LUV My dogs: canine

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Showing posts with label canine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label canine. Show all posts

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Everything about your Brittany

Everything about your Brittany
  Brittanys are charming, gentle and personable members of the household. Except for the Golden Retriever, you would be hard-pressed to find a more personable family dog. Lively and fun, Brittanys are always up for a roll on the carpet, a game in the back yard or a cuddle on the couch.
  Brittanys were bred as gundogs, and they definitely have birds on the brain. Although they're often called Brittany Spaniels, the American Kennel Club dropped the word "spaniel" from this pointing breed's name in 1982. The energetic Brittany is a versatile family companion and hunting dog who works more closely to the hunter than other pointing breeds.

Overview
  Great balls of fire! Life with a Brittany is never dull. This breed is smart, active, agile and relatively easy to train. For an active home with room for an active companion, you can’t do much better than the Brittany, a moderately sized dog with relatively few health or temperament problems. This dog can hunt, if that’s what you’re into, but for most people, the appeal is that the Brittany is athletic, bright and people-oriented.
  If you want a dog that will do anything you want to do as long as it’s active, this is a great dog for you. His wash-and-wear coat can be kept in shape with a weekly brushing to keep shedding under control, and he's typically friendly with other dogs, cats and children.
But make no mistake: this is not a couch-potato puppy: The Brittany is a canine overachiever and needs daily, heart-thumping exercise to keep his high spirits from bounding off. Don't get a Brittany if you're not going to make him a part of your family, or if you're not going to give him mentally and physically challenging activities.
  That work doesn't need to be hunting, although the Brittany does remain very popular among people who value a good bird dog. The Brittany does well in all kinds of canine sports, including agility, flyball and obedience and will be an active participant in any human-centered activity as well, from running and hiking to playing fetch with the kids.
  When we say you need to keep your Brittany busy, we’re not just thinking of the dog but of you. Left to his own devices and without sufficient exercise, the Brittany can become destructive and noisy instead of the happy family dog he was meant to be.

Highlights
  • Brittanys are high-energy dogs. They need at least an hour of intensive exercise each day. Without sufficient exercise, your Brittany may become neurotic and destructive.
  • Brittanys are smart and need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. Training for dog sports is a great way to provide this.
  • Brittanys don't respond well to harsh treatment. Be gentle and consistent but firm — don't let them run the household.
  • Brittanys are people-oriented and don't like to be left alone for long periods of time without something to keep them busy. If you work outside the home, you should consider getting two Brittanys to keep each other company.
  • Although they are friendly and like children, it's not recommended that you let your small children play with your Brittany without supervision. Your Brittany has so much energy and enthusiasm, he may accidentally injure your child.
  • 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 Brittany is a French breed from the province of Brittany. He was developed to point and retrieve in different types of terrain.
  • Brittanies have a short coat with a little feathering on the legs and are easy to groom, but like all breeds they shed.
  • A Brittany’s coat is white and orange or white and liver. Some Brittanies have tricolor coats, but that’s not a popular pattern.
  • Comparable Breeds: Cocker Spaniel, English Setter
History
  The name "Brittany" is taken from the Brittany region in northwestern France where the dog originated. Images of orange and white Brittany-like dogs hunting and retrieving game were first seen on tapestries and paintings from the 17th century. The first written and verifiable record of Brittanys comes from a hunting description written by Reverend Davies in 1850. He described hunting with small "bobtailed" dogs who pointed and were excellent retrievers. It was around the same time that the modern Brittany is rumored to have been bred by mating with English Setters. The Brittany was first shown at the Paris Dog Show in 1900.
  The Brittany was first recognized as a breed in 1907 when an orange and white male named "Boy" was registered in France. As a result, the first standards were outlined in the same year. America recognized the Brittany in 1931 and the breed was approved by the American Kennel Club in 1934. In 1982 the "Spaniel" was officially dropped from the name.


