February 2015 - LUV My dogs

LUV My dogs

Everything about your dog!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Everything about your English Bulldog

Everything about your English Bulldog
  The English bulldog is a brawny little powerhouse whose characteristic crablike waddle exudes great strength, stability and vigor.The English Bulldog is a wide, medium-sized, compact dog with short legs. The body and head are massive with extra skin on both the skull and forehead falling in folds. The cheeks extend to the sides of the eyes. The muzzle is wide, short and pug with a broad, deep stop. The black nose is broad with large nostrils. The dark eyes are deep set. The rose ears are small, thin and set high on the head. 
  The jaws are massive, very broad, and square with hanging upper lips. The teeth should have an under bite. The tail is either straight or screwed and carried low. The short, flat coat is straight, smooth and glossy. Coat colors include red brindle and other shades of brindle, solid white, solid red, fawn, fallow, piebald, pale yellow or washed-out red or white or a combination of these colors.
  The Bulldog is a medium-sized breed of dog commonly referred to as the English Bulldog or British Bulldog. Other Bulldog breeds include the American Bulldog, Old English Bulldog , Olde English Bulldogge, and the French Bulldog. The Bulldog is a muscular, heavy dog with a wrinkled face and a distinctive pushed-in nose.The American Kennel Club , The Kennel Club , and the United Kennel Club  oversee breeding standards. Bulldogs are the 5th most popular purebreed in the United States in 2013 according to the American Kennel Club.

Overview
  Laughter, love and a face everyone adores ensure the enduring popularity of the Bulldog. He's a gentle family companion today, but he was originally bred to fight bulls for sport – a past that, combined with his stalwart devotion, has made the breed the mascot of a number of colleges as well as the United States Marine Corps. No breed is more admired for the qualities of loyalty and determination that the Bulldog represents.
  Few breeds are as easily recognized as the Bulldog, with his wrinkled mug, distinctive underbite and Churchillian jowls. Sometimes referred to as the English or British Bulldog, he's a short, sturdy dog with a bow-legged gait, weighing between 40 and 60 pounds.
If all you're talking about is personality and temperament, the Bulldog is just about perfect. He loves children and is very easy to train as a family pet. He's an endless source of amusement, clever and very affectionate. He’s also an attention magnet everywhere he goes.
  The Bulldog may be perfect in spirit, but in the flesh, he’s a different story. These dogs are intolerant of warm weather, and may die if overheated. Too much exercise or stress can make it difficult for them to breathe. Without exception, Bulldogs must live indoors, and need air conditioning in all but the mildest summer weather.
  Most Bulldogs are born by C-section. Because breeding them is expensive, the puppies are, too. Love is an expensive proposition when you own a Bulldog.
  In general, the Bulldog is an easy-care breed. His exercise needs are manageable for even the most dedicated couch potato, and he doesn’t tend to be a picky eater. He has a short coat that doesn’t require any fancy grooming, but he does have some special needs when it comes to skin care. Last but not least, it’s important for him to live in air-conditioned comfort, not only to prevent heatstroke but also because he loves his family and wants to be with them. He’s not a dog who can or should live outdoors.

Highlights
  • Bulldogs can be stubborn and lazy. Your mature Bulldog may not be very enthusiastic about going to a walk, but it's important that he is exercised every day to keep him fit.
  • Bulldogs can't tolerate heat and humidity. When your Bulldog is outdoors, watch him carefully for signs of overheating and take him inside immediately if he starts to show distress. Some people put kiddy play pools filled with water in a shaded spot for their Bulldogs to lie in when the weather is warm and everyone is outside. They definitely are housedogs and should not live outdoors all of the time.
  • Bulldogs are sensitive to cold weather.
  • Bulldogs wheeze, snort, and snore. They also are prone to sleep apnea.
  • Bulldogs are well-known for having flatulence. If this problem seems excessive with yours, talk to your vet.
  • Bulldogs' short noses make them prone to a number of respiratory ailments.
  • Bulldogs can have pinched nostrils that make it difficult for them to breathe and may require surgery to correct.
  • Bulldogs are greedy eaters and will overeat if given the chance. Since they gain weight easily, they can quickly become obese if you don't monitor their food intake.
  • Because of the size of their heads and fronts, Bulldogs have difficulty giving birth. Most require caesareans to deliver their puppies. It isn't advised for inexperienced breeders to try to breed them.
  • As a short-nosed breed, Bulldogs are sensitive to anesthesia. Be sure to talk with your vet about this before any surgeries are done.
  • To get a healthy pet, never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Find a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs for genetic health conditions and good temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • The Bulldog has a distinctive walk: a loose-jointed, shuffling, sidewise roll.
  • Many Bulldogs breathe in a labored fashion and it’s often difficult for their bodies to dissipate heat.
  • Bulldogs can’t swim. Their massive head, solid torso and short legs limit their ability to stay above water. If you have a pool, spa or pond on your property, limit your Bulldog’s access to it.
  • The Bulldog’s smooth coat can be brindle, solid white, solid red, fawn or fallow, or piebald.
  • Comparable Breeds: Bull Terrier, French Bulldog
History
  The term "Bulldog" was first mentioned in literature around 1500, the oldest spelling of the word being Bondogge and Bolddogge. The first reference to the word with the modern spelling is dated 1631 or 1632 in a letter by a man named Preswick Eaton where he writes: "procuer mee two good Bulldogs, and let them be sent by ye first shipp". In 1666 Christopher Merret applied: "Canis pugnax, a Butchers Bull or Bear Dog" as an entry in his Pinax Rerum Naturalium Britannicarum.

