Many parents get never-ending pleas from their children to adopt a dog, and one of the responses they give is “When you have your own home you’ll be able to do whatever you want”. One outcome of this sense of deprivation is that the moment these children do grow up and rent their first apartment, they rush to adopt a dog.
If you are one of those guys in their twenties who have recently been released from military service, there are some things that you should take into account before you take that step and adopt a dog:
– A dog is like a child; though caring for a dog is less intensive than caring for a child and though it is possible to leave a dog alone at home for a few hours at a time, the responsibility is long-term. Any time you want to leave home for more than nine hours, you will have to make arrangements for your dog to be taken out for a walk, to assure that he has food and water. Amongst young people, the element of spontaneity is often dominant and can clash with the responsibility towards your pet and the routine that caring for a dog demands.
– Many newly released soldiers take the same route, and immediately after demobilization, they look for work that will help them save money for their grand tour abroad. When they have earned the necessary funds, they have to find some organized place which will agree to accept their dog for a period of six months or even longer. So they provided the dog with a warm home and took care of it, but what now? The parents do not want to take a dog into their home, the friends are busy or going off on a long trip themselves, a boarding kennels for a long period of time will take up a huge chunk of their hard-won budget so there is no choice but to give the dog up for adoption.
– The apartment rental market in Israel is difficult, and many apartment owners add a clause in the rental agreements stipulating that keeping pets is prohibited in their property. In addition, young people in the 20-30 year age group tend to move apartments frequently, and sometimes they are forced to give away their dogs under pressure, just because the rental agreement for a reasonable apartment that they found at the last minute prohibits keeping animals.
– Finally, think about the dog’s needs: apart from being taken for walks and being trained, the dog needs veterinary care, food, toys and treatment against ticks and fleas. All of these cost a substantial amount of money that often is not readily available for young people and students who are employed in part-time or temporary jobs.
It is true that there are many young people out there who are ready to take on the kind of responsibility that raising a dog demands. No matter what, they will never give their dogs away, even if this means making compromises about their own comforts or reducing expenses during economically pressing times. On the other hand, many dogs are given to us by their owners who didn’t give enough thought to the long-term realities of raising a dog. These dogs are forced to live in dog pounds or shelters when they are already two or three years of age and have to compete for the attention of potential adopters against adorable puppies that are almost irresistible.
Finally, before you adopt a pet who will want to be your lifelong and faithful friend, please, think ahead. Take your own immediate and future plans into account and only then decide if you want to adopt an animal at this stage or if perhaps it is preferable to wait a little till your own life reaches a more stable stage.
To See the Final Picture
Fallen in love with a half-breed puppy? When he is fully grown, his size will affect the whole family
Most abandoned dogs that reach the various dog pounds and shelters are half-breeds, a great many of them puppies, and one cannot always tell exactly how they will look when they are fully grown. There are some indications that help us to assess more or less the height and weight of the adult dog, such as their paws in relation to the rest of their bodies, or their present physical size in comparison with other puppies their age. Such estimations can only be carried out on the basis of professional experience, and so many people who come to adopt such a dog have difficulty imagining the final size that the dog will reach and as a result, often err in their choice.
The size of the adult dog is one of the important points that a family with children should take into account. In cases when the parents are planning that the kids will take the dog out for walks, they should choose a dog of suitable dimensions, one that the children will be able to lead and not the other way around. In addition, it is important to know that larger dogs generally demand more exercise. A dog weighing 20 kilos in comparison with a child weighing 10 kilos more, does not add up to equal strength; a dog has greater muscle mass than a child, therefore the chances are that when the dog sees something interesting on the other side of the road, it will pull in that direction and it is not certain that the child will be able to stop it.
In such a situation, either the child will let go of the leash, putting the dog at risk crossing the street alone, or the child will fall and is liable to get hurt, or at least grazed, by the time the dog decides to come to a halt.
During my work as an adoption counselor in the SPCA, I have come across very many cases of families adopting puppies with only some rough idea as to their future size, and then, some months later, returning them to us on the grounds that they are too big. Therefore, I recommend that families wishing to adopt a dog take some parameters into consideration, such as who will be the principle care giver of the dog, the size of the home and of course, the time and energy that all members of the family are willing to devote to the dog.
