Saturday, September 20, 2008

Getting Another Cat?

You might be thinking about getting another cat but it is not a decision to be made lightly. Many people get another cat not thinking through the decision all the way. Your neighbor or friends might be wanting you to take their cat, but before you cave in you need to consider several things.

1. Will your current cats accept your new cat? Cats can be very territorial, and a new cat in the house can upset a delicate balance that might take a long time to reestablish. You can't tell for sure how your current cats will accept a new cat until they actually meet. The best way to introduce new cats is to isolate them in a room for a few days so the cats can get used to new smells, and then after that only allow supervised interactions for the first couple of days.

2. Why is this person trying to get rid of their cat? Does this cat have a behavior problem you are not aware of? The number one reason cats are surrendered are due to behavior problems, like urinating on the bed and scratching furniture. If this cat does have a behavior problem are you willing to take the time to work with the cat in fixing this problem?

3. Do you have the financial capability to care for this cat medically? Veterinary bills can add up quickly especially for older cats. Before accepting a new cat be sure you consider your financial situation.

4. Do you have space for this cat, just considering litter boxes? Most cat experts recommend having one more litter box than you have cats. This means if you have three cats you need four litter boxes. Do you have room for four litter boxes?

5. Does this cat have any health issues? Many diseases are silent but deadly. Diseases like feline leukemia virus can be carried by seemingly healthy cats and can spread the disease to your cats. Before accepting new cats be sure to have their health status verified by a veterinarian.

Giving a new home to a cat that needs one is a great thing to do. But you need to make sure your situation is right for accepting a new cat into your house. By thinking through all these steps you can make the right choice.

Get this great report NOW:

Solutions to Cat Behavior Problems

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mars Petcare U.S recalls possible contaminated pet food

There's a recall on pet food products Everson, Pa. The Mars Petcare U.S. announce that they are recalling dry pet products especially those dry pet .

Here:s the rest of the story...

pet food recalled
BEIJING, Sept. 15 (Xinhuanet) -- Mars Petcare U.S. has announced a voluntary recall of dry pet food products made at its Everson, Pa., facility because of possible salmonella contamination that could sicken both pets and their owners, according to media reports Monday.

The recalled products were made between Feb. 18 and July 29, it said in a statement.

"Even though no direct link between products produced at the Everson plant and human or pet illness has been made, we are taking this precautionary action to protect pets and their owners," it said.

The recall, according to media reports, has reached 31 states and various brands, which include items under the names Country Acres, Retriever, Doggy Bag, Members Mark, Natural, Ol' Roy, Special Kitty, Paws & Claws, Pedigree, Wegman's, Pet Pride, PMI Nutrition and Red Flannel.

However, Mars did not say which ones or how much food is involved.

The company stopped its production at its facility on July 29 when it was alerted of a possible link between dry pet food produced there and two isolated cases of people infected with Salmonella Schwarzengrund, according to its statement.

Health officials said salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and, if there is cross contamination caused by handling of the pet food, in people as well, especially children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Two legged dog

I was really impressed with this dog that only have two legs. It really inspired me a lot... Watch the vid and meet fate - the wonder dog.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pet Adoption Websites

As the overpopulation of companion animals becomes an ever increasing problem for the nation, we are seeing a growth in the number of pet adoption websites.

It is not so much that websites are appearing without having a shelter behind them, it is more that the pet adoption websites are there to help publicize the shelter, their aims, beliefs and pets that they have available for adoption. The world wide web has become a great help for charitable organizations such as shelters for unwanted animals as it helps to broaden their scope for finding suitable homes. If a family is looking for a certain breed of dog or cat, they no longer have to visit the shelters to have a look around.

The pet adoption websites that are the window for established pet shelters are also able to give a large amount of information regarding the organization itself. They will be able to give details about how and when the shelter was established, the mission statement and their codes of practice. Also, they will obviously be able to show pictures of the pets that they are currently trying to re-home.

