Thursday, November 15, 2018

Fact Sheet: POODLES

(Original Title: Poodles - One of the World's Smartest Breeds)

English: Standard black poodle haircut
Standard black poodle haircut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Come with me as I take a look at the Wonderful World of Poodles.

History
Although the national breed of France, the Poodle actually originated in Germany where it was used as a water retriever. Many believe the name "Pudel" comes from the German word "pudel" which means "one who plays in the water."

In fact, the famous "Poodle Clip" was created by hunters to help the breed swim faster and more efficiently. The clip was not created as a decorative element. It was created to protect certain vital organs and joints of the breed in cold water.

The term "French Poodle" comes from France's capitalization of the breed's intelligence, trainability and eagerness to perform. The French turned poodles into popular circus performers where they gained notoriety and became Louis XVI and Queen Anne's court favorites. They have long since been associated with royalty. Even America's President, Grover Cleveland, owned a poodle.
The Standard Poodle, the largest of the three recognized varieties, is the oldest of the breed. All of the poodle's ancestors were water dogs known for their swimming abilities.

Characteristics
The poodle is the only breed that comes in three AKC registered varieties. The three recognized types are the Standard Poodle, the Miniature Poodle and the Toy Poodle. The Standard is the tallest, measuring over 15 inches. The Miniature is 15 inches or under, but a minimum of 10 inches. The Toy is under 10 inches.

The breed comes in a variety of solid colors, including white, black, apricot and gray.
The Poodle is an exceptionally intelligent dog that excels in obedience training. Its intelligence and ability to learn to make it one of the most popular breeds in the world. It is considered one of the easiest breeds to train. Also, its hypoallergenic coat makes it a favorite amongst owners. It does not shed but does require grooming on a regular basis. The breed adapts well to any living conditions, making it an ideal pet for apartments. However, it is an active dog and does require daily exercise.

The Poodle carries itself proudly and has a very distinct air of dignity. The word "elegant" is most often used to describe the breed. The Poodle is known to be shy, but sharp at the same time. Poodles are reserved with strangers and unless trained at an early age, can bark excessively.

The Standard Poodle (Caniche, Barbone, Chien Canne)
The Standard Poodle is considered to be a large dog of high intelligence and trainability. Elegant, strong and good-natured, it makes an excellent family dog. It has a thick, soft, curly coat that does not shed but requires daily grooming. The ears are wide and hang close to the head. The eyes are very dark and alert. The feet are compact and the breed has an effortless and delightful gait (like walking on air.)

The Standard Poodle is pleasant, happy and generally easy to maintain. It is a loyal companion but unlike the Miniature and Toy varieties of the breed, can be less sensitive to its surroundings and does not bond to one owner or one household as much. It is considered the calmer of the Poodle varieties. Standard Poodles are friendly and excellent with children and other dogs.

Height: 15 inches
Weight: 45-70 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

The Standard Poodle is inactive indoors and even a small yard is acceptable. However, they do require daily walks. They are not overly demanding but their temperament is based on their living conditions.
This is a long-lived breed but it is subject to certain genetic diseases like most dogs. Cataracts, skin conditions (from allergies to certain shampoos,) hip dysplasia, runny nose and ear infections are common. Also, the breed is subject to bloating, so only feed it two to three small meals a day instead of one or two large meals.

The Miniature Poodle (Caniche)
The Miniature Poodle is considered to be a medium dog of high intelligence and trainability. More cheerful and playful than the Standard variety of poodle, it has a thick, soft, curly coat that does not shed but requires daily grooming. The ears are wide and hang close to the head. The eyes are very dark and alert. The feet are compact and the breed has a spunky gait.

The Miniature Poodle is an amusing, often curious dog. It is a loyal companion that insists on being included in all of its owner's activities. It can learn tricks effortlessly. It is considered less calm than the Standard Poodle, but not as feisty as the Toy Poodle. Most Miniature Poodles love children and other dogs but they will exhibit jealous tendencies and can display sharp reactions. They can be over playful and must be trained early on that there is a limit to play time. Overall, they are friendly and make excellent pets.

Height: 11-15 inches
Weight: 15-17 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

The Miniature Poodle is a good dog for apartment life. They are active indoors but do fine without a yard. However, they do require daily walks. They are not overly demanding but their temperament is based on their living conditions.