We in the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel provide consultation at every adoption, both by means of adoption counselors, responsible for the adoption process, and also by our veterinarians. In other adoption cases, in order to prevent suffering both to the family and, especially, to the dog, we recommend applying for professional advice.
Main photo: Na’ama with her dog Laney at one-and-a-half months and at ten months old.
My Family and Other Animals
When adopting an animal, the whole family should be involved in the choice
Adopting a dog or cat brings, without doubt, a significant change in the family dynamics, affecting everyone. Even if one member of the family takes on the responsibility of being the main caretaker, the choice still has to suit all the others.
As a result of our wide experience in giving pets up for adoption, for many years now we, at the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel, have been operating proceedings titled “Responsible Adoption”. The goal of this process is to reach maximum compatibility between the dog or cat and the adopters so that the animal will be able to live in its new home for the rest of its life and will not be abandoned again for reasons of incompatibility. During the process, the adopters read and sign a special form and have a meeting with one of the Society’s adoption counselors, during which we check if the adopters are able to provide the animal with all its needs and if they understand the obligation and responsibility involved in adoption.
As a result of cases when dogs or cats were returned from adoption because one of those involved decided that the choice was not suitable, we decided that, in the case of animal adoption by a family or other persons, the whole family or all those involved should come to the Society to be an inseparable part of the selection process. Everyone has to meet the new animal, to see how they get on with it. In the case of dogs, they should ascertain that the size of the dog suits and that the children are able to take it out for walks, that no member of the family has any hesitation or fear, if the energies suit the style of the family, and so on.
Following are some points for consideration:
The responsibility lies with the parents’: Very often adopters come to us claiming that it really doesn’t make any difference to their partners which animal they choose. Following our insistence upon everyone joining the process, sometimes, when the partners do come to the Society, they end up choosing a different animal. Sometimes, fathers come along with their children and say that the mother agrees to adopt a pet. On many occasions, when the mother actually comes or talks to us by phone, we discover that she does not agree to raise a dog in the house at all. In other cases, following a routine conversation with an adoption counselor, the parents realize that it is not realistic to expect a small child to take care of all the pet’s needs by itself and that they, the parents are the ones who have to take responsibility. Then we ask them to take time to reconsider and decide if they really are ready to start the process.
Animals do not make good gifts: A dog is a pack animal and will try to find its place also within the family unit. There are dogs that get along very well with adults but would have difficulty accepting the authority of a six-year-old child. Imagine, for instance, a situation where parents surprise their child with a dog that he has wanted so much but, when they bring the dog home, it bares its teeth when the child wants to take away its ball. Involving the child in the adoption process will prevent such situations that are detrimental both to the child and the dog, that will probably be returned to the dog pound. On occasion people come to us with the intention of adopting an animal for a friend or relative as a birthday gift. Also in such cases, we insist that the recipient of the gift should come to the Society to choose the animal. This is not a case of a new shirt or pair of shoes that can be exchanged or put aside when the owner gets tired of it, but a pet that will accompany its owner for many years. The new owners are the ones who will have to take care of their pet’s specific requirements, will become attached to it, to its story and its personality, and will raise it for the rest of its life.
Animals and the elderly: A pet is a loyal lifelong friend who can contribute wonderfully to older people who spend much of their days alone. A pet will give them a reason to go out of the house to walk, it loves to be caressed and snuggle and provides an interesting topic of conversation. Sometimes people come to us wishing to adopt an animal for their grandmother or grandfather, but pick out a dog or cat to which they themselves are attracted and then, at home, they discover that the dog is too energetic or that the cat’s litter box is not welcome in the house.
We know that the adopters have only good intentions and we want to find warm homes for all the cats and dogs in the SPCA, but first and foremost, we take into consideration the welfare of the animal itself and assess if the new house is going to be suitable in the long run. As far as we are concerned, there is nothing more disappointing than an animal that is returned to the Society because the wrong choice was made and did not suit the adopters. So, if you are considering adopting a pet, please devote some time to the process, as it is one that will greatly affect your life. Consider the advantages and the disadvantages, check how much free time you have at your disposal, remember that the children will grow up and leave the house while the animal will still be there. Think about the possible destruction of household items and all the other consequences. Once you have made your decision, come to us as a full family delegation, take the dog for a walk or spend some time with the cat in the cats’ home, and until you all reach a consensus, don’t hurry to adopt your new pet.
