Great Dane Breed Profile: Gentle Giant and Devoted Pet

The Great Dane is known as one of the most noble looking dog breeds. However, any Dane owner knows that these dogs are more worried about having fun and showering affection on their loved ones than they are about appearing distinguished. With a long history, a unique look and a great personality, these dogs are truly special.

History

Some images of Dane-like dogs indicate that their ancestors go back to ancient Greece and Egypt. They may have also been bred in the middle ages. Many countries claim their origin, but there is no reason to think that Denmark is more likely than any of the other possibilities.

Personality Traits

Great Danes are among the “gentle giants” of the dog world. They generally get along with adults, children, and other animals, unless trained to do otherwise. If they are trained as guard dogs or hunting dogs, they may develop aggression issues. However, this behavior is quite the opposite of their inherent nature.

This is one of the most truly devoted breeds. Great Danes fall in love with their owners and need to feel valued as a member of their family. They are great babysitters for a big family and great companions for a single dog owner.

Playful and clumsy, Great Danes are loveable clowns. Their sense of humor and tendency to make fools of themselves often belies their high intelligence.

Appearance

Great Danes are one of the tallest breeds, typically ranging from 28-34 inches tall and often weighing over 100 lbs. They have a long, solid head and muscular body covered in a short coat. They come in many colors, including fawn, brindle, black, blue, mantle, and harlequin. Their ears are naturally floppy, but are frequently docked (cropped to remain straight-standing) as a fashion choice more than for practicality.

Health and Upkeep

There are some health concerns to look out for with any Dane. Their size can cause problems, as is the case with other large breeds. Heart problems, hip dysplasia, and bloat are frequent worries.

A Dane’s size also leads to a slow metabolism. This makes them great city dogs, and they can live happily in an apartment despite their stature. They still need regular exercise a couple times a day, however, and can be quite energetic when they get out on a walk.

The short, smooth coat of this breed is easy to maintain. It should get a regular quick brushing and its nails should stay trimmed.

Considering a Great Dane

A Great Dane is not a small addition to your home. Danes become very emotionally attached to their owner and need lots of love. They don’t transition easily into a new home, so make sure that you are prepared to care for your dog for its typically decade-long life. Too many Great Danes end up at animal shelters because their owners were not prepared for the large, slobbery and emotional dog that their cute puppy would turn into. Whenever considering a new dog, visit your breeder and play with other members of the breed to familiarize yourself with their unique characteristics.

If all that sounds like a good match for your lifestyle, a Great Dane can make an excellent new companion. A Great Dane will give you back all the love you have for it tenfold.

Is a Lhasa Apso Right for You? Learn More about the Breed Including Characteristics and Temperament

Choosing to purchase a dog is much more complicated than many people realize. Deciding on a breed can be even more complex. Research should be done and restrictions must be set. If you are contemplating a Lhasa Apso, that probably means you are looking for a small companion who is relatively easy to train. The Lhasa Apso certainly fits this description. At an average of 13-15 pounds and 10-11 inches tall, the Lhasa Apso is an ideal size for people who live in an apartment or other small dwelling. Furthermore, with a variety of coat colors, including sand, honey, black, brown, white, or a mixture, the breed is certainly attractive. However, as with any other breed, the Lhasa Apso does have traits of which any prospective owner should be aware.

Grooming Requirements

The most problematic characteristic of the breed is probably its long coat, which requires regular grooming. It is recommended that Lhasa Apsos be brushed daily and bathed every 1-2 weeks.

Temperament

Lhasa Apsos are known as “little lions,” a description which perfect sums up their temperament. Although devoted and affectionate with their master, they are naturally suspicious toward strangers. While this trait often makes Lhasa Apsos great watchdogs, it can result in aggressive behavior. Also, because Lhasa Apsos tend to be rather nervous, they need an owner who can spend a good deal of time with them – this breed does not like to be alone.

Behavior toward Other Pets and Children

The Lhasa Apso is generally not the best choice for a person who already has a pet and is simply looking for another one. Because of their dominant personality, these strong-willed little dogs are often ready to fight with other animals (even bigger ones). Although they can do well with children, be warned: Lhasa Apsos will not tolerate any type of mistreatment from clumsy children, and they will snap!