  The designation "bull" was applied because of the dog's use in the sport of bull baiting. This entailed the setting of dogs onto a tethered bull. The dog that grabbed the bull by the nose and pinned it to the ground would be the victor. It was common for a bull to maim or kill several dogs at such an event, either by goring, tossing, or trampling. Over the centuries, dogs used for bull-baiting developed the stocky bodies and massive heads and jaws that typify the breed as well as a ferocious and savage temperament. Bull-baiting, along with bear-baiting, reached the peak of its popularity in England in the early 1800s until they were both made illegal by the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835. This amended the existing legislation to protect animals from mistreatment and included bulls, dogs, bears, and sheep, so that bull and bear-baiting as well as cockfighting became prohibited. Therefore, the Old English Bulldog had outlived its usefulness in England as a sporting animal and its active or "working" days were numbered. However, emigrants did have a use for such dogs in the New World. In mid-17th century New York, Bulldogs were used as a part of a citywide roundup effort led by Governor Richard Nicolls. Because cornering and leading wild bulls were dangerous, Bulldogs were trained to seize a bull by its nose long enough for a rope to be secured around its neck. Bulldogs as pets were continually promoted by dog dealer Bill George.
  Despite slow maturation so that growing up is rarely achieved by two and a half years, Bulldogs' lives are relatively short. At five to six years of age they are starting to show signs of aging.
  In time, the original old English Bulldog was crossed with the pug. The outcome was a shorter, wider dog with a brachycephalic skull. Though today's Bulldog looks tough, he cannot perform the job he was originally created for as he cannot withstand the rigors of running and being thrown by a bull, and also cannot grip with such a short muzzle.
  The oldest single breed specialty club is The Bulldog Club, which was formed in 1878. Members of this club met frequently at the Blue Post pub on Oxford Street in London. There they wrote the first standard of perfection for the breed. In 1894 the two top Bulldogs, King Orry and Dockleaf, competed in a contest to see which dog could walk 20 miles. King Orry was reminiscent of the original Bulldogs, lighter boned and very athletic. Dockleaf was smaller and heavier set, more like modern Bulldogs. King Orry was declared the winner that year, finishing the 20-mile walk while Dockleaf collapsed. The Bulldog was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886.
  At the turn of the 20th century, Ch. Rodney Stone became the first Bulldog to command a price of $5,000 when he was bought by controversial Irish American political figure Richard Croker.


Personality
  Sociable and sweet, but with a reputation for courage that makes him an excellent watchdog, the Bulldog is a lover, not a fighter. He's dignified rather than lively and has a kind although occasionally stubborn nature. The Bulldog is friendly and easygoing; he gets along with everyone. He can be a slow learner, but once he knows something, he's got it for good. Bulldogs don't tend to be barkers. Usually their appearance alone is enough to frighten off intruders.
  Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up his littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner. Always meet at least one of the parents-usually the mother is the one who's available-to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you're comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.
  Like every dog, Bulldogs need early socialization-exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences-when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Bulldog puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.

Health Problems
  Prone to breathing problems; some have small windpipes as well. Also poor eyesight, cherry eye, very susceptible to heatstroke in warm weather or hot rooms and cars. Very cold sensitive. Prone to mast cell tumors. Birth defects are common in some lines. Susceptible to skin infections, hip and knee problems. Prone to flatulence, especially when fed any other type of food other than their regular dog food. Puppies are often delivered by caesarian section. Some say it is because of the dogs’ large head size, however others claim you can hardly tell the difference between the head size of a Bulldog with the head size of other breeds when the pups are first born; claiming not enough dams are given the opportunity to try and deliver naturally because of the large head myth. A lot of Bulldogs do run the risk of having weak labors and this could increase the risk of a caesarian.

