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How Old Is Your Dog? Ask a dog owner how old his or her dog is and the answer may be "four years, that's equal to 28 human years." The usual calculation is seven human years for each dog year. If he's over two years, here's a more accurate formula:
For a small dog, two is the equivalent of 24 years in a person. Add four for every year your dog is older than two. So if your little dog is five-years old, he's 24+4+4+4 or 36 in human years.
For a large dog, start with 19 and add seven for every year after. A large five-year-old big dog is 19+7+7+7 or 40 human years old.
Older dogs, like people, often suffer from arthritis. To learn more, click here!
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Black Dogs In Nighttime My dog is a large black Newfoundland. Even in the daytime, the clearest thing you can see is his pink tongue. He loves to go on walks, even at night. But he and I need to be seen by drivers and joggers in our neighborhood with few street lamps.
You, the dog owner, should always dress in light clothing or wear a reflective vest or armband. Your dog, even if light in color, should have a reflective collar and a flashing light. My Newf wears a red flashing "blinking beacon." You can also purchase smaller lights that look like reflectors that can be hooked on a collar or harness as well as battery-equipped illuminated collars.
Always walk facing traffic, carry a flashlight, and remember to take along a poop bag or a scooper.
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Therapy Dogs #1: Introduction Your friendly, cheerful dog can spread smiles and happiness to hospitalized children, patients in nursing homes, or children with special needs. Dogs help create conversation between people. Petting a dog reduces blood pressure. The dog's visit gives people something to look forward to and remember. Best of all, the dog is not judgmental and accepts everyone despite illness, age, etc.
Many types of dogs are suitable for this kind of work. This five-part series will give you some tips on how to get started in this most fulfilling activity with your pet. Check in the next few days for information on the traits your dog should have, handler expectations, obedience training and dog therapy groups.
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Therapy Dogs #2: Suitable Traits Friendliness is the first trait your dog should have to become a therapy dog. Not too much, though. Here are other recommended characteristics:
- Loves people more than other dogs - Likes to be petted and touched - Has confidence - Is predictable - Is in good health - Is controllable - Can handle stress - Is reliable - Has a good temperament - Is outgoing
Your dog does not need to be a purebred, often the Heinz 57 variety mixed breed canines make the best visitors.
Make sure your pet is healthy. Click here for more info.
Therapy Dogs #3: Handler Expectations
What should you, the handler, do to make sure your visits to hospitals, etc., with your "therapy dog" are more enjoyable and successful?
-Plan for adequate preparation and the possibility of extended time. You will need to wash and brush your dog in preparation. Once at the hospital, other departments may ask for you to visit.
-Some locations may be more stressful for you and your dog. My friend and her dog visit a children's cancer center and find this is most challenging. So start small by first scheduling one visit a month.
-Call to schedule and make sure to call if you need to reschedule. As with any commitment, be on time and be prepared. People and children are looking forward to your visit.
Clean dogs make good visitors. Learn some tips click here! www.bathing-a-dog.com
Therapy Dogs #4: Obedience Training
Maybe your Rover needs some fine-tuning before he takes on his new therapy and visitor vocation. First he should have basic obedience and be under total voice command. Basic obedience includes not jumping on people or furniture, no excessive barking, and consistent responses to the "sit," "stay" and "come" commands.
Depending upon the group or institution you plan to visit, he may be required to pass the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Test. Check with the AKC for expectations, test procedures and schedule. Some behavior expectations include: walking through a crowd, handling distractions, sitting politely for petting, allowing grooming, and supervised separation.
A local dog obedience trainer in your area may offer special therapy dog training classes.
Trained dogs fit into your home and life better. Learn more here. www.pets-and-life.com
Therapy Dogs #5: Dog Therapy Groups
You and your dog can do this individually. However, starting with a group or team gives you a better idea what to expect and how to handle new situations.
If possible, visit with an experienced team for the first few visits. Do the first one without your dog and just observe. If this is not possible, visit the facility and have the activities director or a staff member show you around. They can show you the lay of the land and explain the conditions of the residents or patients. Then agree on a plan for a visit and get your dog involved.
Have more fun with your dog on therapy visits. Dress your pet in a costume! www.why-dog-clothes.com
Parades With Dogs
Floats are in parades! Horses are in parades! Bands are in parades! Why not dogs?
A great, crowd-pleasing parade entry can be a group of dogs, especially in smaller local parades. Our local dog park regulars signed up for our town's holiday parade. We costumed the dogs in antlers, holiday vests, wreaths and lights. The dogs walked proudly and were exceptionally polite.
Purebred dog clubs entered the Saint Patrick's Day parade. The Bernese Mountain Dogs all pulled stylish carts.
Check out a July 4th parade and enter your dog group. Pick a costume theme for your pet and you. Remember dog drinking water and assign someone to "Poop Patrol." And never follow the horse groups.
