The Merlsheimer is a new crossbreed hailing from Germany with loving, friendly and sociable temperament. It was developed in 2008 by Kerstin Wiehage-Mürmann by crossing various herding dogs, Poodles and a relatively unknown German dog breed known as Elo.
On average, the Merlsheimer is around 43 cm tall and 10 kg heavy, which is 17 inch and 22 lbs. The dog should not be much bigger than that, because one of the reasons why these dogs were developed was to create the best possible companion dog for families and even for seniors. And indeed, the Merlsheimer is perfect for both groups.
The coat of Merlsheimer is most often similar to Poodle coat, but they can have longer and straighter hair like Elo dog as well. But the typical coat is slightly wavy and curly just like the Poodles coat and the great benefit of this coat is, that it does not shed, or it sheds only minimally. This type of a coat will need some grooming and maintenance and it should be cut few times a year to keep it in manageable length. Regular brushing is also very beneficial to keep the coat in good condition and to redistribute natural oils all over the coat.
The coat should be in solid light color or in piebald color. The coat is light and the dog can be easily seen in dark.
The Merlsheimer has perfect temperament for living with family or seniors. Most often it is relatively calm, gentle and affectionate dog breed. They do like cuddling, but it is not a total coach potatoe and it is recommended to provide the Merlsheimer with at least two good hours of daily exercise. It can be longer walks, vigorous playtime or fun training sessions.
These dogs are pretty playful and can be good partners for kids, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with very young child unsupervised. Most Merlsheimers are able to be socialized with other dogs or other pets in the family as well. But some Merlsheimers might show herding, do not forget, that this is still a crossbreed in development and its temperament is not completely predictable. But most likely, the Merlsheimer will be perfect companion dog with balanced temperament that will love its whole family.
The Merlsheimer is typically quite healthy dog breed with average lifespan around 14 years. It should not suffer much from any serious health issues, but of course, it can still suffer from the typical doggy issue, like allergies, infections, some eye problems or joint problems. But overall, this is pretty healthy and hardy dog breed.
There are many things to consider when getting your first dog and in this video i will tell you all the important things you should think of, when buying or adopting a dog as a novice dog owner and i will give you examples of the best and worst dog breeds for first time owners.
While the breed alone is not everything as the socialization and training plays a crucial role in raising a good dog, choosing the right breed for you will make the job so much easier and enjoyable. Many owners today want some kind of a fashionable, trendy breed they saw on TV or social media, but it would be a big mistake to get such dog without investigating, if its personality, size, exercise needs are good fit for you.
There are certain personality traits, novice dog owners should look after in their first dog breed. Eager to please, friendly, calm, open with strangers and other animals, affectionate, loyal and gentle dogs are generally the best for novices. Smaller size can also be advantage for beginners, as the dog is easier to manage, but i will show you some giant dogs suitable for novices as well.
On the other hand, first time owners should avoid breeds that have strong natural protective or hunting instincts and dogs that are independent, strong willed, aloof or reserved with strangers. Always look at the history of the dog as well. If the dogs main utilization is livestock guardian, you can expect very strong and independent dog, if it was mainly used as a property protector, you can expect alert and suspicious dog and if it was mainly used as a hunter, you can expect a lively dog that will listen to his nose more than your commands.
You should explore as many breeds as possible before choosing the one. Study about their temperament, history, ask about the breed in kennel clubs, just do your survey properly. And without further ado, lets jump into the list of 15 best and 15 worst dog breeds for novice dog owners.
15) Shih Tzu
Small size, lovable and affectionate temperament, cute looks. The easy going and always friendly Shih Tzu is one of the best dog breeds for people with zero experiences with dogs.
14) Labrador Retriever
If you are looking for a larger dog that is good for novices, than you must consider the eager to please, playful and loving Labrador. You should look for the show line Lab, as the Working lines are slightly more challenging for novices.
13) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This always cheerful little dog is known as extremely adaptable, gentle and open with everyone.
