Thursday, May 26, 2011

Doggy Diseases

There are a wide variety of diseases and infections that our dogs can get. Of course, we get our dogs vaccinated every year (or every 3 years) to avoid this, but it is still very important to be aware of the types of diseases our dogs can get, and what the symptoms are should we ever encounter them.

Disease : Canine Distemper 
Cause :  Virus. Contact with bodily secretions of infected animals. Sometimes airborne.
Symptoms: Red eyes, nasal discharge, and cold-like symptoms followed by vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and neurological complications, such as convulsions.
Prognosis: More than half of affected dogs and three-quarters of affected puppies will die. Survivors may develop chronic or fatal nervous-system problems.
Vaccination Schedule : Revaccinate at 1 year of age, then every three years. Core.

Disease: Canine Parvovirus
Cause: Ingestion of feces. Incubation period of three to 10 days; the virus can live for many months outside of its host.
Symptoms: Bloody diarrhea, vomiting, high fever, loss of appetite, and depression. Can attack the heart, leading to congestive heart failure. Sometimes mistaken for the “doggie flu.”
Prognosis :  Usually fatal to puppies, especially without immediate treatment. Older dogs face a 50/50 chance of survival with treatment.
Vaccination Schedule : Revaccinate at 1 year of age, then every three years. Core.

Disease - Canine Adenovirus-2 (Kennel Cough, Viral)
Cause: Contact with infected animals’ bodily secretions. Sometimes airborne.
Symptoms : Dry, hacking cough.
Prognosis : Poor to good, depending on dog’s condition and age.
Vaccination Schedule : Revaccinate at 1 year of age, then every three years. Dog’s breed, lifestyle, geographic location, and type of vaccine used should be taken into account. Vaccine also guards against canine adenovirus-1. Core.

Canine Adenovirus-1 (Canine Herpes Virus)
Causes : Contact with saliva, feces, and urine of domestic dogs, wolves, coyotes, and foxes.
Symptoms : Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, jaundice, light-colored stool, and stomach enlargement.
Prognosis : Ranges from very mild to sometimes fatal.
Vaccination Schedule : Not recommended due to serious side effects. The CAV-2 vaccine protects against CAV-1.

Cause : Body fluids of an infected animal touch the broken skin or mucus membranes, mouth, nose, or eyes of other animals or people.
Symptoms : Vague to severe changes in temperament, restless, nervous, vicious, chewing and biting viciously, frothing at the mouth, bloody saliva, oblivious to pain, paralysis of vocal chords.
Prognosis : Death; there is no cure.
Vaccination Schedule : Revaccinate at 1 year of age, then every three years, depending on local laws. Check with your
veterinarian and animal control agency to determine legal requirements. Core.

Parainfluenza Virus
Causes : Airborne.
Symptoms : Nasal discharge, persistent cough, often ending with a gagging sound.
Prognosis: A self-limiting disease, lasting a few weeks with treatment. Only becomes serious if left untreated or if a secondary bacterial infection sets in.
Vaccination Schedule : Revaccinate at 1 year of age, then every three years, or as needed. Non-core.

Bordetella (Kennel Cough, Bacterial)
Causes : Highly contagious bacterial illness usually passed via coughing or sneezing.
Symptoms : Harsh cough.
Prognosis : Seldom fatal. In some dogs it can lead to pneumonia.
Vaccination Schedule : Annually or more if at risk for infection — at least one week prior to known exposure. Non-core.

Lyme Disease
Causes : Tick bites.
Symptoms : Fever, lethargy, swelling in the bitten limb, and depression.
Prognosis : Nearly 90 percent of dogs treated within the first week of symptoms respond to treatment with antibiotics,
usually administered for three weeks.
Vaccination Schedule : Optional, but recommended annually, right before tick season in high-risk areas where dogs face daily exposure. Non-core.

