The Swedish Vallhund dog is a happy-go-lucky dog who has only recently gained popularity in the U.S. Here, we’re more familiar with his cousin, the Corgi.

Ideally, with his activity level, the Swedish Vallhund would do well on a farm. However, if you keep him busy enough, he can also make a great pet.

Swedish Vallhund dog outdoors

Temperament

Something important to note about the Swedish Vallhund temperament is that it’s not for everyone.

For one thing, he likes to bark. No one is immune, from the mail delivery person to the dog next door.

For another, this is not the kind of dog you get if you’re lazy. He has a high energy level, and he will go out of his mind if not given a task to do.

Grooming

The Swedish Vallhund does well with the occasional brushing that gets right down to the skin.

They also shed their undercoats twice a year. You may want to give them a bath at this time to help remove the excess hair. Shampoo and blow dry, then brush.

Swedish Vallhunds only really need baths when they get dirty.

Training

Training a Swedish Vallhund is relatively easy. That’s because this is one of those breeds that has a strong desire to please you.

The first thing you may want to work on with him is when it is okay to bark. Train him to bark when necessary, not at every leaf or blade of glass that moves.

As with any breed, be firm and consistent. Try to use praise more than treats to prevent overeating and weight gain.

Health of a Swedish Vallhund

Because the Swedish Vallhund is a smaller dog, he has a longer lifespan – about 12 to 15 years.

Some common health concerns that can plague the breed include hip dysplasia and eye disease.

Specifically, Swedish Vallhunds can suffer from retinopathy, which is hereditary and can lead to blindness.

You also have to be on the lookout for obesity with this breed. Despite the exercise they get, it is rather easy for a Swedish Vallhund to become overweight.

One way to combat this is to avoid giving your dog treats as rewards for training. You can also double-check that you are feeding him the recommended food and amount of food.

Don’t let your dog graze. It’s not healthy, and it’s almost impossible to determine whether your dog is eating well or whether he’s slowed down because he’s sick.

Finding the Perfect Swedish Vallhund Puppy

Whether you decide to buy a puppy, or you’re interested in a Swedish Vallhund adoption, you always need to do your research.

When buying a puppy, a good breeder is more likely to lead to a good puppy. Research before you buy! You can use the breeder finder on the American Kennel Club’s website to find recommended breeders in your area.

Avoid going through websites that promise to ship you the puppy. You never know what you are truly getting. Meeting the puppy – better yet, the litter – first is your best bet.

Swedish Vallhund Puppies For Sale

On average, you should expect to pay between $700 and $900 for a Swedish Vallhund puppy. Of course, if you choose to adopt, those fees are drastically less.

An average adoption should cost you about $150. This covers the cost of neutering and any outstanding shots the dog may need before being adopted.

Swedish Vallhund Rescue

When it comes to adoption, sure everyone wants a brand new puppy. However, there are more adult dogs waiting for love, and everyone passes them over.

If you’re in the market for a Swedish Vallhund, consider adopting an adult dog. If you think you can handle it, adopting a senior is even better. Just be aware of the extra costs that can come from the medical care they require.

Adopting an adult Swedish Vallhund has its perks. For one thing, adult dogs are more than likely housebroken, so that’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about.

Though adopting a puppy means that you start with a clean slate. You don’t have to worry about breaking them of bad behaviors they may have learned from their former owners.

Swedish Vallhund Breeders

You can tell a good Swedish Vallhund breeder by the certifications they carry.

If they have proof that the dog has been checked and cleared for conditions that plague his breed, then that breeder has done their homework.

When you buy a dog from a breeder you don’t know, a puppy mill, or any other disreputable source, you have no idea what you’re getting. The dog may be sick or aggressive. There’s no way to know until it’s too late.

Make sure you do your research before you buy a Swedish Vallhund – especially if you’re buying a more expensive puppy.

A Final Word about the Swedish Vallhund

If you’re in the market for your first dog, then the Swedish Vallhund is probably not the best choice.

His energy level requires more training, socializing, and exercise than a first-time dog owner may be able to handle.

On average, the Swedish Vallhund is a healthy dog, living about 12 to 15 years.