The world wide web, however, does create the possibility for some people to advertise and publicize organizations that are not all that they seem to be. There are some pet adoption websites available which do not seem to be a shop window for a registered shelter, but more an agency that charges to find you a suitable pet to adopt. They will then scour the various pet shelters until they find an animal that will suit you and put you in contact with the shelter for a fee. It is important that you check the details regarding the website to ensure that you are dealing with a bona fide shelter and not just a middle man.

Having said that, there are some pet adoption websites that are not animal shelters, but are a portal for a number of different shelters that are genuine and are merely a way of introducing you to all the establishments in the area. This is not a fee charging service and the website is purely a directory. They will direct you, via links, to shelters which they believe to be well run and have a good code of conduct. Many of these websites will also give information about what to do if you should find a homeless animal and information about many other aspects of pet care and re-homing.

If you are considering adopting a pet, be it a cat, dog, rabbit or a more unusual animal, make sure that you are using a genuine organization. Do some research and visit the shelter. Do not just stay at home and rely on the pet adoption website to bring the perfect pet to you or you may never get to know where you new pet has come from.

Ian Pennington is an accomplished niche website developer and author.
To learn more about pet adoption, please visit New Pet Adoption for current articles and discussions.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Feline Worms - Three Common Types of Feline Worms

There are three common feline worms that affects cats. They include hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms. These worms multiply as they live inside your cat. If there get to be too many, it can be life-threatening for your cat. Let's take a look at these feline worms.


Roundworms live in the same intestine and can reach up to five inches in length. Most cats become infected by coming into contact with feces or food. Queens can also pass them to their kittens through their milk.

These worms are relatively large, so they can easily cause an intestinal blockage as they multiply. An infestation can quickly become serious for kittens. Your veterinarian can determine if your cat has these feline worms by examining his stool. An infestation is easily treated through use of a deworming medication.


Hookworms are much smaller than roundworms, as they only measure half an inch. Your cat can swallow them in his food and become infected. Sometimes, the worms are able to penetrate the cat's skin. Like roundworms, hookworms infect the intestines also, but only after passing through the lungs.

An infestation of hookworms can also be life-threatening. They cause blood loss when they attach themselves to your cat's intestines. If they get to be too numerous, your cat can develop anemia. Fortunately, hookworms can be detected through a stool sample and treated with deworming medications.


Unlike the two previous species, tapeworms rarely cause serious damage to your cat. These feline worms infect cats when they ingest contaminated rodents or fleas. The adults mature in the small intestine. They also shed segments that pass from the cat's body through his stool. You can easily spot the segments by looking at your cat's feces closely. Tapeworms are also easy to treat through use of deworming medications. However, you need to adopt a flea control program if you want to prevent your cat from getting infected again.

Some types of worms can be very dangerous to your cat. To learn about a range of other cat illnesses such as feline ringworm, stop by Your cat will thank you for it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Poisonous plants to dogs

Listed below is a list of plants which are considered poisonous for our pets. You will even be amazed that some of these plants are very common garden and household plants which you may have in your yard. This may not be a complete list of all poisonous plants but at least you will have enough idea which plants are dangerous for your pet's health. Your pet may have an allergy or sensitive to the plants listed or not listed below. These plants can be toxic to your furry little friends. Dont forget to contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet have ingested one of the plants listed below. If you don't find the information you're seeking listed below you can check out ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for our more information about poisonous plants, effects and plant photos from the various veterinary/horticultural schools.

