2007/09/28

Basset Hound

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General Appearance


The Basset Hound possesses in marked degree those characteristics which equip it admirably to follow a trail over and through difficult terrain. It is a short-legged dog, heavier in bone, size considered, than any other breed of dog, and while its movement is deliberate, it is in no sense clumsy. In temperament it is mild, never sharp or timid. It is capable of great endurance in the field and is extreme in its devotion.




Head
The head is large and well proportioned. Its length from occiput to muzzle is greater than the width at the brow. In overall appearance the head is of medium width. The skull is well domed, showing a pronounced occipital protuberance. A broad flat skull is a fault. The length from nose to stop is approximately the length from stop to occiput. The sides are flat and free from cheek bumps. Viewed in profile the top lines of the muzzle and skull are straight and lie in parallel planes, with a moderately defined stop. The skin over the whole of the head is loose, falling in distinct wrinkles over the brow when the head is lowered. A dry head and tight skin are faults. The muzzle is deep, heavy, and free from snipiness. The nose is darkly pigmented, preferably black, with large wide-open nostrils. A deep liver-colored nose conforming to the coloring of the head is permissible but not desirable. The teeth are large, sound, and regular, meeting in either a scissors or an even bite. A bite either overshot or undershot is a serious fault. The lips are darkly pigmented and are pendulous, falling squarely in front and, toward the back, in loose hanging flews. The dewlap is very pronounced. The neck is powerful, of good length, and well arched. The eyes are soft, sad, and slightly sunken, showing a prominent haw, and in color are brown, dark brown preferred. A somewhat lighter-colored eye conforming to the general coloring of the dog is acceptable but not desirable. Very light or protruding eyes are faults. The ears are extremely long, low set, and when drawn forward, fold well over the end of the nose. They are velvety in texture, hanging in loose folds with the ends curling slightly inward. They are set far back on the head at the base of the skull and, in repose, appear to be set on the neck. A high set or flat ear is a serious fault.


Forequarters


The chest is deep and full with prominent sternum showing clearly in front of the legs. The shoulders and elbows are set close against the sides of the chest. The distance from the deepest point of the chest to the ground, while it must be adequate to allow free movement when working in the field, is not to be more than one-third the total height at the withers of an adult Basset. The shoulders are well laid back and powerful. Steepness in shoulder, fiddle fronts, and elbows that are out, are serious faults. The forelegs are short, powerful, heavy in bone, with wrinkled skin. Knuckling over of the front legs is a disqualification. The paw is massive, very heavy with tough heavy pads, well rounded and with both feet inclined equally a trifle outward, balancing the width of the shoulders. Feet down at the pastern are a serious fault. The toes are neither pinched together nor splayed, with the weight of the forepart of the body borne evenly on each. The dewclaws may be removed.




Body


The rib structure is long, smooth, and extends well back. The ribs are well sprung, allowing adequate room for heart and lungs. Flatsidedness and flanged ribs are faults. The topline is straight, level, and free from any tendency to sag or roach, which are faults.




Hindquarters


The hindquarters are very full and well rounded, and are approximately equal to the shoulders in width. They must not appear slack or light in relation to the over-all depth of the body. The dog stands firmly on its hind legs showing a well-let-down stifle with no tendency toward a crouching stance. Viewed from behind, the hind legs are parallel, with the hocks turning neither in nor out. Cowhocks or bowed legs are serious faults. The hind feet point straight ahead. Steep, poorly angulated hindquarters are a serious fault. The dewclaws, if any, may be removed.




Tail


The tail is not to be docked, and is set in continuation of the spine with but slight curvature, and carried gaily in hound fashion. The hair on the underside of the tail is coarse.




Size


The height should not exceed 14 inches. Height over 15 inches at the highest point of the shoulder blade is a disqualification.




Gait


The Basset Hound moves in a smooth, powerful, and effortless manner. Being a scenting dog with short legs, it holds its nose low to the ground. Its gait is absolutely true with perfect coordination between the front and hind legs, and it moves in a straight line with hind feet following in line with the front feet, the hocks well bent with no stiffness of action. The front legs do not paddle, weave, or overlap, and the elbows must lie close to the body. Going away, the hind legs are parallel.




Coat


The coat is hard, smooth, and short, with sufficient density to be of use in all weather. The skin is loose and elastic. A distinctly long coat is a disqualification.




Color


Any recognized hound color is acceptable and the distribution of color and markings is of no importance.






2007/09/24

Alaskan Malamute




General Appearance


The Alaskan Malamute, one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs, is a powerful and substantially built dog with a deep chest and strong, well-muscled body. The Malamute stands well over the pads, and this stance gives the appearance of much activity and a proud carriage, with head erect and eyes alert showing interest and curiosity. The head is broad. Ears are triangular and erect when alerted. The muzzle is bulky, only slight diminishing in width from root to nose. The muzzle is not pointed or long, yet not stubby. The coat is thick with a coarse guard coat of sufficient length to protect a woolly undercoat. Malamutes are of various colors. Face markings are a distinguishing feature. These consist of a cap over the head, the face either all white or marked with a bar and/or mask. The tail is well furred, carried over the back, and has the appearance of a waving plume.
The Malamute must be a heavy boned dog with sound legs, good feet, deep chest and powerful shoulders, and have all of the other physical attributes necessary for the efficient performance of his job. The gait must be steady, balanced, tireless and totally efficient. He is not intended as a racing sled dog designed to compete in speed trials. The Malamute is structured for strength and endurance, and any characteristic of the individual specimen, including temperament, which interferes with the accomplishment of this purpose, is to be considered the most serious of faults.





