Breed Information for Dogs at Living Free
 
The following information regarding the various breeds at Living Free is provided for you to help you determine the right dog for you. The best way to determine the temperament of mixed breeds, is to understand all breeds in the cross.
 
Generally, the dogs at Living Free are not purebreds, but a mix of two or more breeds. It is important that you understand the breed mix in order to know if you can handle any combination of characteristics found in our dogs.
 
The personalities of our dogs and their characteristic are individual to them, so it is best to visit and get to know the lovely dogs at Living Free. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask the kennel staff.
 
Click on a breed link to go to more information.

Alaskan Malamute
 
Largest of the Artic dogs, the Malamute has a thick, coarse, double coat, one to three inches in length. They are extremely loyal, intelligent, sweet and most affectionate toward their master. This breed is great with older children who can play safely with them.
 
If their canine instincts are met, they mature into dignified and mellow adult dogs. They are very friendly and not suitable as a guard dog. The Malamute is happiest living outdoors as long as they receive enough companionship. Without firm leadership and daily mental and physical exercise, these dogs may become destructive nuisances acting like a big rambunctious puppy.
 
This breed loves outdoor activities and do well in obedience with firm encouragement. Males can be dominant and the Malamute needs the humans in their life to be firm, confident and consistent pack leaders. They quiet compared to most dogs, but they do howl and dig. This breed should be supervised around unfamiliar small animals as they have a strong prey instinct. Both sexes can be combative with other dogs especially with the same sex. Proper socialization with people and other dogs is imperative and obedience training is highly recommended.
 
The Malamute needs a large yard with a high fence that is buried below ground as they will dig out. They need a reasonable amount of exercise which should include daily walks. Their coat sheds very heavily twice a year, but bathing is not necessary as the coat sheds dirt. This is a clean and odorless dog that has amazing strength, endurance and a will to work.
 
Height: 24 to 26”; Weight: 80 to 95 pounds; Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
 


American Fox Hound
 
This breed is native to America for purposes of competitive field trails, fox hunting and pack hounds. It was bred to run so is the ideal pet for those who live in rural areas or on large farms. They do well in smaller areas with owners who provide them with adequate exercise. Hounds raised in a home tend to be mild tempered and easy going, getting along with children and most other pets.
 
Their short coat is easy to care for, but owners will need patience and persistence in training as the breed can be stubborn and independent. Their temperament is sweet, affectionate, gentle and loving at home, but they can also be a brave and intense warrior in the hunt.
 
They are excellent with children and get along well with other dogs because of their pack hunting background, but should not be trusted with non-canine pets. The Hound is generally friendly to humans, but if allowed to become the pack leader they may become protective.
 
They require daily exercise and an owner that is firm, but calm and a consistent pack leader. They are generally not recommended for apartment life as they are extremely energetic and tireless. This breed should not be taken on as a family pet unless they can be guaranteed plenty of vigorous exercise.
 
Height: 21 to 25”; Weight: 65 to 75 pounds; Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
 
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Australian Shepherd
 
The Australian Shepherd is a medium, robust, well-balanced, rustic dog. They are easy-going, remaining puppy-like even in adult years. They can be a devoted, loyal friend and guardian, for they are naturally protective and are good with children. They generally get along well with other dogs.
 
The Aussie is affectionate, very lively, agile and attentive, eager to please, highly intelligent and easy to train. This is a dog that is not happy laying around the house or backyard all day. They need more than a fifteen minute walk around the block. Running and jogging with their owner is a great way to work off their energy. They need a job and something to occupy their mind on a daily basis or they will become bored. If bored, they will devise their own entertainment which may not be to their owner’s liking.
 
Height: 12 to 23”; Weight: 40 to 65 pounds; Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
 


Basenji
 
The Basenji is an alert, affectionate, energetic and curious dog. They love to play and make a good pet as long as they are handled regularly from an early age. The Basenji is very intelligent, responds well to training and has a strong desire to please.
 
This breed can be reserved with strangers, but socializes well and can form strong bonds with humans. The Basenji should not be trusted with non-canine pets. They do best with children who know how to display leadership towards the dog.
 
The Basenji dislikes wet weather and they like to chew, so giving them lots of toys would be a good idea. They like to climb and can easily get over chain wire fences. They are described as speedy, frisky, tireless at play and they need daily exercise to release mental and physical energy.
 
The Basenji is very clever at getting their own way, less by obstinacy and more by charm. Therefore, they need an owner that displays natural authority. One who can be calm, but firm and who will make rules and stick to them.
 
Height: 15 to 17”; Weight: 20 to 26 pounds; Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
 
 


Basset Hound
 
The Basset is from an old breed which is a direct descendant of the Bloodhound. This is a short, relatively heavy dog with brown eyes that have a soft, sad look to them. The Basset Hound is sweet, gentle, devoted, peaceful and naturally well-behaved. They fit into family life well and their temperament is generally always friendly and never moody or harsh.
 
