Saturday, July 31, 2010

Why Do Dogs Have Cold, Wet Noses?

According to legend, God bestowed cold, wet noses on dogs for saving Noah's Ark from sinking. As the story goes, a dog was on patrol when he discovered water pouring through a hole in the hull. The quick-witted dog stuck his nose in the small hole to keep water from flooding in.

The second dog ran off to alert Noah, who quickly repaired the hole. The dogs saved the day. For their actions, God made a cold, wet nose the symbol of good health for a dog.

However, while this is often true, it is not the best barometer for health and should not be relied on. Although most people say a healthy nose should be "cold and wet," it is actually more appropriate to describe it as moist. A wet, runny nose is a sign of trouble and should be checked out by a veterinarian. By the way, a normal moist nose does not always mean a dog is healthy; if your dog has a moist nose but seems lethargic, or in discomfort or pain, consult your vet.

Conversely, a dry nose does not always signal illness. Dogs just waking from sleep often have a warm, relatively dry nose. And, some dogs, like bulldogs, just have dry noses that even chap and crack.

Despite what many people think, you cannot determine your dog's temperature by feeling his nose. A warm nose does not mean your dog has a fever. Only a properly used thermometer can tell you that. So remember, if your dog shows discomfort, lethargy or loss of appetite, you'll need to have your local vet examine him, regardless of the condition of his nose.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Best Cities for Dogs

The results of this survey were calculated from more than 2,000 readers voting on the Cesar Millan website.

The Results:

#1 San Diego

#2 Austin

#3 New York

#4 Vancouver

#5 Chicago

#6 Denver **

#7 Toronto

#8 Los Angeles

#9 Calgary

#10 Seattle

Top Ten Reasons why fans say these cities are the best:

• Lots of parks

• Pet-friendly restaurants

• Swimming areas (lakes/rivers/oceans) where dogs are allowed

• Training and Activities (Agility, Search and Rescue) for Dogs

• Great Weather

• Tons of resident pet lovers and pet owners

• Hiking and walking trails for dogs

• Lots of “green” areas and open spaces

• Quantity of off-leash dog parks

• Plenty of outdoor activities year-round

• Lots of nature

**Pit Bull ban in Denver

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Just when you think you have seen it all - something surprises you.

Seriously, you HAVE to see how these dogs are groomed.

This is unbelievable.

Poodles styling!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why Dogs Bury Treats

Does your dog often bury her bones, treats or even her toys in your backyard? Ever find a bone under the pillow on your bed or behind the sofa cushions?

Most behaviors dogs practice today are rooted in their ancient, developmental history. In the early days of canines, food was not always plentiful. After a successful hunt, a dog would bury whatever he did not consume to keep it from scavengers and even other members of her pack. When she became hungry again or prey was sparse, she would return to her “stash” to consume the leftovers.

Sometimes the problem was that the hunt was so successful there was too much food to be consumed at one meal. An ancestral urge led the dogs to bury their food for leaner times. The dirt also helped keep the food fresher by keeping it from direct sunlight.

You might wonder why your dog still practices this behavior when you deliver her kibble to her food bowl every day! Old habits die hard and even our domesticated canines still experience the natural instinct to hoard. In fact, many species in the animal kingdom regularly practice hoarding behaviors. Squirrels hide acorns, leopards hang their kill from trees for later consumption, and even humans stock their pantry with canned goods and non-perishables.

Your dog’s modified hoarding instinct is normal. But if her burying urge becomes obsessive, try to limit her toys and treats to one or two items. After all, she can only play with one toy and chew one bone at a time.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

More Summer Time Fun

What do city dogs do for fun in the summer time?

Here is a Lab amusing himself in the city.

Watch this video.

Hilarious, isn't it?

What if you dubbed out the laughter and added some music?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Kitesurfing Dog

It is a well known fact that dogs love to stick their heads in the wind out the car window.

Here is a dog that not only likes the wind in its face, but also the excitement of being on the water. This dog kitesurfs with its master!

Watch this incredible video.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Therapy Dog

I came across a book, Moments with Baxter by Melissa Joseph, which definitely pulls at your heart strings.

Baxter was a Therapy Dog at the San Diego Hospice and the Institute for Palliative Medicine. Baxter helped hundreds of patients ease out of their lives with dignity and peace.