12) Golden Retriever
Personality wise, extremely similar dog to Labrador and the main difference between them is in the appearance. Both are perfect dogs for unexperienced owners.
All the breeds from the Bichon dog group, and the Havanese is one of them, are amazing charming and easygoing companions for first time owners. And you will see some other Bichon dogs in this video as well.
Unlike the popular believe, most sighthounds are very calm and relaxed dogs, that are good for novices and the Whippet is no exception. But it is pretty hard to train them to be good off leash, as they still have high chasing instincts.
9) Bernese Mountain Dog
If you are looking for giant dogs for novices, you must look for the so called „gentle giants“ and the Bernese Mountain Dog is just like that. Extremely gentle, relaxed and friendly with almost everyone.
8) Yorkhsire Terrier
Most terriers are not the best choices for novices, but the little Yorkie might be exception. But expect to have slightly more mischievous, independent and lively dog by your side.
7) Bichon Frise
Just like the Havanese, the Bichon Frise is very easygoing, gentle and charming dog. The only downside is that the grooming and maintance is little bit harder than with most dogs.
Also known as „Butterfly dog“, the Papillon is a happy breed that loves to play outdoors, but also nap in your lap.
The only guard dog in this video is the Boxer that loves to be with his people. They have strong desire for human affection and they are very gentle and patient with kids.
If you like the Whippet, but you would like slightly larger dog, than the Greyhound is perfect with you. Very relaxed, some even say coach potatoe, the Greyhound really is very calm, loving and affectionate companion.
Another dog from the Bichon group, the Maltese share the same characteristics with the Bichon Frise and Havanese.
The Poodle is very smart dog that comes in three size categories. For novices, i would recommend the toy and mini Poodles, but even the standard is easily trainable, friendly and affectionate dog breed.
1) Mixed breed
Mixed breeds from shelters might be a perfect start for novice dog owners. The shelter should help you to choose the right adult dog for you, so you do not have any troubles with socialization and training. Having a pre-trained dog with known behavioural habits is a huge advantage for people with no experiences of raising a dog. On the other hand, i would be cautious with buying a mixed puppy, as you will never truly know what temperament, size and exercise needs it will have.
So these were the 15 best dog breeds for novice dog owners, or at least based on my opinion. Now i will show you 15 dogs that i would not recommend to first time owners. I want to be clear, these dogs are not bad breeds, but they are often times challenging to train, socialize or exercise and they need the right home to become amazing companions. Here they are.
15) Siberian Husky
Huskies are super popular for their appearance, but they are extremely independent, very vocal and very very energetic.
14) Belgian Malinois
If i said that Husky is very eneregtic, the Belgian Malinois is extremely energetic. They are beautiful, they can learn almost anything and are able to perform almost any task, but most typical owners could not handle the physical and mental exercise needs of this wonderful dog breed.
13) Akita Inu
After the movie Hachiko, many people fell in love with the loyal Akita. But this dog breed was bred for hunting, dog fighting and protection and it is extremely suspicious, alert, independent and they have higher prey drive. Definitely a bad choice for first dog.
12) Chow Chow
Similar to Akita, the Chow Chow is known to be suspicious towards strangers, protective, alert and independent.
Another breed that was popularized by a movie, 101 Dalmatians. And the Dalmatian is on this list because of their very high energy level and exercise needs.
10) Airedale Terrier
Almost all the terriers are not very good for first time owners. They are natural born hunters, independent thinkers and high energy dogs. And the Airedale Terrier is the largest of all terriers.
Also known as Grey Ghost, the Weimaraner is popular for its stunning appearance, but once again, its high exercise needs makes it quite challenging for most typical dog owners. The Weimaraner is also known as highly attached to its owners and can easily suffer from separation anxiety.
8) Border Collie
One of the smartest dogs in the world, known from various tv shows, is actually not very good for novices. They are far too smart and far too energetic. They were bred to work all day long on farm, which is not possible for most people. With the right owner, the Border Collie is just amazing dog, but they are not the best fit for majority of owners.
