Monthly Archives: December 2016

Wrong Things New Dog Owners To Do

First-time puppy owners are a lot like first-time parents – they’re happy about the new arrival, but fearful of making mistakes, and perhaps even a bit intimidated by the responsibility they’re about to undertake. Certainly, it is a big responsibility, and it’s a given that you’ll make mistakes. The key is not to re-invent the wheel.

Dog owners who came before you have already made just about every possible mistake. So, if you understand where they got it wrong, you can avoid common mistakes. Here are 10 of them.

1. Committing Without Thinking

If you’re not 100% sure that you’re ready to commit to a dog, stop right here and wait until you are ready. A puppy is not something you should buy on impulse. Too many dogs end up in shelters because people decided they weren’t ready for a commitment that lasts ten or so years.

2. Putting off Training

“I’ll start tomorrow,” you think. Then tomorrow comes and goes, and your puppy grows, and next thing you know you have a rambunctious adolescent with a lot of bad habits. The sooner you start obedience training, the better – it’s much easier to nip a problem in the bud than to correct it later on.

3. Inconsistency

Train consistently, using the same verbal commands and hand signals all the time. If you vary the method, your dog will become confused.

4. Over-Treating

Puppies will usually eat pretty much anything you offer them, but treats shouldn’t just be handed out for no reason. It’s best to reserve treats for training sessions – that way, the puppy connects a treat with good behavior, and you have a powerful motivational tool as opposed to something you offer, and your puppy expects, for no particular reason.

5. Poor Socialization

Puppies are meant to remain with the litter for the first eight weeks of life – this is the time when they learn how to be dogs. So, if you’re thinking of buying a puppy younger than eight weeks, don’t. During this period, a responsible breeder will also make sure that the puppies are frequently handled by humans. Then, once you take your puppy home, it is your job to continue the socialization process, making sure that your puppy is exposed to different people and also to other pets. The more experiences your puppy is exposed to, the more confident he will be.

6. Not Enough Exercise

Puppies and dogs typically have a great deal of energy, and even the laziest dog is going to need daily exercise. A lack of exercise can lead to behavioral problems like destructiveness and excessive barking.

7. Not Enough Mental Stimulation

In addition to exercising your dog’s body, it is also important that you exercise his mind. Training provides mental stimulation, as do a variety of toys, and of course playtime with their person.

8. Too Much “Alone” Time

If your puppy is alone for long periods of time, chances are he’s missing out on both exercise and mental stimulation. He is also more likely to have accidents in the house, and could also develop behavioral problems or separation anxiety.

9. Not “Puppy-Proofing” the House

You need to puppy-proof the home in much the same way as you would child-proof it. This means making sure that any cleaning products are secured, and electrical cords are out of reach. Make sure to puppy-proof the garage as well – petroleum products and anti-freeze can be deadly.

10. Punishing Undesirable Behavior

It is possible that if you punish your dog for misbehaving, he will learn not to do what you punished him for doing. It is more likely, though, that he’ll become afraid of you. Praise and rewards are always more effective ways of training your dog than punishment.

The Final Word

As a new puppy owner, you will make mistakes – it goes with the territory. No one ever raises a puppy, and when that puppy reaches adulthood, says, “I got it exactly right.” But now you know the most common mistakes, and they’re also the most significant ones. Avoid them, and you’ll be well on your way to having a well-adjusted dog

 

All About Dogs And Breeds

Toys

The toy dog is defined as being under 20 pounds. Besides being lap dogs, many are smart, stubborn, and rule the roost. They make excellent pets for apartment dwellers and seniors as they can get plenty of exercise indoors. They are affectionate and people-oriented dogs. The Pugs and (smooth-coated variety) Chihuahuas are easy to groom; where as the Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, and the Shih Tzu are high-maintenance dogs. The Pomeranian is a breed that sheds a lot. Breeds also include Toy Poodles, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Havanese, Papillons, Pekingese Sporting Dogs.

Sporting Dogs

Sporting dogs are the larger dogs that needs lots of exercise but make great companions. These dogs are the ones you take hunting with you. These dogs are great family dogs, smart, and are affectionate. The Cocker Spaniel is a high-maintenance dog as there will be many trips to the groomers. The English Springer Spaniel is one that has been a winning show dog. Breeds also include Labrador Retrievers, Irish Setters, Brittanys, American Water Spaniels, and German Shorthaired Pointers.

