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...]

Westminster 2016 Dog Show Results And Wrap-up

This year's top dog at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was a German Shorthaired Pointer named C.J. He beat out more than 2700 other entries to win 'Best in Show' at the main event in Madison Square Garden. Owner and Handler Valerie Nunes-Atkinson led the triumphant GCH Vjk-Myst Garbonita's California Journey (aka C.J.) to the contest's top prize on Tuesday evening. Reserve Best In Show was awarded to "CH Belisarius Jp My Sassy Girl." a Borzoi. See … [Read more...]

140th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Westminster 2016 begins this weekend in New York! On Saturday, February 13th, "Meet and Compete" will feature the WKC Masters Agility Championship and the AKC’s Meet the Breeds® at Piers 92/94 in Manhattan. Then on Monday, the main event starts at Madison Square Garden with final judging for BEST IN SHOW beginning Tuesday at 7:30 PM. “Meet the Breeds” is a showcase for the public to meet various dog breeds and learn about dog ownership. You can get up … [Read more...]

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for Dogs

In case of emergency, do you know how to give your dog CPR to save its life? Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is normally used when you cannot hear or feel the dog’s heartbeat. Once the dog stops breathing, the heart will go into cardiac arrest and cease beating. While in-class training may be hard to find except for professionals, there are a wealth of resources available for responsible pet owners who want to learn. But be careful; CPR is hazardous and … [Read more...]

Tips For Protecting Your Dog in Cold Weather

It’s wintertime and the cold weather is upon us. We are bracing for an especially harsh blizzard this weekend. My little dogs are not fans of snow. They may venture outside for a moment but I never take my eyes off of them and limit their exposure to a couple of minutes. Fortunately they are paper trained so they do not have to go outside at all if it is brutally cold. If we have to be outside for a while, I will put a coat on them, but none of them like … [Read more...]

Can Dogs Read Human Emotions?

How tuned in are dogs to our emotions, thoughts and moods? I have always believed my canine children certainly knew when I was happy or angry, irritated or melancholy. Now the results from scientific studies are backing up the belief that dogs truly recognize emotions in humans and other dogs. Daniel Mills, a Vet Professor from Lincoln University, tested 17 pet dogs in front of a screen and flashed up images and audio from other dogs to gauge their … [Read more...]

Most Popular Dog Names

If your dog is named Max, Charlie, Buddy, Bella, Lucy, or Daisy, then you are not alone.  Those are some of the most popular names for dogs in 2015 according to Rover.com. The website poured over its own database of research, surveys, and articles, along with external sources to come up with the year's biggest trends. Human names are the #1 choice for pet parents as that figure reached 49% in 2015 - up from 19.88% in 2013 and 21.17% in 2014. According … [Read more...]

Top Dog Breeds of 2015

The most popular dog breeds for 2015 have been announced and the Golden Retriever is at the top of the list - at least according to DogVacay, a dog-sitting and boarding company. They combined their own findings along with Google's results.  Of course, there is no singular ranking that will end all debate. The AKC earlier this year placed the Labrador Retriever at the top of its list for 2014.  That was followed by the German Shepherd with the Golden … [Read more...]

Poisonous Plants for Pets Around Christmas

There are many increased risks to your pet's health around the holidays. Well-meaning guests who feed the dog table scraps may rank right up there. But one of the most overlooked dangers reside in the plants, flowers, and foliage which are are often popular this time of year. Here's a quick rundown of the most common ones. Poinsettias The Poinsettia plant is often a fixture in holiday decorations. However, despite its reputation, it is not deadly. Its … [Read more...]

Keeping Thanksgiving Happy and Safe

Thanksgiving is upon us, and I hope all my readers are able to feel the warmth and hear the voices of loved ones this holiday. So as our tables are laden with wondrous eats and our hearts overflow with good spirit, please remember to keep this time safe your pet as well. Here are a few common trouble areas: Fats & Skins Table scraps are best for the trash, not your furry friend. Keep the leftovers for the next day's meal (or midnight snack.) … [Read more...]

The Dangers of Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs

Xylitol is a naturally occurring substance that is used as a sugar substitute. Chemically, it is a type of sugar alcohol extracted from plants. It is often manufactured into a white powder which is safe for humans and has many beneficial uses. But in dogs the results can be life-threatening. You can find Xylitol in sugar-free vitamins, toothpaste, dental floss, mouth washes and anti-cavity rinses, nasal sprays, baked goods, peanut butter, and in many types … [Read more...]

Can Dogs Sense the Supernatural?

