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Your Dog Can Be a Special Distinctive Sign?

Good Morning Folks!

your dog walking in city

When it comes to walking with our dogs, I like to vary the path we use. This has several advantages; for example, your dog encounters different people and situations. In the perspective of better socialization, this is very useful. Nevertheless, you can gain handy experiences, even if the route, for example, is similar throughout a week. Now, I share with you what I observed during such cases.

There are dog owners who bring along their faithful companion not only in walking but during arranging other stuffs, too. They certainly had faced “a dog as distinguishing marks” syndrome so far.

Personally, I’m a member of this group as well. Therefore, I have enough involvement to speak on this topic and share my experiences collected by my observations.

Your Dog As Distinguishing Mark

Let’s say, you take your furry friend along with you to buy during a week. What happens?

Day 1)
On the first day, passers by only stare at you. Alternatively, several little children are pointing towards you while saying “doggie.”

Day 2)
On the second day, the employees of the stores, boutiques and other facilities settled inline with your path noticed you. Their eyes follow your way. Of course, the children will continue appreciating your dog without any inhibition.

Day 3)
On the third day – if the children do not notice you – the parents raise awareness like “Look, there is that doggie!” The employees of the above-mentioned stores are smiling and even greet the two of you.

Day 4)
On day 4 – because you have to arrange more things – you leave your dog at home. What are you experiencing now? No one under the sun recognizes you; they ignored you or simply looking over you.

The children do not shout with a smile that “Man / Woman” – they simply deal with someone else. Being alone, you aren’t interesting at all. It’s an extreme case, if a shopkeeper recognizes you and asks you “Where’s the dog?”

Day 5)

On day five, you bring your fur baby again, so you see the satisfaction on the face of the boutique employees: “yes, this must be so!” They greet you with smiling, or even whisper it between each other before you get there “Look, there comes the dog man / woman.”

Day 6)

On the 6th day, after the greeting, they take the courage and make questions to you: “What kind of dog is this?” “What’s its name?” “How old is s/he?”

They tell you that they also have suchlike puppy at home, it’s called so and so, perhaps tell you a recent funny, sad, touching, or simply loving story about their favorite.

Day 7)

On the seventh day, these lovely people are waiting eagerly you to pass them again. And they surprise your four-legged friend with a little treat or – in a sweltering heat – a fresh drink water.

By doing so, they charm you off your feet. After all, I love that person who shows affection to my dog. That’s it.


Thus, due to the reasons mentioned above ‘scientifically established’ that your dog is a very distinctive sign for you. If you do not believe me, go investigate for yourself.

Until next time,

Alex Sparrow

A Belgian Malinois or a German Shepherd Is the Better?

Hello again!


Malinois is exercising in the water

Hmm… provocative question, isn’t it? It may seem my intention is to stir up conflicts between the Belgian Malinois owners and the enthusiasts of German Shepherd. However, this assumption would be far from the truth. On the contrary, my opinion is that dog owners should stick together. Then what’s the point of the question?

Well, not the first time is that I hear such questions and argumentation about dog breeds. And naturally, any kind of dog owner may be biased against their own species even within the same breed.

Anyone who already has read my website, knows that I’m dealing with different dogs more than sixty years. And I also bred dogs before 1980, plus I’m a frequent visitor to dog shows, exhibitions and competitions.

Consequently, I know quite a number of dog breeds. And I was lucky enough to keep a German Shepherd for twelve years before. Furthermore, a Belgian Malinois puppy enjoys my hospitality at present. That’s why I intended to say something in this question.

And I’ve seen equally Malinois and GSD at police work, too. That’s why I intended to say something in this question.

Belgian Malinois Similarities With German Shepherd

Objectively speaking, each, the Malinois and the GSD are the family member of the sheepdog group. Both were the “helping hand” for shepherds gazing flocks on pastures of all-round Europe for quite a while now.


Belgian Malinois K9 Police Dog

Both these breeds have been used as working dog on different fields of life in the twentieth century. Police and military forces, emergency and security organizations used them within Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands and other European countries.

Additionally, lots of citizens also choose species of both breeds for a home-guarding purpose. We are close to the truth saying that both these breeds share a similar role in people’s life.

It’s a fact that the Malinois and the GSD have been in the highest ten position among the most recommended canine breeds on the planet in recent years. When considering their temperament, we can only say each of them received a top degree of self-determination.

Both the Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd are vigilant, brainy and true-hearted resulting from which they work as admirable guard dogs. Each canine is diligent when busy regarding their job. Therefore, they’re valued highly due to these traits.

What the Differences Are?

Well, let’s say that we are viewing the world championship of swimming. The two hundred meters medley is happening now. We see that two diverse swimmers reach the finish line with a difference of a hundredth of a second apart.

Would this mean that one swimmer is worse than the other? I don’t think so. After all, both swimmers are there on the podium. However, you are right, there is a difference between them, even it’s a minor one.

Why this little disparity is there? The reason for that can be many things like preparation, stamina, will, etc. A plus momentum may be that the one is more suitable for the butterfly, and the other one for the breast stroke.

Suppose, one of them turns with a special technique; the other has better breathe method. One has lighter body weight; the other’s muscles are more untied. My friend, things go similarly with dogs, too.

A) Both are fantastic working dog. However, the Malinois need a lot of exercise as they are a higher-energy dog. Exercise for only an hour or two a day won’t satisfy their requirement due to their greater inner drive.

Taking a typical person having a 9 to 5 job, five days a week, probably won’t have time or energy for a Malinois. It’s about having the free time and stamina to work them hard to make them happy everyday.

tired German Shepherd

Tired German Shepherd

B) The attribute – many agree – could be that the Belgian Malinois, is, nevertheless, noticeably faster canine in comparison to the German Shepherd. As well as the Malinois has heaps of energy plus agility, which exceeds the similarities in the GSD.

