Stories & Articles Archive – 2009
View articles about training, breeding and general information:
City pound ‘rebrands’ breed in an effort to find homes for thousands abandoned, writes Charles Laurence in New York (Non-fiction)
PIT BULL terriers are to be given a new breed name in America in an effort to relaunch them as family-friendly pets instead of fearsome fighting dogs.
The plan was devised by Ed Boks, the director of New York’s dog pound, who was appalled to learn that nearly 6,000 abandoned or confiscated pit bull terriers were put down in the city last year.
Mr Boks, who arrived in New York last month from a similar job in Arizona, believes that most pit bulls are “misunderstood”, and decided that marketing was the answer to the problem. Last week, the pound – officially known as the City Animal Care and Control Agency – declared that pit bulls would henceforth be known as “New Yorkies”.
“I figured that …
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Craigavon amnesty for pit bull terriers. (Non-fiction)
CRAIGAVON is the latest council in Northern Ireland to offer people an amnesty on owning pit bull terrier type dogs, effective from January 23 until April 30.
This means that people can voluntarily surrender a pit bull type dog for destruction without fear of prosecution.
Councillors heard how the council already has in place an informal way of dealing with these dogs – if a person owns a pit bull or pit bull type terrier dog, the dog warden will go out on request and inspect the dog and advise accordingly.
There has been some confusion between the identification of the pit bull terrier type dogs and the legitimate Staffordshire Bull terrier breed. “There …
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One final loving lick gave this doomed bull terrier a chance of survival; Dilwyn set to get a new home thanks to vet’s nurse. (Non-fiction)
A VET’S nurse saved a condemned English bull terrier’s life after he tenderly licked her hand moments before he was due to be put to sleep.
The unwanted dog was about to be destroyed but the veterinary assistant decided bull terrier Dilwyn deserved another chance.
The nurse contacted the Bull Terrier Club Welfare Trust, a dog welfare organisation, which found him a temporary loving home with Kevin Davies, 32, and his wife Clare, 39, of Rhuddlan.
The large black brindle male English bull terrier may yet be returned to his owner if he or she comes forward.
Dilwyn had been found unwanted three weeks ago …
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Why did my dog do that (Non-fiction)
Biting and chewing is common in puppies up to one year of age. Much biting and chewing is related to teething in puppies. However, you need to start establishing boundaries on what is acceptable and what is not from the first day you bring your dog home.
It is important for you to understand how much and what type of biting are acceptable and expected for your dog. Join the Membership Site to discover how to direct your puppy’s biting, nipping and chewing tendencies in positive directions.
While you may think your little puppy is adorable when it growls and bites, you and your friends will no longer think it is cute when it is grown up and biting. And you don’t want your dog’s biting and nipping to send someone to the hospital for stitches.
You will not be able to take your dog in public if it snaps and bites. And you will be afraid to let it outside for fear it will bite someone who is just walking around the neighborhood.
While everyone would agree that no dog’s aggressive behavior should be encouraged, very few people know how to train a dog quit biting or be less aggressive once he has started. The first step is to understand why he is biting.
Stop it from barking (Non-fiction)
Dogs bark from time to time. That is perfectly normal and natural since barking is a method of expressing themselves. Their barking can be similar to children making noise when they play outside. It can also be a warning or greeting when someone comes to the door or something is wrong. But, if your dog barks continually or for long periods of time, there must be a specific cause or reason.
If, every time you put your dog out, he starts barking and won’t stop, be prepared to hear complaints from your neighbors. If your dog barks the whole time you are away from home, you will certainly hear from your neighbors. Excessive barking can even result in complaints to the police . . . and citations and fines for you.
Understanding the causes will help you change the circumstances.
Dogs are generally intelligent and understand what you want them to do if you are consistent in training. Many dogs are quick learners who only need to be told once or twice while others are more stubborn or less quick to understand. However, their behavior towards outsiders varies according to their breed, their lineage within that breed, and their socialization.
Many dogs are naturally friendly and outgoing and may only bark at newcomers as a way of greeting and asking for attention. Others are more shy and aloof and will bark because they are afraid. Some dogs are very possessive of their homes and owners or are wary of strangers or are of a breed that guards their owners so they will bark as a means of warning before they become aggressive.
No matter which type of dog you have, early socialization and training will make a huge difference in his approach to strangers.
Choosing a Vet (Non-fiction)
Just like choosing the right doctor for your family, it is important to find a vet you can trust for the care of your cat. It is important that a suitable vet is found before you bring your new pet home, just in case you need to take them to see a vet during the first few days of ownership.
The best way to find a local vet that you can trust is to ask others of their experiences, word of mouth recommendations are very valuable as they are not biased and you are more likely to get a true appraisal of the abilities of the vet and the practice in general. Another good way to find a vet in your area is to approach local animal shelters and cat clubs who will have experience of many different vets.
Not all vets can be judged the same this is because some vets practices specialise more in one type of animal than others. This is especially true in rural areas where the bulk of the vets work may be with larger farm animals. It is important therefore to compare several vets and to find out as much as possible about their individual experience and knowledge with the care of cats.
