Golden Retrievers – Choosing a Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever consistently tops the list of most loved family pets. Usually associated with children and suburban life and with their love of water and natural retrieving ability, Golden Retrievers are also excellent companions to hunters. The Golden Retriever has been one of the top breeds based on the American Kennel Club (AKC) tallies for years. They currently rank as the third most popular breed!

History and Origin

Recorded history of the Golden Retriever dates to the early 1800s when the breed was a popular hunting dog in Scotland. As a rugged, middle-size dog, the breed was appreciated for the ability to hunt on land and in water. Sportsmen admired the dog’s athletic ability and diligence while their families enjoyed the gentle, friendly nature of the pet. By the late 1800s, the Golden Retriever was well known in North America and was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1925.

Over the years, Golden Retrievers have become useful as guide dogs for the blind, deaf, and other handicapped individuals because of their intelligence, trainability, well-rounded temperament, as well as their ability to get along well with people. They are trained as therapy dogs to perform a wide variety of tasks. The Golden Retriever is truly a jack of all trades when it comes to job capabilities.

Appearance and Size

The Golden Retriever is a strong, middle-size dog with a moderately round skull and medium to dark brown eyes. The breed’s ears are triangular and pendant (hanging) and fall approximately to the level of the jaw. The outer water-repellent coat is thick and soft, although not usually silky. The undercoat is moderately dense. As the name of the breed indicates, the coat color is golden or a close shade of golden. Longer hair of a lighter shade, known as feathers, is present on the back of the forelegs and thighs, underbelly, front of neck and underside of the tail.

The adult Golden Retriever is approximately 21 to 24 inches in height at the shoulder and weighs about 55 to 75 pounds.


The Golden Retriever is a playful, affectionate companion with an amiable personality. If not for the dog’s size, Golden Retrievers would be welcome lapdogs. Although not generally a boisterous breed, this pet will announce visitors.

Home and Family Relations

The Golden Retriever is an excellent family pet that is good with children and other pets. This breed is an appropriate choice for a first pet provided that the owner is capable of managing a dog of this size and strength.


The Golden Retriever is intelligent and highly trainable. In addition to being adept hunters, this breed has been trained to be companions for disabled persons including guide dogs for the blind and so much more. Golden Retrievers have also been trained to carried out drug detection and search and rescue work.

Special Care

Golden Retrievers who hunt on land and are allowed to swim require special attention. Running in the woods can cause small foreign bodies such as burrs and other flora to become lodged under the eyelid or in an ear. The surface of the eye and the ear can become irritated and inflamed.


Golden Retrievers also benefit from regular brushing, once daily if possible. Brushing helps to promote a shiny, healthy coat and decreases shedding. This is also an opportune time to find those nasty mats that can be painful for your pet. It is safest to let a professional groomer or a veterinarian remove large mats from your pet’s coat.


Though they can be docile and lapdogs on occasion, Golden Retrievers require ample exercise such as long walks or runs. A Golden Retriever could make for a great apartment companion if one is dedicated to giving this breed the exercise it needs.


Famous Golden Retrievers

Liberty: Liberty was the famous pooch belonging to President Gerald R. Ford. Some claim that President Ford taught Liberty a hand signal that would prompt her to get up and interrupt his meetings in the oval office, allowing for the president to casually end the conversation.

Duke: If you’ve ever seen a Bush’s baked beans commercial you know Duke from his carefully constructed plans to steal the family recipe. While multiple dogs have play Duke throughout the filming of the company’s many commercials, the original Duke is very real and is owned by Jay Bush himself.

Buddy: If you’ve ever seen Air Bud then you’ve seen Buddy the Wonder Dog melting hearts of all ages. This full time movie star started off life as a stray and went on to star in both feature films and the wildly popular TV hit, Full House via a guest appearance in the episode “Air Jesse.”

Celebrities With Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are in high demand in Hollywood, and it’s easy to see why! Here’s a list of some celebs who love their Golden Retrievers.

  • Lisa Vanderpump
  • Shawn Johnson
  • Colbie Caillat
  • Jackie Chan

Common Diseases and Disorders

In general, the Golden Retriever is a healthy dog with few medical concerns. However, the following diseases or disorders have been reported:

Basset Hounds – Choosing a Basset Hound – Dog Breeds

Made popular by the “Hush Puppy” shoe advertisements, the basset hound is one of the most recognizable dogs in the United States. A droopy faced sad looking dog, and loveable but stubborn, the basset is an excellent hunter with scenting ability second only to the bloodhound. Basset hounds have some unique characteristics that set them apart from the rest.


