April 2014 - LUV My dogs

LUV My dogs

Everything about your dog!

Monday, April 28, 2014

What Is The Best Dog Food?

What Is The Best Dog Food?
  Every day veterinarians are asked that question by dog owners. It's a sincere question because most dog owners want to feed the very best to their furry friends. Good health begins with proper nutrition, regardless of price or convenience of acquisition.
  Deciding on the type of dog food you provide is one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your puppy or older dog. Dog food nutrition directly influences every aspect of your dog's life. Things like how puppies grow, their behavior habits, health, overall well-being and appearance are all closely connected to the nutrition we provide - it's a big responsibility.
  With all the recent publicity and concern with the dog food recall of 2008 the spotlight has been aimed fairly and squarely at the big commercial dog food companies. Us dog lovers are finally becoming more aware and educated about providing wholesome, nutritionally balanced meals for our dogs. So where do we start in our search to find the best dog food? What are our options, and who can we trust or even believe?
  Choosing the best dog food can be an overwhelming decision - but why does it have to be so hard? I know from personal experience it can be difficult to see through all of the conflicting views, hype, marketing tactics and secrecy surrounding the dog food industry. After years of experimenting with different dog foods and lots of research I have reached an unfortunate conclusion. I feel that the vast majority of the big commercial dog food companies are far more focussed on extracting the money from our pockets rather than the health and wellbeing of our precious dogs.
  So when I set out to determine the best dog food available my main focus was always the health, vitality and longevity of my dogs - I want my dogs to thrive. I hope this article will help you to determine the very best puppy food for your dogs and make your feeding decision clearer.
  A wholesome well balanced dog food diet promotes: Healthy skin and coat, strong well developed bones, bright clear eyes, firmer stools (and less of them), well defined muscle tone, quality of life and longevity, healthy teeth and gums, fewer trips to your Vet, no bad odor, fewer digestive problems, energy, vitality, fewer behavior problems and over-all health.

What Are The Choices - What Should We Feed Our Dogs?
1. Commercial Dog Food: This includes the packaged foods you find at your local supermarket, pet store or veterinarian. Commercial dog food is available in dry, semi dry and wet (canned).
  • Royal Canin offers dry foods formulated for specific dog breeds. This can be helpful if your breed has unique health problems. For boxers, Royal Canin includes ingredients to protect heart function. 
  • Eukanuba offers a meals with added nutrients, such as glucosamine and Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, to protect larger dogs' joints. 
  • Avoderm Natural- This oven-baked food is formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs. 
  • Pinnacle Holistic- This dry food is made with trout and sweet potatoes, eliminating common allergens such as corn, wheat and soy. 
  • Innova- With ingredients such as herring oil, pumpkin and carrots, Innova embraces the concept of holistic food for pets.
  • Solid Gold has been manufacturing holistic pet food for more than 30 years. Bison and salmon are the main ingredients in this food for large-breed puppies. 
  • Wellness - This dry food is made with ingredients fit for human consumption and additives to help avoid common health problems among dogs. Probiotics also are added to aid in digestion. 
  • Blue Buffalo - This premium food for dogs includes Omega 6 fatty acids and glucosamine for joint health. 
  • Science Diet offers dogs meals with real meat instead of relying on byproducts as its main ingredient. This food is available in chicken and brown rice and lamb and brown rice. 
  • Canidae includes human-grade meats and reduces fillers to help your dog shed unnecessary pounds. 
2. Raw Dog Food
  The raw dog food diet is the growth sector within the dog food marketplace. This category includes the raw food you source and prepare yourself or the pre-made and packaged products.


  Raw dog food is a fairly broad term as there are many variations on this feeding method. The common thread with raw food enthusiasts is that they believe feeding raw is the most natural way to feed a dog. Raw foodies believe that this is the way dogs have successfully evolved and that eating a raw diet is the way nature intended dogs to get their nutrition. The raw food diet is said to replicate how a dog would eat in the wild. 

  Some raw food proponents love to give big meaty bones and others won't. The same applies with fruit and vegetables - some people say that vegetable matter is a natural part of a wild dogs diet, gathered from the stomach of their prey.
   Another benefit of feeding raw is healthy teeth and gums and well developed jaws, neck and shoulder muscles (from all the chewing).
  On the other hand detractors of feeding raw focus on the danger of foodborne illness through the threat of bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. Some also say that it is difficult to feed a nutritionally balanced meal the raw way.

3. Homemade Dog Food
  With all the recent news about the dog food recall and associated concerns with commercial dog foods, the homemade dog food option has really come to the fore.
 Preparing your dog's meals from scratch has many benefits, including the complete control of all meals served. You know exactly what goes into every meal (and where it was sourced) and you also know that it has been prepared in a clean environment.
  The homemade dog food option also comes with the added responsibility of formulating nutritionally balanced meals (proteins, vitamins etc.) and meeting the calorie requirements for your individual dog. If you arm yourself with some good dog food recipes and get into a routine this process is not all that difficult to maintain.
  Typical homemade dog meals include big meaty stews, healthy soups, pies, vegetables and maybe some raw bones every now and then.

In conclusion...  look at the ingredient list and a meat such as chicken should be listed as the first ingredient. Look at the guaranteed analysis to see that the protein level is at 30 percent or more. The fat content should be at 18 percent or more. And if there is a rather wide spectrum of ingredients such as omega fatty acids and vitamin E, that's good, too. There should be NO FOOD COLORING!



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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spotting the signs of pregnancy

Spotting the signs of pregnancy
  Unlike humans, detecting pregnancy in a dog is not as practical as urinating on a stick or confirming a blood test. A veterinarian may be able to diagnose a pregnant dog within a month or so of conception by a physical examination or by x-ray or ultrasound around six weeks gestation, but since the gestation period of a dog is about nine weeks, this offers little to the anxious breeder.
  Gestation is the period from conception to birth. It averages 63 days from the day of ovulation (the normal range is 56 to 66 days). Note that the day of ovulation is not always the same as the day of breeding.
  There are some outward symptoms a pregnant dog may exhibit, but they generally do not surface until about four or five weeks. The most obvious symptom is weight gain, although a dog may not gain any significant weight until a week or two before birth if there are only one or two puppies. Another obvious sign is enlarged mammary glands, which most pregnant dogs will display between five and seven weeks.
  Other signs a dog may be pregnant are behavioral symptoms. Initially, you may notice a decrease in appetite. Dogs may become restless and interact less with their people and may prefer seclusion. They often make natural attempts at “nesting,” evidence by the shredding of paper or digging at blankets and bedding in the last week or so of the pregnancy. The dog can also become irritable, with minor personality changes in the last two to three weeks.
  It can be difficult to tell whether a dog is pregnant until the last few weeks of her nine-week gestation, when her belly's increase in size is hard to miss. The most surefire way to find out is by taking her to a vet, but being aware of physical and behavioral changes that may take place is also useful. 
  To understand dog pregnancy, you should first get a general comprehension of how her body works. Your dog will experience a heat cycle before she is able to get pregnant. Veterinarians suggest that you do not breed her during her first heat period unless it happens after she is 1 year old. Any earlier would stunt the growth of your young female.
  Most dogs go into heat 2 times a year, but it is common to skip one on occasion. While in heat she will be able to breed with more than the one male. She will be in heat for 3 weeks and her cycle will arrive every 6-9 months.
  The first thing you will recognize when your dog goes into heat is a swollen vulva and bloody discharge. Eggs are not released yet in this phase of her heat cycle. Male dogs will be chemically drawn to her more than ever before. She still will not show a major interest in them, until this 6-11 day stage comes to an end.
  In the second stage of heat she is actually fertile. Her posture will transform to a stance that invites procreation. Her bleeding will change from light pink to a golden sand color. Her vulva will remain swollen but is softer than before. The most common duration for this stage is 5-9 days but has been known to go on for nearly 20 days for different dogs. Once this stage is finished she will no longer be inviting male attention.