Size, Proportion, Substance


There is a natural range in size in the breed. The desirable freighting sizes are males, 25 inches at the shoulders, 85 pounds; females, 23 inches at the shoulders, 75 pounds. However, size consideration should not outweigh that of type, proportion, movement and other functional attributes. When dogs are judged equal in type, proportion, movement, the dog nearest the desirable freighting size is to be preferred. The depth of chest is approximately one half the height of the dog at the shoulders, the deepest point being just behind the forelegs. The length of the body from point of shoulder to the rear point of pelvis is longer than the height of the body from ground to top of the withers. The body carries no excess weight, and bone is in proportion to size.




Head


The head is broad and deep, not coarse or clumsy, but in proportion to the size of the dog. The expression is soft and indicates an affectionate disposition. The eyes are obliquely placed in the skull. Eyes are brown, almond shaped and of medium size. Dark eyes are preferred. Blue Eyes are a Disqualifying Fault. The ears are of medium size, but small in proportion to the head. The ears are triangular in shape and slightly rounded at the tips. They are set wide apart on the outside back edges of the skull on line with the upper corner of the eye, giving ears the appearance, when erect, of standing off from the skull. Erect ears point slightly forward, but when the dog is at work, the ears are sometimes folded against the skull. High set ears are a fault.


The skull is broad and moderately rounded between the ears, gradually narrowing and flattening on top as it approaches the eyes, rounding off to cheeks that are moderately flat. There is a slight furrow between the eyes. The topline of the skull and the topline of the muzzle show a slight break downward from a straight line as they join. The muzzle is large and bulky in proportion to the size of the skull, diminishing slightly in width and depth from junction with the skull to the nose. In all coat colors, except reds, the nose, lips, and eye rims' pigmentation is black. Brown is permitted in red dogs. The lighter streaked "snow nose" is acceptable. The lips are close fitting. The upper and lower jaws are broad with large teeth. The incisors meet with a scissors grip. Overshot or undershot is a fault.




Neck, Topline, Body


The neck is strong and moderately arched. The chest is well developed. The body is compactly built but not short coupled. The back is straight and gently sloping to the hips. The loins are hard and well muscled. A long loin that may weaken the back is a fault. The tail is moderately set and follows the line of the spine at the base. The tail is carried over the back when not working. It is not a snap tail or curled tight against the back, nor is it short furred like a fox brush. The Malamute tail is well furred and has the appearance of a waving plume.




Forequarters


The shoulders are moderately sloping; forelegs heavily boned and muscled, straight to the pasterns when viewed from the front. Pasterns are short and strong and slightly sloping when viewed from the side. The feet are of the snowshoe type, tight and deep, with well-cushioned pads, giving a firm, compact appearance. The feet are large, toes tight fitting and well arched. There is a protective growth of hair between the toes. The pads are thick and tough; toenails short and strong.




Hindquarters


The rear legs are broad and heavily muscled through the thighs; stifles moderately bent; hock joints are moderately bent and well let down. When viewed from the rear, the legs stand and move true in line with the movement of the front legs, not too close or too wide. Dewclaws on the rear legs are undesirable and should be removed shortly after puppies are whelped.




Coat


The Malamute has a thick, coarse guard coat, never long and soft. The undercoat is dense, from one to two inches in depth, oily and woolly. The coarse guard coat varies in length as does the undercoat. The coat is relatively short to medium along the sides of the body, with the length of the coat increasing around the shoulders and neck, down the back, over the rump, and in the breeching and plume. Malamutes usually have a shorter and less dense coat during the summer months. The Malamute is shown naturally. Trimming is not acceptable except to provide a clean cut appearance of feet.




Color


The usual colors range from light gray through intermediate shadings to black, sable, and shadings of sable to red. Color combinations are acceptable in undercoats, points, and trimmings. The only solid color allowable is all white. White is always the predominant color on underbody, parts of legs, feet, and part of face markings. A white blaze on the forehead and/or collar or a spot on the nape is attractive and acceptable. The Malamute is mantled, and broken colors extending over the body or uneven splashing are undesirable.




Gait


The gait of the Malamute is steady, balanced, and powerful. He is agile for his size and build. When viewed from the side, the hindquarters exhibit strong rear drive that is transmitted through a well-muscled loin to the forequarters. The forequarters receive the drive from the rear with a smooth reaching stride. When viewed from the front or from the rear, the legs move true in line, not too close or too wide. At a fast trot, the feet will converge toward the centerline of the body. A stilted gait, or any gait that is not completely efficient and tireless, is to be penalized.




Temperament


The Alaskan Malamute is an affectionate, friendly dog, not a "one man" dog. He is a loyal, devoted companion, playful in invitation, but generally impressive by his dignity after maturity.




Summary


IMPORTANT: In judging Malamutes, their function as a sledge dog for heavy freighting in the Arctic must be given consideration above all else. The degree to which a dog is penalized should depend upon the extent to which the dog deviates from the description of the ideal Malamute and the extent to which the particular fault would actually affect the working ability of the dog. The legs of the Malamute must indicate unusual strength and tremendous propelling power. Any indication of unsoundness in legs and feet, front or rear, standing or moving, is to be considered a serious fault. Faults under this provision would be splay-footedness, cowhocks, bad pasterns, straight shoulders, lack of angulation, stilted gait (or any gait that isn't balanced, strong and steady), ranginess, shallowness, ponderousness, lightness of bone, and poor overall proportion.


