Sabtu, 30 Juni 2012

History of the Domestication of Dogs

History of the Domestication of Dogs

Much research is devoted to the domestication of man's best friend, the dog, which paired with humans in a very successful biological strategy. While the ancestor of dogs, the wolf, needs protection from extinction, there are nearly 400 hundred million dogs in the world. Though no one is sure exactly how dogs evolved from wolves, there are different theories that explain the pairing between two of the world's most successful species.

Benefits

    The benefits between a human-wolf pairing are obvious--both hunted animals much larger than themselves in small groups. Humans had the benefit of tools, while wolves had the benefit of speed and instinct. It was a good combination that has served both well. Even now, dogs help humans, whether by hunting, protecting livestock or the home, performing other service jobs or acting as companions.

History

    The first evidence of dogs interacting with humans dates back to 12,000 years ago in Iraq; a burial site was discovered of a human cradling a puppy. This puppy had a smaller jaw and teeth than a wolf, indicating that dog domestication had already begun and this was not just a wolf puppy that happened to be friendly. Experts estimate that the process of dog domestication probably began 14,000 years ago. Excavations dated from 1 AD have shown skeletons of a dog similar to the present-day Pekingese, which is a far cry from wolf ancestors. According to Roman writers from that time, Roman ladies had lap dogs because their warmth was supposed to cure stomach aches.

Geography

    Because the first evidence of dogs were found in Iraq, it is believed that dogs descended from Middle Eastern wolves. Biologists once thought that dogs descended from wolves in eastern Asia but new genetic research from scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles shows that today's dogs share more genetic markers with Middle Eastern wolves. More than 900 dogs from 85 breeds were compared with the genes of wolf populations from all over the world and most breeds shared the majority of genetic markers with the Middle Eastern wolves.

Domestication Theory

    There are two distinct theories about how dogs evolved from wolves. One involves ancient people making wolf cubs into pets. Through time, these tame wolves gave birth to more tame wolves and dogs began to evolve. However, many biologist say that this theory ignores the actual concept of evolution. It ignores how dogs became genetically separate from wolves, which would involve individuals having different traits, such as smaller jaws, and only those traits being then bred. Individuals don't evolve. Populations do. If domesticating wolves caused them to change genetically, we would be able to imitate this and we haven't been able to do that.

Scavenger Theory

    Biologists such as Raymond Coppinger are now suggesting that dogs evolved from some wolves adapting a different feeding niche. These wolves realized that humans provided a great source of food in all the waste they left behind at hunting and living sites, such as carcasses and other leftovers. These wolves began to hover around campsites and feed only on this waste, eliminating the need for hunting. Not only did these wolves evolve to be less shy because they had to be exposed to humans but they also evolved to have smaller jaws and teeth because they no longer needed them for hunting. These wolves evolved into what are known now as dogs and were then further domesticated into pets.

What Can I Feed My Dog?

Having a dog is a big responsibility, as you are accountable for your pet's health and proper feeding. A dog should never be fed chocolate, sugar or human snack foods. Dog snacks are OK in moderation, but dogs can gain weight from eating large amounts of unhealthy snacks. With proper feeding also comes the need for veterinary checkups and vaccinations, as well as monthly heartworm prevention medication.

Dry Dog Food

    The best food to feed your dog is dry dog food, which is available at any pet store. There are many brands to choose from, as well as ingredient combinations such as chicken and rice, lamb and beef. Dry dog food is recommended by veterinarians as it has the nutrition that your dog needs, but it also helps with bowel movement control. Commercial dry dog food is also available for different breeds, dog sizes and even in adult or smaller puppy-sized kibbles.

    Starches from corn, white rice, whole grains and brown rice are also mixed in with dog food, usually with a meat ingredient such as lamb or beef. Necessary protein and carbohydrates in the dog food depend on the dog's size and activity level. Eukanuba Premium Performance Sporting Dog Food is for dogs who are athletes and are more active; this type of food is higher in protein and fat to provide sustained energy. Science Diet Light Canine Maintenance Dog Food is an example of a low-carb food for dogs who are not as active or have trouble maintaining healthy weight.

Human Food

    Certain human food, such as cooked chicken, fully cooked rice, turkey and hamburger meat, is OK for dogs to eat. The important things to remember when feeding a dog human food is that it should never be a long-term supplement to dry dog food, it should always be completely cooked and you should never feed your dog very hot food. Cooked rice and chicken are often referred to as "bland diet," which can be given to dogs with diarrhea or other medical condition, as it is easier on their bellies. Always remove all bones and never feed your dogs human food off the table with salt, oil and other seasonings.

Vegetables

    Dogs can be fed cooked vegetables such as cut-up carrots, potatoes and peas. You can mix this food in with other ingredients such as chicken and rice. Vegetables can even be given as snacks, especially if a dog is overweight and needs to be on a diet.

    Onion should not be given to dogs because of diarrhea, stomach upset and toxicity possibilities. Onion toxicity in dogs can be caused from raw onions, cooked onions, onion powders or flavorings.

The Differences Between Flat-coated Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers

The Differences Between Flat-coated Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers

The flat-coated and Labrador retrievers are similar breeds. Both breeds are descended from Newfoundland dogs, but their origins take different paths. While the flat-coated retriever is often mistaken for a long-coated Labrador, the two breeds are also dissimilar in breed type. Both breeds, however, can be engaging pets for active families, and many representatives of both breeds still retain their hunting instinct.

History

    The flat-coated retriever and the Labrador retriever both descend from native Newfoundland dogs. Flat-coated retrievers descend from selected crosses between the Large Newfoundland and various sporting, herding and gun dogs. These crosses were used to create a mix referred to as the Retriever Proper, a direct ancestor of the wavy-coated retriever, which was later refined and renamed the flat-coated retriever. The Labrador retriever descends from the St. Johns Water Dog or Lesser Newfoundland, which was a cross between the small water dogs native to the area and the larger Newfoundland dogs. According to author Kolby McHale, when the St. Johns Water Dog was brought to England, it was called the Labrador, for the region from which it came.

Coat

    According to their AKC breed standards, the flat-coated and Labrador retrievers may have setters, sheepdogs and water dogs in their ancestry. The flat-coated retriever retained the longer coat of its wavy-coat and Newfoundland ancestors. However, author Joan Mason states that early flat-coat retriever fanciers chose to breed a dog similar to the Wavy-Coated Retriever but less heavily built . . . and a coat that would be waterproof, but not so heavy and dense. McHale explains that the Labrador was selected for its shorter, thicker coat, preferred because in frosty weather the long haired kind become encumbered with ice on coming out of the water.

Purpose

    The flat-coat retriever and the Labrador retriever share a common purpose: to return dead game to the hunter. Both breeds are primarily used for birds, although the flat-coat standard suggests that the breed should be able to carry a hare in its mouth, as well. Flat-coated retrievers are primarily used to hunt pheasants and other upland birds, but they can be used to hunt ducks and other waterfowl. Labrador retrievers are primarily used to hunt ducks and other waterfowl, but they can also be trained to hunt upland birds.

Conformation

    The two breeds differ most in three areas of conformation: the head, the tail and the underline. The flat-coated retriever has a head that lacks a significant stop, or difference in height between the muzzle and the forehead, while the Labrador has a moderate stop and brow ridges at the front of the forehead. The otter tail is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Labrador. It is of medium length, wide at the base and should not have any fringe. Finally, the underline of the two breeds is significantly different. The Labrador has almost a straight underline, from its ribs back to its hind legs, showing tuck-up at its loins in adult dogs. Unlike the Labrador, the flat-coated retriever has a deep setter-like chest, rising into a moderate tuck-up. These conformational differences give each breed a distinct silhouette, despite descending from similar breeds and performing similar functions.

How to Compare a Hybrid With a Purebred

How to Compare a Hybrid With a Purebred

Hybrid dogs are growing rapidly in popularity. In a 2009 article on "Dogs in Canada," Naomi Kane suggests that these "designer dogs" are now outselling once-popular purebreds. With hybrids available in every pet store, you might wonder what the difference really is.

Ancestry

    The primary difference between a purebred and a hybrid is the dog's ancestry. A purebred dog "breeds true," meaning that two purebreds mated together will produce a litter of dogs with the same characteristics as the parents. To be recognized as a true breed, a certain set of characteristics must have been breeding true for many generations. On the other hand, a hybrid is produced by mating two different purebreds to produce offspring with intermediate characteristics. A popular example is the puggle, produced by breeding a purebred pug with a purebred beagle.

Registration

    In the United States, purebred dogs are regulated by the American Kennel Club (AKC). It is the AKC that decides which dogs will be recognized as true breeds. According to their website, the AKC considers three main criteria when accepting or rejecting a new breed. The dogs' characteristics must be shown to breed true, there must be public interest in the breed and a dedicated club for the breed must exist in the United States. Because they do not breed true, hybrids cannot be registered with the AKC. Many hybrids are recognized and can be registered with the American Canine Hybrid Club.

