The 5 Best Dogs When Raising Children

March 13, 2014 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

Golden Retrievers and other best dog breeds

So, you’re looking for a dog, a new best friend. But you’re not looking for just any dog, because you also have kids in your home.

In seeking a dog for a family pet, you’re in luck. Generally speaking, most breeds will get along well with older children as long as they’ve had the right training. However, there are some breeds, which not only tolerate children, but also thrive in a family atmosphere.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Toy Dog BreedCavalier King Charles Spaniel – Toy Dog Breed. Photo Wiki Commons, Courtesy Pleple2000

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Height: 12″-13″ tall at shoulder
Lifespan: 9-15 years

  • Pros: If you want a dog that will cuddle with you while watching a movie or stay close on a cold night, keep reading. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels love to cuddle. Their small size allows them to fit perfectly in your lap, which so happens to be one of their favorite places to be.

    The Cavalier is also one of the best dogs because it’s extremely friendly, and its tail is almost constantly in motion. It will sulk if spoken to harshly or left alone for long periods of time. It just wants to please you and love you 24/7. The Cavalier also loves to play, especially chasing games.

  • Cons: Because of its long, silky coat, the Cavalier needs daily brushing.

    Its natural energy also means that it needs to be kept on a leash while being walked, or else it will chase anything that moves.

    Also, the Cavalier cannot be left at home while you go to work. It does best when someone is home for at least most of the day to keep it company.

Bulldog

English Bulldog, a Non-sporting Dog BreedEnglish Bulldog, a Non-sporting Dog Breed. Photo Wiki Commons, Courtesy brykmantra

Height: 12-14″ tall at shoulder
Lifespan: 8-12 years

  • Pros: Bulldogs, commonly referred to as the English Bulldogs, are a non-sporting dog breed. They are one of the most patient, sturdy breeds out there. If you’re worried that your toddler will annoy the dog, have no fear. Bulldogs are more likely to get up and walk away than bite once they’ve had enough.

    In fact, Bulldogs are so patient that they can be downright lazy. After a little bit of play, they are content to curl up next to you on the couch and snooze.

  • Cons: Due to their flat features and compact bodies, Bulldogs are prone to respiratory and joint problems. Climates that are excessively hot, humid, or cold are not compatible with these dogs. And you can bet that you will be able to hear your dog snoring while he sleeps.

    Bulldogs are voracious eaters, and can easily become overweight without preventative action. Food intake must be carefully monitored, which means keeping the kibble and groceries out of reach. Regular walks also help this dog stay in shape.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever, a Sporting Dog BreedGolden Retriever, a Sporting Dog Breed. Photo Wiki Commons, Courtesy Scott Beckner

Height: 21″-24″ tall at shoulder
Lifespan: lives 10-12 years

  • Pros: Golden Retrievers are loyal, patient dogs with playful puppy attitudes that can last for years past physical maturity. They love kids and all the chaos that comes with them.

    If you enjoy going for a daily run, a Golden Retriever would make a great running partner. They need 40-60 minutes of hard daily exercise to keep them sane. Since these intelligent dogs were originally bred as a working breed, they thrive when they have a “job” like retrieving the paper or waking up family members.

  • Cons: Because of their playful nature and large size, Golden Retrievers can get a little boisterous and knock down small children. Their need to be where the action is can also become a little annoying when you find yourself trying not to trip over your friendly pooch.

    Golden Retrievers need to be brushed daily. While this keeps their skin and coat in good condition, it is also essential for keeping hair off your couches and clothes. These dogs shed profusely, so daily grooming and a good vacuum are a must.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever, a Sporting Dog BreedLabrador Retriever, a Sporting Dog Breed. Photo Wiki Commons

Height: 21″-24″ tall at shoulder
Lifespan: 10-12 years

  • Pros: Labradors love children. They love all the chaos associated with them, and being very social dogs, the more people around, the better!

    Aside from being great family dogs, Labradors can function as hunting dogs or therapy dogs. They are also very intelligent and loyal to the point of absolute devotion.

    Like Golden Retrievers, Labradors are also one of the best dogs, making excellent companions for active families. They need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily to stay sane, otherwise they may release their excess energy with barking, chewing, and other vices, which makes for excellent motivation if you’re looking to get into shape.

  • Cons: Although Labradors tend to be very active, their love of food can lead to obesity if preventive measures are not taken. Regular meals, few treats, and no table scraps can help keep the dog fit. It is also important to keep the garbage and other food sources out of reach, as Labradors have a reputation for doing anything for a snack.

    Labradors also shed profusely, requiring regular grooming and a quality vacuum to keep yourself and your home clean.

Collie

Rough Collie, a Herding Dog BreedRough Collie, a Herding Dog Breed. Photo Public Domain Pictures, Courtesy Karen Arnold

Height: 22″-26″ tall at shoulder
Lifespan: 10-14 years

  • Pros: If you’ve never had a dog before, the dependable Collie is a good bet. Gentle, predictable, and extremely intelligent, these dogs are easily trained.