Exercise Requirements

Unlike other larger breeds, the Lhasa Apso does not require much exercise. Although they should be given freedom to run around every now and then, these dogs do well without a yard.

Health

As far as health goes, the Lhasa Apso is relatively free of problems. The most common conditions for this breed are skin and eye ailments. Occasionally there may be kidney problems, but these are very rare. Lhasa Apsos live an average of 15 years and, even at old age, remain youthful and faithful companions.

Positive Traits of the Lhasa Apso

  • Obedient and easy to train
  • Affectionate and loyal
  • Few health problems
  • Modest shedder
  • Long lifespan
  • Good watchdog

Negative Traits of the Lhasa Apso

  • Can be stubborn and aggressive
  • Requires a lot of attention
  • Needs regular brushing and grooming
  • Not the best choice for families with other pets or children
  • A change in its owner’s lifestyle (moving, having children, etc.) can negatively affect its behavior
  • Barks often; wary of strangers

Overall, the Lhasa Apso makes an ideal pet for a devoted owner who is home most of the time, does not mind barking, has few “strangers” visiting, has no other children or pets, and who can tolerate a strong-willed and dominant animal.

You should probably rethink a Lhasa Apso, however, if you want a dog for anything other than a companion, have children or other pets, entertain visitors regularly, don’t want a dog who barks a lot, are not able to brush, bathe, and groom a dog regularly, or if you are away from home for 8 or more hours at a time.

Choosing a Dog That’s Good with Kids: How to Find One, What to Look For!

Here are just a few other things you might want to consider! Keep in mind that these are generalities only and that the training a dog receives in the home from his family from a very early age will be the largest contributing factor to his temperament.

How Well Has the Dog Been Socialized?

  • Has he been exposed to a wide variety of sights, sounds, and circumstances? An otherwise sweet-tempered dog may be react unpredictably under new pressures and experiences such a move to a new location or going to the vet or obedience school, so it is important to assess how a dog behaves both in and out of his comfort zone.

Is the Dog Territorial About His Food, Toys, Etc.?

  • A dog who is good with kids as long as they leave his stuff alone is not a dog who can be trusted to be good with kids. While it is important to teach your kids basic safety and respect around dogs, the dog must also learn some tolerance. A dog who is territorial with his food (or anything else) is a dog who is demonstrating his dominance, and if left unchecked this attitude of dominance could spiral out of control.

What’s the Dog’s General Breed, Size, and Type?

While the breed and type of the dog are not guarantees of his temperament, each breed, size, and type will come their own specific tendencies.

  • Many people find larger dogs more intimidating and gravitate towards smaller dogs for small children, but this is not always wise. A smaller dog is a dog who will be more easily intimidated himself by the noise and activity of small children and will have less tolerance for the kind of rough play and petting that young children often initiate with their dog. A larger dog, on the other hand, is able to more physically tolerant of rougher types of interaction.
  • A dog’s breed will not in and of itself dictate his temperament towards children, but each breed comes with their own specific needs that will need to be fulfilled for the dog to be calm and stable. For example, Labrador Retrievers are generally loving dogs considered to be great with children. However, the Lab’s extreme energy levels can turn to destructive or even occasionally aggressive behavior if his playful energy is not given an appropriate outlet. Shepherds, collie, and any other herding breed will have a very strong herding instinct that may display itself when the dog begins to nip at small children. This is not an indication of the dog’s temperament, but rather an indication that a necessary drive of the dog is not being given an appropriate outlet.
  • The age of the dog is something else to consider. If you have very young and rowdy children, an elderly dog may not have the stamina to tolerate the demands of your household. A puppy may have more energy to keep up with the kids, but remember that a puppy will require training and supervision to learn his place in the household.

All these factors should be taken into consideration before a decision is made, but in the end it is the training he has had in the past and the training you will be able to offer him today that will be the final deciding factor in his temperament. Take your responsibility seriously, and always consult a professional if you feel your dog is becoming aggressive

Kidney Disease in Dogs – Nephrotic Syndrome: A Potential Complication in Glomerulonephritis or Renal Amyloidosis

Kidney Disease in Dogs – Nephrotic Syndrome: A Potential Complication in Glomerulonephritis or Renal Amyloidosis

Canine nephrotic syndrome is a result of damage to the kidneys of the dog. Kidney disease and/or kidney failure is the primary cause of nephrotic syndrome. Nephrotic syndrome is relatively rare in dogs but can be life-threatening and even fatal when it occurs.

