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.