Friday, December 25, 2009

New Puppy Education Info Section/Feeding

Bringing your new friend home tips
Food and Feedings:
Your puppy will be started on Life Abundance .  You can see on the website who will carry it close to you. A very great high quality dog food made with no recalls ever. Your baby will come home with some so if you decide not to use you can mix and switch them to something else.  We also recommend are Blue Buffalo, Honest Kitchen, or any holistic human grade food. You puppy should be fed 2-3 times per day following the feeding instructions on the bag.

Whether your new friend is a puppy or adult dog, here are important tips to help keep him out of harm’s way:
Keep household cleaners and chemicals out of his reach.
Restrict access to plants that are dangerous to dogs: poinsettias, azaleas, rhododendrons, dumb cane, Japanese yew, oleander and English ivy.
Store breakable items safely out of the way.
Hide or cover electrical cords so he won’t chew on them.
Safely store antifreeze, engine oil, laundry detergents and lawn chemicals.
Keep kids’ toys off the floor—since some parts may be small enough for your puppy or dog to swallow.
Use a cover and/or protective fencing if you have a pool or hot tub.

Here are a few tips to consider before naming your new dog:
Names should be short. A two-syllable name is best because it’s brief and won’t be confused with one-syllable commands such as “No” or “Sit.”
Be consistent. All family members should use the same name—don’t use confusing nicknames or variations.
Reward your dog’s recognition of his name with lots of praise and play.

As the “parent” of a puppy or new adult dog, it’s important for you to help him get used to his new surroundings. Think of him more as an infant than a pet: He’ll need plenty of patience, supervision and love. Here’s how you can help him adjust.
Bring him home when it’s quiet and you don’t have company. Also, choose a time when your routine is normal.
Show him the area of your yard that will be his bathroom before bringing him inside. Then take him there whenever he goes outside.
Give your dog his own room where you can keep his crate, complete with bedding and chew toys (leave the crate’s door open). He’ll feel safe in his “den.” Put down newspaper for accidents.
Supervise your puppy at all times, and play with him several times a day. You’ll help establish yourself as the pack leader.
Give him bathroom breaks every few hours and right after eating, drinking, sleeping and playing (watch for signals like sniffing or circling). Never punish your dog for accidents; instead, praise him when he goes in his outdoor spot.

An appropriate amount of exercise will help promote your new dog’s good behavior and assist you in training him. Talk with your veterinarian about how much daily exercise your breed typically needs. Some dogs are just naturally more high-energy, and need more exercise than others. Schedule family members to exercise your dog throughout the day. I do not recommend outside walking until all shots have been completed which is 12 weeks of age.

You should have no trouble at all encouraging your children to play with your new dog. Still, you’ll want to supervise his first interactions with your kids and set playtime limits—15-20 minutes two or three times a day. Here are still more ground rules to explain:
No rough teasing or playing. Tell your kids that tail-pulling and teasing can lead to bad habits like jumping up.
Be gentle. Tell kids never to shout at the dog, even if he does something wrong. Explain that dogs can be startled by loud noises.

Here’s how to help him meet your resident animals:
Do it gradually. Keep them separated for the first few days.
Keep him safely in his crate (or behind an expandable doorway gate) as you supervise their first meeting.
After several days of sniffing each other out, let your resident pet enter the den while your new dog is out of his crate.
Giving your new dog the appropriate amount of exercise.
Supplies you’ll need
Have these supplies on hand before you bring your dog home with you.
Your puppy will be eating Life's Abundance All Stage Food.
Teething toys
Stainless-steel non-tipping food and water bowls
ID tags with the contact information for yourself and your veterinarian
Collar size small and a 6-foot leather or nylon leash
Wire Crate 24x36 (this is great for when they first get home because the cat pan will fit along with a bed)
Baby shampoo (we love Baby Majic)
Brushes and combs
Cleanup supplies such as a stain remover, paper towels, and deodorizing spray
Washable bed and blankets (I use old towels that I don't mind washing a lot)
Large cat pan
Pine Pellets  (Tractor Supply $6.00 for a 40 lb bag)
You will come home with a puppy packet for your puppy. It will include Shot record, Food information, Food sample, Free health insurance, AKC paperwork, toy and blankie.


Your first veterinarian visit

In addition to providing your new dog optimum nutrition, scheduling regular visits to the veterinarian is key to ensuring his health and
happiness. Here’s how to prepare.

If you have time, introduce your dog to his new veterinarian by scheduling
an orientation-only visit. Let the veterinarian’s staff pet him and offer treats. If you project a calm, upbeat attitude, your dog will likely remain calm, too. Some experts recommend scheduling these “just dropping in” visits on a regular basis.

At your dog’s first appointment, you’ll be asked basic information, and a staff member may weigh your pet. Keeping track of his weight can help identify problems associated with weight loss or gain.
Then you’ll meet the veterinarian. You’ll be asked about your dog’s diet and lifestyle. Next you’ll get to ask about your dog’s care. Then the veterinarian will examine him and may administer his first vaccinations. Ask about heart worm prevention and flea control products.

The information you provided will help the veterinarian determine the kinds of diseases your dog may be exposed to and plan an appropriate vaccination schedule.
Schedules vary, but it’s important for puppies to get a series of vaccinations to provide optimal protection against infectious diseases like the ones listed at right. The series is begun as early as 6 weeks old, with boosters given 3 to 4 weeks apart (6 WK, 9 WK AND 12WK) and yearly until they are 12 to 16 years old.
Canine Distemper
Canine Parainfluenza (DA2P)
Canine Parvovirus (CPV)

To help your dog live a longer, healthier life (and control pet overpopulation), spaying or neutering is important. Your veterinarian will recommend the appropriate age, generally around 5-6 months.

A brushing each week will keep your pup’s coat in good condition, but if he gets really dirty or has acquired an odor, use these steps to bathe your dog:
Step 1: Brush your pup and then gently plug each ear with a cotton ball. Place him in a tub or basin with a nonskid surface. Hold the collar firmly, then pour lukewarm water over his body, being careful to leave his head dry.Cold water will chill your dog and make bathing an unpleasant experience.
Step 2: Use a baby shampoo to soap the body. Work up a lather, talking to your puppy and praising him as you work. When he’s well lathered, move to his head, being careful to keep shampoo out of his eyes, ears and mouth.
Step 3: Rinse and dry the head, then rinse the body. When the water runs clear, rinse one more time. Dry your pup with towels and then remove the cotton plugs from his ears. If your dog has healthy skin, you can dry him further with a hair dryer set on low or warm.

Things to work on once home:
Once home please work on these things.
First week= 10 new sounds,
Second week = 10 new people and
Third week = 10 new places. On the places that doesn't mean they have to go on the ground but even the drive through at the bank counts or in the shopping cart at Petsmart. Just try to be careful of public places until the full series of shots are completed.
Let me know what questions you have and I will post here.

Question 1: My puppys stools look to soft?
 If stools looks too soft, use yogurt and pumpkin. Are you over feeding?
Mix 1 tsp with each feed and it helps. Do this until stools look normal. Pumpkin is great of loose stools or for constipation.

Question 2: Have you started them going potty outside? No, you puppy is used to using a litterbox and pine pellets from Tractor Supply. Pine Pellets

Question 3: How do I keep my puppy from crying all night long? If your new dog is a young puppy, keep the crate close to your bed at night, and when you feel the need to reassure him, just poke your fingers through the bars of the door to allow him to smell you, but do not let him out if he starts to whine (this is where the earplugs come in). If he does not settle down after a short period of time, take him out (yes contradicting, but you should be able to tell the difference) and take him to his potty spot to relieve his bladder. Do not play with him, or cuddle him too much, just out to go pee, then right back in again. He needs to learn that night time is not play time. If you need to, set your alarm for about three hours into the night and get up and take him out to avoid accidents in the crate.

Once you are past the first two or three nights, both you and your puppy should be comfortable with the crate, and your nights will be easier. It won't be long before your pup is noticeably alerting you that he has to go outside, and the length between trips will expand, allowing all to get better rest at night.

Taken from :

He is not finishing all of his food, do I leave it or pick it up?

Pick up what he does not eat. If he keeps coming back to finish it will keep his stools soft from over eating. He should know when he is full. If he continues to not finish at a meal time you may have to add back in a lunch time feed also. He should almost eat a cup of food per day.

He is biting my fingers, what can I do?
Here is some info I have up on Mouthy Pups.
My best advice is to yell OUCH as loud as you can and let him know he is hurting you. Replace something like a toy
into his mouth at that point. Plus remove all attention also so he learns that you will not play until he can be nice.

My Vet recommends a parasite screen for like $23.00 do you think they need to do that? NO, he doesn't need parasite screen. He has been dewormed for hooks/rounds at 2,4,6 and just before he left. He also was de-wormed for tapes. That is why his stools were so yucky for a couple of days. I know that the dogs do not have any parasites :0)

Can you give me some hints as to how to stop the dog from marking?
He is too young to be marking!!! They will not mark until they are older and have hormones.
Puppys will not relieve themselves all the way and then will have small accidents.
This is part of potty training. Call your vet and he will confirm that this is true. A pup that was just 8 weeks old yesterday can not be marking.

