Are you looking for a four-legged friend? Dogs can be one of the best options when considering a pet. They are smart, loyal, and affectionate, especially when you adopt them as pups. One of the best things that you can do before choosing your canine companion is research because not all dogs are created the same. Like people, all dogs have their own individual and unique personality, but lets take a look at some of our canine companion that are known for being feisty.
Wolf Hybrids are the offspring of a domestic dog and a grey wolf. Because of their instinctual nature, Wolf Hybrids are extremely territorial and like to roam. Experts suggest that one should only consider a hybrid if they can invest the time, energy, and money it takes for training and upkeep, as they can be high maintenance.
Chihuahuas are known for their feisty attitude. They are the smallest of the dog breeds which could explain their “small dog syndrome.” Despite their larger than life personalities, with the right time and training they have the potential to make great companions.
The Dachshund originated in Germany and is often refered to as as the “weiner” dog due to their short legs and small bodies. Originally bred for hunting, he is the smallest of all hounds. Although they do have the potential to be loving family dogs, they are not the ideal pet if you have small children, as they can be aggressive.
Jack Russell’s are known for being energizer bunnies. These dogs love to hunt and dig, and if not trained properly, can be quite destructive. Jack Russells do best in homes with older children who know how to handle them properly. They also tend to be slightly aggressive towards dogs of the same sex.
German Shepherds were originally bred to be worker dogs and were used to guard sheep. Since then, they have moved on to become police detectives, guide dogs for the blind, and have a pretty good reputation. German Shepard’s do however have some aggressive tendencies, but with proper training can be a good family dog.
The Akita has also undergone some career changes, as they were originally used to guard royalty in Japan. Akitas are known to be quiet yet powerful animals and aren’t to keen of smaller children. If you don’t mind a quiet and independent friend, the Akita may be the companion for you.
The chow is also a Chinese native. They are known for their independent nature and although loyal, prefer not to have too many cuddle sessions. Chow Chows require extensive socialization as they are not to keen of strangers. If you’re looking for an affectionate dog, this may not be the one for you.
The Doberman originates in Germany and is known for its energetic nature. He requires lots of exercise and play time. If not socialized and exercised properly you could have a snappy and irritable pup on your hands, but for the most part he can be a good companion.
Rottweilers have somewhat of a bad reputation for being aggressive and territorial. If not socialized at an early age, they can grow up to be quite ill mannered. Despite their bad reputation, people still consider the Rottweiler to be quite the canine companion.
Don’t let their cute furry face fool you, these little lap dogs can be quite stubborn. While they may not be an aggressive breed, if it doesn’t benefit them, you may have a hard time telling this little guy what to do. Like most of the dogs on the list, they can be trained with a little time and patience.
Despite their quick speed, greyhounds can be quite the couch potato, and for the most part prefer to sleep the day away. Greyhounds are great family pets; however, because they prefer a serine environment, they may not be the ideal pet for those with noisy children or other pets.
Despite their large size, this gentle giant has the potential to be a loving family pet. Although they are not an aggressive dog they do need to be taught what is expected of them to prevent them from accidentally hurting small children.
English Toy Spaniel
These pampered canines hate to be alone and can be the ideal pet for someone who wants a side kick. They can however be a little stubborn and develop quite the attitude. Positive reinforcement during training is just the thing this little guy needs to keep his attitude under control.
Nicknamed the “silver ghost” this pup was originally bred to be a hunting dog but has since made his way into the family home. The Weimaraner can make a great family dog even if you have small children ,just don’t leave them alone for long periods of time as they develop serious separation anxiety. They also need lots of exercise and are not ideal if you have other small pets because they have an instinctual desire to hunt.
This gentle giant isn’t the heaviest of them all but he is definitely the tallest. The Great Dane is often described as loyal and affectionate, and he often forgets how big he is during his frequent cuddle sessions. Despite their even-tempered nature, they are another breed that doesn’t like to be left alone, and if they are you may notice quite the attitude.