    Collies are very compatible with other pets, and have been known to be very gentle around even small animals like rabbits and chicks. This same gentle nature translates into the way they treat children.

    However, since Collies were originally bred as herding dogs, they may try to “herd” your children. This is a habit that can be entertaining at best and annoying at worst. Don’t worry, Collies are only protective, not aggressive.

    As a working breed, Collies need daily exercise. This makes them ideal companions for an individual who likes to stay fit.

  • Cons: Rough Collies are known for their long, often fluffy, fur. This fur needs regular brushing in order to avoid becoming matted, dirty, and unattractive. Smooth Collies have shorter fur, basically a smooth coat, so less maintenance is needed.

    While Collies are usually a fairly quiet breed, their high energy levels make them prone to barking if they get bored. Regular exercise and plenty of time spent with the family helps curb this tendency.

Articles referenced: “10 Dogs for Kids”, “The Ten Best Family Dog Breeds”

Victoria Ramos studied business and now blogs about developments in the field, as well as her other interests. She loves dogs, socializing, hosting parties, and writing.

The 10 Most Curious Dog Breeds

March 5, 2014 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

See Animal-World's Pet Dog Breeds

Come with us and explore the incredible variety and whimsical nature of the most fascinating dogs on the planet!

As man’s best friend, dogs are known for their loyalty, selfless love and dedication to their owner. Usually their specific breed predetermines their overall character as well as their physical appearance. We all have stumbled upon some pretty funny or even shocking dog looks either in the park or in the canine magazines.

Here are some of the most curious dog breeds know to men:

See Terrier DogsBedlington Terrier – Terrier Breed.
Photo Wiki Commons, Courtesy Pleple2000

1. A dog or a sheep?

Take for example a breed called Bedlington Terrier. Most people tend to confuse such terriers with lamb, yes lamb! This lamb looking dog breed originally developed in Bedlington, England is actually very active. It needs heaps of exercise every day in order to keep it healthy and happy.

Bedlington Terriers are usually grey to whitish in colour, and have a decent amount of fluffy fur on them. The good news though, is that their specific type of fur makes them ideal for allergy-prone owners.

See Herding DogsBergamasco Shepherd – Herding Breed.
Photo Wiki Commons, Courtesy Towncommon.

2. The Rasta dog!

Another worthy example of a weird looking domesticated canine is the Bergamasco Shepherd. This dog, as its name implies, is bred for helping animal farmers with their stock.

Its furs gradually tend to matt and stick together in clumps, which later become even more tangled thus giving the dog a distinct look. The funny dreadlocks that this Shepherd breed is so well known for actually distinguish it as a true Rastafarian.

Puli – Herding Breed.
Photo Wiki Commons, Courtesy Steve Jurvetson

3. The moving frieze rug

A good competitor of the Bob Marley hairdo breed is the Puli. The Puli has thick corded fur that protects it from zero outside temperatures in the winter quite well.

The Puli’s distinct fur coat is practically water resistant as well, which is good news as winters in Hungary (the country where the Puli breed first appeared) can be quite cold and wet.

See Sporting DogsCatalburun, Turkish Pointer – Sporting Breed.
Photo Wiki Commons, Courtesy minifauna.com

4. The double-nosed hunter

From strange furs and hairs to split noses! The Catalburun is basically a Turkish pointer. However, a Catalburun has a split nose, which is attributed to inbreeding somewhere down the line.

This dog is only found in Turkey. The local people that breed and look after these guys assume them to have superior tracking skills, thanks to their strange yet very useful nose.

See Toy DogsChinese Crested – Toy Breed.
Photo Courtesy Michelle Duvall Zentgraf

5. Hairless with style!

If you are into exotic house pooches, then the Chinese Crested dog will surely fascinate you. The Chinese Crested is a furless dog. This makes it a somewhat higher maintenance animal because his delicate skin is exposed and needs moisturising and protection from the sun – remember there is no fur. This breed also needs regular bathing in order to avoid skin infections.

Believe it or not, Chinese Crested is considered to be one of the ugliest dog breeds out there, and these doggies usually win first spot at ugly dog competitions – yes, there are many such events staged every year.

See  Working DogsNeapolitan Mastiff – Working Breed.
Photo Wiki Commons, Courtesy Przykuta

6. Prematurely old

There are many guard dog breeds, but this one is quite special – it looks way too wise for its age. The Neapolitan Mastiff has droopy skin around its face and neck, which some people find even cute. Usually all those facial wrinkles make these dogs appear quite ancient – just like a grandpa.

Mastiffs were originally bred in Italy, ancient Rome to be exact. They were a worthy part of the Roman army. The legionnaires trained them to wear special armour with sharp spikes on their back, with the help of which they could knock down the enemy horses.

See Hound DogsBorzoi – Hound Breed.
Photo © Animal-World.com, Courtesy Justin Brough

7. Out of proportions

The Russian Borzoi impresses with quite a disproportionate body type – it has small head and a really long body and slender legs. If you think you have the patience and tenacity to train and discipline dogs, try out your luck with a Russian Borzoi.

