Breed of the Week: Clumber Spaniel

clumber-spaniel

Our featured breed this week is the wonderful Clumber Spaniel. A dog known for going at their own pace, many would be surprised to learn their history and great scent detection. This dog is a lovely family companion with their laid back attitude, but can definitely get their spurts of energy too! Let’s take a closer look at this interesting breed.

 

The Clumber Spaniel was developed in the late 18th century. Hunters bred the Clumber Spaniel from other already existing breeds such as the Basset hound and the Alpine Spaniel. With their ancestors being the basset hound, it is no wonder they have great scent detection and were used for hunting mostly birds. The owners of Clumber Spaniels were typically people of nobility, who enjoyed hunting for sport rather than a necessity. The Clumber Spaniel is thought to be a very English dog breed as they were even named after Clumber park in Nottinghamshire, England.

 

A day in the life of a Clumber Spaniel is generally very easy going and relaxed. They like to take their time on walks, make sure they investigate every new scent thoroughly. You won’t often find a Clumber Spaniel running around like a Border Collie (although they do get spurts of energy just like any dog). The Clumber spaniel is thought to be the gentle giant of the spaniels. They are quite sturdy with the female typically weighing 55lbs and the male at about 70lbs. Clumber spaniels typically get along well with other dogs and cats too if socialized early. Because of their hunting instincts they may not do well with small animals such as guinea pigs or parrots. The Clumber spaniel adapts well to apartment living and typically only require 2-3 walks a day.

 

The Clumber Spaniel may not be the best match for a first time dog owner. Although they are naturally very loving and gentle, they can be quite stubborn and difficult to train. Most Clumber Spaniels are food motivated so it may help your training sessions if you have a pocket full of treats! They do require some grooming to keep them looking their best. Once or twice a month to the grooming to get hair trimming, as well as regular bathing, brushing and nail clipping. You may find the Clumber Spaniel needs more bathing than other breeds as they love to get dirty. Especially if they catch a good scent, they will run through dirt, mud, anything to pursue that scent!

 

Families looking for a low key dog that loves to curl up on the couch would do well with a Clumber Spaniel. They are such loving dogs (even though they can sometimes be a little stubborn!). But beware when on your walk or letting your Clumber Spaniel off leash as they tend to forget the rest of the world when they’re on a good scent!

Dog Breed Classifications: Part 2

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Continuing from last week, here is our second instalment of the 7 dog breed classifications! We’ve already discussed Hounds, Herding dogs and Toy Dogs. Today we will be going over the remaining 4 classifications, Terriers, Working dogs, Non-sporting and Sporting dog breeds.

 

Terriers: Some well-known dog breeds belonging to the terrier group are the miniature schnauzer, jack Russell terrier and the largest breed of the terrier group, the Airedale. When you think of a terrier breed, usually what comes to mind is a little, energetic go-getter kind of dog. They often have big personalities and are quite confident. Terriers were bred to hunt vermin and they had to be very persistent to catch their tiny prey. Families interested in bringing a terrier into their home would do well to socialize them early with other dogs to ensure they don’t get too ‘bossy’ as they can sometimes become bullies at the dog park with their high level of confidence and persistence.

 

Working: Examples of dogs from the working dog group are the Alaskan Malamute, Bernese Mountain Dog and the Boxer. Working dogs like the Alaskan Malamute were used to pull sleds. Even in extreme cold weather and thick snow, these dogs had to have a lot of stamina and strength. These dogs were bred to be working all day long, and then they love to have a nice relaxing time at home after a long day of work. If you are considering buying or adopting a working dog breed, be sure to provide them with enough space and time to get out all of their energy. They will need lots of physical and mental stimulation to simulate the long days of work that they were bred for.

 

 

Non-Sporting: Some adorable examples of non-sporting dog breeds are the French Bulldog, Coton de Tulear, and the Lhasa Apso. Unlike the working dog group, the non-sporting group was bred for no other reason than to be our wonderful and cute companions. These dogs were not bred with a specific purpose such as hunting or guarding life stock. These dogs are typically smaller so they are suitable for apartment living, although there are some large breed non-sporting dogs too such as the Chow Chow. Families looking for a dog who is specifically bred to be a great companion, would do well to get a dog from the non-sporting group. Activity level greatly varies amongst the breeds within the non-sporting group.

