Abundant energy, love & intelligence!!

All those who are blessed with a pooch would definitely agree that pooches are more thanEditorial smart – not only in their looks and mannerisms but also emotionally and intellectually. They know when we are home, they are there to greet us at the door. They know when and how to plead to get their favourite treat or a walk down the street. They keep us on our toes and teach us not to be lazy.

These tailwaggers know when we are happy; they know when we are sad. They somehow know when we need their company and when we need to be left alone. They can actually gauge our emotions and act accordingly. They never hesitate to lick our tears or to wag their tails in our joys.

They are the first ones to know when our home is in danger, and also the first one to try save us from that mishap…. We are their family and they would do anything to protect us from the looming danger.

Dogs can be a guide and a helping hand to people who are physically challenged; they are a source of peace and joy for the mentally challenged. They bring in new hopes for the sick and unhappy. Then, there are working dogs who help nab criminals and find bombs, besides helping in rescue operations in case of disasters like earthquakes, tsunami, wars, etc.

Pooches even help children in enhancing their reading abilities. They are truly a blessing to a child who is growing up, he learns so many lessons of life from his little friend – love, compassion, care, companionship, to name a few.

We can train our pooches to do many tricks, which makes others look at them with awe. More recently, three SPCA (Auckland) rescue dogs, Monty, Porter and Ginny, got behind the wheel of a MINI Countryman Cooper S and proved you can teach old dog new tricks.

In fact, our pooches are smarter than we can think of…they are a source of abundant energy, love and intelligence. No doubt, we say, “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”


Energy, excitement and exuberance…

Recently- I met Bakhtawar – a mischievous Lab – all of four months. The moment he Editorialstepped in our house, there was excitement, shrieks, endless energy and tonnes of chaos. Kids were scrambling to entertain Bakhtawar – and our bundle of fun and energy had only one thing on mind – how do I have more fun? Water was spilled from the bowl and our guest of honour merrily plonked himself in it. The amazing part is he would rest – all for 30 seconds – and then become a WHIRLWIND again. He was around the house and we after him. He actually left everyone enamoured, entertained and exhausted. Our Tornado Bakku (that’s what his parents call him) – reminded me of Sparkle when he was about the same age. Sparkle, perhaps, thought that he was a rocket – his main mission was to zoom from one room to another.

Puppies/dogs show us what’s best in life – and simply how to enjoy and have fun each second. So, here’s to our Precious Paws – take great care of them – spend quality time, find the right trainer, groomer, veterinarian…but before that choose your paw-member from a reputed and reliable source.

Summer is in and your pooches need extra care and attention, take good care of his coat. You will need the assistance of a groomer to keep him sparkling.

When it comes to celebrations and good times, there are a plethora of options to choose from. Check out our article titled ‘We like to pawrty’ where one can spend precious moments and mostly have a great time together. Take him out – travel with him… don’t worry, many destinations are now becoming pet friendly. I was pleasantly surprised when a resort near Mussoorie told me ‘PETS ARE MOST WELCOME’… the same question five years back had a different revert. Things are changing fast, so check out the places you wish to visit, who knows they actually welcome pooches. Plan well and carry all the necessary items and just ensure that wherever you go, keep the place clean. If you are relocating to another country- hang in to take assistance of professionals to help your pet relocate – read our articles on Pet Travel.

Today, pampering has so many new ways you can get picture perfect memories framed… there are professional photographers to get the right click.

We at Dogs & Pups are also very excited and happy. Like Sparkle – we are zooming towards completing eight years with our next issue- July-August 2012. It’s been excellent eight years of Responsible Pet Parenting- and with every issue we look forward to making it more informative and interactive. Do join us in our weekly contests on facebook, sniff us on your i-pad, check out different categories on our website, e-magazine, subscribe us online.

A heartfelt thanks from all of us here for making this journey so special with your feedback and appreciation which we receive. Sparkle says, do write in….


breed profile

Belgian Shepherds: huge bundles of energy

Strong, powerful, intelligent and hyperactive – a Belgian Shepherd is an awesome combination of good looks and intelligence. They will follow you like a shadow but yet have a mind of their own. Loving and lovable, this breed will literally keep you on your toes – you can never put on fat if you have a Belgian at home!