History and Origin

The basset hound is thought to have descended from the old St. Hubert hounds of France. The friars of the French Abbey in St. Hubert needed a dog that could hunt badgers and, through careful and selective breeding, developed the ancestors of the basset hound we know today. Bred to be low to the ground, the dog was called “basset” from the French word “bas” which means low.


The breed was not known anywhere but in France until the mid-1800s. At that point, the basset was imported to England and slowly gained popularity through the world. In 1885, the basset was accepted to the American Kennel Club.


Appearance and Size

The basset is a medium sized dog with long, pendulous ears that puppies tend to trip over. The muzzle is also long and the skin loose and wrinkled. The hair coat is short and comes in a variety of colors – most often a combination of black, brown and white. The legs are short and often quite crooked and angular in appearance with big feet.


To say basset hounds sport a distinctive look is an understatement. With stubby legs, an elongated torso, loose skin, long ears, and a deceptively sad face, bassets truly stand out among the canine masses. It’s no wonder the likeness of these unique hounds is often featured on greeting cards. Despite their short stature, bassets are extremely sturdy, as their leg bones are the heaviest of any breed. Fittingly, “basset” means “low slung” in French – this breed’s country of origin. The adult basset stands around 14 inches at the shoulder and weighs 40 to 50 pounds. But the breed is prone to obesity, meaning that a basset hound can really hack on the pounds.



Bassets are a gentle and loving breed but can be quite stubborn. They are known for having a strong will and, if reprimanded, may even sulk. Bassets are rarely nervous or high strung, and aggression is uncommon. Training a basset is harder than some other dogs due to their strong nose and personality. Getting a basset’s attention to train will take some serious work. But once you’ve put in the time to find the right treat or lure that can get your basset’s nose off the ground and focus on you then these dogs will soak up what you teach them. Basset hounds are highly intelligent and like to have a job to perform. Another struggle that you might contend with during training is over barking or baying. Like most other hounds, bassets have a strong and distinct bay. Without training, this habit could turn irksome.


Home and Family Relations

The basset’s naturally placid and calm demeanor makes him great with children. They may look like lazy dogs, but they are quite energetic and have no trouble keeping up with active children. Though their lack of aggression makes them poor guard dogs, their bark is very penetrating and can scare off potential intruders. BUt make sure that you keep small hands away from their ears. While a basset will probably lay there and let your child tug on its long, soft ears, they won’t be enjoying it.



Bassets are excellent hunters, and their hunting instincts may take over and distract them from the task at hand. They are commonly used to hunt rabbits in the United States but are also used to flush out badgers, foxes, raccoons, opossums, pheasants, and squirrels. Even though they excel in training as hunters, bassets don’t do too well with obedience. Their stubborn nature takes over. Above all else, they would rather be hunting. See our notes above in the personality section for more insight on training this unusual breed.


Special Concerns

Basset hounds require open spaces and plenty of exercise to prevent behavioral problems. Hunter at heart, bassets should not be allowed to roam free. If they see a squirrel or rabbit, they lose sight of everything else and consequently have the potential to get injured, especially when chasing across a busy street. If kept confined to a small area outdoors, the basset will likely dig his way out of the enclosure.


The beagle is a compact little rabbit hunter, one of the smallest members of the hound group that relies on scent to find his quarry. Though the precise origin of the beagle is unknown, the breed seems to have been a favorite human companion and vigorous rabbit hunter for centuries. Since the 1950s, the beagle has consistently ranked as one of the top 10 most loved breeds in the United States. In modern times the beagle has become popular due to its large brown eye, playful demeanor, and boundless energy. The beagle has been one of the top breeds based on the American Kennel Club (AKC) tallies for years. And due to the popularity of films such as John Wick, Inspector Gadget, and Shiloh more and more prospective pet owners and thinking of adding a beagle to the family. Below is a full profile of the beagle breed that includes the benefits and challenges that come with this loveable hound.

History and Origin of the Beagle

Though extensively researched, the origins of the beagle can only be traced back to the mid-19th century, though a beagle-like hound was used to hunt rabbits in the 14th century. The origin of the name “beagle” is likewise obscured by history; some believe the word comes from the Old English word “begele,” or the Celtic “beag,” both of which mean small. Despite a limited recorded history, it is generally believed that the beagle is one of the oldest breeds and is one of the breeds closest in appearance to the original hounds.

The breed was developed in the British Isles. Besides being favored as a rabbit hunter, the beagle was a favorite breed of Queen Elizabeth. It belongs to a group of hunting dogs known as scent hounds, which use scent to search and find their prey.

