Formidable Guard with a Devoted Heart – Is the Rottweiler Right For You?

Descended from Roman guardian breeds, it is no surprise that the modern Rottweiler makes an effective police dog in various countries throughout the world. However, these dogs continue to be among the most popular canine breeds currently recognized by the American Kennel Club and they remain popular as family pets.

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If you are thinking of getting a Rottweiler then here are some points that are worth taking into consideration: Read more

Rubbing noses with a puppy

Pets 101: Making a Pet Portrait

making a pet portraitAnimals and humans always had a special relationship ever since these pets were domesticated. Pets have always been an important part of any family. Just like what parents do when their babies are growing up, family members also document the growth of their pets, from being a puppy or a kitten to becoming a full-grown dog or cat. Each day just seems to be worth remembering.

With humans’ great love for their pets, it has become very common for people to have certain artworks done for their beloved animals. And as the technology advances, so are the ways to create the best artwork possible for these pets. There are a number of styles that are being used and introduced to the public nowadays. Sketches were once the most famous type of artwork or portrait, but people have now found other ways to be creative.

Some families post the portraits of their pets on their fridge while others hang them in their hall or living room. Unfortunately, capturing the pets in their perfect pose is a lot more difficult. Human subjects are basically easier to deal with when it comes to capturing a good pose. These animals do not understand that artists are trying to get them to pose. But what’s good about having pets as the subject of an artwork is that all of their pictures are natural poses. This is because of the fact that a dog or cat will not feel shy or embarrassed to put silly faces or poses when confronted with a camera. Thus, photographers get a much better picture.

There are quite a few points that one needs to consider when taking pictures of one’s pets. Experienced photographers have the ability to create the perfect scenario to capture the best possible shot. But most pet owners are not as experienced as the professionals. Although this seems to be a disadvantage, one thing that could be of benefit is the fact that no one knows one’s pet much better than their owners. Owners know what their pets want, what they like to do, what makes him comfortable and what behavior makes their pets playful. So here are some ideas to help you get the best pet portrait.

Pet Portrait Ideas

Surroundings. Checking the surroundings that would best fit the portrait is very important. Whether it’s inside the house or outside in the garden, the scenery should be considered. If you want to have the picture taken outside in the backyard where the dog is obviously going to enjoy the freedom of running and playing around, it is most likely that you’ll be getting action shots. The catch is, you should be prepared to take a lot of photos, about a hundred of them, in order to get just one perfect shot for the portrait. If one is to take pictures inside the house, then it is more likely that you’ll capture a relaxed and comfortable pose from your pets. You can get the cutest photo when the animals are asleep.

Light. Every photo needs a good lighting. And one advantage of taking the pet’s picture outside is the natural light since it eliminates the red eye.

Pet Portrait Collages

Owners would also like to have the most unique pieces of arts when it comes to their pets. That is why many owners would want to take their pet’s photos to the next level. And you can do so through the use of a collage. This is a technique where papers are cut into small pieces and are used to make a new image. You do not have to be a great artist to do this; creativity is the secret to get hold of a wonderful result.

One of the beautiful aspects about having a collage is the way the papers overlap as they create textures. Any type of paper can be used, whether it is glossy, high quality and the likes. Adding accessories like beads, feathers and yarns would create a more lively image. But if one wants to go wild, a technique called cubomania would be appropriate. This involves the process of cutting small squares and gluing the pieces randomly together. This may not give an actual picture of the pet but the result could be a cool piece of art.

After finishing the art, sealing the surface and letting it dry before framing is a necessary step. One can add varnish in many layers. The more layers there are, the more the picture will pop. But if being fancy is not the kind of thing that you like, using glue is suggested. Avoid over brushing in order to evade permanent clouding. Brushing across once will do.

Pet portraits that are made of collage could make a one-of-a-kind gift. This could create a lifetime memory of one’s pet. Although collage can be used in creating any images,sometimes, its just a different feeling when you create it for someone or something you love. After all, your pets are loved, cared for and treated just like one of the family members. Thus, the creation of their pet portraits is one way of showing love and respect for them.

The Benefits of Raw Feeding

The Benefits of Raw FeedingToday many pets suffer from health conditions that were rare or didn’t even exist before kibble became popular. Diseases like cancer, diabetes, food allergies and obesity are some of the most common health issues in dogs fed commercial or human food. Numerous researches have shown a strong connection between the health problems in dogs and the food they eat.

