Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Most Popular Dog Breeds

2009 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.

1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd Dog
3. Yorkshire Terrier
4. Golden Retriever
5. Beagle
6. Boxer
7. Bulldog
8. Dachshund
9. Poodle
10. Shih Tzu

On Thursday, the American Kennel Club released its 10 most popular dog breeds of 2009. It's no surprise that the Labrador Retriever was the #1 dog breed. What surprised me more was the climb of the German Shepherd. Last year, it was at #3 but this year it climbed up to #2, overtaking the Yorkshire Terrier.

Although the Lab is the most popular dog, it's losing its popularity in some of the smaller towns of America. In cities like Detroit, Honolulu and Miami, the German Shepherd is the most popular breed. In Los Angeles, the Bulldog is the most popular.The dogs that have climbed the most in the last decade are the Bulldog which climbed from #21 to #7. (Last year it was #9). The Havanese soared from #92 to #32.There has also been a huge increase in working dogs. Belgian Malinois dogs are famous for being police dogs and went from #95 to #81. Bloodhounds climbed from #51 to #42. The popular Portuguese Water Dog has climbed from #80 to #60.

Dogs that fell in popularity included the Dalmation which fell from #40 to #75 and the Pekingese which slid from #27 to #55.

The popularity of a breed is a good indicator of how an owner's need for a certain breed changes over the years. It's a great way to learn about trends. One trend is that owners want more low-maintenance dogs.

You can see the full-list of registered breeds in America by visiting the AKC Website Statistics Page.

Let's Discuss!

What's your favorite dog breed? What do you look for in a dog?

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bissell MVP Pet Photo Contest

Beautiful Dog
Is your pet longing to be in the spotlight? Bissell is having a pet photo contest. The contest runs for three months. Right now, they are in week three.

Five lucky dogs will get their chance to have their picture on a Bissell box.

The Grand Prize Winner will receive:
  • Your pet's photo on a BISSELL box

  • $10,000 donation to the pet charity of your choice

  • BISSELL pet vacuum or deep cleaner

  • $500 "Perfect for you and your pet" shopping spree

The Second Place Winner will receive:
  • Your pet's photo on a BISSELL box

  • $5,000 donation to the pet charity of your choice

  • BISSELL pet vacuum or deep cleaner

  • $250 "Perfect for you and your pet" shopping spree

The rest of the top five will receive:
  • Your pet's photo on a BISSELL box

  • $1,000 donation to the pet charity of your choice

  • BISSELL pet vacuum or deep cleaner

  • $50 "Perfect for you and your pet" shopping spree

There are a few things you need to know.
  • You must register and get a Bissell account. It's free!

  • Only one dog can be used per photo.

  • Photo must be current.

  • Only one person from a family can submit a photo of their dog per week. If more than one photo of the same dog and same photo are submitted, it will split the votes.

If you would like to know more, you can find the answers at the Bissell website. Hope you all are having a great day. Thanks for stopping in.

Pet Photography

Monday, January 25, 2010

Opee the Motorcross Dog

Opee and Mike on a motorcycle* Photos from LA Times Blog and Associated Press

Sometimes, things happen with little explanation. This is the story of Opee, a dog from Perris, California who loves motocross and has racked up 10,000 hours to prove it.

In the beginning

In 2001, Mike Schelin picked up a puppy after his divorce. He picked up this little Australian Shephard called Opee. Bringing him along while he worked on his bike, Opee would sleep in his toolbag.

One day when Mike was riding his dirt bike, he noticed Opee running along the side of it. With the high energy level the Australian Shepherds have, this dog would not stop running until he stopped his bike. Feeling bad that his dog couldn't be with him, he picked up a four-wheeler for Opee to ride along. Opee did not like the dust in his eyes, so Mike picked up goggles for him. One day, Opee jumped up on the tank of his owner's motocross bike and hasn't looked back since. When the bike is parked, Opee takes a nap on the tank.

While there is a huge concern of this sport being dangerous, Mike has taken all precautions to make sure that his dog is kept safe. When he races, he does not aim to win the competition but does manage to finish every race. Opee is never attached to Mike or the bike so that if the bike does take a spill, he is not trapped. Mike has also taught him special commands to know when to prepare for a jump.

