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Abyssinian Cat

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About the Abyssinian Cat

Abyssinians are highly intelligent and intensely inquisitive. They love to investigate and will leave no nook or cranny unexplored. They’re sometimes referred to as “Aby-grabbys” because they tend to take things that grab their interest. The playful Aby loves to jump and climb. Keep a variety of toys on hand to keep her occupied, including puzzle toys that challenge her intelligence.

Seemingly always in motion, she’ll slow down occasionally to curl up next to you on the couch or in bed. Although independent, she does best with another Aby companion to match her high activity levels while you’re away. Abyssinians love attention from you and respectful children and get along well with cat-friendly dogs, as well as other pets, like large parrots and ferrets.

Affenpinscher

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About the Affenpinscher

This ancient toy breed is fun-loving, loyal and fearless. He’s considered a hypoallergenic breed, so he could be a perfect companion for both people with and without allergies.

Temperament

What the Affenpinscher lacks in size, he makes up for with his big personality. He’s curious and funny, bold and outgoing. His intelligence and courage make him a great watchdog, but socialization with people and other animals is crucial.

As a moderately active dog, the Affen needs plenty of playtime and interaction indoors, plus outdoor walks and activities. He gets along well with other dogs, but may not do well in homes where rodents like hamsters and gerbils are kept as pets.

Although playful and entertaining, the Affenpinscher does not enjoy being hugged, squeezed or chased. As such, he’s not the best dog breed for families with young children. 

Characteristics

Affenpinschers are sturdy, yet compact dogs. They have a medium frame and their height and length are about the same, with females slightly longer than males. This creates a square appearance.

Lifespan

12 to 15 years

Colors

Affenpinschers sport a variety of different coat colors, including black, gray, silver, red, black and tan, and beige.

Shedding

As with most breeds, Affens shed seasonally. They have a dense, wiry, medium-length coat. Brush the coat two to three times per week to prevent mats and tangles. The wiry coat is considered hypoallergenic, so the Affenpinscher may be a good dog for people with allergies.

Health

Affenpinschers are a generally healthy breed. Responsible breeders screen for certain health conditions, however. These may include luxating patella, heart and vision problems and hip dysplasia.

Like other breeds with short faces, Affens may have trouble breathing in hot weather. It’s important to prevent them from getting overheated.

Although their small size makes them a great companion for small apartments, Affens may be prone to weight gain. This makes regular exercise and monitoring their caloric intake important.

Best Dog Food for Affenpinscher Dogs & Puppies

Because the Affenpinscher is a toy breed, we recommend choosing a dog food specifically formulated for small dogs.

If you have an Affen puppy, choose a puppy-specific formula with essential nutrients for growth and development. For information on how much or when to feed your Affen dog or puppy, explore our feeding articles here.

History

The Affen’s origins date back to the 1600s in Munich and elsewhere in Germany. The breed started by working in stables, ridding them of pests. Later, they were brought indoors to chase mice out of kitchens.

As the breed further developed, the Affenpinscher’s size was decreased to transform him into a companion dog. The breed may have influenced the development of other European breeds, including the Brussels Griffon and Miniature Schnauzer.

The Berlin Lapdog Club began formulating breed standards for the Affenpinscher in 1902, but the standards weren’t finalized until 1913. Affens were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1936, although clubs dedicated to the breed formed in France and Germany in the late 1800s.

As with many breeds, World War II halted further breeding. Interest in the breed returned in the 1950s, but the Affen didn’t gain widespread attention until 2002. That year, Super Nova won the Toy Group at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. In 2013, Banana Joe won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. 

Facts

  • In German, Affenpinscher means “monkey dog” or “ape terrier.” Presumably, their name is thanks to their ape-like faces.
  • Although Affens don’t fall under the Terrier Group, they were bred to expel rats and other pets as a terrier would.
  • The Affenpinscher is considered a rare breed.

Afghan Hound

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About the Afghan Hound

Dignified and aloof, the Afghan Hound has a happy temperament and makes an excellent family companion.

Temperament

The Afghan Hound doesn’t just look regal. He has an aristocratic air and independent nature. In spite of this, he’s sweet and can even be silly—especially as a puppy. Afghans are loyal to their immediate human family, but may snub guests.

As an active breed, Afghans need plenty of exercise and adequate nutrition to fuel their high energy levels. Bred to hunt and chase prey by sight, this sighthound has strong instincts to run after anything it deems as prey. Even with consistent training, it’s not advised to walk an Afghan off-leash. Outdoor play areas should have a high, secure fence. They need plenty of room to run at full speed to burn off pent-up energy.

Characteristics

Afghans have an athletic body with protruding hipbones. This unique breed trait does not mean the dog is underweight.