The beagle was officially recognized by the British Kennel Club in 1873 and brought to the United States. The National Beagle Club was formed in 1888. The American Kennel Club recognizes the beagle as a member of the hound group.

Unfortunately, because of their compact size and friendly temperament, the beagle has been one of the most popular dog breeds to be used in medical research.

Appearance and Size of Beagles

Beagles are small, short-haired hounds with long ears that lie against the head. The coat colors are a combination of tan, black and white. As with most hounds, the eyes of the beagle are soft and pleading.

The adult beagle is a small breed and, in the United States, is divided into two size categories, 13 to 15 inches at the shoulder and under 13 inches at the shoulder. In England, there is only one class, with a maximum height of 16 inches. Beagles average between 18 to 30 pounds.

Personality of Beagles

Friendly and lovable, the beagle’s tail is perpetually wagging. The breed is not aggressive but, with his baying bark, will alert the homeowner of intruders. They are intelligent, good-natured, and docile companions. Read below in the Special Care section to read more about the care and attention this special breed requires.

Home and Family Relations in Beagles

Beagles are excellent choices for families with children. The breed’s easygoing nature makes them tolerant family members that love to participate in games. Beagles do not enjoy being left alone for extended periods of time. They can easily become frustrated and bored, leading to behavior problems, including destructive behavior and excessive baying.

Training your Beagle

In general, the breed does well in obedience training, but some find the beagle somewhat stubborn. Beagles can also be easily distracted by their strong sense of smell while training, making capturing their attention very difficult. Additionally, some have trouble with housebreaking. Lastly, you will need to pay special attention to vocal training to keep your beagle from barking and baying at visitors, other pets, and outside interests.

Grooming your Beagle

Due to their short hair coat, beagles do not require special grooming. They should be bathed regularly, and their nails will need to be trim consistently. Due to their long ears, beagles are prone to ear infections and ear-related issues. Make sure that you and cleaning your beagle’s ears regularly.

Special Care for Beagles

Beagles love to hunt. This results in a strong desire to dig, which can be problematic for some homeowners and gardeners. Some beagles tend to be quite vocal and, if not given appropriate home care, may excessively bark. On the plus side, they don’t drool, shed little, and they have minimal doggy odor.

Labrador Retrievers – Choosing a Labrador Retriever

Friendly, loving and very playful, the Labrador Retriever has become one of the most popular breeds in the United States. Historically, this large “sporting” breed has been used to hunt and retrieve birds and only recently has the dog become known as a companion dog. The Retriever is highly regarded for its pleasant temperament, easy trainability, and intelligence.

The Labrador Retriever the #1 top breeds based on the American Kennel Club (AKC) tallies.

History and Origin

The Labrador Retriever hails from Newfoundland and not Labrador, as the name suggests, though both areas are located in eastern Canada. It is possible that geographic confusion led to the name. Exactly how the breed came to inhabit Newfoundland is not known. The first written report of the breed, a letter written by a traveler to this area, dates to 1822. Fishermen brought the breed to Britain in the early 19th century. Originally, the dogs ranged from a heavy-coated variety known as the Large Newfoundland to a smaller rough-coated variety called the Lesser Newfoundland or St. John’s Dogs. The modern-day Labrador Retriever probably descends from this St. John’s Dog and the currently known Newfoundland breed from the Large Newfoundland.

The breed was not originally used as a companion dog. Instead, Retrievers were bred exclusively as hunters, a job for which they possessed superior talents. The Labrador Retriever was officially accepted into the English Kennel Club in 1903 and the American Kennel Club in 1917.

Over the years, Labrador Retrievers have become useful as guide dogs for the blind, deaf and other handicapped individuals because of their intelligence, trainability, well-rounded temperament, as well as their ability to get along well with people. They are trained as therapy dogs to comfort residents in nursing homes and emotionally disturbed children. The military and police force employ the breed for scent-discrimination to track criminals, drugs, weapons, bombs, and to find people buried in debris of earthquakes or other disasters.

Appearance and Size

The Labrador Retriever is a strong, medium-sized dog possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conformation that enables him to function as a retrieving gun dog and as a member of the family. The coat is short, dense and weather-resistant and is black, yellow or chocolate. The breed has an “otter” tail that is thick at the base and gradually tapers.

The adult Labrador stands 21 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weighs 55 to 80 pounds.


The breed is known for its kindly, outgoing and tractable nature. The Lab is eager to please and usually non-aggressive toward man or animal.

