Tenacious Rotties : reliable, respectable and rapturous

His appearance is natural and rustic, his behaviour self-assured, steady and fearless. His gait is balanced and powerful, his motion effortless and efficient. He is calm and courageous and he seldom barks. He is a Rottweiler – who is a perfect pooch companion–strong, good-looking, calm and composed.

Robust and powerful

One look at a Rottweiler and you are bound to respect him for his strength and endurance, such is thedog breed profile charisma of Rotties. His look is intelligent, alert and bold. “He is a medium to large size, stalwart dog, neither heavy nor light and neither leggy nor weedy. His correctly proportioned, compact and powerful build spreads an aura of great strength and agility,” tells Kalaiselvi Venkatesan of Vom Ragnborg, the breeder of Rottweilers in Chennai.

My looks, my personality

Rotties are black beauties with hints of tan or mahogany. Two upsidedown triangles can be clearly seen on his chest while his cheeks sport spots. Other marking areas include muzzle, eyebrows, legs and base of the tail. “Perhaps their most distinct features are good head and strong back which gives an appearance of overall strength and vigour,” adds Kalaiselvi.

This medium-sized dog is muscular and athletic. He has a medium length coat. His undercoat is waterproof and present on neck and thighs while topcoat is dense, coarse and straight. His eyes are brown and give a warm and loyal look to his face, which in turn is placid. His ears are placed wide apart and are small, triangular in shape.

The height of males is 24-27 inches while that of females is 22-25 inches and they weigh around 50 kg and 45 kg respectively.

I will always love you!

Training and early socialisation is all that is required to make Rottie a perfect companion. He is reliable, quick to learn and is extremely fond of children and loves to play. He is clever and can clearly distinguish between kids and adults and behave accordingly. He is very gentle and cautious with kids. “Since they are powerful dogs with lots of confidence, they are very tolerant towards kids,” adds Kalaiselvi. He will be devoted to you and crave for your attention and will simply love to please you. He will protect you, your home and your family – just the pawfect guardian. Lack of human companionship can cause behavioural problems in them. Also, keep them mentally stimulated and see them bloom. In one sentence, Kalaiselvi describes Rotties as good natured, placid in basic disposition, very devoted, obedient, biddable and eager to work.

Puppy care

It is important to provide balanced nutritive diet according to the stages of growth. Also provide clean water at all times. Give him adequate exercise, socialise him and give him basic obedience training.

Train and socialise me

Rotties are dominant by nature and so they should be trained from the very beginning to accept you as the pack leader. Equally important is early socialisation to make them familiar with people, other pets in the house and different situations.

Would love to live with you

“Living with a well socialized Rottweiler is just like living with any of your family members. They understand your moods and thoughts well and anticipate your reactions to different situations. Since they are extremely intelligent and laidback breed, it is a real pleasure to have them as a family member,” tells Kalaiselvi.

They do not bark much and more often, it is a sign of annoyance or protecting their dens, in case of females.

Groom me little

Regular brushing with a bristle/slicker brush/hand glove is needed to remove the dead hair and add shine to the coat by stimulating the oil glands. The correct procedure is to first groom in the direction opposite to that of hair growth for around 10-15 minutes and then along the direction of hair growth for about 10 minutes. They are not heavy shedders but shed during certain periods of time. Their eyes should be regularly cleaned with wet cotton.

I love to play and trot

They are crazy about balls and also tug of war. Kalaiselvi recommends no strenuous exercise upto 18 months of age since their bones mature at 18 months. “Only daily walking sessions, swimming and free play in the garden under supervision are required to keep him healthy,” she adds. “However, after 18 months, they can be worked out well with exercises like weight pulling, IPO training etc.”

Health concerns

Though Rotties are tough and hardy, but still they are prone to genetic diseases like canine hip and elbow dysplasia and osteosarcoma. All in all, Rottweiler is a real pleasure to be around. Just bring home one and experience it yourself.

(With inputs from Kalaiselvi Venkatesan of Vom Ragnborg (www.vomragnborg.com), the breeder of Rottweilers in Chennai.)

Siberian Huskies : angelic beauties

With your Siberian Husky pal, you are bound to experience amazement, joy, love and companionship. You can enjoy wonderful conversations everyday with this bosom pal of yours. A perfect companion we can vouch for!

Keen, friendly, alert and mischievous are the apt words to describe a Siberian Husky. Equally appealing is their graceful and smooth gait. A thing of beauty is a joy forever and Siberians really live upto it. They are beautiful not only in their looks but also in their disposition. 

“Their eyes, in my opinion are limpid pools of sparkling, coloured beauty. Perhaps having the Siberian Husky’s eyes as an inspiration, contact lenses of different shades are in vogue with the human beings,” adds Yash of Yashbans Kennels, a reputed breeder of Siberian Husky.

Journey down the lane

Dog breed profileBelieved to have originated with Coastal Chukchi tribes of the east-Siberian peninsula, Siberian Huskies are one of the oldest breeds of dogs. They were imported from Anadyr River and surrounding regions into Alaska to be used as sleddogs, especially in the All- Alaska Sweepstakes, a dogsled race from Nome to Candle and back. These dogs are still used in Iditarod Trail Sled Race, a race over 1150 miles of the roughest, most beautiful terrain Mother Nature has to offer in Alaska.

The famous ‘Eight Below’ movie by Walt Disney portrayed eight sleddogs, six of which were our beautiful Siberian Huskies. The movie shows how these intelligent, courageous dogs fight to make it through the most unforgiving winter. Both dogs and their parents make a remarkable journey of grit, endurance and belief to find one another again in a spectacular but perilous land.

Bask in their beautiful looks

One look at a Siberian Husky and you are bound to think that he is a perfect picture of balance, power, agility and endurance. He is a medium sized, moderately compact working dog, quick and light on his feet, fast moving and extremely graceful. Other characteristic features include dense coat, erect ears and a brush tail.

His face is expressive, friendly and even mischievous. His almond-shaped eyes are placed slightly slanted upwards. And when it comes to the colour of their eyes, they can be varied – all shades of brown or blue, or one of each, or particoloured. His ears are medium size, triangular, and set close and high on head. His well furred tail is like that of fox and set just below the level of the topline. A Siberian Husky carries it over the back in a graceful, sickle curve. “A trailing tail is normal when the dog is in repose,” tells Yash.

The Siberian Husky comes in a variety of colours, from black and white to pure white. “He has striking head markings, a cap like mark or spectacles, which is a typical feature of this breed. Breeding these wonderful dogs is challenging and exciting as they come in so many colour variations and wonderful eye colours,” adds Yash.

The average height of the males is 21-23 inches while that of females is 20-22 inches. The males weigh around 20-28 kg while females weigh between 15 and 23 kg.

