Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Is A Dog House For My Dog Really Necessary?

Have you ever been to a friend's house and had their dog jump all over you and generally become a pest? Did the owner keep hollering at the poor thing to go away.
Was there a place that it could go?
Your answer to that is actually an answer to the initial question about a dog house being a necessity.
I am one of the people who feel that every living thing needs a home, whether it is a hole in a tree, a cave or a hive with the rest of the bees.
I currently have 2 small dogs, a Dachshund and a Chihuahua, but over the years my wife and I have had numerous pets of all varieties.
Every animal that we have had, demonstrated the need for a place to call their own.
Our goldfish staked claim to certain portions of the tank, our cats laid claim to the areas where their bed and food were and even our goats had a nice shelter but each selected one side as their very own.
When my wife and I go on a trip or a vacation and stay in a hotel, it is inevitable that we will each claim a portion of the room as ours. It might be one side of the bed, a couple of dresser drawers for our stuff or even one of the chairs in the room.
Now, put yourself in your dog's shoes or paws as the case might be. Don't you think that your loving pet would like a little corner of the world to call their own? A place to stash their toys, curl up in their blanket and just relax away from the family and the confusion that sometimes results.
My two dogs are housed in our laundry room because they are so small and can't have an outside dog house. Each of them has their own crate, their own food bowls and their own basket for their special toys.
Of course, just like people, they sometimes swap toys, beds and eat each others food. But they both know what stuff is theirs and what belongs to the other.
If you have a pet that stays outside all the time they definitely need a dog house. I can't imagine just throwing a blanket on the porch and thinking that this is enough to keep the pet safe, warm and secure. In the human world I believe that is called homelessness.
Do your dog a big favor, either build or buy them a great dog house. They are "man's best friend", fiercely loyal, always glad to see you and always willing to give you lots of love and affection. Show them how much you love and care for them, they deserve a nice new home.
Robert D. Schroeder is a firm believer that every dog should have it's own dog house. Join Robert at http://www.squidoo.com/the-dog-house and learn about building or buying dog houses. Without a place to call their own, a dog can start to think that your whole house is theirs, and then the problems begin. If you want to build your own dog house you can get many very good ideas and plans at Great Dog House Plans Enjoy your pets and always remember, home is where their heart is, give them a good dog house.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Diagnosing and Treating Dog Allergies

More often than not, our pets can experience some of the same problems that we do. One such example is that dogs can also suffer from allergies. Fortunately, there are numerous ways for dog allergies treatment so it is more of a matter of finding out exactly what the cause for the allergic reaction is.

Dogs, like people, show allergic symptoms when the immune system recognizes a certain substance as dangerous. These substances are present in everyday life and most dogs are not affected by them. However, a dog with allergies will have a reaction to the substance whenever it inhales, ingests or comes into contact with the substance. The manner in which it affects the dog depends on the allergen itself.

Dogs can become allergic to a long list of things but a few examples are pollen, mold spores, dust, fleas, cleaning products, insecticidal shampoos, certain food ingredients, among many others.

Any dog can develop allergic reactions at any point in their lives. There are some specific dog breeds like terriers, setters, retrievers and flat-faced breeds in which allergies are more common to develop.

Some of the symptoms that may be identified to help determine if your dog has allergies are itchy skin (which will result in excessive scratching), runny eyes, sneezing, vomiting, and diarrhea. Consulting a veterinarian is recommended if the dog presents any of these symptoms. The veterinarian will more accurately determine the cause of the allergies so the dog owner can make the necessary changes to stop the allergies.

Dog allergies treatments are specific to the allergen to which the dog is reacting to. Dog allergies caused by fleas can easily be treated with the use of flea control programs and products. Bathing the dog once a week is a good way to remove environmental allergens like pollen from the dog's skin and helps relieve the itching sensation. Asking a veterinarian about what shampoo to use is recommended, as bathing the dog with the wrong shampoo can worsen the problem. Cleaning the dog's bedding and vacuuming areas of the house where dust gathers is an effective treatment when dust is the cause for allergies. The most complex form of treatment is needed when dogs have a food allergy. Dogs must be put on a special diet until the allergic reactions has stopped manifesting. Once this is done, the dog is reintroduced to old foods to determine which the allergen is.

There are also a variety of allergy injections, medications and supplements that can either prevent or help treat allergies. These should only be administered to the dog with instructions by a veterinarian.

