Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Soggy Wet Dogs


We have had, so it seems, several weeks of very dry weather. To-day we had quite a lot of rain. Those who garden will love it. There is one drawback, however, wet dogs.

The trouble is that dogs with a thick coat invariably pick up a lot of mud (and smells - how do they do that?) which really requires a full bath session. Not so easy, if you have a full time job, or are just fitting in a short walk when you have a time window.

I confess I do not know the answer but using "wipes", as suggested by a friend, does work on smaller dogs with short coats. With the large dog having a long coat, I rub the dog down with an old towel and then use an undercoat rake* to tease out any bits of twig or seed heads etc. It is often necessary to use the towel again if the dog is very wet but by now you have used up probably about 20 minutes just trying to dry your dog.

There is a case for using a waterproof coat and I intend to try this out. For too long I have been childishly prejudiced against deploying a coat on one of my dogs but actually it seems a very sensible idea and helps to ensure the dog gets enough exercise. (I might have to walk the dogs after dark though - when no one will see us!!!!!!!)

I'll let you know how it works out.

PS If you are not familiar with all the different grooming tools available visit the following link:


Monday, 14 March 2011

Choosing Good Toys for Your Dog


Playing with toys can be of great value to a dog, both for exercise, and physiologically.
Toys give a dog an interaction that stimulates their mind, keeps them engaged and satisfies their instinct to chew. It can also help to keep teeth and gums healthy.

It is obviously worth buying toys but there are many different types and designs of dog toys to choose from so what should you look for?

Firstly consider your dog's temperament, exercise requirements, size and condition and just how powerful a bite your dog has.
Does your dog like to fetch? Is your dog a chewer? Maybe your dog is a cuddler and likes snuggling up to soft comfy toy animals? Does a squeaky toy attract your dog?

You can now make short list the type of toys you think are suitable, however, delete the following:

1) Toys that break up easily such as soft plastic or rubber (harder  materials are usually okay)

2) Squeaking toys that are not robust and where you suspect that the squeak could become detached and swallowed by your dog.

3) Pull Toys (Actually there is nothing wrong with pull toys but if you are training your dog using the "Alpha Dog" principle pull toys may undermine your status) - see:

4) Toys with any small parts or protrusions that might become detached and swallowed.

5) Toys that are too big or too heavy for your dog's size.

6) All "cheap and nasty" products - buy branded products if possible

Training Tip
If you are trying to show your dog that you are the "Pack Leader", and
when you are at home, make sure that you always go through every door before your dog. This is important especially  if there is someone at your front door and your dog wants to see who it is.
Remember - You Are The Boss -but by action not by shouting!

Have a look round various pet shops and doggie magazines before deciding on what to buy. With branded toys you are reasonably safe to buy from the Internet where you may get better deals.

Once you have the new toy(s) you can introduce them to your dog and hopefully witness your dog's enjoyment.

You will need to examine regularly the toys and discard them as soon as they show any signs of becoming unsafe.

If you have toys that you can throw (e.g. a ball), make sure you throw it carefully. Your dog may chase after the toy oblivious to everything else. This means that if the ball lands near a sharp drop, a piece of machinery or a rock, your dog might run at full speed into the hazard with potentially serious consequences and a possible Vet's bill.

Stay Safe Out There,



Monday, 7 March 2011

Choosing A New Dog


Choosing A Dog? - Check This Out First

Every so often I get asked about the best type of dog to buy. This is often by people who have not owned a dog before and have no idea of how to go about acquiring the right type of pet. 

One of the great joys of life is acquiring a new dog. Whether it is a lively fun seeking puppy or a mature dog from a rescue centre there is the excitement of collecting the dog and the eager anticipation of the pleasures of dog ownership to come. But how can you ensure a long and happy relationship? You need to learn about dog care and training as well as considering your own situation before you even start looking for a dog.

There is a lot more to choosing a dog than you might think. However, I have produced a basic summary which can be viewed (Free) at:

Here you can learn about some of the things you should take into account even before you start the search for your new “best friend”.

Have you a topic or problem that you would like featured? If so, add your question to the comment box below and I will see what I can do to help.

Take care,


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

It's A Fine Day - Let's Exercise The Dogs


In this part of the world we have, rather unexpectedly, had some really fine warm days. This taste of Spring was enough to persuade me to take the dogs on an extended walk in the afternoon sunshine. However, lots of other people were doing the same thing and unfortunately there was a slightly worrying aspect to the way some people were treating their dogs.This was not to do with intentional cruelty but with lack of understanding of how a dog works.

A few dog owners were throwing sticks or toys for their dogs to retrieve and every one was having a good time, except that some dogs, obviously out of condition were being worked much too hard. Over the winter period dogs often get less exercise and get out of condition and over weight. This is a bit like humans but if you were asked to run about a lot you would probably decide at some point enough is enough. You would stop and take a rest knowing that being out of condition it would be a bit foolish to push your self over the limit.

For a dog it's different. Their strong sense of play (probably with it's origins in hunting) and the dog's natural eagerness to obey the pack leader (You) causes the dog to keep on playing until it is absolutely exhausted. In extreme cases this could be fatal.

So if you get the chance to take your dog out into a park or other open space it will be good to give your dog plenty of healthy exercise but be careful not to over do it especially with the more vigorous types of exercise and play.

Take care,