Pawpular Paws

Even though all dogs are loyal and affectionate, here’s a snap shot on some of our pawfect paws.

German Shepherd:
Highly intelligent, adaptable and respectable, German Shepherds are good companion dogs. Equally admired for their physical prowess and their ability to learn basic obedience training, they are loyal and extremely devoted to their pet parents. No wonder they top the list when it comes to choosing a companion dog!


Popularly known as the ‘Hutch dog’, the Pug has stolen many hearts after he was seen romping with his lil’ pet parent in the Hutch ad. This small dog is fun-loving, even though he might give an impression of being serious-minded. They love human attention and follow their human counterparts, and you can definitely sing along, “You and I…in this beautiful world.”




The ever-loving, ever-pleasing Labrador is one of the most sought after dogs among all ages. This loving and sensitive dog is a pleasure for any family. What’s most amazing is his ability to judge the mood and emotional state of his human family. He is indeed a dog with a difference!



Dalmatian :
This white dog with black spots has won many a hearts after he was featured in a popular movie ‘101 Dalmatians’. Playful and energetic, they form good companions for children, as they also love to play and have fun. A lovely family pet, we must say!





Golden Retriever:
Friendly, intelligent, eager to please, this versatile dog is a darling among both young and old. Active and fun loving, they are truly family dogs!

The Little People

A dog with impeccable sense of confidence, style and a great sense of humour. If you are looking for a companion, then the charming Tibetan Terrier is for you!

Evolved with time

The Tibetan Terrier was ‘discovered’ by Dr Agnes Greig, a young English woman in 1920 in Northern India.wanda She was gifted a Tibetan pup by one of her patients. (The Tibetans valued the breed so much that they wouldn’t sell it, but only give as gifts on rare occasions.) The breed was sent from India to UK and from there to other parts of the world. The breed has evolved over many hundreds of years, closely guarded by the monasteries and shepherds. In fact there is a picture of HH The Dalai Lama with his Tibetan Terrier called “Senge”.

Physical appearance…beautiful and functional

For a breed to have evolved in Tibet, means functionality. Every part of the dog has to be in place for him to survive in that harsh environment. Hair falling over their eyes protects them from strong winds and sand particles. They are double coated for protection from both extreme cold and heat. Their full mature coat is an awesome sight to watch when they run. These medium-sized dogs are well-muscled and compact with square proportions. Their tail is set high and is well feathered. It is carried in a curl over the back.

The rear legs are strong and muscular to enable the dog to leap from one rock to another. The pads are cat like, with hair underfoot to provide traction in slippery icy conditions. The males mature at 14-16 inches at the shoulder and weigh 14kg. They are available in various colours like black, white, golden, cream, grey, sable, parti-coloured, tri-coloured. Sakhi my girl, is pictured looking as if she is in a natty Tuxedo of Black and White.

Humour ‘n’ intelligence: the perfect combination

These dogs are intelligent and can be very funny. Behind all the long coat, lies an impish smile and a heart of gold. “1/3 Dog, 1/3 Cat and 1/3 Human” said an experienced breeder, referring to the Tibetan Terrier. The Tibetan name for the breed is Dho-Kyi Apso, also known as ‘The Little People’.

They get along very well with their human family and want to be involved in anything we are doing. They hate being left alone for long stretches. If you are gardening, they would join and maybe pull out a few plants for you. Sakhi, my girl Tibbie, knows how to open the wicket gate between the pantry and kitchen, so we had to add a few more latches. And of course anything with my smell in it, she believes belongs to her as well. My spectacle case, books, T-shirts—never meaning any harm, but what is mine is also hers! No wonder they are called ‘The Little People’.

Pup care

The pups need plenty of toys and stimulation. They do well on good quality dry dog food but also like fresh home food, like Ragi Kanji, Curd rice and occasional Boiled egg or Idli or Dosa. They don’t like very rich food daily. A fresh carrot becomes a good chew.

Living with them – a pleasure

They are great dogs to have around as they are clean, loving and full of fun. They are great watchdogs. The slightest sound of the gate or the front door being opened will get them to bark. Otherwise they are quiet and calm. If introduced properly by their human family, they do well even with children and older people. Basically, they have evolved to get along with people and live in a household.

Groom me beautiful

Tibbies have to be brushed and coat maintained regularly. A good quality, pin brush, a slicker, a bristle brush and a de-matting comb are necessary tools. A spray bottle with water and a tiny amount of conditioner should be kept handy to spray before brushing. The 1st year and half are critical in maintaining their coats. They grow through what’s called a Puppy Blow, when they shed their puppy coat, a more mature coat takes over. This is the time when the softer inner coat is also growing well. When the two meet, the coat tends to tangle and mats start to form. Most of what they shed is tangled in the coat itself. But, all this effort is worth it, as after a few years, the coat matures and it becomes the gorgeous style of a true Tibetan Terrier.

Exercise and fun

They are slow to mature, so large amounts of exercise at too early an age maybe over doing it. But they do like long walks with their humans, lots of play with a ball and toys. They like to play fetch, but after a few times, it’s almost as if they are wondering “what is the purpose of this”? Variations in the play routine are required to keep them interested.

Their training should also involve variety and no harsh methods should be used for training them. Clicker Training is a great way to keep them interested and be trained at the same time. A good run in a large open space and they will be ready for quieter time. Once they get used to a car, it becomes a favourite, partially sticking their head out, with wind blowing in their face. In fact, my Tibbies love sleeping on my lap on longer journeys.

Health issues: not many!

Internationally there are a few hereditary diseases in Tibbies, like Lens Luxation of the eye and Hip Dysplasia. Responsible breeders are careful to ensure that such conditions do not come into their lines.

Bandhu and Sakhi had no fear for new places or new people; but they both have different personalities.