Lovely disposition

The Siberian Husky’s affectionate nature, gentle behaviour, friendly disposition and loyalty make him a great pet and an excellent companion. “The best quality of them as an animal is the affection and the love that they want to give. Being gentle dogs, they make safe companions to children and the elderly,” tells Yash.

If you want somebody to talk to, a Siberian is a perfect choice. “He seldom barks, but is talkative and can keep conversations going on and on,” laughs Yash. “It is a marvellous experience to live with these amazing, high spirited, intelligent dogs. I have had many breeds over the last three decades and though each breed has had its individual characteristics and attitude, the Siberian Husky in my opinion, surpasses all of them. I have this habit of talking to my pets and though I find it very rewarding to have responses with a bark or a wag of the tail, it is indeed thrilling to have a dog who can actually reply to you in various tones and keep a conversation going.”

A Siberian is highly intelligent with an eager disposition. He is a willing worker. However, he is not much of a guard dog. He has great stamina and sustained power for long distances. He would like to run and run and play.

Living : a pleasure with a Siberian Husky

A Siberian Husky is very gentle and affectionate with clean habits. He is extremely adaptable to live in the house as a pet and companion. “He is neither too small nor too big to own. He is of the right size to live in a house as well as an apartment,” tells Yash.

“Although Siberian is generally non-aggressive and gets along with other breeds of dogs quite well, but if he is attacked, he will not take things lightly,” tells Yash.

The Siberian Husky loves to live in a cool place and they should be given plenty of water to drink at all times.

Bringing home a Siberian bundle of joy

The Siberian Husky is one of the easiest breeds to maintain. “Just make sure that your puppy is from a reputed breeder, has had all his initial vaccinations, has been socialized at the breeder’s place and has a balanced diet,” tells Yash.

Start their training at an early age itself. Pups normally have the habit of jumping on people and this should be discouraged in the beginning itself. Besides this, just love and affection will make him a pleasure to own.

Pretty up your Siberian

Though he has a dense coat, he does not have a doggy odour. Start your Siberian’s grooming schedule at an early age itself so that he will learn to enjoy this experience and this way, the bond between you and your puppy grows stronger. “He is generally a very clean dog, so he rarely needs a bath. Put him on a grooming table and brush him everyday with a slicker brush and a pin brush, if necessary,” tells Yash. As they have a dense coat, it is difficult to make out if they have ticks or fleas or any infection, which can get aggravated over some time. Hence regular brushing is necessary so that you can detect any problem with your Siberian Husky at an early age itself.

“Since the Siberian loves to dig, make sure you wipe his paws everyday with a clean, moist towel before you bring him indoors. His nails need to be seldom clipped if he is an outdoor dog. If he is an indoor dog, then make sure you clip his nails or file them, once in every two months,” she adds. “As these are extremely clean animals, I sometimes simply watch in fascination and amazement at the way they groom themselves, especially by licking and cleaning their dirty paws after their playing. They are just like cats!” To clean his teeth and gums, give him chews to gnaw on, or else you might have to brush his teeth regularly with a doggy toothpaste.

The Siberian Husky sheds his coat profusely but VERY, VERY RARELY. If he is on a healthy diet and has a clean coat, without any fungal or bacterial infections, he rarely sheds. “In my personal experience, I find my Siberians only shed their coat once they have had a litter and extremely rarely at other times,” adds Yash.

Play time = work outs

As per Yash, there is no laid down rule as to how much exercise you should give your Siberian Husky. “Once your puppy is about a year old, you could take him for walks, run with him, play with him, till you get exhausted and tired,” she adds. “The game that the Siberians love to play is only CATCH ME IF YOU CAN! They will come near you, tease you, and the moment you try to get hold of them, they will dodge and slip away and boldly just stand a few feet away, with that mischievous look, saying once more CATCH ME IF YOU CAN!” tells Yash.

Health : not an issue

“They are very hardy dogs and I am sure if responsible, breeders take up the task of promoting and popularizing this breed in India, we would not come across any genetic problems, especially that of hip dysplasia which most working dogs unfortunately face today, due to irresponsible breeders and owners,” tells Yash.

A word of caution

“Since the Siberian Husky loves to dig and climb, make sure that they are kept in escape proof enclosures. Never ever make the mistake of letting them loose to play in parks or open areas. You will have to wait endlessly for them to return back to you,” tells Yash. “So, if you think that the Siberian Husky is the right breed for you, as it is for me, go ahead and get yourself one of these magnificent, beautiful friends,” concludes Yash.

(Yashodhra runs one of India’s most reputed and successful kennels called Yashbans Kennel in Bangalore, for almost three decades now. She has been a proud recipient of top awards like the ‘Breeder of the Year’, ‘Dog of the Year,’ and ‘Reserve Dog of the Year.’ Yashbans Kennels has now expanded from Breeding Kennels to Boarding Kennels and Grooming Parlours, all with world class facilities. She can be contacted at Yashbans Farm, Kyalasanahalli , Off., Hennur Main Road, Bangalore – 560 077, Ph: 28465321/ 65639548/ 98440 58080/98863 12691, email ; Yashbans@gmail.com, Website : www.yashbans.com)

-Yashodhra

dog breed profile

Doting Bulldogs!

Extremely loyal, affectionate, excellent with children, good guard dogs… a Bulldog has all he needs to win his way into your home and hearts.

Do you remember that hefty dog, an accomplice of Jerry in the popular ‘Tom & Jerry’ cartoon series? Yes, he is Spike, the Bulldog! Originally bred as a serious fighting dog, a Bulldog has come a long way…today he is completely transformed into a wonderful family pal. He loves human companionship and prefers to stay indoors…close to his human family.

What’s the bull doing in the ‘Bulldog?’

It is believed that the Bulldog was first bred in British Isles for the sole purpose of bull-baiting, a brutal pastime in England. The sport involved the use of a dog or a group of dogs to attack a bull tied with a rope. These Bulldogs were aggressive with huge amount of strength and courage, just opposite to what Bulldogs are today – full of affection and loyalty. Thankfully, the bull-baiting was stopped in 1778.

The looks

dog breed profile

Zara and Lucky

The most characteristic feature of a Bulldog is his massive head, fairly large in proportion to size and his wrinkled face. His short muzzle and the saggy skin of the face give him a frowning look. A typical Bulldog expression!

Bulldogs are medium-sized, smooth-coated, with a compact body and short sturdy limbs. Eyes are round and dark in colour while ears are set high and are small and thin. The overall look of a Bulldog conveys impression of determination, strength and activity.

Bulldogs come in dazzling colours like white, red and white, brindle and white, white pied, fawn and smut, etc. The male dogs usually weigh around 25 kg while females weigh around 22.7 kg. The average height of Bulldogs is 12-16 inches.

Ideal companion

A Bulldog is a complete people’s dog. Intelligent, bold, alert, quiet and courageous, he is extremely affectionate, tolerant and patient with children. He even gets on well with other pets, including cats and birds.

