Monday, December 31, 2007

Sled Dog Training Tips

If you want to prepare yourself and your dog for carting or dog sledding you need to start with training for basic concepts of directions, stopping, going, pulling and holding on the line. Sled dog training is not that difficult but it does require some patience from you as not all dogs learn at the same rate. Also, keep in mind that you are required to be able to lift and carry your dog in the event that he gets injured. On the other hand, sled dog training basically means that your dug needs to be able to stop, go, line-out and trot at least five miles pulling weight, on-bye and turn right and left. The objective is for the dog to answer to commands and be ok with pulling weight. If your dog is not trained, there is no sense in putting him on carting or dog sledding as he will not know what to expect and might start panicking. If your dog is not in a good physical shape you could injure him and you do not want this to happen. Also, it is better to start sled dog training when the animal is a puppy and you will need a properly fitting harness, a training collar (sometimes known as choke chains), a limited slip collar, leather gloves, running shoes, belly band and double ended training leash. You could also purchase dog boots in order to protect the paws of the animal but this is not always needed. On the other hand, water is required and you need a water bowl and water together with making sure that the dog is hydrate before starting training. A first aid kit for a dog is also recommended.

The actual sled dog training is not difficult but it must be handled with seriousness. You must gather the equipment and look for a shady and cool area for training and make sure that the dog is hydrated. Now you have to harness him and boot him if needed. The belly band has to be attached and the training collar must also be put on. The double ended leash needs to be attached to the training collar next and make sure you leash it to the connection loops of the harness as well. Now you will have to take the training leash close to the harness connection and pull on it firmly in order for the dog to feel resistance. This resistance needs to be maintained and giving various commands and not respecting them needs that you will need to give corrections with the training collar as required. It is very important to start with one or two commands before you decide to go for more. In order to do sled dog training aimed at your dog lining out you need to attach the training leash to one fixed object. The dog thus has to stay in place and maintain a taut line. Next you will want to attach the training leash to a small tire and get help from your training collar in order to make the dog comfortable with pulling the tire. You might have to pull the dog along at first if it is required.

Keep in mind that you will be required to praise the dog during sled dog training whenever you are satisfied with what he is doing. If he does not follow directions just ignore him. You need patience and must realize that there is a small chance that results will appear immediately. You need to maintain training and not enforce it with strength or too much force.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Popular Dog Names

It is always interesting to see how you name your dog and the topic of dog names is one that is very controversial. Most owners love to give their dogs a name that is very human like. For instance, Matthew or Andrew. Others will want to give the name based on their favorite movie characters or the book they read. For instance, Black Beauty or Cholera (although they are quite strange they are still real dog names). Discovering the best dog names for your best friend can be difficult although it should not and can be even fun.

The biggest problem stands in the fact that we have a lot of possible choices and there is a big chance that you are looking for an unique dog name. You want one that will suit the dog's personality while avoiding names that can be harmful. The key is making it fun. The dog name you choose will be utilized around 25 thousand times during the animal's lifetime so it should be nice that your dog agrees to the name you are going to give him. Let us think about a cool dog name for your friend. There are many ways to handle this. The good news is that there are hundreds of sites online that will help you in choosing by simply giving you a huge list of dog names. Let us think about some examples.

In the US the two most popular dog names for boys are Max and Jake. Female dog names of choice sum up to Molly and Maggie as the most popular. You might not want a popular dog name and you might want a celebrity dog name, although it does sound strange to have a dog named Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Ben Afleck or The Undertaker. You could also choose your dog's name by breed. For instance, popular names for Labrador Retrievers are Heidi, India or Jade. For Germen Shepherds popularity stands in Action, Bruno or Fantom. Cool unique dog names stand in Brownie, Caviar, Pretzel or Okra. It is up to you to choose and decide where to go with your dog's name. Be sure to research the Internet for inspiration and you will see that you will find a good female or male dog name for your friend.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rare Dog Breeds - Alaskan Klee Kai

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a Northern rare dog breed that is a part of the spitz family. If we were to translate "Klee Kai" we would understand that it actually means "small dog" and this dog breed was developed in order to be a companion sized version of the more known and common Alaskan Husky. The result is a very intelligent, energetic and apartment sized dog breed that looks very much like the Siberian Husky.

When it comes to weight, Alaskan Klee Kai dogs weigh between 10 and 22 pounds and come at a height between 10 and 17 inches. It comes with a double coat and shows hair that is short to medium length. The Alaskan Klee Kai is very active and loves to be around a family, being good natured. If you want to use him as a guard dog you should not do so and even as a watch dog he is only moderate skilled. If you buy such a dog, expect him to live 12 to 16 years.

The Alaskan Klee Kai does look like a small husky. You will find it in three size variations: Toy, Miniature and Standard. Their colors are white and black, gray and white, solid white and a rare variation of red and white. Alaskan Klee Kais are not usually barkers although some will bark and they might come with soft vocalization, called talkers. Coat blowing happens once or twice per year and there is minimal shedding visible in the rest of the year. Early and consistent socialization is necessary with this breed and on the whole, the Alaskan Klee Kai can be a great companion dog.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Akbash dog facts

When it comes to rare dog breeds, the Akbash is one of them. We are talking about a beautiful dog, one that learns quickly even if it can get bored easily if the training exercises get repetitive. This makes this dog breed one that is not good for obedience competitions. The Akbash is also an animal that will only respond to individuals they respect and this needs to be earned. If you get to motivate them, you will notice that the Akbash is very clever although this breed is known for its calmness and low rate of metabolism. When you are dealing with puppies, things change a little as they are more active and will require you to aid them in getting daily exercise. If you can not provide them with this, you will notice that the Akbash puppy will start pacing, chewing, escaping, barking and digging whenever he can.

When talking about being a companion, Akbash Dogs can fill this role even if it recommended that the owner has some sort of experience with large breeds. The Akbash is labeled as a livestock protection dog breed and they are known to be independent.On the other hand, this dog will love to work and if it is clear for them what they need to do, you will notice that th Akbash will do everything needed with a rare discipline that is not usually a fact with other breeds.

Talking about size, you need to know that the Akbash dog is large, all white with dark eyes, nose and skin pigment. They can run at high speeds and come with a very good sense of hearing, smell and sight. After all, they are good guard dogs and are tall, with a long body and legs. A female will weigh between 75 and 105 pounds while the male Akbash will weigh between 95 and 125 pounds. If these weights are surpassed we can say that the dog is overweight.

The Akbash dog breed is known to be a healthy one although there are some common problems that can appear: gastric torsion, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, cruciate ligament injuries, cardiomyopathy, osteoscarcoma, lymphoma, kidney failure and umbilical hernias.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Interesting Dog Facts

We all love dogs but there is a chance you do not know some interesting dog facts that are quite funny or amazing. Let us take our mind off dog training, dog breeds, small dogs, toy dogs, big dogs and so on. Let us focus on what is special. For instance, did you know that some dog breeds are stand alone because of some facts? The Greyhound is currently the fastest dog on Earth and it can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour when running. The problem is that it is only for short periods of time. The Irish Wolfhound is the largest dog while the title of the tallest dog needs to go th The Great Dane. As you probably imagined, the St. Bernard is the heaviest dog and the Chihuahua the smallest dog breed. They do say size does not matter though so let us shift focus on some concrete interesting dog facts.

The oldest dog ever was an Australian cattle-dog named Bluey. He lived for 29 years and 5 months. Also, the Titanic saw two dogs survive the sinking of the ship. I am sure nobody really mentions this. Another interesting or strange fact, no matter how you call it, was that Paul McCartney did something special for his Shetland sheepdog. He probably wanted the dog to enjoy his music so the Beatles' song, "A Day in the Life", shows an ultrasonic whistle at the end that is only audible to dogs. If you play this track, do not be amazed if you hear your hound dog howling. When it comes to religion, man's best friend is not that popular. Dogs were only mentioned 14 times in the Bible. It also seems that Shakespeare did not enjoy dogs although we might be mistaken. THe only dog to appear in a Shakespearean play was Crab, in one play that I like, "The Two Gentlemen of Verona". Well, I like most Shakespeare plays, so I can not be objective on that. One of the most interesting facts that few people know is that Dalmatian puppies are white when they are born. As time passes they start to develop the black spots that makes them famous and a delight for children.

