Dog Training to Stop Violent Spinning

30 Dec 2014 | Filed in Dog Training

Violent spinning or tail chasing can signify distress and anxiety in your dog. Spinning, unlike digging, chasing and chewing, is not a natural dog behavior and has no root in the animal’s behavioral evolution. Often, spinning behavior is compulsive; it appears as if the pooch is unable to resist doing it. Training a dog not to act compulsively requires a different approach than traditional obedience training.

Observation and Monitoring

Keep a diary of your dog’s behavior and note trends that may point to a cause for the violent spinning. You may notice that certain stimuli, such as visitors to the house, the presence of other dogs or even just the arrival home of a family member, causes your dog to compulsively spin. By knowing the precursors to the behavior, you can anticipate and act promptly when it occurs.

Distraction and Redirection

Using your understanding of your dog’s behavior from the behavior diary, be ready to interrupt your dog before he begins to spin. Call his name, clap your hands or stomp your feet. Whatever gets his attention is good, provided you don’t startle him. By distracting him, you draw his focus away from the spinning behavior. Once you have his attention, redirect it to a positive outlet, such as a toy or activity, such as play.

Normalizing the Stimuli

Distraction and redirection are useful for stopping your dog when he wants to spin, but desensitization and counter-conditioning are essential in removing that desire. Using your knowledge of the trigger stimuli that cause your dog to spin, set up a situation in which your dog would be likely to react by spinning. For example, have a friend ring the doorbell or get a family member to leave and then return home.

Desensitization and Counter-Conditioning

Repeat these scenarios with as much frequency as is convenient. It’s essential to act as normally and calmly as possible while your dog is exposed to these trigger stimuli. By repeatedly exposing him to the stimuli, you are desensitizing him to them. Over time, the effect of the stimuli will diminish. Many dog owners make the mistake of pandering to their pets when they’re exposed to stimuli. A good example of this is the well-meaning owner who fusses over their pet when fireworks are going off. The dog notices that the owner is behaving unusually and therefore becomes agitated. By behaving normally when a trigger stimulus is present, you slowly counter-condition your dog.

Operant Conditioning

Each time he reacts calmly or indifferently to a stimuli that previously caused him to spin, give the dog a reward. This teaches him that calmness and passiveness have a positive outcome; it’s called operant conditioning and is the basis of reward-based training. Once your dog learns that his calm behavior results in a reward or treat, he’ll instinctively repeat the calm behavior.

Post Surgery Problems for Dogs That Got Spayed

26 Dec 2014 | Filed in Dog Problems

Spaying is the most common abdominal surgery performed on dogs, with most recovering just fine. However, the operation still is major surgery and complications can arise. In a rare worst-case scenario, the dog succumbs during the surgery, due to a reaction to anesthesia or other issue. While there’s nothing you can do about that dire situation, you can keep a careful eye on your dog while she recuperates and seek immediate veterinary attention if needed.

Loose Sutures

Among the most common problems occurring in the recently spayed dog concerns loose sutures or stitches. That’s why your vet recommends using an Elizabethan collar on your dog for about a week, until her incision heals. Yes, your dog hates this “cone of shame,” but it prevents her from licking or chewing the incision. After you bring her home, check the incision a few times daily. If it appears inflamed or swollen, or any pus is seeping out, contact your vet immediately. While slight bleeding for a day or two after surgery is normal, call your vet if there’s significant bleeding. In a worst-case scenario, the incision opens and your dog’s intestines protrude. If that happens, get her to an emergency veterinary hospital at once.

Seromas and Abscesses

Dogs might develop lumps or swelling at the site of the incision. It’s important that your vet examine your dog and make a diagnosis, because these lumps have varying causes. A seroma may form underneath the sutures, filled with watery, reddish fluid. Keeping your dog quiet, as the vet recommends, lessens the odds of seroma formation. Your vet makes a diagnosis by taking a fluid sample. If pus rather than liquid emerges, your dog has an abscess, which means infection-causing bacteria have invaded the incision. Dogs with abscesses often are in pain, compared to those with the normally pain-free seromas. While a seroma might resolve on its own, abscesses require drainage and your vet will prescribe an antibiotic regimen.