Signs of pregnancy
  • A slight mucoid vulval discharge may occur around one month after mating.
  • The teats will become more prominent, pinker and erect, due to an increase in the blood supply around the base of the nipples. This should appear between 25 and 30 days after mating.
  • Body weight will increase from around day 35 onwards and may increase to 50% over normal.
  • The abdomen will enlarge and this should be noticeable from around day 40, although first-time mums and bitches carrying few puppies may not show as much of a change.
  • Mammary gland enlargement is noticeable around day 40 and some bitches may express a serous fluid from the teats from this time.
  • Behaviour may also change, such as displaying slight depression as well as a drop in appetite, but as these signs can also indicate a problem, consult your vet if they occur.
  • Many dogs’ appetite will increase in the second half of pregnancy.
  • Closer to the delivery date, your bitch will probably start to express her nesting instincts, scratching at the floor or in her bed, and displaying signs of increasing restlessness.
On average, you should be able to tell whether or not your bitch is pregnant at around one month after mating.

Veterinary procedures
  If you do suspect that your dog is pregnant, you'll need to see your vet for confirmation.
  • The most commonly used method is ultrasound. This can be used after 20 days (no earlier), and foetal heartbeats can be identified at 22 days, but predicting the number of puppies can be challenging. Ultrasound examinations are comfortable because they are not invasive and very reliable in experienced hands.
  • Feeling the abdomen from about 30 days can be accurate if performed by an experienced vet, but this may be difficult if the dog is nervous or slightly overweight. If pregnant, the vet will feel a thickening of the uterus and ‘bumps’ within. The method isn't infallible, however, especially if there is just one pup in the womb or if the pregnancy is not as advanced as first thought.
  • From approximately 21-25 days endocrine tests detect relaxin, a hormone exclusively produced by pregnant dogs.
  • An x-ray will pick up the skeletons of the puppies from around 45 days. It should also be accurate in determining how many there are. However, most vets prefer not to use this method, as there is a possibility that early exposure of the foetus to x-rays can cause problems. This risk is minimal after 45 days, although sedating the bitch to obtain the image may be more of a problem.

Dog Pregnancy - Giving Birth
  Take her temperature periodically. It is normally 101-102 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you see it drop into the 97-99 degrees range, and notice it has been the same consistently for 2 readings taken 12 hours apart, this is when you can be sure the delivery will happen within the next 24 hours.
  Her labor will go through 3 clear stages. The third stage is repeated with the birth of each puppy:

Stage One: She will appear restless and have anxiety. She will often separate herself from any attention. No food will interest her, not even her favorite treats. Take her out to go to the bathroom because it may be her last chance before delivery.

Stage Two: Her contractions will have begun. A green sac of fluid will protrude from her vulva. The puppies will start to appear either headfirst or rear first. Both are normal positions for dogs to be born in. Do not be alarmed to see them quiet and listless directly after birth. Leave her alone to stand or pace, as she needs to. The mother's instincts will cause her to open the sac, and lick the pups to clean them. She will sever the umbilical cord herself, but sometime you may interject if the natural process takes too long. The sac should always be removed immediately if it remained unbroken during the delivery. You may clean the puppies by rubbing them gently with a fresh cloth. Keep rubbing to stimulate their circulation. The mother's tongue or your rubs are what gets them to start squirming and crying.
  If the mother struggles with a puppy that becomes lodged then you can try to assist the birth by grasping the puppy with a clean clothe. Firmly exert steady traction but do not jerk or pull suddenly. If you have any questions then call your vet right away.

Stage Three: Her resting period will last a few hours as her mild contractions fade away. If she delivered two pups closer together than her comfort level allowed, then her contractions will take longer to end.

When There Is An Emergency
  A vet should always be called:
  • If a puppy is lodged and unable to be removed.
  • If your dog's labor occurs for 2 hours with no delivery.
  • If there is a 4 hour window since the last pup was born and before more are delivered.
  • If the delivery of pups doesn't commence after she showed the normal greenish-black discharge in the beginning of the birthing process.
  • If her pregnancy has past 65 days.
  • If she experiences any uncontrollable tremors, vomiting, or panting.
After The Puppies Arrive - Post-Natal Care

  You can periodically examine the mother's nipples to make sure they are not infected, and even palpate them with a warm damp cloth to clean the area. Clip any puppies' nails that can irritate her skin.
  She will pass soft stool for a few days due to the natural change in her new eating habit and from the residue she consumed while cleaning her pups.
  Do not be alarmed if she eats her pup's feces in the beginning. That is a common thing for new mothers to do and will generally not hurt her. She will still have some remaining vaginal discharge with passing blood clots for a week. Any longer is not normal and should be addressed.
  The new mother will take care of the puppies after birth so there is very little you need to do to assist them. She may even act territorial or aggressive initially. This behavior will slow down over time. They will start nursing 2-4 hours after birth. Never place a heating pad down for the puppies, but do realize that the low floor can be 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the room. The puppies need a comfortable room temperature. Their eyes open at 10-14 days old. Their first visit to the vet is at 3 weeks for routine de-worming and a health exam. They need to be weaned at 3-4 weeks of age.
  During the weaning process, cut their milk intake down gradually by substituting the remainder of their diet with watered down puppy food and milk replacer. It is good if they start taking solid food, but if you are still having difficulty then never deprive the puppy of the mother's milk until he is able to eat solids for however long it takes.
  Make sure to keep the puppies' bed area clean daily. Watch their feeding habits and weight gain to know which puppies need extra nutrients. Never feed human milk. Milk replacer is the only nutritional boost you should feed a small puppy. One or two runts in a litter are common. You may give them a separate feeding time to have an equal chance of achieving a full diet. Always rid their area of fleas because a flea infestation could drain the little pups of blood at a dangerous rate.

  Once they reach 6-8 weeks old then they are at the age to be adopted out.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Traveling With Your Dog

Traveling With Your Dog
  Bringing your dog on vacation with you just adds to the fun and alleviates the worry of not knowing what’s happening with your dog while you’re on the road. You need to do your homework on dog travel though. Planes and cars aren’t designed with dogs in mind, and you need to know what to expect when you reach your final destination. By planning your dog travel ahead of time, you can make the vacation a truly relaxing time for you and your dog.
  The number of people who travel with their dogs is growing, and so too are the options for pets on the road. From "ruffing it" at campgrounds to enjoying fabulous four-star hotels, the time has never been better to pack up your pet and go.
  Traveling with dogs offers some challenges, but nearly all are surmountable with common sense and creativity. Here’s what you need to know when you’re on the road.

Talk With Your Vet
  While most dogs come to enjoy riding in the car, many need help getting to that stage. Just like some people, some pets get motion sickness, while in others the problem is anxiety. Some dogs vomit when experiencing motion sickness. Other pets may drool excessively, with copious amounts of saliva drenching the upholstery, or pant uncontrollably. Some pets may do all of these.
  Talk to your veterinarian about medications that can help address issues like anxiety and vomiting. For some pets – the anxious ones -- the medication may only be needed while your pet learns to become more comfortable in the car. For those pets with queasy tummies, anti-anxiety and anti-vomiting medication may always be needed when traveling. Your veterinarian can also advise you if medication is not the best option for your dog.