A Seasoned Veteran

Opee and Mike CloseupThese two have accomplished much since then. Being a full-fledged member of American Motorcycle Association, and has a SCORE International card. Mike did this so that he and Opee could race in Baja which is one of the biggest motocross events around. He also has his own custom gear like a helmet, inflatable vest, specially made neck brace, and several jerseys.

This twosome did race in Baja which is a 276 mile (444 km) race. They were on a five-member team and finished the race --with 10 minutes to spare-- in 17 hours and 49 minutes.

They have taken a spill here and there. Even the most skilled motocross racer has a plaster cast past and Opee is no exception. His worst crash came in the 2006 Baja 500. Once, they took a spill at 75 mph in the dirt and went into a 40-foot skid.

The dog skinned his nose and scraped his paw. Mike sliced his leg. Thankfully, the injuries weren't enough to put them out of the race.

Downtime Activities

When Opee isn't racing, he works as a search and rescue dog, an assistance dog for children with disabilities and is an ambassador with the fans of motocross. His owner is trying to get an agent for him but that hasn't materialized yet.

Most importantly, as a responsible dog owner, Mike knows that participating in this sport is Opee's choice. If he doesn't jump on the tank to ride, then he won't take him.

For more information about this dynamic duo check out:

Offroad Puppy
LA Times Blog

Let's Discuss!

What is the most unusual activity you've done with your dog? I would have to say mine is when I have taken Cookie and Gigi on their leashes rollerskating around the neighborhood. I will use my rollerblades and let them go. While this can be dangerous if not done properly, I take every precaution necessary to make sure there are no injuries. I don't do it often, but the dogs do seem to enjoy it when I do, especially Cookie.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Twitter's Newest Target Market

Doggy Tweet

Mattel is one of the newest companies joining the Twitter bandwagon by creating Puppy Tweets. This gadget is made so you can find out what your dog is doing on Twitter. The person opens a Twitter account for the name of their dog.

How Does It Work?

The Puppy Tweets toy comes with a plastic tag and a flash drive to be hooked up to your computer or smart phone. On this plastic tag, there is a microchip that contains pre-recorded tweets. The plastic tag measures the dogs movements and sounds. If your dog is taking a nap, the tweet will post this: "Somedays it feels like my paw is permanently on the snooze button!"

This product expects to launch in the fall. Although Mattel makes its products for kids, I think the sophistication is intended for adults. The toy will retail at $29.99 USD. It appeals to all the Twitter savvy dog owners out there.

Learn More

If you would like to learn more about this product you can read the article in full at

Let's Discuss

What are your thoughts on this? Is it a great invention or a cheesy fad? Would you buy something like this for your dog? Personally, I'm on the fence about this. I can see the fun of it but don't know if I would want to spend my time doing other things since I use Twitter quite a bit for myself.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ruff Riding Through The Economy

Recession Blues

Recession Blues

The website of the week is The other day, I learned about this website while I was on Twitter. It is a website that was created to help people deal with the effects of the recession through humor.

Be Prepared This website made me smile when I first saw it. The recession has been tough. It's been hard to find a good job. If you're not out looking for a job, then you may be working in a job where you've felt the aftereffects of being downsized.

These dogs have little witticisms that help you cope. All of these witticisms are illustrated by pets.

One of my favorites is "I'm in heavy need of inspiration"(pictured right). If you click on the website quote, it will have a section where you can see more photos. One that I loved was Recession got you boxed in? Another favorite is I'd really like someone to blame.

Lifes Joke

In addition to postcards, the website also sells calendars, prints, and a photo book. All the prices are very reasonable. There is also a page where you can download free wallpapers for your computer and iPhone. Still, this is a cool place to surf and click. The expressions of these dogs are just priceless and the shots tare very clever.

If you would like to learn more about this fascinating website, go to

Let's Discuss!

Even though our country is going through a tough time, we can't let things get us down. So, I was wondering, what are some of your favorite witticisms? What are ways you're coping with the current economy? What do you like to do to beat stress?

*Special Thanks to Micah Dougherty and for providing the photos.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A New Way To Make Teeth Sparkle

Dog Smiling *Photo from Morgue File

A New Discovery

There is a new product from Petrodex, the makers of dog teeth cleaning products. It is a gel that removes tartar and kills bacteria. It was invented by a pediatric dentist when he thought about the soldiers and how it would be hard to brush their teeth if there is no clean water nearby. Since this was created for pets, it eliminates the need for a toothbrush.