Variability

    Because of their mixed parentage, hybrid dogs are quite variable. A single litter can contain individuals with any combination of the parents' behavioral or physical characteristics. This makes a given hybrid unpredictable, as each individual dog can be drastically different. Because purebred dogs have been selectively bred for a certain set of characteristics, most offspring will be very similar to their parents, and the variability in personality and appearance is much lower.

Hybrids vs. Mutts

    A hybrid dog is not the same as a mutt or mixed-breed. According to the Dog Breed Info Center, the ancestry of a hybrid is always known, and the parents must be purebred dogs in their respective breed. A mutt or mixed-breed dog often has an unknown ancestry, or the parents were mutts themselves. These dogs are not recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club.

What Are By-Products in Dog Food?

What Are By-Products in Dog Food?

Dog owners want to feed their companion animals a nutritionally-balanced diet, but it can be hard to find the right one for your pet. Most veterinarians will recommend a diet that contains meat, vegetables and whole grains, without a lot of low-nutrition fillers. Pet food manufacturers are required to list all of their ingredients on their package labels, but it can be difficult for the average person to tell just what the terms mean. Ingredient names like "by-product," "by-product meal" and "meat by-product" are defined by the The Association of American Feed Control Officials. Consumers must understand how to read these labels in order to know what is really in their dog's food.

By-Products

    When a dog food ingredient label lists "beef by-products," "chicken by-products" or "lamb by-products," it refers to animal parts that are not used for human consumption. These can include blood, bone, tissue and entrails. Ingredients labeled as "by-products" should not include teeth, hair, hooves or horns, except in trace amounts. If an ingredient is labeled as "beef by-products," it should not contain parts of any animals other than cows; the same goes for chicken or lamb. "By-product" contrasts with the words "beef," "chicken" or "lamb," which refer to the flesh and skin of the animal -- parts that humans would typically consider edible.

By-Product Meal

    Pet food ingredients labeled "meal" are the ground parts of whatever animal is specified. For example, "chicken meal" is ground chicken flesh and skin. This applies to "by-product meal," as well. "Chicken by-product meal" contains all of the same things as "chicken by-products," as well as parts that must be ground in order to be consumed, such as feet, underdeveloped eggs, or cartilage. Like "by-products," it should not contain teeth, hair or hooves, except in trace amounts.

Meat By-Products

    If a pet food ingredient label does not specify an animal in conjunction with the term "by-products," the source of the by-products is unclear. The fact that a pet food may bear a name like 'Chicken and Rice Blend' does not imply that "meat by-products" in this food must be derived from chicken only. The term "meat" on a pet food label can include virtually any mammal, and can include animals that died by means other than factory slaughter. This meat can derive from animals declared unfit for human consumption, such as 4-D Meat (dead, dying, down, or diseased). It can also possibly contain parts from roadkill animals or even domesticated animals like dogs and cats.

Nutrition

    There are differing opinions on whether by-products in dog food are a bad thing. Some argue that since dogs evolved to kill and eat animal carcasses (including cartilage and organs), there should be no health problem associated with dog food containing those ingredients. Others would argue that labeling laws make it too difficult to determine the source of by-products, so they should be avoided altogether to prevent the spread of bacteria and disease. There is also the view that by-products alone are not the concern, but rather the concentration of them. Animal parts like feet, cartilage, and other by-products contain protein, but not an easily digestible protein. The best organ meat is sold separately, such as in liver treats, and never makes it into dog food by-products. If a food contains too high a percentage of by-products, much of the protein in the food will not be nutritionally available to the dog's body.

About Puggle Puppies

About Puggle Puppies

A puggle is a designer dog breed that has been growing in popularity over the last several years. The breed results from a mating cross between the popular beagle and the squishy-looking pug; their name is actually a portmanteau term, meaning that it, like the breed itself, is a mix of the breeds' names that make up the puggle. Puggle puppies are essentially just miniature versions of the adults and have very similar characteristics and specifications.

What Do Puggle Pups Look Like?

    Most puggle puppies come out as fawn, meaning that most of their body is light brown while their noses and ears are dark (usually black) with white feet. Other color variations include complete black and mixes of brown, black, white or fawn. Puppies are born at around a 1/2 pound or so but will eventually grow to between 15 and 25 pounds with a shoulder height of around 10 to 15 inches.

What Kind of Temperament do They Have?

    As puppies, puggles are typically very energetic little dogs, particularly in the first year. They will need to be walked regularly to keep healthy and toned and enjoy digging holes. They are barkers, and may bark at passing intruders. Puggles develop a very independent personality as they grow, which can make them more difficult to train than other breeds. They may stubbornly wander off if they catch a passing scent so they should be kept leashed when outdoors in a public area.

What Kind of Maintenance?

    Because of their short fur, puggles puppies are not particularly high-maintenance. Like other dogs, they should be bathed, have their nails trimmed and their teeth brushed weekly. Puggle puppies tend to produce a high amount of gooey eye discharge, which is also prevalent in pugs. This must be cleaned once a day or so using a moist cloth or a cotton swab. Puggle pups do shed quite frequently and are not hypoallergenic, so have a vacuum cleaner handy to alleviate any stray hairs on your carpets or furniture.

What Do They Eat?

    Puggle puppies should be fed small breed puppy food. As they grow, they can be gradually weened onto small breed dog food. Small breed food is usually produced as tinier pellets that are easy for small dogs like puggles to chew. Puppy food has a higher fat content, which puppies use for healthy growth. Wet dog food should not be given to puppies until they are at least 10 weeks old or so, as you risk giving them diarrhea, which may lead to fatal dehydration.

How Are They With Kids?

    Puggles are very personable and affectionate with dogs and would make a great addition to a family household that values energy and the outdoors. However, because of their high-energy, they may not be the best choice for very young children who may find their demands for affection and play too high. Puppies in particular are very energetic so caution should be taken before deciding to introduce a puggle puppy into your home.

Types of Food for a Maltese

Types of Food for a Maltese

The Maltese is an ancient all-white silky-haired toy dog popular in America and Europe. The Maltese does have some specific feeding needs, especially in regards to their teeth and problems vomiting soon after eating. Maltese are prone to tooth loss from periodontal disease and need regular tooth brushing as well as eating hard biscuit treats to help them retain their adult teeth.

Canned or Pouched Food

    Also known as wet food, these types of food contain enough water to make a Maltese dogs stool soft if it's the only type of food the dog eats. But if a Maltese is experiencing tooth problems, canned or pouched food will be the only type of food they can eat without pain. Purchase canned or pouched foods made for small dogs that include small pieces that a Maltese can easily pick up and chew. A ground up, mushy or pate type of canned food also works for a Maltese. Placing some canned or pouched food on dry food can help tempt a Malteses appetite. Refrigerate any unused portion.

Dry Kibble

    Also known as dry food, kibbles crunchiness helps to scrape tartar off of a Malteses teeth. Tartar causes bad breath and periodontal disease which can lead to tooth loss. This is the most economical type of food, argues Liz Palika, author of KISS Guide to Raising a Puppy, since it can be bought in bulk and portions are less than for canned or pouched food because there isn't much water or broth in it. Keep dry food in airtight containers to retain freshness and prevent parasites from getting into the food.

Semi-Moist Food

    This is sometimes found in dry food or sold separately. It often resembles raw hamburger patties. Semi-moist food contains far less water than canned or pouched food, but large amounts of preservatives, sugar and salt, notes Liz Palika. Semi-moist food doesn't help keep teeth healthy and also causes soft stools. Adding small pieces of semi-moist food to dry kibble can tempt finicky Maltese or those that may experience chronic nausea problems.

Treats

    Dry or hard dog biscuits, as opposed to semi-moist, helps scrape tartar off a Malteses teeth. Don't feed table scraps or people food to a Maltese because this quickly makes it overweight. Some Maltese enjoy raw, washed vegetables such as green beans or broccoli. Treats should be given occasionally and not as often as the Maltese begs for them.

How to Care for a Baby Chihuahua

How to Care for a Baby Chihuahua

Chihuahuas may be the smallest dog breed in the world, but their personalities are large. They are very loyal to their owners and can be aggressive toward other people and dogs. As puppies, they are quite fragile, physically and emotionally. They need a lot of attention and care. Chihuahua puppies will be cared for primarily by their mother until they are about 6 weeks old, at which point they will stop nursing. Then you can start taking over their care.

Instructions

    1

    Set up a home. Make sure your Chihuahua baby has a safe, comfortable place to sleep and play that is set apart from the rest of the house. These dogs are tiny and can easily be stepped or sat on. It is better to keep the puppies confined to their own space so accidents don't happen.

    2

    Keep her warm. Make sure her sleeping area has a heat lamp. Do not shine it directly on her, but keep it centered about 12 inches above her sleeping area. If you live in a warm climate, just put her in a sunny spot, but keep the temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

    3

    Feed your puppy three small meals per day and leave water out at all times. For smaller puppies (5 to 8 weeks old), blend puppy chow in a blender with some goat's milk to make a soft, nutritious mush. Typically, puppies can eat 1/2 cup per meal, but if he seems hungry feed him more than that.

    4

    Exercise your puppy. Though small, Chihuahuas are very active. They love to run around and be outside. Keep your puppy away from any other dogs, however, until he has all of his shots. In fact, keep him away from any areas that other dogs have been. Your own yard is best.