The masiff is both strong and powerful yet loyal and affectionate. Due to their large size, it is suggested that they be monitored around small children to prevent any unintentional harm. While the mastiff usually adapts to children well, they are not so accepting of strangers and can be quite suspicious.
The French Bull dog, also known as “frenchies” love to be the center of attention. Owners of these flat faced pups often describe them as attached and lovable. While they do make great family pets, they can be quite stubborn when it comes to things like house training and being left alone; however, with the proper training and patience they can be the perfect four legged family member.
This working dog originated in Asia and was originally used to pull large loads through extremely cold weather; however, today, you will often see them in dog sled races. When they aren’t racing, they are mild tempered and playful. Because of their athletic ability they require lots of exercise and prefer to spend lots of time outside. The husky may not be the pet for you if you have small pets as they may harm them.
The Canario is a large rare breed of dog, originating from the Spanish Canary Islands. They were originally used to drive cattle and is a very energetic breed. While they are intelligent and highly capable of loyal relationships with their owners, it is important they receive the proper training, as they can be unpredictable.
The Affenpinscher also known as the monkey terrier, is fearless and has a big dog attitude. Like many dogs with “small dog syndrome” this little dog thinks of himself as the protector of the home . Despite his small size, the Affenpinscher doesn’t usually do well in homes with small children.
This pointy nose pup was originally bred to be a fighting dog; however, today they are much more affectionate then the fighters they were created to be. While he may not be the ideal pet if you have other small animals, with the proper training and socialization the Bull Terrier has the potential to be a loving family dog.
You may recognize this beauty by its long silky coat. Many would describe the Afghan as aloof because he doesn’t really get excited about much. He can however make a good family pet if you’re looking for a laid back independent companion.
The Basenji first originated in Congo and was originally used to hunt small rodents. He is a fun-loving family dog to have around; however, he isn’t the ideal pup for those with small animals. The Basenji can be a little stubborn to train due to his independent nature, but he can be tamed with a little patience.
This muscular dog originated in Argentina and was used to hunt wild boar. Today you can see him training as a police dog, service dog, or guide dog for the blind. The Dogo Argentino is very protective so it is important that he is socialized and taught to behave around strangers.
The “staffie” is a medium size dog from Staffordshire England. They are fun and loving and have lots of energy. If left alone for long periods of time, this curious pup tends to get bored and is likely to get into mischief and chew up whatever he can find.
Despite their elegant look, the poodle is far from high strung and loves to have fun. They are an intelligent breed and can sometimes even be stubborn and mischievous. As long as they have something to stimulate them you wont have to worry about them getting into trouble.
This wrinkly rascal originates from Canton China was bred to be a fighting and guard dog. He can be quite aggressive and stubborn so its important that they are trained and socialized early. The Shar-pei may not be ideal for those with small children unless they are introduced to him as a pup as he may not be tolerant of the handling of little hands.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a guard dog from Italy and has the size and strength to prove it. He makes a great family dog, but strangers may not want to trespass without his permission. If you’re looking for a lover and a protector, the Mastiff may be the dog for you.
This cuddly cowboy, despite his name originated in the United states and is often used to herd life stock. One thing to note about the Australian Sheppard, is that he loves to exercise. They don’t necessarily need a large backyard, but they love to run and play. A lack of exercise and boredom can lead to some obnoxious and mischievous behavior.
The Tosa Inu is a rare dog that originates in Japan. Sadly, he was bred to be a fighting dog. Some consider the Inu to be a dangerous breed, and he is even restricted in the United Kingdom. Despite his questionable background, he is still capable of being trained in homes without small children.
The Cane Corso is one of the most popular breeds in Italy and is often used as a guard dog. Because they are territorial, they are leary of strangers and prefer to stay right by their owners’ sides.
The Pitbull is another breed of dog with a bad reputation. He is known to be aggressive; however, most Pitbull’s are taught to be aggressive by their owners. With the right socialization and training they can be very well behaved pups.