American Bittersweet
Andromeda Japonica
Asian Lily
Asparagus Fern
Australian Nut
Autumn Crocus
Bird of Paradise
Branching Ivy
Buddist Pine
Calla Lily
Castor Bean
Chinaberry Tree
Chinese Evergreen
Christmas Rose
Corn Plant
Cornstalk Plant
Cutleaf Philodendron
Day Lily
Deadly Nightshade
Devils Ivy
Dumb Cane
Easter Lily
Elephant Ears
Emerald Feather
Emerald Fern
English Ivy
European Bittersweet
Fiddle-Leaf Philodendron
Flamingo Plant
Florida Beauty
Fruit Salad Plant
Glacier Ivy
Glory Lily
Gold Dieffenbachia
Gold Dust Dracaena
Golden Pothos
Green Gold Nephthysis
Hahns self branching English Ivy
Heartleaf Philodendron
Heavenly Bamboo
Horsehead Philodendron
Hurricane Plant
Japanese Show Lily
Japanese Yew
Jerusalem Cherry
Lace Fern
Lacy Tree
Lily of the Valley
Macadamia Nut
Madagascar Dragon Tree
Marble Queen
Mauna Loa Peace Lily
Mexican Breadfruit
Mistletoe American
Morning Glory
Needlepoint Ivy
Orange Day Lily
Peace Lily
Philodendron Pertusum
Plumosa Fern
Precatory Bean
Queensland Nut
Red Emerald
Red Lily
Red Princess
Red-Margined Dracaena
Ribbon Plant
Rubrum Lily
Saddle Leaf Philodendron
Sago Palm
Satin Pothos
Spotted Dumb Cane
Stargazer Lily
Striped Dracaena
Sweetheart Ivy
Swiss Cheese Plant
Taro Vine
Tiger Lily
Tomato Plant
Tree Philodendron
Tropic Snow Dumbcane
Variable Dieffenbachia
Variegated Philodendron
Warneckei Dracaena
Wood Lily

Friday, July 25, 2008

Jindo dog

The Jindo dog was named after Jindo Island in Southwest Korea and was only available on the island. Under Korean national law, the Jindo dog is protected as the 53rd Natural Monument. Although relatively unknown outside Korea, it is celebrated in its native land for its unwavering loyalty to its master. It is generally unknown breed outside of Korea, especially purebreds, since the Korean government restricts the exportation of this breed but Korean-Americans have been bringing Jindos to America since the mid-1980's.

Jindo dogs are known to be extremely loyal and affectionate toward its master, a clean animal both in its body as well as its habits, very independent, highly intelligent, proud and trainable only by the master. Jindo dogs will housetrain themselves as puppies. Even off lead or without direction, they will often relieve themselves in the farthest corner of the yard. They are also renowned for their almost uncanny homing instinct. It has an innate sense of direction and is capable of returning home from several hundred miles away.

The Jindo is a medium-sized, double-coated spitz-type dog, with prick ears. The body is either square or slightly longer than tall. Jindo are divided into two body types the Tonggol or Gyupgae and Hudu or Heutgae. The first one is very muscular and shorter in body, with a depth of chest equal to one-half the height at the withers and a shorter loin, while the other one is more slender with somewhat less depth of chest and a slightly longer loin. Typically, the males are larger with heavier heads and females have more fox-like features. These two types are gradually being blended into a third type called Gakgol, which retains the length of body of the Hudu style and the depth of chest of the Tonggol style.

The Jindo breed is also a great hunting companion; they are often brought along when hunting deer, wild boar, rabbit, raccoon, and badger. Due to Jindo’s courage, cunning, and pack sensibility they are renowned as great hunters.

Akita dog

The Akita dog breed originated from the Akita region in Japan and this breed is more than 3000 years old. For many years now, the Akita has captured the hearts of the Japanese people and are seen as the national dogs of Japan where they have also been selected as a Natural Monument. Guard dogs, fighting dogs and hunters are some of the common uses of the Akita dog breed and also to perform army and guard work. The Akita is a very effective in hunting that's why many people choose Akitas as their hunting dog because they can also hunt in deep snow.

Akitas thrives on human attention so make sure that you give them the attention they need. Aside from that it is also one of the most loyal dog breed that you can find but can be wary of strangers at times. This is a dog that will protect its family and territory fiercely without showing any fear and they can be very aggressive towards other animals. In spite of being a great guard dogs, owners will be very happy to know that Akita dogs do not bark excessively. Seeing that the Akitas love human companionship, they will not stand out in an environment where both owners work.

You need to spend fair amount of time in grooming an Akita In order to keep its coats in a good condition. These dogs should be brushed with a hair brush daily. Bathe Akita when really necessary and always use a gentle shampoo, if the shampoo is not gentle enough, it might strip their coats from its natural oils.

