Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Calculating dog to human age How old are they really?

12 Jun


It always seems to me  like a dog ages in behavior/personality (capacity?) in the following way:

0 – 6 months upto a human 1 year old

6 months – 2 years – human toddler (2 – 4 years old)

2 years – 5 years human teenager

5 years – 9 years human adult

9 years on – human senior

 What have you found?


This is an excerpt that I found from an excellent and fun article.  Gayle did a nice job on this. 

By Gayle Hickman

Aging is much faster during a dog’s first two years but varies among breeds. Large breeds, while they mature quicker, tend to live shorter lives. By the time they reach 5 they are considered “senior” dogs. Medium-sized breeds take around seven years to reach the senior stage, while small and toy breeds do not become seniors until around 10.

Many veterinarians agree that a pretty good guess on the age of pets can be made using the following formula. Although still simple, it is much more accurate than the seven-year method.

Assume that a 1-year-old dog is equal to a 12-year-old human and a 2-year-old dog is equal to a 24-year old human. Then add four years for every year after that. (Example: A 4-year-old dog would be 32 in human years.)

Since this method takes into consideration the maturity rate at the beginning of a dog’s life and also the slowing of the aging process in his later years, Martha Smith, director of veterinary services at Boston’s Animal Rescue League, feels that this is the more accurate calculation formula. Here is a chart, for easy reference:


A dog’s average lifespan is around 12 or 13 years, but again, this varies widely by breed. The larger your dog is, the less time it will live. Female dogs tend to live a little longer.


Socializing dogs

17 Jul offered these two articles about socializing dogs that are very helpful  The first is for puppies and the second addresses adult dogs.  Below that is an ariticle written by Nikki Litwin on Cesar Milan’s site.  These are all great articles and very helpful if you are having struggles getting your dogs to make friends and influence other canines….

Dogs are social animals and live in packs.  They have

How Should a Puppy Be Socialized?

Socialization should involve as many people and situations as possible. Introduce your puppy to a wide variety of people, including men, women, children of all ages, people in wheelchairs, men with beards, and people wearing all kinds of clothing (e.g., uniforms, sunglasses, raincoats and umbrellas, hats and gloves, etc.). Before your puppy has gotten all of his vaccinations, you can begin to socialize him by inviting people to your home to meet him.

Handling exercises are another important part of socializing. Think the ways your dog may be handled in his lifetime – a child could pull his tail, a veterinarian might need to restrain him, you may need to hold his feet to clip his nails. If you get your puppy used to being handled in a gentle manner now, you will be less likely to have trouble handling him when he has reached adulthood.

Once your veterinarian approves taking your puppy to new places, you can begin socializing him outside your home. This is a good time to get him used to riding in the car, meeting other dogs, visiting the groomer and pet supply store, and taking walks in your neighborhood.

Socialization should always be kept positive. Allow your puppy to approach new things in his own time. You can use treats and praise to encourage your puppy to approach unfamiliar people and objects. Never push your puppy past his comfort level or he may become fearful of the things you are trying to get him to accept.


The good news is that it is fairly easy to socialize an adult dog. Here are some ideas for making sure your dog gets plenty of socialization throughout his life:

  • Take regular walks in places your dog will get to meet other people and animals.
  • Visit the dog park.
  • Invite over friends and their dogs for playdates.
  • Enroll your dog in a dog daycare once or twice a week.

It’s important that all of your dog’s interactions with other people and animals be kept as positive as possible. Use praise and treats to tell your dog that having other people and animals around is a good thing.

How and When To Socialize Written by Nikki Litwin

Socializing dogs is a hot topic among trainers, breeders, and vets. Do we risk their health and take the puppy out and about? Or do we protect them and isolate them until they have all their shots?

I believe there is a happy middle ground. As a breeder, trainer, and rescue volunteer, I have been in the unique position to see the benefits of early socialization and the consequences of early isolation. Puppies go through many emotional and developmental stages in a very short amount of time. There is a “window of opportunity” to achieve the most benefit from early socialization and unfortunately, that “window” does not always coincide with the completion of their shots.

So how do we get around that? Here are a few suggestions to help you socialize your new pup as well as protect him until his shots are complete.

It is always a good idea to consult with your vet to make sure your puppy is in good health at all times. Most puppies stay with their mothers until they are 7 to 12 weeks old. That is a crucial time for the pup to learn about doggie manners and to begin the bond with people. They learn about bite inhibition from the mom and the other pups. When they bite each other in play, they learn that biting too hard can have consequences. If you have a puppy that did not have that learning lesson, you can imitate that lesson by yelping loudly when your pup bites you. The noise will startle them and make them realize that they hurt you.

Only when the dog returns to a calm, relaxed state, should you give him something appropriate to bite and chew on. This is their reward, as well as a distraction. You want them to concentrate on that object, but only when there is no confusion about the behavior you’re rewarding. If you give it to them too soon, they may mistake the “treat” or toy, as a consequence for being over-excited and biting. Practice this every time they start to get too involved with chewing on or biting you, especially when playing with them.

Meeting people and experiencing new situations is most critical during the 3 to 12 month old period. It is something that dogs need their whole life to stay social and to be reminded that our modern and busy society is a good and safe place, but it is most critical during that ever-changing developmental stage. A good goal with your pup is to make sure they meet at least five new people every week. You can do this by inviting neighbors, friends, or your children’s friends over and having them bring a toy or treat for your pup when they visit. Even better would be to teach your pup to sit before receiving these “gifts” and then you are teaching greeting manners as well as socializing! If you have a limited pool of people to work with, have them come over wearing hats, sunglasses, costumes, strong cologne…anything that would make them look and smell different to the pup.

