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Why is my dog biting?

September 17th, 2014

While most dogs are not prone to biting, still it is not uncommon to be bitten by a dog. There are roughly 4.7 million dog bites in the U.S. a year, so the chances you will be bit are pretty good. However, through training, care and proper care most bites are avoidable.

Why do dogs bite?
There are extenuating factors that can increase a dog’s propensity to bite. The factors can be related to environmental, condition, past experiences or genetic.
1. Breed – Some dog breeds are more aggressive and have a higher propensity of biting than others. A Cocker Spaniel was the breed that had the most incidents of biting a child. Chow Chows are very protective of their owner and are most likely to bite a stranger. Chihuahuas are most likely to bite their vet. While Pitbulls and Rottweiler’s lead in severe and deathly dog bites in the US.
2. Environment - Puppyhood influence aggressiveness as adults but genetics also plays a key role in this problem. Owner’s temperament highly influences the dog’s behavior. Puppies develop social skills are developed from their 3rd-14th week of life. Negative experiences during this time will affect the dog’s behavior for the rest of its years. Mature dogs do not typically become aggressive unless they are ill or have a sickness.
3. Illness – Many dogs can become aggressive in their older age when if they are suffering from pain or scared from loss of eye sight or other ailments.
4. Territorial/Protective – A large majority of dog bites happen near or on the home property of the dog. It is an innate characteristic for the dog to protect their personal property, home or owner. When are stranger comes in to their territory they can often become aggressive. Additionally dogs my bite to show dominance over another dog or person if they are trying to take away something they own or possess.
5. Fear – Dogs that are uncertain and tentative can become aggressive when put into a new situation. Dogs will also bite out of a fear defense when another dog or person is coming on to attack.

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Dog Bites Happen

September 8th, 2014

dog bite

Let’s face it, dog bites happen, in fact half of the US population will be bitten by a dog or cat during their lifetime. When training a new puppy you are even more likely to get a nip or bite. The important thing is how you handle it. Since certain diseases can be spread through bites from animals it is important to identify the type of bite and treat it accordingly.
Types of Bites
Break or major cuts in the skin with or without bleeding
Bruising or Crushing injuries
Puncture-type wound

Certain diseases can also be spread through bites from various animals. These diseases may cause flu-like symptoms, headache, and fever.

To prevent diseases from entering a wound any bite that results in breaking of the skin will require first aid.

First Aid
1. Calm and reassure the person. Wear latex gloves or wash your hands thoroughly before attending to the wound. Wash hands afterwards, too.
2. If the bite is not bleeding severely, wash the wound thoroughly with mild soap and running water for 3 to 5 minutes. Then, cover the bite with antibiotic ointment and a clean dressing.
3. If the bite is actively bleeding, apply direct pressure with a clean, dry cloth until the bleeding stops. Raise the area of the bite.
4. If the bite is on the hand or fingers, call the doctor right away.
5. Over the next 24 to 48 hours, watch the area of the bite for signs of infection (increasing skin redness, swelling, and pain).
6. If the bite becomes infected, call the doctor or take the person to an emergency medical center.

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Dog’s Eye Sight – 3 Things you should know

August 18th, 2014

Are dogs color blind?
Not completely, while humans have the ability to see three different color sensitive cone cells in their retina (red, green and blue) dogs have only two (yellow and blue). This means that if there are 3 objects that are the same shape, size, texture and smell a dog cannot distinguish them by color if they are green, yellow or red objects. However they can still distinguish a red ball from a green one if there is a difference in the perceived brightness of the two.
Red, yellow and green are perceived as one hue. Blue and purple are perceived as a second hue. Cyan and magenta are perceived as a neutral hue (grey).

Is a dog’s vision better than a human at night?
Yes, dogs see a lot better than humans do at night. Dogs have many adaptations for low-light vision. A larger pupil lets in more light. The center of the retina has more of the light-sensitive cells (rods), which work better in dim light than the color-detecting cones.
You should always take your dog with you when walking at night.

Can dogs watch television?
Yes, 87% of pet owners say that their pets watch TV. However, a dog eyesight is very different than human eyesight, so what your dog is actually “seeing” is quite different from what you’re seeing on the TV screen. Here are some ways what they are seeing is different:
• Dogs see flickering light better than humans do. That means when watching television where we see one solid screen, dogs see each individual frame.