Canine Hernias

Hernias occur when the sutures in your dog’s abdominal wall collapse. This can result in fat, intestines and even internal organs falling out of the abdomen and protruding beneath the skin. If the hernia consists only of fat, it shouldn’t cause your dog pain or serious consequences. If your dog appears in pain from the lump, suspect that the protrusion consists of intestinal parts or even organs (commonly the bladder) and get her to the vet immediately. Your pet might require emergency surgery to save her life.

Other Post-Spay Complications

It’s not unusual for dogs to suffer from constipation after spaying. If she doesn’t move her bowels by the fifth day post-surgery, ask your vet whether you might give your dog a stool softener. Your vet can recommend a specific brand and dosage. If she doesn’t have a bowel movement with a few days after consuming the stool softener, take her to the vet. Some female dogs develop urinary incontinence problems after spaying. If dribbling or more serious incontinence doesn’t resolve itself within a few days after the surgery, contact your vet.

Life Expectancy of a Dog With Mitral Valve Insufficiency

22 Dec 2014 | Filed in Dog Life Style

Mitral valve insufficiency is a canine medical condition characterized by heart failure. It routinely affects elderly canines. Mitral valve insufficiency is also known by the name of “mitral regurgitation.” The disease is prevalent in a variety of specific dog breeds, particularly smallish ones such as Lhasa apsos and pugs. Despite that, pooches of any breed are potentially susceptible to this heart disease.

Mitral Valve Insufficiency

Mitral valve insufficiency is the state of the valve that serves as the barrier between his left ventricle and left atrium not shutting sufficiently or working properly in general. Doggie hearts have four separate units — pairs of atria and pairs of ventricles. A lot of circumstances can trigger the condition, including valve infection and the slipping back of the valve. Mitral valve insufficiency is frequently linked to the presence of heart murmurs.

Life Expectancy

Mitral valve insufficiency usually affects smallish doggies but also those of middle age. This heart disease is common in senior pets. When it comes to guessing a dog’s life expectancy after confirmation of mitral valve insufficiency, factors such as intensity of the condition come into play. It’s also important to analyze how quickly the ailment was identified in the first place. No two dogs with mitral valve insufficiency are the same. Some of them survive for for or six years totally symptom-free. With proper management, some can live for a few comfortable years — usually in situations in which the problem was rapidly noticed. On the other hand, dogs with mitral valve insufficiency often quickly pass away as soon as they begin exhibiting indications of heart failure.


Some key signs of mitral valve insufficiency are rapid heart rate, panting, feebleness, coughing, low energy, fatigue, problems engaging in physical activity, antsy nighttime behavior, weight loss, labored breathing, sleeping troubles, unusual noises coming from the heart, elevated respiratory rate and fainting. Veterinary guidance is imperative for dogs with mitral valve insufficiency. Veterinarians use various methods for diagnosing the condition, including electrocardiograms, radiographs, blood work and examinations of the urine.

Veterinary Management

Mitral valve insufficiency doesn’t have a cure, although many dogs who suffer from it do well on medicines that minimize some effects and slow its advancement. Common veterinary management options for mitral valve insufficiency include everything from feeding foods with decreased sodium content to the employment of diuretics. Veterinarians often recommend feeding balanced diets as well as ensuring dogs get ample physical activity and have optimal weight — things that promote longevity in some dogs with mitral valve insufficiency. Proper use of medicine is vital. With premium management, dogs who exhibit heart failure indications may survive for 2 to 3 years after diagnosis.

Blue Heeler Health Issues

18 Dec 2014 | Filed in Dog Health

Australian cattle dogs are powerful and bold herding animals who hail — you might have guessed it — from the land of koalas, kangaroos and vegemite. These midsize canines are commonly referred to as “blue heelers,” a reference to their heel-nipping approach to herding and their often blue-tinged coats.

