That's Chinese for "Best wishes and congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year."
January 23rd marks the beginning of the 15-day Chinese New Year celebration. Of course China isn't the only country to celebrate the lunar New Year. Other countries like Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Tibet and Vietnam have similar celebrations too.
One thing that many people will check every lunar New Year is how their personal animal zodiac sign will fare in the coming year. Your personal animal sign will tell you if you will have an easy, prosperous year or if you need to be prepared to face some challenges.
Did you know that the dog is one of the Chinese animal zodiac signs? According to the Chinese zodiac, dog people are ones that are born in the years of 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, and 2006. Dogs are loving, pleasant, honest and are considered faithfully devoted friends…similar to our canine companions. So you can see why they chose the dog to represent this particular zodiac sign.
In the spirit of Chinese New Year, we've decided to focus this week's article on the diversity of Chinese dog breeds. You may be surprised to know just how many breeds of dogs come from this area of the world.
Xin Nian Kuai Le (Happy New Year),
Amber Keiper and the rest of the BARF World Team
P.S. If you are interested in learning more about your personal animal sign and what 2012 will bring for you, visit www.lilliantoomandalaezine.com and sign up for their FREE newsletter.
Chinese Dog Breeds – Symbols of Luck and ProtectionBy Evan Price
Chinese New Year, which occurs on January 23rd, 2012, will mark the beginning of the Year of the Dragon. The Chinese use animals to represent each of their zodiac signs: the ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, pig, rat…and dog. While we won't be celebrating the Year of the Dog again until 2018 (I would know for my animal sign is the dog), I thought it would still be a good idea to dedicate this week's "Good Dog" article to dogs of Chinese origin.
The Chinese believe that dogs bring good "yang" energy into our homes. They create bright, positive, active energy and provide us with comfort and security. Dogs even influence Chinese mythology and represent some important symbols of good fortune and protection.
There are at least a dozen dog breeds of Chinese descent – these breeds include:
While I would love to go into detail about every one of these unique breeds, I have chosen to highlight the three most popular ones based on our customers' opinions. So here it is - the most widely owned Chinese dog breeds are: the Shih Tzu, Pug, and Chinese Crested (Sorry Chow Chow…better luck next year).
Shih Tzu – The Little Lion Dog
Did you know that the average Shih Tzu is less than 12 inches tall and range from 8 to 16 lbs.? Don't let their small stature fool you though. The Shih Tzu (which means "Lion Dog") is thought to be a descendant of the wolf - specifically, an ancient Chinese wolf known as the Senji, which had drop ears, a short muzzle, and big, dark eyes.
The colors of a Shih Tzu's coat can vary wildly. Many are solid and have coats that are black, white, brown, liver, and blue. Others can be bi-colored, including black and white, liver and white, silver and white, brindle and white, and black and gold. Their coats grow quickly and can be either long or short. In fact, the coat of the
long-coated Shih Tzu will often touch the ground even while the dog is standing.
According to the UK Kennel Club, the average lifespan of a Shih Tzu is more than 13 years with many reaching the ages of 16 to 20. However, the Shih Tzu breed is known to be subject to some not-so-fortunate health issues. Among these are IVD (Intervertebral Disk Disease), hip dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, and, like all dogs with short muzzles, they can be prone to breathing problems.
Yet don't let these concerns distress you. The "lion dog" can be an excellent companion. Their disposition is playful and affectionate and they generally get along well with other animals. Plus they make great watchdogs because they are very brave and always on alert.
Chinese Crested – Charming and Affectionate
The Chinese Crested dog comes in two varieties: Hairless and Powderpuff. Powderpuffs have a long, soft coat that changes in appearance depending on how they are groomed.
Then there is the hairless variety – in fact, there are actually two varieties of hairless crested: true hairless and hairy hairless. True hairless dogs have very little to no fur at all, while hairy hairless dogs have patches of hair on the head (crest), paws (socks), and tail (plume).
While the average Chinese crested has longevity of 12 to 14 years, there are some health problems that could shorten their life expectancy. Ocular and dental problems can be common, as well as allergies and immune disorders. (Interestingly enough, the dental issues are far more common in the hairless variety.) More severe problems include patellar luxation, which can cause the kneecaps to become dislodged, resulting in lameness. Another serious issue is Canine Multiple System Degeneration. This can lead to a dog walking with a "drunken gait" or falling down while climbing stairs or making a fast turn.
The Chinese Crested makes a great family animal as they are very affectionate, charming and quite loveable. Just make sure that your kids are gentle with this pup. Since they don't have the protective coat that other breeds have, Chinese crested can injure easily.
Pugs – A Symbol of Chinese Mythology
The pug resembles the ancient Chinese mythical creature, the Fu Dog. Fu dogs were thought of as imperial guardians and according to folklore were said to be able to transform into dragons. It is actually very common to see statues of these animals placed at the doorways of Chinese businesses and in the home to protect against burglars and evil spirits.
Similarly to the Shih Tzu, pugs have a short muzzle and a scrunched face. They are also similar in size, weighing 14 to 18 lbs. Other distinctive features of the pug include a curved tail and predominant wrinkles that cover the face and head.
While Pugs can come in a variety of colors, including black, white (extremely rare), fawn, apricot fawn, silver, and brindle, the American Kennel Club only considers black and fawn colors to be "standard".
Pugs have an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, but obesity can be an issue if the dog has a fairly sedentary lifestyle. Pugs can also suffer from Pug Dog Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), Hemi vertebrae (congenitally deformed vertebrae), hip dysplasia, reverse sneezing, and (I'm not joking) overheating.
They are known for displaying an even temperament and are dogs that love to please their owners. Pugs are rarely aggressive and are good for families with children.
I hope you enjoyed this article about Chinese dog breeds. May you have good fortune, prosperity, health, wealth, and happiness.
Until next time…happy BARFing!
Evan Price is a Raw Diet Educator for BARF World Inc. He is a true dog lover at heart with a particular interest in Daschunds. Evan is also an avid sports enthusiast and bridge player. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for The Intelligent Pet weekly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.
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Wags of Wisdom:"He cannot be a gentleman that loveth not a dog."
|Tail Us What You Think|
Last week, we shared with you an article about canine obesity that explained the dangers associated with this disease as well as some tips to help prevent this from happening to your canine friends.
Here are some of your responses about this important issue:
"I volunteer for a dog rescue organization and frequently see obese dogs turned in to us by their former people. It usually looks like unlimited amounts of food were the only thing they gave their dog. I wonder if they think they are compensating for their neglect of the dog's physical, emotional, and social needs. One woman told me her dog got fat after he was neutered. She evidently never thought of cutting back on the amount she was feeding him. One man said his dogs loved to eat. Duh! We are in control of what and how much our dogs eat. No lame excuses, please."
Dog Dancing Merengue
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