This dog is mild, but not timid and very affectionate with their master and friendly with children. They can be a bit stubborn with meek owners and need a firm, confident and consistent owner who displays a natural authority over the dog. Bassets like to do tricks for food and are generally obedient.
 
The Basset Hound will do okay in an apartment as they are very inactive indoors. Outdoors they will run for hours in play if given a chance. To keep this breed happy, it should be given plenty of exercise, including long daily walks to keep the dog mentally stable.
 
Height: 11 to 15”; Weight: 45 to 65 pounds; Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
 
 


Beagle
 
The first Beagles date back to the 1500’s. English hunters would take them out in packs to hunt rabbits, pheasant, quail and other small animals..
 
Beagles are sturdy, hard little hound dogs who look like a miniature Foxhound. They are loving, sweet and gentle and happy to see everyone, greeting them with a wagging tail. The Beagle is sociable, brave and intelligent and is an excellent dog with children.
 
Beagles are generally good with other dogs, but cannot be trusted with non-canine pets unless they are socialized with other animals when they are young. They have minds of their own and are determined and watchful. They require patient, firm training and the proper amount of mental and physical exercise. This includes daily pack walks to avoid separation anxiety. With enough exercise they will be calm and playing tracking games helps to satisfy their instinct to track.
 
Beagles are curious and have a tendency to follow their own noses. If they pick up a scent they will wander off and may not hear their owner calling them back.
 
Height: 13 to 16”; Weight: 20 to 25 pounds; Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
 
 


Bernese Mountain Dog
 
The Bernese Mountain Dog was bred for draft work and can be trained to pull a cart or wagon. This breed originated in the Swiss Mountains. It is a large, sturdy, strong, agile dog that is very intelligent and easy to train.
 
They are cheerful, love children and will be your friend for life. The Bernese Mountain Dog is self-confident, alert, good-natured and slow to mature acting like puppies longer than other breeds.
 
This breed is rather friendly with strangers, and are generally good with other pets and dogs. They need to be with people and do not do well confined to a backyard or kennel. This dog is sensitive and should be trained firmly, but gently. Their owner will need to display natural leadership for this dog to feel secure. Clear rules, structure and daily walks are important. They are not recommended for apartment life, but are relatively inactive indoors and will do best with a large fenced-in yard.
 
Height: 23 to 28”; Weight: 80 to 110 pounds; Life Expectancy: 6 to 10 years
 
 


Border Collie
 
The Border Collie was originally called the “Scotch Sheep Dog” and originated in Northumberland along the borders of Scotland and England. The Border Collie is medium in size and an energetic working dog with a double coat that is weather resistant, dense and close fitting. There are two coat varieties: a short, sleek coat and a coarse, rough coat. An average shedder, the Border Collie needs regular combing and brushing to keep the coat gleaming.
 
This breed is very intelligent and aware of their surroundings and can be trained to a very high degree. The Border Collie excels in agility skills, obedience, sheepdog trials and Frisbee. They are highly energetic with great stamina that requires sufficient activity to keep them occupied. If these needs are met, the Border Collie will get along quite happily with other dogs and children.
 
This breed can be sensitive and should be very well socialized as a puppy to prevent shyness. To be truly happy, they need a lot of consistent leadership, extensive daily exercise and a job to occupy their minds. Border Collies will often challenge their owners authority when they are adolescents. The owner needs to be this dog’s firm, confident, consistent pack leader or he may take over. The Border Collie is a perfectionist with a permanent will to please and lives to serve their owners day in and day out.
 
This breed is not an ideal pet for people who have no plans to spend a lot of time with them. These dogs are too intelligent to lie around the house all day with nothing to do. The Border Collie has strong herding instincts and may try to herd children and strangers and must be told this is not acceptable. This Border Collie is not recommended for apartment life and will do best with acreage.
 
Height: 18 to 22”; Weight: 27 to 45 pounds; Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
 
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Boston Terrier
 
This gentle, alert breed is very intelligent, well-mannered and enthusiastic. The Boston Terrier requires proper mental and physical exercise or they will become rambunctious and a bit high strung.
 
This breed likes to learn and is therefore not difficult to train. Their intelligence ensures they will pick up things quickly. Boston Terriers are good for apartment living as well as country living. They are relatively inactive indoors and do okay without a yard. They are sensitive to weather extremes so do best if allowed indoors when necessary.
 
The Boston Terrier enjoys long daily walks and sessions of free play in a fenced-in yard. Their smooth short-haired coat is easy to groom and they need bathing only when necessary. This breed is an average shedder and does not have a strong doggie odor.
 
