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!
We know you put a lot of thought and care into what your dog eats. Whether it’s a reward during a training session or just a midday snack, you want to be sure your dog’s treats are yummy and nutritious. We’ve put together a couple of dog treat options/recipes that you can be sure your dog will beg for more!
After washing, peeling and chopping into bite size pieces, raw carrots are an inexpensive and nutritious treat for your dog. Most dogs absolutely love the taste of carrots which explains why they are commonly used in dog foods. They are packed full of vitamins that keep your dog feeling his best as well as low in calorie so they are a great idea for training treats! Not only are they super nutritious, their crunchy texture as helps in cleaning your dog’s teeth!
Frozen Apple Treats
Especially good on warmer days, your dog will absolutely love frozen apple treats!
2 Cups Apples (peeled, cored, pureed)
1 Cup Plain Non-fat Yogurt
1 Cup Water
Mix all ingredients together and pour into an ice cube tray. Let freeze for 6-8 hours.
These treats will not only help to keep your dog hydrated, apples are also a great source of fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C. The yogurt in this treat is a natural source of calcium for your pooch, and contains probiotics to help keep your dog’s digestive tract healthy!
With these easy to prepare treats you will always be ready when your pup is in need of a snack! Have these ready to go during your training session or going out for a walk. These healthy additions to your dogs diet will help them meet their required daily nutrients and keep them living happy and healthy lives!
Have you heard about our latest breed of the week? The Schipperke! This little black fox-looking dog is not super well known but wins over your heart at first play! They are active little dogs with a constant smile on their face. Read on to learn more about the Schipperke!
The Schipperke was originally bred in Belgium as a very effective watchdog. Their ancestors are a larger breed with similar looks, known as the ‘Leauvennar’.
With their natural instinct to watch and protect, you can be sure you are safe with the Schipperke watching your family and home. They are definitely a small dog with a huge personality and confidence, with these characteristics they definitely need to be heavily socialized with people to ensure they don’t become standoffish or aggressive towards new people.
These little guys never run out of energy! To keep them happy and healthy you will need to spend a lot of time together exercising as well as keeping them mentally stimulated (they are a very intelligent breed). They would do very well in agility competitions. You could also teach them games to get out some energy at the same time as giving them mental stimulation. A great game to play with your Schipperke would be ‘search & rescue’. This game consists of having your dog facing away from where you will be hiding a toy. Once you’ve hidden the toy, tell them ‘find it’, and once they have found it and brought it back to you, give them praise or a treat! This helps to drain some energy, keep them mentally stimulated, build their confidence (the pride they get when they’ve found the toy), and strengthening your bond!
The Schipperke typically has an all-black coat, but can also come in brown (chocolate), cream, black and tan and red. Although the other colours (aside from black) can be quite rare to find. This dog really does look like a little black fox with their furry bodies and tiny little legs. As well as their fox-like pointy nose and ears. When they open the mouths they almost look like they are smiling at you! They will require trips to the vet for a hair trim about once a month, along with all their other basic grooming needs (brushing, nail trimming, etc.).
The Schipperke can do well in a household with respectful children (not too rowdy, so possibly not great with very young kids). Just as with any breed, they should always be socialized early. Whether living with a single person or a family, this dog just wants to live an active and busy lifestyle. Schipperke owners quickly bond with their wonderful and sweet companions and always feel protected with them around!
If you are a new pet parent then you have probably already been doing lots of research already on which food brand to buy for your pup. If you’ve owned your dog for a while now, you may be frustrated with some of your dog food choices or confused on what’s best for your pup. Today we will discuss some ingredients that can really benefit your dog as well as what common dog food ingredients to avoid and why.
Most people are aware with all those dog food TV commercials, that you really do want the first ingredient listed on your dog food to be meat. Which kind of meat is really up to you, depending on if your dog has any food allergies or sensitivities. Dogs are recommended about 15-30% of their diet to consist of protein, while puppies require a little bit higher at 22-32% (due to their growth).
Despite what you might be hearing, grains can actually be good in your dog food. Whole grains, not fillers, are carbohydrates that will give your dog energy. Some dog owners may be concerned about gluten allergies in their dog as we hear about it fairly commonly in humans. In reality, gluten allergy is very rare in dogs compared to humans.
Some ingredients that are less than desirable to be in your dog food would be fillers such as corn gluten and meat by products. These ingredients have very little nutritional value for your dog and are typically used in cheaper dog foods to add more content to the food while also keeping the cost low.
