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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

French Bulldog




Despite his glum expression, the French Bulldog is comical, entertaining, and dependably amiable.
As comfortable in an apartment as he is on a farm, he is more lively than you might suspect from his chunky appearance. French Bulldog puppies are especially frisky, and ball chasing is one of their passions. Adults are more dignified and can be champion couch potatoes, but also love to clown around and go for walks in cool weather.
Many Frenchies are friendly with everyone, while others are politely reserved. French Bulldogs will bark to announce visitors, but are otherwise quiet dogs.
Usually peaceful with other pets (though some French Bulldogs will hunt small rodents), males may bicker with other males.
The French Bulldog is quite stubborn and can be challenging to train, yet also surprisingly sensitive, remembers what he learns, and responds well to early, patient, persistent training that utilizes food motivation.
French bulldogs’ origins are murky, but most sources trace their roots to English bulldogs. Lace makers in England were drawn to the toy version of the dog and would use the smaller pups as lap warmers while they worked. When the lace industry moved to France, they took their dogs with them. There, the English bulldogs probably bred with terriers to create bouledogues français, or French bulldogs.


They were meant to be great companions.

Frenchies are affectionate, friendly dogs that were bred to be companions. Although they’re somewhat slow to be housebroken, they get along well with other dogs and aren’t big barkers. The dogs don’t need much exercise, so they are fine in small areas and enjoy the safety of a crate.

Keep them away from water.

Thanks to a squat frame and a bulbous head, French bulldogs can’t swim, so pool owners should keep a watchful eye on their pups. Keep in mind that if you plan a beach vacation, your furry friend might feel a little left out.

Flying is a problem, too.

French Bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed, meaning they have shorter snouts than other dogs. These pushed-in faces can lead to a variety of breathing problems. This facial structure, coupled with high stress and uncomfortably warm temperatures, can lead to fatal situations for dogs with smaller snouts. Many breeds like bulldogs and pugs have perished while flying, so as a result, many airlines have banned them. 


Most French bulldogs are born through artificial insemination.

Due to their unusual proportions, the dogs have a little trouble copulating. Males have a hard time reaching the females, and they often get overheated and exhausted when trying to get things going. As a result, a large majority of French bulldogs are created through artificial insemination. While this measure makes each litter of pups more expensive, it also allows breeders to check for potential problems during the process.
French bulldogs often also have problems giving birth, so many must undergo a C-section. The operation ensures the dog will not have to weather too much stress and prevents future health complications.


Description

A compactly built dog, the French Bulldog, in spite of his name, is believed to be at least partly of British origin. He is a descendant of the Toy Bulldog, which was bred during the nineteenth century and exported to France, where the breed became popular. In fact, English lacemakers from the Midlands who went to work in France took small Bulldogs with them. This stock is believed to have mixed with short-faced bull-baiting dogs from other European countries. This ‘new’ breed was brought to England and first shown around 1900, with a French Bulldog club being formed in 1903.
The bat ear is a distinctive feature of this breed and adds to the droll expression. He is medium-to-small-sized dog and bred in three colours – brindle, pied and fawn – with a short, easy-to-keep-clean coat.

Very intelligent and always ready for fun, the French Bulldog has an affectionate disposition. But although he has a jolly, engaging personality and is very vivacious, he is not a boisterous or a noisy dog. Comfort means a lot to him and he will happily live in house or flat as an integral part of the family.


The Colors and Patterns


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Why do dogs lick you

Understanding why your dog licks can help you in curbing this behaviour. So why do dogs lick? The following are some of the reasons: 


They like the taste of your skin

The presumption in many people’s minds is that their dogs lick them to show affection. While this may be true, dogs may also lick you because they like the taste of your skin. This may be caused by traces of food on your skin or just the taste of salt and scents on your skin. In other cases, a new scent on your skin can also compel the dog to sniff and lick you. This will give the dog a lot of information regarding where you have been.


To attract attention

In other cases, dogs will lick people to attract attention. There are many ways through which a dog can attract your attention, including a tap using its paw, a nose nudge and barking. But if the dog has noticed that you do not pay attention to these attempts, it may result into licking. To seek attention, a dog will lick your arm, hand or your face. If your dog starts licking you, you should try to establish whether he is trying to tell you something. For instance, the dog may be trying to tell you that he needs a potty break, the water bowl is empty or that he wants to play because he is bored. 

