LUV My dogs: affection

LUV My dogs

Everything about your dog!

Showing posts with label affection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label affection. Show all posts

Friday, April 21, 2017

Everything about your Irish Terrier

Everything about your Irish Terrier
  The Irish Terrier dog breed was once described as the “poor man’s sentinel, the farmer’s friend, and the gentleman’s favorite.” Rugged and stouthearted, he has the advantages of a convenient size, versatile abilities as a companion, watchdog, and vermin dispatcher, and high train-ability.

Overview
  Versatility should be the middle name of the Irish Terrier. This breed is full of energy and has the courage of a lion. He doesn’t realize that he is a medium-sized dog. To him, he is the King and will take out any animal that he has not befriended. This breed will also chase anything that runs, including your neighbors and their children. A fenced yard is a must for this energetic fellow.
  The Irish Terrier is playful. He will happily spend hours in the yard with your kids playing ball, hide and seek, fetch or even Frisbee. After a tough day of play, he will snuggle up to you on the couch and expect that his tummy will be rubbed until he drifts off to sleep. To learn more about the Irish Terrier, please read on.

Highlights
  • Irish Terriers will not necessarily get along with any other dog. They will fight if challenged by another dog and will not back down.
  • Irish Terriers can be stubborn.
  • They are terriers and will dig if your yard has moles or other rodents.
  • Irish Terries can be barkers.
  • Irish Terriers must have regular opportunities to burn off their energy.
  • Irish Terriers need mental challenges such as training and play to thrive.
  • Obedience training is highly recommended. The "come" command can be difficult to teach.
  • They can be dominant and attempt to take over the household. You must be consistent and teach them that you are in charge at all times.
  • 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.
Other Quick Facts
  • The Irish Terrier has a longer body and longer legs than other terriers.
  • The Irish Terrier has a long head with strong jaws; dark brown eyes full of fire and intelligence; small V-shaped ears that drop forward; and a docked tail. His dense, wiry coat hugs the body and can be bright red, golden red, red wheaten or wheaten.
  • Comparable Breeds: Airedale Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
History
Irish Terrier circa 1915
  This red-headed son of Ireland — the only terrier with an all-red coat — is thought to be one of the oldest of the terrier breeds, although little is known of his origins. One writer referred to him as “the poor man’s sentinel, the farmer’s friend, and the gentleman’s favorite.
  A dog show in Glasgow in 1875 was the first known appearance of the breed under the name Irish Terrier. Four years later, Erin and Killney Boy were bred and produced a large number of champions, securing for themselves the titles “mother” and “father” of the Irish Terrier. The breed quickly rose in popularity and in the 1880s was the fourth most popular breed in England.
  Those early Irish Terriers came in several colors, including black and tan, gray, and brindle, but by the end of the 19th century the solid-red color seen today had won out.
The Irish Terrier soon became popular in the United States as well. There was a class for the breed at the Westminster Kennel Club show in 1881, and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1885. The Irish Terrier Club of America was founded in 1896.
  The breed proved its usefulness during World War I, serving as a messenger and sentinel. Afterward, he continued to be popular. In 1929, the Irish Terrier ranked 13th among the 79 breeds then recognized by the American Kennel Club. His place has fallen somewhat since then; today he ranks 128th, but those who love him consider him a well-kept secret.

Personality
  Like most terriers, the Irish packs a lot of personality into a small body. They are lively dogs who love to play and like to hear themselves bark. They are quick to posture around other dogs and won't back down if challenged. In the home, they love to be the center of attention, and aren't above making mischief to receive the attention they crave. Irish Terriers have spunk and sass, and many owners swear their dogs “talk back” to them. They are generally patient with kids, and enjoy playing in the yard with anyone willing to give chase. But at the end of the day, the Irish Terrier will want to curl up on someone's lap for some affection and relaxation.

Health Problems
  The Irish Terrier is one of the healthiest dog breeds. There are no known conditions or problems that are seen consistently within the breed.

Care
  The Irish Terrier’s wire coat requires combing about twice a week, in addition to shaping and trimming about four times a year. Show dogs need stripping. For household pets, clipping is enough  it helps in softening the coat but may make the color dull.
  An active breed, the Irish Terrier requires daily exercise and entertaining games. Apart from making a good jogging and walking companion, it is also a preferred hunting and hiking partner.

Living Conditions
  The Irish Terrier will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised; a small yard will do. If given sufficient exercise, it is surprisingly well-mannered and dignified indoors.

Trainability
  Irish Terriers, like many terrier breeds can be a challenge to train. They have a mind of their own and prefer that they be the ones in charge of the home. Training an Irish Terrier requires absolute consistency – if you bend the rules once for these guys, they'll walk all over you. Training should be conducted with lots of treats and even more patience. Never treat an Irish Terrier harshly, as they will stop responding to you all together. They are prone to defensive reactions – if an Irish Terrier does not like the way he is being treated, he will snap or bite.
  Once leadership is established, however, Irish Terriers can pick up on tricks and can be graduated on to advanced obedience or agility training. These activities are a good way to keep the dog's mind active, as they require a lot of mental stimulation.

Exercise Requirements
  Irish Terriers, although energetic, don’t need tons of exercise. A good, brisk walk each day and a trip to the dog park for rip roaring fun each week will suffice. This breed does enjoy running, so a fenced yard would surely be a plus. When not inside of a secure area, the Irish Terrier should always be kept on a leash.
  His playful nature makes the Irish Terrier the perfect family companion. Children love the Irish Terriers desire and ability to catch a ball and bring it back to them. Both the dog and the kids will be tuckered out by the end of the day! This is a definite asset of living with an Irish Terrier.

