Pet Articles

Dog Games to Play

The best way to bond with your canine is to play dog games. Playing dog games is not only fun for your dogs, but also fun for you. Some of these games may be hard to play if your dog or puppy is not fully trained.

Treat Finder: A fun and tasty game for your dog to play is treat finder. All you have to do is to keep your dog closed in another room for a couple of minutes. While they wait, hide as many treats as you want in both easy and hard places. Make sure all the treats are in their reach. Some good places to hide the dog treats are under a chair, in between a couch cushion, or even under a light, moveable object on the floor. This game is not only fun for your dog, but it also helps teach them basic skills. They will learn how to use their basic instincts of hunting out food and working for a reward.

Hide and Seek: If your dog knows how, have them sit and wait in a different room. If they are not good at waiting, just have another person hold them until you are ready. As they wait, hide somewhere. Some good hiding places are behind a door, behind a couch, or underneath bed covers. When you are ready for your dog to find you, just call out their name. This is better than the treat finder game because when your dog finds you, they will most likely meet you with whimpers and licks of joy. The best time to play this game is in the dark because it makes it harder for your dog to find you.

These two games are great for training your dog. They also help you enjoy your dog and bond with them. Whenever your dog finds a treat or you, be sure to lavish them with praises.


How to Read Your Cat’s Face

Reading your cat’s face can be easy if you know what too look for. Cats are not a social species, so they do not have a need for cooperative signals. Cats have not developed a gesture or facial expression to greet you, like a wave or a tail wag. Your cat may be truly happy to see you, yet they maintain a relaxed and alert look.

The eyes, ears, mouth, and whiskers all work together in combination to give clues. You must know what each one does and how it relates to their mood.

Your cat’s eyes reveal his mood. When completely relaxed, the eyes shut and the cat shows no sign of fright. When your cat is frightened or curious, adrenalin is released causing your cat’s pupils to dilate. When your cat is unsure of how he feels, the pupils look restricted, and this could lead the cat into any direction concerning his mood.

The ears of your cat will usually give you the most accurate clue to her mood. There are over 20 muscles in your cat’s ears to control position. If the ears are held forward, your cat is relaxed, she also may hold her ears forward when greeting you or exploring her world. Ears down indicate aggression while ears that are pinned back mean fear and aggression at the same time. Twitching ears are a sign of an uncertain mood and it may develop into something more or resolve itself as their fears are identified.

The mouth and whiskers also are a good indicator of how your cat feels. When their whiskers are slightly forward they are likely to have a bad temper. If your cat has her mouth wide opened and is either hissing or baring her teeth she is guaranteed to be aggressive or scared or both.

Cats have a scent receptor above the roof of their mouth causing them to walk around with their mouth slightly opened. It would appear that they are trying to say ìOî. This is most commonly found when a tomcat smells the urine of a female cat who is in heat.

Learning to recognize the expressions on your cat’s face will help you identify with how they feel. Cat owners tend to be good observers but it will take time to learn all of the moods your cat expresses. Spending this time observing your cat’s face will be beneficial for both you and your cat.


Rescued Dogs & Cats Can Hit the Street in Style – and Give Back

Big Paw Designs collars and collar embellishments will tickle your fancy and make your pet the “hippest dog” or “coolest cat” around.

Founded in 2002, Big Paw Designs was inspired by the all of the oversized paws at our house & a desire to provide unique, high-quality accessories for pets. Each of our pets had a paw into the designs. “People love to give back to their pets” says owner, Carol Perry, “and Big Paw Designs wants to create that special element suited for that special pet”. Big Paw Designs, an online store, provides unique, hand made pet accessories ideal for pampering your pet. Items are suited for that special gift for a fellow pet lover. We offer a variety of pet necklaces, collar charms, and pet lover gifts... items ideal for dogs & cats; small & large.

A new rescue line of products recently hit the streets. Products include: - “Rescued” Pewter Collar Charm - “Rescue Mom” Pewter Fridge Magnet - “Rescue Mom” euro Style Car Magnet Big Paw Designs works with pet charities to fundraise and produces an online newsletter with product updates, contests, special offers and pet tips.


a Shelter

Choosing a New Pet – What Are Your Options?