Main photo: The complete Gal family (the parents Na’ama and Dani, and the children Dana and Itai) when adopting three-month-old Max, about one year ago.
And the Cat will Dwell with the Dog
You have a dog and are thinking of adopting a cat, or the other way around? Here are some tips that will shatter the myth
Many dogs enjoy chasing cats on the street. They are driven mainly by a strong hunting instinct, but when they reach the cat, the game is over. My dog, for instance, loves to make all the cats in the vicinity climb up the trees and then, when she has accomplished her mission, she comes back home, satisfied and happy. This does not prevent her from growing up in a house with two cats and living with them in perfect harmony.
If you are considering taking in a cat into your home, it is important to verify if your dog limits its enjoyment to displaying its hunting instinct, if it is, perhaps, totally indifferent towards cats, or, in the worst case – is aggressive towards cats, which will force you to abandon the idea of adopting a cat. Should your dog be indifferent to cats or social at a moderate, controllable level of enthusiasm, then you can bring a cat into your home.
In such a situation, it is advisable to bring a kitten so that it can learn to live with and accept the dog as an inseparable part of the household, and, more importantly, to protect the dog. An adult cat that comes into a new family and is under stress may take all its aggressions out on the dog and cause damage, the most problematic being a scratched eye. If you still want to adopt an adult cat, it is recommended to choose one that grew up with dogs or a breed with a quiet temperament such as a Persian or British cat.
If you are rearing a cat and have decided that you are ready to add a dog to your household, it is worthwhile taking the age of the cat into consideration. If the cat is ten years old, has never seen a dog and is a nervous type, it will probably take it a very long time to become accustomed, if it ever will. The ideal situation is when your cat is still a kitten that is still open and receptive to change and can grow accustomed to a dog. However, if your cat is fully grown then there are two optimal options: the first is to adopt an adult dog that grew up with cats or an adult dog that is indifferent to cats. This option suits mainly those who are not able to undertake raising a puppy. The second option is to adopt a puppy. A puppy is far more energetic, which may stress out the cat, but on the other hand, a puppy will learn to accept the cat and to live with it in equanimity.
It should be understood that in all cases of adoption there will be an acclimatization period during which it is not recommended to leave the dog and cat together in the same area without supervision. If you have taken a dog into your home, it is advisable to limit it to one defined area in the house, enabling the cat to wander freely around the rest of the house, and to do the opposite if you have brought a new cat to a home where a dog already lives. The interaction between them must be controlled and it is recommended to leave a leash on the dog when it is near the cat to enable you to control it quickly.
In the Shadow of the Sirens
Tips for looking after your pet during the sirens
In difficult times such as these, dogs and cats are also having a hard time. The noise of the sirens can cause them stress and anxiety or even behavioral changes. Following are a few tips to help you deal with your pets during the sirens.
1. Firstly, regarding dogs, one must avoid the natural instincts to comfort and stroke them. The dog might interpret this as positive reinforcement for his behavior and repeat his anxiety reactions. Take the dog with you, show him that you are confident and relaxed, don’t be angry with him and don’t punish him.
2. At times such as these, dogs and cats are liable to run away from the house in response to the noise of the bombs and sirens. To look after dogs and cats in high-risk areas, it is recommended to ensure that the house is closed and that our little friends cannot find any ways out. Take dogs out for walks only in the close vicinity of the house and with a leash. It is not recommended to let them run freely, not even for a short time, not even if the dogs asks to be let free. In addition, ensure that the dog has a microchip and that his and your details are up-to-date in the National Microchip Center, so that if he does run away, he can be more easily traced.
3. Try to take your pet to the shelter or protected areas with you. If the protected area nearest to you is a shelter or residential secure space, equip it with a little food and water, and in the case of cats – also a litter tray. Most cats will refuse to go into a cage within a short space of time and that will make it more difficult to take them with you to the shelter in real time. Prepare a comfortable and warm corner where the cat can curl up in a hidden place in the house. Let him hide and don’t call him out of his hiding place.
4. If your pet suffers greatly from anxiety and you have difficulty calming him, we recommend getting veterinary assistance.