The strong persona…

As the name suggests, Belgian Shepherd originated from Belgium and is a member of the Herding Group (FCIbreed profile 1 Group). Belgian Shepherd is a medium sized dog with harmonious proportions, fitting into a square – rustic, dry strong muscle, combines elegance and power. Their height from the ground to top of the withers is equal to its length. They carry their head high and have a rectilinear, dry and well chiseled. Their eyes are medium sized, dark and slightly almond-shaped. They give a direct, intelligent, lively and inquirer looks. While, their ears are triangular, rather small, highly set and carried upright when the dog is attentive.

The height of the male Belgian Shepherd is 62 – 66 cm while that of female is 58 – 62 cm and they weigh around 25-30 kg and 20-25 kg respectively.

There are four varieties of Belgian Shepherd – black, long haired Groenendael (tolerance little white mark at front), long haired fawn or grey with a black mask Tervueren, rough wire fawn coat with black mask Lakenois and short fawn coat with black mask Malinois.

Active and intelligent…

Belgian Shepherds are highly intelligent, sensitive and alert dogs. They have a lively temper and high energy level and so they hate inactivity. They have strong territorial and protective instincts. They have a big, loving heart and need a family to love. Although they can live at home with other dogs and animals, adult males could have a problem with accepting each other.

A lot of Belgians live with children, but children have to be considerate towards them! Any dog, particularly large, active breed shouldn’t be left alone without supervision of adults with small children.

Tips for pet parents

  • Pet parent for Belgian Shepherd is not a master-he is a partner.
  • If you are nervous or impatient, do not bring home a Belgian.
  • If you have to go out and leave your dog alone for few hours, remember to walk your dog before leaving. Give toys and snacks to make it interesting in your absence.
  • Always buy a puppy from reliable breeder. Tell the breeder about your lifestyle and plans connected with dog – he will help you to choose a puppy with right character suitable for your experience and expectations. Keep a contact with your breeder when your puppy is home.
  • Before you’ll decide for Belgian Shepherd, find out as much as you can about the breed, talk with breeders. Think over whether you will be ready to meet the needs of your Belgian every day by next 14-16 years.

Training & socialisation… a must

Quick in reactions and excitable are not easy for inexperienced owners. Since they are distrustful in contact with strangers, they need socialisation from an early age. Belgians need early socialisation to grow up for well-balanced and self-confident dog.

Besides, they need training otherwise they can be nervous or dominant. They do not tolerate violence and pressure in training. Belgians are very smart; you have to be smarter and more resourceful than them. They learn quickly both good and bad things and changing bad habits is not easy! Well trained, they create very strong relationship with their pet parents.

They love to learn and are masters in most of dog sports. Though originally they worked as pastoral dogs guarded sheep, but they now work as police dogs, rescue dogs and even guide-dogs.

Life with Belgians…

Life with Belgians is never boring. Every day, they can surprise you with their crazy antics, so it is important to have a good sense of humour when living with them. They need to live with their human family and like a shadow, follow them everywhere. Isolation makes them unhappy. They are excellent family dogs, but are not suitable for all people. Their temper and energy makes them very demanding, and they need a lot of occupation – not just physical exercises but also mental training. Else Belgians will be frustrated and bored and will find entertainment on his own, usually destroying everything around. Hence, this is a breed for active people, who like to spend time with dogs and train them with positive methods.

Exercise… any time is good time

This is very active breed so every kind of dog activities like flyball, obedience, tracking, defence (especially malinois); trekking will be suitable for them. In fact, it is difficult to define how much time they need for their exercise and emotional needs. After intensive walk, they will take a rest and sleep, but once you give a small signal, they will be ready again to accompany you for more exercises.

Grooming is easy

Despite long hair, grooming is not very time consuming. Brushing regularly and bathing when required – is all it takes to maintain his coat. Frequency of molting depends on sex of the breed. Males lose only undercoat once per year, while females change their coat twice in a year. In this period, dog should be brushed every day to remove dead hair.

