Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Canine Good Citizen Award Requirements

Courtesy of Jon Hurd/Laertes: Flick

Ten Tests to Earn the AKC Good Citizen Certificate

Are you training your dog for the AKC Canine Good Citizen test?  

Start working on each test with your dog for five minutes, two or three times per day and your pet should pass without a problem.  Good luck!

About the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program 

The American Kennel Club offers a Canine Good Citizen test that certifies all dogs as reliable pets and respected community members. Dogs must pass ten tests to be awarded the Canine Good Citizen certificate.

According to the AKC, once dogs pass the ten Canine Good Citizen tests, they are certified as "reliable family members, as well as community members in good standing." The reasoning behind the Canine Good Citizen Test is to train dogs that are welcomed in the community, in homes, in public places, and are friendly with other dogs. Purebreds and mixed breed dogs are eligible to receive The Canine Good Citizen Award.

Training for the Canine Good Citizen test helps dog owners work with their pet, bonding and having fun at the same time. All dogs benefit from learning the ten tests for the AKC Canine Good Citizen Award.

Ten Canine Good Citizen Tests
Accept a Friendly Stranger
This test requires the dog to let a stranger come near and speak to the dog's owner in a friendly way. A friendly stranger should be able to speak to the dog's owner while the dog remains calm at its owners side.

2 Sit Politely While Being Petted
This test requires the dog to let a friendly stranger to approach and pet the dog while it is with its owner. The dog should remain calm, without jumping or nipping at the friendly stranger.

3 Handling and Grooming
This test requires dogs to remain calm while being groomed or handled by a veterinarian, groomer, or friends. This practical test also shows that the dog's owner is responsible and aware that the dog should behave at the groomer and vet's office.

4 Loose Leash Walking
Loose leash walking tests the dog owner's control over their pet. The owner can walk the dog on either the left or the right side. While walking, the dog must keep the leash loose without tugging or pulling the owner, even with distractions.

5 Calmly Walking Through a Crowd
This test requires the dog to walk calmly through a crowd of people. Many dogs find crowds intimidating and distracting and often react either aggressively or overly excited. A dog that can walk calmly through a crowd is well trained and welcomed in public places.

6 Sit and Stay
The Sit and Stay test requires dogs to sit in an area the owner tells them and stay there until the owner returns and takes them out of the stay. The dog can be in either sit or lay down for this test.

7 Reliable Recall
Dogs must demonstrate that they will reliably come when the owner calls them.

8 Calm Reaction to Other Dogs
For this test, dog owners walk their dogs close to other dogs and the pets must act politely with the other dogs and remain by their owner's side. No sniffing, lunging, barking or other reactive behavior is allowed.

9 Distractions
This test presents distracting situations to the dogs, for instance a person in a wheelchair rides past, someone on crutches walks by, or a vacuum cleaner is pushed past the dogs. Tested dogs must exhibit confidence and calm behavior in all distracting situations, showing no fear, excitement, or aggression.

10 Separation from Owner
The dog must demonstrate that it can be left with a trusted person while the dog's owner is out of sight. Usually, the owner gives the dog to someone else and leaves the room. The dog must remain with the other person and demonstrate good manners until the owner returns.

American Kennel Club
Canine Good Citizen Dept.
P.O. Box 37914
Raleigh, NC 27627-7914
(919) 816-3532

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Little Lion Dog: The Lowchen

Lowchen: Little Lion Dog
Have you ever heard of the Lowchen dog breed?  The Lowchen is one of the most unusual dog breeds, yet it is a dog your family would love.  The Lowchen is a small, friendly dog that looks like a lion when it is groomed with the traditional lion cut.

The Guinness World Book of Records named the Lowchen as the rarest dog breeds in the 1960's but since that time the Little Lion Dog is making a comeback.  The Lowchen weighs only 18 pounds and stands around 12 inches tall.  This dog is great with kids and has a friendly, positive attitude.

