Posts Tagged ‘Dogs’

Pets on Tour – Bringing Your Furry Friend Along For the Ride

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Taking furry family members on holiday has become very popular in recent times, with many places accommodating to animal’s needs, it’s more appealing to take your pet with you than to leave them at home. Here’s a quick to do guide before venturing off on your holiday…

  • Location Considerations: Before you set off on your jolly’s you need to take into consideration your destination and how you are going to get there. Your destination should be pet friendly, so pick a location which is going to cater for your furry friend as well as having plenty of activities for both you and your pet, especially if you are taking your dog along.

 

  • Preliminary Health Checks: Make sure you visit the vet before you set off, a routine check is all that is needed, this just gives you piece of mind that everything is going to run smoothly on your holidays. Furthermore make sure your pet has an up to date microchip, this increases the safety of your companion if anything should happen, and additionally you should have a personalised collar made with a reachable contact number.

Pets on tour

  • Pet-Friendly Transport: Before you travel, it’s advised to get your pet used to the transport that you have chosen this will result in a smooth journey. When travelling by car, make sure you pack the car up before loading your pet. No matter what transportation you have chosen, the last 3 stages are crucial; make sure your pet has had plenty of exercise, enough food for a few hours of travel and that he/she has gone to the bathroom. After these preparations you are ready to go…

 

  • Panic Prevention: Revise the stresses that your beloved pet may encounter on your travels and try to avoid them. These stresses will vary depending on your pet, for dogs they feel most comfortable when with their owners as it gives them a sense of security. Cats however are very different; they are very territorial animals and feel most comfortable in familiar surroundings. Smaller animals have less stresses, and as long as they are comfortable and their habitat (i.e. enclosure or tank) is consistent, they rarely acknowledge a change in location.

 

  • Creature Comforts: Make sure you carry familiar toys and snacks with you, having items which carry the smell of home will comfort pets and will help them settle. When travelling you have the option to cage your pet or allow them to be loose. For small animals and cats it’s a must to keep them caged, this is for both yours and the animal’s safety.

Furthermore if the vehicle has to come to a sudden stop, then anything not secure whether it is a passenger or pet will become a moving risk. For dogs, it’s your choice if you want to secure them or if they are free to move around the backseat or your boot. They do demand more space than other animals and will be more comfortable when given the opportunity to move around.

 

  • Comfortable Conditions: Additionally you also have to consider the different conditions in your car. Windows should be left open when leaving a pet alone in the car. Cars standing in the sun can get very hot very fast and can cause serious problems for animals left inside. Windows should also be kept open when driving giving a continuous air flow; however be careful not to cause a draft.

 

Keeping temperature at a constant is advised.  Make sure you schedule regular stops to stretch out yours and your pet’s legs, allowing for toilet and food breaks too.

There’s nothing quite like sharing your favourite holiday experiences with your pet, so plan ahead and make your next holiday one to remember. It’s vitally important to consider their stress levels and health throughout the journey, and also to check on them at regular intervals to ensure they’re happy.

This article was written on behalf of Pet Health Info. Pet Health Info is a free online resource providing advice for pet owners regarding pet health care.

Photo Credit: Catskills Grrl

The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

Dogs and their jobs

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

For most of us, a dog is a beloved family member, and a pampered pet.  We provide our canine companions with luxury dog beds, an abundance of squeaky toys, and the best pet food we can find.  However, not all dogs live pampered lives in return for performing the occasional trick to impress the next door neighbour.  Some dogs hold down full time jobs, using their strength, or their sense of smell, to earn their keep.

dogs and their jobs

Here’s a quick look at some of the jobs that a well-trained dog might do:

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs, or emotional support animals, are used to comfort people who are stressed, traumatized, or depressed.  They are used to help the elderly in nursing homes, calm young people testifying in courts, and offer support to survivors of natural disasters.  Some airlines allow emotional support animals to travel with their passengers, providing comfort for those who are scared of flying.

Military Dogs

Dogs have been used by the military for many, many years, and some of them have even been awarded medals for their bravery.  Today’s military dogs are highly trained, and are almost as well equipped as the humans they’re working with, being given bulletproof vests and high-tech cameras so that they can provide intelligence to their two-legged co-workers, whilst staying as safe as possible themselves.