Safety First!
  • It’s a lot safer for everyone if your dog is securely fastened or confined during car trips. A large dog in your lap or a small one bouncing around the accelerator pedal can be distracting and dangerous—and should you have an accident, your unrestrained dog might be thrown about the cab. Popular options for safe dog travel include dog seat belts, crates and car barriers. If you use a seat belt, be sure to put your dog in the backseat. When riding in the front, dogs can be injured or even killed if you have an accident and an airbag deploys.
  • Don’t forget to microchip your dog before leaving home, and attach an ID tag with your cell phone number to his collar. If you’re traveling to multiple places during your trip and you don’t have a cell phone, you can buy inexpensive temporary ID tags to use along the way.
  • Never leave your dog in a hot or cold car unattended. Doing so isn’t just uncomfortable for your dog—it can be life threatening.
  • Identify emergency animal clinics close to locations you plan to visit during your trip. This is an especially important precaution if your dog is enjoying his golden years.
Crating your dog for travel
  It’s natural to feel bad about crating your dog. After all, you wouldn’t want to be crated. But don’t project your feelings onto your dog. They don’t mind the crate and some even feel safer in one.
  • The most important thing you can do is make sure your dog has been well exercised before he goes in the crate. If he’s burned off his excess energy, he’ll be more inclined to rest.
  • Make sure there’s nothing in the crate that can harm your dog. Leashes and loose collars are especially dangerous items that could present a strangling hazard.
  • Keep your energy positive. Don’t present the crate like it’s a prison. Show the dog the crate and open the door. Don’t shove the dog in the crate. Let him go into the crate on his own. When he’s inside and comfortable, you can close the door. Walk away with good energy and body language. If you affect a sad voice and say things like “Don’t be sad. Mommy and Daddy will be back soon,” your dog is going to think something’s wrong and get anxious.
  • Come back in 15 minutes. This will ease the dog’s separation anxiety next time you crate him. But don’t take him out of the crate. Remember that you’re not projecting that the crate is a bad thing. Just open the door and he can come out when he’s ready. See my training video on how to crate your dog for travel.
Identification
In the event that your dog gets away from you on your trip, you can increase the chances of recovery by making sure he can be properly identified:
  • Make sure your dog has a sturdy leash and collar. The collar should have identification tags with the dog's name, your name, and your home phone number, as well as proof of rabies shots.
  • Consider a permanent form of identification, such as a microchip (see AKC Reunite).
  • Bring a recent picture of your dog along with you.
Driving with your dog
   It’s usually a good idea to crate or harness your dog when riding in the car. You’ll be less distracted while driving which is safer for both of you. 

  • Get your dog used to the car by letting him sit in it with you without leaving the driveway, and then going for short rides.
  • Avoid car sickness by letting your dog travel on an empty stomach. However, make sure he has plenty of water at all times.
  • Keep the car well-ventilated. If the dog is in a crate, make sure that fresh air can flow into the crate.
  • Do not let your dog ride with his head sticking out of an open window. This can lead to eye injuries.
  • Never let your dog ride in the back of an open truck. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to severe injuries or death.
  • Stop frequently for exercise and potty breaks. Be sure to clean up after your dog.
  • Car rides are boring for everyone, so instruct your children not to tease or annoy the dog in the car.
  • Never, ever leave your dog unattended in a closed vehicle, particularly in the summer. See Summer Safety for Dogs for more information. If you must leave the car, designate a member of the family to stay with the dog.
Taking your dog on an airplane
  The first thing you need to do is check with the airline for their rules regarding pet travel. Many require a health certificate and may have other rules you haven’t thought of that you don’t want to be surprised with at the airport. Your dog will almost certainly be traveling in a crate and it will probably make everyone’s lives easier if you crate your dog before you enter the chaos of the airport.
  As with car travel, it’s smart not to start the trip on a full stomach or bladder (dogs should fast for at least 6 hours before the trip) and to make a pit stop as close to the departure time as possible. However, make sure your dog has access to water—enough to keep hydrated but not full.
  If your dog isn’t flying with you in the main cabin, don’t have a big goodbye scene. You’ll only upset your dog. If you’re calm, he’ll be calm.

By Train, Bus and Boat
  If you plan to travel by train or bus, you may be disappointed. Dogs are not permitted on Amtrak trains or on buses operated by Greyhound and other interstate bus companies. (Service dogs are permitted.) Local rail and bus companies have their own policies.
  You may fare better if you're taking a cruise. The QE2 luxury cruiser, which sails from New York to England/France, provides special lodging and free meals for your dog. However, you should check the policies of the cruise line or ship you will be traveling on before making plans to take your dog on a cruise with you.


Staying in a hotel with your dog
  As with flying, a little preemptive research is in order. Does the hotel you’re considering even allow pets? Better to find out before you arrive. Pet-welcoming hotels like Best Western will be prepared for your visit, and can even recommend parks, hikes, and other dog-friendly activities. At other hotels, the only thing fit for a dog is the Continental breakfast. It can also be embarrassing if your dog barks or howls in the new room. Don’t inadvertently encourage the barking with affection. Stay calm and assertive and take him out for some exercise to calm him.
  • Keep your dog as quiet as possible.
  • Do not leave the dog unattended. Many dogs will bark or destroy property if left alone in a strange place.
  • Ask the management where you should walk your dog, and pick up after him. Do not leave any mess behind.
  • Remember that one bad experience with a dog guest may prompt the hotel management to refuse to allow any dogs. Be considerate of others and leave your room and the grounds in good condition.
Exploring a new place
   You’re away from home and that means a lot of new sights, smells, sounds, and potential food items for your dog. Make sure you’re vigilant wherever you go about what’s around, especially in the area of things your dogs could ingest. Also, especially around the holidays, there may be a lot of lights, decorations, and snout-level treats that can be distracting or dangerous for your pooch. Keep an eye on him and the new place.

 Don’t Forget to Take Breaks
   Walk your pet well before you hit the road to give her a chance to relieve herself. Once you’re en route, schedule potty breaks at least every few hours. Offer water at these breaks, and keep your pet’s feeding schedule as close to normal as possible. If your pet is on medication for nausea or anxiety, ask your veterinarian when to give the pills – with meals, on an empty stomach, an hour before you leave and so on.
   Even if your dog knows to come when called in your own neighborhood, keep your pet on leash when traveling. Many pets get confused in new places and situations and may not be reliable off-leash, even where it’s allowed. And be responsible: Not only should you pick up after your pet but you should also prevent your pet from bothering others, whether by barking in a hotel room or running up to people who may not like dogs.
  And most important: Remember that even on a day that’s merely “warm” the temperature in a car can reach dangerous levels within minutes – well over 100°F – even if the windows are partially opened.
  Traveling with a dog has never been more popular, and never have there been so many products to help you and hotels to welcome you. Take advantage of dog-friendly America and you’ll both be happier.