Riding Safely With Your Dog
We buckle up in the car, and we should also protect our dogs. Dogs can be killed or injured in car accidents and riders can be injured in an accident by a "flying" dog. Active dogs can also interfere with your safe driving.
The answer is a proper dog restraint system in the backseat of your car. Use a correctly sized dog car harness and secure it along the dog's back with the seat belt. Use it all the time on your dog so he associates the harness with riding with you. And never secure your dog with a collar.
If you need first aid tips for your dog, visit here. www.dog-first-aid.com
Drafting With Your Dog Okay, Rover and you are not going into the Army. Nor are you standing in a stiff breeze. Drafting with dogs means teaching your dogs how to pull a cart, sometimes called carting. This is an activity open mostly to larger dogs, but with the proper size cart, even smaller canines can learn to cart.
The official Draft Dog test includes basic control; harnessing, hitching and equipment check; maneuvering course and basic commands; freight load; distance freight haul; and intriguing distraction.
You can also be more casual. Building or buying a proper cart and harness is critical. When hitched up, the dog should be able to stop and turn the cart without chaffing or any injury.
Keep your dog healthy and active for such fun activities.
Today's Topic: Poop Bags!
Poop bags are definitely a requirement for responsible dog ownership in suburban and urban areas. There are many solutions to remembering these when going on a walk.
Many dog parks have a dispenser with some great biodegradable bags. Grab one as you walk by the dog park or during your next visit. Daily newspapers often come in fairly small plastic bags that are perfect for your walk. My newspapers are usually piled up at the front door. It reminds me to grab a bag on the way out.
Finally, there are cloth bags you can attach to your dog's "out for a walk" collar. Many plastic bags can be crammed into them. Don't let an irate neighbor or the Poop Patrol catch you without a bag.
Naming Your Dog
You have just acquired a new puppy or adopted a pet and you need a name. My preference has been to never give dogs a people name. I have heard of too many embarrassing moments and general confusion with people names. Just call for "Marcus" at our local dog park and one boy, one man, and one dog come running.
Dogs can have creative names that befit their breed, coloring, temperament or your hope for them. Consider Lassie, Marmaduke, Pluto. In our neighborhood we have Delight, Carbon, Bassador (mix of a basset and Labrador), and Bro D (stands for Brother Dog).
For most dogs, two syllables with some hard consonant sounds work best.
Suitable Dogs For Children
Playful and friendly breeds are the best ones to select if there are children in your family. Some recommended breeds are: West Highland White Terrier, Welsh Corgi, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Beagle and Shetland Sheepdog.
First-time dog owners or families with children might also want to look for a female as their first pet. Also be cautious about selecting a toy breed, which could be injured in play with the children.
Remember that children younger than three may be unintentionally rough with pets. And dogs, in turn, can be rough with very young children. All breeds, including those listed here require training and positive early experiences with children to be reliable.
Your new puppy will need to get used to bathing. Learn more at Bathing-a-Dog.com. www.bathing-a-dog.com
Golden Rules For Training
Here are five easy rules for successful and fun dog training.
- Keep training sessions short and interesting. - Say the command one time, and wait for the puppy to perform the task. - Use praise every time your puppy performs correctly. - Use food initially to guide the puppy into the correct position. Once the puppy knows the task, give food rewards less frequently. - End every session on a high note, when the dog has completed a task successfully.
And always be enthusiastic and cheerful when training your new dog.
Keep up your good health so you can keep up with your new dog. www.w3-health-and-wellness.com
Toys, Toys, Toys!
I love to go to the pet store and look at the huge variety of dog toys. They are rubbery, colorful, snuggly, and funny-looking. They claim to increase my pet's intelligence, clean her teeth, keep her entertained for hours, quell her chewing instincts, and generally provide quality play.
Be sure to pick appropriate toys for your type of dog. If your pet is a shredder type, choose hard rubber toys and not the cute fluffy ones. Some dogs really like toys that squeak, but be sure the noisemaker won't come off in their mouth. Dogs with great energy need soft Frisbees or balls for toss and retrieve.
Learn more about dog behavior so your toys are appropriate ones. www.canine-behavior.com
Giving Your Dog A Pill
Many of the medications your veterinarian prescribes come in the form of a pill. Dogs really dislike being forced to swallow something. Amazing, since they regularly eat things we owners don't want them to eat! So how do you get Fido to down that pill?
Hold the top jaw firmly open. Make sure the dog can't bite you. Then, with the other hand, place the pill as far back on the tongue as you can and push it out of sight. Close the dog's mouth and wait for her to swallow. Stroking her throat may help the pill go down.
Of course, hiding the pill in cheese, peanut butter or a hot dog also works. Watch your dog for a few seconds to make sure the pill went down.
Help your hurting pet. Click here! www.managing-pet-pain.com
-- Anonymous, May 30, 2002