Dog Breeders Gone Wild: 5 Things to Look Out For

New dog owners should always make sure that their purebred pup comes from a reputable and responsible breeder. This is really is the only way to ensure that the animal will be free of any medical or behavioural problems. If a breeder you speak with displays any of the following 5 behaviours, he or she probably isn’t breeding healthy puppies in accordance with standards that have been set for the breed.

  1. The breeder is willing to sell you any puppy you want, no questions asked.

All reputable dog breeders care about what happens to each and every puppy they breed, even after it leaves their care. Indeed, a good breeder will ask you many, many questions about your lifestyle, experience with the breed, house and property size, show or breeding experience, and any other aspect of your life that may affect the puppy’s future. If your answers to these questions are not satisfactory, then the breeder probably won’t sell the puppy to you. A good breeder will also require that you sign a contract in which you agree to: have the puppy fixed if you’re not going to breed it; notify the breeder if the dog develops any diseases or medical conditions; notify the breeder first if you are no longer able to care for your dog; and, do anything else the breeder feels is important for the health and well-being of the puppy and the breed. If your breeder doesn’t seem to care about the puppy’s future and only seems interested in payment, go to another breeder.

  1. The breeder seems reluctant to answer questions about the puppy’s pedigree.

A reputable breeder knows all about the pedigrees of the puppies he or she sells. He or she knows who the parents were and can provide you with each puppy’s lineage, going back several generations. You will also want to register your purebred puppy with the American Kennel Club (AKC). The breeder is supposed to supply you with an AKC registration application with his or her portion already filled out. After you fill out and submit your part of the application, you’ll receive an AKC registration certificate. If the breeder you are dealing with cannot provide you with any documentation or registration papers for either the litter or the parents, be extremely wary.

  1. The breeder does not seem too concerned with the health of his or her animals.

Any potential buyer of a purebred puppy should be able to see the facility in which the animal was bred. Do the puppies and other dogs there look healthy? If not, then the breeder may not be maintaining an appropriate standard of care. This could definitely affect the current and future health of the puppy in which you’re interested. The breeder should also have a record of the puppy’s health care, from birth to the present, and should be happy to provide you with copies. He or she should also guarantee that the puppy is free from any genetic disorders.

  1. The breeder will not allow you to see the breeding facility.

Any reputable breeder will be happy to give you a tour of their facility. If the breeder you’ve chosen is not willing to let you see where your potential puppy comes from, the breeder may be running a puppy mill. Puppy mills are facilities that breed puppies only for profit, not for the benefit or love of the breed. Often, multiple dogs are crammed into one cage, the living conditions are filthy and the dogs there do not receive the proper nutrition or medical care. If the puppy you want comes from such a facility, it will most likely have serious medical and behavioural issues related to its stay there.

  1. The breeder engages in questionable business practices.

If the asking price for your purebred puppy is significantly lower than other prices you’ve seen advertised for the same breed, there may be something wrong with the dog. Perhaps it comes from a puppy mill or has some serious medical issues. If the breeder also sells to pet stores, you can be pretty sure that he or she is operating a puppy mill. Reputable breeders usually concentrate on one or two breeds. If the breeder advertises that he or she has many different breeds for sale, then this is another indication that he or she may be breeding animals indiscriminately, without much concern for set breed standards.

Making Your Home Puppy Proof

Puppies are super cute and so much fun to have around. They are filled with energy and curious about everything around them. It is your job as a responsible pet owner to puppy proof your house to make it safe from them and to protect your belongings.

he first thing you should do when puppy-proofing your house is to go room to room on your hands and knees. Look at the things in your home from your puppy’s perspective. Think about what is at that level that may be interesting to him. You may be surprised to find many things that are potentially dangerous that you never even thought of before.

One thing you should be aware of in your household is the location of electrical cords. Make sure to limit your puppy’s access to these areas. Puppies can chew through cords and get electrocuted causing serious injury or even death. Wrap cords up and store them away or lay down rubber or plastic runners that can be purchased at most home supply stores.

Another potentially dangerous thing for puppies is your stairs. Small puppies have a hard time navigating up and downstairs and could fall down them and injure themselves. Stairs also lead to areas in your house that may be off-limits. The best way to ensure that your puppy stays away from the stairs is to purchase baby gates, available at most department and pet supply stores.

Just as curious toddlers are, puppies are very curious about what is inside cabinets. Many people store cleaning supplies and personal care products in cabinets that can be accessible to puppies. These kinds of products contain harmful ingredients that can injure or kill your puppy. Make sure to either store these products in cabinets that are out of reach to puppies, or purchase plastic cabinet locks that are available at most department and pet supply stores.

