Monday, September 30, 2013

A Puppy Story... Some Thoughts on Raising a Puppy

Who doesn't love puppies? Don't we all just love how their big eyes stare at us? Don't we all laugh at their clumsiness and playful attitude? 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Well, here's the thing, before you get a puppy, please remember that puppies take up a lot of work, especially if you want them to grow into refined canine citizens. Also, there are a lot of puppies and dogs in shelters and pounds. So... before you decide on buying one, consider adopting a homeless dog. As for owners who prefer less energetic dogs, adopting a senior dog should be at the top of your list.

Now, back to the puppy story.

A one day old puppy.  And no, those aren't my hands.

During Puppy's first day, he can't see or hear anything. His ears and eyes will open in the days to come, but for now, he'll simply have to rely on scent.

They'll be sleeping most of the time at this stage.

This puppy is learning social gestures. I think he thinks he's going to receive regurgitated food by licking the big dog's muzzle.

Once he learns to walk, he'll play with others and get a first-hand lesson on how dogs communicate. In a family environment, this includes bite inhibition, respecting the elders and knowing how to deal with annoying humans.

This turtle toy or any dog-safe stuffed animal can serve as a great chew toy.

They become very curious of their surroundings and are usually impulsive chewers. Toys can save your furniture. It is important to keep a puppy's mental state stimulated with toys and play dates with other littermates.  Remember, a tired puppy is a happy puppy. 

During this time, puppies can begin learning about potty training and crate training.

Poor puppy hates his first bath.

With a new environment comes new challenges for the puppy. There will be vaccinations, vet visits, neutering/spaying, dog registration (depending on where you live), obedience classes and puppy's dreaded bath!

Cute puppy hiding behind the potted plants.

Often times, they will hide from you just to avoid baths and vet visits (assuming they already have an idea on how these events happen e.g. human holding a leash, human turning the car on, human bringing in the crate).

Once they're vaccinated, exposing a puppy to different environments and characters can help in honing their behavior. 

Exposing puppies to different people, dogs and environments, desensitizes them from potential foreign objects/being that they may fear. It's a great way to teach them to restrain anger and aggression towards nuisances such as roughhousing and territorial behaviors from other dogs.

Here's a good example of puppy toy guarding.

Some dogs tend to be aggressive if behaviors such as extreme toy and food bowl guarding aren't corrected. It is important for owners to understand that even when it looks cute and adorable, puppies are still dogs and like babies are needed to be taught proper behavior so the grow up into good dogs.

Additional Notes:
-If you want a dog, adopt one from your local pound or shelter.
-If you prefer a puppy, still check out your local pound or shelter.
-If you don't want to adopt a puppy, make sure to buy one from a reputable breeder.
-A puppy, when raised right, is a great companion. 
-Dogs have a long lifespan (more or less). Be sure you are ready for a 8-18 year commitment.
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dogs with Jobs in Bohol, Philippines

I almost forgot about this particular experience. It showcases the amazing ingenuity dogs have here in the Philippines. Whether they were trained to do this, I'm honestly not sure. There weren't any humans nearby to signal them except for the ones at the boat. They simply took turns to dive into the river and catch whatever scraps are being tossed at them -from meat to bread.

People enjoying their lunch at the Loboc River Cruise in Bohol. Philippines
Last June, we went to Bohol on a family vacation. One of its main tourists attraction is having lunch at the Loboc River Cruise. Basically, you eat lunch while the boat is cruising around the river. 

These two amazing dogs are waiting for their turns to take a swim at the river.
They're really smart. They take turns swimming towards the boats. These two are staying put because there's already one dog who's diving into the water to obtain the scraps thrown at them.

It's this dog's turn to get her own share of the daily feast. She dives in to catch the meat as it sinks faster.
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Aural Hematoma or Ear Hematoma: POTP for Whitey

I've had enough with the dog fights! It's not they do it so often. It's just when Puppy decides to defend the scaredy dog Coal, he and Whitey end up in a fight.

Today, however, we ended up bringing Whitey to the vet. Why you may ask? Aural Hematoma or Ear Hematoma. It's like Buchi's Blood Blister but it's on his ear.

Whitey is grounded! He will be wearing the cone of shame this afternoon.
What is an aural hematoma?

An aural hematoma or ear hematoma is a type of swelling in the flaps of a dog's ear. The dog's ear is filled with fluids coming from ruptured tiny blood vessels. It's like a blood blister.

Note: Whitey's ear drooped and puffed up like it had air in it and he kept on shaking it. This occurred moments after he fell down, getting toppled by Puppy.

Causes of Aural Hematomas or Ear Hematoma:

1. Scratching caused by itchiness due to allergies, mites, infection, yeast and foreign objects in the ear canal
2. Shaking the head alot
4. Smacking the ears unto something hard like how Whitey landed on his ear on the ground.

If you want to learn more about Ear Hematomas, Mercola's video explains it pretty well.

Treatment of Aural Hematoma

On Whitey's case, his ear was drained of the fluid. It was also bandaged and pressure was applied so that it would stop. Prednisone was given as an anti-inflammatory drug and he is due for the cone of shame. The veterinarian charged us 250php (about $6 - $7) for the procedure.