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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Grooming Your Dog

Grooming Your Dog
  Ever watched your dog roll on the ground, lick her coat or chew at a mat on her fur? These are her ways of keeping clean. Sometimes, though, she’ll need a little extra help from her friend to look her best.  
  Regular grooming is very important. It keeps your dog clean, healthy, and manageable, as well as preventing yeast infections caused by matted hair, periodontal disease caused by uncared for teeth, ear infections from excessive buildup of wax, dirt and bacteria, etc. This article covers basic at-home grooming and ways to make the process more pleasant for everyone involve.
Grooming sessions should always be fun, so be sure to schedule them when your dog’s relaxed, especially if she’s the excitable type. Until your pet is used to being groomed, keep the sessions short-just 5 to 10 minutes. Gradually lengthen the time until it becomes routine for your dog. You can help her get comfortable with being touched and handled by making a habit of petting every single part of your dog, including such potentially sensitive areas as the ears, tail, belly, back and feet.
  Brushing your dog's teeth prevents all kinds of unpleasant health problems that have nothing to do with dog breath. Keeping nails trimmed allows your dog to move around comfortably. Cutting any hair that falls into the eye can prevent eye irritatation; keeping ear hair trimmed can help prevent ear infections.
  There's also the cleanliness factor. Bathing keeps dirt from being tracked all over your home. Grooming alleviates fleas, which can cause health problems for both you and your dog. Trimmed nails won't mark your flooring.

Basic tools
Any pet supply store will stock the basic grooming supplies you'll need:
  • Brush
  • Nail clipper
  • Shampoo
  • Flea control
  • Dog toothpaste and toothbrush
  Depending on your dog's coat, you'll need a specific type of brush or a flea comb, most of which are available at good pet supply stores. Certain flea prevention products and toothpastes are only available at your veterinarian's office. If you're not sure which tools are best for your dog, a talk with your vet will help you get started.

Brushing
  Regular grooming with a brush or comb will help keep your pet’s hair in good condition by removing dirt, spreading natural oils throughout her coat, preventing tangles and keeping her skin clean and irritant-free. And grooming time’s a great time to check for fleas and flea dirt--those little black specks that indicate your pet is playing host to a flea family.

  If your dog has a smooth, short coat (like that of a chihuahua, boxer or basset hound), you only need to brush once a week:

  • First, use a rubber brush to loosen dead skin and dirt.
  • Next, use a bristle brush to remove dead hair.
  • Now, polish your low-maintenance pooch with a chamois cloth and she’s ready to shine!
  If your dog has short, dense fur that’s prone to matting, like that of a retriever, here’s your weekly routine:
  • Use a slicker brush to remove tangles.
  • Next, catch dead hair with a bristle brush.
  • Don’t forget to comb her tail.
If your dog has a long, luxurious coat, such as that of a Yorkshire terrier, she’ll need daily attention:
  • Every day you’ll need to remove tangles with a slicker brush.
  • Gently tease mats out with a slicker brush.
  • Next, brush her coat with a bristle brush.
  • If you have a long-haired dog with a coat like a collie’s or an Afghan hound’s, follow the steps above, and also be sure to comb through the fur and trim the hair around the hocks and feet.
Bathing
The ASPCA recommends bathing your dog every 3 months or so; your pet may require more frequent baths in the summertime if she spends lots of time with your outdoors. Always use a mild shampoo that’s safe to use on dogs, and follow these easy steps:
  • First, give your pet a good brushing to remove all dead hair and mats.
  • Place a rubber bath mat in the bathtub to provide secure footing, and fill the tub with about 3 to 4 inches of lukewarm water.
  • Use a spray hose to thoroughly wet your pet, taking care not to spray directly in her ears, eyes or nose. If you don’t have a spray hose, a large plastic pitcher or unbreakable cup will do.
  • Gently massage in shampoo, working from head to tail.
  • Thoroughly rinse with a spray hose or pitcher; again, avoid the ears, eyes and nose.
  • Check the ears for any foul odors or excessive debris; if you choose to use a cleansing solution on a cotton ball, take care not to insert it into the ear canal.
  • Dry your pet with a large towel or blow dryer, but carefully monitor the level of heat.
Please note: Some animals seem to think that bathtime is a perfect time to act goofy. Young puppies especially will wiggle and bounce all over the place while you try to brush them, and tend to nip at bathtime. If this sounds like your pet, put a toy that floats in the tub with her so she can focus on the toy rather than on mouthing you.

Steps
1.Gather all necessary supplies before beginning to groom the dog. Make sure you have all you need to clean eyes and ears, trim nails and/or hair, brush teeth, bathe, and dry.

2. Always brush your dog first, and do it thoroughly. Mats enlarge and become unmanageable when wet. If a mat goes undetected or coat care is neglected, you may have to shave or cut out the mat so that bacteria doesn't grow between it and the skin and cause a yeast infection. Severe matting can also pull the skin from the muscle! Short-haired dogs will probably only need to be brushed over with a curry brush or glove, while medium- to long-coated dogs may require special tools like a slicker, a pin brush, or an undercoat rake. Whatever you use, it must effectively remove loose hair and distribute oils from the skin throughout the coat.
  • Start by brushing the dog's coat. Begin on his neck and move down his body, under his belly, and on his tail.
  • If you want, you may use a human comb or hair brush. Stroke his coat gently with it to make the hairs lie flat.
  • When you are finished, praise your dog and give him a treat or two for standing still.
3. Follow with any necessary clipping or other grooming that needs to be done before the bath. For example, trim out any mats or large amounts of hair that will only waste your time shampooing and drying. Dogs look best when groomed after they are bathed and blow-dried.
  • Eyes - Some breeds require more maintenance in this area than others. While it may be a simple matter of pulling eye debris away from a potentially irritating spot in the corner of the eye, long-haired or white-haired dogs may require special attention to make sure that all gunk is truly out of the coat. There are products made specially for removing "tear stains" from a white coat available in many pet supply stores or catalogs. A healthy eye should be clear and should not show any signs of irritation or unusual discharge. Your vet can cut or trim the hair around the eyes for you, which can cause tear stains (do not attempt to try this yourself).
  • Ears - A clean ear may contain some wax and shouldn't have any particular smell to it. Warm any cleaner or medication in a container of body temperature water (as you would a baby bottle) before you put it in the ear. Cold is painful in the ear canal. A few drops of warmed rubbing alcohol will dry water from the ear canal and kill bacteria, yeast and mites. To clean your dog's ears, apply some ear cleaning solution to a cotton ball and simply wipe dirt and wax away from the inner ear. Don't rub vigorously as to cause sores, and don't travel too far into the ear; both could cause damage. And don't expect your dog to like the process; you may be met with some resistance. When you're done wiping out the ear with a damp cotton ball or cloth, gently dry it out with a dry one. If your dog's ear looks swollen, red, irritated, dark or blackened, shows signs of discharge or sores, or smells really bad, call your veterinarian. This is not normal and could be signaling an infection or disease.
  • Teeth - According to veterinarians, about 80% of dogs have periodontal disease. Ouch! If plaque is continually digested on a larger than normal scale, it can cause kidney or liver troubles. And how unbelievably painful can you imagine suffering through teeth rotting out of your head to be? Double ouch! Try to brush your dog's teeth at least 2 to 3 times a week, or use "PetzLife" antimicrobial spray if you don't have time or your dog is particularly resistant to the idea. Use only those products made specifically for dogs so that you don't unintentionally poison your dog. You can use gauze over your finger or a toothbrush, or there are more advanced and effective products available. For example pets tooth brush is a surgical glove with bristles attached to the thumb and forefinger. But either way, ease your dog into the process so that it can be a pleasant experience rather than a stressful one and you don't get yourself bitten. Pets will usually prefer human touch rather than a hard plastic brush. If your dog already has a considerable buildup of tartar and plaque, veterinary cleaning may be needed. Some dogs will let you scrape the tartar if you are brave enough to try it. Just purchase a dental scraper and be gentle. Otherwise, brushing or spraying about 3 times weekly supplemented with the occasional frozen raw bone (acquired at any butcher or deli) should be enough for maintenance. Remember that you should not use human toothpaste on your pets. Pets will swallow the toothpaste and may get sick. There are several pet toothpaste products available, just be sure that whatever you use is specifically approved for pets.
  • Nails - If left uncared for, nails can grow to enormous lengths, twisting the toe and causing a pained, irregular gait that can lead to skeletal damage, sometimes even curling into the pads of the foot. To keep your dog's nails short, clip them regularly. Depending on the dog, you may need to do it as often as once a week or as infrequently as once a month. To clip the nails, trim a very small amount of nail (like 1/16 of an inch) away with a pair of dog nail clippers (unless it is a very young puppy or very small dog, in which case human clippers may suffice). Should you accidentally clip too much nail away and hit a blood vessel, styptic powder or corn starch applied with a bit of pressure should stop any bleeding.
4. Get your dog into the tub and, if necessary, secure to something such as a suction cup-type bath lead to keep him or her in place. Some dogs are frightened by the sound of running water - if this is the case, you need to desensitize the dog to the sound. Filling a tub with water and using it for bathing just leaves your dog sitting in dirty bath water. The regular collar should be off and replaced with one that will not stain the coat or be damaged by water to restrain the dog in the tub. Do not put on the dog's regular collar until late in the day (if you bathe in the morning or early afternoon) or the next day (if you bathe in the evening). A collar can cause sores around the neck of a dog who is not fully dry.