This purpose bred dog is highly athletic and similar in appearance to a greyhound, but very unruly. The Borzoi (meaning fast dog in Russian) is agile and willing to chase small animals and prey for as long as it physically can. Canine experts say these hounds are best trained by experienced dog handlers as they do as they please because they lack the concept of obedience that other dogs have.

See Brussels GriffonBrussels Griffon – Toy Breed.
Photo Wiki Commons, Courtesy Webweazle

8. The angry sailor

Brussels Griffon is a small yet really temperamental dog. It has angry look and a thick beard complemented by a characteristic moustache. Compared to other breeds, this little guy likes dominating, or at least tries to dominate other dogs around.

Most people find the Griffon to be quite cute with its bearded face and the hilarious aura the dog has about it. The Griffon can be described as a bossy, four-legged caricature.

Affenpinsche – Toy Breed.
Photo Wiki Commons, Courtesy Ingunn Axelsen

9. The mini Big Foot

The Affenpinscher has a very hairy face. Its facial fur could grow so thick that you could practically see the dog’s resemblance to the mythic creature the Big Foot. The initial purpose of this German Affenpinscher breed was no other but to hunt and kill rats. The Affenpinscher is relatively small in size, which does make it more efficient when rat eradication time comes. The dog has distinctive burly, long fur.

The Affenpinscher can be described as playful, active, adventurous and fun loving, though at times these little guys can be quite stubborn.

See Non-Sporting Companion DogsFrench Bulldog – Non-Sporting Companion Breed.
Photo © Animal-World.com, Courtesy Justin Brough

10. The rabbit-eared hobbit

Short and petite at first sight the French Bulldogs could make you believe they have something in common with rabbits – or at least their long ears will. However their character is much stronger than that of a trembling fluffy bunny. They were originally bred in France, to attack and kill bulls. Back then this violent and cruel ‘sporting activity’ was in its hay day, luckily the tradition was abolished. The dog in question is no other but the now super cute French Bulldog.

Despite its dark and violent origin, this dog breed has changed into one of man’s most affectionate companions. These little guys crave human attention and will happily interact with you at every chance they get.

Natalie Goodale is a freelance writer, who loves spending time with her Shih Tzu dog, Roxane. She is involved in a number of projects, the most current of them all being a mutual initiative with San Antonio Dog Life.

The Top 3 Guard Dogs

October 3, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

The Top 3 Guard Dogs

Guest Post by Drew Kobb

With several recent advancements in home security technology, more and more people are resting easy knowing that if their homes are broken into, help is on the way. However, even the smartest technology has its flaws. Despite law enforcement’s best efforts to reduce response time, not all homes are in a convenient location for an immediate response. Additionally, while a home security system will alert the authorities of an intruder, your family isn’t necessarily safe until police arrive.

Adopting a reliable guard dog can be an effective way to protect your home and family. However, some dogs are better at the job than others.

The German Shepherd

German shepherd

German shepherds are known for their intelligence, strength, and protective nature. It’s for these reasons German shepherds are the most popular choice among law enforcement agencies’ K-9 units. German shepherds can learn simple commands after only 5 repetitions or so. They are also very obedient, responding to a first command 95% of the time.

German shepherds are also very strong, which is why they are often employed in search and rescue efforts. Larger shepherds can weigh up to 100 pounds or more, which is not a bad attribute to have in the case of a home intrusion. On average, German shepherds bite with around 236 pounds of force (that’s in comparison to a human male’s 80 pounds). They also rank high on speed and agility tests.

This breed is very good around children. As dogs are pack animals, German shepherds in particular have a keen sense of family; they can easily pick out who is not welcome. The one drawback is that modern German shepherds suffer from hip dysplasia, a genetic condition which can lead to arthritis in later years.

The Doberman Pinscher

Doberman pinscher

An intimidating figure, the Doberman pinscher is another intelligent breed that can be easily trained. One advantage to owning a Doberman is that they are very easily identified—stopping potential crooks in their tracks before they even start.

Dobermans are similar to German shepherds in a lot of ways, including their aptitude for companionship and their relative size and strength. And while they can be very aggressive toward unwanted guests, they also have the potential to act more hostile around any stranger—friend or foe. However, Dobermans tend to rank lower on overall aggression and are great household pets when properly trained.

The Rottweiler

Rottweiler

If you want a big, mean dog standing guard, a Rottweiler might be the best choice. Rottweilers easily weigh in around 130 pounds or more. As opposed to the German shepherd, a Rottweiler’s bite force is somewhere in the neighborhood of 328 pounds of force.

In addition to being larger and stronger than most domestic breeds, Rottweilers are also known for their persistence and toughness. In other words, not only will Rottweilers ward off intruders, but they’re also more likely to chase after them, even if they are somehow injured in the process.