2007/09/23

Afghan Hound

General Appearance

The Afghan Hound is an aristocrat, his whole appearance one of dignity and aloofness with no trace of plainness or coarseness. He has a straight front, proudly carried head, eyes gazing into the distance as if in memory of ages past. The striking characteristics of the breed-exotic, or "Eastern," expression, long silky topknot, peculiar coat pattern, very prominent hipbones, large feet, and the impression of a somewhat exaggerated bend in the stifle due to profuse trouserings-stand out clearly, giving the Afghan Hound the appearance of what he is, a king of dogs, that has held true to tradition throughout the ages.




Head

The head is of good length, showing much refinement, the skull evenly balanced with the foreface. There is a slight prominence of the nasal bone structure causing a slightly Roman appearance, the center line running up over the foreface with little or no stop, falling away in front of the eyes so there is an absolutely clear outlook with no interference; the underjaw showing great strength, the jaws long and punishing; the mouth level, meaning that the teeth from the upper jaw and lower jaw match evenly, neither overshot nor undershot. This is a difficult mouth to breed. A scissors bite is even more punishing and can be more easily bred into a dog than a level mouth, and a dog having a scissors bite, where the lower teeth slip inside and rest against the teeth of the upper jaw, should not be penalized. The occipital bone is very prominent. The head is surmounted by a topknot of long silky hair. Ears--The ears are long, set approximately on level with outer corners of the eyes, the leather of the ear reaching nearly to the end of the dog's nose, and covered with long silky hair. Eyes--The eyes are almond-shaped (almost triangular), never full or bulgy, and are dark in color. Nose--Nose is of good size, black in color. Faults--Coarseness; snipiness; overshot or undershot; eyes round or bulgy or light in color; exaggerated Roman nose; head not surmounted with topknot.



Neck

The neck is of good length, strong and arched, running in a curve to the shoulders which are long and sloping and well laid back. Faults--Neck too short or too thick; a ewe neck; a goose neck; a neck lacking in substance.



Body

The back line appearing practically level from the shoulders to the loin. Strong and powerful loin and slightly arched, falling away toward the stern, with the hipbones very pronounced; well ribbed and tucked up in flanks. The height at the shoulders equals the distance from the chest to the buttocks; the brisket well let down, and of medium width. Faults--Roach back, swayback, goose rump, slack loin; lack of prominence of hipbones; too much width of brisket, causing interference with elbows.



Tail

Tail set not too high on the body, having a ring, or a curve on the end; should never be curled over, or rest on the back, or be carried sideways; and should never be bushy.



Legs

Forelegs are straight and strong with great length between elbow and pastern; elbows well held in; forefeet large in both length and width; toes well arched; feet covered with long thick hair; fine in texture; pasterns long and straight; pads of feet unusually large and well down on the ground. Shoulders have plenty of angulation so that the legs are well set underneath the dog. Too much straightness of shoulder causes the dog to break down in the pasterns, and this is a serious fault. All four feet of the Afghan Hound are in line with the body, turning neither in nor out. The hind feet are broad and of good length; the toes arched, and covered with long thick hair; hindquarters powerful and well muscled, with great length between hip and hock; hocks are well let down; good angulation of both stifle and hock; slightly bowed from hock to crotch. Faults--Front or back feet thrown outward or inward; pads of feet not thick enough; or feet too small; or any other evidence of weakness in feet; weak or broken down pasterns; too straight in stifle; too long in hock.



Coat

Hindquarters, flanks, ribs, forequarters, and legs well covered with thick, silky hair, very fine in texture; ears and all four feet well feathered; from in front of the shoulders; and also backwards from the shoulders along the saddle from the flanks and the ribs upwards, the hair is short and close, forming a smooth back in mature dogs - this is a traditional characteristic of the Afghan Hound. The Afghan Hound should be shown in its natural state; the coat is not clipped or trimmed; the head is surmounted (in the full sense of the word) with a topknot of long, silky hair - that is also an outstanding characteristic of the Afghan Hound. Showing of short hair on cuffs on either front or back legs is permissible. Fault--Lack of shorthaired saddle in mature dogs.



Height

Dogs, 27 inches, plus or minus one inch; bitches, 25 inches, plus or minus one inch.



Weight

Dogs, about 60 pounds; bitches, about 50 pounds.



Color

All colors are permissible, but color or color combinations are pleasing; white markings, especially on the head, are undesirable.



Gait

When running free, the Afghan Hound moves at a gallop, showing great elasticity and spring in his smooth, powerful stride. When on a loose lead, the Afghan can trot at a fast pace; stepping along, he has the appearance of placing the hind feet directly in the foot prints of the front feet, both thrown straight ahead. Moving with head and tail high, the whole appearance of the Afghan Hound is one of great style and beauty.



Temperament

Aloof and dignified, yet gay. Faults--Sharpness or shyness.

2007/09/15

DOG picture(smile)














What Is Really In Your Dog's Food?

