Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Last year, Gigi the family. She was eleven months old when we got her. For some reason, if the yard was wet at all, she wouldn't go out. The only way I could get to get her outside was to take her on a walk. She couldn't get enough. Soon, it got to be a habit of taking both dogs out twice a day. On rainy days, I bought them raincoats to keep them drier and took them on shorter walks when the weather was miserable. When winter came, it went down to once a day. On snowy days or cold days, I'd bundle up and just do it. Still, there was very few days that I missed taking them out.
They say that it takes only twenty-one times to create a new habit. Ever since I've increased the number of walks I do with my dogs in a week, I've noticed many benefits of doing this activity.
One of the best things dog walking does is create a stronger bond with you and your dog(s). This is a time your dogs know it's for them. They can explore and get in touch with their desire to explore their surroundings.
Another benefit is the fact that you get in touch with the outdoors. You have nothing to listen to except the sound of your footsteps as well as those of your dogs. It forces you to slow down and notice the world around you instead of sitting inside or doing some chores that you have to do later anyway.
It increases your energy level. If you are more active, you are going to have more energy compared to when your being more sedentary. It's also a good way to keep your weight down and have your dogs lose weight, if need be. I know that I can't slack off like I used to because it doesn't just affect me.
Finally, it gives my dogs a chance to be social with other dogs. You see which neighbors have dogs which are good for your dogs to visit and which are not so good. The more your dogs interact with other dogs, the more of a chance they will socialize better in the future.
I feel that something I used to dread to do has become something to look forward to. This is just one of those activities I wrote about in my activities post.
See it here.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
My issue with blaming these dogs is that they are known for being strong, devoted and loyal to their owners. The two main factors that affect a dog's behavior, --especially a pit bull-- is how they are raised and the environment they are raised in.
Pit Bulls originated from people who wanted an exceptional fighting dog in the 1800s to fight bulls in England. Since then, some will buy these dogs because they need a dog to be mean. A dog only shows its aggressive side when it's feeling threatened. These individuals specifically bring out the aggressiveness of the dog to get that reaction. Others will buy these dogs as puppies and dogs and use the weaker dogs as bait dogs and teach the stronger dogs to fight to the kill. Of course, they make money off the whole thing because there are people who love to watch this and pick a winner.
Yet, we have a group of dog owners out there who love the breed. They want a companion and family dog, and are responsible owners. They know that the American Pit Bull Terrier is an active breed so will take the time to make sure that their lifestyle is able to reflect those needs.
Still, these stories are heard about these breeds are few and far between. Instead, the media focuses on the horror stories because that is what sells papers. It's easier to dismiss this breed as evil and view the situation in black and white instead of attribute any of the faults to the people who have mishandled or abused them. Insurance companies may not provide homeowner's coverage and some cities have made this breed illegal.
One thing that will not change is that dogs have a strong ability to bond with humans. Dogs give unconditional love and enjoy the company of human beings. Pit Bulls are still part of this group. If a person has never had an experience with these dogs, one can't possibly know how they can be. As long as owners are being responsible and giving these dogs the love and care that they need, pit bulls should be treated as any other dog. They are not for everyone but every dog has its own unique qualities and pit bulls shouldn't be punished for the mistakes of irresponsible people.
Here are some links if you would like to learn more about this breed:
Bull Dog Breeds.com
The Dog Owner's Guide
Michael Vick Dogs
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks for stopping by.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Earlier this week, the former president and his wife adopted a dog called BB. They said that it's Barbara's nickname as well so that name should be popular. BB is a maltipoo(maltese/poodle). She is one of those oodle dogs I mentioned in an earlier post. Since I c ouldn't find any pictures of BB on the web, here is what a maltipoo looks like...
Also, George HW Bush is planning on jumping out of a plane on his 85th birthday. Good for him!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Well, I hope everyone has a great night and if you're from Illinois, don't forget to check our weather.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
How can you tell the difference from a reputable breeder and a non-reputable one? Reputable breeders will have a history of the dogs used to breed, will raise their dogs in a loving environment and will provide papers to be registered. Also, breeders are in it because they love the breed, many will take the breed back if there is any difficulty in the new house the puppy has gone to and some will even provide first shots.