Fiercely loyal and protective of their family, Bulldogs can become aggressive to protect them, if the need so arise.

Bringing home a Bulldog pup

Bulldogs are not easy breed to rear, hence should only be bred by experienced breeder. Since they have large heads, puppies are more often delivered by Caesarean section to avoid them getting stuck in birth canal during natural birth.

Choose your pup from a reputed breeder only. While looking for your bundle of joy, pick up the pup who is friendly and has a well-fed appearance. Do not choose a shy or overly aggressive pup. His body should be firm, with a solid feel and his skin of the abdomen pink and clean.

Once you bring your bundle of joy home, give him a warm and secure place and give him time to adjust to the new surroundings. Early socialisation is important as lack of it can make the pup fearsome and aggressive. Similarly, train him from

an early age to make him an obedient Bulldog. Crate training is quite helpful for Bulldogs.

Living with a Bulldog

A Bulldog is very adaptive, he can live comfortably at an apartment as well as a country-side dwelling with plenty of space to roam around. He is not an active breed and love to be at home and would enjoy your company indoors.

Bulldogs love to chew and this behaviour is not restricted to younger dogs only. So, to protect your things from getting chewed up, give him plenty of chew toys and rawhide bones to keep his teeth busy.

Keeping him fit and fine

Bulldog is a healthy breed of dogs. Short daily walks are all that is needed to keep them fit. They love to play, but keep the play sessions short.

Beauty tips

They are average shedders and do not need much grooming. However, it is imperative to wash his face and wrinkles on a regular basis as they can collect dirt. Simply, wet a cloth and wipe the wrinkles. The ears should be kept clean and removeany excess hair inside it. Carefully trim his nails as well. Also, clean his teeth regularly with a brush and a vet approved toothpaste.

To keep his coat in excellent condition, brush him using a natural bristle brush or a hound glove. It will remove dead hair and stimulate his natural oils to add shine to his coat. Besides, regular bathing will keep his coat healthy and shiny.

A word of caution

A Bulldog can have difficulty in breathing, particularly during hot and humid days, hence, they should be kept indoors and strenuous exercise should be avoided at such time.

(With inputs from Ashok Pratap Rai, who despite his jet setter schedule (literally!), as the CEO of Club One Air, India’s first fractional ownership company for business jets, and charters, finds enough time to indulge in his passion and love for birds and animals. He has owned, bred and shown Pugs, Miniature Pinschers and Pekingese, in the past with great success and Bulldogs are his newfound love. As per him, they are the most adorable, affectionate wrinkle balls! He is proud to have some top of the line blue blooded bulldogs, which have been imported from various countries. Though they are one of the most difficult breeds to breed, there is a very strong effort to breed and raise some of the finest Bulldogs within the country. The Bulldog family has to themselves the most conducive conditions and are pampered with all that they need. He can be contacted at 9868101199.)

dog breed profile

Dachshunds : the little bravehearts

Bold, confident, intelligent, energetic and charismatic…a Dachshund has all the qualities you would like in your canine friend and the bonus point is that all this is bundled into a small-sized dog who can easily live with you in your apartment.

As a young boy, I loved bigger breeds like Dobermans and Rottweilers and was successful in breeding gooddog breed profile Rottweilers. My passion for Dachshunds started accidentally and will remain one until my last breath. It so happened that a photographer friend of mine who was immensely fond of Dachshunds called me up in the middle of the night, requesting me to house his Dachshund puppy for the night. That time, I had a beautiful male Rottweiler called Bobby, a massive dog with a sound temperament. I was apprehensive about Bobby’s reaction but my friend insisted and left his puppy with me. In the morning, as soon as my maid opened the door to get the milk, the puppy darted out. Bobby was unleashed and the whole house was in commotion. I ran out only to find Bobby standing in front of the puppy with his hair on his back fully raised. I was alarmed but surprisingly the puppy looked cool. I kept calling Bobby’s name and slowly swooped the puppy into my arms. In about two day’s time, the puppy was playing with Bobby and they became the best of pals. Such is the charisma of Dachshunds! This first experience with the Dachshund was so intriguing that I started importing Dachshunds from all over the world. I soon realised that one was not enough for me, and today I have 18 of them and they run my life. 

Do not go with the size of these dogs as undoubtedly Dachshunds are big dogs in small packages.

Small ‘n’ elegant

The Dachshund is a short-legged, elongated dog breed of the hound family. The breed’s name is German and literally means “badger dog.” The standard size was developed to scent, chase, and hunt badgers and other hole-dwelling animals, while the miniature was to hunt rabbits. Due to the long, narrow build, they are sometimes referred in the United States and elsewhere as a wiener dog, hot dog, or sausage dog.

Perhaps the most striking characteristic of the Dachshund is his deep and soulful eyes. These eyes rightly fit into his expressive face, which you can gaze for hours on end.

The Dachshund can have three varieties of coat – smooth, wirehaired and longhaired – and these dogs can be standard-sized or miniature dogs.

They have a wide range of colouration, the dominant colours and patterns being red, black & tan and the not so common chocolate and tan.

Sweet ‘n’ playful disposition

If you are fun-loving, then you will love the company of Dachshunds as they are playful and fun dogs, known for their propensity to chase small animals, birds and tennis balls with great determination and ferocity.

They are extremely energetic and good with children. The smooth coated Dachshund may be a little wary at first but would settle down very quickly. Among the three varieties, the long-haired Dachshunds are temperamentally the best. They would lick your face wet in no time!

You will love his fearsome and forgiving nature. They have a big heart, full of love and devoid of fear. These brave little dogs sometimes even go to the extent of challenging a larger dog or even a cow, unmindful of their size. To put it in two words, Dachshunds are blessed with a character called “Personality Plus.”

However, many Dachshunds are strong-headed or stubborn, making them a challenge to train.

Rearing a Dachshund kid

Before bringing a Dachshund pup home, ensure that he has a good parentage and his primary vaccinations have been taken care of. Ask your breeder for his vaccination card and the diet chart.

Grooming : Start his grooming sessions early. Brush him daily and apply “Notix” powder once in three days. Check for ticks on the body and between the toes, inside the ears, etc, diligently everyday. However, it is not recommended to bathe the puppy until he is 3 months old. If the puppy gets dirty, wipe him with wet cloth and allow him to dry naturally. To clean the discharge from his eyes, use wet cotton only.

Socialisation : Socialise your puppy at a very early age. All the family members should handle the puppy. Put your hands inside the mouth as this would help in giving a tablet when the puppy grows to an adult. This way you would be able to pullout anything from his mouth at a later stage.

Training : Everybody likes a well-behaved and trained dog and earlier the training starts, the better it is. You can easily train your puppy to obey basic commands like Sit, Stay, Come, Down, etc. However, if your puppy disobeys, do not hit or shout at him, simply roll a newspaper and gently tap it on his back saying ‘No’ firmly.

