Kids and Dogs: A Parent’s Guide to Canine Body Language & Safety

One of our readers wrote in to share this thoughts after reading the post "Understanding Your Dog’s Body Language" from our archives. In that post, I discussed some of the warning signs that your dog is distressed and how to deal with displacement behaviors. Richard Cross is the editor at The Dog Clinic, and I am pleased to share his thoughts... "This is a really important topic for anyone who spends time with dogs - but it's vital for parents. I've … [Read more...]

Do Dogs Dream Like Humans?

It is generally believed that dogs dream about their everyday experiences, just like humans. Sleep allows animals to consolidate and encode memories to learn things. Dogs probably dream about their owners or about playing with other dogs. This notion is not new. More than two thousand years ago, in "The History of Animals," Aristotle wrote “It would appear that not only do men dream, but horses also, and dogs, and oxen; aye, and sheep, and goats, and … [Read more...]

How Much Do Dogs Sleep?

My dogs love a good nap.  They can also sleep all night and often keep to a schedule, which, as I do my research, is not often the case for many canines. … [Read more...]

Why ‘Dog-Speak’ Is Important in Communicating With Your Pet

Do you speak "baby-talk" with your pet?   It's that high-pitched voice with exaggerated emotion you might also have done with a human baby. Well, now researchers at York University have found that such speech interaction with your dogs improves attention and may actually help with the bonding process. I had heard about this idea before and always believed there was some truth to it, based on my own personal experiences. We use “baby voice" in the … [Read more...]

2018’s Most Popular Dog Breeds

For the 27th year in a row, the most popular dog breed in America is once again the Labrador Retriever according to the American Kennel Club. German Shepherd Dogs still remain in second place and Golden Retrievers hang on to third place like previous years. The French Bulldog continues to increase in popularity - up two spots since the last rankings and seven rungs since 2013. Meanwhile, the German Shorthaired Pointer made its first appearance in the top … [Read more...]

Is Being An Animal Lover in Your Genes?

One of the long-asked questions regarding people and their pets is "Are animal people born that way or are they made?" My family is full of dog lovers. And I have told my kids to choose partners that love dogs. It says a lot about a person. I don’t trust people who don’t love dogs! As I detailed in my book DOG STORIES WITH HAPPY ENDINGS, I grew up around animals, so a world full of pets is the very definition of normal for me. Realizing that there … [Read more...]

Westminster 2018 Wrap-up; Flynn with the Win!

The 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show concluded Tuesday night with Best in Show. The lineup of Champions was really impressive, the best we have seen in years in my opinion! All the dogs really played to the crowd, bringing lots of cheers from the audience. The Sussex Spaniel, “Bean" was adorable posing for the judge and getting loud applause from the crowd. You can see his personality on display here. The winner was Flynn (GCHP CH Belle Creek's … [Read more...]

2018 Westminster Dog Show Primer

The 2018 Westiminster Kennel club and Dog show is fast approaching. My dog, GCHS Hallmark’s Sandbox Slugger at Markenhaus will be there. He is professionally handled by Jessy Sutton. “Slugger” is a smooth-coat Chihuahua. He's ranked #9 Breed and #5 All breed in the country right now. At age two, Slugger has won a best in show, reserve best in show and has multiple group placements. We are excited to see him compete, but the Chihuahua ring is super strong … [Read more...]

142nd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

The 142nd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is coming up in two weeks. The main event will be held Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 12-13, 2018 at Pier 92/94 in Madison Square Garden. FS1 will broadcast the Groups and Best in Show live on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 8 pm to 11 pm EST. Hounds, Toys, Non-Sporting, and Herding groups compete on Monday night. Working, Sporting, and Terrier groups as well as Best in Show will occur on Tuesday night. Other … [Read more...]

Kennel Cough in Dogs

Kennel Cough is an extremely contagious upper respiratory infection, also known as Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) and Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis. It affects the dog’s lungs, windpipe and voice box. While it may cause many uncomfortable symptoms for most dogs, usually only young puppies, geriatric dogs, and those with comprised immune systems are at risk of its life-threatening consequences. If not treated properly, pneumonia … [Read more...]

