Category: Know the Dog Breeds


In hopes that I can give my readers some insight into dog breeds’ personalities, I am featuring different breeds each week. I will give a little history about the breed, i.e., what they were bred to do, talk about their personalities, and provide advice on the lifestyle needs of the breed. Remember, as I always say, every dog is an individual. Some dogs will exactly fit the breed characteristics while others may be nothing like it.

Japan only has a couple of native dog breeds, and the Akita is probably the most recognizable. Its large size and head, dense and stunningly colored coat, and alert personality distinguish the Akita. The most famous Akita, Hachiko, was immortalized in the movie called Hachi: A Dog’s Tale starring Richard Gere, the true story of a dog who accompanied his owner to the train station every day and waited for his return. When the owner died at work, the dog kept vigil at the station for nine years until his death. Don’t watch the movie without a box of Kleenex!

Akitas are thought to have originated on the Japanese island of Honshu in the 17th century when land barons where challenged to create a dog who could hunt bear and deer. The Akita is thought to originate from the Matagi dog (an ancient Japanese breed), then mixed with Mastiff, Great Dane, and St. Bernard. An outbreak of rabies in 1899 and the killing of most dogs almost caused the extinction of Akitas in Japan. In the 1920’s, a concerted effort took place to ensure that the breed persevered.

U.S. servicemen brought Akitas back to the states after World War II and they were admitted to the American Kennel Club in 1955.

Akitas are not a breed for the first-time dog owner. They are physically strong and prone to have quite powerful personalities. Without the knowledge and ability to be an appropriate leader so that the dog knows he is not in charge, an Akita can become a very difficult dog to live with. They will not accept punishment-based training; they are smart and courageous, and will not allow themselves to be mistreated. Love, patience, and consistency is required.

By breeding, they are hunters so they have a significant prey drive. They also may not get along with other dogs. They have a tendency to try to exert dominance over other dogs. Early socialization to all animals, children, people, places, and things is of the utmost importance.

Akitas have the tendency to be very protective of their families, and consequently may be leery of strangers, another reason for early socialization. Early obedience training is a definite in order to ensure the dog listens to you. Because they were bred to hunt independently, they prefer to think for themselves. Training will help to develop the bond with the owner.

Despite their strength, Akitas are loving, devoted dogs. Their disposition should be kind with their families and very loyal.

Be sure to keep them out of the heat. Their coats are so dense that they prefer the cold.

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In hopes that I can give my readers some insight into dog breeds’ personalities, I am featuring different breeds each week. I will give a little history about the breed, i.e., what they were bred to do, talk about their personalities, and provide advice on the lifestyle needs of the breed. Remember, as I always say, every dog is an individual. Some dogs will exactly fit the breed characteristics while others may be nothing like it.

No dog is more recognizable and beloved than Lassie, the Collie from films and TV. She is depicted as very intelligent, a great sleuth, protective, loyal, and loving. She certainly set the bar high for other Collies! Are all of these qualities accurate?

Collies belong to the herding group and indeed they are herders. Herding dogs will herd anything – people, kids, other animals – either by corralling them with their bodies or with their voices or both. Collies came from Scotland and Wales, traced back to the early 1800s, bred to herd and guard sheep and goats. Their long coats protected them from the damp, chilly weather in these countries. Their name is thought to be derived either from the English word coll which meant “black” or the Celtic word cóilean which meant ”doggie.”

Collies became show dogs in England in the 1860s and just after that, came to the United States and were accepted as an American Kennel Club breed in 1886.

Like Lassie, Collies are very smart. They do well in obedience and other mental activities, and many require a daily dose of some kind of brain work. Collies may love agility, treball, and herding games of course.

They are also fairly energetic and active dogs when young but can be laid back and settled as they age. A daily long walk or two to expel their energy is necessary, and they love their playtime. Some can be fairly high-strung and may require a great deal of exercise and activity.

Collies love to be with people, often found following you around the house and lying at your feet. They are especially good with children. Collies can be very loyal dogs but don’t expect them to be protective. They are gentle, kind dogs and aggression is rare. They may be slightly aloof with strangers but quickly warm up and become your best friend.