Bandhu is slow to mature and initially his grooming and bathing sessions were like wrestling with a well-oiled eel. However, Sakhi loved her grooming and bathing and showed different parts to be brushed. Bandhu’s nickname Swarna Aakarshan means ‘bringer of good fortune’ and Sakhi’s Butesa Sakhi means ‘female companion of the creator.’

(P Raghu Nandan who has the privilege of being allowed to live with these wonderful dogs can be contacted at

Breed Profile

Komondors: love you all the way!

Magnificent, fast, agile, beautiful…a Komondor is full of beauty and elegance. His love and loyalty has no limits…he’s a dog with a soul!

breed1Awesome beauties!

King of the Hungarian livestock guarding dogs, the Komondor is one of the most unusual breeds seen in the world. This large muscular dog is covered with dense, white cords. The coat protects the dog against the elements and predators of their homeland, Hungary. Colour of their coat is white, but not always the pure white of a brushed coat (like you would see in the Samoyed breed). A small amount of cream or buff shading is sometimes seen in puppies, but fades with maturity. For the working Komondor, the white coat allows the dog to mingle unnoticed among the sheep while allowing the shepherd to see him at night.

Crowning glory

Not surprisingly the crowning glory of any Komondor is his unique corded coat. The cords form naturally when the woolly undercoat is trapped by the harsh curlier outer-coat. At first these cords will be short, but as the dog ages, the coat grows longer, the cords will acquire the length and graceful swing of the impressive adult coat. The coat is not only beautiful, but also serves a practical purpose in the Komondor’s work where the weatherproof coat acts as a barrier from the harsh climatic conditions. It also proves to be an ideal protection against the jaws of an attacking animal. The cords are both insulate and cool. They are open to the skin so that they allow air to pass through, yet the density and length of the cords protect the animal underneath.

Standing tall

The Komondor is a big dog with males standing at least 27.5” at the shoulders, while females must be at least 25.5” tall. Occasionally one may see a Komondor as large as 31” or even bigger, but also these cases are rare. When mature, the Komondor is not an overly heavy dog. Males usually weigh more than 80 pounds and females more than 60 pounds. Despite his size, the Komondor is astonishingly fast, agile and light on his feet. The quick movement, large size, unique coat and majestic appearance of the Komondor can be awe-inspiring.

Basic instincts…serious guard dogs

Considered to be the chief of the herdsman’s dogs, the Komondor is used to protect the herdsman and his animals. He is a livestock-guarding breed and as such is serious, confident and alert.

Calm ‘n’ poised…

Like all livestock guarding dogs, they are calm and steady when things are normal. However, if a Komomdor sniffs trouble, he will not hesitate to leap to defend his charges. Originally bred to think for himself, a Komondor is usually highly intelligent. An athletic dog, the Komondor has great speed and power and will leap toward a predator to drive it away or to knock it down.

He is extremely affectionate with his family and friends and gentle with children in the family. Also, he is very protective of his family, home and possessions and will instinctively guard them, even without any training.

And the recognition power of Komondor is simply awesome! Once a new member has been introduced into the family or flock, the Komondor will never forget them. A Komondor will routinely greet someone he has not seen for years as though he had just seen them yesterday. Once you are a “member of the flock,” you are always a “member of the flock.”

Given proper training and care, a Komondor can be a loyal and loving dog. They are devoted and calm without being sluggish. They can be wary of strangers, but if properly trained and socialised, may accept friends readily.

Since the Komondors are smart and bred to think for themselves, therefore it can be difficult for them to trust completely the directions of a mere human. Easy to train at the start, they can just as easily decide that, once a task is done, it would never need to be done again. Repetition bores them. They love to learn something new.

Living with them … a blessing but also a challenge

Living with a Komondor can be both a blessing and a challenge. They are extremely loyal and affectionate to their owners – not to mention exceptional guards of family and property. To the Komondor lover, few other breeds can match the extreme devotion and love given by this breed. However, they have minds of their own and as such living with them can be trying at times. What you would like your Komondor to do is not always what he wants to do! In addition, owning a large, powerful and highly protective breed is a large responsibility for the owner as a Komondor who is not trained can easily become a liability in today’s society.

Groom me beautiful

The coat of a Komondor requires a great deal of maintenance and care throughout the life of the dog. Cords begin forming between 8-12 months of ages and it continues throughout the life of the dog. As new coat grows, the cords will clump together at the base. You will need to spend time every week working on the cords to keep them neat. Keep the cords neat as it is easy for dirt to get into the cords. If the dirt becomes trapped as the cord tightens, the coat will become discoloured and dull looking.

The best way to keep a Komondor clean is never to allow it to get dirty–which of course is not always easy! The remedy is regular bathing, of which drying is very important. If the coat is not dried completely, mildew in the cords can occur. So drying for a Komondor with a substantial coat usually means approximately 24 hours of time with plenty of towel changes and fans running. Ears should also be cleaned occasionally and checked for infection and foreign objects.

Their corded coat sheds very little – if any – as all the hair gets trapped in the formation of the cords. Adult Komondors may occasionally lose an entire cord, but they do not shed in the usual sense of the word. Like Poodles, who also can be corded, Komondors can be a good breed for those who have allergies to dog hair and dander.

Exercise me little

The Komondor requires only a moderate amount of exercise. A couple of short walks a day is more than adequate. If you are looking for a companion for your morning jog the Komondor is not for you. They are quite a lazy breed and like to spend most of their free time lying in a spot, because of this it is easy to believe that the Komondor is not oing his job– but it is not so. He is ready to spring into action with amazing speed at the slightest hint of a threat to his charges.

Taking care of a pup…

Because of the adult Komondor’s size, power, and speed, his pet parent must have him trained from an early age. Obedience training is a must, preferably starting at 4-8 months. Komondors are usually intelligent and take well to training if started early. Komondors become obstinate when bored, so it is imperative that training sessions be upbeat and happy. Positive reinforcement methods work best as the Komondor is a sensitive dog. Socialisation is also extremely important. The Komondor should be exposed to new situations, people and other dogs as a puppy. Because he is a natural guard dog, a Komondor who is not properly socialised may react in an excessively aggressive manner when confronted with a new situation or person. Again, puppy training is strongly recommended for all Komondors.