• Dogs cannot see the actual objects on the TV screen. They simply see the movement and the shapes on the television instead.

• Dogs don’t have the same depth perception that humans have, which also explains how little they can actually see on a TV screen.

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What to expect when Spaying or Neutering your pet.

August 7th, 2014

Spay or Neuter RecoveryCongratulations you are being a responsible parent and helping control the pet population. While very much worth it, the operation your pet is about to undergo is no picnic or walk in the park. It is serious. Here are some tips to get you and your pup through it:

Preparation for the neutering surgery will begin the night before. The dog should not receive food 10-12 hours before the operation. This will ensure that the dog’s stomach has emptied by the time he’s put under general anesthesia and decrease the chances he will vomit and aspirate it into his lungs.

Here are some ideas to prep your house for a less mobile pet:
1. Raise the dog bowls up off the ground so that the dog can easily access while wearing a cone. (a box turned upside down will do)
2. Line your dog’s bed with plastic, most likely he will vomit after the surgery. You can use a gallon trash back opened and duct tape.
3. Make sure your dog’s bed, food and water is in a quiet room, free of stairs or obstacles, away from other animals and children, and off of any carpeting.
4. Give your dog plenty of love and reinforcement.
Immediately After
Immediately following the operation your pet will typically require 18-24 hours to recover from the general anesthesia. When a dog owner picks up the dog from the veterinarian dog may exhibit symptoms like:
Grogginess, Lethargy and Sleeping (more than usual)
Clumsiness – Your dog will be unsteady and prone to falling after surgery, do to anesthesia, the cone they are wearing and soreness from the operation. Falling can be very dangerous following the operation, as it can easily reopen the wound. Make sure your dog as easy and free access to water, food and bed free from obstacles (no stairs)
Little/No Appetite – Try replacing dog’s normal diet with boiled chicken and rice (this will also help with nausea and vomiting)
Nausea & Vomiting –Provide him with ice chips and electrolytes (i.e. unflavored Pedialyte or Gatorade) to keep hydrated.
Bathroom Accidents – Your dog will need more frequent walks then usual ideally every 2-3 hours especially the first 24 hours due to loss in sensation from the anesthesia.
Aggression (usually toward other pets) – Many dogs get aggressive after spaying surgery due to the pain and unusual physical sensations that can result from the anesthesia. Therefore, we’ll need to isolate the dog from other pets and children.

Most of the symptoms following the dog’s surgery will generally disappear by the following morning.

Days Following the Surgery
Limit activity. The dog’s incision will need time to heal and running and playing can disrupt or even delay healing. Therefore, the dog must be kept quiet with leash walks only for 10 to 14 days after the surgery.
Monitor the incision. The incision will take 10 to 14 days to heal. Dog owners must check the dog’s surgical incision several times a day. Look for swelling, redness or discharge. Often, if a dog’s incision gets infected, the edges of the wound will pull apart, forming a gap – another warning sign. If there are any signs of an infection, return or call your local vet.
Clean the incision. Daily, clean the incision by applying a bit of betadine (applied to a sterile gauze pad or cotton ball) and dab to disinfect the area. Allow the betadine to air dry.

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Dogs get allergies too.

August 4th, 2014

Most pet owners have experienced an allergic reaction on their dogs skin, in their ears, feet, or in their breathing. But where does the allergies come from? Well, there are many types of allergies that can affect your pet but all of them are caused by an allergens or agents that cause a reaction in your dog. Allergens can come from food, air, grass, dust, cleaning products, molds or pollen just to name a few. Here are these main classifications of dog allergies and what to do if your dog exhibits symptoms:

Allergens that are inhaled or come into contact with the skin can cause allergies known as atopy. Common sources are pollens, molds, and dust mites.
• Chewing at the feet
• Constant licking of the flank (side) and groin area
• Rubbing of the face
• Inflamed ears or recurrent ear infections
• Recurrent hot spots in dogs and pinpoint facial scabbing in cats
• Asthma-like wheezing and respiratory problems (more likely in cats)
Treatment: The most effective long-term solution is to change the dog’s living circumstances to avoid the allergen. The atopic dog is usually allergic to many different allergens, however, and often it is not possible to avoid exposure to them all.