You can observe an inclination related to that in later years. Namely, the Malinois comes to the fore over its counterpart when need arises for police K9 or military use. In that obviously plays role that this dog never gives up.

C) The German Shepherd has also been considered to be a less curious than the Malinois. For example, my GSD was able to be lying calmly for hours.

The Malinois I’m fostering now can’t survive with not having to do anything for a long time. So, this could make it a little difficult to dealing with particularly for novice owners.

D) Additionally, the Belgian Malinois requires is calling for permanent socialization. It’s not because they forget easily. The reason is they think themselves the equal parties with you and checking boundaries.

They are capable dwelling outdoors, but value more highly to be beside your family. Moreover, this animal gets along well with other canines rather than forgotten by itself in the cage or kennel.

The greater amount of you are strolling with a Belgian Malinois and give time with him or her; it’ll understand you better plus what is that you anticipate from it.

The GSD, nevertheless, is okay so long as it retains receiving its meals everyday. Alternatively, the Belgian carry out its tasks simply from respect if you deserved and acquired that.

E) The Malinois prefer to be involved in just about any activity all the time. These dogs are preferred to work in training, however, don’t like when that takes them too lengthy.

Therefore, in case you are a newcomer, it’ll be simpler to handle a German Shepherd. That’s because they are more manageable for his or her owner.

F) The health aspect also speaks about the Malinois advantage. Unfortunately, hip problems are frequent with the GSD, due to their forced breeding. So, if you want a capable working dog, you should check lot of puppies until you find a healthy one.

My Conclusion

Each breed includes species that meet certain needs better than another. In my opinion, not any breed is worse in comparison with other. I know from experience that individual canines guarantee a difference, not the breed.

Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to bash any dog breed and only praise the other. They were all bred to achieve different goals; this should be taken note of. What is more, the dog owners, trainers also aren’t alike.

Consequently, it’s up to you taking that what do you really expect from the dog in question. Choose the German Shepherd if you want a more patient, simple in the contact companion. Alternatively, take the Belgian Malinois wanting a more lively and intelligent working dog.

All the best,

Alex Sparrow

* Sources: breeders, dog shows, experience, owners.

Belgian Malinois – How to Keep It Healthy Always?

Mornin’ Dog Fans!


Catching sight of a Belgian Malinois and many will fall in love with in a second. Really, their appearance grabs most animal loving people. But, possessing proudly one of them, involves an active way of life. It means spending sufficient time in motion on fresh air. Because, you’d be mistaken if you think this dog will sit within your condo all day.

Just remember what you could read about their temperament in the previous section. Now, we will go through the requirements of their physical and mental health.

Dwelling Needs of the Belgian Malinois

The breed bears the not too extreme cold or hot temperatures problem-free. Their two-layered coat is water-resistant, and the under-layer helps to preserve body warmth in winter. Grooming necessities demand a lightweight brushing to get rid of lifeless hairs weekly.

Dwelling settlements for the breed needs to be arrange the way s/he has admittance to a secure, fenced-in space with shade exterior through the day. During nighttime, sleeping inside with family is their preferred way.

They require to have lively play periods within your yard and use up power via sprints or swift-paced jogs together with their owner. Besides, s/he particularly enjoys herding if the opportunity arises.

Sheepdog Background

Your Belgian Malinois canine specifically is a working dog. So, you must move not only the body – in excess of other dogs – but also their brain. S/he is almost capable of anything, provided that you set up new challenges each day.

“Short hair, long sense” – might say the Malinois owners about their favorite dog breed. And let’s face it; they would be not very far from the truth. The secret behind their success is rooted – besides the individual endowments – presumably in the shepherd dog inheritance.

The achieved results of sheepdogs in dog sports or in any dog work, as well as their leading roles, is clearly not accidental. Just think about the general responsibilities of the shepherd dog. The herding of the flock itself is by no means an easy task for the dogs.

Not just because the sheep or cows can certainly also be very unruly sometimes. But, because they should be able to solve independently certain situations. However, s/he should follow the instructions from his master, being subject in the management.


Meantime, a range of effects work in it, some of which are reinforce; others block their inherited instincts. The development and exploitation of the protective instinct necessary for defense / guarding, however, is not so simple. Reason is that it only culminates later in a degree to get a role in training.

High Movement Requirements

As I mentioned before, the physical and mental well-being is very important for the Belgian Malinois. Their build and toughness make them capable to fulfill serious tasks: avalanche rescue, military actions, narcotics/scent detection, police K-9s, personal guarding, security works.

Besides, the Malinois is suitable for doing all kinds of dog sports, such as ball games (fly ball), hunting practices, skill and obedience trials. And don’t forget that s/he makes the excellent family companion, if their movement need fulfilled.

The foregoing also showed that the Malinois is a temperamental and agile animal inherently. That’s why I don’t recommend it for everyone. Merely with a walk, or playing with a ball is inability to exploit the intellectual and physical capacity, and burn off pent-up energy.

Again, I stress the need for joint activities. The bored Belgian Malinois becomes dissatisfied, and this may lead to inappropriate behaviors. It’s therefore, unavoidable to spend the sufficient time for a thorough socialization at their young age.

Choosing a Malinois Puppy

My friend, to discover the diversity between the pups at first glance, get to know their different individuality is a great experience. However, it touches us even deeply when you start to feel special affection for one of the fur-babies.

As we observe the little puppies, one of them caught somehow caught our eyes. Possibly you may begin to be afraid of him from others, or, on the contrary, moved by its misbehavior. However, do not forget to check the puppy’s reactions.

Experience shows that this time will help if you rattle a bunch of key, or playing with a rag while you’re watching the designated puppy’s reactions. I use to sit between the litter (in work clothes, of course) and lift him or her up to see what s/he does.