Because of their potential medium-large size as adults, early training is absolutely imperative. They can be nippy and jump on people when young. Collies are quite sensitive so be sure to use only positive rewards training – never punishment. Punishment-based training will adversely affect the relationship between the dog and human.

One issue to be aware of, Collies can be very vocal. They use their voices to communicate to other dogs and to their humans. It’s part of their instinct that they used when herding. They will bark when someone comes to the door and continue to bark at them once they are in the house, and will bark and bark until they get attention. They do love attention! So for this reason, Collies may not make the best dog for apartments or if you have close neighbors.

The Lassie of movies and TV was a smart dog, giving evidence to the high degree of trainability of the breed. And you can’t get a better family dog.

In hopes that I can give my readers some insight into dog breeds’ personalities, I am featuring different breeds each week. I will give a little history about the breed, i.e., what they were bred to do, talk about their personalities, and provide advice on the lifestyle needs of the breed. Remember, as I always say, every dog is an individual. Some dogs will exactly fit the breed characteristics while others may be nothing like it.

When you think of Beagles, either Snoopy the cartoon character comes to mind or you envision packs of them on the hunt, gleefully running after an animal as they howl and bark. Both images are accurate: Snoopy is always looking to get his food bowl filled and Beagles are hunting dogs. But they are so much more.

Beagles belong to the hound group, bred to hunt with an exceptional sense of smell and ability to track the scent. The direct origins of today’s Beagle are uncertain but hounds have been traced back to the Romans and Greeks around 400 BC.  It is speculated that Beagles were derived from the now-extinct Talbot hound, popular in 11th century England. Beagles began to get popular with royalty for hunting in the 13th century but they were much smaller than the dogs we know today. Some were called Glove Beagles and others called Pocket Beagles, obviously implying that the dogs were small enough to fit in pockets or in your hand. By the 1700’s the Foxhound became the favored dog to use for hunting instead of the Beagle. Possibly bred with the Foxhound, Beagles became much larger and started to be bred as the now-known Beagle in the 1800s in England. The Beagle came to the United States in the mid-late 1800s and were recognized as an American Kennel Club breed in 1884.

Having been mostly used by hunters, the introduction of Snoopy in the Peanuts comic strip in the 1960s caused the popularity of Beagles to soar as family pets. They are a small-to-medium sized dog and, because they were bred as hunting partners, are very social and friendly dogs. Beagles have a happy personality with a smiling, inviting face. They love people and can be quite loyal to their families. They especially gravitate to children and have a very playful nature. They love other dogs, due to the fact that they were bred to hunt in packs with other dogs. They may chase cats, believing that they are prey.

Beagles are motivated by two things: smells and food. The food motivation makes them easy to train – they indeed will work for food! However, the motivation to smell makes the Beagle a dog that requires careful containment. They will follow their noses and run away, tracking the scent regardless of where it takes them. Many a Beagle ends up at the animal shelter because they got lost. Consequently, a fenced yard is mandatory if you want a Beagle. Even with a fence, Beagles can be escape artists. Be sure that your fence is secure.

They love to track scents, and giving them the freedom to do so without the possibility of running away is necessary. Never allow a Beagle to be off-leash in an open area. You cannot possibility run after and catch a Beagle on the track of a scent! Consider enrolling your Beagle in a fun tracking class. Look to your local dog training club for ideas.

Beagles love to eat and if they don’t get enough exercise, have the tendency to gain lots of weight. A daily routine of exercise and play is a requirement, as well as watching how many treats they get. With their expressive eyes, Beagles can easily convince you that they are always hungry!

Keep in mind that Beagles are hunting dogs with an inbred trait to bark and bay loudly when they spot the prey. Beagles are barkers and not recommended for homes where neighbors will complain about barking dogs. Can you train a Beagle not to bark? It’s possible but don’t count on it. It’s as natural to them as breathing.