Melissa rescued Baxter when he was two years old. Her rehabilitation technique was to take Baxter everywhere with her which eventually lead to joining her as a hospice volunteer.

Melissa and Baxter

The book is a collection of 36 touching, true stories between Baxter and the hospice patients and their families and friends to whom he brought comfort and love. According to Melissa, Baxter had a calmness and a resolve about him, and an intuitiveness that would take the most intensely negative situation and literally turn it into complete serenity.

Watch a video about this very special dog at nineteen still helping others.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Teach Your Dog to Sit Up or "Beg"

Teaching your dog a few simple tricks is fun and entertaining for both you and your pet.

It is best if your dog knows and reliably responds to the basic obedience commands before teaching him to perform tricks. Most tricks are built on basic obedience work and, in the process of being taught "the basics," your dog will have learned to pay attention to you during training sessions.

Successful training of your dog hinges on rewarding the desired behavioral response in a timely fashion. The most valued rewards differ from dog to dog: For some, food it is the most powerful reward, for others, praise or petting are what they crave.

Some dogs will do whatever their owners want them to just to have a little playtime. Find the reward that best motivates your dog to learn and stick with it. Work with your dog daily in 5 to 15 minute sessions. Keep training fun, and end sessions on a high note with reward for a job well done. If you feel yourself getting frustrated or tired, quit and try again later.

To teach your dog to beg, first put him in the sit position and have him remain there without moving for a few seconds. Take a food treat and hold it just above his nose so he must look up to see it. Tell your dog to "beg." If he jumps at it, return him to the sit position. Many dogs will naturally raise their front limbs and sit on their haunches when the food treat is placed slightly above their nose. You must not give the treat until your dog is balanced on his rear limbs. If your dog is wobbly, try standing behind him with your legs supporting his back. You can also gently raise and lift his front feet while giving the command. Help steady him until he finds his balance. Once he gets the idea, most dogs will sit up easily once they see you elevating the food treat. Do not reward for half-done tricks; only reward the behavior that you are seeking as a final result.

Continue to practice this trick over and over again. Always use a happy singsong voice and lots of positive reinforcement. Eventually, your dog will understand and will readily sit up and beg.

The keys to success in teaching your dog tricks are patience, practice, praise, and persistence. When training your dog, every step he takes in the right direction should be rewarded as though he had just won the lottery. Tricks are fun, and learning how to do them should be fun, too.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Diving Dogs

Summertime and swimming go hand in hand.

I recently viewed a video of a Lab diving in the deep end of a swimming pool for its toy. By the number of videos on youtube, there seem to be many Labs who love to not only swim in pools, but dive for toys.

My favorite video is this one. The music is fitting.

My Irish Setter would go underwater to retrieve rocks in the river. I thought this was odd. Then again, she would retrieve absolutely ANYTHING!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dog Canteen

What is your method of taking water for your dog when venturing into the great outdoors?

I usually carry a jug of water in the car or know where there is a body of acceptable drinking water for my dog. Ebony will not drink out of my hand or from a water bottle which makes it challenging at times.

Today I came across this dog canteen; Hydro-Go Pet Canteen. What a great idea! This product is very cleverly made and they took into account many human conveniences.

Check it out!

I might have to get one of these for our travels.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dog Best Friends

It is said that your dog is your best friend.

But, do dog's have best friends? How do you feel about this?

Ginger and Ebony

It is my belief that these two doggies are best friends.

Ginger is a three year old Golden Retriever who has grown up with Ebony, a Black Lab and Border Collie mix, her elder by four years. They are related in the fact that Ginger is my son's dog and Ebony is mine. For the past month, Ginger has lived with us while my son has been in South Africa following world cup soccer.

The two dogs have bonded and are best buddies.

On Friday, Ginger goes home.

"Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow" William Shakespeare

Monday, July 5, 2010

Dancing Dog

Have you had challenges teaching your dog to sit, heel, or stay?

I do not know how this man taught his dog to dance, but the dog really looks like she is enjoying dancing.

Watch this adorable Golden dance the Merengue.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Heat Stroke in Dogs


Are you aware of the symptoms of heat stroke in dogs?

Allowing a dog to remain in a car with closed windows on a hot summer day is probably the most common cause of heat stroke.

Heat stroke is a condition arising from extremely high body temperature (105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit), which leads to nervous system abnormalities that may include lethargy, weakness, collapse or coma. Abnormally high body temperature (also called hyperthermia) develops after increased muscular activity with impaired ability to give off heat due to high heat and humidity or respiratory obstruction.