Grooming
  The Irish Terrier doesn’t require a lot of grooming. Weekly brushing with a slicker brush keeps the coat in good condition. Bathe him only if he gets dirty. Trimming isn’t necessary, but many owners have their Irish Terriers groomed professionally three to four times a year for a neat appearance. The coat is trimmed with clippers or by stripping, a process by which coat is thinned and shortened with a stripping knife, a sharp, comb-like tool, or a combination of both. The Irish Terrier Club of America has a helpful guide to grooming the coat.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually once every week or two. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath. Check the ears weekly for dirt, redness or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with a gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian.
  Even though his grooming requirements are minimal, it is important to begin grooming the Irish Terrier when he is very young. An early introduction teaches him to accept grooming without any fuss. 

Children And Other Pets
  It's said that the little people  gave Irish Terriers to children to be their playmates. Their size and energy level make them great companions for active kids, but as always, they should both be supervised, especially if children are very young. Teach your puppy not to be rough or mouthy, and teach your child not to pull the dog's tail or ears or hit him. Children should never approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Irish Terriers don't like strange dogs, and they can be aggressive toward other dogs of the same sex. Early socialization with lots of other dogs, strong leadership on your part, and neutering can go a long way toward reducing an Irish Terrier's dog aggression, but they're not a guarantee that you'll turn him into a dog who's buddy-buddy with other canines.
If you have one Irish Terrier, he can probably learn to get along with one or more cats. Early socialization is key. More than one Irish Terrier may gang up on a cat or cats. Always supervise their interactions and, if necessary, separate them when you're gone.

Did You Know?
  Intrepid and stylish, the Irish Terrier has been nicknamed the d’Artagnan of the show ring for his smooth confidence and winning ways. His other nickname is Daredevil, a nod to his utter contempt for danger.

Appearances in arts and culture
  • Jack London's books Jerry of the Islands and Michael, Brother of Jerry were about Irish Terriers that, according to the bloodlines recorded in the beginning of the book, may actually have lived.
  • The 2007 film Firehouse Dog features an Irish Terrier as the title character.
  • Former Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King owned several Irish Terriers,all named Pat, and had séances to "communicate" with the first Pat after the dog's death.
  • William Wordsworth's poem "Fidelity" was written after the death of Charles Gough, who fell from Striding Edge, Helvellyn in 1805. His body found below Red Tarn some months later by a shepherd, his body still being guarded by his Irish Terrier, Foxey. Nearby were discovered the bones of her dead puppies.



Read More

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Everything about your Otterhound

Everything about your Otterhound
  This is a large, shaggy scenthound who nearly disappeared after hunting otters became illegal in Britain, but fans have repurposed him as a companion. He’s entertaining to live with but can be difficult to keep clean. The Otterhound is laid-back, but that doesn’t mean he’s a couch potato. Expect to exercise him thoroughly every day.

Overview
  Thought to come from French ancestors, the Otterhound is a large breed that's close to extinction. Used in packs by fishermen to help catch and retrieve otters, the dog has a good scent trail and webbed feet to help retrieve fish. With sea otters on the endangered list, we're seeing less of this breed. Extremely affectionate and devoted to his family, this breed is a large and loving animal.

Highlights
  • Otterhounds require a great deal of exercise, and not just chasing a ball in the backyard. A vigorous daily workout of jogging or swimming for several miles is needed to keep him physically and mentally healthy. However, because of the adverse effect of strenuous exercise on growing joints and bones, you should limit exercise among puppies and adolescent Otterhounds. Swimming is the best exercise for younger dogs, because the risk of joint injury is minimal.
  • Otterhounds are enthusiastic and loud barkers. But don't expect yours to be a guard dog — he's far too friendly for that.
  • Don't allow your Otterhound off-leash in unfenced areas; you never know when he might catch an enticing scent and run off.
  • Otterhounds enjoy being outdoors, but they're best suited to living daily life inside the house with their families.
  • A fenced yard is mandatory. Otterhounds have been known to jump fences as high as five feet, so be sure the fencing is at least six feet tall.
  • The Otterhound is affectionate, but he's also independent. He won't follow you around, begging for attention. He'll probably greet you when you get home, and then — if he doesn't need exercise — he'll return to his favorite snoozing spot.
  • The Otterhound loves food and can become obese if you don't monitor his diet. Also, his incredible sense of smell enables him to locate those special goodies you've hidden in the cabinets, and his size and cleverness enable him to find a way to get at them.
  • Big dog, bigger expense. Everything for a big dog costs more, from food to grooming to veterinary care.
  • 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.
Other Quick Facts:
  • Otterhounds are rare - there are fewer than 1,000 throughout the world. Approximately 350 live in the U.S. and Canada. The rest are primarily in Great Britain, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Germany, and Switzerland.
  • The Otterhound played a role in the creation of another breed: the Airedale. He was crossed with black and tan terriers to add size and water ability.
  • Comparable Breeds: Spinone Italiano, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon


History
  Closely resembling the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, the Otterhound may have its roots in France. Being a very unusual member of the Hound Group, the Otterhound is a hardy scenthound, whose origin is unknown. The Otterhound may have its roots in breeds such as the Welsh Harrier, Bloodhound, Southern Hound, or a kind of water spaniel.
  Although there is not much to be said about the genetic makeup of the breed, it was a prized otter hunter in England as early as the 13th century. In 1212, King John kept the earliest documented Otterhound packs. This dog was used for searching for otters, which were exhausting the fish in local streams. The dog trailed the prey to its hideout and bayed after locating it. After the hunters arrived, they would take away the Otterhound and use small terriers to kill the otter.
  Although otter hunting was not a popular sport - as it lacked the formality of foxhunting and took place in wet weather conditions - the breed rose in popularity during the later part of the 19th century, when more than 20 packs hunted in England. However, this sport started losing its prominence after World War II.
  The first Otterhound was introduced to the United States at the turn of the 20th century; soon thereafter, the American Kennel Club would formally recognize the breed.
  Unfortunately, this ancient English breed is slowly becoming extinct. Otterhound fanciers are often not in favor of breeding the dog for dog shows and thus it has not been very popular as a pet or show dog.

Personality
  The Otterhound is an amiable fellow, with plenty of affection for every member of the family. He loves children, though he can play a little rough due to his large size. He is devoted to his family, but not overly so.
  He's likely to extend happy greetings when you come home at the end of the day, but don't expect him to follow you from room to room. He's too independent for that.
  The Otterhound's characteristic independence makes training challenging. You have to convince him that he wants to do what you're asking. This is entirely possible, as long as you are patient and skilled.
  The good-natured Otterhound is not a top candidate for a watchdog. He'll sound a loud warning bark to intruders, but that's about it.
  As with every dog, the Otterhound needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Otterhound 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
  Like most large, rapid growing breeds, Otterhounds occasionally suffer from joint problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia. They are also known to suffer from ear infections due to the long, droopy shape of their ears. Otterhounds can also sometimes suffer from epilepsy and this is considered to be a hereditary ailment.

Care
  The Otterhound is not a breed that can brag of its tidiness, as food often gets trapped in its mouth a face, or mud in its hairy feet. Therefore, the dog should be brushed and combed at least once a week.
  More over, the Otterhound requires a daily exercise regimen. It can sleep outdoors in cool and temperate climates if given proper shelter.

Living Conditions
  The Otterhound is not recommended for apartment life. They are relatively inactive indoors if they have sufficient exercise. They do best with at least a large, well-fenced yard. It can sleep outdoors in temperate or cool climates if given a good shelter.

Training
  Otterhounds were never bred to be kept as companions and are therefore not the easiest of dogs to train. Training them requires a firm hand and a great deal of patience. They are also a good-natured breed and do not respond well to harsh training methods. A firm but gentle approach always works best with this breed. It is also important that an Otterhound’s owner display consistent leadership as this dog can turn willful and stubborn if faced with a meek or passive owner.

Exercise Requirements
  Otterhounds have a great deal of stamina and require strenuous and daily exercise. They make excellent jogging and hiking partners and can keep up a steady trot for the better part of the day. When not exercised sufficiently they can sometimes turn destructive.

Grooming
  The Otterhound has a rough double coat that sheds water and has a crisp texture. It’s easy to care for with weekly brushing. The coat can be two to six inches long, and some coats are oilier than others. An Otterhound who has a longer, oilier coat gets dirty more quickly than one with a shorter, less oily coat, so the need for bathing varies. Some Otterhounds need a bath monthly, while others can get by with a bath only once a year. However frequently you bathe him, plan to clean the Otterhound’s beard after every meal to prevent odor. You will also spend a lot of time cleaning his feet, which have a tendency to attract mud and debris.
  With some Otterhounds, you may need to strip the coat once or twice a year to maintain its crisp texture. Stripping is the process of pulling out dead hair by hand. Ask your dog’s breeder if it is necessary and how to do it. Clipping the coat will make it soft, which is okay as long as you don’t show your dog and don’t mind the loss of the traditional texture. The Otterhound Club of America offers good grooming tips on its website.
  Anytime the Otterhound gets wet, whether from a bath, a swim, or a face wash, be sure you dry him completely to avoid a mildew-like effect, especially under the chin or any other place he has skin folds. In addition, if the Otterhound doesn’t get dry right down to the skin, he can develop painful, itchy, tender spots.
  The rest is basic care. Trim his nails every week or two and keep his ears clean and dry. Good dental hygiene is also important. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
  Otterhounds are boisterous, fun-loving dogs, but because of their size and tendency toward clumsiness, you should supervise them when they are with small children. They love children and wouldn't hurt them intentionally, but their size and exuberance might cause them to knock a small child to the ground. The Otterhound is probably better suited to a family with older children, ages 10 and up.
  If properly trained and socialized, the Otterhound gets along well with other dogs. Use caution when introducing him to small pets, however. The Otterhound's hunting instinct is strong, and he's likely to chase animals he perceives as prey.

Is this breed right for you?
  A loving and devoted companion, the Otterhound is good with children of all ages. Affectionate and smart, this breed gets along well with all members of the family, including cats. Known to have a knack for hunting, he may chase small animals and fish if given the opportunity. A terrific companion and great for outdoor life and camping, he'll enjoy any type of activity that involves swimming. Although inactive indoors, this breed is not recommended for apartment living due to his large size and need for regular exercise.

Did You Know?
  The water-loving Otterhound has large webbed feet to facilitate his ability to swim. Combined with his rough coat, they give him a look all his own.