Let us also talk about some strange dog facts. Did you know that there are over 68 million dogs owned in the US alone? 33 percent of them admitted to talking to their dogs and even leaving phone messages for them. Also, we are going to see some wealthy dogs (or a battle for the dog's custody in most cases) when some owners die as around 1 million dogs were named beneficiary of the will of their masters. Although the top 5 dog breeds of choice when it comes to popularity in the US are Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, German Shephard, Beagle and Dachshund, there are 157 dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club and over 800 recognized by various groups around the world. By the way, just in case you were wondering, the average cost of owning a dog for its entire life in the US is around $13,000, but that is over an average lifespan period of 11 years and prairie dogs are not actually members of a dog breed family, they are a species of rodents.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Puppy Toilet Training

In every dog owner’s life comes a period when you have to toilet train your dog. Most people like to have their dog from their first days of his life because they are very cute in these moments. It’s best to start training your pup as soon as you can because the sooner he learns, less problems he will create.

It’s best to know something about your doggy’s needs to help you train him. Puppies want to eliminate after the usual activities: sleeping, playing, eating and drinking. This usually occurs after 30 minutes so you should be on the lookout! They usually need to eliminate every 3-4 hours at first but after he gets older his organism will get more controlling.

They key to making him “go” where you want him to, is giving him treats and praising him. First you have to be attentive to his signs of wanting to eliminate: circling, sniffing the floor, sneaking off and heading for the door. This is when you have to take him as fast as you can to the spot where you want him to eliminate. If you don’t get to him as fast as you should, take him anyway there to finish. It is important to take him to the same spot every time so that he gets familiar.
Don’t get angry when he eliminates in the house because he will then hide from you when he wants to go and that is not a progress. Your behavior will be considered by him as punishment and the last thing you want is him to fear you. He needs to be in loving and protective environment, to feel like a member of family and fearing you can even turn into shyness and then aggressiveness!

For each good step give him a treat and praise him gradually until he goes by himself and eliminates there. You need patience and consideration for the pup because if you don’t, he won’t be able to learn and will eliminate wherever he wants. Expect mishaps because he is like a baby now, he’s not really controlling his body and doesn’t know good from wrong. With your help he will get the idea and you will have a well trained dog. Think of your puppy as a child that has to learn everything and you are the one that has to show him how things stand in the house.

House Training your Dog

Getting a dog should be like greeting a new member in the family: he brings a lot of joy and happiness in the house, means responsibility and also he must be acquainted with the way thing work around here. As opposite to a child, you can’t expect your dog to rationalize his acts so you have to train him. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think dogs are stupid, it’s just it’s better to understand their instinctual rather than thinking ways.

What do you want him to learn? To have his own place where he sleeps and not in every room, to eliminate only where he should and at least try not to destroy the furniture – just to behave, I bet you’re thinking! Well it’s more than that for him because he doesn’t know what behaving is; he just is in it for the love, the food and playing. You must be the one that helps him behave so take patience in one hand and love in the other and brace yourself!

As a loving but instinctual creature, your dog has the need not to soil his eating place or where he sleeps. You surely noticed that dogs want to hide their eliminations; they do it on concrete, but on grass or soil too in order to be able to cover his mess. As soon as you will teach him where to eat and where to eliminate, he will follow his instincts.

The first thing he needs to learn is where his place is, where he sleeps and nothing more. For this you have to manage bed out of a blanket, a cardboard box or some other thing you like or think of that will suit. He will eliminate at first here but after getting used to the idea that he will sleep there and only there, he will look for another place to do that. In order for him to get attached to his sleeping place, you should let him stay there for some time and then move the bed in another room - he will surely look for it.

Regarding the place he must eliminate, you should get him used to one place – and place only and when he makes improvements to give him treats and praise him. He will understand that “this is place where if I do my business I will get a treat”. Treat your dog with love and understanding!

Dog Tear Stains

One of the problems that dog owners are confronted with is tear stains. Usually it is more concerning for people that have white coated companions and take them to shows, but as I will explain next, you will see that this can be a serious problem and can affect your dog’s health no matter what his color is. Most dog owners think that these stains are from excessive tearing and it is not a big deal. Sometimes this can be true but still you have to take him to a vet to be sure that everything is alright.

Vets believe that tear stains are due to the eye form of some breeds or genetics in other cases. The problem with these stains is that they create a proper environment for bacteria and leads to yeast infections. So if you are just worried about your dog’s appearance before the contest, just think that this could be a more serious health problem and so you should take matters into your hands and protect him.

One of the solutions is surgical procedures on his eye duct to normalize his tearing. This a method suggested by some vets but if you think it’s going too far and the problem is not so bad, you can try alternative methods that are not so harsh to your loving companion. You can try medicines prescribed by your vet or eye specialist veterinarian, or home remedies. You can also consult your groomer where you usually take your doggy.

If you just don’t want to try medicines because you are worried about his liver problems, you can try some alternatives to them in the comfort and familiar surroundings of you home. One way to get rid of tear stains is vinegar. Just put a teaspoon of cider vinegar in your dog’s water to help his pH to change and stop tearing. He might not like the smell or taste so you should begin with a small doze like a drop or two and then increase. Other remedies are found in milk of magnesia, corn starch or peroxide.

Taking care of this matter is more than an appearance problem in dog shows and you should act like that and take your dog to the vet as soon as you discover his disorder. It might not be very bad, but it’s best to be on the safe side.

Siberian Husky Dog Facts

If you enjoy the winter season more than summer then the Siberian Husky may be the dog for you. Raised at first to pull the sleds way up north in the Siberian tundra, now this type of breed is grown for sled-races or companionship. What you should know first is the biggest misconception about them and that is: not all Huskies have blue eyes. The color may vary from brown to amber to blue and even combinations reaching so far as having bi-colored eyes (half blue half brown)

Being a working dog, it is very agile and nimble and some would say that when it walks it has a finesse rarely seen in other dogs. His northern heritage is suggested by a medium sized compact body, well furred body and pointy erect ears. Resembling a wolf, the dog willfully accepts a harness and pulls its master on skis or pulls the sled.

Now when it comes to sizing up a Husky there is a large variation of breed standards all agreeing that height and weight should be proportionate. Male huskies should be approximately 21 to 23 inches high and measuring between 45 to 60 lb while females though having the same height 20 to 22 inches they should weigh around 35 to 50 lb.

Another quirk Huskies tend to have is that in the cold season their noses might present the hypo-pigmentation phenomena which is a slight discoloration of the nose turning from black to a lighter shade of brown or even pink. The color should return to normal in the hot season.

Although they look like any wolf you might see in the zoo the Siberian husky has quite a gentle temperament and that’s why for some the phrase “sheep in wolf’s clothing” might apply. Having a very energetic attitude and enjoyment of the new areas they explore is part of their working dog persona. Quite gentle with children and extremely affectionate, curios and open to stranger influence make them a bad choice for guard dogs but their striking appearance has made them a top choice for show dogs and pets.

The resemblance to a wolf comes from the pack instinct which means it is better paired with another dog and not left alone for long or it will get lonely. Also the heritage of being bred and raised in the north is shown by the dog’s tendency to attack small house pets. They might get along with house cats if raised together with them from puppyhood.

Shih Tzu Dog Facts

Well, if you want history living in your own house then Shih Tzu is the dog breed you want. Recent studies confirmed that they are one of the oldest breeds around, also known as the Chrysanthemum Dog (because of its face resembling that of a flower) or the Snow Lion dog (as old Tibetan monks used to call them holy dogs that used to guard the Imperial palace back in the day).