Service Dogs

Most of us are familiar with guide dogs for the blind, but there are lots of other service animals.  People with epilepsy often have a service dog that will attempt to warn them of impending seizures, and fetch medication for their owner if a seizure occurs.  There are also hearing dogs for the deaf, and dogs that are trained to help patients in wheelchairs, and fetch items for them.

Racing Dogs

Dogs can be professional athletes too!  In Alaska, the Iditarod long-distance racing competition is a huge event, with entire villages turning out to watch the dogs (and the sled riders) pass through their village.  Teams have avid supporters, and the breeders consider training and caring for their dogs to be a full-time job.  Alaskan huskies are tough, strong, and have thick coats of fur, enabling them to survive in the difficult conditions of the Alaskan highlands.

Sniffer Dogs

Dogs have a far better sense of smell than humans do, and this makes them incredibly good at detecting illicit substances.  Police train dogs to sniff out a range of things, including drugs and explosives.  Dogs are also used in search and rescue missions, and customs officers use dogs to detect foreign produce that tourists might unwittingly (or dishonestly) try to bring into the country.

Medical Dogs

While this isn’t an official “job” yet, it could well be one in the future.  German researchers have ran some small scale trials to see if dogs could detect lung cancer by sniffing a patient’s breath.  The dogs had a 71% accuracy rate of detecting cancers, and a relatively low false positive rate too (just 7%).  More testing is needed, but it’s entirely possible that we may see dogs used in the diagnostic process in the future.
Guest post written and contributed by dog lover Amy Fowler, on behalf of House of Paws, specialists in luxury dog beds and other cat and dog accessories.

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Training Your Puppy without the Classes

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Choosing to get a puppy is a massive decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. As well as all the costs and commitment, a puppy also requires a great deal of on-going training to ensure it grows up to be a healthy and happy dog.

Before you can train a puppy, you need to develop a mutual respect for one another. A dog won’t always do as you ask it to without a reward, whether this is a treat or plenty of attention and affection. Quite often, a puppy will seek a master in which it can follow and aim to please. This is usually the person who walks and feeds it, not necessarily smothers it with love and affection all the time. This relationship needs to be developed from an early stage to ensure your puppy looks to you for instruction.

Training Your Puppy without the Classes

House Training

So first things first, you will need to teach your puppy some basic house training rules to ensure it uses the toilet outside as oppose to inside on furniture and expensive flooring. Puppies, like babies do not know there is a right or wrong place to relieve themselves, so you need to teach them this. Under no conditions should you result to violence to correct your dog in any aspect of its training, as it can encourage vicious behaviour.

House training is usually achieved over a considerable amount of time, there is no short cut and there is bound to be slip ups from time to time as well. Encourage your dog to go outside at regular intervals, and when it does choose to urinate outside, reward it and give it affection. Take your puppy outside throughout the day, from the moment you wake up, before and after its meals and of course before bed time. This minimises the likelihood of accidents and also teaches your dog a positive routine.

Eliminating Biting

Puppies will usually bite and chew as it is a natural reaction to their teething process. Sometimes biting will be playful, other times out of boredom, and in some cases when your puppy is feeling a little tired and irritable. Again, avoiding using violence, encouraging good behaviour and discouraging bad behaviour will send the right message to your new four-legged friend that you and your belongings don’t appreciate being chewed or bitten, and that this will not earn it affection and rewards.

Another option is to encourage your pup to chew something else when you see it gnawing on your favourite piece of furniture. Supply it with a durable chew toy to keep it occupied, and in time your dog will learn that this is what should be chewed and played with, not the furniture.

Taking your puppy to training classes is of course not compulsory and by training your dog yourself; you will also save a great deal of money and build your very own bond with your dog. Training will be an on-going task throughout the dog’s life as its learning will never be complete and like humans, can occasionally make mistakes too.

Photo Credit: Adam E. Cole

This article was written by Sarah MacLeod on behalf of My Pet Stop, a UK based dog boarding company offing puppy training, dog grooming and much more.

 

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Why you should bake your own dog treats

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

We understand that you love your dog.  They don’t call dogs “Man’s best friend” for nothing!  They bring us joy, make us laugh, and comfort us when we’re feeling down.  They miss us when we’re gone, and get so excited when we’re back that you’d think we were gone for a year!  That’s why we are pet parents, not pet owners.  Our dogs are our children, and we love them as such.  So, why not feed them like we would feed our own children?  It’s easier than you might think, and a great way to get the kids involved!