The Skye Terrier originates in the United Kingdom and unfortunately is one of the most endangered dog breeds. They were originally created to hunt small animals such as fox, but since has made its way into the family home. He isn’t one of the friendliest dogs when it comes to strangers, but he can be a good companion for his owners.
The Dalmatian is most widely known for his distinctive black and white spots. These dogs are very athletic and love to get lots of exercise. With positive reinforcement, the Dalmatian may be one of the easiest dogs to train. Since the he is such a big breed of dog, it is recommended that he be supervised in the presence of small children.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback originated in South Africa and is a natural born hunter. He is independent and active. Because of his hunting instinct, small animals are not safe in his presence. He is however quite affectionate and friendly and has the potential to make a good family dog. Because of his large size and high energy, he needs lots of space to run around.
The Gull Dong is a popular breed in Pakistan and unfortunately is commonly used as a fighting and guard dog. He is loyal and loving yet dominant and aggressive. Gull Dongs have high levels of energy and need plenty of space to run around.
The Brasileiro is a large breed of mastiff that originates in Brazil. He requires an experienced dog owner who can train him properly as he is a powerful dog. Socialization and training at early age is especially important to ensure that he is obedient and well rounded.
The Caucasian Ovcharka also known as the Caucasian Shepard originates from the Caucasus Mountain and is used to guard flock from being eaten by wolves and other prey. Positive reinforcement will more than likely be ineffective when training. This dog needs someone who is experienced, firm, and loving. Due to his aggressive behavior, he may not be the dog for a house with small children.
Don’t let his looks fool you, this playful pup from Tibet is energetic and fearless. Although he does like to play, he may be intolerant of little children and strangers. He is often described as independent and stubborn, and you may need extra patience during training.
I’m sure you wouldn’t expect any trouble from this cute face, as the Cocker Spaniel is considered a great family dog. They are loving and great with kids. This breed does however hate to be alone, and will excessively bark, cry, and destroy if you’re gone too long.
The beagle is a hunting dog that loves to play. Although small children should be supervised when handling any dog, he is more accepting of being handled with little hands. Beagles can be very mischievous and tend to get into a lot of messy trouble.
The Manchester Terrier is A breed of dog that was originally created to keep the vermin population at bay in the 19th century. Because of this, he is not ideal for a home with small pets. The Manchester can develop quite a nasty attitude if not trained at an early age.
The Champion Taco-Eating Pit Bull
My neighbor Jose had just adopted a special pit bull from the local rescue shelter. It had been the faithful companion for five years of Jose’s elderly friend who had passed away a few months earlier. Because pit bulls have a bad rap, nobody wanted the dog, so the shelter planned to put it to sleep. When my neighbor learned that his friend’s faithful companion was about to be killed, he immediately adopted the dog. I don’t know about cats having nine lives, but that dog definitely got a second life.
That dog went everywhere with Jose. The dog’s name was Lucky, but Jose made a point of calling him something like “Lu-key.” Jose even got that large pooch service-dog certified, which meant he could take that dog into the supermarkets and even into the county fair.
Last July, I was assigned to judge the taco eating contest. A few months later the county fair started. Somehow Jose managed to get Lucky into the fair on my judgment day. According to him, the ticket office at first refused to let Lucky the service dog go in, because of all the other animals there. So Jose was sent to the exhibitor’s entrance, where the fair’s president was. After the president argued with Jose a bit, he was left at the gate with Lucky while the fair officials argued about what to do. During that time, exhibitors with other dogs, cats, pigs, and birds of all kinds, came into the fair through that same gate. Lucky looked at those other animals but did not budge from Jose’s side. Not a sound came from him, though other animals sometimes made a racket. The president noticed that and then decided to let Jose and Lucky conditionally come in; Lucky was in no way to disturb the other animals, children, or people.