In the light of the situation, we invite all residents of the South to bring their pets of every type, to our animal shelter at no charge – till the end of the military operation (on the basis of availability). Telephone for queries: *4553.
Hoping for secure and tranquil days in the very near future.
Thunder on a Cold Winter’s Night
How to diminish the anxiety level of dogs who are afraid of thunder
Many dog owners are familiar with the phenomenon: Winter approaches and with it thunderstorms, frightening dogs and causing them genuine panic attacks. The source of their fear can be traced to their sense of hearing, which is more highly developed than ours; they can dismantle sounds, hear things that we cannot even detect, or, to put it in general terms – every sound that humans hear, dogs hear with greater impact.
Our natural tendency as people is to stroke and comfort anyone we see in distress. When our dog hears loud thunder he usually comes to us for protection. Our instinct to comfort, to stroke, to say in soft tones that everything will be fine and to give a tasty treat to take his mind off the fear, actually perpetuates the fear. Our behavior constitutes positive reinforcement to the dog’s behavior and causes the dog to repeat this behavior in similar, future situations. When we pet the frightened (from thunder, lightning, Purim firecrackers, or fireworks on Independence Day) dog, we are actually reinforcing his anxious behavior.
How can we lessen the anxiety level of dogs?
Don’t ignore the problem. It is important to work with the dog, even if you feel that it will constitute an emotional burden for him. Exposure to noise will also improve the behavior of a mature dog.
Allow the dog to expend energy. When it rains we have a tendency to allow ourselves and our dogs to waive the normal, routine exercises resulting in all his pent-up energy being directed in other directions such as destruction, aggression, or, in this case – fear.
Try to accustom the dog to loud noises from an early age. In the case of dogs who are just a few months old, we recommended exposing them to loud noises such as thunder, firecrackers, buses, trucks, ambulance sirens and any other noise that we meet up with during the normal course of our lives (these sounds can be downloaded from the internet).
Try to act against your instincts, ignore the situation and allow your dog to get over the obstacle by itself.
After the Holidays – How to get back to your routine with a new dog?
Adopted a dog during the vacation and now that you are getting back to your routine, the problems are beginning to arise? Following are some tips to help your dog and your family to overcome the period of acclimatization
All year long the kids pressured you into adopting a dog and when summer vacation, or perhaps the holiday season, came – you gave in. The decision to adopt a pet during vacation time is indeed a wise decision both for all members of the family and for the animals: the kids played for hours on end with their pet, willingly took the dog out for walks, played with it, took care to feed it and the enthusiasm for the new member of the family was at its height. But now, with the return to routine, reality changes – the kids are at school in the mornings, afterwards they go to their extracurricular activities and to friends and they have much less free time.
It is important to understand that adapting to a new schedule is difficult for all parties, the children and parents who have to get up early and get ready for school and work and for the dogs who till now had been used to hanging out with his gang at home for hours every day.
So how can this difficult period be survived?
You should talk to the children and explain to them in a logical and mature manner that, though the dog might appear to be independent and not in need of being cared for at any given time, he is actually totally dependent on them. Should they not take him out for walks, he is liable to cause damage from boredom, will have to refrain from relieving himself which may lead to medical complications or alternately, will relieve himself in the house, which will lead to family tensions.
Division of responsibilities: It is advisable for all the family to get together and decide how to share the responsibilities of caring for the dog. It must be understood that a child, even a mature and responsible one, cannot take complete responsibility for the care of a dog. He needs help in taking the dog out for walks on occasion, otherwise things will reach crisis level sooner than expected. In order to make it easier on everyone, it is a good idea to draw up a weekly timetable, which will include the various tasks (three walks each day, feeding, combing, etc.) and to place it in a prominent position.
Gradual process: In order to help the dog to adjust to his new situation, try to do everything gradually. In the first few days, try to get home as early as possible and slowly, slowly to stretch the length of time that he is apart from you.
Some important tips:
1. You should avoid lengthy, heartrending farewells when leaving the house and over-enthusiastic reunions upon your return.,
2. Small routine acts that you are used to doing when leaving the house should be changed. For example, if the dog is used to seeing you put on your shoes when you are getting ready to go out, you could put on your shoes and stay in the house.