There are a number of reasons to bake your own dog treats.  To start with, you are in control of exactly what is in your treats.  For anybody who has ever had a finicky dog, you know that there are some things they just don’t like.  This is especially true in the case of most treats you buy at the store; your pooch would much rather eat the burger out of your hand than chew on cheap, overly-processed treats that have an ingredient list a mile long.  So, why not compromise?  You can easily bake dog treats with peanut butter, pumpkin, cinnamon, or anything else you can think of, and those treats will be much better for your dog.

Why you should bake your own dog treats

Baking your own treats is healthier because you aren’t loading them with preservatives and importing them from some “kitchen” that may or may not care just how good those treats are.  Think of it like fast food; sure, you can get a burger through the drive through, but if you did that every day, your body wouldn’t be feeling quite as good as it would if you baked something healthy at home (and, honestly, who doesn’t love a good home-cooked meal?).

You also don’t have to worry about your dog having an allergic reaction, or developing allergies if you’re making the treats yourself.  Dogs can be just as sensitive as humans, so we should pay attention to what we give our pooch so they can live a long, happy, and healthy life.  Frequent allergies include beef, dairy, pork, soy, fish, eggs, and more.  Many popular dog treats contain these ingredients, too, limiting your choices if your pooch is allergic to any of these.

Now, you may argue that you’re not a whiz in the kitchen.  That’s perfectly understandable. Many people have grown up with a microwave oven being their primary food preparation device, so turning on the oven and baking something can seem like a foreign idea.  However, baking your own dog treats isn’t hard.  We’ve actually taken out a lot of the hard work and created something simple to bake.  If you’ve ever made a box brownie mix, you can bake your own dog treats.  That’s where Pupolicious comes in!

Pupolicious is a dog treat and icing mix, much like those boxed baking mixes you see in the store, that is quick, simple, and most important of all – healthy.  It comes with everything you need to start baking your own dog treats, and has 3 simple steps; mix, bake, and decorate.  The only things you need to make Pupolicious is a mixing bowl, rolling pin, baking sheet, a spoon, oil, water, and of course, an oven.  You can also easily flavor your treats, and http://www.pupolicious.com has flavoring suggestions and simple instructions for just that purpose.  It doesn’t stop there, however; Pupolicious is a great way to get the kids involved with the quick & easy icing mix (after all, what kid DOESN’T like decorating treats), so it’s something the whole family can do for your furry friend!

With Pupolicious’ safe, simple ingredients, you can easily bake dog treats at home, making it easier to show your dogs just how much you love them.  That’s why we call Pupolicious “the dog treat you bake with love.”

 

Author’s Notes:

Pupolicious is a new dog treat and icing mix available and made in the U.S.A.  You can read more and purchase Pupolicious at www.pupolicious.com

 

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Dog fouling: a messy situation

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Britain is living through a messy situation. Dog fouling is topping local news headlines across the land and councils are still scratching their heads about how to make people more responsible for their pooch’s bowel movements.

While some are charging owners found guilty anywhere up to £1,000 for their transgressions, others continue to install bins in our parks, towns and cities, full of hope that they’ll actually be used.

However, statistics seem to indicate the situation is still a major headache for local authorities. A recent survey of over 10,000 sites by Keep Britain Tidy, for example, found that dog mess was present on seven per cent of sites. Local newspaper articles, community meetings and neighbourhood watch gatherings seem to be constantly teeming with residents unhappy with the mess in their areas – and for good reason. Ingestion of dog excrement can bring on serious health conditions.

Toxocariasis is the most major infection associated with dog muck. While rare, with around 50-100 cases recorded a year, according to the NHS, toxocariasis can bring on a range of unpleasant symptoms, even leading to blindness if left untreated.

Of course it’s the social effects that tend to offend non-pet owners, and dog-owners alike. Just how can people have the audacity, the inconsideration, the lack of respect for themselves and their animal to leave mess on our beautiful public countryside?

Well, for those who haven’t yet learnt how best to clear up after themselves, here’s a few tips that could help turn around Britain’s messy nation.

Make sure you know when they need to go

You should really know your dog well enough to see the signs when they need to go. Although this isn’t always possible, you can even take an estimated guess based on your dog’s eating habits.