Many Komondors are ‘late bloomers’, not fully mature until nearly three years of age. Adolescence can be marked by changes in temperament, eating habits, trainability and general attitude. This should not cause alarm. By the time they are three years old, they are responsible adults. However, to expect an eight months old puppy to behave as an adult is unreasonable. Puppies are as active, playful and troublesome as in any breed. Truly responsible behaviour cannot be expected until they attain full maturity.

Most Komondors, when raised correctly with proper socialization love children and are very tolerant of them. However, they may perceive others’ children to be strangers and can be protective of “their” children when play gets rough and rowdy. So, caution must always be exercised when those outside the family interact with the children in front of the Komondor.

Games? We don’t love them!

If you are looking for a dog to play with, the Komondor is not for you. This breed is rather serious and sees most games as silly. Because they have very little prey drive, they have almost no interest in chasing a ball or other moving object. So the Komondor can often be a bit boring for children looking for a dog to play with.

Heredity problems…very few

Komondors do not suffer many heredity problems, perhaps because the breed has descended from centuries of hardy working stock. As in all large breeds (and some small ones), there is some hip dysplasia, though the incidence is about 10 percent of all Komondors who are tested.

Tips for a would-be Komondor pet parent…

The Komondor is a wonderful breed – but they are not for everyone. It is extremely important if you are considering adding a Komondor to your family that you visit some adult dogs on their home turf so you know fully what you are getting into with this large and imposing breed. It is also very important to find a breeder that will teach you to properly care for the coat. This is not a breed you can just drop off at the groomers every few weeks. Keeping a corded white coat in good shape takes a serious commitment from the owner of the dog. Owning a Komondor is a huge responsibility, but it can be extremely rewarding for the right family.

(Andrea Barber and her husband Steven are members of Komondor Club of America. They own a Komodor named Ibis Encore CGC TDI TT (Niea) and live in Sand Meadow Farm in Mendon, Western New York State.)

The English Foxhound

The very name of the breed conjures up visions of strong muscular dogs running over large extent of meadows and down after a fox. It also brings pictures of men on horseback and loudly yodeling “Tally Ho!” when a fox was sighted. But English Foxhounds are much more than that! You need to own one to know their true potential.

breed profileI have never been to hunting, so never knew what was in store for me when the first Foxhound came into my life in 2005. That was Glory, a four-month-old pretty girl Foxhound. She immediately decided that she should be the centre of our lives. She had a loud voice and expressed herself very clearly. One day, I took my older dog, a Pointer called Lava, for a walk and left Glory in the garden. And you won’t believe she howled, yelped, cried and brought all the neighbours running, thinking somebody was slowly strangling her! Since then, I never left Glory behind…that’s how she became the centre of our lives.

Glory was a good learner and a teacher too. She taught me that Foxhounds are contrary animals. On a walk, if I pulled the leash to left, she would go right. And if I pulled harder, saying “I am your master, listen to me”, Glory would pull a lot harder and finally lie down on the ground. I learnt quickly and understood that she and all her kin were different. Some people call them stubborn because these people do not understand the Foxhounds are just different. They are scent hounds and their view of the world is through their noses. If we are at kindergarten level in smelling, they are near a Ph.D! A walk is more of a smell-athon, nose to the ground, zig zagging, following a scent trail, which is invisible to us poor human nostrils. They can easily clamber over a five-foot fence and follow their noses.

And sooner than I expected, other Foxhounds came from different parts of the globe. And I was to discover that there are about only another 10 breeders (or so) in the world. That makes it one rare breed. When the American Kennel Club registered several thousand Labrador Retrievers in one year, they registered only a few dozen Foxhounds. The Hunts in UK and other countries have closely guarded this breed and very few specimens have come into private individuals.


Journey down the lane


Over centuries, mankind has bred and evolved various hunting dogs. The English Foxhound came from several breeds including the St Hubert Hound and may be even the Grey Hound. They were evolved to hunt foxes in the English countryside. The pursuit and hunting of foxes later became a pastime for the nobility and landed gentry of the British Isles. The Hound was to have great endurance and a loud voice to call out to the hunters who followed on horseback or on foot. Several strains evolved depending on the type of land that the hunt was taking place. These included the Old English, which were stockier and low scenting; the Modern type which were taller and the Fell Hounds, which were hunted in the hilly terrain. A type called the Woolies evolved with a thicker coat.

The English Foxhounds are held and guarded closely by the many Hunts in the UK and elsewhere. Very few are seen in dog shows worldwide. India had many Hunts during the colonial period. With the ‘sport’ falling out of favour after independence, most Hunts wound up and the last one is in Ooty, where the Hounds and horses ride into the downs and nothing is hunted as hunting is banned by law.

Beagle like appearance…

They are medium-size dogs and full-grown males weigh about 40kg and females slightly less. They are built like their smaller cousin the Beagle, except bigger in size. In a dog show, a visitor commented quite knowledgeably to his friend, while pointing at my Foxhound, “That is just another Beagle, he just fed her too much, she has grown so big”. I had a good laugh.

English Foxhounds are found in different colours like white, black, tan and also the pied variety. They have floppy ears which fly when they are running full tilt. And run, they really can.


Love thy parents…

When I introduce the Hounds to friends they take to them very well. Even children visiting us take to these wonderful animals. They are not biters or never show aggression in front of strangers. I live with seven of them and its glorious to watch them play. They play rough but rarely do fight.

