The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.
Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.
The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”
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West Highland Doxie Hybrid Description
The West Highland Doxie is not a purebred dog. It is a cross between the Dachshund and the West Highland White Terrier. The best way to determine the temperment of a mixed breed is to look up all breeds in the cross. It is possible you can get any combination of any of the characteristics found in either breed. Not all of these designer hybrid dogs being bred are 50% purebred to 50% purebred. It is very common for breeders to breed multi-generational crosses. Please review individual breeds for potential health issues.
Dachshund Breed Description - Cross #1
A typical dachshund is long-bodied and muscular, with short, stubby legs. Its front paws are unusually large and paddle-shaped, for extreme digging. Long coated dachshunds have a silky coat and short featherings on legs and ears. It has skin that is loose enough not to tear while tunneling in tight burrows to chase prey. The dachshund has a deep chest that provides increased lung capacity for stamina when hunting prey underground. Its snout is long with an increased nose area that absorbs odors. There are three types of dachshund, which can be classified by their coats: short-haired, called "smooth"; long-haired; and wire-haired.
The standard size dachshund was bred to scent, chase, and flush out badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals, while the miniature dachshund was developed to hunt smaller prey such as rabbits. In the American West they have also been used to hunt prairie dogs. Today, they are bred for conformation shows and as family pets. Some dachshunds participate in earthdog trials. According to the AKC, the dachshund continues to remain one of the top 10 dog breeds in the United States.
There are three dachshund coat varieties: smooth coat (short hair), long-haired, and wire-haired. Longhaired dachshunds have a silky coat and short featherings on legs and ears. Wire-haired dachshunds are the least common coat variety in the United States (although it is the most common in Germany) and the most recent coat to appear in breeding standards. Dachshunds have a wide variety of colors and patterns, the most common one being red. Their base coloration can be single-colored (either red or cream), tan pointed (black and tan, chocolate and tan, blue and tan, or isabella and tan), and in wire-haired dogs, a color referred to as wildboar. Patterns such as dapple (merle), sable, brindle and piebald also can occur on any of the base colors. Dachshunds in the same litter may be born in different coat colors depending on the genetic makeup of the parents.
The dominant color in the breed is red, followed by black and tan. Tan pointed dogs have tan (or cream) markings over the eyes, ears, paws, and tail. The reds range from coppers to deep rusts, with or without somewhat common black hairs peppered along the back, face and ear edges, lending much character and an almost burnished appearance; this is referred to among breeders and enthusiasts as an "overlay" or "sabling". Sabling should not be confused with a more unusual coat color referred to as sable. At a distance, a sable dachshund looks somewhat like a black and tan dog. Upon closer examination, however, one can observe that along the top of the dog's body, each hair is actually banded with red at the base near the skin transitioning to mostly black along the length of the strand. An additional striking coat marking is the brindle pattern. "Brindle" refers to dark stripes over a solid background—usually red. If a dachshund is brindled on a dark coat and has tan points, it will have brindling on the tan points only. Even one single, lone stripe of brindle is a brindle. If a dachshund has one single spot of dapple, it is a dapple.
The Dachshund Club of America (DCA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) consider both the piebald pattern and the double dapple (double merle) pattern to be nonstandard. However, both types continue to be shown and sometimes even win in the conformation ring.
Dogs that are double-dappled have the merle pattern of a dapple, but with distinct white patches that occur when the dapple gene expresses itself twice in the same area of the coat. The DCA excluded the wording "double-dapple" from the standard in 2007 and now strictly uses the wording "dapple" as the double dapple gene is commonly responsible for blindness and deafness.
This robust, courageous dog has great endurance, but does not always have a good disposition. The Dachshund is independent, belligerent, has a tendency to bite, and tries to exert his dominance over other dogs. His habit of barking at the least noise makes him a good guard dog. The Dachshund is affectionate and cheerful, but tends to be possessive and often jealous. The smooth variety is the most energetic, while the wirehaired variety is the most rustic and has the greatest hunting instinct. The longhaired variety is the calmest of the three. All Dachshunds must receive firm but gentle training from a very young age.
The Dachshund is well-suited to life as a house dog, particularly the longhaired variety. However, this small dog needs plenty of exercise to maintain his mental health. The wirehaired and longhaired varieties require regular brushing and combing.
Dachshunds can be difficult to housebreak, and patience and consistency are often needed in this endeavor.
According to the American Kennel Club's breed standards, "the dachshund is clever, lively and courageous to the point of rashness, persevering in above and below ground work, with all the senses well-developed. Any display of shyness is a serious fault." Their temperament and body language give the impression that they do not know or care about their relatively small size. Like many small hunting dogs, they will challenge a larger dog. Indulged dachshunds may become snappy or extremely obstinate.
