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Friday, May 2, 2014

Everything about your Dachshund

Everything about your Dachshund
  Dachshunds are scent hound dog breeds who were bred to hunt badgers and other tunneling animals, rabbits, and foxes. Packs of Dachshunds were even used to trail wild boar. Today their versatility makes them excellent family companions, show dogs, and small-game hunters.

Overview
  This little lap dog might look sweet and innocent, but on the inside the Dachshund is a fierce hunter. Among the few of the small breeds that love to work, Dachshunds were bred to hunt and catch burrow-dwelling animals. With webbed paws built for digging and the heart of a lion, this little pup is a force to be reckoned with. Looking for a smaller version of this already tiny pooch? You're in luck. The miniature Dachshund weighs in at 11 pounds or less of pure love.

Other Quick Facts
  • The Dachshund’s coat comes in an endless variety of colors and patterns. Solid red is probably the most popular color, but you will also see Dachshunds in cream, black, chocolate, brindle and dapple — lighter-colored areas contrasting with a darker base color.
  • Dachshunds are always alert and they have a big, deep bark. Both qualities make them superb watchdogs.
  • It’s a good idea to have ramps or steps up to furniture so the Dachshund doesn’t hurt his back jumping on or off the sofa or bed.
  • Protect the Dachshund’s back by holding him correctly: one arm tucked beneath his hind end and one supporting his front end at the chest, keeping the body in a horizontal position.
Highlights
  • Dachshunds can be stubborn and difficult to housebreak. Crate-training is recommended.
  • Dachshunds are intelligent dogs with an independent nature and playful spirit. Because of this, they can be mischievous. Be patient, firm, and consistent when training them.
  • Because they were bred for hunting, they can exhibit some behaviors that are related to that. They were designed to dig into badger burrows, and that instinct may lead them to dig up your dahlias instead. They were bred to be tenacious in the hunt, and this instinct may lead them to be relentless in pestering you for a treat. They were bred to not only hunt but kill their prey; in your household, the "prey" most likely will be your Dachshund's toys and he will effectively "kill" them one after the other.
  • Dachshunds have loud, deep barks for a dog their size - and they do like to bark!
  • If you don't watch out, your Dachshund can become fat and lazy, which will put more strain on his fragile back. Be sure to monitor your Dachshund's food intake and keep him at a healthy weight.
  • Dachshunds are prone to having slipped disks in their backs, which can lead to partial or full paralysis. Don't let them jump from high places, and when you hold them, support their backs.
  • Your Dachshund will probably be a one-person dog. By nature, he can be suspicious of strangers, so it's important to socialize him when he is a puppy.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store.
Breed standards
AKC group: Hound;
UKC group: Scenthound;
Average lifespan: 12-15 years;
Average size: 11-32 lbs;
Coat appearance: Smooth, wire or long;
Coloration: Varies;
Hypoallergenic: No;
Other identifiers: Small frame; long in body; short in height;
Possible alterations: Two size variations: standard and miniature.
Comparable Breeds: Border Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Did You Know?
  The diminutive Dachshund comes in two sizes, three coat types and a wide variety of colors and markings, meaning there’s a Dachshund for almost everyone! Just don’t leave him alone outside - his tendency to bark could create problems with the neighbors.



History
  Badgers and other burrowing beasts are the bane of country folk everywhere and have been for centuries. To rid themselves of the hole-digging pests, foresters and huntsmen developed a long-bodied, short-legged dog with the tenacity and toughness to root out badgers from their dens. First known as the teckel in his home country of Germany, the Dachshund has been around in one form or another for at least 500 years. He was prized for his strong scenting ability, small size, determination to dig and courage in the face of a formidable foe. Breeds that probably contributed to the development of the Dachshund were the schweisshund, a type of Bloodhound; pointer-type dogs known as dachsbracke; Basset Hounds and Beagles.
  The earliest Dachshunds had smooth coats that could be any color. The longhaired Dachshund, which was popular for hunting water-loving prey such as otters, may have been created through crosses with spaniels. The wirehaired Dachshund is the youngest of the varieties, receiving official recognition in 1890. His rough coat protects him from thorny brush as he pursues his prey.
  Dachshunds first came to the United States in 1870, imported to hunt rabbits. The American Kennel Club registered its first Dachshund in 1885, and the Dachshund Club of America was formed 10 years later.
  Because of its German heritage, the breed’s popularity took a nosedive during World War I. It took a couple of decades for the breed to regain acceptance. Once it did, not even World War II, with the Germans as enemies again, could stop the Dachshund’s rise to his current place as one of America’s favorite dogs. These days, the Dachshund is ranked number eight among the breeds registered by the AKC.



Symbol of Germany
  Dachshunds have traditionally been viewed as a symbol of Germany. Political cartoonists commonly used the image of the dachshund to ridicule Germany. During World War I the dachshunds' popularity in the United States plummeted because of this association and there are even anecdotes such as a Dachshund being stoned to death on the high street of Berkhamsted, England at this time because of its association with the enemy. As a result they were often called "liberty hounds" by their owners similar to "liberty cabbage" becoming a term for sauerkraut.The stigma of the association was revived to a lesser extent during World War II, though it was comparatively short-lived. Kaiser Wilhelm II and German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel were known for keeping dachshunds.
  Due to the association of the breed with Germany, the dachshund was chosen to be the first official mascot for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, with the name Waldi.


Is this breed right for your?
  Ideal for apartment living, this loyal and compact breed makes a great city dog. Stubborn by nature, start potty training early. Prone to barking and "guarding," enforce basic obedience from the start, or you may face some unhappy neighbors. As a professional hunter and burrower, this breed may not be the best for children as Dachshunds can be know for having a short temper and being a little snappy. Whether you have a smooth-coated, wire-coated or long-haired Dachshund, minor grooming and bathing is all it takes to keep this compact pooch fresh and clean.

Personality
  The Dachshund is described as clever, lively, and courageous to the point of rashness. He's bred for perseverance, which is another way of saying that he can be stubborn. Dachshunds have a reputation for being entertaining and fearless, but what they want most is to cuddle with their people. For many Dachshund people, this characteristic outweighs having to deal with the breed's insistence on having his own way. The Dachshund personality can also vary with coat type. Because the wirehaired Dachshunds have terrier in their background, they can be mischievous troublemakers. Longhairs are calm and quiet, and Smooths have a personality that lies somewhere in between. Some Mini Dachshunds can be nervous or shy, but this isn't correct for the breed. Avoid puppies that show these characteristics.
  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, Dachshunds need early socialization-exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences-when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Dachshund 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.