Healthy and long lived

Belgians are very healthy and long lived breed; they usually live for 13-16 years. Most common ailments include cut paws and abrasion while the most serious disease is idiopatic epilepsy.

(Iwona Hernas is a fancier, breeder and handler of Belgian Shepherds. She breeds Groenendaels or Belgian Shepherd Dogs under her kennel named Di Trevi in Poland –

breed profile

Jack Russell Terrier: A ball of energy

Jack Russell Terriers change your life…completely. They give your life a purpose, entertain you and create focus in your lives…what more can you ask for? Katies kids

breed profile

Your life will never be the same when you choose a Jack Russell as a companion. They are a great match and meaningful addition for humans who are intelligent and outgoing. We have had Jack Russells for over ten years and enjoy their spirit and vigour. And believe me, they have brought so many human people to our world. They have introduced us to people with similar likes and desires. They really are there for you…always!

The descent…

The Jack Russell Terrier of America recognizes and registers a type of working terrier that is 10” to 15” tall at the shoulder. They were originally bred in England to aid in fox hunting by bolting the fox from the ground, and to serve as rodent and vermin control around the homes and farms.

Small but robust…

Jack Russell Terriers are big dogs in a little package. They are robust and hardy. Strong and intuitive, they have bright eyes and a determined nature.

The colour variations…

The Jack Russell Terrier can have three types of coats- smooth, broken and rough, each with an insulating undercoat and harsh element resistant outer coat. They have following colour variations – white, tan and white, black and white, and tri colour- black, brown and white. All the colour variations must be at least 51 percent white so he can be distinguished when running in the field.

Basic instincts…Love to play

Jack Russell Terriers are a working breed and their job is hunting. Because of their nature, they are tenacious and active. They enjoy being busy, and their working instincts can be channelled to projects such as agility, flyball, racing, therapy work, and yes, they can be your active companions.

Living with them…

Jack Russell terriers are extremely intelligent. They require strict rules and constant supervision. They enjoy being with their human partners. They can be trained to be comfortable in many environments. But they are also excellent at training people and pet parents must always maintain their alpha position.

It is better to have a sole Jack Russell Terrier or opposite sex pair as they do not do well in same sex pairs, or in groups larger than two, unless strictly supervised.

Jack Russell Terriers and children must both be supervised. If children are well behaved, and interact appropriately, the terrier will be well behaved and form excellent companions. All humans need to be mindful of not teasing the terrier, purposely or unintentionally. Games such as chase, tug of war or keep away are not recommended.

Perhaps the best and the worst quality of a Jack Russell Terrier is their extreme intelligence and outgoing personality. Their ability to play mind games and keep up with everyone’s physical activity makes them a challenging and versatile companion!

Love to exercise…

Jack Russells love exercise and can rarely be exhausted. They love ball retriveal, hiking, running, and being active. Almost as important as the physical exercise is the mental exercise and they need to be stimulated, challenged and kept busy at all times.

Pup care…

Jack Russell Terrier puppies do best when kept with their pet parents as close as possible the first year. It is important to praise the good dog and arrange your home and life to eliminate the opportunity for him to be a bad dog. Misbehaviour is usually the fault of the human the first year. The firmest punishment you can give him is ignoring him when in trouble and removing the situation. Proper and varied confinement is important to provide control as well as training.

Low maintenance breed…

Jack Russell Terriers have excellent, all weather, low maintenance coats. They can be brushed when desired. Rough coats can be clipped or groomed. They need their toenails trimmed every few weeks, and clean teeth can be maintained with safe chew bones, or brushing.

Hereditary problems…

Jack Russell Terriers can be prone to deafness as is common with many other white coloured breeds of dogs. This can be tested and eliminated by annual eye exams as promoted by the CERF foundation.

(Sue Anne Wilson has been involved with Jack Russell Terriers for over 12 years and support the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America. She hosts two JRTCA sanctioned trials each year bringing together over 200 terriers and their human companions for a weekend of fun and games.)