Holiday Safety Tips for your Pet

With the holidays in full swing, there's lots of fun and excitement all around. As Andy Williams once crooned, "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!" However, in order to make sure that this festive season is both a happy and a safe one, take a few moments to view it from the perspective of your four-legged family members. What is merely a change of pace or a holiday tradition, can be a bit overwhelming for someone who stands only a foot or two off … [Read more...]

2017’s Most Popular Dog Names

The top dog names for 2017 are once again Max for boy dogs and Bella for girl dogs. Those two names have topped Rover.com's annual popularity list for each of the past five years it's been released. Rover.com Ownership Trends Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research. In addition to Max, the top names for males were Charlie, Cooper, Buddy, Jack, Rocky, Bear, Tucker, Oliver and Duke. After Bella, rounding out the top 10 for female names were Lucy, Daisy, … [Read more...]

DogTV, Is Your Pet a Fan?

I came across an older article on the benefits of watching television for your dogs. It mentioned a network called DogTV, which delivers 24-hour programming for dogs. The idea, they say, is that flipping on the channel while you go out for the day will keep your pet stimulated, entertained and relaxed. How have I known about this until today? It is wonderful and my pets enjoy it - I think. Well so do I actually! The company was launched in Israel in … [Read more...]

November is National Adopt a Senior Dog Month

For the last several years, animal lovers have marked November as National 'Adopt a Senior Dog Month.' There are around 6-7 million dogs and cats living in US shelters each year and many are considered "senior" or "older adoptable" pets. Animals with just an average of just 25% of their lives left are considered senior. Dogs that are age seven and older are also often called "senior." On social media, this month is also promoted as #AdoptaSeniorPetMonth, … [Read more...]

Dressing up our Pets at Halloween

Oh, how we love dressing up our little ones in the family for Halloween. No, not the human kids in our household, but the four-legged furry children in our lives. According to the data (National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Spending Survey, 2015), Americans will spend a total of about $6.9 billion, or $74.34 per person. And for every $2.71, we spend on a kid's costume, $1 will be spent on an outfit for the cat or dog. With more than 179 … [Read more...]

Stories of Hope for Rescued Pets Amidst the Tales of Devastation Caused by Recent Hurricanes

Hurricane season has wreaked havoc on several regions in the past month. There was Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Hurricane Irma in Florida, and now Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. These natural disasters have killed dozens of people, destroyed thousands of homes and caused widespread flooding.  And the tales of devastation and suffering have affected both humans as well as our beloved animals. While much of the recent news has been tragic … [Read more...]

Clear The Shelters – Adoption Fees Waived on Saturday

Area shelters are teaming with the Humane Society of the U.S. to host Clear the Shelters, the third annual nationwide pet adoption drive. Over 700 participating shelters across the country will waive adoption fees on Saturday, August. 19, 2017, as part of the nationwide NBCUniversal Clear the Shelters initiative. Over 50,000 pets found their forever homes in 2016. To find a participating shelter in your area, visit the interactive map at … [Read more...]

Are Pets Good for your Kid’s Health? New Research Sees No Link

It's long been thought that having a pet around the house improves your child's health. Now research is saying that there is no clear evidence that is the case. We love our pets and consider them part of the family - that much is certain. A Pew Research Centre study of over 3,000 adults found that 85 percent of dog owners consider their pets to be a part of the family. Past research studies have suggested that social skills in children grew stronger the … [Read more...]

Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke in Dogs

With near record high temperatures across the country this summer, it is certainly time to be extra careful when taking your dog for a walk or spending time outside. And it should go without saying, though many people are still either careless or just uninformed, never leave your dogs inside a care for any length of time when the temperature is hot. Remember, on an 85-degree day, it takes only 10 minutes for the interior of your parked car to climb to … [Read more...]

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

It’s summertime and the dogs are outside more often, enjoying the warm weather. There’s nothing like a sunny day for a Chihuahua and a romp in the yard along with a roll in something stinky. With all that fun and play, the result is bath time! For our family, bathing our pets is not very traumatic. The retired show dogs are used to getting a quick bath in the deep kitchen sink. When they were going to several shows a month, I would bathe them often. … [Read more...]

