Saturday, January 24, 2009

Vote For BANDIT!

Bandit is entered in a Photo Contest with the Humane Society. All proceeds that are raised will go to help shelter pets get spayed and neutered, which will help control the pet population. Thank You! Pam, Isabelle, and Bandit

Click here to vote for Bandit's Photo Contest!

Thank you to Marxsen my husband for taking such a wonderful picture. Who knew he was such a photographer. :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Puppy Proofing your Home

Drs. Foster & Smith Veterinary Services Department
Katharine Hillestad, DVM


Puppies, no matter what breed or size, need a safe home environmentPuppies have a tremendous amount of energy and natural curiosity, and they love to explore the world around them. This is part of what makes them so much fun, but it can also lead them into harmful situations. Before you bring your new puppy home, make sure you survey your home for potential dangers. In many ways, making your home safe for a puppy is similar to making your home safe for a toddler. The following tips are designed to help you keep your puppy safe. Many of the following warnings apply for adult dogs as well:

Indoor hazards

Know which plants are toxic (see our article, Plants Which Are Potentially Poisonous) and place them out of reach, or replace them with nontoxic plants. Toxic plants commonly found indoors include dieffenbachia, azalea, Calla lily, and philodendron.

Keep all medications, including any dog supplements, in a safe area the puppy cannot access. Do not leave vitamins or other pills out on the kitchen counter or table. A determined chewer can make short work of a plastic container. Puppies are surprisingly quick at pulling things off of end tables or other low surfaces.

Put bathroom trash cans up high where your dog cannot get into them. Sanitary supplies and used razors are only two of the hazards here.

Full sinks, bathtubs, or toilets with open lids can be a drowning hazard. Avoid automatic toilet bowl cleaners if you cannot keep your puppy from drinking out of the toilet.

Keep cleaning supplies in high cupboards or use childproof latches to secure lower cupboards. Remove the puppy from the area when you are using liquid or spray cleaners. They can get into the eyes of a curious puppy, and the vapors can be harmful to lungs and eyes.

Be careful of your puppy around furniture. A rocking chair can harm a puppy's tail or leg, and a curious puppy may crawl under an open recliner or sofa bed.

Puppy chewing on an electrical cord...NO!Electrical cords are a big danger to puppies, who often chew on them while playing. This can cause burns in the mouth, electrical shock, or death by electrocution. Tie up loose electrical cords and keep them out of sight. Run cords through purchased spiral cable wrap, cord concealers, or even PVC pipe to keep them safe from your puppy.

Any type of fire can be dangerous. Screen off fireplaces and wood stoves. Never leave your puppy unattended in a room with an open flame or space heater.

Cords for drapery and blinds can cause strangulation. Either tie up the excess cords, or cut the loop in the cord.

Swallowed clothing may cause a dangerous intestinal blockage. Keep socks, nylons, underwear, and other clothing put away. Keep laundry baskets off the floor.

Keep small objects (coins, jewelry, needles and thread, straight pins, yarn, dental floss, rubber bands, paper clips, toys, etc.) out of your puppy's reach. Jewelry and coins are easily swallowed and can contain metals that are toxic. Keep costly items and those of sentimental value put away until your puppy is older and less likely to chew.

Keep fishing line, hooks, and lures stored out of reach.

Be careful about closing doors as you walk through – your puppy may be right behind you and get caught.

A baby gate can separate puppy from any off-limit area. Keep doors and windows closed. Keep screens on windows and sliding glass doors securely fastened and in good repair, to keep your puppy from falling through or escaping.

Close off stairwells with a baby gate.

Many dogs will eat cat feces from the litter box if given the chance. In addition to being a disgusting (at least to us!) habit, this can be a dangerous health hazard. Cat litter can cause an intestinal obstruction, and in addition, any intestinal worms the cat has may be passed on to the dog. One solution may be to put the litter box behind a baby gate, either in a separate room or in a closet with the gate across the doorway. The gate can be raised up from the floor to allow the cat to go under it, unless the dog is able to go under it also. If the cat cannot jump over the gate easily, a step stool beside the gate can help.

Many human foods can cause problems for pets. Chocolate, onions, alcohol, and foods high in fat, sugar, or salt can be very harmful. Chocolate, coffee, and tea all contain dangerous components called "xanthines," which cause nervous system or urinary system damage and heart muscle stimulation. Problems from ingestion of chocolate range from diarrhea to seizures and death. All chocolate, fudge, and other candy should be placed out of your dog's reach. Grapes and raisins contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys.

