What Dog Breeds Have Ears That Stick Straight Up?

8 Nov 2017 | Filed in Dog Breeds

The ears of a dog are often described as a canine’s greatest tool. With such receptor organs, dogs can hear vastly better than humans. Their ears also help them to maintain balance. Some canine breeds have ears that are short and stand straight up, while other dogs have long, floppy ears. It is also possible to manipulate a dog’s ears to create a vertical appearance. Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!

Pembroke Welsh corgi

The Pembroke Welsh corgi – a favorite of the Queen of England – is known for having ears that point to the sky. This small, sturdy herding breed is described by the American Kennel Club as possessing ears that stand erect and are pointed at the tip. A cousin of the Pembroke is that of the Cardigan Welsh corgi, a breed that is generally differentiated from the Pembroke by its long tail. The Pembroke’s tail is short and/or is docked by its owners. While Cardigan corgis’ also have vertical standing ears, their pinnae is more rounded than that of the Pembroke.


As puppies, Chihuahuas are born with floppy ears that fold over. But by the time they are adults, Chihuahuas’ ears become pointy and radar dish shaped. This erect shape helps Chihuahuas get rid of excessive body heat and aids them in identifying predators. Chihuahuas generally don’t develop severe ear infections thanks to the design of their ears. However, their ear shape makes Chihuahuas more at risk for attracting foreign bodies.

West Highland White Terrier

The West Highland white terrier, also called a “Westie,” is a small breed with ears that stand up naturally. Like the corgi, Westies are compact, sturdy dogs who love people. Adults males measure about 11 inches in height and females stand about 10 inches. The breed was developed for the rigorous work of getting rid of vermin. While West Highland white terriers may seem like cuddly lap dogs, most do not have the patience to be held for long periods of time. They also are not a good breed for gardeners because of their propensity to dig.

Breeds With Cropped Ears

Some breeds known for having pointy, erect ears, do not derive the appearance naturally. Boxers, Great Danes and Boston terriers are all breeds who regularly have their ears cropped by their owners. Cropping refers to the surgical altering of a dog’s ears to achieve a distinctive vertical appearance. Some animal activists argue that the cropping a dog’s ears is akin to animal cruelty, while other dog lovers say a cropped ear prevents certain canal infections. Animal experts say dog owners should consider carefully whether to crop or not.

Dog Breeds Susceptible to Bloat

7 Mar 2017 | Filed in Dog Breeds

Bloat is a potentially deadly condition in which the stomach distends. It can twist out of shape, causing a dangerous retention of gas and cutting off circulation. Dogs suffering from bloat need immediate medical attention. According to the ASPCA, even dogs who get treatment right away have a mortality rate between 25 percent and 40 percent. It can strike any breed at any age, but some large breeds are more likely to develop this emergency condition than others. Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!

Dogs and Bloat

Symptoms of bloat include a distended abdomen, lethargy, pale gums, abnormally fast heart rate, struggling to breathe and more. The condition can be caused by numerous factors, including eating too fast or exercising before or after a meal. This condition can affect any breed, but large, deep-chested breeds are especially prone to it. These breeds include Labrador retrievers, German shepherds, standard poodles, boxers and others whose chests are deeper than they are wide. If you are concerned about your dog’s susceptibility to bloat, ask your veterinarian for advice on avoiding the condition. If you suspect that your dog has symptoms of bloat, contact your vet, or take your dog to an emergency veterinarian, immediately.

Common Dog Breeds for Degenerative Myelopathy

9 Jul 2016 | Filed in Dog Breeds

German shepherds are one breed with increased risk for developing degenerative myelopathy.
Degenerative myelopathy in dogs is a progressive disease affecting the white matter of the spinal cord. It is similar to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in humans. Symptoms in early stages of the disease include progressive weakness, stumbling and loss of muscle, especially in the rear legs. As the disease progresses, paralysis and organ failure can occur. While the condition can occur in any breed or mixed breed, certain breeds show a predisposition.

Breed Disposition

Degenerative myelopathy most often occurs in German shepherds and Welsh corgis. Other breeds predisposed to degenerative myelopathy include American Eskimo dogs, Bernese mountain dogs, borzois, boxers, Chesapeake Bay retrievers, golden retrievers, great Pyrenees, Kerry blue terriers, poodles, pugs, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Shetland sheepdogs, soft-coated wheaten terriers and wire fox terriers.

DNA Testing

Researchers have identified the DNA mutations responsible for degenerative myelopathy. DNA tests are available to identify if a dog is clear, a carrier or are at increased risk for disease development. Talk to your veterinarian about the benefits of DNA testing.

Dog Breeds Prone to Lenticular Sclerosis

8 Apr 2016 | Filed in Dog Breeds

If you notice a cloudy film covering the lens of your dog’s eyes, what you’re likely seeing is lenticular sclerosis, a common eye problem in dogs and cats. While many dogs develop lenticular sclerosis, some breeds are more prone. Have a question?