Causes : Contact with theurine of an infected host.
Symptoms : Fever, depression, loss of appetite, joint pain, nausea, excessive drinking, jaundice, excess bleeding.
Prognosis : May cause death. Often leads to kidney or liver disease if left untreated.
Vaccination Schedule : Vaccinations should be restricted to areas where risk has been established. After initial vaccination at 12 and 16 weeks of age, boosters should be given at 6 to 9 month intervals until risk has passed. Non-core.

Canine Coronavirus
Causes : Ingestion of feces.
Symptoms : Diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, depression, lethargy, and dehydration.
Prognosis : Responds well to treatment.
Vaccination Schedule : Not recommended.

Giardia Lamblia
Causes : Ingestion of contaminated food or water.
Symptoms : Diarrhea.
Prognosis : Responds to drug treatment.
Vaccination Schedule : Not recommended.

Thanks to Dog Fancy for this important article!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Just some pics

Lani and OB taking a break

Sachi, the best Akita I've ever known, looking happy :)

Duke sitting proudly up on the doghouse, keeping an eye on things.

OB, he's got such a cute little face...

And lovely Lani, she's always happy. :)

Scud and Lani, they look very good togther.

And all three, at the end of the day, waiting to go home...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Caring for Your Dog in the Summer Heat

It's starting to get warmer, and with all that fur, our little pups can suffer quite a bit. But here's some tips on how to help them out during the summer season!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

12 tips for a well behaved dog

I) Start training your puppy early on. While old dogs can be taught new tricks, what’s learned earliest, is often learned quickest and easiest. Moreover, the older the dog, the more bad habits will likely need to be “un-learned”. When it comes to raising and training a dog, an ounce of problem prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure!

2) Train your dog gently and humanely, and whenever possible, teach him using positive, motivational methods. Keep obedience sessions upbeat so that the training process is enjoyable for all parties involved. If training your pooch is a drudgery, rev things up a bit, and try the “playtraining” approach: incorporate constructive, non-adversarial games (such as “Go Find”, “Hide ‘n’ Seek”, retrieving, etc.) into your training sessions.

3) Does your dog treat you like “hired help” at home? Does he treat you like a human gymnasium when you’re sitting on the furniture? Does he beg at the table? Jump up on visitors? Demand your attention by annoying you to death? Ignore your commands? How well your dog responds to you at home affects his behavior outdoors as well. If your dog doesn’t respond reliably to commands at home (where distractions are relatively minimal), he certainly won’t respond to you properly outdoors where he’s tempted by other dogs, pigeons, passersby, sidewalk food scraps, etc.

4) Avoid giving your dog commands that you know you cannot enforce. Every time you give a command that is neither complied with nor enforced your dog learns that commands are optional.

5) One command should equal one response, so give your dog only one command (twice max!), then gently enforce it. Repeating commands tunes your dog out (as does nagging) and teaches your dog that the first several commands are a “bluff ‘. For instance, telling your dog to “Sit, sit, sit, sit!”, is neither an efficient nor effective way to issue commands. Simply give your dog a single “Sit” command and gently place or lure your dog into the sit position, then praise/reward.

6) Avoid giving your dog combined commands which are incompatible. Combined commands such as “sit-down” can confuse your dog. Using this example, say either “sit” or “down”. The command “sit-down” simply doesn’t exist.

7) When giving your dog a command, avoid using a loud voice. Even if your dog is especially independent/unresponsive, your tone of voice when issuing an obedience command such as “sit”,”down” or “”stay”, should be calm and authoritative, rather than harsh or loud.
NOTE: Many owners complain that their dogs are “stubborn”, and that they “refuse to listen” when given a command. Before blaming the dog when he doesn’t respond to a command, one must determine whether or not: a) the dog knows what the owner wants, b) he knows how to comply,  c) he is not simply being unresponsive due to fear, stress or confusion.

8 ) Whenever possible, use your dog’s name positively, rather than using it in conjunction to reprimands, warnings or punishment. Your dog should trust that when it hears its name or is called to you, good things happen. His name should always be a word he responds to with enthusiasm, never hesitancy or fear.