Keeping a regular routine is probably one of the best ways of letting your dog know whether it’s time to go for a walk or not. With enough repetition, and adequate dog training, they’ll come to understand the signs and will hopefully do their business before you leave the house.

Find an adequate place to walk them

Needless to say, you should try where possible to take your dog to locations where dog walking is expected, permitted, and where dog bins are nearby.

Even if you live in the city, you’re sure to find routes to the park that have more verges than others, offering your dog a chance to have a toilet break on a spot where less people are likely to walk.

Be equipped for the job

Vitally, you should always be prepared for the job at hand. Always leave the house with plenty of dog bags and treats. The latter of which you can of course reward your dog for good behaviour, such as going on the grass as opposed to the pavement.

Not only will you need bags to pick up mess, but also a decent collar or even harness, so you can keep them under control at all times. Red Dingo is just one supplier that sells a variety of well constructed products that might help keep your dog on the right side of you when going to the loo. Other Red Dingo products include bowls, mattresses and tags.

 

Even when using a lead, you should be careful that your dog doesn’t roll around in the fouling of other animals (fox and horse poo are favourites for most dogs) as you could end up bringing germs into the house.

With any luck these tips will help make sure you don’t add to the already very messy issue of dog muck in the UK.

 

 

 

 

Author Bio: Joseph Smith has a degree in Zoology, as well as having owned and taken care of many animals and pets in his career. Through this article he provides you information on how to select the right facility for your dog as well as high-quality products for dogs. For more information go to http://www.muddypaws.co.uk/red-dingo-m-20.html

 

 

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How Types Of Grass Can Make A Difference In Housebreaking

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

When it comes to grass litter boxes, there are two very different options you can choose from. Some grass litter boxes utilize natural grass while others utilize a synthetic solution. Because grass litter boxes are used as a tool to help housebreak a new dog, there are certain characteristics which should be considered before you settle on your particular form of potty terrain.

Dog Training

Synthetics

There are many different brands and styles of synthetic grass. Some utilize fibers that resist scent and others appeal with a texture that matches the real thing. Regardless, of who makes them, there are certain characteristics which make them appealing to dog potty applications.

Synthetic grasses are renowned for their longevity. Unlike natural grass, they don’t have a lifespan, but that doesn’t mean they can’t wear out. Some producers such as the Pet Zoom produce a patch which can last up to three years with the proper care, while others like Pup-Grass take synthetic to a different level, applying every aspect possible, such as fast draining, tear-resistant, and even scent resistant. While each producer has their own synthetic grass format, companies like Pup-Grass strictly produce synthetic grass for dog applications, including the entire yard.

Unlike natural grass patches that can be thrown away or discarded, synthetic grass does still requireits own unique maintenance. Some manufacturers require hand-washing while others can be machine washed without excessive wear. The only issue here is that the material does get dirty and it’s not exactly disposable, requiring that you spend time washing and maintaining it.

This “immortal” aspect does have its downside though, because as you may understand, synthetic grass doesn’t have the natural scent that real grass has. This can make it difficult for a young puppy to accept or adapt to it if they’ve been accustomed to using an outdoor area. In these cases, you may be required to utilize incentive sprays, some of which may not work, leaving you shopping around for a product that works for your dog’s particular nose.

The real thing

Natural grass has certain characteristics which can’t be replicated by synthetics alone. The texture and feel of grass tends to have a natural instinctive appeal to a dog. But because it does have a lifespan, it isn’t always the most cost-effective method for your dog’s long-term potty needs.

Additionally, it also acts as a transitional tool for a dog that is in the housetraining process. If you are working towards motivating your dog to potty outdoors, this can be a very effective way to familiarize your dog with the particular characteristics of where it’s good to potty.

There are many differences between synthetic and natural grass, some which benefit certain applications. If you’re working on housetraining your dog, natural grass is often the simplest solution. Though it does help to find an indoor litter box that can provide either solution so that you can give your dog what they prefer without investing in a completely new unit.

Author Bio:

Brandon Kennington is the inventor and owner of the Porch Potty – the world’s first automatic grass dog litter box. As dog owner and a busy business owner, Brandon invented the Porch Potty when he didn’t want his dog to have to wait all day to go. Porch Potty admires dog owners and also provides great tips for dog lovers on the Porch Potty Blog.