Celebrating Your Dog’s Birthday

Do you celebrate your dog’s birthday? Do you buy or make special treats or a cake for them? How about buying expensive gifts, or dressing them up in stylish clothing. Apparently a lot of us do. Dogs are family and everyone loves a good time. According to a study by pet food makes Lily's Kitchen, about 75% of dog parents celebrate their pets’ birthdays and more than half throw a party, prepare a special meal and sing “Happy Birthday”! 58% sing the … [Read more...]

Is Your Dog Perceptive or Deceptive?

Recent studies has been testing dogs' ability to use deception to get what they want from humans. A team of researchers headed by Marianne Heberlein of the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Experimental Studies at the University of Zürich wanted to gauge the animals’ ability to be tricky when obtaining treats or benefits from people. The study called "Deceptive-like behaviour in dogs (Canis familiaris)", was published in journal Animal Cognition and … [Read more...]

Labrador Retriever Is Most Popular Dog Breed (Again)

For the 26th consecutive year, the Labrador Retriever has been named the country's most popular dog breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC®), the nation’s largest purebred dog registry. The rankings showed little change at the top for 2016 compared to 2015 with the German Shepherd Dog, Golden Retriever, Bulldog, Beagle, French Bulldog, Poodle, Rottweiler, Yorkshire Terrier, and Boxer rounding out the top 10. Overall, the terriers did increase in popular … [Read more...]

Crufts vs Westminster; What’s The Difference?

Recently, an American Cocker Spaniel named Afterglow Miami Ink won Best In Show at Crufts in England. The winner was a two year old with flowing black and white fur out of the Hound Group handled and owned by Jason Lynn. Approximately 160,000 people packed the Birmingham NEC arena over the four-day competition. I have never attended Crufts and many people might only be familiar with it from TV coverage. So I decided to give a brief overview of how this … [Read more...]

Is Holistic Care Right for Your Pet?

When my little Chihuahua, Carl was quite young, my vet said he probably had a liver disease. He assumed this due to high enzymes in Carl’s routine blood work taken prior to his scheduled neutering. He told me I should immediately get an ultra-sound; Carl may only have six months left and he may need lifesaving invasive surgery. At the time Carl was, by all accounts a healthy pup, no symptoms at all. My husband and I decided as long as Carl acted normal we … [Read more...]

Westminster 2017 Wrap-up; Rumor Wins Best In Show

The 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show wrapped up a little before midnight, Tuesday. Best in Show went to a stunning five year old German Shepherd dog named Rumor. She was runner up last year or Reserve Best in Show. But she came back this year to take the title. Rumor had a noble expression and lively athletic gait. She deserved the crown! It was only the second time in Westminster history that a German Shepherd has won Best in … [Read more...]

Does Your Dog Like You?

Silly question, right? Hopefully your dog loves you! But what if you are a new dog owner, maybe you just got a puppy or you adopted a rescue dog, an older, or abused dog. It may take time for you to bond with your new dog. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it can be challenging. So how do you get your dog to like you? I have raised and trained many puppies and have worked with many rescue dogs over the years. I am certified in Animal Reiki, a shelter … [Read more...]

What Types of Pain Relievers Are Safe for My Dog?

I have given baby aspirin to my dogs in a pinch before I could make it to the vet. Especially on a Sunday when it's really not an emergency. Terra stumbled on the steps once and had a little sprain, so the medicine helped a little. But it got me thinking. Which over-the-counter pain relievers are really OK for your pets? It turns out that not all of them are alike and some can have serious side effects. Most OTC pain meds are classified as NSAID or … [Read more...]

Common Hazards for Your Dog at Christmas

With the holiday season in full swing, it is important to be extra vigilant of the many hazards for our beloved pets. This is not an exhaustive list. In a previous post I covered Poisonous Plants for Pets Around Christmas which though not inherently deadly, can cause a lot of problems if they are ingested. Those include Poinsettias, Mistletoe, Holly Lilies, Daffodils, Amaryllis, Christmas Cactus, and Pine Needles. Some are more toxic than others. An … [Read more...]

Understanding Your Dog’s Body Language

Understanding your dog’s body language is very important, especially when around strangers, small children or new dogs. Bites can happen in an instant. Children often want to hug a cuddly dog and often go in face first.  This can frighten even the most stable dogs. A playful encounter can quickly turn antagonistic. Odds are a dog's sharper teeth and claws will win out over a young child's softer skin most every time. At the Peaceable Kingdom shelter, we … [Read more...]