For this reason there’s a huge shift in the manner dog owners are feeding their pets. The overwhelming trend is moving towards different variations of fresh and healthy homemade meals, as well as raw food, based strictly on meat or a combination of raw meat and vegetables, fruits, eggs and other nutrients suitable for dogs.

It seems that the dogs like the change, especially raw diet which seems to help them overwhelm health issues such as bad breath and gum diseases, skin problems, kidney and liver failures. It seems that balanced diet consisted largely of homemade broth, various combinations of meat, bones, and organs with or without a healthy complement of vegetables, fruits, and dairy prevent illnesses that come with a diet heavy in fillers, flavors, artificial colors and preservatives.

What are the other benefits of raw feeding? If you ask the owners, they will assure you that their pets have clean, shiny and white teeth, fresh breath, and almost no body odor. Raw fed dogs have more energy but, at the same time, are less hyperactive which means that they can be easily controlled. According to some, raw meat makes dogs aggressive but that is not true. The only change is that dogs really love their raw and they will probably try to guard this type of food better than kibble.

What else can forty to sixty per cent of raw meaty bones bring to your dog? Chicken necks, legs, and backs, together with rabbit, duck, pheasant, and occasionally whole fish will give your canine friend a firm and muscled body and stronger immune system. If your dog is old and his teeth are missing so he finds it hard to chew bones or you are afraid of him choking – grind them up. Even the old dogs with arthritis show more mobility and energy when they eat the way their ancestors did.

We all know that vitamins, minerals, and enzymes are destroyed by cooking and that intense heat reduces the nutritional value of food. But did you know that cooked food also affects your dog’s stool? Not to mention the kibbles. When dogs are fed raw the poop is small, almost odorless, firm and easily decomposed. The only difference can be noticed during the period of adaptation to raw after commercial food.

Although there are many benefits of raw food, the fact is that this kind of feeding is still relatively unexplored. This means that some of the benefits mentioned above are not scientifically proved, but information provided by the dog owners. We hope that this will change in the future and that we’ll be able to give you more tips on how to feed your dog.

Are You Making These 10 Dog Training Mistakes?

Are you making these 10 dog training mistakes?

Many people say that there is nothing better than having a dog. That is certainly true but do you know what’s even better? Having a trained dog. Many people try to train dogs themselves and that is perfectly fine if you know how to do it and how to avoid making some typical mistakes.

You should always be consistent! Avoid using various words for the same command. It will only confuse your dog and he won’t know what he has to do. For instance if you used “Heel” you can’t expect the dog to listen to you if tell him “Walk by me.”

dog training mistakesStart small. Just because you see a dog on TV do a trick doesn’t mean you can expect your dog to know it or learn it in a day. Be patient, start with some simple commands and then work toward the more complicated ones. And be realistic of your dog’s abilities.

In any scenario, not just dog training, one of the worst things you can do is to physically punish your dog. It will only make the dog afraid of you, start acting aggressively toward you or people in your surroundings,  and it will ruin your relationship.

Start early, when he is just a puppy. It will make it easier as you won’t have to put a lot of obedience training.

Don’t give up after one try. It might take some time but your dog will get the hang of the trick eventually. Look at yourself, you don’t learn everything at the same pace, some things you can learn faster and some take time.

Giving your dog treats when he does what he’s suppose to is the best encouragement. If you fail to reward him he won’t know if he did something right. Ignoring bad behavior is just as bad; you shouldn’t overlook it or even worse give him a treat while hoping he will do better next time.

Dogs pay a lot of attention to the sound of your voice and if you’re in the bad mood while training them they will notice. They will notice that your tone of voice and body language are different and he won’t be able to connect the command with the action.

Some people think that rubbing a dog’s nose in urine helps with the learning process but it doesn’t. The only thing it does is hurt your dog’s nose.

You want your dog to learn who has control so don’t let him eat at the same time you do, give him food after you’ve finished.

Puppies don’t have a large attention span so it is best to keep the lessons short. About 15 minutes a day will do the trick and make your dog learn its trick.

So, keep it short, have patience, talk cheerfully, do it consistently and your dog will in no time learn when to sit, be quiet and when to jump in your arms and kiss you.

 

Some Ideas for Naming Your Dog

Some Ideas for Naming Your Dog

Some dog owners rack their brains out trying to name their dog, sometimes they even think more about dog’s name than the name of their child.

One of the best ways to find that perfect name is to think about your dog’s character, it will often give you some ideas for the name. If that doesn’t help, maybe there is a trick your dog can do which you can use to find him a name. Keep the name short, it will be easier for the dog to remember and understand it.