Akitas should have thorough training sessions because it is vital for these dogs to be submitted to sufficient socialization and obedience training. Akita dogs will try to take control or will want to be the alpha so it is also very important that the owners of these dogs establish their dominance.

Kunming Dogs

Unlike other commonly kept pets the Kunming Dogs are less commonly kept as pets because they are widely used by the Chinese military and police. Kunming Dogs stand taller in the back and have a shorter coat compare to German Shepherd Dog which some people thinks that they are similar due to their appearance and some features. You will usually see the tail of Kunming Dogs curled high when excited and they have coats that are marked with a black saddle and muzzle. The color of this breed ranges from light straw to deep rust.

This was an attempt of Communist China to recreate German Sheep Dogs. This breed was created to supply military dogs in Yunnan province. It was founded in the 1950’s on the blood of 10 Beijing military “wolf dogs”, likely of German Sheep Dog descent, 20 tested local dogs and 10 German Sheep Dog’s from Germany. Kunming Dogs were widely used in China as police and military dogs, as well as SAR dogs. They were selected due for their temperament although they have lost the beautiful trotting structure of the German Sheep Dog. Kunming Dogs are medium in size, close coated and well known to make fine companions, and overall would seem to show good stability and trainability.

Their height ranges from 25 to 27 inches (64-68 cm.) while their weight varies from 66 to 84 pounds (30-38 kg.).

The Chinese soldiers began the breeding program after the 2nd world war with the intention to develop a new dog of service. They choose ten experimental dogs of army and taken in Kunming de Beijing in 1953, where they were bred with more than fifty local civil watchdogs of various mediums. Almost forty various common dogs were brought from Guiyang and other provinces for breeding purposes too. Among those couplings, twenty satisfactory specimens were chosen and then crossbred with the imported dogs like the German Shepherd Dogs. During the four following decades, the type and the temperament were established and in 1988 the Chinese Public Security Bureau officially recognized the Kunming Dog as a breed. Kunming Dogs are now widely used by the Chinese military and police, and have also found their way into use as civilian watchdogs and guard dogs.

German shepherd dogs

German shepherd dogsThe German Shepherd Dog's (GSD) roots go back to the late 1800's in Germany where it was used as a shepherding dog. The German shepherd dogs are very skilled working dogs due to their intelligence, strength and obedience. Today, German shepherd dog is one of the most widely-used breeds in a wide variety of scent-work roles. They are commonly used as Police dogs which include search and rescue, cadaver searching, narcotics detection, explosives detection, accelerant detection, and mine detection dog, amongst others. They are also being used as military attack dogs because German shepherds have the strongset bite of all domestic dogs which is around 250-750-1200 pounds

Despite their potential ferocity, due to their loyal and protective nature the breed make good house pets and guard dogs. The German Shepherd Dog is nothing short of a highly gifted dog. Its intelligence is the envy of most of the dog world. It is able to perform almost any task that man has asked of it, including guide dog, avalanche rescue, tracking, watchdog, police dog, drug and bomb sniffing, and you can still find them herding sheep in its native homeland.

History of GSD from
“The original idea of the breed dates back to 1891, when the Phylax Society was formed with the intention of standardising German dog breeds. The society disbanded in 1894 and was superseded by the Society for the German Shepherd Dog (Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde), founded in 1899. The chair-person of the society was Max von Stephanitz, the man now credited with being the creator of the breed. The first known German Shepherd Dog was Horand v Grafrath, which von Stephanitz purchased at a market, after being impressed by the dogs intelligence. Grafrath was later used as the basis for all future Society breeding programs.”

The German Shepherds are generally between 23 and 25 inches (60 to 65 cm) at the withers and usually weighs from 65 to 88 lb (30 to 40 kg). They have a domed forehead, a long square-cut muzzle and a black nose. Their strong jaws and scissor-like bite makes the German shepherd dogs a good military and police dog. They have large ears which stand erect, open at the front and parallel, but are often pulled back during movement. They also have a long neck, which is raised when excited and lowered when moving at a fast pace.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Choosing the best flea treatment

Having a dog also means that you need to deal with pesky fleas. Aside from getting diseases, your dog can also suffer from anemia due to losing too much blood from blood sucking fleas. If your dog has allergies or sensitive to flea bites, your pet can have a severe allergic reaction resulting in baldness, intense itch and inflammation throughout the dog’s body. Many dog owners are confused to the many flea treatment products in the market today. Flea comb, flea sprays, natural products, topical spot-on solutions, oral growth regulator or "birth control" pills for the fleas are only some of the flea treatment products available in the market.