Foxhounds are pack animals and have been bred to work with other dogs and humans. This is a trait that is ingrained in their genes that if there aren’t other dogs in the household they take the human family as their pack. After a good exercise they are just as happy lying down nearby and being next to their human pack. They do not do well, if they are boxed in a small cage all day long without sufficient stimuli of humans or dogs.

These are intelligent animals who want a good reason on why they should do something. And when they start to understand and do things, it is wonderful. They will not blindly follow commands unlike some other breeds. They can easily work out things like: “How to dig under the fence”, “How to open the fridge door” and best of all “How to train the master, to do things they like”. They do very well in Clicker Training—a fantastic system of positive reinforcement.


Puppy care…

A young pup may be happy with loads of playtime plus a walk of a few kilometres twice a day. But after they attain one year of age, they may need runs and jogs. The runs should be in enclosed or fenced areas or on leash if on a road. They should never be allowed to run freely in open roads and places. Being scent hounds, they will just follow their nose and run, which it can land them into serious trouble. If started early, they can be trained to run next to a cycle.

A Foxhound pup needs as much love and affection that he can get. Also some firm handling is good for them, but not military style commands. This is just to ensure that they learn early that certain behaviours are acceptable while others are not. Remember, we are their teachers, parents and pack, and we have to play that role well.

Run baby run…

A solid run of around five km and your English Foxhound takes a short breather and wants to play some more. They are high energy dogs who need a good amount of exercise. They won’t do well if they are asked to be couch potatoes all the time. A leisurely stroll simply won’t do.

Groom me beautiful…

Grooming a Foxhound is simple—a rubber glove couple of times a week is good enough! A nice bath once or twice a month is adequate. If the dog is walked and run properly, his nails don’t need to be cut. But the teeth may need attention. Regular brushing with a doggie toothpaste is a good thing.

They shed as much as any short haired breed but if we brush them regularly, we won’t find their hair on our furniture etc.

Love to play…

They are not Retrievers, so fetching a ball is not their game. Walk, run, jog, jump and tug of war with a twisted rope and of course a nice stuffed Kong toy is wonderful.

Eating habits…

Foxhounds eat well and generally do not under-eat. Some are fussy and will only eat what they want, while others eat their bowl of food and would want food from the rest of the pack as well. We feed them a mixture of good quality dog food, cooked ragi or rice, curds, vegetables and meat. They love this mush and thrive on it. We also add Rice Bran Oil and powdered Flax Seed for Omega 3. They get Vitamins supplement couple of times a week.

No major health problems…

The Foxhounds have no known congenital problems.

(P Raghu Nandan is a Post Graduate from XLRI Jamshedpur. He has been a freelance writer for ‘The Hindu’ and has coached youngsters in the Mind Game of their sport – Cricket, Athletics and Golf. He now lives in the Nilgiris with his dogs. His kennel is called Cotter Kennels and he can be contacted at + 91 9840773800 or ) Photo Courtesy: Ms. Nikki Beulens, Coonoor

Is English Foxhound the right breed for you?

English Foxhound is for the people who’d like to have their dogs around them and have time to take them for walks and exercise. If you can let him be the member of the human family, he’s for you. If you have the patience to understand that these dogs are different and not stubborn, then he is the right dog for you because English Foxhounds are unique and very special animals. Their world view is distinctive and may be even Regal. And I think they should get the treatment they so rightly deserve!

breed profile

Weimaraners: The aristocratic ‘Grey Ghosts’

Shining, silver grey coat…beady black eyes… the Weimaraners are a unique blend of smartness, elegance, intelligence and an appealing persona. Come fall in love with these athletic champs.


breed profileHunting dog to people’s dog

The genesis of silver-grey dog–the Weimaraners–dates back to 19th century, when he was originally bred for hunting large game such as boar, bears, deer, and foxes. But, gradually Weimaraners became an all-purpose gun dog. He is a loyal, lovable, incredible hunter and a fearless guardian of his family and territory.

Regal ‘n’ alluring

Weimaraners are elegant dogs owing to their athletic appearance. The striking features of a Weimaraners include silver grey coat, strong facial features, sharp snout and shark like beady black eyes. They are regal-looking, surpassingly intelligent, loyal, robust and strong. “The females look sleek while the males have larger snout and stronger looking,” tells Mili, a reputed breeder of Weimaraners.

They are medium – sized breed. Longhaired We imaranersare also available, but they are in minority. They are found in all dark and lighter shades of silver grey. The average height of a male breed is around 26 inches at the shoulder while that of a female is 24 inches. They weigh around 25-32 kg. They are the best hunting, fetching, tracking and swimming dogs. “Because of their shadowlike appearance, they are aptly referred to as the grey ghost,” tells Mili.

Friendly persona

Weimaraners are people’s dogs. They are outdoor pets dogs with very good temperaments. They are devoted, protective and loving by nature. They are hunter dogs, just like cats. They are excellent with children. “In fact, they have been called the dog with the human brain,” adds Mili. Their best quality is their unfailing devotion. But here Mili also gives a point of advice, “They are awkward as puppies, but they don’t realise their own potential until they become mature.”

Sensitive ‘n’ attention-seeking

They are an emotionally high-maintenance breed and want attention more than other breeds. “They are very sensitive! So don’t go out of town too often without them, they are said to become neurotic even, if left alone for long periods of time!” cautions Mili.

“Once when we were out of station, ‘Blue’, our Weimaraners was missing us so much that she became psychologically, hip dysplastic and was paralyzed below her waist for a period of a month or so… She is now all well again! Phew! This attributes to their human like emotions! They need loads and loads of love and attention,” recalls Mili.

Exercise ‘n’ play

Exercising your Weimaraners is easy. Mili suggests twice daily walking for about half an hour each. And what’s more, they love to run too! “They are big runners, full of energy and even climb over gates like Spiderman,” laughs Mili.

“They all love to play ball, and swim in the pool,” she adds. Since they are athletic, they can be trained for agility.