Some Ideas for Naming Your DogDogs are vocal and not verbal animals. To them it is important how the word sounds, which is something you have to keep in mind while naming them.

It is best to let your dog choose its own name. There are two ways to do this. First, spend some time with him so you can get to know him and his nature, character and choose appropriate name accordingly.

For instance, when a friend of mine got his husky mongrel he was all over the place! Not only he would jump all over him but he also used to pin him against the wall and get things out of his pockets, so he was always joking “I’m being mugged” thus he named it Mugger. A colleague of mine had a very spirited and playful little rascal who never gave her any time off so she named it Chaos.

Let your dog earn its name.

One way is to put together a list of your favorite names and try them out on your dog with a playful and cheerful voice. The name which your dog best reacts to is the name for him. And believe me, he will react differently to various names. Try it and you’ll see!

On the contrary to what people think, a dog’s name should be changed with the owner. It is considered that once dog gets used to its name it shouldn’t be changed. Wrong! Many dog owners make the mistake of using a dog’s name with contempt or as a warning, so if you keep that name dog will see you as one of them, previous owners. Therefore, if the dog is yours now, you can’t assume that the previous owner did everything right. If he had, you probably wouldn’t have to dog now. You’re trying to tell dog new house new rules, right? So, say it with a new name, especially if the old one was used with a negative connotation.

Teach him the new name while enjoying nice things like treats, meals, cuddling or playing, and don’t choose a name that sounds like the previous one.

If this doesn’t work for you, you simply can’t get any ideas; pick up a dictionary of native or foreign names, maybe even some mythology books and try finding or combining something that works for you and especially for your dog. Remember – it’s not just about what you like and what sounds good to you but what the dog likes best.

10 Dog Facts

10 Interesting Facts About Dogs

Here are the 10 Interesting Facts About Dogs

This friendship between dogs and men lasts for more than 15,000 years or from the moment the dogs were first domesticated by cavemen in the Paleolithic Age. Today, humans live side by side with more than 700 types of pure bred dogs in the world. According to statistics, estimated number of canines in the world is around 400 millions. Here are some interesting facts about dogs that most of the owners should know.

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1. Dogs descend from wolves. Approximately 15,000 years ago dogs diverged from their ancestors – wolves. In the year 1993 dogs were classified as a subspecies of the grey wolf (Canis Lupus).

2. Dogs have amazingly good sense of smell. While humans have around 5 million smell-sensitive cells, dogs have 40 times more, nearly 220 million. With powerful sense of smell, dogs can determine odors at concentration level that is 100 times lower than any man can sense. That’s why many dogs are used for finding missing persons or illegal materials such as drugs, bombs and explosive. Studies show that some dogs can even smell our diseases. Four legged buddy can be the first to notice thet you have cancer, epilepsy or diabetes.

3. Dogs have an incredibly good hearing. Once again, dogs are far better than humans in detecting sounds. Dog’s ear can catch frequency range from 40 Hz up to 60,000 Hz. Their amazing hearing capacity is helped by head muscles which can detect exact position of the source of the sound. That’s why some dogs have ears like rabbit and they use them as radar. Also, dogs can hear ultrasonic sounds.

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Dogs – A Look at Why They Truly Are Man’s Best Friend

Dogs and humans have been inseparable for many thousands of years. Wherever you find humans in the world, you’ll almost certainly find dogs accompanying them. These amazing creatures proved to be smarter than we have ever imagined. Astonishing new researches reveal that dogs are more than just tamed wild animals. Their ability to read our emotions so effectively is what makes our relationship special. Some even claim that dogs possess a special kind of social intelligence which allows them to get along with people in the way that is unique in the whole animal kingdom.

Mans Best FriendEvery dog person will tell you that dogs feel humans’ emotions like anger, happiness, despair, fear, and so on. Dogs were once fearsome predators, but today they are the most loving pets. Right now, there are almost half a billion dogs and we treat them as members of a family, almost as human beings. We share our lives, our homes, even our beds with dogs. Many a dog owner would agree that his pet is not just part of the family, it is family.

According to a research published in the Animal Cognition journal, canines are responsive to human emotions more than any other species, including humans. Asking for no reward, dogs will approach strangers in distress trying to comfort them by nuzzling and licking. That specific dog’s behavior was tested in the experiment that included 18 pet dogs. Those dogs were faced with two unfamiliar persons – one who was pretending to cry and the other who was talking casually. All of the 18 dogs responded to the person who was pretending to cry and offered comfort.