Home and Family Relations

The Labrador Retriever is good-natured and gentle enough to live with children, though some breed lines have been found to be somewhat hyperactive. The breed will share the home with another dog if introduced and socialized at an early age but has a tendency toward jealousy. They are not the best watchdogs as they are not overly suspicious and might be won over by a friendly gesture of a stranger.


Labrador Retrievers are intelligent and love to learn. Most Labradors can begin command training at 6 to 8 months of age. At this age, they can have twice daily, 10-minute lessons. If the dog wanders physically or mentally, he is still too young to begin training. Should the dog misbehave, the reprimand must be consistent and appropriate.

Special Characteristics

Labrador Retrievers are powerful swimmers, a skill aided by the webbing between their toes and their water-resistant coats. They are also avid hunters.

Special Care

By heritage, the Labrador Retriever is a worker and requires regular exercise. They should have three walks per day and not be allowed to remain inactive and grow overweight. On the average, an overweight dog will die at an earlier age than a trim, active dog. The dog can become depressed and destructive in the home if adequate exercise is not allowed and encouraged.

Common Diseases and Disorders

In general, the Labrador Retriever is a healthy dog with few medical concerns. However, the following diseases or disorders have been reported:

Gastric torsion, also known as bloat, is a life-threatening sudden illness associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.

Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain, lameness, and arthritis.

Elbow dysplasia is the abnormal development of certain parts of the elbow joint during the growing phase of a dog’s life.

Progressive retinal degeneration is a disease that causes nerve cells at the back of the eye to degenerate. The condition can lead to blindness.

Ready, Set, Play Ball! A Throwback to the B.A.R.K. Days

Although Portuguese water dogs, or PWDs, are not one of the most popular dog breeds for Americans to own, they have increased in popularity since Bo became the First Dog of the United States. President Obama had two PWDs. Affectionately nicknamed “Porties,” these large dogs have boundless energy and enthusiasm. They’re smart dogs that like to play, are good with children and other animals, and don’t shed very much.

As their name implies, PWDs love to swim. In fact, experts say that if you don’t want your dog to get wet, you shouldn’t get this type of breed. If you have a Portie, you’ll understand these words of warning very well. Moreover, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that a few lucky members of this water-loving breed were trained to retrieve Major League baseballs from San Francisco Bay.

Slobbery, Shaggy Baseball Retrievers

The Baseball Aquatic Retrieval Korps, or B.A.R.K., was the brainchild of comedian Don Novello. Novello, who played Father Guido Sarducci on Saturday Night Live, thought it would be funny to train dogs to retrieve baseballs from the water in McCovey Cove behind the San Francisco Giants’ Pacific Bell Stadium. ESPN reports that Novello initially wanted to use a combination of funny-looking dogs dressed in wetsuits. He soon learned that it wasn’t so easy to get a typical dog to retrieve a ball from icy waters.

That’s not the case for PWDs, though. This breed is perfectly suited to retrieve balls from the 50-degree ocean. With a thick coat of curly hair and webbing between their toes, Porties were bred to work with fishermen. Historically, they would bring messages to other boats, recover equipment, and guide fish toward nets.

Novello and Giants executives joined up with Pets in Need, an organization that promotes pet adoptions, to figure out which dog breeds would be best for the job. Soon after, the Portuguese Water Dog Club of Northern California learned about the effort and offered up a perfect team of four-legged candidates. And with that, the Baseball Aquatic Retrieval Korps program was on its way.

It Wasn’t a Joke

Unsurprisingly, many people didn’t take the idea of B.A.R.K. seriously when it was first announced. Regardless, the program was officially launched in 2000. Before each game began, the dogs would gather on a boat called The Good Ship Jollipop. They would hang out in the bay until a player made a Splash Hit. Then, a dog would be sent out to belly flop into the ocean, grab the ball, and swim back to safety.

Splash Hit baseballs have always been valuable. Even before the program, people would congregate near the bay during games, hoping to snag a baseball in their nets. Afterwards, they would often sell or auction off the prized balls for substantial profits. However, once the B.A.R.K. dogs were introduced, human ball hunters had to rent private boats to compete with the canines for these coveted spheres of yarn and cowhide.  Balls captured by the Porties were auctioned off by Pets in Need for fundraising purposes. The Giants also donated money to the pet-friendly organization.

Major League Canines

The PWDs were the first animals to be part of a Major League Baseball team.  It made sense to bring in this element of fun to America’s favorite pastime. After all, people love animals, and Americans love baseball. Connecting the two was a genius move.