Vaccination : To keep your puppy healthy, de-worm him once in 45 days, if fed on a non-vegetarian diet, otherwise once in three months will be sufficient. Consult your vet and follow the vaccination schedule every year. Vaccination against rabies, distemper and parvovirus is a must and yearly boosters should be administered. Here’s a word of caution – ‘Do not take the puppy out of your compound until DHLP Booster is given.’

Sharing life with a Dachshund

Dachshunds are known for their devotion and loyalty towards their owners. They are extremely energetic, full of beans, ready to please and good with children. If you have a garden, they will be busy chasing all the squirrels and catching the rats. An ideal companion dog, they can comfortably live in the apartment, provided they get their regular dose of exercise. No wonder then that they are the most popular pets in the United States, ranking 6th in the most recent AKC registration statistics.

Daily workouts

Dachshunds tend to put on weight and hence they must be regularly exercised. A minimum 1 km walk is advisable to keep them fit and fine. As most of the Dachshunds are extremely fond of the tennis ball, you can exercise him by throwing the ball around for a good 15-20 minutes.

Styling up your Dachshund

Smooth-coated Dachshunds require very little grooming. A regular brush down with a hound glove made of chamois leather will remove all dead hair and aid blood circulation. However, the Dachshunds with long-hair and the wired coats require elaborate grooming sessions. Though smooth coated Dachshunds shed very little hair, the long coated ones shed a lot of hair.

Watch out for health problems

This breed is known to have spinal problems, especially intervertebral disk disease (IDD), due in part to an extremely long spinal column and short rib cage. The risk of injury can be worsened by obesity, which places greater strain on the vertebrae. In order to prevent injury, it is recommended that Dachshunds be discouraged from jumping and taking stairs.

I would like to conclude with the famous saying, “To err is human, to forgive canine” and those who are not blessed with the love of a canine, has been missing the wonderful bond of love and care.

(R.Padmachandran is a well-known breeder of Dobermans, Beagles, Rottweilers, Basset Hounds and Dachshunds in Chennai and is a life member of Kennel Club of India. A Chemical Engineer by profession, he also runs a consultancy business. His kennel Padpranpark Kennels is committed to breed quality dogs, free from genetic disorders. Together with his cousin, Dr. Suresh Bhimsingh, he has designed the portalwww.dogsindia.com. For more info, call him at 9840043296 or visit www.padpranpark.com)

– by R. Padmachandran

Boxers : alluring looks ‘n’ persona


If you love to spend time with your pet, then Boxer is for you. For, here’s a breed who is fond of company at all times and loves to make you laugh. So, if you have a Boxer at home, you can expect a house full of giggles and fun for all family members, including other pets.

Boxers are all about dignity, pride and love. “Perhaps the most pleasing feature of Boxers is his style which defies definition but if one wants to vocalise it, you can say that he has got a high-headed style, a debonair jauntiness and a ‘look-at-me’ attitude. He walks the ground as if he owns it,” tells Shyam Mehta, a well-known breeder of Boxers in Gurgaon.

Journey down the lane

The Boxer breed is believed to have originated from the Brabanter Bullenbeisser, which can be traced back to dog breed profileBelgium. Strong and agile, these dogs were used for hunting wild boars. His ears were cropped to prevent any potential injuries and tears from encounters with the boars. Back at home, Boxers proved to be excellent family pets, always eager to please their owners. And over the years, they have filled many homes with love, laughter and devotion.

The majestic look

A look at Boxer brings out varied emotions – dignified, beautiful, well-muscled and square in proportion. “The coat is tight-fitting to body and gives an appearance of a ‘poured in look’ so that one can see the muscles of the dog rippling out of the skin, giving an exotic look,” tells Shyam. It is a treat for the eyes to see a Boxer walk – his muscular body moving proudly and his strides firm.

The most unique feature of the Boxer is its head and that is why it is called a ‘head breed.’ “The muzzle is two-third of the skull and has a pronounced stop at the nose bridge and the length of the muzzle is short, giving a square look,” tells Mehta. The eyes are placed far apart and give an intelligent expression (And yes, they are an intelligent breed!). The ears are placed on the highest point on the skull.

The Boxers can be fawn or brindle-coloured. The shades of fawn range from light honey colour to dark stag red while brindle-coloured have a brindling pattern on top of base colour which is well defined and profused. “The white markings on certain body parts (like muzzle, forehead, chest, neck and legs) give a flashy look. In all, white should not exceed one-third of the total body colour,” tells Shyam.

The average weight and height of male dogs is 32 kg and 25″ while that of females is 28 kg and 22-23″, respectively.

Sweet teperament

Those who are blessed with a Boxer, would agree that they are the most adaptable and versatile dogs. They are human dogs in their true sense – they love human company and always surround them, basking them in their love and attention. They are intelligent dogs and know how to behave with different family members – while they will love to wrestle with the young boys, they are delicate enough to play with kids and old people. They are fun-loving and cheerful. “A boxer will behave like a pup till the day he dies of old age,” tells Mehta. Moreover, they form good guard dogs and their looks are enough to keep potential intruders at bay.

Bringing home a Boxer puppy

Mehta advises to bring a Boxer puppy home only when his first inoculation and deworming are through. “It is also important to ensure that the pup’s parents have overall sound temperament and good health,” tells Shyam. Other important factors to be kept in mind while picking a puppy include the happy-go-lucky nature of the pup and his interest in life around him. Besides, the puppy should not have running eyes or nose. “Also, use the same food that the breeder has been feeding him post-weaning as abrupt change in diet can cause diarrhoea,” cautions Mehta. He further suggests that crate-training a Boxer puppy is helpful as it becomes the pup’s own cosy corner and you don’t need to puppy-proof the whole house, thus avoiding accidents.

Early socialisation is indispensable for Boxer for if they grow in seclusion, they can end up growing spooky dogs. “They will not be brave, thus they must be taken to all kinds of environments, sounds, smells and people. It also helps in their overall psychological development,” advises Mehta. However, the puppy should not be taken outdoors unless he is fully vaccinated.

Life with a Boxer

They are hardy dogs and are easy to maintain. Boxers are adaptable to extreme climates and cope up with all climatic conditions. They can live in an apartment, provided they are regularly taken out for romping in a fenced area. Just provide them the basic needs and you will be blessed with a dog who will spread joy and happiness in your life. They act like a clown and love to do things which you would watch and laugh. And whenever you will show willingness to play, Boxers are ready for the fun. However, Mehta says that it is vital to give obedience training to Boxers to make them easy to handle.

Keeping him fit and fine

A Boxer needs to be exercised regularly, which includes romping a couple of times a day. “Taking your Boxer out for romping three times a day for 10 minutes each, will keep him healthy,” tells Mehta. They also love to play with ball and would retrieve it for you. They simply love water and a good swim is what a Boxer likes on a hot afternoon.