When you consider getting a pet, do you look first at the status your pet will bring to you, or do you look for a companion? Many people are guided by what they see in the movies. Dalmatians, Siamese, Siberian Huskies, Himalayans, Golden Retrievers, Russian Blues, Beagles, Persians, Chihuahuas and German Shepherds have all been "the pet to have" due to their appearance in popular screen films. So many of them were purchased as pets for the kids without any research at all, and have wound up in shelters or breed rescues, dumped there when they became too much trouble or grew too large.

What is it that makes a good choice of pet? You should consider the length of hair, how active they might be, their vocal tendencies, whether they have a homing instinct, if they shed a lot, if they have specific breed-related dietary or medical issues, and many other things. If you live in a hot climate, you shouldn't choose a thick coated animal. If you live where it stays cold, don't choose a pet with a short coat. Remember that your pet has to live where you live, and may not be suitable to the conditions of your home.

If status is a concern, there are breeders available across the nation to meet your needs. If a pureblood pet appeals to you, but papers are not important, you might try checking with your local animal shelters and breed rescues. An amazing number of pure breed dogs and cats wind up in shelters and rescues. Thousands of them are put down annually because they are not adopted.

If you are more interested in a companion animal, animal shelters are a smorgasbord of choices. Large or small, there are so many homeless pets waiting to be adopted. They come in a variety of colors and coat patterns, temperaments, ages, and sizes. A simple visit to your local shelter will often make up your mind for you.

Mixed breed pets tend to be heartier and healthier than many of the pure bred animals due to a lack of serious inbreeding. Shelter animals have been checked out by a vet, neutered/spayed, wormed, and have had a rabies shot before you can adopt them. This is a distinct advantage over home puppy offered “free to a good home”, but the vetting is up to you and your pocketbook.

Getting a puppy or kittens form a friend is often a good way to give a potential stray a good home. You will need to have the animal vetted, though. Be aware that your new friend might have been exposed to a wide variety of diseases and parasites, no matter how clean and well kept they have been. Have any new pet checked out to be safe, get their first round of shots, and make arrangement to have them fixed when they are old enough.

Whatever your choice, be sure that your pet is compatible with your lifestyle and home.


What to Look for When Selecting a Dog From a Shelter

You've made the big decision to get a dog. You have everything in order; you know the size dog you can handle given the size of your house/yard/apartment, you've purchased bowls for food and water, and, with true civil devotion, you've decided to get a shelter dog.

Now the real chore begins: how do you select a dog from the shelter? In some ways, your choices are going to be more limited; you won't be able to guarantee getting a particular breed, so you don't have to decide which breed is right for you. But at the same time, if you're choosing between all the dogs in the shelter, you could have quite a wide variety of options, indeed.

So how do you go about selecting the perfect pup for your needs? First of all, of course, what size are you looking for? If you live in an apartment, you won't be able to get a great dane sized dog. Know the size you're looking for, and narrow your choices accordingly.

Second, do you have any "special needs"? For example, do you have children, other pets, or other dogs that the new family member will have to get along with? Ask shelter workers which dogs will best suit the needs of the rest of your family; in most cases, they'll be able to tell you which dogs get along with other dogs, cats, small children, etc.

Third, don't be in a rush. Be willing to make more than one trip to the shelter, to spend time with the dogs there and to develop a bond with the one dog you think you can spend the next ten or fifteen years of your life with.

The first couple of trips, you may want to spend time with several dogs; shelter workers are usually glad to make it easy for you to spend time with dogs individually. On the third trip, you may narrow it down to one, perhaps two dogs that you want to get to know better. Don't take a dog home until you're certain it's the right one for you; all too often, pet owners make snap decisions because a dog is cute, and the dog ends up right back at the shelter in a matter of months or even weeks.

Finally, involve your kids, if you have them, in the selection process. Let them come with you and spend time with each dog, as well. Their word should never be final, but do listen to them and get input from them about which dog they think you should take home. After all; a new dog is a member of the whole family--not just a part of it.


Irish Cat and Dog Names

If you are in the market for a new pet this St. Patrick’s Day season, you might want to consider giving it an Irish name. You are likely to want to name your new pet by his physical characteristics or his physical traits. You want your new pet’s name to reflect who he is and what he means to you, and somehow Max or Lady doesn’t quite fit the description. Knowing a bit about what each names mean will help you to choose the perfect fit for your cat or dog.

If you need an Irish name or you have an Irish Setter, an Irish Wolfhound, or a Jack Russell Terrier you are looking to name, here are a some that are personal favorites.

