Friday, August 29, 2008

Mixed Dog Breeds: Augi

The Augi is a cross between an Australian Shepherd and a Welsh Corgi. Isn't the Augi above a cutie?! Very intelligent and energetic, this dog requires daily exercise outdoors and lots of love! Luckily, the Augi is easy to pottytrain and can learn advanced commands with little trouble. The breed is eager to please and has some of the herding tendencies of the Australian Shepherd.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mixed Dog Breeds: Chi-Poo/Wapoo

Perhaps one of the cutest mixed dog breeds ever (in my opinion), the Chi-Poo or Wapoo is a cross between a Chihuahua and a Poodle.

The Chi Poo has a shoulder height of 6-15 in (15-38 cm) and weighs 2-17 lbs (1-8 kg). Chi Poos from Toy Poodle crosses are smaller than those from Miniature Poodle crosses. The Chi Poo’s body and head shape can vary from Chihuahua to Poodle appearance depending on genetic influence.

Because of the Poodle within the breed, the Chi Poo is usually a light shedder, making it a good match for allergy sufferers.

The Chi Poo is intelligent, lively, and highly affectionate. They are very devoted their owner, some tend to bond most closely with one person. Chi Poos tend to follow their owner from room to room, eager to play or cuddle up. They love to amuse their owners with clever antics. Some Chi Poos tend to bark frequently. Chi Poos are good natured and highly friendly due to the Miniature Poodle influence within the breed. They are affectionate with strangers, dogs, and other pets. Young children should be supervised around the Chi Poo to ensure they treat the dog with respect.

The Chi Poo has a lifespan of 10-15 years. Chi Poos can suffer from health problems affecting either of their parent breeds, including snoring and wheezing, dental problems (dental chews or tooth brushing several times a week is recommended), cataracts, glaucoma, ear infections, and obesity.

The Chi Poo is intelligent and eager to please, making it easily trained. A gentle approach is recommended.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mixed Dog Breeds: Puggle

This week we'll be learning about some of the popular mixed dog breeds.

Today, meet the puggle! A puggle is a mixed breed of dog created by mating a pug and beagle. They are an energetic, sweet-tempered, intelligent, curious and social breed. They have a thickset body, short coat hair, deeply wrinkled forehead, short legs, a curled tail, and drooping ears. They grow to be 15-30 lbs. and approximately 13-15" tall. They do shed, but the shedding can be helped by brushing.

Puggles are fairly easy to train. The one challenge puggle owners often face is trouble with potty training. Puggles respond best to reward and repetition as they are stubborn.

Some Puggles do howl on occasion, when they get excited. They can inherit this trait from the beagle.

Here's a picture of Mouse, my coworker's puggle/rat terrier mix. Isn't he cute?!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Adorable Animals Week: Odd Couples

This week it's nothing but adorable animals on The Jungle Store blog! Today, we have an odd couple: a cat who's "adopted" a rabbit after its mom died. It's amazing how the cat accepts the rabbit into her family.

Of course, odd couples have happened many times before in the animal kingdom, like when this mother tiger adopted piglets, or when this pony acts like one of the dogs. Have you seen any odd animal couples yourself?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Equestrian Olympic Events

Along with sailing, equestrian is the only Olympic sport where men and women compete against each other. Inspired by the chariot races of the ancient Greek games, it is also the only Olympic sport in which humans and animals are teammates. The horses are considered athletes (as they should be), and they receive their very own medal.

Riders compete in three disciplines—dressage, jumping, and eventing—and are awarded individual and team medals.

In dressage (derived from the French verb "to train") a horse-and-rider team receives scores based on a series of set movements. The movements test the horse's strength, suppleness, and obedience and the rider's ability to guide the horse through the test with subtle cues. The horse-and-rider team should present harmony, lightness, and free-flowing movement. The competition is held in three rounds. The third round is a freestyle test set to music, first introduced in 1996, that is scored both for technique and artistry.