Puppies with good nature are merry and nosey, interested in approach folks and being hold by them. Best policy is to select the middle-of-the-road pooch. Avoid the one that’s conquered its litter-mates as well as that’s hiding away from you.

Check the Parents

Furthermore, try to meet the pup’s dad and mom to be convinced they’ve nice temperaments that’s cozy for you. In general, the mom is the accessible from the two. Encounter litter-mates or additional relatives of parents can also be useful for assessing just what a puppy will probably be as an adult.

Naturally, you should check the origin and veterinary papers, too, before adoption. Discuss the breeder thoroughly over the required accommodation, eating habits and so on. If all is well, only, then bring home the Belgian Malinois puppy.

Prospective owners should know that the Malinois is not an average type among the Shepherd dogs. S/he’s a wonderful creature that requires a lot of love and “dog sympathy” from puppy-hood to grown-up age.

If s/he receives all of these, then it will be as it should be: bold, balanced and friendly dog who is trustworthy, kind playmate for the kids, and surround the whole family with constant gentle love.

Health Aspects

Nothing reveals more about that the Malinois had to meet the performance-driven requirements always than its good health. Serious illness which would be typical in the variety is not known. Despite its stock brokers humiliating speed lifestyle, there are species at the age of 10 – 12, which are working yet.

Hopefully, this condition will remain so, even though there are concerns that due to the markedly increasing popularity, the Belgian Malinois will also be diluted. To prevent this from happening, please, choose it for you only feeling a sense of commitment towards the breed, and you take the dog training at least as serious as the Malinois itself.

Have many successes,
Alex Sparrow

* Sources: dog shows, Malinois breeders, owners, experience.

Belgian Malinois Dog – Is It Worth to Adopt One?

Hello again!

belgian_malinois_exercisingAt the last occasion, we dealt with the origin of the Belgian Malinois dog. Furthermore, you also could read about the breeding history and their appearance in that article. Continuing the description, we get to know their temperament, and some personal experience also will be mentioned. All this info is important in light of whether you choose this breed as your working mate / family companion or not. Let’s start!

About the Character of Belgian Malinois

The character of the Malinois is complex. It can be best considered as a top-power canine. We can say in general that this shepherd dog is affectionate, generous and hard-working. And, it’s playful in the circle of family.

He is loyal to his master, to the family, but especially the children. It is courageous and responsible, and has a strong protective instinct. Typically, s/he is reserved toward strangers until it knows them. The aggression isn’t their trait.

The breed is known for its attentive ability, perseverance, courage, toughness, intelligence and meaning. They make excellent watchdogs. They protect your family and property in a very convincing way if needed.

The breed is reasonably pleasant in direction of other canines and pets living under the same roof. Apart from that, the Malinois can show dominating persona, thus requires a consistent hand in keeping and training equally.

A “Light Athlete”


The Belgian Malinois actually represents a prototype of “light athlete” in the world of dogs. Due to its harmonic, lean build and light bone structure, it’s very fast and maneuverable. Speed ​​is not only meant to move in its case.

Because of its reflexes, reactions can take place in seconds in a given situation. They told me an appalling example, a video recording, that demonstrated their “RING” work in a competition.

The Ring – where these dogs are highly successful in – is a special, freestyle guard covers sports, described simply. Here the dogs have to work varied and unpredictable life situations.

Belgian Malinois practicing Ring work

For example, full body catches are permitted. However, the maximum self-control and maneuverability are strict requirements.

An Illustration of Abilities

Well, the tape featured a Malinois, who got the task of the ‘fugitive’s capture’. The trainer sent the dog onto the sprinting training assistant, then conducted the “Leave it-Come in” order JUST BEFORE the catch.

The dog’s conduct was breathtaking. The animal has been floated in the air when the command said, but as soon as he heard the order, turned over a fraction of a second. Then with four feet stamping, pushed away from the assistant and galloped to its owner in its full power.

Well, the good Malinois can achieve such amazing performance in a competent hand. At the same time, it should be noted that all this could be brought out only with expertise, patience and hard work.

Looking Behind This Output

Well, those mighty be disappointed thinking the breed is a miracle dog who learns everything in seconds and doesn’t stop until reaching the top. It’s a false illusion to expect outstanding performance merely from the dog.

Furthermore, in case of any disappointment or failure is outright dishonesty to blame him. Just think about it; an awesome race car also cannot win, if the driver is mediocre or even worse.


In addition, the Malinois is such a “racing car” in which only equipped with steering wheel and brake. Gas pedal is not necessary at all, because the “engine” is rotating at the full speed all the time.


Among other things, this is the feature, which allows extraordinary results on the race track. At the same time, also because of this, it’s very easy to mess up its education.

Another feature of the Malinois is the (above mentioned) lightning-fast reaction capability. That is important to emphasize, because the instinct is very strong in this breed. Thus, it’s recommended to avoid over-exertion or early pressure in training in order to succeed.

This especially applies to the phase of security guard working, where developing the change of dog’s instinct demanded. The essence is bettering the predatory as well as guarding instinct and achieved stable switching between them.

In fact, it makes possible doing a precise and confident work, despite the different stimuli in diverse situations. It is obvious, that all this requires caution, if the reactions and changes take place in seconds.

Malinois Is Eager to Learn

Nevertheless, temperament would not simply happen. Many factors like congenital traits, socialization and training – among others – have the impact on a character. You should begin its education as soon as possible in order to evolve their extraordinary intelligence and adaptability appropriately.

The breed acquire knowledge quickly and eager to learn. The raising should not be major problems, provided that a calm atmosphere, takes place in a consistent manner. The Belgian Malinois dog should clearly feel the leading role of their owner.

If not, then one day he may decide to take over the flock – that is, control over the family. Therefore, the owner needs to be a strong personality. And besides educating the dog, s/he must carry out joint activities with him regularly.