A local guy named Walt came to the taco eating contest as a participant, not letting his wife know. We had TV-like tables set up with fifteen Mama Juanita’s Taqueria soft-shelled chicken tacos on each one, the best tacos for hundreds of miles. The contestant who at them the fastest won the contest. It happened that Jose and Lucky were the closest to Walt’s table.
Well, no sooner had I blown the start whistle than Walt’s wife screamed out his name, “Walter Higgins! Get over here!” At that shout, he jumped up and bumped over his table filled with tacos, in front of Lucky. Walt then bolted away from that area as fast as a rooster with its tail feathers aflame. Well, Lucky apparently felt lucky, so he jumped the few feet needed to get at all those tacos on the ground in front of him and started gobbling them down. It wasn’t long before all the contest spectators were watching Lucky, some aiming their Instagram-linked iPhone cameras at him. It was only later we discovered that CNN also had a cameraman at that event. Not only did Lucky eat all the tacos, but he was also the first to finish them as well!
Since the top two human taco eating contest champions were state-level champs, it didn’t take the local folk much time to declare, over the protest of those two guys, Lucky the 2015 taco eating contest winner. CNN national news and its website showed scenes of Lucky gobbling up the last of the tacos. The fair’s Facebook page ended up with the greatest number of views in local history. The social media sensation Lucky would become the “picture boy” for the next state fair.
The Day I Met a Baby Gray Whale
In addition to being one of the most curious and intelligent creatures in Earth’s oceans, due to their great size and the fact that they travel vast distances, gray whales are also host to a wealth of scientific data about the health of our oceans. Gray whales have a long history of unique interactions with humans. Most of the time they appear indifferent to us. Sometimes they behave in a friendly way. But during a few points in history, in a small number of locations, legends of gray whales flipping small boats and dragging men beneath the waves have cropped up.
But gray whales can even be dangerous when they do not mean to be. Weighing in at nearly 40 tons, with massive flippers and a huge, powerful tail, gray whales have downed many small boats either accidentally or otherwise. But these fascinating creatures still have a powerful draw for us. They are mysterious, massive, and have eyes which reflect a strangely familiar intelligence.
So when Cheryl and David Kipling set out in hopes of meetings these creatures face to face, it was no small task overcoming their trepidation. Cheryl and David are biologists and run a lab where they study the remains of whales that have been killed prematurely by the actions of humans.
Cheryl explained, “I’ve autopsied the brains of half a dozen gray whales and the one thing that stands out is the size and sophistication of their limbic brain.”
We asked for more clarification on why having a big limbic brain is such a big deal.
She replied, “The limbic brain, in mammals, is the part of the brain that renders emotions. It’s sandwiched between the fore-brain- which is big in humans, and the hindbrain- which controls all of our cravings and reflex instincts. The limbic brain motivates us with feelings. When you look at a puppy and say ‘ahh’ at his big brown eyes, or when you miss a loved one and want to see them, that’s the limbic brain. Judging by the size of their’s, these animals are deeply emotional. They are primarily emotional, in fact- whereas people might be said to be primarily intellect oriented. That’s why it’s such a crime to keep orcas in captivity, separate them from their pods- their families. They suffer intensely.”
Equipped with this new and strange knowledge, going out with Dave and Cheryl to meet the whales felt all the more momentous. Getting out on the water to the right spot where the whale sightings were happening took most of the day. But the weather was beautiful, the water was calm, and we would have been happy even if no whales had shown up. But they did.
The couple spotted a mother and calf breaching the surface some distance off. They were headed in our direction. For several minutes, wonder, anticipation, and- we’ll admit, a little bit of dread were palpable. All I could think about is what I would do if one of these animals accidentally flipped our boat.
But eventually, the mother and calf reached us. They were careening off to the south. But then the baby spotted us and approached our boat. It came right up to the boat and held its long snout out of the water right next to the boat. It just sort of “stood” there. Cheryl and David reached out and stroked the animal’s nose while the mother looked on.