7) Shar Pei
Similarly to Akita and Chow Chow, the Shar Pei is known to be protective, alert, suspicious of strangers and other animals, which is a bad combination for your first dog breed.
One of the most popular dogs, the Beagle is a hunter at heart. They follow their nose more than your commands. They have strong prey drive and they are very vocal.
5) Alaskan Malamute
Once again, the ammount of exercise needs put this dog breed on our list. The Alaskan Malamute was bred as a strong sled dog and they require a lot of daily exercise to stay docile, happy and healthy.
4) Shiba Inu
One of the cutest internet dog is definitely not for novices. They have basically the same temperament as the Akita, just in smaller package. Very independent and stubborn dog, that is very often shy.
Similarly to Beagle, the Bloodhound is natural born hunter that will follow their nose and they will drag you behind them while following the scent. Once they start chasing or tracking something, it is extremely hard for them to listen to your commands
The Rottweiler is originally a war dog and protector. They are known to be very friendly and affectionate with its own family, but they have very strong instinctive guarding tendencies, which makes them tricky to manage as a newbie dog owner.
1) German Shepherd
The GSD is the last dog on this list. The combination of natural guarding instincts, high needs for mental stimulation, high energy level and big strength makes them also hard to manage for first time owners.
Here you have it. 15 best and 15 worst dog breeds for novice dog owners, at least according to Rocadog. BTW, if you will be interested in any of the dog breeds you saw in this video, i created separate videos about each one of them, so you can search for Rocadog + dog breeds name in Youtube search and check it out. Thank you for watching, see you in the next video.
Chuandong Hound - TOP 10 Facts
The Chuandong Hound is a very old, ancient dog breed, that hails from Chinese Sichuan province, to be more specific, from the eastern part of Sichuan province, around the city of Chongqing. In the 1980s archeologists found statues of unknown dogs in tombs near the city of Chongqing. The tombs were more than 2000 years old and they also located dogs in the surrounding area that were very similar to the statues. These dogs are the ancestors of todays Chuandong Hound. The breed had developed by adapting to its local environment and being fit for a purpose as a scent hunting hound for more than 2000 years. It can be said, that this breed evolved next to a man, rather than by a man.
2) Almost extinct
The Chuandong Hound is extremely rare breed. There are few reasons for it. One of them is that after the establishment of communist regime in China, dogs were associated with capitalism and population of most dog breeds in China rapidly declined. Some rural families kept their dogs for hunting and guarding, but they had to pay big taxes for keeping them. Luckily, few families in Sichuan province really kept their Chuandong Hounds and they preserve the breed. In 1980s, the pet ownership was allowed. Out break of SARS epidemy in 2002 was another tragedy for the breed. The Chinese government killed many dogs in order to prevent spreading of the disease. But luckily, the Chuandong Hound once again survived in small numbers and today, there are few kennels outside China as well.
3) Chongqing dog
For a long time, the Chuandong Hound did not have an official breed standard, or an official name. The breed was known as the East Sichuan Terrier by the owners who still value their dogs hunting ability. That changed in 2018, when the first breed standard was published by Chinese kennel union. The C.K.U recognise the Chongqing dog and the Chuandong Hound which have both developed from the East Sichuan Terrier. The Chongqing dog is a companion and guard dog. The Chuandong Hound continues to be used as a scent hunting hound and some owners still refer to them as the East Sichuan Terrier. Both breeds are similar in appearance, but the Chuandong Hound has a longer muzzle with much less wrinkle, a scissor bite and is longer on the leg. The Chongqing dog has a shorter muzzle with wrinkles, an undershot bite and is reffered to by some owners as a Chinese Bulldog.
4) Coat and color
On the first sight, the Chuandong Hound might look like a hairless breed, but that is not true. The Chuandong Hound has a short single coat all over its body and the only permitted color is red in all kinds of shades.