Diagnosis of Canine Nephrotic Syndrome

Nephrotic syndrome in dogs is diagnosed by the presence of:

  • low albumin levels in the blood
  • high levels of urea nitrogen in the blood
  • abnormally high levels of protein in the urine
  • high blood cholesterol levels

Urine protein:creatinine ratios help quantify protein levels found in the urine in relationship to the water consumption of the animal. Urine cultures test for urinary tract infections which may also affect the protein levels found in urine. These tests may be necessary to determine whether protein found in the urine is the result of kidney disease or other urinary tract disease. Routine blood screens will quantify albumin blood levels, blood urea nitrogen levels and cholesterol levels in the blood. Edema (swelling of tissues) and other abnormal fluid accumulation may occur in canine nephrotic syndrome due to osmotic abnormalities resulting from protein loss.

Kidney Disease Causes Nephrotic Syndrome in Dogs

Canine nephrotic syndrome results from damage to the kidneys and is usually the result of:

  • glomerulonephritis – inflammation in the kidney resulting in excessive protein loss through the kidney.
  • renal amyloidosis – deposition of amyloid (a glycoprotein) within the architecture of the kidney which leads to renal disease and protein loss through the kidneys.

Both glomerulonephritis and renal amyloidosis can have many causes. Approximately 15% of dogs with glomerulonephritis develop nephrotic syndrome. However, nephrotic syndrome may be more commonly encountered in dogs suffering from renal amyloidosis, although renal amyloidosis is a relatively rare condition.


Symptoms of Nephrotic Syndrome Caused by Protein Loss Resulting from Kidney Disease or Failure

Symptoms of nephrotic syndrome are the direct result of the protein loss which occurs in kidney disease or kidney failure. Hypercholesterolemia (elevated blood cholesterol levels) can also play a role in the development of symptoms.

Symptoms commonly seen with canine nephrotic syndrome include:

  • swelling, especially in the legs
  • abnormal accumulation of fluid in body cavities
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • thromboembolic disease (abnormal blood clots)
  • disseminated intravascular coagulation, also known as DIC (a disorder causing abnormal bleeding deficits)

Treatment of Nephrotic Syndrome in Dogs

Nephrotic syndrome is a serious complication to kidney disease and can be difficult to treat. Treatment involves treating the underlying cause of the protein loss, which can be difficult in some cases to determine.

Diuretics such as mannitol or dextrose solutions, or even furosemide (Lasix®) may be necessary in treating nephrotic syndrome in order to decrease the metabolic wastes and improve the kidney function.

Other treatments frequently necessary in treating kidney disease and/or kidney failure may also be necessary in treating nephrotic syndrome and may include:

  • antibiotics, if infection is present
  • fluid therapy, to correct dehydration and replace potassium and proteins as necessary
  • dietary restrictions, such as salt, phosphorus and sometimes protein restriction
  • aspirin (low dose aspirin therapy to control thromboembolism, as necessary)
  • phosphate binders, such as aluminum hydroxide and many others, if phosphate levels are elevated
  • antiemetic medications to control vomiting, if necessary
  • medications to reduce gastric acidity, modify gastrointestinal motility and protect against gastrointestinal ulceration, as necessary
  • medications to control hypertension, as necessary
  • angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, such as enalapril and benazepril
  • vitamin B complex and vitamin C supplementation
  • calcitriol to decrease levels of serum parathyroid hormone (PTH), in some cases
  • peritoneal dialysis
  • usage of immunosuppressive medications, such as glucocorticoids, azathioprine and cyclosporine is controversial but used in some situations

Renal Disease and/or Kidney Failure and Nephrotic Syndrome in Dogs

Nephrotic syndrome is a serious complication to kidney disease in dogs, usually resulting from glomerulonephritis or renal amyloidosis. The resultant kidney disease and/or kidney failure results in renal damage which allows excessive protein loss through the urine. Though rare, the syndrome is life-threatening and potentially fatal.