The B.A.R.K. dogs didn’t just follow their natural instincts, however. They had to undergo rigorous training, according to The BARk. The oldest member of the team was Shadow, an eight-year-old Portie who was a graduate of a few other water dog training programs. Shadow had to learn how to snatch a baseball from the water. The floating balls bob around and can easily get away from the dogs. The animals had to become accustomed to this behavior, which might otherwise prove frustrating.

At their debut, Novella threw practice balls into the bay for each dog. Fans lined up to watch. When it was Shadow’s turn, the canine swam over to the raving fans before heading to the boat. She knew how to work the crowd. The dogs opened their season to a sold-out house. Batting practice became even more fun once the canine team joined the Giants. The dogs usually had a better chance of seeing balls fly into the water before the games.

Big Dogs In Small Spaces: The Best Large Breed Dogs for Apartment Living

Apartments. They’re a great alternative from traditional single family homes, they usually offer attractive amenities and luxuries, and are, in many cases, pet-friendly. However, being pet-friendly doesn’t mean that every pet will do well in an apartment setting. The ASPCA estimates that there are 78 million dogs in households around the United States. That factors out to around four in ten households owning a dog, and with 43% of Americans living in a building comprised of 5 units or more, that means that a lot of dog owners are making living with a dog in an apartment work.

Some Factors To Consider Before Bring A Dog To Your Apartment

Is your apartment dog-friendly?

This may seem like a silly question, but you’d be surprised by the number of apartment buildings and communities that don’t allow dogs. Never assume that your building is dog-friendly – when apartment hunting, make sure that you inquire about the building’s dog policy before you visit. This will keep you from falling in love with a place only to realize that it won’t take in your furry family member.

Does your apartment require a pet deposit?

Not to be confused with pet rent, which we will cover next, a dog deposit could be required by your landlord prior to moving in to cover any damages that your dog may inflict upon the residence. As with any deposit, make sure that you take photos of your apartment before moving in so that you have photographic evidence of what the actual condition of your apartment was prior to moving in. This step will protect you from any made-up charges by your landlord after you have moved out.

Does your apartment require pet rent?

Oh yes, this is a real thing. Pet rent is becoming more and more popular among landlords. Pet rent can range anywhere from $15-$40 a month.

Will your building have any pet facilities?

Some apartment buildings and communities offer facilities just for your pet! These facilities can include dog runs, pet parks, waste disposal stands, pet water fountains, and more! When looking at places to live ask if there are any pet facilities on the grounds.

If there are no pet specific facilities is there enough green space on the property for your pooch?

Dogs need lots of exercise. Depending on their age, weight, and breed, your dog needs anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours of activity per day. Suffice to say, a small strip of grass along a highway won’t cut it. While the entire area available for your pet doesn’t need to be made of grass, at least a small section of it should be for potty time. Gravel or dirt areas could also work, but be wary, because when the rains come that nice gravel area is going to turn into a massive mud pit. Some might think that asphalt would be a good alternative, but that isn’t so. First, asphalt isn’t permeable, meaning that when your dog does his or her business that water won’t have anywhere to go. Secondly, asphalt can become dangerously hot in the summer months. When temperatures soar, you won’t be able to let your pet walk on the asphalt without booties. Lastly, if you live in a colder area that is prone to freezes or snow, then the asphalt will probably be salted to keep ice from forming. While there are a few pet-friendly salt alternatives, they might not be the first choice of the people salting the roads. Again, booties will be needed in the winter to keep the road salt from getting in your pupper’s paws.

Is your apartment or prospective apartment close to any dog-friendly areas?

If there’s no green space at your apartment at all, you’ll need to find some dog-friendly areas elsewhere. These spaces can be big or small. If your apartment facility is next to a single home neighborhood then walking those streets will work well for you and your dog. If your apartment is in a downtown area, then you’ll want to find a city park or dog park nearby where you can walk your dog. In some bigger cities, apartments are adopting green roofs where your pet may be able to play. Always check with your landlord or building supervisor before bringing your dog into any new spaces.


The Top 5 Most Expensive Dog Breeds

If you pick a good breeder, the dog you choose will have a leg up on life from the start. After all, it’s in the breeder’s own best interests to make sure the dogs he breeds are healthy, well-socialized, and the best of their type.

The breeder’s role is an ancient one. It began when an early human and a wolf or wild pariah dog struck up a friendship. Over time, humans continued to favor intelligent dogs that enjoyed learning and being around people.

Without understanding the far-reaching results of what they were doing, our prehistoric ancestors became the first breeders. They selected out agreeable dogs that could perform work to help the family by gathering food, pulling a sleigh or guarding and leading other domesticated animals. When these dogs mated, they perpetuated their abilities; thus, we domesticated the dog, just as we did cattle, goats, and sheep. We also differentiated dogs, according to their roles in human society.