November is Adopt a Senior Dog Month

Please consider adopting a senior dog. The harsh reality is that senior dogs are abandoned more than any other dogs. It is usually because their owners cannot, or do not wish to pay for their care anymore. They also just don't want to be bothered with the extra attention an older dog might need as they age. Old dogs tend to have more trouble getting around or maybe they can't hear or see very well. Sadly a lot of dogs come into the shelter because their … [Read more...]

Top Halloween Costumes for Dogs in 2016

In 2016 total spending for Halloween is expected to reach $8.4 billion, an all-time high, according to the National Retail Federation, the world's largest retail trade association whose members include department stores, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, and independent retailers, chain restaurants, and grocery stores. The survey, now in its 11th year, culled the results from 6,791 consumers. More than 171 million Americans plan to celebrate … [Read more...]

October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and if I have not already stressed the point enough in previous posts, there are an abundance of reasons to take in one of these lovely souls. PetFinder.com has a useful tool to find a pet shelter and rescue organization in your area. According to the ASPCA, here are some eye-opening statistics.. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, … [Read more...]

Does Your Dog Understand the Words You Say?

When I speak to my dogs, they seem to understand what I am saying. And the latest research is providing some evidence that may be true. According to many experts like Stanley Coren, PhD, a researcher from the University of British Columbia, the average dog can understand at least 150-165 words. And with training and repetition, that number is likely to increase. Just try saying "scooby snack" several times a day while offering a delicious morsel and … [Read more...]

Celebrate National Dog Day – August 26th

It is National Dog Day again! Celebrated each year on August 26th, the event was started by animal advocate Colleen Paige in 2004 as a way to bring attention to the plight of animals and encourage adoption. Her family family adopted their first dog named Sheltie when Colleen was 10 years old on an August 26 date. Colleen has also initiated National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day, and National Cat Day. According to her website, "National Dog Day celebrates … [Read more...]

DogFACS: Interpreting Your Dog’s Facial Expressions

Recent studies are now lending scientific weight to the belief dogs really can pick up on human emotions and interpret what we are thinking. But what about the other way around? The Facial Action Coding System has been around since the 1970s and taxonomizes all the expressions a human face can make. But the Dog Facial Action Coding System (DogFACS) has been adapted from the original FACS system and seeks to identify and code facial movements in dogs based … [Read more...]

Is This Great Dane the World’s Tallest Dog?

A three year old Great Dane named Major is in the running for recognition by the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest dog in the world. He stands over 7 feet tall on his hind legs and and 4 foot 3 from paw to shoulder and weighs 168 pounds (17 stone). Major and his owners Julie and Brian Williams from south Wales, England will find out next month but there is competition. Two other Great Danes measure over 7 feet tall -  four year old Freddy … [Read more...]

Do Dogs Really See Themselves In The Mirror?

If you are a dog lover, few things are funnier that watching videos of sweet puppies barking at themselves in the mirror. OK, maybe dogs playing with babies, dogs playing in a pile of leaves, dogs taking steps into their first snow - but you get the point. But what do dogs really see when they look at their reflection? Human beings are not born with the ability to recognize themselves in the mirror. Up until the age of 18-24 months, babies may be … [Read more...]

The Dogs of our Founding Fathers

In honor of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence at the Second Continental Congress in 1776 by delegates from the thirteen colonies, here's a look at just a few founding fathers and their canine associations. Happy Fourth of July America! GEORGE WASHINGTON - Served as commander in chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War - In 1787 was elected president of the convention that wrote the U.S. Constitution - … [Read more...]

Beware the Hot Asphalt When When Walking Your Dog

With temperatures climbing during these hot and soon to be hotter summer months, it is important to take extra precautions when walking your dog. They may act like their paws are all-purpose combat boots, but in reality they are more like very callused feet. So when it is too hot for YOU to walk barefoot outside, take note. That asphalt and concrete heats up quickly. Air temperature is not an accurate reflections of ground temperature. As surfaces like … [Read more...]