 

Sporting: In the Sporting dog group we have dog breeds such as the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, German shorthaired Pointer and the Golden Retriever. Dogs in the sporting dog group are typically quite active and intelligent. They have excellent hunting instincts and doing very well in competitions. Sporting dogs are very similar to dog breeds in the working dog group as they need to be with an owner with an active lifestyle. Sporting dogs make excellent companions and as long as they are properly exercised, they will quite happily cuddly up with the family on the couch.

 

We had a lot of fun discussing the different dog breed classifications and we hope you enjoyed it just as much as we did!

Dog Breed Classifications: Part 1

dog-line-up

Ever wonder why some dogs have never ending energy while others are more inclined to lay on the couch all day? Well part of the reason is what the dog’s ancestors were bred for! Today we will look at 3 of the 7 different classifications of dogs that will give us more insight into their personalities and why they act the way they do!

 

Hounds: The hound group includes dog breeds such as beagles, Norwegian elkhounds and basset hounds. These dogs typically have more scent receptors than breeds in other groups which tells you why they are known to always be on a scent. If you are interested in bringing a hound into your family, be aware that it may be more difficult to have reliable recall as they will often be distracted by a good scent. As well as they will typically ‘bay’ instead of bark, which some people prefer but it is not for everyone. So it helps to have a fondness for that baying sound!

 

Herding: Some of the dog breeds belonging to the herding group are the Border collie, Australian cattle dog and the Collie. You will often notice right away when a herding-type dog is playing at the dog park as their favourite way to play is chasing other dogs, mimicking their herding nature. Owners of herding dogs would be wise to ensure their dogs learn early on how to play nicely as they can sometimes be prone to nipping other dog’s ankles as this is the way their ancestors would herd livestock.  Herding dogs are generally very high energy and very intelligent so they are best suited to a family with an active lifestyle. They love to be challenged to learning new things and do great in agility competitions.

 

Toy Group: Examples of breeds from the toy group are the Chihuahua, maltese and Pekingese. These dogs were bred with the intent to have a small compact dog suitable to apartment and city living (as well as to be very cute!). These dogs do typically have that high-pitch bark so it would be wise to teach them early on to be quiet on command. You will often find toy dogs with not so great manners (of course this does not go for all toy dogs!) because their cuteness will generally let them get away with whatever trouble they get into. It is very important for owners of a dog from the toy group to look past that adorable face and ensure they are keeping up with their manners (not barking, jumping up on people, nipping, etc.).

 

Now that we’ve had a look at 3 of the 7 types of dog classifications, be sure to check in next week for the remaining 4!

Doggy Dental Care

Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy with a toothbrush

We all know to keep up with our dog’s basic grooming; nail trimming, brushing & hair trimming. One very important piece of their basic grooming that is often forgotten is their dental hygiene. Dogs don’t know to brush their teeth every day, so it is up to us as their owners to ensure that their teeth and mouth stay healthy and clean. Here are some tips to keeping your dog’s dental hygiene the best it can be!

 

Crunchy Treats

Giving your dog crunchy food and treats is a great way to help work off any plaque build-up on their teeth. Having to chew on things like raw carrots or big pieces of kibble will help to work off some of the built up plaque on your dog’s teeth. This method will definitely help reduce plaque, but crunchy treats should be used in combination with other teeth cleaning methods as crunchy food will often not reach all of the built up plaque around the gum line.