Tobacco products, including nicotine gum and patches, contain substances that can be toxic or fatal to dogs.

Chicken bones, plastic food wrap, coffee grounds, meat trimmings, the string from a roast – all pose a potential hazard. Scraps from ham or other foods high in fat can cause vomiting and diarrhea, or pancreatitis. To be safe, put food away immediately, dog-proof your garbage, and do not feed table scraps to your dog. Uncooked meat, fish, and poultry can contain disease-causing bacteria, such as E. coli, and parasites, such as Toxoplasma gondii. These uncooked foods should not be given to your dog. For your own health, as well as your pet's, wash utensils that have been in contact with raw meat, and cook meat thoroughly.

The holidays can bring extra hazards for dogs. For a review of holiday precautions, see "Keeping the Holidays Happy and Safe."


Puppies need a secure fenced-in area in which to play. Do not leave your puppy outside unsupervised. To prevent your puppy from wandering, you will need to either build an outdoor kennel or provide secure fencing that your puppy cannot jump over or dig under.

Provide your puppy a separate area of your yard to use as his bathroom area. Use fencing, or other means, to keep him out of areas where children may play, especially sand boxes.

Some outdoor plants and trees can be toxic to dogs. Common ones include potato (all green parts), morning glory, foxglove, lily of the valley, and oak (buds and acorns). Many bulb plants, such as daffodils, are also poisonous. Cocoa bean mulch can be toxic to dogs. Some dogs chew and swallow landscaping stone, which can cause dangerous intestinal blockage.

Make sure all gasoline, oil, paint, lawn fertilizers, insecticides, and auto supplies are placed into secure containers, out of reach. Be especially careful with antifreeze and rat poison, both of which taste good to dogs and both of which can be deadly if ingested.

Pools, ponds, and hot tubs should be covered or fenced off. Drainpipes can also pose problems.

Fire rings, barbecues, and other heat or fire sources pose the potential of causing burns.

Keep all food and other garbage in securely closed containers. Used coffee grounds can contain harmful amounts of caffeine, and decomposing food may contain toxic molds. Keep compost in a secure bin.

Walk around your property and look for other areas or items that could be a hazard to your puppy, such as broken glass, exposed nails, or other sharp objects. Plan how you will restrict your puppy's access to these areas.

Bringing home a new puppy is a time of fun and excitement. Following these tips will help you keep your new friend safe, so that the two of you can enjoy each others company for years to come.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This was difficult for Isabelle because she LOVES squeaky toys, but all I had to do was tell her to leave it. She got a handful of chicken after the photo was taken. She will do anything for chicken. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Top 10 Things to Teach your Puppy

1. House Training
2. Handling and Good Manners at the Veterinarian and Groomer
3. No Bite!
4. Socialization
5. Appropriate Chew Toy Training
6. Preventing Separation Anxiety
7. Preventing Resource and Food Guarding for Puppies
8. A Healthy Diet for Your Dog
9. Wearing a Leash and Harness – Learn how to walk with a loose leash.
10. Obedience Training

Border Collie's

The Border Collie is a medium sized bundle of energy, looking rather like a lightly built Australian Shepherd without a bobtail. The body is slightly longer than the height at the withers. The skull is fairly wide with a distinct stop. The muzzle tapers to the black nose. The ears are usually half-perked. The oval eyes are generally dark brown, except in merles where one or more eyes may be blue. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The tail reaches at least to the hock and is sometimes raised when the dog is excited, but is never carried over the back. There are two varieties of Border Collie: one with coarse hair (thick, straight, about 3 inches (7.6 cm.) long), and one with sleek hair (about 1 inch (2.5 cm.) long. The coat colors come in black and white, tri-color, red & white, black & gray, and all black. White should never be the main color. The longer haired variety should have a mane and tail brush. The hair on the face, ears and front legs is always short and sleek. Since Border Collies are bred for working ability and intelligence rather than for physical beauty, conformation varies widely.

