shetland sheepdogs

A Shetland sheepdog is not a “mini-collie” but a distinct separate breed that actually has roots in the Border collie. A native of the Shetland Isles in far northern range of Scotland he was a dog developed to help on crofts, or small farms, where there wasn’t much food to be had. A small dog was needed for that reason, yet a tireless worker in all kinds of weather which gave rise to selection for a durable coat and a loyalty to their owners.

Shelties are also thieves – they’ll steal your heart slicker than any pickpocket! They are commonly sable, black and white, tri color and blue merle. They can be barkers without patience and training but are a loyal, observant dog. Their intelligence and trainability make them among the most successful obedience breeds.

The sheltie coat does require regular grooming to remain tangle free and prevent it from becoming matted. There is a double coat with an outer layer that is more harsh and straight and an undercoat that is very dense. This can help shed rain from a working standpoint and enough harshness to the coat to resist tangling. For pet dogs you must be committed to thoroughly combing a Sheltie a couple times per week. It is not advisable to shear or close cut a Sheltie’s natural coat.

From a show standard point the Sheltie is 13-16 inches tall and of course show dogs are bred for that glorious coat. Dogs over or under height can excel at herding, agility, obedience and many other tasks where intelligence and their work ethic is valued.

Some Shelties are very nervous, some very friendly and some reserved. One sheltie came to a new home at five months old and was very stand offish initially, almost timid. After a week or so his new owners noticed he was observing EVERYTHING in the household. From washing clothes to cooking dinner to hooking up speakers on the stereo the young Sheltie was observing as if taking notes on human behavior. Once he was satisfied in his mind things were fine he became a constant companion and irreplaceable part of the household. He had his little quirks and routines – he loved to be outside but let one rumble of thunder roll and he wanted inside pronto! He would patiently stand to be combed and brushed until the camera came out when he would primp and pose like the most arrogant of film stars!

Shelties are above all people dogs. They’re intensely loyal and affectionate with a high drive to please their owners. They should move as a working dog with purpose, without up and down hackney action. They are wonderful dogs for those who have a small area or need a small dog due to housing requirements. They are a big dog in a small package and often have a hero worship for the people lucky enough to own one.

There are health considerations that warrant attention in the Sheltie. Among them is hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, von Willebrands disease, dermatomyositis, collie eye anomaly, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy and Addison’s disease are among those to watch for. Many of these can be tested for including eye disease, epilepsy and hip dysplasia.
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Tips For Bullmastiffs

bull mastiff clothing

Never let your Bullmastiff outside alone unless he’s safely behind a fence or in a kennel run. When you take your Bullmastiff out, the safes practice is to keep him leashed. If you leave your Bullmastiff at home alone, particularly as a puppy, the safest place for him is in a crate. That way he won’t be able to knock things over or chew through electric cords.

Bullmastiffs can’t properly exercise on their own. If you don’t take your Bullmastiff out of the house or backyard, they will not get the mental and physical stimulation they need. Owners are advised to brush their Bullmastiff’s teeth with specially formulated toothpaste at least once a week and have them cleaned professionally when needed. This helps prevent tooth and gum problems as well as infections, abscesses and heart disease.

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dog biting

Most dogs learn their biting reflexes from their mothers and from their siblings. When your puppy gets excited, whether it is during nursing or playing, the puppy’s mother will find a way to solve it.
Unfortunately, this does not always naturally occur for puppies. Often this is because many puppies are taken away from their mothers while they are still young. This makes the new dog owner responsible to do something about it.

Letting your dog spend time with other dogs is one of the better ways and more effective ways to teach your puppy the appropriate behavior. One way of letting your puppy socialize with other pups is to take him or her to a puppy obedience class if you are financially able or you could always let your puppy play with a friend’s dog as well.