All Natural Dog Food
With the many commercially prepared dog foods available on today's market, it is often quite difficult to tell which ones are better than others and why.First of all, you can't judge by advertising which are the good and bad dog foods. Many advertisers spend millions of dollars per year advertising inferior foods. Unfortunately, a good indicator on quality of food is price. Low priced foods are not always, but most often, the lowest quality foods on the market.You want to make sure that the adult dog food you are feeding is 22-25% protein and 15-19% fat. The protein should come from a good quality source. Some dogs such as puppies, large breeds, and active breeds have different protein and fat requirements. Make sure to discuss this with your veterinarian to ensure proper feeding of your dog.

Healthy Dog Food System
In order for you to make an informed decision, you must know which ingredients are better than others. When you look at a food label, the following are the kinds of ingredients that you are looking for: Human Grade Ingredients Chicken meal, Turkey meal, Fish meal, Rice, Potatoes, Lamb meal, Potatoes, Rice, Sunflower Oil, Vegetables and others. Good dog foods first four ingredients should not be grains, but should consist of things like meat and proteins.

You also want to make sure it says chicken meal and not chicken as the primary ingredient. If it says chicken only, this means that the manufacturers are counting the entire chicken toward protein value. This includes beaks, feathers, and feet. With chicken meal, they are only counting the cooked down version of the protein. This will ensure that your dog is getting the appropriate kind of protein and not byproducts. Vitamins and fatty acids are also good ingredients in dog foods. Some examples include Vitamin E, Omega 3 and 6, etc. These are very important for a healthy looking skin and coat. Make sure the dog food is not laden with preservatives.Some of the ingredients that you don't want to see on your dog food label include: Inferior protein which consists of but not limited to variations of the following: Wheat, Corn, Chicken by-products, Soy, Gluten. These ingredients are hard to digest and can cause health problems later on if used for a long period of time. Sugar is another ingredient that you want to stay away from.You are always better off purchasing food from a company that spends time and money field testing their products. You can always be sure that companies such as Purina, the Iams Company (which also includes Eukanuba),Royal Canin, Nutro, Diamond, and Hill's Science Diet are constantly testing their foods to provide the optimum quality ingredients.

These companies offer different grades of food, however, from lower quality to premium quality so make sure that you always read the labels. These are not the only companies by any means who make good quality dog food. The important thing is to read the label, do your research, ask questions of your veterinarians and pet professionals and always be informed. People who work at feed stores are usually a good resource and can help you find good quality pet food. Breeders can also be a good source for finding a quality food for your dog. Dog trainers will also often have a good knowledge of proper nutrition.You should always follow your veterinarian's recommendation on food as well. Many times dogs of certain ages or with certain health conditions need to be on a prescription diet. While these diets are often expensive, they do contain the proper nutrients that dogs in these categories need. Many times owners will switch to a commercial food because of cost or palatability concerns and the dog’s health will go in to a decline. Your veterinary staff know what is best for your particular dog.While it is often confusing, proper dog nutrition is vital to the health and longevity of your dog. By knowing what consists of good quality ingredients and which ingredients to avoid, you can be assured that you will choose the proper food for your dog. As always, if you have questions, ask your veterinary staff for more information.

2007/09/12

How To Teach Your Dog To Stop Begging

Sunday afternoon and your new wife's parents are coming to dinner. You have noticed a bit of resentment from her side of the family but this dinner is going to show them that you are indeed capable of controlling your own household. The house is perfect, the table is beautiful and the food smells and looks delicious. Unfortunately, your Cocker Spaniel thinks so too and is sitting up and begging for morsels off everyone's plate and, if not rewarded, attempting to take the food on his own. You may be king of your castle but this dog’s behavior is making you look like the court jester. How could this have been avoided?Sadly, this is not all the dogs fault and it started a very long time ago. Some horribly misguided individual who was trying to be a good pet owner did this while the pup was still very young and trained the dog for this very behavior.

Want to know who taught your dog this trick? It's a secret so listen carefully... It was YOU. Now before you get upset and quit reading, take a moment to realize that you weren't consciously training your pet for this unwanted behavior and you did it with the best of intentions. No one is blaming you but the behavior is here now and must be dealt with. Knowing how to fix the problem is easiest when knowing from whence it came and by now I am sure you are starting to figure that out.Your dog learned this trick from all those times when, however well meaning you were, the little scraps of food were tossed down to a cute little pup who stared up with sad brown eyes and left you overpowered with guilt as you looked at his dish of dog kibble and your plate with steak and potatoes. Those moments when your kind-hearted generosity over stepped its boundaries and created the begging monster that we find flipping your mother in laws chair over today for a bite of beef tip. All of this could have been prevented by a simple act of will power then but now you have a problem to deal with.So how do we stop this begging fiend? The first step is doing what you should have done when Fido was still a pup and quit rewarding the behavior both by not giving in and not paying attention to it, perhaps even confining the animal to its kennel or a separate room during meal or snack times if this is difficult. This suggestion is especially useful if you have young children in the household who tend to reward the animal with the foods that they do not favor. Make sure everyone in the household knows not to share their meals with the dog and follows this rule no matter what the circumstance. When the dog isn't rewarded in the manner he is accustomed to, the real battle will begin. He will decide that he isn't receiving enough attention and begin to whine and howl loudly in complaint of the treatment. Do not give in or the battle is lost and will be harder in the next round. The process will take consistent work for several weeks and one weak moment of slipping the dog a treat just to be nice can ruin all the prior training so standing your ground and enforcing the rule of not giving meal time treats to the dog is a must.Some useful ideas for stopping the begging are appropriate to mention here. One great one is to feed the dog at the same time the rest of the family eats, preferably in a separate room. This way the dog has its own meal and will not feel the need to take food from others in the household. If this is not an option, perhaps give your pet a toy to play with, thus keeping them occupied throughout mealtime. No matter how you choose to handle the situation, Consistent and rigid training is the only effective way to correct it. Every member and guest of your household must enforce the rules or all your work will be of no avail. However, if you follow these rules, you will be blessed with a healthier pet, a happier household and pride in your well-mannered canine friend.