Children and other pets
  Dachshunds are good with children in their own family if introduced to them early. They may not be as fond of your children's friends, so supervise playtime.
  With his long back, the Dachshund can be easily injured if he's not handled properly. Make it a rule that young children can only hold or pet the Dachshund if they're sitting on the floor. 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.
  Dachshunds get along well with other pets, especially if they're introduced to them in puppyhood. With their bold, domineering personalities, they may well be top dog.

Health
  The breed is known to have spinal problems, especially intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), due in part to an extremely long spinal column and short rib cage. The risk of injury may be worsened by obesity, jumping, rough handling, or intense exercise, which place greater strain on the vertebrae. About 20-25% of Dachshunds will develop IVDD.
  Treatment consists of combinations of crate confinement and courses of anti-inflammatory medications (steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like carprofen and meloxicam), or chronic pain medications, like tramadol. Serious cases may require surgery to remove the troublesome disk contents.A dog may need the aid of a cart to get around if paralysis occurs.
  A new minimally invasive procedure called "percutaneous laser disk ablation" has been developed at the Oklahoma State University Veterinary Hospital. Originally, the procedure was used in clinical trials only on dachshunds that had suffered previous back incidents. Since dachshunds are prone to back issues, the goal is to expand this treatment to dogs in a normal population.
  In addition to back problems, the breed is also prone to patellar luxation which is where the kneecap can become dislodged. Dachshunds may also be affected by Osteogenesis imperfecta . The condition seems to be mainly limited to wire-haired Dachshunds, with 17% being carriers. A genetic test is available to allow breeders to avoid breeding carriers to carriers. In such pairings, each puppy will have a 25% chance of being affected.
  In some double dapples, there are varying degrees of vision and hearing loss, including reduced or absent eyes. Not all double dapples have problems with their eyes and/or ears, which may include degrees of hearing loss, full deafness, malformed ears, congenital eye defects, reduced or absent eyes, partial or full blindness, or varying degrees of both vision and hearing problems; but heightened problems can occur due to the genetic process in which two dapple genes cross, particularly in certain breeding lines. Dapple genes, which are dominant genes, are considered "dilution" genes, meaning whatever color the dog would have originally carried is lightened, or diluted, randomly; two dominant "dilution" genes can cancel each other out, or "cross", removing all color and producing a white recessive gene, essentially a white mutation. When this happens genetically within the eyes or ears, this white mutation can be lethal to their development, causing hearing or vision problems.
  Other dachshund health problems include hereditary epilepsy,granulomatous meningoencephalitis, dental issues, Cushing's syndrome, thyroid problems, various allergies and atopies, and various eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, corneal ulcers, nonucerative corneal disease, sudden acquired retinal degeneration, and cherry eye. Dachshunds are also 2.5 times more likely than other breeds of dogs to develop patent ductus arteriosus, a congenital heart defect. Dilute color dogs  are very susceptible to Color Dilution Alopecia, a skin disorder that can result in hair loss and extreme sensitivity to sun. Since the occurrence and severity of these health problems is largely hereditary, breeders are working to eliminate these.



Care
  Dachshunds have a lot of stamina and energy. They love to take a walk or play outdoors with other dogs, and they like to hunt and dig. They are also active inside the house and can do well in small living quarters so long as they get a moderate amount of daily exercise. Two half-mile walks a day (about 10 minutes each) is about right. Occasionally, when time is short, a game of fetch will meet their need for activity.
  They're not suited to living outdoors or in a kennel but should live in the home. Dachshunds can injure their backs jumping on and off furniture, so get a ramp or steps and teach them to use it if they want up on the sofa or bed. When you hold a Dachshund, always be careful to support his rear and his chest.
  Dachshunds can learn quickly if properly motivated. Use positive reinforcements such as food rewards or a favorite toy to hold their attention, and keep training sessions short. The Dachshund will quickly become bored if made to repeat the same exercise over and over, so make obedience practice fun and interesting.
  Housetraining can sometimes be a problem with this breed. A Dachshund may not see the need for eliminating outside. Patience and consistency are musts. Crate training helps as well.
  Beyond housetraining, crate training is a kind way to ensure that your Dachshund doesn't get into things he shouldn't. Like every dog, Dachshunds can be destructive as puppies. Crate training at a young age will also help your Dachshund accept confinement if he ever needs to be boarded or hospitalized. Never stick your Dachshund in a crate all day long, however. It's not a jail, and he shouldn't spend more than a few hours at a time in it except when he's sleeping at night. Dachshunds are people dogs, and they aren't meant to spend their lives locked up in a crate or kennel.
  The Dachshund excels as a watchdog, but he can be noisy. Minis, in particular, can be yappy. Keep this in mind if your Dachshund will be living in an apartment or condo community.

Grooming
  Dachshunds like to roll in stinky things. So while they typically don’t need baths more often than every six weeks or so, that rule goes out the window when they find something especially aromatic — to them, anyway. To you, it’s simply eau de bathtime.
  Other than that, brush smooth and longhaired Dachshunds weekly to keep them clean and, in the case of the longhair, tangle-free. They shed moderately and regular grooming will help keep loose hair from falling off the dog and onto your clothes and furniture. The wire needs a different kind of grooming. The dead hairs in his coat must be plucked out twice a year, called stripping. Your dog’s breeder can show you how to do it. You’ll also want to trim his bushy beard and eyebrows to keep them looking neat. For the longhair and the wire, trim excess hair between the paw pads.
  Keep your Dachshund’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.

Sports
  Some people train and enter their dachshund to compete in dachshund races, such as the Wiener Nationals. Several races across the United States routinely draw several thousand attendees, including races in Buda, Texas; Davis, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Los Alamitos, California; Findlay, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Kansas City, Kansas; Palo Alto, California; and Shakopee, Minnesota. There is also an annual dachshund run in Kennywood, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, called the Wiener 100, and in Huntington, West Virginia called the Dachshund Dash.
  Despite the popularity of these events, the Dachshund Club of America opposes "wiener racing", as many greyhound tracks use the events to draw large crowds to their facilities. The DCA is also worried about potential injuries to dogs, due to their predisposition to back injuries. Another favorite sport is earthdog trials, in which dachshunds enter tunnels with dead ends and obstacles attempting to locate an artificial bait or live but caged and protected rats.

