Things about dogs you were (maybe) afraid to ask

The following are questions I’ve secretly asked myself about my own dogs.  I found the answers through internet research.  Here I provide a short answer, and I have provided links where I found the best information should you want further knowledge.

 

Do dogs have boogers?

My dog has a very long snout so I figured that was the reason I never saw boogers coming out of his nose.  In fact, it is rare to see dogs with anything hanging out of their nose unless they are sick.  Mucus in a dog can be caused by an infection, allergies and injuries.  If your dog has mucus running out of his nose you should bring him to the vet.  This is not the same as little bit of watery discharge, which is normal.

http://www.pawster.com/dogs-boogers/

 

Do dogs dream and have nightmares?

Dogs go through similar sleep stages as humans.  Within 20 minutes of falling asleep a dog will often start to twitch, quiver, paw-swim, and even growl.  What do they dream about?  They often relive the activities they experience during the day.  That is, a dog will dream about chasing a ball, or barking at the mailman, or taking a walk with his pal.  I assume that a working sheep dog will occasionally dream about a flock of sheep.  (I don’t know if he will count them.)

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201010/do-dogs-dream

 

 

How often should I trim my dog’s claws?

I was in hospital and afterwards convalescing over several weeks.  When I finally felt well enough to get down to the living-room, I noticed that when my dogs walked across the laminate floor their claws made a clicking noise, a sound that can drive me to distraction.  As soon as I was feeling up to it, I got out the clippers and trimmed their claws.  It’s winter and my dogs don’t get a chance to “file” their claws down on pavement or gravel or rocky surfaces so their claws were quite long.

Some vets recommend you clip a dog’s claws weekly to get him accustomed to the procedure.  I find that if I have the luxury of doing it weekly, I rarely need to use the clipper, I just use a file made special for dog claws.

So when should you clip your dog’s claws?  When he needs it.  Check weekly and try to clip them at least monthly.  Pay special attention to the dew claw which can curl back into the dog’s paw.

 

http://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-often-should-you-cut-your-dogs-nails

 

 

Can a dog outsmart me?

I always thought I’d love to have a border collie.  It seems that they are more than well represented at obedience trials and show trials.  However, I have spoken to a number of border collie owners and  some have actually told me that they would never own another one.  When I asked why, they said, “Because he outsmarts me.”  And I thought, “Oh come on.”

But research proves it.  If you don’t stimulate your smart dog’s brain, he will outsmart you. And that means that he will likely do so in destructive ways like collaborating with the cat to get food off the cupboard—this happened to me with a Labrador Retriever.  Just check these dog shaming pictures.  I think you will see that smart dogs are well represented.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=dog+shaming+hall+of+fame&qpvt=dog+shaming+hall+of+fame&qpvt=dog+shaming+hall+of+fame&qpvt=dog+shaming+hall+of+fame&FORM=IGRE

 

This is my dog’s shaming picture.

resized control my licker
Shaming Photo

 

 

And the following site will give you a list of the most intelligent dogs.

 

https://www.caninejournal.com/most-intelligent-dogs/

 

 

Should I get a breed dog or a mutt?

I have had both and can tell you that either can be a great pet.  People who get a breed dog may want to enter it in breed competitions.  But there are other reasons to get a dog with a pedigree.

You should get a breed dog if you want a certain height or strength or personality.  For instance, if you are looking for a dog that loves winter and might haul your child in a sleigh, you will probably be looking at a Husky or even a St. Barnard.

But keep in mind that there are never any guarantees.  I like Shelties because they are not high enough to reach the table (and steal food)  or strong enough to overwhelm me on a walk, but they are a hardy enough to go hiking– which happens to be my favourite pastime.  However, I had one Sheltie that was such a slow walker I had to wait up for him all the time on open trails.  This same dog would run through the woods when I took him hiking on trails through forests.  So, much to my disappointment, I ended up leaving him at home when I went for a hike.  To be fair, I also had a mutt who would take off when he was hiking and then “sneak” back.  He looked exactly like a coyote so this was quite an annoying habit.  Seeing a coyote-like animal coming at you at a slow, determined pace through the trees can make the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up.

Coyote hunting in snow

All the other dogs I’ve had were perfect companions, stayed by my side, and never wandered off.

Here is a breed finder that may help you decide if you want a certain pedigree.

http://www.vetstreet.com/breed-finder

The Queen’s Dog of Choice

Female Welsh corgi dog

It is hard to imagine this little dog herding cattle, but that is exactly what he was bred to do.  In reality, his shortness gives him an advantage because it allows him to avoid cow hooves.  He nips at the cattle’s heels and then quickly gets out of the way with great agility.

There are two breeds, the Cardigan, which has a larger head, and the Pembroke.   Cardigans have long tails while the Pembroke has a docked tail.

The dog originated in Wales.   This breed has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years.

Although we more often see pictures of the tan coloured Corgi, it also comes in other colours including black and white and merle.    The dog stands between 10 to 12 inches at shoulder height.

