Archive for the 'Pig Ears' Category

Keeping Your Dog Motivated

Author: gibbywmu
June 16, 2008

Dog Motivation

by Sallie McConnel

Keeping the attention of a dog while training is not always easy. Dogs can be easily distracted, and it is important to not allow the training sessions to be sabotaged by boredom. Making training fun for the dog and the human alike is vital to creating a happy, well adjusted and well trained dog.

Providing random positive stimuli during the day is a great way to keep the interest of the dog. Doing things the dog enjoys, like walking in the park, riding in the car, and playing with other dogs, is a great way to keep the dog?s attention and reward him for small successes.

For instance, in order to reward the dog for coming to you, for instance, ask the dog to come to you, without giving any clues about a walk, a car ride, or other dog treats, like pig ears. After the dog has come to you and obediently sat down, attach the leash and start the reward. This can be either the aforementioned walk in the park, ride in the car, or anything else the dog likes to do.

Providing some kind of reward, whether a treat, a special outing, or just a scratch behind the ears, every time the dog does something you want, is a great way to keep your dog motivated. If the dog knows something great is going to happen every time he obeys your command, he will be motivated to please you every time.

Distraction training
When training any dog, it is important to not let distractions disrupt the training. The dog must be taught to ignore distractions, such as other people, other dogs, other animals and loud noises, and focus on what is being taught These types of distractions can even be used as rewards when training the dog to come when called.

For instance, if your dog enjoys playing with other dogs, whether in a local dog park or with the neighbor?s dogs, let him play freely with those other dogs. Then go into the park or yard and call your dog. When he comes to you, provide lots of praise, treats and other rewards, then immediately allow the dog to go back to playing with his friends. Repeat this several times and praise the dog each time he comes to you. The dog will quickly learn that coming to you means good things (treats and praise) and not bad ones (being taken away from the park).

If the dog does not master this particular type of training right away, try not to get discouraged. So called distraction training is one of the most difficult things to teach. Dogs are naturally social animals, and breaking away from the pack is one of the most difficult things you can ask your dog to do. Most dogs will be understandably reluctant to leave their canine companions, but it is important to persist.

Training the dog to come to you may require some creativity on your part at first. For instance, waving a favorite toy, or a lure, is a great way to get your dog?s attention and put the focus back on you. If your dog has been clicker trained, a quick click can be a good motivator as well.

Once the dog begins to get the hang of coming when called, you can begin to reduce and eliminate the visual cues and focus on getting the dog to respond to your voice alone. It is important that the dog respond to voice commands alone, since you will not always have the availability of a toy or other lure.

Fur Tamers

Author: gibbywmu
June 16, 2008

Hairy Dog

by Weston Lewis

How to keep your dog’s coat looking at its best

Dogs, unlike cats, don’t sit and groom themselves by the hour. Actually, most dogs couldn?t care less about their appearance and couldn’t be happier than when they’re rolling around the ground on something stinky they?ve found. Unfortunately for them, essense of fido isnt a favorite scent of humans and wading through bales of shedding dog hair left on the furniture is way overrated. So until our canine companions totally take over, they’ll have to live with us grooming them and trying to keep their coats healthy and shiny looking.

Pet salons provide a full array of grooming services and many people opt to avail themselves of their services. Prices are usually reasonable and all the mess and fuss are left to the professionals. However, for a variety of reasons not everyone elects to go this route; some don?t bother grooming at all and others just do it themselves at home.

To varying degrees, all dogs require grooming. Long-haired dogs should be brushed and combed two or three times a week. Dogs with thick undercoats should have the dead hair combed out weekly. This will accelerate the shedding process and avoid hairy carpets and furniture. Dogs with shorter hair should still be brushed and rubbed down frequently to keep their coats and skin smart and healthy.

Just like any project, proper grooming requires both technique and tools of the trade. A fine-toothed comb should be used to rake fleas from the coat and for grooming soft, silky coated dogs. The shedding comb offers a skip-tooth design; its long teeth pull dead hair from the undercoat while the short teeth collect loose hair. It’s also an excellent tool for removing matted hair. The undercoat rake is especially designed for breeds with thick, heavy coats and undercoats. The teeth are thick, allowing the rake to attack the undercoat while being pulled gently through the dog?s hair.

Although bathing is an essential component in keeping your dog’s coat fresh and presentable, it should not be overdone. Most veterinarians suggest bathing a dog no more than once a month. Over bathing can dry a dog’s skin and lead to hot spots and itching, which can lead to scratching and infection. If a dog is to be bathed more than once a month, an aloe based shampoo and conditioners should be used and foods and supplements with Omega fatty acids should be given to bolster the production of coat oils.

Daily examinations, though admittedly a little too demanding and time consuming for the average pet owner, are a valuable tool in maintaining a dog’s appearance and good health. The dog should be checked for cuts, rashes, fleas, ticks, bumps and burrs and other hitchhikers that might attach to the coat. These should be removed and antibiotics or appropriate medications applied as necessary. Flea allergies and contact allergies can cause skin eruptions and should be treated immediately.