Personality
  Brittanys are happy and alert. As befits a pointing breed, they are curious and independent, but respond well to their people and want to please them. They can be singleminded when it comes to birds, but when they're not focused on their feathered prey, they enjoy spending time with their people, especially if they're doing something active. Brittanys are not just energetic, they're smart, so they needs loads of exercise and mental stimulation each day. When it comes to training, be consistent but never harsh.
  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, Brittanys need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Brittany 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
  Brittanys are generally healthy and hardy dogs. The median lifespan for Brittanys in France is 12.6 years.A UK Kennel Club survey puts the breed's median lifespan at 12 years 11 months, with about 1 in 5 dogs dying of old age at an average of 14–15 years.Brittanys have no undercoat and need minimal grooming or bathing. However, their floppy ears tend to trap moisture in the ear canal and should be cleaned regularly.
  Diseases found in the breed include Hip dysplasia, with 14.9% of Brittanys tested between 1974 and 2009 by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals displaying the condition, and a lesser rate of 10.3% for dogs born 2003-2004. The breed is listed among those commonly affected by Canine discoid lupus erythematosus. Epilepsy is also found, with owners of affected dogs encouraged to submit DNA to the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab's ongoing project on Brittany and canine health.

Care
  Mental and physical exercise are very important for the Brittany, as the breed is strong and tough by nature. One need not spend a great deal of time on coat maintenance, though. Brushing a Brittany dog once or twice a week is all that is needed. Brittanys are also quite adaptable to living in temperate weather outdoors.

Living Conditions
  The Brittany is not recommended for apartment life. They are very active indoors and will do best with acreage. This breed is resistant to cold and damp conditions.

Exercise
  Brittanys need and love extensive exercise and have great stamina. They should be taken on a long, brisk daily walk or jog and need an active owner.

Grooming
  The Brittany’s flat or wavy coat has a little feathering on the legs and belly, and it’s easy to care for with a weekly brushing. His coat sheds moderately, but regular brushing will keep loose hair off your floor, furniture and clothing. A bath is necessary only when he gets dirty.

  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every couple of weeks, and brush his teeth for good overall health and fresh breath.


Children and other pets
  Brittanys are a good choice for a family with active children, but their energy level might be overwhelming for toddlers.
  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.
  Brittanys enjoy the company of other dogs and can also get along fine with cats, especially if they're introduced at an early age.

Did You Know?
  Brittanies are hunting dogs, but don’t skip this breed if you’re not a hunter; they also excel at canine sports, including agility, flyball and obedience, and enjoy running, hiking and playing fetch with their people.


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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ideas For Homemade Dog Toys

Ideas For Homemade Dog Toys
  Buying commercial dog toys can be very expensive at times. You are also not 100% sure if they are safe to your canine pet. Some dog toys contain deadly toxins and chemicals that may be detrimental to your dog's health. Other pet chews and toys also have lead components that can cause vomiting, poor appetite and dog's diarrhea. Don't waste money on dog toys that last barely a half hour, make better and cheaper toys that your dog will enjoy just as much, if not more than the store-bought toys.
  Dog toys can come in all shapes and sizes. Good dog toys don't have to come for the pet store; you can make great toys for your best friend at home.
  Though dog toys are not a necessity, they can play an important role in sustaining your dog agility while training him to be independent and boosting his confidence. They can also provide entertainment and keep your dog preoccupied and physically active all day long. 
  To make sure that the toys you give to your canine are safe and non-toxic, why not make simple homemade dog toys yourself?

Sock Toys
  Old socks make great dog toys. Watch out that your pup doesn't think every sock is a toy, but it's easier to put socks away than to buy dozens of expensive chew toys. Be creative and make some great toys with your old tube socks. Just remember to take any small pieces so the dog doesn't eat the sock.
  Stuff multiple socks inside one main sock. Tie the end and hand it off. Your dog has a great new chew toy without the stuffing that becomes such a problem. She can peel the layers off like an onion or chew all day. If you have a young pup, make the sock toy before washing the sock. We might not like the smell, but your puppy will appreciate your scent when you're away from home.
  Double layer socks by stuffing one inside another. Then, fill the inside sock with sawdust. It's a different type of chew toy for a less aggressive chewer. If sawdust isn't available, use small animal bedding or a similar product.
   The tug rope is the greatest toy to have when playing with a dog. Instead of purchasing a knotted rope at the pet store, make your own with old socks or t-shirts. Hold two socks together and knot them with other socks to create length. Make the knots tight so they don't give way while playing.