The Border Collie is a very intelligent and responsive dog. It excels at obedience, agility and Frisbee (TM). They thrive on praise, are sensitive and very trainable. The Border Collies are commonly used in the agility competitions, as sports like agility are right up this intelligent dogs alley. The Border Collie is highly energetic with great stamina. Provided it gets sufficient activity to keep it occupied and ample exercise, the Border Collie will get along quite happily with other dogs, and children, however the Border Collie may be aggressive with other dogs of the same sex if you are not showing 100% leadership with them. They should not be trusted with small non-canine pets, however there are plenty of Border Collies that live and get along with family cats. This breed should be very well socialized as a puppy to prevent shyness. To be truly happy, it needs a lot of: ongoing attention, extensive daily exercise, and a job to do. For those who wish to reach high levels in dog sports, the Border Collie is a gift from heaven. Farmers (for whom the dogs perform work for which they were bred) are also happy with them. It is not surprising that at competitive levels in various sports such as: agility skills, obedience, and sheepdog trials, the Border Collie are represented among the leaders in the sport. They are perfectionist with a permanent will to please. This breed lives for serving you day in and day out. They are not ideal pets for people who have no plans to spend a lot of time with them. These dogs are too intelligent to lie around the house all day with nothing to do. If there is insufficient activity then it will find its own work to do, and that may not be what YOU had in mind when we say the word WORK. They can become destructive if they get bored or if they are ignored. They can become neurotic if they are left alone for long periods with nothing to do, leading to many behavior problems. This breed is known as an escape artist. Because of his strong herding instincts, the Border Collie may try to herd children and strangers and must be told this is not acceptable. They do best with an experienced owner that has lots of time to spend with the dog. The adolescent Border Collie often goes through a phase where he challenges his master's authority. Dominance level is highly variable in Border Collies. You need to be this dogs firm, confident, consistent pack leader, or he may try and take over. If you allow them to take over, without enough socialization and mental and physical exercise, they can be highly reactive and sound sensitive, making them a poor choice for families with young children.

Height, Weight
Height: Dogs 19-22 inches (48-56 cm.) Bitches 18-21 inches (46-53 cm.)
Weight: Dogs 30-45 pounds (14-20 kg.) Bitches 27-42 pounds (12-19 kg.)

Health Problems
They are generally a hardy breed, but some are prone to hip dysphasia, PRA and an eye disease common to Collies known as Collie Eye Anomaly. Many Border Collies are allergic to fleas and some are prone to epilepsy and deafness.

Living Conditions
The Border Collie is not recommended for apartment life. They are very active indoors and do best with acreage. This breed will do fine in a kennel provided it has daily activity and sees plenty of its handler. This breed is not suited to life chained up in the back yard all day.

Physical exercise alone is not sufficient for this very intelligent and highly energetic dog. They want to work and must do so with body and mind as one, carrying out different tasks. Fast and agile, these lively little dogs have boundless energy and thrive on hard work and play. They should also be taken on a long, brisk daily walk. They are a delight to see streaking after a ball or bringing straying sheep back to the fold.

Life Expectancy
About 12-15 years

Litter Size
4 - 8 puppies - Average 6

The Border Collie needs regular combing and brushing to keep the coat gleaming. Extra care is needed when the soft, dense undercoat is shedding. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. Check the ears and coat regularly for ticks. This breed is an average shedder.
The Border Collie originated in Northumberland on the Scottish/English border. The breed is descended from old British droving breeds with some spaniel added. An outstanding herder, this hardy, agile, untiring sheepdog, is capable of mastering any type of herd. It is said that the Border Collie has an eye that can hypnotize cattle. He crouches down and mesmerizes the animals with its intense stare. One of the most trainable breeds, the Border Collie also serves well as a narcotics and bomb detection dog and is a frequent high performer in obedience, agility, Frisbee(TM) trials, police work, search & rescue, Flyball, performing tricks and competitive obedience. Some Border Collies have been trained very successfully as blind guide dogs. Currently very good results are obtained with them for general assistance to the handicapped in The Netherlands.

Herding, AKC Herding

Monday, January 19, 2009

The APDT states Marley & Me Highlights the Positive Impact of Training.