5. Thoroughly wet down your dog. If you have a medium or large dog, or one with a double coat, a water pressurizer attached to the hose or a hose attachment for the sink, bath spout, or shower head can help you clean all parts of your dog's body with ease. Just don't force the dog if the noise hurts its ears. Desensitize it to the sound of running water so it won't be frightened.

6. Begin shampooing at the neck and move downward. Shampoos will always be easier to apply and rinse off if diluted. It's better to give 2 diluted shampoos that rinse thoroughly than one strong shampoo that leaves residue. When you are shampooing a certain area, give it a few squirts and use your hand to spread the shampoo. For double coated dogs, a curry brush such as the Kong Zoom Groom will help you work the shampoo into the coat, especially long-haired dogs cannot simply be scrubbed with a curry. They will need to have the shampoo worked into the hair by smoothing it into a length of coat and continuing like that over the dog, or you will pay in gigantic mats. Save the head for last, and don't actually use soap around the ears and eyes. Be careful around the nose and mouth too.

7. Thoroughly rinse your dog. As long as you see dirt or soap bubbles in the water coming off of an area, keep spraying, then move on. Shampoo left in the coat will cause hot spots, an irritating spot of bald, itchy, red skin.

8. Towel dry your dog as best as you can. If your dog has a very short coat or you prefer to let your dog's coat dry naturally, you're done. If you have a double coated or long-haired dog, keep reading.

  • Blow dry the dog as best as you can without completely drying him or her. You don't want to dry out the skin. If you have a dog with especially long hair, you may need to dry the coat while brushing it.
  • Dogs with curly coats like poodles and Bichons need to be dried thoroughly or the hair will revert to curl. Feet always need to be dried thoroughly as well or fungus may take hold.
  • When blow drying your dogs hair make sure that the blow dryer is on the cool setting! It may take longer than usual, but it's worth the time because there will be less of a chance your dog's hair and skin will dry out.

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Everything about your Dalmatian

Everything about your Dalmatian
  Consider this breed if you are an active person who can provide plenty of training, socialization, and opportunities for hearty exercise.
  The Dalmatian we know today comes from a long line of “coach dogs,” bred to chase horse-drawn carriages day and night. They are tough, dependable and have an incredible stamina. If you’re a cross-country runner or daily jogger, you may have met your match: Dalmatians can keep up with the most intense runners. And for those who live on a ranch or farm, Dalmatians have an instinctive calming effect on horses that goes back to their carriage-guarding days.
  Best known as the star of Disney's 101 Dalmatians, this sleek and athletic dog breed has a history that goes back several hundred years. He started out as a coach dog but has also served in many other capacities, including hunter, firehouse dog, and circus performer. As charming in life as in film, he goes from gallant to goofy to gallant again in the blink of an eye, and loves to be a part of everything his family does.
  Unique spots are the Dalmatian’s calling card, but his running ability is what made him famous. Bred to be a coaching dog, he ran alongside carriages or horseback riders for miles, discouraging stray dogs from interfering with the horses, alerting the coachman to the presence of approaching highwaymen, and guarding the carriage at rest stops. No fashionable lord or lady went driving without a pair of the flashy dogs by their side, and later the Dalmatian’s talents were adapted by firemen, who kept the dogs to clear paths through town for their horse-drawn fire engines.
  The Dalmatian has a romantic and exciting history — not to mention those spots! — but he has health and temperament issues that must be taken into account.

Overview
  One of the most recognizable breeds, the Dalmatian is the only spotted breed. Its exact origin is unknown. The modern Dalmatian was recognized in the 1800s as a carriage dog in the U.K. Now he is well-known as a firehouse mascot, circus performer, hunter, patriotic symbol and all-around great catch. Active and enjoying anything to do with running, this breed is a lovable pet for a family that can keep up with his energetic lifestyle.
  Well-trained and socialized Dalmatians can prove to be both gentle and gentlemanly, displaying good manners and a quiet demeanor, even around strangers. However, they do have a boisterous side that comes from their incredible energy and stamina. For this reason, they may not be the best pets around very small children. But their intentions are always good and they make superb playmates for older children. They also have keen protective instincts that make them very effective guard dogs.

Other Quick Facts
  • Because of their heritage as coaching dogs, Dalmatians get along well with horses and make good companions for riders.
  • The Dalmatian’s spots may be the result of a mutation in a gene for a ticked coat, but no one is really sure where they come from. The spots today are now larger and less ragged around the edges than those seen in pictures of early Dalmatians.
  • One of the British nicknames for the Dalmatian is Plum Pudding Dog, because his spots look like the plums in a Christmas pudding.
  • The Dalmatian is prone to inherited deafness and urinary stones.
  • The Dalmatian was once a popular circus dog.
History
  The Dalmatian's origins are unknown. The spotted dogs are known to have traveled with the nomadic bands of Romanies, sometimes called gypsies, and it's unclear where they may have first appeared. The Dalmatian obtained his name during his stay in Dalmatia, a province on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, the area that is now known as Croatia.

  Dalmatians have been utilized for a variety of jobs during their long history, never specializing in one area. They were used as guard dogs in Dalmatia, shepherds, ratters, retrievers, circus dogs, and coaching dogs.

  It was in England that the Dalmatian was developed as the definitive coaching dog. He was used to clear a path before the horses, run alongside the coach or under the coach between the axels. He guarded the horses and coach when they were at rest. To this day the Dalmatian has a natural affinity for horses.
  This affinity took the Dalmatian on a different career path in the United States. Here he became a firehouse dog, running with the horses to the fire, watching over the equipment during a fire, and sometimes even rescuing people from burning buildings. When the excitement was over, they accompanied the fire wagons back to the station and resumed their duty as watchdog. Today most Dalmatians are companions and family members but many firehouses across the country still have Dalmatians as mascots.