This is a long-lived breed but it is subject to certain genetic diseases like most dogs. Cataracts, skin conditions (from allergies to certain shampoos,) hip dysplasia, runny nose and ear infections are common. Also, the breed is subject to bloating, so only feed it two to three small meals a day instead of one or two large meals.

The Toy Poodle (Caniche, Chien Canne, Tea Cup)
The Toy Poodle is considered to be a small dog of high intelligence and trainability. More sensitive than the Standard and Toy varieties, it is also considered the smartest of the three. It has a thick, soft, curly coat that does not shed but requires daily grooming. The ears are small and long and hang close to the head. The eyes are very dark and alert. The feet are compact and the breed has a perfect gait.

The Toy Poodle is sensitive but extremely intelligent. They are very responsive and alert. They can be a delight, but also demanding. They do not like strangers and are reserved around children and other dogs. They are known to snap if they are teased, surprised or mishandled.

They generally bond with one owner for life and they are extremely loyal to that individual and will defend them at all cost, despite their size. However, a true "lap dog," the Toy Poodle expects an equal amount of loyalty and love in return. They adapt better to one dog households and do not do well with small children. The Toy Poodle is considered the least calm of the three poodle varieties.

Height: up to 10 inches
Weight: 3-8 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

The Toy Poodle is a good dog for apartment life. They adapt very well to "city life." They require little indoor or outdoor activities but nonetheless, should be socialized with a daily walk. They are demanding dogs and can bark excessively if left alone for long periods of time.

This is a long-lived breed but it is subject to certain genetic diseases like most dogs. Cataracts, skin conditions (from allergies to certain shampoos,) hip dysplasia, runny nose and ear infections are common. Also, the breed is subject to bloating, so only feed it two to three small meals a day instead of one or two large meals.

Choosing Your Poodle
Never is it more essential to choose a responsible and well-respected breeder than when choosing a Poodle Puppy.

As you've already learned from reading this article, dogs come in many different colors, sizes and TEMPERAMENTS!

Poodles especially fall into this category. You can end up with a great pet or a nightmare. Fortunately, with a little bit of research and homework ahead of time, you'll minimize the risk of a difficult pet and maximize your chances of a truly wonderful new companion.

A dog is a companion for life. Making sure you choose the right breed should be step one. When you buy a car, you do not buy the very first car, on the very first lot, on the nearest street, do you? You do a little research. Choosing a dog is no different and this is the ONLY guide I have ever recommended.

Once you've decided on the type of dog you are getting, I suggest you check your local shelter. There are thousands and thousands of dogs in need of good homes and yes, some are pure breed dogs. It's a misconception that only "mutts" can be found in shelters (by the way....some of the best dogs I've owned or simply known, were mutts!)



The name of your local shelter can always be found in your Yellow Pages or online. Or you can simply go to The Humane Society of the United States website. Call your local shelter and ask them to notify you if a specific type or breed of dog comes in. Many are more than happy to keep you on a notify list, but some are not.

Second, I recommend you contact breed rescue organizations. You can Google breed rescue organizations by simply typing in the name of the breed and then the words "rescue organizations." These organizations have dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to find homes for purebred dogs and yes, many times THEY DO have puppies.

Finally, if you have not found what you are looking for at a shelter or through a rescue organization, I recommend you find a reputable breeder in your area. How will you know if they are reputable? Do some research and do a little homework. Also, try to visit more than one. Don't just buy the first puppy you see. Here are some helpful hints:

General
Check the Better Business Bureau. It's amazing to me how many people forget to do this! It's free and it takes about two seconds. Do it!