Read more about the Lowchen: Little Lion Dog.  The Lowchen could be the dog your family is looking for.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Canine Tapeworms: Symptoms and Treatment

Tapeworms are disgusting 8 inch worms that attach themselves to the lining of the dog's intestines.  Segments break off from the adult tapeworms and carry eggs through the intestines.  The egg segments look like white rice that wiggles ontop of the dog poop.  Gross...for sure!  The white eggs also wiggle around the dog's anus and get onto carpets and floors.  Read how you can tell if your dog has tapeworms and what you can do about it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wondering Why Your Dog Eats Poop?

Maybe your dog is looking for attention.
Does your dog eat poop? This is certainly a disgusting habit but your dog might be trying to tell you something when he eats his poop. Maybe your dog is not getting required nutrients or maybe he just wants a little more attention. Find out the reasons why your dog eats poop and what you can do about it. Read more...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How to Do Dog CPR or Cat CPR

Emergency CPR for dogs, cats, or other pets could make the difference between life and death if you find your pet unconscious and unresponsive.  Your loving pet has only minutes to be revived when he stops breathing.  Learning pet CPR could save your pet's life.  Performing CPR on dogs or cats is basically the same as using CPR on humans.

Rescue breathing and chest compressions carry much needed oxygen to the brain and blood pumping through your pet's heart, preventing brain damage and death.  Follow the pet CPR procedure until help arrives or you are able to get your dog to the vet.  Learn Emergency Pet CPR and keep your dog or cat safe.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Do Miniature Goats Make Good Pets?

Have you thought about getting a miniature goat for a pet?  They are adorable and don't grow much bigger than a small dog.  Not only that, miniature or pygmy goats only cost around $75.00, rather than $700 - $1500 for a dog.  Goats are also cheaper than dogs to feed because most of their diet is grass.

Miniature goats need very little space to be comfortable and can also be housebroken.  If you've been thinking about getting a miniature goat for a pet, read more about them here.  There are many advantages to having a goat for a pet.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How to Prevent Dog Bites

Millions of people are bitten by dogs every year and many of them are children.  Find out how to protect  your children from dog bites.  Learn how to avoid dog bites, what to do if you are bitten, and what to do if you are attacked by a dog.

Keep your family safe from dog bites.  Click here to read more...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Try Dancing with Your Dog

K9 Freestyle is a fun sport to try with your dog.  It involves making up a dance routine and training your dog tricks to incorporate into the dance.  Set the routine to music and you're good to go.  You can even enter competition freestyle if you want to.

Canine freestyle is an ideal way to bond with your dog.  Dog owners of all ages enjoy the sport of canine freestyle.  Find out more about dancing with dogs.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Contagious Kennel Cough Threat in Dog Parks

Recently, a rash of kennel cough infections have spread to many dogs in my local dog park. Take care when bringing your dog to the dog park and keep your eyes open for any dogs with a hacking cough.

Also, bring your own water for your dog. Try not to let your pet drink from the water bowls spread throughout the park. When dogs drink from the water bowls in the dog park, they can contract kennel cough from other infected dogs.

Read more about kennel cough symptoms, what to look for, and how kennel cough is treated.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pediatricians Recommend No Rodents or Reptiles as Pets

Pediatricians recommend that children under five years old do not own or handle pet reptiles or rodents due to the many diseases these exotic pets carry.  Read more about the diseases rodents, birds, and reptiles pass on to children and adults but especially children under five years old.

Dogs that Don't Shed or Shed Very Little

It seems more and more people today have pet allergies, peanut allergies, or suffer from allergy related asthma. Many animal lovers go without the joy of having a pet around the house because of allergy problems.

Non-shedding dogs could be the solution to at least pet allergies. Some dogs are bred for the purpose of having non-allergenic fur. These non-shedding dogs are friendly, family oriented, and low maintenance.

If you're looking for a dog that doesn't shed, take a look at this article that lists the most popular non-shedding dogs. Hope this help some allergy sufferers out there!