It's best to have your pet's teeth professionally cleaned first. Still, if you've been uncomfortable with picking up a brush, you may want to try this when it comes out in April.

Say Cheese!

Also, if your dog has a super smile, Petrodex will be having a photo contest where the winner gets a cameo in a national commercial. They will also be giving away teeth cleaning products as well. For more information, check out the Sentry Pet Care website.

For more information about this gel for pets visit this website.

Let's Discuss!

What do you think of this product? How do you keep your pet's teeth clean?
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Woof Hoofs Product Review

Woof Hoofs
Woof Hoofs are a unique dog boot. These boots were made for hiking as well as for snow. I had a very good experience with ordering these since the company representative was very helpful in helping me figure out what size to order for my dogs.

I bought size S for Cookie and size XS for Gigi (though it's hard to see them on her since I ordered black). When I received them, I liked that they came in a mesh bag which is good for storing them to dry.

What makes them different is the fact that they are made with neoprene, which is the same material you find in wet suits. The area of the boot under the paw had a reinforced area with little dots so the dogs wouldn't slip on the pavement.

At first glance, I noticed how they were constructed. They were sewn securely and had two strips of velcro to fasten the boot around the dog's leg. The material had enough stretch but not too much to become stretched out. Because it is on the stiff side, it helps to bend the material where the crease is so the boot will be more flexible with the dog's paw movements.

The best way to put them on was to slide them over the paw. With my dog's type of fur, the longer they go without haircuts, the bulkier the hair is around the legs. Still, since I measured the width of the paw pad and rounded up, the boots wound up fitting fine.

Out and About

Dogs in Woof HoofsTaking the dogs out in the snow, I realized how important it was to securely tighten the boots. While the dogs weren't thrilled with having the boots on because they weren't used to them, once I got them moving I noticed that Cookie was more confident in her stride. Instead of trotting, she was running full steam ahead. The boots stayed on pretty well in the snow. When they are walking in deeper snow, you have to watch to make sure they don't slip off. After walking through all of that snow, one of the boots did fall off.

By the fourth time, of taking the girls out, I had put the boots on tight enough so they wouldn't fall off. The most important thing was not to put them on too tight to cut the circulation off. It was nice to see that their feet didn't have little snowballs underneath after removing them once we were inside.

Summing It All Up

All in all, this is a well-made product that will stay on your dog's paws. You may need to keep an eye on the dogs to make sure the boots don't slip off in deeper snow but once you and the dogs get used to it, they work really well. They kept the snow off and kept their feet warm. At a price of $24.99 USD the quality of the boots are worth the price.

strong, durable, well-constructed, great customer service

Can slip off in deeper snow

Woof Hoofs Website
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Dog Treat Recall

Hi All!

Happy Friday to you guys! Today I am writing to inform you that in the news, the Makers of Merrick Dog Treats are recalling their Beef Filet Squares for dogs. In December, during routine testing they tested positive for salmonella. Upon further inspection, the cause is believed to have come from a packing deficiency.

If you purchased this product, check the date. Any package labeled with a package date of "Best By 111911" should be immediately discarded. These products are found at many pet stores nationwide as well as online. For more information, you can read the article in full at USA Today.

If any of you have run into a problem similar to this with your dogs, please drop a comment below. Well, I hope you all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bring Fetch To A Whole New Level

Dog Playing Fetch

Dogs Playing Fetch

Fetch has been around probably as long as dogs have been. Some dogs will fetch a ball, some will chase a frisbee, and others will run down a plush squeak toy. Then there are dogs who will look at something being thrown then look back at you and say "What do you want me to do with that?"

Still, the game of fetch is a great way to keep your dog in shape during the winter months and lots of fun outdoors. I've come across these gadgets made specificly for this purpose.

    Ways to Play!