 

Teeth Scaling

Dogs that have a lot of built up plaque on their teeth will often require vets to do a procedure called teeth scaling. This involves the vet putting the dog under anesthesia and then using dental tools to scrape off all the plaque on your dogs teeth. The vet will also generally do a full x-ray of your dog’s mouth after teeth scaling to ensure your dog’s mouth is in good health. This procedure is the most effective to keeping your dog’s mouth clean but it is also the most expensive as well as requires your dog to be under anesthesia. If your dog is young and his teeth are in good health, you likely won’t require this procedure until he gets older. Be careful of any groomers claiming to provide teeth scaling. It is a procedure that should only be done by your vet as they use the proper anesthesia to prevent your dog moving during the scaling, as well as they are trained to provide full cleanings without harming the many blood vessels in your dogs mouth.

Teeth Brushing

A very effective method of teeth cleaning that you can do for your dog every day is physically brushing his teeth, just like you brush yours every day! Ask your vet on the best dog safe toothpaste to use (as they are not all made equal!), and you can pick up little dog toothbrushes. Some dog toothbrushes are built to fit right on your finger to make it easier for you to thoroughly clean your dog’s teeth. It is important to start brushing your dog’s teeth early on so that they become comfortable with it, as it will be a weird and new sensation to your dog at first.

 

We all know how important is it to take care of our oral health, it is just as important for your dog to have good oral health & hygiene too! The best way to ensure your dog’s teeth are clean and plaque free, is to be brushing their teeth with dog safe toothpaste every day. Combined with vet teeth scaling as determined by your vet, as well as some crunchy treats, your dog will have the brightest smile around!

Breed of the Week: Chow Chow

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Here comes the Chow Chow! A bouncy, fluffy, energetic teddy bear that loves his family! This dog is an independent thinker and some say this breed acts more like a cat than a dog!

 

Chow chows are believed to be one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Originating from Mongolia, they were kept by Chinese emperors to guard all of their valuable possessions. Some emperors kept as many as 2000 Chows! The breed started becoming very popular outside of China after Queen Victoria gained interest in them, and then in 1895 a breed club was finally formed for the Chow Chow. Now in the modern world, many celebrities have fallen in love with the breed too! Sigmund Freud’s daughter became a Chow breeder and Martha Stewart would often bring her own Chows onto her television show.

 

As you can probably guess by looking at these big fluffy teddy bears, the Chow would be considered high maintenance for grooming. They require daily brushing, sometimes twice a day if your particular Chow is a heavy seasonal shedder. Basic grooming like nail clipping, teeth cleaning and bathing will also be required. Some owners choose to shave down their Chows, but most groomers will recommend against this due to the Chow’s ‘double coat’. When dogs with double coats are shaved, it often leaves the hair to grow back much coarser than it was before, as well as diminish it’s naturally ability as insulation in colder weather. So we highly recommend that you don’t shave your Chow Chow’s coat, but instead simply keep up with brushing and your Chow will be feeling comfortable as well as keeping stylish!

 

Chow Chows are very family oriented. The family unit they grow up with they will often bond to for life and be very loyal companions. Chows are often independent and serious type dogs and do not like to be ‘messed with’; for this reason they should be carefully monitored around young or rowdy children. Chows need to be heavily socialized when puppies to ensure they are not too standoffish or weary of strangers, as well as to become comfortable around children and other animals. Most Chows have a natural tendency to be very friendly with cats, probably because they act so similar in mannerisms! Although they are almost always calm and almost lazy inside the home, they do still require a fair amount of exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

 

Chows are a wonderful choice for individuals or families looking for a laid back dog that will always be happy to see their owners. Loved by many celebrities, this dog gets along great with cats and can get along well with kids when socialized early. The Chow Chow will love to go for a long run with their owner and then relax for the rest of the day at home. So make sure to consider the Chow Chow when looking to add a new dog to your home!

Breed of the Week: Golden Retriever

golden-retriever

Possibly the most well-known dog breed anywhere, our breed of the week is the ever classic Golden Retriever! This breed has been popular in TV & film, and commonly thought as the most family oriented breed. If you are considering adding a Golden Retriever to your life and family, read on to learn more about why we love them so much!