While there are other types of diets that you can provide your dog (a raw diet for example), if you are searching for the right kind of kibble we are sure these tips will help you with your decision. Choosing the right food for your dog is imperative to helping them continue to live long and healthy lives!
One of the most beautiful and majestic hunting dogs, our breed of the week is the Weimaraner, commonly nicknamed, the ‘Weimy’. These highly active dogs are unexpected goofballs and constantly keeping their families entertained.
The Weimaraner was bred in Germany in the 19th century. The dog was bred to be a hunting dog for animals such as deer and boar. Today’s Weimaraners are still widely used as hunting dogs. These dogs love working all day in the fields and certainly have the energy for it! For this reason, this breed probably wouldn’t do so well in a small apartment. They love to run in big open spaces and just as with other active breeds, if you do have a working dog living in a small space, ensure that they are getting plenty of exercise to help not feel so confined.
No excessive grooming required for this breed! They typically have a short, all over-grey/silver coat. While you don’t need to bring this dog into the groomers for a hair trim every week, Weimy’s still shed and will need frequent brushing (as well as other basic hygiene upkeep like nail trimming, ear cleaning, etc.).
Although you may find many hunting dogs to be quite serious and maybe even a little standoffish, the Weimaraner surprisingly has a quite goofy personality! They love to do lots of ‘play bows’ with their doggy friends. They get along great with other dogs and small kids (when properly socialized), and they love to make you laugh. Even in a game of fetch, you may find your Weimy doing crazy spins of excitement waiting for you to throw the ball! They are very playful dogs when not on the job. But once they get to work, they are all business and their focus is like no other.
If you’re in need of an excellent hunting dog, or maybe just an active and loveable companion, the Weimaraner can suit many different lifestyles. Just ensure that they have enough space to run around and lots of activities to fill their day!
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!
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.
Have you been searching for a super cute dog that doesn’t require too much exercise and will make you smile with their daily antics? Look no further than our breed of the week, the pug! These clowns of the dog world are always making their owners laugh and enjoying life with a great big smile!
Pugs are believed to be an ancient breed originating from China. They were considered prized possessions by their emperor owners. Pugs were even sometimes given their own private room and servants granting their every wish! Throughout many years of breeding, the fawn colour with black mask became the most common; but they can also come in brindle or black.
This wonderfully charming breed gets along great with everyone! Just as with any breed, it is important to properly socialize your puppy. With some socialization, the pug gets along fantastically with strangers, kids, cats, dogs, you name it! You won’t need to worry about hours of exercise to tire out a pug! They are pretty well-known for being couch potatoes. You will likely need to stay on top of their food intake and exercise to ensure they don’t get overweight.
The Pug requires minimal grooming. Although they do not need any sort of hair trimming, they can shed quite a bit! To help ensure your couches aren’t covered in hair, make sure to give your pug a good brushing at least every other day. Depending on how many facial wrinkles your pug has, it is very important to keep those folds clean, as well as any folds around their short curly tail. You can pick up pet safe wipes from your vet to help keep your pug comfortable and clean.
If you are in need of a cute companion that will keep you laughing with their goofball personalities, you should definitely consider adding a pug to your life!
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!
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!
Our super hairy, fun-loving breed for this week is the wonderful Briard! A large breed dog with a lot of energy and a lot of brains! Let’s take a closer look at this gentle and family-oriented breed.
This Briard is originally from France and mentioned in records from as far back as the 12th century! They were used primarily as working dogs to guard livestock (most often sheep).
With their history in protecting livestock, they can sometimes be quite defensive and protective of family members they have strongly bonded to. It is important to heavily socialize this breed to ensure they are not wary of friendly strangers. The stamina it took for their ancestors to work on the farm all day is evident in the energy level of today’s Briards. This breed requires a lot of exercise to stay calm and content. They get along great with kids and are excellent dogs for active families.
This breed is very intelligent and is a quick learner! You will likely fly through basic obedience and your Briard will be asking to learn more and more! Briards do great in agility competitions with their excellent combination of high energy and high intelligence.
It is easy to see that the Briard has a lot of hair! Resulting in daily brushing to avoid tangles and gunk in that hair, as well as regular hair trimming.
One of the oldest breeds in France, the Briard can be a great addition to your home and family. Ensure your Briard gets enough daily exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy. The Briard is a gorgeous dog that will bring your family endless joy!