You are going to have to working on potty training and not let him into those areas.
Confinement or constant supervision. Pick up the area rug for now and remove it. Put down a pee pad there.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Laying The Groundwork For Training Success

By Suzanne La Croix, MS

Suzanne La Croix is an ethologist and animal behavior counselor researching the ontogeny of behavior in canids at Michigan State University.*

“Timing is everything,”…the mantra of every dog trainer, regardless of training method. When training canines, critical timing can mean moments—the moment of reinforcement for a task successfully accomplished, and periods—specific periods of growth and development during puppyhood. Like humans, puppies and dogs learn different levels of skills more easily during specific developmental periods. To properly lay the groundwork for successful puppy training, it’s important to understand the growth and development periods that puppies go through.

Puppies begin learning by making simple associations that provide their foundation for learning. Next, they learn “how to learn” from their breeder, mother, and littermates. Finally, as they mature, their ability to perform more complex thought processes permits them to make decisions and solve problems. During puppies’ physical, neurological and behavioral development periods, breeders and new owners can schedule specific association and training tasks to achieve the behaviors and skills they desire in their adult companion animals.

Over the past 50 years, comprehensive scientific research (conducted by scientists including Scott, Fuller, Pfaffenberger and Fox) has directed much attention to the socialization of puppies. Today, we continue to draw conclusions from their experiments on developmentally “sensitive” periods and combine them with an advanced understanding of neurological development and the ontogeny of learning. When considering your training program, keep in mind that individual puppies, as well as different breeds, will proceed through development stages according to their own rate of growth.

Neonate Period (0-3 weeks)
Although the mother does most of the work during this stage, it is important that breeders hold and pet each puppy daily. Significant physical and neurological changes are occurring and stimulation is important for the development of neural pathways. Human touch is qualitatively different than the touch of the bitch, and may predispose the puppy to human handling. Exposure to human scent, through stroking and warmth, helps puppies form positive associations with humans.

Transition Period (3-4 weeks)
As the puppies’ senses of sight and hearing enter operational mode, they begin exploring. This period presents the prime opportunity to build positive associations with “all things human.”

Breeders can direct puppies’ perceptions of their world by introducing: background noises like human voices, nail grinders and the garbage truck; background scents like potpourri, shampoo and dinner cooking in the kitchen; and background visual stimuli like the grooming table, wheelchairs and children or other pets moving through the area.
While continuing to handle each puppy daily, gently introduce the command for the puppy to hold “still.”
Socialization Period (3-12 weeks)
Beginning at 3 weeks, breeders should set the foundation of positive associations for the desired adult dog behaviors. General and specialized skill areas can also be introduced.

Provide safe, positive, and repeated (once a week) exposure to pre-school children, older children, adults (male and female) and senior adults including their sounds, smells and touches.
Create positive crate associations: place several puppies with their nesting blankets in a crate for five-minute periods and leave the room during this time.
Expose puppies to different ground surfaces. This helps teach the difference between “bedding” and “potty areas.” Provide transition to outdoor elimination habits with a litter box or designated gravel indoor potty area.
Begin leash work: get puppies used to wearing a collar, work up to short informal jaunts on a leash, and restraint on a grooming table.
Begin exposure to travel in a car with short car rides around the block or to safe destinations (other than the veterinarian!)
Teach a general “Come” command: call “Puppy, puppy, puppy!” as you enter the room with their food dishes.
Begin supervised exposure to desired adult dog activities: introduce pheasant wings, retrieving bumpers, solid agility obstacles like the tunnel, dog sleds and carts, show ring fencing, stuffed bunnies for chasing, and household furniture.
Permit puppies to observe the mother exhibiting good dog behavior and performing commanded tasks.
Fear Period (8-10 weeks)
Just when socializing is proceeding with great success, many puppies will suddenly exhibit fear and avoidance of familiar stimuli. During this natural stage of hypersensitivity, breeders should avoid introducing novel stimuli and traumatic experiences.

Take a few days off from socializing, as needed and keep the pups together in their protective litter environment with positive visits from the mother and breeder.
Juvenile Period (12 weeks – puberty—up to 18 months in large breeds)
Following the above steps helps you set the stage for your puppies to develop strong bonds with their new humans and to confidently expand their skills as they adjust to their new homes.

From the puppies’ first day in their new homes, new owners should reinforce perceptions of “who’s the boss” by consistently asking for and reinforcing desired behaviors.
Generalized “Come” and “Heel” commands are easy, since the puppy is naturally inclined to follow owners on walks and explorations. Expect more precise behavior as he matures.
“Sit” and “Down” commands are easy to introduce, since the puppy is inclined to allow owners to be dominant. His diminutive size at this stage negates the need for wrestling matches that may occur if the new owner waits several months to begin skills training!
“Fetch and Retrieve” should be introduced as games and will be easily understood when a veteran dog demonstrates the tasks, or if the thrown item has a string attached.
New owners should continue providing positive experiences with new people, places, sights, and sounds to maintain optimal socialization of the growing puppy.
Recent research supports the value of observational learning, too. In this type of learning, a puppy creates positive associations and learns portions of tasks by observing other dogs displaying these skills. This comes as little surprise to multiple-dog owners who routinely “apprentice” their younger pups in the field or in a new situation with a veteran dog who will display the desired behaviors. Training a puppy in obedience alongside well-behaved older dogs provides a behavior model for the unruly puppy.

The success of a puppy’s future trainability takes shape during the formative experiences with the breeder. Even so, much work remains for new owners who want to develop high performance dogs and loving companions. Working with your puppies during their physical, neurological and behavioral development periods, will help lead to enriching, lifelong relationships and will help you reach your goals of successful, lifelong placements.

Your First Vet Visit

In addition to providing your new dog optimum nutrition, scheduling regular visits to the veterinarian is key to ensuring his health and
happiness. Here’s how to prepare.


If you have time, introduce your dog to his new veterinarian by scheduling
an orientation-only visit. Let the veterinarian’s staff pet him and offer treats. If you project a calm, upbeat attitude, your dog will likely remain calm, too. Some experts recommend scheduling these “just dropping in” visits on a regular basis.


At your dog’s first appointment, you’ll be asked basic information, and a staff member may weigh your pet. Keeping track of his weight can help identify problems associated with weight loss or gain.
Then you’ll meet the veterinarian. You’ll be asked about your dog’s diet and lifestyle. Next you’ll get to ask about your dog’s care. Then the veterinarian will examine him and may administer his first vaccinations.


The information you provided will help the veterinarian determine the kinds of diseases your dog may be exposed to and plan an appropriate vaccination schedule.
Schedules vary, but it’s important for puppies to get a series of vaccinations to provide optimal protection against infectious diseases like the ones listed at right. The series is begun as early as 6 weeks old, with boosters given 3 to 4 weeks apart until they are 12 to 16 years old.

Canine Distemper
Canine Parainfluenza (DA2P)
Canine Parvovirus (CPV)

To help your dog live a longer, healthier life (and control pet overpopulation), spaying or neutering is important. Your veterinarian will recommend the appropriate age, generally around 6 months.


A brushing each week will keep your dog’s coat in good condition, but if he gets really dirty or has acquired an odor, use these steps to bathe your dog:

Step 1: Brush your dog and then gently plug each ear with a cotton ball. Place him in a tub or basin with a nonskid surface. Hold the collar firmly, then pour lukewarm water over his body, being careful to leave his head dry. If bathing your dog outdoors, don’t use water from the garden hose. Cold water will chill your dog and make bathing an unpleasant experience.
Step 2: Use baby shampoo(not as harsh as dog formulas) to soap the body. Work up a lather, talking to your dog and praising him as you work. When he’s well lathered, move to his head, being careful to keep shampoo out of his eyes, ears and mouth.
Step 3: Rinse and dry the head, then rinse the body. When the water runs clear, rinse one more time. Dry your dog with towels and then remove the cotton plugs from his ears. If your dog has healthy skin, you can dry him further with a hair dryer set on low or warm.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How To Choose Between Male and Female Dogs

By Mary Stasiewicz

In some ways, choosing between male and female dogs is a matter of personal preference. However, there are some characteristics which are common in bitches and other characteristics which are common in male dogs. It is important to evaluate these characteristics and determine which sex would fit in best with your home situation. Additionally, choosing between male and female dogs is important if you already have another bitch or male dog and are choosing an additional dog. This article will list a few characteristics of bitches, a few characteristics of male dogs, and how to choose between male and female dogs when considering a second or third dog.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thicker Coat "What is it"???

Schnauzers, have different types of Schnauzer hair. Hair types vary from
the coarse German bristle terrier type hair (seen in the show ring) to the
ultra soft sheltie/type hair. Somewhere in the middle is the cotton
candy type hair that gets those really yucky mats. Because the
Schnauzer is a mix of the Affenpincher and the Poodle, you also
find Schnauzers with straight hair, others with dense curly poodle
type hair, and every other variation in between.

We have pups now with the thicker soft straight type hair
that almost never mats. Many people are breeding "Designer Dogs" by crossing several different breeds. We know at Schnauzes Of Taylor, mixing several breeds can be problematic from a health standpoint. We recommend sticking to a purebred AKC schnauzer and getting the coat that fits your lifestyle.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

New Canine Parvo virus strain (Oklahoma St. University)‏

There was a new canine parvovirus strain identified last year by OSU:

OSU Laboratory First to Discover a Virus in United States - OADDL
Identifies A New Canine Parvovirus


STILLWATER, Okla.-a team of Oklahoma State University (OSU)
veterinarians, virologists and pathologists at the Oklahoma Animal
Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (OADDL) recently published a paper in the
Journal of Clinical Microbiology on their findings from a Canine
parvovirus (CPV) study. Led by Dr. Sanjay Kapil, the group is the first
to describe the CPV type 2c variant in the United States.

"We were quite fortunate to discover this variant," explains Kapil. "It
has been known for six years in Italy but nobody paid attention to it
here until we found it last year."

