Is your dog your best friend? Let’s see; they are happy to see us when we get home; they don’t talk back (not too much, anyway), and they love us unconditionally. It doesn’t matter who we are, what we do, or how we look. Plus they keep us warm at night. What more could you want in a best friend?
Now that we’ve determined that your everyday house dog could easily be our best friend, think about those animals that stay by their owners side every minute, helping them to see, helping them to hear, or understanding that a seizure is coming on; to name just a few. These dogs protect and take care of us as much as we take care of them. They are service dogs; or, helper dogs. And of course, there are police dogs that spend their days protecting their owner. These are remarkable animals.
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Additionally, there are dogs that are simply your companion or the family pet. That is until they are needed to go to work. These are your search and rescue dogs. They are trained to search for missing people as well as recover those lost in a drowning or other disaster. Earthquakes, an avalanche or rock slide, homes and buildings collapsing from the force of a hurricane or tornado, are just a few disasters these dogs are trained for.
Search and rescue dogs work as a team with their volunteer handlers. The handler raises the dog and is responsible for all aspects of his training. Specific traits are required to be a search and rescue (SAR) dog. Any medium to large breed can do the job, but it’s the dog’s personality that is most important. The dogs are evaluated for their temperament; they must be friendly; they must be eager to please; and they must be obedient and attentive. They also must enjoy tracking and be able to concentrate on following a scent. To the dog it’s a game, and as long as they are praised or rewarded, they are happy to keep searching.
Training for search and rescue (SAR) dogs is extensive, taking about 600 hours before they are field ready. Handlers’ training takes 1000 hours. Training of the dogs varies depending on how they respond, and progresses at different rates. Their reaction to the training and the reward varies too. The dogs are trained for specific types of searches.
With their keen sense of smell, 40 times that of humans, dogs are able to find victims both on the ground and in the water. Air-scenting dogs are used to find missing people, as they are able to pick up human scent that is drifting in the air. They work off a lead with their heads up and are valuable for searches in collapsed buildings and finding victims of drowning. They look for people that aren’t tracked from one point to another. Tracking dogs follow the scent trail left by a human being that has passed along a certain route; they don’t rely on air scent. The trailing dog is trained to find a specific person. They are given something that belongs to the missing person, such as a piece of clothing. They work on-lead and follow the scent trail wherever it leads, even if it is mixed with other scents.
The Bloodhound is particularly good as a trailing dog because their long ears and loose facial skin trap scents right by their noses. Bloodhounds can sometimes follow trails that are a week old, whereas other dogs must be at the scene within hours. Disaster dogs are trained largely for searches of missing people due to tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes or anything else that causes a structure to collapse. They are taught to work on unsteady surfaces and to navigate in small places.
A cadaver dog is trained specifically for finding the scent of dead humans. Water search dogs are able to capture scent on or underneath the water. They will frequently work with their handler on a boat. There are dogs specifically trained to search for victims of an avalanche. When the dog locates the victim, they alert both the victim and their handler before proceeding to help dig out the victim. Dogs can pick up a scent up to 15 feet beneath the snow.
When a dog searches for a missing person, he is given an article of clothing, or another item with the person’s scent. If a family member joins in the search, the dog may be unable to discern the difference between the missing person and the family member. This is because family members have similar scents. It is best to let the dog search the area before anyone else goes near it.
Search and rescue dogs are trained to find live humans and if no survivors are found, the dogs may actually become discouraged. This may be due to the fact that the dog is so attuned to their handler’s mood. Also, when they find someone alive, their reward comes in the form of the feedback they receive. After all, the reason the dog does his job is to get the reward; and finding a survivor is the ultimate reward.
If you’ve ever seen dog agility programs on television or watched it live as the opening act for another performance, you know how amazing it is. But did you know that you can participate in dog agility training? Dog agility isn’t limited to certain breeds, people, ages or types of dog or human, and anyone can enroll their dog in agility training. In fact, you can learn how to train your dog yourself and bypass any professional training if you have the time and the will to get involved.
Dog agility training is the process of training a dog for Agility events, which are a kind of dog show that demonstrate certain tricks and stunts performed by human and animal. A typical dog agility course includes wheels, weaving polls, planks, see-saws, tunnels, hoops and A-frame jumps that test the dog’s ability to both negotiate the course and respond to his or her owner. The dog performs these stunts off-leash and with the direction of the owner.