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers States Marley & Me Highlights the Positive Impact of Training

Professional dog trainers agree that upcoming movie is a wonderful opportunity to promote the benefits of positive, science-based dog training. Working with a professional trainer and learning about your dog’s physical and mental needs can eliminate potential behavior problems in the home.
Greenville, SC (PRWeb) – December 19, 2008 –The Association of Pet Dog Trainers, the largest educational and professional association for dog trainers in the world, believes the movie Marley & Me is a great opportunity to promote reward based training for all dogs. The movie, based on the bestselling book by John Grogan, opens Christmas Day and depicts an exuberant Labrador Retriever whose behavior creates turmoil in his owners’ lives.
Dogs with the size, energy level and behavior issues of Marley often end up in shelters because their owners do not know how to work with them. Labrador Retrievers are one of the top five breeds that are relinquished to shelters. This belies their image as a favorite family dog. Working with a trainer and understanding your dog’s physical and mental needs can go a long way toward keeping dogs in their homes.
Some members of the APDT have provided tips for living with “unruly” dogs on the APDT’s Web site, Some highlights include:

1. Crate Training – Teach puppies to love their crate. Crates prevent dogs from engaging in destructive behaviors around the house when owners are not at home or unable to supervise them with their complete attention.

2. Reinforce for Calm, Quiet Behavior – Trainer Tayrn Hodge recommends reinforcing your dog for calm, quiet behavior and to have them “sit or lie down to get everything – sit at doorways, sit or lie-down for meals, sit for petting, sit for getting his leash on, sit before tossing his ball.”

3. Use Proper Equipment for Walks - There are a large variety of new products on the market that can assist with making your walks with large or unruly dogs more pleasant. Some of the new products you can try are head halters and front clip harnesses which prevent pulling without choking your dog or causing discomfort.

4. Understand Your Dog’s Breed Tendencies – Learn about the type of dog you’re bringing into your home before you do so. Paul Owens, author and trainer jokes, “…in my 35 years of training, I’ve met maybe two Labs who aren’t constantly self-employed as gardeners, home decorators and official bull-in-a-china shop court jesters.” You can find breed information through breed clubs, breed rescue web sites, and from trainers and shelter workers.

5. Provide Appropriate Exercise and Outlets for Play – Kellyann Conway, President of the APDT, says, “Exercising your dog is important but making time to *play* with your dog is vital to developing and maintaining a great relationship with him. Actively playing with your dog will keep him fit both physically and mentally.”

6. Environmental Enrichment –Trainer Teoti Anderson says, “Dogs need outlets for their energy. Some dogs would be just as happy munching on your sofa as chasing a tennis ball! It’s up to us to teach them what’s appropriate.” There are many toys today that are designed to stimulate your dog’s mind and keep them occupied for.

7. Recognize Behavior Problems –It isn’t always an obedience problem—unwanted behaviors are sometimes brought on as a result of fear or anxiety. These behavioral problems can only be solved through a behavior modification plan under the guidance of a professional that takes these issues into account. Visit the APDT’s Trainer Search at to find a professional in your area.

8. Try Fun Outlets for Your Dog’s Energy such as Dog Sports –Many destructive behaviors stem from a lack of a “role” for the dog to perform. Finding things to engage your dog’s mind and physical energies can provide a positive outlet. Trainer Laurie Williams suggests looking at dog sports such as agility, Rally, Frisbee, and flyball. Laurie adds that teaching your dog a sport “…will definitely be much more productive than rearranging your landscaping!”

9. Make Training a Part of Your Life –Trainer and author Nicole Wilde recommends, "Incorporate training skills into your everyday life. For example, practice down-stays during television commercials and while you're eating dinner, and have your dog sit to greet visitors."

10. Work with a Qualified Trainer – A professional trainer can help you communicate effectively with your dog to create a harmonious relationship. Whether through a group class, or sessions in your home, working with a qualified trainer can make life with any dog go smoother. Visit the APDT’s Trainer Search at to find a trainer in your area.

Mychelle Blake, Communications Director
Direct: 702-966-8060 or 866-245-2742

PT for Dogs
(619) 888-3139

* * * *
The APDT is a professional educational organization of trainers who are committed to becoming better trainers through using positive, dog friendly methods based on sound scientific principles. With over 5,000 members worldwide, the APDT provides professional dog trainers with a respected and concerted voice. The APDT promotes caring relationships between dogs and people and works to increase public awareness of dog-friendly training techniques. For more information, visit the Web site at

Saturday, January 17, 2009

If dogs were teachers

If dogs were teachers, you would learn stuff like.....

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.

Let others know when they've invaded your territory.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people pet you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout... run right back and make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle gently.

And finally, never trust anyone until you sniff his/her butt.


(619) 888-3139