 

You may recognize the Shetland Sheepdog by his nickname – “Sheltie” – or by his appearance, which is, essentially, a smaller version of the famous collie, Lassie. In fact, the Shetland Sheepdog is the Collie's cousin.

The stunning coat of the Shetland Sheepdog is nothing short of jaw-dropping. It can come in a variety of colors, including sable, blue merle, and black.

Shetland Sheepdog Temperament

The Shetland Sheepdog has a long history of enjoying serving his master. This is because his ancestors were known for their work with farmers in Scotland. There, they would chase hungry animals out of their masters' gardens and herd farm animals when necessary.

Today, the Shetland Sheepdog is just as well known for his wonderful temperament as he is for his high-pitched bark.

Shetland Sheepdogs have a personality to match their diva-like appearance. They're intelligent dogs, but they can also be a bit stubborn.

They also have a lot of energy, making them one of those breeds that need to be run, not walked, to help them expend their energy.

Grooming a Shetland Sheepdog

One look at this dog tells you all you need to know how often he should be groomed: regularly.

The Shetland Sheepdog has a double coat, and it sheds. A lot.

You must brush the Sheltie's coat weekly, at a minimum. During shedding season, you'll want to brush him more regularly to prevent your carpet from becoming littered with hair and clogging up the vacuum cleaner.

You will also want to make sure to check for “mats”, or clumped-up hair, in the areas where he may often put pressure. Such areas include his elbows, behind the ears, and under the tail.

While he doesn't need to be bathed unless he's truly dirty, you should regularly tend to the Shetland Sheepdog's nails, as with any other breed.

Training a Shetland Sheepdog

Numero uno when it comes to training a Shetland Sheepdog is to get that bark under control before you start getting calls from the neighbors.

Not only is a Sheltie's bark high-pitched, but he once he gets going, it takes a while for him to finally let up.

This can be great when he's trying to protect you from a perceived threat. Not so great is when you're trying to have a conversation with no threats present, and he just won't stop barking.

Teach him the difference between good barking and bad barking, and it can be a valuable tool that he only takes out when he really needs it.

What's good about the Sheltie is that he has a long history of working alongside his master. This makes him eager to please, intelligent, and a good listener.

However, he can be a bit stubborn sometimes, so you must remain firm and consistent to keep him focused.

Health of a Shetland Sheepdog

Of course, like all dogs, most Shetland Sheepdogs are healthy. However, also like all dogs, they suffer from illnesses that can be more specific to their breed.

Some issues to keep an eye on with a Shetland Sheepdog include:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Von Willebrand's disease
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Dermatomyositis

Additionally, Shelties can succumb to a condition known as “Collie eye anomaly.” This is a congenital condition that has the potential to cause blindness.

Collie eye anomaly usually presents by the time the dog is two years of age. In most cases, both eyes will be affected, but not always at the same level of severity.

There is no treatment for this condition, and most dogs will not go completely blind. However, those that do learn to rely more on their other senses and can get around just fine.

The lifespan of a healthy Shetland Sheepdog averages between 12 and 14 years. He is typically between 13 and 16 inches tall and weighs between 14 and 27 lbs.

Price of a Shetland Sheepdog

Because of their popularity as both a wonderful family dog and one of the more “beautiful” breeds, Shelties have become one of those breeds that are overbred.

It is rare to see one of these dogs at a shelter, so if you are interested in buying a Sheltie, you will probably have to consult with a breeder.

That being said, you want to make sure the breeder you use is reputable, as you could end up shelling out thousands of dollars for a puppy who has issues because of being inbred.

One of the things you must confirm is that the puppy has been tested, and has passed all of his tests, as required by the American Shetland Sheepdog Association (ASSA). Typically, the breeder will be able to provide a certificate confirming the puppy's results.

On average, you should expect to spend between $800 and $1,000 for a Sheltie puppy.

A Final Word about the Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog is an ideal family pet, and if you are a sucker for “beautiful” dogs, then this is the one for you.

What's nice about a Sheltie is that he has all of the mannerisms of a Collie, only in a smaller size. Though, he may be a bit more high-strung than his mellower cousin.

