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Even though Santa will be making his appearance in homes across America very soon, these dogs couldn't wait any longer. To celebrate Christmas, we rounded up some popular dog breeds dressed up for the holiday season.
Whether you love large dogs or small dogs, you're sure to love all these festive four-legged friends donning their Christmas best. And as a little holiday bonus, we scoured our Dog Breed Directory to bring you more information about these sweet canines. Who could resist?
And please remember: These portraits were carefully created in a studio by professional animal photographers. If you use props to photograph your dog, be sure he is never left unattended with the props, items around the neck are left loose and Christmas lights placed on the dog are turned off as lit lights could burn a dog.
Anita Peeples, Animal Photography
It's no surprise that the Boxer is one of the most popular dog breeds in America. He's silly, sweet and mischievous. He loves to clown around with family and friends and is patient and playful with children, but he shows a deliberate and wary face to strangers.
Tara Gregg, Animal Photography
According to the American Kennel Club, the Labrador Retriever has consistently ranked as the most popular purebred dog in the United States for more than 10 years. He has a lot going for him: He’s large (but not too large), plus he's handsome, smart and fun-loving. He’s a do-it-all kind of dog.
Barbara O'Brien, Animal Photography
If you're looking for a great companion dog, the Shih Tzu might be the right choice for you. He's not demanding or high-strung and usually just wants to be with you. This breed can make a great companion for a senior.
Paul Cotney, Animal Photography
German Shepherd Dogs are smart, active dogs who will do best with smart, active owners able to give them focused attention, exercise, training and lots of one-on-one time. It's important to socialize your GSD in early puppyhood, though. After all, the perfect German Shepherd Dog doesn’t spring fully formed from the whelping box.
Julie Poole, Animal Photography
French Bulldog lovers say his best qualities are charm and adaptability. This breed is known for his quiet attentiveness. Frenchies are small — under 28 pounds — and have a short, easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors.
Paul Cotney, Animal Photography
Are you ready for a white Christmas? The Akita surely is! This double-coated breed originated in the cold, rugged, mountainous region of the Japanese island of Honshu. Even though the breed does well in cold temperatures, Akitas love people and will be much happier living inside the house instead of the outdoors.
Alex Grace, Animal Photography
Although this giant breed's size may give him the appearance of being commanding, the Great Dane is known as a "gentle giant" for his tendency to be affectionate toward people. He can sometimes be naturally protective, and it's important to teach him not to jump from early puppyhood (especially if you have children).
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a people-oriented dog who does well when he's made a part of the family. In the right home, he's a wonderful companion, but this breed comes with societal baggage. Once the very icon of American doghood, his tremendous loyalty, tenacity and bold nature have been exploited. But in the hands of loving owners and given the right amount of socialization, training, attention and adoration, he can be a docile, affectionate family dog.
Planning on having a full house this Christmas? Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a social breed who will probably not mind house guests — just be sure to leave some room on your lap and make a quiet area where he can go for some alone time. It should go without saying that the Cavalier is not meant to live outdoors. He’s a family dog who needs to be with his people and protected from excessive heat and cold.
Looking for holiday gift ideas for your Irish Terrier? Try choosing something that will keep him busy and active. This is a dog who loves to run, chase and play. Irish Terriers are endlessly independent, so if you plan on getting one of these fiery little dogs, make sure you have a good sense of humor and a healthy amount of patience.
Karin Newstrom, Animal Photography
Weimaraners are devoted dogs who love to be with people. He's sensitive, smart and aims to please, which gives you a head start with training, especially if you start early. A young Weimaraner will test you to see how much he can get away with, so try to get him into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old (check with your vet first), and socialize, socialize, socialize.
Living with a Jack Russell Terrier requires patience, but the people who love him wouldn’t have it any other way. He's a friendly, outgoing dog who is playful and affectionate. Learning to channel his energy is key. Start by training your puppy the day you bring him home. Even at 8 weeks old, he is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him.
Leanne Graham, Animal Photography
Beneath the shaggy cuteness and sweet nature of a Bearded Collie lies an independent, athletic dog with a high energy level and an inquiring mind. Beardies, as they’re known by people who love them, are true individuals and come in a range of temperaments, from low-key to lively. He loves to clown around and will likely be the center of attention at your holiday gathering.
At first glance, the Whippet seems like the perfect dog — he’s friendly to guests and strangers, is a manageable size and doesn’t bark excessively. But be careful leaving him alone in the kitchen with the Christmas turkey. He is a keen sight hound capable of stealing food from the kitchen counter when no one is looking. This calm breed has an average weight of 20 pounds, making him a nice size — not too big and not too small.
Alex Grace, Animal Photography
Beneath that sleepy expression, the Basset Hound is highly intelligent and quickly learns to manipulate people using “helpless” body language and lots of tail wagging. He's a good-natured clown with a definite sense of humor — and he knows how to use his pleading gaze.
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