3. Try to adhere to a set routine as far as possible and maintain set times for meals and walks.
4. Your dog needs to expend his energy, therefore it is important to take him for a long and tiring outing before leaving him alone at home for hours.
This period of adjustment is an important and critical time for many families. Unfortunately, many do not succeed in getting through it and so they decide to give their dog away, something that affects him dramatically. If you do implement the above tips, consult with a professional dog trainer if necessary, and allow the dog and the children enough time for the necessary adjustment, you will gain another loyal family member.
Have you not yet adopted a friend? Come to our Society to find a dog or cat who will give you unconditional love at 159, Herzl Street, Tel Aviv. For further enquiries, please call: *4553.
It’s Not the Size that Matters
Residents of small apartments can adopt large dogs and live happily with them
Size doesn’t count? At least not in this instance, when referring to the size of your apartment in relation to the size of dog that you wish to adopt.
For the past four years I have served as an adoption counselor in the Society for the Protection of Animals in Israel, in addition to being a dog trainer. Countless times I have heard the words: “I have a small apartment and so I am looking for a small dog.” Not that I have anything against small dogs, but sadly to say, there are numerous amazing, calm, gentle and loveable dogs whose only sin in life is having been born “the wrong size”.
It is true that dogs must be given ample opportunity to release their energy and it is also true that larger dogs do, as a rule, need to be taken on longer walks, but so long as all their needs are satisfied, large dogs can live happily even in a small studio apartment. A happy and well-balanced dog is one who vents enough energy, whose needs are provided through discipline and appropriate work. Even if you live in a small apartment, so long as these requisites are provided, you will be able to enjoy life with a happy dog, who is well-balanced and relaxed and who will have no reason to tear apart your home, feel imprisoned or miserable.
In addition, there are other factors that should be taken into consideration when adopting a large dog, such as greater financial demands, deriving from the amount of food needed, the price differentials for inoculations and preventative treatments against ticks and fleas.
In addition, one should take into consideration the dog’s high levels of energy and the amount of time one has to invest in training and exercising the dog. Needless to say, if there are small children in the family, they will not be able to take the dog out for walks on their own.
We have some amazing larger dogs here in the Society who have been in the shelter for a long time, mainly because people are hesitant about keeping them in apartments. I call upon all those dog lovers to come and adopt them, to take them out for walks and of course, to give them the warmth and love they so desperately need. In this way you will gain a faithful friend for life.
Who is your Pedigree Dog?
Decided to adopt a pedigree dog? In order to prevent bitter disappointment it is recommended to become acquainted with the unique characteristics of the breed and ensure that you will be able to meet its needs
In recent years I have been an adoption counselor and dog trainer in the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel. In this capacity, and in accordance with the Society’s policies, I try to match up each dog with its new owners to the best of my ability so that the dog will be taken into a home that can meet its needs and take care of it throughout its life.
The dog is considered man’s best friend. Very quickly, it becomes a member of the family and fulfills a meaningful role in our lives, making the choice of which dog to adopt so important. Amongst those wishing to adopt a dog there are those who prefer thoroughbred dogs due to their particular affinity to a certain breed, their outward appearance or their exclusive pedigree. Adoption according to these parameters alone is likely to lead to bitter disappointment, both from the point of view of the owners and that of the dog, since many owners meet up with difficulties associated with providing the special needs of a particular breed and at some point or another, are forced to give the dog away.
There are hundreds of different breeds of dog in the world. Each breed has its own particular character due to its inherent qualities, and also an inclination to suffer certain genetic illnesses according to its breed. Nowadays, when dogs no longer fulfill their roles as were intended when their breed was developed and refined, owners must demonstrate increased responsibility in filling the unique needs of each breed. A Siberian Husky, for instance, is meant to pull sleighs in the snow. Future owners of such a dog must find ways to provide for these needs and take the dog out to use up enough energy in order for it to be a balanced and healthy dog. It is important to understand that adopting a dog on the basis of its outward appearance or its breed is likely to end unhappily and so it is imperative to learn about the selected breed, its temperament and distinctive characteristics, and seriously consider whether the dog is actually suited to its new owners, their home and way of life.