Exercise
  These are active dogs with surprising stamina; they need to be walked daily. They will also enjoy sessions of play in the park or other safe, open areas. Be careful, however, when pedestrians are about because Dachshunds are more likely to be stepped on than more visible dogs. They should be discouraged from jumping, as they are prone to spinal damage.

Popularity
Dachshunds are one of the most popular dogs in the United States, ranking 10th in the 2012 AKC registration statistics.They are popular with urban and apartment dwellers, ranking among the top ten most popular breeds in 76 of 190 major US cities surveyed by the AKC. One will find varying degrees of organized local dachshund clubs in most major American cities, including New York, New Orleans, Portland, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The breed is most popular in Europe.

Notable dogs and owners
  • John F. Kennedy bought a dachshund puppy while touring Europe in 1937 for his then girlfriend Olivia. The puppy, named Dunker, never left Germany after Kennedy started to get terrible allergies.
  • Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President, had a dachshund in the White House.
  • William Randolph Hearst was an avid lover of dachshunds. When his own dachshund Helena died, he eulogized her in his "In The News" column.
  • Fred, E.B. White's dachshund, appeared in many of his famous essays.
  • Lump, the pet of Pablo Picasso, who was thought to have inspired some of his artwork. (Pronounced: loomp; German for "Rascal") Picasso & Lump: A Dachshund's Odyssey tells the story of Picasso and Lump.
  • Jack Ruby, the killer of Lee Harvey Oswald, had a dachshund named Sheba, which he often referred to as his wife. At the time he committed his infamous murder, he had four of them—although he once had as many as ten.
  • Andy Warhol had a pair of dachshunds, Archie and Amos, whom he depicted in his paintings and mentioned frequently in his diaries.
  • Adele has a Dachshund named Louie, named after Louis Armstrong.
  • Stanley and Boodgie, immortalized on canvas by owner David Hockney, and published in the book David Hockney's Dog Days.
  • Wadl and Hexl, Kaiser Wilhelm II's famous ferocious pair. Upon arriving at Archduke Franz Ferdinand's country seat, château Konopiště, on a semi-official visit, they promptly proceeded to do away with one of the Austro-Hungarian heir presumptive's priceless golden pheasants, thereby almost causing an international incident. Another one of his beloved dachshunds, Senta, is currently buried at Huis Doorn, Wilhelm's manor in the Netherlands.
  • Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and her husband own and have owned a large array of dachshunds, both smooth and wirehaired.
  • Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was asked, in 2003, whether he has duct tape, plastic sheeting, and a three-day supply of bottled water at home. He replied, "I would like to say I did. I don't believe we do. But I do have a miniature dachshund named Reggie who looks out for us."
  • In Zelenogorsk, Russia, is a Dachshund monument near which passes a parade of Dachshunds on City Day, July 25.
  • Joe was the dachshund of General Claire Lee Chennault, commander of the Flying Tigers and then the China Air Task Force of the US Army Air Forces, and became the mascot of those organizations.
  • Maxie, a dachshund owned by actress Marie Prevost, tried to awaken his dead mistress, who was found with small bites on her legs. Maxie's barking eventually summoned neighbours to the scene. The incident inspired the 1977 Nick Lowe song "Marie Prevost".
  • Liliane Kaufmann, wife of Edgar J. Kaufmann who commissioned the home Fallingwater from Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935, was a well known breeder and owner of long-haired dachshunds. At the Fallingwater bookstore, visitors are able to purchase a book entitled "Moxie" which is about one of the dachshunds who lived at Fallingwater. Liliane raised long haired dachshunds and they travelled from Pittsburgh to Bear Run with her.
  • Kevin Smith (director, podcaster) has a Miniature Dachshund named "Shecky"
  • Obie is a dachshund who became infamous for his obesity, weighing as much as 77 pounds (35 kilograms), more than twice a normal-weight standard dachshund. He reached his target weight of 28 lb (13 kg) in July 2013.
  • David Hockney produced a series of portraits of his two dachshunds.
A dream day in the life of a Dachshund
  Digging up trouble is in this breed's blood. Keep your pooch happy and your household intact by taking your Dachshund on daily walks. Playtime outdoors where this pup can dig, sniff and chase will help fulfill its natural-born hunting instincts. Despite its determined personality, this breed loves to socialize, and a day at the dog park would complete a dream day.

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Everything about your Harrier

Everything about your Harrier
  Harriers originally were bred to hunt hares and foxes. Today, the dog breed isn't especially popular, but his excellent sense of smell and tireless work ethic makes him a great fit for hunters.




History
  Sources have widely conflicting stories about the origins of this breed. According to one, the earliest Harrier types were crossed with Bloodhounds, the Talbot Hound, and even the Basset Hound. According to another, the breed was probably developed from crosses of the English Foxhound with Fox Terrier and Greyhound. And yet another, the Harrier is said to be simply a bred-down version of the English Foxhound. The first Harrier pack in England was established by Sir Elias de Midhope in 1260 and spread out as a hunting dog throughout the west of England and into Wales. Although there are many working Harriers in England, the breed is still not recognised in that country.
  In any case, today's Harrier is between the Beagle and English Foxhound in size and was developed primarily to hunt hares, though the breed has also been used in fox hunting. The name, Harrier, reveals the breed's specialty. The Harrier has a long history of popularity as a working pack dog in England. 
  The Harrier is the most commonly used hound by hunts in Ireland, with 166 harrier packs, 37 of them mounted packs and 129 of them foot packs, spread throughout the country. More commonly in Ireland it is used to hunt both foxes and hares, with some packs hunting mainly foxes.
  This breed of dog is recognized in 1885 by the American Kennel Club and is classified in the Hound Group.

Overview
  The harrier is a smaller version of the English foxhound, more suited for hunting hares. It has large bone for its size, and is slightly longer than tall. It is a scenting pack hound and should be capable of running with other dogs, scenting its quarry and hunting tirelessly over any terrain for long periods. It has a gentle expression when relaxed and alert when aroused. The coat is short and hard. 
  The harrier is somewhat more playful and outgoing than the foxhound, but not as much as the beagle. It is amiable, tolerant and good with children. Its first love is for the hunt, and it loves to sniff and trail. It needs daily exercise in a safe area. Most are reserved with strangers. It tends to bay.