Like all toy dog breeds they have a positive, lively attitude and a lot of intelligence is to be found in their eyes. The most important attribute is the long flowing double-coat, which can be cut down like a summer coat or left long as compulsory for conformation shows. What is more interesting is that the Shih Tzu doesn’t actually have a fur but hair just like humans, which they loose gradually while being groomed.

Because of their lively attitude they make great watch dogs. However, poorly trained dogs from this breed can be noisy, rambunctious and stubborn. The only purpose of the Shih Tzu is not that of a house pet as they should instead be happy, outgoing, affectionate and trusting towards all.

The official breed standard stands about 9-10 inches tall and weighs between 9-15 pounds. The life span ranges from 11 to 15 years although some variation can exist depending on the care they receive and on their fitness and also health. The main problems known to the breed range from renal dysplasia to hip-dysplasia and they might also beget some eye problems.

As to the perfect family for him, it should be a household with older children or only adults mainly because the Shih Tzu is used to being the king of the family and being treated as one. If you don’t know why to purchase one, its gentle nature should be enough to steer you along that direction but it can also be quite snappy when being treated poorly by children.

As was pointed out earlier, Shih Tzu has a great history with the first evidence of its existence being from during the Tang Dynasty (618 to 907 A.D.). It is also known that the Shih Tzu was a house pet during most of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 A.D.) being highly favored by the royal house. Unfortunately by the time the communism came to China the Shih Tzu breed was close to extinction for even today most of the breed can be traced to fourteen dogs (seven female and seven male dogs).

Basics of Puppy Training

Ever heard of the expression “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? Well this should tell you that basic training of commands and behavior should come at the early ages of puppyhood and should continue well into the teen ages of a dog.

If you don’t know the basics of training a dog then ask the person who sold you the dog. He should be your first mentor when it comes to puppy training. Up to the first 21 days of his life a puppy should be left alone and the owner should only base his training in the way of enforcing his love and trust on the puppy. Usually a puppy is given into care of a new master after four weeks and after it got its first lessons in where to and not to relieve itself.

Now even if it’s a puppy do not hesitate to show authority and let it be known who is actually in charge because if this cannot be established in the early stages of puppyhood then at a later stage rambunctiousness and bad behavior are to follow. Now the main thing to care for is to make sure not to use any form of punishment while training a puppy since it usually surmounts to nothing else than the puppy getting hurt. What should be done is stating a clear “no” to the puppy and also using the hands to block the pup’s negative actions. In case of rewarding a positive action treats are to be used as well as touching and making sure the puppy understands he did a good thing in its training.

Another thing to be kept in mind is working only for short periods of time since the younglings can get bored quickly. Also, repetition of a certain exercise is very good since it gives the puppy more chances to learn the difference between doing it right and doing it wrong. Once you started training a puppy you should keep in mind that patience and confidence go a long way towards building a strong bond with your dog. While training you should also keep it simple and always talk to the puppy. Simply hearing your words should keep the dog’s attention alert and keep it eager to please and learn.

If in the early stages of puppyhood it should be hands on technique and when a bit older you should try the reverse, meaning when it does something wrong no treats or caresses for it.

Pomeranian Dog Facts

Well, as soon as you hear Pomeranian you should think of a fox-like rabbit meaning a wedge-shaped head and tiny pointed erect ears that resemble those of a fox. Also, the Pomeranian is a toy-dog breed because of its size, measuring 3 to 7 lb (1.4 to 3 kg). The American Kennel Club recognizes only the dogs that are cubby, meaning they are as tall as they are wide. If you can’t understand try to picture the dog inside a square or inside a circle, meaning the Pomeranian should be a balanced dog which fits together logically and in proportion.

The main thing that stands out in a Pomeranian is its coat, being its pride and glory. The American Kennel Club is recognizing well over thirteen colors or color combination ranging from black, black & tan, blue, blue & tan, chocolate all the way to orange, red, red sable, and sable.

As a small history, the Pomeranians originated from the sled dogs of northern Lapland and they were brought into Europe in Pomerania. At first the breeders concentrated their attention only on improving the coat and training the dogs for city living and not paying too much attention on the size. But when the breed reached English breeder hands, with the help of trial and error experiments and also Mendelean theories, it didn’t take long for it to reach the current size. The Pomeranians started gaining popularity with the high nobility only when Queen Charlotte and her granddaughter Victoria returned from a vacation from Italy with one little dog called Marco which was from the Pomeranian family.

Considering the shape of the dog a lot of people consider the Pomeranian intelligent and also has an alert character but they also behave accordingly. They do need a lot of attention and at times they can be quite stubborn. Even though at times they seem to think they are bigger then in reality and don’t back out of a challenge of attacking a bigger dog they definitely don’t make good guard dogs but considering their active personality and loud bark they make for a perfect watch dog.
Also, if you are considering getting your Pomeranian in shape and groomed you should realize that like all the other toy breeds they tend to have a problem with bad teeth and also you should take care of its coat on a weekly basis. But most importantly being a loyal dog they tend to follow the master from room to room therefore they do need extensive training in order not to meddle around people’s feet because they can be stepped on with ease and being such a tiny dog they get injured easily.

What do I do with dog flea problems?

Getting rig of these pesky pests that make your dog itch is not really easy but with the help of your vet and some prevention and maintenance methods you will succeed. With no such problems anymore your dog can be as happy as he can be and will accomplish his goal to make you happy.

The easiest way to keep fleas out of your dog’s hair is to prevent this from happening. These pests like humidity and heat so you have to take care of all places in the house that can get these characteristics. Vacuum and dust as often as you can, mostly in corners, cracks and basements. Be careful to dispose of the vacuum cleaner bags because adult fleas can escape and start over the colony.

Take care of his bed as well because this is where most fleas like to sit and perpetuate. Wash it weekly or even two times a week to be sure all the pests are destroyed and cast away. Check the dog too for fleas because if he is itching and scratching a lot it’s likely that he has some. Use a fine-toothed pet comb to remove the fleas and then drop them in hot soapy water to drown them.
Also be careful who your dog plays with because he can catch fleas from other animals. Sure it’s fun to see them enjoying the park and themselves but think about the trouble both of you will get into if you’re not careful.

Dust, humidity and other animals are not the only factors that can bring fleas into your dog’s life. He can get then while walking outside or playing. Be sure to give him baths with flea shampoo as often as you consider best. If you are living in a house at a farm or in the suburbs, the danger of your dog having fleas is greater – one way of preventing flea developing is to keep the grass trimmed to let the sun get closer to larvae because they cannot survive hot places.

The most important step in preventing and treating flea intrusions is to contacts your vet and discuss the proper treatment. Usually doctors do not agree with home remedies and prescribe medicines. Although you might not agree with medications, you should still take in the doctor’s advice! It’s for the dog’s and your best!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Havanese Dog Facts

The Havanese breed is truly the embodiment of the toy dog. Even the American Kennel Club recognizes its character as being rather playful than decorative so no grooming is to be allowed when entering a show except some trimming of the fur around the paws to give them a round aspect. As much as it is desired a Havanese should look as natural as possible and looking as much as a toy in size only. Therefore no bows or knots in its hair or grooming of its fur is accepted either.

While a toy dog breed and a companion, its character is that of a hearty dog and sturdy as well when compared to the size it presents, never giving out the appearance of being delicate. The accepted size is around 8 to 11 inches and what is interesting is that all coat colors are accepted at a contest bearing in mind every dog should have a patch of black in the fur.