DNA Testing in Dogs

Do You Know What Your Dog Really Is? Have you ever wondered what breed or breeds your dog is? A pedigree dog must have papers to show that he is purebred for three generations. However this is based on the breeder’s information only (unless the breeding was supervised and can be verified by a vet.) So let’s just say accidents can happen. Maybe your dog isn’t what you think. I know someone who had their dog’s championship title stripped because the dog … [Read more...]

Are You A Pack Leader?

Recently I added one more dog to our pack. I wasn’t planning on another dog but this one needed some loving care. He is a sweet senior Chihuahua I took home from the shelter because he was quite sick. He has since recovered and is doing well. Adding another dog to a good sized pack can be a challenge. People often ask me if my dogs all get along. I say, yes, they have to! I’d like to think that is because I am a confident and consistent pack leader. The … [Read more...]

Signs of Stress and Anxiety in Dogs

In my last post I wrote about the debate over hugging your dog and received a lot of feedback. The argument against says that while we humans feel this is a natural way of showing our affection and fostering the bonding experience, for the dog it can cause stress and anxiety. Their fight or flight instincts can make them feel trapped. One celebrity dog trainer Joel Silverman, writes that it really all depends on the dog, and I agree. "Just because a dog … [Read more...]

Should You Hug Your Dog?

Should you hug your dog? I would guess if you love your pet, you have probably given him a squeeze now and then. Some people do it more than others. If makes us feel good as well as our dog - or so we think. However, according to a study by psychologist and author Dr. Stanley Coren, hugging your dog actually raises its stress and anxiety levels. I saw several news items related to this article recently - two on the local TV news plus the New York Times … [Read more...]

Common Health Problems For Popular Dog Breeds (part 2)

Last week we covered the most common ailments for several breeds including the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Bulldog, and Beagle. This week we take a look at five more including the French Bulldog, Yorkshire Terrier, Poodle, Rottweiler, and Boxer. FRENCH BULLDOG The French Bulldog is a small breed known for its pushed-in face and compact body. It has a lifespan of 10-12 years. Because of its stocky build and breeding … [Read more...]

Common Health Problems For Popular Dog Breeds (part 1)

Our favorite furry friends share many of the health concerns that we as humans experience, often resulting from poor diet, lack of proper exercises, or general aging. But there are certain ailments that are more acute in canines. We'll cover common health problems in the most popular dog breeds, as recognized by the AKC. This week it is the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Bulldog, and Beagle. LABRADOR RETRIEVER The Labrador … [Read more...]

Hip Replacement Surgery For One Lucky Dog

Hip replacement surgery is a common and highly successful procedure for humans. But did you know that dogs also can have a hip replaced? For dogs that have been injured or suffer from hip dysplasia, this can be life-saving. I saw a very heartwarming story on the news the other day about one very lucky dog. Percy, an 18 month mixed breed, was roaming the streets in the Bahamas. He had been hit by a car and was found crawling around unable to walk. Percy … [Read more...]

Social Referencing Behavior in Dogs

Can your dog sense if you are uncomfortable around a certain person or stranger? I have heard the statement on many occasions that 'If my dog doesn’t like you, then neither do I.' And it is one I have always endorsed. If you have ever walked your dog and encountered someone that made you feel uneasy, you have probably observed that your dog has shown a similar reaction. A study led by Charlotte Duranton of Marseille University and published in the … [Read more...]

Dog Breeds, Then and Now

Recently I came across a photo of a champion Chihuahua from the late sixties. I was surprised at how different the dog looked compared to champion Chihuahuas today. The breed has certainly changed and evolved over the years. The Chihuahua was first recognized by the AKC in 1904. The first champion, “Beppie” was registered in 1908. The first registered Chihuahuas were long coats. The two coat varieties were recognized in 1952. Chihuahuas of … [Read more...]

Most Popular AKC Dog Breeds for 2015

Which dog breed is the most popular? According to the AKC, the Labrador Retriever is number one again - for the 25th consecutive year. The German Shepherd was #2 and the Golden Retriever ranked third. The rest of the top 10 included the Bulldog, Beagle, French Bulldog, Yorkshire Terrier, Poodle, Rottweiler, and Boxer. Coming in at #11 was the German Shorthaired Pointer, a breed that includes this year's Westminster Best in Show winner, CJ. My favorite … [Read more...]