How To Teach Your Dog To Fetch

The time has come to have a bit of fun with your pet. You step out the door, unhook the leash and throw a tennis ball to the other end of the yard... And your dog looks up at you like you just lost your mind. What went wrong? Looks like its time to head back to the training ground for Fetch lessons.Fetch is a simple command and is taught easily to puppies but is not beyond the grasp of older dogs as well. In this simple form of a rudimentary game, fetch is primarily used as an entertainment with a primary purpose of creating bonding time between dog and trainer. In more advanced forms, it is used in police dog training for such things as weapon recovery and drug location. So how do we go about teaching this behavior?One of the basic methods of training the fetch command is using two toys in a bait and switch routine. The toys must be identical and something the dog enjoys playing with. Starting with the dog on a leash or a halter, hide one of the toys on your person and throw the other a short distance after showing it to your pet. Release the dog from the leash and say "fetch" or whatever cue word you choose. The dog will chase after the toy and, most likely, will pick it up. When the animal starts to return with the first toy, produce the hidden one.The animal will likely drop the toy they are carrying in favor of the new toy. When this happens, wait for the dog to return to you and be reattached to the leash before throwing the new toy. After throwing the new toy, say "fetch" while releasing the animal to give chase. While your dog is chasing the new toy, run and retrieve the first toy. Repeat this process several times using the fetch command. For dogs that are not toy motivated, try adding a bit of flavoring to the game by way of some meat spread or some food reward when the behavior is carried out properly. Toys such as the Kong toys are great for this as they can be stuffed with all manner of pleasant surprises for your pet.Another method is the forced retrieve. This is accomplished by throwing the toy a short distance and manually walking the dog to the object and waiting for them to pick it up. Reward them generously for finding and picking up the object. In further stages, have a partner walk the dog out for the pick up and then have them walked back to you with the item. Again reward them generously for making the retrieve. A few of the common tips given by many pet trainers are quite useful in this area. One of the first is not to go for long distance throwing. Short throws are easier for the animal to keep a visual on and require less concentration. They also make for less work for the trainer should the dog fail to adequately grasp the concept. Another point is to reserve fetch toys for fetch. If you let your dog play with the toy all the time, they lose their novelty and the dogs drive to chase them will be greatly diminished. If you make the dog wait to play with these toys then they are a special treat and the dog will see the toy itself as a reward.

Another tip is to be certain to hold the animal a moment before allowing them to chase the object. This gives them a moment to clearly focus on the objective and to build a stronger desire to retrieve the object they seek. Thus, when they are released, they spring to the object in a flurry of motion and grasp it up easily. Another wonderful tip is to avoid the use of sticks as fetch toys. They are hard on the animal's mouth and may contain parasites or poisonous substances, not to mention confusing the animal if you play near an area with tree growth.With these simple techniques and tips mastered, you are ready to take to the park with your Frisbee, tennis ball or throwing dummy and enjoy a great afternoon of exercise and bonding with your pet.

Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

A dog of any age can learn new tricks. Your dog should be familiar with the basics - sit, lie down, and stay, as these are excellent building blocks of new tricks.To teach "sit," have a yummy treat in your fingers and place your hand near your dog's nose. Say, "sit," and move the treat over your dog's head toward his tail. As he follows the treat, he should sit naturally. When he successfully completes this behavior, immediately give him the treat as well as verbal praise in an excited voice, saying something such as " good dog!" When you are first teaching this behavior, always give the food treat and the verbal praise. When your dog seems to be associating the word sit with this behavior, gradually wean him off the treats. You may want to train your dog to a release command such as "okay!" so he knows when he can discontinue each behavior. As with all training, you should teach "sit" in short (10 minutes or less) sessions followed by free play.To teach "lie down," first get your dog in the sitting position. Hold a yummy treat in your fingers and place your hand near your dog's nose. Say, "lie down," and bring the treat straight down to the floor. As your dog follows the treat, he should naturally place himself in the down position. As soon as he gets in the proper position, reward him with the treat and verbal praise. If you are using a release command such as "okay!" you can now use it to let your dog know it is okay to stop lying down. As with all commands, as he begins to associate the behavior with the verbal command, begin to wean him from the food reward.To teach "stay," place your dog in either the sitting or down position. Grab a yummy treat in one hand and ask your dog to stay while placing your other hand with the palm open in front of his nose. When your dog stays for one or two seconds, give him the treat and verbal praise, and use your release command. You will want to gradually increase the length of the stay.Once your dog has these building blocks firmly under his belt, you can begin to teach him new and exciting tricks. One of the most popular tricks to teach is "play dead." To do this, ask your dog to lie down. Teach him to roll on his back by holding a yummy treat in your hand in front of his nose and moving it in a small circle while giving the command "play dead." As his nose follows the treat, his body should follow until he is on his back. Reward him with the treat and verbal praise. With practice, your dog will be able to associate the command with the behavior and you can wean him off the food reward.Another popular trick is "shake." To teach your dog to shake, first get him into the sitting position. Have a treat ready and say, "shake." Gently grab right behind his paw and lift it into the shake position. Give him the treat.