Height: 15 to 17”; Weight: 10 to 25 pounds; Life Expectancy: 15 years or more
 
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Boxer
 
The Boxer was developed in Germany in the 19th Century and is a happy, high-spirited, playful, curious and energetic dog. They excel in competitive obedience as they are highly intelligent, eager and quick to learn.
 
The Boxer is constantly on the move and will bond closely with family members. This is a loyal, affectionate breed known for the way they get along so well with children. A well brought-up and properly socialized Boxer will also get along with his own kind and other household pets such as cats. However, other animals such as rodents, ducks and chickens may be too tempting.
 
Boxers have a very clownish and playful nature and are always keen to work and play. They need a lot of human leadership and need to be taught not to be boisterous and especially not to jump up on people. Noted for courage, the boxer makes an excellent watchdog and will see their job as protector of the family and home.
 
Daily mental and physical exercise is paramount for a happy, well-mannered Boxer and without it, the Boxer will become high strung. They will do well in an average size yard if given sufficient exercise. This breeds requires a dominant owner that can be firm and consistent. The objective in training is to achieve a pack leader status. If a Boxer does not take you seriously, they will be sneaky, demanding, boisterous and hard to control.
 
Height: 21 to 25”; Weight: 50 to 60 pounds; Life Expectancy: 11 to 14 years
 
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Brussels Griffon
 
The Brussels Griffon is a sturdy toy dog who is often thought to look like a Star Wars Ewok. This breed has an overbite, wide set black eyes and prominent long, black eyelashes. There are two types of coats, rough and smooth. The rough coat is dense and wiry, the smooth coat fur is short, tight, glossy and straight. They shed very little or no hair.
 
The Griffon is an intelligent, cheerful dog with a terrier-like disposition and lots of personality. They make a fine companion and are good with other dogs and cats. The Griffon is affectionate, charming, lively and curious and they love everyone.
 
This breed cannot live outside in a kennel and would do well in an apartment. They make good watchdogs and can be taught to perform tricks. They need firm, consistent pack leaders in their lives who will provide rules they must follow and limits to what they can and cannot do. They require daily walks and regular exercise.
 
Height: 7 to 8”; Weight: 6 to 12 pounds; Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
 


Chihuahua
 
The Chihuahua is a tiny toy sized dog with a body longer than it is tall. It is native to Mexico and is the oldest breed in America and the smallest breed in the world. Their coat comes in both a short coat or a long, wavy or flat coat. They can be many colors ranging from black to sand, sable, sliver or black and tan.
 
The Chihuahua is a good companion dog and is courageous, extremely lively, proud and adventurous. They love affection and can be strong-willed without the proper human leadership. They are loyal, brave, cheerful and become attached to their owners. Training them for some, may be difficult, but they are intelligent, learn quickly and respond well to proper, firm but gentle training. If you allow this little dog to be your pack leader, they will develop many behavior issues, such as jealousy, aggression with other dogs and sometimes with humans.
 
A Chihuahua who is pack leader of their humans may snap at children. This breed is generally not recommended for children, not because they are not good with them, but because most people treat the Chihuahua differently than they would a large dog. Because of their size, this breed tends to be babied and things we clearly see as bad behavior for a large dog is seen as cute with a small dog.
 
Daily walks are just as important for this small dog as a large dog. The walk, in addition to exercise, provides mental stimulation, and satisfies the migration instinct all dogs have.
 
Height: 6 to 9”; Weight: 2 to 6 pounds; Life Expectancy: 15 or more years
 


Chow Chow
 
This breed was first developed in Mongolia and was later introduced into China. Chows are distinguished by their unusual blue-black/purple tongue. This gene appears to be dominant, as almost all mixed breed dogs that come from a chow retain the tongue color. This is not to say, however, that every mixed breed dog with spots of purple on the tongue is descended from chows as purple spots on the tongue can be found on a multitude of pure breed dogs.
 
The Chow Chow is most commonly kept as a pet and its keen sense of proprietorship over its home, paired with a sometimes serious approach to strangers, can be off-putting to those unfamiliar with the breed. The Chow is extremely loyal to its own family and will bond tightly to its master. The chow typically shows affection only with those it has bonds to, so new visitors to the home should not press their physical attention upon the resident Chow as it will not immediately accept strangers in the same manner as it does members of its own pack.
 
Chows are not a particularly active breed and apartment life can suit them if they are given enough opportunity for regularly-scheduled physical activity each day. While the Chow exhibits low energy for most of the day, it will crave routine time to explore and play to maintain a happy and content disposition.
 
Height: 18 to 22”; Weight: 45 to 70 pounds; Life Expectancy: 15 years
 
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Cocker Spaniel
 
Bold and keen to work, he American Cocker Spaniel is equally suited to life as a household pet. Cheerful, gentle and sweet, average in intelligence and respectful of his master. The Cocker Spaniel is charming, amusing, trustworthy with an ever-wagging tail. They are active, playful and devoted, but need to be socialized well when they are young to avoid a tendency for shyness.
 
