Dog Tricks, Tips and Insights - Tips print postage at home

Dog Tips, page 1

(continued from Dog Tricks home)

the AKC, includes:
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • Chinese Crested
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Poodles (Toy, Miniature or Standard)
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Schnauzer (Miniature, Standard or Giant)
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
  • Xoloitzcuintli or Xoloitzcuintle (Mexican Hairless)
The Coton De Tulear is a popular yet foreign breed (from Madagascar) that is reported to be great for those who are allergic to dogs.

Care should be taken if choosing a hybrid dog. If both parents are not "hypoallergenic," the puppy may not be either. Another consideration is the genetic problems in both breeds since the puppy could end up with all of them. One more thing to research is the personality traits of both parents, since you could end up with either one. (A hybrid dog is a cross of two breeds on purpose, and a mixed breed is a dog of unknown heritage. The mixed breed would give even less assurance than a hybrid that the dog would not cause allergies.)

You are in control of your dog's weight. If you can easily see his ribs, you are not feeding him enough. If he is round and you can't see a waist, you need to cut back on his food.

Most mature, healthy dogs can be allowed to graze all day long. Some have no self control and eat too much, and theses need to be given a small amount two or three times a day.

Older dogs need you to give them more exercise than younger dogs. The younger dogs play so much more, and mature dogs seem to sleep more and more as they age. So, they need to walk more. It may be hard on them to just walk for longer periods, so they need to walk more often instead.

Allowing your dog to be obese is actually cruel. It is hard on their bones, joints, heart and kidneys, and just makes every action more of a chore.

  • Do not leave your dog in the car, even with the windows down.
  • The sidewalk, pavement, and sand can burn a dog's pads.
  • Too much exercise can make your dog overheat.
  • Exercising then letting your dog drink a lot of water could kill him. Go easy on both.
  • Dogs without lots of hair can get sunburned and need protection.
Emergency Remedy for Swallowed Objects - What do you do if your puppy (or mischievous older dog) gets into your holiday decorations and eats some of the glass ornaments? This potentially lethal mishap can darken even the brightest holiday season.

THE PROCEDURE: BEFORE the holiday go to a pharmacy and buy a box of cotton balls. Be sure that you get COTTON balls...not the cosmetic puffs that are made from man-made fibers. Also, buy a quart of half-and-half coffee cream and put it in the freezer. Should your dog eat glass ornaments. Defrost the half-and-half and pour some in a bowl. Dip cotton balls into the cream and feed them to your dog.

Dogs under 10 lbs should eat 2 balls which you have first torn into smaller pieces. Dogs 10-50 lbs should eat 3-5 balls and larger dogs should eat 5-7. You may feed larger dogs an entire cotton ball at once. Dogs seem to really like these strange treats and eat them readily. As the cotton works its way through the digestive tract it will find all the glass pieces and wrap itself around them. Even the teeniest shards of glass will be caught and wrapped in the cotton fibers and the cotton will protect the intestines from damage by the glass. Your dog's stools will be really weird for a few days and you will have to be careful to check for fresh blood or a tarry appearance to the stool. If either of the latter symptoms appear you should rush your dog to the vet for a checkup but, in most cases, the dogs will be just fine.

An actual experience: "I can personally vouch for the cotton ball treatment. While I was at the vet waiting for him to return from lunch a terrified woman ran in with a litter of puppies who had demolished a wooden crate along with large open staples. The young vet had taken x-rays which did show each of the puppies had swallowed several open staples. He was preparing them for surgery when my wonderful vet came in and said no surgery. I watched him wet several cotton balls, squeeze out the water and pop them down their throats. Within 24 hours every staple was accounted for. This was a lesson I learned in the mid-1960s and have had to use several times on my brats. I wet the cotton balls and smear on some liverwurst and they bolt it down and ask for more. The cotton always comes out with the object safely embedded."

Reprinted with permission from Sandy Brock.

After spending hundreds or thousands of dollars, good-hearted people find that there never was a puppy.

The scam starts with a photo of an adorable, purebred puppy that the owner can't keep. The puppy can be yours for free if you pay the shipping. Research any breeder, especially if the offer comes from another country.

Hurricane Katrina taught us all a few lessons. One is that it is not easy to get dogs and their owners back together after a disaster.

One of the best ways to ensure that you and your dog can be reunited after any sort of problem is to have him permanently identified with a microchip. This is inserted under the skin with a needle, both of which are very tiny, and it contains information that any shelter or veterinarian can read instantly.

If you do not have access to this service, or for a good substitute in the meantime, at least be sure that your dog has a leather or polyester collar with an ID tag on it. You can get these made very inexpensively.

If you live in an area prone to floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes or hurricanes, you probably have a "survival kit" ready at all times. Your dog needs one, too.

