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Archive for the ‘Dog Breeds’ Category

Australian Shepherds are very intelligent and very strong-willed dogs. My Aussie, Kaycee, likes to be the one to call the shots. She is very animated and, at times, argumentative! Since she was little she has never been very fond of the bathtub. So when she dropped her monkey into the bathtub, she became very anxious about how to get it out. I decided this was an opportunity to help her conquer her fear of the bathtub, and let her decide how to retrieve her toy with just a little encouragement and praise from me.

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by guest blogger Claire Stanton

Animals truly have so many fantastic qualities that humans actually strive to emulate. This may also be the reason why most super heroes try to be or demonstrate animalistic qualities which make them powerful, strong, and unique. Take for instance Batman. He’s a billionaire vigilante whose character is based on a bat. There’s also Spider-Man, and we all know that he got his super powers from a genetically modified spider. There’s Catwoman, Batgirl, Hawkman, and a host of other heroes and super villains which are either named after animals or have animal-like characteristics.

Angelic face of white dog

In reality, animals really are pretty fierce. There are beasts that can easily uproot trees, while some travel miles without food and water. Other creatures can last underwater for hours, and some carry their own arsenal of potent poisons that can kill a healthy, strapping person in just seconds or minutes. One animal, which also has lots of awesome qualities, is the dog. Yes, our cuddly, loyal companions actually possess many outstanding inherent qualities that benefit humankind in so many ways.

1. Able to Detect Cancer

In cancer, early prevention is vital as this gives a victim a better chance of surviving the disease. Dogs, with their heightened smelling abilities, can actually smell organic substances that are linked to certain types of cancer, like lung cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer. Some canines can also identify people who have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), as well as type 1 diabetes. This is only the tip of the iceberg. With more intensive research, who knows what other cells or diseases dogs can smell and properly identify, right? Such characteristics greatly challenge the capability of supposedly high tech man-made gadgets.

2. Can Sense Epileptic Seizures

There are now so many dogs, regardless of breed or age, which are trained to sense human epileptic seizures. Such canines have the ability to sense oncoming epileptic seizures so that they will be able to warn their masters. By alerting their humans of impending seizures, people will be able to take safety precautions in order to reduce risks. These dogs are known as seizure alert dogs. There’s also a slightly different breed, which is the seizure response dog. Though this canine is not trained or capable of detecting a looming epileptic seizure, it can help its master during and after the epileptic episode.

3. Can Readily Identify Drugs and Bombs

Yes, dogs are valuable companions. But they are also awe-inspiring soldiers and law enforcement officers. Just ask anyone with a K-9, and he’ll tell you how police dogs work hard and how great they are at what they do; and they won’t even whine about their benefits or wages. Many dogs have been recognized and awarded because of their work in law enforcement. Dogs have been tasked to guard borders to help keep illegal drugs out of the country. In the modern-day battlefields, dogs are assigned to sniff for bombs in order to keep their human soldier companions safe.

4. Save Lives of Calamity Victims

Whatever the calamity, earthquakes, fires, floods, avalanche, or even bombings, dogs are there to “search and rescue” victims. Many dogs are faithful public servants that will go through dangerous underground mines, explore unstable crevices, get inside a fire-stricken structure, or sniff rubble to detect and help those who have been trapped. These creatures help human rescuers locate the lost and trapped. Such dogs have given thousands of people a second chance at life.

Citations:

  • Photo courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Claire Stanton writes about Oakwood veterinary service, dog breeds, and how-to articles regarding dog care. She is a freelance blogger who also contributes to wildlife and pet sites.

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by guest blogger Susan Wright

Big dog

All our dogs start out as adorable – and tiny – puppies, but knowing how big he will be as a fully-grown adult canine is important. His size will affect everything from the dog food bills to your dwelling. Let’s face it, some dogs are just too big for an apartment lifestyle.

