Archives January 2022

Dog Training Collar – Making Your Dog More Manegeable

Dog training collars always looked so mean to me especially the choker collars. I had one for my dog when I was little. My dad used it to train my dog. Apparently, as the breeder and trainer said, they were the only really efficient way to train your dog.

However my dad was nice with ours. A little slight yank to get the point across and my dog was sure to respond. However, I have seen people be positively vicious with them; to the point that the dog cried out in pain. This of course is not surprising when the dog is lifted off of their feet by a chain that is choking the air out of them.

To me the whole dog training collar thing seems to kind of go against a lot of the other stuff I have read. Everyone seems to say that you should not yell at your dog when they do something wrong, but instead show them the correct behavior and praise them for it. To this end the choker collar seems to be a little out of the scope of things. I’m not positive but I am pretty sure that choking your dog, whether lightly or almost to the point of death can not be considered positive reinforcement.

There must be other dog training collars that work just as well but, then again maybe not since the chocker seems to be the most prevalent. I also have just learned of another atrocity in this area, as my friend sitting next to me just apprised me of the fact that some collars have studs so that when the owner chokes the dog the dog also gets stabbed; sounds so humane and efficient doesn’t it?

Dog Carriers: There’s One That Works for You!

If you travel with your pet, you need a dog carrier. But which kind should you get? Carriers come in all different sizes. Some are rigid, and some are soft and pliable. The type of dog carrier you buy should depend on the size of your pet and the kind of traveling you do. Get your dog a funny dog ball to keep them entertained.

 

Travel by Car

If you travel by car, either a hard plastic or wire crate will do. Some wire crates fold down for storage and portability, which comes in extremely handy if your situation requires that you move the crate in and out of your vehicle. What size should the dog crate be? Well, take a good look at your dog! The crate should be large enough so that the dog can stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably, but not so large that the dog slips around during travel.

Travel by Airplane

When choosing a dog carrier for airplane travel, you’ll have to take airline size restrictions into consideration.

Better safe than sorry! You don’t want to arrive at the airport only to find out that your carrier doesn’t heed the restrictions. It’s safe to check with the ticketing agent ahead of time regarding dog carrier size limits, but keep in mind that these rules usually refer to hard-sided dog carriers. Smaller dogs can be carried in soft-sided dog carriers like Sherpa Bags and the Pet Wheel-Away. Carriers such as these are approved for in-cabin use and can be stowed under the airplane seat.

Make sure the carrier has an absorbent liner. Some models are equipped with them. With others, an old towel or blanket should do the trick.

If you are still not sure which size and type of pet carrier to pick, check online retailers for manufacturer’s guidelines. They can help you select the right size and type for your dog.

Comfort Counts

Remember, you are going to be the one toting the carrier around, so make sure it fits you well! The carrier should be light enough for you to manage over the distance you plan on carrying it, and should be carried comfortably. It’s always a good idea to test a carrier before you buy it; make sure the shoulder straps are the right length and there is sufficient padding where it meets your shoulder.

Just for Fun

Once you have the important stuff in order, you can have lots of fun with styles, colors, materials, and patterns. Soft dog carriers come in a variety of materials including canvas, nylon, denim, and synthetic leather. You can find them in all kinds of styles, from practical to precious, and in just about every color possible. Designer carriers often mimic the styles popular in handbag fashions, so it’s not hard to find one that suits your style.

With the right dog carrier, traveling with your pet is a breeze!

 

Dogs And Pets Provide Health Benefits

Do dogs provide health benefits? Believe it or not they do! Did you know that owning a dog and pet ownership in general, can help a person in many ways? Owning a pet can improve your mental wellness, reduce your visits to the doctor, improve your cardiovascular health and allow for faster recovery time from surgery as well as higher survival rates. Recent research suggests that dogs may be able to detect cancer on a person’s breath! Lets’ explore these amazing health benefits of pet ownership:

It has been proven that dog owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than non-dog owners. These factors, in turn, reduce the chance of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, just stroking a pet has long been known to reduce blood pressure. Furthermore, a study from the New York State University concluded that these benefits continue even without the pet being present! Get your dog some new Rope Toys

Hospital studies have shown that senior citizens and recent post-op patients respond better to treatment and recover faster while in contact with dogs and other therapy animals. Did you know that dog owners have a greater chance to survive a serious illness than non-dog owners? In fact, a study revealed that a pet affected a person’s survival rate even more than the presence or company of family members or friends!