If you are interested in pursuing dog agility training, you should first consult with your veterinarian to make sure that your dog is suitable for this practice. Certain types of physical problems can preclude the participation in agility training and you don’t want to cause injury to your dog by ignoring these precautions. Joint and muscle pain and arthritis are the most common ailments that would prevent a dog from participating.
Before you start your dog agility training, you will need certain equipment. First, you should have a comfortable pair of shoes and comfortable clothing. The dog isn’t the only one to get a workout during agility training, so you’ll need to be comfortable and free to move. The dog will need a webbed collar and a long (5-6 foot) leather or nylon lead. Chain leads don’t work well for agility because they can too easily become tangled in jumps or other obstacles.
Once you have your equipment, you’ll need to find a dog agility training center near your home. Some of these centers are outdoors, which means that weather must permit you to practice, while others have indoor training centers that are geared toward serious participants. Most agility training centers offer time slots for individuals to use the facility, and can cost between $5 and $50 per session. You’ll need to send up a time schedule so that you don’t interfere with other people and their dogs.
Training your dog for agility should be fun and not a chore. If you don’t know anything about dog training, you’d be better off signing up for classes at first than going at it on your own. Most agility training centers have instructors available and half-hour or hour-long classes won’t break your bank. Once you get a feel for how it’s done, you can venture out on your own and only take classes when you encounter a problem.
It is usually helpful if you bring treats with you to practice to reward your dog. Make sure your dog knows that you’re doing this for fun; don’t make it an exercise in trying your patience. If agility training doesn’t come easily to your dog, don’t shove it down his throat. Evaluate whether you and your dog are having fun and whether it’s something you want to pursue.
Dogs are pack animals, which means that there is always a leader — or “Alpha Dog” — in the pack to whom all of the other animals defer. When it comes to dog training, you as the owner must become the alpha dog to ensure obedience and respect. If you allow your dog to believe that he or she is the Alpha dog, you run the risk of losing his or her respect forever. Not only that, but a dog who things that he or she is the master is inherently dangerous, especially if you’ve purchased a breed that is naturally aggressive.
There are many schools of thought that pertain to becoming the Alpha dog in your dog training efforts. Some experts say that the best way to become an Alpha dog is to continually offer discipline and rejection. There are easier ways, however, that can start from day one. Two methods in particular have always worked with me, and they are easy enough that you don’t have to be an expert dog trainer to send the right message.
The first method of becoming the Alpha dog is to spend five minutes each day standing over your dog. When an animal turns his or her belly upwards to the owner, this shows absolute submission. Most dogs won’t do this right away because they are reluctant to give up control. In the wild, keeping their bellies tucked underneath themselves is a matter of survival — if a predator can’t get to the belly and throat, there is far less chance of becoming injured or killed.
So ask your dog to sit and stand over him. Put one leg on either side of the dog and pet his head and back. This doesn’t have to be an intimidating exercise; you can talk lovingly to your pet while you are demonstrating that you are the Alpha dog. Stand over your dog for about five minutes and when you are done, simply back away. After that, you can continue your training regimen or go back to everyday activities. The goal with this exercise is for your dog to eventually lay down while you are standing over him and turn his or her belly upward so you can rub it. This is the ultimate in submission.
The other method of becoming the Alpha dog in your household is more preventative than anything else. You should know what actions you can commit that will give your dog the idea that he or she is the Alpha dog. One is looking away first when you and your dog make eye contact. You’ve probably heard that you should never stare down an aggressive dog because this is perceived as a challenge, but the exact opposite is true when it comes to your dog. If you happen to make eye contact, never look away first. Continue to stare until your dog looks away — usually within ten or fifteen seconds.
The same type of concept holds true during play. Some expert dog trainers advise owners to never play “Tug-of-War” with their dogs because if the dog wrestles the Frisbee or rope or toy away from the owner, this is considered a sign of dominance. It’s important that you never get down on your dog’s level to wrestle or play games because, if you allow he or she to win, this might give your dog the impression that he or she is the “Alpha Dog”.
While most dogs are docile creatures who won’t try to “get over on” their owners, it’s important for you to establish that you are the Alpha dog from the very beginning. You’re establishing that subconsciously by dispensing food to your dog (a task of the Alpha dog) and by reprimanding him or her for bad behavior. However, if you are conscious about how your actions are interpreted by the dog, you’ll have far more success in your training efforts.
When it comes to cats and dogs, people usually take sides. It’s kind of like Coke and Pepsi, except with stronger feeling. Some people enjoy both, but many consider themselves either a “cat person” or a “dog person”. And indeed, there are even psychological theories about personality types being either “cats” or “dogs”.