Look to the Parents

The easiest way to estimate a puppy’s future adult size is to look at the parents. Regardless of whether you are adopting a purebred or mutt, the parents’ height and weight are very revealing about their puppies’ future stature. The sex of the dog plays a factor, too. Male puppies will likely be larger and take after their daddy in size, and the females will take after their mommy.

Paw Prints

If you are eyeing an entire litter and trying to pick out future weight and height, take the paw and head size into consideration. Those puppies in the litter with the larger paws and head size will be on the higher end of the size range for the breed.

Determining the adult size of mixed breeds can be difficult. In addition, the more complex the mix, or an absence of parents can make the estimate that much harder, but asking Fido for a quick paw shake can be very telling. One day Fido will grow into those oversized, clumsy, cute puppy paws, and it will make for a big dog!

Loose Skin

Just like a puppy will grow into his paws, he will also grow into his skin. The more loose skin that you see on a dog, the greater room he has to grow into that skin, and the larger he is likely to become as an adult.

Calculating the Growth

Puppies are usually not ready to leave their mother until they are eight to 10 weeks old. At two and a half months old (10 weeks), a puppy is roughly 25 percent of his fully-grown adult weight. At four months old he is roughly 50 percent of his adult weight, and at six months old he is roughly 75 percent of his adult weight.

A dog’s height is measured from the floor to the top of his shoulder. When your puppy turns six months old, he will be approximately 75 percent of his adult height. While these weight and height calculations are only estimates, you may be able to see if you are in the ballpark of choosing a puppy that will grow into the dog of your dreams.

Rather than depending on any one category above, try taking all of the factors into consideration. If you still feel extremely unsure about your puppy’s adult size, ask an expert. Veterinarians see tons of puppies each year and they can give you a better indication of how big a dog will grow. They may even be able to offer some insight into the dog breed. Moreover, a vet is an excellent source for your numerous questions as a new puppy owner.

Susan Wright provides care for family pets as a veterinarian, is a writer and dog owner that prefers to keep her dogs safe with wireless dog fences.

Photo courtesy: http://www.sunnydayphotos.com

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by guest blogger Susan Wright

Dog barking through fence

How many times have you encountered a dog owner, explaining away their dog’s aggressive nature, by blaming it on the breed? The fact is, the owner is wrong; aggression is a learned behavior, not one that any breed is genetically predisposed to exhibit. There are some breeds that seem to appear in the news more often than others for attacking people. Most often, their aggressive attitude is due to the way they have been trained and punished by their owners.

The Advantage of Proper Training

When given the appropriate training and home atmosphere, even dogs known best for their aggressive personalities’ are teachable and can become people friendly and highly affectionate.

It is better a dog bark a warning for someone to keep away, than to have one that will bite first. Some of the warnings a dog might show, which tells you to stay clear of them are, growling, snarling, snapping and trying to attack while on a leash. There are precautions to take for your dog’s safety as well as for people while out for daily exercise. Typically, a muzzle or head harness assures the safety of everyone you may encounter.

Deliberate Aggression

There are owners that deliberately train their dogs to be aggressive. For some reason, it makes the owner feel strong and protected. All dogs will show aggression at some point, especially when they are startled, by something or someone coming at them out of nowhere.

Dogs will show aggression when they are taking a stand marking their territory, feeling vulnerable to attack by humans or other dogs, sick, guarding their toys or food, responding to discipline or while breeding.

Cause of Aggression

If you know what is causing your dog to be aggressive, you can then teach them how to respond in a gentler way, when the situation arises in the future. Punishment will only cause more aggression, use a gentle but firm and consistent training method to teach your dog how to become a more gentle and loving companion.

All breeds need to be taught, humans are the leaders of the pack. If there are children in the home, they need to be taught to handle their dog gently when playing with them. Children should also be taught to, teach the pet who the pack leader is. Some breeds are not recommended for the elderly or families with small children. Dog seekers should research breeds before bringing a new dog into their home.