The average lifespan of a Rottweiler is around 9 to 10 years—a bit lower than the other two breeds. This may be due in part to their proneness to obesity. If you decide to adopt a Rottweiler, make sure it is not over-fed and receives plenty of exercise.

A Final Word

One advantage guard dogs have over automated security systems is that they provide companionship as well as security. They are pack animals and will be loyal to your pack if they are properly cared for. However, just like your parents have probably told you, dogs are a big responsibility. Your duty to your dog extends far beyond feeding and walking. There is a right way to train your guard dog—neglect, abuse, and starvation are the wrong ways. Before getting a guard dog, consult trainers, breeders, and veterinarians to help you know what to expect and how to keep your dog disciplined in a controlled and healthy way.

Drew Kobb, in addition to studying civil law, loves animals, and keeps himself up-to-date on training tips, new aquarium supplies and animal rights news. His interests range all over the medical field, and Drew highlights that range on his blog, Dr. Ouch.

Three Helpful Tips When Caring For Your Aging Dog

September 12, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

Caring For Your Aging Dog

Guest Post by Morgan Sims

Having a dog as part of your family is a fulfilling, enjoyable experience for everyone, dogs and humans alike. Both you and your dog will benefit from having unconditional love and companionship. However, one downside of letting the family pup into your heart is that he won’t live as long as you do, and eventually you will find yourself providing extra care for your four-legged buddy as he ages. All dogs need to have good care, but here are three things you can do to make your aging dogs final years both enjoyable and rewarding.

Picture via Handi Ramps

Reduce The Risk Of Injury

Older dogs require more thought than younger ones when it comes to their activity level. It may be tempting to nix the daily walk all together once your best friend starts to weaken with age, but don’t stop just yet. In reality, maintaining a consistent exercise regimen will actually increase their longevity and enhance their mental clarity.

Older dogs often start having problems with their hips and joints and may be diagnosed with arthritis. This is a common problem. And the heavier your dog is, the more likely he will suffer from these problems. He may need a little extra help getting around the house than he used to as he ages. Household add-ons like pet ramps or pet will help him do the things that a simple hop used to achieve, such as laying on the couch, getting in and out of the family vehicle, and walking up and down steps. Installing these simple ramps throughout your home will reduce the risk of injury to dogs with conditions like osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, and other common ailments. The biggest thing you want to achieve is minimizing how much jumping your dog has to do. Even just purchasing pet stairs for such things as helping them climb up onto your bed can be a big help for them.

Image via Flickr by Quasic

Monitor Food Intake and Diet Requirements

While maintaining a proper diet is crucial at any age, feeding Fido the right way as he ages can make a tremendous impact on his energy level. Many brands make formulas for aging dogs, as their needs change over their lifetime. Check with your veterinarian and follow their advice; after all, they have a vested interest in the overall health of your dog, and have likely been treating your dog for many years. As mentioned earlier, you will want to keep your dog at a healthy weight as he ages as well. This is because overweight dogs are more prone to health and movement disorders.

Another point to mention is the use of elevated dog bowls. As dogs age they have a harder and harder time bending over to eat and drink, and it can be a big help to simply provide them with elevated dog dishes. This will reduce their need to bend over as much and reduce strain on their joints!

There are so many theories out there on the best diet for dogs that it’s probably going to be difficult to decide what’s right for you and yours. If you have a smartphone, you can easily get more advice on diet requirements and even make use of the many apps that are available for calculating canine diets. Just as there are calorie counter applications for humans, many dog diet calculators are available as well! They can be pretty handy!

Image via Flickr by Bekathwia

Make Them Comfortable

As your dog ages, he will become less likely to want to play along and keep up with the rest of the family. Keep him comfortable by providing a comfortable place to lay such as a memory foam bed in each room of the house he frequents. When he weas younger it may have sufficed to keep your dog bed in the living room or bedroom, but now it might be a good idea to place one in each room of the house. This way, no matter where he goes, your aging dog will have a soft place to lay down. He also won’t have to lay directly on the floor or walk across the house get to his bed.

Watching your dog go through the aging process can be a slow and painful experience for both him and your family. Understanding what he is going through, anticipating his needs, and doing everything in your power to ease his pain and make him comfortable will surely make your final years together enjoyable ones.

Morgan Sims is a writer and recent graduate who loves all things tech and social media. When she’s not trying out new gadgets and tweeting from her Samsung Galaxy S4, she spends most of her time with her mini doxie, cooking, and staying active. Follow her @MorganSims00

The 5 Most Dangerous Dogs

July 13, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

Did you know that 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year in the United States? About 800,000 of these bites are bad enough that the victims seek medical attention, and anywhere from 20-40 dog bites result in fatalities each year. What is astonishing is that almost 80% of these fatal dog attacks occur from two dog breeds alone! These are the Pit Bull Terrier and the Rottweiler. The Pit Bull is at the top of the list by far though, with over 60% of fatal attacks attributed to this breed. Many of these attacks however, are from dogs who are not properly trained and restrained, or are abused and neglected by irresponsible owners. It is also important to note that any dog could be considered dangerous under the right circumstances.