Dogs are certainly sensitive creatures that are much more aware of nature than we are. Their hearing and eyesight are highly developed. They know when someone is coming to the door before you do, when a family member is coming home from work or if that squirrel they’d like to catch is outside. When weather events are closing in, dogs seem to know. They can often predict an oncoming storm. But do they see ghosts? Many a paranormal investigator will … [Read more...]

Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs

With Halloween is just around the corner, your home will probably be filled extra sweets and candies. If the kiddies and the grown ups don't munch on them all before the big day, your furry children may try to get their share. Chocolate is toxic to dogs because it contains theobromine, which is a stimulant found in the cocoa bean. It's similar to caffeine and is used medicinally as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and a smooth muscle … [Read more...]

Halloween Costumes for Pets

With Halloween just a couple of weeks away, this can be a fun time of the year for both you and your pets.  In a future post, I will I go over some of the steps you can take to keep your dog safe and free from anxiety when the tricker-or-treaters come around. For now, let's talk costumes! According to the National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, Americans are projected to spend $1 on … [Read more...]

October Is ‘Adopt A Shelter Dog’ Month

If you are willing to open your heart and home to a dog in need, now is a good a time to do it. There are so many wonderful dogs in shelters waiting to be adopted. Unfortunately some people think that if a dog ends up in a shelter it must be their fault, he’s a biter or barks too much or urinates in the house, so they shy away from adopting a “problem” dog. It’s simply not true. There are great dogs in shelters, they just need a second chance. I have … [Read more...]

Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs

When my oldest Chihuahua, Carl was about three years old, he suddenly became very lethargic and started vomiting. I took him to my vet. After running some blood tests the vet discovered very high liver enzymes in Carl’s test results. One of the first questions the doctor asked me was, do you think he might have eaten a poisonous mushroom. It never occurred to me that such a dangerous hazard could be in my own backyard. Carl was not a dog that generally … [Read more...]

Flea Season Is Here

Now that autumn has arrived you might think flea season is coming to a close. Think again! This time of year, even here in Pennsylvania, fleas are thriving. In fact, as the days grow cooler fleas are still everywhere. Although fleas and tics are generally found in the woods and high grasses your dog can still pick up fleas no matter where he is. Many years ago when we lived in New Jersey, in a busy suburb of New York, I did not think fleas were a … [Read more...]

Driving With Dogs

Many years ago we adopted a beautiful Pembroke Welsh Corgi name Rae, who was a retired show dog.  When we went to pick her up, the breeder put Rae in a sturdy travel crate and carefully placed her in the back seat of my car for the ride home. She showed me how to fasten the seat belt correctly and emphasized how important this was. I will never forget the story she told me. She said to always drive with your dog secured in a strong crate for safety. … [Read more...]

The Search and Rescue Dogs of 9/11

This week marks the 14th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and the flight that was taken down in Pennsylvania. For most of us, we remember exactly where we were and what we were doing on that tragic day. I still cannot get through September 11th without shedding some tears. A strong memory of that day for me was sitting outside with my dog, a sweet Corgi, named Rae. It was completely … [Read more...]

Guilty Dog Face or Just a Good Faker?

We've seen the dog shaming memes where pets are photographed with signs explaining what they did wrong. And boy do they look guilty! They just tore up a box of tissues, grabbed some chicken bones out of the garbage bin, or left a stinky mess in the hallway. Our lovable yet trying fur children act just like human kids when we've caught them drawing with crayons on the wall. But is that apologetic shame they are expressing or are we anthropomorphizing … [Read more...]

National Dog Day shifts to August 31 next year

As so many people observed online with photos of their furry friends, National Dog Day was this past Wednesday. It's been traditionally held on August 26 of each year since its founding in 2004 by Colleen Paige. However, due to a calendar conflict with Women's Equality Day, National Dog Day will be observed next year on August 31. According to their website, "National Dog Day serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need … [Read more...]

Popcorn Paws and Frito Feet

Do your dog's paws smell like popcorn or corn chips? No it's not your imagination. Some people do think they detect the scent of a late night snack when they whiff their furry friend's feet. I wrote about this in my first book, Dog Show Confidential - Sneaking in the Back Door of Westminster. My dogs' paws remind me of popcorn - AND I LOVE IT! For the most part, a case of the popcorn paws or frito feet is nothing to worry about. According to The Daily … [Read more...]

What I Learned About Parvo (Canine Parvovirus)

A few weeks ago a pit bull mix puppy named Topaz was brought into the shelter where I volunteer. She was in bad shape, covered in mange and very thin. But in spite of her condition, she had plenty of energy, love and personality to share with everyone around her. She was put into isolation and given medication for her mange. "Mange is a skin disease of mammals caused by parasitic mites and occasionally communicable to humans. It typically causes severe … [Read more...]