Breed at a glance
  • Black spots
  • Energetic
  • Devoted
  • Protective
  • Intelligent
Breed standards
AKC group: Non-sporting
UKC group: Companion
Average lifespan: 11 -14 years
Average size: 50 - 55 pounds
Coat appearance: Velvety and soft
Coloration: White with black spots
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Athletic, squarish body; deep chest; strong, upright and tapered tail; black or dark-colored nose; toenails are white or black
Possible alterations: Born white, spots develop later; spots can vary in color from brown to brindle; 10 - 15 percent are born deaf and require special training
Comparable Breeds: Brittany, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Is this breed right for you?
  A hyperactive and devoted breed, the athletic Dalmatian requires a home equipped with a large yard. Due to his playful nature, he will need firm training and leadership to avoid acting out. Attached to his owner, the Dalmatian needs a lot of companionship and love to maintain his happiness. Enjoying running, it's advised the breed be run for long periods of time, daily. If not given the proper amount of exercise, he will display erratic behavior with family members. Due to this, it's advised that he is brought into a family with older children. A great watchdog, any owner that can handle his energetic personality will find a lot of love in having a Dalmatian as a family pet.

The Look of a Dalmatian
  Dalmatians are lean, medium-sized, well-proportioned dogs with distinctive black spots on white. Their muzzles are strong, eyes deeply set and their soft ears are set somewhat high. They have strong, arched necks, deep chests and level backs. Their tails extend out from their backs and curl up slightly without carrying over their backs, and they have long, well-muscled legs with round feet. Their coats are short, dense and sleek. Puppies are born solid white and develop black spots as they get older. Overall, Dalmatians have a dignified, powerful and alert posture with a steady gait.

Personality
  Born to run, the Dalmatian is a high-energy dog with an endless capacity for exercise. He loves attention and has a strong desire to please, making him easy to train through positive reinforcement such as food rewards, praise, and play.
  He's a smart dog with a sly sense of humor, and will do his best to make you laugh. The Dalmatian is alert and interested in everything that goes on around him and makes an excellent watchdog.
  Like every dog, the Dalmatian needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Dalmatian puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Care
 The Dalmatian is a very active dog and needs plenty of exercise. He's a fast runner with a great deal of stamina. If left to his own devices a Dalmatian will head cross country on a jaunt that could last several days, so always exercise him on leash or in a secure area. Dalmatians thrive with human companionship and do not do well if relegated to the backyard. They should have plenty of time with their family or they will pine.
  Because of his unique uric acid metabolism, it's important to observe whether your Dalmatian is urinating regularly. For the same reason, be sure to provide him with easy access to fresh water all the time.

Health
  All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit disease. Run from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur.
  Among the health problems in Dalmatians is a unique uric acid metabolism that predisposes them to stones anywhere in the urinary tract. The stones can cause urinary blockages, most commonly in males. It’s essential to notice whether a Dalmatian is urinating regularly and to provide him with plenty of fresh water at all times. Dalmatians are also prone to genetic deafness. All puppies should be BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) tested to make sure they can hear. The Dalmatian Club of America has a foundation that sponsors grants and activities to aid research to reduce deafness and find a solution for the uric acid stone problem.
  Dalmations are also prone to allergies, skin conditions, eye problems and laryngeal paralysis.
  Not all of these conditions are detectable in a growing puppy, and it is impossible to predict whether an animal will be free of these maladies, which is why you must find a reputable breeder who is committed to breeding the healthiest animals possible.  They should be able to produce independent certification that the parents of the dog (and grandparents, etc.) have been screened for common defects and deemed healthy for breeding.
  Remember that after you’ve taken a new puppy into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping a Dalmatian at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to extend his life. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier dog for life.

The Basics of Dalmatian Grooming
  On the plus side, the Dalmatian’s short, fine, velvety-smooth coat is easy to groom. Brush it several times a week with a bristle brush, rubber curry brush, hound mitt, or pumice stone to strip out the dead hair and keep the coat gleaming.
  On the down side, the coat sheds day and night according to many experienced Dalmatian owners. Be prepared to live with dog hair if you choose this breed.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every few weeks. Keep the hanging ears clean and dry to prevent bacterial or yeast infections from setting in. Brush the teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children and other pets
  Just about every kid recognizes a Dalmatian on sight. His love of activity makes the Dalmatian a great playmate for older children, but his rambunctious nature and swishing tail may be overwhelming to toddlers and young children. With early socialization, Dalmatians can get along fine with other dogs and cats.
  As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

In popular culture
"Firehouse dog"
  Particularly in the United States, the use of Dalmatians as carriage dogs was transferred to horse-drawn fire engines, although it is unclear why this link was not made in other countries. Today, the Dalmatian serves as a firehouse mascot and is sometimes used to educate the public in fire safety, but in the days of horse-drawn fire carts, they provided a valuable service, having a natural affinity to horses. They would run alongside the horses, or beneath the cart axles. The horses have long since gone, but the Dalmatians, by tradition, have stayed. As a result, in the United States, Dalmatians are commonly known as firehouse dogs. Dalmatians are still chosen by many firefighters as pets, in honor of their heroism in the past. The Dalmatian is also the mascot of the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity. In the past, Pi Kappa Alpha has been known as the firefighters fraternity, and this is why they both share the dalmatian as a mascot.

"Anheuser-Busch dog"
  The Dalmatian is also associated, particularly in the United States, with Budweiser beer and the Busch Gardens theme parks, since the Anheuser-Busch company's iconic beer wagon, drawn by a team of Clydesdale horses, is always accompanied by a Dalmatian carriage dog. The company maintains several teams at various locations, which tour extensively. According to Anheuser-Busch's website, Dalmatians were historically used by brewers to guard the wagon while the driver was making deliveries.

101 Dalmatians
  The Dalmatian breed experienced a massive surge in popularity as a result of the 1956 novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians written by British author Dodie Smith, and later due to the two Walt Disney films based on the book. The Disney animated classic released in 1961, later spawned a 1996 live-action remake, 101 Dalmatians. In the years following the release of the second movie, the Dalmatian breed suffered greatly at the hands of irresponsible breeders and inexperienced owners. Many well-meaning enthusiasts purchased Dalmatians—often for their children—without educating themselves on the breed and the responsibilities that come with owning such a high-energy dog breed. Dalmatians were abandoned in large numbers by their original owners and left with animal shelters. As a result, Dalmatian rescue organizations sprang up to care for the unwanted dogs and find them new homes. AKC registrations of Dalmatians decreased 90% during the 2000–2010 period.

A dream day in the life of a Dalmatian
  The Dalmatian loves to wake up in the bedroom of his owner. Up and ready for his day, he'll run outside for an action-filled romp in the yard before coming inside to greet the family. After a nice long run, he'll await his next command. Running back and forth indoors and out, the Dalmatian will alternate standing guard and chasing random yard vermin. Barking at any strangers, he'll also enjoy human companionship from his family throughout the day. Once night falls, the Dalmatian will happily snuggle close to his family.


                              


                       Enjoy that  Dalmatian!




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Everything about your Border Collie

Everything about your Border Collie
  Some people say the Border Collie is the smartest dog breed. His ability to impose his will on sheep makes him the best sheepherding dog in the world -- but watch out, because he'll try to impose his will on you, too.
   Border Collies are a energetic breed known for their herding skills and success in the dog sport Agility. However, due to their natural energy, they need special care.
  The Border Collie dog breed was developed to gather and control sheep in the hilly border country between Scotland and England. He is known for his intense stare, or "eye," with which he controls his flock. He's a dog with unlimited energy, stamina, and working drive, all of which make him a premier herding dog; he's still used today to herd sheep on farms and ranches around the world. The highly trainable and intelligent Border Collie also excels in various canine sports, including obedience, flyball, agility, tracking, and flying disc competitions.