Shortly after Kapil joined the OSU Center for Veterinary Health
Sciences, he received a case at the OADDL. The adult dog had been
vaccinated multiple times and still became sick with Parvovirus.

"This was very unusual and we were totally surprised that it was CPV
type 2c, which had not been found in the U.S. until then," says Kapil.
"What was so interesting was that after we described this disease, we
ended up with samples from other locations here in the U.S."

A patent has been filed on the characteristics of the U.S. CPV-2c. The
team reports that 500 samples were submitted from locations in south
California to south Florida. The published paper has been presented at
national level meetings and internationally in Italy and Melbourne,
Australia. However, their work is not done.

"The team work was most important. Sometimes we received ten dead
puppies a day. We are working with several veterinarians and are
receiving samples from cases with a history of vaccine failure,"
continues Kapil. "Diagnostic laboratories need to be involved to
identify CPV-2c. The disease now exists in all countries except
Australia because of its geographical isolation."

According to Kapil, the disease presentation is different in that
normally parvovirus does not affect adult dogs only puppies. However,
since publishing their findings, the OADDL has received samples from
adult dogs in Minnesota.

"Veterinarians are confused because the in office diagnostic tests come
up negative," explains Kapil. "Clinically it looks like parvovirus so
they send it to us. The OADDL tests it and it is parvovirus. Now
world-wide (except for Australia), this particular variant can attack
the heart and intestines."

He goes on to say that the mortality can be quite heavy. One breeder
claims to have lost 600 puppies in one night. Without diagnostic
confirmation, it is not known if the cause was simply this virus or if
other factors were involved.

"We will continue to study CPV-2c. Through collaborations with others we
will search for more effective vaccines," he promises.

Of 80 cases tested by the OADDL, 26 were from Oklahoma puppies/dogs. Of
those 26, 15 tested positive for CPV-2c. For more information on the
Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, visit

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Calming Signals - The Art of Survival

by Turid Rugaas

For species who live in packs it´s important to be able to communicate with its own kind. Both in order to cooperate when they hunt, to bring up their offspring, and perhaps most importantly: to live in peace with each other. Conflicts are dangerous - they cause physical injuries and a weakened pack, which is something that no pack can afford - it will cause them to go extinct.

Dogs live in a world of sensory input: visual, olfactory, auditory perceptions. They easily perceive tiny details - a quick signal, a slight change in another´s behavior, the expression in our eyesÉ Pack animals are so perceptive to signals that a horse can be trained to follow the contraction in our pupils and a dog can be trained to answer your whispering voice. There´s no need to shout commands, to make the tone of our voice deep and angry - what Karen Pryor refers to as swatting flies with a shovel.

The dogs have about 30 calming signals, perhaps even more. Some of these signals are used by most dogs, while other dogs have an incredibly rich ´vocabulary´. It varies from dog to dog.

The problem
Dogs use this communication system towards us humans, simply because it´s the language they know and think everyone understands.

By failing to see your dog using calming signals on you, and perhaps even punish the dog for using them, you risk causing serious harm to your dog. Some may simply give up using the calming signals, including with other dogs. Others may get so desperate and frustrated that they get aggressive, nervous or stressed out as a result. Puppies and young dogs may actually go into a state of shock.

Basic knowledge
Dad calls Prince and has learned in class that he needs to sound strict and dominant so that Prince will understand who is in charge. Prince finds dad´s voice to be aggressive, and being a dog he instantly give dad a calming signal in order to make him stop being aggressive. Prince will perhaps lick his own nose, yawn, turn away - which will result in dad becoming angry for real, because dad perceieves Prince as being pig-headed, stubborn and disobedient. Prince is punished for using his calming signals to calm dad. This is a typical example of something that happens on an everyday basis with many dog owners.

We need to learn to understand the language of dogs so that we can understand what our dogs are telling us. That is the secret of having a good life together.

How the dog is using the calming signals
The dog may yawn when someone bends over him, when you sound angry, when there´s yelling and quarreling in the family, when the dog is at the vet´s office, when someone is walking directly at the dog, when the dog is excited with happiness and anticipation - for instance by the door when you are about to go for a walk, when you ask the dog to do something he doesn´t feel like doing, when your training sessions are too long and the dog gets tired, when you have said NO for doing something you disapprove of, and in many other situations.

Threatening signals (to walk straight at, reach for the dog, bending over the dog, staring into the dog´s eyes, fast movements, and so on) will always cause the dog to use a calming signal. There are about 30 different calming signals, so even when many dogs will yawn, other dogs may use another calming signal.

All dog knows all the signals. When one dog yawns and turn his head to the side, the dog he is ´talking to´ may lick his nose and turn his back - or do something completely different.

The signals are international and universal. All dogs all over the worlds has the same language. A dog from Japan would be understood by an elkhound who lives in an isolated valley in Norway. They will have no communication problems!

Licking is another signal that is used often. Especially by black dogs, dogs with a lot of hair around their faces, and others who´s facial expressions for some reasons are more difficult to see than those of dogs with lighter colors, visible eyes and long noses. But anyone can use licking, and all dogs understand it no matter how quick it is. The quick little lick on the nose is easier to see if you watch the dog from in front. It´s best seen if you can find somewhere you can sit in peace and quiet and observe. Once you have learned to see the lick, you will also be able to see it while walking the dog.

Sometimes it´s nothing more than a very quick lick, the tip of the tongue is barely visible outside the mouth, and only for a short second. But other dogs see it, understand it and respond to it. Any signal is always returned with a signal.

Turning away/turning of the head
The dog can turn its head sligtly to one side, turn the head completely over to the side, or turn completely around so that the back and tail is facing whoever the dog is calming. This is one of the signals you may see most of the time in dogs.

When someone is approaching your dog from in front, he will turn away in one of these ways. When you seem angry, aggressive or threatening, you will also see one of these variations of the signal. When you bend over a dog to stroke him, he will turn his head away from you. When you make your training sessions too long or too difficult, he will turn his head away from you. When the dog is taken by surprise or take someone by surprise, he will turn away quickly. The same happens when someone is staring or acting in a threatening way.

In most cases, this signal will make the other dog calm down. It´s a fantastic way in which to solve conflicts, and it´s used a lot by all dogs, whether they are puppies or adults, high or low ranking, and so on. Allow your dog to use it! Dogs are experts at solving and avoiding conflicts - they know how to deal with conflicts.

Play bow
Going down with front legs in a bowing position can be an invitation to play if the dog is moving legs from side to side in a playful manner. Just as often, the dog is standing still while bowing and is using the signal to calm someone down. These signals often have double meanings and may be used in many different ways - often the invitation to play is a calming signal by itself because the dog is making a potentially dangerous situation less tense and diverts with something safe.

Recently, in a puppy class with a mix of puppies, one of them was afraid of the others in the beginning. The others left him alone and respected his fear. In the end he would dare to approach the others. When he did, he went into a play bow as soon as one of the other dogs looked at him. It was an obvious combination of slight fear of the others, as well as wanting to take part in the playing.

When two dogs approach each other too abruptly, you will often see that they go into a play bow. This is one of the signals that are easy to see, especially because they remain standing in the bow position for a few seconds so that you have plenty of time to observe it.

Sniffing the ground
Sniffing the ground is a frequently used signal. In groups of puppies you will see it a lot, and also when you and your dog is out walking and someone is coming towards you, in places where there´s a lot going on, in noisy places or when seeing objects that the dog isn´t sure of what is and find intimidating.

Sniffing the ground may be anything from moving the nose swiftly down toward the ground and back up again - to sticking the nose to the ground and sniff persistently for several minutes.

Is someone approaching you on the pavement? Take a look at your dog. Did he drop the nose down toward the ground, even slightly? Did he turn his side to the one approaching and sniff the side of the road?

Of course, dogs sniff a lot, also in order to ´read the paper´ and enjoy themselves. Dogs are pre-programmed to use their noses and it´s their favorite activity. However, sometimes it´s calming - it depends on the situation. So pay attention to when and in which situations the sniffing occur!

Walking slowly
High speed will be seen as threatening to many dogs, and they might want to go in to try and stop the one who is running. This is partly a hunting behavior and is triggered by the sight of a running human or dog. If the one running is coming straight at the dog, it involves a threat and a defence mechanism sets in.

A dog who is insecure will move slowly. If you wish to make a dog feel safer, then you can move slower. When I see a dog react to me with a calming signal, I immediately respond by moving slower.

Is your dog coming very slowly when you call him? If so, check the tone of your voice - do you sound angry or strict? That may be enough for him to want to calm you down by walking slowly. Have you ever been angry with him when he came to you? Then this may be why he doesn´t trust you. Another reason to calm you may be if the dog is always put on a leash when coming when called. Take a look at your dog the next time you call him. Does he give you any calming signals when coming? If he moves slowly, you may need to do something different in the way you act.

"Freezing" - is what we call it when the dog is stopping while standing completely still, sitting or laying down and remain in that position. This behavior is believed to have something to do with hunting behavior - when the prey is running, the dog attacks. Once the prey stops, the dog will stop too. We can often see this when dogs are chasing cats. This behavior, however, is used in several different situations. When you get angry and aggressive and appear threatening, the dog will often freeze and not move in order to make you be good again. Other times the dog may walk slowly, freeze, and then move slowly again. Many owners believe that they have very obedient dogs who is sitting, lying down or standing completely still. Perhaps they are actually using calming signals? Very often a dog will stop and remain calm when someone is approaching. If your dog wants to stop or move slowly in a situation like that, then let him. Also, should your dog be in a conflict situation with a human or dog, and is unable to escape, freezing may be one way to calm the other dog or person.