A dream day in the life of an Otterhound
Waking up to hang out with the family around the breakfast table, the Otterhound will be ready for his morning walk. Once back inside, he'll snooze before the gang leaves. When alone, he'll ensure the home turf stays protected. Frequenting the backyard, he may swim a few laps in the pool. Once home, he'll greet you with a furry smile. After a rubdown and another walk, he'll be ready to relax with the entire family.
Read More

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Your Dog is Your Best Friend

Your Dog is Your Best Friend
  Dogs have been our constant companions for thousands of years. The history of dogs is closely tied to our own history, and no other animal on Earth shares as close a relationship with humans as dogs do. Dogs and humans understand each other, and it’s because of the undying love they show us that we keep them by our sides.
  It’s not that having a human BFF is a bad thing. It’s just that your dog makes it clear, every second, that you matter more than anyone else in the world.
  And we’re not saying you’re needy, either. But your dog is in awe of you. You feed his soul with food, walks, sleep, and play. If he could build you a shrine, he would.
  In case you’re still on the fence about whether your dog, or that friend you’ve had since you were five, is your true bestie.



He Never, Ever, Leaves Me Alone

  Buddy’s friendship means I never have to feel alone again. He makes it clear I will never have to take even one step without him. Whether I walk to the computer or across the living room, he is closer than a shadow. So close I have to be careful not to step on his paws.

 You don’t mind doing even the most mundane of activities together.



He Is My Bathroom Hero

  He watches over my safety in the bathroom. He has taught me not to close the door tightly or he’ll throw his body against it and begin frantically scratching. He knows he can’t save me if I’m not in his line of vision. My hero has made it clear to leave the door open a crack. That way he can use his nose to push the door all the way open, smile at me, and wag his tail like a metronome on speed.

You don’t even need anyone but each other to have fun.


Just having each other around brings a smile to your face.

He Loves Sharing Meals

  He shares food. My food. When I’m seated at the table the Budster comes over and rests his chin on my lap. If that doesn’t work in one millisecond, his head burrows through and pops up in the space under my arm when I’m about to bite into a sandwich. And, no matter how many people look at me disapprovingly he scoffs at them and lets me feed him bites. I’ve learned to make the food bits small because he never chews, only gulps. When the meal is over he lazily lets his head flop back in my lap with a snorty sigh of approval.


You do everything together.

Time Means Nothing to Him

  I can’t wait to run home for one of his dopamine filled hugs even if it’s only been 20 minutes since I saw him last. He can’t wait either. When he hears my keys he runs up to wait at the door. When I open it he stands up on his hind legs, and reaches his front paws towards me for a hug. He does that even if it’s only been five minutes.

You’re there for each other, even when no one else is.


He Isn’t Afraid of Feet

  He takes excellent care of my feet. After a long walk in the morning I get in the bathtub and he trots in after me (You know, in case I slip or something). I dangle my foot over the side of the tub and he rushes to lick it. And lick it. And lick it.

I Can Read Him With a Look

  He has taught me a secret language. If he gnashes his teeth together like a snapping turtle it means he’d like me to look up so he can gaze into my eyes. If he sits perched at my feet and lets out a long, slow whimper he is merely looking out for me. He’s saying I’ve been working too many hours and will feel much better if I take a break and scratch behind his ears.

You always go everywhere together (as long as it’s not the vet).

He Is Never too Shy to Make a Fuss

  He whips his tail in circles like a propeller when he sees me. If Buddy is walking my husband Steve, and then spots me approaching on the street he stands at alert, and thrashes his tail as he bursts into song. People look at us because they think he is in pain. They don’t understand that caterwauling is the Bud’s happy voice.

You can only get to sleep when you’re together.


He Respects My Sleep

  Buddy doesn’t wake me up. He waits until I stir from sleep before he pounces on my chest, leans into my face, and smothers me with slobbery kisses because he knows it’s good for me.

You help make each other’s dreams come true.

He Keeps Me Warm

  He keeps Steve and me warm in the winter. By plastering his body against us he saves us from having to buy a heating pad. When Steve gets up to make coffee Buddy moves over to Steve’s spot on the bed and curls up like a pill worm. When Steve comes back with our mugs of java Buddy slides closer to me thus presenting Steve with his gift – a warm spot on the bed.

You’ll always make time to listen to each other’s feelings.

He Wears a Cape

Buddy sacrifices to make my Halloweens joyful. He consents to wearing a Superman cape because he knows it makes me happy. Of course, I understand that he cannot tolerate booties, coats, hats, or sweaters, and because I respect his boundaries, he indulges me.

You can’t hide anything from each other.




Read More

Friday, July 11, 2014

Successful Dog Training Techniques

Successful Dog Training Techniques
   Many people can’t imagine life without dogs. We admire and adore them for their loyalty, unconditional affection, playful exuberance and zest for life. Nevertheless, dogs and people are very different animals. Although officially “man’s best friend,” dogs have some innocent but irksome tendencies-like jumping up to greet, barking, digging and chewing-that can make it downright difficult to live with them! To make the most of your relationship with your dog, you need to teach her some important skills that will help her live harmoniously in a human household.
    When you bring a dog into your home, you must be dedicated to helping him be the best dog he can be.  That is one of the most important jobs you have as the parent of a canine.      Providing him with the essentials for living is one aspect of this job, but teaching him right from wrong should be considered just as important.  As you raise your children, you teach them these lessons to make them happy and successful people.  Your dog deserves this same assistance and consideration.  

Old Dog, New Tricks?
  Many people are under the mistaken impression that if you adopt an adult or older dog, that he is past the age to be trained. Nothing can be further from the truth.  Dogs are extremely intelligent creatures, and their intelligence does not decrease over the years.  If anything, they get smarter as they get older.  Yes, they may be a little more set in their ways and a little less eager to jump on the training bandwagon, but with the love, support, and consistency of a good parent, any dog can learn better behavior.