Eye Problems

Two common canine eye problems are lenticular sclerosis and senile cataracts, both of which create a haze over the lens. Lenticular (nuclear) sclerosis, a type of cataract, is a bluish film that usually develops in both lenses of middle-age or senior dogs; it does not affect vision dramatically. Senile cataracts, however, are a whitish, opaque film directly affecting a dog’s retinas and vision. Most elderly dogs eventually develop one or both types of problems.

Breeds Susceptible

According to vet and behaviorist Dr. Ron Hines, some dogs get cataracts sooner than others. Among the larger breeds are cocker spaniels, German shepherds, golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, Afghans, Chesapeake Bay retrievers, Old Eglish sheepdogs, huskies, and springer spaniels. Smaller dogs, such as Westies, poodles and schnauzers, get cataracts more frequently than other breeds. However, most dogs eventually get cataracts, especially the lenticular sclerosis type, as they age, starting at about age 6.

Other Causes

Although the cause is unknown, some dog breeds have inherited predisposition to cataract development, including lenticular sclerosis, at birth. According to Dr. Hines, typical breeds include fox terriers, bichon frises, cocker spaniels, Afghans, Boston terriers, standard poodles, miniature schnauzers, Westies and malamutes. Other contributing factors are eye injuries, eye inflammation, bad nutrition due to deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals, and diabetes due to uncontrolled high blood sugar.


Although you may think a dog with lenticular sclerosis is suffering, he’s not. No treatment is necessary. Most dogs adapt well to the condition and lead normal lives, with fairly good vision. However, you should have a veterinarian examine your dog and then have the vet periodically monitor for development of senile cataracts, which can, but may not, develop later. If your dog does develop full-fledged cataracts, they can be surgically corrected.

Which Canine Breeds Are Brindle?

7 Nov 2015 | Filed in Dog Breeds

Brindled dogs often have a natural tiger-stripe camouflage.

Brindled dogs are those whose coats have a tricolor tiger-stripe or patchy pattern, often in the brown, gold or earth tones range. Many breeds can be brindled, but only one is bred to be brindled across the board. Brindle patterns usually are reserved for dogs with very short coats, though brindled dogs come in various sizes.

Treeing Tennessee Brindle

The treeing Tennessee brindle is the only dog expected to always have a brindled coat. As his name implies, he’s a hunting dog who sniffs out game and sends it up a tree until the hunter arrives. Also as the name implies, the treeing Tennessee brindle hails from the Ozark Mountains and is a descendant of the brindle cur. His brindled coat is so prized, the Treeing Tennessee Brindle Breeders Association was formed just to preserve it. Treeing Tennessee brindles are intelligent, courageous and easy-going companions.

Pit Bull

Pit bull terriers come in a wide array of colors, from solid white to brindled — and even their brindle patterns come in a wide palette. Pit bulls are naturally good-natured around people and are extremely loyal companions. Their much-discussed aggressive tendencies usually are aimed at other dogs, but if properly trained, pit bulls usually are benevolent creatures.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

The Cardigan Welsh corgi is the corgi with the tail and is the older of the two corgi breeds — the Pembroke Welsh corgi being the other breed. Cardigans are low-riders with squat bodies who can adapt as easily to country life as they can to a city apartment. They are loyal, affectionate and even-tempered and tend to love the family. Cardigans’ coats come in red, sable, black, blue merle and brindle, though white markings are common.

Plott Hound

Plott hounds are named for the German brothers who brought curs and hounds to the United States in the 1750s. Though mainly hunting dogs, Plotts are loyal, intelligent companions who quickly learn new things. They are exceedingly courageous and even have been known to take on bears while hunting. Their coats are short and shiny and may be any shade of brindle, solid black, black and brindle trimmed or buckskin.

Boston Terrier

The dapper Boston terrier often sports a tuxedo-like black-and-white coat. But “the American gentleman” of dog breeds also may sport a seal coat with white markings or a brindle coat. The Boston terrier is gentle, loyal and easy to train. He also requires only a moderate amount of exercise and minimal grooming.


Like middleweight fighters, boxer terriers are toned, well-muscled and athletic. While boxers typically are white with faun coloring, they can sport brindle coats over their white bellies. Intelligent and deeply affectionate, boxers make excellent guard dogs and top-notch protectors of children. They require little grooming, but need daily exercise, just as any boxer would.


Dachshunds are playful, spirited and fearless companions who were bred to ferret out badgers — their name actually translates to “badger hound” in German. Dachshunds may sport long, short or wiry fur, but they come in an array of colors, from chocolate brown to brindle.

AKC Sporting Dog Breeds

8 Oct 2015 | Filed in Dog Breeds

Whether you’re looking for a hunting partner or a good-natured, responsive companion, the group of dogs the American Kennel Club refers to as the sporting group is filled with great choices. Born to cover land and water, these dogs require regular exercise.

Family Guys: Spaniels

The AKC recognizes 10 breeds of spaniels, of which the cocker spaniel is probably the best known. Though he’s a popular family dog, the smallest of the spaniels will be happy to flush and retrieve game for you. The field spaniel may be reserved around strangers, but he’s engaged with his family and whatever activity you dream up for him. The Welsh springer spaniel has a stubborn side, but consistent training and his desire to be with his family make him a valued part of the home. Other spaniels include the American water spaniel, boykin spaniel, clumber spaniel, English cocker spaniel, English springer spaniel, Irish water spaniel and the Sussex spaniel.