To relief stress

Licking in dogs releases endorphins, which play a role in relaxation. As such, a dog may lick itself, nearby objects or humans to stay calm. The majority of dogs find licking soothing and relaxing. Additionally, when nervous, a dog will smack its lips or lick to calm its nerves and show other dogs around that it is not a threat to them. 

When hungry

The question in the minds of many dog owners is "why do dogs lick?" There are many reasons as to why dogs lick, but your dog may be licking you simply because it is hungry.

 It has been ascertained that wild dogs tend to lick the face of their pack leader to beg for food. Additionally, puppies will lick their mother’s lips when hungry. This stimulates a regurgitation reflex and the puppies will feed on the food vomited by their mother. Therefore, if your dog starts licking you around its feeding time, it may be telling you that it is hungry. 

To show affection

Sometimes, dogs may lick your face to show affection. They learn this when they are young. Licking among littermates, in addition to maternal licking helps in strengthening family bonds among the dogs. Therefore, the dog may be licking you to show its affection for you and to strengthen the family bond it has with you. 

To investigate

Why do dogs lick? Answering this question is the starting point towards curbing your dog’s licking behavior. A dog may lick you just to ascertain your feelings. They use special receptors in their mouth and nose to interpret and process, scented molecules that exist in human sweat. This information will help the dog determine whether you are stressed or happy. 

To clean up

Just like the cats, dogs lick to clean themselves. This is because dogs are also concerned about their hygiene. However, if your dog constantly licks itself, it might be an indicator that its glands need to be expressed. 

To aid in wound recovery

There are enzymes in a dog’s saliva that get rid of bacteria. As such, licking wounds on their skin helps in cleaning and killing the bacteria on the wounds. Additionally, licking helps the dog get rid of the dead tissues of the wound. However, you should be concerned if your dog is overdoing it, because that may reopen the wounds and harm itself. 

Impulsive licking

If you notice that the dog is licking the same place or object over and over again, you may need to contact a vet. You should be equally concerned if the dog licks the same object whenever it is nervous or scared. This is mainly because obsessive licking can easily reinforce anxiety or worsen the condition.

To explore

Why do dogs lick you? If this is your dilemma, you have nothing to worry about because dogs may lick just to acquaint themselves with their environment. To explore their world, dogs lick new people and things in their surroundings. Additionally, if the dog detects something new on you, however small, it will lick you because it is curious. This is also why a dog you have met for the first time will lick your hand if you offer for the dog to sniff.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Australian Cattle Dog


The Australian Cattle Dog is an extremely intelligent, active, and sturdy dog breed. Developed by Australian settlers to handle herds of cattle on expansive ranches, he's still used today as a herding dog. He thrives on having a job to do and on being part of all family activities. He is loyal and protective of his family, though wary of outsiders. Besides herding work, the Australian Cattle dog does well at canine sports, including agility, obedience, rally, flyball, and flying disc competitions.


As with dogs from other working breeds, the Australian Cattle Dog is energetic and intelligent with an independent streak. It responds well to structured training, particularly if it is interesting and challenging. It was originally bred to herd by biting, and is known to nip running children. It forms a strong attachment to its owners, and can be protective of them and their possessions. It is easy to groom and maintain, requiring little more than brushing during the shedding period. The most common health problems are deafness and progressive blindness (both hereditary conditions) and accidental injury; otherwise, it is a robust breed with a lifespan of 12 to 14 years.
In the 19th century, New South Wales cattle farmer Thomas Hall crossed the dogs used by drovers in his parents' home county, Northumberland, with dingoes he had tamed. The resulting dogs were known as Halls Heelers. After Hall's death in 1870, the dogs became available beyond the Hall family and their associates. They were subsequently developed into two modern breeds: the Australian Cattle Dog and the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. Robert Kaleski, who wrote the first standard for the breed, was influential in its development.


Puppy


It has been nicknamed a "Red Heeler" or "Blue Heeler" on the basis of its colouring and practice of moving reluctant cattle by nipping at their heels. Dogs from a line bred in Queensland, Australia, which were successful at shows and atstud in the 1940s, were called "Queensland Heelers" to differentiate them from lines bred in New South Wales; this nickname is now occasionally applied to any Australian Cattle Dog.
The Australian Cattle Dog is a high-energy working dog. He is not a couch potato — we repeat: he is not a couch potato. He wants to be active and busy most of the time. His energy must be directed, or he'll become bored and will resort to entertaining himself, usually by doing something you consider naughty, like digging in the trash or digging up your flower garden.
The Australian Cattle Dog is also highly devoted to his owner and family. He usually attaches himself closely to one person and bonds less closely with others. He's often called a "Velcro" dog because he attaches so firmly; he likes to be in close physical contact with his chosen person all the time.