Be Consistent
  Give clear and consistent commands for the desired behavior. For example, a "down" command should not be used interchangeably with an "off" command. Technically, these are two different behaviors. Always use commands and avoid vague words such as "no" or simply calling their name. For best results, replace "no" with the exact behavior you want him or her to do.


Too Young To Learn

   Alternatively, another myth with dog training is that if you begin training too early, your dog

will not be able to learn because she is too young.  This is not true, either.  No matter how

young your puppy is when you bring her home, start your training immediately. They are
essentially babes in the woods and do not know how to interact with the world around them.
      You are responsible for showing them what to do and what not to do.  Without this guidance, she will run amuck and get into things and damage your belongings, as well as injuring themselves or others.  

Be a Good Leader
   Some people believe that the only way to transform a disobedient dog into a well-behaved one is to dominate her and show her who’s boss. However, the “alpha dog” concept in dog training is based more on myth than on animal science. More importantly, it leads misguided pet parents to use training techniques that aren’t safe, like the “alpha roll.” Dogs who are forcibly rolled onto their backs and held down can become frightened and confused, and they’re sometimes driven to bite in self defense.

Positive and/or Negative Reinforcement
   Whether you are raising a human child or a canine one, you will hear a lot about positive and negative reinforcement.  Positive reinforcement is when you see that your child is doing the right thing so you pat him and speak to him in an approving voice and tell him what a good job he did. 
This is a very key part to almost any type of successful training activity.  When a puppy or dog is told that she is doing good things and getting positive attention based on her actions, she will want to continue doing these things.  She wants your love and approval, so she will do what she can to get it.  Your dog is extremely smart and will make the connection between her actions and your reactions.  Many owners choose to use a higher pitched voice when conveying approval. Dogs do respond well to this. 
   Negative reinforcement is basically the same process, but it is something you do when she has done something she should not.  Based on the rules of negative reinforcement, when your dog does something bad or dangerous, your reaction should be negative.  You should speak to her in a low and unhappy tone, telling her that his action was bad.  This does work, but should be used sparingly.  If your pooch is always getting negative reactions to her behaviors, she will go through life an unhappy, maladjusted dog.  She will become nervous and worried about pleasing you and could even develop anxiety problems.
When teaching new skills, keep training sessions short and sweet
 Like kids, dogs don’t have long attention spans. There’s no hard-and-fast rule, but an ideal average training session should last 15 minutes or less. Within that session, you can work on one skill or switch between a few different skills. To keep things interesting, try doing 5 to 15 repetitions of one behavior and then doing 5 to 15 repetitions of another behavior. You can also practice new skills and keep old ones polished by doing single repetitions at convenient times throughout the day. For example, before giving your dog a tasty new chew bone, ask her to sit or lie down to earn it.

Positive Reinforcement Only
  This tact has been used very successfully for many people, including various types of law enforcement personnel when training their dogs.  Using only positive reinforcement to help your dog understand what she is doing right and completely ignoring any bad action is a mainly passive type of training.  This can often take longer, but has been proven to work long term much better than other training methods.  Using this method, the only time you give your dog any attention for doing something negative is if what she is doing will endanger he in any way. 
   No matter what type of training you use with your dog, make sure that you reassure her of your love and acceptance.  You are doing what is best for her, which makes you the best parent you could ever be.

Help him Focus
  Some training sessions may be impromptu, and those are great if you can keep your dog's attention. If your dog is having difficulty focusing, he may need to drain some energy before hand with a walk, a game of fetch, time on the treadmill, or a play date. Focusing is as much of a skill as the command you are trying to teach. If your dog is having difficulty loose leash walking outside, practice inside where there are fewer distractions. Gradually increase diversions as he masters the skill.

  A training session can last as little as a minute or long as you have your dog's attention. Training and learning can be a way of life for your dog when he is guided to live within your rules and boundaries. Having your dog sit before you feed him, or wait at the door before you exit, or slowly walk down the stairs with you, these are all examples of daily training in action. Think of training as simply communicating with your dog and not something that requires special treats, experts, or lots of time. By communicating clearly, consistently, and with affection, your dog can always be learning.

Read More

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Everything about your Beagle

Everything about your Beagle
  The Beagle is a happy, inquisitive, shorthaired hound who makes a great family companion, an eager hunter in the field — or both!
   Small, compact, and hardy, Beagles are active companions for kids and adults alike. Canines in this dog breed are merry and fun loving, but being hounds, they can also be stubborn and require patient, creative training techniques. Their noses guide them through life, and they're never happier than when following an interesting scent. The Beagle originally was bred as a scenthound to track small game, mostly rabbits and hare. He is still used for this purpose in many countries, including the United States.
   Although beagle-type dogs have existed for over 2,000 years, the modern breed was developed in Great Britain around the 1830s from several breeds, including the Talbot Hound, the North Country Beagle, the Southern Hound, and possibly the Harrier.
   Beagles have been depicted in popular culture since Elizabethan times in literature and paintings, and more recently in film, television and comic books. Snoopy of the comic strip Peanuts has been promoted as "the world's most famous beagle".