The Corgi has a nice personality.   It likes children and makes a great family dog.  However, it may not always be tolerant of other dogs.  This little dog has lots of energy and loves to play ball, and takes well to agility and obedience training.   Its short fur means he does not need special grooming like my shelties require.  And this is the Queen’s dog of choice.

 

Okay…so it’s the perfect little dog.  Not quite.  It is known to be a barker and to be stubborn.  It also likes to eat (who doesn’t) and may easily become obese if not checked.  It can weigh up to 30 pounds.  Anything more than that may mean a diet adjustment.

10 IDEAS FOR HOUSE TRAINING YOUR DOG

My first dog would not poop anywhere in the house than on newspaper.  Wow, I thought this is great.  Put down some newspaper and problem solved.  Then I got my second dog.  Maybe she read the paper.  That would explain her reluctance to soil any part of it.  No sirree.  Anywhere in the house but on that newspaper.

The most success I’ve had with training puppies is in the summer.  This has nothing to do with the puppy’s intelligence, and everything to do with my preference for going out in the yard in the summer instead of the winter.  So, consider the time of year when you decide to get a puppy.

What I have learned is that, although the puppy might want to please you, he won’t be able to control his bladder until he is at least four months old.  So, expect accidents even once you think the puppy has finally GOT IT.

If you have recently gotten a puppy, here are some ideas I wish I had thought of with my second dog.

  1. When we first get our cute little puppy, we are highly tolerant. After all, we want him to feel welcomed into our home.  Big mistake.  Start training as soon as you get your puppy.  If you let the puppy pee in the house, he will get the idea that you are okay with that behavior.
  2. Choose a spot in your yard where you want the puppy to eliminate and bring him there each time. I’ll admit I’ve never thought of doing this but it would save the grass for sure.
  3. Bring him out on a leash. This will show him that this is not fun time—no playing—this is toilet time.
  4. You might want to put a bell on your door hanging from a rope. Ring it each time you take the puppy out – better yet get the dog to ring the bell when you are going out.  Give the dog a treat if he rings the bell then eliminates.  If he rings the bell and doesn’t eliminate…no praising, no treat.  You don’t want him ringing that bell whenever the dog wants to take you out.
  5. Have one word for “the business”. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated, unless you want to impress your neighbors.   “Do your ca-ca” is fine.
  6. Reward the puppy when he does his business.
  7. Bring him out first thing when he wakes up and 20 minutes after he eats.
  8. Play time should be done only after “the business”.
  9. Clean up after your dog right away. This will prevent him and other dogs from eating poop.  See my article on that distasteful (pardon the pun) topic.
  10. If your dog poops in the house, take the poop and place it in his designated ca-ca spot in the yard.  (That’s another task that is way easier in the summer.)

So, how will you know when your puppy gets the urge?  If you see him doing circles or semi circles, it’s time to take him outside.

Good luck.

 

 

The Afghan Hound

glamorous cream and black afghan hound
Could be a model

One of the most majestic dogs around.  Absolutely beautiful.  It comes in several colors and looks especially gorgeous, I think, in jet black.

As its name implies, this dog originates from Afghanistan.

The height is from 61-74 cm (24-29 inch).

It can weight from 20-27 kg (44-60 lb)

This dog has unfortunately been labelled as stupid because it is difficult to train.  In fact, it is its strong independence streak that makes it hard to train.

Although the breed is not well represented at obedience trials, it is often seen in the sport of lure coursing where the dog chases a mechanically-operated lure that looks like an animal, fox or rabbit as two examples.

The dog has an expected lifespan of 12-14 years.

This dog is highly sensitive, so if you get angry often, it is probably not the dog for you.

This dog does not make a good watchdog.

Because of its independence and aloofness, it is not the best dog for small children.

It needs a lot of exercise but needs to be kept on a leash as it tends to run after small animals.  Even though it looks like royalty, it is still a hound.

Poopsicles

Why does my dog eat poop?

The dog may have an illness that makes him ravenous.  Not the case with my dog—according to my vet.  So what gives?  Females will eat poop to clean the nest, but that’s not the case with my dog who is definitely a male.  I’m at a lost.  So, I’m going to take this advise and see if it works.

  • Call him to you.
  • If he comes, give him a treat.
  • If he doesn’t, let him know in a stern voice that you don’t approve.  If he is off-leashing, leash him to show him that he has lost his privilege.

REPEAT.

By the way the name for this yukky habit is Coprophagia.

