Dog breeds

DUTCH DOG BREEDS | Lifestyles

I like to see different types of dogs on my travels. The Netherlands, which I visited last month, is home to several interesting dog breeds, some of which are beginning to be seen in North America; others are well established. Here’s a primer if you see one in your neighborhood.

In Dutch, the word “stabijhoun” means “rescue dog”, and they are indeed dogs that like to be close to their people, says Ari Goerlich, DVM, who lives with his own stabyhoun, as the name of the breed l ‘is. spelled in the United States. “They are very cuddly. I love their combination of sensitivity, willpower and intelligence.

The medium-sized staby is distinguished by a solid black head, black-and-white body, and white-tipped tail.

The kooikerhondje – kooiker for short, pronounced “koy-ker” – has a lovely silky white and red coat accented by black “earring” tassels, a feathery white tail, and a lively, affectionate character. Sensitive and intelligent, spaniel-type dogs, originally bred to attract ducks, guard houses and kill vermin, are highly trainable and devoted to their families. They are not for beginners with dogs, however.

“The kooiker can be a bit fierce when alert to strangers and impulsive when its prey is engaged,” says Betty Dalke Wathne, who has had kooikers for nine years and currently lives with two of them.

For best results with this affectionate and athletic dog, a family should have some experience with dogs and be willing to commit time to consistent, positive training, providing them with regular mental and physical challenges.

Dogs resembling the markiesje (pronounced “mar-kees-juh”) are often seen in Dutch paintings dating as far back as the 17th century, but the dogs weren’t really developed and recognized as a distinct breed until 20th century. Romantically nicknamed the Dutch Tulip Hound, or sometimes the Black Pearl, the Markiesje is a small, elegant spaniel with a silky, medium-length coat in solid black or black with white markings, and feathering on the ears, tail and neck. back of the legs. Cheerful and curious, he enjoys spending time with his people.

Whether in police and military circles, on farms, or on the dog sports scene, the Dutch Shepherd is a rising star. In appearance, the breed is distinguished from German Shepherds and Belgian Shepherds by a brindle coat, as well as other physical characteristics. Originally, all-purpose dogs not only herded sheep, but also worked as guide dogs, police dogs, and in search and rescue, all areas where they still excel today.

Dutch people are busy, busy, busy and need someone who can keep up with their intelligence and high activity level. Owner Robin Greubel says: “They need a job or they’ll invent one you don’t like. They also require a level of situational awareness that most people aren’t ready to experience on a day-to-day basis. »

Also known as the Dutch barge dog, Keeshonden (plural) acted as a guard dog on barges transporting goods on the canals. As befits their status as watchdogs, Keeshondens are barkers, which is important to know before acquiring one. The Smiling Dutchman is another nickname for this fluffy spitz breed. Compact dogs have a double coat in a mix of gray, black, and cream, with small, dark, pointed ears; cream colored legs and feet; a lion-like frill; a feathered tail that curls over the back and has a flippant black tip; and distinctive “glasses”, markings and shades around the eyes that make them look like glasses, giving them a “smart dog” expression. A thick rump and hind legs give the Keeshond the appearance of wearing pants.

Watch out for hairballs

Q: My cat is constantly throwing up hairballs and I’m tired of stepping on them. Is there a solution?

A: Hairballs – aka trichobezoars – are sticky, sticky, cigar-shaped clumps of fur that result from feline grooming habits.

Cats clean themselves by licking their fur with their rough tongues. The tongue catches loose hair, and there is only one way to go after it – through the hatch and into the stomach. But the hair is indigestible, and eventually forms a clump, your cat has a hack attack — usually in the middle of the night when you’re trying to sleep — and then you step on it because it melts into the carpet.

But hairballs don’t have to be a part of life with a cat. Diet and grooming can both help prevent them. Regular canned pumpkin — not pumpkin pie filling — is high in fiber and helps swallowed hair work its way through the digestive system rather than riding up and down on your carpet. Regularly offer your cat a teaspoon of pumpkin mixed with canned food or a tasty liquid like water from a can of tuna or clams.

Some cat foods are formulated with high levels of fiber to help reduce the incidence of hairballs. You can also offer treats or anti-hairball gels. The gels, which work by lubricating the hairs in the digestive tract so they don’t form clumps, should not be given if you are already giving a hairball control food.

Daily brushing is the best, easiest and most natural way to prevent hairballs. Brushing removes loose and dead hair, reducing the amount of hair your cat can swallow while grooming.

Sometimes hairballs, or what looks like hairballs, are bad news. They can signal conditions ranging from asthma to heartworm disease. Learn more here: fearfreehappyhomes.com/hairballs. — Dr. Marty Becker

Do you have a question about pets? Send it to askpetconnection@gmail.com or visit Facebook.com/DrMartyBecker.

Budget bill helps vets and pet owners

• Veterinarians and pet owners are benefiting from the recent spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Biden. It increases funding for the Loan Repayment Program for Veterinarians, which helps veterinarians repay their student loans in exchange for practicing in areas where veterinarians are in short supply. The Veterinary Services Grant Program received an additional $500,000 to provide grants for the development, implementation and maintenance of veterinary services in rural areas. And $1 million for the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will enhance oversight of imported dogs. It also includes funds for veterinary diagnostic programs at the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, which will open this year in Manhattan, Kansas.

• Did you wash your pet’s food and water dishes today? A recent study from North Carolina State University found that less than 5% of survey respondents followed FDA guidelines for handling and storing pet food, which include washing hands before and after eating. and washing bowls and utensils with hot water and soap after each use. Lack of hygiene puts animals and humans, especially children or immunocompromised people, at risk of disease after exposure to feed contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. The FDA has more information on buying, handling, and storing pet food here: fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/tips-safe-handling-pet-food-and-treats .

— Dust baths, hay and a secure multi-level habitat are essential for chinchilla happiness. Chins are entertaining little companions, but have special needs. Special chinchilla dust, available at pet stores, keeps their coats from becoming greasy or matted and helps prevent respiratory and eye irritation. Besides commercial food pellets, they need good quality hay, leafy greens and occasionally small amounts of dried apples or sunflower seeds as treats. Finally, a good chinchilla habitat has multiple levels with hiding places, a plastic bottom to protect the legs, and shredded paper, wood pulp, or pine shavings for bedding. — Dr. Marty Becker, Kim Campbell Thornton and Mikkel Becker

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