Flea allergy dermatitis
Allergies that result from flea-bites are referred to as flea allergy dermatitis. However the flea allergy is actually sensitivity to flea saliva and is a very common condition in dogs. It’s not the bite of the flea that causes most of the itching in dogs it’s the saliva.
The saliva causes irritation way out of proportion to the actual number of fleas on the pup so even though your dog may only have a few or no evidence of fleas they can still have the allergen on their bodies.
• Red itchy bumps or blisters on sparsely-haired areas of the skin and those exposed to the allergen such as the belly, feet, or muzzle
• Intense scratching
• Hair loss (in chronic conditions)
Suggestions for flea control:
• If you suspect or know fleas are a problem for your dog try combing at least once daily, every day during pest season with a flea comb. Do this on a white towel or other light colored cloth so you can see what’s coming off your dog as you comb. Flea ‘dirt’ (actually flea feces) looks like real dirt, but when suspended in a little rubbing alcohol or water will dissolve and release a red color (blood) allowing you to discern real dirt from flea dirt.
• Bathe your dog often. A soothing bath will kill any fleas on your dog, help heal skin irritation, and make her feel more comfortable and less itchy. Also, clean animals aren’t as attractive to fleas. Pick a non-grain (no oatmeal) herbal shampoo.
• Make liberal use of an all-natural pest repellent like Natural Flea and Tick Defense during flea season.
• For some dogs with a serious case of flea allergy dermatitis, try an oral drug called Comfortis. It is a chemical, but it’s considered the least hazardous of all similar drugs. All drugs can have side effects, but Comfortis has reportedly fewer than topical insecticides.

Contact allergies
A reaction caused by something your pet comes in direct contact with, such as carpet fibers, plastics, and other things. Allergic contact dermatitis the most rare of the allergy diseases. It occurs when an animal’s skin overreacts to certain small molecules in the environment. Substances, which can cause allergic contact dermatitis, include certain antibiotics applied to the skin; metals such as nickel; materials such as rubber or wool; and chemicals such as dyes and carpet deodorizers.
• Itchy red bumps and inflammation of the skin on areas such as feet, chin, nose, hocks, stifles, and the undersurface of the body
• Moist, weepy spots, blisters, and crusts.
• Skin becomes rough and scaly and hair is lost.
• Excessive scratching damages the skin and sets the stage for secondary pyoderma.
Treatment: Consider the area of involvement and identify the chemical or skin allergen causing the problem. Prevent further exposure. Treat infected skin with a topical antibiotic ointment such as triple antibiotic. Topical and oral corticosteroids prescribed by your veterinarian can relieve itching and inflammation.
Food Allergies
Certain allergies occur from items your pet ingests, and are typically called food allergies.Food allergies account for about 10-15% of all allergies in dogs and cats. Food allergies may show up concurrently with allergies to pollen, dust, etc. Occasionally, dogs with true food allergies may have increased bowel movements and soft stool. Food allergies should not be confused with food intolerances, which are not true allergies, and generally cause diarrhea and vomiting.
Symptoms include:
• Itching, especially face, feet, trunk, limbs and anal area
• Ear problems, often yeast-related
• Skin infections that respond to antibiotics, but then recur as soon as the antibiotic therapy ceases
Treatment: If you suspect your pet has allergies, visit your veterinarian. The type of allergy and severity of the symptoms will determine how your veterinarian decides to treat them.

Allergy-Fighting Supplements
Quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. I call it ‘nature’s Benadryl’ because it does a great job suppressing histamine release from mast cells and basophiles.
Histamine is what causes much of the inflammation, redness and irritation characteristic of an allergic response. By turning off histamine production with a quercetin supplement, we can suppress or at least moderate the effects of inflammation.
Bromelain and papain. Bromelain and papain are proteolytic enzymes that increase the absorption of quercetin, making it work more effectively. They also suppress histamine production.
One of the reasons I use quercetin, bromelain and papain together is they also suppress prostaglandin release. Prostaglandins are another pathway by which inflammation can occur. By suppressing prostaglandins, we can decrease the pain and inflammation associated with irritated mucous membranes and body parts. Using the three substances in combination provides some natural pain and inflammation control.

Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help decrease inflammation throughout the body. Adding them into the diet of all pets — particularly pets struggling with seasonal environmental allergies – is very beneficial. The best sources of omega 3s are krill oil, salmon oil, tuna oil, anchovy oil and other fish body oils.

Coconut oil. I also recommend coconut oil for allergic pets. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which helps decrease the production of yeast. Using a fish body oil with coconut oil before inflammation flares up in your pet’s body can help moderate or even suppress the inflammatory response.

Taking Preventative Measures

By avoiding allergens and taking precautions you can lower your dog’s risk and exposure to agents causing allergies. Allergens include mites, grasses, molds, and pollens. Elimination of allergens is a challenge. The following is list of techniques that help:
• Running air filters
• Keeping windows closed
• Dusting with a damp cloth
• Vacuuming frequently using a HEPA-filtered vacuum
• Do not smoke around your dog
• Wash bedding with hot water and use perfume-free detergent, rinsing twice
• Choose cotton for bedding
• Keep your pet on tile or linoleum rather than carpet
• Rinse soap from floors after mopping them
• Pets should not be kept in garages, laundry rooms, damp basements, or dusty barns.
• Keep pets off lawns when mowing and rinse off their feet when they come in from the yard.
• Keep your pet indoors during early morning and late evening when pollen counts are high.
• Keep your pet off treated wood decks and out of cedar dog houses.
• Avoid cedar chips in pet beds
• Feed only fresh pet food kibble that is not dusty
• Store unfed kibble in the freezer
• Use stainless or glass pet bowls rather than plastic bowls.
• Frequent baths give complete, immediate relief to an itchy pet and wash away the allergens on the coat and skin. Make sure to use a grain free (oatmeal free) shampoo.
• Foot soaks are also a great way to reduce the amount of allergens your pet tracks into the house and spreads all over her indoor environment.
• Keep the areas of your home where your pet spends most of her time as allergen-free as possible.
• Vacuum and clean floors and pet bedding frequently using simple, non-toxic cleaning agents rather than household cleaners containing chemicals.

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Benefits of 3 Oils for your Dog

July 28th, 2014

In a world filled with harmful chemicals, sometimes it is better to go back to nature for remedies and prevention when it comes to your pets health. We recommend trying out a few oils either topically or orally and you won’t believe what they can do. Plus we see new benefits of adding these essential oils to your dog’s diets every day. Remember home remedies aren’t just for hippies any more they are often healthier, effective and more cost efficient on your budget. Here are some oils that have received some great results when it comes to aiding dogs:
1. Coconut oil
Description: Coconut oil is over 90% saturated fat and has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Coconut oil also has antioxidant properties and it helps in the absorption of other minerals. Coconut oil is an incredible source of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which have been shown to have many health benefits.
- Helps aid digestion
- When mixed with oregano oil – can treat staph bacteria
- Improves dog’s coat
- Disinfect cuts and helps heal wounds (when applied topically)
- Clears up some rashes (when applied topically)
- Natural Flea and Tick repellent (when applied topically)
For topical application simply add directly to dogs skin or mix with shampoo.
For oral application the recommended dose is coconut oil per 10 pounds of dog, or you can give a table spoon per 30 pounds. Start with about ¼ the recommended dosage and build up to the recommended level over 3-4 weeks, as sometimes flu-like symptoms can appear if you hurried it right away.

2. Olive Oil
Description: Has high level of antioxidants including polyphenols, vitamin E, chlorophyll, and carotenoids –it acts as a natural supplement to defend your canine’s immune system, improve your dog’s cognitive development, improve energy, beautify your dog’s coat and last, but not least, extend their life.

- Helps relieve Dry Skin
- Aids in weight loss
- Provides energy boost
- Prevents the cognitive decline associated with aging
- Fights premature ageing by preventing free radical cell oxidation
- Relieve Constipation
- Prevents diabetes and cardiovascular diseases

For topical application simply add directly to dogs skin or mix with shampoo.

For oral application geed your healthy dog 100 to 150 mg per 10 pounds. If the puppy is having health issues, you can use up to 300 mg mixed with the dog’s food for absorbtion. Olive oil can be fed to your puppy ¼ to ½ teaspoon at a time. A dog should never be fed more than ½ teaspoon of olive oil at once, but you can add the specified amount to your puppy’s food up to twice per day.