Styling and hygiene

Boxers need minimal grooming and they are very clean dogs by nature. They do not soil indoors. Even though they shed, but since their coat is not long, it is not a big problem. “If you brush your Boxer 4-5 times a week, then shedding can be minimised,” advises Mehta. However, Mehta cautions that Boxers should not be brushed when they are unclean as it can aggravate the problem of shedding. “When the coat is dirty with grime, it becomes brittle after brushing. Thus, they should be first cleaned and then should be brushed,” he adds. Their nails should be grinded/clipped otherwise it will spoil their ‘cat feet’ and make them ‘splay feet.’ Besides, their ears should be cleaned regularly as the wax in their ears does not evaporate on its own. As for the dental care, Mehta advises that if you are feeding your dog on a commercially-available food, then you need not worry about his oral health but if he is fed on home-cooked food, then it is a good idea to get his teeth scaled at least annually to prevent bad breath and other oral infections.

Eating habits

Boxers are not fussy eaters and it is advisable to offer them two meals a day. “In some dogs, offering one meal a day can accelerate digestion process which can lead to ingested food being excreted,” adds Mehta.

Health problems

They are healthy dogs and are not predisposed to any inherited diseases.

Tips for readers

On a concluding note, here are a few tips from Mehta:

  • Pick up the Boxer of a known parentage.
  • Follow the complete protocol laid down by the competent vet regarding deworming and inoculation.
  • A crate is an indispensable tool as it can confine your pup in your absence and save him from accidents. It also helps the puppy to learn house-breaking early.
  • Early socialisation is important.
  • Feed him a well-balanced food.

(Shyam Mehta has been breeding Champion Boxers for 12 years. His kennel with the prefix Next Step is home to American and Canadian champions. He can be contacted at nextsep111@yahoo.com)


Boxers : desirable companions

The intelligence, loyalty and tractability to discipline make Boxers desirable companions. They promptly respond to friendly overtures honestly rendered. Any play is fun for them. They love to chase balls and are fond of jumping up to 3-4 ft in air for apparently no reason and yet this excites them a lot. But, due to their heavy weight and short muzzle, they tire relatively easily and can get overheated. So, keep their plays intensive but short.

– Sinclair and Patricia Lewis, Boxer Haven, Secunderabad

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound

What sets an Afghan Hound apart from other dogs? His beautiful looks and charisma which give him a regal aristocratic appearance complemented with heart and temper of gold. While standing still, an Afghan is a cynosure of the eyes and when he moves, his stride is so powerful and effortless, he simply takes your breath away! His flowing hair provide unmatched flair and style.

History down the lane

Afghan Hounds belong to the sighthound family, which includes fast, greyhound-like coursing dogs. This ancient breed has been mentioned several times in the Egyptian scriptures as well as pictured in caves of Northern Afghanistan more than 4,000 years ago. They were used as hunter dogs for many centuries, hunting deers, wild goats and even wolves and snow leopards. They were also used by shepherds as herders and watchdogs. Today, they are bred as show dogs and for lure coursing. True to their mountain heritage, the Afghan Hound is tough and agile, capable of climbing rocks. They are also known as Balkh Hound, Baluchi Hound, Barutzy Hound, Kabul Hound and Tazi.

Dazzling beauties

These dashing dogs have a personality of their own. They are tall and slender, with a long and narrow head. The most prominent character of an Afghan Hound is that the head is surmounted with a topknot of long, silky hair. Their almond-shaped eyes are very enchanting and seem to gaze into a distance. Their ears lie flat to the head, the nose is black and their neck is long and slender. Their long and silky coat covers the entire body, except on the face and back, where it is short and glossy. The coat has a fine texture and is thick. Their tail is not set too high on the body and has a ring or a curve on the end. The height of Afghan Hounds is between 27 to 29 inches and they weigh around 26-34 kg. “Afghans can be found in all colours,” says Nagraj Shetty of Agrani Kennels, Chennai.

Sweet idiosyncrasy

An Afghan Hound is a pleasure to have as a pet as he is very sweet and affectionate. He is also sensitive. Even though they are wary of strangers but they are not inhospitable to them. However, they need a lot of attention and become unhappy when they don’t get their share of attention. They are very dignified and can be stubborn or manipulative at times. “They have a mind of their own and love to choose their own friends,” says Nagraj. They are well spirited and training and discipline is all that is required to keep your Afghan Hound amenable.

Rearing an Afghan kid

Simply bond with your pet and show him your love by playing, grooming or just petting him. Socialisation is very important for an Afghan puppy to develop his social skills. They need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds, otherwise they become shy and suspicious.

Sharing life with Afghans

They are well-suited for cold, wet and windy climates. However, they are not recommended for apartment life and for families with small children. An Afghan puppy romps and jumps with great vigour and they have the temptation to chase and nip running children. They do not like loud voices and quick movement. Since they are very sensitive, any family problem can make them sick. Thus, they need a peaceful and harmonious home.

Pretty up the tresses

It is very interesting to note that Afghan Hound pups do not resemble their long-coated adults as they are born smooth-coated and it’s only after one year of age that the adult coat begins to lengthen and fall out. As they reach three years of age, their coat is fully developed. Right from puppyhood, he should be daily brushed to make him accustomed to grooming. The most striking characteristic of Afghan is his long flowing coat and a properly cared coat brings elegance and flair to him. A special air-cushioned or pain brush should be used for grooming. The long thick coat of the Afghan Hound require daily brush-outs to remove dead hair and keep his beautiful coat tangle-and mat-free. Slicker brushes can be used for removing tangles from the skin. Brushing or combing the coat from the outside into the skin can further twist hair into developing mat. Before bathing, brush him thoroughly to remove any mats using your fingers, specially behind the ears and armpits. An Afghan Hound is an average shedder.

Daily workouts

These active dogs need long daily walks or free run in open space. “Minimum 30 minutes of free galloping will keep your Afghan fit and fine,” says Nagraj. When he is inactive indoors, he should not be left unsupervised as he may get bored and become destructive. They love agility tricks and are the best jumpers.

Healthy but vulnerable

Although Afghan Hounds are generally healthy, but they have a low pain tolerance and hence, even minor injuries can be very painful for them. (With inputs from Nagraj Shetty of Agrani Kennels.)

Beautiful big Red Setters

Feathered silky flowing red hair, dark hazel expressive eyes, muscular legs, proportionate bodyline, athletic with sweet temperament… the Red Setters have it all! His beautiful looks and high energy will bring joy to your family. Here’s some more info about this lovely breed. Red is the colour of energy, courage, strength, vitality, and passion and Irish Setters, better known as Red Setters, live upto the colour of their coat. Perhaps the most beautiful of all breeds, Irish Setters simply take your breath away with their beauty and grace.