The baby whale turned and looked us over with its oddly small eye, calmly, almost serenely as Cheryl and David stroked her. Then the whales passed as quietly as they came. I’ll never forget the lucidity and the depth of feeling in the eye of that baby whale.
Looking Back at an Eventful Summer for Snowflake the Albino Alligator
The past few months have been quite eventful for one particular albino alligator.
In case you missed it, an albino alligator named Snowflake generated more than a few headlines in recent months.
Back in May, Snowflake was welcomed as a kind of guest of honor after arriving at the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois. It’s easy to see why Snowflake caused a stir when she first made her way to the Brookfield Zoo.
Due to her albinism, Snowflake can stand out easily even amongst a crowded congregation of alligators. She possesses noticeably white skin that can be likened very much to the look of ivory and her eyes also have a pinkish hue. Those characteristics are typical of an albino alligator.
It is worth noting that Snowflake is also significantly shorter than many of the other alligators that you may be able to see in zoos or swamps. Per ABC 7 Chicago, Snowflake measures about 7 feet long. An average adult female American alligator measures about 8.2 feet tall, according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute.
While Snowflake was enjoying the attention from visitors at the Brookfield Zoo, an important and exciting discovery was made back at her home.
Snowflake Is Going to be a Mother
In June, Wild Florida announced that the caretakers of Snowflake and another albino alligator named Blizzard found eggs at the pair’s shelter. A total of 19 eggs were found at Snowflake and Blizzard’s exhibit, WFTV 9 reported.
Upon spotting the eggs, the caretakers acted fast to collect and move them to a more secure location.
Wild Florida co-founder and co-owner Dan Munns explained that moving the eggs out of the shelter was a necessary step due to some of the difficulties that the pair of albino alligators may encounter as parents. Munns explained that while alligators typically make for great mothers, Snowflake may not be as capable as some of her counterparts because of the blindness brought about by her albinism.
By securing the eggs themselves, the caretakers can shield them from any predators that may come snooping around. The eggs are being kept in an incubator in order so that they can be cared for in a more controlled environment. The caretakers mentioned that keeping the eggs in an environment where the temperature can remain at a stable level is essential to successful hatching.
Additional Facts about Albino Alligators
The fact that the eggs came from parents exhibiting albinism could very well turn out to be good news for the albino alligator population. Typically, albino alligators are born as a result of two normal alligators who carry the recessive gene for albinism mating, according to Safari Ltd. Since both Snowflake and Blizzard are albino alligators, the chances for them producing offspring that feature the same physical traits could be higher.
The albino alligator population could certainly use a boost. At present, biologists estimate that only around 100 albino alligators could be alive across the entire world.
Albino alligators are rare not just because they are the offspring of parents carrying some uncommon genes. It is also difficult for albino alligators to survive precisely because of their unique appearance.
Unlike the alligators that feature a more common skin color, albino alligators find it incredibly difficult to disguise themselves. That makes them easy prey for predators especially when they are younger.
Because of those struggles they could potentially face in the wild, you will often find zoos and farms caring for albino alligators to ensure that they can live out long and happy lives. While it’s still unclear what kind of offspring Snowflake and Blizzard will produce, there is certainly a fair amount of optimism that they will bring more albino alligators into the world.
If You See a Lemonade Stand, Stop & Get a Drink
In America many kids get their first exposure to running a business and making a sale by the time-honored attempt at running a lemonade stand for a day. Typically attempted in the spring or summer when it’s warmer, the neighborhood lemonade stand has been around for decades, and every generation can remember someone who made a run for it.
So, when Annie McAveeney decided to set up a lemonade stand in her neighborhood, it was not out of the ordinary or a big surprise. She was just going down the same path many other kids had walked before her. However, what was unique about Annie’s venture was that she was running the operation specifically to help other children. It was not your typical business motivation for a childhood entrepreneur.
