is washed properly. Drying will then take 24 to 48 hours. His coat will need to be cleaned regularly as it is so easy for him to pick up debris. On the whole, a Komondor is a low shedder.