Sitting down/lifting one paw
I have only rarely seen dogs lift their paw as a calming signal, but on a few occasions it´s clearly been used to calm another dog.

To sit down, or an even stronger signal, to sit down with the back turned towards someone - for instance the owner - has a very calming effect. It´s often seen when one dog wants to calm another dog who is approaching too quickly. Dogs may sit down with their backs turned against the owner when he or she sounds too strict or angry.

Walking in curve
This signal is frequently used as a calming signal, and it is the main reason why dogs may react so strongly towards meeting dogs when they are forced to walk straight at someone.. Their instincts tell them that it is wrong to approach someone like that - the owner says differently. The dog gets anxious and defensive. And we get a dog who is barking and lunging at other dogs, and eventually we have an aggressive dog.

Dogs, when given a chance, will walk in curves around each other. That´s what they do when they meet off leash and are free to do things their own way. Allow your dog to do the same when he´s with you.

Some dogs needs large curves, while others only need to walk slightly curved. Allow the dog decide what feels right and safe for him, then, in time and if you want to, he can learn to pass other dogs closer.

Let the dog walk in a curve around a meeting dog! Don´t make him walk in a heel position while you´re going straight forward - give him a chance to walk in a curve past the meeting dog. If you keep the leash loose and let the dog decide, you will often see that the dog chooses to walk away instead of getting hysterical.

For the same the reason, don´t walk directly toward a dog, but walk up to it in a curve. The more anxious or aggressive the dog is, the wider you make the curve.

Other calming signals
By now you have learned about some of the more common calming signals. There are around 30 of them, and many have yet to be described. I will mention a few more briefly so that you can make further observations:

"Smiling", either by pulling the corners of the mouth up and back, or by showing the teeth as in a grin.
Smacking the lips
Wagging the tail - should a dog show signs of anxiety, calming or anything that clearly has little to do with happiness, the wagging of the tail isn´t an expression of happiness, but rather that the dog wants to calm you.
Urinating on himself - A dog who is cowering and crawling toward his owner while wetting himself and waving his tail, is showing three clear signs of calming - and of fear. · Wanting to get up into your face and lick the corners of your mouth.
Making the face round and smooth with the ears close to the head in order to act like a puppy. (No one will harm a puppy, is what the dog believes)
Laying down with the belly against the ground. This has nothing to do with submission - submission is when the dog lays down with the belly up. Laying down with the belly towards the ground is a calming signal. there are even more calming signals that are used in combination with others. For instance, a dog may urinate at the same time as he is turning his back to something. This is a clear sign of calming by for instance an annoying adolescent dog.
Some dogs act like puppies, jumping around and act silly, throwing sticks around, etc. if they discover a fearful dog nearby. It´s supposed to have, and does have, a calming effect.

Meeting situations
A meeting situation between two strange dogs will almost never show signs of strong submission or what people refer to as dominant behavior. A meeting situation between two dogs will usually be something like this:

King and Prince sees each other at 150 meters range and are headed toward each other. They start sending each other message the moment they see each other. Prince stops and stands still (´freezes´), and King is walking slowly while he keeps glancing at the other dog through the corner of his eye.

As King gets closer, Prince starts licking his nose intensly, and he turns his side to King and starts sniffing the ground too. Now King is so close that he needs to be even more calming, so he starts walking in a curve and away from Prince - still slowly and now he is licking his nose too. Prince sits down, and looks away by turning his head far to one side.

By now the two dogs have ´read´ each other so well that they know whether they wish to go over and greet each other, or if this could get so intense that it is best to stay away from each other.

Never force dogs into meeting others
Allow the dogs to use their language in meeting situations so that they feel safe. Sometimes they will walk up to each other and get along, other times they feel that it´s safer to stay at a distance - after all, they have already read each other´s signals, they do so even at a several hundred meters distance - there´s no need to meet face to face.

In Canada, dog trainers who attended my lecture, came up with a new name of these calming signals: ´The Language of Peace". That´s exactly what it is. It´s a language which is there to make sure that dogs have a way to avoid and solve conflicts and live together in a peaceful manner. And the dogs are experts at it.

Start observing and you will see for yourself. Most likely, you will get a much better relationship with your dog and other dogs, too, once you are beginning to realize what the dog is really telling you. It´s likely that you will understand things you earlier were unable to figure out. It is incredibly exciting, as well as educational.

Welcome to the world of the dog, and to knowledge of a whole new language!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Canine Illnesses

Listed below are some common diseases and problems that some
puppies and their new owners may face. Please read over this
information so that you are armed with knowledge and can prevent
these problems from happening to you and be prepared if they do.

Your dog can be infected with worms. Some worms you may visually see in your dog’s feces. The most common are Hookworms and Roundworms. Others you may not see such as Heartworms and Tapeworms. It is important to rid and/or protect your dog from these worms. There are several worming medications on the market that will take care of all these worms. Of all the worms,
Heartworms are the most dangerous to your dog. Heartworms wrap themselves around the dog’s heart and can eventually cause death. Heartworm medication must be prescribed by a veterinarian. The easiest thing to do is to get the medication that will not only destroy and prevent Heartworms but all the worms. Be sure to give your schnauzer this worming medication as prescribed
all year round for the life of your dog.

Fleas and ticks are one of the most common of parasites that can hurt your dog. Both fleas and ticks are blood suckers and depending on the size of your dog a large infestation of one or both
of these parasites can make your dog ill and even cause death. Your veterinarian can provide you with medication that can rid and/or prevent your dog of fleas and ticks. Pet shops and stores elling pet supplies also sell over the counter flea and tick products – collars, liquids and sprays.
Although some of these work well, they tend not to last very long so you may want to consider what type of product or medication you may want to use.
Brewers Yeast with garlic tabs is also greaet. These tablets tend to ward off fleas and ticks because of the garlic in the blood stream. The Brewers yeast is good for the dog's coat. Most dogs love the taste of them and will eat the tablets without a problem. Give 1 tablet per 10 pounds
of body weight per day. Brewers Yeast tablets are safe and can be used in conjunction with any other flea medication or repellent you are using.

Coccidia is also very common in puppies. Coccidia are not technically a worm, but a protozoan parasite that infect dogs. The Coccidia life cycles are complex and involve many stages of development. Coccidia produce cysts instead of larvae and eggs. Puppies usually get the infection from ingesting the cysts in the environment or from their mothers milk during nursing.
Symptoms usually occur in young animals and include diarrhea and abdominal pain. Blood in the diarrhea is very common. This is especially true in pets that are stressed or have other parasites.
Many pets, especially the older ones, do not show any symptoms when infected. Because of the unpredictable stages of Coccidia and additional factors such as stress, change of environment,
change of food and time of weening, symptoms of Coccidia can appear at any time during the young puppies life. The most reliable cure of Coccidia is a medication called Albon. A teaspoon of Albon once a day for 7 - 10 days usually rids the Coccidia from the puppy. Although Coccidia can be life threatening if gone untreated in very young puppies, there have been very few cases.

Your schnauzer may experience diarrhea. Diarrhea is not a disease but possibly a symptom of many other diseases. Most of the time diarrhea is not serious. Usually diarrhea is brought on by eating garbage or some other nasty morsel. Other minor causes are stomach or intestinal viruses. You can usually treat your pet at home for this type of diarrhea. Time is usually the best cure, but you
can give your dog a medicine such as Kaopectate. Give your dog 0.5 to 1.0 ml per pound of body weight every 2 to 6 hours. You will need to make sure that your bulldog does not get dehydrated.
You can give him/her a sports drink in his water dish to guard against loss of nutrients. Do not
feed your dog any table scraps or treats while he/she is suffering from diarrhea.
Your dog’s diarrhea may be serious if any of the following additional symptoms are present.

* Vomiting* Dehydration
* Loss of appetite * Abdominal pain
* Bloody diarrhea* Watery diarrhea
If the diarrhea is occurring in conjunction with one or more of the symptoms above, you should bring your bulldog to your veterinarian for a diagnosis.
At first, your dog will not like being washed, Q tipped, nail clipped, and medicated, but if you stick to a schedule and do these things often, your dog will grow to accept these as his daily life and you will not have a problem with him/her.

DEMODECTIC MANGE (also called "Red Mange") is caused by a microscopic mite called
Demodex canis. All dogs raised normally by their mothers possess this mite as mites are transferred from mother to pup via cuddling during the first few days of life. (After the pup is older
it is unable to pick up demodex mites. Puppies raised by hand, do not ever get demodex mites.) For some reason, conditions change in certain dogs to allow demodex mites to "gain the upper hand;" the mites proliferate and can cause serious skin disease. Mites are not transmitted to
people or other dogs except from mother dog to pup as described. Demodectic mange (unlike Sarcoptic mange) is not contagious.Mites live inside hair follicles - a difficult place for miticides (chemicals that kill mites) to reach. Mites are a normal residents of dog skin; it is only in some
individual dogs that mites cause problems . DEMODICOSIS -- THE DISEASE ITSELF

Demodectic mange -- also called "demodicosis"-- has three forms:


Usually a red, scaly, well-circumscribed lesion on the face or forelegs is present. It generally goes
away on its own. Goodwinol ointment, an insecticide, may be used daily to control localized
demodicosis. Hair regrowth should be evident after about a month of treatment; however, some
localized cases appear "destined" to become generalized and no treatment will prevent this from

When ointment is used, rubbing the medication on the area may break off the weaker hairs at the
margin of the lesion. The lesion may thus appear to get larger at first. Antibacterial gels are also
used against localized demodicosis and associated skin infections. Often it is best not to treat this
condition and to simply allow it to resolve on its own

The entire dog is affected with patchy fur, skin infections, bald, scaly skin. Most generalized
demodicosis starts as localized demodicosis.
* ADULT ONSET-- Most demodicosis occurs in young dogs. An older dog should not
get deodicosis unless it has an underlying problem with its immune system, possibly even cancer.
A veterinarian should be consulted regarding possible primary diseases.
* JUVENILE ONSET -- 30-50% of dogs under age 1 year recover spontaneously from generalized
demodicosis without any form of treatment. Usually treatment is recommended, though, to facilitate recovery.