At her school, Annie became part of an organization named Fill a Heart 4 Kids. The goal is simple – raise money for children so they can obtain school supplies and study normally like many other kids who are able to take such provisions for granted. Every child realizes a need for back-to-school supplies every school year. Whether it be a backpack, pens and pencils, notepads, paper or binders, school supplies are the bread and butter tools kids use regularly to help them learn in school. Unfortunately, many children come from households where every dollar and penny goes toward food or the rent, so there’s nothing left for their school supplies.
The Heart 4 Kids program is intended to fix the missing school supplies problem. And in Annie’s school, it was implemented through the lemonade challenge, an approach that allowed children to be involved versus spectators and help directly themselves. But Annie’s role was more than just setting up her own lemonade stand. She was also assigned to be a proselytizer, distributing powdered lemonade all over her neighborhood in Chicago, encouraging others to sell lemonade for the cause as well. In this way, one child became the catalyst for the action of many children, encouraging adults to get in on the act as well.
The combined effort in Annie’s Chicago area was exponential. Because so many people got involved with such a simple venture, 30,000 new tools, supplies and bags were able to be purchased for needy kids so they can engage with school. It was a sizable success. And the difference versus the generic government help program for the same was that the community was involved with the Heart 4 Kids program. They became involved in helping their neighbors. And the winners were the schoolchildren who were able to benefit from the effort, pick the supplies they needed, and go to school with a fully-equipped backpack for class.
So the next time you see a lemonade stand manned by some kids hollering for you to stop and buy a drink, do it. You never know whom you might be supporting with that simple lemonade drink on that hot day.
Your Older Brother Meets You Everday After School …In a Different Costume.
Siblings have been well known for doing weird things to each other. It’s the kind of experience that can shape memories and their opinions of each other for a lifetime and be brought up well into their senior years with either laughter, anger or both. So, it’s no surprise that Noah Tingle, as an older brother, would likely leave an impression on his younger sibling. However, it’s the way that Noah went about this time-honored behavior between brothers that stands out as so different.
The fact is, Noah is a persistent fellow. And he wanted to make an impression on his younger brother, Max, that would last a lifetime. This intentional act took planning, and a lot of different resources. Because, as Noah figured out, it takes a lot of creativity to stay with the program that he came up with.
The first day Noah’s plan went into effect, his younger brother had no idea what was in store for him. It was a normal day of going to school, getting on the bus, sitting all day in class, yearning for those midday breaks, and then the bus ride home. Except that’s where things went different. When Max got off the schoolbus at his stop only to find his older brother standing at the stop waiting for him, in a full costume, his senses went into def-con 5 mode. The 12-year-old didn’t know whether to laugh or get back on the bus. Worse, the costumed goof came running at him with arms wide open for a big hug. Scary!
This wonderful, crazy, insane, scary, funny experience continued every school day. And while Noah’s younger brother got used to the idea of his older sibling waiting for him, each day was a new costume. From the obvious and easy ones like Santa Claus, a football player and a dinosaur to the more complicated ones like Star Wars’ Chewbacca, Noah was diligently at the bus stop to make his brother’s day.
Not only did Noah completely make his brother embarrassed by the whole affair, he also made Max the talk of his own school. The younger brother wasn’t the only kid on the bus every afternoon, after all. So Along with Max, every other kid on the bus got to see the costumes as well, something the younger brother wasn’t going to live down anytime soon. And, over time, Max started looking forward to the surprise each day and what new costume Noah could come up with a day’s time.
Their mom got in on the act and began posting photos of the outfits on social media. No surprise, it gained a quick audience and big following, making Max’s “ordeal” now a bit of a national even and story of life on the Internet. Folks even got in on the act helping Noah out by sending him costumes they came up with or procured, so the older brother would haven’t to be entirely on his own keeping the gig going. There have been some real knock-outs as a result, enough to be contenders for a future Burning Man trip probably.
Once Noah goes away to college the costume parade will end, but Max’s memory of the entire affair won’t. It’s the kind of thing siblings talk about for decades to come. And that’s what Noah wanted for his brother to remember him by.
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