Dog breeds, dog gifts, dog names, and more

Welcome to dog-breeds-and-gifts!


My name is Al and I would like to welcome you to my web site

I call myself a dog enthusiast. I have a love for dogs and have been around dogs all my life.

Let me tell you about my earliest recollection of a 'dog encounter'.

I grew up on a farm. Like most farms we had a farm dog; ours was a was a mixed breed canine called Rover.

One sunny summer day when I was about 4 years old, I decide to head outside to play. I remember running through the kitchen and out the door to go into the yard. It so happened that Rover was fast asleep on the first step outside the door. I was running at full speed and stepped right on Rover's stomach. Startled out of a deep sleep, he promptly turned his head and bit my foot! Not a nice way to start relationship! I remember sitting in the kitchen and crying as I looked at blood on my toes.

However I recovered quickly. Rover and I soon mended fences and became good pals.

You can read more of my interesting dog encounters on the About me page.

The dog that made the biggest impression on me was my shetland sheepdog, Shayna. Her picture is featured below on this page and on the shetland sheepdog page. Also read more about Shayna on the About me page.

On this web site I have put together information about dog breeds. This information has been collect over time from many sources: books, magazines, other web sites, personal experiences, and so on. (Breeds listed are those recognized by the American Kennel Club.)

I have also included links to help you find dog gifts and treats plus gifts for any and all proud dog owners.

Do you have a new puppy? Can't decide on a name? check out my Name your dog page for thousands of dog names.
It is important to find the right name for your dog.

Herding Dogs
As the name suggests, the herding breeds dog group consists of dogs that were bred to herd animals. Although most also make good companions, their heritage is herding. The Border Collie is an example of a breed that is used by many as a companion, but it retains a strong herding instinct and is still used today by some owners for herding. The German Shepherd, on the other hand, is used more as a companion or in specialized roles such as law enforcement, rescue, and guarding rather than in its original role of herding.

Hound Dogs
At first glance the hound dogs group appears to be quite a diverse group of dog breeds. They vary significantly in size, weight, and temperament. The trait they have in common is their love of the hunt. Some, like the Basset Hound, hunt mainly by scent. Others, like the Afghan Hound use mainly sight, while still others like the Pharaoh Hound use both.
Non-Sporting Dogs
The non-sporting dogs group is often referred to as a 'catch all' group. These diverse dog breeds do not fit into any of the other categories. This may have a negative connotation for some, there is nothing negative about this group. Each breed has its own merits and uses. If there is any commonality to this category, it is that in recent times, most of these breeds are used as companions in addition to any traditional roles they may have had. If you own one or more of these fine breeds, do not let the categorization 'non-sporting group' in any way diminish the pride you as an owner should feel.
Terrier Dogs
The Terrier dogs group is a unique collection of dog breeds that were developed to hunt rodents and vermin. In more recent times, some were bred to fight other dogs. Most terriers are quick tempered and have little acceptance of other dogs or pets. They do make good pets for the responsible owner. Two of the breeds in this group, the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier are often lumped together with the American Pit Bull Terrier (recognized by the UKC but not by the AKC) and incorrectly referred to as pit bulls. There is much debate over the 'pit bulls'; one either loves them or hates them!
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Sporting Dogs
The sporting dogs group consists of breeds that either hunt other animals, or assist in the hunt. This group includes pointers and setters (locate game then freeze to point it out to the hunter), spaniels (flush game so the hunter can dispatch it), and retrievers (retrieve fallen and wounded game). Some, like the Brittany, combine more than one of these skills and are known as universal hunting dogs. Most of these breeds make good companions as well. The most popular dog in North America, the Golden Retriever, is in the sporting group.

Toy Dogs
The toy dogs group consists of dogs that are mainly companions and/or lap dogs. Many are or appear to be miniature versions of dogs from other groups. This is true in some cases such as the Toy Poodle, but deceiving in other cases such as the Miniature Pinscher. The Miniature Pinscher (sometimes misspelled as Miniature Pincher) appears to be a miniaturized Doberman Pinscher, but in fact the Miniature is the older breed predating the Doberman by a century or more. The toy dogs group includes most of the small dog breeds with a few noteable exceptions such as the Miniature Dachshund (found in the hound dogs group under Dachshund).
Working Dogs
The working dogs group consists of large intelligent dogs that 'work' for a living. In general dogs in this group are used to guard, protect, pull and rescue. Some also make good companions, but their history is working rather than companionship.
Miscellaneous Dogs
The Miscellaneous dog breeds group is where AKC recognition of breeds begins. When enough nationwide interest and activity exists for a breed, including an active parent club, the breed may be admitted to the miscellaneous class. Once this occurs, the breed may compete AKC events but are not eligible for championship points. At the discretion of the AKC Board of Governors, if a breed appears to be sustainable with enough interest and activities it will be moved to one of the other groups.
Alphabetic Listing of Dog Breeds.
If you are not sure which group to select for the dog breed that you want to look up, find it here in the alphabetic list.

