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Arguably, one of the most recognizable designer dog breeds is the Cockapoo. The first hybrid was supposedly the result of an accidental crossbreeding between an American Cocker Spaniel and a Miniature Poodle in the 1950s when crossbreeding was becoming commonplace in the United States and Canada. Still considered one of the most sought-after breeds, Cockapoos are fun, energetic and intelligent companions that have made its way into the hearts and homes of many dog lovers today.

The Appearance of a Cockapoo

As far as looks are concerned, the Cockapoo is considered an adorable little bundle of joy that itches to be apart of any family. This breed comes in a variety of colors ranging from tan, black, red, brown or chocolate, cream, white, and beige. Some Cockapoos have coats that are tri-colored or sable or coats with merle patterns and some even sport freckles like the Cocker Spaniel. Their coats range from long and straight to short and curly or anywhere in between. Shedding can be nonexistent if the puppy takes after the Poodle; however, if they inherit the Cocker Spaniel’s coat shedding will be more noticeable.
Cockapoos can come in three sizes:
 Toy (mostly under 12 pounds)
 Mini (around 12 to 20 pounds)
 Standard (over 20 pounds)
Just as the weight of each dog can vary, so can the height. Typically ranging from 9 to 15 inches, the height upon maturity will depend upon the size of each parent. These hybrid dogs will have a variety of physical characteristics all linked back to the parents of the Cockapoo. Both the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel have unique features that can be passed down to the puppies such as the tight, curly coat from the Poodle, or the loose, wavy, longer coat of the Cocker Spaniel. As with any hybrid dog, each physical characteristic inherited from the parents will vary and help to determine what each will look like later in life.

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Character/Temperament

A Cockapoo is generally happy and easy going. Gentle natured and friendly, these dogs make great companions for all ages including homes with young children. Though they are usually sociable, early socialization will help to ensure that dogs are comfortable when visitors are in the home or while out in public. Involving a Cockapoo in daily life activities will help them lead satisfying lives. Considering the Cockapoo’s highly intelligent mind, they can become bored quickly. Leaving them alone for extended amounts of time can result in unwanted behavior problems. Not typically described as yappy dogs or heavy barkers, the Cockapoo will alert you to a stranger when they see fit but are more likely to welcome them into the home than scare them away.

Often described as the “Dog Park Ambassador,” Cockapoos do well with other animals and generally interact amicably, encouraging other dogs and even some adults to play with them. Even in their advanced age, this breed tends to act like big goofy puppies running around and lifting the spirits of those nearby. These dogs thrive on their owner’s affection and enjoy a lot of mental stimulation. Spending time with your Cockapoo will help bring out the best temperament traits and give you a head start when it’s time to begin training. Leash training is a highly suggested technique to begin early in your dog’s life. This will not only help you enforce positive behavior while out in public, but it’s also a safety precaution that many municipalities require. A well-trained Cockapoo will be a loving companion for life. If the owner takes the time to care and nurture the dog, a Cockapoo will respond with loyalty and love.

Health/Care

The Cockapoo breed can have a long lifespan of 14 to 18 years. Of course, several factors come into play when considering life expectancy such as weight. A Cockapoo’s weight can play a significant role in its health. Overweight dogs are unhealthy, which in turn can negatively impact life expectancy. It is essential to make sure your dog falls into the healthy weight range for its size. Cockapoos require at least 30 minutes or more of regular exercise each day. Making sure your pet has an adequate amount of activity will help to prolong its life as well. Because Cockapoos are a hybrid formed from Poddles, they are considered to have hypoallergenic traits. While no reputable breeder would say that this makes them completely free from allergies, it does mean that many people who suffer from allergies to dogs are less likely to be affected by this breed living in their homes. Cockapoos are not big shedders just like their Poodle ancestors, helping to limit dander and hair shed within the house. Overall the Cockapoo is considered to be generally healthy; however, they can be subject to hereditary diseases.

When purchasing this breed, it is essential to inquire about the health of the parents to see if they had any of the following disorders:

When caring for any breed of dog, potential owners should consider certain aspects of each kind. Things such as the amount of training and exercise required, grooming and the specific dietary requirements should be deciding factors before obtaining any pet. Individuals that are not able to support the basic needs should consider other breeds or pet types.

Conclusion

While there are health and training issues that some pet owners might find too burdensome for their lifestyle, the positives of owning a Cockapoo far outweigh the negatives for many pet owners. Cockapoos are relatively easy to care for if good practices are set in place while your Cockapoo is still
young.