Susan Wright provides care for family pets as a veterinarian, is a writer and dog owner that prefers to keep her dogs safe with wireless dog fences.

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by guest author Claire Waltham

Home security is vital, especially today when robberies and home invasions are still on the rise despite police efforts. People employ

German Shepherd guard dog

several means to beef up their security. They install surveillance cameras, door and window alarms, heat sensors, and other gadgets that can improve their safety. Many also opt to use guard dogs. Some of these animals are trained by professionals. Still, the average dog can help in protecting a home as it is innate in canines to be protective of their space.

One concern of many dog owners is regarding dog biting accidents. Many take precautions, which often include dog training and socialization. They expose their animals to all sorts of circumstances so that their canines will get used to people and especially children. When animals are well-trained and balanced, biting incidents are greatly reduced. But what should a dog owner do if his pet bites an intruder? Can the intruder sue him? Is the injury the dog’s or the homeowner’s fault? When a guard dog or a pet bites a person who trespassed on a property, there are certain elements that must be established first. It is better for a property owner to call an injury attorney who can help him make sense of the situation. But generally, a dog owner can avoid legal responsibility based on the following elements:

  • The dog was provoked.

When a dog senses an intruder, its first reaction is to growl or bark. This alerts the homeowners of the situation. But a burglar or prowler may react differently. Instead of running away from an already tense dog, he could provoke the animal by trying to beat or frighten it so that it will shut up. People should remember that dogs are loyal animals, and they tend to listen only to their masters. An intruder who tries to silence a dog by force can find himself in a dangerous situation. Instead of silencing the dog, he could get bitten or get mauled.

A dog owner can avoid liability if he is able to prove that his animal was provoked. Provocation includes teasing, hitting, slapping, attacking, or throwing things at a dog. Nevertheless, each dog bite incident is different. In some cases, dog owners must also prove that their dogs are not abused. They are also required to state whether or not their animals have been involved in previous biting incidents.

  • The intruder was aware of the dangers of injury from the dog.

A trespasser who forcibly enters a property which is known to be guarded by canines will most likely get bitten. When a biting accident happens, the homeowner will most likely avoid accountability if he is able to prove that the intruder was well aware that there were dogs in the area. Therefore, it is important for people with guard dogs to post warning signs, like “Beware of Dog” or “Warning: Guard Dogs.” People who ignore such signs will have a weaker case if they decide to sue animal owners.

  • The person was breaking the law or trespassing.

Generally, when trespassers get bitten by guard dogs, the animals’ owners are not liable. However, situations vary, and each state has their own regulations about this. Dog owners can protect themselves from liability if they post visible warning signs. If a person expects visitors in his property, it is also important o contain or restrain a dog to prevent accidents.

Citations:

  • Photo courtesy of Maggie Smith at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Claire Waltham is a freelance writer who specializes in personal injury issues. She regularly blogs for several known and successful lawyers, such as Bob Cohen’s attorneys.

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by guest blogger Stuart Green

Many people see dog breeding as a lucrative opportunity, but is it a sound business idea?

Loving Your Work
cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by daveynin

Dog grooming

The most important aspect of dog breeding is unquestionably having a love for the animal, and being committed to delivering exemplary levels of dog care at all times. If you are in it for a quick buck and purely to make money, then dog breeding will not be for you. As you join up to kennel clubs and become known as a dog breeder, it will quickly shine through whether or not you have a true passion for the breed. A negative reputation will be hard to shake off and no-one will do business with you, so ensure that passion for the breed is the first thing in your head, way before any thoughts of turning a profit.

If It Is For You

If you are a passionate and dedicated dog lover, then breeding can absolutely be a successful business idea for you to explore. Like with most things in life, you will get out what you put in, so the best returns will be seen by those who dedicate a lot of time and effort to top quality levels of dog care on all levels.