Highlights
  • Some Harriers can be stubborn and difficult to housetrain. Crate training is recommended.
  • Harriers tend to be vocal and some love to howl.
  • Some Harriers like to dig and have been known to dig under fences to escape and chase after something.
  • Harriers are hunting dogs and will take any opportunity to pursue game or follow a scent. A secure fence is a necessity if you have a Harrier. Underground electronic fences are not effective with Harriers because they have a high pain threshold and the brief shock they get from crossing the invisible line does not deter them from chasing or investigating things beyond its boundaries.
  • Harriers are high-energy dogs and have a great deal of stamina. They are perfect for active families or athletic people who like to jog or bicycle with their dogs alongside (on leash so they don't take off on a chase), but they may become obese or destructive if living in a more sedentary home.
  • If not properly trained and socialized, your Harrier may see cats and other small furry animals as prey and act accordingly.
  • Harriers are good watchdogs who will bark if they feel that someone or something is threatening their territory, but they are not good guard dogs. After raising the alarm, they are likely to greet strangers as long-lost friends.
  • Harriers can stay outdoors if given adequate shelter from the heat and cold, but being pack animals, they are at their best when they are around other dogs or their family.
  • The Harrier's long ears prevent adequate air circulation to their ears and they may be prone to ear infections.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from a backyard 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.
Breed standards
AKC RANKING: 149
FAMILY: scenthound

AREA OF ORIGIN: Great Britain

DATE OF ORIGIN: Middle Ages

ORIGINAL FUNCTION: trailing hares

TODAY'S FUNCTION: trailing hare and fox
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE: Height: 19-21 Weight: 45-60
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE: Height: 19-21 Weight: 35-45
OTHER NAME: none
COMPARABLE BREEDS: American Foxhound, Beagle

Personality
  As a typical pack hound,  a dog that's used to working as part of a group,  the gentle Harrier is outgoing and friendly, never aggressive toward other dogs.
  He's also a typical hound in that he's an independent thinker and can be stubborn. It's important to train him using methods that will persuade him that being obedient is his idea. Positive reinforcement ,  rewards for correct behavior , is the way to go with this breed. He's a good watchdog and will alert you to strange sounds or the approach of people. If you're not home, he'll watch the burglar come in and cart off your silver.
  Like every dog, Harriers need early socialization ,  exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences,  when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Harrier puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Health
  The Harrier, which has an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, is prone to problems like epilepsy and perianal fistula. The major health issue affecting this breed is canine hip dysplasia (CHD). To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may recommend hip and eye exams for this breed of dog.

Is this breed right for you?
  Energetic and great with children, this dog is an excellent addition to the active family. Active both indoors and out, this breed is not recommended for apartment life. Instead, a large home with a large yard will fit this pet perfectly. In need of a lot of activity, he'll pair well with a runner or a distance walker.

Care
  Harriers have a lot of energy and stamina. They are great companions if they get enough exercise, but if not, they may become destructive. Harriers are not recommended for apartment dwellers. They do best in homes that have large yards or acreage for them to run. Yards need fences that your Harrier can't dig under or jump over.
  Harriers can live outside with proper shelter from the heat and cold, but prefer to be indoors, close to their family, whom they consider their pack. Harriers bay — a prolonged bark — when they're bored or lonely, so it's not a good idea to leave them alone in the backyard for hours at a time, especially if you have neighbors nearby.
  These are dogs who love to be with you, but do not demand attention. They are capable of entertaining themselves. Your job is to make sure that their idea of entertainment doesn't mean getting into mischief! Give your adult Harrier a long walk with lots of time for sniffing or take him jogging every day.
  Puppies have different exercise needs. From 9 weeks to 4 months of age, puppy kindergarten once or twice a week is a great way for them to get exercise, training, and socialization, plus 15 to 20 minutes of playtime in the yard, morning and evening.
  From 4 to 6 months of age, weekly obedience classes and daily half-mile walks will meet their needs, plus playtime in the yard. From 6 months to a year of age, play for up to 40 minutes during cool mornings or evenings, not in the heat of the day. Continue to limit walks to a half mile.
  After he's a year old, your Harrier pup can begin to jog with you, but keep the distance to less than a mile and give him frequent breaks along the way. Avoid hard surfaces such as concrete. As he continues to mature, you can increase the distance and time you run. These graduated levels of exercise will protect his developing bones and joints.

Grooming
  The short-haired coat of the Harrier is easy to groom. Brush on a regular basis with a firm bristle brush, and bathe once every two weeks in the warmer months and bathe once a month in the colder months.

Living conditions
  Harriers are not recommended for apartment life unless the owners are very active people who plan on taking them out daily for jogs, hikes or hunts. They are moderately active indoors and will thrive with acreage. They have a tendency to roam do to their hunting and tracking instincts. Do not let them off leash in an unsafe area.

Children and other pets
  The Harrier is described as being excellent with children. As with all breeds, that comes with some qualifications. 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 to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
Being pack dogs, Harriers enjoy the company of other dogs, whether or not they're Harriers. They may view smaller animals, including cats, as prey, however. If they weren't brought up with them from puppyhood, closely supervise their interactions with cats and other pets.

Exercise
  Harriers will make excellent jogging companions and if not taken on a daily jog, they need to be taken on a long, daily, brisk walk. While out on the walk make sure the dog heels beside or behind the person holding the lead, never in front, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human.

A dream day in the life of a Harrier
  Waking up ready to play, this pup will make you smile early in the morning. After a game of tug of war, he's ready for his first walk of the day. Smelling a possible trail, he'll be easy to distract unless you lead him the right way. Back home, he'll wrestle and follow the kids around for the rest of the day. Once let back outside for a few laps around the yard, he'll be ready for dinner. After another long walk, he'll settle down for a relaxing evening with his family.


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Everything about your Havanese

Everything about your Havanese
  The Havanese dog breed has won many admirers with his long, silky hair, expressive eyes, and cuddly size. Bred as a companion dog to the Cuban aristocracy in the 1800s, he's earned the nickname "Velcro dog" because he sticks so closely to his owner's side. But don't write him off as just a lapdog; the Havanese is trainable and surprisingly energetic, and has excelled in dog sports and canine careers ranging from circus performer to assisting the handicapped.