Female Names What they mean Abigail Brings joy Adara From the ford at the oak tree Aghadreena From the field of the slow bushes Ahana From the little ford Aileen or any variance of Light Alma All good Augusteen Great Banba Mythical name Brenna Raven (dark) Cahira Warrior Caraid Friend Dana A dane Decla A St. name Dominica Also a St. name Duvessa Dark beauty Etney Fire Eily Light Flanna Red-haired Jana Gracious Keara or Kiara A St. name Meara Happy Nella or Nula White-shouldered Sosanna Lily Tara Means rocky hill

Male names What they mean Adare From the ford of the oak tree Aghy Friend of horses Alroy Red-haired Ambros Divine Aralt Leader Assan Waterfall Banan White Benen Kind Brady Spirited Brody From the muddy place Cadhla Handsome Caley Slender Carlin Little champion Conroy Wise and red Cormic Charioteer Damon Tame Dempsey Proud Darby free Ferry Manly Forba Owns the fields Gair Short, small one Honraoi Ruler of the home Kavan Handsome Keegan Fiery Nally Poor Oney Meaning unknown Parlan Legend name Quigley Has unruly hair Regan Little king Rory Red Scully Herald Sweeney Little hero Terrence Tender Tory From the knolls Trevor Prudent Whelan Joyful


Creating a Pet Friendly Garden

Gardens may be nice to look at but how safe are they for man’s best friends? There will be several things you will need to keep in mind when creating your pet friendly garden. Design is key, so while designing your garden, take into account your furry friends.

First thing is first and that is the plants. Research and find out if any of your plants or anything else you may have in your garden is poisonous to your pets. It is okay if you do have anything poisonous, you just need to take it a step further and build a fence around your garden.

Fences are valuable for several reasons. They keep animals from getting into your business, doing their business, and making a total mess out of your pretty little garden. Make sure your fence is tall enough to keep out your pet. If you have an athletic dog, make sure the fence is tall enough that your dog cannot jump over it. Another thing to double check is that any spaces in the fence will keep out cats and other small animals.

If you do not need or want a fence, consider some pet friendly paths. You surely do not want your pets to trample your precious plants. If you create passageways, it would be wise to invest in a stone or brick path rather than have your animals traipse dirt into your house.

Once you are finished planting new shrubbery you certainly do not want your pets to mess with it. Place chicken wire around the area temporarily to teach your pets that that area is off limits.

Bare earth is an open welcome mat for animals who like to dig. Place your plants close together so your pets do not have enough space to make a pigsty. Also, try to keep moist soil, since pets prefer dry loose soil to burrow in. You can also use straw or mulch to shield the ground from the little curmudgeons. If worse comes to worse, consider making your pet his or her very own digging pit in your yard.

Inorganic mulch is the best way to go when you have animals using your yard as their home; it will not harm your best friends of the outdoors. Sod will prove to produce a better result rather than seed when your pets are using the same lawn to do their business.

Gardening and owning pets are some of the many pleasures of having a yard. Homeowners certainly do not want to ruin either of them. This information will help in providing a safe and happy yard for plants, animals, and the family alike.


Tips for Choosing the Right Pet

Having a pet in the home can be a dream come true, but choosing the wrong pet can be a real nightmare. Those considering bringing a furry friend into their lives need to think carefully about what type of pet is best. A pet is a lifetime commitment, and it is important to choose wisely.

One of the most important factors would be pet owners should consider is the type of lifestyle they lead. Many of us lead very busy lives these days, and the need for daily walks and frequent bathroom breaks may make a dog an impractical pet in some situations. Those considering buying a puppy or adopting an older dog should be sure that they have enough time to devote to the new addition.

Those without the time to commit to a dog may want to instead consider a cat. Cats tend to be much more self sufficient than dogs, without the requirement of bathroom breaks and daily walks. Cats still love companionship, however, and it is important that any pet get plenty of mental stimulation. Pet owners who are frequently away from home for extended periods may want to adopt two cats so that they can keep each other company.

It is also important for would be pet parents to consider their living situation. Those homeowners with a large property, or at least a big fenced backyard, may want to think about a large breed or high energy dog, while those who live in smaller quarters may want to think twice. For those more cramped quarters, a smaller dog, an older and less active dog, a cat or even a pocket pet like a hamster may be the best choice. The key is to consider the needs of the pet itself before making this important decision.