If you're interested in purchasing a Sheltie, make sure you vet the breeder first. Shelties are an in-demand breed, and a lot of breeders crank them out for money, rather than to produce a quality dog.

Shelties are great with kids and good listeners, though you'll have to work with him to get his bark under control.

 

The Miniature American Shepherd is, as her name would suggest a herding dog. In fact, she actually looks like a smaller version of the Australian Shepherd.

The Miniature American Shepherd breed actually came about as a happy accident, after a group of small, unregistered dogs was bred that were assumed to be Australian Shepherds.

Miniature American Shepherd Temperament

The Miniature American Shepherd feels just as comfortable on the farm as she does in the big city. She’s good at adapting to her environment, and she’s a very intelligent dog.

Because she has a lot of energy and she loves a good challenge, activities that allow her to put both her mind and body to work are ideal for the Miniature American Shepherd.

Due to her higher energy level, the Miniature American Shepherd needs to be walked several times a day or jogged with. So if you love to walk, or you’re an active runner, she will gladly be your companion on these trips.

However, if you don’t run, and a walk or two a day is all you can manage, the Miniature American Shepherd will adapt to your lifestyle accordingly and will look to release her energy in other ways.

Grooming a Miniature American Shepherd

The Miniature American Shepherd’s coat comes in a variety of colors, including red, blue merle, red merle, and black. She needs to be brushed about once a week to keep her coat looking and feeling nice.

However, during shedding season, you’re going to want to brush her every day – both to prevent buildup and to stop the hair from spreading throughout the house.

Her nails grow quickly, so you’ll want to trim them often. If she’s outside a lot, you’ll want to inspect her nails for dirt or insects to prevent them from developing an infection.

Training a Miniature American Shepherd

Because the Miniature American Shepherd is so intelligent, she is easier to train than some of the other breeds.

One of the things she should be trained on first and foremost is dealing with strangers. She can become withdrawn from those she doesn’t know, so socializing her early can help her overcome this.

Another thing she may need to be broken from is her inherent ability to herd. She enjoys herding so much that she may attempt to herd small animals and children.

Health of a Miniature American Shepherd

The problems that plague the Miniature American Shepherd breed in particular include:

  • Eye problems, like progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and other issues
  • Being born with a multi-drug resistance gene (MDR1)
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Degenerative myelopathy (or, in layman’s terms, a spinal cord disease that is, essentially, a canine version of Lou Gehrig’s disease)

Typically, a male Miniature American Shepherd is about 14 to 18 inches in height and the female 13 to 17 inches. Both sexes weigh in at roughly 15 to 35 lbs.

The average lifespan of a Miniature American Shepherd is between 12 and 15 years.

Price of a Miniature American Shepherd

On average, the price of a Miniature American Shepherd ranges from $900 to $1,000.

As with any purebred, always make sure you do your homework before dropping that amount of money on any old breeder. Some breeders don’t breed dogs for quality, only for profit.

Further, some breeders do not test their puppies as required. Make sure you receive a certificate declaring the puppy’s health and any potential ailments before paying for the puppy and walking away.

With this breed in particular, you’ll want to be sure to ask about any other puppies in the breeder’s care, either presently or in the past, who may suffer from a spinal cord disease. Legitimate breeders will have their puppies tested for this by the time their puppies reach a certain age.

You should also make sure you meet the parents of the puppy you are interested in adopting. This can clue you into the health of the puppy you will eventually be bringing home.

You should know that the Miniature American Shepherd is not an easy breed to find. You won’t find this breed listed on any of the major adoption sites.

That being said, you can use the webpage for the Miniature American Shepherd Club of the USA. However, this page functions as a sort of Craigslist for dogs, so there’s no guarantee that you’ll get matched up with a dog that is high-quality and healthy.

A Final Word about the Miniature American Shepherd

The Miniature American Shepherd is a loyal, intelligent, and energetic dog, making her the perfect companion if you love to talk frequent walks or daily jogs.

She’s a herder by nature, so you may have to train her out of herding smaller animals and young children.

She’s a whiz at training, though, so it shouldn’t take you too long to correct her of a bad habit. She loves to learn, and she loves to please her master. She also adores a challenge.