Care
  Many Bulldogs tend to wheeze and snore, while some drool because of their short snouts and outward protruding lower jaw. These are normal physical side-effects of the breed. Because of the compressed nature of the jaw, extra care needs to be taken in keeping the teeth clean. Early dental care, with daily brushing, will get your Bulldog in the habit so that it is grooming time that is looked forward to. Minimal coat care is needed for this dog, but the folds around the tail and facial wrinkles should be cleaned every day to prevent build up of dirt or rubbish. Failure to perform this regularly can lead to infection of the skin.
  Bulldogs love their daily outings, however, do not expect them to walk or jog long distances, or dart from great heights. The short-hair and snout of the Bulldog make it sensitive to extremely hot and humid climates, and most do not enjoy swimming. Using sun screen lotion on the dog's skin if you are going to be spending time in the sun, and making sure your Bulldog has plenty of water is essential for healthy days out.

Living Conditions
  The English Bulldog is good for apartment life. They are very inactive indoors and will do okay without a yard. This breed is an indoor dog. Bulldogs do best in temperate climates as the breed can chill easily in cold weather and have trouble cooling off in very hot weather.

Exercise
  The English Bulldog needs to be taken on a daily walk to fulfill its primal canine instinct to migrate. Those individuals that do not get this need met are more likely to have behavior issues. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog's mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. Teach them to enter and exit all door and gateways after the human. English Bulldogs that are in good shape are capable of moving very quickly for short periods of time.

Grooming
  The Bulldog’s coat is easy to groom, but his wrinkles need some special care. Here’s what you need to know.
  Brush the Bulldog’s short coat three times a week with a rubber curry or a soft bristle brush to keep it shiny and healthy. If you keep him well brushed, he shouldn’t need frequent baths. Bulldogs don’t normally shed heavily, but during spring and fall you may see a little more hair coming off when you brush. Step up the brushing until the shedding period ends.
Caring for the facial and nose wrinkles requires a bit more effort. Depending on the individual dog, wrinkles may need to be cleaned a couple of times a week or every day. Wipe out the crud from the wrinkles with a soft, damp cloth or a baby wipe, then dry them thoroughly. If moisture is left behind, wrinkles become the perfect petri dish for bacterial growth. Do the same for the indentation at the tail set and the outer vulval area. If you have any questions about dealing with skin problems or wrinkle issues, talk with your veterinarian who may prescribe a specific care regime.

Children and other pets
  His amiable temperament and bulk make the Bulldog an excellent companion for children, even young ones. A Bulldog will put up with a lot from a child, although he shouldn't have to, and he'll walk away if he gets tired of being tormented.
  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 sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  With their pacific nature, Bulldogs also get along well with other pets, dogs and cats. They may be less sociable toward strange dogs, however.

Did You Know?
  The same line of English Bulldogs has served as the mascots for the University of Georgia since 1956, under the name of Uga. Each Uga is issued his own student ID and watches games in an air-conditioned doghouse.

Popular mascot
  The Bulldog is popularly used to represent England or the United Kingdom. It has been associated with Winston Churchill's defiance of Nazi Germany. The Bulldog breed is the official mascot of the United States Marine Corps, and many bases have their own mascot on base. Thirty-nine American universities use a Bulldog as their mascot including Bryant University, Drake University, Georgetown University, Mississippi State University, Louisiana Tech University, Yale University, The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina South Carolina State University, and University of Georgia.

10 Interesting Facts About Bulldogs
  • Bulldogs are the 6th most popular breed in America and French bulldogs are ranked 18th. In Los Angeles though, bulldogs are #1, and French bulldogs are #5, according to the American Kennel Club.
  • Warren G. Harding was the only U.S. President to own a bulldog while in office. His pet bulldog, Oh Boy, passed away early during his term as president, and was replaced by an Airedale terrier, Laddie Boy as First Dog.
  • Brigitte, the bulldog who plays Stella on Modern Family, has the distinction of being the first bulldog to win a Golden Collar award. She beat out dog performers from Chelsea Lately, Hot in Cleveland, Entourage, and Suburgatory. She also beat out the only human competitor, Jason Gann, the star of Wilfred.
  • Bulldogs are one of the most popular mascots for universities and sports teams. Uga, the mascot of the University of Georgia team, is one of the most famous. Sonny Seiler, famed as the attorney of Jim Williams in the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, is responsible for selecting who will fulfill Uga’s responsibilities. There have been 8 Ugas since 1956, and the search for Uga IX is currently ongoing.
  • Bulldogs were originally bred in England dating back to the 16th century, believed to be a mix of mastiffs and pugs. The English bulldog is what’s most commonly referred to as a “bulldog” but there are popular French and American varieties as well.
  • Bulldogs have suffered the most airline deaths of any breed due to their respiratory issues. They often suffer from hip dysplasia and other medical concerns.
  • Over 80 percent of bulldogs are delivered by Caesarean section. Having been bred with such large heads precludes most bulldog pups from being delivered naturally.
  • Bulldogs, like many brachycephalic (large-skulled) dogs are not well-suited for water and are in danger of drowning when swimming.
  • Many celebrities own bulldogs including Leonardo DiCaprio, Reese Witherspoon, David Beckham, Ashley Olsen, Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, and Martha Stewart.
  • The famous haute cuisine restaurant elBulli in Catalonia, Spain run by chef Ferran Adrià is named for the French bulldogs belonging to the original owners of the land where the restaurant is located.