Physiological stress is an important factor determining the degree of severity of demodectic
1. Females should be spayed as soon as the disease is controlled. Coming into heat, hormonefluxes, and pregnancy are very stressful. Also, predisposition to demodicosis is hereditary and
should not be passed on.

2.The dog should be fed a reputable brand of dog food so as to avoid any nutritionally related

3.Keep the pet parasite-free. Worms are irritants that the pet need not deal with and fleas may exacerbate the itchiness and skin infection.

4.Keep up the pet's vaccinations.

5.The mites themselves cause suppression of the immune system so the pet needs every
advantage to stay healthy.
The younger the dog, the better the chance of cure. In many cases of adult-onset demodicosis, the disease is controlled by dips and baths but cure is not always possible. Some cases can
never be controlled.
Ivermectin is a broad spectrum anti-parasite medication generally used for food animals and horses. It is licensed for use in dogs and cats as a heartworm preventive and as a topical ear mite therapy at this time thus the use of this medication to treat demodicosis is not approved by
the FDA. When ivermectin was a new drug it was hoped that it could be used against demodectic mange mites. At first it was found ineffective but later it was determined that daily doses are needed (most other parasites can be controlled with wormings spaced several weeks apart.)
Ivermectin is inexpensive relative to Milbemycin and involves no labor intensive bathing. It DOES, however, taste terrible if given orally (it may be necessary for the owner to learn how to give ivermectin as an injectable treatment.)
SARCOPTIC MANGE (also called "Scabies") is the name for the skin disease caused by infection with the Sarcoptes scabei mite. Mites are not insects; instead they are more closely related to spiders. They are microscopic and cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Adult Sarcoptes scabei mites live 3-4 weeks in the host’s skin. After mating, the female burrows into the skin depositing 3-4 eggs in the tunnel behind her. The eggs hatch in 3-10 days producing a larva which, in turn, moves about on the skin surface eventually molting into a "nymphal" stage
and finally into an adult. The adults move on the surface of the skin where they mate and the cycle begins again with the female burrowing and laying eggs.
The motion of the mite in and on the skin is extremely itchy. Further, the presence of mites and their eggs generates a massive allergic response in the skin which is even more itchy. Mites prefer hairless skin thus leaving the ear flaps, elbows and abdomen at highest risk for the red,
scaly itchy skin that characterizes sarcoptic mange. It should be noted that this pattern of itching is similar to that found with airborne allergies (atopy) as well as with food allergies. Frequently, before attempting to sort out allergies, a veterinarian will simply treat a patient for sarcoptic mange
as a precaution. It is very easy to be led down the wrong path (pursuing allergy aggressively) if one considers sarcoptic mange an unusual or unlikely possibility.
As the infection progresses, eventually most of the dog's body will be involved. Classically, though, the picture begins on the ears (especially the ear margins), the elbows, and abdomen.

The term "Scabies" refers to mite infestations by either Sarcoptes scabei or other mite species closely related to Sarcoptes scabei. While Sarcoptes scabei can infect humans and cats, it tends not to persist on these hosts.
When an animal with sarcoptic mange scratches itself, it breaks open the tunnels that the mites have burrowed into and the mites are killed (though the itch persists due to toxins in the skin). The result is that the mites can be very difficult to confirm by skin scraping tests. (Probably mites are confirmed in 50% or fewer of sarcoptic mange cases).
Since negative test results do not rule out mite infection, a "Maybe Mange" test is frequently performed. This consists simply of treating for sarcoptic mange and observing for resolution of the signs within 2-4 weeks.
Of course, if mite presence is confirmed by skin scraping, then one knows immediately the cause of the itching and need not be concerned about allergy possibilities or other diseases and the
condition can be addressed with confidence.
BIOPSY - Mange mites are rarely seen on a skin biopsy sample, though, if the sample is read out by a pathologist who specializes in skin, the type of inflammation seen in the sample can be highly suggestive of sarcoptic mange. This is an example of a skin disease where it makes a difference whether the pathologist reading the sample specializes in reading skin samples.

While sarcoptic mange is difficult to diagnose definitively, it is fairly easy to treat and a number of choices are available.
DIPPING - Anti-bacterial or anti-itch shampoos preceed one of several anti-mite dips. Paramite dip (an organophosphate), Mitaban dip (Amitraz), and Lime-Sulfur dips given weekly are usually effective. Disease typically resolves within one month. Dips are often used in combination with one of the other treatments listed below.
IVERMECTIN - This is one of the most effective treatments against Sarcoptes scabei yet is is off-label as far as the FDA is concerned. There are several protocols due to the very long activity of this drug in the body. Typically an injection is given either weekly or every two weeks in 1-4 doses.
In most cases this treatment is safe and effective but some individuals have a mutation which makes ivermectin very toxic at the doses used to kill mites. These individuals are usually of the Collie family: Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Australian Shepherds are classically affected.
There is now a test that can determine if any dog has the mutation that makes ivermectin use dangerous. Selamectin is an ivermectin derivative recently marketed for the control of fleas, roundworms, hookworms, ticks, ear mites and sarcoptic mange mites. Normal monthly use of this product should prevent a sarcoptic mange problem but to clear an actual infection studies show
an extra dose is usually needed after 2 weeks for reliable results.

You can sometimes avoid this with diet. Taste Of The Wild has almost totally eliminated the gas problem, but each dog is different. Charcoal Bonio biscuits are great for a windy dog as the charcoal will help soak up the internal gasses.

HYPOGLYCEMIA (Low blood sugar):
This is common among toy breeds, especially the tiny ones (under two pounds). It is extremely important for you to watch for signs of this problem. This can be a needless killer of small puppies.
Symptoms are listlessness, staggering when trying to walk, acting lethargic, etc. Always make sure your puppy has food and water and check to see that it has eaten. Giving Nutri-cal or even honey or syrup (1-2 cc’s) will usually alleviate this problem. We make it a habit to give it to our puppies any time we will be gone for an extended period of time. This will usually cease to be a problem by
16 weeks of age.


Parvovirus is a HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS virus that attacks the intestines and causes sloughing of the inner layers of the intestine. The most common symptoms of this disease (the “intestinal form”) are vomiting and diarrhea. Another less common form, the “cardiac form”, occurs in very young pups (less than 8 weeks of age) and attacks the heart muscle, often resulting in sudden death.

Parvovirus is contagious to dogs only—not to cats or people. Any age, breed, or sex of dog could be affected by parvovirus. However, infection with parvovirus does not automatically mean illness. Several factors such as age, environment, stress, parasites, and general health status of each individual dog infected could affect the severity of the disease. The degree of illness could
range from very mild to unapparent to very severe, often resulting in death. The disease is usually more severe in young dogs (less than 6 months of age), old dogs, Rottweilers, and Dobermans. The younger and smaller the dog, the greater the chance that it will not recover.

Parvovirus is resistant to extremes of temperature (i.e., it survives freezing and extreme heat) and is unharmed by detergents, alcohol, and common disinfectants. Direct transmission occurs when an infected dog comes in contact with a healthy dog. The virus is found in heavy concentration in
the infected dog’s stool. Because dogs will usually sniff where another dog has eliminated, this fecal-oral transmission is the most common method of transmission. The virus particles can be easily spread by hands, shoes, clothing, or other inanimate objects (fomites)—this is an indirect source of transmission.

As many as 30 billion parvovirus particles can be shed from the intestines of an infected dog in every ounce of stool. The highest concentration of virus in the stool is seen when the infected dog is showing signs of illness. A dog can, however, be a source of infection to other dogs without it having observable signs of illness (the disease may be incubating). Transmission can
occur for at least 3 weeks after a dog becomes infected with the virus. Chronic “carriers” are not known to exist as in other viral diseases. Parvovirus in the environment can infect susceptible dogs for as long as 6 months once shed in the stool.

Clinical signs include vomiting, fever, loss of appetite, depression, and bloody diarrhea with a very foul odor. Infected animals rapidly dehydrate and severe cases progress to shock and death.
Early, vigorous treatment of illness caused by canine parvovirus infection can save lives.

Cardiac form (less than 8 weeks of age):


Sudden death

Crying, difficulty breathing, gasping for breath

Extreme depression


Unwillingness to nurse

Irregular heartbeat

Intestinal form (any age dog affected, but more severe in puppies):



Loss of appetite

Fever (usually above 103F)

Vomiting with or without blood

Diarrhea with or without blood (more serious if blood present)

Low white blood cell count (due to immunosuppression)

Treatment is aimed at maintaining the normal body composition and preventing secondary bacterial infection. Because this is a virus, there is NO CURE. Death from parvovirus results from dehydration, overwhelming secondary bacterial infection, blood loss from intestinal hemorrhage, or heart attack from invasion of the heart muscle by the virus.