Overview
  It's difficult to resist the appeal of a Beagle's dark brown or hazel eyes, with his soft, pleading expression. They're happy, outgoing and loving — characteristics more than balanced out by their hound nature, which is inquisitive, determined, and focused on food.
  They aren't yappy dogs, but they do have three distinct vocalizations — a bark/growl, a baying howl, and a half-baying howl (a cross between a frantic bark and a bay). The half-howl vocalization usually is reserved for when they catch sight of quarry — or think it's time to wake the neighbors at 6 a.m.! Being pack dogs, they generally get along well with other animals and their human friends — and they think everyone is their new best friend.
  The most important thing to know about the Beagle is that he is a scenthound. His nose is the most important part of his anatomy and his head is always down to the ground, searching for an interesting trail to follow. Beagles have approximately 220 million scent receptors compared to the paltry 5 million or so in people, which makes them very good at picking up scents. Humorist Dave Barry once described his in-laws' Beagle as "a nose with feet."
   You may have seen the Beagle's nose at work at airports across the country. In 1984, the U.S. Department of Agriculture decided to use Beagles to sniff out contraband food being brought into the United States at the Los Angeles International Airport.
  The experiment was a huge success. Because they are small, friendly, and cute, the Beagles didn't intimidate people who are afraid of dogs, and with their super nose power, they could be trained to identify specific food articles while bypassing those that weren't contraband. Today, members of the "Beagle Brigade" patrol the baggage-claim areas at more than 20 international airports and other points of entry into the United States.
   Although they've branched out into other fields of work, Beagles remain superb hunters of small game. The National Beagle Club's Institute Farm hosts AKC-sanctioned field trials where breeders with packs are put to the test in the field. Many other countries have similar activities for hunting Beagles.
  Because of their small size and gentle temperament, Beagles can do well in apartments if their people are willing to walk them on lead several times a day in all kinds of weather. They need plenty of exercise, about an hour a day if possible. If left alone and unexercised, Beagles can become destructive.

Breed standards
AKC group: Hound
UKC group: Scenthound
Average lifespan: 12-15 years
Average size: 20-25 lbs
Coat appearance: Sleek, smooth, short
Coloration: Brown, white & black, and more
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Squarely built, fairly long body with short legs for hunting and chasing. The square muzzle is straight and medium in length. Long, wide-set ears. Black nose is broad with full nostrils for piqued sense of smell and a high-set, straight tail, never curled.
Possible alterations: Coat coloring varies and can be seen in tricolor, black and tan, red and white, orange and white, and many other variations.
Comparable Breeds: Basset Hound, Bloodhound
Highlights
  • Beagles can be difficult to housetrain. Some people say it can take up to a year to fully housetrain some Beagles. Crate training is absolutely recommended.
  • Beagles can get bored if left alone in a house too long. If left in a backyard, Beagles will start finding ways to amuse themselves, usually by howling, digging, or trying to escape.
  • The most common reason Beagles are turned over to rescue groups is because either their owners or their owners' neighbors got tired of their baying. Be sure that you are prepared to work with your dog to control excessive barking and howling.
  • Beagles are targets for thieves who would steal them and perhaps sell them to research laboratories for use in experiments. Supervise your Beagle when he is outdoors and be sure to have him microchipped!
  • Since they are scenthounds, Beagles will wander off if they catch an enticing smell in the air. Their noses control their brains, and if they smell something interesting, nothing else exists in their world.
  • Although they are loving and gentle, Beagles can have an independent, stubborn streak. Obedience training is recommended, but be sure the instructor of the class understands hound personality and favors using food as a reward.

Other Quick Facts
  • Beagles come in two sizes; both sizes of Beagles can be born in a single litter. If you want to be sure you get one of a certain size, wait to purchase a puppy until he is about nine months old.
  • Beagles bred for hunting are more likely to be noisy and active than Beagles bred for the show ring.
  • You might not think so when you are trying to train him, but the Beagle is very smart in the sense that he is a good problem-solver. He might not respond instantly to your commands, but he will quickly figure out how to overcome any obstacles that are preventing him from getting something he wants.
  • Beagles need daily exercise and mental stimulation in the form of sniffing. Without it they can become bored and destructive. Provide them with the attention, training and activity they need or suffer the consequences.
  • Shyness and aggression are not common Beagle characteristics. Do not choose a puppy who shows signs of these behaviors.
History
  The origin of the word "beagle" is uncertain. It's thought that it may have been derived from the French word begueule, meaning open throat, or from the Old English word beag, meaning small. Others think it may have come from the French word beugler, meaning to bellow, or the German word begele, meaning to scold.
  The breed's history is cloudy as well because breeds as we know them today didn't really develop until the 19th century. Greek documents from 400 B.C. describe Beagle-like dogs, and the Romans may have brought small rabbit-hunting hounds with them to England and bred them with the local hounds.
   William the Conqueror reportedly brought Talbot hounds to England during the Norman Conquest in 1066. These dogs are thought to be the ancestors of the Beagle and the Foxhound.
   Beagles became popular in England very early in its history. During the reigns of Edward II (1307 - 1327) and Henry VII (1485 - 1509), extremely small beagles, called Glove Beagles, were popular. They reportedly were small enough to be held in a gloved hand. There's also mention of Singing Beagles, named for their bugling voices.
  Elizabeth I (1533 - 1603) kept packs of Pocket Beagles that stood only 9 inches tall. These small dogs were depicted in paintings as short-legged and pointy nosed. They were used for hunting, but quickly fell out of favor because they weren't very fast.
  In the 1700s, fox hunting became popular in England, and the Beagle fell out of favor as the larger Foxhound became the dog of choice. If it hadn't been for the farmers in England, Ireland, and Wales who continued to keep packs to hunt rabbit and hare, the breed might have become extinct at that time.
   In the mid-1800s Reverend Phillip Honeywood established a pack of Beagles in Essex, England. These dogs are thought to be the ancestors of the modern Beagle. Rev. Honeywood bred for hunting skills, not looks. Thomas Johnson, a fellow Englishman, was responsible for breeding Beagles who were both attractive and good hunters.
  At about the same time, American breeders started importing Beagles from England to improve the looks of their own dogs. Many of the English imports were bred to an average height of 15 to 17 inches at the shoulder so they could hunt fox. American breeders started breeding them to be smaller for rabbit hunting.
   Of interest is the "Patch" Beagle strain developed by Willet Randall in New York around 1880. The line is primarily white with a very large tri-colored spot. They were very popular in the 1940s and 1950s because they were able to run so fast. Today, many people call lemon and white or red and white beagles "Patch" beagles.
  The American Kennel Club and the first Beagle specialty club both were founded in 1884. In that same year, the AKC began registering Beagles.
   In 1916, five members of the National Beagle Club purchased 508 acres in Western Loudoun County, Virginia for the purpose of holding field trials. The men who purchased it formed a corporation called Institute Corporate to purchase and own the land, then leasing it to the Institute Foundation that maintains the property for the National Beagle Club, which today is the site of many activities of the National Beagle Club.