Many dachshunds do not like unfamiliar people, and many will growl or bark at them. Although the dachshund is generally an energetic dog, some are sedate. This dog's behavior is such that it is not the dog for everyone. A bored, untrained dachshund will become destructive. If raised improperly and not socialized at a young age, dachshunds can become aggressive or fearful. They require a caring, loving owner who understands their need for entertainment and exercise.
Dachshunds may not be the best pets for small children. Like any dog, dachshunds need a proper introduction at a young age. Well-trained dachshunds and well-behaved children usually get along fine. Otherwise, they may be aggressive and bite an unfamiliar child, especially one that moves quickly around them or teases them. However, many dachshunds are very tolerant and loyal to children within their family, but these children should be mindful of the vulnerability of the breed's back.
The breed is prone to spinal problems, especially intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), due in part to an extremely long spinal column and short rib cage. The risk of injury may be worsened by obesity, jumping, rough handling, or intense exercise, which place greater strain on the vertebrae. About 20–25% of dachshunds will develop IVDD. Dachshunds with a number of calcified intervertebral discs at a young age have a higher risk of developing disc disease in later life. In addition, studies have shown that development of calcified discs is highly heritable in the breed. An appropriate screening programme for IVDD has been identified by Finnish researchers and a UK IVDD screening programme has been developed for breeders with the aim to reduce prevalence of spinal problems.
Treatment consists of combinations of crate confinement and courses of anti-inflammatory medications (steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like carprofen and meloxicam), or chronic pain medications, like tramadol. Serious cases may require surgery to remove the troublesome disk contents. A dog may need the aid of a cart to get around if paralysis occurs.
A minimally invasive procedure called "percutaneous laser disk ablation" has been developed at the Oklahoma State University Veterinary Hospital. Originally, the procedure was used in clinical trials only on dachshunds that had suffered previous back incidents. Since dachshunds are prone to back issues, the goal is to expand this treatment to dogs in a normal population.
In addition to back problems, the breed is prone to patellar luxation where the kneecap can become dislodged. Dachshunds may also be affected by osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease). The condition seems to be mainly limited to wire-haired Dachshunds, with 17% being carriers. A genetic test is available to allow breeders to avoid breeding carriers to carriers. In such pairings, each puppy will have a 25% chance of being affected.
In some double dapples, there are varying degrees of vision and hearing loss, including reduced or absent eyes. Not all double dapples have problems with their eyes and/or ears, which may include degrees of hearing loss, full deafness, malformed ears, congenital eye defects, reduced or absent eyes, partial or full blindness, or varying degrees of both vision and hearing problems; but heightened problems can occur due to the genetic process in which two dapple genes cross, particularly in certain breeding lines. Dapple genes, which are dominant genes, are considered "dilution" genes, meaning whatever color the dog would have originally carried is lightened, or diluted, randomly; two dominant "dilution" genes can cancel each other out, or "cross", removing all color and producing a white recessive gene, essentially a white mutation. When occurring genetically within the eyes or ears, this white mutation can be detrimental to development, causing hearing or vision problems.
Other dachshund health problems include hereditary epilepsy, granulomatous meningoencephalitis, dental issues, Cushing's syndrome, thyroid and autoimmune problems, various allergies and atopies, and various eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, corneal ulcers, nonucerative corneal disease, sudden acquired retinal degeneration, and cherry eye. Dachshunds are also 2.5 times more likely than other breeds of dogs to develop patent ductus arteriosus, a congenital heart defect. Dilute color dogs (Blue, Isabella, and Cream) are very susceptible to color dilution alopecia, a skin disorder that can result in hair loss and extreme sensitivity to sun. Since the occurrence and severity of these health problems is largely hereditary, breeders are working to eliminate these.
Factors influencing the litter size of puppies and the proportion of stillborn puppies per litter were analyzed in normally sized German dachshunds. The records analyzed contained data on 42,855 litters. It was found that as the inbreeding coefficient increased, litter size decreased and the percentage of stillborn puppies increased, thus indicating inbreeding depression. It was also found that young and older dams had smaller litter sizes and more stillborn puppies than middle-aged dams.
West Highland White Terrier Breed Description - Cross #2
Commonly, Westies have bright, deep-set, almond-shaped eyes that are dark in colour. Their ears are pointed and erect. Members of the breed typically weigh between 15 and 20 pounds, and the average height is between 10–11 inches at the withers. The body should be shorter than the height of the dog at the shoulder.