Like all dogs, early socialization to people, children, other animals, and places is important. So is early obedience training. Beagles are hounds, and hounds are known to have a stubborn streak. Start training as early as possible.

Sadly, Beagles are an exploited breed. Still used by hunters, some hunters are known to kill or turn out any dog who will not hunt to their specifications. In addition, Beagles are used in scientific laboratories for experiments.  As you can imagine, there are many Beagle rescue groups hoping to save as many as possible. If you are looking to get a Beagle, please go to your local shelter or find a rescue group on Petfinder.com.

In hopes that I can give my readers some insight into dog breeds’ personalities, I am featuring different breeds each week. I will give a little history about the breed, i.e., what they were bred to do, talk about their personalities, and provide advice on the lifestyle needs of the breed. Remember, as I always say, every dog is an individual. Some dogs will exactly fit the breed characteristics while others may be nothing like it.

My friend’s daughter fell in love with the looks of the French Bulldog but really knew nothing about them. As a first time dog owner, I had to warn her – they are stubborn little doggies! Bulldogs, through and through.

Just like the Boxer, French Bulldogs have their origins with the now-extinct Bullenbeisser Mastiff in the early 1800s. To get the smaller version of the Frenchie we know today, it was probably crossed with a Pug and some kind of terrier where it gets its pointy, bat-like ears. Brought to France by laceworkers, the Frenchie was used to hunt rats and became popular as companion dogs due to their small size. The American Kennel Club admitted them in 1905 as a separate breed from the English Bulldog.

French Bulldogs are not for the first-time dog owner. You need experience and patience in order to deal with their bullheadedness.  Although they are very affectionate and love attention, they will take advantage of an owner who spoils them. Frenchies need a strong leader or else they will not listen to you. You must be a leader who controls the resources for the dog, or else the dog controls you. Early training and socialization are vital, so important for all dogs. As with all bulldogs breeds, they were bred to be tenacious and strong. Positive rewards training will teach your Frenchie how to behave nicely.

Frenchies make great dogs for people who live in apartments or small dwellings. They don’t bark too much and do not require a lot of exercise. In fact, too much exercise, especially in the heat, can be harmful. They are brachycephalic – their muzzles are very short – and can have severe breathing problems. They do snore and can make funny noises. If this will bother you, consider another breed.

French Bulldogs love to play and are very comical. Expect to spend a lot of time entertaining your Frenchie. Some may play all day long while others may only require a short playtime and then enjoy cuddling on your lap. Like humans, they all have unique personalities!

If raised and socialized with children when young, Frenchies are great with kids. When your children are old enough, be sure to engage them in being the dog’s leader too. The whole family must be consistently controlling the resources for the dog. If one person spoils the dog, then the dog will take charge and you will have problems.

I have known of French Bulldogs with genetic liver issues, most likely due to improper breeding. If you are looking to get a puppy, please do not get a dog from a pet store, from the Internet, or from a farm. Read more about how to find a good breeder on my web site: http://www.chrisshaughness.com/finding-a-good-breeder/

Know the Breeds – Boxer

In hopes that I can give my readers some insight into dog breeds’ personalities, I am featuring different breeds each week. I will give a little history about the breed, i.e., what they were bred to do, talk about their personalities, and provide advice on the lifestyle needs of the breed. Remember, as I always say, every dog is an individual. Some dogs will exactly fit the breed characteristics while others may be nothing like it.

The Boxer as we know it today is a relatively young breed, developed in 1895 in Germany. But its roots can be traced back to the 16th century, thought to be related to the French Dogue de Bordeaux and the Tibetan Mastiff. However, in 1895, three German breeders combined the now-extinct Bullenbeisser (a type of Mastiff) and the English Bulldog to create what we now recognize as the Boxer. Interestingly, they were mostly white dogs with a little bit of fawn coloring. While we still find white Boxers, the American Kennel Club does not recognize them as the breed standard.

Boxers were bred to hunt but became popular as helpers during World War I, acting as guard dogs, messenger carriers, and pack carriers. Their popularity grew during the 1940s and they are now one of the top ten dogs in the United States.