The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

Musings on Professionalism in Dog Walking

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

In this era of austerity brought on by that pesky economic crisis, small businesses
everywhere are suffering the effects of tightened purse strings. As consumers pinch their
pennies, there is less money put towards those products and services which are deemed
to be inessential, and customers are being rightfully deliberate and conscientious about
those services they do engage. Unlike most specialist service providers trying to forge a
path in this variable climate, professional dog walkers are in the unique position of being
threatened by amateurs on their own turf. After all, with dog walking rates spanning
between £12 and £16 per walk, why wouldnʼt Mrs Wilson just toss a fiver to little Billy next
door in exchange for taking Monty to the park for an hour on Sunday afternoon so she can
have tea with the ladies? This is a question worth pondering for pet owners and dog
walkers alike!

In general terms, someone with the occasional commitment in their calendar that distracts
them from their dog walking duties isnʼt likely to need the services of a professional. We
“pros” provide a service which is geared toward those responsible pet owners who realize
their obligation to their petʼs health (and understand the significance of a daily long walk in
maintaining that health!) but who have demanding work schedules and daily commitments
that prohibit them from fulfilling that obligation. For such people, engaging the services of a
professional has numerous benefits: by spreading their responsibility, they can provide
their pooches with the vital exercise and stimulation they need – in a structured and
monitored fashion – while freeing up their schedules in order to meet their other
commitments. A professional dog walkerʼs clients are not simply trading a sum of money
for an hour-long stroll in the park, but are investing in the dogʼs health, their own personal
and professional time, and their peace of mind!

So what specifically can a client expect to gain from the services of a dog walker? It makes
sense to list some of the valued characteristics of professional dog walkers so that
potential clients can refer to them when investigating our services. And it canʼt hurt for us
“pros” to examine the benefits of the services we offer in order to improve on them.

Letʼs take a closer look at professionalism in dog walking by splitting the essential criteria
into distinct categories:

1. Knowledge and experience

• Familiarity with the characteristics and personalities of different breeds of dogs, and their
requirements for exercise, socialisation and mental stimulation (the latter being provided
through outdoor exploration, social interaction and games).

• Experience with leading a pack assertively. Dogs require a confident leader to follow and
this confidence in leadership only comes with practice!

• Knowledge of local neighbourhoods, the green spaces and dog-friendly areas. In other
words, dog walkers need to know a variety of places to go in order to provide their pack
with a safe, open space in which to exercise and play.

2. Organisation and preparation

• Professionals must be fully insured to cover any accidents that may happen on a walk,
and should be CRB checked to reassure the client whose home they have access to.

• Contracts are also a necessary requirement. This way the client understands the terms
and conditions of the dog walkerʼs services and fees. Even more importantly, the dog
owner officially gives written consent for the dog walker to access his property and for
the dog walker to take responsibility in case of an emergency.

• Pet information form – this is something I and other dog walkers I know enjoy using
during our initial consultation with a new client; itʼs essentially a questionnaire to gather
as much specific information about a pet as possible, from veterinary details to dietary
requirements, favourite toys and preferred hiding spots (in case we canʼt find Monty
when we come to pick him up!). Importantly, I also ask for the dogʼs medical history and
get written permission for walking off-lead.

• Dog diary – a daily diary used to facilitate communication between a walker and a client.
This can be a great asset to communicate everything from schedule changes to dog
behavioural issues.

3. Resources

I feel that many clients overlook this aspect of the dog walkerʼs cache; resources are very
important for the dog walk and involve regular expense to purchase and maintain (thus
contributing to the cost of the walk). The most important and expensive of the dog walkerʼs
resources is going to be the van!

• Dog-friendly van, to transport the pack from home to the nearest local green space.
Often these will have custom in-built kenneling for the comfort of the dogs, and air
conditioning for hot summer months.

• Toys, leads, poop bags (preferably biodegradable!) and healthy snacks to make the walk
go smoothly.

4. Responsibility and reliability

Dog walkers have an ingrained awareness that they are taking responsibility for the health,
well-being and happiness of their clientʼs beloved, four-legged family member. Not only
does the health of the dog come down to us, but in most cases the smooth functioning of
the clientʼs daily schedule does, too. To maintain both of these aspects, the most important
characteristic is consistency (which is why there are no “sickies” in the dog walking
business!)

• Never miss a day – good dog walkers always have a back-up plan for any contingency! If
a walker is unable to make a walk on a particular day, advance notice is required for the
client and a back-up walker should be arranged for them.