Most of the abandoned dogs in the various societies and municipal dog pounds are mongrels, generally considered healthier animals. In some cases it is possible to discern which breed is predominant while others have undergone generations of crossbreeding with mongrel parentage, making it difficult to tell from which breeds they originate. In these cases it is advisable to observe their behavior and to glean as much information as possible from the most recent owners or from the dog shelters’ adoption counselors.
As stated, the object of this article is not to encourage adoption of purebred dogs, but to provide important information to future adopters, which should be taken into account before bringing a dog home. Needless to say, not all breeds are mentioned in this article; I have chosen to carry out a summary and to write about the most popular breeds in Israel, which I have come across in my work.
History and Role: The Labrador is a descendant of hunting dogs, charged with locating fallen prey and bringing it back to its owners. Distinctive characteristics and unique abilities: With its amazing visual memory, the Labrador is able to remember the location of several fallen birds in different places. In addition to its ability to retrieve objects, the Labrador has a very soft bite. It doesn’t damage or hurt the prey as its bite is gentle, a characteristic that serves to relax its owners automatically when leaving these dogs in the company of small children. In addition, it is an especially active dog, agile, brimming over with self-confidence and stubborn. It is an excellent swimmer, capable of retrieving prey on land and sea, very balanced and almost never aggressive. It has a warm nature, making it a wonderful pet. Food for thought: A very intelligent dog that is quick to understand but must be strictly trained. The Labrador is considered an excellent family dog thatcan be can be trusted absolutely with children. On the other hand, one must realize that it is a large dog and most children will not be able to take it out on a walk. It is also very energetic, needing a great deal of activity, at least two or three hours of walking and playing each day. In the event that is does not get the required amount of activity, it turns into a small instrument of destruction in the home or yard.
History and Role: Like the Labrador, the Golden Retriever is a hunting dog whose role it is to retrieve fallen prey. Distinctive characteristics and unique abilities: Considered an excellent family dog thanks to its soft bite and balanced nature. The Golden is fast, energetic and active, has a highly developed sense of smell and will follow a trail with great determination. It excels in retrieving water fowl and has an excellent memory. It is totally devoid of aggression, seldom barks and is not suitable as a guard dog. It is gentle, intelligent, calm and balanced, making it an ideal pet. Food for thought: Golden Retrievers are popular, sociable dogs who don’t like to be left alone. When adopting them, it is important to take into consideration that they need a great deal of activity, at least two to three hours each day, otherwise they will exert their energy by wreaking havoc in the home.
History and Role: The Siberian Husky belongs to the Spitz family of dogs, originating in Siberia, where it pulled sleds in the snow. Distinctive characteristics and unique abilities: The Husky has a high endurance level, is very independent and has a tendency to wander off. As a pet it is very sociable and expresses affection readily. It is not a good guard dog because strangers do not worry it. This breed is generally not aggressive towards other dogs but requires strict, tough training. Food for thought: It can’t be denied, it is a beautiful, impressive dog to whom one cannot remain indifferent. On the other hand, it is not easy to raise and there are dog-trainers who will claim that it is one of the most challenging breeds. The Husky, who was intended for wide open spaces, needs a lot of activity and will be most frustrated if locked up in a closed house. It has a tendency to wail like a jackal and to cause quite a lot of problems with the neighbors. In addition, it is inclined to wander off and run away so one has to be particularly careful and alert regarding its whereabouts.
History and Role: The Pincher originated in Germany and makes a good guard dog. Distinctive characteristics and unique abilities: The Pincher is a suitable and balanced family dog, very alert and an excellent guard dog. Though it is small in size, and couldn’t do much damage should it attack, its main role is to give a warning signal by barking when someone threatens its “pack”. It is full of energy, clean, easygoing, sociable, loves to play, is great with kids and can be the perfect playmate. Food for thought: It is a small dog, suitable for apartment living, but still needs to release its pent up energy and to go for walks. Despite its size, it is recommended to have it trained and to establish limits and discipline. In addition, the Pincher has a great tendency to bark and upset the neighbors.