9) Correct or, better yet, prevent the (mis)behavior, don’t punish the dog. Teaching and communication is what it’s all about, not getting even with your dog. If you’re taking an “it’s-you-against-your dog, whip ‘em into shape” approach, you’ll undermine your relationship, while missing out on all the fun that a motivational training approach can offer. Additionally, after-the-fact discipline does NOT work.

10) When training one’s dog, whether praising or correcting, good timing is essential. Take the following example: You’ve prepared a platter of hors d’oeuvres for a small dinner party, which you’ve left on your kitchen counter. Your dog walks into the room and smells the hors d’oeuvres. He air-sniffs, then eyes the food, and is poised to jump up. This is the best, easiest and most effective time to correct your dog: before he’s misbehaved, while he’s thinking about jumping up to get the food.

11) Often, dog owners inadvertently reinforce their dogs’ misbehavior, by giving their dogs lots of attention (albeit negative attention) when they misbehave. Needless to say, if your dog receives lots of attention and handling when he jumps up on you, that behavior is being reinforced, and is therefor likely to be repeated.

12) Keep a lid on your anger. Never train your dog when you’re feeling grouchy or impatient. Earning your dog’s respect is never accomplished by yelling, hitting, or handling your dog in a harsh manner. Moreover, studies have shown that fear and stress inhibit the learning process.

Thanks to for this article!

Understanding Your Dog

Take the time to understand and know how your dog thinks. Dogs do not think they are people, they think people are dogs. As the owner, you need to relate to the dog as a dog, rather than a furry person! Most important - you'll need to establish the fact that you are the top dog in their pack - you are the alpha dog.
One of the reasons why dogs make such good pets is the wonderful way they communicate with people. Your dog sees people, especially you, as an extension of its own canine family and is quick to interpret your mood and intentions.

In fact understanding how your dog communicates can make living with one a lot easier, especially when it comes to training. Dogs communicate through a series of signals including a variety of facial expressions, body postures, noises and scents. By understanding these body signals you should be able to work out who is 'top dog' in any confrontation or situation.

Just as people convey body language so does your dog!

His body:
A dog that is feeling confident or aggressive will try to convey the impression of being a larger, more powerful animal by standing tall with its ears and tail erect. He might thrust his chest forward and may raise the hairs around the neck and along his back (its hackles). It may also wave its tail slowly and growl.
A submissive dog will try to appear small and puppy-like because adult dogs will only chastise puppies - not attack them. The approach to a more dominant individual is likely to be from the side, crouching low with the tail held low and wagging enthusiastically. Some dogs try to lick the feet and face of the dominant dog or even roll on to its back.

Tail wagging:
Loose, free tail wagging is a sign of pleasure and general friendliness. Exaggerated tail wagging, which extends to the entire rump, may be seen in subordinate dogs as well as those dogs with very short tails. However, the tail is also an indicator for other emotions. A tail waved slowly and stiffly, in line with the back expresses anger; a tail clamped low over the hindquarters is a sign the dog is afraid or anxious; and nervous dogs may stiffly wag their drooping tails as a sign of appeasement.

The look:
The facial expressions of your dog will also tell you a lot about his mood - whether he is playful, excited, frightened, or anxious. The ears are pricked when he is alert or listening intently, but are held back or flattened onto the head when expressing pleasure, submission, or fear.

To read his mood correctly, watch the eyes. Your dog's eyes will be wide open if it is angry but will appear narrow or half closed eyes when showing pleasure or submission.
Eye signals are an important part of communicating with your dog and allow you to assert your authority. In the wild, the pack leader can maintain control simply by staring at a subordinate dog. In most cases, the two animals will stare at each other until one challenges the other or until one lowers its head and turns away.
Stern eye contact can be a good way of disciplining your dog and reminding him that you are the boss. Try to avoid a showdown. Remember - regular, gentle eye contact between you and your dear companion is reassuring for your dog and will go a long way towards reinforcing your relationship.