They also have a deep chest, muscular limbs, a black nose, and a short, closely fitted jaw with "scissors" bite (lower canines locked in front of upper canines, upper incisors locked over lower incisors). The Westie's paws are slightly turned out to give it better grip than flat-footed breeds when it climbs on rocky surfaces. In young puppies, the nose and footpads have pink markings, which slowly turn black as they age. Westies also have short and sturdy tails. Some sources suggest that due to their history as rodent catchers, their tails were bred to be thick so that a Westie trapped in a hole could be easily pulled out by the tail.
They have a soft, dense, thick undercoat and a rough outer coat, which can grow to about 2 inches long. The fur fills out the face to give a rounded appearance. As puppies develop into adults, their coarse outer coat is normally removed by either "hand-stripping", especially for dog-showing, or otherwise clipping. Most Westies are pure white, although there are some light wheaten color variations.
The temperament of the West Highland White Terrier can vary greatly, with some being friendly towards children, while others prefer solitude. It will not typically tolerate rough handling, such as a child pulling on its ears or fur, and can frequently be both food and toy possessive. This makes regular training from a young age of particular importance. It is normally independent, assured, and self-confident, and can make a good watchdog. It is a loyal breed that bonds with its owner but is often on the move, requiring daily exercise (15–30 min though ideally, at least an hour). The Westie is highly social and is the most friendly and jolly of all the Scottish breeds of terriers.
It is a hardy breed, and can be stubborn, leading to issues with training. A Westie may need to have its training refreshed on occasion during its lifetime. Having a typical terrier prey drive, it tends to be highly interested in toys, especially chasing balls. It does retain the instincts of an earth-dog, including inquisitive and investigative traits, as well as natural instincts to bark and dig holes. It is ranked in the average range as 88th in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs.
This little dog adjusts well to life as a house dog provided he gets long walks. Daily brushing is required. Maintaining the white coat requires special care. Professional grooming is unnecessary unless the dog spends a lot of time outdoors.
The breed is predisposed to conditions found in many breeds, such as abdominal hernias. Westie puppies may be affected by Craniomandibular osteopathy, a disease also known "lion jaw", and is sometimes also referred to as "westie jaw". The disease is an autosomal recessive condition and so a puppy can only be affected by it if both its parents are carriers of the faulty gene. The condition appears across many breeds, including several different types of terrier, as well as other unrelated breeds such as the Great Dane. It typically appears in dogs under a year old, and can cause problems for the dog to chew or swallow food. Radiographic testing can be conducted to diagnose the condition, in which the bones around the jaw thicken; additionally the blood may show increased calcium levels and enzyme levels.
Westies are prone to skin disorders. About a quarter of the breed surveyed are affected by atopic dermatitis, a heritable chronic allergic skin condition. A higher proportion of males are affected compared to females. There is an uncommon but severe breed-specific skin condition that may affect West Highland White Terriers affecting both juveniles and adult dogs. This condition is called Hyperplastic Dermatosis. Affected dogs can suffer from red hyperpigmentation, lichenification and hair loss. In the initial stages, this condition can be misdiagnosed as allergies or less serious forms of dermatitis.
An inherited genetic problem that exists in the breed is globoid cell leukodystrophy. It is not breed specific, and can appear in Cairn Terriers and other breeds including Beagles and Pomeranians. It is a neurological disease where the dog lacks an enzyme called galactosylceramidase. The symptoms are noticeable as the puppy develops, and can be identified by the age of 30 weeks. Affected dogs will have tremors, muscle weakness, and trouble walking. Symptoms will slowly increase until limb paralysis begins to occur. Due to it being a hereditary condition, it is recommended for owners to avoid breeding affected animals in order to eliminate it from the breed. Another genetic condition that affects the breed is "White dog shaker syndrome". As this condition is most commonly found in Westies and in Maltese, the condition was originally thought to be connected to the genes for white coats, however the same condition has since been found in other non-white breeds including the Yorkshire Terrier and the Dachshund. The condition typically develops over one to three days resulting in tremors of the head and limbs, ataxia and hypermetria. Affected males and females can be affected for different lengths of time, with symptoms in females lasting for between four to six weeks, while males can be affected the rest of its life.
Other less common conditions which appear in the breed include hydroxyglutaric aciduria, which is where there are elevated levels of alpha-Hydroxyglutaric acid in the dog's urine, blood plasma, and spinal fluid. It can cause seizures, muscle stiffness, and ataxia, but is more commonly found in Staffordshire Bull Terriers. A degeneration of the hip-joint, known as Legg–Calve–Perthes syndrome also occurs to the breed. However the chances of this condition occurring are much higher in some other breeds, such as the Australian Shepherd or the Miniature Pincher.
"Don't Shop ... Please Adopt"
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.
If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)
Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network
Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. RescueShelter.com is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.