  Have fun with your Bulldog  in this week! ;)









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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Everything about your Labrador Retriever

Everything about your Labrador Retriever
 The Labrador is a moderate dog, not extreme in any way. It is square or slightly longer than tall, of fairly large bone and substance. Its broad head and strong jaws should enable it to carry the largest game birds, such as Canada geese. 
 Its heavy body set and strong legs enable it to swim and run powerfully. Its coat, which is short, straight and dense with a soft undercoat, is weatherproof and helps to protect it from icy waters. The Lab is a working retriever and should possess style without over refinement and substance without clumsiness. 
   The most distinguishing characteristics of the Labrador Retriever are its short, dense, weather resistant coat; an "otter" tail; a clean-cut head with broad back skull and moderate stop; powerful jaws; and its "kind," friendly eyes, expressing character, intelligence and good temperament.
  Labrador Retrievers are among the most popular dog breeds out there today. Loyal, easy to get along with, and easy to train, these retrievers could be considered a neighborhood classic all around the United States and even in other parts of the world. But what exactly makes them such popular, well-respected dogs… and does a strong breed always mean that a Labrador Retriever will be the right dog for you?

Overview
  The warm and intelligent Lab is America's number one breed registered with the American Kennel Club. Even non-dog people can recognize a Lab, and artists and photographers have captured his image countless times — usually as the loyal companion, waiting patiently by his owner's side.
  Built for sport, the Lab is muscular and athletic. He has a short, easy-care coat, friendly demeanor, keen intelligence, and plenty of energy. Devotion to this breed runs deep; Labs are loving, people-oriented dogs who live to serve their families, and owners and fans sometimes liken their Labs to angels.
  The breed originated on the island of Newfoundland, off the northeastern Atlantic coast of Canada. Originally called the St. John's dog, after the capital city of Newfoundland, he was bred to help the local fishermen — hauling nets, fetching ropes, and retrieving fish that had escaped the nets — as well as to be a family dog.
  Today, most Labs skip the hard labor and spend their days being pampered and loved by their people. However, some Labs still serve as indispensable working dogs.
  The Lab's sweet nature makes him an excellent therapy dog, visiting homes for the elderly and hospitals, and his intelligence makes him an ideal assistance dog for the handicapped. He also excels as a search and rescue dog or as a retriever for hunters, thanks to his athletic build, strong nose, and courageous nature. And Labs have also become the breed to beat at dog sports such as agility and obedience competitions — especially obedience.
  There's one dog job that Labs are hopeless at: watchdog. In fact, owners say their sweet, helpful Lab is likely to greet an intruder and happily show him where the goods are stashed.
Labrador Retrievers have proven their usefulness and versatility throughout the breed's history, easily shifting from fisherman's companion, to field retriever, to show dog, to modern working dog. One role has remained constant: wonderful companion and friend.

Other Quick Facts
  • The Lab’s short, weather-resistant coat and muscular body are the perfect equipment for outdoor activities like hiking, camping and water sports.
  • Labs are active dogs who need daily exercise and mental stimulation. Without it they can become bored and destructive. Provide them with the attention, training and activity they need or suffer the consequences.
  • Labs come in three colors: black, yellow and chocolate.
  • The Lab has a double coat — a soft, insulating undercoat topped with a short, hard, protective outer layer. Labs shed heavily, and brushing them once or twice a week will help keep the fur from flying.
  • Labs typically have litters of six to eight puppies. Most breeders like to keep puppies until they are at least eight weeks old. This gives the puppies time to learn how to behave toward other dogs and gives the breeder time to evaluate the puppies’ personalities so she can place each one in just the right home. A bonus is that puppies of this age are more mature and more easily housetrained.
  • Comparable Breeds: Golden Retriever, Irish Setter
Highlights