Non Sporting Dogs

This group varies in size from very small to very large. Personalities vary as well. There are breeds who are very lovable and those which only love their owner. There are differences in their looks also. There are coated breeds and there are smooth breeds. Colors have a wide variety as well; from the black and white of the Boston Terrier to the variety of colors of the Lowchen. As for grooming goes the Poodle is a high-maintenance dog; and the French Bulldog and Dalmatian are some of the wash-and-wear dogs. Some of the other breeds in the Non Sporting group are the Keeshond, Bulldog, Schipperke, Lhasa a pso, and the Tibetan Terrier.

Herding Group

Historically, these hardy dogs were used to keep grazing cattle and sheep from straying, and to protect the livestock from Wolves. Many of these breeds are still popular as farm animals. Most of these dogs have long hair, long ears, and short legs. Size ranges from medium to giant. They are intelligent, eager to please, loyal, affectionate; but need enough exercise. Some in this group that are high-maintenance are the Collie (rough-coated variety), Old English Sheepdog, and the Briard. Breeds also include Australian Shepherds, Australian Cattle Dogs, Border Collies, German Shepherds Dogs, Shetland and Belgian Sheepdogs, and the Polish Lowlands.

Working Group

These dogs serve people in various ways. For example, Doberman Pinschers, and Mastiffs make excellent guard and police dogs. The Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, and Siberian Huskies pull sleds; and the St. Bernards and Newfoundlands were bred for rescue work. They are usually large, strong dogs,and need significant exercise. The Boxers and Rottweilers are easy to groom; but the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Great Dane, and the Samoyed shed a lot. Breeds also include Akitas, Giant and Standard Schnauzers.

Hound Dogs

The Hound group can be broken into two types: Scenthounds and Sighthounds

Scenthounds

These dogs hunt by smell, not sight. The Beagles and Foxhounds run with their nose to the ground to follow an animal’s scent. Their size ranges from medium to large. Beagles shed a lot but are easy to groom. Breeds also includes Bloodhounds, coonhounds, Dachshunds, Harriers, Petit Basset Griffons Vendeens, and Otterhounds.

Sighthounds

These are dogs that hunt on instinct when they see prey moving; then by using their speed they overtake their prey. They have a wide size range; from toy to giant. Sighthounds are very fast runners. As for grooming goes the Greyhound is a wash and wear dog. Breeds also include Whippets, Italian Greyhounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Basenjis, Borzois, Irish Wolfhounds, Lurchers, Salukis, and Scottish Deerhounds.

Terriers

Terriers were originally bred to drive game out of holes in the ground. The majority of Terriers have a wiry coat and a bushy beard. These dogs make fearless watch dogs. They also help people by killing mice, rats, and other pests. Busy, Feisty, and active, many Terriers are the canine version of hyperactive children, so they need a lot of exercise. Breeds include Cairn Terriers, Irish Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Scottish Terriers, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, and West Highland White Terriers.

 

Guide to a House Trained Puppy

Getting a new puppy is always an occasion for joy, but for first-timers, it can also be stressful. Of course, you want to get everything right, so that you and your new best friend can enjoy many happy years together, and that means training your puppy to become a good canine citizen. Before you get going on obedience training, though, start with house training.

How It’s Done

You might think that house training is going to take forever, but the reality is that if you follow these twelve basic steps, you’ll get the job done quickly – probably in just a few weeks.

1. Be Consistent

There is more than one way of house training a puppy. Just make sure that whatever approach you take, you stick with it.

2. Have a Routine

Dogs are happiest when they know what to expect, and what’s expected of them. So set specific times for meals. Then, about half an hour after your puppy has eaten, put him outside, and wait until he’s done his business. Then bring him back in.

3. Be Watchful

Puppies need to be closely supervised, especially during house training. You should keep your puppy with you, and keep an eye out for signs that he needs to go potty (walking in circles is a tip-off).

4. Don’t Ask for Too Much Too Soon

A puppy is not going to be able to control his bladder or bowels for very long. In fact, when you first bring your puppy home (usually at around 8 weeks of age), you can expect that he’ll need to go outside every couple of hours. As he matures, he’ll have more control.

