Pets

Advice for Making the Best Possible Choice of Dog for You

Advice for Making the Best Possible Choice of Dog for You

A local family thought they knew what they were getting into when they brought a Wheaton Terrier puppy home.  They'd read up on the breed and had met one or two adults prior to making their choice for their family, which includes three young children.  Almost immediately, they were overwhelmed by their pup’s wild, uncontrollable energy and anxious demeanor.  They worked with a trainer and then put their pup in day care just to burn off some of that unbridled wildness that was wreaking havoc on their household.  They came very close to giving up the pup.  When the pup started school with me, I was unfazed by her very true-to-breed behavior.  This is what ALL my Wheaton Terrier students have been like without exception. 

When deciding on a breed of dog to add to your family, one of the worse ways to make that decision is to base it on ONE representation of a particular breed or solely on something you’ve read in a book.

Think and Plan Ahead BEFORE Bringing a Puppy Home (Part 1 - Costs)

Think and Plan Ahead BEFORE Bringing a Puppy Home (Part 1 - Costs)

A puppy should NEVER be an impulse buy....no matter how cute or needy the little fur ball looks.  There are many factors to consider before bringing a new puppy into your home, and planning ahead is imperative if you want to reduce stress and make the transition easier on all parties.  Today’s blog will discuss the financial side of a pup’s first year.  In coming blogs, other aspects of puppy ownership will be covered.

Whether you are rescuing, adopting from a shelter or buying directly from a breeder or pet store, there are MANY additional costs beyond the initial outlay of cash for your new puppy.  Vet care, food, equipment, training and day care can run up a tab faster than you can say, “woof woof woof!”

Your new pup should be checked by your chosen veterinarian within a few days of bringing him/her home.  During the first several months of ownership, a well puppy will need to return to the vet for immunizations against various diseases.

KENNEL CLUBS PRESENT SECOND ANNUAL SOUTHERN MAINE COASTAL CLASSIC

York County Kennel Club of Maine, Inc and Vacationland Dog Club, Inc present the second annual Southern Maine Coastal Classic, four days of AKC All Breed Dog Shows and Obedience and Rally Trials running Thursday, May 19, 2011, through Sunday, May 22, 2011. All activities begin at 8am each day, outdoors rain or shine, at Wassamki Springs Campground, 56 Saco St, Scarborough, Maine.

We invite the public to observe the various activities throughout the day. Admission each day is $4 per vehicle. There is ample parking in and around the campground. Wassamki's snack bars will serve food throughout the day. There will also be vendors selling dog-related items and rescue organizations providing information on adopting a dog. New this year is Rally Relay, to be held Thursday and Friday. A team consists of a novice handler, an experienced handler and their dogs.

Trail Run - With a View

Trail Run - With a View

I'm running a trail race at the end of May and thought Robinson's Woods would be a good practice run. It didn't disappoint, if you've never been, it's a great place to walk or run, and dog-friendly. Not to mention, there is a beautiful view of the ocean if you cross Shore Road.

For more information, check out http://www.capelandtrust.org/trails.html

 

 

Splish Splash.. Does a Dog Need a Bath?

Splish Splash.. Does a Dog Need a Bath?

 

New puppy owners often ask how often their pup should be bathed.  Humans like CLEAN dogs, but how much is too much, when it comes to bathing?  The answer depends on a number of factors.  

How dirty does your pup get during an average day/week/month?  If you take your pup to wet, muddy areas to romp, a bath might be necessary more often.  

What type of coat does your dog have?  Puppies and dogs with non-shedding, curly coats can develop mats close to the skin resulting in the need for a very close haircut next time they visit the groomer.  Bathing and using a conditioning rinse, followed by a comb-out or full brushing can help keep mats from developing between grooms.

How healthy is your dog’s skin?  Dogs with sensitive skin sometimes benefit from a soothing oatmeal bath; however, some dogs with dry skin, allergies or other skin issues cannot tolerate bathing as often as owners would like.

Why Does My Dog DO that? This week’s topic: Poop-Eating

Why Does My Dog DO that?  This week’s topic:  Poop-Eating

About one in ten dogs engage in coprophagia, or poop eating.  To us humans, it’s a disgusting habit that we do NOT want our dogs engaging in.  There are many theories about WHY dogs do eat feces, their own or that of other dogs.  A deficiency in their diet, boredom and lack of mental and/or physical stimulation are all on the list but no one is truly sure what’s at the bottom of this pesky behavior.  The behavior is most common in dogs under one year of age, so it crops up a lot here at my puppy nursery school. I'm less concerned with WHY a pup is seeking out poop to eat, and focus on HOW to stop the behavior.   In this setting, there are a few things I do to “teach” the pups NOT to do it as well as discourage the behavior from becoming a habit.  

First and foremost, I keep the playground clean and free from poop to the extent humanly possible.

Riding In Cars With Dogs

Riding In Cars With Dogs

As the weather warms, I’m seeing more and more dogs hanging out of car windows, ears blowing in the breeze.  While this harbinger of spring might make us smile at first, the truth is that we dog owners are taking unnecessary risks when we allow our dogs to ride unrestrained in our cars -- at any time.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m as guilty as the rest of the dog-owning population who’ve at one time or another simply opened their car doors and allowed their dogs to jump in before hitting the road.