There are many people in the world who view dog breeding as unethical, and if you are doing it for a business then you are certainly likely to encounter such views. Ensuring that you can display high quality levels of dog care, knowing your stuff with regards to your breed, and being recommended as a breeder by kennel clubs and other institutions will be vital to your cause.

Dog Breeding As An Art

It is not as simple as it sounds unfortunately; you cannot just put two dogs together, produce the offspring, and off you go. You will need to be extremely patient in terms of matching up dogs, and be able to recognise if the animals are not compatible. Ensuring that your dog is healthy, especially when pregnant, will put a strain on your finances and you should ensure that you are able to fully meet your responsibilities and obligations in terms of dog care.

The key message throughout dog breeding is that if you are motivated by money, it will not work. If you are, on the other hand, passionate about dog breeding and see making money because of that, then you are likely to be a very successful dog breeder. If dogs are a hobby and passion of yours then I would highly recommend it. Hard-nosed businessmen would be better looking for other ventures.

Videojug offer many video tutorials about how to find good dog care.

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by guest blogger Jessica Brown

Dog breeders are well aware of the problems associated with inbreeding dogs, some breeders continue to use closely related dogs to

Border Collie and Corgi blend

preserve and improve their breed. Most breeders have found that using unrelated breeds or outcrossing to another breed when permissible can insure vigor in their blood line. When using this technique breeder’s stand the risk of importing some undesirable traits, these traits can be bred out in time.

Breeders have found a certain amount of inbreeding may improve their breed; there is a chance that constantly inbreeding may limit the gene pool so that their breed loses vigor. Most reputable breeders know when to balance inbreeding against cross breeding, with unrelated lines in order for their breed to have overall good health.

Problems Caused by Inbreeding:

  1. Inbreeding may cause problems in all breeds, for example the Pug, breeders attempts to shape a flatter face and rounder head has resulted, in females requiring C-sections as well as other congenital problems.
  2. Fifteen percent of all dogs will suffer from skin disorders such as allergies, atopic dermatitis and inflicts itch. Some breeds which are prone to the skin problems are terrier breeds such as Boston and Bull Terriers.
  3. Dogs such as Basset Hounds, Cardigan Welsh Corgis and Dachshund have inherited diseases which compromise their immune system. These diseases include primary severe combined immunodeficiency disorder.
  4. An inherited abnormality that affects the platelets in the blood causing it not clot after the dog has been injured, is found in the Basset Hounds, this condition may lead to hemorrhaging.
  5. Neurological problems often affect purebreds; Pugs are prone to encephalitis, which is a fatal brain disease. German Shepherds inherit degenerative myelopathy, which is a crippling spinal cord disease eventually causing paralysis.
  6. Australian Cattle Dogs, English Setters, Dalmatians, as well as several other breeds suffer from hearing loss due to inbreeding. More than sixty purebred breeds will suffer from inherited eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy a common cause of blindness and cataracts.
  7. Inherited cardiac disease due to inbreeding effects several breeds including German Shepherds, Irish Wolfhounds and Doberman Pinschers. The Boxer is genetically predisposed to irregular heartbeats. Small breeds including Staffordshire Terriers, Cocker Spaniels and Poodles are prone to high blood pressure.
  8. Genetics is a noticeable influence on different types of cancers found in dogs, which have been inbred; this is more frequent in the larger breeds such as Great Danes, Rottweiler, Labrador and St. Bernard’s. These breeds are so heavy that their weight causes stress on their bones therefore causing bone cancer or osteosarcoma. Golden Retrievers are prone to malignant blood vessel tumors, leukemia and brain tumors. German Shepherds and Chows are prone to gastric cancer and Scottish Terriers develop bladder cancers eighteen times more often than other breeds.

Jessica Brown is the assistant to veterinarian and wireless dog fence expert, Susan Wright, DMV. Jessica writes articles to educate dog owners on dog dangers in and around the home.

Photo courtesy: http://www.sunnydayphotos.com

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