    5

    Socialize your puppy. Once she has had all of her shots, take her out to be around people and other dogs as much as possible. If you do not teach her early how to share you with other people, she will become aggressive and overly protective of you.

Jumat, 29 Juni 2012

How to Tape a Corgi's Ears

How to Tape a Corgi's Ears

If your corgi is 14 to 16 weeks old and its ears are still drooping, you may want to tape them to train them to stand erect. This method will not irritate the skin or yank the fur and should be fairly comfortable for the puppy. Use flexible, self-adhesive bandaging, which sticks to itself and is thin and flexible, yet strong.

Instructions

    1

    Cut a 6-inch length of the flexible, self-adhesive bandage. Fold the bandage on itself to make a little pad to fit in the inner part of the ear. As an alternative, cut the cardboard toilet paper tube in half lengthwise. Cut each half into an oval that will fit into the inner part of the ear. The pad or the cardboard should not fit beyond the edges or tip of the ear.

    2

    Place the pad or cardboard into the inner side of the ear, allowing an inch of space at the bottom of the ear, so the ear canal is not blocked. While your assistant holds the pad in place, wrap the flexible bandage around the bottom of the ear and pad to hold the pad in place. The flexible bandage sticks to itself only, so it will stay put without causing any irritation or pain.

    3

    Continue to wrap the bandage around the ear, as your assistant holds the ear and pad in place. Wrap all the way up the ear, including the tip of the ear. Check that the bandage did not slide down and block or poke the beginning of the ear canal.

    4

    Repeat step 3 to add another layer for better support of the ear.

    5

    Repeat steps 1 through 4 on the second ear.

    6

    Wrap the bandage around the top portion of one ear and across and around the top portion of the second ear, making a sort of bridge and holding the two ears into position. This should not be too tight; don't bend the ears too far inward. This step is optional. Some people prefer the bridge type of wrapping and others prefer to leave the ears wrapped separately.

    7

    Wrap duct tape around the flexible bandage, making sure that no tape touches the pup's skin or fur. This step is also optional, as the flexible bandage is enough support for most pups, but some people like the extra support of the duct tape.

    8

    Remove the tape after two to three days, and check the ears. Leave the tape off for a couple of days, and then repeat the procedure for three more days if the ears are not standing erect. You may need to repeat the taping several times before both ears stand erect.

Fruits & Vegetables That Dogs Should Not Eat

Fruits & Vegetables That Dogs Should Not Eat

The Best Food for Maltese Dogs

If you are planning to get a Maltese dog, pay special attention to the food that it will need. Like us, Maltese need a diet that is balanced and full of essential vitamins. Also, a Maltese dog's nutritional requirements will change as it ages and becomes less active. Additionally, its organs may not be able to process all kinds of foods. Therefore, you will need to reconsider your pet's diet as it grows older.

Nutritional Requirements

    Like any other dog, Maltese require a diet that balances essential amounts of nutrients, such as proteins, fats, vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals. If you are considering commercial and packaged products, look at their ingredients. The beauty of the Maltese lies in their shiny and silky coats, and they require a diet high in proteins and fat to keep their glow.

    A good indication of whether the packaged food is disagreeing with your dog is dry skin, weight loss or weight gain, and stomach gas or flatulence. If you notice any of these signs in your dog, you need to change its diet.

Home-Cooked Food

    A lot of dog lovers are warming up to the idea of cooking food for their pets at home. Contrary to popular belief, it is neither expensive nor time-consuming. It's ideal to make a week's worth of food at a time and buy meat accordingly. Your Maltese dog requires meat as, like all dogs, it is carnivorous and derives its essential nutrients from meat.

    Fifty percent of a Maltese's food needs to be meat. You could add organs, lean chicken, lean hamburger, fish and lamb. Next up are vegetables, which should make up about 25 percent of the meal. Maltese dogs love baby carrots, green beans, peas, broccoli, potatoes and spinach. Finally, they need a source of starch, which could be white or brown rice or pasta.

    This kind of a diet is cheaper than commercial dog food, is free of additives, and provides your Maltese dog with necessary vitamins and nutrients.

Treats

    Your Maltese dog will love an occasional treat. They can be used as a reward for good behavior or as an in-between-meals snack.

    Maltese are partial to raw carrots and broccoli, probably because they have such a crunchy texture. These treats also stimulate the gums and keep them healthy.

    Another option is beef liver. Slice it up into little pieces and boil it with a bunch of garlic till it's cooked through. If you find the preparation to be too messy, you can bake it in the oven at 250 degrees. The slices should be dry but not too hard. Take care not too give too many of these delectable treats to your Maltese pets, as they can cause diarrhea. An alternative that doesn't cause diarrhea is beef hearts, cooked in the same way.

How to Care for Small Dog Breeds

Small dog breeds are very popular because of their adaptability to different lifestyles. For instance, small dog breeds are often better suited for apartment living than large dog breeds. Small dog breeds have special needs that should be considered to help owners maintain a happy, healthy lifestyle for their pets.

Instructions

    1

    Provide higher quality foods. Small dogs have smaller stomachs and small appetites. You will need to make sure your dog gets the proper nutrition in his small meals. Consider purchasing an automatic feeder so the dog can eat small meals several times a day.

    2

    Brush his teeth. Most small dog breeds are prone to dental problems. You can purchase dental pads or small breed toothbrushes to make cleaning easier. Feed your pet treats that help clean teeth and freshen breathe. Most small breeds should have their teeth cleaned weekly.

    3

    Buy toys. Small dog breeds have more energy than large dog breeds. You will need to have plenty of toys for your pet. Be sure to incorporate enough playtime throughout the day so that your dog doesn't get bored and develop bad behaviors.

    4

    Create a safe place for your small dog. Cages, beds, or gated areas that are away from activity and visitors keep him safe when you are away. Pets enjoy having a safe place to retreat to when they get over heated, tired or are feeling insecure. Make sure your family and visitors know that when the dog is in his safe place, he is off limits.

    5

    Dress your pup when you take him outside on cold days. Small dog breeds are prone to chills because they have no winter undercoat to keep them warm. Clean the snow and ice from his feet when he comes in, especially if he is a long-hair breed. Ice balls can form on the hair in between his toes and can be quite painful.

Kamis, 28 Juni 2012

Dog Breeds That Will Affect Your Homeowners Insurance

Dog Breeds That Will Affect Your Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance policies protect the homeowner against many risks, including the owners liability for damages caused by injuries, including dog bites. Many insurance companies will not provide insurance for certain breeds of dogs. Others will charge increased premiums if one of those breeds is in the household. Still others will insure all breeds and pay damages to the extent of the policy limits, but terminate the coverage if a dog bites someone. Others treat dogs as any other risk, regardless of breed.

The Dogs Reputation

    Pit bulls and Rottweilers are considered aggressive dogs. Owners of these dogs will argue that their particular dog is a sweet, unaggressive dog, friendly to people and other dogs and gentle with children. This may well be true, but insurance companies base their premiums and willingness to cover risk on actuarial computations. Pit bulls and Rottweilers have a higher incidence of serious bites than any other breeds.

The High Risk List

    In addition to pit bulls and Rottweilers, insurance companies consider other dog breeds to have the highest risk of causing serious injury. Chows, German shepherds, huskies, malamutes, Doberman pinchers, Great Danes, boxers, Akitas, wolf-hybrids and several crossbred dogs are on the list. There may be others, specific to a particular insurer.

Overcoming Difficulties

    Some insurance companies require prospective policyholders to provide information about the dog, such as whether it has ever bitten anyone or is considered aggressive. Failure to answer such questions honestly may void the policy if the dog bites someone. Some insurance companies will provide coverage if the dog owner agrees to go to training classes. There are some insurance companies that provide insurance coverage only for injuries caused by dogs, separate from homeowners insurance.

What to Do

    If you dont already own a dog, give careful consideration to the breed of dog you wish to own. There are many breeds, and many dogs in shelters waiting for adoption, that make wonderful pets and do not cause any problem with insurance companies. If you already own one of the dogs on the risk list, shop around for an insurance company that will provide coverage. In any case, make sure you get liability coverage for your dog. Failure to do so can cause an economic catastrophe, resulting in the loss of everything you own.

Temperament of the English Bulldog

The English bulldog is short in stature with broad shoulders and a wide chest. The dog has a short, broad muzzle and is covered with folds of loose skin that cause wrinkling at the tail and legs and around the face. These dogs are extremely intelligent and possess quirky personalities.

Humorous

    English bulldogs tend to be the class clowns of the dog world. They react very positively to good humor and crave the attention of their owners.

Loyal

    English bulldogs become extremely attached to their owners, and adult dogs do not tolerate relocating well.

Protective

    These dogs are immensely powerful and will go to great lengths to protect their homes and families. Bulldogs are extremely protective over small children, which may be a detractor, as disciplining children may be difficult around this breed.

Stoic

    Bulldogs are not lazy; however, they are not an extremely active breed after maturity. Because they often have breathing problems associated with their extremely short muzzle and because of their build, they are more sedentary than other breeds.