History and Role: The German Shepherd is the most popular dog in the world today, thanks to its beauty and abilities. It is used as an explosives detection dog, rescue dog, guard dog, and of course, as a loyal pet. Distinctive characteristics and unique abilities: Alert, balanced, self-confident, brave and with highly developed attack instincts. On the other hand, it is very obedient, and can always be relied on to be loyal to its owners. It has an excellent sense of smell and is most enthusiastic about working for and pleasing its owners. For this reason it can be trained to a very high level. Food for thought: A very active dog that needs a huge amount of space to release its energy. It doesn’t like to be left alone and cannot bear to be closed up all day long. This doesn’t mean that it cannot be reared in an apartment, but if that is the case, it will need long and tiring walks. Due to its nature, it is recommended to begin training at an early age and to establish who the dominant figure is, right from the start. It is important to understand that this is a highly capable working dog, and mistakes in its education or lack of opportunity to release its pent-up energy, can lead to aggression and to an uncontrollable pet.
History and Role: The Pekinese originally came from China where it was kept by the Emperors who believed that it would look after them in the next world. Today this dog is generally used as a pet and companion. Distinctive characteristics and unique abilities: Independent dog, willful and very attached to its owners. Not always patient with children and distant with strangers. The Pekinese barks a great deal and can be an excellent guard dog. Food for thought: It is important to remember that its small size does not necessarily make it suitable as a family dog. It has no patience for children and will not hesitate to bite should they test it beyond its limits. It must live within the house, is not particularly energetic and will be satisfied with short walks. Its flattened facial structure makes it difficult for it to breathe and cool itself and so it is important not to let it out during the hot, summer hours. In addition, it is important to comb its hair daily and to prevent the hair getting into its eyes by keeping it trimmed.
History and Role: This breed originated in France and was initially used as a hunting dog for water fowl such as ducks and geese. Over the years it underwent evolutionary adaptations and was bred in four different sizes, amongst them the toy and miniature poodles that were mainly the dogs that sat on the laps of the noble ladies of those times. Distinctive characteristics and unique abilities: The poodle is a very active animal, sociable, full of life, athletic and intelligent. It is particularly loyal but is liable to be most possessive. It adapts easily, has an easy-going nature and can be a wonderful pet. It is still a hunting dog in its genes, quite a good swimmer and uses its good sense of smell to quite an extent. Food for thought: An energetic and bouncy dog, needing a lot of activity. It is important to note that if it is not strictly educated and trained, it may develop behavior problems. One great advantage for many owners is the fact that the poodle is extremely clean and does not shed its hair at all, but on the other hand, it requires combing at least twice a week and haircuts every two months.
History and Role: The origins of this breed are, needless to say, in France, where it was used as a guard-dog, and has therefore a strong inclination towards guarding. It is a small dog but built with strong body mass and muscle. Distinctive characteristics and unique abilities: Active, courageous, tough and with very strong will-power. It can also be very friendly, intelligent and easy-natured. Needs a lot of affection, warmth and love. Food for thought: Gentle towards children, though generally aggressive towards other dogs. The biggest disadvantage of this breed is possible health problems; it has a very small, flattened nose causing difficulty in breathing, particularly while taking longs walks in hot weather. It is recommended to take note and keep a watch out for eye infections and bald patches that might appear in the creases of the face.
History and Role: Cockers are skilled hunters, hunting mainly birds and rabbits. Distinctive characteristics and unique abilities: Cockers have a highly developed sense of smell giving them a great deal of motivation as well as ability to detect game even from a distance of many meters. The American Cocker is a more easy-going breed, more compact, balanced and patient, and is often used as a show dog or as a companion and less as a hunting dog. The English Cocker is more active, energetic, independent and stubborn, with a highly developed hunting instinct, happy and full of life. It is strong-willed and determined but also very affectionate and gentle. Food for thought: Both the English and American Cockers can live in apartments but they need to be taken out for walks on a regular basis in order to let off steam. Attention must be paid to their long ears which should be checked regularly. Since it is an independent and stubborn dog, it is not always willing to do as it is told and has a tendency to bite, so one must be cautious around children.
History and Role: Originating in Germany, its role was to protect its owners and to attack wild animals, making it a good protecting and guard dog. Distinctive characteristics and unique abilities: The Boxer is energetic, agile, domineering and fearless when it comes to defending its owners. Most Boxers are very sociable animals, forming strong bonds with their owners and remaining loyal at any price. Food for thought: This is a large dog with an athletic, muscular build, making it important to begin training at an early age. Boxers remain energetic all their lives therefore they require a great deal of physical exercise.