Example of Our Own

Now, I’m fostering a Belgian Malinois puppy, until finding a new home for him. I’m spending with Larry hours brokenly due to its movement need, including at least an hour running around with other dogs.

During a week he learned properly the commands: “Listen to me,” “Sit” and “Down.” He grasped the “Listen to me” command easily within our yard, then continued in the park. The distractions and his curiosity slowed the process, of course.

I use the clicker method in training; it works well for us. Learning happens in short intervals to ensure that his attention not to go in different direction. With frequent rest periods, he can continuously obtain useful dog knowledge.

Lisa and Zizi accepted Larry into the family. He likes to run with me, enjoys to play ball, retrieve, and rampage without a leash. Later, we’ll try swimming in the river’s dead branches near us. The bad weather didn’t bother him at all.

Larry feels himself the most excellent way when we are in the dog school half-day. We are lucky because there were two different days alike, but otherwise I must organize a separate program for him.

Namely, Larry isn’t satisfied with the playing in the park one and a half hours in evenings. All in all, this Belgian Malinois puppy and I get along pretty well; he shakes up my old bones (and I love that).

To be continued with upkeep needs and health aspects next time,

Alex Sparrow

Belgian Malinois – Introducing an Excellent Working Dog

Hi Dog Folks!

Belgian_Malinois_portraitWhen it comes to the Belgian Shepherd dogs, people mostly think to the Tervueren only. Yet, that name is actually an umbrella term, since it covers four different versions. The short-haired Belgian Malinois is a member of this foursome team. The other tree versions are: the lush mane Tervueren, the midnight-black Groenendael and the curly-haired Lakenois. Today, we take a closer look at the Malinois version such as; history and appearance. Let’s start.

Developing History of the Belgian Malinois

As you would guess, the breed got its name after the town Mechelen (popularly says: Malines). This town is located between Brussel and Antwerp, in Belgium. It’s a clever, intelligent, and proud fellow in the Herding Group, having a background dates back to the early 1800s.

At that time in Belgium, there were a large number of similar-looking herding dogs, but people did not breed them consciously. These dogs have similar properties, but were mediocre, wild and sometimes aggressive canines.

People called the Belgian Sheepdog herding types lived then as Chiens de Berger Belge. Those were put to use as all-function service canines, primarily to protect livestock. Of course, people bred those dogs for working ability; appearance was negligible aspect.

Naming Complications

Meanwhile – because of existing various kinds of Belgian working dogs then – it was difficult to differentiate them within the group. It follows from that in-coordination, that a team of the Cureghem Veterinary Institute came on the scene.

They classified those canines into one class, which are most fit to the sheepdog category. Then, starting from this first sorting, and after a series of carefully crossing, they determined the Belgian Shepherd’s properties.

Professor Adolphe Reul researched those native canines in 1891 and announced the result. It showed that the particular, short-coated version is originated from Malines. These animals turned called as Belgian Malinois (pronunciation: Ma-Lin-Wah) and recognized as a breed.

In the Early 20th Century

In the early 1900s, the Groenendael and Malinois were the preferred types to export to different countries. Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Netherlands, Switzerland and USA were the main importers.

The First World War brought new tasks for Belgian Shepherd dogs in military applications. Armies used them as Red Cross canines, messenger dogs, cart dogs for ambulance and machine-gun.


After WW I, the AKC registrations of Belgian Shepherd dogs grew significantly. Namely, the soldiers returning home from Europe brought Malinois as well as other types along with them.

1924 was the year of shaping the primary Belgian Sheepdog Club of America. And, the American Kennel Club accepted that as their member shortly afterwards. This has led to that the Malinois and Groenendael became fifth in the popularity list by 1924.

Around the Great Depression

Throughout the Great Depression, the canine breeding was a privilege the majority lacked. Due to that, their popularity reduced dramatically. Even the primary Belgian Sheepdog Club of America discontinued its operations.

So, the American Kennel Club registered only a few Malinois – due to dripped import – in the nineteen thirties. And, on the dog shows held in the 1930s & ’40s, they appeared in the Miscellaneous Class only.

However, this downward trend began to break in 1949. Namely, the second Belgian Sheepdog Club of America came into live. Moreover, several people also started to breed Malinois, followed the Netherlair kennel based John Cowley’s import.

The Malinois Breed Today

The AKC officially acknowledged the Belgian Malinois in 1959. So, increasing number of individuals dealt with breeding and exhibiting Malinois by the nineteen sixties. Consequently, the breed obtained the parent club status of AKC in 1992.

Since then, this breed has obtained plenty of interest in the job they perform. Just name a few: drug detection tasks, military, police and search and rescue operations worldwide.

Did you know that at present, the breed is ranked 59th on the popularity list of the AKC from ca. 160 breeds?


The Malinois stands in a state of readiness to protect and defend its family members and territory always. They have a square proportioned, harmonic physique to meet that task. You can see a muscular; however, stylish dog, showing slender energy.

The Belgian Malinois is equipped with sturdy forequarters and straight front legs. Their fore feet are round-shaped, well-padded; the black nails are strong. You also can observe their muscular thighs on the back legs which have similar feet than in front.

Their ears held erect and are triangular-shaped, proportional with the head. The muzzle is somewhat pointed, it features a black nose and supplemented by robust jaws. The teeth are closing scissor or level bite.

The sharply-outlined head has almond-shaped, brown-colored eyes. You may discover their alert, curious and intelligent facial expression as well. The Malinois holds its head proudly on the rounded neck, it also tapers properly to their body.

Gait and Coat

Their tail is powerful, and usually held vertical with a curve while the dog is moving. Apropos, the movement is also part of any dog’s appearance. Their gait may describe most appropriately as free, straightforward and smooth.