How to Reduce Your Cat Allergies

Even though you’re allergic to cats, you still adore them. You love petting them, cuddling them and playing with them. In fact, you are a certifiable Cat Person ñ despite the fact that getting too close to most felines makes you miserable because of the allergies.

Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to reduce your reactions to most cats. You might still have a few reactions, but they won’t happen as often or be as severe.

These things are particularly important if you live with, or just spend lots of time around, cats. You and the kitties will be happier and healthier if you can do the following:

- Make sure that you’re really allergic to cats. This seems stupid; of course you’re allergic to cats! Even so, you should get an allergy test. You might actually be reacting to something else in the environment (dust or seasonal stuff in the air). You might also discover that something on the cat is triggering the allergies. More than a few people have had bad reactions to a cat’s flea collar, flea powder or other products.

- Obsessive vacuuming is a great place to begin. The less loose cat hair you have in the house, the less you’ll react. Don’t stop at cleaning up the carpet: be sure to use your vacuum cleaner’s hose attachment on your cat’s favorite furniture.

- Even though you’re vacuuming on a regular basis, you still need to wash any bedding, couch covers, etc. that your kitties call home. Buy a decorative drop cloth type cover for your couch so that you can strip it off and throw it into the washing machine once a week or so.

Tip: The best vacuum cleaner for this job is one with a HEPA filter. That way, you’ll actually trap and filter out the allergens instead of just stirring them up.

- Brushing the cats on a regular basis also helps. This is a great way to bond with your feline friends at the same time. You can have another family member do the brushing if this triggers your allergies. You can also wear a mask while you do the brushing.

- A good HEPA air filter is another great idea. A system that quietly filters allergy triggering particles out of your house’s air might cost you a big wad of cash, but your allergies will thank you for the investment by being quiet for a change. This will also help if you’re allergic to other things, like dust.

- A vet can help you find a cat friendly shampoo or rinse for the fur baby. Sometimes just rinsing off the cat about once a week can help too. This should help reduce the amount of dander that’s triggering your allergies. You’ll also have a less stinky cat.

- Create a cat free zone so that you have a safe place to retreat if your allergies become too severe. Your cat might not appreciate being banned from your bedroom, but your allergies won’t mind one bit.

- Many people with cat allergies are more allergic to some cats than they are to others. If you’re about to become a cat owner ñ i.e. you’re just researching at this point to see if you can even have a kitty in your home ñ be on the lookout for kitties who aren’t so rough on your allergies. Various breeds are more hypoallergenic than others, so talk to breeders and veterinarians about which cats might work best for you.

However: be aware that there is really no such thing as a one hundred percent, completely hypoallergenic cat. Some are more hypoallergenic than others, yes, but before you bring home a new cat of any breed you should spend some time with him or her. This will reassure you that this particular kitty isn’t going to trigger your allergies.

- You can also take allergy pills or shots to help subdue your reactions. Your doctor can help you find the right medicine to combat the symptoms.

Other people with cat allergies can be great sources of further information. Veterinarians and your allergist are also great people to ask for more tips. The important thing here is to keep trying: giving up your fur babies should be the last resort. Many cat lovers never have to seriously entertain the thought of life without a kitty because the steps that they take to reduce their allergic reactions work very well.

When you’ve done everything that you can to reduce your allergic reactions, you and your kitties will be much happier together. This isn’t to say that you’ll never break out, sneeze or otherwise react to your pals - but when you do, it won’t be nearly as bad.


Fifty Years of Presidential Pooches

Whether we love or hate the present White House resident, there's always a chance that he has an adorable dog. Here's a brief peek at some Presidential Pooches:

* Miss Beazley: One of President GW Bush's three pet dogs. Miss Beazley is a tiny black Scottish Terrier. Miss B was presented to the President and Mrs Bush on January 6th, 2005 by dog breeder Bill Berry.

* Barney: another little black Scottish terrier who was a gift from New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman to Laura Bush.

* Spot: Spot the English Springer Spaniel was a wonderful companion to President and Mrs Bush from the time before he took office until Spot passed away peacefully in 2006 a the ripe age of eleven. Spot was the pup of former First Lady Barbara Bush's famous dog, Millie.