History
  The Havanese is a member of the Bichon family of dogs. The progenitors of the breed are believed to have come from Tenerife. Ship manifests from Tenerife bound for Cuba list dogs as passengers brought aboard, and these dogs were most probably the dog of Tenerife. Some believe the entire Bichon family of dogs can be traced back to the Tenerife dog, while others theorize that the origins are in Malta, citing the writings of Aristotle, and other historical evidence of the early presence of such dogs in Malta. Whatever the actual origins of Bichon dogs, these little dogs soon became devoted companions to the Spanish colonists in Cuba and were highly admired by the nobility.
  As part of the Cuban Revolution, upper-class Cubans fled to the United States, but few were able to bring their dogs. When American breeders became interested in this rare and charming dog in the 1970s, the US gene pool was only 11 dogs.
  With dedicated breeding, and the acquisition of some new dogs internationally, the Havanese has made a huge comeback and is one of the fastest growing breeds of dogs in the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Breed standards
AKC group: Toy
UKC group: Companion
Average lifespan: 14 - 16 years
Average size: 8 - 13 pounds
Coat appearance: Soft and silky double coat
Coloration: White, black, chocolate, gold, cream, silver and blue
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Other identifiers: Dropped ears; large dark eyes; scissor bite; body is longer than dog's height; long tail; strong legs and neck.
Possible alterations: Longer coat may resemble dreadlocks; some are born with a shorter coat, causing them to be non-hypoallergenic; chocolate-colored dogs may have green or amber eyes.
Comparable Breeds: Lhasa Apso, Papillon
Overview
  The Havanese shines his affectionate personality on everyone, including strangers, children, other dogs, and even cats. But his family will get the lion's share of his love; given the choice, he'll stick like glue to his owner's side. The potential downside to all this devotion is that, when left alone, the Havanese can become anxious. This is definitely a housedog, and a Havanese who's left in the backyard — or anywhere away from his family — is not a happy dog.

  His Velcro personality isn't so surprising, considering he was bred to keep the wealthy families of his native island of Cuba company. Since then, however, the Havanese has proven that he's good for much more than warming laps. Havanese dogs are quite trainable, and they've worked as therapy and assistance dogs, sniffed out mold and termites, and shown off their clownish antics as performing dogs.

  They've also got a surprising amount of energy for their size, and for the family looking to compete, the Havanese will happily tackle such sports as agility, freestyle, obedience, and flyball.

  As with many small dogs, it's common for adoring owners to overindulge their Havanese. They'll probably regret it — bad habits, such as eating only people food, can form very quickly. This breed is a sharp con artist, and you may find that your Havanese is training you, rather than the other way around.
  In spite of his quirks, or maybe even because of them, the Havanese is a wonderful and versatile pet.

Is this breed right for you?
  Sweet and loving, this loyal watchdog makes the perfect companion for singles or families with children. Getting along with other pets, especially other Havanese, the breed is very social and enjoys constant companionship with his family members. Curious, he's likely to check things, and is easily trained. Great for apartment living, he does enjoy playing indoors but will need a good amount of regular exercise. Requiring regular grooming, he does best with a family that can give his coat much-needed attention. With good brushing, he is unlikely to shed. A good watchdog, he'll greet every guest that walks through your door.

Personality
  The Havanese is a gentle and affectionate breed that thrives on human companionship. Your Havanese will often follow you from room to room throughout the day, and he can get very anxious when left alone.
  He's intelligent as well, and will enjoy making you laugh with goofy antics, or simply sitting on your lap watching the world go by.
  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, the Havanese needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Havanese 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
  Havanese are generally healthy and sturdy with relatively few serious health issues. They typically live 14 to 16 years. Havanese organizations, such as the Havanese Club of America, monitor genetic issues to prevent propagation within the breed.
  Havanese suffer primarily from luxating patella, liver disease, heart disease, cataracts and retinal dysplasia. Havanese sometimes tear and may develop brown tear stains, especially noticeable on white or light coats.
  The Havanese Club of America developed a system to encourage widespread participation of seven recommended tests for eye disease (CERF), congenital deafness (BAER), patella luxation, cardiac diseases, hip dysplasia, hip joint disorder (Legg-Calve-Perthes), and elbow dysplasia. The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) program promotes testing and reporting of health test results for the Havanese breed. CHIC is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Testing required for a Havanese to receive a CHIC certificate includes OFA BAER, OFA Hips, OFA Patellas, and annual CERF exams. This provides an outstanding research tool for performing searches on individual dogs and also links health testing results of the dog's related pedigree information (parent, offspring, and sibling), when those related dogs have been health tested.

Care
  Although the Havanese is a small breed, he has a fair amount of energy to burn. A lengthy walk or an active game of fetch each day will keep him happy.
  The Havanese does well in a variety of homes, from apartments to large homes with yards — as long as he's an indoor dog. This breed isn't suited for life in the backyard. He is happiest when he is with his family. Although they're not overly yappy, they do bark at passersby, so if your home has noise restrictions, this may not be the breed for you.
  His eagerness to please his owners makes the Havanese fairly easy to train in most cases. Basic obedience, beginning with puppy classes, is recommended. Housetraining, however, can be particularly challenging for a Havanese, so you'll need to be especially patient during this process. You'll get there, but crate training is a must.
  Separation anxiety can be a serious concern for the Havanese and his owner. The best way to deal with this problem is to avoid it altogether. Don't leave the dog alone for long periods of time and, when you do leave, put him in a crate with plenty of sturdy toys to keep him occupied.
  Though he's small and fuzzy, a Havanese isn't a toy. Like all breeds, he needs to learn good canine manners. Don't spoil him with table scraps or by carrying him all the time he'll get fat or become overly possessive of you.

Havanese at work
  Because of the cheerful and readily trained nature, they are used for a variety of jobs involving the public, including:
  • Therapy dogs
  • Assistance dogs, such as signal dogs for the hearing impaired.
  • Performing dogs
  • Mold and termite detection
  • Tracking
Havanese also compete in a variety of dog sports, such as: dog agility, flyball, musical canine freestyle and obedience training.