    Chuck It
  • Chuck It Launchers

  • I first learned about these when I went to visit my brother in South Carolina a couple of years ago. He had bought one of these for his dog Cassie, a golden retriever. We all were at the local park and I was amazed how far the balls would go. John was really good with it. I wasn't nearly as good because I had never used it. However, after using it I did notice a difference in my tricep. So an unexpected bonus is that it will tone up your throwing arm. These launchers come in different sizes and start at $4 USD.
    Hyper-Dog Ball Launcher
  • Hyper-Dog 4 Ball Launcher

  • This works just like a slingshot. It can shoot tennis balls into the air as far as 220 feet. It also is made so that a person can pick the balls up without touching the ground. It also comes in a mini-launcher for smaller-sized pups. You can find it at Amazon or local pet stores. It costs around $25 USD.
    Double Whammy
  • Double Whammy
  • This toy works two ways. You can fling it as if you were playing in LaCrosse or swing it like a baseball bat. Even better is the fact that it has a built in retriever so you don't have to touch the tennis ball. You can find this in stores for $13 USD.
    Doggie Driver
  • Doggie Driver
  • Ideal for those who can't get enough of the greens this golf club will launch a ball as far as 300 feet. It is priced around $35 USD although you can find it for much less at places online.
    Tennis Dog
  • Tennis Dog
  • Made to work like a slingshot but resembles a tennis racket, this gadget will launch a ball up to 75 feet. It's a reasonable price at $10USD. A good place to find this at is

    Go Dog Go
  • GoDogGo!
  • For those of you who like to take it easy, this automatic ball machine may be exactly what you're looking for. It is very similar to those ball launchers you see on a tennis court, but made especially for dogs. It will launch tennis balls anywhere from 15 to 30 feet. It can run on electric or battery power. It even comes with a remote control. It will cost you quite a bit at $120 USD, but if you love to lounge, it's a small price to pay.

Let's Discuss

So what are some of your favorite ways to play fetch?

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Monday, January 11, 2010

When Dogs Become Too Popular


Lately, I've seen many stories in the paper about the overabundance of certain dog breeds like Chihuahuas, Dalmations and Pitbulls. Many times, these dogs have come into popularity because of a certain movie like Beverly Hills Chihuahua or 101 Dalmations. Other times, a high profile celebrity will bring attention to the breed. Worse yet, they'll become popular because of a heinous misdeed done to them such as, subjecting them to dog fighting. Also, if there is more demand for a certain brand of dog that's in the limelight, there will be a higher chance they will be bred by puppy mill owners.

This week, I heard about the fifteen chihuahuas being flown to the east coast from San Francisco. last year, there was a man who had over 150 chihuahuas living in Dearborn, Michigan, who had the dogs taken from his house. Granted, this was not a cut and dry situation, but the dogs suffered the most. The humane society was overwhelmed with finding homes for as many of these dogs as they could.

Probably one of the most notorious cases were the bunch of pit bulls from the Michael Vick dog fighting ring. While dogs like these were able to be saved, so many others wind up being euthanized or living their life in a shelter if they are lucky.

The Right Choice

It's so easy these days to watch a movie that has an incredible dog in it and want to adopt that breed. While it's great that a person is willing to help a dog find a home, if it's not the right dog for that person, the dog will wind up being discarded.

We all act on impulse. It gives us instant gratification and reminds us how important it is to live in the moment. It's great if you become inspired to bring a pet into your home, especially if you have been on the fence about it. Maybe watching that movie is all that you needed to jump over it.

The Right Dog

Just remember, it's as important to know what you are looking for in a dog and how well that type of dog will fit into your life style. If you are a couch potato, the last thing you want is a Border Collie. If you are an active person, then a Bichon Frise may not be the best choice for you. If you have recently added a new dog to your home and you're not too familiar with the breed, the best thing you can do is learn all you can by doing the necessary research. It will help you understand the dog better and make the transition easier.

There are some great applications out there to help a prospective dog owner to make the right choice for their lifestyle. If you are considering bringing a new family member into your house but are not sure which type of dog to get, you may find one of these website helpful:
Animal Planet
Breeder Retriever
Select Smart

Let's Discuss

Have any of you had difficulty in deciding which dog to choose? Have you known of a dog who was adopted because the person saw the breed in a movie? How did that work out?

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Dogged Pursuit: My Year of Competing Dusty, the World's Least Likely Agility Dog

Book Review

Just looking at the cover, I knew this smiling dog was something special. This book was an absolute joy for me. Having taken my dog Cosmo to agility class in the past, the author Robert Rodi, shows us what it's like to compete in agility. Dusty is one of those dogs who has a mind of his own. If you've ever owned the Sheltie breed, this book is a must.