Their short coat contains two layers; the outer is straight and water resistant. The under-layer is tick. On the head, the outside part of ears and lower part of limbs the hair is very short.

Across the neck, behind the thighs, plus on the tail, the hair is longer. On the top of the thighs, the coat is lightly flagged. The coat is slightly longer on the neck portion and the tail.

The Belgian Malinois is reddish brown (from fawn to mahogany) in color and wears a black mask on his head.


Males are 24 to 26 inches (62 – 66 centimeters) tall at the shoulder and weigh 60 to 80 pounds (27 – 36 kilograms). Females are 22 to 24 inches high (56 – 62 centimeters) and weigh 40 to 60 pounds (18 – 27 kilograms).


The short fur of the Belgian Shepherd of Mechelen requires little care, if you don’t take it into show ring. You’ll bathe it when necessary.

And you only brush it with a solid bristle brush weekly, to remove dead hair. Please, remember, the Malinois is a molting type dog, s/he shed more heavily in fall and spring.

It’s recommended to keep the nails short, so, if it not wore down naturally, then you should trim them. That’s beneficial partly for the health of the legs of your canine, on the other hand, your clothing remains free from scratching.

Trimming time has arrived when you hear the nails of your Belgian Malinois clicking on the flooring.

Temperament, training, upkeep and health aspects are coming next time,

Alex Sparrow

* Sources: dog shows, breeders, experience, forums, owners.

Springer Spaniel Biting Problem – How to Stop It?

Hi again!

springer spanielI got the following email recently: “We got a virtually 10 week-old Springer Spaniel puppy, named Barry. He has actually been with us five days now. We experienced, that Barry painfully bites during playing. Of course, I understand, to nip is regular for puppies, and he’s just young. The problem is I’m unsure what should be done to end such behavior. He does not appear to note the standard. I know Barry is young, but this behavior makes us mad by now. He would not seem to be listening to the usual “NO.” I don’t know if he grows out of this at all, I need help now. I would like to educate him to cease this problem. How could I do that? Thank you!”
OK, it’s a good question, thank you! And I’d begin the answer with …

What Puppies Use to Do Typically

Puppies spend their days with eating, sleeping, toileting and playing. When playing, they use to run, hop on and chase one another and also initiate play along with their brothers and sisters.

And, besides eating, the puppy uses his or her teeth to bite in playing, too. Your little fur baby learns how to communicate, fight, how far s/he can go and when to give up, in other words, to retreat.

Thus, it is quite natural for them to nip the humans as well. They are inclined to do it more once they turn out to be over excited or overvalued, and likewise, even if they become too tired.

Puppies often will attempt to bite in order to getting attention plus a response, completely similarly they used to call litter-mates to play. This applies to all puppies, including the Springer Spaniel, too.

What a Pup Should Learn in this Relation

Part of this earlier life period in the litter is to learn to bite, and experience how the other reacts to that. This way, the puppy will grasp the ability of regulating the strength of their bite.

Every puppy ought to learn the proper degree of bite inhibition already among their contemporaries. If they have learned properly, when one of them bites the other excessively the fellow will usually yelp.

When the puppy firmly yelp back on the bite did by another, s/he stand up “for itself.”
And of course the offending puppy ought to stop its act, if s/he learned the lesson right.

The others will honor the strength, and the rank established within the pack. And now let’s get back to Barry’s behavior.

Ways to Stop Your Springer Spaniel to Bite

You, being Barry’s owner, have no other job than to stand up for yourself, to show him who is the boss! It doesn’t need a tough hand, but firm education, governance that you should tell him on his language.

In practice, when Barry goes to bite you yelp just like a pup in ache. If Barry has taught bite inhibition, then he should stop it. Right after that you fold your arms, turn your back on him right away and say firm “No”.

The Exclusion Technique

Keep turned away, look in another direction, and ignore him. Stay like that for a while and if Barry ceases and keeps stopped, then you could call him for praise or give a treat, or both.

In case Barry begins his action once again, you reiterate the said process, and ignore him for a longer time period. Keep in mind, you must be more persistent than him.

Withdrawing heed makes him perceive that attention and fun not follows his biting.

If it Doesn’t Work

It may happen that your Springer Spaniel is trying stubbornly. The other method could be that you separate him into a different room for a while. After that you let him out, but ignore your puppy a little more time.

Then call Barry to you and command “Sit” after which praise and reward him for his good behavior. This usually works, repeat it if necessary.

NOTE: Actually you have to choose one approach, and consistently apply it in the first place (provide a good trial). Generally, applying the first variation become sufficient.

However, if you feel you need it, other ways also exists. Let’s see.


For example, you can draw his attention onto a toy Barry can bite and chew on. This is another solution too, once again yelp “No”, get Barry to sit down, and if he obeys, and would not begin biting, then re-direct onto that chew.

NOTE: I’d warn you not to reward him until he shows the desired behavior. If Barry gets the threat or praise earlier than he stops biting, then your effort went waste. He may think you reward a bite.

However, if your family members co-operate with you in the process, your Springer Spaniel will stop biting you.

All the best,

Alex Sparrow

Brussels Griffon Dog – A Rare and Exciting Breed


Cathegory Winner Brussels Griffon

I was lucky to meet the Brussels Griffon dog breed in agility competitions and dog shows on abroad several times. These events are great occasions to observe the different canines and to talk to their breeders as well. This breed belongs to the Toy Dog Group according to the AKC classification. In their small and stocky stature, you’ll find a cheerful – and sometimes mischievous – specialties. But, more about that later, now let’s get to know their history.

Origin of the Brussels Griffon

The past of these canines goes back to Belgium in the 1800s. From the little information available in Europe about the premature Griffons, it seems that some European royal family held Griffon as lapdog.

But, but rather these doggies were found on waterfront and in the stables.The primary purpose of the developing of Brussels Griffon has been as little rodent hunters plus companions.