Health
1. Do the puppies look clean and do they appear healthy? - Puppies should be bright eyed, active, playful and have an outward appearance of good health (good skin and coat, no unusual odor, clean ears, etc.)
2. Have the puppies been checked for worms? - The puppy should have been examined for worms and the breeder should present you with proof that it has received at least one vaccination before it goes home with you.
3. Have the parents been x-rayed for hip dysplasia? - This is a genetic disorder that many dogs are prone to. The breeder should know all about hereditary diseases and should breed healthy dogs with good temperaments.
Early Socialization
1. Are the puppies friendly? Do they seem happy to be around you? - Puppies should be outgoing, begging to be picked up, competing for attention, and love being held and played with. A very timid puppy might tug at your heartstrings but chances are it's not in good health.
2. Insist on seeing the mother. Is she friendly and attractive? - At 6 weeks old, the mother should no longer be overprotective of her puppies. Insist on seeing the father. How is he with visitors? DO NOT buy puppies whose parents do not have good temperaments.
3. How old are the puppies? - Puppies should not be removed from their litters before 6 weeks. They need to be around their littermates for at least 6 weeks. Seven or eight weeks are even better. However, there is a limit. A puppy that is kept with its littermates past the age of 10 weeks may have become too dependent on its mother.
4. Has the breeder begun to socialize the puppies? - You can tell if a breeder has given each puppy some individual attention, care, and training. Don't be shy. Ask the breeder about this! Ask him, "what have you done to begin socializing this puppy?"
The Breeder
1. Is the breeder experienced with the breed? - The breeder should be able to answer any questions about the breed and agree to help you with any problems. After all, this is why you are buying from a breeder and not a pet shop.
2. Has the breeder gone over both the good and bad characteristics of the breed? - Every breed has good points and bad. No breed can be considered "perfect." The breeder should be honest with you. Some of the best breeders I know refuse to sell certain breeds to families with small children or owners who live in apartments, etc. It seems harsh and unfair, but actually they are doing you and their puppies a favor. Don't fall for the hard sell. There is no reason you should be pressured in any way. If you feel like you are going through a hard sell, walk away.
3. Has the breeder suggested further obedience training? - Many responsible breeders make this a requirement for the sale. All dogs need training. Don't be put off by this. This means they have the best interest of the dog in mind.
4. Does the breeder offer any kind of "starter kit"? - The breeder should give you some materials to take home. The "kit" will probably include some dog food, instructions on the care and feeding of your pup, a list of necessary supplies to have at home, dog care books, and some information on Veterinarians and dog training schools.
5. How about the paperwork? Is it all in order? - You should receive a contract (signed by both you and the seller), and a pedigree. You should not have to pay extra for the pedigree.
Your Part In All This
Are you willing to make a long-term commitment to this puppy? - When you purchase a puppy, you are making a very serious, long-term commitment to the care, training and love of this dog. This animal will live for a dozen years or more and it is your responsibility to do everything possible to keep it well and happy for its entire life.

Hope you've enjoyed "Poodles: A Look At The World's Smartest Dog Breed."



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Why Should We Use DOG POOP Bags?

English: Dog taking a poop. In compliance with...
Dog taking a poop.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Why should we use dog poop bags to pick up our dog's waste? Well, actually there are many good reasons. Some we are well aware of, and some maybe not.
1) Common courtesy to our neighbors. How often have you stepped in dog poop and tracked it into your home or into your vehicle? Hard to get off of the carpet isn't it? And it's also very difficult to scrape off of our shoes. Common courtesy and good will to all means that if your dog did it, we must take care of it.
2) Dog poop poses a real threat to our water. It is an environmental pollutant. Studies done in the last few years put dogs third on the list of contributors of bacteria in contaminated waters. Dog waste adds nitrogen to the water. Excess nitrogen depletes the oxygen in the water that is necessary for fish and wildlife.
3) Dog waste is a health hazard. It contains 23 million coliform bacteria per gram and potentially heartworms, whipworms, hookworms, roundworms and tapeworms. These worms can live in soil for long periods and are easily transmitted to humans or other animals. Dog poop bags will safely contain and eliminate all of these health hazards.
4) Dog waste is not a good lawn fertilizer. It is actually toxic to your lawn, causing burns and unsightly discoloring.
5) Fines for not picking up dog waste range from $250 in New York to $750 in London to $1000 in Colorado and even a whopping 2000 Euros or $2651 U.S. dollars in the Gulf of Naples in Italy. DNA registration of dogs is required on that remote vacation island to successfully catch offenders. DNA registration is becoming more common around the world with resounding success and cleaner environments.
So there are many good reasons to use poop bags to pick up our pet's feces. However, one recent study indicates that 41% of dog owners rarely or never clean up after their friend. Maybe they are not aware of the very good reasons to do so. We may have a lot of educating to do before dog owners realize that their pooch can be a canine sewage pipe.

And the easiest, cheapest, most sanitary and most discreet method of taking care of dog waste is by using plastic bags and a dog poop bag holder. The bag full of dog poop is best carried hidden and protected from breakage and there are many available holders that help with this task. Some have the option of being attached to leashes or carried on a belt or belt-loops. A unique dog poop bag holder will help show proof of your concern for your pet, for yourself and for your community.