3. Lavender Oil
Description: Lavender oil is soothing to the central nervous system, and a 2006 study showed that its use reduced dogs’ movement. It is one of the most versatile oils in nature. The fragrance is very relaxing and calming to the body and mind.

- Helps prevent flea and ticks
- Induces relaxation – used for travel or treat anxiety in dogs
- Soothes irritated skin
- Anti-inflammatory
- Prevents scarring and promotes healing
For topical simply add 5-10 drops of Lavender oil to your dog’s shampoo and shake.
For oral mix in a teaspoon of culinary Lavender buds into your dog’s food to give it a try for your dog.
Remember to introduce any oil slowly as oils can cause diarrhea in dogs if over absorbed. Hope your dog becomes healthier with these tips.

 Paw Nation: 12 Natural Supplements for Dogs
 Experience Essential Oils: Benefits of Lavender Oil
 Benefits of Coconut oil for Dogs: Dogington Post
 The Whole Dog Journal: The Benefits of Fish Oil to Your Dog’s Health
 Dogster: 8 Reasons to Add Olive Oil to Your Dog’s Food

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Hip Dysplasia – Risks, Symptoms and Control

July 14th, 2014

Hip and joint problems are surprisingly common in many dogs. Most commonly dogs are developing hip dysplasia which is caused by a subluxation in the hip joint. This creates abnormal wear and erosion of the joint and as a result arthritis and pain develop. Researchers attribute hip dyspepsia to 3 factors: Genetic, Exercise and Diet. Obese dog and dogs that are fed a high calorie diet while developing are more prone to the disease. According to a study by Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine canine hip dysplasia can occur in 50 percent or more of some of the larger breeds of dogs.

It is particularly common in breeds such as:
• Bernese Mountain Dog
• Bloodhound
• Boxer
• Chesapeake Bay Retriever
• English Setter
• English Springer Spaniel
• Golden Retriever
• Gordon Setter
• German Shepherd Dog
• Labrador Retriever
• Old English Sheepdog
• Standard Poodle
• Rottweiler
• St. Bernard
• Welsh Springer Spaniel
• Welsh Corgi
While less common in large dogs such as:
• Borzoi
• Doberman Pinscher
• Great Dane
• Greyhound
• Irish Wolfhound
• Siberian Husky

However all of all ages are subject to hip dysplasia and the resultant osteoarthritis. In severe cases, puppies as young as five months will begin to show pain and discomfort during and after exercise. The condition will worsen until even normal daily activities are painful. Without intervention, these dogs may eventually be unable to walk. Detecting dog pain early can help with intervention and cure. Dog pain can take many forms from mild to severe, dull aches to sharp pain. Dogs cannot tell us with words when they hurt so it is important to look for certain signs:

• Trouble getting up and down
• Slow or stiff when first getting up or after exercise
• Trouble climbing stairs
• Joint swelling
• Limping or favoring a leg by frequently holding it off the ground
• Gait or “bunny hopping”
• Resist movements that require full extension or flexion of the rear legs
• Become less willing to participate in normal daily activities

Here are 6 ways to prevent hip dysplasia in dogs:

1. Healthy diet – feeding natural foods and adding Fish oil to food has helped in experimental studies
2. Visits to Vet – discussing amount of food and having regular check-ups helps early detection
3. Feeding schedule – determining the right amount of food at the right time of day helps manage weight and prevent obesity
4. Water – make sure water is available at all times
5. Exercise routine – exercise helps build muscle, joint and tendons – but beware not to over exercise
6. Careful breeding – if possible check to see if the parents have history of hip dysplasia note pure breed dogs are more prone to hip dysplasia

What to do if your dog already has hip dysplasia?
1. Consult vet and discuss recommend treatment
2. Limit exercise and control diet
3. Try homeopathic treatments such as Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and NSAIDs
4. Consider training your dog on the UGODOG to avoid over exercising

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Adding a 2nd Dog to Your Home