Taking good care Vaccinate, bathe and brush their hair, besides deworming them. They shed hair but not as much as longhaired dogs! Mili also suggests a daily supplement for a shiny coat. “Calcium supplement daily along with brushing the coat every other day, keeps their coat in excellent condition. They need space. Also, sleep is very important for growth and play,” tells Mili.

Health concerns

Some of the health problems may include hip dysplasia, skin ulcers due to excessive licking, hygroma caused due to swelling of a joint due to contact with hard surfaces. “The latter can be avoided by providing a cushioned sleep area. Do provide them 2-3 small meals a day to prevent bloat,” advises Mili.

Tip from the breeder

“Discipline from a young age helps in avoiding behavioural problems later in life. A happy and loving environment keeps your Weimaraners well and comfortable, to live a long life!” concludes Mili.

(With inputs from Ashok, Mili and their son Armaan of Habibi’s Kennel, Chennai.

Papillon:the butterfly dog

Dainty, royal, graceful, and distinguished by other breeds owing to their beautiful butterfly like ears, Papillon are big dogs in small packages. The y have all that you wish in your pawfect companion. They are smart, intellig ent, active and loving. Can you ask for more?

Papillons are one of the oldest breed of toy dogs. This fashionable dog was loved by esteemed dog-lovers such as Madame de Pompadour and Marie Antoinette and was also carried to court by France’s King Henry III. He was a favourite of many painters of the Renaissance period, who depicted him in many paintings.Small and elegant, equally appealing is their friendly nature…they are simply the best. And what’s more, do not go by their small size as these truly companion dogs are extremely watchful.Those butterfl y-like ears take my breath away…

For Papillon, the name speaks for itself because in French, Papillon means butterfly and the most distinguished characteristic of this breed is his large butterfl y-like ears. “They get a long fringe on the ears, which make them look beautiful and elegant; there is also another variety with the ears hanging down that is called a Phalene, meaning – Moth,” tells Sally Bacus, a reputed breeder of Papillon. Their coat is fi ne-haired, long and silky but puppies have short length fur. Their tail is long and set high and is highly fringed. Their colours can range from black & white, red & white and tri colour with black, brown & white. And, their average height is 8-11 inches and weigh around 3-5 kg.

Smart and active… that’s how a Papillon is

“You have to keep them busy, or they will invent things to do on their own. They are cuddly and affectionate and love to sit on your lap and get your attention. They are great at obedience training & agility.

They learn fast and can train you well,” adds Sally. They are also easy to house-train. On asked about how is it to live with them, Sally quickly replies, “I don’t know what I ever did before we had papillons. They are family.”

Your watchdog as well…

“Papillons are not a “yappy” dog, but do let you know when there is a stranger in the area. You won’t need a doorbell if you have a Pap,” tells Sally.

Living with them is easy…and fun

They can jump really high & fl y like the wind. They are like a cat and like to sleep on the back of the couch and wet their paw to clean their face.

If the children are gentle, they will do well. “If a child is jumping around, they could hurt a light boned little dog,” advises Sally.

Taking care of lil puppies…

“Puppy care can be diffi cult because they are so small. They normally have 2 in a litter weighing up to 4 oz if you’re lucky. The females in general are very good mothers. You do have to watch that the new babies don’t get chilled. Puppies are generally born black & white & their colors come in later. Their ears usually start to stand up about 6-8 weeks.

They will loose their fl uffy puppy coat about 5-6 months & we call this – the Uglies,” tells Sally.

Groom him little…

“I would recommend brushing twice a week. We trim their feet to look like a rabbit foot – smooth & dainty They are really quite easy to groom. Papillons do shed, but not a lot. Females will shed after they have a litter of puppies & after they have a heat cycle,” tells Sally.

What they love to do…

“They love to sleep with us and like our touch, sometimes they even sleep on top of us,” laughs Sally. “Aside from agility, they love to fetch & run.”

Watch out for…

There are two main hereditary problems to watch for: Luxating Patellas (knees) & PRA (eyes). These beautiful dogs are truly companion pooches. “They are like potato chips. You can’t have just one!” concludes Sally.

(With inputs from Bill & Sally Bacus, reputed breeders of Papillons in USA. They have had Papillons for several years & enjoy breeding & showing them. They show in conformation, agility, & obedience. Their main man is Charley, CH Chateau Charlemagne’s Crown CD, RA, NA, NAJ.)

Dog training

St. Bernard : A brave heart saint

Known for his hauling abilities, intelligence and gentle ways, St. Bernard is a gentle giant. Who seems to have sixth sense about impending dangers and beneath this powerful body lies a heart of gold…he can be your true companion…for life.

S t. Bernard are also called Saint Dogs, Noble Steeds, Alpenmastiff, or Barry Dogs while in some parts of North America, they’re also popularly known as “Saints” and true to their name, they are saints in all aspects. They are the gentlest of all breeds of dogs.
Strong and handsome…
A St. Bernard was originally bred for rescue and working dog. There are two varieties of the St Bernard: short-haired (smooth coat) and long-haired (rough coat). “Both varieties are of notable size and have a balanced, sturdy, muscular body with imposing head and alert facial expression,” tells Vishal Sethi.They are powerful, strong and muscular … with the most intelligent expression. Their head is strong and imposing. The skin of their forehead forms noticeable wrinkles. Their muzzle is short, nose is broad and ears are set high. But their eyes are fascinating…dark brown, mediumsized with friendly and intelligent expression. Their tail is broad and powerful but ends in a powerful tip.Their coat is dense but smooth. They are found in many colours like splash, mantle or broken mantle, (white, black, with a primary third colour ranging from light brown to orange to red to mahogany). A full-grown male can weigh between 72.5-110 kg and the approximate height is 27.5-35.5 inches.

Friendly disposition… gentle giants They are very loyal , affectionate and gentle. As per Carol Beck, if properly trained and socialized, St. Bernard are very people oriented, friendly, snugglers/leaners. “They need human touch and are very affectionate. Lazy but very smart, they are the true gentle giants,” she says.