Jack Russell Terrier
History and Role: Originating in England and named after the man who developed this breed. The objective was to raise a hunting dog that could chase foxes and run into their long and narrow caves in order to root them out. Distinctive characteristics and unique abilities: A rough type of dog, full of life, fearless and independent, stubborn and strong-willed. As a pet, it is very affectionate and extremely loyal to its owners, and this desire to please makes training relatively easy. Food for thought: It is important to understand that this is one of the more intelligent breeds and so it needs to be with someone who will challenge it. Though small, it is highly energetic and bouncy, needing a great deal of physical exercise, long walks and, of course, discipline. Since the hunting drive is deeply ingrained in its character, it is not advisable to bring it into a house where there are rabbits and guinea pigs.
History and Role: Originating in China, where it served as a guard dog, fighting dog, hunting dog (particularly of wild boar) and also as a herding dog. Distinctive characteristics and unique abilities: Very domineering, might be aggressive towards other dogs and strangers. With its owner, on the other hand, it is easy going and most affectionate. Food for thought: The Shar Pei is suspicious of strangers, has a highly developed guarding instinct, meaning that it is likely to attack should a stranger enter its territory. Requires strict, though kind, training and, providing it gets enough exercise, it can be raised in an apartment. Its outward appearance is very special and attractive, but it is important to take into account that if one does not keep it clean and take care of its excess skin and wrinkles, serious skin conditions are liable to develop, accompanied by severe body odor.
History and Role: There are many types of terriers, most of them small hunting dogs intended to hunt rabbits, foxes and even rats. Distinctive characteristics and unique abilities: Energetic, bouncy, full of life and smart. Dogs of this breed are in demand mainly because of their easy- going natures, their patience with children and their type of hair which rarely sheds. Food for thought: Good family dogs, who adapt easily to life in an apartment on condition that they get enough exercise. These dogs, that often enjoy their owners’ inclination to spoil them, need training and establishing of clear boundaries. Their coats should be cared for, combed twice a week and cut every few months, or at least tied into a topknot to prevent the hair from getting into their eyes.
History and Role: Originating in Germany it is actually a result of multiple crossbreeding with highly developed guarding and fighting instincts. Distinctive characteristics and unique abilities: The Doberman is fearless and will not hesitate to protect its territory and its owners. It is blindly loyal to its owners, full of life, courageous, energetic, determined, and may act impulsively, unless this tendency is curbed. This can be achieved by the owners being relaxed, gentle but assertive. Food for thought: Not everyone can raise a Doberman. It is important to start training at an early age and to show it who is the boss. One must take into account that the Doberman is wary of strangers and has a highly developed guarding instinct, even when it is intended only as a pet. It is a very emotional dog that does not like conflicts, needs walks and cannot bear to be tied up in a yard.
History and Role: Herding dog originating in England, whose role it was to protect and gather the flock. Distinctive characteristics and unique abilities: Very energetic, determined and naturally gentle. Though it is a working dog with very strong and dominant genes, it is loyal to its owners and easy to train due to its high intelligence. It takes an interest in strangers but is not generally aggressive, has an excellent sense of smell but has a greater tendency to use its sense of sight. With the flock it mainly looks at the sheep and hypnotizes them with its stare when they stray from the herd. Food for thought: Charming, intelligent and a distinctively beautiful dog. However, it is preferable to let it remain a herding dog and not bring it to live with a city family that cannot supply its particular needs. It is virtually impossible to root out the herding dog instinct from the Border Collie, making the adjustment to city life very difficult. It can be a good family dog but one should be aware that if the need to exert a lot of energy is not satisfied, the dog is liable to destroy the house. It tends to chase after bicycles or cats, and almost anything that moves fast is likely to knock it off balance and make it want to catch it. In the absence of a flock, it can herd the children into a group.
Everything you wanted to know about the microchip and its significance
The Society’s veterinarian, Dr. Ayah Peri, in a video dedicated to the electronic microchip, which must, by law, be inserted in all dogs who reach the age of three months. Dr. Peri shows what the microchip looks like, clarifies its significance, demonstrates how it is inserted in the dog and explains the importance of keeping the dog owner’s details updated in the National Microchip Center.