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The 29 Best Guard Dog Breeds

Large dogs are held in high esteem for a variety of reasons: for their large stature, their strength, and their protective nature and keen watchdog abilities. If you're looking for a reliable canine defender, it’s important to consider not only the physical attributes of a dog breed, but its temperament, as well. Using data from Animal Planet, PetBreeds found the 29 best guard dogs and ranked them by popularity, according to the 2014 AKC popularity rankings.

(Three dog breeds that had no ranking were put at the bottom of the list.) Criteria used included that the breed must possess a strong watchdog ability and be known protectors. Only purebreds that were classified as being large or giant and to bark minimally were included.

Small dog chases off two bears in California

A French bulldog successfully defends its home against two visiting bears. CCTV footage shows the little dog repeatedly chasing off the bears cubs after they jumped over the gate onto the property in Monrovia in California. One of the bears gets on its hind legs to defend itself but they eventually decide to leave.

Dog watches over trapped friend, saves her life

Two dogs in Vashon, Washington have finally made it home after being lost in the woods for a week. Tillie, a Setter, and Phoebe, a Basset Hound, were reported missing by their owners shortly after Labour Day. Volunteers from Vashon Island Pet Protectors (VIPP) searched the woods for the poor pets, but went days without seeing either dog. It wasn't until a community member called VIPP to let them know that a reddish dog had been appearing on their property and then retreating back into the woods that the owners became hopeful.Using the community member's location as a starting point, the search party worked their way through the woods and called for the dogs. The search was described on the VIPP Facebook page:"With a needle in the haystack hope we made our way into the ravine and after a bit of searching, finally heard that sweet sound [we'd] been waiting for all week—a small one-woof response when we called out 'Tillie.'"


They quickly found Tillie standing next to an old cistern, and instantly knew that Phoebe would be in it."Heart sinking...we knew that meant Phoebe was inside the cistern and every breath was held and every doggie prayer offered that the peek over the rim would somehow find her safe."Luckily, when they looked over the edge they saw Phoebe standing safely on a pile of rocks. It then became clear that Tillie had stood by her friend the entire time, only leaving the basset hound to try and find help. Both dogs were cold and hungry, but otherwise safe.The VIPP volunteers were blown away by Tillie's dedication: "A round of applause to the awesome and amazing Miss Tillie. A true friend and a humbling example of the power of love."

This Man Built A Dog Train So He Could Take Homeless Dogs On Adventures

Meet 80-year-old retiree Eugene Bostick. Since he stopped working for a living 15 years ago, he noticed a lot of people abandoning dogs near his house.
So, he did the natural thing and started letting the stray dogs in. He fed them and let them run around on his farm, and even built a train on the back of his tractor to transport eight of them at a time.
Now Eugene takes the animals on adventures in his dog train, which is made from old plastic barrels and carts.
"We live down on a dead-end street, where me and my brother have a horse barn," Bostick told The Dodo. "People sometimes come by and dump dogs out here, leaving them to starve. So, we started feeding them, letting them in, taking them to the vet to get them spayed and neutered. We made a place for them to live."

"One day I was out and I seen this guy with a tractor who attached these carts to pull rocks. I thought,'Dang, that would do for a dog train.' I'm a pretty good welder, so I took these plastic barrels with holes cut in them, and put wheels under them and tied them together."
At least once a week, Eugene takes his pups down to a local watering hole, around some quiet streets or into the woods so they can experience the world.
"Whenever they hear me hooking the tractor up to it, man, they get so excited," he said. "They all come running and jump in on their own. They're ready to go."
"The dogs have a great time. They just really enjoy it."


Dog Breeds That Are Increasing In Popularity


For dog lovers everywhere, there's a certain sense of nostalgia that grows with a given breed. The types of dogs people grew up with, or those they've had good experiences with in the past, tend to stick in their minds.
Perhaps that's why a collection of dog breeds have seen their U.S. popularity skyrocket since the turn of the century. Using data from the American Kennel Club(AKC), PetBreeds found a list of dogs that have seen their popularity rise the most from 2002 to 2014. In order to be included, these breeds had to both be recognized by the AKC and fall somewhere in the top 150 of U.S. popularity in 2002.
In case you missed our list of dog breeds declining in popularity, you can click the link to see that breakdown as well.

Whistler rescue dog first in B.C. to have open heart surgery

A Whistler rescue dog named Taylor has become the first in B.C. to receive successful canine open heart surgery. The rare surgery was performed on Tuesday in one minute and 40 seconds by Dr. Marco Margiocco, B.C.’s only animal cardiologist. Now doctors say the seven month old German shepherd/Doberman cross is expected to make a full recovery. About a month ago, Taylor was found in distress, and staff from the Whistler Animal Shelter initially thought there was a problem with fluid in the stomach. Doctors later diagnosed the dog with a rare congenital heart defect, which was causing blood to pool in the abdomen. Canada West Veterinary Specialists were called and after weeks of consultation with top canine cardiologists in the U.S., it was determined that the only way to save Taylor’s life was to do open heart surgery. Dr. Laurence Braun, a veterinarian Canada West Veterinary Specialists, said after diagnostic results showed the problem was not in the abdomen, they asked Margiocco to evaluate the dog’s heart. She said a A CT angiogram and an attempted balloon dilation, which is a less invasive interventional cardiac procedure, was not successful because of Taylor’s anatomy. Surgery was determined to be the best game plan. “The surgery was the culmination of a few weeks of deliberation and consultation among our specialists as well as a consultation with a cardiac surgeon at Colorado State University who has done such procedures,” said Braun. “It was a big team that all pulled together for this surgery.” After recovery, Taylor will be released to the Whistler Animal Shelter, which will work to find him a good home.

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