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Name Your Dog
The names Rover and Skippy are taken! Listed in these pages are thousands of names for your dog. Your dog's name deserves careful consideration. Don't just pick any name, find the name that is just right; your dog will thank you for the rest of its life.
Dogs are special and so are the people who own and love them. You buy presents for that special person on your life. You buy presents for yourself. So why not buy presents for your special canine companion? Show your dog that you love him or her by picking the right gift.

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Keep your dog healthy.

Dogs often face health problems similar to those of humans. Specifically, today many dogs suffer ill health because of a sedentary, 'potato-couch' lifestyle. Most dog breeds were developed over many years, in some cases centuries to hunt, retrieve, herd, or guard. In these roles most dog breeds led very active lifestyles. Yet today, many of these dog breeds receive little or no daily exercise. As a result, dog obesity is on the rise.

Every dog should receive at least one daily exercise period. Many breeds would benefit from more than one exercise session per day. The duration of the exercise period is dependent upon the size and breed of the dog. For example, a Yorkshire Terrier can get by with indoor playtime. On the other hand, a Greyhound does best with a good run on a trail or in a safe area. Given the age, breed, and size of your dog, it may be difficult to know exactly how much exercise is appropriate. My suggestion - seek advice from your local veterinarian. As a matter of course, your dog should receive regular checkups from a veterinarian. These visits are a good time to discuss exercise needs if you are not sure, as well as any other questions you might have.

If your dog is not used to a reasonable amount of exercise, start slowly and then build up over time. Make sure your dog's nails and trimmed, and allow time to build up the calluses on its feet.

There are several negative effects of your dog being over weight and not receiving enough exercise. These include boredom which can lead to destructive behaviours such as excessive chewing and digging, barking, and even inappropriate elimination. The potential for diseases such as cancer and joint problems also increases.

Another reason for dog obesity is poor quality dog food and excessive amounts of 'human' food given as treats. Cheap dog food and table scraps are to dogs as fast food is to humans. Remember the movie Super Size Me? It is not a diet you would recommend to your loved ones, why force it on your canine? Another issue to consider - a poor quality diet may lead to dental problems. Again, ask your veterinarian if you are unsure about the best food (and the daily amount required) for your dog breed.

Your dog cannot tell you if it is feeling sluggish or unhealthy. It cannot sign up for its own weight loss program. You, the dog owner, must take the initiative to ensure the health of you dog. In summary:

  • visit your veterinarian to discuss your dog's health and follow his/her advice
  • select appropriate (and healthy) dog food
  • develop an exercise program that you can commit to and that ideally can be fun.

  • You will also benefit by the daily exercise time. If you pick a set time everyday for exercising, your dog will get used to the routine and become very excited about the daily outings. This can be motivational for you as well as your dog. One final benefit for you the dog owner is that a dog at your side can easily be a conversation catalyst, helping you interact with other people.

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    Puppies and Chewing

    Is your puppy chewing on furniture or household items? Well, puppies love to chew; it is inherent to their nature and it helps exercise their jaws. It may also relieve discomfort associated with teething. It is important for the health of your puppy that you make proper chewing toys available. Appropriate chewing toys include rawhides, hard rubber rings, and chewing ropes. Inappropriate chewing toys or items include shoes, furniture, plants, plastic bottles, and other household items. If a puppy is allowed to chew anything and everything, then he will think everything is fair game and may damage or destroy property. Helping your puppy focus on chewing on acceptable toys requires a two part strategy.

  • Keep inappropriate toys out of reach. This can be likened to toddler proofing you house, except in this case you are dog-proofing your house. Close closet doors, keep newspapers and magazines out of reach, and be especially careful with plants since some like philodendrons are poisonous. Items such as real bones or wooden toys may splinter and cause fragments to be imbedded in the puppy’s mouth. Also stay away from toys that contain bells or squeaking devices inside, since these can come apart and be inadvertently swallowed.

  • Have lots of appropriate toys available. Make sure you have a variety of items on hand, not just one rawhide bone, or one fleece toy. Encourage your puppy to chew on these by using them in play time. This is also a good idea once your dog has grown.