Your pet can get fleas everywhere especially when they are outdoors. Even if you don’t want it, your pets will be more than likely going to play host to fleas at some point in their lives. You can’t be sure that your dogs will not get any fleas. There is very little you can do to prevent this from happening since they can be found lurking anywhere just waiting for a host to pass by but there are some things you can still do to prevent fleas from infesting and breeding in your house.

You can use a special type of comb called flea comb to help you get rid of any fleas and eggs from your pet’s coat. Adding a little bit of oil onto the comb spines is very effective in catching those little parasites because they get stuck or trapped to the comb. Do not forget to have a bowl of hot water close by when you do this easy trick so that you can instantly place any fleas directly into the water whenever you catch one. Behind your pet’s ears, spots in between their toes, the fur in their armpits, and under the neck are the spots that you check. Placing a white cloth under your dog during combing can help you to easily spot fleas. Fleas are notoriously hard to catch so don't expect to eliminate all your pet’s fleas in one combing.

You can also use alcohol to stun fleas while brushing and easily dump them into a cup of water to die. Drain the mug down the toilet to make sure that any fleas do not make it out. Giving bath to your pet regularly can help minimize the flea problem of your dog but not when you are dealing with a major flea’s infestation. There are also special shampoos in the market that is made to killing fleas but can be too toxic to use every day. Rosewood, cedar and eucalyptus are some alternative products that you can use to take care of minor flea problems. Mixture of lemon and water in a clean spray bottle is another good choice in dealing with minor flea problem. A little spray across the body is usually enough to solve minor flea problem of your dog, just remember to avoid getting any spray into the eyes of your dog.

Bring your dog to a veterinarian when your dog’s flea problem has reached to flea infestation level. Veterinarian can analyze your pet’s condition and prescribe medication for the infestation. There are also many products available in the market that is safe to use in your home and also safe for your pets like a diatomaceous earth. This is one of the cheapest ways to handle flea problems in your home. Advantage and Frontline can wipe out adult fleas and prevents outbreak for up to 3 months. You just need a few drops onto your pet's shoulder and the special chemical will spread and cure on its own. Advantage and Frontline has little toxicity which makes it safe for your pet. These products are both harsh to pest but gentle to your pet’s sensitive skin. Whether Advantage or Frontline, you can be confident that your purchased item will completely eliminate the bugs on your pet’s skin. Be careful in handling such substances because these chemicals can harm you or your pet if used improperly. Ask your vet before you buy and use any product. Every flea control products on the market are not the same so pick one that best suitable for your pet’s condition. Each has their own levels of success and kill different flea stages i.e. the eggs, larvae, and adults. One product may be effective against the adult fleas but is simply harmless to the eggs or larvae.

If your pet has a bad flea infestation then you may need a combination of these products to effectively get rid of those pesky fleas. Try to research on other alternative products or systems in controlling and reducing fleas. There are many flea control systems you might not have been aware of before so research! Your choice of a flea treatment medicine or method for your dog is very vital because it determines the success or failure in your battle against these pesky fleas.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Give A Dog A Bed - Dog Bed Facts

Why does my dog need his own "doggie bed"?

The average adult dog will sleep 14 - 16 hours a day. If you slept that much, wouldn't you want to do it in comfort? Having a washable dog bed of his own gives your dog his own space where he can feel secure. A dog bed can also save your furniture and help you get a good night sleep by allowing you to have your bed back! Many older or arthritic dogs need a cushiony, firm, supportive bed to relieve pressure on their aching joints. All in all, having his own dog bed will improve the quality of life for your dog. (Of course, he may still enjoy an occasional nap with his person on their bed or couch....)

