Dog Scratchings Dogs Scratchings Doesn't Mean We Have Fleas! Just That We're Digging Around For Puppies and dog raising help for beleaguered owners.

Buying A New Puppy Dog

So, you've agonized long enough. Now you know you want a puppy. You've done all your homework, know the commitment involved in raising, care and training a new puppy dog. Breed and gender selection was carefully studied and you're ready, in fact, chomping at the bit, to get that new little friend for life. But where do you go to find your new puppy?

A local pet shop should be a handy, quick place, right? Absolutely wrong, with a capital W. The source of pet shop puppies is always guaranteed to be a "puppy mill," whether the shop owner knows it or not. In case you're not aware, "puppy mills" are breeding operations run by unscrupulous profiteers interested only in making a quick buck by turning out litters as fast as possible. They do this by breeding their females on every heat, with no respite to regain strength and good health. The dogs generally live in miserable, overcrowded, often filthy conditions and are usually euthanized when their reproduction capacity begins to wane.

A responsible breeder is the only source you should buy your new puppy from. What is a responsible breeder and how do you locate one? A reputable breeder is one who really cares about the dogs or puppies he sells. He has taken the time to learn and practice good canine genetics and insists on knowing his pups will be going to the right kinds of homes. In doing that, he may seem an "Interrogator," asking so many questions it may make a potential buyer's head spin. But, that's the kind of breeder you'll want to find.

It isn't too difficult either. Breed clubs and breed groups for specific breeds provide a good, reliable source to start your search. Many of these can easily be uncovered with some internet surfing, along with publications devoted to the breed you want.

Once you've located your breeder of choice, a phone call and/or email can elicit answers to questions you'll want to ask. For instance: references that you can contact, especially any who have recently bought dogs or puppies from him; photos of a litter's sire and dam and their bloodlines; special guarantees and/or conditions of sale, etc.

Though the entire process may seem lengthy, when you finally conclude all arrangements and pick up your new puppy dog, be assured of a mutually happy lifelong friendship that made it all worthwhile.

Dogs For Allergic Folks?

So even though you've got allergies, you still want a dog of your own. Can you accommodate your problem and own a lovable canine at the same time? Are there actually any hypoallergenic dog breeds that could fill the bill for you? The answer is...yes and no.

First, just understand that there are no hypoallergenic breeds. There are, however, some breeds that come closer to that terminology, basically by virtue of coat type and physical size . Typically, a dog's dander--the flaking of dead skin--is the major culprit that causes allergies in some people.

Studies have determined that soft-coated dogs that shed little or not at all, release smaller amounts of allergy causing dander. Couple that with a dog's size--smaller is obviously better--and you have a recipe for compatibilty of allergic folks and dog ownership. All that's required is that you do some online research of breed size and coat type to find the combination best for you.

Dog’s Vaccination Notes

Vaccinations for dogs-often called “shots” are an important consideration in canine health. When you’re buying a puppy or older dog, be sure to ask the breeder for the dog’s vaccinations certificate. Most reputable breeders can supply this willingly, often without you requesting it.

But, absent a certificate for whatever reason, you should take your new puppy or adult dog to your veterinarian for a general health checkup and to receive inoculations for parvo, canine distemper, kennel cough and hepatitis. Puppies normally receive their shots at 6 to 8 weeks of age, with follow-ups at between 12 and 16 weeks. Adult dogs should get regular booster shots annually.

Puppies Tail Wagging: Learned Or Instinctive?

If you’ve never been privileged to see a litter of two- or three-week-old puppies, chances are you’d be surprised there are no happily wagging tails in evidence. After all, healthy, happy dogs always seem to be tail-wagging no matter what they’re doing. So what’s the problem with the aforementioned youngsters? Well, the fact is that puppies generally just don't wag their tails until they‘re about four weeks old.

Dogs Do Sweat

Yes, dogs do sweat, just differently from us. Whereas we have sweat glands in our skin and under our armpits, dogs are not so well equipped. Their major heat elimination is primarily accomplished by panting and to lesser degree through sweat glands in their paws and feet. Due to dogs' different sweating methods, it's important for owners to carefully guard against heat stroke in their dogs. It's especially crucial with breeds like pugs and bulldogs, which, because their very short muzzles prevent them from panting efficiently become more susceptible to rapid overheating. When this occurs, place the dog in full shade and provide frequent laps of cool water.