Non- Shedding Shorkie (Oliver)  in the photo.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Maine Coon Cat Names and Abyssinian Cat Names

Looking for a unique name for your cat?  This article has cat name suggestions especially for Maine Coon cats and Abyssinian cats.  Take a look for a distinctive name for your kitten or cat.  Learn about the origin of the Maine Coon cat and Abyssinian cat too!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Homemade Dehydrated Dog Treats

Buying dog treats at the pet store these days is so expensive.  One small bag of liver treats or chicken jerky can cost up to $12.00.  This is so outrageous.  It’s much cheaper to buy your own ingredients for dog treats or use leftovers from your own meals. 
Here are a few of the homemade dog treats I make for my dog.  I usually use a dehydrator but these can be baked in a low temperature oven, as well.  My dog is a very picky eater and sometimes refuses store bought treats but he never refuses the homemade treats.  The dehydrated dog treats are perfect as rewards for training.
Dehydrated Chicken Liver, Gizzards, and Hearts
This is one of my dog’s favorites.  I even break up a few pieces and add it to his kibble and he gobbles it up.
I buy over a pound of chicken  livers, gizzards, and hearts for a couple of dollars.  Just place all the chicken parts on the dehydrator trays and dehydrate overnight.  These fill a gallon baggie and last much longer than store bought dog treats for a fraction of the cost.  An added benefit is that they are completely healthy with no added preservatives, coloring, or flavors.  Store them in the freezer and just take out a few when you’re ready.

Dehydrated beef live also makes a tasty treat. Just place the slabs of liver on the dehydrator tray and let it run for about 24 hours. My dog goes crazy over these. I score the liver with a knife, making diagonal cuts about 1/4 of the way through the liver before dehydrating. This helps break the liver into bite size pieces when its dry.
Dehydrated Ground Meats and Applesauce
Mix together two pounds of raw ground beef (the cheapest kind is fine) with about one cup of no sugar added applesauce.  The applesauce holds the meat together when it is dehydrated.  Add pureed butternut squash, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin to the mix for added flavor.  Spoon the beef mixture onto the plastic trays that fit onto the dehydrator trays.  If you don’t have any solid plastic inserts, you can use parchment paper on the dehydrator trays.  It works just as well.
Dehydrate the mixture overnight.  This beef mixture fills two gallon baggies.  I take these to agility classes and just break off pieces as I need them.  These homemade dog treats also store perfectly in the freezer.
Save some money and give your dog healthy treats by making dehydrated dog treats.  Be creative with the ingredients.  I’ve used my own leftovers, grinding or shredding the meat.  Some suggestions:  pot roast, fish, chicken, pork, or any leftover meat.
I also dehydrate whole fish, such as:  sardines, mackerel, pieces of tilapia, and even fresh fish that I caught myself.  My dog also enjoys whole frozen fish as a treat.
Hope this gives you some ideas to get started making your own healthy, inexpensive, dehydrated dog treats.

Exercise Your Dog on a Treadmill

I know my Collie never runs out of energy, even when he gets the zoomies outside.  When I bought a treadmill, I decided to teach by dog how to use it.  He loves every minute he's on the treadmill now and it gives him all the exercise that I wasn't able to give him.

This article, How to Teach Your Dog to Use the Treadmill tells all you need to know about training a dog to use the treadmill.  The article gives step by step instructions on how to train a dog on the treadmill.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Choosing the Best Fish for a Small Tank

If you'd like to enjoy the tranquil beauty of an aquarium but you don't have the space for a large fish tank, then consider a five gallon desktop fish tank.  These small fish tanks are perfect for countertops, nightstands, or desktops. 

The rule of thumb is to choose one tropical fish for every gallon of water.  When choosing small, community friendly fish will allow you to add a few more fish to a five gallon tank.

Read more to choose the best tropical fish for a small fish tank and enjoy the color and beauty of your own aquarium. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cat and Dog Dental Health

Dental exams for cats and dogs are an important part of their veterinarian visits.  Dental problems begin when pets are still young but pet owners can help keep their pet's teeth healthy.

Read about the symptoms of dental disease in dogs and cats and how you can help keep your pet's teeth and gums healthy.

Brush your pet's teeth today!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dogs Coming to Twitter

I just came across this announcement that Mattel Toys is releasing a new dog tag that allows dogs to twitter messages on their own accounts.

Hard to believe?  Yes, it is.  Read more about the new twitter dog tag that actually posts messages from your dog!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Arthritis Symptoms in Senior Dogs

If your senior dog is having trouble moving around, especially when he or she first wakes up, then most likely your older dog is suffering from arthritis.