You will need to repeat this step several times until he learns that he will get the treat by lifting his paw by himself. While he is learning "shake," reward even the smallest attempts at getting into position by himself with food and praise. Eventually he will associate the command "shake" and lifting his paw with positive rewards. Another fun trick is "bow." This is a very natural position for a dog to be in. To teach this behavior, get your dog in the sitting position. Have a treat in your fingers, hold it in front of his nose and say, "bow." Push the treat straight toward your dog's chest. As his nose is following the treat, he should naturally get himself into the bow position. When he does, reward him with the treat and verbal praise. As with all tricks, eventually wean him from the treat.Tricks are fun to teach your dog and it gives him mental stimulation while enhancing the time you spend with him. There are many books available on teaching new tricks to your dog and many dog trainers offer tricks and games classes. Keep training sessions short and fun, and always use positive reinforcement. In no time, your dog will be entertaining your friends and family.

How To Teach Your Dog To Heel

One of the first commands your dog learns should be the "HEEL" command. This command will be helpful in insuring the safety of your pet while out in public and will make you look like the owner of a well-mannered and lovable pet. To add to the beauty of all this, the command itself is quite simple and almost any dog can learn the meaning of the command with 30 minutes or so of effort. So what is the function of the "heel" command? This one word command tells your dog that the animal is to walk directly at your side, not before or after you. This provides safety for your pet in public places as well as for yourself. The command keeps your pet at your side rather than running through the picnic blankets of park goers and, if you own a larger more menacing breed, makes you seem a less approachable target to would-be criminal elements.Wow, that sounds great... How do I teach my pet? Well, it isn't as difficult as you might think. There are two general methods of training. One uses only positive reinforcement and the other uses a mixture of both positive and negative tactics.

First we will discuss the positive reinforcement method.In this method, you must first place your dog on a short leash and procure several of the dogs favorite food treats, a few pieces of dry kibble from the animals dog food is normally suitable. Decide which side you prefer your dog to walk on and train from this side in the following manner. With the dog by your side, facing in the same direction, place a treat in your hand next to your hip. In a firm, yet gentle voice, say "heel" and walk forward. When the dog responds by stepping with you, praise them and reward them with the treat. Remember to be consistent and not to reward before the action is carried out, yet always reward for a good performance.With a lot of patience, this method will work well for most dogs and results in a close bonding of the pet to the owner. However, some dogs are just naturally harder to train, just like some people. If you are blessed with one of these independent and strong willed pets then you might have to avail yourself of a different method of training, which was mentioned earlier in this discussion.To use the second training method, you must start with a slightly longer leash of approximately seven to ten feet. Allow your pet a few moments to explore the boundaries of the leash and understand how it works. Then call the animal to your side and position yourself as before with the animal next to you, facing the same direction. In a firm voice, say "heel" and walk forward. At this time, the dog will probably not walk with you. It will, instead, begin to explore most likely running in a different direction than where you are leading.

To correct this behavior, turn in the opposite direction of the pets' direction of travel and take a few steps forward, quite briskly, as you raise the leash to shoulder height and let it play out behind you. The result of this action will be seen as the animal quickly reaches the end of the leash and their forward momentum teaches them the age old physics lesson that "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction." The animal will quite quickly learn that to disobey the heel command results in a discomforting feeling from the sudden stop at the end of the leash and, after a short while, will learn to obey the command. When the pet reaches the state of obedience, be sure to reward them with lots of positive reinforcements, such as play time and treats, along with rich verbal praise.Whichever of these methods you choose in the training of your pet, the "heel" command is sure to go a long way in making you a much happier pet owner who will be proud to show your pet anywhere. Remember to train with love, patience and consistency and your pet will reward you with loyalty and many, many years of companionship.

2007/09/03

Is This Your Dog?

When we talk about hypoallergenic dogs, we mean that they have a less or reduced tendency to cause allergies or allergic reaction among allergy sufferers.

It has been estimated that about 10% of the US population is allergic to animals (American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology). Symptoms of the reactions can range from watery eyes to dangerous asthma attacks.

The problem is not with the pet's hair. It is the dander, or microscopic scales of dead skin (similar to, but much smaller than the dandruff on the human scalp) which pets are constantly shedding that is the cause. They are so tiny that you seldom know that they are circulating in the air or laying on the furniture and carpets because they are so small.
Here is a list of Hypoallergenic Dogs. If I have missed any I do apologize.

· American Hairless Terrier
· Basenji
· Border Terrier
· Cairn Terrier
· Chinese Crested (hairless)
· Havanese
· Kerry Blue Terrier
· Maltese
· Miniature Schnauzer
· Portuguese Water Dog
· Shih-Tzu
· Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
· Spanish Water Dog
· Standard Poodle
· Standard Schnauzer
· Tibetan Terrier
· Toy Poodle
· West Highland White Terrier
· Wirehaired Fox Terrier
· Yorkshire TerrierPlease remember that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic and also that allergic sufferers react differently to each separate breed of dog such as myself, the news is good. They are considered good for allergy sufferers, with a relatively low dander (ranked number 7). However you need to be reminded that one person’s allergies may vary greatly from another person. It is always advisable to visit the home of the dog you wish to have, before you bring it home. I hope that you found this article of use to you

Tips for a Dog Friendly Vacation

A tragedy that happens more often than many people realize is a dog being separated from its family on vacation. This not only can ruin the vacation you’ve been looking forward to all year, but you may never see your friend again. Never let your dog off his leash when you are out of your car, even if your dog is used to being off leash when you go on walks at home. A dog that gets frightened can run off and get lost, or run into traffic and be hurt.