This was particularly so in the field of Brussels, Belgium, where people – having hackney carriages – kept them as rat-catchers and watchdogs. They sat on the carriage and were well known due to their cheeky monkey-like facial expression.

Their researchers think that the breed’s bloodline most likely was taken from the Belgian street dog (referred as Griffon d’ Ecurie) as well as the Affenpinscher.

Progress Towards Registering and Popularity

These canines have been hybridized with the Pug, someday throughout the latter period of 1800s. The Pug was certainly one of Holland’s popular small breeds back then.

The attentive eye can discover Pug traits in at present’s Brussels Griffon by observing their head’s shape.

1880 was the year when they formally introduced the breed in a Brussels dog exhibition. They gave the breed the title of “The Exhibition’s Best Dog,” which made them popular in afterwards.

By the turning of the 1900s, this dog has achieved an extraordinary reputation in Belgium. And it became favorite in the circle of aristocracy, too. The AKC has registered the Brussels Griffon formally in 1910.

The first World War brought on a big reduction in the number of flocks. Nevertheless, following the conflict, the breed slowly approached their earlier popularity globally during decades. And it is still going on.

Just for one example, you may remember the “As Good As It Gets” (1997’s hit). Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt was the two main characters, and a Brussels Griffon (called Verdell) featured in it as well.



This is a powerful, stocky breed doggie. Their head is large and round, eyes are far apart. A black nose is short, set high, and equipped with wide nostrils.

The muzzle is broad, protruding, with slightly undershot jaws. The teeth are not visible when the mouth is closed. The neck has medium length. The chest is deep and wide. The back is short and straight.

The limbs are straight and parallel lines. The tail is generally shortened by two-thirds. This breed has a medium-length coat, which is thick and fuzzy. Coat color can be russet or reddish brown, without a mask.

Their shoulder height is between 9.5 – 11 inches (24 – 28 centimeters). Their weight could be around 6.6 – 11 pounds (3 – 5 kilograms).

Upkeep Requirements for the Breed

Possessing and caring for this Griffon means having fun with a clownish, lively and sociable toy dog. They are often cussed and extremely energetic so day by day train and mental stimulation are a requirement definitively.

This breed does not prefer to dwell on outdoors. Nevertheless, it enjoys the possibility to having fun exteriors under mild temperatures. You just provide a fenced-in yard where s/he will have chance to play and exercise enough.

Grooming the Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon grooming

Grooming necessities of the breed encompass a periodic brushing, maybe just twice weekly to get rid of lifeless hair. Of course, you need to bushing it daily if your Griffon is participating on a dog show.

NOTE: I’d recommend you to wash their cheek beard with lukewarm water after eating to prevent discoloration. Then you apply a cream on it to prevent the beard to become broken.

Furthermore, I advise you to bush the long hair formations on their heads regularly and thoroughly. The grooving hairs in the eye socket – that may irritate the eyeball – also must be removed. The nails should be kept short.

I heard on a dog show; the fur trim is advisable in 2 – 3 month of frequency. This is the manual extraction of dead hairs, but this doesn’t cause pain for the dog. Namely, the dead hairs reside in the hair follicle already very loosely.


The Brussels Griffon is a very curious doggie, so they are watching alert everything is happening around them. They are very nice and bond to their host and family quite strongly.

They prefer to be close to family members, sometimes they are at your heels in the whole house. Due to their affection for you, these canines endure difficultly if you leave them alone.

And… this is usually not needed, because their small size and high adaptability, you can take them anywhere. And this breed loves to move.

These dogs are agile and playful, if they detect anything unusual, indicating that with barking. They are entertaining and eager to learn tricks.

Behaving With Kids and Other Pets

They are extremely sociable animals, love to be around people and usually get along very well with the kids. With cats and other domestic animals, they behave trouble-free generally.

These canines continue their life with full confidence. And – in contrast to other too distrustful toy breeds – they are inclined to make friendship with another dog fairly easily.

Aggressiveness is totally alien to them. They indicate the arrival of strangers with barking, but do not do more than that.

Education and Moving Demand

Teaching these canines doesn’t cause problems in general. They are clever and love to please their owner always. However, they are sensitive to the tone of their owner’s voice.

Being mischievous isn’t alien from them sometimes, too. Some of them can be even an escape artist, due to their climbing passion. But, that will be ceased by proper physical and mental stimulation.

Their moving demand can be satisfied in the apartment or in the garden equally. But, they would like to go for walks with their owners as well. They are just as happy with a leash walk, or an unleashed romp in the woods.

Both you and your household is going to have blast keeping this Griffon. You get pleasure from a tiny, amusing and interactive canine, that makes a vigilant watchdog as well.

Health Aspects

The typical lifetime of this breed spreads from twelve to fifteen years. They are one of the healthiest type among the Toy Group class. According to our vet, no main health issues known related to them.

On uncommon circumstances cataract, CHD, distichiasis, patellar luxation, stichiasis and weak bladder may occur. In any case, he recommended that Brussels Griffon canines get undergo test for accidental eye and hip issues.

Until next time,

Alex Sparrow

How to Relieve Stress in Dogs at New Year’s Eve?

Hello Dog Lovers!

visible stress in dogs on New Year's Eve

The last day of any year is generally nothing more than preparation for the evening festive in most countries. However, not everyone is eagerly waiting for the approaching midnight. The emerging stress in dogs makes their owners think about the midnight-gong with anxiety. In this case, we should relieve the phenomenon on the New Year’s Eve.

I mean especially the sound of firecracker and explosions of fireworks because all the canines are scared and want to get rid of the cacophony. Namely, the number of dogs running away to the world increases by thousands each year.

Partly, they become a stray animal; others find their death on the highways. There are also fortunate species whose living continues at a shelter where their owner could find them. Here are several tips that help you to avoid the New Year’s Eve stress for dogs.