 

Goldens originated in Britain in the 1800’s. To develop the Golden that we know and love today, breeders crossed various existing breeds such as the Newfoundlander, Irish setter, and various water spaniels. The breed was used to retrieve water fowl for hunters. When the hunters would shoot the fowl, the Golden Retriever had to quickly swim out into the water and bring the water fowl to his owner. The task required the dog to be accustomed to the loud noise of the gun, as well as energy and focus to swim out into the water all day.

 

The loving and happy Golden Retriever is a wonderful family pet. They get along great with kids of all sizes, cats, dogs, you name it! As with every dog breed, even Golden Retrievers need to be socialized early to reinforce their love for everyone! Goldens have a lot of energy and will need daily walks as well as regular hikes or some other form of energy-draining activity. They are very intelligent dogs and will often learn all of their obedience very quickly. To help keep them from boredom, try playing some games that mentally stimulate them or teach them a new trick such as bringing you your car keys! They do very well learning tricks involving ‘retrieving’ considering their history.

 

Golden retrievers do require daily brushing, sometimes twice a day as their hair can easily tangle after a few hours of playtime! Depending on your particular golden, many owners will bring their Golden Retriever once every few months to have their ‘feathers’ trimmed. ‘Feathers’ being that wispy looking hair off of their legs and tail. You may find you need to bathe your Golden every month or so as they have a tendency to get dirty when playing. They gravitate towards playing in the dirt or muddy water. We would recommend investing in a sensitive shampoo that is advertised as safe to use for frequent dog bathing, as you don’t want to dry out your dog’s skin by bathing too often.

 

If you’re looking for an all-round great companion that greets everyone with a wagging tail, you are sure to love the Golden Retriever! They do great with most living situations; even in small apartments, as long as they receive enough exercise. They are gentle dogs with lots of energy that have a way of quickly becoming your best friend for life!

Potty Training Your Dog

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Potty training your puppy is one of the most important milestones in their training. For most owners it means no more little ‘accidents’ in the house! It’s also a huge confidence booster for your pup when he knows he has done something right and makes you happy! If you’re looking for a ‘piddle-free’ home, read on for our potty training tips!

 

Frequent Potty Breaks

To really succeed at potty training your dog, you need to give them many opportunities to do what you are asking of them. If your dog is still a puppy, we recommend anywhere from 5-7 breaks every day (for about 10 minutes each). It is best if you also try to time the breaks about 15-20 minutes after they’ve finished the meal as this is most likely the time that they have digested and are ready to do their business. Why so many breaks? The more opportunities you give your dog to go to the bathroom, the more likely it is that they will go and that will give you your chance to praise them for going to the bathroom!

 

Don’t Reprimand

Of course there are many different believes on dog training in general. We don’t see much benefit to reprimanding your dog if they’ve had an accident inside the house. This can include speaking loudly/negatively toward your dog, bringing their nose to the ‘scene of the crime’ and saying “no???. As most people know, dog’s live in the moment, so when you bring them over to their poop or pee in the house and say no, they likely do not comprehend that we are telling them “look at this pee that you did an hour ago, I don’t want you to do this again???. They just know you are making them get really close to their pee and may not know why! So it is generally best to just ignore it, definitely don’t praise them for it but don’t reprimand them either. Just continue to praise when they do they right thing outside!

 

Praise! Praise! Praise!

As we mentioned briefly in our other two tips, it is so important to praise your dog when they have gone to the bathroom outside. Without that praise, they won’t know that they are doing what you want, so they may not be inclined to do it again. And timing is very critical! Pay attention to your dog and the second that they are going to the bathroom, get your excited voice going and start telling your dog how amazing they are! If you aren’t paying attention and give them praise 5 minutes after they’ve already gone, your dog may not understand what he is getting that praise for.

 

If you follow our potty training tips consistently, we are confident that in no time your dog will be potty trained and you will have no more little ‘piddles’ in your home.

Dog Park Etiquette

            The dog park is a great place to have your dog get out some excess energy and meet new dogs as well as new people. When at a dog park, it is important to know the proper dog park etiquette to keep it an enjoyable place for everyone. We’ve put together 3 easy tips to help you and your furry friend get the most out of your time at the dog park!