History
  The Border Collie is descended from landrace collies, a type found widely in the British Isles. The name for the breed came from its probable place of origin along the Anglo-Scottish border. Mention of the "Collie" or "Colley" type first appeared toward the end of the 19th century, although the word "collie" is older than this and has its origin in the Scots language. It is also thought that the word 'collie' comes from the old Celtic word for useful. Many of the best Border Collies today can be traced back to a dog known as Old Hemp.
   In 1915, James Reid, Secretary of the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) in the United Kingdom first used the term "Border Collie" to distinguish those dogs registered by the ISDS from the Kennel Club's Collie (or Scotch Collie, including the Rough Collie and Smooth Collie) which originally came from the same working stock but had developed a different, standardised appearance following introduction to the show ring in 1860 and mixture with different types breeds.
  Border Collies have traditionally been bred solely for working ability. Because of the difference in terrain between the English lowlands and the Scottish highlands, farmers raised different breeds of sheep based upon their locality. The type of stock and the surrounding topography led to different physical attributes being required for the dogs to be efficient workers. For example, to survive in the rough hills and rocky crags of the highlands, sheep had to be light and fast. Thus, the good working dogs in the highlands tended to have long legs and lean bodies. In contrast, the lowlands could support slower, heavier sheep. To work these large, heavy sheep on gentler land, the dogs did not need as much speed and agility. Instead, they needed a lower center of gravity and enough size to be able to withstand a charge from big, angry ewes defending their lambs. Therefore, the dogs in the lowlands had shorter legs and heavier bodies. So, even though the dogs were bred for working ability, recognizable physical types evolved. In her classic treatise, Key Dogs from the Border Collie Family, Sheila Grew identified four individual types within the Border Collie breed. The types are divided by physical looks, but general working style and temperament also seem related to type. 
She called them: 
1) Northumbrian type; 
2) Wiston Cap type; 
3) Nap type; 
4) Herdman's Tommy type.

Breed at a glance
  • Intelligent
  • Easy grooming
  • Active lifestyle
  • Excels at obedience training
  • Pleasant temperament
Overview
  Arguably the most intelligent dog in the world, the Border Collie ranks at the top of the canine honor roll. More than just brains, this breed is muscular and athletic with speed and stamina that surpass most other breeds. Bred specifically to complete complex tasks, the Border Collie has what it takes to accomplish just about any work or training command if trained properly. This breed requires a lot of time and dedication to training and exercise and is not recommended for first-time pet owners.

Breed standards

AKC group: Herding
UKC group: Herding Dog
Average lifespan: 12 - 16 years
Average size: 30 - 45 pounds
Coat appearance: Varies
Coloration: Black and red
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Known for its eye movement, you'll likely spot this breed giving a hypnotic stare while crouching down to herd stock
Possible alterations: None
Comparable Breeds: Golden Retriever, Collie
Other Quick Facts
  •   Border Collies are frighteningly smart, active workaholics who must have a job that can be as simple as chasing a tennis ball or as demanding as training for something like herding, agility obedience, or freestyle. What the job is doesn't matter so much as that the Border has a job.
  • The Border is an excellent watchdog and will alert you to the arrival of the letter carrier, a burglar, or a squirrel. Some can become nuisance barkers.
  • Borders are very people-oriented and are wonderful family dogs.
  • Some Borders are not good with other dogs or cats, and some are great.
  • Border Collies are the best working breed in the world for sheepherding. They also excel at performance activities such as agility, obedience, flyball, and freestyle, among others.
Size
  Males stand 19 to 22 inches tall and weigh 35 to 45 pounds. Females stand 18 to 21 inches and weigh 30 to 40 pounds.

Personality
  Quite simply, the Border Collie is a dynamo. His personality is characteristically alert, energetic, hardworking, and smart. He learns quickly — so quickly that it's sometimes difficult to keep him challenged.
  This breed likes to be busy. In fact, he must be busy or he becomes bored, which leads to annoying behavior, such as barking, digging, or chasing cars. He's not a dog to lie quietly on the front porch while you sip a glass of lemonade; he thrives on activity. Remember, he was bred to run and work all day herding sheep.
  The Border Collie is also renowned for being highly sensitive to his handler's every cue, from a whistle to a hand signal to a raised eyebrow.
  Of course, the Border Collie isn't perfect. He can be strong-minded and independent, and his compulsion to herd can become misdirected. In the absence of sheep, or some kind of job, he is apt to gather and chase children, cars, or pets.
  He can also become fearful or shy if he isn't properly socialized as a puppy. Puppy classes and plenty of exposure to a variety of people, places, and things help the sensitive Border Collie gain confidence.


Is this breed right for you?
  Although the Border Collie is a sweet and loyal pup and can be a great family dog, it's not recommended for everyone. This breed requires incredible amounts of activity and due to its level of intelligence, you must keep its mental abilities piqued with daily work and training. Without the proper time dedication, this breed can become bored and destructive. Luckily, this pup's grooming routine is a breeze so time spent brushing or bathing can be kept to a minimum, providing more time to play and work.



How to Care for a Border Collie- Steps
  1.Consider carefully. Border Collies (also known as BCs) exceed almost every other dog breed in intelligence and energy, and are only for responsible, dedicated, informed, and experienced dog owners. Never buy a BC because of their cute appearance, or because your friend has a really nice one, and always dedicate a large amount of research before purchasing.

  2.Choose where to purchase your Border Collie from. Responsible breeders are the best source for those who desire a show or competition dog; however, if you are interested simply in a pet quality, consider adopting from a specialized breed rescue. Other routes include:
  • Buying from a pet store. This is highly unrecommended, as you will generally have no idea of the puppy's health, breeding, or history, and will most likely be supporting a puppy mill.
  • Buying from a "backyard," or casual, breeder. This is again unadvised for the lack of information.
  • Adopting from a shelter. This is a preferred route for those wishing to help dogs in need, but is unadvised for the lack of information and because shelters are often unable to provide for the BC's special needs, resulting in a badly behaved dog. Adopting from a breed-specific rescues, however, is a reasonable and kind way to acquire your dog.
 3. Obedience training is essential. Not only will it provide essential stimulation for your BC, it will also make your life with a extremely energetic, mischievous dog somewhat easier. Though you can start teaching simple concepts  to young puppies using positive reinforcement, training more advanced obedience is only recommended for puppies four months and older. Another note is that Border Collies are intelligent dogs and often respond best to training techniques in which they can think problems out for themselves, such as clicker training.

4.Go on a shopping spree! The basic essential you'll need to buy your BC are:
  • A collar and leash. They should be an appropriate length for your Border Collie, and comfortable for you and your dog. The collar must have a ID tag with your phone number or address on it.
  • Food (see below for more information) and food and water dishes, preferably stainless steel.
  • Toys! Purchase "indestructible" ones such as Kongs; these will last longer (though most will be destroyed eventually) than stuffed toys and dainty rubber squeaky toys.
  • A crate, appropriately sized.
  • Grooming tools, especially those appropriate for long-haired dogs.
5.Give your Border Collie quality veterinarian care. Though this will cost a large amount, it will save you money down the road. It's highly recommended that you do the following:
  • Fix (spay or neuter) your dog. This is a relatively simple operation that will help stop or prevent bad behavior, accidental litters, and certain health issues.
  • Give your puppy vaccinations. These are absolutely necessary for his health; consult your veterinarian for information on required vaccinations and appropriate ages at which to give them.
  • Purchase your dog a microchip. A microchip is a very small device that will give a shelter, if your BC escapes, your address. Because of Border Collies' intelligence and agility, the chances of your BC escaping is high enough that a microchip is a useful precaution.
6.Good food is necessary. Avoid cheap or "bargain" foods - the health problems they'll cause won't be cheap to treat! Instead, feed high-quality foods with meat as the main ingredient.