What size and type of bed do I need for my dog?

To decide what type, shape or size of bed to get for your dog, you first need to pay attention and figure out how he prefers to sleep. Does he like to curl up in a ball? Does he prefer to stretch out in both directions? Does he spend about half of his snooze time stretched out and the other half curled up?

A dog that enjoys napping all curled up would probably prefer a round or oval shaped bed that has lots of cushion. There are several types of beds that are perfect for these "snugglers"! A bolster bed is a bed that has cushion around at least three sides of the bed, providing a more contained environment for your dog. He may feel more secure in this type of bed. There are also snuggle or cuddle beds which resemble a bean bag. These beds allow your dog to "nest" and feel surrounded in cuddly comfort. Some beds even have a tent-like cover on them that allows the dog to burrow inside and be completely covered!

If your dog curls up to sleep, measure him in that position at the longest point, then add 7 inches to each measurement. When shopping, make sure that the dimensions of the bed come close to this number.

If your dog prefers to sleep all stretched out, you may want to think about getting him a rectangular, mattress type bed or pad. These type of large dog beds come in many varieties as well, ranging from a thin foam pad a couple inches thick to a deluxe people-like mattress up to 7 inches thick!

If your dog stretches out to sleep, measure him in the stretched-out position and add 12 inches to that number to ensure the bed is big enough to be comfortable for him.

If your dog likes to sleep both ways, an oval or rectangular pad or mattress type bed may do the trick and allow him to sleep comfortably either way. In this case, measure him as you would a dog who prefers to sleep stretched out!

Other things to consider when choosing the type of dog bed are issues such as the age and health of your dog. If you have an older or arthritic dog, you want to make sure that the bed you choose is easy for him to use or possible heated dog beds. Older and arthritic pets may have trouble getting on and off of a fluffy, snuggly type bed. The firm, supportive mattress-type bed would be more appropriate in these cases. There are many specialty beds available for orthopedic support. These beds are made of a firmer mattress, baffles stuffed with poly-fil for support, or even memory foam. The idea is to not only give your companion a comfortable place to sleep, but also an easy bed to get on or off of.

Can I get a dog bed to match my décor?

You can find a dog bed to match just about any décor. There are many fabrics, styles and colors to choose from. You can even get a dog bed that looks like a little human bed! If your dog prefers to sleep in a crate, there are many types of crate beds and pads that are designed to fit the most common crate sizes. Most places offer personalization for your dog's bed as well. There's almost no limit to the choices available.

What other factors do I need to consider?

Most people want a dog bed that is durable, yet easy to clean and care for. If ease of cleaning is especially important, opt for a dog bed that has a removable washable cover. This will allow you to keep your best friend's bed clean and smelling fresh. Some beds also have an inner lining that can be removed and washed.

If your dog is a chewer, you will want to make sure that the bed can withstand the most aggressive chewer. There are cot-like beds made out of aluminum or pvc pipe that are extremely durable. These beds have a nylon or canvas cot pad that is also durable.

If you are looking for a bed to use outdoors, make sure that the manufacturer has labeled the bed for outdoor use. There are fabrics and fillers that are more appropriate and durable for outdoor use.

Be careful of dog beds that have vinyl covers. Vinyl contains chemicals that are toxic chemicals that are not good for you or your dog! If it has a strong "vinyl" smell, it contains a large amount of phthalates, which are chemicals used to soften the vinyl. In Europe the use of some of these phthalates has been banned in children's toys. While easy to clean, using vinyl in your dog's bed may not be worth the possible health risk.

Where should I put my dog's bed?

If your dog could answer this question, he would most likely say, "In your bedroom, so I can smell you when I'm not with you." Your dog adores you and wants to be near you. If you decide to provide your pal with more than one bed, you could put another in the family area or outside on the back porch where he likes to lay in the sun.

Your dog will benefit from having a comfortable place to call his own. No doubt, you will find him happily snoozing away on his cherished bed. Even if you prefer to share your bed with your dog, he will enjoy having a comfortable dog bed of his own. After all, don't we all prefer to get away for some relaxation and solitude from time to time?