  • Labrador Retrievers love, love, love to eat, and become obese very quickly if overfed. Limit treats, give your Lab plenty of exercise, and measure out regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time. And be warned that the Lab's large appetite extends to people food and even inedible items. Labradors will forage in garbage, counter surf, and can make a meal out of chewed-up items like children's toys.
  • Labrador Retrievers were bred for physically demanding jobs, and they have the high energy that goes along with being a working breed. They need at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. Without it, they can vent their pent-up energy in destructive ways, such as barking and chewing.
  • Labs have such a good reputation that many people think they don't need to bother with training. But Labs are large, energetic animals, and like all dogs, they need to be taught good canine manners. Sign up for puppy and obedience classes as soon as you bring your Lab home.
  • Many people think of Labs as a hyperactive breed. Lab puppies are definitely lively, but most will slow down a bit as they grow up. However, they usually remain fairly active throughout their lives.
  • Labrador Retrievers are not known to be escape artists, but with the right motivation — such as a whiff of something yummy — a Lab will take off. Make sure your Lab has current identification tags and a microchip.
  • The Lab is America's number one dog, which means there are plenty of people breeding Labs who are more interested in filling the demand for Lab puppies than in breeding healthy dogs with good temperaments. To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
  • If you're looking for a puppy, you'll find that Labs vary depending on what breeder you choose. Some Labs are bred for competitions testing their skill as working dogs, and others are bred to get as close as possible to the ideal look, movement, and temperament of the breed. You'll also find breeders who aim for both looks and utility. Labs bred for the show ring tend to be slightly heavier and more solidly built than those intended for canine careers.
Is this breed right for you?
If you want a dog who...
  • Is large and bouncy, with an enthusiastic attitude toward life
  • Has a short easy-care coat
  • Has a cheerful, tail-wagging nature
  • Thrives on exercise and athletic activities
  • Is steady-tempered and dependable with everyone
  • Is peaceful with other animals
  • Is eager to please and responsive to training
History
  Labrador Retrievers hail from the island of Newfoundland, off the northeastern Atlantic coast of Canada. Originally called St. John's dogs, after the capital city of Newfoundland, Labs served as companions and helpers to the local fishermen beginning in the 1700s.
The dogs spent their days working alongside their owners, retrieving fish who had escaped hooks and towing in lines, and then returned home to spend the evening with the fishermen's family.
  Although his heritage is unknown, many believe the St. John's dog was interbred with the Newfoundland Dog and other small local water dogs.
  Outsiders noticed the dog's usefulness and good disposition, and English sportsmen imported a few Labs to England to serve as retrievers for hunting. The second Earl of Malmesbury was one of the first, and had St. John's dogs shipped to England sometime around 1830. The third Earl of Malmesbury was the first person to refer to the dogs as Labradors.
  Amazingly, Labs — now America's most popular dog — were almost extinct by the 1880s, and the Malmesbury family and other English fans are credited with saving the breed. In Newfoundland, the breed disappeared because of government restrictions and tax laws. Families were allowed to keep no more than one dog, and owning a female was highly taxed, so girl puppies were culled from litters.
  In England, however, the breed survived, and the Kennel Club recognized the Labrador Retriever as a distinct breed in 1903. The American Kennel Club followed suit in 1917, and in the '20s and '30s, British Labs were imported to establish the breed in the U.S.
  The breed's popularity really began to take off after World War II, and in 1991, the Labrador Retriever became the most popular dog registered with the American Kennel Club — and he's held that distinction ever since. He also tops the list in Canada and England.
  Today, Labs work in drug and explosive detection, search and rescue, therapy, assistance to the handicapped, and as retrievers for hunters. They also excel in all forms of dog competitions: show, field, agility, and obedience.

Personality
  In general, Labrador retrievers are excellent family dogs, as long as you keep in mind their need for exercise and training. These are dogs bred to work and work hard and they love to have jobs to do, particularly retrieving.
  Labs are usually good with other dogs, other pets, and children as long as training has toned down their natural exuberance. They are strong dogs and need some obedience training at an early age or they can be seen dragging their owners down the street at will.
Owing to their energetic nature, Labradors who are left alone or not well exercised can become destructive — chewing, digging and barking to excess.
  The field line dogs are especially high-energy dogs, while some of the show line dogs become perfect couch potatoes at an early age. Chewing can be a problem because the strong retrieve urge gives them an oral fixation. Sturdy chew toys, exercise and training all help with this.

Children and other pets
  The Labrador Retriever not only loves kids, he enjoys the commotion they bring with them. He'll happily attend a child's birthday party, and even willingly wear a party hat. Like all dogs, however, he needs to be trained how to act around kids — and kids need to be taught how to act around the dog.
  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.
  If a Lab has had plenty of exposure to other dogs, cats, and small animals, and has been trained how to interact with them, he'll be friendly with other pets, too.