* Buddy: Buddy was a chocolate Labrador Retriever that arrived in the White House in December 1997. He served out President Clinton's term and was, sadly, hit by a car and killed after leaving office.

* Millie: The first President Bush's pooch was the only First Pet to write a book. Millie had puppies while President George Bush was in office and one of her puppies, Spot, spent time in the White House with the second President Bush.

* Lucky and Rex: These two Spaniels lived in the White House with President Ronald Reagan from 1981 through 1989.

* Grits: Was given to President James Carter's daughter, Amy, by one of her school teachers and was eventually returned to the same. He just couldn't get along with First Cat Miss Malarky Yin-Yang.

* Liberty: Liberty was a wonderful Golden Retriever who lived in the White House with President Gerald R Ford and his family from 1974 through 1977.

* Checkers: Mentioned in a famous speech by then-Vice President Richard M Nixon, she lived in the White House during his presidency with three other dogs named Vicky, Pasha and King Timahoe.

* Him & Her: Pair of Beagles that lived in the White House with President Lyndon Baines Johnson along with two other pooches, Blanco and Yuki.

* Charlie: Welsh Terrier that lived in the White House with President John F Kennedy along with three other dogs, Butterfly, White Tips, Blackie and Streaker. All in all, the Kennedy time was some of the doggiest the White House has ever seen.

* Heidi: President Dwight Eisenhower's pet Weimaraner from 1953 to 1961.

It just goes to show that no matter how disparate their politics, Presidents and their families all seem to agree that having a dog around the house is a real good thing.


Providing Unconditional Love – Therapy Dogs

To an ailing child in a hospital bed, the elderly in a nursing home, someone in a domestic abuse shelter or a prisoner locked away from family, a visit from a therapy dog can be a much-needed dose of love. Everyone has a deep, inner need for love, and unconditional love is the best kind. Seeing someone’s eyes light up and a smile come to their face is priceless, especially someone who is ill or depressed. Therapy dogs provide unconditional love in abundance, freely.

A therapy dog is different from a service dog. Service dogs assist their disabled owners in ways such as guiding the blind or hearing impaired, helping with mobility, seizure alert dogs, or other needed services. Service dogs are permitted in public areas with their owners.

Therapy dogs, on the other hand, work by invitation to nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, shelters or other institutions to visit with the residents. A therapy dog is a member of a team along with their owner or handler; they work together to provide love and stimulation to ailing people. These dogs can actually provide therapy to people recovering from strokes - by providing stimulation, or to someone who is depressed by their situation. They can help with physical therapy when a patient is encouraged to throw them a ball or to offer them a treat. They can stimulate memory or help with focus for an Alzheimer patient. They can reduce stress and lower blood pressure in people. Therapy dogs are more than just a cute furry face; they actually help people.

Certification of a potential therapy dog is required before they can visit with patients or residents of a facility. There are national and international certifying agencies such as Therapy Dogs Incorporated, Delta Society Pet Partners and Therapy Dogs International. There may be local agencies as well. Each of these organizations usually screens potential therapy dogs and their owner-handlers.

The most important trait required in a therapy dog is their temperament. A dog must be friendly and like people in general. Therapy dogs need to be well behaved and obedient to their owner’s commands. A dog will need to be able to sit, lay down, stay, and heel on command.

A dog who can handle unexpected situations, such as a patient yelling or a child grabbing onto their fur is a good candidate. Before becoming a full-fledged therapy dog, the dog and their owner will most likely be observed on several visits of patients or residents. Often, The Canine Good Citizen Test from the American Kennel Society is used to screen therapy dogs and their owners. This program stresses good manners in dogs, at home and in the community. It also promotes responsible pet ownership.

Dogs at least one year old are better suited for becoming a therapy dog. They have most likely outgrown their rambunctious puppy stage and can be calm and obedient. It is not necessary to take obedience classes with your dog, but it could be useful. How the owner and dog work together is important, they are a team. If being evaluated for this volunteer work, the observer will likely note the behavior of the handler and dog, as well as how well they work as a team. Not only will the owner need to guide the dog while visiting, they will also need to interact with the patient or resident. The owner may develop a sense about how a patient feels about the visit. The owner, and likely the dog, will learn how to approach different people and different situations. Some patient’s may experience sadness, remembering a dog from their past, other’s may be afraid. The owner should think about different situations and ideas about how to deal with them. The certifying agency or other therapy dog owners can provide help with this.