Below are the 5 most dangerous dogs in the United States. These are in order based off the number of fatalities attributed to each.

Alaskan Malamute#5. Alaskan Malamute. The Alaskan Malamute is descended from an old breed. Its ancestors were dogs living with the Mahlemuits Indian tribe in Alaska. Bred originally as sled dogs, they are now kept more often as pets. They must be given a lot of attention and have proper discipline. If not, they can develop bad behaviors which could prove dangerous.

Siberian Huskies#4. Husky. Huskies are another very old breed of dog and distantly related to Alaskan Malamutes. Being used as sled dogs as well, they have high energy which must be channeled into productivity. Aggressive tendencies can come out, especially if they are not properly trained and disciplined. Smothering them with love and attention is a must for these dogs!

German Shepherd#3. German Shepherd.German Shepherds, another high-energy dog, come in third and are known for their intelligence. They have an amazing ability to learn and can be trained quite readily. They are very loyal and obedient, but should be trained from an early age to insure these qualities. Jobs which German Shepherds are often used for include police dogs and guard dogs. And don’t forget what wonderful companion pets they can be!

Rottweiler#2. Rottweiler. Even though Rottweilers are the second most dangerous dog, they are a well-loved dog breed by many. Being one of the oldest herding dogs, they have a strong instinct to hunt. If they are socialized and trained well from a young age, they make fantastic guard dogs and are fiercely loyal to their families.

American Pit Bull Terrier#1. American Pit Bull Terrier. Pit Bull Terriers top the list as the most dangerous domestic dog. In fact, they are completely banned in some areas. Pit Bulls have a reputation of being aggressive dogs. Most likely being descended from Bulldogs and hunting terriers which are now extinct, they possess a strong instinct to hunt and protect. One of the reasons these dogs are dangerous is because they have a strong bite and a tendency to not let go of their victim. These dogs have specifically been bred to be fighting dogs, which is thought to be part of the reason they have such an inborn tendency to be aggressive. It is illegal to fight dogs in the United States, but there are still people doing it. Even though Pit Bulls are considered dangerous, many people successfully raise well-behaved and loving pets, and truly believe their behavior is a reflection of the owners discipline techniques.

Other potentially dangerous dogs include Wolf-dog Hybrids, Doberman Pinschers, Chow Chows, Presa Canarios, Boxers, and Dalmatians. Wolf-dog Hybrids are actually responsible for more fatalities than Alaskan Malamutes but aren’t included in the list because they aren’t true domestic dogs. Strict regulations regarding owning and breeding wolf-dog hybrids exist in many areas. The Presa Canario is another dog which was bred specifically to participate in dog fights and bans have previously been placed on this breed.

Precautions should always be taken when you come across any dog you are unfamiliar with.

Some suggestions for interacting with dogs you don’t know:

  1. Never approach a strange dog. In fact, walk the other direction! But don’t run, as this could attract their attention.
  2. Don’t try to pet any dog that is tied up, behind a fence, or in a car.
  3. Even if a dog seems friendly, never pet them without first letting them sniff you and determine you aren’t a threat.
  4. Avoid eye contact with a dog. Some dogs may think you are challenging them.
  5. Never yell at a dog you don’t know. Any type of discipline could trigger acts of aggression.
  6. If you ARE attacked by a dog, don’t move. If you run, their fighting and hunting instincts kick in and they will chase you with even more aggression. If you are knocked down, try to curl up in a ball and call for help.
  7. Report any dog you find who appears menacing or threatening, even if they haven’t actually attacked you.

Whether a dog appears to be a stray or with someone, don’t approach them until you know it is safe! Another thing to keep in mind is that many attacks happen in people’s homes or on their property. If you know that a friend or relative owns a potentially dangerous dog breed, use caution when visiting them, especially if you are bringing a child. Ask that they restrain or remove their dog from the area you will be visiting.

Dangerous Dog Laws

Chow ChowLaws are in place in many areas to strictly regulate dogs and owners or to even ban some dangerous dog breeds altogether. These laws address both dangerous dogs as well as the owners who often facilitate their dogs behavior. According to the ASPCA a dangerous dog is any dog who injures another animal or person without being provoked or having good reason. The ASPCA really favors reckless owner laws, where the owners take primary responsibility for any dangerous behavior on their dogs part. They also believe that some situations warrant aggressive behavior. These cases would include a dog protecting himself or his/her family from a threat from other animals or people. A few laws that really help to keep bad behavior in check if enforced include:

  • Universal leash laws
  • Spaying and neutering (to reduce aggressiveness and reduce stray populations)
  • Owners held legally responsible
  • Progressive levels of violation for owners

More Interesting Dog Bite Facts from the American Humane Association

  • Most fatal dog attacks (92%) occur from male dogs.
  • 94% of these male dogs are not neutered.
  • 67% of dog bites occur on or near a victim’s personal property.
  • Most people personally know the dog who bit them.
  • 58% of deaths occur on the owners property by unrestrained dogs.
  • 25% of fatalities are attributed to chained dogs.
  • Over 25 dog breeds have been involved in fatal attacks in the United States.