This loveable dog is great with children, they love everyone, but need firm and loving leadership. Daily exercise will make them happy and content and they generally get along well with other animals.
 
This dog loves being brushed and requires brushing every other day. They eyes and ears will need special care to keep them healthy. They can be left alone for short to moderate periods of time, but do not do well when left alone for long periods. This breed is an inside dog and is not suited to living outside alone in a kennel.
 
Height: Males 15 ½”, Females 14 ½”; Weight: 15 to 30 Pounds; Life Expectancy 15 years
 


Dachshund
 
The Dachshund or Doxie is a dynamic and affectionate breed that is bold and proud and can be quite tenacious at times. This breed dates back about 600 years and were used for hunting in Germany. They were prized for their hound-like tracking ability.
 
There are three varieties: Short-haired, wired-haired and long-haired. They come in a variety of colors and are curious, clever, lively, brave and amusing. They are devoted to family members, but can be slightly difficult to train and housebreak, but not impossible.
 
The Doxie travels well and needs an owner who understands how to be the pack leader. As with all dogs, the Doxie needs rules, boundaries and limitations or they will take over the household. If there is no pack leader they will become unpredictable with children and adults. They enjoy the out-of-doors, love to dig and are mischievous.
 
Ideal for apartment living, they are lively, affectionate, friendly, devoted and loveable. They can be hard headed at times and will love their owners to death, but can be standoffish towards strangers. Generally, this breed is not recommended for families with young children.
 
They require daily walks as they do have great stamina and will be fairly active indoors. Their coats are generally easy to maintain and they are average shedders.
 
Height: 5” to 12”; Weight: 8 to 11 pounds; Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
 


English Bulldog
 
The English Bulldog originated in the British Isles. This breed is among the gentlest of dogs. They are a very affectionate, dependable dog that is very gentle with children. The Bulldog is also known for its courage and loyalty.
 
Bulldogs are very much a people dog and seek out human attention, loving every bit of attention they can get. A bulldog who understands its place in the human pack is a nice reliable companion with all ages.
 
This breed is good with family pets. Their smooth, fine short-haired coat is easy to groom.
 
Height: 12” to 16”; Weight: 49 to 55 pounds; Life Expectancy: 8 years
 
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Golden Retriever
 
This breed originated in the Scottish Highlands in the late 1800’s. These are loveable, well-mannered, intelligent dogs with a great deal of charm. They are easily trained and always patient and gentle with children. This is a charming, devoted and self-assured popular family dog.
 
Obedience training can be very rewarding as the Golden is energetic, loving, and enjoys pleasing their masters. They excel in competitive activities, are friendly with everyone, including other dogs, and have very little, if any, guarding instincts.
 
They require an owner that can display leadership, be firm but calm and confident and be a consistent pack leader in order to avoid behavioral issues. Some of the Golden’s talents are hunting, tracking, retrieving, agility, competitive obedience and performing tricks. They require daily mental and physical exercise and do best in a medium to large yard.
 
Height: 20” to 24”; Weight: 55 to 80 pounds; Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
 
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Husky
 
This breed was primarily bred as a working dog and possess great endurance, but is also gentle and playful. They are puppies at heart, clever, sociable, loving, easy going and docile. They are good with children and friendly with strangers. They do not make good watch dogs as they bark very little and love everyone.
 
This breed was primarily bred as a working dog and possess great endurance, but is also gentle and playful. They are puppies at heart, clever, sociable, loving, easy going and docile. They are good with children and friendly with strangers. They do not make good watch dogs as they bark very little and love everyone.
 
The Alaskan Husky is very intelligent and trainable, but they do have a mind of their own. They will only obey a command if they see the point and if you do not display leadership, they will not obey you. Training takes patience, consistency and an understanding of the artic dog character. If you are not a 100%, firm, confident, consistent pack leader, he will take advantage and become willful and mischievous.
 
This breed makes an excellent jogging companion as long as it is not too hot. They may be difficult to house break, they like to howl and get bored easily. The Husky does not like to be left alone and a lonely Husky or one who does not get enough mental and physical exercise can be very destructive. This is a sled dog in heart and soul and can be good with other pets, if raised with them. They need a properly fence yard and long daily walks. This breed sheds twice a year.
 
Height: 24 to 26”; Weight: 80 to 95 pounds; Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years.


Japanese Chin
 
The Japanese Chin, also called Chin or Japanese Spaniel, is a little spaniel whose only bred purpose is to serve man as a companion. They are charming, lively, happy, pleasant, loving and intelligent. This little dog is affectionate and extremely devoted to its’ master and will love everyone it is familiar with. However, they are known to be reserved around strangers and unfamiliar situations.
 