The Miniature American Shepherd needs to be groomed with about the same frequency as any other breed with a similar coat. This includes daily brushings during shedding season.

Perhaps the best thing about this breed is her ability to adapt to any environment. City life? She’s on it. Living in the countryside? She’s fine with that, too.

The Miniature American Shepherd is an amenable dog and a perfect choice for a family pet.

 

As his name might suggest, the Portuguese Water Dog is a fan of water. In fact, he was initially bred to be a helper to fishermen and even has webbed feet!

That's right; the Portuguese Water Dog would retrieve fishing gear and help fishermen herd fish into nets.

You may think you've never seen a Portuguese Water Dog before, but you have: Bo Obama, the former President's family dog, is a Portuguese Water Dog.

Portuguese Water Dog Temperament

The Portuguese Water Dog, or “Portie,” is a calm dog who loves the water. However, he still needs between 30 minutes to an hour of exercise every day to keep from going stir-crazy.

If your family is one that has a pool or loves to go swimming, often goes to the beach, or enjoys going sailing, then this dog will be in his element.

The Portie is a friendly dog and, as such, he is good with children and other dogs and pets.

However, some families may find that their Portie is a bit too enthusiastic for younger children. The Portie may get so excited that he ends up bowling the child over or otherwise injuring the child by accident.

Despite his love of the water, the Portie would much rather be inside with his family than outside guarding the property. He's good with apartment life, provided he gets his recommended daily exercise.

If dogs that bark fquently annoy you, then you and the Portie should get along swimmingly. The Portie only barks when he has a reason to do so.

Portuguese Water Dog Grooming

For the Portuguese Water Dog, shedding is more of a seasonal thing. He doesn't shed much. Weekly brushing should be sufficient to adequately maintain his dense coat.

The Portie is often said to be hypoallergenic because he does not have an undercoat.

This is not entirely true.

All dogs can cause allergies to some extent, due to their hair and dander.

As for bathing, the Portie only really needs a bath when he gets dirty.

However, because this breed loves to be in the water, you may need to bathe him more regularly to get the chemicals from a pool – or bacteria from the lake or ocean – out of his coat.

You should cut his nails once or twice a month. A good indicator as to when he needs his nails trimmed is when you can hear them clicking on your hardwood or tile floor.

Training a Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water Dog is a smart dog, and so he does well with training.

While he is a happy dog who is eager to please, he also has a stubborn streak that comes from being independent.

Remain consistent and be firm with your reprimands, and he will eventually learn who the real pack leader is.

However, this is a breed that also tends to get bored quickly.

And when he gets bored, he has more difficulty remaining focused on his training. Keep his interest by occasionally spicing things up by teaching him a new trick.

Health of a Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water Dog lifespan averages between 11 and 13 years for a healthy pup.

However, the Portie tends to mature at a slower rate than other breeds, so he will act like a puppy for longer than usual, getting the most out of his years.

The significant illnesses you should look out for, that can affect the Portie include:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Storage Disease

Porties can also succumb to Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy. This is the equivalent of suffering a sudden heart attack.

Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy occurs in puppies between the ages of five weeks and seven months old. What's even sadder is that there is no cure for the disease, and no way to diagnose it in advance.

An typical Portuguese Water Dog size is between 20 and 23 inches for a male, and between 17 and 21 inches for a female.

Price of a Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog puppies are between $2,500 and $2,800. The reason for such a steep price is because these dogs undergo a lot of tests to ensure they are in good health before they are sold.

A Final Word about the Portuguese Water Dog

If you like to swim, go to the beach, or hang out by the lake or local river, then the Portuguese Water Dog is your best buddy.

As his name would suggest, the Portuguese Water Dog loves being around water. He also likes exercise, so if you can combine the two, even better!

The Portie is not too much trouble to groom, though if he spends a lot of time in the water, you'll want to give him frequent baths to ensure his coat is clean.

Porties have a joie de vivre, or love of life. They are fun-loving companions who love being an inside dog almost as much as they love spending time outside.

Porties are great with kids, other dogs, and different kinds of pets.