Coat, Color and Grooming
  The Havanese coat is thick but silky, soft, and light, and it doesn't shed easily. The coat is long and ranges from straight to curly, although wavy is considered the ideal for the show ring. It comes in white, black, black and tan, sable, gray, and a myriad of other colors and markings.
  Many owners clip the Havanese coat short to make it easier to care for. But if you show your Havanese — or just want to look like you do — you'll have to keep it long, and should expect to do a lot of grooming.
  When kept long, the coat needs daily brushing to prevent mats from forming, and frequent baths to keep it clean. In general, it's wise to keep the hair above the eyes tied up to prevent irritation — it looks cute, too.
  Unless you're highly motivated and skilled, you're probably better off with a professional groomer. Owners can learn to groom their dogs, but it takes a dedicated person to keep this breed's coat in good shape.
  Watery eyes and resulting tearstains are common in the Havanese. Keep in mind that excessive tearing can signal an eye problem and should be checked by a veterinarian. However, most tearstains are not serious, and the cause is simply unknown. You can improve the stained look by keeping the hair around the eyes clean (wipe daily with a damp cloth). There are whitening products on the market made specifically for lightening the stains, which some owners find helpful.
  Brush your Havanese's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.
 Trim nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they're too long. Short, neatly trimmed nails keep the feet in good condition and prevent your legs from getting scratched when your Havanese enthusiastically jumps up to greet you.
  Begin accustoming your Havanese to being brushed and examined when he's a puppy. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth and ears. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you'll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he's an adult.
  As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the ears, nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

Children and other pets
  The Havanese is an excellent family dog who's affectionate with everyone, including kids of all ages and other dogs and pets. But because he's so small, he could easily get hurt by accident, so it's especially important to teach kids how to treat the dog.
  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.

A dream day in the life of a Havanese
  It is likely that your Havanese will wake up long before you to check the perimeter of your home. Ensuring that everyone is safe, he'll patiently wait for his human pack to wake up before joining them for breakfast. After a well-balanced meal, the Havanese will follow the members of the family, occasionally engaging in a bit of play. Once he has his daily walk, he'll be happy to spend the remainder of the day indoors with the people he loves most.


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How to Love Your Dog - Believe It or Not!

How to Love Your Dog - Believe It or Not!
   Love is one of the greatest gifts we can share with our dogs. Dogs are affectionate animals. Touch means a lot to them, both in their natural world and when they live with us. However, affection that hasn't been earned and is shared at the wrong time can be detrimental to a dog.
  Children (and adults too) often want to show love to dogs the way we show love to each other, through hugs and kisses. Dogs do not naturally understand this, or even enjoy it. Hugs and face-to-face contact can be very threatening to dogs. The dog may tolerate this for a while, but at some point may bite or snap to protect himself once he has exhausted all his means of more subtle warning. Some dogs do enjoy a hug from a special person, if it is on their terms and done with some extra scratching on the chest. Few, if any dogs enjoy hugs the way young children do this, which is to clasp around the neck and hang on. Parents, teach your children to avoid face-to-face contact with any dog (even their own dog) and to show love to the dog in ways other than hugging and kissing.

Steps!
  Give your dog plenty of exercise. When your dog needs to go out, take him or her out. You will know he needs to, because he will give you pleading looks, stand by the door, bark, etc. There may be whining, scraping and barking accompanying the need for exercise outdoors as well.

  Pet him. If he puts his head in your lap, don't scratch behind his ears! Well, you can, but when dogs do that, they're actually trying to figure out where you've been, who you've been with, and what you just ate! Dogs just want to be loved. They love neck and tummy scratches and a dog massage is one of the best ways to show your affection for your dog.

  Try (if possible) avoid hugging your dog. Most dogs, especially large dogs, hate this because dogs want to feel dominant. If you are holding him back, he doesn't feel like he's in charge.

  Reward your dog. Many dogs, Goldens and Shelties in particular, exist to please their owners, and they will do it. You have to reward them. Give them treats that are healthy and made specially for dogs. You don't have to buy the treats, you can make excellent ones yourself at home. 

  Talk to your dog. Dogs love it when you talk to them. You will develop your own language together and share intimate moments. And no dog will ever tell you to stop going on about a bad day at the office!

  Spend quality time with your dog. Your dog loves attention. Set aside time every day to spend just with your dog. Even if it's just lying in front of the TV together, stroking your dog's ears and resting together.

  Prioritize yourself to your dog. Set regular and consistent times to feed your dog and take him or her for walks. Your dog will love you for it because it's doing him or her a world of good for their well-being. Doing things for your dog at the same time every day will let it know what to expect at that time.

  Cherish your dog. Always respect your dog and the love that your dog has brought into the house. Be kind, caring and considerate in the way that you treat your dog. Your dog is a family member.

  Give your dog a comfortable place of its own. Your dog's sleeping area should be its alone, not to be shared with piles of washing or storage boxes. Make sure it is out of the way of people who walk through and other annoyances. 

  Discipline your dog. Just like a child, if you don't discipline your dog, that means you don't love him or her too much. Whenever your dog does something wrong, discipline him/her! You can do this by being consistent and sticking with the rules.


  Give affection - but at the right time!
Remember anytime you give affection, you reinforce the behavior preceding it. Reward stability. Share your love when your dog is in a calm-submissive state.

Share affection after a dog has...
exercised and eaten, changed an unwanted behavior into a behavior you asked for, responded to a rule or command, or entered a calm-submissive state.

Don't share affection when your dog is...
fearful, anxious, possessive, dominant, aggressive, whining, begging, barking, or breaking a household rule.

 And don't forget exercise and discipline.
Prove your love by giving your dog what he or she needs: long walks; rules, boundaries, and limitations

  Understand Your Dog
  • Learn to read dog body language so that you can understand what your dog is trying to tell you.
  • A happy dog pants and wags his tail loosely. He may wag all over.
  • An anxious dog might show a half moon of white in his eye or he may lick his lips or yawn. He may turn his head away or walk away. He wants to be left alone.
  • A dog that suddenly goes stiff and still is very dangerous and might be ready to bite.
  • A dog with his mouth closed and ears forward and/or with his tail held high is busy thinking about something and does not want to be bothered.
  Building a solid foundation of respect and trust with your dog leads the way to your being able to do virtually anything with him. Once you have established a trusting bond so that your dog understands you will protect him from harm, he will come to at least tolerate essential physical activities, and at best, enjoy them.