Loyalty to their owners is common for all dogs, but one breed stands out. Akita is a large fluffy dog originating in the northern Japan. Unbelievable and sad life story made an Akita a legend among dog breeds. An Akita named Hachiko followed his owner to the train station every day. His owner was a professor in another town. At exactly 4 p.m. Hachiko would arrive at the train station to meet his owner. Some years later, the professor died from stroke at work, but loyal Hachiko waited at the train station every single day for the next ten years until he passed away. Statue of Hachiko in bronze at Shibuya train station in Japan reminds us why dogs truly are man’s best friend.

Unlike humans, dogs have no tendency to criticize, to be racists, to stab in the back, to murder or have prejudice. Without any question dog will accept the owner no matter if he is poor, blind, crippled, old or young. Dogs give everything and ask very little in return – food, water and place to sleep. If you take good and proper care of your dog and you treat him with love, be sure that love will be returned. You will mean the whole world to your dog and your dog will mean everything to you.

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Is Your Dog Food Harming Your Dog

dog food harmingYou are certainly familiar with the situation that during the lunch your dog is lurking near the table looking at you with his eager eyes, waiting for some treat.  He is acting like his last meal was couple of days ago. It is well known that dogs are very trusting pets. They will, probably, eat almost everything you give them. So, it is a big responsibility for you as a caring owner to feed your dog in the best possible way. Before selecting a dog food, there are some factors for consideration. Those factors are dog’s age, body condition, dog’s health history and your budget.

You should be aware of the fact that some common food can be harmful to your dog. Most dangerous common food for dogs is chocolate. Although this sweet is very delicious for human, it can be lethal to dogs. In other cases chocolate can cause diarrhea, panting, vomiting, tremors and hyperactivity. Also, you should be very cautious with fruits, garlic, onions, peppers, popcorn, raw eggs, alcoholic beverages, coffee and tea.

It is logical that you should choose what your dog is going to eat instead of taking risk with things that can harm him, but is dog food really the best choice for your pet?

There are different opinions when it comes to the dog food and it is a controversial subject. Ignorance is bliss – sometimes. Most people don’t know what’s really in the dog’s commercially prepared food. The annual revenue of U.S. pet food industry is more than $10 billion. Through the advertising and media they insure consumers that their products are all your dog will ever need. On every pet food box you’ll see the images of beef, plump chickens, and fresh grains. Pet food industry is nothing but an extension of the human food industry. Waste products that are considered unfit for human consumption can be turned into profit by putting them into pet food. Many pet food companies are concealing the real origin of the ingredients or they are changing their quality. They are getting the ingredients from the different farms, different states and sometimes from a different country. Interesting part is that manufacturers are not legally required to inform consumers about those changes.  You are free to go to the pet food company website or call customer service number to ask legitimate questions about the ingredients, taste or if their food contains agricultural rejects. Always bear in your mind that information given by the pet food company can be biased.

Most animal nutritional experts and veterinarians believe that raw diet of bones and meat is the best dog food. A good idea is to combine BARF diet (Bones and Raw Food) with some whole wheat and vegetables. Never use human medication on animals, use vitamins from your local vet.

If your choice is the dog food, avoid low quality dry dog food with too much unnatural products and preservatives. Always go for high quality brands to feed your dog but don’t believe everything they say in commercials.

Best of Luck!

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What Are the Top 10 Most Intelligent Dogs?

Every dog owner thinks that his dog is the smartest dog around (well at least a few we know!). Of course only a few of them would be right. Don’t despair if your dog’s breed isn’t on the list. Some highly intelligent dogs are very hard to train or act destructively when alone in the house. Intelligence of the dog comes in various forms.

Here is our list of the 10 smartest dog breeds.

most intellegent dog10. Australian Cattle Dog.

This smart dog is very active and in constant need for mental and physical exercise. The breed was developed two centuries ago by crossing wild dingoes with Dalmatians and Collies. These dogs are very playful, happy and they are perfect to herd cattle.

9. Rottweiler.

This dog has a fearsome reputation, but when you see Rottweiler around the kids, you will know that this reputation is undeserved. Being highly loyal and family friendly, this dog is a great choice for police or guard. Rottweiler possesses a strong character and it’s always eager to work.

8. The Papillon.

Also known as Dwarf Spaniels because they reach a height of only 11 inches. This miniature breed is one of the oldest European breeds. In order to stay out of trouble keep this dog’s mind always occupied by mental stimulations.