Early FLUID THERAPY is the most important factor in treating dogs with parvovirus infection. The body is normally about 80% water. Life is NOT possible when 12-15% of the normal body fluids are lost. Intravenous fluids both rehydrate the body and nourish the sick dog.

Additional treatment includes prevention of secondary bacterial infection and drugs to control vomiting and diarrhea. No food or water is given while the dog is vomiting. Repeated laboratory tests are often necessary to monitor your pet’s white blood cell count and state of hydration.

HOSPITALIZATION enables us to provide the best medicine and is the best way to achieve success. There is NO GUARANTEE, even with hospitalization, that your pet will survive. With most dogs, there is at least a 70% survival rate. Very small (young) puppies, Rottweilers, and dobermans usually only have a 30-50% chance of survival. Length of treatment depends on the
severity of disease. Most dogs have to stay hospitalized for at least 2-4 days, but may require treatment for as long as a week. Dogs that recover from parvo are often weak, making them even more susceptible to other diseases, such as distemper. Dogs that recover from parvo continue to spread the virus in the feces for a month or longer.

Prevention/Control of parvovirus by sanitation measures alone is extremely difficult because the virus is such a resistant, hardy organism and because it is so easily spread. Contact with other
dogs,and especially their stool, should be minimized. Clorox diluted one part to 30 parts water (4 oz Clorox in 1 gallon of water) has been effective in disinfecting inanimate objects such as clothing, floors, kennels, etc. However, it is impractical, if not impossible, to disinfect public
streets, parks, etc. Isolation of infected dogs is another method of control, moderately effective.
Both of these measures will help reduce the amount of contagious virus in the environment, but only a full series of vaccinations, with appropriate booster intervals, will help to control the source
of infection, the contagious shedding dog.

Guidelines for young puppies:

1. Do not take the puppy to the front yard, park, for a walk around the block, or to pet stores.
These are all places where infected dogs have been or presently are.

2. Only have the puppy around adult dogs that YOU KNOW are current on vaccinations. There should be no contact with stray dogs or dogs that you are not sure of.

3. Do not let the puppy be exposed to any other puppies. These pups could be incubating the disease (and therefore be contagious) without showing signs of illness.

4. Always wash your hands after handling any dog.

Vaccination is the most effective preventive measure for canine parvovirus disease. A properly immunized dog will have circulating antibodies in the blood that will destroy parvovirus following
exposure. Dogs remain HIGHLY SUSCEPTIBLE to parvo until 2-4 weeks after the last injection of
the immunization series.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

**Must Haves For New Puppy**

Now that you've decided to get a puppy or dog, the next few weeks will be busy and at times, more than a little bit crazy. That's why it's important to plan in advance for the arrival of your new pet. If possible, get as many necessities ready before your puppy comes home.

The Basics

Travel crate: Even if you don't plan on crate training your dog, consider the benefits of owning a crate for other reasons, like transporting an ill or injured puppy to the veterinarian.

Food and water bowls: For a puppy, keep the bowls low and shallow. Tip-proof works well, too. As they grow, you'll likely need to upgrade to larger dishes to accommodate your pet's size.

Food: You puppy will be eating Life Abundance

Collar: Size small.

Leash: A six-foot lead works well. Choose a light one. I like a body soft body harness for training.

ID tag: As one of the first things people search for when finding a stray dog, an ID tag can help make sure your puppy makes it home safely. At a minimum, have your phone number engraved on the tag.

Grooming supplies: Every pup can benefit from a good weekly brushing. It's also a great way to have quiet, bonding time with your new dog. Bathing every two weeks with a gently baby shampoo works not to mention they smell great. We love Baby Majic Baby Shampoo.

Housebreaking supplies:You puppy is being potty trained to use a "Litter Box". You will need to purchase pine pellets from a feed supply store of you can use the pellets. They do cost more though.

Veterinarian: If you don't have a favorite vet already, ask family, friends and neighbors for a recommendation. Have an appointment scheduled within the first few days of bringing your puppy home, so your vet can check for worms, other health conditions, and start her vaccination regimen.

The Extras

Obedience classes: Every dog can benefit from learning some basic obedience skills.Check to see what is available and go ahead and register. Your puppy can not a attend a class until they have their 3rd set of shots.

Puppy treats: Yummy treats are the perfect reward when you're working on obedience. Or for when they're just being adorable. Choose something of high quality.

Toys: Chew toys help satisfy your new puppy's teething needs. If you'd like to teach your dog to retrieve, look at purchasing a few balls, but make sure they're not so small that your dog chokes. A lot of people swear by Kong, an awesome rubber toy you stuff with treats to keep your new pal busy.

Sour apple spray: Use this product to spray on spots your puppy loves to chew on. It's a terrific deterrent for naughty puppies.

Baby gates: Want to keep your dog in one area of your house? Use baby gates to corral him. Let's face it; for a lot of us, dogs are our babies anyway!

Dog house: If your pup will spend some time outdoors, he'll probably love having his own little house. Fill it with great chew toys and a cozy blanket, and it will be the perfect home away from home. Doggie door: Training your dog to use a doggie door when she needs to go outdoors makes life easier for you and your pal.

Clothing: Depending on where you live, sweaters or snow boots may be required outdoor gear for your dog.

Now that you have the basics on hand, don't forget the most essential items for your new puppy: lots of hugs, kisses, and sweet talk. Best of all, they're free! Check out OLIVE DOG for wonderful doggie and puppy products.

~~Preparing For Puppy~~

While excitement and anticipation will be at the top of the list when bringing home a new puppy for the first time, preparing for his arrival should rank highly on the list. Just as you would have to prepare a home when you have a toddler, pet owners also have to take certain precautions when "puppy-proofing."

Before you begin preparing your home for a puppy, you should think about the front yard and garden. First, check fences and gates to be sure there are no holes massive enough for him to get his head stuck in or escape through. Watch for litter and trash cans, which can be knocked over, giving your new puppy the opportunity to eat things that might make him sick. Also, know where you are treating your lawn and garden with pesticides, and then don't let your puppy in that area. In addition, produce sure that all chemicals and more harmful products are put away out of your new child's reach.

Next, you will have to inspect your home as if a strange toddler is coming to live with you! Just like toddlers, puppies will think everything is new and exciting. They don't know when something is dangerous or can't tell if that "interesting" remote control will get them into trouble.

In addition, when restructuring your home for the new puppy, you should keep these tips in mind:

Make sure all electrical and cable wires are either in a space your puppy will not have access to, or hide them under rugs or carpets. Don't keep wires where your puppy may gnaw or chew on them.

Just like a toddler, your puppy will investigate each element, including low cupboards. Just when you believed having a puppy was simpler than an infant, he'll learn to pull those cupboard doors open! Think about installing locks or "child-proof" devices.

So far, so good, right? Well, that's only if you remember that in reality your puppy has the brain of a little kid. Soon you'll be getting ready for afternoon walks to the park, three a.m. trips to the bathroom, (more officially, outside) and lots of snuggling. So, while preparing your home for your puppy, think of him as a member of your family. Get him a bed that is chew resistant. Line it with comfortable, washable, bedding and then place it in a favorite place just for him. Be sure it's somewhere he'll be safe and comfortable.

Preparing your home for your new puppy is a lot to handle, so you can look at buying a puppy pen until everything settles down. Just like a baby's playpen, a puppy pen will offer an area for him to play without roaming the home. By doing this, you are also saving your furniture and more objects from being chewed on. (Don't worry, he'll hopefully grow out of this!)

One last thing to think about when preparing your home for your puppy is any stairs that you might have in the home. If you have an open basement or even 2nd floor, utilize toddler gates to confine his run area to avoid accidents. Infants and puppies aren't aware of danger and don't understand that they may fall down steps and get hurt.

The bottom line to think about while preparing your home for the new puppy is, just like a baby, they will require cuddling, attention and there will obviously be a lot of wet kisses!

Friday, February 20, 2009

House/Crate Training

What are the best methods for house training a puppy?

A. If your dog is going to live inside the home, and in America over 90% of our pets do, you are going to have to go through the housebreaking process unless you have grossly different hygienic standards than most. It is not hard, it need not be messy, and it need not be a struggle. It does not have to take a long time. Remember that it is a training issue and you will need to have more than casual input. It will take some of your time but the more involved you get, the shorter that span will be.

The Rules

House Training Rule Number One: This is The Most Important Rule – If you don't catch your puppy doing it - then don't punish him for it!

House Training Rule Number Two: Praise your puppy when things go right. Don't let this be a situation where your only action is saying "No" when they are caught in the midst of using the wrong area. If they do it right – let them know!

Methods of house training

Starting Inside: There are several ways to housebreak a puppy. With the first, you can put down papers or pretreated pads, encouraging them to use these areas for going to the bathroom. The pads are scented with a chemical that attracts the puppy to use them. Whenever you see them starting into their "pre-potty pattern," such as walking around and sniffing the floor, you gently pick them up without talking and carry them over to the papers/pad and then praise them when they go to the bathroom (Rule 2).

When all goes well and they are using the papers consistently, the papers are either moved closer to the door and/or another set is placed outside. The transition is made from concentrating the toilet habits to one spot inside the home to one spot outside the home. Finally, the papers inside are eliminated. The only problem with this method is that for a period of time it encourages the animal to eliminate inside the home. In our experience, house training may take longer when this method is used.