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Thursday, May 1, 2014

How to Calm Your Hyper Dog

How to Calm Your Hyper Dog
  Got a crazy, hyper dog? These dogs can be quite a challenge – they never calm down, they never listen. They pull on leash, they destroy things. They have a hard time focusing on what you tell them, because everything else is so much more exciting! If you’re living with a crazy hyper psycho dog like this and you haven’t lost your mind yet, you’ve got my respect and admiration.
  Unfortunately, many hyper crazy psycho dogs end up in the shelter when their owners lose patience with them. I’m sure you don’t want to give your dog up, so check out the training videos and articles on this page. You’ll learn why your dog is out of control, and you’ll learn some effective ways to calm your crazy dog down.
  True hyperactivity, or hyperkinesis, is a rare condition in dogs. In order for a clinical diagnosis to be made, most or all of the following symptoms should be present:
  • Increased resting heart and respiratory rates;
  • Failure to adjust to common stimuli like everyday household noises and activities;
  • Agitation;
  • Reactivity;
  • Sustained emotional arousal and an inability to settle down;
  • Paradoxical calming response to amphetamines.
Ignore the hyper dog behavior.
  Dogs seek attention from you. By paying attention to the hyper dog during outbursts, you’re reinforcing the very dog problem behavior that you're trying to eliminate. The next time your dog is jumping or nipping at you in an overexcited way, give it a try - no touch, no talk, no eye contact - and see how you fare. You might be surprised how quickly the dog settles down.

Give your dog a job.

  Having a task to focus on can help tremendously. Hyperactivity in dogs can come from psychological needs as easily as it can from physical needs. By giving your dog a job to do, you are removing his hyperactive dog behavior and are redirecting his energy elsewhere. For instance, having your dog wear a backpack with extra weight will keep your dog focused on carrying instead of getting distracted by squirrels and other things.

Exercise
  If you want a well behaved dog, you need to exercise him. A long walk in the morning, 30-60 minutes, and then a shorter walk in the evening after work is ideal. You don’t need to regiment it quite as strictly like Millan does; you can let Fido stop and smell the roses. In addition to stretching his legs, all the fascinating smells will stretch his brain, too. Helps keep him from going stir crazy at home.
  During the day, play a vigorous game of fetch or frisbee to really wear Fido out. If no one is home during the day to play with him, consider hiring a dog walker or even a doggy daycare so that Fido doesn’t lose his marbles while you’re gone.

Build a routine
  Hyperactivity is often a result of insecurity on the dog’s part. This is especially true of adopted dogs who may have moved around a lot in their past and have had little if any structure in their lives. Dogs thrive on routine. Developing a daily routine gives your dog an idea of what to expect life to be like and can calm his nerves. A routine might go something like this:
  Early morning: walk, breakfast, a game of fetch, then inside for a few hours while everyone is at work or school.
  Afternoon: Someone, either owner or dog walker, comes to let Fido out and play a quick game with him.
  Evening: Family eats dinner, dog eats dinner, then a walk.

Smart toys
  Put your dog’s brain power to good use. Get a few toys that require your dog to think. Toys like Kongs and Buster Cubes allow you to load them up with your dog’s kibble or favorite treats, keeping him occupied for a while while he manipulates the toy to make it dispense his food. You can feed your dog his entire meal this way.

Obedience or trick training
  Obedience training builds a common language between you and your dog. It’s another way to calm his nerves, as it teaches him how the world expects him to behave. Learning new skills is also a great way to exercise Fido’s brain.

Learn a new sport or game
  Getting involved in a dog sport like agility, flyball, freestyle or disc dog is a great way to build the bond between you and Fido. It provides physical and mental exercise all at once. However, formal training for some sports can be expensive and time-consuming.
  If you want the benefits without getting seriously involved in a sport, you can set up home built agility obstacle courses in the backyard, play Frisbee just for fun, or teach your dog to play games like hide and go seek (especially fun to play with kids).

Try out aromatherapy.
  Don’t forget that dogs experience the world primarily by scent! Just as the smell of lavender is said to relax human beings, a soothing smell can also have a very calming effect on your pet. Talk to your veterinarian or consult a holistic professional to find out what smells may work for your dog and which dispersal methods are the safest for him.

Be Careful Not to Reinforce Unwanted Behavior
  Many parents of highly active dogs unintentionally reward their pets for excessive behavior.
  Some dogs - especially hyper what-about-me types – regard any attention, positive or negative, as better than no attention at all.
  Attention-seeking behaviors can run the gamut from non-stop barking every time you take a phone call, to games of “keep away” involving your cell phone or watch. There have even been reported cases of dogs feigning lameness or illness in a bid for attention.
  The way to put a stop to unwanted behavior in your dog is to ignore it. Depending on the behavior this can be a challenge, but if you remain consistent and determined, your dog will ultimately lose interest because his bid for attention is having the opposite effect.
  The first few times you ignore him when he’s performing an attention-seeking activity, understand that your dog will most likely escalate the behavior temporarily.
  But if you continue to ignore him, and only pay attention to him when he’s not engaged in unwanted behavior, eventually his attention-seeking antics will grind to a halt. His goal is to get your attention, which is the opposite of being ignored, so he’ll soon learn which behaviors are getting him the opposite of what he wants.
  Meantime, be sure to lavish attention on him with petting, praise, food treats and shared activities when he’s behaving as you want him to. Remember - attention to good behavior begets good behavior, and ignoring unwanted behavior extinguishes it.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
  If you’re at the end of your rope with your energetic pooch and your efforts to properly socialize, train and exercise him don’t seem to be helping, it’s time to visit your veterinarian for a consultation and workup.
  Certain drugs, especially bronchodilator medicines and thyroid hormone supplements, can contribute to symptoms of hyperactivity. Aging can also be a factor, as can diseases of the central nervous system.
  And of course it’s possible your dog really is clinically hyperactive, in which case all your best efforts to modify his behavior may not have much effect without simultaneous drug therapy or treatment with natural remedies.
  If your vet determines there’s no physiologic basis for your pup’s hyperactivity, the next step is to consult a dog trainer or other animal behaviorist.
  What you don’t want to do is become overwhelmed or completely exhausted trying to modify your dog’s behavior on your own.
  Commit to finding answers for your dog’s behavior, and seek the help you need from knowledgeable sources. This will strengthen the bond and long-term relationship between you and your best furry friend.