Be aware of small objects that are located around the home, on coffee tables and other surfaces that are accessible to your puppy. Just as with small children, puppies can choke on items like coins, needles, jewellery and small toys. Make sure to keep these kinds of items out of your puppy’s reach.

Puppies seem to be attracted to shoes and socks. They love to chew on them. Not only will this ruin your favourite shoes, if a puppy were to chew on and swallow a shoelace or a sock, but it could also get wrapped around their intestines causing serious injury or death. Make sure to store your shoes and socks out of reach of your puppy, and NEVER encourage them to chew on these items, no matter how cute it may be.

Always limit your puppy’s access to the bathroom. Bathroom garbage is very tempting to chew on. If your dog were to swallow some dental floss or feminine products, this could be very harmful to them. Puppies also are curious about toilets. Small pups could fall in an open toilet and drown. Make sure to keep your bathroom door shut at all times, or install a baby gate at the entrance to your bathroom. The same can be said for the kitchen and kitchen garbage.

Open windows are another potential hazard to your puppy. Being very curious about the world around them, they could easily fall out of a window causing serious harm or death. On the ground floor, they could exit out of the window and get lost or run into the street. Be mindful of open windows when you are not directly supervising your puppy.

House plants are another concern when it comes to puppies. Most dogs are very attracted to plants and many household plants are toxic to animals and can cause nausea, vomiting, and in some cases, death. Always make sure to keep house plants away from your puppy’s reach.

The best way to puppy proof your house is to crate train your puppy right away. You are providing him with a safe place to go whenever he wants to as well as a place to be safely contained when you are not able to directly supervise him. If you need more information about puppy-proofing your home, consult your veterinarian or pet professional.

Dog Obedience: The basics

Teaching basic obedience skills to a dog can be exciting as well as challenging. Having problems with where to begin? Start by doing your homework. A student can only be as good as his trainer, right?

The first lesson in obedience is to get your dog to pay attention to the commands. You want to start by calling his name and then using a keyword like “watch” or “look” afterwards. This way he will associate the words to a command. Once you’ve got his attention, the lessons can begin.

You want your dog to be able to pay attention for a short length of time. Try keeping his attention by doing attention exercises. One example would be to hold a toy or dog treat in near your mouth and then give him the keyword command. Each time he takes the time to watch, praise him. The more you do this exercise, the more time he should be able to pay attention to you. Try getting him to watch for at least a minute. Let him know that he is doing a good job by rewarding him. Dogs learn best this way.

Because dogs have such short attention spans, they get distracted pretty easily. Choose a place that is free of other distractions such as other pets, children or loud noises. Training sessions should only last approximately 30 minutes tops. Usually, if you go over this time limit, the dog will get restless and easily distracted.

If your dog isn’t learning very quickly, you may become frustrated. Don’t take that frustration out on your animal. A few things to remember before starting your obedience lessons:

1) Never cause pain to your dog (this will cause him to shy away or become aggressive to you.)

2) If he begins to become distracted, change the tone of your voice (this doesn’t mean raising it)

3) Consistency can not be stressed enough (animals are like children, if you’re not consistent, they will become confused as to what is expected)

Teaching your dog basic obedience commands will make for a more obedient and more pleasant dog to be around.

The first command to start off with would be to sit. You must use the word sit while teaching him so that he can relate the word with the action. Start by gently pushing his backside down and saying the word “sit.” Eventually, he will catch on to the concept.

The second command is “down.” Dogs can become pretty hyper when they get excited. Jumping up on their owner’s lap is usually how they express their excitement. If you have a big dog or have other people over, you might not want them pouncing about. When they jump up, tell them “down.” Do not pet them or act excited to see them while they are on you. Continue to tell them “down,” and even place their legs down if you have to.

Next is the command of “stay.” This command is a good one to know especially if you have a rambunctious hyper dog. You can teach him to stay, for example, by putting a treat or something desirable on the ground. As he moves toward it, tell him “Stay.” Another good idea would be to put your hand up while saying the word “stay.” When he begins to become obedient in this area, you can move further away from him. This will cause him to become more daring and he will probably take a step forward to see how much he can get away with. When he does this, continue to put your hand out and tell him “stay.” He has to know that even though you are moving away, you can still see what he’s doing and expect him to continue to obey.

After you’ve mastered the stay command, you will move on to the come command. Once your dog has learned to sit and stay, he will need a command to know when it’s ok to get up and approach you. They may be a bit confused at first, but with a change in the tone of your voice, he will soon understand. Put a little excitement in your voice when saying the word “come”. He will pick up on it. You might also want to pat your leg when you say come.

“Stand” is the last command to achieve. This is where your dog is allowed to get a little excited but not in a pouncing kind of way. When teaching your dog to stand, pat your hands on your chest and, once again, put a little excitement in your voice, so that he knows he’s aloud, under certain circumstances. He will begin to know the difference.

