Dog and Cat Breed of the Week

The American Bulldog

The dog of the week is the American Bulldog.

It is hard for me to believe that I can say with true feelings that this is “one heck of a dog.” I happen to have a “granddog” named Sadie that is a Johnson type American Bulldog.

There are two types of American Bulldogs, the Standard (Scott) and the Bully (Johnson.)

The Standard is somewhat smaller than the Johnson and has a longer muzzle, while the Johnson is larger with a Mastiff type head and a Bulldog style lower jaw.

This breed (both the Scott and Johnson) is not only extremely intelligent and confident, they are super imposing, powerful and very sturdy. Being knocked over by this dog is like being hit by a Mack truck.

Why would anyone want such an animal?

Truthfully, I wondered what was wrong with my daughter, when she called and said she had just bought one.

I knew nothing about the breed, except they looked mean and the price she paid would have kept me in ice cream for many years.

Being a good mother, I decided to take to the Internet and see what I could find out about my new grandchild.

One of the interesting things I learned is that the breed originated in this country and the English Bulldog is part of their ancestry. They were bred as all-purpose working dogs and are not an easy dog to recognize.

The reason being there are the two types, I mentioned earlier and the look of the dog depends on the region in which it lives and the breeder.

They have often been mistaken for the American Pit Bull Terrier.

They are a heavy sturdy dog, males can weigh up to 125 pounds and the females up to 100 pounds. Our Miss Sadie is a delicate lady and weighs in the 90 pound range.

Their life span ranges from 8 to 12 years.

They can suffer from hip dysplasia, skin problems, heatstroke and neurological problems.

American Bulldogs are a dominant breed and need a strong hand to guide them.

The American Bulldog is protective of its family, is good with children, except small children can easily be knocked down and possibly hurt.

They get along well with other pets, even cats, if they are brought up with them. Some dogs have a tendency to go after small prey.

It is very important to socialize them at a very early age, they need to be exposed to all kinds of environment and people,

Their intelligence and expressive personalities make them almost human.

I believe our Sadie thinks she is one of the girls.

As Florida is our home, living outside is something we do and my daughter and son-in-law spend a great deal of time on their patio. Miss Sadie has her own chair and will sit at the table with friends and family enjoying the conversation.

The American Bulldog needs plenty of exercise. Sadie gets hers by chasing the squirrels up trees and helping “Pop-Pop” mow the vast yard by directing the riding lawn mower.

These dogs are interested in anything their humans are doing and Sadie has to help with whatever chores are going on outside.

Aggressive and protective are two words that can be used to describe this breed.

If you are considering adopting an American Bulldog, be prepared to be the “leader.”

It is very important that you are prepared from the moment you bring the puppy home to start training him/her in proper behavior and socializing it.

They are wonderful watchdogs along with being great companions.

At Miss Sadie’s house if you are thinking of coming into the yard through the back gate and you are alone, “don’t.” However, if you come in through the front door and then out through the back door into the yard, you are welcome.

Sadie knows that if you come out the back door, you are a friend and she will welcome you, but the back gate without Mom or “Pop-Pop” coming with you, you are an intruder.

If you are thinking of getting a “big” dog and have the room for a dog like Sadie to run and play and if you want an animal that is extremely intelligent, loving, energetic and almost human get an American Bulldog.

Just be prepared to be the “dominant one,” train your puppy from the start and socialize it with exposure to many different kinds of circumstances.

That being said, you will have “one heck of a dog.”

The Devon Rex

My cat of the week is the Devon Rex.

If you are looking for something different in the way of a cat get Devon Rex.

If things unusual and a little strange are your cup of tea this cat is for you.

What is a Devon Rex?

Well, it has an elfin like face, large ears, looks like an alien E.T. visitor, has curly fur or no fur at all and large eyes. It is a fairly new breed of cat that was discovered around 1960 in an old tin mine in Devon, England.

As the story goes around late 1959/early 1960 in an old deserted tin mine in Devon, England there roamed a curly coated tom that sired a litter of kittens to a straight coated female. One of the kittens had a curly coat and that was the beginning of the breed.

It seemed that this kitten grew up to be a roaming rascal, too. He also sired a litter of kittens to an unsuspecting straight-coated female. This litter of kittens was found in the garden of a Miss Beryl Cox, who lived near the mine. This litter also produced a curly coated male that she named Kirlee.

In an effort to make a very long story short, Miss Cox offered Kirlee to Brian Sterling-Webb, a cat fancier, who had been trying to start a new breed with two curly coated cats he had.

He called the breed the Cornish Rex (the Rex part came from some rabbits that had curly coats.) Kirlee was used for some breedings, but the mating only produced straight-haired cats.

Kirlee eventually was neutered and sent off to live a soft life in the country.

It was decided by the breeders, that the Cornish genetics and the Devon genetics were not compatible.

The end result was the Devon gene pool was mixed with other breeds (British and American Shorthairs,) since there were very few Devons around. The Devon Rex has a coat that varies, it can be wavy, shaggy and curly, suede-like or even no hair at all. Devons have a short nose, while the Cornish Rex has a plush wavy coat and what is considered a Roman nose. There is one other difference between the two breeds the Cornish Rex has a fold or a tuck up to its abdomen and the Devon Rex does not.

The first Devons arrived in this country around 1968 and were accepted four years later by the American Cat Fanciers Association.

That is the short version of the story. Now let’s get on to learning about the Devon Rex.

The Devon Rex may not be the prettiest cat on the block, but it certainly is the friendliest. If you are looking for a cat that will be your companion, this is it.

The Devon Rex is friendly, nosey, talkative, sociable and a tail wagger. This cat will ride on your shoulder, snuggle in your arms and join you inside your shirt.

Devons are face to face cats, they want to know what you are doing and why.

Then the next minute they are acting very independent.

They have been described as a cross between a cat, dog and a monkey. Devons are very agile and can climb up on anything, as they are powerful jumpers.

They love food, especially your food and will beg and steal with a blink of an eye. You need to watch your plate or be prepared to share it with them.

Care wise they are low maintenance. Devons have been said to be hypo-allergenic, but they really are not. It really depends on the depth of your allergies.

They enjoy bathing and will take a shower with you.

They do shed, even though some have little hair. Some kittens lose their hair then get it back, some don’t, but who cares when you have a cat that is so much fun.

They love to cuddle, are great in the winter as they give off great body heat. A Devon should be an indoor cat if for no other reason then, they are a real treasure.

Drs. Foster and Smith Inc.