Your puppy will be started using a litter box.
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Crate Training: The second popular method of house training involves the use of a crate or cage. The often-stated reasoning is that the animal is placed in a cage that is just large enough to be a bed. Dogs do not like to soil their beds because they would be forced to lay in the mess. It works, and while in these confines, most pups will control their bladder and bowels for a longer time than we would expect. Young puppies, at 8 or 9 weeks of age can often last for 7 or 8 hours, however, we would never recommend leaving them unattended in a crate for that long in most circumstances. A litter box works great for back up when you are away for this many hours.

During housebreaking, whenever the puppy is inside the home but cannot be watched, he is placed in the crate. This might be while you are cooking, reading to the children, or even away from the home. The last thing you do before you put the puppy in the crate is take him outside to his favorite spot. The first thing you do when you take the animal out of the crate is another trip outside. No food or water goes in the crate, just a blanket and maybe a chew toy to occupy his time. Overnight is definitely crate time. As your faith in the puppy grows, leave him out for longer and longer periods of time.

Most people do not recognize an important advantage of crate training. It does more than just stop the animal from messing in the house. It also teaches the puppy something very important. The puppy learns that when the urge to urinate or defecate occurs, he can hold it. Just because the pup feels like he needs to relieve himself, the pup learns that he does not have to. This is thought to be the main reason why puppies that have gone through crate training have fewer mistakes later on.

Make sure you buy the right size cage. You want one that has the floor space that provides just enough for the puppy to lie down. But cages are useful throughout a dog's life and it would be nice if you did not have to keep buying more as he grows. That is not necessary. Simply purchase a cage that will be big enough for him as an adult, but choose a model that comes with or has a divider panel as an accessory. With these, you can adjust the position of the panel so that the space inside the cage available to the pet can grow as he does.

Using too large of a crate can often cause long term problems. The puppy will go to one corner of the cage and urinate or defecate. After a while, he will then run through it tracking it all over the cage. If this is allowed to continue, the instincts about not soiling his bed or lying in the mess will be forgotten and the puppy will soon be doing it every day when placed in the crate. Now a house training method has turned into a behavioral problem as the puppy’s newly-formed hygienic habits becomes his way of life.

Constant Supervision: The last method involves no papers, pads, or crates. Rather, you chose to spend all the time necessary with the puppy. This works very well for people who live and work in their homes, retired persons, or in situations where the owners are always with the animal. Whenever they see the puppy doing his "pre-potty pattern" they hustle him outside. It is important that the dog is watched at all times and that no mistakes are allowed to occur. This method has less room for error, as there is nothing like a cage to restrict the animal’'s urges, nor is there a place for him to relieve himself such as on the papers or pad. When he is taken outside, watch the puppy closely and as soon as all goes as planned, he should be praised and then brought back inside immediately. You want the dog to understand that the purpose for going outside was to go to the bathroom. Do not start playing, make it a trip for a reason. Verbal communications help this method and we will discuss them soon. For those with the time, this is a good method. We still recommend having a crate available as a backup when the owners have to be away from the animal.

Verbal cues

Specific verbal communications will also help the two of you understand what is desired. It is an excellent idea to always use a word when it is time to head to the bathroom. We like "Outside?" Remember that whenever you use a verbal command or signal, it is important that everybody in the family always uses the same word in the same way. Think of the word "Outside" in this situation not only as a question you are asking the pup, but also as an indication that you want to go there. Some dogs may get into the habit of going to the door when they want to go outside. This is great when it happens but it is not as common as some believe. We have found that it is better to use verbal commands to initiate this sort of activity rather than waiting for the puppy to learn this behavior on his own. It seems like your consistent use of a word or phrase like "Outside" will cause the puppy to come to you rather than the door when he needs to go outside. The pup quickly sees you as part of the overall activity of getting to where he needs to go. We believe this is much better.

Once outside, we try to encourage the pup to get on with the act in question. We use the phrase "Do your numbers." This is probably a holdover from our own parenthood and hearing children use the "Number 1" or "Number 2" phrases. Others use 'Do It,' 'Potty,' or 'Hurry Up.' As soon as they eliminate, it is very important to praise them with a "Good Dog" and then come back inside immediately. Again, make this trip that started outside with a specific word "Outside" be for a purpose. If we are taking the pup out to play with a ball or go for a walk we will not use this word even if we know they will eliminate while we are outside.

When an 'accident' happens

One of the key issues in housebreaking is to follow Rule Number One: If you do not catch your puppy doing it, then do not punish him for it! We do not care what someone else may tell you or what you read, if you find a mess that was left when you were not there, clean it up and forget it.

Discipline will not help because unless you catch the puppy in the act, he will have no idea what the scolding is for. Your puppy has urinated and defecated hundreds of times before he met you. Mom or the breeder always cleaned it up. Nobody made a fuss before and the pup will not put the punishment, regardless of its form, together with something he has done without incident numerous times before. Especially if he did it more than 30 seconds ago! Puppies are just like our children. Unless something was really fun (and a repetitious act like going to the bathroom is not), they are not thinking about what they did in the past. They are thinking about what they can do in the future. At this point in his life a puppy's memory is very, very poor.

Anyway, let us face it. It was your fault, not the pup's. If you had been watching, you would have noticed the puppy suddenly walking or running around in circles with his nose down smelling for the perfect spot to go to the bathroom. It is just as consistent as the taxi cab driver behind you honking immediately when the light changes. The puppy will show the same behavior every time. It may vary a little from pup to pup but they always show their own "pre-potty pattern" before the act.

The same should be said as to your first reaction when you actually catch them in the act of urinating or defecating. It is your fault, you were not watching for or paying attention to the signals. Do not get mad. Quickly, but calmly pick them up and without raising your voice sternly say "No." Carry them outside or to their papers. It will help to push their tail down while you are carrying them as this will often help them to stop urinating or defecating any more.

They are going to be excited when you get them outside or to the papers, but stay there with them a while and if they finish the job, reward them with simple praise like "Good Dog."

House Training Rule Number One: If you don't catch your puppy doing it, then don't punish him for it!

In the disciplining of dogs, just like in physics, every action has a reaction and for training purposes these may not be beneficial! If you overreact and severely scold or scare the heck out of a puppy for making what is in your mind a mistake, your training is probably going backwards. With house training this is especially difficult for them to understand as they are carrying out a natural body function. Carried one step farther is the idea of rubbing a puppy's nose into a mistake he made, whether you caught him or not. In the limits of a puppy’s intelligence, please explain to us the difference of rubbing his nose in his mess he left in your kitchen an hour ago versus the one the neighbor's dog left in the park two weeks ago. If the dog were smart enough to figure all of this out, the only logical choice would be to permanently quit going to the bathroom. Punishment rarely speeds up house training. Often, it makes the dog nervous or afraid every time it needs to go to the bathroom.

We will give you a perfect example of how this kind of disciplining causes long-term problems between a dog and his owner. A client makes an appointment to discuss a housebreaking problem. They are hoping that on physical exam or through some testing we can find a medical reason for the animal's inability to successfully make it through housebreaking. They readily admit their frustration with the dog. The fecal and urine tests reveal no problem. We assumed that would be the case and have no intention of charging for those services. In the examination room, the pup is showing a lot more interest in the veterinarian than he is in his owners. The animal's eyes are almost saying, "Please kidnap me from them." When the owner reaches down to pet the dog on his head, the pup reflexively closes his eyes and turns his head to the side. The dog reacts as if he were going to be hit. What this tells us is that the dog has been punished for making messes in the owners' absence. During this punishment the puppy is not, and we repeat, the puppy is not thinking about what he might have done two hours ago. He is not thinking that he should not make messes in the house. The animal is not even thinking about the messes.

The classic line that usually goes with this scenario then comes up "When we get home we know he has made a mess because he always sulks or runs and hides!" The dog is not thinking about some mistake he may have made. Rather, the pup has learned that when the people first get home, for some reason he has yet to figure out, they are always in a bad mood and he gets punished. The puppy has decided that maybe he would be better to try to avoid them for awhile so he does try to hide. In this particular case, discipline, misunderstood by the puppy, has caused him to fear his owners and this will probably affect their relationship throughout the life of the dog.

If you want house training to go quickly, regardless of the method you use, spend as much time as possible with your puppy. In an exam room, one of us once listened to a client complain about how he had to take some time off from work for his own mental health and also, but unrelated, how the puppy was not doing too well in the house training department. For us this statement was just too good to be true. It was the perfect set-up for our pitch. This gentleman, a bachelor, truly loved his puppy. We saw them together everywhere. Still, the problem was that he worked in a downtown office and the pup was home. His work allowed him to get home frequently but not always on a consistent schedule. There would be accidents when he was gone and sometimes he was gone longer than the abilities or the attention span of the puppy.

The solution was easy. We simply suggested his health and the puppy's training would both do better if he stayed home for a week or so. It worked. Under the man's watchful eye, he was always there at the time when he was needed and in less than seven days the ten-week-old puppy was trained. We are not saying there was never another accident, but they were few and far between. In the end, the best of all worlds occurred. The man realized his dog could be trusted, and thereafter, they spent their days together at the man's office.

Feeding and house training

The feeding schedule you use can help or hinder housebreaking. You will soon notice that puppies will need to go outside soon after they wake and also within 30 to 40 minutes after eating. Be consistent when you feed the animal so you can predict when they need to relieve themselves. Plan your trips outside around these patterns.

All of this may seem simple, and it really is. The keys are that it will take time and you must be consistent. And, of course, you must never lose your temper or even get excited.

Spontaneous or submissive urination

Puppies may spontaneously urinate when excited. This may be when they first see you, at meeting a new dog, or when they are scared. It is often referred to as submissive or excitement urination. Do not discipline the puppy for this, as it is something they cannot control. Simply ignore it and clean up the mess. If you do not overreact, they will usually outgrow this between 4 and 7 months of age.