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When you combine a guardian flock dog with royalty from France, you get The Great Pyrenees. A beautiful, majestic dog known for its amazing white coat. The Great Pyrenees is believed to have origins linking back to the mountains of France and Spain. With excellent herding skills, The Great Pyrenees has a long history of working to protect livestock from predators. Today, the Great Pyrenees is more of a family or companion dog, even though some places still use them for herding. The Great Pyrenees can be a handful to live with if not properly trained. With vast amounts of energy
and drive, this pet can at times exhibit reluctance when expected to take orders. Any potential owner of this dog breed needs to do their homework and become well informed about the temperament, behavior, and overall compatibility for their family. It is also a good idea to investigate the familial history to learn about any traits that stood out. Once an educated decision has been made to become the owner of a Pyrenees, it will be easy to see why the breed is admired for its beauty, intelligence, strength, and loyalty.

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Physical Appearance of Great Pyrenees

Weighing at a whopping 85 to 115 pounds and standing up to 32 inches at the shoulder, the Great Pyrenees is a large dog. With coats that are long, thick, and double layered, grooming can be a chore initself. They have dark brown eyes and a plumed tail that can curve into a “shepherd’s hook” when theystand alert. Most people believe that the Pyrenees only have solid white fur; however, other colors can appear throughout the body such as tan, red or gray but does not cover more than 1/3 of the body. This large dog is striking to look at and can give off a gentle, kind expression as its overall demeanor.

Character/Temperament

According to the American Kennel Club, The Great Pyrenees ranks number 67 out of 192 breeds for popularity. Typically described as a gentle and calm guardian dog more than likely helps to promote their popularity. A highly protective nature makes them quick to react if they feel there is an adequate threat to their territory especially if their human families are nearby. The Great Pyrenees have proven time and time again, to be independent dogs, who consistently think for themselves. It is safe to conclude that training this breed can be a challenge. These dogs tend to work by themselves when herding out in the fields so this breed will resist guidance and obedience training. A stubborn streak can show up in a Great Pyrenees, especially if they see fit to show you their defiant side. It will take patience and educating oneself on the nature of the dog to help get an owner past stubborn behaviors.

Health/Care

Unfortunately, this breed falls short when considering the health of the Great Pyrenees. The Great Pyrenees Club of America has stressed breeders need to be on the lookout for the following health issues:

Cancer can also show up in this breed, as well as bloat (a life-threatening condition that causes a sudden twist in the stomach). While not all Pyrenees have these health problems allowing most to live out healthy, energetic lives, it is important to know specific health concerns are possible in this breed of dog. Grooming is essential when caring for The Great Pyrenees. The thick, double layered coat, can result in large amounts of shedding around springtime. When these dogs do shed, be prepared for the remnants
of their fur to be anywhere the dog is allowed to go. Since this breed is historically herding or guarding dogs, most people believe that the Great Pyrenees are incredibly active; however, it is quite the opposite. This breed is inactive the majority of the day. The theory is that when they are out in the field guarding the flock, the Pyrenees conserved their energy just
in case they needed to bolt in defense. Considering their sedentary habits, exercise can be more on the moderate side but should not be left entirely up to the dog otherwise they will gain an unhealthy amount of weight that could cause health issues. Like all working class dogs, the Great Pyrenees needs to keep their mind stimulated or destructive behaviors can develop.

Training/Obedience

As they grow older, they may resist obedience training or become less eager to please their owners. An owner of the breed must exhibit patience and consistent training routines to help guide their dog into successful, rewarding behaviors. It isn’t unusual for this breed to be stubborn and patiently outwait their owners if they deem it necessary. Historically working alone this breed has learned to depend on themselves and do not care for the instruction of others. It’s as if this breed does
not see the need to listen to commands. They will respond with a reluctant, slow to answer, type of behavior as if to let their owners know they have better things to do. Because the Pyrenees tend to be introverted dogs, they need early socialization and possibly even obedience classes as soon as the puppy is old enough to participate. Finding activities that these dogs love can be rewarding for both the dog and the owner. This stimulation will allow training to progress at a quicker pace. Some suggested activities that may captivate the Pyrenees include:
 Skijoring (a trendy dog activity where the Pyrenees pulls a person on skies)
 Weight pulling (the dog is harnessed to a sled or wagon)
 Obedience training
If given the right stimulation and encouragement, The Great Pyrenees can rise to the occasion and
impress their owners with these fun activities.

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Conclusion

While the Great Pyrenees is a beautiful and dedicated family pet, they can be stubborn and hard to train. Families considering this breed should be prepared to deal with such a strong-willed animal. Finding the right balance between personality and attitude will lead to a beautiful, lifelong bond with a superb breed.