Living with them…

“They are easy to keep, they just want to sleep at your feet,” tells Carol. But she advises that they are not for neat freaks as they shed lots of hair and drool. Even though they are protectors due to size but they are not watch dogs. They will lead the robbers to the family silver.

Sweetheart with children…Dog training

The St. Bernard is one of the gentle giants of the canine world. They are docile and are good around children (who are old enough to handle the Saint’s size), and though they aren’t overly playful, they are sweet and affectionate and like to be around their people.

They love children and seem to know the ones with whom they need to be gentle, like toddlers or frail youngsters or children with disabilities. Puppies need to be watched with children under three as they can be accidentally knocked down. Children should not be allowed to terrorize, poke eyes or ears and especially ride them like a horse. Parent supervision is extremely important with any dog.

“Definitely they have an understanding of a child’s way and are amazingly careful not to injure a child. They are excellent babysitters and companions,” adds Vishal.

Taking care of a St. Bernard puppy…

Vishal advises to get your puppy vaccinated and dewormed regularly. “Since the Saint is prone to bloat, feed him 2-3 meals a day. Whenever you take him out for a walk, keep him on a leash. Do not over- exercise your puppy as he is slow-moving and his bones are forming,” advises Vishal. Saints can have a stubborn streak, so puppy training classes are recommended for every St. Bernard. So, SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE. A well socialized, properly trained St. Bernard is a joyous companion. “Expose a puppy to all sorts of experiences, sights, sounds, people, and places. Whatever is not acceptable at 150 lbs cannot be allowed as a puppy,” advises Carol.

“Since they are very eager to please and respond well to positive, consistent training, training them will not be a problem. Infact, you won’t have a better friend than your Saint,” tells Vishal.

Taking care of their exercise…

“Puppies need to have a lot of playtime; all exercise should be natural and not forced. Daily walks and fun interaction with their humans is essential. They’re dogs who love to romp and play but NOT dogs who enjoy long daily hikes (as a Lab or Golden Retriever might). They don’t have the high activity level of a Jack Russell terrier, nor do they need the constant, intense mental stimulation of a Border Collie. They’re ready to go with you at all times but if you’re just waiting around, a Saint will sleep until you’re ready to go,” tells Carol.


Grooming a St. Bernard is not any different than other dogs. They need frequent brushing, combing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning and bathing as necessary. They shed a lot of hair, especially when they “blow” their coats. It will be minimized if they are groomed daily. Clean your St. Bernard’s eyes frequently with a moist cotton-wool pad. Be sure to use a new one for each eye.

“Depending on the weather, the level of excitement, and the shape of the dog’s jowls, most Saints will drool on occasion,” adds Vishal.

Taking care in summers…

“The dog will do well as long as there is a cool dry place to nap and plenty of fresh cool water. It must be remembered that going from an air conditioned place into the heat can be disastrous. Abrupt changes in temperature are extremely hard on a Saint,” warns Vishal.

Games they love to play…

They basically enjoy sleeping and eating as adults. Each dog is different but some like to play ball, gnawing on a hard rubber chew toy, carrying around a stuffed toy in their mouths, swimming (while others despise water). Most enjoy carting, weight pulling and training in Obedience work. “I really don’t know if they enjoy the training or the fact that they are with their human and want to please. They are very much a people dog,” adds Carol.

Watch out for health problems…

Canine hip dysplasia, epilepsy, entropion, cardiac disorders and we’re seeing a lot of cancer.

“In short, the Saint Bernard is a magnificent, wonderful breed. Let one into your heart and you’ll be hooked for life,” concludes Carol.

(With inputs from Vishal Sethi, whose Yodha Saints are nurtured with love and shown with pride and Carol Beck, who lives in USA and works with National Saint Bernard Rescue.)

Dog traininig

Shiba Inu: small ‘n’ beautiful

Naturally beautiful, Shiba Inus are the embodiment of dignity and independence. Lively and bold, these small dogs are big dogs in small packages.

Dog trainingWho am I? The Shiba Inu was originally bred for hunting as she is small but agile dog who copes very well with mountainous terrain. Inu is the Japanese word for dog while Shiba refers to a type of red shrub, which either owe its origin to the fact that Shiba Inus hunted in wild shrubs or due to the fact that red is the most common colour in these dogs. It is also believed that in old Japanese, Shiba’s referred to ‘small.’This breed was primarily used for hunting by sight and scen in Japan. Today, Shiba Inus are primarily kept as pets both in Japan and abroad.

How do I look?

Shiba Inus are small dogs with double coats, comprising of a straight, stiff outer coat and a soft dense undercoat. Their all-weather coat protects them from both, heat and cold.

Their frame is compact and muscles are well developed. Shiba Inus give an expression of good natured and a strong dog. Her deep-set eyes are brown in colour, while the eye rims are black. Ears are small but firmly pricked, while the nose is black. They carry their tails over their back in a sickle or curled position.

They may be red, black and tan, or seasame (red with black-tipped hair), with a cream, buff or grey undercoat. They have urajiro markings, which refers to a pattern of white on her underside in contrast to her primary coat colour. Males are 14-17 inches tall, while the females are 13-16 inches high and weigh around 10 kg and 8 kg respectively.

How is my temperament?

Independent, intelligent, strong-willed, bold, alert, good natured… is how a Shiba Inu is. Since they are very independent, they need to be socialised at a very young age. They form excellent watchdogs and companions.

Here’s a dog who is reserved towards strangers but loyal and affectionate to people she loves, says Pam adoringly. They are fast and playful and hence make good companions for children. If they are socialised with other pets like dogs and cats in the house, they do well with them.

How is it to live with me?

“The Shiba Inu is one of the smallest of the Japanese breeds, but is possibly the biggest in attitude. Shibas like to be in charge with their favourite word being “mine.”