With such a friendly temperament the Havanese should be the number one choice as a pet in families with well behaved children and also other pets. You will never or almost never see it shy away from new things or new people and more than once it will be able to catch the attention of somebody by performing quick tricks of cleverness. While acting very lovingly towards certain types of people even following them to the bathroom or anywhere else they aren’t as possessive of that person, not usually showing acts of aggression or jealousy towards a different pet if it enters its own space.
It is also well known that some Havanese dogs don’t like eating alone. I mean who actually enjoys it anyway, right? Once they receive their food and that person leaves the room and no one else stays with it, they grab a mouthful of food and follow the person and eat it bit by bit in the room where it can find company. Also the breed is known for its keen sense of smell, playing the game “find it”, going around from room to room sniffing everything until it can find the bit of food the owner hid.

If you’re interested in the Havanese history the name should be more than enough to catch a small glimpse of it. Developed uniquely in Cuba, either from Spanish trading or gifts to other countries, they found their way to European aristocrat families where it was known to be the companion of the little children on a certain estate. After the Cuban revolution and loss of interest the Havanese was close to disappearing when Americans became interested in them.

Giving Your Dog Medicine

Every dog owner knows and feels the pain when his favorite pet is ill. They also know how hard it is to make it swallow the pills or the medicine it needs to get better. I mean you can have better luck with a stubborn kid who doesn’t want to eat (at least with them the airplane move should do the trick once or twice… in the case of dogs they don’t know what an airplane is).

Anyway, a few methods are known to be effective when it comes to administering medicine. First of all try and see if your dog won’t swallow the pill just as it is. I mean these dogs will eat anything so why not pills. If they do you can say you’re the happiest person on earth and don’t have to go through the next methods I will lay down. Also, your dog, though it may not know it, got off easy.

The second method is concealment. If they don’t want to swallow the pill whole trick your dog into thinking he isn’t swallowing a pill but eating one of his favorite treats. Owners usually hide medicine in pieces of hot dog, cheese or even hidden inside a spoon of peanut butter. These are the favorite types of food used anyway. Bread or liverwurst can be used as well or whatever you have handy and you know the dog will eat it without looking at it twice.

Well if you’re still reading, it means concealment didn’t work either so you have two options left. First one is for smaller dogs and it consists of liquefying the medicine by carefully grinding the pill into powder then mixing the dust with milk or water. Put the resulting solution in a syringe then prepare for the hard part. Keep your dogs head lifted in the air then raise one of its lips on one side. Ease the syringe at the back of the throat then release the liquid in a slow, steady rhythm. This operation might require two persons if you’re inexperienced. One will be holding the dog gently and soothing him while the other will administer the medicine.

The last mode of getting your dog to eat a pill is this: gently pry your dog’s jaws apart and then tuck the pill at the back of its throat on the base of the tongue. After, holding the jaw shut and up in the air gently blow into his nose while massaging its throat. This is why you should hope you don’t have a dog that eats the hot dog but leaves the pill uneaten.

German Shepherd Dog Facts

The Alsatian (also know as the German Shepherd Dog) is a very popular breed of dog, being highly intelligent, agile and used to working environments. Their work may consist of various activities from police duties to guarding or even finding corpses. Therapy treatments use them as well as the military. So, as I’ve said a well rounded dog with plenty of abilities to tap into. This is proven by the fact that in America they are shown to be the third most popular breed families adopt (according to a 2006 American Kennel Club study). Besides working they make lovable pets and also loyal companions. Even though they might need socialization, while young they are the most receptive breed to obedience trials.

As a bonus German Shepherd is the most widely used dog breed in a ton of works concerning scent or based on scent. Among these you can find dogs working in explosive detection, narcotics, search and rescue.

As personality traits this breed has a few standards set in place: it should be fearless but never hostile, always poised and having an air of self-confidence surrounding it. Its willingness to serve must always be seen when the need arises. Considering it is used by blind people to lead them, used as a watchdog or even as a herding dog it should always know what its job is and complete it thoroughly.

The breed’s height is between 22 and 26 inches and the desired proportion between length and height should be 10 to 8 halves. Now as color goes there are a few accepted with black and tan being spread more among the dog breed. White is accepted as well but harder to find and most of the kennel clubs consider the dogs as a separate breed. The coat can be worn short or long and the life expectancy of a dog of this breed is around 15 years.

The original title of the breed was the German Shepherd but after the World War I Anti-German sentiment were so high that in order for these dogs to gain popularity in England they were renamed to GSD or Alsatians.

Very common with most of the large breeds, elbow and hip dysplasia is present in the German Shepherd as well. Other common problems may be a few skin allergies or teeth problems. You should also watch for eye problems or even ear problems.

Among the mediated dogs you should all remember Rin-Tin-Tin from the 1920’ to 1930’ and also Kommissar Rex from the Austrian TV series.

Fun Dog Activities

A dog isn’t called man’s best friend for nothing. Even from infancy we start playing with other kids without even needing an introduction and we call them best friends. Same goes for human – dog relationships. It shouldn’t matter what breed of dog you have, all that matters is that you want to have some fun with it. The main question is why should I actually play with my dog? Actually the question is why not? Tests have shown that the greater the range of activities you do with your dog the more chances that dog will be happy and the family happier too. Also, these activities tend to teach the dog proper manners in a certain situation and an owner how to better communicate with his mutt. Considering this, it should reduce the chances of a dog being abandoned by its family because of bad behavior or misunderstood commands.

Now a fun activity may consist of you and your dog entering a competition and trying to win it or it may consist of taking him with you on your routine relaxation tours.

As competitiveness goes there are a few sports you are able to do with your dog like: dog agility, which is a sport where the owner must lead and direct the dog through a series of obstacles in a certain amount of time. This is a very good way of testing what the dog learned in the early stages of his training; yet another sport is obedience in which the dog is put through a series of commands to show how good he can master them. Unlike the agility course here we have no obstacles unless we count the problems in owner to dog communication skills. Other fun type of activities can be Frisbee, fly ball or herding (if you’re an outdoors kind of guy).

Now that we’ve seen what you can officially do with your dog let’s look at the unofficial list which includes: taking your dog with you on the long walks through the park, taking it with you while going camping or in any outdoor area; the simple game of fetch… it gives a dog a terrific sense of usefulness when an owner says “good boy” for bringing the stick back. Try taking your dog in a dog park and let him socialize with the other dogs which should make your dog feel more fulfilled and not so lonely.

There are a lot of activities you can do with a dog, the main thing is to make the time for it.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Rough Collie Dog Facts

From the multitude of Collie breeds like: Rough Collies, Smooth Collies, Border Collies or Shetland Collies the most famous one is the Rough Collie. I mean who among us hasn’t seen the feats of bravery, loyalty, friendship and courage of a certain dog called Lassie? True the temperament and the intelligence were greatly exaggerated in the show with the same name but ever since the 1930’s till the present Lassie has been a constant in the television shows and films. Even before the shows, the companionship and the temperament of collies were ever present in some novels and works of art. This should be understandable considering the high training level a collie can receive and also because of its gentle, loyal character.

At first the collie was trained to be a herding dog and even today a lot of sheep herders train them just for that because of the easiness and malleability a dog from this breed has while being trained. These cattle herding types tend to be stockier than the general breed. As a rule collies should weight around 10 to 25 kg, it’s height around 56-66 cm and the fur should be short, flat or long. Also, its life expectancy is around 14-16 years. Among the accepted colors of the American Kennel Club there are black, black and tan, red and sable.

As an overall bundle of characteristics they can be compared to the Energizer bunny being very agile, energetic with loads of stamina in all kinds of terrain. Like all dogs they are intelligent and eager to work at every opportunity they get. These working type dogs unfortunately aren’t well suited as pets as they may become unhappy or badly behaved if they aren’t given enough challenges, mental or physical, by the owner.

As far as the grooming goes the collies with long fur shed heavily twice a year and they also need weekly maintenance to their coats. Exercising is a must, being an active dog so a big yard in which the dog should be let loose for a run or in a park is a must. Daily long walks are to be taken if the space isn’t available.

