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Top 10 Most Popular Dogs in Canada for 2016

Wondering about the most common dogs in Canada? Perhaps thinking about a new dog for your family? Here is a list of the most popular dog breeds in Canada as compiled by Global News along with some points to ponder to help you make a more educated decision.

1. Labrador Retriever

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is large and bouncy, with an enthusiastic attitude toward life.
– Has a short easy-care coat.
– Has a cheerful, tail-wagging nature.
– Thrives on exercise and athletic activities.
– Is steady-tempered and dependable with everyone.
– Is peaceful with other animals.
– Is eager to please and responsive to training.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– Providing a goodly amount of exercise (not just a couple of short walks around the block).
– Potential rowdiness and exuberant jumping when young or not exercised enough.
– Mouthiness: carrying and chewing objects, mouthing your hands in play.
– Heavy shedding.

2. German Shepherd Dog

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is strong, athletic, and natural-looking.
– Thrives on challenging activities and exercise.
– Looks stern and imposing, so makes an effective deterrent.
– Is exceptionally intelligent, loyal, and versatile (when well-socialized and well-trained, can learn and do almost anything.)

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– An extremely careful search to find a stable-tempered German Shepherd with a decent chance of staying healthy.
– Providing plenty of exercise and interesting things to do.
– Providing careful socialization.
– Destructiveness when bored or not exercised enough.
– Potential aggression toward other dogs.
– Constant heavy shedding – 365 days a year.
– Legal liabilities (public perception, future breed bans, insurance problems, increased chance of lawsuits).
– Concerns about a multitude of serious health problems.

3. Golden Retriever

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is large, athletic, and natural-looking.
– Has a pretty feathered coat.
– Has a cheerful, tail-wagging nature.
– Is steady-tempered and dependable with everyone.
– Is peaceful with other animals.
– Is eager to please and very responsive to training.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– Providing a goodly amount of exercise.
– Exuberant jumping, especially when young.
– Mouthiness: chewing on things, carrying things around.
– Regular brushing and combing to avoid mats and tangles.
– Heavy shedding.
– A distinctive doggy odour.
– Concerns about a multitude of serious health problems.

4. Poodle

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is medium to large, combining sturdiness and athleticism with elegance and grace.
– Has a short curly coat that is virtually non-shedding (poodles of any size are the best dog breed for people with allergies).
– Comes in a variety of colours
– Is lively and playful
– Is one of the brightest and most attentive of all breeds, such a skilled reader of body language and expression, that he often appears telepathic.
– Is easy to train and housebreak.
– Is usually polite to strangers and sociable with other animals.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– A careful search to avoid the high-strung lines.
– Vigorous exercise requirements.
– Exuberant jumping, romping, and bounding about, especially when young.
– Skittishness in some lines, or when not socialized enough.
– Emotional sensitivity to stress, tension, and loud voices.
– Clipping the curly coat every six weeks.
– Barking.
– Serious potential health issues.

5. Havanese

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is small but sturdier than his tiny Maltese cousin.
– Doesn’t need much outdoor exercise (just daily walks, plus romps in a fenced yard).
– Is playful and entertaining.
– Makes a good watchdog, but is not aggressive.
– Has a long coat (which can be clipped short for easy maintenance).
– Doesn’t shed much (one of the best breeds for allergy sufferers).
– Is good with other pets.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– Separation anxiety: destructiveness and barking when left alone too much.
– Shyness in some lines, or when not socialized enough.
– Frequent brushing and combing (unless regularly clipped short).
– Mild stubbornness.
– Housebreaking difficulties.
– Barking.

6. Shetland Sheepdog

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is conveniently-sized, light on his feet, and graceful.
– Has a lovely feathered coat in a variety of striking colours.
– Is athletic and animated, a swift light-footed runner and jumper.
– Has a soft personality (sweet, gentle, sensitive).
– Is peaceful with strangers and other animals.
– Is bright and attentive and learns very quickly.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– A careful search to avoid high-strung, neurotic individuals.
– Providing sufficient exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom
– Separation anxiety: destructiveness and barking when left alone too much.
– Shyness or fearfulness in some lines, or when not socialized enough.
– Excessive sensitivity to stress and loud voices.
– Chasing things that move (instinctive herding behaviours).
– Barking.
– Frequently brushing and combing.
– Heavy shedding.
– Potential for serious health problems.

7. Bernese Mountain Dog

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is large, heavy, and powerful.
– Has a thick furry coat that does well in cold climates.
– Is gentle-natured, polite, and non-aggressive.
– Is usually peaceful with other pets.
– Loves pulling carts and sleds and romping in cold weather.
– Is responsive to training in a slow, good-natured way.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– A bulky dog who takes up a good amount of space in your house and car.
– Separation anxiety: Destructiveness when left alone too much.
– Fearfulness or timidity in some lines, or when not socialized enough.
– Some stubbornness and dominance problems, especially in young males.
– More than average shedding.
– Potential for slobbering/drooling in individuals with loose lips.
– High price tag.
– Serious health problems and a short lifespan.

