The 5 Best Dogs When Raising Children

March 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Catch All, 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.

Dog Breeds: The Labrador Retriever

December 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Dogs

Labrador Retriever

Very few dogs are as lovable as a Labrador Retriever. If you are an outdoor person who loves the company of a four-legged companion, then this dog may be for you.

History

Before we begin, know that there are two types of Labrador: the American and the English. The breed as a whole originated in Newfoundland but was taken to England in the 1800s. It worked side by side with fishermen, helping them to bring in their catch. As a service dog, the Labrador Retriever has enjoyed a long history in a variety of services: police dog, watchdog, hunting, disability services, search and rescue, competition and field training. It is one of the oldest and most popular canine pets.

Temperament

This dog is well-balanced both in body proportion and temperament. He is a friendly outgoing dog who loves to be loved by his owners. If you own an American breed, then your dog is tall and lanky. The English version is bred more for hunting and retrieving.

Labradors are great companions who are good with children and adults. They are friendly and love any opportunity to show their masters that they can do the job you give them. They love to swim and play games with their human family.

Intelligent and devoted, they crave the attention of their family. This dog has the potential to become quite destructive without human contact. Be sure that you have enough time to devote to play and recreation each day or you will have a problem. Socializing them well can put an end to this problem.

Care

Labradors have a double coat. the under coat is weather-resistant and soft. It helps to insulate the dog from the cold. The shorter outer coat is water-resistant and very dense. This dog is an average shedder. Regular brushing with a firm brush is needed to keep from forming mats and tangles. Coat colors are usually chocolate, yellow or black. Bathe your dog when needed. Dry shampooing is preferred but only when necessary.

This dog can be prone to a few health issues. Be aware that they can develop hip or elbow dysplasia and eye disorders. Exercise them well to keep their weight in check.

Exercise is also essential to fulfill their migration instinct. Apartment dwellers can own this type of dog as long as they are walked briskly on a daily basis.

Training

This dog is not hard to train. In fact they enjoy it most when you give them a job to do. Labradors also subscribe to the “pack” mentality. This means that they need to know that their human master is the pack leader to feel comfortable. When walking them, be sure that they stay behind you or at your side. When you stop, the dog should heel behind you. This prevents them from bounding out of doors and tackling people.

Labrador Retrievers are loyal, loving, energetic and responsible. If you have the time and space (they get quite large), try this dog.

Dog Breeds: The Chihuahua

December 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Dogs

Chihuahua

This cute little dog has been featured in movies and fast food commercials. But, how is he as a pet in your home? Keep reading to find out the information you are looking for about the Chihuahua.

History

This is the smallest of all dog breeds. It originates in the Chihuahua region of Mexico. These dogs were highly prized as companions of the royal and the wealthy. In the late 19th century, the dog made its way to Europe. Because of its unique features it is believed that the Chihuahua was descended from the Fennec Fox.

Temperament

As a companion dog, the Chihuahua is aces. If you’ve ever seen one, then you know they are rambunctious, courageous and affectionate. But, they can also become strong-willed if not socialized well.

They are loyal to their owners, even licking their faces at times. People mistakenly treat them as if they were little toys instead of dogs. Giving them preferential treatment because they are small could turn your treasured pet into a spoiled brat who doesn’t know how to behave with the family or other people.

Care

For a toy sized dog, the Chihuahua has a well rounded head and large pointy ears. Often, they are born with a soft spot in their head called the “molera.” It usually closes over by adulthood but in some it does not which can lead to injuries. They have large wide set eyes.

Chihuahuas can have short or long coats. The colors they come in include: black, white, chestnut, black and tan, white, sable, silver, fawn and sand to name a few. The long coat requires daily brushing to keep it manageable. The short coat only requires an occasional wiping with a damp cloth. Bathe them once a month or as needed. Keep the ears clean and the nails trimmed regularly.

There are a few conditions to be aware of that might affect your dog. They are prone to rheumatism, gum problems, corneal dryness, glaucoma, colds and fractures. Corneal dryness is often due to their protruding eyeballs. Fractures can occur during birth as most are born by cesarean due to the large head.

For a small dog, he is prone to obesity. Watch his diet to prevent him from gaining too much weight. Also be aware of toxic products that can kill him. Avoid chocolate and fertilizer in places where your pet can get at them.

Training

Even though he is small, a Chihuahua very much has the “pack” mentality. It is important to teach him early that his human master is the pack leader. If not, this can cause stress on your pet as they try to fulfill that role. Allowing him to get away with behaviors because he is small can lead to nipping, biting and aggression.

Don’t forget to walk him. Exercise is good for the mind, satisfying their migration instinct. Like the pack leader, walk your dog behind you so he knows who the boss is.

Want a small dog that is good with the entire family? Try a Chihuahua.

Dog Breeds: The Weimaraner

November 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Dogs

Weimaraner

The dog with the funny name is anything but. Weimaraners are a breed built for spending time with their masters on the hunt. If you like the great outdoors, then this may be the dog for you.