And finally as a parallel between watch dogs and guard dogs they tend to go towards guard dogs more especially if the family has a small child, the dog considering the child his own and not letting strangers getting too close to him.

Cairn Terrier Dog Facts

To understand the history of the Cairn Terriers you should first learn that cairn in the old English language translated into a heap of stones meant as a land-mark or a monument. So considering that over 200 years ago in the Scottish Highlands the ancestors of today’s Cairn Terriers were working for their keep by routing rodents and vermin from the rock piles around the farmlands. They were mainly bred for their working ability and also sturdy bodies covered in weather-proof furs making the terriers able to withstand the rough weather patterns found in Scotland.

The historical evidence points to one of the oldest strand of Cairn terriers, the “Short-haired Skye Terrier”, being as old as the 1800’s when a certain Captain Martin Macleod was using them for his favorite sport otter hunting, before immigrating to Canada.

The ideal size accepted for a Cairn would be around 13 or 14 pounds and also 9 to 10 inches in height. Its length should be around 15 inches from chest to back legs and should have a very proportionate body, well muscled but not too fat or too thin.

As said before, the Cairn terrier has a rough, weather resistant outer coat and its accepted colors may vary from cream, sandy, gray or red or any variation of these colors. What is funny is that pure black or white aren’t accepted by many clubs as being pure Cairns. A peculiar characteristic of this breed is that they may frequently change color throughout their lifespan.

As temperament goes they are intelligent, strong and very loyal. They are stubborn just like most terrier-based breeds and also strong-willed. Providing a correct training an owner can safely circumvent the adjective “disobedient”. Even though they are still used as working dogs in some parts of Scotland a lot of people get a Cairn just because they’ve seen “Toto” from the Wizard of Oz and apply that picture on the dog. Unfortunately that’s a common misconception the breed being neither a lap dog nor one that would happily sit all day in a basket.

And as far as grooming and health goes the dog does not need excessive bathing or excessive care. The main thing to remember is not to use a pair of scissors or shears when grooming because this might ruin the coat but instead they should be hand-stripped. With a lifespan of 15 years in average the health issues that arise in a Cairn terrier are mostly hereditary.

Boston Terrier Facts

The little but strong Boston terrier is considered to be a part of the utility dogs group. Initially raised for running competitions, they were used later in dog fights as well but now they are mostly bred for companionship.

Not being a dog with big issues considering food it should be watched anyway because one of this breed’s tendencies is to become greedy. Therefore diet should be measured and not very rich. If you give in to his demands being an intelligent breed they will ask for more and more seeing the demands are being satisfied.

As a small history, in 1865 a coach driver started breeding different types of dogs and from one such breeding came out Hope’s Judge. Judge being a cross between white English Terrier and an English Bulldog, he became one of the forefathers of the Boston terrier. They started gaining popularity in 1889.

The breed measures from 10 to 24 lbs and stand between 15 to 17 inches tall. They have a small compact frame, well proportioned with short tails, erect ears and a short muzzle. As for colors white should cover the chest, around the neck and halfway up the legs. Due to the resemblance of its colors to the formal wear and the gentle characteristics of its personality another name for the Boston terrier is also the “American gentleman”.

Considering they were bred for fighting and then trained as house pets and companions you should always keep in mind that the ancestry might surface if another big dog trespasses on the dog’s territory and violent fights might occur. But a typical Boston terrier should be gentle, expressive, alert and well-mannered. Bostons enjoy being around people and with training they do get along with children, other dogs or even other non-canine pets.

As training goes Boston terriers are very sensible to voice tones and they learn new things easily and with pleasure. They do not need a lot of exercise the regular walks or playing inside a pen being enough. Its short fur doesn’t take too long to care for, it doesn’t require bathing unless needed. The face should be wiped daily and the eyes taken care of as well, ears too.

With a lifespan averaging around thirteen years, Boston terriers should have an easy life concerning health issues. One of the problems occurring is the extreme temperatures combined with excessive exercises. Having a short snout they tend to have problems in extreme conditions.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Animal Hospitals

He’s lovely when he’s running in the park with you or playing with the children… but he is down and nothing appeals to your dog, something is wrong. He may be sick and because you don’t have the ability and the necessary knowledge to figure out what he has, you should take him to a vet.

In the best scenarios, your vet can give him a treatment and make him well again. Sometimes though, the problem is more serious and you have to take him to the hospital. This is mostly for tests, recovery or surgery that the vet can’t do. So take you pup to the hospital with confidence because he will be in safe and loving hands!

For those that have never taken the dog to the hospital, maybe by your fear of do doctors or his, or just because there was never the case, I will give some details about animal hospitals. They usually look like ordinary normal hospitals for human, the difference is that all the doctors specialize in treating animals and the equipment is adapted to them. Don’t worry for a second that just because your dog is not a human patient he will be treated worse or less professional by the doctors. They are fully qualified to help him and take trainings all the time to be up to date with all the problems that might occur.

Each hospital has its own policy but the one that never changes to one another is the love and commitment to your pet’s health. It is needless to say that all the building and those who work here are germ free and sanitation is in its home. You can’t cure someone if you have an unhealthy and infested environment. I said someone because here animals are referred and thought as any other living being.

Each animal has his sheet with his problems in the past, shots and tests so it’s easier for the doctors to figure out what his problem is and also be careful at what makes him allergic. All the members of the staff are prepared for each problem your companion might have and will treat him with a lot of love. This is very important because it will calm him down and won’t make him feel like abandoned and tortured with shots. At any hour of day or night these specialists will be in guard to help your dog, so don’t hesitate to ask their help!

The Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd, also known as an Aussie, has a vague history. It is believed it originated in Spain then brought to America where by countless merging of breeds the ancestors of this breed emerged. Breeds didn’t appear until late Victorian times so shepherds used to breed dogs based on how hard working they can be. They never looked at appearance or maintaining the status quo of a certain breed. They just wanted a hard working dog, which could perform well, given the climate in which they worked. When the Gold Rush hit America in the 1850’s a flock of people hit the western coast and they brought with them the Spanish descent dogs and herds of cattle. Mingled with the breeds already existing in the region the Australian Shepherd appeared.

Just like collies, the Aussies can be split between show dogs and working dogs. The working dogs tend to have shorter fur whilst the show dogs have long fur and different criteria for description, according to breed standards. These standards tend to differ from opinion to opinion. Some general standards do apply and these are: height between 18 and 23 inches while the weight should be 35 to 75 pounds. Even here some say that the miniature type of breed should be considered a different one and not an Australian Shepherd. Among the eight colors accepted the most common are blue merle, red merle, black and red.

A great variety of Aussies come when talking about eyes. An Australian Shepherd is also know as a “ghost-eyed dog” since the eyes can be blue, brown, hazel, amber or even green. They can be of different colors or even bi-colored, which means a half green half brown eye. This is linked mostly to the fur coloration according to some experts. Any combination of these eye colors are accepted in a competition as long as the eyes are healthy.

When it comes to temperament and behavior the Aussie is unique. There are mainly two types of personality you should be aware of. In general the breed is very active playful, intelligent (it may invent games to play if bored) quickly catches new tricks but it may need to run a lot, even full out. If you want one as a pet you may need to search for one properly trained or bred for a household since the working ones tend to nip at running children and strangers and have a general frightening behavior towards someone who doesn’t know its temperament. As far as guarding duty the Australian Shepherd tends to bark warnings about neighboring activity but it doesn’t tend to get too obsessed with it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dog allergies

Like humans, our sweet companions have reactions to certain substances making their life a bit difficult. Your dog doesn’t understand the fact that he is allergic to something or more than that, to avoid what makes his ill. It’s up to you to help him and give him a better combination of food, one that doesn’t make him allergic or in some cases clear the air.

Allergies in dogs are present as itching, making your pet to scratch and even bite himself to get relief. In powerful allergies dogs will deteriorate his fur and so will have places where he is bold. Aside from the aspect, his health is deteriorating as well because he feels uncomfortable and his desire to play and run around will be replaced with the constant itching.