Emotional Support Animal

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What Makes a Calico Cat Special?

Dubbed as a “lucky charm” in many places around the world, the Calico Cat has become very popular and highly sought after as a household pet. While their history and genetic makeup bring interest to many cat fanatics, it is safe to say that behaviors vary wildly making them a fascinating creature. Due to their unique nature, Calico cats are often unpredictable and quite entertaining to watch. Numerous scientific studies, dating all the way back to the 1940s, has been performed to determine what makes these cats so unique. Although the studies revealed a wealth of information, scientists discovered that calicos are not a specific breed of cats like previously thought.

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The Appearance of a Calico Cat

Although Calico cats are not a specific breed, instead they are a color pattern that can occur in almost any type of domestic cat. Categorized by a particular color pattern, the combination of colors are random giving these cats their unique design. Three distinct colors must be present for a cat to be considered a calico:
 White
 Black, gray or blue
 Red-orange, peach or brown
Within the world of calico cats there are three distinct types, dilute, tortoiseshell and classic calicos. Dilute calico cats are those with colors that are less intense or diluted while the classic calico has lots of white along with black, brown or orange hues and are often in equal parts of the three colors. Distinguishing the other calico patterns from tortoiseshell calicos is easy. True tortoiseshells, or torties, have no white markings or white of any kind on their bodies. Occasionally, you will find calicos that have distinct tabby or tiger stripes and unusually prominent black and ginger patches along the body. This color variation is common and the same rules apply if it is to be considered a calico cat.

Character/Temperament of Calico Cat

The temperament of calicos is primarily the same as is associated with the breed the calico belongs. That being said, there are a few characteristics that seem to be common among calicos. They are usually independent, occasionally very stubborn and may take some time adjusting to new surroundings. Once comfortable, they can be very loving and social. Calicos often like to be pampered, and it is not unusual
to see them carried around as you would a baby. Although most calico owners swear the temperament of this type of cat is different than others, it is important to note that these behaviors are also often associated with any breed of cat and not just calicos. Like all cats, calicos can be mellow, hyper, excited, lazy, friendly, or shy.

Health/Care

Because a calico cat cannot intentionally be bred and are born by chance, healthiness is determined by genetics and lifestyle alone. While a calico is generally healthy and hardy if born female, males are less likely to live as long. With less than 1% of the calicos worldwide born male, male calicos are among the rarest in the world and often very expensive to purchase.
As with any other cat, to maintain the health of your calico, a high-quality diet that includes essential amino acids, vitamins, and fresh water is a must. Although it is hard to resist, treats should not exceed 5-10% of your cat’s diet. Yearly trips to the vet will help to ensure optimal health allowing him or her to live a quality life. When handling the calico cat, one must remember a cat is different than a dog. Cats should be picked up with more caution and never by the neck or by pulling on their fur. The proper way to pick up a cat is by placing one hand behind the front legs while the other hand is placed under the hindquarters. Being gentle and calm helps the cat stay calm as well. Housing a calico cat is like housing any other cat. All animals should have a clean and dry place to call home. Rest, sleep and lots of fresh air are essential to keeping a cat healthy. A soft blanket will help the cat sleep better but should be washed often. Unfortunately, outdoor cats do not live as long as those who are kept indoors. These cats are exposed to more diseases and are more likely to encounter hazards such as predators or being run over in traffic. Indoor cats typically healthier and have a much better chance of living a longer life.

Housebreaking/Training

Calico Cat

Like most cats, calicos seem to have the mentality that they don’t need humans to survive except for when it comes to food or treats. They often seem to exhibit an independent behavior that screams “go away,” or at least “make yourself useful and feed me.” Learning the unique way each cat behaves will help new owners bond with their cats. After bringing any new pet into your home, there may be an adjustment period. For cats, this period is most often hardest when trying to get the cat to use a litterbox. Unlike dogs, training cats to go to a specific area or box when they need to relieve themselves can be easy, but mistakes are bound to happen with young kittens.

It is important to remember that indoor cats need their litterboxes to be in an easily accessible place that is quiet and dry. Once routines are established for your cat, do not move the litterbox otherwise you may have a confused cat on your hands. If it is necessary to move, it should be done in small increments each day until the litterbox rests in the desired location to prevent accidents. Cats are generally neater than dogs; therefore, a messy litter box is stressful to your cat. Remember to clean the box daily with a scooper and discard waste appropriately. Once a week the litter should be thrown out and refilled with new litter to prevent unpleasant smells and bacteria growth. Cats are sensitive to strong smells so using deodorants and perfumes near the litterbox should be kept to a
minimum.


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