Posts Tagged ‘Dogs’

Why You Should Never Shout At Your Dog

Alan | August 21st, 2012
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If you have a new puppy in the house and are unclear about whether or not you should use yelling as a way to get him to stop doing something wrong or barking too much, then this article should clear up your confusion. If anything, you should learn the simple fact that yelling at your dog it does nothing to fix a problem, stop what he’s doing, or induce any type of positive reinforcement.

Yes your dog may stop doing a certain activity temporarily after yelling at him, but he will only return to whatever behavior he was displaying which made you angry in the first place. Why? Because when you shout at your dog it does nothing to fix the issue, yelling only works as a temporary solution.

Most puppies think of their owners as other dogs. And when you start yelling at your pet, it only increases how excited he is about the situation. You also cause your dog to create a negative association between yelling and how he feels around you. He will soon start to connect yelling with the idea that he is disliked or unwanted, and will not have the ability to know that he is actually breaking a rule that you are trying to establish.

Not All Loud Voice Commands Are Bad

Even though yelling at your dog is considered to be of poor communication skills, there are definitely times when you need to firm up the tone of your voice and change the way you come across to him. There are three general forms of communication in terms of the way you speak to your dog that you can apply:

1. The soothing tone of voice. A soothing and delightful tone of voice should be used whenever you want to give praise to your dog. When you communicate this way, you should be able to relax and soothe him as opposed to creating excitability. Speaking to your puppy in a soothing tone of voice makes him feel secure and proud knowing that you are happy with him.

2. The second tone of voice used when communicating with your dog is more of a direct tone. A direct tone would be the same way you give commands to your puppy when you want to get his attention. It should be short, firm, and authoritative.

3. The third general tone of voice you can use with your dog is more of a disciplinary tone. However, you must learn to draw a fine line between a disciplinary tone and a yelling tone. Remember, you do not want to yell your dog but there are certainly times when you need to get across to him to back away from something quickly or to stop doing something immediately, all without actually scaring him off with shouting. Personally, I like to use two syllables such as “DOWN BOY” or “SPARKY NO”.

6 Moving Tips To Keep Your Dog Happy – Part 2

Kate | July 27th, 2012
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Many dog owners fail to understand that moving to a new house and uprooting all of your belongings can be extremely stressful on their pets. It doesn’t matter if you’re just moving across town, or across the entire nation, it is important to make sure that your dog’s well-being and his safety are part of your moving plans. Below are a few tips to assist you in cushioning your canine companion’s anxiety during the move:

1. If your dog is the type that gets overly anxious and sick during car trips, check into holistic therapies. For example, there is a product called Bach’s Rescue Remedy that helps calm your pet down during times of stress. All you do is rub it on his ears and feet.

2. Just like it is wise to keep your dog in a quiet, closed off room in the old house on moving day, the same rule should apply in the new house when you and the rest of your family arrive. Pick one room and provide enough food and water so that your dog can sit quietly without noticing all of the confusion around the new house.

3. When you arrive at the new home, unpack your dog’s belongings as soon as you get there. Be sure to keep the boxes that contain his stuff close by. These items would include hi bedding, his food and water bowls, and dog toys. This will help your dog adjust as quickly as possible by having familiar items around him while adjusting to the strange house.

4. Moving creates many security issues for dogs and other pets alike. With unpacking all of the boxes and miscellaneous furniture items, there are dangers all around when the household items have not been set up yet. Electrical cords, small objects, pantyhose, plants, etc. all have a possibility of being left out when unpacked and into your dog’s mouth.

5. Check the new house for possible places that your dog may escape from. Loose screens, holes in fences, and half shut doors will enable your dog to roam free and risk getting injured or lost in the new territory.

6. Now that you have arrived in a new town, your first order of business as it pertains to your dog and other animals is to find a veterinarian. Finding a groomer is also a good idea. And should you have to leave your dog alone during trips or when at work, look into a pet sitter service that can help your dog adjust in the new home until he is ready to be alone.

Read Part 1 | Read Part 2

6 Moving Tips To Keep Your Dog Happy – Part 1

Kate | July 27th, 2012
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Moving your entire family into a new house can be a stressful change, not only for you and the rest of the family, but for your dog as well. Of all of the life changes that your pet can experience in his lifetime, moving can be the biggest.