Today, some 10,000 to 14,000 years after the first dog happily licked a human hand, there are as many as 850 dog breeds worldwide. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes over 150 of them in its registry.

Getting a dog from a breeder can be expensive, and some puppies can cost upwards of a thousand dollars, but with so many dog breeds recognized in the world, what are the most expensive dog breeds?

Top 5 Most Expensive Dog Breeds

5. Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is a strong powerful breed with natural protective instincts. Originally used as a herder, the Rottweiler quickly became better known as a guard dog. Though sometimes maligned due to improper training leading to aggression, properly trained and cared for Rottweilers can make excellent companions.

The Rottweiler is a medium-size black dog with rust markings. The breed’s coat is a medium length, straight and almost coarse. The head is broad with hanging and triangular ears. The Rottweiler possesses great strength and has a broad, deep chest. The tail is docked (shortened in length) to only one or two vertebrae (back bones).

Rottweiler puppies can cost you $6,000, bringing them in at No. 5 for most expensive dog breeds.


4. Pharaoh Hound

One of the oldest breeds, the Pharaoh hound is appropriately named. As a breed coveted by royalty, it was not uncommon to see a Pharaoh on his way to the hunt with a falcon on one hand and a Pharaoh hound on the other. Pharaoh puppies can cost $6,500

Pharaohs have short, shiny, somewhat coarse hair coats. They are generally some variation of reddish tan, with white markings. Their flesh-colored noses can be sensitive to sunburn.

They have lean, strong, muscular bodies. A sculpted head, an arched neck, and large, erect ears are defining characteristics of the Pharaoh. When alert, their foreheads wrinkle, giving them an intense expression.

One charming aspect of these hounds is that they smile and blush. When they are excited, they curl their lips up in a grin, and their cheeks and ears turn a deep red color as if blushing.

3. Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan mastiff has been a companion and working dog for hundreds of years. Bred to be a herder and flock guardian for yak, sheep, and families, they were initially bred without any regard for conformation. Hailing from Tibet, the exact origins of the Tibetan mastiff are a mystery but many feel that this breed is from the same basic stock as other mastiffs and large working dogs and contributed to the development of many of today’s mastiffs.

The Tibetan mastiff is a brave and excellent guard dog. The breed is intelligent and loyal, but can have some serious faults in temperament if not properly socialized and trained. They are naturally very protective and territorial. Some can be strong-willed. Tibetan Mastiff puppies can cost $7,000.

2. Samoyed

The Samoyed, once known as the Bjelkiers by the nomadic Samoyede tribe of Siberia, is a member of the spitz family found throughout the North and South poles. The Samoyede people allowed the dogs to breed with minimal human manipulation. This resulted in a breed of dog much like their wolf ancestors. They were used as sled dogs and guard dogs by the Samoyede people and protected their reindeer herds. Eventually, these pure white dogs become companions. In the late 1800s, the first Samoyeds were brought to England and the breed was quickly spread throughout the world.

The Samoyed has a strong, wedge-shaped head with deep, dark eyes. The Samoyed is known for having curling lips, giving the impression of a perpetually smiling face. Their nose is black or brown and they have medium, pointed, erect ears with a tail curved over the back. The coat is thick with a soft undercoat that protects them from cold weather in their native Siberia. The color of the coat comes in pure white (which is preferred), biscuit, cream or can be mixed with white. The Samoyed stands 19 to 24 inches from the shoulder and weighs between 50 to 65 pounds. Samoyed puppies can cost up to $8,000.

5 Dog Breeds That Love Cold Weather

Although any breed can live in cold climates with proper care and grooming, some breeds tend to fare better than others. Dogs living in areas known for cold temperatures typically are larger dogs with thick hair coats. When selecting cold weather dog breeds, consider your outside environment, especially if they will spend a lot of time outside.

Some people, due to space limitations or personal preference, choose to keep their dogs outdoors. In areas where winters can be harsh, these pets need special care. Even though the dog lives outdoors, you should prevent him from roaming through the neighborhood. A fenced-in yard works well, but if this is not possible, keeping your dog on a long tie-out can also restrict unwanted roaming.

In the winter, adequate shelter is essential to provide warmth and keep the dog dry. Dogs need to have a comfortable and safe place to escape the cold snow and harsh chilling winds. A large doghouse with blankets or straw bedding works well. Make sure the opening to the doghouse is not facing the wind. Some people choose to equip the doghouse with heat. This should be professionally done. Heating pads or heating lights powered by electric cords is not recommended. Curious dogs can chew the cords and create a serious hazard.