The Pooch Place is the place to go to find more information on small and large dog beds , heated dog bed, raised dog bed, orthopedic dog bed and much more...Visit The Pooch Place today

Friday, May 23, 2008

Click And Treat Is For The Dogs

Becoming the first major improvement in dog training since choke chains and spiked collars, click and treat has quickly revolutionized itself in becoming a big hit on the training circuit. Currently, there are over 10,000 trainers who are using this method regularly.

Used in the beginning to train marine mammals, click and treat breaks down the process into two separate steps, information and motivation. While other trainers still emphasize on these two steps, they try to teach them all at once, which can confuse the animal and prolong results.

Most trainers will verbally praise a dog for good behavior, while at the same time motivating the dog to repeat his actions. This can be a good method, however it takes longer for the dog to understand which behaviors and actions caused the praise from the trainer. With the click and treat method, the processes are easily taught. In normal training, a person would say “good boy” when a welcomed action occurs and proceed with giving a treat. The clicker becomes a substitute for verbal praise and can actually catch the “good boy” behavior quicker than saying it, letting the dog know exactly which behavior he is being rewarded for.

First things first, in order to try click and treat, the trainer must invest in a clicker, which can be found at most pet supply stores. The training itself is quick and rather easy for the dog and his trainer.

Another way to look at click and treat training is viewing it as a secondary reinforcement, while food, water, physical affection and play (things the dog wants) become primary reinforcement. When you take a dog for a walk, the leash works as a secondary reinforcement. It is obvious to the dog that the leash is not taking him for a walk; the owner is, however, it triggers a reaction in the dog, telling him that the leash will let him know where he will go and where he will not. And if he reacts to the leash with good behavior, his reward will be a nice leisurely walk. Click and treat works the same way. When a dog hears the clicker, he will know that he performed a good behavior and as long as he keeps hearing a click, there are rewards coming to him. So, the clicker works as a secondary reinforcement, teaching him boundaries and appropriate behavior.

A couple advantages of the click and treat method include, 1) faster response than verbal praise. The clicker can identify the exact behavior at the time it happens, 2) it takes the place of treats. While motivating the dog to hear clicks, it will also teach him to work without the expectations of having treats given to him each time he does something good, and 3) if the trainer is working at a distance from the dog, the clicker will still work, without having to be right next him.

A good method to use when getting started with click and treat is to stand in front of the animal. Click the clicker and give a treat. Continue doing this for 20-30 minutes, or until the dog becomes startled by the sound of the click. This will familiarize him to the clicking sound, while teaching him that every time he hears it, he has done something good. After he gets the hang of it, begin by adding commands, such as “sit” and “stay.”

Click and treat has proven to be a simple, yet consistent training method with quick results. So for the trainers out there who are looking for a new and innovative way to motivate and praise their animals, get out there, buy a clicker and…!

By: Kirsten Hawkins
Kirsten Hawkins is a dog lover and animal expert from Nashville, TN. Visit for more information on dog health, the care of dogs, and dog travel.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What you should know before getting or adopting a new dog.

Not all dogs are created equal. The variations in nature and traits among dog breeds can be as diverse as the dissimilarities in people. Discovering the right match between the dog breed with the holder or family is the key to success in taking a dog into your home.

There are a lot of races that are naturally introduced to the dog world and also those created specially by breeding two dissimilar dogs, just like with Labradoodle (cross breed between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle).

You should also consider what dog breed you can take care. A home with a big yard is adequate room for a huge dog to run and also play.

Do you want a pet that is strong, yet cuddly and plays well with kids? Are you hoping of getting a guard dog for your business? Do you want to develop a show dog especially for competitions?

Maybe you just want to have a loyal companion, petite enough to have in an apartment and calm enough to sit with your family members and have fun? These are practical concerns to think about as you hunt for the right dog breed.

Are you living by yourself in your home? If you are the type of person who works long hours you should choose a dog breed that can manage with many time alone at home – possibly dog breed that like dog toys and can also entertains himself.