Temperament and Personality
  Beagles are happy, outgoing and loving. They are often described as having a merry temperament, but they are also known for their mischievous nature. Beagles like to have their own way, and they can be naughty, determined and stubborn in their efforts to get what they want, which is usually food.
  Start training early, be patient and be consistent, and one day you will wake up to find that you live with a great dog. But even so, there are a few Beagle behaviors that you should expect to live with throughout his life. They are part and parcel of being a Beagle, and nothing you do will change them. Beagles love good smells, Beagles howl, Beagles have selective hearing, and Beagles love to eat.
  Everything a Beagle does somehow leads back to his nose. His powerful sense of smell overcomes any good sense you might have tried to instill and tells the Beagle to escape from the yard or break into the dog food bag in the pantry or see what’s in the trash. When channeled properly, it’s also what makes him a great arson dog or termite detector, so it all evens out in the end. Just remember that when your Beagle’s nose is down, his “other brain” is turned off.
  Beagles have what fans call a “musical” voice, but to your neighbors it’s just going to sound like really annoying noise. Beagles will sing along to sirens, “give tongue” when they are hunting, and bark when strangers come to the door, but they aren’t usually nuisance barkers unless they are bored or lonely. If you don’t live out in the country where no one else is around to hear his drawn-out “Aaaaarrrroooooh,” keep your Beagle occupied with toys, the company of another animal or, best of all, your presence so he doesn’t feel the need to serenade the neighborhood.
  Beagles like to do what they want to do, not necessarily what you want them to do. They are true masters when it comes to selective hearing. If a Beagle isn’t interested in the request you’ve made — commands are futile with this breed — he will simply ignore you or wander off. That can be frustrating if you’re not prepared for it. Successfully living with a Beagle means making everything a game, one that will hold his attention.
  As for eating, well, Beagles will try to eat anything. They are professional food thieves, and they will eat anything that even looks like it might be food, including things that you wouldn’t imagine would interest them. If nothing else, living with a Beagle will teach you, your spouse and your kids not to leave food of any kind within a Beagle’s nose range.
  The biggest trick to training a Beagle is to make everything you do with him seem like fun. Never try to force a Beagle to do anything, and never count on a Beagle to be obedient unless you can offer treats as an incentive. This is one breed where it’s important to keep in mind that old saying about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar.
  Your Beagle’s personality will also be affected by the kind of breeder who produced him. Beagles from breeders who produce hunting dogs are more likely to be hard-charging and demanding of exercise. They are unsuited to lying around the house all day while everyone is at work or school. More laid back Beagles typically come from a breeder who shows dogs in conformation.
  Any dog, no matter how nice, can develop obnoxious levels of barking, digging, food stealing and other undesirable behaviors if he is bored, untrained or unsupervised. And any dog can be a trial to live with during adolescence. In the case of the Beagle, the “teen” years can start at six months and continue until the dog is about three years old and sometimes throughout life.   Some Beagles just never lose that fun-loving, happy-go-lucky puppy nature. While it makes them entertaining to live with, it also means that they need more supervision than the average adult dog. Fair warning!
  The perfect Beagle doesn’t spring fully formed from the whelping box. He’s a product of his background and breeding. Whether you want a Beagle as a companion, show dog, hunting dog or all three in one, look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood.


Health
  The typical longevity of Beagles is 12–15 years, which is a common lifespan for dogs of their size. Beagles may be prone to epilepsy, but this can often be controlled with medication. Hypothyroidism and a number of types of dwarfism occur in Beagles. Two conditions in particular are unique to the breed: "Funny Puppy", in which the puppy is slow to develop and eventually develops weak legs, a crooked back and although normally healthy, is prone to a range of illnesses;Hip dysplasia, common in Harriers and in some larger breeds, is rarely considered a problem in Beagles. Beagles are considered a chondrodystrophic breed, meaning that they are prone to types of disk diseases.
   In rare cases, Beagles may develop immune mediated polygenic arthritis  even at a young age. The symptoms can sometimes be relieved by steroid treatments. Another rare disease in the breed is neonatal cerebellar cortical degeneration. Affected puppies are slow, have lower co-ordination, fall more often and don't have a normal gait. It has an estimated carrier rate of 5% and affected rate of 0.1%. A genetic test is available.
  Their long floppy ears can mean that the inner ear does not receive a substantial air flow or that moist air becomes trapped, and this can lead to ear infections. Beagles may also be affected by a range of eye problems; two common ophthalmic conditions in Beagles are glaucoma and corneal dystrophy. "Cherry eye", a prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid, and distichiasis, a condition in which eyelashes grow into the eye causing irritation, sometimes exist; both these conditions can be corrected with surgery.They can suffer from several types of retinal atrophy. Failure of the nasolacrimal drainage system can cause dry eye or leakage of tears onto the face.

