Category Archives: ruthie bently

The Alaskan Malamute, a True Arctic Breed

By Ruthie Bently

The Alaskan Malamute’s origins go back 2,000 to 3,000 years, and their creation is credited to the Mahlemut Inuit tribe of northern Alaska. Most experts agree that the Malamute is one of the earliest dog breeds of North America. It is debated that they owe their existence to the breeding between domesticated Arctic wolves and early dogs owned by the tribe. It has not yet been scientifically confirmed, but the Alaskan Malamute might be the nearest living relative to the “First Dog” according to Mietje Germonpré, a paleontologist at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. He feels that 30,000 year old dog remains recently found closely resemble the Alaskan Malamute due to their size.

I find it easy to believe that this breed is descended from wolves, as they do tend to howl more than they bark. I have had the chance to hear wolves howling, and the similarity is interesting. An extended family member owns a Malamute with ice blue eyes (this is a disqualification in the confirmation ring). When she looks at you, you get the impression that she is looking into your soul.

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Breed Profile: American Indian Dog

By Ruthie Bently

The American Indian Dog history goes back 30,000 years in both North and South America. They were used by Native American tribes for herding, tracking, corralling bison, running down deer, hunting bear and guarding, as well as pack animals for pulling the travois when a family unit migrated from place to place. Their hair was used for weaving to make garments and blankets. They also kept their owners warm on very cold nights. The breed was developed and strengthened by the breeding of dogs that were traded between tribes of all the Nations from Alaska down into south America by the Plains Indians.

The American Indian Dog is a very intelligent breed. They need a firm, steady owner who is able to be the pack leader so there are no behavior problems. They have strong instincts and need to be socialized well. American Indian Dogs are very conscious of their territory and will bond very strongly to their family members. They are able to adjust to many environments and make exceptional watchdogs of both family and the household. They are cautious and alert around strangers.

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Breed Profile: Shiba Inu, the Brushwood Dog

By Ruthie Bently

The Shiba Inu is an ancient breed that originated on the island of Japan and is a descendant of the primitive dogs of the ancient Japanese people. The breed can trace its roots back to the third century B.C, although it was not officially named until the 1920s. They are Japan’s number one companion dog.

The Shiba Inu is a member of the AKC’s Non-Sporting group, which is interesting when you consider they were originally used for hunting, primarily to flush birds and small game. They were also used for hunting bear and boar, due to their superior senses and ability to traverse steep hills and mountainous regions that were inaccessible to people. According to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, Shiba means brushwood and Inu means dog. Some Shiba Inus’ coat color is the same reddish color of these trees, hence the nickname brushwood dog.

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What are Earthdog Tests?

By Ruthie Bently

The most cited definition of an earth dog is “a dog that will dig in the earth, or enter holes of foxes, etc.” Earth dogs were originally used for hunting food for the table or vermin, and were bred to track badger, otter, weasels and other quarry to their den. At an Earthdog Test or Den Trial, a dog is competing against themselves and their own natural ability to hunt when confronted by an underground hunting location.

Earthdog is a newer sport based on an old practice. There are several dog breeds that have been used for many years for this purpose. It is now a recognized competition by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) and the American Working Terrier Association (AWTA). Called both “Earthdog Tests” and “Earthdog Den Trials,” their purpose is the same – to test your dog’s natural instinct and trained ability to work and hunt a quarry after they have “gone to ground.”

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What Causes Sterility in Dogs?

By Ruthie Bently

Not every dog is capable of creating progeny to leave behind. Either the male or female can be sterile. What causes a dog to be sterile or to become sterile? Canine sterility can be caused by a myriad of things. Some causes of canine infertility can happen to either sex, and some are gender specific.

A female dog comes into heat twice a year for approximately three weeks. A first heat can occur between the age of six weeks and fifteen months, depending on the dog’s breed. Normal heat cycles occur at six month intervals, but can occur from five to eight months apart. If there is more than one female dog in a household, one is dominant and their heat cycle can control the cycles of the other females in the household. Many professionals suggest waiting until a female is over two or has had several heats, as she may not be able to carry the puppies to term. A male dog doesn’t come into “season” like a female, but if he is sexually mature he is capable of fathering puppies.

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How to Boost Your Dog’s Immune System

By Ruthie Bently

The immune system is one of the most important functions of any organism, including dogs. An immune system is a multi-faceted defense system against sickness. It enables a dog’s body to differentiate between germs, foreign substances and itself. When functioning properly, the immune system fights fungal infections, bacterial infections and illnesses, offers parasite protection, helps eliminate toxins from the body, and kills viruses. There are several ways to boost your dog’s immune system to help keep them healthy.

The immune system is adept at recognizing threats, and uses many layers to fight any infection that may present itself. The immune system is comprised of multiple cellular warriors, capable of recognizing pathogens that may attack. The immune system recognizes these pathogens by the proteins and chemicals they release. As a pathogen is recognized it is attacked, killed and consumed by the cells of the immune system. The immune system is capable of creating a memory of the pathogen to thwart a reinfection attempt.

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