This breed is good with other dogs and pets, but does need to be well socialized. They have a mind of their own and like to be the center of attention, but they are not prone to bark. They require an owner that can be a good pack leader who will set the proper rules, boundaries and limitations. This mild mannered dog will be obedient with training, graceful, yet playful, agile, dainty, clean with a somewhat sensitive temperament.
 
The Chin will do well in an apartment setting and is moderately active indoors. They do, however, enjoy a yard and daily walks. They can be sensitive to extremes in temperature
 
Height: 7 to 11”; Weight: 4 to 15 pounds; Life Expectancy: 10 years
 
 


Kai Ken
 
This breed is very loyal to their family and generally loves kids, but may be somewhat reserved with strangers. They are very intelligent, proud, dignified and fairly easy to train and respond best to positive training methods.
 
Because of the Kai’s primitive nature and wild origins, it is important that the Kai be well socialized. They are natural hunters and some Kai’s have been known to swim or climb trees in pursuit of their prey. Given a chance they will take off in search of game so it is important to never trust a Kai off lease unless it is in a fenced yard.
 
The Kai is extremely devoted and will require a fair amount of love and attention from their owner in order to be happy.
 
Height: 17 to 20”; Weight: 30 to 40 pounds; Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
 


Keeshond
 
The Keeshond, pronounced “Kazehawnd”, is the Dutch word for dog and is a member of spitz group of dogs that developed in northern climates. This breed is related to the Samoyed, the Norwegian Elkhound, the Chow Chow, the Finnish Spitz, and its closest relative, the Pomeranian. The American Kennel Club recognized this breed in 1930. The Kees ranked 39th in number of dogs registered in 1992 out of the 135 breeds recognized by the AKC.
 
The Keeshond is a northern dog with the typical spitz pointed muzzle, upright ears, plush, two-layered coat, and curled tail. The Kees has a somewhat different temperament than many of his cousins. He is less independent than the Norwegian Elkhound and Alaskan Malamute, more outgoing than the Chow or Siberian Husky, and quieter, gentler, more sensible and less dominant than most of his relatives. He is a good watchdog, but not a guardian, likes children, and is sociable. He is an active dog and likes to be included in family activities. Although relatively easy to each, he is sensitive to discipline and needs guidance rather than punishment in training.
 
The Keeshond is a moderate dog, needing a moderate amount of care. He is somewhat active indoors, needs daily exercise outdoors, and requires at least weekly grooming when not shedding. His thick undercoat blows out twice each year, and dust bunnies give way to dust elephants during this time as tufts of hair drift about the house and scamper under furniture. A shedding northern dog, even a small one, is not for the faint of heart if you get the vapors at the thought of chasing dog hair for six-to-eight weeks each year.
 
The Keeshond coat can be a problem during hot, humid weather. Owners must provide a supply of fresh water at all times to replenish lost moisture, through panting, in order to prevent dangerous dehydration.
 
Height: 17 to 19”; Weight: 55 to 66 pounds; Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
 
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Labrador
 
The Labrador is originally from Newfoundland and were initially used in work alongside fishermen. There are two types of Labrador: English Labrador that is heavier, thicker and blockier looking; American Labrador which has a tall and lanky appearance. Their colors can be black, yellow, chocolate and silver with a double coat that is smooth.
 
The Labrador is loyal, loving, affectionate, patient, and intelligent which makes them a family friendly dog. Because of their good nature and aptitude to please, they excel as guide dogs for the blind, search and rescue teams and working with law enforcement in narcotics detection.
 
They love to play, especially in water and are an ideal sporting dog and will thrive as part of an active family. They crave human leadership and need to feel they are part of the family, but may become reserved with strangers unless well socialized.
 
Their temperament is one of a kindly, outgoing, tractable nature, eager to please and non-aggressive towards man or animal. The Labrador can become destructive if their owner is not 100% pack leader, or if, they do not receive enough mental and physical exercise. Daily brisk, long walks or a jog or run along side your bicycle will meet their exercise needs.
 
Height: 22 to 24”; Weight: 60 to 75 pounds; Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
 


Lhasa Apso
 
The Lhasa Apso is a small hardy dog with a friendly, assertive, manner that originated in Tibet in the Himalayan Mountains. Their name comes from the sacred city of Lhasa. They are intelligent and lively and make good pets. Lhasa Apsos are spirited and devoted little dogs who will be affectionate with their owners. This breed can be very obedient and respond best to motivational training.
 
A Lhasa Apso has a keen sense of hearing and make good watch dogs. They travel well, but may be suspicious of strangers and may not tolerate children. Rules, boundaries and limitations are necessary to maintain good pack leadership with the Lhasa Apso. Without this in place the Lhasa Apso will take over and could develop negative behaviors.
 