Studies conducted at Cambridge and UCLA concluded that there is a direct correlation between pet ownership and improved overall health, which leads to fewer visits to the doctor. The Journal of American Geriatrics Society notes that pet ownership has a positive effect on a senior’s physical and emotional well being. Additionally, a Medicare study of elderly patients also shows that people who own a dog have fewer doctor visits than patients who do not.

Pet owners have better emotional health and mental wellness than people who do not own a pet. Pets offer unconditional love and affection and their presence alone helps reduce loneliness. For people who are isolated, disabled or handicapped, a pet offers friendship and can even add a element of safety to their lives. Dogs are used as a form of therapy in hospices, nursing homes and as companions for the disabled and blind. In fact, there are studies that prove that people with a major illness fight the stress of having the illness better by having a dog as a pet.

There is new research that suggests that dogs may be able to detect certain types of cancer. Researchers at the Pine Street Foundation in San Anselmo, California and the Polish Academy of Sciences exposed dogs to breath samples from breast and lung cancer patients and samples from healthy people. They claim that the dogs were able to detect cancer with astonishing results and accuracy. The dogs were able to identify 99% of lung cancer breath samples (which included early stage cancer patients) as well as 88% of breast cancer samples. The study, which has been met with skepticism, will be released early in 2006 and published in the March edition of the Journal for Integrative Cancer Therapies. Experts agree that this holds promise, but must be evaluated and researched further.

As you can see pet ownership or having a dog comes with many benefits for an individual. Owning a pet encourages social interaction, reduces stress levels, boosts self-confidence and self-esteem and encourages exercise. Having a pet is a great investment, not only in the joy and pleasure that the animal brings into your life, but the many health benefits that come with the territory!

Dog House Building And Buying Guide

Dog owners have to consider several factors when buying or building a house for their pets. As a true member of your own family, providing your pet with the best home possible is of the utmost importance.

i. Size

A German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler and other large dogs should have large houses, while the Chihuahua and smaller breeds will need smaller houses. The door of the house does not need to be based on the height of the dog from the ground to the top of its head, or even taller, as it will lower its head to be able to enter the house. The width of the door should be just enough to accommodate the dog. These height and width measurements can be adjusted if there is a physical requirement to do so. The house should also be large enough for the dog to stand at full height inside, move around and lie down. Owners should remember that a larger-than-needed home will compromise the dog’s retention of body heat during the winter or colder months.

ii. Weather Conditions

Some dog houses are made with hinged roofs, a feature that allows owners to raise the roof during hot and humid weather. This flexibility provides adequate air flow to flush out warm air and allow fresh or cool air to enter. In some cases, these roofs can also be lowered, creating a smaller space for the dog and enhancing its ability to retain heat during rainy or cold weather. Asphalt shingles should be used only if there is an adequate insulation barrier separating the roof from the main area of the house. Many house models also come with slanted roofs, ensuring that water drains away during rainy days. Owners should avoid building or buying houses with barn-type or peak-style roofs, as these would attract hornets, wasps and other insects and prevent heat retention. Another option is wind walls, which can be inserted into the dog house to break the wind and keep the house warmer. The house should also be a reasonable distance off the ground to keep it dry. For owners with bigger budgets, some house manufacturers offer provisions for heaters and air-conditioners. These climate control systems help ensure comfort for the dog regardless of weather conditions.

iii. Doors

The front door of the dog house should be located to one side instead of in the middle. This will prevent the dog from being directly exposed to extreme weather conditions and other harsh environmental elements. Some models are designed with removable doors, or with no doors at all. Using a door will help keep the dog house warmer during cold months. An awning type cover can also be used over the opening for added shade and protection.

iv. Easy To Clean And Maintain

– Removable or adjustable roofs
– Doors, partitions
– Wind walls
– Flexibility in cleaning
– Restrict use of paint, stains, or water sealers for the outside of the house

v. Use Wood

Plastic and metal houses are not a good idea, as they are either too hot during summertime or too cold during the winter. Some market experts say that houses made from natural western red cedar wood offer the best insulation for dogs during winter while making them cooler during summer. Red cedar wood oils are also natural repellants of ticks, fleas and termites. Houses made from this material are also maintenance-free on the outside, although owners have a choice of finishing it to complement their property. Sprinkling red cedar wood chips or shavings in the bedding also helps prevent infestation. Owners should also remember that wooden roofs help cut down heat build-up from the sun while helping to maintain reasonable heat retention levels.

vi. Keep The Dog House Elevated

For legless houses, the owner must remember that having it directly on the ground increases the likelihood that the pet would be exposed to cold and wet weather. This also raises the possibility of infestation from flea eggs that hatch in the soil. The owner can use bricks, rocks or stones arranged in a level and stable manner to elevate the house. The elevation will allow air to flow beneath the house and prevent moisture from forming at the bottom.