Resources Used

  1. http://dangerousdogs.net/
  2. http://www.curiosityaroused.com/nature/top-10-most-dangerous-dog-breeds-based-on-bite-fatalities/
  3. http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Dog-Bites

Animal-World’s Featured Pet of the Week: The Rottweiler

July 12, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Featured Pets, Pet Dogs

The Rottweiler

Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Rottweiler!

Rottweilers often get a bad rap as being aggressive dogs. It is true they can be aggressive, but with the right socialization and training they can turn out to be good pets. I have known several Rottweilers or “Rotties” as they are often called. Once they got to know me, most of these dogs seemed quite friendly and loving towards me and I felt safe. All of them had fantastic owners who really spent time with them and helped shape them into great dogs!

A major appeal of the Rottweiler is its propensity for being a great guard dog. They become extremely loyal to their owners and will protect them at almost any cost. If they are well socialized with other pets while they are young, you can expect your Rottie to get along with just fine with them. Other characteristics they are known for are being calm and affectionate towards their family, including children. You can expect to have a wonderful addition to your family with a trained Rottweiler!

Rottweilers have a very long history stretching all the way back to the Roman Empire. They were first bred in Rottweil, Germany and are most likely descended from the Italian Mastiff. They were used first as herding dogs, and may very well be the oldest herding dog breed in the world. They were also used as war dogs and guard dogs and were highly valued during times of turmoil. But as the need for them subsided due to other technological advances, this breed diminished in quality and quantity, nearly becoming extinct. In the early 1900’s, while gearing up for World War I, there was a renewed interest in the breed as a need for police dogs came about. In 1931 the American Kennel Club recognized the Rottweiler as an official breed. Today the Rottweiler is a very popular dog, having more registrations than any other breed! Hybrids such as the Boxweiler and the English Mastweiler are also becoming more popular.

Rottweilers are impressive looking dogs and many consider them beautiful. They are heavy dogs with a muscular build and forefront muzzles. Their coats consist of short hair and are predominantly black with some brown markings. I have been asked in the past if there are all-black Rottweilers. Curiously, purebred Rottweilers cannot be all black! They will always have some brown on them. These dogs also reach a good size, with males weighing up to 130 pounds! Females are usually somewhat smaller than this, with a maximum weight of 115 pounds.

This breed of dog needs to be trained from an early age. From the beginning, you should let your dog know you are the boss. Once this is established, most Rottweilers are eager to please. They are obedient, very good at following commands, and fearless. In general they have a very good-natured temperament and are alert. When trained for a particular task, they can be relied upon to get the job done. Guarding and herding are their most notable strong points.

The reason this dog sometimes has a bad reputation is because of irresponsible owners. These dogs have the potential to be aggressive and have serious behavior problems if not trained and socialized. Their problems often stem from an owner not investing enough time to spend with them, or worst case scenario completely neglecting or abusing them. Rottweilers are also very strong dogs, which can increase the risk for problems in a neglected or untrained dog.

Basic Care of Rottweilers

Because Rottweilers have short hair, they don’t need much grooming other than just a quick brushing once a day or so. Regular vacuuming is a must for inside dogs, because they do shed and dog hair will accumulate! Rottweilers need a lot of exercise. Large yards which provide room to run and play in are ideal. Daily walks and/or swims are helpful too. They love to let their energy out, and regular activities also provide good opportunities to keep up on their socialization and training skills.

Puppies should be fed a good quality puppy food until they are close to 2 years old. After this, you should feed them a diet comprised of mostly protein (such as poultry and lamb) mixed with some wheat and dairy. Most good quality dog foods will provide the needed nutrients.

Vaccinations. Vaccinations are very important for dogs to keep them healthy. They should be given their first shot at 6-8 weeks of age. This shot is the DHLPPC or Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, and Corona virus shot. They should get their second shot at 10-12 weeks, their third shot at 14-16 weeks, and then annually from their on out. A rabies shot should also be given and 14-16 weeks and then annually as well.

If Rottweilers are given their vaccinations, they are a pretty hardy breed. They don’t have a lot of problems with disease or many physical problems. They can be prone to hip or joint dysplasia because they are a larger breed. It is also important to take note of a puppy’s genetic history before selecting one. Heart Disease and Von Willebrand’s Disease are hereditary problems that should be taken note of.

Availability of Rottweilers is widespread. They can be found in most areas of the United States from reputable breeders. $800 to $1000 is a price you can expect to pay for a puppy with a good genetic background.

Do you have experience with Rottweilers? What do you like or dislike about them? Are there any tips you would like to share?

Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Crate Training your Dog

May 3, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

Crate Training Your Dog

Dogs are pack animals that like to live as a family. When you buy a puppy, you become its family. One way, to help your new dog know how to act, is to crate train them.