It should be remembered that good skin and a healthy coat begin with a good diet. A little amount of people food goes a long way for a dog. Usually, a good grade dry dog food will provide all of the nutrition and essential dietary elements necessary to keep a dog in good health. If a dog’s coat is dull or its skin appears itchy, sometimes a change in diet is necessary. However, most often vitamin or fatty acid supplements will eliminate the problem.  Also, make sure to get them plenty of dog treats that are high in protein, such as pig ears or other chewable treats.

As mentioned previously, professional groomers are readily available and should not be overlooked if grooming becomes too demanding. In addition to bathing and combing and thinning the dog?s undercoat, they also clean the ears and clip the dog’s nails. Actually, nails should be clipped weekly and often this is a chore that neither the dog nor the owner handle well. In recent years, the traveling groomer has emerged on the grooming scene. These professionals will come to your home in their Van or RV, which is fully equipped for grooming, and complete the full bathing and grooming process right in your driveway.

Our dogs ask little in return for the limitless love and devotion they bestow upon us. Helping them maintain their health by keeping them groomed is the least we can do to reward their affection.

May 31, 2008

dog picture 

Dog bites are a serious problem in the United States. Each year, 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Around 17 percent of these people require medical care. And in approximately 10-20 tragic cases per year, the bite victim is killed. The CDC has labeled dog bites in America an “epidemic.”The ten breeds involved in the most lethal attacks over the past ten years are pit bulls, rottweilers, German shepherds, huskies, malamutes, Dobermans, chow chows, St. Bernards, Great Danes, and Akitas.In response to this growing problem, some communities have banned ownership of certain dogs that are perceived as dangerous, particularly pit bulls and rottweilers. Are some breeds really more dangerous than others?

Breed characteristics: It’s difficult to determine just how much a dog’s genetics determine his behavior, just like it’s hard to know how much of a person’s personality is nature and how much is nurture. It’s true that some breeds were bred to perform tasks that require more aggression than others. Pit bulls, for example, were bred to fight dogs and other animals for sport. Some people theorize that pit bulls’ genetics make them more prone to violence than other dogs, and pit bulls have in fact been involved in more fatal attacks than any other dog over the past 20 years. But breeds that are not bred for aggression, including golden retrievers, cocker spaniels, and Yorkshire terriers, have been involved in fatal attacks as well.It’s also true that some breeds simply have more ability to injure people than others do. Though it’s no more likely to bite than a smaller dog, if it does bite, a Great Dane can do much more damage than a Maltese, for example. (Even very small breeds can be dangerous to children, however.)A study performed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the CDC, and the Humane Society of the United States, analyzed dog bite statistics from the last 20 years and found that the statistics don’t show that any breeds are inherently more dangerous than others. The study showed that the most popular large breed dogs at any one time were consistently on the list of breeds that bit fatally. There were a high number of fatal bites from Doberman pinschers in the 1970s, for example, because Dobermans were very popular at that time and there were more Dobermans around, and because Dobermans’size makes their bites more dangerous. The number of fatal bites from pit bulls rose in the 1980s for the same reason, and the number of bites from rottweilers in the 1990s. The study also noted that there are no reliable statistics for nonfatal dog bites, so there is no way to know how often smaller breeds are biting.This study supports what many veterinarians have believed for years: nearly any dog can be aggressive or nonaggressive, depending on his training and environment. Owners play a big part in making sure that their pet is safe around other people. There are several steps you can take to help ensure that your dog isn’t dangerous.

Restrain your pet. Unrestrained dogs cause about 82 percent of all fatal bites. Keeping your dog on a strong leash whenever you’re in public is a big first step toward preventing bites. Also, don’t encourage strangers to interact with your dog; strangers and a strange environment may startle him. If you leave your dog alone outdoors, your yard needs to be enclosed with a six- to eight-foot fence, depending on your dog’s size.

Socialize your puppy. Once your pup has been fully vaccinated and he has your veterinarian’s okay, take him to puppy classes, the park, and the pet store. Take him anywhere where he can interact with people and other dogs in a nonthreatening environment. Praise him when he interacts well with others.

Spay or neuter your dog. Intact (non-neutered) male dogs are responsible for approximately 80 percent of fatal bites. When dogs are altered, they lose some of their territorial instincts, including a lot of their territorial aggression.


Train him not to bite. Dogs will mouth, chew, and bite everything from your hands to your furniture until you teach them that it’s inappropriate. If your dog is biting you, or growling at you or other family members, distract him with a quick sound, such as a clap or a sharp “ow!” Then redirect his attention to a chewable dog treat, such as bully sticks, pig ears, cow ears and sweet potato dog treats. Be sure to reward him with dog treats when you catch him chewing on the right things.

Watch your dog’s behavior. This may be the most important part of preventing your dog from biting. It’s easy for owners to be in denial that their sweet, furry Fido may be a threat. But if your dog exhibits any of the following behaviors, it’s time for your veterinarian’s help: growling at, snapping at, or biting family members; growling or snapping at strangers; or extreme fear of strangers.

If you see signs that your dog could be aggressive or dangerous, you can ask your veterinarian to refer you to a veterinary behavioral specialist. While your dog is being treated for aggression, be careful with him in public. Be sure to warn strangers to use caution if they interact with him.
Following these directions won’t guarantee that your dog won’t bite, but they’ll certainly make it less likely. Any dog that is well restrained and well trained can be perfectly safe, regardless of breed. The truth is, an irresponsible owner is much more dangerous than any dog.