8. French Bulldog

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is smallish but very sturdy — not a delicate lapdog.
– Has large expressive eyes.
– Has a sleek easy-care coat that comes in many colours.
– Is usually polite with everyone, including other pets.
– Typically loves to play games and chase balls.
– Doesn’t need much exercise.
– Doesn’t bark much.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– Snorting, snuffling, wheezing, snoring, some slobbering.
– Gassiness (flatulence).
– Stubbornness.
– Slowness to housebreak.
– Quite a few potential health problems due to his deformed face.
– High cost.

9. Yorkshire Terrier

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is small, fine-boned, elegant, easy to carry, and doesn’t take up much space.
– Sheds very lightly (one of the best breeds for allergy sufferers).
– Is lively and inquisitive, and moves swiftly with light-footed grace.
– Doesn’t need a lot of exercise.
– Makes a keen watchdog – won’t fail to announce strangers.
– Is peaceful with other pets.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– The fragility of toy breeds.
– The fine line you need to walk with toy breeds, where you need to protect their safety, yet requires them to stand on their own four feet and be well-behaved.
– Notorious housebreaking difficulties.
– Regular brushing and combing, or regularly trimming the coat short.
– Suspiciousness, shrillness, and high-strung temperaments in some lines, or when babied or spoiled or not socialized enough.
– Excitable chasing instincts.

10. Schnauzer (Miniature)

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is conveniently-sized and sturdy, yet also elegant, graceful, and light on his feet.
– Has a wiry coat that doesn’t shed too much, and a whiskery face with a wise expression.
– Plays hard and thrives on vigorous athletic activities.
– Makes a keen watchdog and an effective deterrent – stands firmly on the ground with boldness and confidence.
– Is very intelligent – can learn almost anything.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– Vigorous exercise requirements.
– Rowdiness and exuberant jumping, especially when young.
– Destructiveness when bored or not exercised enough or left alone too much.
– Suspiciousness in some lines, or when not socialized enough.
– Aggression toward other animals.
– Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge.
– Regular clipping and trimming of the wiry coat.

Written by Chris MacDonald, DVM

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The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

Pets can get lost which can be a traumatic and possibly tragic event.  It’s important to have a collar and ID tag, but these are not foolproof.  Collars can break or fall off leaving your pet unidentifiable. This can be prevented with the use of a microchip. As noted in the Dartmouth Tribune in April 2017: A pet is lost every seven seconds One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime Only 2 percent of lost cats and 17 percent of lost dogs with ID return home When a pet gets lost, they are 20 times more likely to make their way back home when they have a microchip A microchip is a small chip that is encoded with a unique identification number.  It is no bigger than a grain of rice and implanted just under the surface of your pet’s skin.  The process is similar to receiving a vaccination through a needle and is virtually painless to pets.  Once implanted, the microchip remains between the shoulder blades just beneath the skin for the rest of the animal’s lifetime, becoming a permanent form of identification. Since it’s under your pets’ skin it can’t break or fall off like a collar or tag. The chip is powered by a scanner which sends a signal to the chip and receives the identification number stored on it.  A vet or shelter can use the scanner to read your pet’s chip.  With the identification number, your pet’s information is a phone call away. When your pet is microchipped, it is linked to a database with your contact info.  It is essential that you register the microchip and ensure your contact information is kept up to date.  If you move or change phone numbers be sure to update your information.  Microchips are reliable and use nationwide registries, but they depend on the information you provide. If you want to improve your chances of getting your pet back home quickly and safely microchipping is highly recommended.   Written by Tracy LeFler, Site Coordinator Edited by Janis Wall, RVT

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Last updated: March 22, 2022.

Dear Clients,

Our top priority here at Westwood Hills is the ongoing health and safety of our clients, their pets, and our dedicated team members that serve you and the community.

NEW: We kindly request that clients continue wearing facemasks during their visits to our hospital. Our staff will continue to wear masks, as they remain one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19.
* *Facemasks are no longer mandatory in veterinary clinics (but still highly recommended) as per recent provincial guidelines.

Here is what you can expect during your next visit:

  • We ask that all clients keep their distance / practice social distancing.
  • Continue the use of debit / credit cards as the preferred payment method.
  • For those interested we will still offer curbside pickup. Please place your food and medication order 48 hours in advance.
  • We are constantly analyzing our day to day actions and we appreciate your patience. We will continue to implement procedures that are in the best interest of both you, our clients and our staff.

    If you are not feeling well in any way, or if you have interacted with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 we ask that you stay isolated and do not visit us at the clinic. If your pet needs medical attention please have a family member or friend bring in your pet or pick up prescriptions / food.

    OPERATING HOURS

    Monday - Friday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Saturday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Sunday: Closed

    NEW PET OWNERS

    Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

    - Your dedicated team at Westwood Hills Veterinary Hospital