Doggie Hygiene

Washing your dog is important, but not as important as some people think. Healthy dogs actually don’t need to be washed all that often, but humans prefer to bathe them so that they have a more pleasing smell and appearance. Doggie bath time is a good time to spend with the dog, however. Although most of them don’t like to be washed, they will appreciate the contact and attention that they receive from their owners during a bath. It is also a good time to perform some other necessary “dog maintenance” such as cleaning the ears, checking for ticks and fleas, and brushing the teeth. Since many dogs do not like to sit still for any of these activities, it can be a good idea to do them all at once. Your pup need some play time some fun doggie ball toys  will keep them having fun outdoors.

Brushing Dogs’ Teeth

Brushing your dogs’ teeth is just good dental hygiene. Most vets recommend that it be done at least twice a week to ensure your dog maintains healthy teeth and gums. If you’ve not been doing this (and, unfortunately, many people don’t) it’s never too late to start. The dog should have its own toothbrush and special toothpaste designed for dogs. Make sure you brush the back teeth in small circles, the same way you would your own, and brush up and down the length of the “pointy” canine teeth. Dog toothpaste is made to have a pleasing taste (for the dog, don’t try it yourself) and this should make the dog willing to let you perform this activity.

Checking for Ticks & Fleas

Ticks are nasty little arachnids (they’re eight-legged creatures like spiders, and therefore are not insects) that will latch onto your dog’s skin and make its blood their meal ticket. They are most common in wooded areas, but your dog should be checked for them regularly because they can carry a number of diseases. The best place to look for these bugs in under the collar or on the dog’s underbelly, buried in the fur. If found they can be removed with tweezers.

Fleas can be found in the same places, under the fur. The presence of fleas can be betrayed by the sight of their droppings on the dog’s coat. They look like flecks of pepper. The fleas themselves look like bits of brown rice. They’re about an eighth of an inch long. They can’t simply be picked off of the dog like ticks can, but finding them will let you know its time to start the dog on a program to control and eliminate the insects.

Cleaning the Ears

Pet supply stores sell special solutions for cleansing a dog’s ears. Dogs can easily get ear mites, small insects which live in the ears and feed of the waxy secretions there. Over time the bodies of these short-lived creatures build up and form a black, dirty substance. Using a cotton swab dipped in a bit of this solution, gently clean the inner ear. It may be difficult to hold the dog still for this procedure, but it doesn’t take long. And the result will be clean ears and the avoidance of potential infection and earaches in the dog.

Get To Know A Veterinarian

If you are a pet owner, it is time that you got to know a veterinarian. Why? Because, quite simply, a veterinarian is like a doctor for your pets. If you enjoy pets enough to own one or many, then you should take the time, energy and money to properly take care of those beloved pets.

Some pet owners believe that a visit to a veterinarian is only necessary when a pet is suffering or ill. And while you definitely want to visit a veterinarian when your pets become ill or start to show abnormal symptoms, you should also schedule routine appointments for your pets just like you schedule regular appointments for you and your family to visit a physician. There is no good reason not to give your pets the best care that you possibly can. Many simple problems and sicknesses can be prevented or solved easily by early detection, even in pets, so make it a priority to see your veterinarian regularly.

New pet owners should make appointments immediately to see a veterinarian and get a full health check for your new friend. Let your veterinarian teach you all about your new pet. Learn about the best ways to care for your pet, the best food to feed it, the best ways to bathe it, and the levels of activity that are necessary for keeping your pet healthy. You may be surprised how much there is to learn about each variety of different pets. Whether you have a dog, a cat, a bird or a horse, I guarentee you that a veterinarian will teach you helpful tips that you didn’t already know.

If you are currently a pet owner and have never taken the time to schedule and appointment for your pets, do so now. Talk to your other pet-owning friends to see what veterinarians are respected in your area. Flipping through your phonebook or doing a simple internet search can also help you explore options for finding the right veterinarian in your area. Some vets specialize in certain animals, so be sure that you schedule a visit with a veterinarian that has vast experience with your particular pets.