A small amount of those who breed are breeding for pets. They may raise hybrids or other breeds for that purpose.
If someone is a backyard breeder, you will see it in how the dogs are being taken care of, and they are going to be more interested in the dollar signs instead of how their breed is being improved. Look to see what kind of environment the dogs are being raised in and pay special attention to their demeanors.
All dogs deserve to be in good homes. Just keep an eye out for the breeders who do so to exploit rather than enhance the breeds. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Here are some my favorite dog websites to visit:
- American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- Dog Fancy Website
- Dog Friendly
- Foster & Smith
- Pet Finder
- Pets Welcome
- Steve Dale
Please feel free to add in some of your favorite websites. Have a great day all!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Dog agility is a great activity for those of you who have a dog who is very energetic. What is it? In a nutshell, it's an obstacle course for dogs. It has items like tunnels for dogs to race through, they will weave through poles, jump up on a table. The best thing is that it makes them more obedient and is a great way to focus their energy. I had taken Cosmo, quite a few years ago. Cosmo was a Siberian Husky/German Shepherd mix. He was on the overweight side but the activity was great for him. He loved being around all the other dogs, and they made sure that he wasn't aggressive towards other animals. It's based on speed and precision. That season, we wound up in 9th out of 10th place but considering I slipped and fell down, that wasn't too bad. Also, for me it was more about having fun than being in first place. The memories I had of that were priceless.
If you have a dog, whose boundless energy drives you batty, you may want to give this activity a try. Here is a link to the official association:
US Dog Agility
Friday, April 17, 2009
National Geographic has a special weekly program documenting the life of the dogs and the staff who loves them. You can catch it on Fridays in the US at 10PM Eastern/9PM Central. If you would like to know more, please visit them at http://www.bestfriends.org/dogtown. Thanks and have a good night.
Have any of you had this problem? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts on handling this situation. Have a great Friday!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Our dog Cookie suffers from epilepsy. It is very rare in dogs and is more prevalent in certain breeds such as cocker spaniels. 80% of the cases the doctors do not know what causes it.
One day she was with my mom and she just froze. It was only about 30 seconds but then the next episode was for a couple of minutes.
When we took her to the doctor, we found out that she had a tendency to have petit mal seizures. I felt very fortunate that my dog did not have a severe diagnosis but we still have to follow a regimen to keep the episodes to a minimum.
Here are some tips if you ever see a dog having a seizure.
1. Stay calm and just pet the dog to help them deal with the moment.
2. After the incident happens, a dog may want to run around, or in Cookie's case, go out in the yard. This is the dogs process of coming out of the seizure.
3. It's good to write the amount of time the seizure goes on for and note an increase in the time or if it stays consistent.
Well, have a great night all. I'd love to hear from you.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
There's been some controversy about this from shelters and rescue leagues. I have had firsthand experience from both. Cookie was from a local pound in Chicago. She had been left on the street to fend for herself after giving birth to puppies. Gigi was found through a local rescue league and was originally to be used for breeding but was given up due to the fact the family couldn't afford to keep her. Both types of groups have the most generous, compassionate, and dedicated people committed to making animals have a better life. The benefits from this historic moment greatly outweigh the disadvantages.
One benefit is that allergy sufferers who love dogs may have another option in being able to have a dog. Labradoodles, PWDogs, Poodles, Coton de Tulears, Bichon Frises, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers and possibly a few others will fit the bill. Another is events in the news such as this one will increase the amounts of visits to shelters, rescue groups and breeders. Since it's spring, there will be more people willing to take the time to train a new dog.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Today I am going to tackle a subject that some may consider disgusting, but necessary. Yes, that's right--brushing a dog's teeth.
I always in the past, would laugh off brushing a dog's teeth, until I took Blackie, my dog from my college days to the vet. His teeth were so badly damaged from tooth decay, that he had to have at least three of them extracted. That act itself was incomprehensible to me. Worse yet, dogs are similar to humans and dental infections can adversely affect other parts of the body such as the heart or other vital organs.