It has been reported that sometimes it is the dog who alerts the owner to a situation. After many visits, the dog may sense something about the patient of which the owner is unaware. A stoke patient may be unable to speak or move, but the dog nuzzles up to their hand. The owner can gently take the patient’s hand and stroke the dog. There have been instances where a recovered patient has spoken of remembering the visiting therapy dog.

A visit from a therapy dog and their owner can be helpful to the families of patients as well. It can be a comforting break, and something positive to talk about, when the friendly dog and owner spend some time with them. A therapy dog’s visit may even affect the personnel of the institution. There is plenty of love to go around for everyone.

By joining one of the national or international therapy dog organizations, an owner can receive valuable training and get plenty of advice from other members. Several of these organizations also provide insurance that covers the patients or others visited. Some may even provide insurance that covers the owner and the therapy dog.

Nearly any breed of dog can be well suited as a therapy dog. Wolf hybrids are generally frowned upon, however. Some organizations allow other pets besides dogs, but that is a different situation and not covered here.

The handler is required to ensure the general health of the potential therapy dog. Along with state laws regarding shots, against rabies for instance, a general health exam from your veterinarian will likely be needed. Periodic exams for internal or external parasites may also be required, depending on your geographic location. Everyone wants assurance that the dog will not pose any health risks to patients, but also that the dog’s immunity will prevent him or her from contracting any zoonotic agents himself. A zoonotic agent is one that can be transmitted between an animal and a human, such as some bacterial infections. General good health lowers the risk of the therapy dog contracting anything from the patients.

If your dog is friendly, well behaved, and meets the health criteria, he or she is probably a good candidate for a therapy dog. If you have a heart for bringing love to people who need it, you and your dog may make a wonderful team. Love has a tendency to bring out the best in people, whether a patient, the family of a resident, or even the personnel of an institution. You will probably find that you get as much out of each visit as those you are visiting.


Fascinating Facts: The History of Dogs

There is evidence to show that domesticated dogs date back as far as the first known human beings, and they have continued to be true friends, companions, and they remain virtuous symbols of faithfulness and love. There are many fascinating facts about dogs that will probably surprise you, and these facts are proof that dogs are truly the best friends of men, women, and children all over the world, as they have been for thousands of years. Dogs have a rich history that is unlike the history of any other domesticated animal.

-Dogs are noted in the Holy Bible fourteen times.

-Ancient Greek literature says that when Odysseus returned home in disguise after a twenty-year absence, his faithful old dog Argos was the only family member who recognized him. Argos wagged his tail and dropped dead after the long wait for his master.

-The Greyhound was bred in ancient Egypt more than 5,000 years ago, and prior to the ninth century in England, those in the upper class bred Greyhounds for hunting small game.

-The German first bred Seeing Eye dogs after the First World War to help blind war veterans.

-The common phrase, “It’s raining cats and dogs”, was coined in seventeenth century England. When heavy rains caused extensive flooding, and water turned streets into rivers, dogs and cats were sometimes caught in the current. It looked as if it had literally rained cats and dogs.

-Contrary to popular belief, the phrase, “Dog days of summer”, has nothing to do with canines. Ancient Romans believed that Sirius the Dog Star was responsible for the sweltering heat from the beginning of July to mid August. The Romans called this time period “The days of the dog”.

-One of the oldest breeds of dog is the Dachshund. This beautiful breed dates all the way back to ancient Egypt, but the name is a combination of two German words. Dachs means badger, and the word hund translates to hound.

-Another one of the oldest dog breeds is the Pekingese. Chinese emperors considered these dogs sacred for approximately 2,000 years.

-Marie Antoinette owned a spaniel she affectionately named Thisbe.

-Dogs are commonly seen in monuments to women. When a dog is lying at the feet of a woman, it symbolizes affection and fidelity in the same manner that a lion placed near the feet of a man symbolizes magnanimity and outstanding courage.


More Fun Facts About Dogs

The ‘poodle haircut’ was meant to improve the Poodle’s swimming abilities as a retriever in the water. The ‘pompoms’ were left to keep the Poodle’s joints warm.

Dachshund dogs were bred to fight badgers in their dens.

Greyhound dogs can reach up to 45 miles per hour when running.

Dog’s eyes reflect the color green most often in the dark, but some breeds reflect orange or red.

Two of the survivors of the Titanic were dogs.