    By Kay Ringelstetter
    Please consider this new, unique and discreet dog poop bag holder, which is the safe way to carry your dog poop bag and other necessities. This convenient poop pouch will safely and discreetly carry your poop bags and also has interior and exterior pockets for empty waste bags, dog training supplies and an inverted bottle of hand sanitizer. It also has a handy clip for a dog poop bags dispenser, keys or a flashlight. This new way to carry your dog waste bags and more is convenient, discreet and sanitary.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

INDOOR DOG HOUSES For Your Dog

Rusty on his dog house
Photo  by Dan Harrelson 
Most people think of outdoor dog houses when they thing of a dog house. However, there are also indoor dog houses. Which are perfect if you want to keep your dog safe while indoors. These dog houses are a great way to control your dog's movement. If you are training your dog you may also want to consider an indoor dog house. Many people don't like the fact that their dog has to sleep outside at night and therefore choose the dog house option.


Indoor dog houses come in various options such as soft indoor dog houses, dog pen indoor dog houses and table indoor dog houses. The soft indoor houses are like over size gym bags with padding and mesh siding. Therefore your pup can see exactly what is going on and receives top quality ventilation. They are also super comfortable given the extra padding. These can also double as pet carriers. If you are going on vacation you may want your dog to use this indoor housing to prepare him for the trip.

The Dog pen indoor dog house is like a dog kennel in your home. It is genuinely made out of sturdy stainless steel and fencing. They are rather lightweight and large giving your dog plenty of space to roam around even though he is in a confined space. These are perfect because they also offer great ventilation for the pup and can be decorated with pet toys, dog toys, dog supplies and dog beds and blankets so that he is comfortable.

If you cannot bear to see a kennel style dog house you may want to consider wooden dog houses which can double as fancy end tables. These are perfect because your pup can crawl inside comfortably without anyone ever suspecting that it is a dog house. These can be made of hardwood and adorn the colors of cherry wood red, espresso, natural, mahogany and antique black. There is a flexible door so that they can come and go as they please and they are perfect for puppies and smaller dogs.

Many of these dog houses come in a variety of sizes depending on your dog's stature. The largest dimensions for the latter type of indoor dog houses are 24 inches wide, 36 inches long and 26 inches high. Depending on your budget these indoor dog houses have a pricing range of $75 to $500.

Indoor dog houses are not just for dogs to relax or sleep in at night but can also be very useful for dog training. Many dogs are uncomfortable in carrying cases so if they become accustomed to being in a smaller area then this is one form of training. It is also good for dogs who have not yet been house trained so that they can use their indoor dog house at night instead of on your living room floor carpets.





hen looking for an indoor dog house you will have many features to consider. Such features include a flexible doggy door, a latch hook to keep your dog from leaving the house, ventilation options, comfort padding options, quick clean options in case of accidents, housing style whether it be wicker, wire, good or mesh, and a pet guarantee.

You want your pup to feel protected and safe in these indoor housing facilities. Whether you use these houses as traveling pet carriers, outdoor houses or indoor dog houses, your pup should feel relaxed and comfortable. You can use these not only as a place for your pup to stay and sleep but also as a learning center to train your dog to behave and to become accustomed to smaller spaces. These come in a variety of styles so that you can choose your indoor house that matches with your house's interior design.



Monday, November 12, 2018

AGILITY Builds Confidence in Your DOG

Croatian Sheepdog Mawlch Gera - on agility
Croatian Sheepdog Mawlch Gera - on agility - (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Is your dog timid around people or other dogs?  Is your dog sensitive to sounds?  Agility training can provide the environment and structure to build confidence in your dog.  Agility classes are a great place for people to learn about the sport and learn how to train, but the timid dog may take a long time before he is ready to venture from under your chair or off your lap.  

A timid or shy dog can only learn inside their comfort zone.  So, training must begin where they feel safe and behaviors must be taught in very small increments. Home will probably be the best place to train and have learning take place for your dog.

So, how do you train at home?  You will need guidelines and equipment. There is a multitude of websites that can give you information on agility training.  There are also books and videos that will give details and visual aids and lesson plans for beginners thru expert levels.   