When you have to get yourselves in the car and make a run for safer ground, you've got only minutes to grab essentials. Items you may want all in one place include a leash, collar, collapsible bowl, three days worth of food, a small bottle of water, and any medicines he might need. Boots are a good idea to protect his paws from broken glass, nails, etc. (You may have to carry him until you have a safer place to stop to put these on.)

A handy way to keep his essentials all together and easy to grab is to keep them in a backpack. A still better way is to keep them in a dog backpack so he can carry his own survival kit and you have your hands free. A second kit could be kept in your car at all times in case you are ever stranded. (See Pet Survival for more tips.)

Halloween Safety For Dogs - Forget the tricks, Halloween is all about candy. Candy has no place in your dog's life. Chocolate is toxic to dogs -- it does usually take more than a bite to kill or cause convulsions. But, once you have started his love for chocolate, he could decide to help himself to a whole bowl full of candy while you're distracted answering the door to trick-or-treaters. With the toxin in chocolate being very similar to caffeine, the added excitement of kids knocking on the door all evening and costumes make Halloween an even more dangerous time for even a little treat for Fido.

Lots of chocolate candy also contain nuts. Macadamia nuts and walnuts should not be given to dogs.

Raisins can cause fatal kidney failure or permanent kidney damage. Chocolate-covered raisins are even more dangerous.

Candy wrappers are also choking hazards. Those made of or lined with aluminum foil can cause metal poisoning and/or cut the intestines.

Burning candles should not be kept low with a dog around. He can burn his face, or his tail can knock one over and start a fire.

Dogs should be kept in a closed bedroom or in a crate outside of the front room when the door is being opened constantly, to prevent accidental escape. It is also best for dogs not to be left in the backyard during the Halloween festivities to prevent overexcitement or harm from malicious tricksters.

Is your dog afraid to enter a certain room or building?

The type of floor is one part of the problem. Lots of floors are slippery, and that causes fear in a dog. The other part of the problem is the length of the dog's nails. When his nails are too long, he is walking on "spikes" instead of using the natural grip of the pads on the bottoms of his paws.

A dog that is inside or on a lawn all the time misses out on the natural filing of these nails on dirt, rocks, concrete, etc. Getting his nails trimmed is a good start, and so is putting down one or more throw rugs with a good rubber backing to prevent them from sliding. After you have done both, gently but firmly lead your dog in the room or building and watch his anxiety start to melt away.

Hartz Mountain flea and tick medicines for cats are not safe. In fact, some cats have died and others have had seizures, persistent drooling, and other reactions.

Although the products are being removed from the market, they may not be off store shelves until March of 2006. You may even have some of these products in your home for use soon.

Commercial flea and tick medicines (for cats and dogs!) use poisons - lethal poisons. The companies that make them do their best to deliver just enough poison to kill pests but not the animal. But, this is no game of "cat and mouse," pets' lives are in their hands when you use products like these.

Check out safer ways to deal with pests here, and read much more on the Hartz Mountain product problems here.

People use crates for lots of reasons, like to help with housetraining or traveling. Our dogs use theirs to sleep in at night. But, the crates are also a great place of escape when a dog's world seems scary. When there is a big thunderstorm, the crate is the perfect size and shape to crawl into and feel protected from the noise and lights. Even a socialized dog that is used to having three or four people come over to visit can be overwhelmed when all the relatives arrive for a holiday - crates come to the rescue.

Crates not only give your dog a place to feel extra safe, they come in handy to actually keep them out of danger. When there are workmen in the backyard, the dogs feel secure in their crates, but they also won't accidentally be allowed to run in the street or get hurt by nails or power tools.

For thousands of years, dogs have had the instinct to den - so providing them with a safe den seems like the least we owners can do. The crate is cleaner than a hole in the ground, and it has the added benefit of being portable and lockable. Dogs are less likely to bark when they can see less, and they feel more protected when "danger" can't see them. What can make a wire crate feel as safe and cozy as a den is a soft pad to sleep on, bumpers, and a tie-on crate cover. A carrier (portable crate) is also a great option because it is less open, making the dog feel less exposed. With either one, you just need it to be large enough for the dog to be able to change position. A larger one feels less like a safe den and adds the risk of it being used as a bathroom.

Puppies bite everything when they are getting new teeth, which helps the teeth come in. But, you do have to stop him from biting people. The best discipline is the kind that his mom would use.

If puppy bites, grab his muzzle with your hand and say no in a mean voice - "in his face." Then leave. Playtime is over.

If puppy doesn't get the message with this, pick him up by the scruff of his neck and shake his body while you tell him no in a mean voice. And, again, playtime is over.

For the really stubborn puppy, put him on his back and hold him down until he calms down and gets the message that you are top dog. If he is little, you can do this in your arms. For the larger puppy, do this on the floor.