Journey down the lane

Originally called the Irish Red Setter in US, they are the ancestors of Spanish Pointer. He was bred as all-around hunting dog, with strong sense of smell. Fast and racy, he was particularly good for hunting game birds. His beautiful looks and sweet disposition has made him a show and a family dog.

Bold ‘n’ beautiful

The aristocratic Irish Setters have feathered, long, silky red-coloured coat, except for the head, where it is short and fine. Even his feet are well covered with hair. His long ears are triangular and soft while his legs are long and muscular. He is slightly longer than tall, giving an overall look of elegance and strength. Other features include black or brown nose and chestnut or dark hazel eyes, giving an expression of softness, yet alertness. Do not be betrayed with their melting brown eyes as they will make you to give in to their demands. His tail is fringed. Their colours range from rich chestnut with no trace of black. They can have a little white on chest, throat, chin or toes, or small star on forehead or narrow streak or blaze on nose or face. As per Nagendiran Reguraj, a reputed breeder of Irish Setters, their best physical appearance is their chestnut colour and shiny coat.

The height of the male dogs is 26-28 inches and weight 29-34 kg while that of female dogs is 24-26 inches and 25-29 kg, respectively. They have a life expectancy of 11-15 years.

Sweet-natured

Irish Setters are very affectionate, friendly and intelligent. Besides, they are quite active, full of energy and high spirits. They are swift, with an excellent sense of smell. It is a treat for eyes to see them walk as their gait is lively and graceful. As per Reguraj, “Irish Setters are racy, balanced and full of quality.” They are responsive and impulsive, yet sensitive and are a real joy to be around. They love to be around people and are excellent with children. They also like to play with other dogs. By nature, Setters have a mind of their own and need lot of love and attention. They are very clever dogs, which makes it more difficult and challenging to train them. But once trained, they remain trained for the rest of their life.

Living with them

They make good companions, are lovable and need lots of exercise. They are not recommended for apartment living and need a yard to run around.

Keeping them fit

They need plenty of exercise in open spaces. They love to play games like retrieving, swimming and other fun games.

Taking care of the pup

Shower lots of love and care. Be patient and never be aggressive while training and upbringing your puppy, advises Reguraj. “The more love you give, the more you get,” he added.

Styling them up

Grooming an Irish Setter is easy. Daily brushing and combing keeps soft coat and make him look his gleaming best. They are an average shedder.

Watch out for health problems

They tend to bloat, hence it is advisable to feed them 2-3 small meals instead of one big one. They are also prone to eye problems, elbow and hip dysplasia. Ears should also be carefully groomed to avoid ear inflammation.

“Irish Setters are not for everyone. Don’t bring home a Setter unless you’re willing to match your wits and energy with these lovable, hyper-active dogs. And you’d better have loads of patience – teaching a Setter sit –stay–heel will test your patience to the limits. The Setter tries to wear you down; to make you do his bidding! With a Setter you’ve to show who’s the boss – not with anger but with firmness. And believe me, there are times when you just want to give in, to let him do as he wishes. But at the end, patience pays. Firmness is what the Setter demands and finally respects. And once you’ve mastered that, you’ll have the best companion that you could ever want. Sure, you can never expect the Setter to be predictable…but then what’s life without a few surprises?” told Adite Chaterjee a proud pet parent of Irish Setters.
(Nagendiran Reguraj is a well-known breeder of Irish Setter, GSD, Fox Terrier (Wire), Saluki, Toy Poodle, Caravan Hound, Beagle Golden Retriever and Labrador. His kennel and stud farm is called Fleetwoods Kennels And Fleetwoods Stud Farms. Adite Chaterjee is a proud pet parent of three beautiful Irish Setters.)

Come Fall in Love with the magnificent Mastiffs

“What lion is to cat, the Mastiff is to dog,” goes a popular saying. If you happen to meet an English Mastiff for the first time, do not be scared of his large size as beneath his giant body, lies a heart of gold. He is a family pet in true sense. While his size will keep strangers at bay, his sweet disposition and friendly behaviour will keep your family happy. Here’s some more info about this exquisite breed. An English Mastiff is perhaps one of the most handsome breeds. His massive and muscular body, coupled with dark, hazel eyes, are admired by one and all. He is a rare combination of beautiful looks and sweet temperament.

“An English Mastiff is naturally protective and extremely possessive of his family and home. He thrives on human companionship and affection. Give him lots of quality time and, in turn, you will be rewarded with a loyal friend,” says Amit Gowda, a well-known breeder of English Mastiffs in Bangalore.

Journey down the lane…

Originating in Great Britain, the Mastiff was favoured by nobility as a hunting companion and revered by peasants as a family and livestock protector. Today the Mastiff is known for being a loving companion and a trusted guard dog.

The majestic look

The English Mastiff is a large and powerful dog with a muscular body. Large and heavy, he spreads an aura of grandeur and dignity. His dark eyes are set wide apart from each other and are hazel brown. Even his small, thick ears are set wide apart. Their muzzle is dark, short and broad, as is the nose which displays flat nostrils. The tail tapers down and is slightly curled at the end. He has large round feet, with black toe nails.

“The Mastiff is a double-coated breed. The outer coat is short, coarse, and straight while the under coat is dense and fits closely to the body. The colour of the coat can vary —apricot, fawn, or brindle while his nose, muzzle and ears are black. This breed is an average shedder,” tells Amit.

The average height of males is 31-34 inches while that of females is 27-29 inches and their weights are around 72 kg and 68 kg respectively. They have a life expectancy of about 10-12 years.

Docile and lovable

The Mastiff is a watchful, reliable, and intelligent breed. He is exceedingly loyal, patient and deeply devoted to his family. He thrives on human companionship and affection and does not do well if left alone for extended periods of time. He loves to please and needs a lot of companionship. Calm, steady and docile, the Mastiff does best in a home with older considerate children. It is important to socialise a Mastiff puppy to make him get along well with other dogs. This breed is naturally protective and is extremely possessive of his family and home. They are suspicious of strangers and will try their best to keep them at bay. However, they do not attack or harm them in normal circumstances. They excel in guarding, military and police work, weight pulling, and search and rescue.

Bringing home a Mastiff puppy

As a puppy, your Mastiff should not be allowed to do anything that you would not wish your full-grown Mastiff to do. “And because your puppy is going to be such a large dog, it is also a very, very good idea that he receives basic obedience training. You definitely would want your big fellow to listen to you,” adds Amit with a chuckle. Mastiffs grow amazingly fast and it is advised not to force their growth with artificial vitamins and calcium supplements. Instead, they should be fed with a nutritionally balanced diet. As it is, Mastiffs are genetically programmed to grow big and heavy and if they are allowed to grow at their own rate, they will become healthy dogs with minimum health problems related to joints and bones. Generally Mastiff puppies eat a lot of food while growing, until the age of two. An adult Mastiff generally has a slow metabolism and does not eat an exceptional amount of food. However, they should not be overfed as they can become fat, leading to problems with bones and joints, heart, liver, kidney, etc.