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Best Sport for Your Dog

Best Sport for Your Dog
   For some dogs, even regular long walks and access to a big backyard just aren't enough of a challenge. You want your pup to test their mental and physical prowess and allow them to have some fun. How can you do this? Dog sports!
  These days, the choices in dog sports and recreation are nearly endless. Dog sports are great options to keep active dogs both physically and mentally healthy. All dogs need some degree of exercise, but most will thrive with extra stimulation. Very active dogs are ideal candidates for high-performance sports like agility and flyball, though almost any healthy dog can enjoy participation.
  Be sure your dog has a thorough veterinary evaluation prior to starting any dog sport. Once your vet gives clearance, consider these top dog sports that can challenge your dog's mind and body while reinforcing the canine-human bond.

Agility
    Is your dog incredibly fit and great with taking commands? If so, dog agility training can be incredibly rewarding for both you and the pup in question.
  Canine agility is a competitive dog sport that takes place within an obstacle course. Dogs are trained to make jumps, travel through tunnels, and navigate various walkways - all in a specific order. Each step of the way, the dogs are directed by their owners.
  Agility is an excellent form of exercise and mental stimulation, making it ideal for high energy dogs like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds. However, just about any dog can participate in agility. The intensity and difficulty of the course can be altered to accommodate dogs with health complications or special needs. Teamwork between dog and human is the cornerstone of this sport.

Best for: Top breeds for agility training include Jack Russell terriers, Pembroke Welsh corgis, Shetland sheepdogs, Border collies, and Australian shepherds, but the most important factors are that your dog has lots of energy, a desire to please, and is physically active.

 Canine Freestyle
  Canine Freestyle is a choreographed musical performance by a dog/handler team. Like it sounds, this activity is like dancing with a dog! As implied by its name, in canine freestyle almost anything goes. Basically, any move is allowed unless it puts the dog or handler in danger. Routines typically involve the dog performing twists & turns, weaving through the handler's legs, walking backwards, jumping, and moving in sync with the handler.
  Canine Freestyle requires a deep bond between handler and dog as well as a mastery of basic commands - especially "heel." Before putting a routine together, the dog must first learn each individual "move." A dash of creativity, plenty of patience and a positive attitude will go a long way.

Music Heelwork
  You’ve heard of this. You just don’t know it because most people call it dog dancing. Open to canines of any breed, Heelwork requires fantastic coordination and communication for owners and their dogs to dance naturally together. Many people practice routines for several months before taking an act to a competition, and some even incorporate costumes.

  Best for: One of the best things about Heelwork to music is that dogs of any breed can participate, as can those at various levels of physical prowess. More physically fit dogs don’t necessarily have an advantage, because owners can tailor routines to their dog’s strengths. That being said, Heelwork is best for dogs who are well-trained and remain completely under their owner’s control even while off-leash. If your dog hasn’t received any kind of obedience training yet, you’ll need to provide that first.


Disc Dogs
  During disc dog competitions, dog/handler teams are judged in disc-throwing events like distance/accuracy catching and freestyle routines. "Frisbee" is a trademarked brand name for a flying disc, hence the reason the word "disc" is often used.
  To become a successful disc dog team, the handler must be able to properly throw a disc - and far. The dog can then be trained to chase and catch the disc. During distance competition, the field is broken into zones by yard. Scoring is based on the zone in which the disc is caught. Freestyle events are judged and scored based on a predetermined point system. Rules and scoring vary with each disc dog group, club or association.

Tracking
  You probably have noticed that your dog's nose is his most dominant sense. Most dogs want to follow their noses. Why not turn this talent into a fun and challenging activity?
  A tracking trial is a type of test that requires a dog to follow a scent trail. These events mimic search-and-rescue missions, assessing the dog's natural ability and willingness to follow a trail left by human footsteps. Dogs and their handlers often enjoy this work, and success can open doors to pursue real life search-and-rescue work.

Splash Dogs

  You can probably guess much of what this sport entails — dogs are enticed to jump into the water from a ramp to retrieve a toy. Whichever one jumps the farthest is the winner. It’s provides a fantastic workout, because swimming forces dogs to use muscles they otherwise wouldn’t.



  Best for: Water breeds, like Newfoundland, Irish setter, or English setter. But any dog that loves water will enjoy it.


Rally Obedience
  In Rally Obedience, dog/handler teams must complete a course made up of signs describing specific obedience exercises to perform. Judges design the course and observe as the teams swiftly navigate the course.
  Rally Obedience rules tend to be less strict than traditional obedience competitions. Typically, Rally competition is open to all breeds. Trials usually have several levels, and teams compete for titles and championships.

Earthdog
  People with tiny terriers should definitely try Earthdog if they’re looking for a fun and productive way to direct their dog’s desire to dig. Competitors are taken out into the field and tasked with finding and digging out rats (most commonly) that have been buried in a completely safe cage or artificial quarry. But only small terriers are allowed, so don’t even try with larger breeds.

  Best for: The American Kennel Club (or AKC) has a long list of the specific types of breeds that are eligible for Earthdog events. But you should be aware that your terrier has to be six months or older and cannot be a mixed breed. Short-legged, high-energy dogs are best suited to this sport.

Lure Coursing
  Lure coursing is a fast-paced chase sport that was developed as an alternative to hare coursing. Rather than chasing a live animal, dogs chase an artificial lure across a field, compete for best time. Sometimes, obstacles are involved in the race. While traditionally limited to sighthounds, all-breed lure coursing groups are becoming more common. Lure coursing is an ideal activity to allow your dog to act upon his chasing instinct in a safe, humane way.

Flyball
  The sport of flyball is a type of relay race that involves teams of four dogs. One dog from each team runs down a course, jumping hurdles, towards the "flyball box." The dog steps on a panel and triggers the flyball box to release a tennis ball. The dog then brings the ball back over the hurdles to its handler. Once a dog has completed the course, the next dog is released from the starting line. The first team to have all four dogs complete the course wins. The game is played in several heats. Flyball is a great way for your dog to enjoy time with other dogs, plus a nice way for you to meet other dog owners.

Once you've chosen your sport, start working.
  Research your sport! Research sources include the internet, books, instructional videos, and dog owners experienced in the sport.
  Train your dog. Start with basic training, (if you haven't already) and then start training for your particular sport. Training techniques vary, based on the sport. Ask your local kennel club or someone who is experienced in the sport if you need help. Practice frequently!


  Get competitive! Once you think your dog is ready, enter a competition. Look for a competition being held. You may have to travel; have good traveling equipment at hand.






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