However, if you have a young child, you may want to wait a bit before introducing a Portie into your home. This is because a Portie may be too rambunctious and do things like knocking a smaller child over or cause the child injury without meaning to.

Did you know that the Brittany dog was initially called the Brittany Spaniel?

The AKC dropped the “Spaniel” from The Brittany Dog's name back in 1982, but they are still referred to as Spaniels from time to time.

In reality, the Brittany dog breed's personality traits are more like those of a pointer or setter, rather than a Spaniel. It, therefore, makes sense that the AKC dropped the name.

You may also hear terms like “American Brittany” or a “French Brittany.”

The distinction between the two is that the American Brittany is taller and faster than the French Brittany. The American Brittany is also more independent than his French couterpart.

Temperament of a Brittany Dog

If you could describe the Brittany in one word, it would be “energetic.”

You know how you have to run a Husky about twice a day to calm down the crazies? The Brittany's needs are rather similar.

A Brittany is the dog version of a person who's had a lot of coffee:

Time to chase birds?

Okay!

Going for a run?

I'm down!

The kids want to play?

I'm on it!

Walking your Brittany around the block once a day is not enough to get out all of her pent-up energy. She does best when you give her a “job” to do.

For instance, if you like to hunt or fish, the Brittany will be more than happy to lead you to or bring back your game.

If you're not into hunting, you can instead engage your Brittany in doggy activities like playing fetch or fly-ball.

You can also train her to master an obstacle course, which is a sport known as “dog agility.”

Grooming a Brittany

The coat of a Brittany is typically flat or curly but, more importantly, short, so she doesn't require a whole lot of grooming to look nice and stay clean.

A weekly once-over with a brush or glove to lift any stray hairs should do the trick. Give baths as needed.

Check and clean her ears regularly, and be sure to trim her nails as needed.

You can brush her teeth daily, but at least twice or three times per week is recommended to remove bacteria and prevent tartar buildup.

Training a Brittany

As mentioned earlier, a Brittany is hungry for exercise and hard work. She's easy to train for two reasons:

  • She loves to please; and
  • She hates to be yelled at.

The Brittany is one dog who does not take kindly to harsh scolding.

She is more sensitive to your corrections than other breeds.

You shouldn't need to yell at or hit her to get your point across.

You want to socialize your Brittany from a young age because, if you don't, she can grow into a painfully shy adult.

Even if you socialize her from a young pup, every Brittany is different insofar as how friendly they can be.

Sometimes it does not matter what you do; if the Brittany is not up to making friends, then she won't.

Some Brittany Dogs prefer the company of those they know best. That's because they're either too shy or not interested in meeting anyone new.

Health of a Brittany

Compared to other breeds, the Brittany is a very healthy dog. Her life expectancy ranges between 12 to 14 years. And a healthy weight for her is between 30 to 40 lbs.

Feeding recommendation is between 1.5 to 2 cups a day of high-quality, dry food, divided into two meals.

Any more food than this, especially if you overdo it with the treats, can put her in danger of becoming overweight or even obese.

Being overweight carries its health problems. Therefore, you should be vigilant in making sure that you do not overfeed your Brittany.

As significant concerns go, the only things you have to look out for with this breed are hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and hypothyroidism.

Price of a Brittany

On average, the price of a Brittany puppy is about $700 if you're looking into purchasing from a breeder. Show quality puppies can go for between $1,100 and $3,800.

Of course, there are additional costs involved in raising a Brittany, so $700 is like a down payment on everything to come.

  • You also need to factor in the costs of a professional groomer.
  • Budget for any potential health concerns and vet visits.
  • And figure out how much you will be spending on food and accessories each month.

A Final Word about the Brittany

The Brittany will keep you on your toes – literally. If she could talk, she would be consistently yelling at you to “get up and play with me!”

Daily walks won't cut it for this dog. She needs engagement.

And she needs to run herself ragged until she flops in a corner somewhere at the end of the day.

The Brittany is not a dog you can leave home alone all day while you're at work. If she doesn't get the right amount of exercise every day, she will go stir-crazy and take it out on your furniture.

The Brittany is like a little kid: she has a ton of energy, and she's delightful.