Boxers deserve their name. They love to play by smacking their front paws with moves similar to boxing. Yes, they are playful dogs! Boxers are very joyful and happy dogs, and love to be around people who allow them to express this true nature.  They are the kinds of dogs who are perpetually young and active. Watch their whole rear ends wiggle when they greet you. They have the reputation of being clowns due to their silly actions.

Boxers love people, especially their families. They are great with children if they were socialized with them as puppies. Boxers may not make the best pets for families with small children, however, due to their active nature and tendency to “box” when playing.

Boxers are naturally guard dogs, being suspicious of strangers. To avoid any aggression to people, ensure that you expose your young Boxer to as many people as possible at an early age and be sure to take your dog to obedience training. No punishment or harsh techniques should be used with Boxers (or any dog). They are loving and trusting dogs; harsh methods can destroy that trust.

Boxers are very strong, muscular dogs. Be sure that they are trained to walk nicely on a leash at a young age to ensure that they do not pull you down. Because they were originally bred as hunting dogs, Boxers can have a high prey drive. They will chase small animals. All the more reason to be sure your Boxer walks nicely on a leash. And it should go without saying that Boxers should never be allowed to run off leash without a fence. They will certainly run away if they spot an animal.

Boxers are athletes. They need exercise, lots of it. Don’t expect to get a Boxer and have him lie by your feet all day. Only exercise may not be enough for your Boxer.  They are intelligent and require mental stimulation, either through playing games, doing daily obedience practice, or even organized games such as agility. Don’t think of Boxers as agility dogs? Absolutely! They are smart and energetic and love to be with people – a perfect combination for agility.

Because they need exercise and stimulation, leaving them alone all day is probably not a good idea. They can get bored and destructive. Boxers love to be active and part of your life but they are not clingy dogs. It’s all about play! When it comes to exercise, use caution in the hot weather. Boxers are brachycephalic (their muzzles are very short) and they cannot tolerate much exercise in the heat just like Bulldogs and Pugs.

If you are looking for an active, silly, and perpetually young-acting dog, the Boxer is for you.

In hopes that I can give my readers some insight into dog breeds’ personalities, I am featuring different breeds each week. I will give a little history about the breed, i.e., what they were bred to do, talk about their personalities, and provide advice on the lifestyle needs of the breed. Remember, as I always say, every dog is an individual. Some dogs will exactly fit the breed characteristics while others may be nothing like it.

If you love small dogs, the Shih Tzu may be the dog for you. There’s not much that can be faulted with the Shih Tzu personality. They are charming little dogs. Because of their size and popularity, unfortunately they are an exploited breed by puppy millers – low cost to maintain and easy to sell. As a result, you may find quite a few Shih Tzu rescue groups to help the many Shih Tzus who are rescued from bad breeding situations. So a word of caution – if you are considering buying a Shih Tzu puppy, do your research carefully. Most Shih Tzus in pet stores, on Internet puppy sites, and at private farms (which more than likely are fronts for puppy mills) will be from puppy mills.

The name Shih Tzu means “lion dog” and their history is an ancient one. Originating in Tibet somewhere around 1000 BC, these dogs were owned by the holy men, the lamas. Eventually, they were brought to China in the 17th century. They achieved notoriety in the late 19th century by the Empress Cixi who bred Shihs Tzus, Pekingese, and Pugs in China. After her death in 1908, the Shih Tzu found its way to Europe where the breed was developed into the dog we know today. It was finally admitted to the American Kennel Club in 1969 despite that Europe recognized it as a breed as early as 1935.

Shih Tzus are friendly and loving little dogs. They love to be with people and easily take to strangers. They are great with children, given the proper socialization and that the children are careful with the dog.  Shih Tzus crave affection and like to have company. They get along well with other dogs, so having two or more Shih Tzus (or any other kind of dog!) is preferable.