Knowing the symptoms and signs of arthritis in dogs helps dog owners to treat arthritis as soon as it appears. Depending upon the severity of your dog's arthritis, treatment involves a healthy diet, keeping the dog's weight under control, daily exercise, over the counter supplements which support healthy joints, or adding a prescription for steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs

Early Signs of Arthritis

  • Lame after exercising but then recover
Moderate Arthritis

  • Stiffness when first waking up
  • Lame after exercising
  • Slow walking pace
  • Hesitant to go up or down stairs
Severe Arthitis Symptoms

  • The dog needs help getting up
  • Limping all the time
  • Will not attempt to climb stairs or jump
  • Has trouble lifting leg or squatting to urinate
  • Shaking leg muscles
  • Seems to experience pain when touched
  • Hops rather than runs
If your senior dog displays any of these signs of arthritis, contact your veterinarian for a consultation. Sometimes, early stages of arthritis only need diet and exercise for positive results.

The later stages of arthritis in dogs often requires supplements like, glucosamine, chondroitin, and other joint products.

If your older dog is really suffering on a regular basis, a prescription for pain medication will relieve your dog's discomfort.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Dog's Purpose (from a 6-year-old) Good Advice

Author: Unknown

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try to live..

He said,''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right? Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''
  • Live simply.
  • Love generously.
  • Care deeply.
  • Speak kindly.
  • Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:
  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
  • Take naps.
  • Stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  • When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
  • Be loyal.
  • Never pretend to be something you're not.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Teaching a Dog Loose Leash Walking

By and large, leash-pulling masks the real problem.

Without a leash you would probably be without a dog. It is indeed a sobering thought to think that most dogs prefer to forge ahead to sniff the grass or other dogs' rear ends than to walk by their owner's side.

There are some dogs who simply don't want to walk beside owners who keeping yanking the leash. However, regardless of why your dog pulls, all dogs need to be trained to walk nicely on leash. If not, they are unlikely to be walked at all.

Trying to teach a dog to heel using leash prompts and corrections requires a lot of skill and time. And even then, all you have is a well-behaved dog on-leash. Let him off-leash and he's history; you cannot safely take him for off-leash rambles, and you still cannot control him around the house, where he is off-leash all the time.

Luckily, there are more effective and enjoyable ways to get the job done.
First, teach your dog to follow off-leash. Second, incorporate many sits and stays for control and attention. Third, teach your dog to heel off-leash and on-leash. After following these steps, you will find it is easier to teach your dog to walk calmly on-leash.

Teach Your Dog to Follow Off-Leash

Your dog's desire to follow and remain close is the necessary foundation for walking politely on-leash. You must become the center of your dog's universe. You need to stimulate and strengthen your dog's gravitational attraction towards you by moving away enticingly and heartily praising your dog all the time he follows. Click your fingers, slap your thigh, or waggle a food treat or a toy in your hand to lure the dog to follow. Proceed with a happy heart and a sunny disposition:
Talk to your dog, tell him stories, whistle, walk with a jaunty step, or even skip and sing.

Do not accommodate your dog's improvisations; you are the leader, not the dog. Whenever your dog attempts to lead, accentuate his "mistake" by doing the opposite. Stretch the psychic bungee cord: if your dog forges ahead, slow down or smartly turn about; if your dog lags behind, speed up; if your dog goes right, turn left; and if your dog goes left, turn right. Practice in large areas, such as in your backyard, friends' yards, tennis courts, dog parks, and safe off-leash areas. Feed your dog his dinner kibble, piece by piece as you walk. Once your dog is following closer, time yourself while practicing following-courses at home, going around furniture, from room to room, and from the house to yard.

Sits, Downs, and Stays

Enticing your dog to follow off-leash takes a lot of concentration and it is easy to let your dog drift. Consequently, instruct your dog to sit or lie down and then stay every ten yards or so.
Frequent sits, downs, and stays teach your dog to calm down and focus. They also give you the opportunity to catch your breath, relax your brain, and to objectively assess your dog's level of attention. Sitting is absolute: either your dog is sitting or not. Only have the dog sit or lie down for a couple of seconds (just to check that he is paying attention) and then walk on again.
Occasionally ask your dog to lie down for a minute or so to watch the world go by. You will find that the more down stays that you integrate into the walk, the closer, calmer, and more controlled your dog will be when following you.