The oldest breed of dog that is native to North America is the Chihuahua, the oldest known breed in the world is the Saluki hunting dog.

The adage that one year for humans is seven years for dogs isn’t accurate. More accurately, at the age of one, a dog is the equivalent of 16 human years. At two-years-old, a dog is the equivalent of 24 human years, at three years of age, a dog is 30 human years old. For each year after the dog is three years old, add four human years.

Dogs take 10 to 30 breaths every minute.

Humans and dogs are the only mammals with prostates.

A dog has 42 teeth.

Dogs were one of the first animals domesticated by humans.

The Whippet breed of dog can reach a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour.

Dogs sweat through the pads of their feet.

The oldest dog lived to be 28-years-old.

A Great Dane can eat up to 8 and a half pounds of food a day.

All dogs are a direct descendant of the wolf.

A dog’s whiskers are known as vibrissae. They are ‘touch sensitive’ hairs that sense changes in airflow, even minute changes.

Dogs have been domesticated for approximately 10,000 years.

There are over 200 different breeds of dogs.

The Latin name for a dog is Canis Familiaris.

All dogs have pink tongues except for two—the Chow Chow and the Shar-pei both have black tongues.

Dalmatian puppies are not born with their spots—they are born pure white and the spots develop as they mature.


Crate Training Your Puppy: 15 Terrific Tips

Your new puppy will be arriving tomorrow. You’ve heard a lot about crate training, but aren’t quite sure how to go about it. Here are 15 tips to help you crate train your puppy successfully.

1. When you go to purchase a crate, make sure it will be big enough for your puppy to stand and turn around in when he is fully grown. There should also be lots of room for him to lie down and get comfortable when he is a grown dog.

2. Take a blanket with you when you go to pick up your puppy. Ask the breeder if he will rub it over the puppy’s mother. This will comfort your puppy when he’s introduced to his new crate. The blanket should remain in the crate at all times until your puppy has successfully adopted it as his den.

3. Place a few toys in the back of the crate for your puppy to play with, along with a couple of his favorite treats.

4. Place your puppy’s crate in a room where he will be part of the family. Crates should be placed away from traffic areas, but where your puppy can see the rest of his pack.

5. Leave the door of the crate open and let your puppy enter and exit at will. This will become his den and the place where he’ll go when he needs comfort, is tired or wants to be by himself.

6. Provide your puppy with a source of water if you leave him in the crate for extended periods of time.

7. Always remove your puppy’s collar before locking him in his crate.

8. Never punish your puppy by putting him in his crate. You want him to have a pleasant experience, not learn to fear it.

9. Teach your puppy to enter his crate on command. The command should be “in” or “crate.” Soon he will learn your body language and will automatically enter his crate when he knows you are preparing to leave.

10. Practice crate training with your puppy several times a day for the first few weeks. Leave the house for short periods of time, lengthening each time. Your puppy will soon learn that you always return. This will lessen separation anxiety.

11. Never leave toys or other objects in your puppy’s crate that can be shredded. A great toy for the crate is a Gong, which can be stuffed with peanut butter or milk bone. This will keep your puppy busy while you’re away. Another toy that is safe for the crate is a Nylabone.

12. When you arrive home, don’t go directly to the crate if your puppy barks, whines or cries. Wait until he calms down, release him, put him on his leash and take him to his elimination spot.

13. Don’t fuss over your puppy before you leave the house. Give the command for him to enter the crate, shut the door and leave. If you fuss, so will your puppy. This is not the time for long and emotional goodbyes.

14. Soon, your puppy will enter and exit the crate without fuss. When he does, say “good boy,” and give him a pat. That is all the praise he needs for encouragement.

15. Never yell, shout or put your puppy in his crate when you are annoyed or upset with him. This will only upset him and all crate training will regress back to the beginning and you will have to start again.

Follow the tips in this article for a positive and successful crate training experience for both you and your puppy. A happy puppy will grow into a well adjusted adult and a loving and faithful companion.


How To Teach Your Dog Tricks - Teach Your Dog To Sit And Shake

One of the most amusing and enjoyable things that one can do with their dogs is teach them tricks. Learning how to teach your dog tricks is more than just fun though, and helps the dog's obedience and understanding of the fact that you are the boss. While some tricks and commands are almost necessary, such as teaching the dog how to come, sit and stop, some others are just amusing. These include 'shake', lie down, fetch (anything), and beg. In this article we will go over how to teach your dog to sit and shake. The reason for choosing these two tricks is simple - sitting is natural to the dog, while shaking isn't. The two different principles of teaching a dog tricks that are applied here can then be used to train the dog to obey and perform just about any trick out there.