The discipline traces its roots to Xenophon, a Greek horseman and historian, and to 17th- and 18th-century cavalry officers who considered the maneuvers a valuable training method. In fact, only commissioned officers of the military could compete in Olympic dressage competitions from its inclusion in 1912 until 1952.

In the jumping event, competitors complete a course of 15–20 obstacles within a specific time. The object is to navigate the course with the fewest penalties, which are given for knocking down obstacles, balking at jumps, or falls by rider and/or horse. The obstacles include fences up to 5 1/4 ft. high and 6ft. wide. A tie for first place is settled by a jump-off over a shorter, faster course.

Three-day eventing is the most grueling of the Olympic equestrian events, combining dressage, show jumping, and a cross-country phase. On the first day, riders demonstrate the training and obedience of their horses in a dressage test. The next day they compete in the exciting cross-country phase where they gallop 5,700m over varying terrain and jump up to 45 obstacles. While these obstacles are not as high as those in show jumping they are more solid and include ditches and fences in water. On the final day horse-and-rider teams compete over a show jumping course. This last phase demonstrates the fitness of the horses and how quickly they can recover from the previous day's trial. Eventing competitors do not win points, but instead incur penalty points during each phase. The winners are the rider and team with the fewest penalty points.

For the 2008 Olympics, equestrian will be one of the few events not to be contested within the city limits. Instead, such events will be held in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Sports Institute. The jumping and dressage events will be held at the Shatin Olympic Equestrian Venue, an 18,000-seat outdoor arena that was once part of Shatin Racecourse. Air conditioned stables four blocks long, and with the capacity to hold up to 200 horses were constructed for the competition, along with a number of other amenities for competitors. The cross country events will be held at a venue constructed on the Bead River Country Club and Hong Kong Golf Club.
Want to support the United States Equestrian Team? Visit their official site and contribute today!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Animals of China: Giant Panda

The Summer Olympics are well underway in Beijing, China, and this week I'm going to talk about the animals of China. The first animal that probably comes to mind is the Giant Panda (Ailuro Poda melanoleucd), so we'll start with it.

The Giant Panda is only found in China. It is also an endangered species. For exhibition, reproduction and research, 240 Giant Pandas were captured from the wild, but at present time only about 100 still survive in zoos and natural breeding centers. Shanghai Zoological Park began to raise Giant Pandas in 1957. Up to 1994, 15 babies were born, but no baby survived. From 1990, they cooperated with Chongqing Zoo on the Giant Panda's reproduction, by the way of offering a male Giant Panda, Chuanchuan. Up to 1995, three babies were born. Two belong to the Chongqing Zoo and one belongs to the Shanghai Zoo. They named him Cong Cong.

See The Jungle Store's Panda Fact Sheet for more information.

Friday, August 8, 2008

If Animals Competed In The Summer Olympics: The Games Start Today!

It's Lucky 8/8/08 and the Summer Olympics have begun! I hope you've enjoyed my posts about animals who would win gold "if animals competed in the summer olympics". In case you missed them, here's a rundown of the animal olympic champions:
Aquatics - Diving: Anhinga, Swimming Races: Sailfish, Synchronized Swimming: Schooling fish
Boxing - Kangaroo
Fencing - Horned Animals
Weightlifting - Rhinoceros beetle
High Jump - Cat Flea

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

If Animals Competed In The Summer Olympics: High Jump

The cat flea is smaller than a match head but it can jump 33cm in a single leap. This is equivalent to a high jumper soaring some 400 meters (approximately 1300 feet) into the air! The flea has a unique catapult system, in which a trigger mechanism extends the hind legs in less than a millisecond.

Monday, August 4, 2008

If Animals Competed In The Summer Olympics: Weightlifting

The 2008 Summer Olympics is only five days away, and today we have a champion for weightlifting in the animal kingdom. The rhinoceros beetle is the strongest animal on Earth. This might be hard to believe, since the beetle is extremely small. But the definition of strength we're using here is one of proportional strength. An African elepant can only carry 25% of its own weight, while the rhinoceros beetle can carry 850 times its own weight. That would be like an elephant carrying 850 elephants on its back!