Talk to your dog. Tell your dog you love him every day. Even if you don't say "I love you" to your four-legged friend, look him square in the eyes and say something - anything. We all like to be acknowledged as members of the family. Dogs understand human language more than we give them credit for. Get your dog's attention just as you would a person: Use his name and look right at him. Many times the owner calls out the dog's name to scold him. Instead, it's far better for your dog to learn that pleasant words - no matter what they may be - follow his name. Most important, your relationship will be better as a result of these intimate daily dog talks. We all like to be confided in and told we're loved. Dogs are no exception.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dog and Puppy Socialization

Dogs, like humans, are highly socialize animals. They love being around people and always want to impress their owners. They are lovable and bring joy to their owners. However, these happy traits of dogs can only be achieved if they have undergone proper socialization training. Dogs that are not properly trained are more likely to become an owner's problem. They maybe dangerous and destructive to people, other dogs and properties. Therefore, proper socialization training is important to the happiness and safety of both owners and dogs.

As much as possible, socialization training should start while the dog is as young as puppies around 12 weeks old. In general, socialization training may be introduced right after house training. Remember, what you have taught your puppy will be difficult to change especially if he gets used to it and his behavior for the rest of his life will largely depend on the socialization skills he learned.

Properly socialized dogs are likely happy dogs. They are neither afraid nor aggressive to people and other animals. They welcome each experience and enjoy a joyful life together with their owner as well as other dogs. On the other hand, dogs that are not properly socialized tend to be aggressive and are always involve in dogfights as well as cause problems to their owners. They often bite because they are scared of humans. They are as well cannot adapt easily to new situations that may cause them stress and may result to various behavioral problem.

Like any other dog training, socialization training has also its do's and don'ts. This article will discuss first what to do followed but what to avoid in socialization training.

The first thing to keep in mind is to make every puppy's first experience pleasant and unthreatening. Take things slow when introducing your puppy to new experiences and socialization events.
  • Invite friends from all walks of life to meet your new puppy. It is important that your puppy is acquainted with all kinds of people with different backgrounds and personalities.
  • Invite as well healthy and well-socialized dogs and other animals to meet your puppy. And when you say healthy, meaning they have received all necessary vaccinations.
  • Expose your puppy to many new places such as parks and play grounds. Bring them to places where there are crowds of people.
  • Take your puppy out for a ride and let him enjoy the sceneries outside.
  • Introduce to your puppy different things that may be unfamiliar to him such as bags, boxes hats, etc. Let him explore these things and make him understand that he has nothing to fear about these items.
  • Make him use to a variety of objects by rearranging the object in different views.
  • Make him used to common grooming procedures such as brushing, bathing, etc.
  • Introduce to him the different parts of your house as well as the things around the house. Moreover, familiarize your puppy with collar and leash.

Of course, when there are things to be done there are also things to avoid in order for your dog to be properly socialize. These don'ts includes

  • When there are strange animals around, do not let your puppy on the ground. The strange animal might be curious with your puppy that may result to possible attack or surprise to your puppy. This could traumatize your puppy ad may mess up his socialization training.
  • Never rush the socialization process. Take things slowly and allow your puppy to socialize at its own speed.
  • Take a break during training. Your puppy has a short attention span. Therefore, adjust to it.
  • If you think your puppy is ready for socialization training, start it immediately. Never wait too long to begin the socialization process.
  • Avoid giving unintentional consent to fear based behavior like soothing your puppy when he feels afraid.
Thank you for the article!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Just some more pictures for everyone

Everyone loves pictures!!! And these are really cute...
Everybody waiting at the gate... what are they waiting for? Who knows... but they're waiting!!

Lil' Scout and Gus, aren't they the handsome pair?

Skipper Nipper trying to get the human to throw the ball.

Scud and Gus. Yay for heelers!!

Tula, isn't she gorgeous?

Ranger and Tugger having an awesome time.

It's a lovely day to be outside!

Tex found something to pounce on!

Ranger also found something interesting...

A little pause for group sniffing..

And some more sniffing..

That's a very guilty look Texas... what'd you do?

And, last but not least, another link to our facebook page. :)