Your Dog In The Doghouse

Kids are found there frequently. Husbands a bit less often, and wives only rarely. But for Rover, if he's in the doghouse, it's a way of life. And if it's thoughtlessly or too casually chosen, the doghouse he lives in can prove as insufferable as any city tenement.

Ideally, no dog should be relegated to spending his whole life outdoors in a doghouse. Yet, if circumstances dictate that he must be kept outside for at least a part of the day, you must devote careful attention to housing him properly. Any old doghouse just won't do!

A good doghouse must be draft free and sufficiently spacious to be comfortable but small enough to retain some of the dog's body heat for warmth in cold weather. The house dimensions should permit the dog to be comfortable when lying down and to raise his head upright while in the reclining posisiton.

Eliminating drafts require some sort of baffle slightly higher than the entry way and catercorned to it. It should be easily removable to permit increased air circulation in warmer weather. Similarly, the base of the house should be raised three or four inches off the ground to discourage dampness and thre formation of mildew.

Avoid a sharply peaked roof in favor of a flat, sloping one that provides an ideal place for your dog to recline and sun himself in pleasant weather. It should also be hinged to make cleaning the interior easier.

The entry should be just big enough to give your dog easy access without letting in cold breezes or snow or rain. A piece of canvas or carpet can be placed over the entry in winter to keep the dog's body heat in and rain and snow out.

If you're handy, you might design and build the doghouse yourself, although there are many commercial one marketed, which can be found on the internet.

Dogs Need To Be Rid Of Worms Parasites

Dogs and puppies should be wormed (actually, de-wormed might be more accurate) on a regular basis. Regular wormings are necessary to control the culprit critters known as hookworms, whipworms, roundworms and tapeworms, all of which live in the dog's intestine. The usual procedure is easily done with one of the tablet or liquid preparations available commercially. It's recommended to worm your dog every three months, with puppies done more often, according to your veterinarian's instructions. He determines the need by fecal examination. Besides the above mentioned worms parasites, one of the most pernicious types is the heartworm. These can be deadly. Mosquitoes, which are found almost everywhere, are the host carrier of the heartworm. It's strongly suggested that testing and treatment, if necessary, be undertaken by your veterinarian.

A Dog Training Bribe Can Work Wonders

Bribery may be illegal, unconscionable or even immoral in much of today’s society. But there’s nothing wrong with it in training your dog. Tidbit rewards can be an essential in initially teaching your puppy his name, to come when called, to sit, lie down, be quiet and a whole host of things necessary for the future good manners of a new puppy dog. Their use can largely be phased out gradually when lessons are properly learned and solidified. However, an occasional treat can keep your dog’s obedience sharp all the time, since he’ll never be sure a reward won’t be forthcoming.

Your Dog On Pill Medicine? Try Giving The Easy Way

Like many new dog owners, do you have trouble giving pill medicine to your pooch?. In particular, pills seem to prove a major nuisance You pop one in; your dog spits it out repeatedly. Impatience rises and, finally, either the pill crumbles on the floor or you accept defeat and arrange another trip to the vet. Ok, how can you master successful pill-giving?

Dog Pills Can Taste Good

There are two approaches: the expert way and the resourceful method. Try the second one first. Bury the pill in a gob of peanut butter, soft cheese or a piece of liverwurst. If your dog is a food-freak, victory becomes an easy triumph. But… if not, try the expert technique. Put your dog in the sitting position, then, placing the pill medicine between your thumb and forefinger, push his lower jaw downward. Center the pill as far back as possible in his throat, then clamp his mouth shut and gently massage his throat until the pill is swallowed. Observe him for several minutes, since some dogs are great fakers and will spit out the pill when they think you’re not looking.

Easily Train A New Puppy Dog Not To Jump Up

   Early training a new puppy dog not to jump up will avoid a troublesome problem later on. You might think it’s cute when your little, say, Great Dane, puppy plants his front feet against your leg, begging for attention. But stop and think ahead about eight or ten months when he tips the scales at better than 100 pounds. Not so cute then, when his unexpected running leap bowls you over with his enthusiastic greeting. It’s even worse if it happens to a visitor in your home who gets injured. 