10 Rules for Dogs

  1. Never give up. If your owner (master, mommy/daddy) doesn’t get that you want to go out the first time you bring the leash, try and try again.  And if he (or she) still ignores you, begin dancing around like a bee providing GPS directions for the hive.  This will show him that it’s “high time” for a trip to the outside washroom.  Remember you know the right “time”.  You’re a watch dog.
  2. If another dog goes near your dish, growl (practise this with the family cat). However, if a dog urinates on your owner’s leg, pretend you didn’t see a thing.
  3.  If you have had a disagreement with a dog bigger than you, hide behind your owner when you see that dog coming. If, like Bean, you actually nipped the dog because he stood over you and pretended to be in love, hide behind your bigger brother who will be hiding behind your owner.
  4. If you actually had a fight with another dog (about your size), and nothing got settled during that dispute, insist on trying to get at that other dog every time you see him walking with his owner. Being the responsible dog owner, your owner will move off the walking trail into the brambles and thickets and will have to spend an hour getting burrs out of your fur.  The other dog owner will have insisted on bringing you and your enemy as close together as possible.  This other dog owner will smile and say “Nice evening isn’t it?” as he passes on the trail with his dog growling (uttering insults) at you. This will make you even more committed to getting at that s.o.b. the next time.
  5. When it’s bath time, head for the hills.
  6. When it’s grooming time, hide behind the Mugho pine that grew huge due to neglect. Ignore your owner when he says, “You could be more cooperative; groomers cost money you know.”  Definitely turn the other cheek if he says, “Come here you little so and so.  Who do you think buys your food?” He really doesn’t mean to lay on the guilt.  He has just lost it because he trampled his wife’s prized tea rose.  (Don’t forget to act fearful yourself when he catches it from the wife.  It’s called moral support and shows how you really are man’s best friend.  Tuck your tail between your legs and start to skulk away.  That’ll make her wonder who did what.  (It’s kind of like providing your owner with an alibi.)
  7. When it’s time to go to the veterinarian, refuse to get in the car. At all other times, insist that you’re part of the family and should not be left behind.  If they don’t get this, bark and jump in the door as they are existing the house.  If they still don’t get it, howl the whole time they’re away.  Make sure the neighbours hear.
  8. When you finally get to the off-leash dog park, get in with the most disobedient dog there. Forget all your training.  When your owner says “Come”, pretend you heard the word “Run”.
  9. When you have gas, insist on sleeping on her side of the bedroom. That’ll teach her to disallow dogs on the bed.  Rules, rules, rules.  Who needs them?  Also, never let on that pop actually takes you up on the bed when she’s away on business trips.  (It would make her feel that any warm body will do.)
  10. Oh yeh, and when she is away on those business trips, always tilt your head in that cute way so pop insists she talks to you over the phone even if all her co-workers are listening.  Do the same when he calls to say he’s at a union meeting or having a beer with the guys from work.  (This will show her that you aren’t playing favourites.)

TEN EASIEST TRICKS TO TEACH A DOG ACCORDING TO FRANK & BEANS

I could have called this post New Years Resolutions for Your Dog.  Here goes.

I can teach Sinatra just about anything but Mr. Beans is another matter.  So based on what Mr. Beans has learned so far,  here are the ten easiest tricks for your dog to learn.

  1. Sit –  This is one every dog seems to be able to learn.  Once when I was at my mother in law, I told her “Sit down and I will do the dishes”.  All my dogs automatically sat down.
  2. Down  –  my dog Captain would lie down whenever he had a chance.  He didn’t have to be told!
  3. Paw  – I’m almost hesistant to show that one because one of my dogs was so pesky with that command that I almost had to “unteach” him.
  4. Go around.  Just lead the dog with a treat around you.  In no time he will know this one.
  5. Go through.  Lead the dog through your legs once or twice and he’ll catch on soon enough.
  6. Beg.  This one is easy to teach because you can lead the dog by the nose to a “beg” position.
  7. Roll.  I never thought I could teach this one to Bean but I just gave him a little shove to push him over a couple of times and wham he caught on.
  8. Come – a very important one for the dog to learn.  First he has to sit and stay…but they sure love to come for the treat.
  9. Scoot (go through your legs backwards).  Beans knows this way better than Sinatra and I call him my best Scooter.  He really loves doing this trick.
  10. Bark.  Easiest trick in the book.

Have fun folks.

10 REASONS TO GET A DOG

  1. You’re having trouble getting up in the morning. It takes a person about 12 weeks to turn repeated action into a habit. It takes a dog about four days, especially if there’s something in it for the dog. I took my dog for a walk two mornings in a row. Now he expects a walk every morning. I don’t always wake up to my clock, but the persistent thumping of my dog against my bed will inevitably get me up. (The only other animal I would recommend is a rooster.)
  1. You need reminding to change the batteries in your smoke alarms. The beeping noise the manufacture installed to warn you of a low battery will send your dog into painful hurling. You will have no peace until you change those batteries.
  1. You need a butler. The minute someone knocks at the door your dog will be there to greet your visitor.
  1. You want your favorite chair kept warm while you’re gone. There is nothing Fido likes better than to occupy your chair during your absence.
  1. You have a wood burning appliance and you need lots of kindling. Some dogs are absolute masters at finding every loose stick in any area, even in a field where a tree has not grown in twenty years.
  1. You need a water dowser. Any Labrador owner will tell you that if there’s water within half a mile, their dog will find it.
  1. You want to hone your baseball skills. Just accidentally drop your piece of chicken and see which one of you — you or your dog – catch it midair.
  1. You want one sided conversations. Dogs are the best listeners. Some may even tilt their head to ask questions.
  1. You need an excuse for not doing your homework. It stills a good one. My dog ate my blog.  Oops.
  1. Someone needs to watch the cat while you’re away. On the other hand, I had a dog and a cat who collaborated during my absence to get a frozen chicken out of the sink.