Your dog should have identification secured on its collar. This should include a phone number you can be reached while away from home. If you take a cell phone with you, that should be the number on the ID, and perhaps your e-mail address as well. Your home phone number won’t do any good on the ID tag if no one is there to answer the phone.

Traveling involves stress for humans, but also for dogs. It is a good idea to bring along familiar items from home, the dog’s bed, or a blanket he likes to lie on, toys, treats—anything that makes the experience seem more like being at home can reduce the level of anxiety for your dog.

It’s easy to forget things during the rush to get ready to leave. Make a list of absolute necessities for your dog: their food, their food and water bowls, and any vitamins or medications they are supposed to have. Check the items off the list before you leave the house. You might consider portioning out your dog’s food into plastic bags for each day, so you do not have to bring along a large bag of dog food. But—be sure to bring a little more than you think you will need. You should feed your dog according to his normal routine at home, with the one exception that you might want to consider giving him his largest meal when you have stopped for the day or arrive at your destination. Eating a large meal and then getting back in the car could result in the dog vomiting when you get back on the road.

2007/09/02

Do You Know About Boxer Dogs?

Boxer Dogs Information - What Are Boxer Dogs?


Boxer dogs are great all around dog breeds, distinguished canine and the coolest, most lovable dog out there! Boxer Dogs are medium-built and strong breed that are so named because of its habit of standing on the hind legs to begin a fight and boxing with the front paws.



By nature, Boxer dogs are working dogs. Throughout history it has been trained as:

- hunting dog

- police dog

- seeing

-eye dog for the blind

- guard dog- circus dog

- courier dog on the battlefields during World War I and World War II

- fighting dog in the once popular sport of dog fighting.



The American Kennel Club (AKC) categorizes dogs into 7 groups of herding, hound, non-sporting, sporting, terrier, toy and working. And the largest breed registered in the working dog category is the Boxer.



No doubt the Boxer Dogs make for great utility dog but the greatest advantage to owning one is that Boxer Dogscan be your most outstanding companion on four legs and great source of personal fulfillment.



By the way, the AKC registered over 150 different breeds totaling nearly one million dogs in 2003. To put that in perspective, the animal shelters in America rescue up to 12 million homeless dogs and cats every year and 25% of these are purebreds.



Devoted and glad owners of Boxer Dogs have come up with a long list of attributes and traits of their favorite pet that include:

Alert

Boisterous

Boundless energy

Brave

Canine clown

Courageous

Devil dog

Devoted

Dignified

Exuberance

Family dog

Fearless

Friendly

Hearing dog

Highly trainable

Intelligent

Intuitive

Keen judge of character

Loving

Loyal

Patient with children

People dog

Poor swimmer

Playful

Quick learner

Self-assured

Smart

Soulful

Spirited

Stoical

Vigilant

Working dog

Wonderful pet



And you can add to the list…



The Boxer Dog's history could be traced back to feudal Germany, where it was a small hunting dog that could tenaciously hold onto a bull, boar, or bear till the master arrived. It was also a utility dog for peasants and shop owners, and even a performing dog in circus. The Boxer Dogs as we know it today is a bigger breed – a mixture of the German Boxer with a taller, more elegant English import. The era of this modern Boxer began in the 1880s and became really popular in the United States in the late 1930s-1940s.



Handsome dog: Within the canine world, Boxer Dogs are medium-sized dog standing at 21 to 25 inches at the shoulder for a full-grown female, and weighs some 50 to 65 pounds. The male can be taller and 15 pounds heavier.



It has a striking good look with chiseled head, square jaw and muscled body that make for a very handsome silhouette.



It has a striking good look with chiseled head, square jaw and muscled body that make for a very handsome silhouette.



The shortened muzzle makes hot and humid weather uncomfortable for the Boxer Dogs.



The coat is short, hard and smooth, and possesses a natural sheen that can be enhanced with rubdowns with a chamois cloth (especially after a bath).



The short coat cannot protect him well from extreme elements of the weather and thus Boxer Dogs should definitely not be kept outdoors. It is a housedog, sensitive to temperature extremes, does not enjoy the draft, summer heat or cold.



Boxer Dogs come in attractive basic colors of fawn and brindle. The fawn varies from a tawny tan to an especially beautiful stag red. The brindle (clearly defined black stripes on a fawn background) can be sparse, in between or dense.



A beauty standard for Boxer Dogs is that their white markings or “flash” should add to their look and may not cover more than one-third of the entire body. Some predominantly or all-white puppies (known as “check”) may be born in a litter.



In the US, however, the American Boxer Club members are pledged not to register, sell or use these “whites” for breeding so as to retain the beauty of the true fawn and brindle colors in the breed.



Personality-wise, Boxer is a cool dog that will not bark without cause. Its expressive face – the furrowed forehead and dark, soulful eyes - is a charming quality that sets the Boxer apart from other breeds.



