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Tag: big dogs

The soon-to-be world’s tallest dog?

***EXCLUSIVE***  SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, UNITED KINGDOM - UNDATED: Britain's biggest dog, 18 month old great Dane, Freddy seen realxing on the sofa with it's owner Claire Stoneman at their home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England.  Canine colossus Freddy is believed to be Britain's biggest dog. The Great Dane has been measured at 7ft 4in (2.24m) on his hind legs by owner Claire Stoneman. Although no official measurement has yet been made, that would make Freddy as tall as world-record holder Zeus, and significantly larger than Britain's current biggest dog Samson, who is 6ft 6in (1.98m). The gigantic dog began life as the runt of the litter, but experienced an astonishing growth spurt to reach his current size. Claire, a 38-year-old taxi driver from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, who drives a Barbie-pink cab, lives with Freddy and his sister Fleur.   PHOTOGRAPH BY Matt Writtle / Barcroft Media  UK Office, London. T +44 845 370 2233 W www.barcroftmedia.com  USA Office, New York City. T +1 212 796 2458 W www.barcroftusa.com  Indian Office, Delhi. T +91 11 4053 2429 W www.barcroftindia.com

Freddy, an 18-month-old Great Dane from Great Britain, already stands 7-foot-4 on his hind legs, and he appears headed to taking the world’s tallest dog title away from a Great Dane in Michigan.

***EXCLUSIVE***  SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, UNITED KINGDOM - UNDATED: Britain's biggest dog, 18 month old great Dane, Freddy stands on its hind legs as owner Claire Stoneman feeds him outside her home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England.  Canine colossus Freddy is believed to be Britain's biggest dog. The Great Dane has been measured at 7ft 4in (2.24m) on his hind legs by owner Claire Stoneman. Although no official measurement has yet been made, that would make Freddy as tall as world-record holder Zeus, and significantly larger than Britain's current biggest dog Samson, who is 6ft 6in (1.98m). The gigantic dog began life as the runt of the litter, but experienced an astonishing growth spurt to reach his current size. Claire, a 38-year-old taxi driver from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, who drives a Barbie-pink cab, lives with Freddy and his sister Fleur.   PHOTOGRAPH BY Matt Writtle / Barcroft Media  UK Office, London. T +44 845 370 2233 W www.barcroftmedia.com  USA Office, New York City. T +1 212 796 2458 W www.barcroftusa.com  Indian Office, Delhi. T +91 11 4053 2429 W www.barcroftindia.comHe’s outgrown Britain’s previous tallest dog, and has long since surpassed, in terms of height, his owner, Claire Stoneman, who stands 5 feet 4 inches.

Stoneman said Freddy was the runt of the litter, but he has grown quickly on a diet of regular dog food ($100 worth a week), peanut butter on toast, and sofas, of which he has destroyed — but not consumed — 14.

Stoneman said it took a while for Freddy, who now weighs 154 pounds, to get used to her small home in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Stoneman said she and Freddy get up early for walks so they won’t encounter other dogs.

“If he wants to run after a dog, I wouldn’t be able to stop him,” she said.

The current world’s tallest dog is Zeus, a Great Dane from Otsego, Mich., who was 7-foot-4 (standing on his hind legs) when he was recognized by Guinness World Record in 2012.

You can find more photos of Freddy at the New York Post (click the link for the full slide show).

Freddy now measures 41 inches from foot to shoulder blade, compared with Zeus’ 44 inches.

(Photos: Bancroft Media via New York Post)

Sunny goes down — because he got too big

Sunny’s first offense was growing.

Being a Rottweiller-mastiff mix, he — as  you’d expect — quickly surpassed the 100-pound mark, well over the weight limit imposed at the Florida apartment complex where his owner, Denise Wilkinson, lived.

She started searching for a new home for him, but, unable to find one by the landlord’s deadline, dropped him off at Pinellas County Animal Services, with plans to pick him back up when she found one.

On its website, the county said dogs are kept seven days there. In person, they told her 48 hours. In reality, they euthanized him before a day had passed.

When Wilkinson, a day after dropping him off, went to pick up her dog, she found out Sunny had been euthanized — within hours of being dropped off.

“He wasn’t sick; he wasn’t old. He still had a long life ahead of him,” Wilkinson told Tampa Bay Online.

Senior Animal Control Officer John Hohenstern said Sunny was aggressive and caused concerns about the safety of shelter workers. “It was determined that because of the aggression in the dog it was not an adoption candidate,” he said. “We couldn’t do anything with the dog.”