What is Crate Training?

First, let us say that crate training is a temporary tool. It is not meant to be used as a long term measure to help with your dog’s behavior. So, let’s learn how and why it works.

Crate training uses a cage to help your new puppy adjust to life in your home. Once they are weaned from their mothers, puppies need support and guidance so that they are socialized to humans and living in a home.

The crate allows you to help them with such skills as:

– House breaking them
– Avoiding unwanted behaviors
– Provide a safe place to sleep and rest for your pet

Your dog is housed in the crate for a certain amount of time each day. The crate should be appropriate for the size and age of dog. Any pet put in one should have room to stand up and move around and lay down comfortably. Crates that are too large can encourage soiling. One that is too small can cause anxiety.

Since the crate is to act like a temporary home within a home, fill it with a cozy mat for napping and some toys for your dog to play with. Positioning the crate so the dog can interact with the family can ease anxiety.

To get your dog used to the crate, place them in with the door open. Let them know that they can come and go. Shutting the door lets them know that they must stay there for a while, such as with disciplinary action.

Why Crate Train?

Crate training is important at the beginning of your dog’s stay with your family. Here are a few reasons. One, it can help other pets get used to your new dog. Your new dog can have time alone when they don’t want to play anymore. It also gives them a chance to slowly integrate into the family dynamic.

Two, crate training can help with house breaking your new dog. Create a schedule with it. According to different ages, dogs are not to be crated past a certain bracket of time. For instance, a new puppy that is about ten weeks of age shouldn’t be crated for more than an hour at a time. Since pups have little bladder and bowel control, they should be ready to go outside after their hour in the crate, provided you feed them before crating time.

Three, unwanted behavior can be managed with a crate. They learn to associate spending time in the crate with the door closed with unwanted behaviors like chewing on the furniture, urinating throughout the house or barking loudly.

Crate training is meant to be helpful for you and your dog.

Common Dog Behavioral Problems

April 16, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

Common Dog Behavioral Problems

Dogs are often misunderstood. Their needs are different from those of humans yet we attribute many of our habits to them. This can lead to dog behavioral problems. Here are a few of the more common “dog behaving badly” situations and how you can deal with them.

Have you ever heard someone remark that they don’t know what has gotten into their dog? The behavior comes as a surprise to them. But, dogs don’t usually do things without a reason. When they act out, something is wrong.

Here is an interesting fact: Dogs are not people. When we treat them as such, that is when trouble begins. Dogs are pack animals. They like living in groups with others.

Dogs also like a leader. Whomever the leader of the pack is, they will look up to and try to please that dog, or in the case of pet ownership, that human. It takes a strong and firm leader to keep a dog happy and satisfied.

With that said, there are only a few reasons why dogs exhibit behavioral issues:

1. Lack of proper leadership by their owner
2. Confusion with commands given by owner
3. Lack of proper training

Common Dog Behavioral Problems

You may have already experienced some of these. If not, consider yourself lucky and keep reading to learn how to continue to avoid them.

1. Digging – Dogs love to dig to bury bones or to discover already buried treasure. It can ruin your lawn if you’re not careful. One way to stop the behavior is to give a strong “NO” command when your dog is in the act of digging the hole. Another solution: build a special digging area like a sandbox for them to explore as freely as they like.

2. Chewing – Dogs like to chew. It can help them to relieve stress. But, chewing on your furniture is less than appealing. For your dog, eating decorations, yarn, socks and other small items can cause them to choke and become seriously ill. Provide your dog with plenty of chew toys to sharpen his teeth.

3. Poor manners – This centers on your dog not coming when you call him. For whatever reason, the dog doesn’t want to mind your command. It could be the way that you are giving the command. Keep it simple so as not to confuse him. The last thing you need to do is go to the dog. Instead, try moving a few paces further away and calling him again. If all else fails, run and he will follow.

4. Begging – It’s not polite to beg at the table. A good way to discourage this is to refuse to feed your dog table scraps. Don’t allow others to feed him from the table either. This will only encourage more begging.

Is your dog behaving badly? Curb that undesired performance right away. Most dog behavior problems can be cured by adhering to one or more of the guidelines above.

Animal-World’s Featured Pet of the Week: The Dalmation

July 1, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Featured Pets, Pet Dogs

The Dalmatian

Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Dalmatian!

Have you ever seen the movie or heard the story of 101 Dalmatians? Most likely, the answer is yes! Almost everyone is familiar with it. The every day person probably has a love for Dalmatians simply because of the popularity of the story – I mean who couldn’t love a hyper and super cute white and black-spotted dog!

Dalmatians are actually a very old breed and are also known as a symbol for firemen. They have traditionally helped firemen fight fires and are very good at it due to their nature. These dogs have tons of energy, love people, are very playful, and are extremely intelligent. Because of this they can make very good companions for a variety of different people. As well as good fire dogs, they can also often make good guard dogs, hound dogs, carriage dogs, and war dogs! Other names the Dalmatian goes by include Firehouse Dog, Dalmatiner, Carriage Dog, and many others.