Your new puppy is home and you have started the house training process. This is just as much a part of training as the "Come" and "Stay" commands. However, mistakes that occur with house training can cause more problems between you and your pet than those encountered with any other form of training. Be patient and stay calm.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


The following questions are being asked of you so that the right puppy and the right placement of each puppy is made by bringing the various requirements of both the puppy and his or new owner(s) into perspective, BEFORE a choice is made. I hope you will agree that the animal's welfare must be my foremost consideration in considering a placement.

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Do Dogs and Cats Need Grains?

By Steve Brown and Beth Taylor

Dogs and cats are designed by nature to be primarily meat eaters.

Dogs are scavengers. Their diet included almost any food that provided calories -- but rarely grain. A major factor in the domestication of dogs was the food available at the human garbage dump. The "tamer" wolves, those least afraid of humans, over a period of tens of thousands of years, became our close companions.

According to a recent study by biologists Ray and Lorna Coppinger, the natural diet of dogs included, "Bones, pieces of carcass, rotten greens and fruit, fish guts, discarded seeds and grains, animal guts and heads, some discarded human food and wastes."(1)

However, cats are more selective about food by nature and anatomy. Their ancestral diet consisted of small rodents. Their usefulness to humans had much to do with their eagerness to dispatch the rodents so plentiful around human habitats.

Almost No Grains

The natural diet of both species includes high levels of protein, fats and water, and very little carbohydrates. The "recommended" diet of dry foods, which is the diet of most cats and dogs, is the complete opposite of this natural diet: High in carbohydrate, low in protein, fat, and with almost no water.

Dogs and cats do not need carbohydrates, and most veterinary textbooks agree:

Canine and Feline Nutrition "The fact that dogs and cats do not require carbohydrate is immaterial because the nutrient content of most commercial foods include (carbohydrates).(2)

Small Animal Clinical Nutrition III, written by the founder of Science Diet (Mark Morris Sr.) and his son (Mark Morris Jr.): "Some question exists regarding the need of dogs and cats for dietary carbohydrate. From a practical sense, the answer to this question is of little importance because there are carbohydrates in most food ingredients used in commercially prepared dog foods."(3)

The Waltham Book of Companion Animal Nutrition: "There is no known minimum dietary requirement for carbohydrate..."(4)

For more details, see thei book, See Spot Live Longer.

More Grains, More Insulin, More Inflammation

A highly processed, grain-based diet fed to an animal designed to thrive on a meat-based, fresh food diet is very likely to produce symptoms of ill health over time. Diets to address disease most frequently deal with the symptoms that are the result of a lifetime of inappropriate food, not the true cause of their symptoms. The optimum diet for a dog or a cat should closely resemble their natural diet.

A diet balanced heavily toward grain promotes insulin production and the production of inflammatory chemicals. Over-production of insulin makes it hard for the body to maintain its correct weight, and can lead to diabetes and other problems. An overabundance of inflammatory chemicals means more aches and pains.

Improve the balance of your dog's diet by reducing grain, and you may not need the dangerous non-steroidal and steroid drugs so commonly prescribed for dogs. Readers who follow Dr. Mercola's Total Health Program will agree eating fewer grains means less inflammation! Toxic drugs certainly make animals more comfortable, but will shorten their lives too.

A word of caution: Diabetic animals or any other medical condition making a switch to a more protein-based diet should be under the close supervision of a veterinarian.

Making the Switch to Meat

We believe the best diet for a dog or cat is a fresh, raw meat, bone and vegetable diet. Still, we may not always follow that advice due to financial constraints. Understanding that every step helps, we hope these suggestions will help you to move toward that goal.

Add meat to promote your pet's health: As you add meat to your pet's diet, at the same time, reduce the grain content of your pet's diet.

Add up to 15 percent fresh meat, raw or cooked: This increases the protein and reduces the carbohydrate content of the pet's food, but will not unbalance the levels of any essential nutrient in your animal's diet.

Also, ensure the meat scraps you're adding are mostly meat! Your doggie bag is likely to have much more fat in it than meat. Fat is a very important nutrient but one that needs to be kept in balance. Every fat gram provides double the calories of a gram of protein or carbohydrate.

Avoid senior, lite and diet foods: These varieties usually have fewer calories per cup because manufacturers have increased the fiber and carbohydrates and reduced protein and fat, compared to adult maintenance diets. This is the opposite of what they really need, and has no scientific foundation. Older and overweight pets need meat, not grains.

Add canned food: Good canned food has no grains, and has more protein and fat than dry pet foods. Two good choices we recommend are Nature's Variety and Wellness. "Complete and balanced" canned diets may be fed as an animal's sole diet.

For cats, we highly recommend switching all the way. Cats should not eat dry foods. Urinary tract problems and kidney failure in cats have been closely related to dietary water, which has a different effect on their bodies than the "real" water an animal drinks. It's much better for the cat to eat her food with the water in it!

Add a commercially prepared frozen raw diet: As with canned foods, if these are "complete," they can replace all other food fed to your animals.

Research proper homemade meat, bone and vegetable diets and supplement with good dry food to cut cost: Homemade foods can be nutritious and affordable, but must be made correctly. (We'll write more about this in a future article.) This option provides the protein and fat our pets need, reduces the amount of grain they eat, and is affordable by most people.

Feeding your pet a meat- and vegetable-based diet is clearly the best choice to protect and optimize their health. By following these simple recommendations, you will radically reduce the deadly toxins your dog encounters. Read more of our recommendations in See Spot Live Longer.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Keeping Your Dog Healthy With Natural Treats: Chewing For Your Pet's Better Health

By Steve Brown and Beth Taylor

Dogs, especially puppies, need to chew. If you don't provide them good chews, speaking from experience, we've learned they will find their own, often your own furniture! Chew treats provide pleasure, mental and physical exercise, and help make for a dog that is easy to live with.

Appropriate chew treats help keep dogs' gums and teeth healthy. Canine dental work has become a "routine" maintenance procedure, one that requires a general anesthetic. Surgery is expensive and never without risk.

Healthy dogs that eat a fresh, meat and vegetable diet often have much cleaner teeth and better gums than those who consume grain-based dry food, and seldom need dental work. Chews and stuffed toys, some designed for dental stimulation, can provide the necessary exercise for gums and teeth and aid in plaque removal.

For some dogs, chews are not an option. Poorly aligned teeth may break when dogs chew hard objects. Some dogs have thin tooth enamel, which can be easily worn away. Consult your veterinarian about the safety of hard chews for your dog. If they can't chew, you may need to brush their teeth on a daily basis. This small chore may save your dog additional health risks, not to mention the expense of dental cleaning by your veterinarian.

The Eight Do's and Don'ts of Chew Treats

Don't use rawhide! Rawhide chews are high in fat, add no beneficial nutrients and can cause blockages in the stomach or intestines, a life-threatening event. Any form of rawhide can be irritating. We have known many dogs with chronic diarrhea, diagnosed with food issues, who actually had a problem with rawhide.

Green treats promoted for dental health or just for chewing often have a gluten base. Gluten is one of the most common allergens for dogs. It has no place in a dog's diet.

Other cooked or smoked body parts require careful evaluation for each dog. Chews like tracheas and tendons are digestible and add beneficial cartilage to the diet. However, an enthusiastic large dog can choke on them. Discard pieces that are small enough to swallow.
(Be careful of hoofs. Dogs can break a tooth on them. We do not recommend pigs' ears either, because they are extremely high in fat.)

Bones provide a natural source of glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen and calcium for healthier joints and connective tissue. Bones can sometimes be excellent, and sometimes a danger. That's why it's important to know your chewers!
Whether the bones are raw or cooked, heavy chewers can destroy a large knucklebone in a short time. This is a heavy digestive load. Dogs raised on bones seldom overdo chewing (this may not apply to the average Labrador!), but they should be supervised closely until you are confident they are safe with the bones you give them.

Bones cooked at high temperatures may splinter. Sterilized and cooked bones may be fine for a light chewer who will gradually wear the bone away. Slow-roasted bones rarely splinter.

Raw bones are best. Small dogs do well with slices of femur -- the round bones - that can be cut to under an inch or up to a foot. Beef knucklebones are great for larger dogs and some smaller ones. Fresh bones are a rich source of good fats, but they also provide a lot of calories.
If your dog doesn't need these calories, however, remove as much fat from them as you can. Start slow, allowing for a five- or 10-minute chewing time. Dogs that destroy what they are given rapidly need to move up a couple of notches in durability.

Raw bones may be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, but thaw them out before use. Ice is very hard!

Promote mental health and agility with treat balls and food-stuffed toys. They provide an interesting challenge for your dogs, and have no side effects! Few dogs can destroy the all-purpose Kong. These can be stuffed with almost anything: A few crunchy bits, piece of cheese and a smear of peanut butter can keep dogs working for a long time. Kongs can be left safely with most dogs when you leave the house, and can help a dog through the difficult first hour you are gone.
Treat balls stimulate the brain. They work best when stuffed with tiny crunchy treats. If you feed dry food, use some of the food for stuffing the ball, and watch your dog roll, bounce or shake the ball to get at the food!

There are many new choices in both these categories. These toys take a beating, so look for durability.

Supervise all chew activities carefully.

Good chews provide mental and physical stimulation, entertain dogs without your active participation, and help keep their teeth and gums clean and healthy. They add to the quality of your dog's days, helping them live longer, more satisfying lives.