July 7th, 2014

Introducing any new member to a family can be tricky. As of now each member of the family unit has a role and has been acting accordingly. When a new member comes in he can offer competition which can lead to frustration and acting out. Before adding a new member here are some things to consider:
• Consider your dog’s obedience, play style, energy and socialization level, and playmate preferences. Make sure your dog is in control enough to introduce a new dog.
• Personality type – aggressive, passive, hyper, mellow? Look for a dog that will compliment the personality of your current dog.
• Some breeds mesh together better than others, consider an internet search for compatible breeds
• Let your current dog pick the new dog. Bring your BF to the adoption center or dog clinic to help choose the dog they best get along with

If you already have picked your new pal, then keep in mind initial meeting is the most important, so you’ll need to prepare to improve your chances of success. Lindsay Wood, MA, CTC, director of animal training and behavior at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, in Boulder, Colo recommends walking your dog and the potential new dog together. Called parallel walks or proximity walks, these low-key activities allow dogs to get used to each other while doing something fun in a neutral space.

Here are some DO’s
• Do introduce your new dog outside the home on neutral ground
• Do have a second person to help with the introduction
• Do gradually remove all personal items that current dog maybe attached to before introducing new dog this includes bed, bowl, bones, – slowly reintroduce them providing each dog their own set
• Do designate feeding bowls for each dog and be sure to feed at the same time
And here are some DON’Ts
Avoid doing these things when introducing your new dog:
• Don’t throw two dogs together in a car, house, or yard and assume they will work it out. Even social dogs that seem to get along need supervision or separation (via baby gates or crates) at home for a few weeks.
• Don’t keep the leashes tight when dogs first meet. The pressure from pulling only increases tension between dogs.
• Don’t let the dogs rush up to one another.
• Don’t use a stern voice, telling the dogs to “Be good!” or “Be nice!”
• Don’t immediately introduce competition or conflict over popular toys, food, or bones.

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When is the right time to Spade or Neuter your dog?

July 1st, 2014

Given that approximately 3.7 million animals are euthanized at shelters each year, due to lack of willing adopters, most Americans agree it is best to spade or neuter any pet that is not intended for breading. There are now laws and regulations mandating that all cats and dogs adopted from public or private animal care and control facilities be sterilized. If you have decided to adopt from a dog shelter your dog will mandated the procedure. Not only does having your pet spayed or neutered ensure that you will not be adding to this tremendous burden of over population of dogs it also eliminates behaviors and physical changes related to presence of reproductive hormones that dog owners find objectionable. If that is not enough of a reason it also helps to prevent various forms of dog cancers.
spade or neuter your pet
But if you are wondering when the best time or if you will spade or neuter then we have some information for you.
To date no scientist has performed a large-scale study in which female and male dogs underwent gonadectomy (spay or neatured) at various ages and were tracked throughout life to determine what abnormalities developed relative to age at gonadectomy.

The standard age (6-9 months), is when most veterinarians in the United States recommend females and males spayed or castrated. However, this is not based in science; it is based on anathesia procedures during World War II, when increasing pets were becoming popular, therefore, more interested in controlling manifestations of reproductive hormone secretion and very interested in making sure the animal survived surgery. Anesthetic and surgical techniques available at that time necessitated the animal be at least 6 months of age.

Early neutering before 14 months of age has also become popular by some modern vets. Mainly due to a few uncontrolled studies that have shown a link with early neuters and some forms of cancer and joint problems. Both the joint problems and the cancers that they have linked are relatively common in large-boned dogs, so the challenge is to prove whether the early neuter actually caused an increase in the incidence. There have been no studies that prove this.

Pro-early neutering as early as 6 weeks of age has been supported by several good studies to look at different potential complications from early neutering that have found no adverse effects other than slightly longer legs and less “masculine” muscle development. These pro-early neuter studies, however, were not carried out long enough to evaluate the risk of cancer.

Early adult neutering as late as 18 months, has been shown by studies that growth is influenced by the development of re-productive hormones. Taking away the internal re-productive organs at a young age, before the dog is fully grown, was shown to extend bone-growth period, making the bones longer and thinner, with as a result an increased chance on skeleton problems.

In conclusion there is not one answer for all dogs. Work with your vet to determine the best time for your dog breed and size to determine the best course of action for your dog.