Hohenstern  said that, despite the wording on the website, Wilkinson had initialed a paper stating she understood that the surrender was is unconditional: “Pinellas County Animal Services makes no promise, actual or implied, regarding holding time, treatment, adoption or disposition of this animal.” Hohenstern said the document initialed by Wilkinson superseded the website.

The county, Tampa Bay Online reports, has since changed the language on the website.

Hohenstern said with more animals being surrendered, possibly because of the economy, the animal control office encourages people to consider other options before dropping a dog there. “We try to … let them know this is kind of their last resort,” Hohenstern said. “They don’t want to do this.”

More help for the big dogs of St. Bernard

It has been more than a month since our extended road trip took us through Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish, where we reported on how cash-strapped fishing families were finding it hard to continue caring for their pets since the oil spill ruined their industry.

Now, we’re happy to report, more help has arrived, which could help stem the tide of people surrendering their dogs because they can no longer afford them.

Twenty tons of Kibbles ‘n Bits (for large dogs) – donated by Del Monte Foods and transported by Best Friends — was dropped off earlier this month.

Large dogs, you’ll recall, are numerous in the parish southeast of New Orleans because many residents used them to guard their properties while rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

“The people who are coming in have big dogs,” says Beth Brewster, director of the St. Bernard Parish Animal Shelter. “They can’t afford to feed them.”

Brewster told Best Friends that many families picking up free dog food bring photos of their dogs with them, and share their dog’s story. “They have tears in their eyes. They’re very, very thankful,” she says. “It’s one less thing they have to worry about.”

The Louisiana SPCA has collaborated with Brewster and Best Friends, as a part of Best Friends’ First Home Forever Home campaign, and is setting up distribution sites, in St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Orleans and Jefferson parishes.

To get the food, residents fill out an application, present a commercial fishing license or proof that they work as charter boat operators or in another field affected by the spill.

“These families have not only lost their livelihoods, but also their way of life practically overnight. They shouldn’t have to face losing members of their families, too. It’s just too much to expect anybody to bear,” said Ellen Gilmore, campaign specialist for Best Friends’ First Home Forever Home.

Dog park designates small dog hours

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Locust Point Dog Park has announced designated hours for small, elderly or otherwise fragile dogs — 9 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. daily.

The new policy — now posted in signs at the park — will be self-policing, meaning that little dog people will have to ask the big dog people to leave in the event they are not following the rules.

The dog park committee also announced that Saturday’s “Pet Pictures with Santa” fundraiser — with City Councilman Ed Reisinger as Santa — raised $550 to help support the maintenance of the dog park. Baltimore City, though it helped build the park, does not pay for its maintenance. Clean-ups at the park take place on the second Saturday of each month, with the next one scheduled for Dec. 12 from 10:30 to noon. The dog park is closed during clean-ups, and volunteers are invited to pitch in.

If you missed getting your pet’s photo taken with Santa, there are more opportunities on the horizon. Canton Dog Park will be holding a similar fund-raising event on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 to noon.

Two more pet photos with Santa events are being held to raise money for BARCS Franky Fund for sick and injured animals. On Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 to noon at Federal Hill Park, and on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 to noon at Riverside Park.

Big dog makeovers on Today Show

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

In case you missed it on the Today show this week, here’s a look at their “Big Dog Makeovers.”

Today went to Animal Care and Control of New York City to find four candidates — all more in need of a loving home than an actual makeover.

While the makeovers aren’t that impressive, they do at least allow homeless dogs to get some air time, and find homes. (All the dogs featured in the segment up to now have been adopted.)

This week, they tackled Sonya, a flat-haired retriever mix, Phoebe, an Australian cattle dog , Marcus, a German shepherd, and Jack, a Jack Russell they decided deserved to be i the mix because of his big personality.

Next Monday, as if dogs and makeovers weren’t enough, the Today Show will be throwing a third element into the mix: the ambush.

On Monday, July 6th TODAY will be “ambushing” three lucky dogs on Rockefeller Plaza with a doggie makeover, according to the Today Show blog.

“If you are in the New York area and think that your pup needs some pizzazz, stop by the plaza and your dog may get a new ‘do. Experts will be roaming the crowd starting at 6:45 a.m., so be there early to get a good spot!”

Big dogs at play

Here’s an accidentally artsy photo I took at the park recently. It’s Ace (the brown blur) wrestling with Soju (the grey blur). Soju is a Great Dane, and one of Ace’s favorite wrestling partners.