Shih Tzus do not require a great deal of exercise, so they make great dogs for apartments or for someone who is not too active. They do like to play, however. But snuggling in your lap is what they want. Shih Tzus can be very sensitive dogs, responding to their owners’ personalities. They love quiet homes and will be calm, loving dogs with this exposure. But owners who are loud and boisterous may find that their Shih Tzu becomes high strung.

If you are considering a Shih Tzu, be prepared to spend time and money on grooming. They require frequent brushing and, because their hair grows, they need to go to the groomers regularly for haircuts. I’ve seen more than my share of Shih Tzus come into shelters who were not properly cared for with horribly matted hair.

Shih Tzus can live a long time so be prepared for a lifetime of love!

In hopes that I can give my readers some insight into dog breeds’ personalities, I am featuring different breeds each week. I will give a little history about the breed, i.e., what they were bred to do, talk about their personalities, and provide advice on the lifestyle needs of the breed. Remember, as I always say, every dog is an individual. Some dogs will exactly fit the breed characteristics while others may be nothing like it.

It was years before I became a trainer and behavior specialist when I met my first Rottweiler. I came to the front door of my friend’s house and her Rotti greeted me. She was a big dog, maybe 125 pounds, and her head and jaws were enormously intimidating. My friend had told me that she was nice but when you have heard the stereotypes and see just how big the dog is, it makes you step back and think. As walked through the front door, the dog took my hand gently in her mouth.

“What is she doing?” I asked my friend, unable to hide my fear and afraid to pull my hand away.

“She’s showing you her toys,” my friend laughed, ignoring my reaction because she knew her dog would never hurt me.

Sure enough, this sweet and gentle dog wanted me to play with her. She led me to her basket of toys, picked one out, dropped it at my feet, and we played. This dog was nicer than my miniature Poodle I had as a kid!

The Rottweiler breed unfortunately gained the bad reputation as being aggressive killers, somewhere around the same time that Dobermans did. Big black dogs have been unjustifiably maligned for decades – movies, TV shows, and other media stereotyped them that way.

Did you know that Rottweilers can be traced back to the first century AD in Rome? They were originally herding dogs, used to tend the herds of the Roman army, following them into Germany and Switzerland. The name Rottweiler comes from a small town in southern Germany called Rottweil which means red villas because the homes had red tiled roofs. The original Rottweilers were probably interbred with local dogs such as the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Swiss Mountain Dog.

Throughout the years, Rottis were used as bear hunters and to pull carts for butchers. They became a member of the American Kennel Club in 1901 and haven’t changed much over the years.

The temperament of the Rottweiler is typically calm, confident, very devoted to family, wary of strangers, and protective of his territory and people he considers to be in his pack. They are very alert and make great watch dogs. The combination of being good watch dogs, their tendency to be cautious of strangers, and their physical size and strength can make the Rottweiler a dangerous dog if they are not properly trained and socialized at a young age. Early obedience training, good leadership and socialization to people and other animals when they are pups are very important. Rottweilers need owners who know how to be consistent leaders, showing the dog benevolent yet firm parenting.

Because Rottweilers are working dogs and are intelligent, they do benefit from having a job or something to do to work their smart brains. They love games such as agility, lure coursing and of course, herding, but also enjoy simply playing with you and their toys. Regular obedience training helps to keep them engaged and well-behaved.

A Rottweiler is not recommended for the first time dog owner. They need experienced dog people in order to deal with their strong personalities and physical strength as well. Young Rottis can be difficult. They can be mouthy and will jump on people. If not properly trained, the mouthiness can turn into biting. Jumping on people can be dangerous simply because of their size and strength. Small children can be unintentionally hurt if the dog tries to herd them or jumps. Young Rottis are also very smart and will test his owner by trying to be in charge. An in-charge Rotti will be trouble if not properly trained.

Just like Pit Bulls lately, Rottis will have a bad reputation if not properly trained or trained to be aggressive by people with bad intentions. Some apartment complexes and neighborhoods have banned them. Rottis are incredible dogs when owned by people who understand them and do the right things for them. If considering a Rottweiler, please be sure you are prepared to take on this kind of dog: Early socialization and training, and be sure to use consistent positive reinforcement methods of training and no punishment. Punishment will make any dog aggressive.