Water Bottles
  Recycle in a whole new way with bottled water. After visiting the pet store for one more dog toy, I found an expensive but innovative toy. It was a stuffed raccoon, but instead of stuffing inside there was an empty water bottle. It made a pleasing crunching sound, and when the bottle was crushed a Velcro opening allowed it to be replaced. This gave me an idea, and I started to raid the recycling bin.
Combine the sock and the water bottle to recreate this toy. Place an empty plastic water bottle inside an old sock. Knot the sock and watch the fun.
Poke holes in the water bottle and remove the cap. Then, fill it with small or crushed dog treats. It works like the well-known Kong, allowing the dog to pester the bottle until small pieces of treats come out of the opening. If she destroys the bottle and gets the snacks, take the plastic before she can eat it and use a new bottle tomorrow.
  On hot days fill the water bottle half way with water and lay it on its side in the freezer. Your dog has a solid chewing toy that will cool him in the hot weather, but it isn't too hard for his teeth.
Our pup invented the water bottle toy on her own. I left an empty bottle on the floor only to find her running through the house in absolute joy at her newly found toy. I did nothing to it, and it was just as pleasing to her.

Rope Dog Toy
  To make this simple homemade dog toy, an old towel or handkerchief and scissors will be needed. Cut about 4 inches of strips of towel along the end then bundle the strips together to create a knot. Afterwards, braid your strips together and until 3 inches from the end. Voila, as simple as that, you have a nice little rope dog toy!

Tennis Ball Toys
  This toy is super easy to make and is nice for non-chewing small dogs, but probably isn’t safe for large dogs or ones that chew up their toys. Wad up newspaper into a ball, then cover the outside of the ball with duct tape, making sure not to leave any sticky sides facing out. You can use other items for the stuffing, including rags or other paper. Make sure you make the ball big enough that your dog can’t swallow it.


Gutless Fleece Dog Toy
  You will need 9 feet of rope and a can of 3 tennis balls. Begin by placing one tennis ball in a clamp. With the use of a drill, make a hole through the tennis ball. Next, thread the rope through the holes. Tie a simple knot near the ball. Knot the ends of the rope to avoid fraying. Finally, tie a second knot near the ends of the rope.


Rope Dog Chews
If you have old ropes that are not being used, tie several knots at each end to make a homemade dog toy for fetching and chewing.

A Fun Fleece Braid
If you have some leftover fleece from another project or have an old blanket ready to be used for rags, this toy is quick and easy to make, and is especially good for kids to make. Cut fleece into three strips, tie the ends into a knot, then braid the fleece pieces together. Tie off the other ends, and you have a fast and fun dog toy.

Add Sound to Toys
  To make a toy that makes sounds, but is a bit safer than squeakers, put some dry beans in a clean prescription bottle with a child-proof lid. Place the bottle inside homemade stuffed toys or in an old, clean sock for a fun toy that will attract those dogs who like a bit of noise out of their prey.

Create a Cardboard Box Dog Toy
  Any smallish and clean cardboard box can be used as a dog toy. Old cereal boxes, boxes from Hamburger Helper, or just about anything about that size or smaller will work.. Cut a few, one-inch holes (depending on the size of your dog) in the box, then spread a bit of peanut butter inside and tape close the open end of the box. Your dog will spend lots of time trying to lick out the peanut butter, pushing the box all over the room to do so. Just watch carefully to ensure your dog doesn’t get her tongue stuck inside any of the holes. She may also rip apart the cardboard to try and get at the peanut butter, so it’s best to use this dog toy in an easy to clean up area.


The abovementioned ideas for homemade dog toys can help you save a great deal of money. Bear in mind, however, that you need to supervise your dog whenever he plays with these homemade dog toys. Check them for any damage to avoid choking or the ingestion of parts.
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