If you think that making appointments for your pets to see a veterinarian is silly, then I wonder whether or not you are suited to be a pet owner. You must consider your lifestyle and your ability to provide the right level of care for pets. Be honest with yourself and know that it is much better to give up a pet you already own than to keep that pet and not care for it properly.

Get Your Dog To Stop Whining

Dear Mr. Katz

We have a 15-16 month old German Shorthaired Pointer named Copper. She is pretty well obedience trained (if a dog can be that). We have used a pinch collar and an electronic collar for her training. The one thing we would like to solve is her whining. I would like to find out what we could do to eliminate it. When we corrected her in the past for whining she’ll stop for a few seconds, but then start right back up again. My first instinct is to continue to correct until she stops, but I wanted to get your opinion on the topic first.

Thank You,
Mark

Dear Mark,

This tends to be a genetically motivated behavior. That is, we see some breeds that do it more than others.

In any event, it’s unlikely that using a leash or e-collar correction will work for this behavior, or you’d have already seen results. (Note: It does work on some dogs if applied consistently).

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Recognize that it’s an anxiety-based behavior. The anxiety is usually the result of your dog not being able to contain her excitement for getting involved with the situation around her. For example, if the dog is made to hold a down-stay, but she sees another dog playing with a ball in the distance. This is when your dog will start whining.

2. PAY ATTENTION: Most owners will release their dog from the down-stay at this point, thus rewarding their dog for whining. Instead, wait until the dog is quiet for at least FIVE seconds before releasing the dog.

3. It is your job to convince the dog that: The longer she stays silent, the more likely it is that she will be rewarded with the ball/food/play/praise or whatever you’re using as a motivator.

4. Be sure to NEVER reward the whining. Even though it may be a hassle in the beginning.

5. Recognize that you may never completely eliminate whining, but you should be able to minimize it to the point where it is no longer an annoyance.

That’s all for now, folks!
Adam

Dogs During Labor

Breeding dogs is an exciting experience. From the time a proper mate is found to the point that the puppies are born, it is crucial to take careful steps to make this successful.

Professional breeders do not breed frequently and will only do so when a pair is found to be healthy that will ensure the birth of healthy offspring.

The ideal breeder should have the pair of dogs tested for every possible disease as well as have all the information regarding the pair’s ancestors and health records on file. Should a breeder find no problem in the history of the pair, then the process can begin.

Dogs normally come into heat twice a year which is every six months. Larger dogs can come into heat every eight or ten months which usually lasts about three weeks. Vaginal bleeding is a sure sign that the dog is in heat as well as swelling in the vulva.
A dog’s pregnancy or gestation period lasts between 60 to 67 days. Most dogs give birth after 63 days.

The only way to determine the stage of the dog’s pregnancy is by keeping the track of time from the day of the breeding. Keeping a record of this on file is advisable for reference purposes.

Exactly three weeks after breeding, the mother must be examined to confirm the pregnancy.

The dog must be given a formulated and premium brand of dog food for the duration of the pregnancy and throughout the nursing period preferably with strong nutritional foundation.

During pregnancy, the mother’s food consumption will almost double compared to the pre-pregnancy level so increased feeding must be given to ensure that there is enough for both the dog and the puppies.

Behavioral changes are to be expected during this time. The dog will demand for more affection or may experience a few days of vomiting.

Later on, the expectant mother will search for a secure place to deliver the puppies. So, one must ensure that a proper place is ready when the time comes. An ideal place for an expecting mother is a box. Depending on the size of the dog, it must be spacious enough for the dog to move around and must have layers of newspaper inside it that will absorb birthing fluids. This should also have low sides for the mother to look outside and for the breeder to easily check if assistance is needed to make it easy to remove soiled papers without interrupting the mother and the newborn puppies.

Dogs Are Not People! Understanding the Differences Between People and Dogs and Using This Information In Your Relationship With Your Pet

Dogs are not people. It may seem like an obvious observation, but so many people make the mistake time and time again of expecting their dog to act and think like a person. They attribute human traits and emotions to these noble animals and thus undermine their whole relationship, sending confusing signals and stressing the dog.