The bedding within the doghouse will need to be changed periodically. The straw can become moldy and the blankets can become dirty and wet. Moldy straw can create a variety of skin and respiratory problems. Dirty and wet blankets can make the dog very uncomfortable and lead to illness.

How to Choose a Cold Weather Dog Breed

Choosing the right cold weather dog breed — the size, the temperament, the cost — is the key first step to building a loving, healthy, and happy relationship with a pet. Get it right and you’re likely to have a deeply rewarding experience. Get it wrong and you’re facing a potential nightmare.

So what should you do? First, recognize that there are two parties to this relationship — you (and the fellow humans in your household) and the dog. Both sides of the equation have to be compatible, which means that you have to understand as much about yourself as you do about the animal you’re adopting.

Your lifestyle, habits and personality will guide the type of dog that’s right for you. So before taking a dog in, it’s crucial that you take a personal inventory. Do you live in a small apartment in a city, in a suburban home with a backyard or in the wide-open spaces? Are you an active person or are you a couch potato? Are you looking for a dog for security, as a companion for children, as an exercise partner? Are you a type-A workaholic with little attention to spare, or do you have more leisure time? Are you away from home a great deal or is the house your base of operation? Are you prepared for the expense?

Once you’ve answered these questions it’ll be much easier to determine which cold weather dog breed is right for you and your family.


Which of These 5 Cold Weather Dog Breeds is Right for You?

1. Siberian Husky

The Siberian husky is one of the most popular cold weather dog breeds in the United States. With eye color ranging from crystal blue to brown to multi-colored, the husky is a sleek and strong dog. The breed was previously quite popular as an Alaskan sled dog, but in recent years has been replaced with the Alaskan husky, a mix of various breeds.

Siberian huskies have a pleasant disposition and remarkable ability to adapt to a variety of living conditions. They thrive in cooler to cold climates and love large areas in which to roam; however, those raised in the city also do well. The Siberian husky is friendly and not reputed as a vocal or aggressive dog. Because they were originally bred to travel long distances, they have abundant energy and enjoy exercise.

2. Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese mountain dog is an ancient cold weather dog breed that was used for cow herding and as a draft dog in Switzerland. The breed is becoming popular in the United States. The Bernese mountain dog is an intelligent, beautiful dog that is sweet and loving. Most members of this breed are outgoing and love people.

The Bernese mountain dog is an alert, energetic and loyal companion dog. They love to play and run with children or just hang out and keep a watchful eye open. The Bernese mountain dog gets along with other household pets. They become very attached to their families, and after 18 months of age have trouble adjusting to a new family.

Choosing a Miniature Poodle

For centuries, the poodle has been one of the most popular breeds in the world and a symbol of elegance and opulent luxury. The poodle is associated with France, but many countries have laid claim to the breed. Available in three different sizes and many different colors, there is a poodle for every taste.

In February 2002, a miniature poodle named Surrey Spice Girl won the 2002 Westminster Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden. In addition, the poodle was one of the American Kennel Club’s top 10 breeds for the year 2006. Click here for the complete story on Top Dog Breeds of the Year 2006.

History and Origin

Paintings representing the poodle date as far back as the 13th century. The exact country of origin is not known, but many people feel the breed may have come from Germany. The name “poodle” comes from the German “pudeln” which roughly translates to “splash about in the water”; the original purpose of the breed was a water retriever.

Soon after development in Germany, the poodle quickly became very popular in France and was known as the caniche, or duck dog. The breed is considered their national dog.

The poodle comes in three different varieties; standard, miniature and toy; however, the only difference is the size. The miniature poodle is classified in the non-sporting group by the American Kennel Club.

The standard poodle is the oldest of the three sizes and was originally used to retrieve ducks in cold water. Soon after, the miniature and toy were developed. The toy poodle, the smallest variety, was well established in England by the 18th century and was commonly used in circuses and floor shows as dancing dogs. The miniature and toy poodle were also used for hunting and digging for truffles in French forests.


Although they come in different sizes, the shape and appearance of the breed is the same. The poodle has a long head and muzzle with long, flat and wide hanging ears. The chest is deep and the tail is set high. Typically, the tail is docked when young.

The hair coat of the poodle is curly and dense with a fine woolly texture and requires daily grooming. There are four common hair clips for the poodle. The most common cut is the “puppy” cut, which is given to all ages of poodles. Another cut is the “sporting” cut, for the active poodle. For the show ring, the “English Saddle” or “Continental” version is typically performed.


The miniature poodle stands 10 to 15 inches at the shoulder and weighs around 20 pounds.