Most individuals probably grew up with at least one or the other and made up their minds about which one they preferred early on. But what about those of us who just can’t decide which one we want to have?
Well, the best way to start might be to look carefully at both animals and examine their tendencies, habits, and needs. Of course, it would be inaccurate to generalize all cats one way and all dogs another, but there are certain truths to the stereotypes.
Dogs, in general, are more active than cats. They usually have more energy, and therefore will require more energy from you. This varies widely by breed, but if you have an active lifestyle where you like to run, hike, etc, a dog might be best for you. And of course, you probably would not want a really small dog for such activities.
Cats, on the other hand, do not require as much attention usually. Some are very affectionate and crave your touch, but most spend a fair amount of time alone. Cats tend to be very independent and like to do their own thing, whereas dogs will often stick close by you and seek attention constantly. However, if you are looking for a pet that will sit on your lap and cuddle with you while you watch TV, there are actually more cats willing to do this than dogs.
If you have kids, dogs are usually a little more tolerant, though once again this really depends on the breed. Cats will generally avoid anything that likes to pull on their ears and tail, understandably. Noise is also an issue to consider. Some dogs can be very loud and bark a lot, so if you know this will annoy you, you will probably prefer a cat, or will need to limit your search to the quieter breeds of dogs.
The bottom line is that every person is looking for different qualities in a pet, and no dog or cat will necessarily be perfect. At the same time, it is possible to make distinctions that will help you decide what kind of pet you are looking for. Who knows? You might decide you want both – or neither!
50th birthday parties are a huge moment in a person’s life! You can combine a 50th birthday party them with a dog birthday party theme to create a custom party for the dog lover in your life turning 50!
We all love our pets and treat them like little people, so encourage friends and family to bring their well behaved dogs and enjoy these ideas for 50th birthday party ideas that involve dogs!
Throwing an adopt a dog party is the perfect dog theme for someone who loves to be a part of their community, help homeless pets, and do something to make the world a better place.
Get together with your local animal shelter, pet adoption store, or even a local vet. Let them know you are a local dog love and would love to throw a get together that is a celebration as well as a chance for others to see and meet local dogs that need adopting.
This is a fun way to share your love of dogs, let other’s know there is a need out there, and have a great birthday celebrating as well as helping.
If the dogs can not visit during your party then ask for videos of the dogs. Many local TV cable channels show these, so you can have the videos of needy pets playing at the party. Ask for any gifts to be donation to the local dog or animal shelter!
Why not throw a regular old birthday party with artist. Invite the (well behaved) dogs along to the party. Let your birthday party guests know if they have a social dog that can behave well around adults, children, and other dogs, that they are more than welcome to bring them to your birthday party!
Be sure to have human cake as well as dog friendly treats. You can have simple dog biscuits or bake elaborate dog friendly treats yourself!
Be sure to have plenty of water bowls around to keep your furry friends cool while they are at the birthday party!
Finally, a fiftieth birthday party is big deal, so why not splurge for a little entertainment? Look for local dogs that can perform in your area. These can range from Frisbee dogs who like to see and be seen at local dog shows ot dogs that can perform tricks, like jumping through hoops and so forth.
Search for these online and check with your local vet! You will be surprised at the number of over achieving performing dogs in your area!
If you have yet to find out the advantages of using a raw food supplement for dogs, be prepared to find one of the easiest and healthiest answers to most common dog issues. Raw foods have been on the market since before the great tainted wheat fiasco of 1997. However, the painful and unfortunate education the public received through this incident uncovered the need to rethink how we feed our dogs.
Raw food supplements for dogs do more than meets the eye. While the nutritional capacity that dogs receive from the supplement are akin to their natural, body development needs, you’ll be giving your dog the gift of real health.
Dogs that do not get their nutritional needs met tend to have small but irritating issue. They smell funky. They have runny or gunky eyes. They sneeze, itch, scratch, and even tear holes in their body from repeated licking. Their joints ache even if when they are young and they tire out pretty fast.
These seem like natural dog issues that are just part of being canine. However, it’s akin to wandering through life with a chronically runny nose, broken out skin, pain in your hips and back, and chronic fatigue. In general you just don’t feel so great.