• Reliability in times of crisis – for example, pet illness or injury (and the knowledge,
experience and resources to be able to handle it).

• Flexibility – a very important characteristic, allowing the walker to be able to
accommodate the whims of a clientʼs busy schedule.

While there are doubtless further criteria to be considered (and if you have a suggestion, I
encourage you to leave a comment!), I hope the points raised above will provide a good
general overview of professional dog walking for potential new clients, while inspiring
those of us who walk dogs for a living.

In closing, Iʼd like to include one further important characteristic to bear in mind, which
applies to any successful business owner: the desire to improve! We dog walkers have a
duty of care towards our clientsʼ animals, and we should be striving to give the best service
and experience possible at all times.

Happy walking! Like this article? Please Share and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

Tim Adams runs Big City Dog Walkers operating in London, UK. Click here for a Dog Walker and Pet Sitter in Stoke Newington and Hackney.

How to Tell When Your Dog Needs a Walk

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Humans take words for granted. If any of us need to take a break at the office or at home we can simply say “I need to stretch my legs for a few minutes.” Unfortunately, dogs don’t have the same luxury. Here are a few tips to help you know when your dog needs to be walked:

 

  • Is it time for them to be walked? Dogs form habits very easily, so your dog will get excited around their usual walk time. Try not to walk your dog early if they’re acting up around walk time: your dog may start exaggerating their behavior regularly because you’ve rewarded them for being dramatic. If your dog seems uncomfortable or hyper after you’ve tried to phase out a walk time, you should bring the walk back. Dogs can become anxious if their schedules are altered.
  • If your dog makes a beeline straight to you when you get home, it means they’re feeling very emphatic about telling you something. It probably means your dog needs to go for a walk. Dogs are tense when the walk in direct, straight lines and relaxed when taking curving paths towards their goal.
  • If your dog has recently put on weight, extending the length of their walk or adding a walk to their schedule is a great way to help your dog lose weight.
dog needs a walk?
  • Has your dog been having accidents? Your dog may have Cushings disease, or another issue with their elimination system.
  • If your dog is displaying anxious posture and looking at you with whale eye (large, circular shaped eyes with their whites exposed) this means your dog is very tense. If your dog is standing near the door, or alternating their gaze between you and the door, your dog is most likely telling you they feel tense because they desperately want to go outside.
  • Conversely, your dog may try to show you they need to go out by getting very excited. If your dog trembles, keeps going into “play bow” posture, or becomes extremely rowdy, your dog is probably trying to tell you they need to get out of the house and burn off some energy.
  • Puppies often touch their noses, or touch their paws to their mothers when they need something. If your dog keeps putting his paw on your knee or keeps touching you with his nose, your dog is trying to tell you they need something. That thing they need? It may be a walk.

Those are some simple ways to tell if your dog needs your attention. Remember that your dog will be less anxious and behave well if they’re walked and getting enough exercise. However, never let your dog order you to take them on a walk with frantic or disruptive behavior. It’s equally important that your dog know that you’re the boss at all times.

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The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

Pet Name Generator

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

This pet name generator from Confused.com is a lot of fun! Enter a few details and see what names it comes up with…

Pet name generator Widget created by Confused.com

The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

What Is A “Pit Bull” Anyway?

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
There is no such thing as a “Pit Bull” breed. That’s right, no such thing. Four breeds have been street named “Pit Bulls” due to being the most popularly used in the unspeakably cruel underground “sport” of dog fighting; they are, the American Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Terrier, the American Bull Dog and the Bull Terrier. All four of these breeds have been referred to as Pit Bulls.”Pit” originated from the fighting pits they were thrown into (yes, literally thrown into because the vulnerability they felt from the sudden disorientation made them more immediately defensive). “Bull” is a little more complex. Another cruel and inhumane sport, “Bull Baiting” consisted of unleashing several powerful dogs to bait (via taunting and distraction) and eventually bring down a tethered bull. Hence, when “Bull” is part of a dog’s breed name it was earned via being specifically bred for this (now banned) sport. The dogs were bred to be stocky, strong and extremely powerful. Although there are other breeds with “Bull” integrated into their names, they weren’t as popular in dog-versus-dog fighting as the American Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Bull Dog and The Bull Terrier. The latter four seemed to have the most speed and agility for fighting one on one than the other powerful bull breeds such as the enormous Bull Mastiff and the super stocky English Bull Dog.pit bull

Somewhere along the passage of time, even though the breed was still being used heavily in dog fighting, the “Pit Bull” nickname for the Bull Terrier slowly peeled away in spite of the vicious public reputation it earned by being thrown into fighting pits by the real vicious culprits, humans. This was most likely related to the sudden popularity of the widely adored “Spuds McKenzy”, the Bull Terrier that Anheuser-Busch decided to elect their “Guru of Good Times” for Budweiser Beer.