Mastiffs drink a lot of water. Hence, fresh water should be kept available at all times. During growth periods, a Mastiff puppy is subject to joint injury, hence excessive exercise should be controlled. Let him play at his own pace but do not encourage him to go for long walks, jumping obstacles, or any other exercise that will stress the joints.

Mastiff puppies also have a tendency to chew, or swallow, rocks and sticks. So, they should be watched closely and discouraged from doing so.

A Mastiff remains a puppy much longer than most breeds. Even though a Mastiff is already quite large by the time he is 6 months old, he is still growing and maturing rapidly. A Mastiff does not reach his full physical or mental maturity until around 3 years of age.

Life with a Mastiff

Early socialisation and obedience are crucial for this breed. “He is eager to please but may be difficult to train. He does not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. This breed does best with firmness, fairness, patience, respect, and consistency,” advises Amit. However, Amit cautions that the Mastiff is not recommended for the novice, inexperienced, or passive owner as they can be difficult to control.

Keeping him fit and fine

“The Mastiff is slow moving but daily securely leashed walks or a play session in a safe enclosure are highly recommended to keep him happy and fit,” tells Amit.

Styling and hygiene

“Brushing with a firm bristle brush will suffice, followed by wiping with a towel to give a gleaming finish. Bathing or dry shampooing should be done when necessary,” informs Amit. Their grooming schedule should also include cleaning ears and eyes and clipping his claws.

Watch out for health problems

The Mastiff is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, ectropion, cardiomyopathy, and gastric torsion. They also have a tendency to drool and snore. All in all, an English Mastiff is a very loyal and patient dog and if you own one, you will be blessed with his love and companionship, which is simply priceless.

(With inputs from Amit Gowda, a hobby breeder who specializes in Great Danes, Mastiffs, Neapolitan Mastiffs, American Cockers and Saint Bernards. His registered kennel is ‘Neomass & Amrolyn’, he can be contacted at: 9845070811.)

Ravishing Lhasa Apsos

When I see a Lhasa Apso, I feel poetry flowing through me…those flowing tresses, beautiful expressive eyes, nice body line…they have everything that a poet looks for. Here’s some more info about this exotic breed. One look at the Lhasa Apsos and you will see a fur ball with a nose, full of life and fun. “Having a Lhasa Apso as your companion, is like a dream come true. It is a treat to the eyes to see them walking,” says Kumud Singh, a breeder of Lhasa Apsos for the last 7 years. He is a real pleasure to be with. “His keen intelligence and steadfast loyalty make him an ideal companion,” tells Partha Sekhar Chatterjee, licensed judge of Kennel Club of India.

A beautiful dog in a small package

Lhasa Apsos are small breed dogs who are not very tall and the proportion of their length and height is almost 2:3. They measure 10-11 inches at shoulder. They have a dense, long, heavy and shiny coat with an undercoat. Their long coat serves as an insulation barrier, keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The coat grows to floor length, even covering the eyes, which are protected by long eyelashes. The texture of the coat is neither soft nor silky. A puppy starts developing coat between 4-6 months. “When they sit, you cannot distinguish between their head or tail,” says Kumud Singh. They have a healthy bushy tail which falls on one side of the waist line and is not hooked. Their eyes are covered with fur and the only thing that you can notice on their face is the tip of their nose. But, once a Lhasa looks into your eyes, you will be floored, such is the power and the charisma of this breed. Their eyes are simply adorable and the way they look at you is totally mesmerising. Their ears have a black outline.

“Their coat varies over a wide range of colours and shadings from black at one end of the spectrum to solid white at the other,” tells Partha Sekhar. They are found in a lot of colours – golden, tri-colour on white (black, brown and golden), liver, sandal and sable, etc. They have a long life of upto 16 years and weigh around 5.9-6.8 kg.

Lovable and adorable

“A Lhasa Apso is assertive, with even temperament. He is receptive to socialisation which is an invaluable part of the training of every dog,” tells Partha Sekhar. “If a Lhasa Apso is looked after well, they make adorable and loving family pets,” tells Kumud. These dogs are good for apartment living and are very active indoors. They are wary of strangers and don’t make friends very easily. They are intelligent and are good with children as well. They make excellent watchdogs with a loud, persistent bark, which gives the impression to intruders of a much larger dog.

They emanate an air of dignity and comedy at the same time. “A Lhasa Apso is a pleasure to keep as they fulfil all your emotions. They can be your children, your companion and your friend,” tells Kumud proudly.

Adopting a puppy

Kumud advises that it is better to adopt a 2-month-old Lhasa Apso puppy. They should be duly vaccinated, dewormed and fed properly. “The puppy should be handled moderately, included in family activities, and associated with pleasurable experiences at the hand of those who are now his family. In this way, he will not only learn to be responsive to human needs and ways, but will also learn the limitations that must be observed in his new lifestyle,” advises Partha Sekhar. “They are extremely playful and love to splash in water. However, they can fall sick and it should be avoided. Also, they love to put things into their mouth and care should be taken that they do not swallow things like plastic and polythene,” advises Kumud.

Keeping them fit and fine

They are easy to maintain as they are hardy and healthy. They love to go out for a walk and play games like fetching a ball, run around the free space, etc. “A regular walk is required to keep them healthy and happy,” tells Kumud. One thing that a Lhasa Apso owner should remember is that they thrive on love and we should shower them with it to keep them blooming.

Styling and hygiene

They are easy to groom. Comb their hair once a day to keep them silky and tangle-free. “A thorough grooming begins with a thorough brushing with the dog lying on his back or on a grooming table or on your lap. Begin by brushing the hair under his chin. Holding the hair in one hand, brush a layer forward with each brush stroke, making sure that each layer is brushed thoroughly right down to the skin. Proceed brushing the hair out one layer at a time down the length of his underbody to his hindquarters. Each time a layer is brushed out, brush it down to the skin. When the dog has been brushed thoroughly, use a comb to put in the part with the end tooth of the grooming comb with the dog standing,” tells Partha Sekhar. It is also important to keep their eyes clean as they are covered with fur. Use a cotton swab and water to clean them. A periodical check of ears is also required and so is to clean the areas between the paws digits.

Watch out for health problems

“They have minimum health problems if they are taken care of and inbreeding is avoided,” tells Kumud. Care needs to be taken of their eyes and ears. Kumud concludes that everybody should keep a pet as they serve as great emotional anchor and even children learn a lot of things from them. She, however, advises not to mix love with discipline and hygiene as this can later turn into problems which may lead to abandonment of pets.