They do well in apartments, are very active indoors and will require daily walks and lots of play to maintain good weight and not develop behavior problems.
 
Height: 10 to 11”; Weight: 13 to 15 pounds; Life Expectancy: 15 or more years
 


Maltese
 
The Maltese was developed in Italy and is said to have miniature spaniel and poodle in their blood lines.
 
The Maltese is a small, hardy dog with silky hair. This breed is spirited, lively, playful, gentle, loving, trusting and devoted to its master. They are highly intelligent and adept at learning tricks.
 
The Maltese is a classical companion dog, graceful and lovable. They do well with other non-canine animals and other dogs. They like to play outdoors, but will do well in an apartment. They will be very active indoors and will be okay without a yard as long as they get daily walks. Play will take care of some of their exercise and they will enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off lead, such as a large fenced yard.
 
Height: 8 to 10”; Weight: 6 1/2 to 9 Pounds; Life Expectancy: 15 or more years
 


Norfolk Terrier
 
The Norfolk Terrier is a variety of the Norwich Terrier and is distinguished from the “prick eared” Norwich by its “drop ears”. The Norfolk and Norwich Terriers are the smallest of the working terriers.
 
This breed generally has a wire-haired coat which can be various shades of red, wheaten, black and tan. They are active and compact, free moving, with good substance and bone. This terrier is very agile and makes a good ratter because of this agility. They are natural hunters with a strong prey drive for small vermin.
 
Generally fearless, but not aggressive, they have the softest temperaments of the Terrier Group. As companions, they love people and children and do make good pets. Their activity level is generally reflective of the pace of their environment. This breed should not be kept or live outside since they thrive on human contact. Norfolks can be barkers and are very vocal and will cohabit well with other household pets if properly introduced.
 
This breed has a double coat: a harsh, wiry topcoat and a soft, warm undercoat. A good combing once a week will remove loose, dead hairs and prevent matting.
 
Height: 16”; Weight: 10 to 12 Pounds; Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 Years
 


Papillon
 
This small dog is sometimes called the Continental Toy Spaniel. The Papillion is a fine-boned little dog that is very friendly and intelligent. They are tougher than they look and love outdoor exercise where they display their playful, lively, amusing, animated and charming selves. This is an affectionate, gentle, patient and proud little dog that is steady and obedient. Their hair is simple and straight and easy to maintain.
 
A Papillion can live anywhere, but an apartment may cause problems as this little dog communicates in a vocal manner. They require steady runs or playing in the park. Because of their dainty bones, this dog is rather fragile, so a home with older children would be best. The Papillion excels in obedience and agility and are very devoted to their owners. This wonderful dog has a lively personality and is not content to sit on your lap. One of their favorite pass times is to hunt and flush out butterflies, moths, and mice--little things within their size range.
 
Highly intelligent and easily trainable, they do need daily walks to work off some of their excess energy. They are good with cats if properly socialized with them.
 
Height: 8 to 11”; Weight: 8 to 10 pounds; Life Expectancy: 16 years
 
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Pekingese
 
The Pekingese is a very brave little dog that is sensitive, independent and extremely affectionate with their master. These adorable dogs can make wonderful companions as well as a good watchdog.
 
This breed may become wary of strangers and may be courageous with other dogs to the point of foolhardiness. Humans need to give the Pekingese rules to follow, and limits to what they are allowed to do and not do.
 
The Pekingese require daily walks to relieve their mental and physical energy. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs who do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. Daily combing and brushing their long double coat is essential.
 
The Pekingese will do well in an apartment and are relatively inactive indoors.
 
Height: 6 to 9”; Weight: 8 to 10 pounds; Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years
 
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Pomeranian
 
The Pomeranian is sometimes referred to as Pom Pom and are ancestors to the ancient Spitz breeds. They got their name from the region of Pomerania which is now the area of Germany and Poland. The Kennel Club in England first recognized them as a breed in 1870. The Pomeranian was first recognized by the AKC in 1888. They are proud, lively, intelligent dogs that are eager to learn and very loyal to their family. They make wonderful companions, show dogs and excel at agility trials.
 
Generally docile in temperament and affectionate in nature, the Pom Pom will love sitting on your lap and showering you with kisses. This little dog is alert, inquisitive, active and very independent and will need a firm, but gentle hand. If properly introduced, the Pomeranian will get along with other dogs and household animals.
 
As a watch dog they are good alarms, but need to be trained not to bark excessively. They love to learn tricks and do not cling to their owners. The person that owns a Pomeranian will have to establish their position as the pack leader or their Pom Pom could become very demanding.
 
A Pomeranian does fine in an apartment and does not necessarily need a yard, but will require daily walks. They have a long double coat that must be brushed frequently.
 