7.    Labrador Retriever.

This intelligent and very gentle dog represents an ideal family pet. With aristocratic looks, Labradors are very sociable and easy to train with strong will to please owners. Golden, black and chocolate are three basic colors of this world’s most popular breed.

6. Shetland Sheepdog.

Very devoted to the owner, this lively dog can be used to herd sheep and cattle. Shetland Sheepdog is medium sized dog originated from Scotland. Breed, known for great sense of hearing and tri-color fur, are very trainable. Most of Sheltie’s owners claim that this dog is as smart as humans.

5. Doberman Pinscher.

This medium-sized dog is alert, incredibly smart and very loyal. If you train your Doberman properly from an early age, you can get brave dog ready to do anything to protect the loved ones. This guardian dog with a short hair comes from Germany and it is often used in military and police.

4. Golden Retriever.

One thing is very interesting with this energetic and great companion dog – it almost never barks. Golden Retriever represents everything we adore about dogs. Eager to please, loves children, sweet, loyal, carefree, easy to train. Can be used as a hunting dog, rescue dog, guide dog and drug sniffing dog.

3. German Shepherd.

For numerous reasons, German Shepherd deserves the third place on the top 10 intelligent dogs list. These dog breed is capable of doing every dog’s job there is. You name it! Their loyalty, intelligence and fierce nature make them perfect work dogs.

2. Standard Poodle.

Many people are not Poodle fans, but they have to agree that this breed deserves runner-up position. Thanks to good looks and intelligence this French breed became very popular all over the world.

1. Without any doubt Border Collie is the most intelligent breed on the planet.

In fact, on nearly every ranking of dog intelligence, Border Collie comes out on top. If you give this workaholic a job and purpose, you’ll make it happy. Collies literally live to work. They come mostly in black and white color.

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Dogs Lifespan Vs Human Lifespan – A Comparison

dogs lifespanDogs Lifespan Vs Human Lifespan – A Comparison

Relationship between a dog and a man is probably the closest in the pet’s world. There are hundreds of situations which confirm this theory. No man can love his golden fish, miniature turtle or parrot as much as a dog. Unfortunately, our pet’s life is shorter than ours and the hardest part of the relationship is dealing with the dog’s death.

There is an old calculation which says that one dog year is equal to seven years of human life. This ratio isn’t quite accurate. For example, two months old puppy is indeed developed like a 14 months old human baby but ratio decreases as the dog ages.  So, a one year old dog has aged about as much as a 15 years old human. Still, a 14 years old dog matches an 82 years old man, which corresponds to a ratio of only about 5.8.

Several factors can contribute to the dog’s lifespan. Depending on the breed structure, health and genetics, some dogs can live longer than others. It is interesting that smaller dog breeds live approximately 1.5 times longer than the bigger ones. It’s much easier to Chihuahua’s heart to pump the blood than the heart of a Great Dane. If we make comparison between genders, we will notice similarity to humans. Female dogs are expected to live a year or two longer than males, just like people.

The key to longer and healthier life of your dog is quality nutrition. Top quality dog food will extend dog’s life, especially if combined with neutering or spaying. These methods can reduce the risk for cancer of the reproductive organs. Mental and physical exercise on daily basis can affect your dog’s life span in a good way. Be sure to take special care of your dog’s teeth and gums. According to some veterinarians it can extend your dog’s life up to 4 years. Very good idea is to get your dog vaccinated. Just as it is with humans, many stressful situations can affect dog’s health.

Average life span of dogs is between 13 and 14 and for humans it’s about 67.2 years. Due to better medical care and food, dogs and human life span has increased dramatically over the past 100 years.  People of Japan live the longest with average life span of 82.7 years, while in Mozambique it is only 39.2, which is 40% below world average.

It’s all about the evolution – it dictates how long both humans and dogs will live. Both species have changed and developed over millions of years, with the big difference that humans have slower metabolism and for that reason live longer than dogs. In the coming future it will be possible to extend both life spans. I’m looking forward to see 1.000 year old man with 200 year old dog on the porch in front of their future house.

Average Life Span of Top 10 Breeds

·         Labrador Retriever (12.5 years)

·         German Shepherd Dog (11 years)

·         Golden Retriever (12 years)

·         Boxer (10.5 years)

·         Bulldog (7 years)

·         Poodle (12 years Standard) (15 years Miniature)

·         Chihuahua (13.5)

·         Rottweiler (10 years)

·         Doberman Pinscher (10 years)

·         Cocker Spaniel (12 years).

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