It can mimic the moods of its master and adopting one could bring you 9 to 11 years of joyful companionship. In exceptional cases the Boxer can live up to 15 years.



Boxer Dogs As Pet



Pet Boxer Dogs, although low-maintenance, require your consistent attention, exercise, human interaction, consistent obedience training and lots of love. You cannot leave them to their own design for too long or they get lonely, bored and into trouble.



Being a big and strong dog as well as a highly intelligent one, Boxer Dogs need both physical and mental stimulations to keep them even-tempered and dignified while still keeping their impish spirit and fearless courage in tact.



All the best!!!



Warm regards

No Bite: How To Teach Your Puppy or Dog To Stop Biting

Bringing home a new puppy or dog is always an exciting time and should not be ruined by some of the behaviors that may exist.

Introducing a new dog to your home should be a fun experience for both you and your dog. One of the first challenges you should look after is discouraging inappropriate behavior by your dog, or to put it more positively, you should be encouraging appropriate behavior by your dog. One very common behavior in most breeds is that puppies love to bite and mouth almost everything around them in their new surroundings. Puppies instinctively bite and mouth each other puppies when playing, and they will do this humans as well because the see them as just another member of their pack. As puppies and dogs have thick skin under their fur, they really don’t feel any great pain from another dog biting and mouthing them. Humans, however, do not have the same thick skin, so it is important to teach your puppy not use their sharp teeth on humans for any reason.

The first step in training your puppy to stop biting is to reduce its natural biting reflex. Puppies normally learn to stop biting from their mothers and other puppies in their litter, but since your puppy now depends on you to teach it the things it needs to know, you will be the one to teach it. Biting might seem cute and harmless when your puppy is still very young, but it won’t be cute or harmless when your dog is mature and much stronger. It is for this reason that puppies should be taught to control and stop their biting before they reach the age of four months.
When puppies play as they love to, they are constantly biting and mouthing each other. If your puppy is given the opportunity to socialize and play with other puppies and older dogs that are already socialized, this will greatly help to inhibit the biting reflex. If one puppy becomes too rough when playing, the rest of the group will punish him for that inappropriate behavior. By using this type of socialization, your dog will learn to control its biting reflex.

There are other benefits to proper socialization as well, including teaching your dog to not be fearful of other dogs, and to work off their excess energy and get exercise. Puppies that are given the opportunity to play with other puppies learn important social skills and most often to become better members of the human family they are part of. Puppies that get less socialization tend to be more destructive, more hyperactive and will often exhibit other problem behaviors.
Puppies that lack socialization will often develop fearful and aggressive behaviors. Dogs will often react aggressively to a new situation. This is more often the case especially if they are not properly socialized. The most effective way for a dog to become a good member of its community as well as the household it lives in, is to be socialized with other people, especially children. Dogs will usually make a distinction between their owners and other people, and between children and adults. Because of this, it is important to introduce your puppy to both children and adults.

Generally you should try and expose your puppy to young children as possible. Before it reaches four months of age is best. The main reason for this is that mothers of young children may be unwilling to allow their children to approach or be approached by large dogs or older puppies. This factor will be especially true with large breed dogs, or with breeds of dogs that have a reputation for aggressive behavior.

A very effective way to teach your puppy not to bite is to teach it to trust and respect you. This will be a very important thing in all aspects of training your dog and being able to correct any bad behaviors that may develop.

To gain trust and respect from your dog, you should use positive reinforcement. If your puppy bites you or something you don’t want it to, distract it. Offer your dog a chew toy or bone or something that you want it to chew on. Then reward your puppy when it does chew on the ‘chewable’ item. Make sure your dog knows when it does something that you want it to do. It is important to never hit or slap the puppy.

Punishment through physical means is the most sure fire way to breakdown any trust and respect that your dog has for you. Trust and respect must form the basis of an effective training program. Scolding or hitting a dog will not stop it from biting – it will simply scare it and confusion.

Training a puppy not to bite early on is a key part of any training program. Biting behaviors that are not corrected when your dog is young and impressionable will only get worse as it gets older. It may have seemed like harmless behavior when your puppy was a young dog, but biting by older dog can be dangerous and destructive behavior.

Ring Worm in Dogs

Ringworm is one of the most common diseases in pets, especially dogs. Unlike its name, Ringworm is not a worm but fungi called Dermatophytes that thrives on dead tissues present on skin surface and follows circular path to spread infection.

Ringworm is an infectious skin disease and your pet usually picks it up from his surroundings like kennels, rodent burrows or from other animals who are already infected. There are about 35 species of ringworm that can affect dogs. The most common is ‘Mircosporum Canis’, which accounts for majority of ringworm cases

One symptom of ringworms in dogs is a lesion on the skin that looks like a rapidly growing circular patch of broken hair. The patch may look inflamed and may appear to have dandruff-like flakes on it. The most common areas where it can occur are face, ear tips, tails and paws.
If you find any of these symptoms, take your pet to the veterinarian. He may diagnose the disease by plucking hairs from the infected area and examining it under ultra violet light. On finding fungi traits, he may advise some anti fungal pills or topical medications for your pet
Humans need to take some precautions since ringworm is an infectious disease. Be sure to keep kids away from an infected pet, and adults should wear gloves when handling any items that have come in contact with the animal. Also keep your dog neat and clean and clip his hairs short since longer hairs promote unhygienic conditions.

Although, ringworm is a mild disorder the problems due to its infectious nature and slow recovery time can be problematic.