Your dog’s temperament will have a big influence on how he reacts to all of the confusion, however, it is safe to say that regardless of what breed your dog is, there are some very useful tips that you can use to alleviate the stress. Below are a few:

1. If you have a small dog, be sure to have invested into a sturdy carrier that you can use to transport him to the new house on the day of the big move.

2. Because your dog feels a sense of security in his day-to-day routine, try your best to gradually make changes with your moving plans by packing boxes and storing household items weeks ahead of time. This is far better than waiting until the last minute and totally confusing your dog with the extreme upheaval of the entire household.

3. Dogs do escape so be sure to have an appropriate ID tag attached to his collar with the current address and phone information. He may become disoriented from the move and try to dart away.

4. If you have to travel a long distance to your new home and run the chance of making an overnight stay at motel, plan ahead of time for a pet-friendly establishment. This will save you a lot of stress trying to find a suitable hotel in the middle of the night.

5. Moving day means that your dog should not be around while everyone is making their last minute adjustments and packing finalities. During this time it is wise to tuck your dog into a room of his own with food and water and do not disturb him besides bathroom breaks of course. Keeping him in private and away from the confusion will prevent disorientation and stress.

6. If you happen to be flying to your new destination, it should go without saying that choosing a pet-friendly airline is of utmost importance. Plan ahead of time with a suitable airline and do not be shy about asking questions as it pertains to dog travel and whether or not he is small enough to be carried on board with you. If the airline makes you feel uncomfortable as you ask questions, choose another carrier.

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Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (Sporting Group)

Gemma | April 9th, 2012
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The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a member of the sporting group. This dog makes an excellent pointer, a versatile gun dog, and a solid all-around hunting companion. When on the job, these dogs have a deliberate point and retrieve style as they stick closely with the hunter’s gun.

Equally enjoyed by families all over the country, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon makes a loving house pet and gets along moderately with strangers and other animals. They are a devoted breed, always willing to please, and even displays a somewhat comical personality when having fun in the house or romping around the yard with the family.

A Brief History Of The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

France is the area of origin for the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. And unlike most breeds that came to development over time, the creation of the Griffon was carefully deliberate. Every step along the way is well documented.

The breed started during the middle of the 1800s when the Cherville Griffon was created and later crossed with the pointer and the setter. Further development and refining of the breed is credited to a man named Edward Korthals, from Holland. In fact, the dog is still called by the name Korthals Griffon in many parts of the world.

Mr. Korthals began his work of refining the breed in 1874. It is said the he crossed twenty other dogs from the following breeds: spaniels, setters, water spaniels, griffons, French pointers and German pointers. As he traveled throughout France Edward helped build up the breed’s popularity all over the country.

By the year 1887 the first breed standard was published for the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. In 1888, England offered the first show classes for the breed (although at that time the dog was referred to as a Russian Setter).

The popularity of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon continued to skyrocket until World War II. After the war it’s reputation for being an excellent hunting companion brought the breed back to new life, but the numbers never quite reached the same peak as before the war.

Upkeep Requirements For The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Owning a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon means having plenty of open space outside and an active lifestyle. Like all members of the sporting group, this breed needs daily stimulation from a romp in the open wilderness, jogging, or fun games with the family. They especially like swimming.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon dogs are able to live outdoors so long as the temperature does not reach overly hot or excessively cold levels. It’s best to allow the dog to remain outside in an open yard during the daytime hours, but to sleep indoors with the family at night. Due to its harsh coat, grooming requirements for the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon calls for heavy brushing twice per week.

Health Concerns

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon dogs can have a long life span of up to fourteen years, with twelve to thirteen being the average. A healthy breed, these dogs have no major health concerns to worry about. Minor health issues include otitis externa, CHD, ectropion, and entropion. Veterinarians suggest that Wirehaired Pointing Griffon dogs get tested for potential hip and eye problems.

The Best Way To Socialize The New Puppy With Your Kids

Peter | November 11th, 2011
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Having a new puppy in the house is a very exciting and memorable experience, especially when you have children in the family. However, every interaction between your child and your new puppy must be closely supervised, especially for the first few days after your puppys arrival.

When meeting the puppy for the first time, have your child sit on the floor with her legs crossed. Slowly bring the new puppy up to her. Tell your child to lay out her gentle hands as she reaches over to the puppy with palms down and knuckles up so the pup can sniff them.