Energetic Companions: Pointers

If you want a running partner or gun dog, the German shorthaired pointer represents the pointer group admirably. Very smart, he responds well to gentle, consistent training and loves to relax with his people after a day of vigorous exercise. The other two pointer breeds are the German wirehaired pointer and the pointer.

Unbridled Enthusiasm: Setters

The Irish setter is known for his striking red coat. If you want an ethusiastic dog who’s up for just about anything, this may be the dog for you. Great with kids, he needs plenty of exercise to keep him from acting destructively. The other setters — the English setter, Gordon setter, and Irish red and white setter — are more popular as hunting dogs.

Devoted and Good Company: Retrievers

Retrievers are well-loved, both for their hunting prowess and their companionable personalities, making them great family pets. The Chesapeake retriever has a proud history of chasing waterfowl in frigid waters, and he’s happy to work hard for you. Like the Chesapeake, the golden works on land and in water, retrieving game at your command. He’s energetic and outgoing, so he needs a lot of exercise — perfect for the athletic, outdoorsy family. Other retrievers include the Labrador retriever, the curly coated retriever, the flat-coated retriever and the Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever.

The Rest of the Good Sports

The Weimaraner is a beautiful gray guy, made to hunt with speed, stamina and endurance. Like many in the sporting group, he can act out in destructive ways if he doesn’t get enough exercise. However, he’s an ideal companion for the person who wants a dog to pal around with outside. The spinone Italiano is a unique-looking dog, with his long head and ears. His hound dog looks may deceive you into thinking he’s a couch potato, but this guy can go all day, retrieving wherever you direct him. He’s gentle and willing to please, making him a reliable choice for a family pet. The other dog breeds rounding out the sporting group include the wirehaired pointing griffon, the vizsla and the Brittany.

How Many Dog Breeds Come From Germany?

7 Sep 2015 | Filed in Dog Breeds

Germany is a nation steeped in history and culture. Through its rich history run the bloodlines of more than 30 breeds of dogs. From the magnificent Great Dane to the diminutive Pomeranian, dogs with German origins are remarkably diverse. Every group classification within the American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club contains one or more breeds with Germanic origins.

Working Dogs

Some of the most well known working dogs originate in Germany. Doberman Pinschers, developed in the 19th century by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, are wonderful companions as well as superb police and military dogs. Rottweilers are loyal, alert guard dogs and intelligent, gentle family pets. The rare Leonberger’s ancestors include the Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland and St. Bernard. Loyal and fond of children, they’re excellent family pets and farm dogs. Other working dogs with German origins include boxers, German pinschers and giant schnauzers.

Sporting and Gun Dogs

Weimaraners, dubbed “grey ghosts” because of their speed and distinctive coat color, are strong, efficient hunting dogs as well as treasured family pets that love being part of the pack. As hunting companions, German shorthaired pointers exhibit confidence on land and in water. As family pets, they’re friendly, intelligent and willing to please. Other German sporting dogs include German wirehaired pointers, German rough-haired pointers and German longhaired pointers, small Münsterländers, large Münsterländers and pudelpointers.

Herding Dogs

German shepherds, standardized by Captain Max von Stephanitz in the late 19th century, were first used to herd and protect flocks. Today they’re valued as police and military dogs as well as loyal, affectionate family companions. Although not recognized by the AKC, white shepherd dogs are direct descendents of the German shepherd. The first white shepherd puppy appeared in 1882. These calm and intelligent dogs are primarily kept as companions.

Toy Dogs

Despite their close association to French culture, toy poodles have German origins. Initially bred as water-retrieving gun dogs, they are now almost exclusively kept as pampered family companions. Affenpinschers, affectionately dubbed “monkey dogs” because of their primate-like faces, were originally used as ratters on farms. Today these playful, affectionate dogs are popular companions. Other toy breeds from Germany include the Pomeranian and miniature pinscher.

Terrier Dogs

Miniature schnauzers are most likely descended from crosses between standard schnauzers and affenpinschers. Developed as ratters, today they’re kept primarily as spirited, lively family companions. Kromfohrländers are good-natured, docile little dogs with moderate hunting instincts. Sometimes reserved with strangers, they are wonderfully affectionate family companions. Jagdterriers were developed at the turn of the 20th century. More versatile than most terriers, these sturdy little dogs are adept at hunting, tracking and retrieving.

Hound Dogs

In German, dachshund means “badger dog.” Originally developed to hunt and track badgers and other burrowing mammals, today these courageous, devoted little dogs are popular companions. Bavarian mountain hounds are German bloodhounds, capable of tracking a cold scent for hours, even days. The little known Deutsche bracke was bred to track large and small game, but is highly adaptable as a loving family pet. Other German hound dogs include plott hounds, Hanoverian hounds and Westphalian dachsbracke.

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