Speaking of coat, the maintenance and grooming is incredibly easy with this breed. The Chuandong Hound does not shed and they do not require almost any grooming at all to keep the coat in good condition. They are almost cat like when it comes to cleanliness, they keep themselves super clean in all parts of their body. Just like with any other breed, you should also regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.Chuandong Hounds only have fine wrinkles on top of their head so they do not have any problems with wrinkle soreness.
Another amazing fact about this breed is their longevity. Just like majority of breeds that evolved through natural selection, they are very healthy and hardy dogs that does not suffer much from any serious health issues. And what about the lifespan? It is between 16-20 years and it is not uncommon for these dogs to be active and healthy even at their later teens.
This is medium sized dog breed, with average height between 40-50 cm, which is 15-20 inch and weight between 20-25 kg, which is 45-55 lbs. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
The Chuandong Hounds make excellent companion pets. They are very playful and affectionate, very loyal to its owners, protective over their loved ones and quite intelligent. They can definitely learn all the basic obedience commands fast and easy. On the other hand, they can be stubborn, which is why patient and consistent training is essential. These dogs are perfect companions for kids as well, as they are typically very playful and gentle with kids, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised. The Chuandong Hound can also live with other dogs in the family, especially if socialized together from the puppyhood.
This is not a completely hyperactive dog breed, but it is not a total coach potatoe neither. The Chuandong Hound will need daily exercise to stay in good shape, healthy and happy. It can be longer daily walks, hikes, vigorous playtime or fun training sessions, just anything that will occupy them physically, but also mentally. Without the exercise, they might potentionally develop some unwanted behaviour, such as destruction.
10) Tongue and tail
The last point in this video will be about the interesting appearance features of the Chuandong Hound. The first one is the tongue, which might or might not have blue coloration. Rather than fully blue tongue, you will see blue-spotted tongue, which is quite normal for Chinese breeds and there are even legends about it in Chinese folklore. One of them says that when Buddha was creating the world, dogs were allowed to lick up all the little pieces of blue sky that fell on the earth when the stars were set in their places, so they got their blue tongue from the sky. The second one is the tail, which is sometimes reffered to as bamboo tail. The tail is very thick at the base and sharp at the end and it stands completely straight.
A long believed theory claims that 1 dog year equals to 7 human years. Well, today we know this is definitely not true, especially during the puppyhood. During the puppyhood dogs mature much quicker and some 1 year old dogs can be fully grown-up individuals.
In reality, different dog breeds mature in different pace. While most small dog breeds will reach their adult size at about 12 months, giant breeds may not reach full physical and mental maturity until they are 2 years old. So typically, puppyhood lasts somewhere between 1 – 2 years.
And even the puppyhood as a whole can be divided into several, very different stages. When the puppy is born up until 3 or 4 weeks, it is considered as a newborn. Their senses are not fully working, they dont see, hear or smell yet and most of the time they spend sleeping. After they are 2 weeks old, the pups start to interact with their mother, brothers and sisters and they are opening their eyes.
Typically, when they are 4 weeks old, puppies can walk, their teeth emerges and they are showing emotions by wagging tail or even by sweet barking.
The puppyhood phase between 4-12 weeks is one of the most important. During this stage, puppies will be aware of their surroundings and they are starting to create relationships with their siblings, but also with people. They are learning how to interact with others and they start to play with each other.
At the age of 8 weeks most pups will go home to their new owners and families. They are old enough to adjust to new environment and still have high fear treshold.
You can start training your puppy at the age of 8 weeks and they are slowly capable of understanding the basic commands, such as their name or sit. You should also start socializing your puppy as soon as possible, but in very safe and controlled manner.
Puppies are like sponge during this period, so you should try to give them as many positive experiences as possible. Definitely avoid any scary or painful experiences. Puppies are forming extremely strong bond with its owners during this time.
This period ends, when the puppy is around 12 weeks old. After that, the pre-adolescent, or someone call it as testing period, starts. It lasts from 3-6 months of puppy age. During this time, puppies are becoming less fearful and much more curious about the world. They are testing their boundaries within the world, but they also test limits with their owners and other animals. Problematic behaviour can occur.