Give the puppy some time to sniff, but dont force him to do it. When hes done smelling her scent, pick him up and put him on your childs lap while she is sitting on the floor. Let your child pet the puppy, always using her gentle hands.

Your new puppy will do one of two things. First, he may stay on your childs lap while enjoying every second of being pampered. He may even fall asleep after a few minutes. Second, he will leave to walk around and explore his new environment. If he decides to explore, let him do it while you are watching to make sure that he doesnt get himself into any kind of danger.

If the puppy decides to walk around, tell your child not to chase or pull at him. Your child will likely be very fascinated with the new member of the family that she will want to grab him and put him back on her lap. Remind her about using gentle hands when petting.

Be sure to tell your child not to pull, grab, squeeze, drag, or poke the puppy. Doing so can hurt the little dog or result in him reacting aggressively to the child, which could injure or cause the child to fear the puppy.

Gently grab the puppy again and place him back on your childs lap. If he tries to bolt, let him walk around for a few minutes. Keep in mind that he may still be in shock from being separated from his mother and the newness of his surroundings, or he may just want to explore his new home.

If your child seems discouraged about the puppy continually escaping from her lap, make sure she understands that it is not because the puppy doesnt like her.

After a few minute of letting your new pup run around, pick him up again and place him on your childs lap. To make sure that he wont try to escape, bring a few of his favorite treats along with you.

When he starts to show signs of escaping, show him the treat and have your child gently feed it to him. Your child should place the treat on her palm for the puppy to lick, not on her fingertips where the puppy can accidentally nip her while he grabs for the food.

Remember to stay calm and positive and keep your voice low. This is an exciting time for everyone, an experience that will set the stage toward a happy and healthy friendship between your child and your puppy.

Keeping Your Children Safe From Strange Dogs

Gemma | December 10th, 2008
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Children are amazingly loving and carefree but too much friendliness could get them bitten, and in some cases even killed, when coming across a strange dog while playing outdoors. Teaching your children to approach new dogs in a calm, controlled manner can help prevent these problems.

First, children need to ask for permission from their parents and the dog’s owner before approaching any dog. If the owner isn’t nearby, avoid any contact with the dog.

Second, children should approach the dog slowly, offering their hand palm up for the dog to sniff. Depending in the dog’s size and age, children may need to squat down to the dog’s level so as to avoid appearing dominant by towering over the dog. Because dogs view a pat on top of the head as a threat, children should scratch under the chin instead.

Finally, children should never try to pick up the dog or stare directly into its eyes because the dog can perceive these actions as threatening. Speaking in a soft, gentle voice can help the dog see the child more favorably as well.

Well Behave Dogs May Still Be A Threat

One of the biggest mistakes parents make is trusting a dog that seems to be well-behaved (showing signs of having been training by sitting or staying put), but although a dog may be well-trained, if it has not been socialized (accustomed to being around children), then the bite risk is still high. This is why you should teach your kids never to hug a strange dog.

Hugs can be dangerous. Some dogs feel hugs intrude on their personal space. During a hug, a child might also accidentally squeeze the dog too tightly around its neck or body, causing the dog harm. For a dog that isn’t comfortable around kids, even direct eye contact could be seen as threatening.

What To Do If Your Child Is Bitten

What if despite your best efforts a dog does bite your child? The very first thing you should do is wash the bite immediately with soap and water. Make no haste in contacting your child’s pediatrician (unless it’s only a scratch) and the dog’s owner to let them know what happened.

If you don’t know who owns the dog, try to find out. Follow the dog home if necessary. This is especially important if the dog is acting like it’s unhealthy. Rabies is more prevalent in some areas than others, but it’s a reality and needs to be considered.

Once a doctor or other health professional gets involved, they are required by law to notify the local animal-control agency. The dog will probably be quarantined for 10 days. Usually this is done under house arrest. However, some states may require the dog to be kenneled at the animal-control or veterinary facility for observation (in case it starts showing signs of rabies).

How Dogs Teach Our Children Responsibility – Part 6

Samantha | December 9th, 2008
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In every instance where a dog is used within the family household to teach children important life lessons – lessons of responsibility, lessons of care, and lessons of sharing, it has been the dog’s similarity to us that has done the teaching.