The poodle is a pleasant dog that loves constant company. This dog hates to be alone and prefers the company of people instead of other dogs. The breed also hates to be ignored and does not like being thought of or treated as “just a dog.”

Home & Family Relations

Despite being excellent water dogs, poodles also do well as family protectors and companions. They make excellent pets for children as well as the elderly and can adapt to a variety of environments.


The poodle is an excellent swimmer and also does well on land. The breed is very intelligent and thought by many to be the most intelligent of all breeds. They learn quickly and readily, although some dogs tend to enjoy pleasing people by doing tricks instead of learning commands. Poodles have been trained successfully in obedience, hunting and even as guard dogs.

Special Concerns

The hair coat of the poodle requires daily care and grooming. The intelligent nature of the dog leads some to mischief if left alone for an extended period of time.


Health Concerns

  • Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain, lameness and arthritis.
  • Progressive retinal degeneration (PRD) is a disease that causes nerve cells at the back of the eye to degenerate. The condition usually begins in older pets and can lead to blindness.
  • Epilepsy is a seizure disorder which develops between the ages of 2 to 5 years.
  • Cataracts are opacities within the lens of the eye that affect vision.
  • Hyperadrenocorticism is a disorder affecting the adrenal glands. When overactive, the adrenal glands secrete excessive cortisol, resulting in illness.
  • Glaucoma is a painful and serious condition that causes pressure within the eye to increase which can cause blindness.
  • Choosing a Goldendoodle Dog (Golden Retriever and a Poodle Cross)

    Breed Information on Goldendoodle Dogs 

    The Goldendoodle dog is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, usually a Standard or Miniature Poodle. At their best, these dogs are intelligent, friendly and affectionate. Goldendoodle dogs are one of the most popular mixed breed dogs in the United States.

    Goldendoodles come in three sizes: miniature, weighing 15 to 30 pounds; medium, 30 to 45 pounds; and standard, 45 to more than 100 pounds. Because they are a cross breed, their traits are not fixed, so there is not a guarantee that the Goldendoodle puppy you purchase will fall into the desired weight range. Goldendoodles are one of the most popular “designer mixed breeds” in the United States.

    Personality of a Goldendoodle Dog

    Goldendoodles have a moderate activity level. Larger Goldendoodles may be more active than their smaller kin. They need a good walk or active playtime each day, and if you're interested, they are athletic enough to participate in such dog sports as agility, flyball, obedience and rally. They can also be excellent therapy dogs.

    Both of the breeds used to create Goldendoodles are smart and learn quickly. If you begin socialization and training early and use positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play and food rewards, you will be rewarded with a wonderful companion.

    Poodles have a reputation for being hypoallergenic, meaning that they can be tolerated by people who have allergies to dogs. Because they have the Poodle in their heritage, Goldendoodles are sometimes promoted as being hypoallergenic.

    But allergies are caused not by a particular dog coat type but by dander, the dead skin cells that are shed by all dogs (and people, for that matter). There is no scientific evidence that any breed or cross breed is more or less allergenic than any other dog. Some people with mild allergies react less severely to particular dogs, but no reputable breeder will guarantee that her dogs are hypoallergenic.

    Appearance & Care of a Goldendoodle Dog

    Goldendoodles can have different types of fur. Some look like shaggy retrievers, others resemble a Poodle with loose curls and some fall somewhere in the middle. They are not low-maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming. Plan to brush the Goldendoodle at least every other day, using a slicker brush, and have him clipped every eight to 12 weeks.

    Ear infections can be a problem in Goldendoodles. Be sure to keep the ears dry and clean, especially after the dog has had a bath or gone swimming. In addition, trim his nails at least monthly – more frequently if necessary – and brush his teeth as often as possible, especially if he's on the small side. Small dogs are especially prone to periodontal disease.

    Goldendoodles are companion dogs. They love being with people and need to live in the house, never outdoors.

    Goldendoodle puppies are adorable, and it's one of the reasons they are so popular. Cute puppies sell, and that makes the Goldendoodle a favorite of puppy mills and greedy, irresponsible breeders. But there's no need to pay big bucks for a Goldendoodle. You can often find a wonderful example of this hybrid dog at your local shelter or through adoption organizations.

    If you do choose to buy one, however, select a breeder who has done the health testing to ensure that her puppies won't carry the genetic diseases common to both Golden Retrievers and Poodles.


    Health Issues Common to Goldendoodle Dogs

    All hybrid dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as purebred dogs can and just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don't walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the Goldendoodle is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the Goldendoodle and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.