Some dog lovers are all about big dogs. Others prefer little dogs. Personally, I've always preferred medium to large dogs. I even used to think little dogs were yippy and fragile. However, once I got to know some small dogs, I realized that they can be wonderful. Many are braver and bolder than their large counterparts!
Small breed dogs are extremely popular for several reasons. They are portable, meaning they can fit in little carriers and go with you many places. In general, they require little space and some do well in cramped homes and apartments. However, many little dogs make up for their size with huge personalities. This often comes with a stubborn streak and plenty of independence, so training them takes a special approach. Here are some tips to help you get started on training your small dog.
Do you have a preference for dogs of a certain size? What about a favorite breed? Tell us about it.
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Chewing is one of the most natural canine behaviors, but sometimes it can get out of hand, leading to destructive chewing. In addition, dogs can develop other behavior problems if not given an outlet for chewing. Some dogs chew more than others. My current dog seems to need to chew almost constantly, but my previous dog was just an occasional chewer (fetching was her activity of choice). Learn your dog's individual chewing style and habits, then find the right chews for your dog. Fortunately, there are a ton of chews and toys on the market to fulfill most dogs' chewing needs.
Every dog deserves to have several toys available to play with and chew on. This list of dog toy styles can help you become familiar with the types of toys available. In general, it's usually a good idea to have a few different types of toys on hand for your dog to play with. If you have too many toys, try putting some away for a while and reintroducing them at a later time. Months later, your dog will think they are brand new!
It's a good idea to give your dog the occasional edible chew. How can you decide which chews to give your dog? This guide about dog chews will help get you started. I typically give my dog one or two chews a day, depending on the size. Remember that chews are treats, and treats should not make up more than about 10% of your dog's regular diet.
How big of a chewer is your dog? What does he or she like to chew on best?
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You love your dog, no matter how much he "acts out," right? But that doesn't mean it's easy to cope with issues like excessive barking, property destruction, or other common dog behavior problems. Over the years, various belongings of mine have suffered at the jaws of my dogs. Furniture, books, candles, shoes, clothes, and more has been destroyed. Eventually, I got wise and realized that part of the problem was me. Fortunately, I learned that many behavior problems can be curbed with training and exercise.
Sure, my current dog has the occasional urge to misbehave, but things are manageable. And the fact is, if my dog does something wrong, I can easily find out the reason for it (sometimes it's even my own fault). Ultimately, you have got to understand your dog's behavior problems in order to really begin solving them. I'm sure I am not the only one who has experienced behavior problems in a dog. Tell us about your dogs behaving badly and tell us how you worked to solve the problems. What has your dog done to really show off that naughty side?Photo © Debra Delgiudice
I'm always happy to see my pets, as I am sure you are. But, when I've been sick or just had a tough day, being around animals makes it all seem so much better. My critters are my natural stress relievers. Just the simple act of petting an animal can be as soothing as a bubble bath, and I'm guessing many of you feel the same. Experts say that animals can lower blood pressure and improve overall health. Animal assisted therapy is based on this premise, and it works! Therapy dogs are becoming an increasingly common sight in hospitals, nursing homes and similar facilities. They patiently sit with people as if they understand the good they are doing. Some therapy dogs are trained to listen to children read - and they genuinely seem to enjoy it.
Therapy dogs are part of a specially trained and tested human/dog therapy team. However, when "off duty," most therapy dogs are simply pets. No special breeding is required to be a therapy dog, just a great temperament and a love for children, adults and other animals. Could your dog be a future therapy dog? Think about how much your dog brightens your day, then consider how nice it would be to share that joy with others through animal assisted therapy. The power of animal assisted therapy never ceases to amaze me.
Have you got an uplifting dog story? Share your tales of canine inspiration! It can be about a therapy dog or anything else that you find touching.
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Today is World Spay Day, an annual campaign presented by The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International and partnered with the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. The goal of World Spay Day is a simple one: promote the spaying and neutering of pets in an effort to reduce animal overpopulation.
With hundreds of thousands of homeless pets in shelters, many of which are euthanized every day, there's no denying that pet overpopulation is a serious problem. My heart breaks for every shelter dog just waiting to be adopted. Like many animal lovers, I believe that the average household pet should spay or neutered.
I adore mystery mutts, but mixed breed dogs should NEVER be bred for any reason. The stray dog population is large enough to give anyone their pick of wonder-mutts. I also like many different purebred dogs, but I'd rather see breed enthusiasts getting their dogs from breed-specific rescue groups. However, I do support the right that dog owners have to make their own decisions about their dogs. I also appreciate all the responsible dog breeders out there doing it the right way. So, when it comes to spay/neuter time for puppies, I only ask that owners think about the pros and cons and make the best choice for everyone.