Tips For Including A Dog In Your Wedding

I have attended two doggie weddings. Each was complete with a bridal party, flowers and cakes for dog and human guests. Both involved Chihuahuas. One was quite formal, the pretty Chihuahua bride was dressed in a lovely, long white gown and the groom looked quite smart in his tuxedo. The other wedding was a bit more casual. That wedding was for my oldest Chihuahua, Carl’s parents, BamBam and Baja. My dear friend, Barb, the owner of the happy couple … [Read more...]

Chester’s Final Journey – a rescue dog’s story

Several heart-warming stories about loving dog owners treating their terminal pets to a grand farewell have made the news recently. One was Neil Rodriguez from New York City who took his 16-year-old dog Poh on a seven-week, 12,000 mile bucket list trek across the country. But another story hit especially close to home because this one involved a shelter dog. His name is Chester, a mixed breed with maybe a little miniature schnauzer in him. In April, he … [Read more...]

Are Small Dogs Harder To Train Than Big Dogs?

A question I am often asked is, are small dogs hard to train? The simple answer is yes! The first small dog I had was a Pomeranian. He was only two pounds when I got him and completely adorable, that is until he started biting everyone in the house. He also decided that his favorite place to urinate was under the dining room table. Clearly, I had a problem. Charlie, as we called him was one bad little dog! But I was determined to train him … [Read more...]

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe During the Summer Heat

With temperatures approaching triple digits in many places across the country, it is now more important than ever to take extra precaution in keeping your dog cool and safe during the the extreme heat. I have always subscribed to the guiding rule that if it was too hot for me outside, it was too hot for my pet. Many many pet owners forget that hot surfaces like asphalt and cement can be especially problematic. Animals walking so close to the ground … [Read more...]

Why Do Dogs Roll in Smelly Stuff?

Last weekend I gave a bath to Kate, my Long Coat Chihuahua. She looked so pretty, her cream colored coat was fluffy and soft. Kate smelled of French vanilla and white tea. All combed and dry she was allowed to go play outside. When she came back in wagging her lovely tail, I noticed a strong stench in the house. It was enough to gag the strongest of stomachs. It smelled like a very long dead ground hog. I went to investigate and found the unfortunate … [Read more...]

Are You Making Your Dog Fat?

When you go to the grocery store do you check out the calories on the food you buy? I do and would like to think I try to purchase healthy food items and snacks for me and my family. But what about your pet? But do you also check the calorie content of the snacks you buy your pet? Do you look for healthy food and treats for your best friend? If your dog is overweight, maybe you need to take a good look at what they are eating. When I had my two … [Read more...]

H3N2 Canine Flu – What You Need to Know

H3N2 Canine Influenza, the contagious respiratory virus, has continued to make headlines ever since reports surfaced in April of more than 1,000 dogs sickened in the Chicago area. Now positive tests for H3N2 have been reported in the past few days in Ohio, Michigan, and Georgia in addition to previous reports from Alabama, California, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Iowa and Indiana. You can check out the Emerging Disease … [Read more...]

Heart Disease in Dogs

When my first Chihuahua, Carl was three years old, my vet gave him about six months to live. Little Carl was diagnosed with a heart murmur and a possible liver shunt. Needless to say I was devastated. However Carl seemed just fine and had no symptoms at all. His heart murmur was significant but it turned out he did not have a liver shunt. Carl’s liver enzymes were high but with some natural vitamins, (milk thistle is known to aid in liver support) his … [Read more...]

Reiki For Animals

Many people have asked me about my experience with Reiki for shelter animals and how I got started. About a year ago I began to feel the need to do more for animals less fortunate than mine. I looked at my pack of well-fed and pampered pooches and thought about the dogs that did not have homes and laps to sit in. I knew I had to do something. I began to work more closely with one of the local shelters called Peaceable Kingdom Animal Shelter. We … [Read more...]

Rosco and Brutus Get New Lease on Life

Here's a couple of heart-warming stories in the news this month about dogs who were given fresh starts thanks to medical advances and some caring owners. The first is a four-month old pitbull rescue named Rosco who was born with a rare deformity that left his front legs partially bent backwards like "flippers." But Asheville, NC veterinarian Dr. David Crouch performed surgery on Rosco to fix his limbs thanks in part to the Asheville Humane Society which … [Read more...]

The Truth About Pit Bulls

The first pit bull I met was at a dog show. He was called Petey, named after the dog from the The Little Rascals. Petey was extremely sweet and wanted to sit in everyone’s lap. He was not much of a fighting dog to say the least. Sadly many people think of these dogs as dangerous, vicious animals bred only for fighting. Unfortunately there are still people who associate themselves with this horrific sport. One famous case was that of football player, … [Read more...]