By using a true raw food supplement you can help erase the daily issues that just seem like dog issues to you and I. Clear skin and eyes, a significant reduction in sneezing and scratching, no more repetitive irritating licking, and happy, joyous energy from sun up to sun down is how a dog is supposed to live. The nutritional balance that your dog receives from raw foods can literally take them from the edge of not feeling well to feeling and acting like they are on top of the world.
Even some aggression issues have been linked to poor nutrition. Dogs who receive a balanced and healthy natural diet tend to have fewer behavioral issues. Good behavior requires concentration on behalf of your dog. We don’t send out kids off to school with two spoonfuls of sugar for breakfast because we know they need good nutrition to concentrate. Dogs have that same requirement.
The raw foods that are in high quality supplements give your dog the natural balance, rather than the human balance. Dog food is developed by humans and most of it is based on human nutritional needs. Byproducts are often used because they are cheaper. They are cheaper because they aren’t as high in quality and don’t offer the dog ample protein. Supplementation can take the guesswork out of trying to feed your dog a good diet. With so many dog food companies competing for your attention, it is hard to determine what is best. Aside from buying ingredients and putting it together yourself, you need to find a reliable source for the supplement that will help round out the edges and fill in any nutritional gaps.
For reliable nutritional supplements try visiting WySong.com or BarfWorld.com. BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods. Each site has complete supplements as well as individual supplements for different issues. Each site also offers you insight into what raw food will do for your dog, and carries a line for the other family companions as well.
As Valentine’s Day gets closer, you might be thinking of getting your dog something special. Valentine’s Day is a great day to show not only the people in your life you care, but also your dog. If you are thinking of getting something for your dog for Valentine’s Day then you might want to think about some of these ideas.
Dog treats are always a great option if you want to get your dog something special on Valentine’s Day. Dog treats are inexpensive usually costing only two dollars and can be a great Valentine’s Day gift for your dog. Treats are found in the dog food aisle of your local retail or grocery store and there is always a great variety of flavors to choose from. Dog treats are a great little gift for any dog because treats are something every dog likes. This would be a great inexpensive gift idea for Valentine’s Day to give to your dog and will surely make them happy.
Dog play toys are also a great option if you are thinking of getting your dog a Valentine’s Day gift this year. Dog play toys consist of chew toys or fake rubber bones and usually cost about five dollars to eight dollars. Dog play toys are an inexpensive gift you can get your dog for Valentine’s Day and you can find dog toys at your local retail store or pet store and as always you have a lot of different choices. A dog toy will provide hours of fun for your dog and would be a great Valentine’s Day gift also. Dog toys come in a variety of shapes and sizes so you should get an idea of the size of an object your dog likes to play with first before you buy one.
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Collars are also something you can get your dog for Valentine’s Day and is a great way to show your dog you care. Collars come in a lot of different colors and appearances and are a great way to show the personality of your dog. You can get personalized collars with a saying on the collar or you can get a charm to hang off of the collar that can say the name of your dog or anything you want it to. A collar does not have to be boring and lifeless and can really add a personal touch to your dog and the personality of your dog. You can get a dog collar at any retail store or pet store for about five dollars with an additional fee of a couple dollars depending on if you want a personalized saying or you want to buy a charm for the collar. A dog collar would be a great gift for your dog on Valentine’s Day and is a great inexpensive gift that every dog would like.
A hair brush for your dog would also be a great Valentine’s Day gift for them this year. A hair brush or dog brush as some people call them is a great tool for every dog owner to have. Fur brushes come in many sizes, shapes, colors, and even vary on the level of cleaning. If you want a simple dog brush to get some loose fur out then you can get that in a variety of colors at your local pet store or retail store for less than 10 dollars. If you are looking for something more detailed to get the undercoat out or that is more of a grooming tool, then you are going to be spending 20 dollars or more. If you have a short-haired dog then all you need is a simple and cheap brush to just get out the dead or loose fur but a long-haired dog is going to need a more expensive item to ensure the hair is brushed the best it can be. A grooming brush would be a great idea for a Valentine’s Day gift for your dog and is sure to make them look better and feel better. I recommend any dog owner to get their dog a grooming brush of any kind to ensure they have a healthy and happy dog.
You can also get your dog a new leash for a great small and less expensive Valentine’s Day gift. Dog leashes are something every dog could use and is a very good idea if you walk your dog daily. Getting your dog a nice dog leash is a very cheap gift you can get your dog on Valentine’s Day and usually is less than five dollars for a 10 foot leash. You can find the dog leashes in the accessory section or pet section of your local retail store or pet store.