Playing tug of war with a puppy encourages him to use his teeth in play. So can wrestling. Instead of these trouble-causing games, you must show him in the beginning that you are top dog. And that goes for everyone in your family. Your family is in danger of future agression and real biting from a dog that thinks that he is equal to or above any of you.

ProHeart 6 heartworm medicine was recalled on September 3, 2004, by the FDA after the death of about 500 dogs. About 5,000 other dogs have suffered adverse reactions.

This time-released drug is administered through injection twice a year. Roughly 250,000 dogs per year get heartworms, a potentially fatal condition, via mosquitoes. Although this makes the number of deaths sound small, ProHeart 6 has three times the death rate of the four other drugs available.

Some of the side effects can include sudden lethargy, uncontrolled bleeding, vomiting, diarrhea, heart problems, liver problems, and seizures.

You and your dog live in a remote area away from other dogs, so why bother to get him vaccinated for distemper? Many wildlife creatures in remote areas can also be carriers of canine distemper.

The culprits are: coyotes, wolves, weasels, foxes, raccoons, badgers, minks, ferrets, prairie dogs, pine martens, and mountain lions. Opossums, long thought to have a body temperature too low for canine distemper to survive, have recently been added to this list. In fact, canine distemper can also be carried by African lions, giant pandas, sun bears, coatis, and certain seals.

It sounds like there are few places in the world where a dog is totally safe from the virus.

The quickest way to mess up dog training is to not watch your timing. Let's say you are trying to teach your dog to sit. You say sit, you see him sit, then he starts to get up again, and NOW you say "Good boy!" ?? You just taught him that sit means to touch his behind to the ground and get right up again. Good training requires you to reward him (some say with a treat, some say with words) when he does it right. So, good dog training starts with training yourself to be quick - on the ball - and to pay attention. As soon as his behind touches the ground, that is when you say "Good boy!" and pet him. That accomplished two things. First, you rewarded him for doing it right instead of when he did it wrong. Second, you rewarded him before he had a chance to do something wrong. All that should be required of your dog in the beginning is to sit for a second. He will sit longer next time since he now has a chance to relate the praise he loves to an action.

Using good timing is all you need to teach some new things to your dog. Doing these things is not new to him, but doing them on command is. So next time you see him doing something cute, make up a command word and say it, and say "Good boy!" He may look at you like you're crazy the first time. Keep watching for him to this cute action again, say the command word, and praise him. He will soon put this action together with the command word and praise.

This method can even be used to help speed up that little trip outside at night just before bedtime. Get in the habit of taking your dog to the same spot every night, and saying a command word (go, potty, etc.) when you see your female dog squat or your male dog lift his leg. Add "Good dog!" Then take him right back inside. Pretty soon, you can take him outside to his spot to relieve himself quickly and get right back into the warm house - instead of having him think it is a good time to wander the entire yard looking for a good spot.

We may live in a concrete jungle, but a dog was not bred for that. Jogging or running on concrete or other hard surfaces can damage a dog's bones, muscles and pads. Walking your dog on the sidewalk is fine, but grass or dirt is much safer for the faster pace. (Extended periods of jogging on any surface can cause damage to a dog that is still growing.)

Running your dog on your bicycle in the street not only puts him on a damaging surface but also puts him in danger of being hit by a car. Jogging or running for dogs is much safer on a dirt road away from traffic. You can keep up with him on a mountain bike. Larger, faster dogs can be too much for even a mountain bike. So, try driving your car slowly while he jogs alongside.

Just like your own, a dog's exercise should be done several times a week and for short periods each time. Weekend warrior dogs (or people) often get injured, and some of these injuries aren't obvious right away. And, a dog's condition should be considered. Splayed feet will worsen with jogging, and thin pads need the added protection of booties or socks.

Some dogs get pretty scared in the bathtub. They jump around, slip and fall, shiver and shake, and are simply miserable. In the process, you can get even wetter than they do. You spend most of the bathtime pushing and pulling just to keep him from jumping out of the tub and within your reach.

Instead of a bath, give him a shower. This is especially good if you have a hand-held shower head. Your dog should feel much more relaxed and less scared standing on firm ground than in a tub of water. You will probably stay much drier and may even get less of a backache. Your dog can get just as clean and get a more thorough rinse, and the wetting and rinsing process is so much quicker. Dry him off in the shower also so, when he shakes, most of this water will stay inside the shower instead of all over your bathroom. THIS TIP WAS SENT IN BY HEATHER Z. (Thanks!)

Dogs do not have shoulder joints like people and cats do. Their front legs can't go up high, so be careful when you pick up a puppy or small dog, or when you make a dog or puppy stand up.

When trimming your dog's nails yourself, you can cause a lot of bleeding and pain if you cut the quick. The quick is easy to see in a clear or white nail - it is the pink part inside the nail. Be sure to cut below this area. If some of his nails are white and others are black, your should feel safe to cut the black nail about the same amount as you did the white nail.

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