His differences can helps us grow, too. You can use the unfamiliar to widen a child’s view, tickle his curiosity, exercise his senses, and encourage two soft spots understanding and respect.

Curiosity exercised can establish a love for knowledge. You can begin to form your child’s learning habits before he enters school. Let his dog be a focal point for his natural curiosity.

Search with him for the dog’s differences in behavior and appearance. Some interesting facts and insights can be found in like-minded dog books and videos how a dog reads with his nose, how a dog’s ears make him a remarkable eavesdropper, how a dog can fight with his eyes, how a dog has a tail that talks, how a dog loses the battle to keep peace.

These facts and insights can answer the child’s questions and stimulate new interests. They are fascinating enough for bedtime stories. It could be a running series of: Charlie, the dog who…

Make the illustration even sharper by using the dog’s name. Help him see the answers to his questions. Use the word like to put a picture in his mind. Explaining a dog’s acute hearing you could say, ears like scoops. Then make the picture move: that can tilt and reach out to dip into sound.

Involve the child actively in an illustration. It doesn’t always have to be scientific as long as it gives him the feel of it. Charlie wags his tail because he can’t smile. It won’t fit on his mouth. Now show your child by stretching the corners of your mouth back as far as you can pull your lips as tight as you can. That’s the shape of Charlie’s mouth. His mouth was not made to smile so he wags his tail.

In stories like these you can give your child a valuable approach to the unusual. He can learn that there is a reason behind behavior. That what appears funny, or dumb, or even ugly can look differently when we know the purpose it serves.

He learns from seeing you actively seeking reasons behind the dog’s behavior. You are showing him the beginning of understanding. A child that is involved with animals soon learns there are different types of intelligence used for different ways of life.

How Dogs Teach Our Children Responsibility – Part 5

Samantha | December 4th, 2008
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Not only does the new addition of a puppy into the home make children happy, it also creates an unexpected learning center that can teach the kids care, tenderness, responsibility, and ironically sharing.

I stress the word ironically because you probably feel that this would be the last result of adding a dog to a family. Would a dog be the spark to further ignite sibling rivalry? Would one child wind up with the dog’s ears while the other held onto the tail?

One fundamental element can help you cool off sibling rivalry and create a real sharing experience.

A dog is not a toy to be shared, but a coexisting being who expresses his personality and has a fill of his own. It is not easy to manipulate a dog. You have given the children something not just to play with, but to reckon with. You have taken the emphasis off each other and diverted their attention to the dog.

A True Story

I asked my friend Heather if I could use her story. She said yes but to change everyone’s name except the dog he’s the hero.

Heather’s problem was not unusual.

After three sentences, a conversation would be broken. The two boys responsible (her kids were not even in the room with us. The constant interruptions came over an intercom that linked the kitchen to their bedroom. Heather’s two boys (age 2 and 3) were in constant competition with each other, classically called sibling rivalry.

Suddenly, there was a scream and crying.

Heather said, Christopher, are you making Paul cry? The polite answer came, Yes, mother. Heather, on the far edge of exasperation said, Please don’t hit him. That’s your brother!

One month later, there was a change.

Heather, reasonably free from interruptions, gave her answer, We’ve got a dog. He was a stray. I said to him, ‘Look, Brown Dog, I give you a week. If you can take the kids, you can stay.’ Heather thought, God bless you dog, and introduced him into the children’s circle.

Look, we gotta help this dog. He’s a stray and he needs us. Now Paul, you choose a place for him to sleep. Christopher, do you have an old shirt for him to sleep on? Let’s decide who can do what. Can you give some time to walk him? We’ll alternate, but Christopher, you can feed him tonight and at the same time show your brother how, so he can tomorrow? Now, what should I do go buy him some food?

Heather’s Method Worked

She took the boys by surprise. She gave them several things:

1) An honest approach told them the problems they would have and exactly how to solve them. She made it their giving and their suggestions that made things right.

2) She diverted their attention. What had been riveted on each other in competition was now dispersed. Something else demanded their attention. They were too busy at first and too involved later.

3) The sibling rivalry cooled off and sharing developed because they had a go-between the dog was the object of their giving and receiving but, in fact, they were learning to give and take from each other.