If you live with small kids a medium to large-size pet dog is a better choice since it is gentle by nature and tolerant with kids. Your kids might think that their pet is like a toy – they don't understand it's a living; breathing being that can get hurt and become aggressive by their actions.

There are dog breeds that will not tolerate the antics of small kids, but would be great with older children. A perfect choice of dog for older adults is a breed that doesn’t need that much maintenance.

Another two categories of dogs are those that shed and those that do not shed. Dog shedding is a big trouble of dog owners. Dog hair clings to furniture, clothing as well as people who sit anywhere in the house. Don’t be fooled by short haired dogs because they too can shed. Shedding can be divided into barely sheds, seasonal only shedding or constant shedding.

Height and weight are considered when it comes to dog size. Smaller dogs weigh less than 10 pounds, medium dogs weigh 11-25 pounds, large dogs weigh 26-50 pounds and extra large dogs weight 51-80 pounds. There are also extremely large dog breeds that can reach up to 100-180 pounds. Now you see why size is also a big factor in picking a dog that is suited for your family.

Do you think your furniture can take a large dog? In choosing a dog breed always bear in mind to base your decision on the size the dog breed will grow to as an adult and not on the look of the puppy.

Big dogs are also big eaters. If you bring home a large dog, you may need a second job just to pay for the dog food and health care.

Health care is another thing to consider. Some dogs require extra grooming than others. Dogs like poodles or show dogs may spend a little more time in grooming centers than you do. There are also dogs that need weekly (or even daily) grooming to keep their furs well maintained. Don’t forget to research about the breed that you want. Check the dog’s character, size, and grooming requirements before you make any decision. Researching those important information will surely save you a lot of time and avoid any problem in taking care of the dog. Remember that it’s only fair to the dog you choose that you be ready for the dog’s basic needs, aside from giving them love and attention that only you and your family can give.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Separation Anxiety and Dogs

Although some people will laugh off the idea that dogs experience separation anxiety, however vets feel differently, confirming that fifteen percent of all dogs actually experience separation anxiety. Yes, it seems as if dogs are actually able to suffer from stress and anxiety much the way we do. Although we can tell someone that we feel badly or that we are afraid, dogs cannot. Because of this, they use other forms of trying to communicate their feelings. They may bark non-stop, chew items, use the bathroom inside the house and even more kinds of destructive behavior.

There are many dogs who feel this stress so intensely that they will stalk their owners from one place to the next, wanting to keep the owner in sight. You may notice that your dog has gone from occasionally grooming to constant grooming. They may be salivating a lot more and can even experience diarrhea and vomiting. You might notice that when your dog was once active, now he or she is inactive and seems depressed or seems to be acting strangely. Some dogs with this condition will bite or chew on themselves and when you return home, you will notice that your dog is overly happy to see you and may jump on you and lick you for a very long time.

Separation anxiety is the dog's neurological response to their fears, such as being left alone. Shelter dogs are particularly vulnerable to this condition as well as stray dogs. Most times, this condition appears in younger dogs but can also affect older dogs. One of the reasons that older dogs experience anxiety is the loss of sight or vision. This makes the dog more dependent on it's owner and they feel uncomfortable when you are away from them.

Medical treatments for dog separation anxiety may include the use of a type of antidepressant called clomipramine hydrochloride, which affects neurotransmitters within the brain. Serotonin is one of these neurotransmitters that actively controls emotions such as anxiety and fear. If serotonin, a "feel-good" chemical is increased, levels of fear caused by separation anxiety are decreased. This kind of antidepressant is only used in dogs older than six months, and while it may cause periods of lethargy, it does not cause sedation. Some vets may recommend holistic remedies including herbs and even behavior changing techniques. No owner should punish or scold their dog for behaviors that they have displayed due to anxiety. This will only make the problem worse and only through patience and love will you achieve success in making your dog happier and well-adjusted.

Is your dog traumatized when you leave him alone? Don't get mad or frustrated. He may be suffering from dog separation anxiety. Learn proven and humane tips to help him overcome dog separation anxiety once and for all! Visit today!

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