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Teaching Your Dogs New Tricks

June 26th, 2014

Your dog probably already knows – come, sit, stay, and lay down. So you’re done with the basics and are ready for something interesting, something new to show off at the dog park or to your friends when they come over.
Tricks are not only that are a great way to offer your dog some mental stimulation, many of them build from the basic commands your dog already knows.

Here are some dog tricks that are fun and fairly easy to train a dog to do:
1. Wave
Training a dog to wave hello or good-bye is a fun and fairly simple dog trick. Start by training your dog to shake paws. You will use the same action your dog uses to shake to train him to lift his paw to wave. You will do it the first few time for him then he will catch on with some treat incentives.
a. Give your dog the command to “shake”. When he lifts his paw to shake your hand, move your hand up slightly so he has to move his paw up a bit to get to your hand.
b. When your dog moves his paw up farther than he would to shake, or tell him “good ” and give him a treat.
c. Repeat this action a few times, each time moving your hand up a little higher until your dog is raising his paw above his head.
d. Once your dog has been putting his paw up several times in a row, give the command “shake,” and as soon as your dog starts reaching his paw out to you, give the command “wave” (or you can use the command “say hello” or “wave bye”) and again follow steps 2-4.
e. Repeat this several times until your dog is consistently raising his paw to wave position. After a number of repetitions, stop using the shake command, and only give the command “wave.”
f. Practice the wave command for a few minutes at time, two or three times each day. Your dog will quickly impress your friends as he greets them with a wave hello!
2. Back it Up
Back it up is a fun dog trick that can be turned into a dance move later on (if you teach him to wiggle his butt) and it can come in handy in a variety of situations. Once your dog knows how to back up on command, you can use it to keep him from rushing out the door, crowding you at the refrigerator, or just to entertain your friends.
Back up is fairly simple to teach a dog.
a. Start by holding the leash very loose and give your dog the command to stand and stay.
b. Walk a few steps away from your dog then turn and face him
c. Start walking toward your dog and say “back it up”
d. If he naturally backs up as you are saying it reward him
e. If your dog doesn’t start stepping back as you move toward him, keep going forward, and try to lean your body forward slightly.
3. Take a Bow or Downward Dog
Your dog might do this naturally in the morning when he first wakes up. If you watch two dogs playing together, you will frequently see them bow. Trainers refer to this behavior as a play bow, and it is a dog’s way of asking another dog to come play. He will put his chest to the ground while keeping his rear end up in the air. To teach this:
a. Start with standing position. It is helpful if your dog know stand or stay command.
b. Hold a treat at the tip of your dog’s nose, and slowly move it down, holding it close to your dog’s body. In this way, you will use the treat to lure your dog down until his elbows are on the floor with his rear end remaining up.
c. Hold your dog in the bow for a few seconds, and then use the treat to lure him back into a standing position.
d. As soon as your dog completes the bow and is standing up, tell him “good” or click your clicker, and give him the treat.
e. Practice the bow command with your dog several times a day for no more than 5 minutes each time. Before you know it, your dog will be taking a bow on command.
4. Go Potty
Teaching your dog to go potty on command can relieve you from the stress of wondering when your dog will have to potty again. It makes leaving your dog at home, traveling in a car and taking your dog friend homes much easier.
a. Pick the word you’re going to use that will mean “go pee” to your dog. You could use the classic “go potty”, and then say it consistently.
b. Figure out when your dog most predictably goes to the bathroom. The three big pee motivators are: waking from a nap or sleep, playing, and drinking. What goes in must come out and by setting a schedule for your dog you can predict when he/she will need to go. Knowing that your dog needs to go to the bathroom is key in capturing the behavior.
c. When your dog needs to eliminate, leash him/her up and relocate to your designated UGODOG potty spot. If you have any fear that your dog might go before you get the UGODOG, pick him up and carry him there (if you can)
d. Wait for your dog to go. Give him no attention as you pace quietly back and forth by the pee spot. When he squats or lifts his leg wait, for him to finish. As he’s finishing happily say your cue word “GO POTTY!” When he is done, give a marker (a verbal “Yes!” or the click of a clicker), then lavish him with praise and something really yummy.
e. After a week or two give the cue “go potty!” just before the pee happens but still wait to “Yes” or click until after he’s completely finished. (Otherwise, your marker might distract him from finishing his business midway.)

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