Height: 7 to 12”; Weight: 3 to 7 Pounds; Life Expectancy: 15 Years
 


Poodle
 
There is the Toy, Standard and Miniature Poodle, all very intelligent, joyful, good companion dogs. This breed is regarded as the second most intelligent breed after the Border Collie and before the German Shepherd. They are willing and happy to please their owners and can be easily trained. They are skillful in many dog sports, such as, agility, obedience, tracking and even herding.
 
This is a comical and clever dog that needs to be part of a family and does not do well living outside in a kennel. They do not have body odor or shed which makes them a good indoor dog. The Poodle will become high strung if not given the proper types and amounts of exercise.
 
This breed makes a good watch dog, but should not be allowed to become the alpha dog. This will cause them to become untrustworthy with children and strangers.
 
This is a highly energetic breed which can become bored quite easily and will get creative about finding things to do. Daily walks, play and close human contact are a must to keep them happy and healthy.
 
Toy-Height: up to 10”; Weight: 6 to 9 pounds; Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 or more years
 
Miniature-Height: 11 to 15”; Weight: 15 to 17 pounds; Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 Years
 
 
Standard-Height: 15”; Weight: Males, 45 to 70 pounds, Females, 45 to 60 pounds; Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 Years
 
 


Rhodesian Ridgeback
 
This breed is a large, muscular hound. In the home, they are calm, gentle, obedient, good dogs. Generally good-natured, they some times do not do well with small children because they may play too roughly and knock them down.
 
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an intelligent, skillful and straight-forward dog that is loyal to the family. They are brave, vigilant and can be reserved toward strangers so they need to be well socialized.
 
This breed possess considerable stamina and without enough mental and physical exercise, they can become high strung and unmanageable. They need a firm, confident, consistent pack leader who can provide rules and limits through gentle, but firm training. They become very protective of their owners and make excellent jogging companions. They have great stamina and you will tire long before they do. They require daily, long, brisk walks or jogs. Plenty of opportunity should be provided for them to run, preferably off leash in a safe area. If they get bored and do not receive the necessary exercise, they can become destructive and develop behavioral problems.
 
Height: 24 to 27”; Weight: 65 to 90 pounds; Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
 


Rottweiler
 
The Rottweiler is a muscular, massive and powerful dog with a calm, trainable and courageous spirit. They are devoted to their owner and family and will be loyal and protective.
 
This breed is serious, even tempered, brave, confident and needs an owner who is strong minded, calm, but firm and able to handle their massive size. The Rottweiler is a docile, natural guard dog with a laid-back, reliable temperament. They are highly intelligent and have proven their worth in police, military and customs work. They need leadership and early socialization and are not happy confined to a kennel or backyard.
 
The owner of a Rottweiler needs to achieve pack leader status as friends and family will be welcomed by the Rottweiler, but strangers to whom the dog senses bad intentions will get no further than the sidewalk. They need plenty of exercise and you cannot give them too much as daily walks or jogs are a necessary requirement of this powerful breed.
 
Height: 22 to 27”; Weight: 43 to 130 pounds; Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
 
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Schnauzer
 
The Schnauzer is an intelligent, loving, happy dog that is energetic and playful. The breed originated in Germany and was used as a ratter, but are mostly companions today. They get along well with children and like to be with people. They are affectionate, devoted and docile and with proper leadership they can get along with other dogs.
 
The Schnauzer makes a good companion and family pet, but owners need to be calm, but firm in establishing good boundaries. This breed is a good watch dog and easy to travel with. They may be reserved with strangers if their handlers do not provide stability in their lives. They generally love most everyone.
 
They are good indoors and will do well in apartment living if they get enough outdoor exercise. They need daily long, walks and opportunities to play off leash.
 
Height, Miniature: 10” to 17”; Height, Standard: 17” to 20”; Height, Giant: 23” to 28”; Weight: 15 to 80 pounds; Life Expectancy: 15 years
 


Shar-Pei
 
The Shar-Pei is very loyal to their handler and is intelligent, playful, active and dominant. They bond with their family, and are generally friendly toward strangers. If the Shar-Pei meets cats and children while they are still young, they usually will not have a problem with them.
 
The Shar-Pei is easy-going, calm, independent and devoted. They make a delightful companion and a good watch dog. They need a confident handler who is firm, but gentle and extremely consistent as an authority figure. This breed will take over if they don’t think there is a human in charge. The Shar-Pei is a very clean dog and one of the easier breeds to housebreak.
 
Socialization with other dogs is important as mixing dogs can sometimes be a problem if one of the dogs is displaying dominant behaviors. The Shar-Pei is sensitive to warm weather and must be provided with enough exercise. They will be very peaceful indoors if given the appropriate amount of daily walks.
 