Instead, the hip joints pivot, which gives them the ability to cover a lot of ground quickly and overcome obstacles with ease. Their large paw pads serve as shock absorbers, protecting their joints from harsh terrain.

Lifespan

12 to 14 years

Colors

The Afghan Hound comes in an array of different colors, including black, black and silver, black and tan, blue, blue and cream, red, silver or white. Afghans may also have markings such as a black mask, brindle, brindle black mask, brindle domino or domino.

Shedding

Although they require more grooming than other breeds, this long-coated breed doesn’t shed much. Afghan puppies require little maintenance, thanks to their short coats. The long coat that develops during adolescence needs regular grooming.

Daily brushing helps keep the coat tangle- and mat-free and removes dirt and debris. Regular bathing is also needed.

Health

Afghan Hounds have lower stores of body fat than other breeds, which makes them more sensitive to anesthesia. Experts recommend finding a veterinarian experienced with sighthounds if your Afghan needs surgery.

Their deep chest increases the risk of bloat, a sudden and often life-threatening swelling of the abdomen.

Responsible breeders screen for hip, eye and thyroid problems. The Afghan’s long-hanging ears increases the risk of ear infection.

Best Dog Food for Afghan Hounds & Puppies

Active breeds like the Afghan Hound can benefit from high-protein dog food to support their high energy levels.

If you have an Afghan puppy, look for puppy food specifically formulated with essential nutrients to support his growth and development throughout his first year of life.

Explore all our dry dog food products here. For more information on how much or when to feed your Afghan dog or puppy, explore our feeding articles.

    History

    The Afghan Hound is one of the oldest purebred dogs. So old, in fact, it was developed thousands of years before written records were kept.

    The breed’s origins have been traced back to areas of Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, but it’s impossible to pinpoint an exact region due to its lengthy history.

    Afghans were hunting companions to Asia’s elite mountain kingdoms. They hunted large prey, both in the desert and mountains. They were prized for the ability to hunt without human direction.

    Although a fixture in ancient Eastern cultures, Afghan Hounds weren’t discovered by Western cultures until the 1800s. English officers traveling home from time spent in the far-reaches of the British Empire brought the breed back to Europe with them.

    By the 1900s, Afghan Hounds were the breed of choice among Britain’s upper classes. The American Kennel Club (AKC) first registered the breed in 1927, but it didn’t gain popularity in the U.S. until the 1930s. The Afghan Hound went on to win Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1957 and again in 1983.

    Facts

    • The Afghan’s long, flowing coat protected him from the harsh desert and mountainous climates where they originated.
    • As sighthounds, Afghans have panoramic vision and their unique hip joints give them astounding speed. These traits allow them to easily spot and pursue their prey.
    • Pablo Picasso’s sculpture of his Afghan Hound, Kabul, stands in Daley Plaza in Chicago.
    • A 1962 painting by Picasso, Femme au Chien, features an Afghan Hound. In 2012, the painting sold for more than $10 Million.
    • When Barbie’s Afghan Hound named Beauty was introduced, the breed’s popularity soared in America.
    • The first cloned dog was an Afghan Hound named “Snuppy” in 2005.
    • One of the first Afghan Hounds brought to America belonged to Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers in 1926.

    Airedale Terrier

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    About the Airedale Terrier

    The largest of the terrier breeds, the Airedale Terrier originated in the Valley of Aire in England, where factory workers bred him to be a good hunter, a strong, intelligent guard dog and a companion. The Airedale Terrier is a sturdy breed with a hard, wiry coat that became known as a “jack of all trades” doing police work, rodent control and hunting game. Airedales need grooming several times a year plus weekly brushing.

    Akita

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    About the Akita

    Developed in the mountains of Japan, the courageous Akita is fiercely loyal and protective of his family.

    Temperament

    The Akita is moderately active and energetic, so he needs a couple long walks or jogs plus some play time each day. Although loyal and loving to his family, the Akita is suspicious of strangers. This can make him a good guard dog, but without proper training and socialization, his suspicions can become aggressive.

    Akitas thrive on human interaction and will show their silly side to their family, they are often intolerant of other animals and children who don’t understand boundaries. 

    Characteristics

    As a large breed, the Akita’s muscular body and large head are imposing. The ears stand erect atop the broad head, balanced by a bushy tail that curls over his back.

    Lifespan

    10 to 13 years

    Colors

    The Akita can have an array of different colors, masks and markings.

    Shedding

    Akitas are self-groomers, but their thick, double coats still require weekly brushing. They shed minimally year-round, but the dense undercoat sheds twice a year. Brushing more frequently during these periods will help rid them of the loose hair.

    Health

    An Akita may be prone to weight gain, and like other large-sized dogs, they have a higher risk of bloat.