Stubborn

    Bulldogs can be stubborn and difficult to train, as they are easily bored with traditional dog behaviors. They crave to simply be a companion animal and are not impressed by overzealous training.

Information on Labrador Dogs

Information on Labrador Dogs

Labrador retrievers are classified as being part of the sporting group of dogs. They often assist police officers in search and rescue or drug detection operations or work as helper or seeing-eye dogs.

Breed History

    The Labrador retriever breed was developed in Newfoundland. They were originally called St. John's water dogs. The breed was recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1903.

Identification

    Labrador retrievers have a straight double coat of brown (chocolate), yellow, black or silver fur. They are usually between 21-24 inches in height at the shoulder and can weigh between 60 and 100 lbs.

Exercise

    According to the Dogguide.net, Labs are an energetic breed and need regular outdoor exercise to maintain their weight.

Grooming

    Labradors require regular brushing to remove loose hairs, and they may need an occasional bath. Otherwise, their grooming needs are low.

Health Issues

    Labs are prone to develop hip or elbow dysplasia, which are conditions where the hip joints or elbows do not fit together properly. These conditions lead to pain, lameness and arthritis. They may also develop eye diseases such as retinal deterioration (progressive retinal atrophy) and cataracts.

Names of Spaniel Breeds

Names of Spaniel Breeds

Many spaniels are dogs that were bred for assisting hunters in Britain. They are small to medium-sized dogs that are relatively easy to train and own as a household pet. Some spaniels are still used by hunters today to flush out game, then retrieve it after it is shot, but some have been bred into toy versions that are solely for companionship.

Cocker Spaniels

    Cocker Spaniels are a very popular type of Spaniel.
    Cocker Spaniels are a very popular type of Spaniel.

    The American Cocker Spaniel (simply known as Cocker Spaniel) and English Cocker Spaniel are very similar. The Cocker Spaniel is one of the most popular breeds, according to the American Kennel Club. Cockers have a compact body, and many are brown or blond in color, but they can come in any solid color, including black, or have spots. Both American and English Cockers are quick, with good endurance and energy, and need exercise every day.

Field Spaniel

    Field Spaniels nearly went extinct at one point and are still a rare breed. They are medium sized and are known for being level-headed and persistent. Their coats can be dark or golden and may sometimes have spots. The field can be a more laid-back companion than some other Spaniels, but it still needs daily exercise.

Sussex Spaniel

    Sussex Spaniels are mostly unchanged in appearance from centuries ago. Their bodies are long and low to the ground. Sussex's are not as quick as other Spaniels, but they are known for their excellent sense of smell.

Springer Spaniels

    An English Springer Spaniel enjoys a run.
    An English Springer Spaniel enjoys a run.

    English and Welsh Springer Spaniels have some differences despite both being Springers. Welsh Springers are more compact and have slightly webbed paws that help with water retrieving.They are known for their red and white coat. English Springers are medium sized and have an eager-to-please attitude. They make good family pets and enjoy affection.

Clumber Spaniel

    Clumber Spaniels appear more bulky than other spaniels, with their compact bodies and low build. They are known for being hard workers and playful. The breed has a white coat with red or lemon markings. The dog tends to be a drooler but makes a good family pet. He should be walked often but isn't a good jogging partner.

Water Spaniels

    American Water and Irish Water Spaniels have curly to wavy hair and are among the tallest of the spaniels. Irish Water Spaniels are strong, intelligent and quite active. Their coats are curly and hypo-allergenic. American Water Spaniels are rare, but they are the state dog of Wisconsin. They thrive in hunting activities and have a lot of energy.

Boykin Spaniel

    The Boykin Spaniel is the state dog of South Carolina and is recognizable by its chocolate brown coat. Boykins are medium sized and have plenty of energy to hunt all day long. They are ideal dogs for active or hunting families.

Tibetan Spaniel

    Tibetan Spaniels are native to Tibet and are not hunting dogs. They are a small breed, but are not considered toys. They are light colored, active and intelligent. They are people-lovers and need companionship.

Toy Spaniels

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

    The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and English Toy Spaniel are the smallest Spaniel breeds. Cavalier King Charles is known for its sweet and gentle nature. English Toys are gentle and playful, and make ideal pets for apartments and small homes with young children.

Information About the Cane Corso Mastiff

Information About the Cane Corso Mastiff

The cane corso mastiff is an ancient Italian breed used to protect people and property. With an imposing size and a deep loud bark, it is easy to envision this breed's history as a faithful guardian.

Size

    The cane corso or Italian mastiff is a massive dog with an average weight of 80 to 140 pounds. They typically stand between 22 and 28 inches in height.

Appearance

    A purebred cane corso should be black, brown, gray, red or fawn. Brindle patterns are typical as is a mask and a white patch on the chest, feet, throat or chin.

Temperament

    The cane corso is known for being gentle with its owners and good with children. This is a loyal and protective breed.

History

    The cane corso mastiff originated in southern Italy.

Warning

    Not all dogs will adhere to breed standards. Do not leave any breed of dog alone with small children.

Rabu, 27 Juni 2012

Dominant and Recessive Characteristics in Dogs

Dominant and Recessive Characteristics in Dogs

Genes are the building blocks of any creation, including dogs. Each individual gene contains a specific physical and behavioral characteristic, which is either recessive or dominant. Recessive characteristics in dogs are genetically visible but are not physically visible, while dominant characteristics are both genetically and physically visible. These characteristics are easier to track if the dominant trait is present in the parents. However, some characteristics are present in the offspring but are recessive in the parents.

Physical Dominant Characteristics

    Physical dominant characteristics of dogs are passed on from their parents. For example, if both parents have smooth coats or dark eyes, chances are their offspring will have the same look. This is why cross or experimental breeders study the dominant physical characteristics of dogs before breeding them.

Dominant Behaviors

    A dog's dominant behavior should not be mistaken as aggression. Dogs with dominant behavior will prevent you from petting his head and will not follow simple commands. If you are eating, a dominant dog will bark until he is fed. He normally growls or barks especially if you attempt to play with him. These traits are not necessarily bad, but owners must be able to handle their pets to eliminate danger to other people.

Physical Recessive Characteristics

    Genes are unpredictable. Puppies may not always inherit the physical characteristics of their parents. This is why dog breeders look into the physical recessive characteristics to make sure that they will produce quality ones. Some of the common recessive characteristics of dogs are light or bulging eye, fine and large skull size, overshot or undershot bite and pronounced parietal crest.

Recessive Behaviors

    Unaggressive and fearful behaviors are common recessive behaviors in dogs. Dogs with these behaviors will shy away from a loud command. At first, you might think that these are good traits, but in reality, dogs with recessive behaviors should also be trained. Confidence should be instilled in your dog so he can be competitive. Recessive behaviors in dogs can be a problem as they tend to stay fearful even when the need to be fierce arises, such as when a burglar is trying to get into their master's home.

How to Compare Goldendoodles & Labradoodles

How to Compare Goldendoodles & Labradoodles

A goldendoodle is a hybrid dog that results from breeding a golden retriever with a poodle. A labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador retriever and a poodle. Both crossbreeds are highly intelligent, energetic dogs that are so similar in appearance you may find it difficult to choose between them. You can determine which dog is right for you by doing some research.

Grooming

    Check with local groomers to determine the grooming requirements for each breed. Both dogs have low-shedding coats that require regular brushing. However, at 4 to 7 inches long, the goldendoodle's longer coat may require additional brushing or clipping.

Temperament

    Seek out breed-specific organizations to talk with owners of each breed about the temperament and behavior of their dogs. Although both breeds make good family pets, some differences exist. For example, according to Discovering Labradoodles, the goldendoodle is outgoing and people-oriented, while the labradoodle is more reserved with strangers and makes a better watchdog.

Health Issues

    Because they are hybrids, goldendoodles and labradoodles are generally healthy dogs. However, disorders common to Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers and poodles may be passed on to the offspring. For example, the goldendoodle may be prone to skin problems. A veterinarian can discuss possible health concerns and provide references for reputable breeders.

English Bulldog Newborn Tips

English Bulldog Newborn Tips

All newborn English bulldog puppies require specialized care during the earliest stages of life in order to develop into social, well-behaved pets. Though dogs of the breed are known for being affectionate and gentle, bad experiences early on can drastically change personality, causing these normally friendly animals to become timid and fearful of people or even aggressive towards them. To keep this from happening, English bulldog owners must understand the developmental stages of their pets and work to meet the animals' specialized needs during this important time.

The Neonatal Period

    When English bulldog puppies are between 0 and 2 weeks of age, they are in the neonatal period. The best thing a responsible pet owner can do during this period is to leave the puppies alone. All of their needs are basic. These include food, warmth and protection, all of which are received from the mother dog. The only exception to this rule is for pet owners who intend to raise their English bulldogs to be show dogs. If this is the case, then the puppies should be held for a few seconds each day, briefly exposed to cold, and weighed daily to acclimate the dogs to stress and begin cultivating a proper temperament.