Most dog allergies treatments are simple and don't require much more special attention to the dog. The only important step is determining with the help a veterinarian what the allergen is that is causing the reaction so a treatment can be advised.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Hawaiian Impact On Affenpinscher

The tidal-wave event in the modern history of the Affenpinscher was the birth of the famous Hawaiian litter. This occurred when Ellen and Gil Stoewsand, from Geneva, New York, bought a male whose name was Deer Run Goblin Del Cocagi from Tobin Jackson. After completing Goblin's championship, Mrs.Stoewsand searched for several years before she managed to obtain a female from Lucille Meystedt, Ch.Balu's Schwartz Diamant. Unexpectedly the Stoewsands received a six-month appointment to go to the University of Hawaii. Dr.Gil Stoewsand is a researcher for Cornell University. A few days into the new year of 1976, Gil, Ellen and their two daughters, Corrine and Cathy, with their two Affens landed in Honolulu. Because Hawaii is rabies free, the dogs had to remain in quarantine for four months. In February of 1976, while in quarantine, a litter of six puppies was delivered by C-section from Ch.Balu's Schwartz Diamant, who was called "Dema." Dr. and Mrs.Stoewsand had high praise for the concern and care their dogs received while in quarantine. They were allowed to visit them daily and the facilities were excellent. This information is included here to allay some of the fears associated with putting dogs into quarantine, as is necessary in England, parts of Europe and many of the rabies-free islands. Dogs, from most reports, come out of experience in good condition and well adjusted.

Of these six puppies out of Goblin and Dema, one did not survive the first week. Another male was very weak and lived only through the heroic efforts of the Stoewsands' youngest daughter, Cathy, and was later kept at their home as a pet. A third male was sold to a woman in Hawaii who later took the dog back to Germany. Of the four brought back to the mainland, two were kept and shown by Mrs.Stoewsand, Ch.El Cocagi Alii, whose name means "Royalty," and Ch.El Cocagi Eli Eli Wahine, which means "Black Girl" in Hawaiian. Alii was called "Taz" and was later sold to Julianna Bitter in California. "Posey," which was Eli Eli Wahine's call name, had a prestigious show career, starting with winning Best of Breed at the Affenpinscher Club of America's first specialty match in 1976. She was even more influential as a top-producing female.

The fourth puppy was a male bought by professional handler Robert Sharp for his daughter Jennifer. This dog was named Ch.El Cogagi Kamehameha (named for the last king of Hawaii) and called "Bear." He was the top-winning Affenpinscher for several years. On June 11,1978, Bear became the first Affenpinscher to receive an all-breed Best in Show, under judge Robert Wills at the Tonawanda Valley Kennel Club in upstate New York. In 1980 he won Best of Breed at the first officially supported entry for Affenpinschers. Champion El Cocagi Kamehaneha was a wonderful show dog and attracted many enthusiasts to the breed.

Mr.Sharp's assistant at the time, who conditioned, groomed and later owned Bear, was Bonnie (Hawkins) sellner. She has had a long and continuing association with the breed as a handler, owner and breeder. Her kennel name is Wyn Willow. Several dogs from her breeding out nf Kamehameha or his offspring have made an impact on the breed. Giancarlo Volante, from California, showed a triple Kamehameha great-grandson, Ch.Puff Von Apache Rauchen, who became the third Affenpinscher to win an all-breed Best in Show. He repeated this feat with several more Bests, including two in Mexico.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Bernese Mountain Dog-A Swiss Treat

Bernese Mountain Dog

Let's take a look at the Bernese Mountain Dog or "Berner", by the numbers.

By all measure, this is a large category breed. The male's height ranges from 24 to 28 inches or 61 to 71 cm. It's weight tends to range from 85 to 110 pounds or 38 to 50 kg. The female, on the other hand, typically stands between 23 to 27 inches or 58 to 69 cm., just very slightly smaller than the male. Her weight ranges from 80 to 105 pounds or 36 to 48 kg. Again, just slightly smaller.

You can expect this breed to survive approximately 6 to 8 years. There is some debate about this though. Originally, life expectancy was 10 to 12 years but due to health considerations, which we'll address later, the numbers were reduced. A relatively recent and credible study of the subject determined that the actual life expectancy of the Bernese Mountain Dog was 7.2 years.

The litter size is typically 8 pups although this can vary significantly, ranging to as high as 14 pups.