How Dogs Teach Our Children Responsibility – Part 4

Samantha | November 30th, 2008
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As a parent who brings home a new puppy for the joy that the children will experience, your role is also to use the puppy as a teacher-dog, which simply means using the pet to teach your kids morals and responsibility. Specific situations come up all of the time in the home to take advantage of this opportunity.

A Real Life Example

My neighbor, Irene, did not like dogs to begin with, but a Basset Hound was being abandoned. It was scruffy and had rickets. Irene took him, saying all the time she didn’t want that dumb dog messing up the house, but someone had to take it.

Now, one of her sons, Eric, is knee-deep in chores. He is 8 years old and exercises the dog, finds the places outside of Irene’s flowerbeds for the dog, Lily, to dig holes. Little boy Eric sees Irene preparing Lily’s food. She fries fat, adds it to the dog’s food, and mixes in vitamins.

Eric sees the medicine and the care…

… and he sees a change in his dog.

Her coat glistens from the food and her personality opens up. At first, Lily would not even move. Now she chases Eric with a fast, bow-legged waddle. At first, she would not even respond to a scolding. Now when Irene gives commands, she obeys but grumbles under her breath.

Irene sees not instant companionship but a growing bond between Eric and the dog. The eight-year-old does not consider this as a responsibility, but just a new kind of loyalty he never felt before.

Being put in Eric’s situation having something weaker dependent upon you is a rare experience for such a young child. It gave Eric his own place in the family. He has an older brother and sister, and although they get along very well, there is a five-year gap between their adolescence and his childhood.

Eric’s association with the dog gave his brother and sister an opportunity to truthfully admire what he was doing without talking down to him. It was something Eric could do that was not just a child’s accomplishment it was considered important in the adult world, too.

Eric also solved a problem he was having with not being able to play ball with his older brother. He would not play with Eric due to his age and lack of coordination that a 13-year-old just could not have fun with. Now Eric can play ball with Lily. It’s not the best – Lily can’t throw and neither of them can catch – but it evens out.

How Dogs Teach Our Children Responsibility – Part 3

Samantha | November 28th, 2008
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By using your dog to teach a child, positive life lessons can formed and crafted that will last forever in your son or daughter. This works by getting your kids involved in activities that not only take care of the dog, but teaches your child at the same time.

They keys to this practice working effectively must revolve around verbal and physical coaching. Always follow a pattern. You do it with the dog, then let the child do it. Skills are learned by imitation. At the same time more than physical actions are imitated.

Connect The Dog & Child Together

Connect what the child does with how the dog responds, and how the dog looks or feels after it is done. This encourages the child to work for natural rewards as opposed to being paid for chores with money or privileges.

Stress this accomplishment by pointing out that the dog is happier or healthier. Be specific as in the example of showing a child how to brush the dog’s coat. The dog wags his tail more often now or his dull coat is now shiny, and that the child made this happen.

Use Failure

As well as success use failure to teach a realistic sense of responsibility. In failures, show the child that the dog is not a toy but has a mind and personality of his own. Explain the dog’s bad behavior.

Show the child, since he or she is much more intelligent than the dog, that he has inherited the responsibility for making the relationship work or not. (Of course, there are times when this would not work when fundamentally there is something wrong with the dog or the problem is too difficult the solve.) When problems arise, trace them with the child to their root.

A Common Example

Take the instance of a little boy playing with his new dog in the back yard. Both are strangers to each other. Both are trying to play before they properly know what to expect from each other. The boy shouts and pretends to shoot the dog with a toy gun. Then the boy runs around the yard.

The dog gives warning signals of being scared and uncertain. The boy doesn’t know how to read this so he runs away, while the dog makes a choice that the boy wants him to chase him. That is what the boy wants except the dog catches the boy by the seat of his pants and holds him against the wire fence.

The boy screams, the mother runs out, the dog backs away everybody is confused.

Find out how this could be prevented: Let a new dog settle down first smell around, explore the yard, meet the boy under quiet, calm circumstances. Have the child play slow games with the dog at first, so both will know what to expect.

Then, turn the frightening experience into understanding. It can save this from being the first of many bad incidents and bad feelings toward animals for the child.

Guide the child into re-establishing the relationship. Let him solve the problem by going back out in the yard, approaching the dog slowly, giving him food, patting him and reassuring him in a soothing voice.

Explain to the child this was a misunderstanding. And if he gets through the hard times, it will help him understand his dog better, he will have a better pet and they will have more fun together.