How To Teach Your Dog To Sit: This is one of the first tricks you should teach your dog, since this forms the base for many other tricks, and it also key to developing obedience in the dog right from the start. Teaching a dog how to sit is very easy if you exercise patience and use plenty of treats. The idea is to make the conditions such that the dog sits down itself, without you forcing it to. It is best to teach this to a puppy instead of a full grown dog. Place your hand on the back of the dog, and slightly weigh down. Make sure that you don't push the dog down, but place enough force that the dog will want to sit within a few seconds. Say "Sit" in a commanding tone, and repeat till the dog sits down due to the weight of your hand on it's back. As soon as it does, give it a treat and praise the dog. Now, repeat this exercise immediately. The dog will begin making a connection between it's sitting down, and getting a treat. Make sure that you don't criticize the dog when it doesn't sit, but only give it a treat when it does. Stop after doing this three times back to back. Repeat the process multiple times every day, and your dog should be able to sit on command within a couple of weeks if not much sooner. Once the dog start sitting on command, continue giving him treats every time the dog sits down. Once the dog has mastered sitting, go on to another trick that the dog gets treats for instead of just sitting. This is a good time to introduce another easy trick like 'Shake'.

How To Teach Your Dog To Shake:

Essentially, the same technique applies here, except that the dog won't naturally shake, so you have to make sure that the dog understands what 'Shake' means. Take the dog's left paw (or foreleg if it's a small puppy) in your hand. Hold it lightly, then shake it and say 'Shake'. Put the dog's paw back down. Life the paw again, and repeat the whole process. Don't give the dog a treat yet. You need to make sure that the dog understands and associates the word 'shake' with the act of lifting its paw for a shake. After repeating this several times, start using the treats. Say 'Shake' and lift the dog's paw, then repeat 'Shake', and as you give the dog a treat, start praising him. Make sure that you're still holding the dog's paw when you give him the treat, as this will ensure that the dog associates the treat with the raising of paw, and placing it in your hand. Now repeat the whole exercise several times a day with the treats, and the dog will start doing it on command in no time. Generally, a puppy that knows how to sit will pick up on how to shake even faster. As with sitting, continue giving the dog treats for a few more days, until the dog has mastered it. Most dogs will start enjoying the attention and will start shaking readily, even without a treat very quickly.

As long as you patiently continue praising the dog with every trick and keep repeating the tricks, just about every dog will learn to obey you. The sooner you start, the better. As long as a puppy is over 12 weeks old, you can start training. However, do make sure that you don't try to train a puppy how to sit-up (or beg) until it is about 8 months old.

The same principles as above apply to any other trick - plenty of treats, and repetition will help a dog master just about every trick. So go on ahead, and have some fun with your beloved pet now!


Agility and Flyball Training for Dogs

Two of the advanced obedience training sports are agility and flyball. These two sports have become extremely popular in the United States.

The agility competitions involve an obstacle course. The requirements for each activity are very strict. They must be followed exactly or the dog will lose points from his possible score.

The obstacle course involves a series of activities that are timed. The activities include a seesaw, a tunnel, several jumps, a stay on a table, and several obstacles that involve weaving in and out.

Again, the dogs must perform each event correctly in order to achieve the maximum number of points. If the dog fails to navigate each obstacle in the course properly, he will lose points.

Flyball competitions usually prove to be a bit more exciting for the dog, the owner, and the spectators. The flyball course includes a straight strip, short in length. At one end of the strip, a box that has a foot lever and a trap is located.

The flyball event involves several steps as indicated here:

- The dog is given a signal.

- The dog races to the box.

- The dog steps on the foot lever.

- A ball is released and flies up into the air.

- The dog leaps to catch the ball.

- The dog rushes back to his owner to give him the ball.

Flyball competitions are timed to the exact second. Typically, flyball competitions are run as a relay and involve four teams of dogs that include about six dogs each.

The fact that these particular dog sports are popular does not mean that they are easy. In fact, they require a great deal of consistent training. Therefore, the trainers and competitors for these sports must be dedicated.