POTP for Whitey

Although most hematomas usually resolve in time by being absorbed back into the body, there are instances that it may get worse. It can also rapture the skin because of the fluid build up(and the dog shaking his head).

The vet said that if it didn't heal within the next 7 days, Whitey might need surgery. This was really bad because Whitey is about 8 years old. Administering anesthesia on old dogs can pose a health risk.
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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Teaching your Dog to Perform New Tricks (Guest Post)

Today, we have a special post sent by Miss. Evelyn Golston about teaching dogs new tricks.

JRT image courtesy of Miss. Golston
All animals discover new things as a result of consequences. Therefore they are going to repeat behaviors which are rewarding and get away from behaviors which are not. If you'd like your dog to perform tricks for you, you should turn it into a rewarding experience for your dog. Sadly, animals don't talk our language so you have to discover a way of helping your pet recognize your demands.


Getting started


· Create a plan - How would you get the dog to try and do what you would like it to do?

· Think about cues - How will you convey to the dog what you wish it to do? Will you use your body or voice? How would you call that trick? Dogs must be capable of seeing and hearing what you required them to do.

· Reward your dog - Simply what does your pet like? Does it love food, toys, a pat or playing with you? Any one of these things can make an awesome reward. Food is often the easiest if you are just starting to train your dog.

· Be patient - Some tricks take some time and entail a number of steps for your dog to learn.

· Practice makes perfect - Brief, regular sessions can help your pet dog learn best.

· Tools - You should have the tools necessary to teach your pet a specific trick. Get your dog clicker or any props you might need ready.


Reward indicators


· Inform your dog of its success - You have to discover a way of letting your pet dog realize that it has accomplished the right thing. Utilizing a word like "yes" helps your dog recognize when it has performed what's right.

· Use tools properly - additionally, you may want to make use of a clicker that is frequently used with dolphins as well as other wild animals. You need to use the word or clicker on the exact moment once the dog does anything that you wanted it to do and promptly follow it up with a food incentive. This stuff will allow the dog to understand that it has done what you want and will be motivated to replicate the trick in the future.


Factors when teaching your dog a different behavior


· Environment -For your dog to know a brand new behavior, it must be taught within the right surroundings. Look for a place that's calm without distractions.

· Luring behaviors - Start out with simple and easy physical gestures to show the dog what you would like it to perform This is known as "luring" behavior. If the dog does what you want, tag the behavior using a "yes" then follow the behavior up with a treat. Continue doing this step 'til the dog does the trick easily.


What if it's not working?


After you have done these steps but your dog seems to have difficulty in learning new things, then consider to ask the following questions.

· Have you captured your dog's full attention? Your pet will find it difficult to learn a new trick when it is concentrating on something else.

· Are you being reasonable? Could it be done? Have you been asking excessively? You shouldn't assume that your pet dog can master any trick in a short period of time whether simple or difficult. Start out simple and work your way up.

· Does your dog comprehend you? Are you making yourself very clear? Your canine cannot be taught a trick if it does't fully grasp your instructions.

It is quite difficult teaching your dog to do new tricks but when you have succeeded on making it perform some tricks; it would be a rewarding experience for sure.

The author is a pet lover who owns a blog about dogs and cats. He loves to share his knowledge on pet caring with others. He is also a contributing writer to essayjedi.com
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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dog Infographic: How Dogs Became Our Best Friends

To commemorate our Wordless Wednesday (being a day late), let me just share this canine infographic from The Uncommon Dog.

Thanks again, Miss Tammy.
How did you end up becoming your dog's best friend?
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Monday, September 9, 2013

A Funny Dog Story: The Continuation of the Underwear Bandit

Remember when I talked about the two mischievous dogs who stole the guests' underwear... Well, a hero arose from all the mayhem.

Her name...CHOOEY, Warrior Princess

Two white ogre puppies stole the underwear. Shih Tzu Princess Chooey to the rescue!!!

Not only is the Shih Tzu princess loved by her people (peepz) but she is also relied upon for her courage and bravery in the face of underwear chaos.


Translation: She literally took the underwear from the two cream-colored hyperactive dogs and returned it to the owner. And yes, I am one proud mama.


One of the guest who had just hung her underwear on the clothesline had to chase the sneaky dog bandits (err... puppy ogres) for hours. 

Fortunately, Princess Chooey was on the watch. She took the underwear from their canine clutches and strutted down the castle grounds carrying the prized underwear towards her people (our female human guest).

"Here's your treasure. They won't bother you again." 
Translation: She gave the underwear back to the owner. LITERALLY!

By the way, I almost forgot to post about the giveaway Ms. Peggy Frezon sent me through my sister in the US. 

The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon
Thanks, Peggy. My sister told me that after you emailed me about the book, she got it in the mail the day after. I read some parts of The Secret of Happy Ever After and am awed by how well written it is. Can't wait to finish it.

Peggy Frezon Book Tour
Just click on the button to drop by Peggy's blog.
And that's the end of my Mischief Monday post.

Snoopy's Dog Blog

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