The reason why putting your puppy with other pups is a great way to solve the biting problems is that the other dogs will correct the issue right away if it happens. Keep in mind that puppies will bite one another while playing but it is only when it becomes rough that the other dogs will take corrective action. Experts recommend that you let your puppy socialize with other dogs before the age of 12 weeks.

As well as introducing your puppy to other pets, you should also introduce your puppy to a wide range of people too. This includes small children, seniors, men, women, and people of different ethnic backgrounds. This will help your dog learn to be people-friendly and to be less aggressive to other people.

Socializing your puppy with other people and animals is not the only way to prevent any unwanted aggression from your dog. Give your puppy toys that he can play with so he can control his biting. Provide chew toys, ropes, and other toys that your puppy can chew on because this allows him or her to take out any anger or just bite on something else. As well, keep his teeth polished and do not let him chew on things that he shouldn’t, even if it means punishing him.

Make sure that no one in your family or that visits your home encourages your puppy to bite because training your puppy not to bite is a process. Even if only one person lets him or her chew on something that everyone else does not, this will send the puppy mixed signals and they will think that it is okay to do. However you plan on helping your puppy stop the biting habits, you have to remember that it takes patience!

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house training dogs

Thinking about getting a new puppy or currently own a little puppy? Then this information will come in handy. House training your dog is one of the first things you should be doing. It is the most important aspect of training your dog as a puppy. While this process is usually not hard, take it seriously. You should always remember to take it slow because it will not happen immediately. If you rush the training process you may end up having to restart the whole process.

When the owner is not at home, the puppy should be placed in a small room at all times and all of the floor should be covered with paper. It is very important to puppy-proof the room , which means that you should remove any items that could cause injury to your puppy. At first, the puppy will likely dispose of waste at a random spot in the room and they will likely play with the papers, chew them etc. This is normal and you should not punish your puppy for it. Always clean up any mess that the puppy makes each day and place new ones down.

While the puppy is in the small room when you are not at home, due to using the paper training method he will began to get used to using the bathroom on the papers. After some time goes by he will choose to try other places to use the bathroom. When he establishes a favorite spot you should slowly take away the paper from there. Start to remove papers that are farther away from that spot then move on to laying down just a few papers. If your dog misses the paper when using the washroom it means that you need to make the area a little bit bigger as you reduced the spot too much. After your puppy is comfortable with doing his business on the same spot all the time you can most the papers to a area of your choice. Only move the paper up to an inch a day. If the puppy misses the papers, it means again that they are not ready to make a little move from spot to spot. It is important to not rush this process. If this happens then you can just move the papers back and wait a while.

The more time that you are able to spend with your puppy, the faster that he or she will be house trained. The main goal should be to bring your puppy with you to the toilet area to use the bathroom every time that he needs to go. Most of the time, your puppy will either need to go every 45 minutes or in most instances, right after each time he plays, after he just wakes up, or right after he eats or drinks.

When your puppy gets used to the toilet area and he starts to improve his bladder and bowel control, he will be able to spend longer time outside and a longer time on his own or playing. It is important that this transition is a slow process and that you don’t rush anything. Do not leave the puppy alone unless he is in his the originally specified room.

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Praise Your Dog

Praise Your Dog

Praise is the key to bonding with and understanding your dog. With a little help you will see your dog’s behavior vastly improve. If you’re happy and excited, the dog will be too!

Have you ever seen someone give their dog a couple of “good boys” only to see no reaction from the dog? Worse yet, have you ever seen this happen where the dog stiffened up? If you think you can say “good boy” without meaning it and have your dog believe you, you’re wrong.

The key is that dogs need to believe our praise. Dogs are highly emotional and very perceptive. As pack animals, they seek the approval of their superiors. If other people see you praise your dog, and they think you’re pretty weird, then you are probably praising it correctly.
Talk to the dog. Tell him how well he just sat; how confidently it was done. Tell him you admire his intelligence, and how you appreciate his good work. Say it and mean it. Say it as silly and as babyish as you need to, to get the dog’s eyes to brighten up, his posture to rise, his ears to perk up proudly. That is praise.