Health
  Labs are prone to hip dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joint that ranges from mild to severe and can cause such disability or pain that major surgery is necessary.
  Dysplastic dogs usually become arthritic. With so many Lab puppies produced each year, it is important to buy from a breeder who x-rays breeding stock for hip dysplasia and only uses those animals with an OFA or PennHIP clearance for breeding. Screening tests on breeding dogs cannot prevent the development of disease in offspring, but it lessens the odds that hip dysplasia will be a problem.
  Labs are also prone to several eye disorders, including progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts, and epilepsy. All Lab breeding stock should have an eye test each year and be registered free of eye disease by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation.
  Purchasing a healthy Lab pup can be a bit difficult, but the research to find just the right breeder and puppy is well worth the trouble. The well-bred Labrador Retriever is one of a handful of wonderful family dogs for a broad spectrum of lifestyles and living situations. A Lab can do field work (for real or in trials and tests), obedience and agility competition, or therapy dog work at local hospitals or nursing homes with owners who are looking for just a bit more than a companion dog. All in all, the well-bred Lab can be the perfect family dog.

Care
  The lovable Lab needs to be around his family, and is definitely not a backyard dog. If he's left alone for too long, he'll probably tarnish his saintly reputation: A lonely, bored Lab is apt to dig, chew, or find other destructive outlets for his energy.
  Labs show some variation in their activity levels, but all of them need activity, both physical and mental. Daily 30-minute walks, a romp at the dog park, or a game of fetch, are a few ways to help your Lab burn off energy. However, a puppy should not be taken for too long walks and should play for a few minutes at a time. Labrador Retrievers are considered "workaholics," and will exhaust themselves. It is up to you to end play and training sessions.
  Labs have such good reputations that some owners think they don't need training. That's a big mistake. Without training, a rambunctious Lab puppy will soon grow to be a very large, rowdy dog. Luckily, Labs take to training well — in fact, they often excel in obedience competitions.
  Start with puppy kindergarten, which not only teaches your pup good canine manners, but helps him learn how to be comfortable around other dogs and people. Look for a class that uses positive training methods that reward the dog for getting it right, rather than punishing him for getting it wrong.
  You'll need to take special care if you're raising a Lab puppy. Don't let your Lab puppy run and play on very hard surfaces such as pavement until he's at least two years old and his joints are fully formed. Normal play on grass is fine, as is puppy agility, with its one-inch jumps.
Like all retrievers, the Lab is mouthy, and he's happiest when he has something, anything, to carry in his mouth. He's also a chewer, so be sure to keep sturdy toys available all the time — unless you want your couch chewed up. And when you leave the house, it's wise to keep your Lab in a crate or kennel so he's can't get himself into trouble chewing things he shouldn't.

Grooming
  Labs are easy-care dogs who don’t need lots of fancy grooming, but there are a few important things to know about their care.
  Item one: Labs shed. A lot. You’ll have less hair lying around the house if you brush your Lab once or twice a week so that the hair goes onto the brush instead of onto your furniture and clothes. A rubber curry brush and a metal shedding blade or wire slicker brush are your new best friends.
  Item two: Labs are water dogs. When your Lab gets wet, and he will, give him a thorough freshwater rinse to remove chlorine, salt or lake muck from his fur, all of which can be drying or otherwise damaging to the coat.
  Item three: Moisture in the ears can increase the risk of ear infections -- especially in a breed already prone to them (due primarily to allergies). Dry the ears thoroughly after a swim, and use an ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian.
 The rest is basic maintenance. Trim the nails every week or two, as needed. They should never get long enough that you hear them clacking on the floor. Long nails can make it uncomfortable for the Lab to walk, and they can get caught on things and tear off. That’s really painful, and it will bleed a lot. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good dental health and fresh breath.

Did You Know?
  The 2008 tearjerker “Marley and Me” told the story of a rambunctious Labrador Retriever puppy and his influence on his family. Marley was played by a Lab named Jonah, who stole the film from co-starts Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson.

Famous labradors
  As both the most popular breed by registered ownership and also the most popular breed for assistance dogs in several countries, there have been many notable and famous labradors since the breed was recognized.

Assistance dogs
  Endal, a service dog in Britain. Among other distinctions, "the most decorated dog in the world" , the first dog to ride on the London Eye and the first dog known to work a 'chip and pin' ATM card. By Endal's death in March 2009, he and his owner/handler Allen Parton had been filmed almost 350 times by crews from several countries, and a film of a year in Endal's life was in production.