Blue Heeler Basics

Blue heelers have been around since the end of the 19th century, when they were bred to work alongside cattle. Not only are blue heelers renowned for their diligence, they’re also frequently considered to be loving family dogs. Their thick and short fur is either blue or red, and “red heeler” is another common handle for the breed. Blue heelers who have caring and attentive caretakers can have content and thriving lives of 10 to 13 years. Blue heelers are vulnerable to a handful of medical conditions.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy is an eye condition that frequently appears in blue heelers. This ailment involves retinal deterioration and the vision detriment that follows it. If your blue heeler is dealing with this disease, you might notice symptoms including difficulty seeing at night, widened pupils and the emergence of cataracts. Dogs with this issue do not experience pain. Progressive retinal atrophy works slowly to bring upon full vision loss in canines.

Canine Hip Dysplasia

Blue heelers are susceptible to canine hip dysplasia, a disorder caused by irregularities with hip joint growth. With dysplasia, hip joints aren’t fixed in place, and discomfort results. If your blue heeler has canine hip dysplasia, he might hobble a lot and exhibit a strong aversion to physical activity. His body might always be rigid and tense, particularly at morning.


Deafness occurs in many blue heelers. Some blue heelers who develop hearing difficulties can’t hear at all; others can to a degree. If your blue heeler has congenital hearing problems, he might make it apparent to you in a variety of ways. If, for instance, your pooch never seems to be aware that you’re nearby prior to your establishing physical contact with him, it could mean he never hears you approaching him. Other common indications of deafness in canines are inordinate barking, lack of reaction to random noises and trembling of the ears.

Other Health Issues

Other health issues that blue heelers are prone to are the blood vessel irregularity of liver shunts, the foggy eye lens condition of cataracts, the eye difficulties of persistent pupillary membranes and the blood disorder von Willebrand’s disease. Since symptoms for any diseases to which blue heelers are prone might not always be 100 percent clear or obvious, regular veterinary appointments are a must. The sooner you confirm the presence of a medical situation in your pooch, inherited or otherwise, the sooner you can get him the proper veterinary management he needs.

Grooming Dogs at Home: Tips

14 Dec 2014 | Filed in Dog Gooming

Grooming your dog is an important part of his overall care. Although it’s common for an owner to have her dogs professionally groomed, it’s also possible to handle basic bathing and grooming duties at home. To improve the odds of a successful outcome, schedule the grooming session at a quiet time of day so the dog won’t be distracted. Establish a bathing and grooming station in a secured area, so the dog can’t tear around the house when he’s soaking wet.

1Assemble your equipment and supplies. Gather your grooming brush and comb, nail clippers, styptic powder and ear cleaner. Add pet shampoo and bath towels. Remember that you cannot leave your dog during the bathing and grooming process, as he can injure himself if he attempts to escape. In addition, his attention span may limit your bathing and grooming time.

2Secure the dog for his grooming session. Find a tub that will securely contain the dog while allowing you control over the session. You can bathe small dogs in the sink or in rubber bins. Make sure the dog has a rubber surface or mat for his feet. Secure him with a grooming lead instead of his regular collar, and make sure the lead can’t accidentally strangle him if he thrashes a bit. Keep a muzzle handy if he is prone to biting during his baths.

3Clean your dog’s ears. Obtain a canine ear-cleaning solution and some clean cotton balls. Hold your dog securely and examine his ears for signs of redness or irritation. Gently trickle a few drops of the ear solution into his ear flap and down into his ear canal, but don’t force the applicator too far in. Massage the base of the dog’s ear to help move the solution along. Use moist cotton balls to remove any debris or discharge from the inside of the ear flap.

4Trim the dog’s toenails. Obtain a pair of high-quality dog nail clippers and some styptic powder. Gently take each paw in your hand, and push on the nail pad to extend the nail. On white nails, you can easily see the quick, or portion with blood vessels.

Gently snip off a small portion of the nail tip, cutting at a 45-degree angle. On dark nails, make very small snips until you see a black dot in the nail’s center. This is the quick that you want to avoid. If you happen to cut the quick and the nail bleeds, blot off the blood. Press some styptic powder into the nail for a few minutes to stop the bleeding. If your dog has dewclaws on the side of his feet, trim those as well.