The Transitional Period

    Once English bulldog puppies reach two weeks of age, they become aware of and begin to explore their five senses, which should now be fully functioning. Owners may pick up the puppies and spend short amounts of time with them each day to get them used to human contact. Handling sessions should be brief and controlled, and the puppies should feel safe at all times. If handled consistently and correctly, some of the positive English bulldog traits, such as friendliness and enthusiasm, should begin to come out.

The Awareness Period

    During the third and fourth weeks of their lives, the puppies' senses are completely developed and their brains are growing rapidly each day. During this stage, English bulldog puppies also become aware of other members of the litter, a process known as species identification. If no other dogs are present, a puppy may identify with other animals in the house or with humans. Puppies should not be separated from their mother during this stage, since this can cause serious emotional and behavioral problems from which the puppies will never recover. Owners should take care not to stress out the puppies in any way or to change their daily routine, as this too will cause adverse effects that are likely to be permanent.

Post-Newborn Development

    After the fourth week of life, English bulldog puppies are no longer considered newborns. While they are not yet ready to leave their mothers, they will grow braver and more independent on a daily basis. The puppies need plenty of time to play with one another and with other people. This will make them better pets and will teach them appropriate behavior with humans and other animals. Once the puppies reach approximately seven to eight weeks of age, they may be separated from their mother and the litter if necessary.

What Is the Life Span of a Miniature Poodle?

What Is the Life Span of a Miniature Poodle?

Poodles are intelligent dogs that do extremely well at obedience training. They usually live from 14 to 16 years, are considered a happy breed and make good family pets. They are non-shedding and therefore require regular grooming.

Longevity

    Poodles come in three official sizes; standard (largest), miniature (medium) and toy (smaller). Miniature poodles stand between 11 to 15 inches high when full-grown and weigh between 15 and 17 pounds. Their life span is slightly longer than that of the standard or toy and a well-rounded routine of nutrition, exercise and attention may extend it by a year or two.

Care

    Proper dental care is vital to the life span of a miniature Poodle. Without regular cleanings, gums are susceptible to infection and periodontal disease can develop. Left untreated, the disease can affect the dog's vital organs causing pain, discomfort and even death.

Considerations

    Whereas excellent care can help some poodles live longer, others are predisposed to medical conditions that can shorten their lives. Some of these conditions include: heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy and hypothyroidism. Other health concerns that may affect miniature poodles but are less likely to affect their life span are cataracts, ear infections, runny eyes and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which can cause blindness.

How to Raise a Newfoundland Puppy

As the name suggests, this dog breed descended from Mastiff-like dogs found roaming the island of Newfoundland in the 17th century. As you may have guessed, this is a very large breed of dog weighing in at about 100 lbs. at maturity. Raising a Newfoundland puppy can be quite rewarding, or challenging if training is not started at a young age. By following a few relatively simple steps you and your Newfoundland puppy can have a long and happy journey.

Instructions

How to Raise a Newfoundland Puppy

    1

    Purchase your Newfoundland puppy from a reputable breeder, especially if you have little or no experience with this large breed. Make sure that all of the puppys paperwork is in order, including lineage/geneology records, registration papers and vaccination proof. Inbreeding and disease will add many complications to training and raising a Newfoundland puppy or any puppy for that matter.

    2

    Feed a Newfoundland puppy a healthy, well-rounded diet recommended for large-breed dogs. Large-breed puppies need to have a balanced diet to help with the huge growth spurts that their bodies go through. A proper diet will also help to defend against problems that Newfoundland puppies are more susceptible to, including hip and back problems. Ask your veterinarian for the best recommended diet for your new puppy.

    3

    Find a veterinarian that specializes in large-breed puppies. While all licensed veterinarians know the basics of all dogs anatomies, one that specializes will be better able to recommend special diets and exercise. A specialized veterinarian will also be more knowledgeable about any possible genetic predispositions to disease your Newfoundland puppy may face.

    4

    Start the training process with your Newfoundland as soon as the adoption takes place. It is critical with any large-breed puppy to immediately gain control and teach the dog its place in the family order. Getting an early start on dog training is important since a large-breed puppys body grows much faster than its brain. With little or no early training things will get out of hand quickly and eventually lead to having to find a new home for your dog. For this reason you should get into a dog training school as soon as possible.

    5

    Teach children that the Newfoundland puppy is a puppy, even after it grows well beyond the childrens expectations of a baby. Children should be involved heavily in the training process, so the dog learns that all humans in the home are in control of most situations. While Newfoundland dogs are known as gentle giants, they are in fact giants to children. Proper training of both children and pet will help alleviate childrens fears and puppys excitement when playing.

    6

    Groom the Newfoundland puppy on a regular basis. You will probably have to hire a professional groomer once the puppy grows to adulthood. The cost involved in a professional groom for a large-breed dog will be well worth it in space, time and the health of the dog. Newfoundland dogs do shed, especially in the hot summer months. This hair needs to be removed by combing and brushing on a regular basis. Keeping up with grooming at home between professional grooming appointments will save time and money in the long run.

    7

    Start an exercise regimen immediately upon adopting a Newfoundland. Large-breed dogs need plenty of exercise during the growing stages. A large exercise area is a necessity, as is daily walking on a leash. If a puppy is put outside in a large backyard they will often become bored resulting in either destructive behavior or laziness. Neither is a good trait for a Newfoundland.

What Type of Foods Do Rat Terriers Eat?

What Type of Foods Do Rat Terriers Eat?

Rat terriers are a small and feisty dog breed, with a high metabolism and active lifestyle. Bred to find small rodents, such as rats and rabbits, they have a strong hunting drive and are eager to please their owners. They require daily extensive exercise and a healthy, balanced diet.

Raw Meat

    Dogs are carnivores and thrive on an all-meat diet. If you are able to, consider feeding your rat terrier a raw meat diet. Wolves, who dogs are descended from, eat a raw meat diet in the wild. A dog is able to handle raw meat because of the short digestive tract, which allows food to digest quickly, which is not an environment that bacteria can thrive in. His stomach also contains a high amount of acid that can kill harmful bacteria in the meat itself. Feed the meat by itself or still attached to bones for good oral exercise.

Commercial Dog Food

    Commercial dog food is a carefully prepared blend of the nutrition your dog needs, often concocted in a laboratory according to published guidelines. If you want to feed your rat terrier this type of diet, look for one that has meat as its first ingredient. Many commercial dog foods have a high grain content that dogs don't necessarily need, as they are primarily meat eaters.

Human Food

    If a rat terrier is an indoor dog, he may enjoy eating your leftovers or scraps. He may hover around your dinner table expectantly and beg if fed on a regular basis while you eat. To ward off begging behavior, relegate the scraps to the food dish and don't feed him during your meal from your hands or plates. Rat terriers are athletic and can easily hop on a chair and chow down, so keep that in mind.

Foods to Avoid

    There are a number of human foods that are toxic to dogs, rat terriers included. The list includes mushrooms, garlic, onions, nuts, raw eggs, raw fish and dairy foods. Chocolate, in large amounts (particularly dark chocolate) can be fatal to dogs. Also keep your cat's food dish away from your pup as the nutrition blend is inappropriate for canines. It is also important to keep bones away from your dog, such as chicken or fish bones, as they can splinter and cause damage to the throat or digestive tract.

Boxer-Puppy Feeding Guidelines

Boxer-Puppy Feeding Guidelines

Boxers are high-energy, medium-size dogs. Named for their muscular, boxer-like build, these dogs are extraordinarily strong for their size and known for their ability to stand on their hind legs. Boxer puppies need high-quality food to grow and develop properly. Good nutrition can also help boxers avoid some of the illnesses to which they are susceptible, including bloat and hip dysplasia.

Kibble Diets

    Most people feed their dogs prepackaged wet or dry food called kibble. Although most of these foods purport to be "complete and balanced," there is a huge disparity in nutritional quality among kibble foods. All dogs require a high-protein diet, and protein is especially important for boxers because of their rapid growth and high energy levels. Protein also encourages healthy brain development. Check the ingredients list on the kibble you choose. The first ingredient listed is the largest portion of the food, and should always be meat, not corn, wheat or a meat byproduct.

Homemade Diets

    Recent concerns about contaminated pet foods have inspired many people to opt for a homemade diet. When made correctly, these diets can be perfect for your boxer because you can be certain of all the ingredients. Growing boxers must eat approximately 3 to 4 percent of their body weight per day, and 2 to 3 percent as adults. Feed your dog boiled or steamed meats such as chicken, beef and duck. Avoid foods like pork, which cause allergic reactions and skin problems in many dogs. Small quantities of vegetables are healthy for boxers, but should be ground in a food processor; dogs cannot break down the cellulose walls in plant matter, so you must break these down for your dog to receive the benefits.

Raw Diets

    Raw diets are among the most controversial choices for dogs, but many people have had excellent results feeding their dogs a diet consisting of uncooked meat and small quantities of vegetables. Raw bones are safe for dogs; it is cooked bones that are dangerous because they can splinter and lead to choking. Give your dog approximately 65 percent raw, meaty bones such as chicken wings; 30 percent muscle and organ meat such as ground beef, hearts and gizzards; and 5 percent plant matter ground in a food processor. Some boxers are susceptible to food allergies and intestinal upset, so give your dog a tablespoon of yogurt each day to encourage its system to produce beneficial bacteria.