What makes this book unique is not just the dog but the lessons you learn. Mr. Rodi tells us this story with wit and a touch of sarcasm but will make you laugh. If you are unfamiliar with agility, you will learn much about it reading the book. This book shows us how the human/dog bond strengthens, the benefits of training and the warm feeling of that being part of a community can bring.

This book has been out for a few months, so you can get it anywhere. One of my favorite places is Amazon.

Let's Discuss

Have any of you have read this book? Are any of you participants in dog agility?

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Vitamin E And Dogs

Dog Scratching
Itchy Dog

I've never been big on vitamins. Then one day, my doctor told me it might help relieve my skin's irritation. When Cookie was first diagnosed with Epilepsy, I was first panicked and then relieved to find out it wasn't severe. Luckily, the vet told us that since she had petite mal seizures, vitamin E would be all that she would need as a preventative. Her recommended dosage 200 was I.U.

The Case of the Itchy Dog

Vitamin EThen one day, Mom noticed Gigi was scratching more than she should be. I thought that it could be from dry skin. I suggested to my mom that we give Gigi vitamin E and see what happens. Usually, dogs hate any kind of pill and you have to find a creative way to give it to them. Cookie is this way but Not Gigi. She loved her vitamin and didn't mind them at all. For some strange reason, As it tur Ened out, it tended to decrease her itching a whole lot.

Vet Check

Wanting to be on the safe side, I checked with my vet. I found out that giving vitamin E is ok as long as I don't do it more than once a day. Some people use the capsule topically by breaking it open and applying directly on the affected area.

Other Uses for Vitamin E

  • Aging Animals

  • Dogs with Dermatitis

  • Dogs that have cataracts

  • Acanthosis Nigricans in Dachshunds (this is dark thick skin in the groin and armpits in this breed)

Let's Discuss

Do any of you use vitamin E? If so, for what purpose?

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Dogs In The News: An Angel Of A Dog

A Cold, Winter Day

It happened in a small town named Boston Bar, British Columbia which is located 200km (125 miles) northeast of Vancouver. Eleven-year-old Austin Forman was walking out to get firewood with his dog Angel. Across the yard was a cougar that was charging the young boy. Angel, his golden retriever noticed this and charged the cougar.

Austin ran inside to tell him mom what happened and he was talking so fast she needed him to repeat what he was saying. After talking to her father-in-law, she called 911. The police arrived in time to see Angel under the porch with the cougar's jaws wrapped around her head.

The officer fired two rounds into the cougar's rear end, but the cougar continued its attack. The officer closed in to within five feet and shot the cougar, killing it.
Even after it was killed, the cougar's jaws were still clenched on Angel's face, Forman said. Angel was silent for a few moments but then took in a big gasp of air and got up.

Angel the Golden Retriever

Forman said Angel was recovering Sunday with a local animal caregiver. She has numerous puncture wounds around her head and neck, as well as a swollen eye.

Both are very lucky to have survived. This valiant dog risked her life to save this boy. If you would like to read this news story in its entirety please visit the CTV website.

Let's Discuss

So, have you known anyone who have been in a similar situation. As a dog owner, the biggest predator, I've come into contact with is a skunk. Still, with living closer to a forest preserve, coyotes and foxes are something to be aware of, especially with smaller dogs.

Hope you all have a great week.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 Tournament of Roses Parade

Natural Balance Float
Photo credit: Cute Overload

TillmanThe Tournament of Roses Parade is one of those parades, that I really enjoy watching every year. It always amazes me how much creativity and beauty each of these floats have. I had read about Tillman the skateboarding dog appearing at this year's parade but I had no idea what would be in store.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Natural Balance FloatI was completely blown away by the Natural Balance float. The total length of the float was 114 feet (34.75 meters). That's approximately 1/6 of a football field. It had a huge bulldog at the front. Dick Van Patten, the founder of Natural Balance —He also starred in the TV show Eight is Enough — helmed the float.
Photo Credit: KABC 7 Los Angeles

Having the theme of a ski chalet, the design was brilliantly crafted. There were five bulldogs who were trained to snowboard down the hill. The four male dogs were Tillman, Tank, Niko and Lyle. There was one female pooch named Rose who rounded out the bunch.

As you can see from the videos below, The dogs went down the hill and then went back up the hill in little dog houses. Check them out below to see the rest...

Down she goes...

Down and up the go...

Although this was a spectacular float, it was not an award winner. There were some really outstanding floats out there. Which one was your favorite?

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