Ever since then, I hit the toothbrush aisle in the local pet store and haven't looked back. They carry toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental sets, specially geared for pets. You should see the toothpastes. Petrodex makes a special beef toothpaste as well as a chicken flavored one. Just giving the dogs a taste is a great way to start.
Cookie is not fond of this, but she'll let me do it. She's been pretty good over the years and the results have been well worth it. She hasn't had one tooth extracted and we are entering our sixth year of owning her. Gigi, is new to this and is more laid-back about it. Since I've bought the type of toothbrush that has one big brush and a little brush on the other side, I find the smaller brush works better for Gigi since her mouth is pretty small.
If you're really on a mission to be tartar-free, a scraper works great, but the noise can tend to be stressful for the dog. The vet does offer teeth-cleaning as well but at about $300 USD, which includes putting your dog under anesthesia, it may be a little high for your wallet. I've done it a couple of times, and the end result is well worth it. The last time I had it done, the vet told me that she hadn't seen a dog with such great teeth for a dog Cookie's age.
My cat will not let me near her with a 10 foot pole so I'm lucky if I can put some toothpaste on her chin and have her clean herself. Cats are probably handled best by the veternarians.
Anyhow, if you've always been on the fence about this topic, and you can handle a few minutes of squeamishness, there is nothing better for improving your pet's quality of life and it's great for building up the bond you have with your dog.
Below you will find some more information on this topic:
Have a great day all!
Friday, April 10, 2009
The only way I could see how it affected Gigi at class was the fact that she was not staying when she should have been, but then again, training is something that has to be consistent with dogs. Keep this post in mind if you see your dog acting a little batty and if anyone has a story they'd like to share, please leave a comment. See ya on the weekend!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
There were some photographers generous enough to let me use these photos. Here are the links for a couple of them...
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Workouts with your dogs
1. Walking. Hands down, the easiest thing you can do.
2. Running. Dogs love it. Though it's hard on the knees, it's very effective.
3. Roller Skating. Although it's much riskier, if you are good on skates, it's really fun. It is best to do this in an area where there is little traffic or dogs. Padding is a good bet too.
4. Cycling. This is great for both of you. Ideally, you should use a special metal attachment on your bike so your dog stays close to you and won't go too far into the street.
5. Treadmill. Well, you have to take turns with this since only one person uses it. It's important to keep the dog's leash tight so it won't slip off while it's learning. This is a great option if you have a treadmill in the house.
6. Frisbee. Ideally, your dog has to be the type who loves to run and catch. Still it's worth giving it a shot.
7. Swimming. Again, it depends on the dog.
If anyone has any other ideas of what they do with their dogs to keep in shape, I'd love to hear it. Have a good night all.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
The picture I use for my heading was taken by a great photographer from Italy. If you would like to see the photo in its entirety please use this link...
Onto the subject at hand...
Yesterday, I was thinking about how all these new types of breeds of dogs are being created. Really, they are a mix of two breeds. So I went to dogbreedinfo.com and was amazed to see over 70 breeds for the poodle alone.
Looking through today's classified section I found the most popular ones to be:
- Bichon-poo, that's when you mix the Bichon Frise and Poodle breeds.
- Labradoodles which are a combination of Labrador Retrievers and Poodles(even President Obama was considering that one as a potential family member)
- Goldendoodles, a combination of the Golden Retriever and Poodle breed
- Maltepoo, a mix of Maltese and poodle
- Yorkiepoo, a Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle mix
I think one of the biggest draws to these dogs are the fact that when mixed with a poodle, most of them don't shed. Also, they usually are more friendly to allergy sufferers. Still, I think as adorable as they are, one should never go by looks alone. Part of me is thrilled that there is a growing market for these unique dogs. It's great that you can find many of these dogs in animal shelters and rescue leagues, but part of me is concerned that it may get out of control. I'd love to year your thoughts on this.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
We worked on having our dogs come to us and worked on walking with them. Gigi is finally learning the basics. Anyhow, I have more training to do but it will be good for her and I can also work at home with Cookie too.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I found this video of a dog bowling the other day and found it really hilarious. I hope you enjoy it.
Also, thanks to Pietro, who let me use his photo of Cape Miseno for my header. Have a great day!