Scoop It!

Nobody at the dog park wants to clean up after someone else’s pet, so be sure to watch your dog(s) carefully if they are doing their business. You are completely responsible to clean up any messes your pet leaves. This ensures a better experience at the dog park for everyone. If you notice someone else’s dog doing their business, it is common dog park courtesy to politely let the owner know.

Keep Up With Vaccinations!

Be sure to always have your dog up to date with his vaccinations so that he (as well as the other dogs at the dog park) are much less likely to contract anything. Many dog parks also now require that your dog be spayed or neutered; this reduces any accidental pregnancies and many people believe it reduces the chances of fighting amongst male dogs.

If your dog has recently had a stomach bug or other small illness, it is best to keep them home just as you would keep a small child home from daycare if not feeling 100%. This also goes for fleas, ticks, etc. Dog parks should be thought of like a children’s daycare, you want to make sure they are up to it as well as preventing passing on anything to the other dogs.

Interact With Your Dog!

The reason most people bring their dog to a dog park is to play and run with other dogs. If your dog sees you sitting on the bench looking at your phone the whole time, he may end up just hanging around you instead of playing! Or if you have a more independent dog, he may get into some trouble such as playing too rough with other dogs, digging holes, jumping fences, etc., if he knows you aren’t watching him. So be sure to keep moving around the dog park (this also helps with your dog’s recall as he will constantly be looking to where you are). This helps you be more aware of how your dog is playing with the others and ensuring he is not misbehaving as well as making sure other dogs are not being too rough with him!

If you follow these simple tips you are sure to be one of the most popular people (and dog) at the dog park!

What Your Dog’s Tail is Telling You

Image result for dog wagging tail

It can sometimes be difficult to know what your dog is trying to tell you, if only someone would invent a dog to human interpreter! Don’t worry, even though we don’t have an app invented to interpret dog barks yet, your dog is communicating with you all the time with their body language. You can see how your dog is feeling just by looking at his mouth, eyes, paws, and especially his tail! The many ways your dog wags his tail are not by accident, read on to learn what your dog’s tail is telling you!

The Tense Tail:
A tense tail is one that is often held in a very prominent ‘C’ curve. It is not wavering, but instead perfectly still and looks very stiff. The ‘stiffer’ the dog’s tail will often mean the more tense the dog is.
Often you will see this tail behaviour occur when a dog has something of high interest in his surroundings such as a squirrel running up a tree or watching another dog play. Depending on the situation your dog is reacting to, a stiff tail can mean he is very interested to investigate something, or he is possibly anxious of something approaching. For example if a dog is nervous of strangers and he notices a stranger approaching him, you may see his tail stiffen, communicating with you that he is uneasy about the current situation. Approach a dog that has a tense tail with caution as they are in a very reactive state and may become aggressive if haven’t calmed down properly first.
The Scared or Anxious Tail:
If your dog has his tail curled under his body, it will usually mean that he is in a very anxious or scared state. The more tightly curled under his body the tail is will tell you the degree of his anxiety (very curled under means very anxious). A tucked under tail generally means your dog is not having a good time. Find what could possibly be affecting your dog in this way and help your dog overcome the situation. If he is simply scared of something he hasn’t seen before, enlist the help of a dog trainer/ behaviorist to help your dog overcome his fear and change it into a positive association.
The Happy-Go-Lucky Tail:
One of the best tail movements to see is the happy-go-lucky tail. When your dog is happy or excited he will have a proud upright tail that is wagging back and forth or sometimes in a windmill motion. This movement most often means that your dog is happy and/or in a playful mood. It is common to see a big wagging tail when you come home from a long day, or when jumping in a car to go to the dog park!
The tail can be a huge giveaway to what your dog is telling you. But keep in mind that to get the best understanding of what your dog is trying to tell you, look at their entire body to see if they are tense, anxious, happy or excited. Also take into account their surroundings and situation so you are able to get a full understanding of how your dog is feeling. Bettering the communication between you and your dog will strengthen your bond and help your dog feel they are being heard and acknowledged.