General Guidelines

    Boxers are susceptible to bloat, a potentially fatal condition in which food swells in the stomach. Encourage your dog to eat slowly to prevent this condition, and avoid feeding large pieces of kibble. The breed is also prone to obesity, which can cause hip dysplasia and premature death. You should be able to feel your dog's ribs but not see them. If you can't feel your dog's ribs, decrease the quantity of food you give it or the frequency with which you feed it.

How to Tell a Purebreed German Shepherd

How to Tell a Purebreed German Shepherd

Intelligent, loyal, protective and family-friendly are just a few of the adjectives used to describe the class of dog called German Shepherds. These regal, large-sized canines can wear many hats -- companion, guide dog, police dog and herder. German Shepherds are part of the large-sized herding group of working dogs. They are agile with keen senses and are thought to be one of the most intelligent of all the dog breeds. The breed was originally created in Germany to guard and herd sheep. If you do not have breed and parenting documentation, determining whether your dog is a purebred German Shepherd will not be straight-forward. However, German Shepherds do exhibit very specific characteristics, and with the help of your veterinarian and groups such as the American Kennel Club, you can learn a lot about your dog's heritage.

Instructions

    1

    Measure your dog in order to determine if it falls within the standard height range for the breed. The German Shepherd typically ranges from 22- to 26-inches in height. Measure from the top of your dog's shoulder to the floor to get an accurate measurement.

    2

    Have your dog weighed at a veterinarian's office. Full grown German Shepherds typically weigh between 60 to 110 lbs. While groomers also have animal scales, the size of the German Shepherd means that a veterinarian is more likely to have a scale large enough for an accurate measurement.

    3

    Examine your dog for general physical features and characteristics. German Shepherds typically have strong, lean, muscular bodies with medium-length coats and softer undercoats. Fur colors are most often black, black-and-tan, black-and-red or sable. The German Shepherd's appearance is often regal and commanding. Their bark is strong and clear. A typical German Shepherd's body is longer than it is tall. The forehead is slightly curved or rounded. They have long snouts or noses, long pointed ears and almond-shaped eyes that are set as opposed to protruding. The back legs are short in comparison to the length of the body and the tail is bushy.

    4

    Take your dog to a veterinarian for a full examination. Veterinarians are trained to identify dog breeds and can give you an objective opinion.

    5

    Contact the American Kennel Club. The organization has various programs to help dog owners learn more about their dogs' heritage. These programs include verifying documentation and a DNA testing program which can help to identify parentage under certain circumstances. Note that AKC DNA profiles cannot determine the breed of a dog, however.

Selasa, 26 Juni 2012

How to Rescue a Shih Tzu in Florida

How to Rescue a Shih Tzu in Florida

You may be surprised to learn that you can find purebred dogs in need of rescue in Florida animal shelters. Even the small and adorable shih tzu may suffer neglect. An owner may need to drop one off, or the animal control service may remove a shih tzu from a life of puppy mill service. Could you offer a loving home to a shih tzu, where it can happily spend its remaining years? Once you have restored your shih tzu to health, you can enjoy each other's companionship.

Instructions

    1

    Create your own "Rescue a Shih Tzu" poster and print copies to distribute or pin up on bulletin boards at veterinarian offices in the area, pet stores and animal shelters, and send copies to shih tzu breeders. Breeders occasionally have dogs returned--pups born that do not meet breed standards or a retired dog that needs a new home. Look in the Additional Resources section for a link to the Florida shih tzu breeder directory.

    2
    Volunteer to help at an adoption day.

    Volunteer at a Florida shih tzu rescue to provide a foster home to a shih tzu in need of rescue. You can also fill out applications with the Florida shih tzu rescues to adopt one of their dogs in need of a forever home. Rescues sometimes have adoption days at local pet stores. They bring their available dogs out to meet potential families. Ask about their schedules.

    3

    Visit Florida shelters at least once a week to find a shih tzu to rescue. Try to identify the Florida shelters that euthanize or sell pets to research that are not adopted within their allowable period. There is a link to a comprehensive list of Florida animal shelters in the Resources section. When you follow the link, the no-kill shelters say, "No Kill Shelter." You can assume that the ones that do not say "No Kill" do, but contact them for more information on their policies and adoption and rescue criteria.

    4

    Place a pet-wanted ad in your local Florida free weekly "Observer" indicating that you want to rescue a shih tzu. Place your pet-wanted ad free on Petfinder Classifieds, your area Craigslist and Free Pet Classifieds.

    5

    Remember that volunteers come and go frequently from animal shelters and rescues. Veterinarians and breeders are busy, and your name can get lost in the pile. Call every other week, visit in person when you can, check websites frequently for updates and send email reminders.

Healthy Low-Fat Diets for Dogs With Special Dietary Needs

Dogs may require low-fat diets for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to pancreatitis or obesity. Low-fat diet food may be purchased from a commercial dog food manufacturer or made at home. Dog owners who choose to make their own low-fat dog food may choose between cooked and raw diets.

Low-Fat Commercial Dog Foods

    An ideal low-fat diet for dogs must first and foremost contain quality ingredients. A dog with health problems does not benefit from consuming a low-fat food that is not healthful overall. Some "diet," "reduced calorie" or "weight management" dog foods are lower in fat and calories only because the manufacturer has added fillers with no nutritional value. One popular brand uses ground peanut hulls in its formula designed for overweight dogs. Too many fillers can lead to digestive upsets, frequent elimination and overall poor health.

    Commercial dog foods that are both low fat and nutritious may be purchased from several premium and super-premium pet food manufacturers. Innova Evo Low Fat dog food has only 7.9 percent fat, yet the first two ingredients are both healthful meats. Blue Buffalo Weight Management formula has a mere 6.0 percent fat, with deboned chicken as the first ingredient. Wellness Core Reduced Fat dog food is 9 to 10 percent fat but is grain free, making it a good choice for dogs that have food sensitivities. Each of these three formulas is manufactured with high-quality ingredients and without the use of filler ingredients like corn, wheat and soy. The Blue Buffalo food does contain barley, however, and both Innova and Blue Buffalo use rice in their low-fat formulas.

Low-Fat, Home-Cooked Dog Food

    Before attempting to make a low-fat, home-cooked diet for your dog, talk to a veterinarian with special education or experience in pet nutrition, or to a pet dietitian. Read about the nutritional needs of dogs. Many home-cooked pet food recipes are available online, but not all are nutritionally complete. You will need to make choices about which supplements to use and calculate how much of each to give your dog based on its weight and needs.

    Once you've researched this diet adequately, you can reduce the fat content of a home-cooked diet by including plenty of healthful cooked vegetables and some ancient grains. So long as you make certain that you're not short-changing your dog on necessary vitamins, minerals and enzymes, you can reduce the recommended portion of meat slightly and replace it with cooked green beans, broccoli, pumpkin, quinoa, zucchini or squash.

Low-Fat Raw Diets for Dogs

    Raw food diets for dogs are slightly less complex than home-cooked diets, but require the same planning and research prior to moving away from commercial foods. Take time to learn which organs, meats and bones your dog will need in order to stay healthy. Make sure that these ingredients are available to you. Some recommended items, such as beef spleen, may need to be ordered online. Talk to a raw diet-friendly veterinarian or pet dietitian before making your decision.

    If you have done your homework and wish to feed a raw diet to your dog, its fat content may be reduced by concentrating on lean meats and removing excessive fat. Choose meats like elk, venison, buffalo, ostrich and lean cuts of chicken and turkey. Trim obvious fat from red meat and remove the skin from poultry before feeding. Remember, your dog does need some fat in order to stay healthy and keep his skin and coat in good condition. Some raw meats, such as elk, contain so little fat that you might need to occasionally feed skin-on chicken or turkey breasts to make sure that your dog consumes enough fat.

The Best Dog Breeds to Run With

The Best Dog Breeds to Run With

If you are searching for the perfect running partner, you may find yourself looking for something with four legs. Dogs are always available and can adapt to your schedule and pace much more easily than a human partner. Certain breeds of dogs make better running companions than others. A good canine running partner possesses stamina, endurance, speed, a desire to run and the willingness to do so beside you while on a leash.

Dalmatian

    Dalmatian Running
    Dalmatian Running

    Originally bred to run with horse-drawn carriages, Dalmatians possess speed, endurance and the ability to pace themselves. Since running was the initial purpose of this breed, they are a natural running partner. They can run for miles at a steady pace and are perfect for the long distance runner. Dalmatians typically weigh 40 to 60 pounds.

Labrador Retriever

    Labrador Running
    Labrador Running

    Labrador retrievers, often referred to as "Labradors" or "Labs," are energetic and friendly dogs with gentle dispositions. They possess high stamina and are fast runners. Their disposition makes them great running partners because the runner does not need to be concerned with how the dog may react when encountering other people and animals. Young or untrained Labradors may have a tendency to pull. Labradors are typically between 55 and 75 pounds.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

    Rhodesian ridgebacks love to run and possess the ability to run for long distances at fast speeds. They tend to be undemonstrative around strangers, a desirable quality in a running dog as it keeps them from wanting to interact with everyone you pass; this can be a problem when running with very friendly and outgoing dogs, such as Labradors. Rhodesian ridgebacks possess a lot of energy but tend to become calmer as they age. Adults typically weigh between 70 and 85 pounds.