Remember, the dog is an animal. Yes, even your cute little friend who curls up on the sofa next to you and loves to have his tummy tickled. He’s an animal, and he MUST be treated as such to give him a healthy, fulfilling life. Small dogs are particularly prone to being treated as children or babies and this can lead to a multitude of behavioural problems, not to mention confusion and misery for the dog.

Firstly, let’s look at the exchange of love between ourselves and our dogs. Most of us love our dogs and can feel a warm spot in the middle of our chests when we see them or think of them. Does the dog feel that too? We have to assume not. He loves us, but he loves us in a different way. He relies on us for his well-being and survival. He looks to us (if we are successful) as a leader of his pack and he trusts us in our decisions.

He is happy to be with you because he is a pack animal and his attachment to you may well be very deep. But he doesn’t have the complicated love-psychology of a human being. He doesn’t have the same concept of ethics and morality and he certainly doesn’t know anything above and beyond what his animal instincts tell him. If a friend of yours enters the house and your dog doesn’t like him, he’s not going to “be nice” to the friend for your sake! Conversely, he doesn’t misbehave or sulk to get attention or “pay you back” for something you did. These are human emotions and motives that we attribute to our dogs almost unconsciously.

We should also look at the concept of praise and punishment in training. On the whole, I advocate praising good behaviour and ignoring misbehaviour. I do not believe in punishing a dog for bad behaviour, but sometimes a short, sharp shout can be a good reminder to a dog that is doing something he knows he shouldn’t. It is essential to remember that you can only praise or give correction to your dog AT THE VERY MOMENT he is exhibiting the behaviour in question. He is not a child and will not know nor remember what he did five minutes ago. This is a fundamental difference between people and dogs and if remembered, will make training a much easier task.

So the key to this is “think like a dog”. Imagine you are a pack animal like him. Don’t ever think of him as a human, still less a child or a baby, whatever his size and however cute his face. You have to hard-wire this concept into your relationship with your dog and he will only thank you for it. He is a dog, an animal, and only by truly understanding this will you be able to fulfill his needs and form a meaningful, satisfying relationship for both of you.

Dogs, Cats, And Horses… We Love Them All!

We have a long history with domesticated animals and even the nay Sayers can’t deny their roll in society past and present.

There is evidence that as long as 10,000 years ago the Native Americans had domesticated dogs as depicted in early rock paintings. Apparently, the dogs in the painting look remarkably like the Carolina dogs of today.

It has been well documented that dogs and horses of past have been bred to assist us in various ways whether it be pack dog, work horse, hunter or herder. There is no doubt that they have value and have contributed to society in many ways.

The cat however is a very interesting animal indeed. I have yet to see a cat that can herd, or help with the hunt or carry supplies on their backs for us. The cat is strictly a companion to us, that is if they decide to allow you to be graced with their presence. Most cats still have that strong hunting urge as evidenced by your cats offering of that bird he just caught or mouse he brings to you. Most cats get attached to an area that they claim as their own. Some cats get very attached to the people who love them but as a general rule I think the cat feels he is the one who rules and he is allowing you to care for him. Still, we love them.

Horses are a special breed and have a tremendous ability to assist us in ways as only the horse can. Horses have been our mode of transportation much longer than our current ways of getting around. They are to me of such beauty, grace, and power and I always think of them in that way much more than an animal that works for us. They are spectacular.

Dogs however are by far the most domesticated of all animals. They not only help us but they are so genuinely attached to people and their antics are a constant source of pleasure to us. Just look at children or elderly people in an old folks home. If a child finds a stray dog they will surely beg you to allow them to keep the dog. If you take a dog into an old folks home you can see the dog respond happily around them and the smiles on peoples faces are a joy to see.

I had a Springer Spaniel when I was younger and he was the funniest, most easy- going dog around. He was unusual in that he had a very special relationship with our guinea pig. We had the best time watching these two at play. It was the same every day. The guinea pig would wait at the hallway entrance and would stay there until the dog noticed. Then the chase was on! The dog would bark and chase him all the way down the hall. The guinea pig at the last minute would veer to the left and run into the bedroom and go under the bed. The dog was big and somewhat clumsy and would never be able to slow down in time and he’d crash into the wall, get up and then go put his nose under the bed and bark. They would do this four or five times in a row and then curl up together and sleep. Those two made us laugh. It was great!

As animal lovers, we also can adorn our walls with prints and motivational posters of them. They also make great gifts.

We love our animals, as it should be. Be kind and take well care of them.