Because the Australian Cattle Dog was bred to herd, and herd with force, by biting, he is a mouthy dog. His instinct is to nip cattle, children, pets, cars, anything that moves. He has a strong tendency to bite, even in play. This tendency must be properly directed with socialization and training when he's a puppy, or it can turn into dangerous behavior.


Another part of the breed's instinct is his strong prey drive. He's fascinated by squirrels, cats, and other small animals. If the Australian Cattle Dog is raised from puppyhood with other pets, including cats, he can be trusted to live peacefully with them in his home. He's likely to consider those outside his household to be fair game, though.

The Australian Cattle Dog is generally friendly, but he is protective of his family and home turf, and he tends to be wary of strangers.

There is a toughness about the Australian Cattle Dog — he had to be tough to handle the high temperatures, rough terrain, and long distances involved in his job on ranches — that makes him both highly tolerant of pain and intensely focused. He'll keep working even when he's injured. Owners must pay careful attention to this breed to make sure he stops working or competing if he gets hurt.

Australian Shepherd


The PetNet - Australian Shepherd

Despite his name, the Australian Shepherd originated in the western U.S., not Australia, around the time of the Gold Rush in the 1840s. Originally bred to herd livestock, he remains a working dog breed at heart; the Aussie, as he's nicknamed, is happiest when he has a job to do. He can be a wonderful family companion if his intelligence and energy are channeled into dog sports or activities.
Watching an Australian Shepherd round up a flock of sheep is a beautiful sight. With sure and athletic movement, he directs the flock using nips, barks, and "eye," a penetrating stare that clearly says, "I'm in charge."

Intelligent, hard working, and versatile, the Aussie is a no-nonsense dog who thrives in a home where his brains and energy are put to good use. You don't have to keep a flock of sheep if you live with an Aussie — although it doesn't hurt — but you do have to keep him busy. He's a high-energy dog who doesn't know the meaning of couch potato and wouldn't approve of it if he did.


Because he's got energy to burn, he needs plenty of exercise — a walk around the neighborhood won't cut it — and at least a small yard to help him work out his ya-yas. Lacking a job to do, he becomes bored, destructive, and loud. Or he might invent his own job: herding the kids, either yours or the neighbors'; chasing cars or other animals; or taking your house apart. If you don't have the time or energy to train and exercise the Aussie on a daily basis, he's not the breed for you.

But if you're interested in competitive dog sports, the Aussie's the one. This agile, medium-size dog with the docked or naturally bobbed tail is a top contender in all levels of obedience, agility, flyball, and herding tests. He's also successful in such canine careers as guide dog, hearing dog, assistance dog, police dog, and search and rescue work.


Temperament

Australian Shepherds are easy-going, remaining puppy-like even in their adult years. This courageous dog makes a good watchdog for the home. Aussies are excellent with children, even with an active child, as they love to play. They are devoted, loyal friends and guardians, for they are naturally protective. Affectionate, very lively, agile and attentive—they are eager to please, with a sixth sense about what the owner wants. Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent and easy to train. Though aggressive when at work with livestock, the Aussie is gentle with human friends. Australian Shepherds are not the kind of dog to lie around the living room all day or live happily in the backyard with only a 15-minute walk. They need much more exercise than that and something to occupy their mind daily or they will become bored, leading to serious behavior problems. Without enough mental and physical exercise and/or a lack of a true pack leader, they can become nervous and destructive if left alone. Socialize well to prevent them from becoming suspicious of strangers. Working lines may be too energetic for people who only have a moderately active lifestyle. Some like to nip people's heels in an attempt to herd them, and this behavior needs to be corrected, teaching the dog that humans are not to be herded. The Aussie is a quiet worker. This breed is not usually dog aggressive.


Care

If you've got a yard, make sure you've also got a secure fence that your Aussie can't dig under or jump over. Underground electronic fencing won't work for this breed: Your Aussie's desire to go out and herd something will overcome any concern he might have about getting a mild shock. For the same reason, walk him on leash unless you're willing to train him to resist his urges.