How Much Money Did You Spend On Your Dog Last Year?

Do you feed your dog the best and most expensive dog food money can buy? Do you dress them in cute costumes? Do you feel as though you are helping to put your Vet’s son through medical school? If you answered yes, you are not alone. The American Pet Products Association’s annual report on pet industry spending says Americans spent a record 58 billion dollars on their pets last year. The report goes on to say that most of the money is spent on food, … [Read more...]

Puppy Love and the Role of Oxytocin

Does your dog love you? I mean does it really feel the affection and emotional connection you feel for it? Some people would say that our pets only truly appear to care for us in a reciprocal manner because we feed them and take care of their other basic creature comforts. But even though I am no scientist, I do believe there is more to it than that. In my heart and mind, I love all my dogs unconditionally and sense they share that feeling. According … [Read more...]

Smiley, the Blind Therapy Dog

This week there was a lot of unsettling news from the dog show world.  But stay tuned and I'll bring you the uplifting story of one golden retriever called 'Smiley' who was born without eyes yet still manages to work as a therapy dog. First,  there was the death of champion three-year-old Irish setter named Jagger at Crufts, the world's biggest dog show hosted by the Kennel Club in the UK since 1891. The official autopsy showed that Thendara … [Read more...]

Are You Allergic to Dogs?

When I was a child, everyone in my neighborhood had a dog. However, I don't remember anyone claiming to suffer from pet allergies.  In my home, we always had pets like dogs, cats, and assorted rodents. You name it, we had at least one or two or six. As a teenager I began to develop symptoms of pet allergies, especially to our cats. I was always sneezing and rubbing my itchy eyes. I asked my father (the doctor) if he thought I was allergic to cats. He … [Read more...]

In Dog World, A.I. Does Not Mean Artificial Intelligence

Many years ago, when I first entered the dog show world, my friend asked me to join her at an owner-handler meeting. The club honored and promoted those involved with the industry. Since I was brand new to the show world, I had no idea what to expect. As I sat and listened, they talked in great depth about the subject of A.I. To me, that term referred to artificial intelligence - like something in relation to computer software. There was even a Steven … [Read more...]

Beagle Miss P Scores Upset and Wins Best in Show at Westminister

For just the second time in history, a beagle has won top prize at the Westminister Kennel Club and Dog Show. Miss P, handled by William Alexander, is also the grandniece of Uno, who became the first beagle to win Best In Show back in 2008. Miss P pulled the upset Tuesday evening at the 139th edition of the famous event held in Madison Square Garden. David Merriam judged the final round, which also included Matisse, a Portuguese water dog that was the … [Read more...]

The 139th Westminster Dog Show Begins This Weekend

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is billed as the world's most famous and prestigious canine event since 1877. In a couple of days, thousands of people will converge on Madison Square Garden in New York City to root for their favorite breed. Millions more will watch the event on television. Some people may ask themselves what is really going on - what is the judge looking for and why is that dog better than the other one. A lot of people simply … [Read more...]

A Little History Lesson About The Westminster Dog Show

The Westminster Kennel Club's 139th Annual Dog Show will take place in February at New York's Madison Square Garden. Almost everyone is familiar with its name. But how did this famous show get started? Around the year 1876 a group of gentleman met in their favorite bar in New York City. They shared stories about hunting and shooting, certainly trying hard to out do one and other, I’m sure. But mostly their favorite topic was discussing the qualities and … [Read more...]

DOGS 101: What is a Chihuahua?

I am often asked questions about the Chihuahua, the breed I know and love. Maybe I can answer the most common inquiries, so here goes with Chihuahua 101. Like many dog breeds there are many theories as to where the Chihuahua originated. According to the “The Complete Dog Book” (The official publication of the American Kennel Club), most theories point to ancient Mexico where carvings and remains of small dogs have been discovered by archeologists. These … [Read more...]

Hope for Lost Dogs

Dogs go missing everyday, some escape their yards, others get away from even the most responsible owners, some are stolen and sadly some dogs are simply abandoned. Last week an older dog with poor eyesight wandered away from his home in our area. This dog was very well loved and his owners were heartbroken and desperate to find him. I first learned about the missing dog from our volunteer website for Peaceable Kingdom Animal Shelter. This dog had been … [Read more...]

New Dog Breeds For 2015

As we roll into mid January, The Westminster Dog Show looms around the corner. It is always an exciting time of year for the dog show community. Every year the AKC adds a new breed or two. New breeds that would like to achieve recognition must have a strong backing by their fanciers. Clubs are formed to support the breed and perfect the conformation of their dogs. Three hundred purebred dogs of a new breed are needed to be eligible for AKC … [Read more...]