You can see Soju — he’s named after the distilled beverage, native to Korea — elsewhere on this page, as he, along with his owner, is featured in one of our advertisements.

I could tell you what my camera settings were, and attempt to sound like a skilled photographer, but it was just on automatic, and the sun was going down. So the slow shutter speed, I think, accounts for ghostly streaks in the image –  not unlike how things might look if you had too much soju.

Of manly presidents and girly dogs

Barack Obama’s use of the term “girly dog” has raised the hackles (and who knows what other body parts) of a Huffington Post blogger who says it was disparaging — a threat both to his manhood and that of his dog, Manuel.

“…Clearly Mr. Obama meant “girly” in the pejorative sense, not as an adjective denoting “nice for girls,” but rather to suggest a dog that lives in conflict with its own manly nature or the manly nature of dogs in general,” wrote blogger Billy Kimball.

I can’t get too bent out of shape about the president-elect’s remark — “girly” somehow sounds less pejorative coming from Obama’s mouth than, say, an Arnold Schwarzenegger. But, in hindsight, perhaps a more politically correct term would have been “little yappy pipsqueak dog.”

Kimball’s not willing to cut the president-elect any slack in his piece, written in response to an exchange between Obama and his wife, Michelle, during an interview with Barbara Walters. When Walters suggested the First Family get a Havanese, the small breed of dog she has (and Kimball has), Obama said, “It sounds kinda like a girly dog…We’re going to have a big rambunctious dog.”

“By saying that he wanted a ‘big, rambunctious dog,’ Obama was trying to don the mantle of the ‘guy’s guy.’ “ Kimball wrote. “Big rambunctious dogs, through their genetic link to working and hunting breeds, establish one’s bona fides with the masses. Those toy breeds who don’t have to work for living probably belong to people who don’t either – or so the conventional wisdom would have it.”

Kimball gives Obama points for considering a shelter dog, but says, “making distinctions about dogs based on breed is nothing less than a form of canine racism and exactly the sort of thing many of us had hoped we were leaving behind on Nov. 3. ”

The truth is many small breeds have established themselves as some of the fiercest hunters. Kimball also misses the mark when he says Obama promised his children a dog if he won the election. Actually, he promised them one once it was over, win or lose. 

Most ludicrous, though, is Kimball’s argument that it would be irresponsible to own a large breed of dog at the White House.

“Obama is acting irresponsibly by getting a dog much larger than is practical for people in his zip code who don’t have a Rose Garden and South Lawn for it to run around on,” Kimball says.

For one thing, Obama will have a Rose Garden and a South Lawn. For another, saying big dogs shouldn’t live in the city is precisely the kind of “canine racism” Kimball seems to be accusing Obama of.

A dog’s size doesn’t define it, and it shouldn’t define us — however much some people may try to read into things.

Your little dog doesn’t mean you’re “girly,” any more than my big dog means I’m compensating for some shortcoming with my bona fides.

Chihuahuas in the limelight

If you’re a Chihuahua these days, you take the good with the bad. They’re the topic of a soon-to-be-released major movie, devoted to their churlish, tenacious and persnickety ways. But they’ve also taken some raps in recent studies.

First came this one — designating Chihuahua’s second only to dachsunds on a list of the most aggressive dog breeds. The study rated the aggression level of 33 breeds and concluded smaller breeds might be more genetically predisposed towards aggressive behavior.

Now, a study by Esure, a British pet insurer, has ranked them second again — this time to Great Danes — in terms of destructiveness.

According to the survey, Chihuahuas destroy $1,376 dollars worth of stuff during their lifetimes, compared to $1,420 dollars for Great Danes.

Bulldogs, dachshunds and beagles also made the top 10, with pugs, saint bernards and pointers among the least ruinous, according to an article about the study.

The survey of more than 3,000 UK dog owners found the items most often damaged were soft furnishings and electrical goods – used as makeshift chew toys – and vases and lights, knocked over by wagging tails.

Most of the damage was done during puppyhood, according to the study, which concluded a dog’s size had little bearing on its wrecking ability.

So, take note — and take a pointer, Weimaraner, or Rottweiler – all you apartment owners, hotels managers and others who set an arbitrary weight limit on the dogs you allow. Size, at least in this particular area, doesn’t matter.

And take note, too, all those who might fall into the trap of rashly getting a Chihuahua when the movie propels the breed into even more of a fad. Make sure you’re willing to invest the time. And money. Chihuahua’s are also atop another list, as the most expensive breed of dog to maintain.