Your Aussie needs a half hour to an hour of stimulating activity every day, such as a run, a Frisbee game, or obedience or agility exercises. When you're not playing with your dog, puzzle toys such as Buster Cubes are a great way to keep that active mind occupied.

Puppies don't need as much hard exercise as adults, and in fact, you shouldn't let them run them on hard surfaces such as concrete or let them do a lot of jumping until they're at least a year old. It could stress their still developing skeletal system and cause future joint problems.

The Aussie habit of nipping and chasing is excellent for herding sheep but bad manners when it's applied to humans and other pets. Obedience class can help you curb your Aussie's herding behavior, and they help satisfy his need for mental stimulation and work, too.

Aussies respond well to training methods that use positive reinforcement — rewards such as praise, play, and food — and are usually happy to take commands from their trainer. They just want to know who's in charge so they can do a good job for them.


Height: Males 20 - 23 inches (52 - 58cm) Females 18 - 21 inches (46 – 53 cm)

Weight: Males 50 - 65 pounds (25 - 29 kg) Females 40 - 55 pounds (18 - 25 kg)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Animals During Winter and Cold Weather

In many areas, winter is a season of bitter cold and numbing wetness. Make sure your four-footed family members stay safe and warm by following these simple guidelines:

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Keep pets indoors

The best prescription for winter's woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time.

Don't leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater. No matter what the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet's life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.

Take precautions if your pet spends a lot of time outside

A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

Help neighborhood outdoor cats
If there are outdoor cats, either owned pets or community cats (ferals, who are scared of people, and strays, who are lost or abandoned pets) in your area, remember that they need protection from the elements as well as food and water. It's easy to give them a hand.

Give your pets plenty of food and water

Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

Be careful with cats, wildlife and cars

Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.


Protect paws from salt

The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.
Avoid antifreeze poisoning

Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and keep antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Coolants and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and family.

Be sure your horses have access to a barn or a three-sided run-in so they can escape the wind and cold.

While not all horses will need to be blanketed, blankets will help horses keep warm and dry, especially if there is any rain or snow. If you’ve body-clipped your horses, keep them blanketed throughout the winter.

Supply food and water to your horses around the clock

Give your horses access to unfrozen water at all times. You can use heated buckets or water heaters/deicers to make sure the water doesn’t freeze.
Feed your horses more forage unlimited amounts, if possible during extreme cold. This will help your horses create heat and regulate their body temperatures.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Akita


The Akita is a large and powerful dog breed with a noble and intimidating presence. He was originally used for guarding royalty and nobility in feudal Japan. The Akita also tracked and hunted wild boar, black bear, and sometimes deer. He is a fearless and loyal guardian of his family. The Akita does not back down from challenges and does not frighten easily. Yet he is also an affectionate, respectful, and amusing dog when properly trained and socialized.
There are two types of Akitas, the original Japanese Akita breed and now a separate designation for American standard Akitas. The weights and sizes are different and the American standard allows a black mask, whereas the original Japanese breed standard does not allow for a black mask. According to the FCI, in Japan and in many other countries around the world the American Akita is considered a separate breed from the Akita Inu (Japanese Akita). In the United States and Canada, both the American Akita and the Akita Inu are considered a single breed with differences in type rather than two separate breeds.

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The Akita is docile, intelligent, courageous and fearless. Careful and very affectionate with its family. Sometimes spontaneous, it needs a firm, confident, consistent pack leader. Without it, the dog will be very willful and may become very aggressive to other dogs and animals. It needs firm training as a puppy. The objective in training this dog is to achieve a pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in its pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined. You and all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. That is the only way your relationship can be a success. If the dog is allowed to believe he is the leader over the humans he may become very food-possessive as he tells the humans to wait their turn. He eats first. Considered a first-class guard dog in Japan, Japanese mothers would often leave their children in the family Akita's care. They are extremely loyal and thrive on firm leadership from their handlers. They should definitely be supervised with other household pets and children. Although the breed may tolerate and be good with children from his own family, if you do not teach this dog he is below all humans in the pack order he may not accept other children and if teased, Akitas may bite. Children must be taught to display leadership qualities and at the same time respect the dog. With the right type of owner, the proper amount of daily mental and physical exercise and firm training, they can make a fine pet. Obedience training requires patience, as these dogs tend to get bored quickly. The Akita needs to be with its family. It vocalizes with many interesting sounds, but it is not an excessive barker.

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