Is this breed right for you?
  Beagles make excellent family pets. They love affection and attention, and their loving personalities make them great pets to have around kids. Their medium-sized builds allow Beagles to feel comfortable in most environments; however, they are a very vocal and energetic breed, so apartment life may not be ideal.

Care
  A fenced backyard is a necessity with a scenthound such as a Beagle. When outside, your Beagle should be on lead in unconfined areas, or securely confined and supervised. He's a wanderer by nature, so in case he escapes — a common occurrence with Beagles — be sure he's microchipped and wearing identification tags on his collar so he can be returned to you.
Some people prefer to use an underground electronic fence, but this type of enclosure doesn't prevent other animals from coming into your yard. Besides, if a scent is enticing enough your Beagle will be more than willing to risk a momentary shock to follow it.
  Like all dogs, Beagles benefit from obedience training. Positive reinforcement techniques work best because Beagles will simply switch off when treated harshly. Most Beagles are more than happy to do anything for a tasty treat.
  Adolescent Beagles are full of energy and need a lot of opportunities to work it all off. They love to go for walks with their family, or, even better, a good run across a field to hunt down rabbits . They'll enjoy jogging with you, but wait until they're 18 months or older before starting them on a repetitive exercise like this.
Grooming
  Beagles are easy-care dogs who don’t need a lot of fancy grooming. A good going-over with a hound mitt once or twice a week removes dead hairs and helps keep them from migrating to clothing and furniture. And that’s the bad news: Beagles shed year-round. The good news: unless your Beagle rolls in something stinky, which is a strong possibility, he shouldn’t need a bath more than three or four times a year.
  Keep your Beagle’s droopy ears clean with a solution recommended by your veterinarian. Don’t use cotton swabs inside the ear; they can push gunk further down into it. Wipe out the ear with a cotton ball, never going deeper than the first knuckle of your finger.
  Trim his nails regularly, usually every couple of weeks. They should never be so long that you hear them clicking on the floor.
  When mature, a Beagle can become fairly lazy, content to lie about the house all day, getting up for meals and perhaps an occasional scratching of the ears. Since this is a breed prone to obesity, don't let this happen.

Living Conditions
 Beagles will do okay in an apartment if they get plenty of chances to be outdoors. They are very active indoors and a small yard will be sufficient.

Exercise
  Energetic and possessing great stamina, the Beagle needs plenty of exercise, including a brisk daily walk. It should have a fenced yard of reasonable size to romp in. Always use a lead when walking this breed or you will be running the risk of it disappearing in search of wild game.

Did You Know?
  Beagles are used as scent detection dogs at U.S. airports, where their friendliness allows them to search for weapons, drugs and illegal food items without making passengers nervous the way a larger “police dog” might.
Children and other pets
  Beagles bond with everyone in the family, especially children. They can be rambunctious when playing, however, so they need to be properly socialized and supervised with very young children. In addition, Beagles tend to be "mouthy," grabbing things, including your or your child's hand, with their mouths to play. They do this in fun and can be trained not to do this.
  As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and supervise any interactions. 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.
  Because of their pack dog heritage, Beagles enjoy company and don't like to be left alone. Another dog or even a cat will help meet their companionship needs.

In popular culture
  Beagles have been featured across a wide range of media. References to the dog appear before the 19th century in works by such writers as William Shakespeare, John Webster, John Dryden, Thomas Tickell, Henry Fielding and William Cowper, and in Alexander Pope's translation of Homer's Iliad. Beagles appeared in funny animal comic strips and animated cartoons from the 1950s with the Peanuts character Snoopy, billed as "the world's most famous Beagle",Walt Disney's Beagle Boys, Odie, Garfield's friend and "chew dog" and Beegle Beagle, the constant companion of Hanna-Barbera's Grape Ape. They have appeared in numerous films, taking a central role in Underdog, Cats & Dogs and its sequel, and the title roles in the adaptation of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's book Shiloh. 
They have played supporting roles in films including Audition, The Monster Squad, I Am Number Four and The Royal Tenenbaums, and on television in Star Trek: Enterprise, EastEnders, The Wonder Years, and To the Manor Born among others. Former US President Lyndon Baines Johnson had several Beagles, and caused an outcry when he picked up one of them by its ears during an official greeting on the White House lawn. The ship on which Charles Darwin made the voyage which provided much of the inspiration for On the Origin of Species was named HMS Beagle after the breed, and, in turn, lent its name to the ill-fated British Martian lander Beagle 2. Gromit of Wallace and Gromit is also a beagle.

A dream day in the life
  Romping with the kids at the park or roaming wide-open spaces with its human best friends would mark an excellent day for this high-energy, attention-loving breed. A day of fun in the sun with plenty to sniff, chase and howl about is just what Beagle dreams are made of. After a few hours of playtime, a cozy nap on a warm lap would top off a perfect day.






Read More