5Brush the coat to remove debris and mats. All dogs benefit from regular brushing that removes debris, reduces shedding and improves circulation. Gently brush down to the skin while you look for cuts, scrapes or ticks. If the dog has an undercoat and top coat, brush both coat layers carefully. If you find mats behind the dog’s ears or on the legs, remove the mats with a slicker brush featuring short, slanted metal bristles. Do not pull on the mat to remove it, as this is painful for the dog and usually won’t loosen the mat.

6Bathe the dog thoroughly. Run warm (not hot) water over the back of the dog’s head, and on his back and body. Apply pet shampoo to his back down to his tail, and along the back of his head. Gently massage the shampoo throughout the dog’s entire body, except for the front of his head. Rinse by covering the dog’s eyes while you rinse the top of his head. Cover his nose to rinse the rest of his face, and carefully rinse his entire body from the top down. Repeat the shampoo process if the dog is very dirty.

7Dry your dog completely. Gently pat the dog’s coat with bath towels, as this method is less likely to tangle his coat than vigorous rubbing. Carefully use a pet dryer or hair dryer on a very low setting, and don’t aim the dryer at the dog’s face. Make sure the dryer doesn’t get hot, as this can damage the dog’s skin. Also ensure that your dog is completely dry before you send him outside in cool or cold weather.

How to Make Cheap Homemade Dog Food

10 Dec 2014 | Filed in Dog Food

Organic, holistic and raw foods are among many premium-quality pet food options for the discerning pet lover, and they come at a premium price. An alternative to spending bucks beaucoup for top-quality dog food is to make it yourself. A few ingredients will keep cost to $10 to $12 dollars a batch.


1Put a whole fryer and chicken livers in a slow cooker.

2Add frozen vegetables.

3Cover the meat and vegetables with water.

4Cook in the slow cooker on high for two to four hours.

5Switch the temperature to low and cook for eight more hours.

6Stir or mash the meat and vegetables together. Drain with a strainer.

Money Saving Ideas

1Check your refrigerator before you begin cooking a batch of food.

2Use leftovers from your refrigerator for ingredients. Dr. Greg Martinez says, “meat and veggies in the Crock-Pot even makes old salad taste good.” In other words, even wilted lettuce works. But stay away from avocados, dairy and the onion family.

3Buy meat and vegetables that are on clearance or sale to save.

Feeding and Storage

1Feed a 20-pound dog 20 ounces or 2 1/2 cups of homemade food a day.

2Feed an inactive 20-pound dog less; feed a pregnant, nursing or extremely active dog more. Winter may be an excuse to feed a bit more than in warmer months.

3Store the unused food in the refrigerator for up to a week. Freeze serving-size portions for up to three months.

White Dog Breeds

7 Dec 2014 | Filed in Dog Breeds

If you don’t mind putting away your dark wardrobe, you can choose a white canine in any size. While some breeds have a variety of permissible colors in their conformation standards, at least 14 dog breeds are strictly white, with no spots accepted, according to standard.

Small White Breeds

Small white dogs include the Maltese and bichon frise, both bred for companionship. A less common breed, the Bolognese, resembles the bichon frise. The West Highland white terrier sports the curiosity and drive of the terrier. The Coton de Tulear is named for his cottony white coat. All of these dogs mature at under 15 inches in height.

Medium-Size White Dogs

Originally trained as circus performers, the American Eskimo comes in toy, miniature and standard sizes. The standard size is actually a medium-size dog, between 15 and 19 inches in height. This smart, foxlike dog excels in agility and other canine competitions.

Large White Dogs

Several large white dogs, those maturing over 19 inches tall, originated as sheep guardians. They tend to blend in with the flock. These include the Great Pyrenees, Turkish Akbash, Slovenský Čuvač, Owczarek Podhalansk, maremma, kuvasz and komondor. Sled-pulling was the original purpose of the Samoyed, a northern breed.

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