Treating these allergies depends on what kind of dogs they are. Generally warm and frequent baths can do the trick and clear the dog’s skin of those particles that make him itch. Use shampoo with that contains eucalyptus and aloe Vera to calm it down. Natural cures are better than chemical ones because he can get rashes from these. You can give your dog medicines prescribed by the vet – they usually work – but not a lot because liver problems will appear. That is not an option!

Some dogs tend to have allergies from pollen, mold or household dust. Frequent vacuuming and dusting where the dog stays usually is a good option to help him. Other canines have allergy to flea saliva causing a lot of itching. The best solution is getting rid of those pests - grooming and a lot of bath will do the trick. It’s also safer for you and your family to have a flea free house. They can also cause you discomfort or some illnesses.

If it’s about the food he is eating, try different types of food that contain various substances and then wait for each a few days and see your dog’s reaction. When he will itch some types of dog food, eliminate it and try something else. After a while you will sure find what he is not allergic, try to feed him only that to help him be healthy.

Your dog will be more joyful and glad to get rid of that nasty itching! Taking care of your companion is not only a responsibility to him, but to you too because your dog is an important source of love in your home!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Shy Dogs

The problem with shy dogs is that in time, their depression turns into aggressiveness. It would be a shame to let this joyful animal become anti-social. It’s up to you to help him get shyness out of his system, to prevent aggressiveness and make him become the wonderful pet he is able to be!

Shy behavior can be recognized by simply looking at your dog: ears laid back, starring eyes, tail down between the legs and of course avoiding strangers. What is the cause of being shy? Well, unfortunally most people think that it’s because of the dogs being abused but studies show that these cases represent only a small part of the number of k9s that suffer from shyness. Most of the cases of shy dogs are caused by genetics or learning a shy behavior from their parents.

The good news is that this behavior can be treated, with hard work from you. You must put a lot of time and patience for your dog and his health. There are many programs that you can apply. One of the most effective is one that involves another friend. Go in the room where the dog is most used to and let your friend sit down next to the dog, but not very close to him, and put in his hand a treat for the pet. The friend has to not have direct eye contact with dog during holding the treat. He will eventually take the food and surely step back a little. He will know that your friend can give him something good and will have faith in him.

Put another treat in your friend’s hand and only after the dog has taken the food and touched his hand, your friend can make eye contact. In all this time you must be present in the room to give your companion a secure feeling but don’t take him in your arms if he shows insecurity. Do this program with other friends of all ages and genders so that the dog will become more used to being next to apparently strangers. Reward your dog for every small good step, because his overcoming of shyness is a long process.

Make time for your dog to help him be healthier because only then the joy can really spark in your home!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dog safety for children

Having a pet is most of the times a joy and everyone in the house should act like this. Those who usually don’t know how to behave when in front of a dog are small children. This is where you come in and teach them what to do.

Teach your child to be gentle with the family dog because this will be one of the lessons that will set his personality for all of his life. If he loves animals and learns how to behave, the child will also be kind with other people when getting to know them. You may want to try first with a toy, because your dog’s feelings could get hurt if you practice on him and the child is rough at first. Teach him to be gentle and strike the toy animal nicely, and not to pull his fur, ears or tail – as children often do with animals at first.

When your child becomes fond of playing with the little furry friend, arrange an encounter with the family dog. Let this action be a smooth one by not rushing both of them. Let the dog to approach the child gently and sniff him, to get used to his new smell. This often leads to the dog’s feeling of safety and will act friendly with the child. Usually at this point the two of them would get along well because the child already knows not to hurt the animal and play nice with it, and at the same time, the dog will be kind to the kid.

As time will pass, the two of them will get more and more closer because the bond between a dog and a child is stronger than with an adult, children tend to be more loving and in their seek to have a best friend, they find in the family dog the most loyal being.

Let your child learn one of most valuable lessons of his life: to be kind and gentle to animals. This will give our society a kinder person and maybe by educating out offsrings to be animal lovers, there will be eventually no more people that hurt animals. It’s nice to see a boy with his dog isn’t it? Well… give him the chance to do so and teach him dog safety!

Can I keep the stray dog?

Most of the times it’s your child who comes home holding a bag of fur and eventually full of fleas. It’s not only the dog that will give you puppy eyes, begging for the animal to stay and be a member of the family. You are thus put in a difficult position of taking a hard decision. What should you do?

First of all think that the dog can be a runaway and some other kid is looking for his best friend. So make some posters and put them over the neighborhood, because he shouldn’t come from too far. Wait for someone to claim him, so that you don’t take someone else’s pet. If you make a phone call, explain to your child that it’s better for the dog to be with his first master, because otherwise he will suffer and no one wants a crying pet.

If nobody claims the dog, you can now decide of you want to keep him or not. It’s not a matter if you love animals but more of how will he be taken care of. Who will be the main caregiver? If it’s your child – most kids want to take care of their pets because they consider them more as best friends – think about what he knows about being a caregiver to a dog. Teach him what a dog needs - besides love: he needs to be fed and give water regularly, exercise and going to the vet. When I say exercise, I don’t mean only playing, but also walking him, playing Frisbee or even taking him to agility courses if you have the financial means. Exercise is necessary for his health, so don’t ignore it when you don’t have the time!

Taking in a stray dog means besides having one more family member. It means more responsibility, more money spent and time too. Before taking this decision, you should think about if he has an illness so take him as soon as possible to a vet to make the necessary tests and give him a shot. Besides all these things you should now be glad of your new companion, don’t think of him as extra costs but as an endless provider of unconditional love and devotion. If taken care well, he will live a healthy and happy life besides you!

How to keep dogs from raiding garbage

Ever had the surprise of coming home after a hard day of work and find your garbage all over the house? Sure you did! It happens to all dog owners. Once you have left the house and he is free to do anything, his paws can’t get of the garbage and inspect what is his menu for the day.

The most important thing that you have to understand is that this garbage, although you know it is germ infected, for him it’s a free lunch. He doesn’t like to beg for his food all day long from you, and now that he is at liberty to choose anything he wants to eat without any effort, is a god sent! More than that, he can play with his food without you being there to shout “NO”, and that is a great joy for him.

You must understand he doesn’t do this to annoy you, or to get back at you for sometimes being too strict with him. It’s just his nature: he sees food, he eats is and even plays with it. It’s not a big deal for him. When you get home and yell at him, he doesn’t really understand what the problem is, because he is a DOG, a rationament including the question is excluded!

What to do in this situation? Just be the adult in this situation and keep the garbage out of his reach. It’s quiet simple, and the only reason you haven’t already done that is because you don’t want to change anything because of a dog. Well, you should give up the stubbornness and take the garbage out of his reach!

There are a lot of methods of not changing very much the place of the garbage and still keep it out of reach. You can put a lock on the cabinet where you put it, put the trash can above something, where the dog can’t jump to it, or just throw it out when you leave the house!

Keeping your dog from raiding garbage is not as hard as you might think; it’s actually up to you! This is the simplest method and you even save money by not sending your dog to a fancy expensive training school. You can keep in mind this type of method, because sometimes your dog is not the only one that should change.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Should I use a shock collar?

More and more articles bring up the idea that we shouldn’t waste our time trying to train our dogs and use shock collars instead. Why should we spend time on them? Wouldn’t it be great to have a well behaved dog, not to knock-up the trash cans or run after the mail man? It takes just a “zip” and the dog will know he has made a mistake and he will go to his corner, right?

Well, let’s talk this out… if you don’t mind your dog to get zapped until his brain won’t know what he is allowed to do, feel free to use the shock collar. He can do tricks easier and learn them faster, but this way he will turn into your robot. Do this! Zap!!! Don’t do that! Zap!!! Is that what you had in mind when you were thinking about getting a dog?