     So, keep your puppy from developing the jumping up habit via a few easily used training tactics. Simply pushing your pup down won’t cut the mustard, and, in fact, may reinforce the unwanted behavior. Why? Well, what puppy wants is attention from you and he may construe your pushing as an invitation to play. Rather, you should ignore and turn your back on him while simultaneously commanding “sit” Pay him no further attention until he obeys the order and remains sitting for at least 10 seconds. 

    Another method to try involves crouching down every time you greet your puppy. Sometimes running at him as he’s coming toward you, will back him off long enough for you to issue the “sit” command. A startling distraction offers still an additional option. For example, a soda can filled with pebbles or pennies thrown close to the pup can provide a momentary draw back that allows you time to tell him to “sit.” 

    When your puppy's totally indoctrinated in the no jumping up behavior, he will be well on his way to becoming a pleasure for you to own.  

Dog Rescue Is Its Own Reward

One way to get around the potential problem of knowing the size (and even the kind of personality) a pooch will be at maturity, is to forget about buying a puppy and instead choose a full-grown dog. Yet, because buying an adult dog is not the easiest of chores, it's often a disregarded option.

A perfect solution can be found in "Rescue" opportunities offered by various breed clubs. Such operations have dogs (usually adults) put up for adoption. Many may be dogs of the particular breed sponsored by the club, although other breeds, some of mixed origin, may also be available. Why are these canines up for adoption? Reasons vary widely from strays found wandering city streets or suburban communities, to ill, incapacitated or deceased owners or even folks forced to give up a dog due to moving to an apartment or condo prohibiting pets.

On the internet, using search engines, you'll discover nearly unlimited numbers of Rescue websites to plumb for the riches of adoptees from which to choose your perfect pooch.

8 dog training tips for you and your dog. by: Fayola Peters 

Dog training requires simple persistence to be a successful and delightful experience for you and your dog. Here are 8 dog training tips to guide you along the way.

  1. Get your dog's attention. Before you can start training your dog you first need to get its attention. You can do this by talking to him and offering him a small treat.
  2. Use the correct dog training supplies If you have a well behaved dog a six foot training lead and a regular buckle collar will do. However if you dog is uncontrollable you should use a training collar. For the right collar size measure the dogs' neck and add 2 inches.
  3. For safety in vehicles, before you introduce your dog to the inside of a moving vehicle you should teach him the 'down!' and 'stay!' commands. This ensures that he spends the ride on the floor of the vehicle.
  4. Elimination. When your dog got to go it got to go. To prevent your dog from getting busy on the carpet you should train him to eliminate on command.
  5. Praise. Always praise your dog when he learns a new command.
  6. Reprimand. Do not hit your dog! Any time your dog is engaging in bad behavior, use the opportunity to teach him the 'stop!' or 'no!' command. Using the 'stay!' command can also be effective in these situations.
  7. Play with your dog. This will help in building the bond between you and your dog.
  8. Do some dog training everyday. Don't rush dog training. Teach your dog one command at a time and don't move on until he gets it. A little dog training everyday is all that's needed.

Well that's it for my dog training tips. Enjoy training your dog and remember that it takes simple persistence.

Dogs Heat Cycle

You’ve just bought or adopted a beautiful little female puppy and you’re wondering all about her anticipated heat cycle. Depending on her breed and/or size, she will start her first heat at approximately six months of age. Some large breeds may not go into heat until they reach about their 14 month.

Signs To Look For

One of the first indications a female canine (accurately known as a bitch) is beginning her heat is some bleeding from her vagina, along with swelling of her vulva. You’ll have to look sharply if your pup is a small or toy breed, since these gals may only show slight bleeding. Also, male dogs hanging around your house are a pretty sure sign your little gal is in heat.

How Long Do Dogs Stay In Heat?

The heat cycle occurs twice annually and normally runs about three weeks, during which time a bitch can become pregnant if bred. Breeding at her first heat is generally frowned upon by experienced dog people, since pregnancy saps a good deal of energy and strength while a young dog is still growing into maturity. While she’s in heat, be sure she can’t get loose out of the house to prevent her being bred accidentally. After the 21st day, clean up around her vulva and surrounding coat area.