Making Our Dogs Be Tired

The main rule is not to take your dog into the celebrating crowd. You do the best possible if you make your furry friend to be tired enough on the forenoon of 31st the December and the day before, as well.

The animals are especially worn by the fact that they cannot see the way of escape within the celebrating crowd. Anyway, their ears are more sensitive than humans, and the harsh sound effects increase the stress in dogs.

You can make a larger strolling, exercise and training him or her, too. For example, your Fido might be your accompany with your biking or jogging. Playing to fetch or frisbee also could be the proper solution to make him tired.

My Friend, if our dogs are weary, they will be calmer and will not to gasp its head to all the noise!

Walking on Afternoon of 31st

Be sure to have your dog on the leash during walking. However, please, don’t force the strolling if you perceive its fear. Namely, the possibility of running away and the stress are increased by the approaching darkness.

The walk at this time could be shorter like you take him or her for doing their business only. By doing this action around your residence you can prevent developing stress in dogs due to an exploding of a firecracker or fireworks near you.

Knowing Your Dog’s Fears

There is an obvious human reaction that we try to calm down our dogs if we perceive their stress. Sometimes this works, but another time may not be effective. It depends on the bond between you and Fido and the different sensitivity of every animal.

As a habit, I use to let our Zizi and Lisa hide this time if they want. They are outdoor dogs, and I let them go into the garage or the hall to calm down on their own. There is a hideout piled from blankets, so they feel themselves safe there.

Handling Stress in Dogs by Distraction

If your canine loves to learn or play, then you can distract his or her attention with those activities. The result of this can be that s/he will be accustomed to the noise more easily.

However, I’d like to recommend you to do this in that situation only if you see the willingness of s/he. Please, don’t force this because you can trigger the opposite effect from your furry friend.

At best, you might retreat to a quiet place or countryside with your dogs!

If You Still Want To Have Fun

If this is the first New Year’s Eve for your furry friend, rather stay at home with him to see what kind of reaction you might expect next year! If you choose to the house party, read the tips I wrote here related to the Christmas festive.

However, if you really want to have fun that night, and left your dogs alone, you might use a crate.

You also may cover that with a blanket (leave access to air!). Furthermore, pet owners must ensure the excluding of the possibly escape. This is another way to reduce or eliminate the stress in dogs caused by sound and light effects on New Year’s Eve.

Happy New Year,

Alex Sparrow

How To Care Our Dogs Special Way At Christmas?

Mornin’ Dog Folks!

One of our dogs - Doris as SantaIn the direction of finish the year – which is also the holiday season – we are putting brakes on the everyday rush. At this period, everybody turns into obsessive about the festive ambiance, the coziness. It follows from this that we wouldn’t like to divest our dogs from the family programs in addition to giving gifts on this occasion. So far, so good. But, what would the dogs say in case of asking them about their experiences regarding holidays like Christmas?

Holiday Trends

My Friends, the above question isn’t random, simply think about the latest years. You may encounter the phenomenon as people – in increased number – could be so intimately linked to their furry mates.

Dog owners arrange a particular birthday celebration for their canines like giving presents, cooking cake and so on. I feel more individuals are inclined to consider the dog as a human being with that in mind as well.

You may have noticed this tendency in America and Japan, for instance. There, many people power their dog directly with a human role. And, looking around within my environment, what can I perceive?

I do experience this increasingly with novice dog owners. They are inclined to pamper their furry friend after a long wait for their first, coveted dog. I confess, I had such a period when my son was a child.

My Experience With Our Dogs

But, I only think back to those memories funnily today. I remember our Boxer called Doris with a Santa cap over her head, plus a table labeled “Merry Christmas” in her mouth for the photographing. I sent this picture as Christmas greetings to relatives thirty-five years ago.

And you know what? It wasn’t a big task for Doris, but I’ve to say she didn’t enjoy that particularly. Just think about that as you command your dog like “Grab,” “Stay,” “not good, I said you Grab and Stay!”

And she snapped the squeaky toy gift in two minutes. The funniest thing is that we can buy our dogs any gift. But, s/he isn’t going to be happy with that in an extent like the remaining gala dinner and a little attention.

Dogs are simple creatures; it is easy to make them pleased because they want uncomplicated things.


For instance, they play a piece of wood merrily, and there is no greater joy for them than you (the owner) spend time together with. For them, Christmas is nothing other than the fact that you’re in such a little different mood.

They experience more coming and going as well as the additional food. Please, I don’t recommend you to force them in our holiday habits; it will not be such a pleasure for them as we think!

We can buy a gift for our dogs, but be aware that we do that so much more for our soul, not because of their own. A new game will please them, but then don’t take it a minute later, saying that it was beeping too loud, or s/he will tear up that.

Caring Example

After all, it was a gift so the best you can do is letting play with that as s/he wants. To mention my own practice in feeding, instead of the usual nutrition I use to cook a stew for them, the recipe is here.

As a supplement, I give Zizi and Lisa a large marrow-bone. This way, both I make them happy and my peace of mind is fine. However, I’d warn you not to give your dog anything that make her stomach be diseased.

I love to walk our dogs on the 24th because as if the world would be different that day. Of course, others also have walked with their favorites. We see the familiar faces, but somehow smile more kindly at each other.

The morning walk can be longer to take the dogs get well tired. This way they will not be in your way in cleaning, cooking and last-minute gift-wrapping. Then in the afternoon, I used to go out with them a bit more before the gifting.

Intimate Atmosphere

For me, this is the most intimate atmosphere, almost only we are on the street. It’s already dark, through the windows you can see the light and families celebrating Christmas.

And even it’s snowing, if you’re lucky. (Unfortunately, we have no snow this holiday.)
Those who have chance, organize the whole family with a dog walking, tobogganing or where the dog can run around with you.