The first thing you should consider when thinking about using a shock collar is that your dog, no matter how many cats he has chased after, is still a living being with a sensitive side. This method, even though it is recommended by some trainers, can make a gap between you and your companion. He won’t feel the same love and affection that you give when training him in the old-fashion way!

Before taking this decision, just read some articles about how shock training can be replaced with normal exercises. The first benefit is that from the start you and your dog will create a bond. Another one is that he can receive your love when he does something right… and even a treat! If he does not listen to you at first and he keeps ripping the newspaper, the smoothest way to let him know he has done a bad thing is to ignore him – you and the rest of the family. Dogs need the attention and when it is taken away from him, he will get hurt and try not to do what upset you.

Even the name gives me a bad feeling and so I would rather spend some days training my dog, then to shock him and get it over with in 2 days! I love my dog and wouldn’t let him suffer for my lack of time… would you? Shock collar is not the way to go!

The Japanese Chin

Also known as the Japanese Spaniel, this small dog is a lovely and playful companion. Perfect for the apartment, he finds in small spaces the comfort he needs and doesn’t bark to complain about it. Although energetic, the Japanese Chin acts gracefully and is sophisticated, giving his master the time to relax and feel calm when at home.

Intelligent and affectionate, this dog is known to be very loving with his master and with children, but reserved when surrounded by strangers or unknown places. Although he loves children, it is best to teach the little ones to be nice and gentle with your pet because he is sensitive and every act of aggression can harm his feelings. Besides humans, the Japanese Chin gets along with other animals too, because of his kind and pacifistic manner.

If you want a smart dog that would learn fast and easily, then the Japanese Chin is the perfect pet – he has a mind of his own, maybe sometimes making him a little stubborn, but he never does something without thinking. This will make you love him more and bring him to the center of attention, and don’t think he will mind it - not at all!

This breed is not a barker; he likes to be elegant and gentle in every move, so he will give very little problems in taking care of him. Also, house training is actually easy because he has a way of wanting to be clean most of the time, so you will not spend a lot of time and stress to teach him to behave. He loves the attention so he will be glad to let you teach him many tricks and then perform them for you, to get treats and applauses.

The Japanese Chin is a great dog for the apartment: loving, caring and sensitive; he will get joy in only pleasing you! He doesn’t ask for more; he doesn’t need a lot of outgoings to bother you in those cold mornings but he likes to take eventual walks to shake his puffy tail down the street. He’s gorgeous – why shouldn’t he be glad of his aspect and pleased when other dogs drool at him and kids stop to stroke him? Sounds like the kind of attention you like to have when you go out and get all dressed up. He will also love to be groomed so be sure you do this as well!

Playing Frisbee With Your Dog

Training your dog to play Frisbee can be a both-way win. You and your dog go out in the park and play with the disk, you both feel great, it creates a bond between you and it’s real clean fun: fresh air, refreshing grass smell and lots of laughs.

If your dog is energetic, like most dogs are, one way of relieving him of extra spunk is playing Frisbee. This will take his energy (formerly used in devastating your home) and make him use it by running after small animals or even the mailman, or simply running around without a reason. When this energy will be directed in a positive action, you will be more pleased and so he will get more attention and gratitude from you. He will feel better in this situation. Concerning you, playing Frisbee will bring a stronger bond with your dog. You will also feel happier and even more energetic. And I must say: the extra exercise never hurts.

Training your dog to play Frisbee is a multiple step program. First you can start in the house with the training. For the dog to direct his attention to the disc you can put his food in it. Remember to take it away from him after eating because you don’t want it to become a chewing toy! The next step is to throw the Frisbee around the house but on short distances so that it will capture the dog’s attention. Then get outside and act like you’re playing fetch with him and tell him to bring it back.

After he gets the idea, just throw the Frisbee up, not very high though, and tell him to jump for it. He might not get it at first but if you insist on this, he will eventually want to get it. Don’t be frustrated if your dog does not learn to get the disc very fast. You must encourage him and when there is a progress praise him and give him treats!

The final step is when you go to the park with him and show off your new trick. The skills of jumping for the disc and fetching will be then combined and your dog will know exactly what playing Frisbee means. This activity is merely having fun and enjoying life with your pet, so don’t get too caught up in your daily program and miss on all these activities!

The Brussels Griffon

Small, fluffy fur from the neck up and short down, cute little tail – sounds like a curious animal. This is one way of describing the Brussels Griffon, a loving and very energetic dog that will always give you the opportunity to have a play companion.

This breed resembles the terrier because of his constant energy to play, jump, run and chew different objects in the house that seem to him like interesting toys. Because of his size, he makes a wonderful apartment pet and a devoted companion for his temperament. He is loyal and intelligent, with a strong and feisty personality that makes him simply adorable. Just think how cute he is, so small and puffy, thinking he is a great animal ready at any time to protect his master even from a lid!

Having this personality, they tend to love everyone and they end up being the centre of attention, but the Brussels Griffons sometimes are moody because they think so highly of themselves or their masters spoil them. They show their intelligence by learning quite easily tricks and being curious about everything in their reach. Be sure that if you have this dog, he will know the house better than you, always sniffing around. Also, if something is wrong, he will be the first to know it and alarm you about it. This makes him a pretty good watchdog!

He loves the attention so usually he will become spoiled, and if you don’t have the time to do so, he will suffer because he is sensitive. This breed feels best surrounded by family and will always be happy to play with kids. He even gets along with other animals like cats, living in some cases in perfect harmony with them! Not many dogs make these compromises just to be loved by their masters; and he even doesn’t feel pressured to act like this, it’s just his nature.

Nick – named “monkey-face” because of his appearance resembling a human face, the Brussels Griffon can be a wonderful pet if he is taught right so that he behaves and calms down when he overdoes it, to do funny tricks in exchange. If you are careful about his temperament, he won’t be too spoiled and acts as you like, don’t be too controlling because he has a strong personality, and eventually pout.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Appropriate food for pedigree dogs

Like humans, dogs need the right type of food to be healthy and look good; if their nutrition is not a balanced one and they don’t have access to the necessary ingredients, they will feel weakened or at least their aspect will deteriorate in time. It’s up to you to be careful about what you are feeding your dog, so that he can live a long and healthy life!

Managing to give your pet the proper nutrition is a great achievement, but if you want to have a pedigree dig – that is more complicated. These kinds of dogs need better food than average dogs because their structure is more demanding, so you should get informed about what your dog needs to eat in order to be in the best shape possible.

The main ingredient that your dog needs (and of course loves) is meat, then come vegetables and grains. Most dog foods also contain fillings that sometimes are the main ingredient, and that is not a good thing for you pedigree dog because these fillings are low on nutritious ingredients and so they will degrade his system and appearance. As types of meat, you can choose from chicken, lamb, beef and pork (not too much pork because it is less healthy than the other types).
One thing you should be considering is the “by-product” aspect; this refers to meat and if you see such a marking on a can of dog food, like “chicken by-product”, it means your dog should get real chicken meat. Unfortunately, most dog foods are labeled with “meat by-product”, meaning that you don’t know what kind of meat your dog eats; it can be road kill or other animal meat that is not healthy for him. So next time you buy him food, read carefully the label!

Another aspect is whether canned dog food is better than dry food. Studies show that canned food is better because fewer preservatives are used, and it has fewer fillings than dry food, making it safer and even more delicious to your pedigree dog. For your dog to receive the best kind of food, try to choose the premium dog foods rather than the ones in stores because these types of food are especially made to have the best ingredients.

In order to have a healthy dog - a beautiful pedigree canine, you have to take care of his needs, feed him the best food and always remember to consult your vet, to not make rush and bad decisions about his care.