There is a variety of equipment that is useful and helpful to have at home.  Equipment recommendations are based on your available space and location of training.  Do you have a large yard that will hold 10 obstacles? Do you have a small yard where you will need setup equipment and then tear down before you can set up again?  Will you be training in your garage or basement, or as some agility addicts, in your living room.

For the timid dogs make sure your equipment is safe and sturdy.  The pause table is a good place to begin your agility training.   A 12” high pause table, with adjustable legs for later use, is a good starting place for all size dogs. Remember with your shy dog, set up your table in an area that is very familiar to your dog.  If your dog barks at anything new, just leave your pause table in your house or yard for several days, let your dog inspect and smell it on his own or with a little coaxing, but don’t push to fast, remember baby steps with the insecure dog.   With treats in a dish or his favorite toy placed on the table encourage your dog to get up on the table.  

This may take more than one lesson, be patient.  If your timid dog loses interest in food or toys when you attempt something new, trying holding him and you sit on the table.  If your dog is too big to hold, have him on a leash and you sit on the table.  If he backs away coax him, only treat or reward him when he comes to you, never when he’s pulling back away from you or the table.  



Eventually, you want your dog to be able to jump on the table with your cue word, “Table”, “Box”, “Kennel”, whatever word you use, Stay on the table as you back away and then Come when you call. Build your distance slowly so that your dog is not pushed too soon.  

From Pause Table to Contact Trainer is a nice transition for a shy dog.  A Contact Trainer comes in different designs.  We recommend a 3-Piece Contact Trainer that has one mini A-frame side, a Pause Table, and then a mini Dog-walk side.

Your dog can Sit on the table and then be coaxed down the A-frame side or the Dog-walk side.  Just remember with the shy dog, training is done in increments, slowly and comfortably, with a little push to stretch him, but not enough to overwhelm him to cause a shutdown.

You can follow the above techniques by introducing new obstacles as your dog is able to succeed.  As your dog succeeds in each new piece of equipment you will see his confidence grow.


Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Benefits Of CONES FOR DOGS

Morton does not like his Elizabethan collar at...
Morton does not like his Elizabethan collar at all. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A traditional medical cone is worn by canines after surgery is performed to protect the wounds from scratches and irritation. The most common include the Elizabethan or E collar that consists of a hard plastic cone to fit around the neck of a pooch and restrict the ability to reach target sites. Cones for dogs are available in different sizes and styles that should be chosen according to the needs of your pet.

The modern cones that are available for dogs can be worn to protect the surgical site and to ensure that the canine does not succumb to infection or additional damages. A dog is recognized as constantly licking at the wound that may cause a severe disruption to the regular healing process. Canines may bite at the injury and loosen the stitches that can lead to additional operative needs and complications.

The E collar is designed to provide a snug and secure fit around the neck of dogs that will minimize the ability to reach the targeted regions including the body and the head. The hard plastic consistency will provide the greatest levels of protection for pets. Animals may experience a great deal of stress and anxiety when wearing these collars and should be managed with alternatives.

The cone is designed to flare near the head of the dog to prevent the pet from being able to bite or scratch at the wound. It consists of a plastic material because it is more durable in comparison to other types of products ensuring that it will not be removed by the dog. Padding is included around the neck area that makes it more comfortable for dogs to wear.

If your dog cannot get accustomed to an E collar, a neck brace is an alternative that minimizes the ability to turn the head. This will restrict pets and provide the necessary levels of protection if the cone proves too stressful for the animals. Such a brace provides a strong consistency that is most comfortable for both small and larger canines.

Cones can be bought in a paper design and fitted to the shape and size requirements of the canines. Such alternatives are recommended for smaller canines because a bigger animal can roll on the material and cause damage to it. For pet owners, it is best to assess the health needs of pets and to determine the functional features that it can provide for individual needs.



The supportive devices can be better accepted by pets through a process of positive reinforcement. It is important to ensure that pets are provided with the necessary support and care that will prevent against extremes of stress. The professional and experienced vet will be able to advise on the options that are available.

The neck cone is one of the most important medical products to prevent animals from affecting the healing process. It includes the E collar, neck braces, and comes with a different material to prove more comfortable for the dog to wear on a daily basis. Be sure to provide the canine with a break from the collar when you are able to monitor behavior and reward positive responses.


    About the Author: by Olivia Cross