Don't scold her too harshly while training her because, if she was a little kid, she would cry just the same. She's a sensitive soul who wants to do right by her master.

The portrait of Bohemian wire-haired Pointing Griffon

It should come as no surprise that the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a loving and devoted dog. You can see it in his small, soft eyes that seem to only have room enough for love in them.

However, the Griff also has a rough, hardworking side to him, too – a side that is matched by his rugged, and naturally bedraggled appearance.

It may be important to note just how messy an adult Griff can look. This is because they grow up to look wildly different from how they look like puppies.

This can throw off some folks who would rather own a “beautiful” dog. But, as we all know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder – and in the temperament of the dog.

Temperament of a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Of all the gundogs in all the world, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is the “supreme gundog.”

The Griffon earned his nickname for his energy level and natural intelligence. He's just as good at being a hunting dog as he is at being the family dog.

The Griffon makes a great companion for those who love being active and playing sports. He'll be right there with you, hiking, jogging, or playing fetch.

And because he's a hunting dog, he's pretty good at playing fetch. He may be slow to start, but that's only because he's measuring his time, waiting for the “prey” to land before he points, sets, and retrieves.

When it comes to kids, the Griffon does well, though he tends to do better with older children.

However, if a younger child is taught how to interact properly with the Griffon, and knows better than to pull his tail or shove things in his ears, then the Griffon should do well with them, too.

Children should always be supervised when they're around the family pet.

Children can be just as unpredictable in these situations as animals, so it's best to keep an eye out to make sure that no one accidentally gets hurt.

Grooming a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

You may look at the coat of a Griff and think, “where do I start?” Or “how do I brush him without hurting him?”

Beautiful Italian Wire-haired Pointing Dog resting in the garden

The truth is, it looks more difficult to groom a Griff than it is to actually get down to the business of doing it.

He doesn't shed much, and his shorter coat dries fairly quickly after a bath. You may want to brush him weekly anyway, just to free any dirt that may become trapped.

You'll also need to pluck out any of the Griff's dead hairs. This is a process known as “rolling” or “stripping” the coat.

As for baths, he doesn't really need the standard dog bath. No soap required.

Just rinse him off with some fresh water, and he's good to go, especially if he's been playing in the ocean or a chlorinated pool. Other than that, his coat is fairly self-cleaning.

The remainder of his care is the same as that of any dog: trim his nails, keep his ears clean, and be sure to brush his teeth regularly.

Training a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Most intelligent breeds are a chore to train because with that intelligence comes a fair degree of stubbornness. Not so with the Griffon.

He loves to learn, and more than anything, he wants to please his master.

Many breeds are easily distracted during training or couple their intelligence with a side of pigheadedness. This is yet another area where the Griffon excels as a breed.

Because the Griffon is eager to please and excited to learn, all you really need to do to train him is, as always, remain consistent, and use hand signals and vocal commands. Those are all you really need to keep him focused.

Italian wire-haired pointing dog bathing in the summer

In a way, the Griffon is like a college kid. While other breeds may be like high school kids in that they aren't as interested in learning because they're forced to be there.

The Griffon is here to soak up all he can because he wants to be here.

Health of a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

You don't have to worry too much about the Griff's health. On average, he is less prone to diseases than other breeds can be.

The only real issues seen commonly in this breed are hip dysplasia, which affects nearly if not all breeds, and eye issues – that's about it.

Of course, don't discount any signs of something being amiss. Just because it isn't common, doesn't mean it's not possible.

And, as with any breed, take care not to overindulge the Griffon with treats or by overfeeding him.

If you allow him to become overweight, this can lead to a host of health problems that could otherwise be avoided.

A Griff's average lifespan is about 12 to 14 years.

A Final Word about the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a treat of a dog. He's loving and loyal, and he's a great hunting dog.

He doesn't require much grooming, and he's great with kids, so long as the kids are made aware of how to properly treat an animal.

He is a joy to train, as he wants nothing more than to make his master happy. A few hand signals and vocal cues, and he's good to go.

He is not vulnerable to many diseases, so the Griff is, on average, a very healthy breed. And he should be expected to live a long and healthy life, with a life expectancy of between 12 to 14 years.