The very handsome and intelligent German Shepherd is one of the most recognizable of the dog breeds. They have been and continue to be very popular, ranking in the top ten in the U.S. In addition to being loyal family dogs, German Shepherds are often trained to be police dogs (and that indeed is their nickname, originating decades ago), search-and-rescue dogs, and the first guide dog for the blind was a German Shepherd.

German Shepherds are herding dogs, originating in Western Germany in the late 1800s. Captain Max von Stephanitz found a herding dog who performed its shepherding duties with very little training. The dog didn’t resemble today’s German Shepherd, looking more like a wolf with predominantly yellow coloring. The German army used these dogs in World War I and caught the attention of the U.S. servicemen who returned from the war with stories of these heroic dogs. From there, movies featuring Rin-Tin-Tin increased the German Shepherd’s popularity. The breed was so popular that poor breeding practices like today’s puppy mills produced dogs with inferior physical traits.

Breeders worked to improve the breed standard in Germany, developing the dog we know today, however, hip dysplasia still persists as an issue in today’s dogs. The German standard for the breed is larger than the Shepherd in the U.S. with a straight back, as all dogs should look. The U. S. breeders, attempting to breed out the hip dysplasia, have breed Shepherds with sloping backs. This is the AKC breed standard now.

Because of the early poor breeding practices, many German Shepherds could be quite aggressive. They accounted for one in three bites to humans back in the 1950s and 1960s. When I was growing up, the German Shepherd was the dog that people feared, so much like the Pit Bull is maligned today. Prejudices against the breed still persist and many apartments who have breed restrictions do not allow German Shepherds.

German Shepherds are not dogs for the first-time dog owner. They are very intelligent and will take charge if their owner is not in charge. An experienced owner is necessary. Early training and socialization is very important for German Shepherds. They have the tendency to be one-person dogs, aloof with strangers, and highly protective. Early socialization and obedience training will help to prevent this.

German Shepherds tend to love children (if socialized with them at an early age) and will be their protectors. Small children should be watched carefully with the dog, as with all dogs, especially since German Shepherds are herding dogs. They will herd children and may unintentionally cause harm by knocking them down.

Because they are so intelligent, German Shepherds must have something to do. They were bred to work and will get bored if not given an outlet for this energy. Exercise is not enough. Shepherds benefit from group activities such as challenging obedience classes, agility, Frisbee, and even just a game of fetch. If you are considering a German Shepherd for your family, the dog should not be left home alone all day then expect to come home and do nothing with the dog. They need activity and need to be around people. Unlike other herding dogs such as Border Collies and Australian Shepherds, German Shepherds don’t need tons of exercise but a long daily walk is advised. If you leave the Shepherd alone out in the yard, he will definitely learn to guard the property, if you like it or not.

German Shepherds are highly sensitive dogs, tending to feel the emotions of their people. This is why they make such great working and service dogs. They will easily pick up the personality traits of their owners, becoming soft and sweet if treated properly or aggressive if their owners are angry people. I know a woman who had three Shepherds, all aggressive. She was a screamer and the dogs picked up on her angry personality. So be aware that if you want a Shepherd, they truly will reflect your personality.

Like all dogs, please do your research if you are considering a German Shepherd. Find a rescue group in your area who will have already screened the dog for behavior issues. If you are intent on a puppy, remember that pet stores and Internet sites usually are puppy mills despite how professional they look. No good breeder will ship a dog to you. Go to the American Kennel Club web site (www.akc.org) and find a local German Shepherd club for a reputable breeder.

In hopes that I can give my readers some insight into dog breeds’ personalities, I am featuring different breeds each week. I will give a little history about the breed, i.e., what they were bred to do, talk about their personalities, and provide advice on the lifestyle needs of the breed. Remember, as I always say, every dog is an individual. Some dogs will exactly fit the breed characteristics while others may be nothing like it.