Border Collie

    Border Collie Running
    Border Collie Running

    Border collies possess a seemingly endless amount of energy. If you need to condition yourself for a marathon, this breed will keep you motivated and going (even if only to prevent your dog from destroying your home). Border collies need a lot of exercise or they may become destructive. They have an innate compulsion to herd, which may cause them to chase after moving objects (including people and cars). If you are willing and able to provide them with sufficient exercise and attention, border collies can make extremely rewarding companions. Border collies are smaller than most other breeds that make excellent running companions and weigh 30 to 45 pounds.

Siberian Husky

    Siberian Husky Running
    Siberian Husky Running

    Siberian huskies were bred to run for miles while carrying light loads. Siberian huskies possess an abundance of energy and serve as tireless running partners. Provided you live in a cold enough location, these dogs will gladly race beside you for miles. They often have a tendency to pull, so training may be necessary to teach them to run beside you rather than attempt to drag you like a sled. Their abundant energy and love of running makes them great running companions. Siberian huskies usually weigh between 35 and 60 pounds.

Description of a Collie

Description of a Collie

The Collie is a well-known dog breed that is native to both England and Scotland in the United Kingdom, where it served as a herding dog alongside livestock. The dog breed is a common family dog all around the world, including in the United States where it became known as the lovable main character on the 1950s sitcom "Lassie."

History

    The history of the Collie began in Scotland and England where it was known as "Rough Coated Collie." Compared with the Collies of today, the earlier versions had particularly short muzzles, wide heads and were much smaller in general. The primary function of Collies was to herd livestock (sheep and cows). In the middle of the 1800s, the breed received a spike in prominence due to Queen Victoria's fascination with them.

Appearance

    In terms of size, male Collies are both taller and heavier than female Collies. Male Collies tend to weigh between 60 and 75 lbs. at adulthood, while female Collies usually reach between 50 and 65 lbs. As for height, male Collies grow to somewhere between 24 to 26 inches, while female Collies tend to grow to between 22 to 24 inches. Common Collie coloring includes blue merle, white and sable, tricolor and almost fully white with scattered markings. The long-haired dog breed features a double coat that is thick and rich. With regard to the coat's texture, two varieties exist, which are rough and smooth-coat Collies. The Collie's physique is strong, slender, lithe and moderately-sized.

Health

    The Collie life expectancy usually ranges from 14 to 16 years. For the most part, the dogs stay healthy very easily. However, some health conditions that are occasionally associated with the breed include eye problems, the genetic disorder progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), arthritis, epilepsy, deafness, canine hip dysplasia and sun sensitivity.

Behavior

    The Collie breed is known for its smarts. Collies are also often described as being sweet, protective, trustworthy, devoted, friendly, gentle and eager to please. Collies interact well with young children. Although the breed is rarely aggressive, it can be suspicious of new people. If Collies are improperly trained, they can display stubborn behavior. Housebreaking of the breed is a relatively easy process.

Grooming

    Collies with smooth coats do not call for extensive maintenance and grooming. The rough-coated versions, however, need much more attention, with a minimum of 2 to 3 brushings weekly. The dog breed sheds roughly two times annually and during these times, additional grooming is necessary.

Exercise

    The Collie breed is full of energy, so abundant exercise is vital. Collie owners need to take their dogs for at least one extended walk every day. If possible, allow Collies to occasionally run and play around safe areas without leashes on. Collies can thrive in urban dwellings, as long as they receive enough daily exercise. Heat sensitivity can be an issue during the summer months.

How to Raise a Golden Retriever Puppy

How to Raise a Golden Retriever Puppy

The golden retriever originated in Great Britain during the mid-19th Century, a cross between yellow retrievers and spaniels. Bred with the intent of producing a superior hunting dog, golden retrievers are energetic dogs with even personalities. They are energetic and friendly and make good companions. With their desire to please and their ability to learn, they are also a popular choice for service dog training. Your golden retriever puppy will benefit from abundant social exposure and lots of exercise.

Instructions

Golden retriever puppies are great family dogs

    1

    Show your golden retriever puppy lots of affection. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), this dog is one of the most popular breeds in the U.S. This puppy is eager to please and he will return your affection. However, you should monitor interaction between your puppy and very young children, since this breed tends to be boisterous when young and may inadvertently scratch a child.

    2

    Enroll your puppy in an obedience class. This will help to socialize him and introduce basic obedience commands. Golden retrievers enjoy the company of other dogs and they will benefit socially from a group setting. After your pup gets the hang of following your commands, you may continue his formal education in dog agility, rally obedience or you may train him to be a therapy dog.

    3

    Feed your puppy a healthy diet. This will benefit him for years to come. Golden retrievers are genetically predisposed to developing a degenerative joint disorder called hip dysplasia, so your veterinarian may recommend a limited-portion diet during your puppy's first two years to keep him from growing too quickly.

    4

    Exercise your puppy daily. Golden retrievers are full of energy and need frequent walks or physical games to reduce their liveliness. One or two brisk walks per day will help your pup calm down and stay out of trouble. Bored puppies may chew on furniture or dash through the house.

    5

    Groom your new puppy. Grooming will help to keep him healthy and to reduce shedding. Golden retrievers should be brushed two times a week to keep their long coats healthy and mat-free. Because they have a large floppy ear flaps, they may require ear cleaning once or twice a week as well. Consult your veterinarian for instructions on home ear cleaning.

How to Keep your Maltese Free of Tear Stains

How to Keep your Maltese Free of Tear Stains

A Maltese is a beautiful breed, but often the dogs are victim to tear stains under the eyes and on the face. The tear stains can be caused by a variety of issues. One of the main causes is a red yeast infection, which is common in this type of dog. Tear stains also can be caused by allergies, the water your pet drinks and ear infections. If your Maltese gets a tear stain, it's important to take care of it promptly. Even if the physical look of the tear stain does not bother you, it can be dangerous to your pet's health to leave it be.

Instructions

    1

    Make an appointment with a veterinarian if your Maltese is experiencing tear staining for the first time. If you dog is suffering from a yeast infection, the doctor will need to prescribe medication, which your dog will have to be on for about two weeks. The stain may clear on its own once the infection is gone.

    2

    Purchase a steel bowl for your dog to drink out of. Plastic water bowls can contribute to Maltese tear stains and face discoloration. You should also change your dog's water often. Dirty water can have bacteria in it, which can get into your pet's tear ducts.

    3

    Wash your Maltese with a natural shampoo. Scented shampoos can cause an allergic reaction in your dog, and it can lead to tear stains.

    4

    Crush a calcium carbonate supplement into your dog's food. This type of supplement can prevent a yeast infection in your dog. If your dog is prone to yeast infections, preventing the infections can mean fewer stains for your pet.

Senin, 25 Juni 2012

Bottle Feeding a New Puppy

Bottle Feeding a New Puppy

Most puppies receive milk from their mothers. However, some mothers don't take to their pups right away or at all, causing them to starve to death if you don't step in to feed them. Luckily, you'll find many similarities between feeding formula to a human baby and feeding puppy formula to a puppy. Just be sure to check in frequently with your veterinarian, and keep a close eye on your pup's weight, eating habits and overall health.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase a puppy-nursing bottle and puppy milk powder at your local veterinarian's or pet store. Most vets carry these items. Some pet stores or even larger retailers like Walmart may also have them in stock, but call ahead before making the trip.

    2

    Poke one or two holes through the rubber nipple with a sterilized needle if none are punctured in it already. Only poke one or two holes so the milk drips out slowly when the bottle is shaken, rather than flowing out steadily. Puppies that have a steady flow of milk entering their mouth can actually collect liquid in their lungs, resulting in pneumonia, which can be fatal. Consider buying a few extra rubber nipples to test out with water before attempting to feed the puppy.

    3

    Prepare the formula according to the directions on the package. A stove or microwave for boiling water may be involved.

    4

    Serve the formula only when it is approximately at room temperature. Test it on your wrist just as you would for a human baby. Also make sure that the ingredients are well-mixed and not clumpy. Do this by shaking up the bottle and observing its ingredients.

    5

    Prepare to feed the puppy when it is laying on its stomach. Do not turn it on its back or hold it like a human baby.

    6

    Offer the nipple to the puppy and see if it takes it automatically. If it does not, open its mouth slightly and let a few drops fall into the mouth. This should prompt it to take the nipple. If not, gently insert the nipple into the puppy's mouth. It should begin suckling at this point.

    7

    Burp the puppy after it is done feeding by patting its back, as you would a human baby.

    8

    Feed a young puppy approximately 2 to 4 oz. of the formula five to six times a day. This measurement may differ depending on how young or large your puppy is. Check with your veterinarian about how much and how often to feed your puppy. Revise the amount of food you feed your puppy and how often it's fed by weighing it frequently on a small food scale to determine its new nutritional needs.