When visiting and comparing different vet surgeries you should have already prepared a set of questions to ask. These questions should include:
Opening times, important if you need to have flexible access to your vet, for instance evenings and weekends.
Fees – find out their standard consultation fees, also their fees for standard treatments such as vaccinations, worm and flea treatments etc.
Emergencies – what are the arrangements for out of hours emergency care for your cat, for instance do they do home visits?
Alternative medicine – find out what their attitude is towards alternative and complementary treatments for your cat, such as homoeopathy and acupuncture. Holistic treatments such as these can have many benefits especially in the older cat.
Never be afraid to ask a vet what their experience is in the treating of cats. This may be especially important if you have pedigree show cats that may require specialist care. In which case making sure that the vet you choose is up to date with all the latest medical advancements in cat care would be a benefit.
Once a suitable vet has been chosen, you will need to discuss with them your cat care and what their recommendations are for the inoculations etc over the coming year. The types of inoculation required will vary depending on the particular risks in your geographical area and also the age and medical history of the cat. As a general rule the program for treatment for kittens are:
- Nine weeks – first vaccination
- Twelve weeks – second vaccination
- 16 weeks – spaying for female cats
- 4 – 6 months – neutering for male cats
- 6 months – first flea treatment then monthly thereafter
- Every six months – worm treatment
- Every year – booster vaccinations and check up
The yearly check up carried out by your vet will include:
Checking for parasites and mites, your vet will look in the ears for any signs of infection causes by mites etc and will brush the fur around the neck area to check for flea dirt’s.
Teeth – the vet will check for gum disease and any loose or bad teeth. You may notice them scraping the teeth with their fingernail to remove any plaque build up.
Weight – many vets will weigh the cat and keep a record of this. Often loss of body weight and condition can be one of the first signs of an underlining illness.
Finding a vet that you can trust and feel comfortable with is essential to ensure that you always feel confident that your pet is receiving the best care and that you are paying a reasonable price for their treatment. Vet costs and expertise in cat care can vary quite dramatically from one practice to another, so by taking your time to find the right one for you and your cat will have great benefits for you both.
Vet visiting tips (Non-fiction)
Vet visits do not have to be a traumatic and stressful one for your beloved pet. No matter how healthy and clean your dog is, the day will come when it will have to see a vet. Your dog must be vaccinated against rabies and other K-9 diseases by law. Only a licensed vetenarian is legally authorized to administer these and the certificates. No doubt there will be other times when your dog becomes ill and a visit to your local vet will be required.
Think about how much you like going to a doctor. The fact is, most people do not like this visit. By the same token, it only makes sense that dogs do not like going to the vet. When you add the fact this poor animal has to put their trust in a total stranger whom they cannot communicate with, it can be even more stressful. A vet visit can be very traumatic for your dog, but it doesn’t have to be. There are several things that you can do to relieve your precious pet of this trauma.
First off, dog owners can start off right by bringing their dog into the vet office just to for friendly vet visits. The vet’s receptionists should then have an opportunity to visit with your dog and this should be followed by the owner rewarding them for good behavior. Dog owners should also perform mock exams at home with their dog by checking ears, toes, tails, teeth, and touching their dog with a metal object, similar to the ones used at the vet clinic. Another tip is to enroll your puppy in dog kindergarten or basic training class. This is an excellent way for owners to get help with various technique as well as give their dogs the much needed practice of being around other people and pets before their visit to the vet. It’s important that dogs learn that “Good things Happen” when people do certain things to me by giving them rewards which are associated with the various aspects of an exam.
The next thing you should do before scheduling vet visits is getting recommendations from others. Your friends and neighbors surely will have pets and will recommend a good vet. Often times the vetenarian itself can make the difference in a pleasant visit for your pet or one that results in a complete disaster.
Once you have located a vet you like make it a point to stay with that particular one. Dogs can easily develop relationships with people and this is something you want to have happen with the vet. If they are comfortable the vet, then their visit will be less stressful each time they go. If you have an emergency if may not be possible to go to your regular vet, but try as much as possible as it will be less confusing for your dog. Sometimes vet visits are a result of an emergency and this isn’t possible, but try to stick to one vet. In these cases, ask if you can stay with your pet as it will be less confusing. Having you there with them can make all the difference in the world. Most vets will gladly allow this unless the treatment involves surgery.
Dogs must also learn to relax while being lifted onto the vets examination table. You can help this process by practicing at home, lifting your pet up on the counter. Once at the vet’s office, stay positive and try to keep it fun for the dog by using treats and toys. You might want to practice the exam while your waiting for the vet to call your dog in. Using tricks can also help to reduce stress for everyone involved, including the vet staff. If you have to restrain your dog, remember that the least amount of restraint reduces the amount of stress for the dog. A dog that is confident, comfortable and relaxed will result in a more thorough exam for the pet. As the owner you need to understand that it is your responsibility to make sure your dog behaves while being examined.
Vet visits for dogs can be very stressful for both the owner and the pet. However, by using some common sense as well as the tips mentioned above, these visits for your dog can become less scary. In addition, the visit will become less traumatic for you, your dog, and your vet.