7.Exercise, exercise, exercise! Because of Border Collies' enormous amounts of energy, at least an hour of exercise every day is a requirement. A daily walk is necessary; you can also burn off energy in more engaging ways such as competing in dog sports such as Agility or Flyball, hiking, swimming, visiting dog parks, etc.

8.Expand your education. Read books on Border Collies, join a Obedience/Agility/etc group, talk with experienced BC owners, try out something you've never done before, learn more about dog nutrition - do anything and everything to learn as much about BCs and dogs in general as possible.

9.Have fun with your Border Collie! He might need an hour and a half of exercise every day, shred your expensive shoes, herd the neighborhood children, or otherwise make a menace of himself, but one thing is for certain: If you're a responsible and educated owner, he'll be your best friend.

Health
   Border Collies are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they're prone to certain health conditions. Not all Border Collies will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.
   If you're buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy's parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.
   In Border Collies, you should expect to see health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia (with a score of fair or better), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand's disease; from Auburn University for thrombopathia; and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifying that eyes are normal. You can confirm health clearances by checking the OFA web site (offa.org).
   Hip Dysplasia: This is an inherited condition in which the thighbone doesn't fit snugly into the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but others don't display outward signs of discomfort. (X-ray screening is the most certain way to diagnose the problem.) Either way, arthritis can develop as the dog ages. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred — so if you're buying a puppy, ask the breeder for proof that the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and are free of problems.
  Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a family of eye diseases that involves the gradual deterioration of the retina. Early in the disease, affected dogs become night-blind; they lose sight during the day as the disease progresses. Many affected dogs adapt well to their limited or lost vision, as long as their surroundings remain the same.
  Epilepsy: This is a neurological condition that's often, but not always, inherited. Epilepsy can cause mild or severe seizures that may show themselves as unusual behavior (such as running frantically as if being chased, staggering, or hiding) or even by falling down, limbs rigid, and losing consciousness. Seizures are frightening to watch, but the long-term prognosis for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy is generally very good. It's important to take your dog to the vet for proper diagnosis (especially since seizures can have other causes) and treatment.
  Collie Eye Anomaly: This is an inherited condition that causes changes and abnormalities in the eye, which can sometimes lead to blindness. These changes can include choroidal hypoplasia (an abnormal development of the choroids), coloboma (a defect in the optic disc), staphyloma (a thinning of the sclera), and retinal detachment. Collie eye anomaly usually occurs by the time the dog is two years old. There is no treatment for the condition.
  Allergies: There are three main types of allergies in dogs: food allergies, which are treated by eliminating certain foods from the dog's diet; contact allergies, which are caused by a reaction to a topical substance such as bedding, flea powders, dog shampoos, and other chemicals; and inhalant allergies, which are caused by airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, and mildew. Treatment varies according to the cause and may include dietary restrictions, medications, and environmental changes.
  Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD): This orthopedic condition, caused by improper growth of cartilage in the joints, usually occurs in the elbows, but it has been seen in the shoulders as well. It causes a painful stiffening of the joint, to the point that the dog is unable to bend his elbow. It can be detected in dogs as early as four to nine months of age. Overfeeding of "growth formula" puppy foods or high-protein foods may contribute to its development.

Care
  While the Border Collie is a highly adaptable dog, he's best suited to an environment that gives him some elbow room: a city home with a securely fenced yard, or a country farm or ranch. Because he has a propensity to herd and chase, he must be protected from his not-so-bright instinct to chase cars.
  Regardless of the environment, he requires a great deal of mental and physical stimulation every day, and he needs an owner who is willing and able to provide that. This can be a great burden to owners who don't know what they're getting into. If you're considering a Border Collie, make sure you can provide him with a proper outlet for his natural energy and bright mind. If you don't have a farm with sheep, dog sports are a good alternative.

Feeding
  Recommended daily amount: 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
NOTE: How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don't all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl.

The Basics of Border Collie Grooming
  The Border Collie has a double coat that comes in two types. One is short and smooth, sometimes with a bit of feathering on the front legs. The other, known as a rough coat, is medium to long with hair that is flat or slightly wavy. Either way, expect to brush a Border Collie once or twice a week to remove dead hair and keep shedding to a minimum.
  Otherwise, just keep his ears clean and bathe him if he gets dirty. The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed. Active Border Collies often wear their nails down naturally, but it’s a good idea to check them weekly to see if they need a trim. Brush the teeth frequently for overall good health and fresh breath.

Children and other pets
  The Border Collie is a good family dog, as long as he is raised properly and receives training when he's young. He gets along with children and other pets, though his instinct to herd will cause him to nip, chase, and bark at kids (especially very young children) and animals if his herding instincts aren't otherwise directed.
  As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

Rescue Groups
  Border Collies are often purchased without any clear understanding of what goes into owning one. There are many Border Collies in need of adoption and or fostering. There are a number of rescues that we have not listed. If you don't see a rescue listed for your area, contact the national breed club or a local breed club and they can point you toward a Border Collie rescue.

Notable animals
Border Collies of note include:
  • Rico, who was studied for recognising up to 200 objects by name. Another Border Collie, Betsy, was found to have a vocabulary of over 300 words.
  • As of 2010, the Border Collie Chaser has a vocabulary of 1022 words and is able to recognise objects by the groups they belong to.
  • Shep, who was the long-term companion to John Noakes of the BBC's Blue Peter and Meg, companion of Matt Baker, former presenter of the same show.
  • Striker, who is the current Guinness World Record holder for "Fastest Car Window Opened by a Dog" at 11.34 seconds.
  • Jean, a.k.a. the Vitagraph Dog who was the first canine movie star (owned and trained by Laurence Trimble)
  • Rex and Fly are two Border Collies that appeared in the Academy Award winning 1995 film, Babe and, partially, in the sequel Babe: Pig in the City.
  • Jag, the "First Dog" of Montana, frequently accompanies Governor Brian Schweitzer.
  • Bandit, the stray Scottish border collie from TV series Little House on the Prairie was Laura Ingalls' second dog on the show. Laura was reluctant to make friends with Bandit as she missed first dog Jack, but she soon loved Bandit dearly. Bandit premiered in the second season of the show and remained a steady extra for the next three seasons.
  • Murray, Border Collie Mix in the TV show Mad About You.
  • Mist and other dogs, including Jake, of Borough Farm  on Windcutter Down in England. They were featured in two books by author and owner David Kinnard and starred in a series of television films and weekly programs called "Mist: Sheepdog Tales"  on BBC television, several of which are available in the US.

Did You Know?

  Border Collies are known as herding dogs, but a BC currently holds the Guinness World Record for Fastest Car Window Opened by a Dog. Striker, a Border Collie from Hungary, opened the non-electric window in 11.34 seconds. Impressive!


In popular culture
  The primary character of the New Zealand comic strip Footrot Flats and the 1986 animated film adaptation Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tail Tale is a working Border Collie named "Dog". Although the strip featured numerous human and farm animal characters it was told from the Dog's point of view.
  In the film, Babe, the piglet Babe is adopted by a working Border Collie named Fly and taught by her to herd sheep.

A dream day in the life of a Border Collie

  Learning new games with the Frisbee, taking on higher levels of training or starting a new agility course makes a day this pup would want to repeat over and over. Staying true to his natural instincts, the Border Collie would love a job herding sheep or cattle on a farm. Border Collies are the overachievers of the canine group, so keep this pup's schedule jam-packed with activities and you'll have a happy pup.



                          Enjoy that  Border Collie!


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