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Information

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Information

Among the most popular pets in the United States, the Labrador retriever has ranked at the top of the American Kennel Club's list of dog registration statistics since 1999. Its trainability and eagerness to please make it a common choice for service or police work.

History

    The Labrador retriever hails from Newfoundland, Canada. Prior to the 1800s, small water dogs typical of the area were bred with Newfoundlands, creating the St. John's water dog, a now-extinct breed that evolved to become the Labrador retriever, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC.) At the beginning of the 19th century, the first Labrador retriever was imported to Great Britain and used as a hunting dog. Although the original Labrador retrievers in Newfoundland died out, the line continued in England and later came to the United States. The AKC recognized the Labrador retriever in 1917.

Types

    Although considered the same breed, the English Labrador retriever and the American Labrador retriever have different appearances. The English Lab is stockier, shorter and thicker than the American Lab, which is tall and lanky, according to the Dog Breed Info Center. English Labs mature sooner than American Labs and tend to have a more calm and laid-back demeanor.

Identification

    There are three colors of Labrador retriever recognized by the AKC--black, yellow and chocolate. There is also a rare silver or gray color which, according to the Dog Breed Info Center, could be a true mutation or a Weimaraner mix. The Lab's coat is thick and smooth with a waterproof undercoat. As a water dog, the Labrador retriever has webbed feet to help it swim with ease.

Temperament

    The Labrador retriever is a friendly, outgoing, kind dog that is eager to please and non-aggressive, according to the Labrador Retriever Club, Inc. Good with children, the Lab craves social contact and needs to feel part of a family, according to the Dog Breed Info Center. The Labrador retriever's temperament makes it a popular candidate for service work.

Considerations

    As with most hunting or working dogs, the Labrador retriever is a high-energy dog. The puppy, in particular, is a handful if left to its own devices. Dog trainer Norma Bennett Woolf recommends training from an early age and plenty of exercise in order for the Labrador retriever to grow into a well-behaved, happy dog. An under-exercised Lab often shows undesirable behaviors, such as chewing, digging, getting in the trash, jumping, escaping and wandering.

How to Feed a Pug Puppy After Weaning

How to Feed a Pug Puppy After Weaning

Pug puppies are high energy dogs that burn up a lot of energy. They require a well-balanced and nutritious diet to keep them healthy and happy. Introducing solid food into a puppy's diet after he is weaned is an important step in his development. If the puppy is successfully weaned, changing his diet solid food is a relatively simple procedure. If pug puppies are weaned prematurely, it is sometime necessary to feed him mother's milk with an eyedropper until he is able to digest solid foods.

Instructions

    1

    Introduce food as the pug puppy toward the end of the weaning process. Pug puppies are typically weaned between the fourth and the seventh week. Introducing food helps with the pug puppy's development and socialization processes.

    2

    Create a healthy diet with 22 to 25 percent protein and 15 to 19 percent fat. Some pug owners prepare their puppy's food themselves, while other pug owners feed high quality dog food to their puppy. Read the label if you are using packaged food to feed your puppy. The protein should come from a good quality source, such as chicken meal, turkey meal, fish, potatoes, lamb meal and rice. Avoid inferior proteins such as wheat, corn, and chicken "products.".These are hard to digest and can cause health problems.

    3

    Feed the puppy three to four times a day. Give the puppy small meals. Remove his food bowl after 30 minutes. This helps to discipline him and keep him from overeating. When the puppy is six months, reduce his feeding schedule to twice a day, giving him one cup of food each time.

Newfoundland Dog Behavior

Newfoundland Dog Behavior

According to the online magazine, "Dog Owner's Guide," Newfoundlands are the "teddy bear" of the giant breeds for their sweet dispositions and long, thick coats. Newfoundland males average around 150 pounds and 28 inches at the shoulder, while females average approximately 115 pounds and 26 inches at the shoulder. The origin of the breed is a bit controversial, but the American Kennel Club stands by the theory that Newfoundlands really did come from Newfoundland and that European fishermen brought their ancestors to Newfoundland.

Sweet Disposition

    While all dog breeds have variations and mistreatment can turn any dog into a problem, their sweet, gentle, even-tempered and devoted dispositions are prized characteristics of Newfoundlands. In fact, Newfoundlands are a recommended for families with children. The American Kennel Club states this sweet character is the "most important single characteristic of the breed," which often translates into endearing behavior. For example, "Newfs" are tolerant of kids' antics and like to snuggle up to all family members--even the rabbits.

Hero Dogs

    One well-known Newfoundland behavior is hauling trapped individuals to safety as rescue dogs. Originally bred as working dogs, Newfoundlands were so strong, big and obedient, people used them to pull fishing nets out of the water, haul firewood in from the forest and power blacksmiths' bellows. In modern times, this breeding translates not only into rescue jobs, but also in being almost irresistibly attracted to water and being perfectly happy to haul heavy loads. Their strength and agility also makes them good and willing participants in professional competitions like conformation, obedience, agility, tracking, drafting, water tests and carting.

Training

    Considered the most obedient of the giant breeds, Newfoundlands still need good training. Their intelligence, devotion and eagerness to please make them easy pupils, but the Newfoundland Club of America recommends starting this process at eight weeks--as soon as new owners bring the puppy home. Even untrained, gentle Newfoundlands can intimidate people by their size and the Newfoundland Club of America admits that consciously training giant dogs may be especially critical. Behaviors that may not bother people in smaller dogs can be terrifying in bigger ones, such as jumping. With training that focuses on encouragement and praise, "Newfs" learn not to use their strength against people, and to be obedient, good water dogs, proficient retrievers and excellent haulers.

Behaviors to Restrict

    For all their size, Newfoundlands are actually somewhat delicate as puppies. The Newfoundland Club of America (NCA) recommends not allowing puppies to do a lot of running, jumping or playing on slick surfaces, or allowing pulling on their limbs. Newfoundland joints and bones are still soft in puppyhood and these activities could damage them. The NCA recommends prohibiting heavy exercise or pulling until the dog reaches 18 months, but to encourage swimming as it is a low-impact activity.

Avoiding Bad Behaviors

    Proper training can prevent bad behavior in Newfoundlands. Harsh treatment or neglect can produce dangerous giant breeds--even in those with naturally gentle temperaments like the Newfoundland. However, as with any breed, some individual Newfoundlands do not have breed-standard qualities, such as a sweet disposition. The Newfoundland Club of America recommends spending time not only with the breeder of a new puppy, but also the puppy's parents; a Newfoundland offspring will often behave much like its mother and father.

Homemade Treats for Dogs with Food Allergies

Dogs love treats, but if you're the pet owner of a dog with a food allergy or intolerance, you may despair reading labels on dog treats, which are often chock-full of ingredients your dog simply can't have. Don't worry! You can put together a few good dog treat recipes that your dog can enjoy.

Identify What Your Dog Is Allergic To

    Most dogs with allergies or intolerances can't eat certain items. Your veterinarian should give you a list of items your pet can't eat. Armed with this list, you can plan on making substitutions in any dog food or treat recipe. For example, some dogs are intolerant of wheat or corn. You can substitute other flours such as barley, rice or buckwheat in the treat recipe.

Choose Novel Protein and Carbohydrate Sources

    Dogs are usually allergic to a particular protein or carbohydrate source such as beef and chicken or corn and wheat. Switching to a novel (new) protein and carbohydrate source, that is, one not normally found in a dog's diet, is the first step. Be careful about choices in protein, though, as in the past lamb was considered a novel protein source, but isn't any longer because so many people began feeding lamb thinking it would help with coat problems.

    Novel protein sources include venison, fish, duck, elk, buffalo and other exotic game meats. Novel carbohydrate sources include buckwheat, chickpea, barley or rye. You can find these meats and flours at a specialty health food stores.

Eggs and Milk

    Some dogs are sensitive to eggs and milk, which are common in recipes. You can substitute a half of a mashed banana, a quarter cup of applesauce or 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. oil and 1/4 cup water for the egg. Substitute goat's milk, soy milk or rice milk for cow's milk.

Watch the Fats, Too

    If your dog is allergic to corn, it makes no sense to use corn oil or margarine made from corn oil. Luckily you can buy various oils including flaxseed oil, sunflower oil, Canola oil, or safflower oil at a natural foods store. These should substitute nicely for margarine or butter.

Sample Recipe

    The following is a recipe you can try that your dog should love.

    1/4 lb ground buffalo
    3 cups buckwheat flour plus up to 1 cup extra flour
    1 cup goat's milk
    1/2 cup safflower oil
    1 tsp sea salt
    1 tsp baking powder

    Preheat over to 400F.

    In a frying pan, cook meat until thoroughly cooked, crumbling it into small pieces. Set aside and cool.

    Mix all ingredients together with cooked meat in a mixing bowl and knead in as much flour as you can with your hands to form a stiff dough. Add a little water if too stiff.

    Roll out dough to 1/2 inch on a floured surface and cut with a dog bone biscuit cutter. Alternatively, you can cut rectangles of about 1-by-2 inches with a knife.

    Set on a cookie sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on a wired rack.