Tossing a ball or a stick for your dog is not praise. It is play. It is important to play with your dog. But, if your dog doesn’t feel good from your vocal praise and your facial expression, all the play in the world will not build a relationship, nor will it help you in training.

The best communication
The best way to develop a good relationship with your dog is to communicate on an emotional level. You must rely on building your skill at talking to the dog, so that the dog picks up immediately on your emotions.

It is easy for most people to talk silly with puppies. It takes some practice to be able to talk babyish to a big, tough dog. Since we cannot elevate the dog to human understanding, we must act in ways that dogs understand. A pat on the side and a “good boy” can give great satisfaction to the dog.

All of this is necessary to understand your dog and put fun into your training program. It’s very important to see a happy dog and one that can’t wait for the training time as you step out the front door with a leash and collar in your hand and treats in your pocket!

Have fun together!

[Source: OrovilleMR]

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Yawns Are Contagious To Dogs Too!

It’s not just Frisbees and sticks. Dogs catch yawns from people, too.

Dogs who watch a human yawn repeatedly will yawn themselves, says Atsushi Senju of Birkbeck, University of London. Just as that big jaw-stretch spreads contagiously from person to person, it spreads from person to dog, he and his colleagues report in an upcoming Biology Letters.

“It is contrary to what I’ve heard informally from a lot of dog owners who say they catch their dogs’ yawns, but their dogs never yawn when they do,” says psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. of the State University of New York at Albany. The data are “pretty compelling” though, Gallup says of the new study. “If it can be replicated it strongly suggests dogs may have a primitive empathic capacity.”

[Source: Science News]

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Pets Sharing Office Space

More than 63 percent of American households own a pet today, which equates to 71.1 million homes and a whopping 382.2 million pets, according to a recent American Pet Products Manufacturers Association survey of pet owners. So are the critters just hanging out at home, or are they going to work with their human companions?

Pets, it seems, are showing up in the workplace more than ever, with 30 percent of employers allowing workers to bring pets to the office, according to a recent consumer survey commissioned by The HON company, a leading designer and manufacturer of office furniture. Of those who actually bring their pets to work, the majority of Americans bring dogs (24 percent), followed by fish (12 percent) and cats (8 percent).

Visitors to The Warehouse Office Furniture Mart, a Cincinnati-based contract furnishing dealership that sells HON office furniture, can expect to be greeted by a couple of unusual “customer service representatives” when they enter the showroom. Jake and Woody, Labrador Retrievers owned by the company’s president, Jack Keane, can be seen daily at the dealership.

Since 2000, Keane has encouraged employees to bring in any well-behaved pet to spend the day in the company of the dealership’s staff and customers. He even encourages customers to bring their dogs along when they visit the showroom.

The affable and quite mannerly pair – often referred to as the “star customer relations team” – spend their days tethered on long leads in the 15,000-square-foot showroom’s office area. This arrangement allows them plenty of interaction with dog-loving customers but keeps them out of the way of the handful of those a little more canine-wary.

“We’ve had at least 95 percent positive feedback on Jake and Woody’s daily presence,” Keane says of the boys.

Keane’s business isn’t alone in cultivating a pet-friendly atmosphere. A recent search online at Simply Hired (, an online job search engine, turned up 8,100 open jobs at pet-friendly companies, including natural candidates like PetSmart and IAMS Pet Food; but also big names such as Google, and even Dartmouth College.

There are other benefits to having pets in the office – millions of Americans believe pets on the job lower absenteeism and encourage workers to get along, according to responses from both the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association and HON surveys.

Keane feels having Jake and Woody in the showroom actually helps build top-of-mind awareness for his business, too.

“People definitely remember our showroom,” he says. “It’s a great way to reach out to customers, especially dog lovers, and make ourselves stand out from the competition.”

[Source: ABC13]

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