Teach Your Dog to Heel Off-Leash & On-Leash

Instruct your dog to sit, and then lure him to sit using a food or toy lure in your right hand.
Transfer the lure to your left hand, say "Heel," waggle the lure in front of your dog's nose, and quickly walk forwards for a few steps. Then say "Sit," transfer the lure to your right hand to lure your dog to sit, and maybe offer the kibble as a reward if your dog sits quickly and stylishly. Repeat this sequence over and over. Practice indoors and in your yard, where there are fewer distractions, before practicing in the dog park and off-leash walking areas. Then just attach the
dog's leash and you will find he heels nicely on-leash.

Walking On-Leash

Teach your dog not to pull while you are both standing still. Hold the leash firmly with both hands and refuse to budge until your dog slackens the leash. Not a single step! It doesn't matter how long it takes. Just hold on tight and ignore every leash-lunge. Eventually your dog will stop pulling and sit.

As soon as he sits, say "Good dog," offer a food treat, and then take just one large
step forward and stand still again. Hold on tight; your dog will likely explode to the end of the leash, thereby illustrating the reinforcing nature of allowing your dog to pull for just a single step. Wait for your dog to stop pulling again (it will not take as long this time).

Repeat this sequence until your dog walks calmly forward (because he knows you are only going one step) and sits quickly when you stop and stand still. Your dog quickly learns he has the power to make you stop and to make you go. If he tightens the leash, you stop. But if he slackens the leash and sits, you take a step.

After a series of single steps and standstills without pulling, try taking two steps at a time. Then go for three steps, then five, eight, twelve, and so on. Now you will find your dog will walk attentively on a loose leash and sit automatically whenever you stop. And the only words you have said are "Good dog."

Alternate heeling and walking on-leash:

For most of the walk, let your dog range and sniff ona loose leash, but every 25 yards or so, have your dog sit, heel, and sit, and then walk on again.

Always sit-heel-sit your dog when crossing a street: sit before crossing, heeling across, and then sitting on the other side of the street.
© 2004 Ian Dunbar
Reprinted by with permission of Dr. Ian Dunbar and James & Kenneth Publishers

To learn more, read the Open Paw Four-Level Training Manual and Doctor Dunbar's Good
Little Dog Book
and watch the Training The Companion Dog DVD series—all available from
your local pet store or

New Puppy, New Adult Dog, Housetraining, Chewing,
Digging, Barking, Home Alone, Puppy Biting,
Fighting, Fear of People, Dogs & Children,
HyperDog, Puppy Training, Come-Sit-Down-Stay,
Walking On Leash, and Cat Manners.
© 2004 Ian Dunbar
w w w . d o g s t a r d a i l y . c o m
Courtesy of :
The Pet Parade

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ten Pet Peeves Dogs Have about Humans

I received this in an email this morning and just had to share. Very funny !

  1. Blaming your farts on me...not funny...not funny at all!

  2. Yelling at me for barking...I'm a damn dog!

  3. Taking me for a walk and then not letting me check stuff out! Exactly whose walk is it anyway?

  4. Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose...STOP IT!

  5. Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons! Now you know why we chew your stuff up when you're not home.

  6. The slight of hand...fake, fetch, throw. You fooled a dog! Whooo-Hoooo! What a proud moment for the top of the food chain.

  7. Taking me to the vet for the Big Snip, then acting surprised when I freak out whenever we go back!

  8. Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests. Sorry I haven't quite mastered that handshake thing yet!

  9. Dog sweaters! HELLO_O... Haven't you noticed the fur?

  10. How you look disgusted when I lick myself. Look, we both know the're just jealous!

Now, lay off some of these things. We both know who is boss here. You don't see me picking up your POOP, do you??

Question: If you crossed a Bulldog with a Schitzu would it be called a Bull____?