Should you spay or neuter your dog? Read the answer, then share your opinion with us.
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It was many, many years ago when I saw my first canine agility demonstration. I was floored. All I could think was "is this for real?" Knowing just a little bit about dogs at the time, I did realize they were intelligent and athletic, but I never imagined they could fly around the field like that. Since then, I have been hooked. I've always wanted to get my own dogs trained in agility, but for whatever reason it has not worked out yet. However, I still try to check out the events in my area, or at least catch them when they are on television. What a thrill!
Canine agility is a competitive dog sport that takes place within an obstacle course. Dogs are trained to make jumps, travel through tunnels, and navigate various walkways - all in a specific order. Each step of the way, the dogs are directed by their owners. Agility is an excellent form of exercise and mental stimulation, making it ideal for high energy dogs like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds. However, just about any dog can participate in agility. The intensity and difficulty of the course can be altered to accommodate dogs with health complications or special needs. Teamwork between dog and human is the cornerstone of this sport. Learn more about agility training and decide if it's a good activity for you and your dog.
Photo © Joe Camerino
February has a few pet-related themes, beginning with National Pet Dental Health Month. In addition, February is all about being a responsible pet owner. This month has been dubbed Responsible Pet Owners Month by several media outlets and pet product companies. This may stem from the fact that February includes World Spay Day on Tuesday, February 25, 2014. This month is also being called Spay and Neuter Month.
Spreading the word about responsible dog ownership should be important to us all year long. Responsible dog ownership is about making a commitment to take care of your dog the right way. This means providing all of his basic needs: health, exercise, training and more. It also means spaying or neutering dogs that are not ideal for breeding (by a responsible dog breeder). Responsible owners pick up after their dogs, prevent them from constantly barking and do not allow them to roam free. By acting as a responsible dog owner, you are respecting your dog as well as your community.
Do you have what it takes to be a responsible dog owner?
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The 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has just come to an exciting end. The champion of champions is - drumroll please - a Wire Fox Terrier named "Sky" (GCH Afterall Painting The Sky). The seven group champions competed tonight for the prestigious title of best in show. They were all beautiful champion dogs, so it was a tough competition. The dogs in the running tonight were as follows:
- Hound Group: GCH Flessner's International S'Cess, a Bloodhound
- Toy Group: GCH Marlex Classic Red Glare, a Miniature Pinscher
- Non-Sporting: GCH Brighton Lakeridge Encore, a Standard Poodle
- Herding Group: GCH Riverside Telltail Coco Posh, a Cardigan Welsh Corgi
- Sporting Group: GCH Whistlestop's Riley On Fire, an Irish Water Spaniel
- Working Group: GCH Claircreek Impression De Matisse, a Portuguese Water Dog
- Terrier Group: GCH Afterall Painting The Sky, a Wire Fox Terrier
For the full breed competition results and more information, visit the Westmister Kennel Club online.
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Every year, dog breed enthusiasts look forward to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, an event that is considered by many to be one of the world's most prestigious dog shows. When it comes to purebred dogs, the WKC dog show is for the best of the best. Entry into the show is limited to dogs that are registered by the American Kennel Club and have obtained AKC Championship. For two days every February, we get to see ideal representations of each dog breed. In some ways, it's a bit like the Miss America pageant for dogs.
The 2014 Westminster Dog Show is February 10th and 11th. Tomorrow and Tuesday, hundreds of beautiful purebred dogs and their handlers will compete for the top spot: Best in Show. If you would like to watch the show on television, tune into CNBC Monday night from 8pm-11pm and Tuesday night on USA Network from 8pm-11pm. If you can't wait to watch in the evenings, you can stream all breed judging live on westminsterkennelclub.org or via the official 2014 Westminster Show App. Enjoy the show!
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February is here, and that means it's National Pet Dental Health Month. It can be easy to overlook your dog's oral health on a day-to-day basis. This campaign is a great reminder to take care of your dog's teeth now and all year round.
Oral hygiene is an essential part of caring for your dog. Many people think "doggie breath" is inevitable. In reality, halitosis is a sign of an oral problem. Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to serious oral problems such as periodontal disease. Dental problems cause oral pain and can lead to infections and tooth loss. Dental disease can also cause loss of appetite, weight loss, and systemic diseases.
Prevention is the cornerstone of canine dental health. Many dogs will need a professional cleaning every year or two, but daily home care can allow for less frequent professional cleanings. February is as good a time as any to visit your vet for an oral exam and cleaning. Do it now, not just because it's National Pet Dental Health Month, but for the health of your dog.
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