Too bad the American Bull Terrier and the American Bull Dog didn’t fair as well, in fact, you can even find the American Bull Terrier listed as “American Pit Bull Terrier” in certain references. Once the most popular two breeds owned by American families in the 1930’s and 1940’s, and even though the infamous “Petey” from the Little Rascals series was played by, originally, an American Bull Terrier and also portrayed by additional American Bull Terriers and a few American Bull Dogs, the nickname “Pit Bull” still haunts both breeds. That’s probably because underground dog fighting unfortunately became popular again long after Petey’s frequency on television had faded into the past, and even though all four breeds were being used in full force again, only “Spuds” breached into limelight popularity and adoration enough to take his breed’s name off the “Pit” list. Did we ever thank you for that, Budweiser? Well, THANK you.

As for the Staffordshire Bull Terriers (also known as just Staffordshire Terriers) we have our beloved Cesar Millan to thank for getting the focus off the breed’s “Pit Bull” nickname, starting with “Daddy”, that lovable Staffy that charmed the American public (and the world) as he teamed with his pack leader, Cesar, to bring balance and harmony to aggressive, dominant and fearful behavior problem dogs all over the planet, from the tiniest toy breeds to the most gigantic power breeds. Since Daddy’s passing, Staffordshire Terrier “Junior” has now taken up Daddy’s torch as Cesar continues his work. GOD BLESS YOU, CESAR!

There are few things worse for destroying a reputation than being condemned by erroneous, bad press. Although the nicknamed “Pit Bull” breeds have been thrust by the media into the public stream spoken as if it’s a single breed, adding to the confusion, and being portrayed as the dog most prone to attacking and killing humans, it is not even on the top of the statistical list for such. In fact, the name “Pit Bull” is sloppily slapped on not just the four breeds that were used most in the fighting pits but on any breed someone decides to “allege” as being a Pit Bull or a Pit Bull mix. If someone even so much as speculates a dog that bit someone may have had some Pit Bull in it, it’s not even questioned and is reported as a “Pit Bull” to the Media and in all related Official Reports. I once went to consult with a client about an aggressively behaving dog they had referred to as a “Pit Mix”. Upon arriving I saw a dog that looked like a cross between a Beagle and a Sheltie, no kidding.

According to statistics, from 1982 to 2011, 68% of the dog bites resulting in fatalities were delivered by the larger more powerful breeds of dogs; that leaves 32% of dog attack fatalities being delivered by smaller dogs. Further, it’s reported that of all the infant and toddler deaths that have occurred from 1982 to 2011 due to dog bites, a remarkable 87% were inflicted by small to medium sized dogs. So we have to ask ourselves, WHY does the mainstream media keep this out of the mainstream? As the email circulating around states, “In the 70’s they blamed Dobermans, in the 80’s they blamed German Shepherds, in the 90’s they blamed Rottweilers, now they blame “Pit Bulls…when will they blame the humans?”.

Publicly condemning a specific breed of dog for being more prone to violence and lethal behavior towards humans is as ignorant as an alien condemning the entire human race due to Hitler or Saddam catching their eye. Dogs, no matter what breed, when suffering ailment or damage to the brain, when raised deliberately by humans to be aggressive, or when raised improperly by humans, can be lethally dangerous. It doesn’t matter what size the dog but, obviously, the larger and more powerful, the more potentially lethal it can be if it has uncontrolled behavior issues. Still, when it comes to “Pit Bull”, please remember, it’s not even an official “breed”. More importantly, it is the humans who own dangerously behaving dogs who allow the behavior to go un-rehabilitated and who do not make sure their dog cannot make potentially lethal contact with people and other animals that are the real culprits, manglers and killers.Like this article? Please Share!This post was written by Reputable Dog Behaviorist, Melanie Blair, Owner, Best Friends Canine Services, LLC, of Ohio, Dog Trainer & Canine Care Specia..

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