Dog Friendly Hotels

When tired from the daily stress, you feel like you need a vacation from it all. So you make plans where to go, hotels, even think about what restaurants to go to in that relaxing location. But wait… what about the dog? You don’t want to let him with a friend or a relative that maybe won’t love him as much as you do, or the reason is just that you want to let him take part of the fun and relaxation. There is problem though… where will he be staying? The hotel you were planning to go does not allow any pets at all.

When in this situation, you can go to dog friendly hotels where you can share your room with you lovely companion without any problems. These hotels are keen on receiving guest whether they walk on two feet or four paws. Your dog will receive the same attention like you, making his life a little easier and yours more relaxed because you don’t have to worry about complains from others – they’re all dog lovers.

I have been to such a hotel with my dog Spike and we ere both very thrilled about the conditions. After helping me with the bags, the bell boy left me his phone number to call if I needed him to walk the dog, or to take him to a grooming shop. I was amazed by his kindness because I could see that he was talking with true dog love to Spike or when referring to him. We got a beautiful room with a king size bed, a big yard outside where my companion could play or run around with other dogs that stayed at our hotel.

In the three days that we stayed there, I did take the bell boy’s offer and let him take Spike to a grooming shop because I wanted to rest. When I woke up, I saw my pet shinning with joy, proud of his new appearance – he seemed to be very well taken care of.

When we had to leave, the manager offered us a souvenir: a bag with a nicely decorated bowl filled with doggy treats and a new leash with the hotel’s name on it. We both had a great time and even had a special program for Spike. This allowed me to not take care of him every moment.

I think that you should give a chance to these hotels and spend a wonderful time with your pet, stress free and pampering awaits you!

Dog behavior training with the tether

Your dog is often agitated and loud, chews everything in sight and masters the couch letting no one else to sit on it? I think it’s time for some behavior training! A dog is usually energetic, especially when he lives with you in an apartment; things will have to change, for your sake and his. There are a lot of training programs, some that you can do at home or some that require sending your pet to a training school.

If you decide to take measures in your own hands, one of the training techniques you can apply is the tether training. Simply attach the tether to your dog’s color at one end and the other to a heavy peace of furniture or something that can hold him still. The tether should be 2 to 3 feet long and made of cable wire wrapped with plastic, so that your dog won’t be able to chew through it. You shouldn’t use chains or other strong materials for the tether so that the dog doesn’t feel trapped.

The point of this training program is that the dog has to get used to sitting in one place, quietly and peacefully and also be near to you, without getting any special attention. You can put him in the living room, the kitchen or where you usually sit to relax, watch TV or read a book and let him be near you as long as you relax. By doing this, he will get used to not being the centre of attention and behaving in the house.

At first use tether training for 10 minutes then longer, staying in the same room with him. Make this into a habit and not a punishment! Your dog has to enjoy this training so put a chewing toy next to him and praise him when he is calm; also give him treats so that he knows this is the way he should act. If at first he barks or gets agitated when tethered, get out of the room ignoring this misbehaving; return only when he has calmed down and give him a treat.

This technique is only to be used when you are home, or else the dog will get more nervous and have a set back. It is also important to be in the same room with him because you can supervise him this way and still spend quality time with him.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dog Agility Training

Most dogs usually have a lot of energy and when the border of being cute has been passed, their energy can bother you. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – that he is energetic – but it should be channeled in a good way. This is where dog agility training comes in and gives your dog a chance to do something productive with his need to play.

Agility training consists in a program that makes your dog go through an obstacle filled yard. There are all kinds of obstacles that besides helping to channel your dog’s energy in a healthy way, they train them to do interesting tricks and listen more to their master. His attention has to be linked to you during this training because you can only guide him through the obstacles using only body language and your voice.

Dogs that do well in this training can participate in Agility Courses and eventually win prizes. Now that is a great way for your dog to thank you for your care and love and also to actually feel good about being active!

Here are some examples of obstacles used in agility training:
  • A-Frame – a two wood platform obstacle shaped as the letter A, which has at its ends painted usually in yellow that the contesting dogs have to reach when ascending or descending
  • The tunnel – a 10 to 20 feet tube, usually very flexible through which the dog has to run and don’t stop at any time; this helps him not to be afraid of closed spaces
  • Jump / Hurdle – two upright poles holding horizontal bars that the dog has to jump over. The height is adjustable to the breed and size of the dogs
Of course there are more to these in agility training programs, and each school has different varieties of exercises adding, removing or changing obstacles. What is great about this kind of training is that your loving dog will put most part of his energy in this activity and will give you the necessary relaxation time. He will be more obedient dog, one that besides tricks can learn to help around the house or even take care of the kids.

It’s wonderful to have a competing dog or even a prize-winning one! Give your dog a chance to have this practice – who knows? Maybe he has a true talent and will be famous!

What do I do if my dog is aggressive?

Having a dog is joy in one’s home and it should be a source of tranquility for the whole family. This is usually the case, but some dogs tend to be strangely loud, agitated and tend to attack other small animals. It’s the case of aggressive dogs, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly!

Dogs that become aggressive usually start by showing different symptoms before getting to a state when even his master would be afraid to be around him. Some such symptoms are barking very much, growling when someone gets near his food, various attacks on cats or other small animals or even escapes from home for long periods of time. If you see some of these symptoms in your dog’s behavior, get used to the idea that he might have a problem, and if you don’t want to lose him eventually, you should act to resolve this problem!

First thing you should know is that when you see this problem, you should go to the veterinarian and seek for his professional opinion. More to this, here are some tricks from some aggression treating programs, which hopefully with the giddiness of your vet will help your companion. The main thing to do is to make sure you are the only provider of his every aspect in life: only you will feed him, play with him, give affection to; you can as far as being the only person that gives him any attention! When he will realize that he depends on you for everything, he should be getting very attached to you and of course should give in a little because now there is no one else to turn to.

When this stage is reached, you should try to get him to do what you say, such as firstly to sit, stay or fetch and then go for the DON’Ts like don’t sit on the couch. After his every progress you should give him a reward – affection or treats – because this is how he will understand he is doing something good; also, don’t hesitate to act mad at him when he acts aggressive.

If your dog doesn’t cooperate with you, you should consult a professional animal behaviorist that knows the training techniques and will help you companion to become as once loving and playful. Aggressiveness is a serious problem among dogs and you shouldn’t take it lightly, so please see your vet when your dog acts strangely for his and yours sake!

The hottest dog accessories

Having a dog nowadays has gone beyond the need of a companion to play with, and more a fashion trend. It’s not enough for you to be gorgeous - your doggy has to look his best, too! And how do I make my doggy fashionable – you ask? It’s actually easy you know; just take a peak at on-line stores for dogs and there you’ll see one accessory more glamorous than the other!

So darlings, we’ll start up with the classical bows that now have to be made from the best materials like velvet, satin or gingham – all top performance. After all, he deserves the best from you because he has the same needs like you, to be admired when walking on the street, maybe even to find a mate! These bows come in all the colors in the world: those that match your pets’ eyes or fur, those that shine at night or refined ones. All you have to do is pick out the ones that will make him bark with joy.

For those that live for the sparkle, there are Swarovski Crystal Barrettes that will surely make you and your pet noticed in a crowd or on the street window shopping. Of course, you can put these crystals on anything your doggy’s heart desires: maybe on the color or the leash or even he can wear a hot Swarovski bracelet specially made for his paw.

Any fashion diva knows that the coolest dogs should have trademark carriers when not in the arms of their masters. No self respecting doggy travels in plastic boxes, now but in comfort and having a great treat at paw anytime. Speaking of which, treats should be eaten in plain plastic bowls but ceramic or expensive porcelain shaped in funny or classy feeders, as his heart desires! My personal favorite is the paw print feeder shaped like a Victorian table – classy and still has an animal touch.

Whether it’s summer or winter, your dog can wear hats or even clothing made by designers or no-names, either way this will surely let him dress every day in a different outfit lit his master; you can even buy him the same outfit as yours and then wait an see the views you’ll get when walking down the street!