5. Plan for Frequent Trips Outdoors

If you can, take your puppy outdoors hourly, at least for the first few days. This way, you’ll dramatically reduce the chances of accidents in the house, and you’ll also be increasing the number of opportunities you have to reinforce the idea that you want him to do his business outside.

6. Separate Potty Time from Play Time

Don’t hang around outdoors once the potty break is over – bring the puppy inside right away. You can go right back out to play in a few minutes if you like, but what you’re trying to do is reinforce the idea that the yard is where he’s supposed to pee and poop.

7. Pick a Spot

You’ll have greater success if you choose just one place in the yard for potty trips (it will make cleaning up easier, too). Always lead the puppy to one spot. His nose will tell him that this is the right place.

8. Pick a Phrase

When you take the puppy to the spot you’ve chosen, tell him “Go potty,” or another phrase you’ve chosen. Eventually, he’ll go to his special spot in the yard just by being told, without needing to be led.

9. Make Good Things Happen

Praise your puppy and give him a treat once you’re back in the house – not while he’s doing his business in the yard. You don’t want him to think he’s being praised for peeing or pooping; otherwise, he’s not going to understand why he’s not praised when he does it in the house. What you’re teaching him is that if he does his business outside, something good will happen when get gets back indoors.

10. Don’t Feed Before Bed

Two hours before it’s time to turn in for the night, take away the water dish, and don’t offer any treats. This way, the chances of accidents during the night can be reduced.

11. Use a Crate

When you can’t be at home, put your puppy in a crate. Most dogs are reluctant to eliminate where they sleep. Just make sure that the crate isn’t so big that the puppy decides that one area is for sleeping, and another for eliminating. Before crating, make sure he gets a potty trip out to the yard, and when you get back, take him outside again.

12. Never Punish

Don’t punish your puppy for accidents. Some dogs take a bit longer than others to house train, but if you punish, you run the risk of the puppy trying to hide his mistakes from you.

The Final Word

House training a puppy takes a bit of time and effort, but it needs to be done. Just be consistent, praise and reward your puppy, and you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at how quickly it can be accomplished

 

Things You Need To Know About Dog Injuries

Canine limping is a very common thing and the peculiar thing is that it is not only due to old age that this problem is caused. There are hosts of other medical reasons like trauma to subtle chronic conditions. Even a slight leg limp can be signs that your pooch is suffering from a life threatening condition like a malignant tumor. Let us now look at some of the injuries that can cause limping in dogs:

Soft Tissue Injury

This is one of the most prevalent reasons for dog limping. This can include muscle pulls, minor traumas and sprains. They are not very serious and can be treated with adequate rest for a couple of days and analgesic.

Arthritis

If your pooch finds it difficult to get up after lying or sitting after some time or trouble climbing stairs, getting in and out of the bed then it can be due to canine arthritis. If you have a large breed dog, then there is also a probability of having hip dysplasia.

Footpad Or Paw Injuries

If you see cuts at the foot pad of the dog check for splinters or other foreign objects embedded in the footpad or between the toes. Look for broken claws. If you see the signs of swelling or other possible signs of infection in the whole area, it can be due to paw injuries. Due to extreme weather conditions there can be a possibility of painful cracks in the tissue of the footpad that can result in dog limping.

Closed Fracture

These injuries encompass bone fractures where the skin is unbroken. They cannot be observed in the first glance because the leg might not look deformed or twisted.

Compound Fractures

This is a very critical type of fracture where the broken bone punctures the skin. This can cause life-threatening infections to the bones.

Ligament Injuries

Ligament unites the bones of the joints together. When they get injured the stability of the joint gets compromised or destroyed, the dog’s limping will get gradually worse over time.

Tumors

Limping can even be caused due to tumors in or on the bones or in the brain or central nervous system. If you find your doggy suffering from these symptoms accompanied by limping then it can be due to tumor:

  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Odd lumps or masses

Tumors can be extremely life-threatening so you need to take immediate step.

Kneecap Dislocation

Your dog’s knee can suddenly move dangerously side-to-side for different reasons like trauma and infection. The knee will slip out of alignment. It can even pop back into alignment very swiftly. Hence, always be vigilant for recurring problems, especially if you have a small dog.

Always take the opinion of your veterinarian when you see your doggy limping.