After 3 months of age, puppies are ready for any training you want to do with them. They are capable of learning all the basic commands at this age and it is the best time to start real proper training or to sign them to training program.
This stage is also probably the worst for chewing and biting, since the pups go through the teething. Make sure your dog has enough chewing toys enable, so they do not chew on your shoes or furniture.
The last puppyhood stage starts when the dog is 6 months old. It is possibly the most challenging one and yes, it is the teenage phase. It can last from 6 to 12 or even 18 or 24 months, depending on the breed. Your cute little puppy starts to produce a lot of hormones, which may lead in behaviour changes.
They may challenge their owners or other dogs in household to find their place in the family. They are very often bored and need plenty and plenty of exercise. During this period, most puppies will reach their sexual maturity, which can lead to some problematic behaviour, such as disobedience. Be very patient with pups, do not physically punish them, but be very strict and firm.
Many puppies will become extremely curious explorers during this time and they might run on further distance away from you.
Here are some of the signs that your dog hits puberty. Their testicles descend, or they start first heat cycle. They might become less friendly, moody, more interested in roaming, dogs might start lifting hind legs while peeing, they might start scent marking, they might start to show agression towards dogs of the same sex. Some pups will suffer from something called „selective defness“, which means they obey your commands only when they want to, some might become manipulative with you and some might become destructive.
Most of these behaviours will start to diminish as your puppy matures as long as you keep up training and socialization through these periods. But this is most likely the hardest period of dog ownership. Prepare yourself with a lot of patience, you will need it.
After the age of 18 months, most dogs will reach full emotional maturity. Of course, there are some dogs that acts like playful pups much longer than that and they are known to be puppylike for whole their life. Such breeds include Golden Retrievers, Boxers, Labradors or Bulldogs.
And as i said, physical maturity occurs much sooner in smaller dogs like Chihuahuas or Yorkies. Those are fully physically mature at the age of 12 months. On the other hand Great Dane, Bullmastiffs, Saint Bernards or English Mastiffs will not reach their adult size until they are 20 or 24 months old
As you can see, each dog breed matures differently. But now you will have approximate idea about the different puppyhood stages and remember the rule of thumb, smaller dogs mature faster, giant dogs mature slower.
We all know the Shar-Pei dog breed. But did you know, that they might look like this as well? It is because Shar-Peis come in three different coat types. The traditional very short, bristly and harsh „horse“ coat, the slightly longer, about 2 cm long „brush“ coat and the rarest of all, long and fluffy „bear“ coat.
It is important to say, that the bear coat variety is not officially recognized in the breed standard, so you wont be able to participate in dog shows with the bear coat Shar pei. The long and fluff bear coat is caused by a recessive gene, which both parents must carry. We do not know on 100% what is causing this gene, but the most likely theory is, that it is throwback to their Chow Chow ancestors. And indeed, the coat of a Chow Chow and bear coat Shar Pei is very very similar.
It is important to say, that this gene can be carried by the horse and brush coated Shar Peis as well, which means, that rarely, a bear coated pup might be born in a litter of short coated parents. Most breeders do not encourage breeding bear coated Shar Peis, mostly due to the fact, that this kind of a coat is not standardized and it is by far the rarest of the three coat types.
But even though the bear coat Shar Pei is not officially recognized by majority of kennel clubs, it is still a Shar Pei. Their temperament is the same as the temperament of horse coat and brush coat types and the only main difference is the coat. The bear coat Shar Pei also have a soft undercoat under the beautiful fluffy outer coat. It is also harder to see the traditional wrinkles of Shar Pei, but they are present under the coat.
The dense coat makes the bear coat Shar Pei little bit better for colder climates as well. The bear coat Shar Pei does shed some deal of fur, more heavily during shedding seasons. You should definitely brush their coat regularly to remove any dead and loose hair, which will help to minimize the shedding.
The grooming routine is slightly harder with the bear coat than other coat varieties. Longer fur can be prone a little bit to matting and tangling and again, regular brushing will help with this possible issue.