Teaching your dog basic obedience, if possible, should be taught as soon as you and your dog are ready. Remember to be consistent with the commands and don’t forget to have fun!

Allergies? How to choose a hypoallergenic dog

For people that love dogs, yet have allergic reactions to them, there is a simple alternative. If you can’t do without a four-legged friend, choosing a hypoallergenic dog is the best alternative. For those who are scratching their heads, a hypoallergenic dog is not a special breed of dogs. They are dogs that generate less (hypo) allergens (allergenic) in the air, which has a lot to do with the dog’s physical size and length of its fur. For allergy sufferers, finding an allergy-friendly dog is the most reasonable choice. This doesn’t mean that the dog will be completely allergy proof, but it does mean that this type of dog tends to generate fewer amounts of allergy-causing elements. It is impossible to find a dog that causes no degree of allergens.

Allergy reactions from dogs can consist of skin rashes, watery and itchy eyes, sneezing and a stuffy nose. More serious reactions are wheezing, asthma attacks and not being able to breathe deeply. These can be frightening reactions and choosing not to have a pet, for these reasons, out ways the benefits of having one. For dog lovers, who suffer from allergies, this is a hard fact to accept. The reason some people suffer from simple pet hair is because of their immune system. They are hypersensitive to the components found on the dog hair. Many people think it is the animal hair that causes the problem, but in reality, it is what attaches itself to the pet hair. The dog’s hair picks up pollen and dust attaching itself to the hair follicle. With normal movements, the elements are distracted on whatever it comes across. Hence, larger and longer haired dogs have a tendency to generate more allergens than smaller and shorter-haired dogs Therefore, the bigger the dog, the more allergy components it will distract.

If choosing a dog from a breeder, try spending at least 30 minutes playing with the dog and being in the dog’s area to see how you react to it. If you have a severe reaction in that amount of time, then you can be assured that having it as a live-in would not be a good idea. If you’re choosing a breeder who lives a substantial distance away, send a clothing item to the breeder and ask them to place it near the dog for a day and send it back to you in a plastic bag. Wear the clothing item or breathe in the smell and see how you react. If no reaction, you might want to consider visiting the breeder in person. If you do get a negative reaction, it’s best not to waste your time visiting in person. The allergic reaction would probably be worse if you were around the real thing.

Another thing you might want to consider when choosing a dog is the temperament. You want to choose a dog that will meet your needs, and you in turn, can meet its needs as well. Not only do you want to choose an allergy-friendly dog, but if you have a family, you want one that is family-friendly as well. Here are a few breeds to consider: Bichon Frise, Irish Terrier, Poodles. These dogs enjoy family surroundings, they’re excellent with children and they make great watchdogs. They also have low shedding levels. If you are a single adult, you might want to consider a dog that is happy with minimal people surroundings. A couple of good choices would be Chihuahua or a Portuguese Water Dog. These dogs tend to bond with one person rather than several.

Here are a few dogs to stay away from due to their high shedding ability. They are Cocker Spaniels, Irish Setters, Dachshunds, Basset hounds, German Shepherds and Afghan Hounds.

If you choose an indoor dog, it’s best to choose one that can be groomed regularly or that you can bath easily. It’s best to bath them at least 1-2 times per week. This will reduce the amount of pet dander. Taking care of your dog’s hair is an important part of reducing the components that cause allergies. You can even choose a hairless dog such as the Chinese Crested, American Hairless Terrier or the Mexican Hairless.

Some people claim that certain breeds bring out the worst in their allergies than others. In choosing a breed, be open to finding the best one that fits your lifestyle.

Training Dogs – the Lazy Way

Have you ever found it difficult to get your dog to do as it is told? Well, today we are going to show you how to train him the lazy way, and get results every time.

Our first task is to get the dog to pay attention to us.
How many times have you seen someone shout their dog’s name with absolutely no response?

So, say your dog’s name in a moderate voice without shouting, and if he looks at you say something like “Good!” as praise and reward him with a treat.
Repeat this a few times, but cutting out the treat on occasions.
We don’t want an overweight pooch who only does things for food.
When this exercise has been repeated successfully several times we can make it harder by getting the dog to pay attention for longer, maybe 15 seconds before praising and giving a reward.
If your dog approaches you in an effort to see where you are hiding any treats it’s best just to ignore him.

When we’ve mastered this we can try it in different locations and with different family members calling his name and commanding attention.
Just make sure that whoever is in control gives praise and treat.

Calling your dog’s name and getting a response quickly and every time is the 1st stage in getting your dog to do almost anything, as once you have his attention you can move onto the next step in your dog’s training.

From feeding time to going out for walks, use your dog’s name on every occasion, but remember to be sparing with the treats, and eventually try to cut them down to a minimum as a special reward.