Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cockapoo Dog Breed

The Cockapoo (American Cocker Spaniel and Poodle mix breed)

A cockapoo (also called a spoodle or cockerpoo) is a hybrid dog and is often called a designer dog. It is bred by crossing an American Cocker Spaniel (or English Cocker Spaniel) and a poodle (in most cases the miniature poodle or toy poodle), or by breeding cockapoo to cockapoo.

Cockapoo (pronounced KOK-a-poo); noun, definition - As the name brings to mind, a cross between cocker spaniel and poodle. Through documentation and establishment of a genetic database this wonderful hybrid is being brought to status as its own breed. A dog of outstanding intelligence, wonderful disposition, abounding affection, low to no shedding or 'doggy' odor, easily trained and long lived. A dog that is amazingly forgiving of the indiscretions of small children with a keen intelligence any adult can appreciate. Cockapoos come in a myriad of colors and a range of sizes to fit any family's desires.

Cockapoos have been bred since at least the 1950's as an ideal companion pet and family dog. The hybrid vigor resulting from crossing these two popular breeds creates a dog that exhibits not only the "best of both" breeds but produces a better family pet than in either parent breed. The Cockapoo has become known and in demand for its wonderful disposition, high intelligence and curiosity, devoted loyalty, as well as for the hypoallergenic characteristics of little to no dander, shedding or odor.

This hybrid cross is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club. Not all of these designer hybrid dogs being bred are 50% purebred to 50% purebred. It is very common for breeders to breed multi-generation crosses. Note: some Cockapoo clubs are working towards making the Cockapoo a purebred dog by multi-generation crossing, while other breeders are sticking to the basic Poodle / Cocker mix stating they wish to preserve the heterosis effect in the hybrid mix. Ask the breeder you contact which type of Cockapoo they are breeding.


Although most cockapoos are healthy, they can suffer from certain problems common to their parent breeds.

Both poodles and cocker spaniels can suffer from luxating patellas (loose knees). An OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) exam is required to check for this problem before dogs are bred. Poodles and cocker spaniels can also suffer from progressive retinal atrophy (PRA, an eye disorder).

Cockapoos have become popular because they generally combine the outgoing, loving personality of the cocker spaniel with the low-shedding, low-dander qualities of the poodle. The poodle parent also contributes intelligence and a tendency to be very active, resulting in a loving, intelligent, energetic and agile dog that sheds very little.

Strictly speaking, the cockapoo cannot be described as a purebred because it does not 'breed true'. In breeders' terms, 'breeding true' means that the pups will have more consistently predictable characteristics, and will resemble both their parents, rather than exhibiting the varying characteristics of the dog breeds in their ancestries.

Cockapoos, however, may inherit the characteristics of either or both their parent breeds. While some cockapoos appear more similar to cocker spaniels, others will exhibit more poodle traits, creating a variation in cockapoo appearance and temperament. Cockapoo size and weight are a function of what type of dogs the parents were. Breeders usually use a toy or miniature poodle as the poodle parent. The following table describes the weights and heights of toy poodles, miniature poodles cocker spaniels and cockapoos, using AKC standards and other information.


Teacup Toy - under 6 pounds (3 kg.) grown weight

Toy - under 12 pounds (5 kg.)

Miniature/Mini - 13 to 18 pounds ( 5.5 - 8 kg.)

Maxi - over 19 pounds. (9 kg.)

Height: 14-15 inches (35-38 cm.)

Breed Average Height Average Weight

Toy Poodle 10 inches or less 6 to 9 pounds

Miniature Poodle 10 to 15 inches 15 to 17 pounds

Cocker Spaniel 14 to 17 inches 25 to 34 pounds

Cockapoo 10 to 15 inches 12 to 20 pounds

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Neapolitan Mastiff Dog Breed

Neapolitan Mastiff Dog Breed

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a large, ancient dog breed that can be traced back to about 168 BC. This massive breed is often used as a guard and defender of family and property due to the protective instincts and their fearsome appearance. The breed is reported to have been used for fighting against Lions in the Colosseo and other ancient Roman arenas. It is muscular with a rather rectangular body, massive head, and wrinkled face. The facial wrinkles continue under the chin and down the neck to form a prominent dewlap. The skull is broad and flat on top, and the nose is large. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite.

They are highly protective and fearless. It is extremely intelligent and somewhat willful. It does not require repetitious training. Neo's are very attuned to his master's wishes. This breed rarely gives trouble by excessive barking. They are serious, calm and quiet unless provoked. The breed is very wary of strangers. Males can be much more aggressive and dominant than females. The Female makes a better family pet, as she is more submissive to her master and better with children. These dogs, however, usually very love with children, provided they do not tease them. Males do not get along with other males, but the Neo can get along well with non-canine pets if raised with them from puppy hood. The Neapolitan Mastiff is not a breed for everyone.

Physically, a Neapolitan Mastiff is a heavy-boned, massive, awe inspiring dog bred for use as a guard and defender of owner and property. He is characterized by loose skin, over his entire body, abundant, hanging wrinkles and folds on the head and a voluminous dewlap. The essence of the Neapolitan is his bestial appearance, astounding head and imposing size and attitude. Due to his massive structure, his characteristic movement is rolling and lumbering, not elegant or showy.

Neapolitan Mastiff’s neck is slightly arched, rather short, stocky and well-muscled. The length of the dog, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of buttock is 10 - 15 percent greater than the height of the dog measured from the highest point of the shoulder to the ground. Depth of the ribcage is equal to half the total height of the dog. Ribs are long and well sprung. The coat is short, dense and of uniform length and smoothness all over the body. The hairs are straight and not longer than 1 inch. No fringe anywhere.

Height: Dogs 26-30 inches (65-75 cm.) Bitches 24-28 inches (60-70 cm.)

Weight: Up to 165 pounds (74 kg.)

The largest male Neapolitans may be nearly 200 pounds (90 kg.)

In health, they are usually prone to hip dysplasia, pano-ostiosis (growing pains), a condition which may occur when the dog is 4-18 months old and generally disappears on its own. Also prone to "cherry eye." The eye tissue protrudes more than normal and becomes red and inflamed. This condition is completely cured with minor surgery. Do not let the young, Neapolitan Mastiff run and play too much. Although it does need to be taken on a daily walk, limit its exercise, because it must on no account be over-tired. Avoid rough games in the growing stage and ensure that all its energy is available to make healthy bones and muscles. Adult Neapolitan Mastiffs need a great deal of exercise. He should be taken on daily, long walks twice daily. These giant, short-haired dogs are easy to groom. Remove loose, dead hair with a rubber brush. This breed is an average shedder.

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