The family will benefit from the relaxation of the festive preparations and rush. There is no greater gift for your canine when s/he is the reason the family walks with him or her.

This way, you will not have to tell yourself during the dinner that the poor dog left out of everything.

Meet the Rules

Some rules I have to mention that they have often forgotten in the celebrations. We use to say that our dogs can be unleashed anywhere if they are socialized well.

Namely, the proper relationship already established with you can tell him or her what you like. In this case, you can be more lenient with him or her. For example, you can let your favorite to come in where other times not allowed.

Of course, there are owners who don’t know the dog body language in full and their dog isn’t so obedient. The best such an owner can do is to ensure compliance with the rules of the dog in this case, too.

What I mean? For instance, you should be prepared that the arrival of guests will stir the canine. Thus, it is important that your dog is sufficiently tired, in advance.

Behavior With Guests

Namely, there could be someone among the guests, who is afraid of dogs or one who fears for his clothes. And there are people also who worship the dog and confirm the bad things such as the hopping, with the best intention.

Pretty irksome when we have to reprimand our dogs what not to do – in the front of the guests. And even more unpleasant if your guests should be advised to avoid feeding your dog.

Conversely, do not caress it when jumped up with muddy feet, or came into the forbidden zone.

It is worth preparing your dog in advance for such situations by exercising the “No” and “Stay” commands, which might come in handy at any time. For larger problems, your dog also can be kenneled during this time.

Another solution may be to inform the guest family in advance how to respond to certain things the dog does. Anyway, by now they already know that we are the “mad dog owners” in the family, this point will not surprise them.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for every animal loving people around the world! Arrange joyful walk or journeys with your fur babies among these holidays!

Our dogs also deserved to show them our affection, together with those spending their days in shelters through no fault of their own. They are entitled to receive some attention at Christmas together with people taking care of them.

Happy Holidays,

Alex Sparrow

How To Train Airedale Terrier A Perfect Way?

Mornin’ Airedale People!


The Airedale Terrier is a bright-eyed, quick-moving and ready-for-action-always type dog. I wrote about their relationship to children earlier. Now, we are dealing with their training. The intelligent eyes, keeping of ears and the erected-tail determine their outer look. S/he is an open, self-confident, self-respecting and friendly canine.

Of course, in order to act as a good citizen, s/he cannot do without proper training provided by a consistent hand because its considerable autonomy tendency.

By this, I mean that you should limit this dog’s will. And that is not easy, to put it mildly. Namely, to carry through its ideas s/he isn’t limited to putting on their – not minor – acting skills.

Why the Education Is Mandatory

As I wrote earlier, the Airedale Terrier breed requires active and enriched lives. Where their owners are unable to cater to their needs, there it becomes unmanageable, goes wild and turns into obstinate.

Therefore, it is common in such cases that s/he destroys the environment, and might pick up bad habits. Furthermore, this canine tends to get away where s/he sees an opportunity.

So, the Airedale is an ideal companion for people who have a lot of free time and want to spend it actively. That’s why it’s worth taking their training seriously, and carry out with agreement of your whole family.

Otherwise, it becomes a very inconvenient, annoying house-mate.

When We Start the Teaching

My experience dictates that we can begin the education already on the day the puppy arrived at our family. But, that only should happen in a playful way, because this isn’t the time of specific serious practices yet.

Rather we consolidate our relationship by the mutual playing, at the same time, strengthen his or her courage. The basic principle is that we only allowed to deal with our Airedale puppy if we are calm and in a good mood.

Nervous Specialties of Airedales

You would ask me “why the good mood is important”? Simple answer: because s/he will be in the similar mood, and thus learns faster. If you’re tense or angry when teaching the puppy, you must stop the sessions with him or her.

Because your Airedale Terrier doggie is unable to comprehend the reason of your upset state. Consequently, it could break a fear on him or her that almost paralyzed your pooch.

I note here, that any puppy’s nervous system is highly mouldable through education, whether positive or negative direction. With proper education, the shy little dog is trainable to be brave – and vice versa – the stubbornness reducible.

But, with only one reckless, violent punishment or bad experience might damage your puppy for life, even having a good nervous system. Which means that it has not become a decent working dog.

Educating Your Airedale Terrier

The early socialization of your Airedale puppy is important. That means familiarizing your pup with more and more, various people, animals, situations and sounds. We do this in order to behave confidently in different environments at its adult era.

During the teaching, it’s advisable to strive not to force the exercises until boredom. In fact, this kind of breed finds its delight in the variety and speed. Thus, you should remember this throughout the teaching.

Enlisting your Airedale Terrier in a puppy day-care session is a good start. To invite guests over frequently, and bringing it to busy shops, parks (which enable canines) are also worthy.

Such facilities, as well as convenient walks to encounter neighbors may also help your pooch to increase their social expertise.

Maintaining Their Attention

Due to its high intelligence, the Airedale Terrier puppy understands the task very quickly. Knowing that s/he very quickly understands the task, it’s good to practice only briefly with him/her until their interest is still ongoing.

So, before starting another practice, you should insert a short game between the two session. This means you play with your dog, enhancing their good mood and keep its enthusiasm further.

In the training, we should apply the positive reinforcement (praise, treats) continuously. Otherwise, our four-legged mate soon becomes listless and will ignore our commands.

The Momentum

This Terrier is a very family-loving and hard-to-bear the loneliness dog. We expect him to behave well-mannered, obedient, guard the house, love our children and the other members of the family.

Then, in return, you must have to provide the most important thing an Airedale is looking for; the experience of togetherness.

To do this it’s essential that our dog lives under the same roof with the family (its pack), which is natural for it. The Airedale Terrier has excluded from the home makes it more difficult to be obedient, due to the lack of bound and greater degree of independence.

All the best,

Alex Sparrow