Height: 18” to 20”; Weight: 40 to 50 pounds; Life Expectancy: Up to 10 years
 


Shepherd
 
There are various types of Shepherd dogs: German, Dutch, Anatolian, Russian, Spanish. They are from the herding group and the most common colors are black and tan with a medium hair length. They tend to be heavy shedders and required daily exercise through walking or running with their owners.
 
The Shepherd has a distinct personality which is confident and strong in behavior and appearance. They are typically fearless, and fiercely loyal and protective toward their family. This breed is extremely eager to please once you have established yourself as the “Alpha Dog”. They will fight to the death for their owners, but can appear somewhat aloof particularly toward strangers. It takes them time to get to know people before they will let their guard down.
 
Every alert, they never miss what goes on around them which makes them a good watch dog. The Shepherd makes a great family pet if properly trained. Once trained, they can be relied upon to behave appropriately and could be good with children and other pets.
 
This is a strong, athletic breed which needs exercise through daily walks or time in a large yard where they can run and play. An intelligent dog, they do well in agility, tracking and obedience. They are easy to train and are not aggressive by nature. Because of their keen sense of smell, the game of “find” is a perfect activity, but they also enjoy fetch and Frisbee.
 
Height: 22” to 26”; Weight: 49 to 88 pounds; Life Expectancy: 10 years
 


Shih-Tzu
 
The Shih-Tzu is said to have descended from crossing the Lhasa Apso or Tibetan mountain dog with the Pekingese.
 
This is a small, sturdy dog with a body that is slightly longer than it is tall. They are an alert, lively, little dog that is happy, hardy and packed with character. They are gentle, loyal and make friends easily. They respond well to consistent, patient training.
 
The Shih-Tzu is a very good watch dog who is courageous, clever, playful and spunky. This affectionate, little dog likes to be with people and is generally good with other pets. They need a good pack leader who knows how to enforce the rules of the house in a clear and consistent manner.
 
The Shih-Tzu is good for apartment life and will be fairly active indoors. They do okay without a yard as long as they can have daily walks. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs and they will enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off lead, such as a fenced yard.
 
This is a breed that is sensitive to the heat and owners need to be aware of this need in their Shih-Tzu.
 
Height: Up to 11”; Weight: 9 to 16 pounds; Life Expectancy: 15 years or more
 


Terrier Group
 
Terrier Group is the name of a breed Group of dogs, used by kennel clubs to classify a defined collection of dog breeds. There are five groups of Terriers and within these five groups are several different breeds. These dogs were originally kept to hunt vermin, especially mice and rats. Some were small enough to go down the holes of the European fox and other agricultural pest animals in order to chase them out for the hunter.
 
The Terrier is agile, their temperament is that of a courageous fighter, which has promoted their use as hunting dogs. They adapt to the family very well, the head of the family however, needs to be the pack leader.
 
Terriers are playful and love to run and play outside with the people that love them. They are loyal with a little bit of attitude and spunk and excel as agility dogs. These lovely dogs are smart, easy to train, but need an owner that is prepared, with determination, to match their high-spirited personalities. Regular walks and lots of exercise games will keep this wonderful breed happy.
 
Height: Ranges from the smallest at 5” to the largest at 24”; Weight: The smallest at 2 pounds to the largest at 70 pounds; Life Expectancy: 13 to 16 years
 


Welsh Corgi
 
This breed is a herding dog which originated in Wales with two Corgi breeds known as Welsh Corgis and Cardigan Welsh Corgis. The Corgi is the smallest dog in the herding group and has been ranked number eleven in intelligence in relation to other dogs.
 
Despite its size, the Corgi has a sturdy, confident and athletic build which makes the Corgi and great working dog. Corgis are hard-working and loyal and are usually easily trainable. They function as good watchdogs due to their alertness and tendency to bark. They are typically outgoing, friendly dogs and can be very energetic especially if they do not get enough exercise.
 
The Corgi has an undercoat of fine soft fur, with an overcoat of short, somewhat coarse fur. Their undercoat sheds continuously all year round, with extensive seasonal shedding occurring at least twice each year.
 
Height: 10 to 12”; Weight: 24 to 28 pounds; Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 Years
 


Wheaten Terrier
 
This soft coated dog originated in Ireland and is possibly one of the oldest of the Irish breeds. They are strong, agile and well-coordinated, happy, playful, spirited and friendly. They are very alert and make great watch dogs. This breed is very loving with children and get along reasonably well with other dogs as long as there is a pack leader in the family.
 
The Wheaten Terrier is sweet-tempered, docile and self-confident with a puppy attitude that will remain with them throughout their life. This breed is very intelligent and will grasp quickly what is required of them. They require firm, calm, and consistent training and generally bond closely with their family.
 
They need daily walks, but do not tolerate heat very well. They can do well in an apartment as long as their daily exercise requirements are met.
 
Height: 18 to 20”; Weight: 35 to 40 pounds; Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years.
 
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