Police, military, rescue and detection dogs

Zanjeer, a detection dog who detected arms and ammunition used in 1993 Mumbai (Bombay) serial explosions. During his service, he helped recover 57 country-made bombs, 175 petrol bombs, 11 military grade armaments, 242 grenades and 600 detonators. His biggest contribution to the police force and the city was the detection of 3,329 kg of RDX. He also helped detect 18 Type 56 rifles and five 9mm pistols.
Lucky and Flo, twin Black Labrador counterfeit detection dogs who became famous in 2007 for "sniffing out nearly 2 million pirated counterfeit DVDs" on a six-month secondment to Malaysia in 2007. Following the multi-million dollar, 6-arrest Malaysian detection, they became the first dogs to be awarded Malaysia's "outstanding service award" and software pirates were stated to have put a £30,000 contract out for their lives.
Sarbi, an Australian special forces explosives detection dog that spent almost 14 months missing in action (MIA) in Afghanistan before being recovered safe and well in 2009.
Jake (rescue dog) a well-known American black labrador who served as a search and rescue dog following the September 11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina.

Pets
Former President of the United States Bill Clinton's Labradors Buddy and Seamus.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's Labrador 'Koni'.

Fiction and media
  Brian Griffin from the animated TV sitcom Family Guy is a white Labrador Retriever.
Bouncer in Neighbours, and Luath in The Incredible Journey, are also famous Labradors on TV.
  Marley is an American Labrador featured in Marley & Me, a best-selling book by John Grogan, and a subsequent film based on Grogan's life and times with Marley.
  On the BBC children's television series Big Barn Farm, Digger is a yellow Labrador puppy.
Rowdy on Scrubs is a taxidermy golden Labrador Retriever involved in various gags on the show.
  Vincent on Lost is a white Labrador Retriever.
Pharaoh and Isis are yellow Labrador Retrievers in the television series Downton Abbey.

Mascots and advertising
  Since 1972, a yellow Labrador pup known as the Andrex Puppy has been an advertising symbol for Andrex (Cottonelle) toilet tissue.
  Michigan State University has an ongoing tradition of Zeke the Wonder Dog. The original "Zeke" as well as the current "Zeke IV" was a yellow Lab, as "Zeke III", and "Zeke II" were black Labs.


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How to Clean Your Dog's Ears

How to Clean Your Dog's Ears
  It is important to take time each week to examine your dog’s ears for signs of irritation, infection, dirt and parasites. These at-home ear exams don’t take long, and can help you identify minor issues before they become larger, more painful problems. Simply look inside each ear for signs or redness, discharge, dirt, or waxy buildup.Your dog’s ears are the perfect environment to grow bacteria and yeast, which can lead to serious infections.   Routine cleaning and at home examination lets you detect any infections or other problems early. If you suspect your pet already has an ear problem, visit your veterinarian immediately. 

  If your dog’s ears are healthy, meaning there is no infection, they will appear to be the same pale color as the rest of your dog’s skin. Infected ears will appear red and they may be filled with discharge. They also may have a foul odor that you will definitely notice. Plus, your dog’s infected ears will be sensitive to touch and could cause the dog considerable pain. He will probably react to any contact by whining or cringing.

  Prompt treatment offers a better prognosis, reduces the potential for chronic disease, hearing loss, and gives earlier relief for any discomfort your pet may have. Any discharge, odor, excess scratching, pawing or rubbing at the ears, redness, pain, swelling or masses may indicate an infection or other abnormality.
  Another affliction your dog may have is ear mites. Ear mites themselves are difficult to see with the naked eye, but this may be the case if your pet is frequently scratching at his ears or shaking his head. If the mites have been there for a while, you may also notice dried blood inside his ears. A veterinarian will need to diagnose this condition and can provide you with special ear drops that contain insecticide.
  Dogs with allergies are particularly vulnerable, as are those with floppy ears, like Cocker spaniels, Basset hounds and Poodles.

Getting Started With Ear Cleaning
  It is best to clean a dog’s ears in the bathroom, a mud room, or another room of your home where you won’t mind a potential mess. Most dogs don’t enjoy having their ears cleaned, which means spills are inevitable.
  Before cleaning the ears, inspect them. You can get an idea of how dirty they are and you can check for excess hair. If your dog has a lot of hair coming from the ear canal, that hair may need to be plucked. You can do this with your fingers, tweezers, or hemostats. A special ear powder made for dogs may be helpful in gripping the hair. Talk to your groomer or vet's office about this process.
 The best tools to use for cleaning your dog’s ears are a good pair of hemostats and some cotton balls. Do not use Q-tips on a dog’s ears, as they can push debris further inside the ear canal, or even damage the ear. Hemostats can be purchased at drug stores, pharmacies, or from your veterinarian. You can purchase an ear cleaning solution specifically created for pets, or you can mix one up at home. Purchase an ear-cleaning solution from your vet or a pet supply store. This is either a blue or clear liquid and is usually sold in a plastic bottle with a dropper tip. Ask an employee if you need help finding it.
  A highly recommended home ear cleaning solution is 1 part white vinegar to 1 part of water. This solution works wonders on dogs that have chronic yeast or bacterial infections in their ears. Another ear cleaning solution you can mix at home is 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 1 part water. Never use alcohol to clean your dog’s ears. Alcohol can dry out the sensitive skin inside the ears and cause allergic reactions.