In a Shiba’s eyes they see everything belonged to them. They are very independent and don’t always do what they are asked to do. Shibas can be good watchdogs and will often be seen perched on high

objects in order to keep and eye on things,” told Pam Petersen of Royal Kennels.

“They are generally quite and do not bark a lot, although they can scream or yodel when they are asked to do something they do not like, such as nail trimming, bathing and leash breaking,” added Pam.

We like to play!

“The Shiba is both an active and adaptable animal. They enjoy hearty romps in the backyard, but do well in apartment life, as long as the owner takes them for their walk in the park. Shibas are extremely peopleoriented and require a fair amount of love and attention from their owners. It should be noted that most Shibas are not to be trusted off lead unless in a fenced yard. The Shiba is a natural hunter and given a chance will take off in search of game,” cautioned Pam.

How to take care of me as a puppy? Shiba puppies are very intelligent and have great memories. Introduce your puppy to new things and people early and make it a positive experience.

For example, introduce your new Shiba puppy to a calm child, have the child give him a small treat, the Shiba will walk away thinking kids are good. If you allow a young child to chase or frighten your puppy, she will think children are to be feared. Most Shiba pups will not forget any experience, whether good or bad.

How to groom me beautiful?

Like cats, Shiba Inus love to keep themselves clean by licking their paws and legs. They like to keep their coats clean by avoiding mud and dirt. Shiba Inus shed heavily twice a year, which normally occurs at the beginning or end of each season. They need regular brushing to keep their coats healthy.

How much exercise do I need?

They are very adjusting dogs and would adjust to any living style as long as they get their share of daily walk. It keeps them healthier and happier.

Am I healthy?

Shibas are a basically healthy breed but can suffer from eye defects, luxating patellas, seizures and allergies. On a concluding note, Pam added, “The Shiba Inu is a wonderful breed but not the breed for everyone. This “big dog in a small package” combined with some of his unique characteristics could make this breed a challenge to the average dog owner.”

(With inputs from Pam Peterson of Royal Kennels, home of Champion Shiba Inu, Kai Ken, Shih Tzu, Larry The Basenji, Goldberg, Skunkie D’s, The Sly Fox and Tally Ho. Pam has been breeding dogs for 26 years and along with her husband, runs a boarding and grooming business.)

West Highland White Terrier:

West Highland White Terrier:Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of all!

Elegant, smart, doe-eyed…meet the West Highland Terriers – the peppy, fun-loving, adorable companion.

White…like snow, beautiful…like snowhite, playful… like your child – the West Highland Terrier is certainly one of the best companions.

Westies’ legend…

It is believed that West Highland Terriers, or simply Westies, were bred from the white offspring of Cairn and Scottish Terriers to create a hunting terrier. They were also known as Roseneath Terriers. Dog lovers love them for their excellent hunting skills as well as companionship.

The Westie is a “large” small dog, descended from Cairn Terriers and originated from Scotland. Some sources credit Colonel Edward Donald Malcolm and his kin of Poltalloch, in the Argyll region of western Scotland, as an originator of this breed in the 1800s. Other sources credit the 8th Duke of Argyll (Chieftain of Clan Campbell) as an originator of the breed. This breed of dog is known for their spirited personality and distinctive white coat. Their white coat made them highly visible when hunting on the Scottish moors and easily distinguished them from their game (this was an extremely important factor because hunters sometimes mistook brown dogs for foxes, and shot them).

Sweet delights…

Small but hardy, the West Highland White Terrier is a perfect blend of strength and activity. Strongly built with straight back, powerful hindquarters and muscular legs; the Westie is a compact dog with lots of self-esteem. Their head is round and expression is piercing and curious. Even more striking are their widely set almond-shaped eyes, dark brown in colour, which impart an intelligent look to the breed. Small, erect ears on the top edge of the skull complete their inquisitive look. Their tail is relatively short and is covered with hard hair. And here’s the dog whose tail is not curled but carried gaily over the back.

They have a white coat with soft undercoat. The outer coat is about two inches long and is made of straight hard white hair. And as the name suggests, their colour is white. The height of males is around eleven inches and of females is ten inches. They weigh around 6.8-9.9 kgs.


Easy going chaps…

Westies are alert, courageous, intelligent and active dogs. They are fun-loving but wellbehaved. They are very friendly and make excellent pets. Just give them sufficient attention and they are yours…for life. They will become the most loyal and beloved pets. They love children, provided the children are well-behaved and give them their space. Besides, they are overtly friendly with strangers but once they sense danger, they will bark excessively, bringing out their guarding instincts.

Living with Westies…

If you are blessed with a Westie, then you will be happy to have a great family dog, who can live in an apartment as well. Don’t go by their cute and cuddly looks because they are not lap dogs. They are full of energy and curiosity. Give them lots of attention and activity, and then they will be happy. It is easy to train them, if handled in a firm and consistent way.

They love to play and run around. They enjoy chasing small animals and even like digging. So, take care that your Westie is well fenced in when he is out. Also, don’t let your Westie get bored or you will end up having holes in your garden or some other kind of mischief.

Groom me beautiful…

Even though Westies are clean and do not shed much but they still require their daily brushing to keep their tresses beautiful. It stimulates blood circulation, improves looks and reduces shedding. Also, clip his nails regularly and keep his ears and eyes clean.

Healthy beings…

Westie is a robust breed and they are healthy. But, problems like skin allergies, ear infection, hip dysplasia, etc. are also found in some Westies.

