Health concerns are a big concern for all pet owners. Dogs need proper exercise, food, and attention in order to remain healthy. Although some breeds of dogs are more susceptible to certain health problems than others, such as hip dysplasia or arthritic change, most dogs can be traced back to a common set of genetic traits that lead to illness and disease. These health concerns include heart problems, skin disorders, allergies, congenital defects, cancer, and obesity. Fortunately, many of these issues can be avoided or at least treated.
A good sign that healthy dogs are healthy is their well-developed gums. Healthy dogs will have a pinkish or white color to the gums, along with a healthy and robust gum tissue. As a side note, gums that are pink or pale in color are not always healthy dogs! Also, gums that bleed easily are more susceptible to infection and other gum disorders. Another way to check for healthy gums is to gently squeeze the base of the tooth and listen for a “tingling” sound. A healthy dog’s gums will not be tingling.
The health issues described above are caused by genetic predispositions and can affect any dog. However, certain breeds of dogs seem to be more susceptible or prone to certain health issues than others. There is some speculation as to why this occurs, but it is believed that genetic differences may account for some cases, such as hip dysplasia in dogs and bloat in cats. In addition, there are breed specific traits, including long and short tail lengths, which could also contribute to varying levels of health issues.
One of the greatest fears of many dog owners is the possibility of having a dog that will pass on harmful traits associated with disease to their offspring and vice versa. It is possible to reduce the risk of these health issues for your purebred by practicing proper dog breeding techniques and seeking professional assistance if necessary. For example, it is illegal to sell purebred Boxers with cropped ears to pet shops, so you should never buy a Boxer with cropped ears.
Many people are concerned about owning a poodle because of its expensive grooming requirements. It is true that a poodle is very intelligent, but they are also quite high maintenance in the sense that they require regular brushing, nail trimming, and the occasional hair cut, as well as daily visits to the veterinarian for shots and deworming. Because poodles are a hound breed, they also suffer from hip problems and back problems in addition to their normal grooming requirements. There is no need to fear owning a poodle, as most poodles have a history of being highly intelligent, obedient pets.
Hybrid vigor is a relatively new development, and the purebred versions of these dogs have not been altered genetically since they were first bred in Germany in the 1980s. Although German Shepherds used to be bred specifically to shed, the hybrid vigor Poodles have only been bred with designer bloodlines and are virtually free of these typical shedding disorders. German Shepherds are very protective dogs and have a keen sense of smell, which means they will guard the house as well as the person in it with extreme prejudice. They have exceptionally long coats, which can go well beyond the shoulder, but are still fairly short at the dog’s belly. Their hair is smooth, dense and dark brown, often sporting some white at the mane and tail. These dogs make excellent family dogs, and some hybrid vigor are even known to be calm and gentle with children.