Normal dogs dissipate heat from their skin. In addition, panting allows evaporation of water from the respiratory tract and is an effective method of heat dissipation. When these mechanisms are overwhelmed, hyperthermia and heat stroke usually develop. The elevation in body temperature stimulates the body to release substances that activate inflammation.

At temperatures greater than 109 Fahrenheit, failure of vital organs, and consequently death, can occur.

Heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps can occur after exposure to extremely high environmental temperatures. These illnesses occur in all mammals and can be prevented by taking proper precautions.

Animals at greatest risk for heat-related illness include:

Puppies up to 6 months of age
Overweight dogs
Dogs overexerted during exercise
Dogs that are ill or receiving certain medications
Brachycephalic breeds (dogs with short, wide heads like pugs, English bulldogs, Boston terriers)
Dogs with obstructive airway diseases
Dogs with pre-existing fever
Dogs that are dehydrated
Dogs with heart disease
Dogs with poor circulation due to cardiovascular or other underlying disease
Older pets (large breed dogs over 7 years of age, small breed dogs over 14 years of age)
Pets with a history of seizures

What to Watch For:

Noisy breathing that may indicate upper airway obstruction
Excessive panting
Bright red mucous membranes (gums, conjunctiva of the eyes)
Altered mentation
Petechiae (pinpoint hemorrhages on the gums and/or skin)

Keep your dog cool this summer.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Having a Summer Guest?

Visitors can create problems without realizing it. Even friends who are “dog people” can create problems. You will hear, “Oh, he is so cute, don’t worry we don’t mind him jumping up.” Yes, they may not mind now, but perhaps this is going to be a 50-pound plus dog in six months. So, you do not want him jumping up.

Or a guest will tell you, “It’s okay, we love dogs – he is only a puppy.” Then they proceed to get him overexcited and he dashes around the house; throw rugs fly everywhere and the heirloom vase rocks on its pedestal. In all too short a time your dog will be more than a puppy and your guests are teaching him that this dashing around your home is acceptable behavior. In such instances, what do you do? Most of us smile in annoyed embarrassment because we want to tell them not to do this ... but they are guests.

Do yourself and your pup a favor. Tell them – nicely – that you are working on his manners and obedience, and if they do not listen, put the pup in his crate or on a leash where he will not learn to be naughty.

Another scenario is the complete opposite. Your guests may not like dogs and could even be afraid of them. They prefer not to be greeted by your dog. By showing this nervousness they can create unwanted behaviors. The pup will recognize the body language and smell of those who are afraid and he may show fear, sometimes even giving a growl of uncertainty. Such behaviors can be made worse if we become annoyed with our guests, and frustrated with the pup. When this happens we are not in control either of the pup or ourselves, and that is when we make mistakes.

Even if we have a well-behaved pup and well-behaved guests we can create problems. When we have a nice pup and it has some cute behaviors, we try to demonstrate these to friends who come to visit. Naturally, we are proud of our new family member and want to show off a little. Socialization with new people is good for the puppy. However, once more there is a danger to keep in mind.

With friends present we want the pup to behave perfectly but the guests themselves are a big distraction. The pup may be overawed, nervous, excited, or cautious; in fact, he may not behave at all like you thought he would. In this situation, attempting to control him can create additional unwanted behaviors.

Play safe with your pup when guests come around. Maintain control and help him to learn patience and remain calm. A leash and a crate are great tools to use. Puppies need to understand that guests come to visit you and he is there to be greeted when he is invited. Train your guests to not make him the highlight as they arrive but basically to ignore him. No look, no touch, no talk when they first come into your home. Otherwise he will be rewarded for his excitement, jumping, and generally rude greetings.

If he is a dog that cannot help himself even if you put him on the leash, keep him in a crate when people come over, or better still, before they come, wait for him to calm down before allowing him out to socialize. When you do take him out, slip him on a leash and teach him to greet guests politely with a sit.

When he has learned the art of greeting guests, ensure these habits are maintained otherwise your dog may regress and once more learn he can disobey when guests are present. A dog that greets welcome guests nicely and is a delight around the home when guests are present is a dog you will be proud of and your guests will admire. Their smiles and appreciation are his reward and will help him become even better.