It should be no surprise that this breed can be traced to the mountain areas of Switzerland. In fact, their name is derived from the Canton or State of Switzerland called Bern. But it is speculated that their true origin dates to the Roman occupation of the region, thousands of years ago. From what is known of the breed's development, not much attention, if any was given to serious pure breeding until the early 1900's. It wasn't until the late 1930's that the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

The breed's coloring consists of basic black with brownish/rust colored cheeks, part of the chest, on all legs and under the tail. In addition, it has white on it's head, paws, chest and tail.

As mentioned earlier, this is a large dog, but can be very active and need regular exercise. Because of their size and temperament, small living quarters are not recommended. Give them space.

Their original use was for drafting, carting, tracking and general farm hand so the breed is conditioned to be useful. Mostly for this reason, the Bernese Mountain Dog needs to be with people without being left alone for long periods of time. It is also important, as with most dogs, that they come to know their owners as the alpha component in the relationship. They need a framework of clearly defined rules, conveyed early in their training process, which in turn, produces a cheerful and well balanced companion. Their intelligence can make the training must easier and effective as long as the owner is firm with the dog, without being overly dominant. This can also lead to a dog that is comfortable with young children and other animals for that matter. A caution is that no child should be left alone with a dog or any animal capable of harm; just common sense.

The breed suffers from ailments associated with most larger dogs, such a dysplasia in various parts of the body (hips particularly), some arthritis and allergies. Cancer seems to have become a particular problem for the breed, to the extent of shortening it's lifespan and sadly, taking some quite early in their lives.

The Berner is a shedder and seasonally heavy so regular grooming is not only a great bonding exercise but will lessen the shedding issue or at least make it easier to deal with.

With respect to the bonding experience with the Bernese Mountain Dog, this breed has an upbeat personality that requires a relationship with it's owner that is firm but loving. Positive re-enforcement, within clear boundaries, lots of room to run and play combined with long walks and regular grooming will ensure that you will enjoy a wonderful companion for many years.

Choosing the best dog breeds for you needs or preferences, can be overwhelming. If you wish to learn more about various dog breeds; their characteristics and breeding particulars, visit us at http://www.best-dogbreeds.com.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tips On Taking Care Of Your Dog

I'm sure that all of us who own dogs can agree that they can be a real treat to have around the home. The truth of the matter is, however, if you aren't taking care of them as far as bathing is concerned, they can be rather stinky as well. That is why it is important for you to understand how to wash a dog properly because it is something that can be done at home relatively easily. It will save you a considerable amount of money when you are able to do this on your own when compared with how much you would spend taking them to a local shop and having it done for anywhere from $50-$100.

One of the first things that you need to think about when it comes to washing a dog is the type of shampoo that is used. When you look at the store, you will find that there is an entire area that is dedicated to pet shampoo, so it's important to know what you are using before you actually use it. In some cases, you will need a specific type of dog shampoo, such as when the dog has fleas or if it has sensitive skin. At other times, a more general product may be used. It is important for you to understand, however, that if you are washing the dog, you should only use dog shampoo, not shampoo meant for humans. You should also make sure that you use a natural shampoo to keep as many chemicals as possible off of the skin of your dog.

Now that you have the shampoo available, get the entire space ready where the dog is going to be bathed. If you're going to be bathing the dog outside, all that is really necessary is the shampoo, a brush, a towel and a garden hose. If you're going to be washing the dog indoors, you will still need the shampoo and a brush but you will need plenty of towels, especially if the dog tends to shake a lot.

Before washing the dog, brush them thoroughly to remove as much loose hair is possible and then wet the coat thoroughly. After the dog's coat has been made wet, apply the shampoo and then work it in thoroughly. Be cautious when in the area of the face, as some shampoos may burn the dog's eyes and you would not want to get it in their ears, or it could cause irritation.

After shampooing the dog, rinse them thoroughly until the water is running clear off of their fur. You should then put a large towel over the back of the dog which will keep them from shaking and throwing the water off around the room. Dry the dog off as thoroughly as possible with the towel and then if necessary, use a blow dryer to finish the job. Most dogs enjoy this part of the process, although the hairdryer may cause some stress if they are not comfortable with loud noises. That is why it is beneficial to dry them as thoroughly as possible before using the hairdryer.

Tina Freeman is the author of this article about dog shampoo and pet shampoo. She is a dog trainer for over 15 years and grew up taking care of dogs. During her free time she loves to go fishing and hiking in Minnesota.