History

This breed got its start in Germany. It has always been a noble hunting dog, chasing rabbits, birds, foxes and the like. Their sleek features make them perfect for running fast and exhibiting stealth when necessary. Over the years, this dog has been bred for hunting under the strict guidance of the German Weimaraner club.

The breed came to America when a sportsman from Rhode Island applied and was accepted into membership at the now exclusive German Weimaraner club. He successfully bred females with a puppy that was sent to him.

Temperament

This dog is loyal, obedient and intelligent when trained properly. As a pup it is important to teach them that you are the leader. This dog loves to run. They are happiest when they are living indoors and outdoors. They can be headstrong and stubborn if cooped up in the house and not given a chance to exercise extensively outdoors.

They work best with children who are well behaved. A Weimaraner will seek out their master or other human family members who are most like it – dominant and in control. Socialization works well with other dogs but not with cats. They are not weak dogs and have no tolerance for weak people. This personality trait has helped them to become excellent watchdogs and family protectors.

Care

Once called the “gray ghost”, its coat is short and close to the body. What makes this dog stand out is the shiny gray color of its coat, ranging from silver gray to a blue gray tint. He has a light eye color which complements his coat. He requires very little grooming beyond a weekly brushing and a monthly bathing to stay clean. As long as enough protein is provided in the diet, his coat will stay shiny.

Regular visits to the vet are recommended. This dog is prone to bloating so feed him a couple of small meals as opposed to one large meal or a full bowl that he can graze on throughout the day. Regular exercise can also help reduce this. Weimaraners are prone to hip dysplasia as well. Otherwise, they are rather healthy.

Training

Dogs need to know who is boss. Their instincts tell them that if there is not a dominant personality in the group then they must step up. To keep this dog from becoming the dominant personality, it is important to establish that the human owner is the leader from the puppy stage.

The Weimaraner responds well to firm training. They do not do well with harshness or yelling. Once they become weary of certain training techniques, they will not respond.

Weimaraners are excellent companions for sportsmen and those who love the outdoors. Read up on these dogs on Animal-World’s Weimaraner page.

Health Benefits of Owning a Dog

June 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Dogs

It has long been thought that a pet can have a beneficial effect on its owner. This is realized almost daily in people who own dogs. Here are some of the health benefits that owning a dog can do for you.

Before we go any further it bears to be noted that dogs function better in the family unit when they are trained. As puppies they are cute but also unruly. Some of their primal instincts dictate that certain dog breeds will try to challenge their owners for dominance. If this urge isn’t nipped in the bud in the beginning, your dog could become a behavioral problem.

So, owning a dog and reaping mutual benefits from them will involve training of some sort. This can be done by you, the owner, through crate training and other forms of instructive discipline. Or, it can be done by professionals in dog obedience classes.

Once a dog learns how to behave and work with their owners, the benefits to their health will begin to form. If you are thinking about getting a pet, these reasons may affect your decision.

1. Lower rate of obesity in some dog owners – Dogs like activity. Many dogs, especially large ones, need to be walked several times a day for exercise as well as to use the bathroom. All of those walks are also good for the owner who also improves their cardiovascular health.

2. Calming effect on mood – Sometimes life happens. When it does, coming home to a companion who is waiting and glad to see you can help brighten your mood. No matter what is going on in the outside world, your dog is ready to show their affection. Pets provide unconditional love that can help to combat bouts of depression, sadness and the “blues.”

3. Lower stress levels – Just like a soothing bath can help to drain away stress from your body, so can stroking your pet. Spending time cuddling with your dog after a hard day can melt away those stressful thoughts with each pass.

4. Lower cholesterol levels
– This is also related to the activity that your dog needs each day. Getting regular exercise can lower your level of cholesterol in the blood. With lower cholesterol, there is also a lower risk of heart disease.

5. Stronger immune system – What saps your immunity? One element is stress. Exposure to long term stress can compromise immunity leaving you open to all sorts of illness. Since dogs help to boost mood and reduce stress, this fact can increase immunity along with regular exercise with your pet.

6. Companionship and long life – As we reach our golden years, a pet can be a constant source of companionship to thwart loneliness. They can bring back new life leading to a longer healthier one for you.

There are many health benefits to owning a pet, especially a dog. Consider those when you are looking for a pet.

Dachshund

February 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Dogs

DachshundDachshund
Canis lupus familiaris

"I am very friendly and outgoing, making me a great companion!"

The Dachshund, bred to flush out badgers, is long and muscular with short legs,

giving it an elongated ‘weiner’ or ‘sausage’ appearance.

The Dachshund, whether a Standard or a Miniature Dachshund, is a lively and entertaining companion dog. They are often mischievous, and are quite bold. Dachshunds travel well and are loyal and protective. When selecting a Dachshund, it is important to check for back problems. They may also develop heart disease, diabetes, eye problems, epilepsy, or urinary tract problems… Read More

More about the Dachshund!