As for the history of this dog, it is not known for sure exactly where it originated. It is definitely a very old breed of dog, but whether or not the Dalmatian started out in Dalmatia, a section of Croatia, is debated. It has made appearances in ancient Egyptian art as well. They are a non-sporting dog breed with a very unique spotted coat. When they are born they are completely white, but as they grow they develop spots. These spots are often black, but can also be brindle, blue, or lemon colored. There are also several Dalmatian hybrids. Two popular ones are the Sharmatian (Dalmatian and Shar-Pei mix) and the Chimation (Dalmatian and Chihuahua mix).

The care and feeding of these dogs is what is expected of any dog, but should be taken seriously. Taking them to their regular annual check-ups and giving them their shots is a must in order to keep them at their best health-wise. Their diet should actually not be too heavy on protein because they are prone to urinary problems and too much protein can facilitate these. Dog foods that are mostly rice, poultry, and lamb are the best choice. Dalmatians can be kept both indoors and outdoors. However, if they are kept indoors they should be allowed out regularly to play and taken on walks because they are very energetic dogs. Also, they shed heavily twice a year, and so must be regularly brushed and the house should be vacuumed frequently. Baths should be infrequent.

Socially, these dogs make pretty good companions overall. They get along with most people, including children, as well as with other pets. Males (especially if not neutered) may be more aggressive towards other male dogs, so take caution if you have more than one male dog. Very small children may also not be the best companions for them because these dogs are so hyper.

The Dalmatian is quite intelligent, which makes them an ideal dog for obedience training, housebreaking, and learning tricks. This is why they are used for many important jobs such as firehouse dogs and guard dogs.

The two main health problems for these dogs are urinary problems and skin allergies. As I mentioned before, limiting protein and watching their diet can generally help with their urinary problems. They may still need medication however. If your Dalmatian develops skin problems, check out their living conditions and consult your veterinarian. Sometimes indoor carpet and furniture can contribute to skin allergies, so it is important to determine what is causing them. Deafness can also run in the family, so check for a family history of deafness before purchasing a particular dog.

Overall, Dalmatians are considered great pets! You should look for a reputable breeder before purchasing one and keep in mind that prices can vary greatly. Read more about these dogs on Animal-World’s Dalmatian page!

Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Dog Breeds: The Cocker Spaniel

March 3, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

Cocker Spaniel

Want a medium sized to small dog that has long luxurious hair? You would probably like a Cocker Spaniel. It is good for more than just looking beautiful though.

Origin

The American Cocker Spaniel, which we are talking about here, is originally of the English Spaniel breed. If you looked at an English Spaniel you would notice many differences. For one, the American was bred to be a smaller dog with a shorter muzzle.

Both Spaniels are gun dogs. They are known for flushing out game on a hunt and bringing it back to its owner. It is named after the woodcock, a bird that it was commonly known to flush out. Traditionally they are not only retrievers, but watchdogs and trackers known for their obedience and agility. They were first recognized by the AKC in the 1870s.

Temperament

This dog is great as a gun dog and also a household pet. As long as they are socialized well and trained from an early age they are good with children. They have average intelligence and are very trustworthy and charming to be around.

This dog loves to work. As they are used to being outside, this dog can perform tasks on dry or wet ground with ease. If not socialized well they are likely to become shy.

Some people have problems with Cocker Spaniels. They are thought to be discipline problems. That is usually the case when the pack order has not been established in the family. It is where most owners go wrong.

Avoid the small dog syndrome. This is the belief that small dogs are cute and do not need the same rules as bigger dogs. It is important for all dogs to establish a pack order. The human family is the dog’s new pack. They must know that all humans in the house are higher in the order than they are to avoid any type of discipline problems.

Temperament will stay social and gentle as long as you give your dog what he needs. That includes a daily long walk. This burns off nervous energy and satisfies their mental need to migrate. You don’t need a large yard. A small one will do or access to a park where you can properly exercise your dog each day.

When pack leadership is not established, your dog may engage in various unsavory behaviors. These include:

– Viciousness brought on by fear and dominant behavior
– Submissive urinating
– Obsessive barking

Care

This dog has a medium length coat that is flat and wavy. It is shorter on the head. The ears, abdomen and legs have feathering. Some will cut the coat short so that it is better managed on a daily basis. He will need regular brushing, being careful not to pull out the silky hairs underneath. For showing, they can have any solid color coat.

Cocker Spaniels are prone to many different health problems. Regular visits to the vet can head off any issues that could be a problem. Regular feedings of highly nutritious foods can avoid weight problems.

Training

These dogs are relatively easy to train but can become a problem when pack order is not established. Housebreaking will be more of a challenge. With a gentle positive feedback system, they will learn and become good dogs for your home and outdoor life.

The Cocker Spaniel is pretty, intelligent, and trustworthy. For the total package, think about bringing home a Cocker Spaniel.

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