Your Dogs yearly exam (Non-fiction)
Are you getting your dog his yearly veterinary exam? Do you think that because he is acting fine that he is healthy? Don’t fall into a false sense of peace because you cannot visibly see problems. A yearly exam, which is a comprehensive examination, will help your dog to remain healthy. Your vet will be able to see things that you don’t, usually before they are too bad. Your vet will check several parts of your dog’s body, including:
Abdomen, many abnormalities (lumps, distending, infections, parasitic infestation) can be caught early through checking the abdomen area.
Back, spinal problems can be caught and corrected early.
Eyes, dull eyes can be a symptom of internal parasites. The eyes should also be free of foreign matter and excess mucus. Discharge in the eyes can be a sign of eye infections, which can be contagious to both animals and humans.
Ears, foul odor coming from the ear is often a sign of bacteria and/or infection. Ear mites are also something your vet will be checking for; these are easily transmitted to other pets but not humans.
Feet and Legs, muscle disorders and problems with the paws will be apparent through this.
Heart, listening for abnormal heart rate is very important in catching heart disease in early stages among other things.
Lungs, just like external human chest exams, your vet will listen to the lungs for abnormal breathing, congestion, and coughing. All of these can be signs of more serious problems.
Mouth, abscessed teeth, oral tumors, and unhealthy teeth or gums will be caught through this portion of the exam. Anemia is shown through unhealthy gums, which makes this another very important step.
Nose, nasal discharge can be indicative of a variety of conditions. The most worrisome of these is Canine Distemper.
Skin and Coat, external parasitic infestations will be caught. Your vet will also be looking for any injury to the skin as well as lumps within the skin. The coat is indicative to the internal health of your dog.
Which Vet is Right for You?
With the numbers of options available to most people with dogs, it is surprising to find that very few take much time in choosing their veterinarian. For the most part, gone are the days when there was one vet for several small communities, Today, you can usually find a decent choice of vets within reasonable driving distance from your home. How do you find your vet?
The most obvious way is to look in the phone book. It is not suggested that you choose a vet with only this method, this should be a stepping stone. Find out which vets are close to you, then you will have a list of doctors to check for your dog’s care.
Once you have a good idea which vets are within range for you, begin talking to others about the vet they use. Ask is they feel the vet honestly takes the time to give their dog the attention he needs and if they have been happy with results of visits. You may find that many people don’t actually care for their dog’s vet but don’t take the time to find another one. All vets are not created equal!
After talking to others, you have probably narrowed your list. From this modified list, take a trip, go check the offices, meet the veterinarians and office staff. While you are there, waiting to talk to the vet, chat up the receptionist. Find out how the vet’s moods are, find out if he has dog allergies (surprisingly, many do). If the vet has allergies to dog dander, your dog is better off with another vet as the doctor may rush through visits due to his allergies. You also need to find out what types of payment each vet accepts and, if you have pet insurance, you need to know whether the vet accepts it or not. Ask about emergency contingencies and whether care is available 24 hours, seven days per week.
With a bit of effort, you will be able to find an excellent vet that you are comfortable with. Since dogs are highly sensitive to the moods/feelings of owners, your comfort will help your dog be as comfortable as possible during those times when he has to see the vet.
The proper way to walk a dog (Non-fiction)
Walk your dog, do not let your dog walk you. If you allow your dog to walk in front of you while on a lead you are reinforcing in the dog’s mind that the dog is alpha over you. Leader goes first. This can lead to many behavioral issues that some regard as a “Breed Trait” or “Personality” when actually it is just your dog in charge of it’s humans. A dog walking in front does not drain their mental energy. They are not relaxed and following, as they have a big responsibility to be leading the pack. This mental anguish can build up inside of a dog. When a dog is hyper or high strung it means the dog is not getting the proper amount and or type of exercise.
Keep in mind it is not solely the act of heeling, but also that you as the human are making the decision for the dog to heel. How often do you walk? Do you MAKE your dog heel or does the dog heel when it pleases just because it gets tired. Just because a dog walks well on a lead, not pulling and for most of the walk walks beside the humans does not mean the humans are being pack leaders. It really is about who is making the decisions. Was your dog calm and in a submissive state of mind when you snapped on their lead? When you left your home who went out the doorway and/or gate first? You or the dog? Is the dog deciding to heel when it wishes, but pulling to the side to sniff or walk out in front when it pleases? Or is the human consciously making the dog heel? If the humans allow the dog to decide because after all he walks “pretty good”, then the dog is making the calls and that is allowing your dog to be your leader. If it is all about who is making the decisions, can I decide to let my dog walk in front? No, since instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, your decision to allow your dog to walk in front will be communicating to your dog that you are allowing him to be your leader.
A pack walk is also the best way to introduce new dogs to one another or to get dogs who already do not like one another to accept each other. Any unwanted reactions from one dog to another should be immediately corrected. By the end of your walk they will feel like they are one pack. It is important that the dogs who are out on the walk are all heeling beside the person holding the leash. Any dog who is walking out in front of their humans will begin to regard himself as the alpha of the group. By making the dogs heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, you are communicating to the dogs that the humans are above them in the pecking order. Remember, it only takes one alpha dog to set off any other dogs around him.