Bedlington Terriers

Disguised delights – a lamb on a leash

Having looks of a lamb, heart of a lion…and spirit of a small jovial kid, this lovingly different breed – Bedlington Terriers is a delight to pet lovers. Originated in Bedlington, Northumberland in North East England, this breed is a rare combination of endless qualities. At one moment they are fi erce hunters, and the next moment they become loving docile kid…but for us, they are always loving and adorable…all the time. Here we introduce these pawfect pooches to you! Bedlington Terriers (BT) are graceful, lithe and a well-balanced breed, confident yet gentle, they suddenly become reigning warriors, if aroused. Amongst all the qualities, the one notso- doggy-like quality is that they are not over dependent or too delicate dogs. In the last century, they gained popularity all over the world with their adaptive spirits. With a fringe of silky hair on the tip of the ears, they look distinctively adorable. For Pradip Kaushik of Ameya Kennels, they are the most intelligent dogs, as he shares, “I feel Bedlingtons are highly intelligent dogs, they relate differently to different people. With toddlers, they are overprotective, whereas for the head of the family, they are the most obedient chaps.” These bundle of joys are great fun to have.

We are original Englishmen?
– Historical account

The origin tale of this breed takes us to the mines of England. The miners of the early 19th century in England needed a dog for tackling rodents and vermin menace. And for the same, they developed the Bedlington Terrier, who were smart enough to hunt vermin…and showed other terrier qualities as well. In historical accounts, the very fi rst BT was found in 1825. And later in 19th century, they gained popularity world over and explored new pastures in other countries including United States, Australia, Israel and Canada. Earlier, they were known as Rodbery Terrier and then got christened as Bedlington Terrier on the basis of their origin land – Bedlington, Northumberland in North East England.

They are also known as the “gypsy dogs” as gypsies in the Rothbury Forest near Scotland border started taming and breeding them for hunting rabbits. Other story about their nomenclature says that Lord Rothbury of the town of Bedlington in Northumberland Count, became an enthusiast of this particular breed that the breed became popular as Rothbury’s Terrier (or Rothbury’s Lamb) as well.

Do we look like Lambs?
– The general appearance

These lambs look alike dogs have a soft woolly coat, which is intentionally cut to resemble a little lamb. Originally bred to hunt vermin, now they are pawfect companions and watchdogs. “In spite of their decorative and toy like appearance, they are still a true terrier under the white wool… and they are fast athletes as well. His coat, the head with matching ears and overall lamblike look is striking as well as head turning feature of Bedlingtons,” says Pradip.

The head is rounded, and is shorter around the skull and longer around the jaws. Eyes are almond shaped with thick black rims. They are small, bright and placed high on the head. Ears are triangular with rounded tips, and are dangling on the cheeks. The jaws are long and tapering. The muzzle is strong and thick. Neck is long and tapering and is deep at the base. The body is muscular with healthy coat. The hind limbs are longer than the forelimbs, which gives a slightly bent posture.

They come in various colours, including blue, liver and sand. Basically, these are the colours pups have, when they grow up, the colour fades away. They just have a cream and white shade with a tinge of birth colour shade.

Aren’t we sweet and loving?
– Temperament and behaviour

These four-legged furry angels are very loving and attached to owner and family, they know how to shower their unconditional love on others. What makes them a great companion is their ability to gel well with kids, they are very fond of children. Staying in a family, they show several traits. They are well behaved pets, if trained properly. They love to be the center of attention and do several antics to win over one and all. “They just love kids and kids simply adore them. The story is ‘Mary had a little lamb…Why Lamb loves Mary Sir? Why Mary loves the Lamb you know?’ the teacher did reply…these are apt words for this sweet kidpooch relationship,” admits Pradip.

They are comfortable with outsiders also…very pleasant… even visitors averse to pets do not find their size and appearance alarming. “They are ideal as apartment pets… why? Well! that’s the best thing, they will never bark unnecessarily. So, having a pet will also leave a smile on our next-door neighbour’s face,” he adds.

They are easy to handle and can be trained easily also. Having them as a pet is a great delight for any pooch lover. With their fetish for cleanliness…they just floor anybody and everybody.

We aren’t crazy about six packs abs?
– Fitness regimen

They need moderate exercising. They like to run whenever they get an opportunity. With daily short walks and small exercise sessions, they are happy. Being a healthy and happy dog, they have great abilities for pointing, retrieving, tracking, and, of course, chasing den animals. “They are very obedient dogs, if trained early, they can be great with agility jumping, frisbee, catching ball, etc,” informs Pradip.

How we look?
– Grooming tips

As they have short hair coat, and shed less…so they are easy to manage. They need haircut every 3 months while, combing is required daily for better management. Ear cleaning and nails trimming are also periodically required. Most importantly, professional grooming in every 3-4 months helps to keep their coats (which tend to curl) in good shape.

How to take care of a puppy?
– Caring ways

Always bring home a puppy, who is at least 3 months old from a reputed breeder. Vaccinations and deworming are very important like any other breeds. Make sure that your puppies get balanced and quality dog food either readymade or home cooked. They need meat, bones, carrots, animal fats, vitamins and mineral supplements if they are taking homemade food. And clean water is mandatory… always.

Health issues

They are a healthy breed but can have CT (copper toxicosis), a liver problem. The parents can be DNA tested and screened for the same before breeding. Hence it is important to buy a pup from reputed breeder and ask for parents’ DNA test for CT. “Keep the pup clean and brush him everyday. For today’s apartment life with occasional outings, this breed is most adoptive. And I would love to give any advice about these sweethearts,” says Pradip on a concluding note.

(With inputs from Pradip Koushik of Ameya Kennels. He can be contacted at: or visit: or call: +919845038934.)

Me and my Bedlingtons “I live with 6 Bedlingtons – Lily, a blue mother from Australia, Nils, a liver coloured father from Moscow and their four daughters. Both Lily & Nils are champions…and their four daughters, two blue and two liver, are also great looking canines. One liver daughter Merina is about to give pups now…and I am thrilled about the litter. I never had any problem with them… no barking…no aggression.

They love agility jumping, frisbee catching and playing with the ball. I just love them like anything and they too are my loving buddies.”

-Ameya Kaushik