(With inputs from Kumud Singh and Partha Sekhar Chatterjee. Kumud has been breeding Lhasa Apsos for the past 7 years. She can be contacted at 020-26853642 0r 9422316285. Partha Sekhar is a licensed judge of Kennel Club of India and has also bred and exhibited several breeds of dogs. He can be contacted at 033-23505877, 9830795502.)

My precious Pug

If you are looking for a cute and small dog, who will love and adore you, then Pug is the breed for you. Her dark melting eyes will make you forget your worries and her happy disposition will spread happiness all around.

Remember the popular Hutch advertisement, which had people gushing, of a small boy and his little four-legged buddy. The jingle ‘You and I, in this beautiful world…’ totally portrayed their love, adventure and the fun they were having in complete togetherness. The little dog and the boy stole a million hearts, the dog also was called, ‘The Hutch dog.’ That little sweet dog is a Pug, who follows everywhere with loyalty and love.

The Pug loves to please her master and is anxious to learn and love. All she needs is love and you will have a friend who will stay by your side even in your testing times.

The name comes from the Latin word ‘pugnus’, which means fist, a reference to the shape of the dog’s face. In order to communicate with humans, she makes a grunting nasal noise, similar to a pig. She will love to snuggle with you and will do anything to be close to you, thus loving you all the more.

Their charming looks, small manageable size, ease of care and their friendly and affectionate nature, make them a perfect family dog. Their square muscular body gives the impression of strength and Pug is the dog for all occasions.

General appearance

A Pug is decidedly square and cobby which means short bodied, thick and square. This muscular dog has a short, shiny coat. “Pug should give a strong impression of squareness when viewed from any angle. All the parts must fit together to form a harmonious unit. The most important concept to remember is square,” tells Mustafa Hussiani of Indane Kennels, Hyderabad.

The Pug head is one of their most important features. The head is large, massive, round and impressive. Her eyes are dark in colour, very large, bold and prominent, globular shape, soft and solicitous in expression. The ears are thin, small and soft like black velvet. The wrinkles on the Pug’s face around the eyes and nose contribute, along with its round deep brown eyes, to the Pug’s characteristic expression. And her tail is curled as tightly as possible over the hip. The tight and double curl tail is perfect.

They are available in a variety of colours such as black, apricot fawn or silver. The average height of these dogs is 12-14 inches while that of females is 10-12 inches. The average weight of dogs is 6-9 kg while that of females is 6-8 kg. Their life span is 12-15 years.

“They are ‘Multum in parvo,’ a lot of dog in a small space. They are the largest among the toy group. An ideal Pug must have a nice, round head with correct ear placement, good wrinkles on forehead, nice level topline, clear coat, tight double curbed tail, good front and hind angulations,” summarises Dr Ravi T of Aareltee Pugs, Karnataka.

Temperament

Pugs are happy go lucky, full of life and energy. They are little clowns with a terrific sense of humour. And by nature, Pugs love human company. They are loyal, affectionate and docile.

“They are little bundles of joy that fill your lives with immense amusement, fun, happiness and satisfaction,” says Dr. Ravi.

She is a very social dog and an excellent family pet. Though she will certainly become attached to her main caretaker, Pug is not a one-person dog and will befriend equally all the people in her family. She is playful and loving with children and gets along well with other pets in the family. “Pugs love being in the company of children as they are child like at heart themselves,” adds Dr. Ravi. But she requires a lot of love and attention and can become jealous if the owner ignores her. Since they are short-nosed dogs, they are prone to snoring. A Pug is not an outdoor dog. She doesn’t like dirty places.’“Pugs usually don’t like to sit or sleep in dirty place,” adds Hussiani. Also, they are very inquisitive and are wary of strangers.

Grooming

Brush your Pug regularly to remove shedding hair. One must clean the eyes and ears daily. Also, daily cleaning of facial wrinkles is a must. This breed is seasonally heavy shedder. “Fawn Pugs shed lot of hair because they have an undercoat of soft, downy hair, thus they tend to shed more than blacks. In addition to controlling shedding, regular brushing stimulates the dog’s skin to produce the natural oils that keep the Pug’s coat healthy and shiny,” says Hussiani.

Upkeep

She needs special care during hot humid weather due to the short nose. She should never be left out in the sun. Also, she cannot withstand hot or cold weather and should be kept indoors at comfortable temperatures. “Pugs need to be kept in a suitable temperature. They cannot tolerate extremes of temperature. The ideal temperature for them is between 20–25oC,” adds Dr. Ravi. One thing Pugs hate is to be put on a diet, food for her is the greatest pleasure in life, after being with her family. “But you must be careful to monitor your Pug’s diet, as she will generally eat whatever is in front of her and then go looking for more. For this reason, Pugs with indulgent owners can easily become obese — a condition that is not only unattractive but also extremely unhealthy,” tells Hussiani.

Bringing home a Pug puppy

“Before you bring home a Pug puppy, find a good veterinarian, who would help you take care of your pup. You will also need a few supplies: a crate and some soft bedding, food and water dishes and a supply of the food she was being fed in her previous home. Try to have these on hand before you bring your Pug puppy home so you can settle straight into enjoying her without having to run to the store. When you bring your Pug puppy home, she would want to wander and explore her new surroundings, and take frequent naps. The experience of moving to a new place with new people is stressful for your Pug puppy, so it is very important to let her have as much sleep as she needs and take her time adjusting. Keep visitors to a minimum first few days. Let your Pug puppy become secure in her relationship,” tells Hussiani. Hussiani further says that it is very important to follow her vaccination and deworming schedules. The puppy should not be given a bath or taken out for a walk before the vaccination schedule is complete. Body of the Pug puppy should be wiped and cleaned with a wet towel. “Puppies grow very rapidly and get hungry frequently. Hence, they should be properly fed,” he adds.

Exercise

A sensible exercise routine must be set for a Pug. “It is a good idea to walk your Pug 2-3 km daily,” says Dr. Ravi. Pugs like to play with children. “They also enjoy playing with other Pugs. And during that play, they want to catch the tail of front dog by chasing her,” tells Hussiani with a twinkle in his eyes. However, Dr. Ravi says that Pugs love to follow their owners. “Hence the Hutch ad is very apt (wherever you go our network follows),” he adds. Hussiani however gives a note of caution, “Since Pugs are short-nosed, you must be careful not to exercise them in the extreme heat as they can become overheated quickly. Set exercise time in the early morning.”

Health

Their major hereditary problems are eye, skin and hip related. They are prone to eye injuries and infections. They catch cold easily and are stressed by hot and cold weather. They are also prone to allergies and the short muzzle contributes to chronic breathing problems. Once you own a Pug, you can’t resist the temptation to have more. “My love for Pugs started as a passion and now they are my obsession,” says Dr. Ravi.

(With inputs from Dr. Ravi T, Ph?: 9845252010 and Mustafa Hussiani, Ph: 9849415894.)