You should also take proper care about the wrinkles and skin folds and ensure that they are clean and dry. Otherwise, they might develop skin fold infections or mange. It is adviced to start cleaning the skin folds from the puppyhood, so the dog is used to it.
The wrinkles might not be that visible as with other Shar Pei coat types, but they are there and you should take care of them. Other than that, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clean them or clip them if needed.
There are not many other differences between the bear coat and traditionally coated Shar Peis. The height, weight and body type, face type, it should all be the same. The typical temperament is also identical for all coat types. The official breed standard describes the temperament as calm, independent, loyal and affectionate to his family.
And indeed, this is amazing loyal family companion. They might be alert and suspicious towards strangers and they might have stronger protective instincts. Some of them are also very independent, some even say stubborn, but this is vastly influenced by early socialization. But overall, this is very loving, gentle, curious and affectionate dog towards its own family.
The Catahoula and American Leopard Hound are two similarly looking dog breeds and it is easy to confuse one to another. But they are two different dog breeds with different history, utilization, temperament and appearance.
Both breeds are hard working dogs. The AKC classifies the American Leopard Hound into hunting group while the Catahoula is put into Herding group, which is not exactly correct. While it is true, that the American Leopard Hound was mainly used for hunting feral hogs or even bears using his amazing strength, strong eye contact and body language, the Catahoula Leopard dog is definitely not only a herding dog.
It is a multipurpose dog breed that was used for almost anything, starting from hunting, to herding the livestock to guarding utilization. And they are very versatile and skilled at all those jobs.
Both breeds are very protective, alert of strangers and territorial and both can be good protectors, but the Catahoula is more commonly used for this purpose. Catahoula is known to be extremely alert and reserved with strangers. American Leopard Hound is known to be little bit friendlier and relaxed around strangers.
The American Leopard Hounds on the other hand has higher prey drive and chasing instinct and they are naturally better for hunting various prey. Their speciality is treeing the game. This makes more difficult to socialize with household pets like, for example, cats.
Of course, even the Catahoula has prey drive, as they were also used to hunt, but it is reported that it is easier to socialize them with other household animals. But many of them will still try to chase any moving object on your walks.
On the other, American Leopard Hounds typically behave better around other dogs. Catahoulas can be reserved with other dogs and it can take them longer time to accept them.
Catahoulas also have natural herding tendencies, which you will not see in American Leopard Hound. They can try to herd other animals or even kids. AKC desribes their herding ability as creating a “canine fence” around the herd which allows the dog's master to work the herd within that circle.
Both dogs are typically very gentle with its own family and they are absolutely loyal to it. Both are known to be very protective, especially towards kids in the family and they will defend them. Many of them are known as clownish, playful, energetic and lively, kind of independent but extremely loyal, hardworking and intelligent.
It is also important to say that all the temperamental characteristics are of course vastly influenced by early training and socialization.
And what about the appearance of those two breeds? Well, both dogs are very strong and muscular and they have similar size and body type. You can see the size comparsion on the screen right now.
Both breeds are named after their leopard like coat. The American Leopard Hound comes in a leopard or spotted pattern and may be red, blue, merle, brindle, black or another color, with white making up less than a third of the coat.
Catahoula Leopard dog can also be in leopard like color, but they can also be in solid color. Typical colors of these dogs are blue merle, red merle, brindle and almost all the solid colors. Very often they also have white spots on their face, chest or legs.
The American Leopard Hound always has short and very dense coat. The Catahoula can either have smooth short or coarse medium coat, which can have extended feathering on hind legs, chest and tail.
Now lets talk briefly about the maintenance, which is almost the same for both dogs. Both are very energetic dogs that need a lot of daily physical and mental exercise. Daily long walks, hikes, jogs, fun training sessions or vigorous playtime is a must with these breeds. Exercising these dogs can be little bit challenging, on the other hand, grooming, can not be simplier. Regular brushing which will remove the dead and loose hair is enough for both dogs, no other grooming is required.