One of the most recognizable dog breeds is the Dachshund; they are about as long and low as you can get in the canine world and so cute. The word Dachshund means badger dog, and they belong to the hound group. Dachshunds originated in Germany in the 18th century, bred from a combination of hounds and terriers. The original Dachshunds had longer legs and weighed more. Through the years, they have been bred with shorter and shorter legs, and also in a miniature version.

Dachshunds were bred to hunt badgers underground. Their long and low bodies make it easy for them to burrow and get into the badger holes. Dachshunds were also bred for hunting rabbits. They are fast little dogs with a high prey drive! A secure, fenced yard is a must if your Dachshund is off-leash.

Because they are hounds and bred to hunt, Dachshunds love to chase small animals and bark. Hounds bark a lot in order to alert the hunter that they have found the game. Teaching a hound not to bark can be quite a challenge, so if you don’t want a barker, don’t choose a hound.

Dachshunds have a charming and sweet personality. Dogs bred to work with hunters are always very social and loyal. In fact, they can be a one-person dog and if not socialized early, Dachshunds will be wary of strangers. They can make good watchdogs despite their diminutive statue. They can be very playful and fun, and are intelligent as well. They do well in obedience which is highly recommended as early as possible as Dachshunds can have a stubborn streak like most hounds. Owners need to be good parents, providing consistent leadership to their Dachshunds.

Dachshunds can be very affectionate and loving. They make great family pets but children need to be careful with handling them. Because of their long backs, Dachshunds have a tendency for disc issues. They need to be picked up holding them level so that their backs aren’t sagging or twisted, and they should not be allowed to jump on and off of furniture without assistance.

Housetraining can be an issue with these little dogs. When they go outside, they have a tendency to track scents, hunt prey, and play instead of doing their business. Patience and a regular schedule are vital to accomplish successful housetraining.

Dachshunds generally get along great with other dogs provided they had proper socialization when they were young. Hounds love to be with their packs. And humans are included in that pack. A Dachshund will be your friend for life.

In hopes that I can give my readers some insight into dog breeds’ personalities, I am featuring different breeds each week. I will give a little history about the breed, i.e., what they were bred to do, talk about their personalities, and provide advice on the lifestyle needs of the breed. Remember, as I always say, every dog is an individual. Some dogs will exactly fit the breed characteristics while others may be nothing like it.

If you are a regular viewer of the Westminster Dog Show and other dog shows, you know that the Pekingese is a crowd favorite. With its thick long coat and distinctive shuffling gait, they are instantly recognizable. The Pekingese is an ancient breed, going back over 2000 years in China. Only members of the Imperial family were allowed to have the Pekingese, or Lion Dog as they called them. They were lap dogs and treated quite royally. Commoners had to bow to the Pekingese! Yes, they were spoiled and pampered.

During the Great China War in 1860, British forces confiscated five Pekingese from the royal palace and brought them to England and gave one to Queen Victoria. All other Pekingese in China were then slaughtered because the Chinese royals didn’t want anyone else to get a hold of them. Consequently, all modern Pekingese are descended from these five dogs.

Their personality has not changed over the millenniums; they have remained true to their heritage with a regal, “serve me” attitude! They can be a one-person dog, quite loyal and they make great watch dogs. They are barkers. They can be leery of strangers and aloof. Because of their protective nature, without properly early training and socialization, Pekingese can be aggressive. They are independent and stubborn, making early training even more important. Due to their stubborn nature, Pekingese can be difficult to house train too. Crate training at an early age is recommended.

Despite their superior attitudes and stubbornness, Pekingese are funny little dogs. They can be playful and silly. They require daily exercise but not to excess because of their short noses. They love the cold and cannot tolerate the heat.

My neighbor has had three Pekingese, all adorable. As she describes them, “They are prima donnas. They will do what they want when they want.” I can see that this is true by the way that one of them may just stop in the middle of the street and refuse to walk while another sniffs the same spot and won’t move.

So if you are thinking of a Pekingese, be prepared to be their servant! All kidding aside, although these are little dogs, they will need owners who are good leaders to avoid the stubbornness and possible aggression.