    Other health conditions to watch for include eye problems, thyroid disorders and hip dysplasia. Responsible breeders screen for these issues to create a healthier breed overall.

    Best Dog Food for Akita Dogs & Puppies

    Akita dogs will thrive on a complete and balanced dry or wet dog food. Akitas may also benefit from a high-protein formula to support a healthy, active lifestyle. Of course, Akita puppies need a complete and balanced puppy food for the first year of life.

    For information on how much or when to feed your Akita dog or puppy, explore our feeding articles here.

      History

      The Akita’s ancestry dates back to the early 17th century. In the prefecture of northern Japan where the breed gets its name, a competition was held to create a versatile hunting dog. Over time, the Akita was used to hunt big game like wild boar, elk and even bears.

      Ownership of these imposing hunters was once restricted to members of the Imperial family and their court. The breed nearly went extinct several times over the course of its long history, and a national breed club in Japan eventually formed to help ensure the Akita’s longevity.

      After World War II, American soldiers brought these dogs back to the States with them. It wasn’t until 1972, however, that the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

      Facts

      • Helen Keller is credited with bringing the first Akita to the U.S., having received a puppy from the Ministry of Education during a visit to Japan in 1937, even though the first Akitas were probably brought back by soldiers returning home from war.
      • Akitas are a symbol of health, happiness and longevity in Japan. Akita figurines are often gifted to new parents following the birth of a child.
      • Hachi: A Dog’s Tale is a movie based on a real-life Akita named Hachiko. He spent nine years in a Japanese train station waiting for his owner (who died suddenly and unexpectedly) to return from work.
      • The Akita perceives “prolonged eye contact” as a challenge and may respond aggressively.

      Alaskan Malamute

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      About the Alaskan Malamute

      One of the oldest Arctic sled dogs, the Alaskan Malamute was first bred in Alaska to carry large loads over long distances. A majestic, dignified breed, the Malamute is highly intelligent and learns quickly, but he also can be strong-willed. Loyal, devoted and highly athletic, he is an affectionate family companion that enjoys outdoor activities. The Malamute needs daily exercise, and his thick, coarse coat requires daily brushing and occasional baths.

      American Bobtail Cat Breed

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      About the American Bobtail Cat Breed

      Confident and friendly, the American Bobtail is a highly intelligent breed with a clownlike personality. Looking much like a bobtailed wildcat, this rare and athletic breed can be taught to walk on a leash. The American Bobtail has two coat varieties, shorthair and longhair, and does not reach adulthood until 2 or 3 years old. A devoted family companion, this cat interacts well with people of all ages and is ideal with children.

      American Curl Cat Breed

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      About the American Curl Cat Breed

      The American Curl has distinctive curled ears that form a graceful arc, giving an alert, perky expression. This breed is known as the “Peter Pan” of cats due to retaining its kittenlike personality throughout life. The Curl has two coat varieties, shorthair and longhair. With her outstanding temperament, the Curl is a people-oriented breed that makes an affectionate soul mate and easily adjusts to other pets and children.

      American English Coonhound

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      About the American English Coonhound

      A descendant of the English Foxhound, the American English Coonhound is known for his speed and endurance. This athletic hound, which is capable of hunting raccoon and fox all night long, needs regular exercise to stay in condition. The American English Coonhound is sociable with humans and other dogs. The breed’s hard, protective coat needs little grooming.

      American Eskimo Dog

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      About the American Eskimo Dog

      The American Eskimo Dog, which descended from European spitz-type dogs, was brought to the U.S. by German immigrants. The breed comes in three size varieties: Standard, Miniature and Toy. Nicknamed the “Eskie,” this breed has a heavy white coat that requires weekly brushing. Although intelligent, affectionate and playful, the American Eskimo Dog can be skeptical of strangers.

      American Foxhound

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      About the American Foxhound

      A rare breed, the American Foxhound was developed by George Washington in the 1700s. Bred to run fast, the American Foxhound is ideal for pet owners in rural areas but also is adaptable to smaller homes if provided adequate exercise. A mild-tempered and easygoing breed, the American Foxhound gets along well with children and most pets. Stubborn and independent at times, he benefits from early training.

      American Shorthair Cat

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      About the American Shorthair Cat

      Formerly used to keep rodents and vermin away from food stores, the American Shorthair still enjoys exercising her hunting skills on unsuspecting insects. As a smart, moderately active feline, she enjoys learning tricks and challenging her intelligence with puzzles and interactive toys.

      She’s adaptable and good-natured, which makes her the ideal family companion. Although she loves attention from her people, including children, the American Shorthair does not like being carried and is fairly independent. She may curl up in your lap on occasion, but she may prefer to sit alongside you instead. She’ll get along fine with a cat-friendly dog, but her hunting instincts may take over with pet birds and other small animals.