Steps
  Begin by holding the ear flap up and squirting a few drops of cleanser on the inside of the flap near the ear opening. If using homemade solution, get a squeeze bottle or bulb syringe with a tip that is about an inch long . Next, gently place the tip of the bottle into the ear and give a gentle squeeze. Do not use an excessive amount of pressure when squeezing the cleanser into the ear.
  Before he can shake his head, begin massaging the base of your dog's ear . You should be able to hear a "smacking sound." By massaging, you are helping the cleanser to fill the ridges in the canal and loosen ear debris. After massaging for a few seconds , you can let go and allow your dog to shake. You might want to turn away or hold up a towel for this part.
  Once your dog has a good shake, use the cotton or gauze and your finger to wipe out the ear canal. You can put your finger in the ear canal as far as it will go without forcing it. You may wish to use cotton-tipped applicators to clean stubborn debris out of the ridges. NEVER put the cotton-tipped applicators into the ear any further than you can see! Damage to the eardrum can occur.
  If the ear still seems dirty, you may repeat the process. Then, move on to the other ear. Finish by wiping away any visible debris and drying your dog's head off. Then, reward him with a treat!

Tips
  • Rewarding the dog after a cleaning helps them relax and realize that if they cooperate the next time, they'll get a treat.
  • Never insert a cotton swab deep into the dog's ear canal! This can cause permanent hearing damage.
  • The vinegar helps dissolve wax. If your dog's ears are fairly clean to begin with, you can just use water to wipe them out.
  • Your veterinarian can show you how to properly clean your pet's ears; just ask.
  • Be gentle! Remember it's just a little dog.
Warnings
  If your dog has had ear infections before, ask your vet what to use to clean his ears and how often to do so. Too much cleaning can actually cause ear infections.
  Do NOT poke into the dog's ear canal. Your dog and his hearing will not be happy with you.
  If your dog's ear(s) are very dirty, gooey, or have discharge (pus: yellow, red, green, or brown), DO NOT clean his ears. 
  SEE YOUR VET - your pet probably has an ear infection.
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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Do Dogs Recognize our Facial Expressions?

Do Dogs Recognize our Facial Expressions?
  So, you think you know your dog.  But how well does your dog know you?  She probably recognizes you when she sees you, but can the dog tell by simply looking at you whether you have a happy or an angry expression on your face?   Researchers have taught pet dogs to know the difference.  
  A new study indicates dogs can learn to distinguish a smile, even on the faces of some strangers.
  For the first time ever, researchers have established that dogs can tell the difference between angry and happy human faces. Dogs may have developed the skill during their domestication by humans, according to a study published today in the journal Current Biology. The study also suggests that dogs had memories of what the expressions looked like and were able to associate them with the appropriate emotions.
  "Our study demonstrates that dogs can distinguish angry and happy expressions in humans, they can tell that these two expressions have different meanings, and they can do this not only for people they know well, but even for faces they have never seen before," study co-author Dr. Ludwig Huber, head of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna's Messerli Research Institute in Austria, said in a written statement.
  In the study, nine dogs (mainly Border Collies) were shown sections of pictures of sad and happy human faces on touchscreens. One group of dogs was trained to touch the happy face to receive a treat while the other group was trained to touch the angry face. After the training period, the dogs were able to select the correct face with a 70 to 80 percent accuracy, explains lead author Corsin Müller, a cognitive scientist at the University of of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, adding that the emotions being tested had been selected because they were "quite relevant for the dogs." "They seemed to realize that the smiley eyes have the same meaning as a smiley mouth and angry eyes have the same meaning as an angry mouth," Müller says.
  Whatever the reason, it's not so surprising that dogs can tell facial expressions apart, Müller says. "Because they spend so much time with humans, they have a lot of opportunities to see human expressions."
 Müller plans to pursue that question, and to look at whether domestication played a role in the ability to read human expressions. For that study, the biologist plans to test species such as cats, pigs, and hand-raised wolves.  Muller says future work will try to determine whether dogs can learn the meaning of certain expressions - for example, whether a scowl indicates a person is angry.
  The findings, published in the journal Current Biology, provide the first solid evidence that we are not the only species that can read another species' body language.   
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