Puppies also need to experience new situations and environments when they are young. Show your pup the world in a positive and fun way. The secret is to avoid taking them to places where you are likely to run into strange dogs with no known shot history (therefore potentially exposing them to parvo or other dangerous viruses). As a rule, dog parks should be avoided for pups who haven’t received all of their shots yet.

Have them on leash on your front yard when the neighborhood is most busy. Play with them, feed them yummy treats, and let them watch the world go by at a distance where they can be curious but not frightened. If something seems to make them especially nervous, find a distance where they can feel comfortable and work with them till they can move closer without fear. This is also a good time to teach and practice off-leash skills, such as “stay” and “come.” Pups that learn boundaries early in life will be that much more disciplined as they get older.

Take your pup to the pet store and let them “shop” through the store. Let them smell and explore. This is an area of high distraction, so keep your own toy or treats with you to focus them on you and practice attention work with them. If someone wants to visit with your pup, that is a perfect time to practice your greeting manners and introduce them to a new person at the same time. If you are not comfortable with them being on the floor, bring a piece of cardboard to fit in the bottom of the shopping cart and let them ride through the store. This is a particularly good approach for small breeds as they won’t feel so intimidated if people want to lean over them.

Go for coffee or ice cream with the family. Take the pup and let them watch the world go by while you are enjoying your time. Take a towel or small blanket with you and a special toy or treats for the pup to bring the focus back to you and teach the pup to stay on their “spot.” Again, look for those opportunities to work on greeting skills with strangers, and remember that the best time to do activities like this is after some good exercise! Go for a long walk or run before asking a puppy to stay still for an extended amount of time.

A great toy to take along is a Kong stuffed with peanut butter that has been frozen. The pup will lie down and work at getting that peanut butter out and be calm for quite a long time. Bring a plastic, zip lock bag to store the Kong for travel. It keeps things neat and tidy!!

Socializing can be easy and fun and should be part of the total approach to training your new pup. Begin training early and begin socializing even earlier. Enjoy the process – you will soon have the most perfect, balanced, friendly pup that everyone adores!

Nikki Litwin is the owner of Total Dog Training in Los Angeles. She has been training dogs for 22 years and specializes in proper puppy raising and rehabilitating shy dogs. Her passion for dogs includes showing and competing with her German wirehaired pointers and Cavalier King Charles spaniels.

Cool list – best dogs for service

13 Feb


0 comments | leave your own comment

Dogs are amazing creatures, capable of so much more than many of us realize. They help ordinary people in extraordinary ways! Read on to learn more about 10 wonderful types of service dogs.

Be sure to read: Service Dogs: To pet or not to pet?

Have you had encounters with these or other types of service dogs? Post a comment and share your experience.

Police dogs

Informational websites: McGruff’s Dog Blog (kids)

Fire Dogs

Popular breeds: Dalmation

Informational websites: Sparky The Fire Dog (kids)

Search & Rescue Dogs

U.S. Customs & Border Protection Dogs

Popular breeds: Sporting Dogs, Labrador Retriever,

Guide & Hearing Dogs

Informational websites: Guide Dogs of America

Therapy Dogs

Popular breeds: Various

Informational websites: International Therapy Dogs, Inc

Seizure Alert Dogs

Popular breeds: Golden Retriever, Setter mixes, Samoyed crosses, Border Collie crosses, German Shepherd

Informational websites: Epilepsy Foundation

Physical Assistance Dogs

Informational websites: Canine Companions for Independence

Dogs for Diabetics

Popular breeds: Various

Informational websites: Dogs4Diabetics

Military Dogs

Popular breeds: Dutch & German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois

Informational websites: Military Working Dog Foundation

2010 Most Heroic Dogs

11 Feb

I saw this article from Cesar Millan‘s web site.  I wanted to share this with you.

Most Heroic Dogs of 2010

We always hear those stories of dogs saving humans in incredible feats of bravery, but we often forget about them as the year moves forward. So we would like to take the time to share with you some of the dogs selected in The Daily Beast’s Heroic Animals of 2010 and remember those canines that have made a heroic impact in our world.

Although his owner was an NYPD officer, Blue never intended on solving any crimes in his lifetime. But while on a walk with his owner John Mallia, Blue sniffed out a set of skeletal bones that would eventually lead to an FBI investigation. His crime-fighting nose eventually led to the later discovery of three more bodies in the area.

Bandit became an unexpected hero while a guest in his neighbor’s home. Staying with the DeStefani’s for the weekend, the Pomeranian-Poodle mix alerted the sleeping family when a stovetop fire erupted and the smoke alarms failed to sound. The family escaped safely and Bandit was a hero!

Buddy, a 5-year-old German Shepherd, led an Alaska State Trooper to his owner’s property fire on April 4, 2010. Photo courtesy of Alaska State Troopers

When a spark from a heater engulfed Ben Heinrichs’ shop in flames, German Shepherd Buddy lept into action. Heinrichs suffered severe burns on his face and hands and had directed Buddy to “get help.” Buddy intercepted the Alaska State Troopers that were responding to the fire and guided them directly to his injured owner. Read more about Buddy’s story here!

Of the many dogs to come out of the war in Afghanistan, Target was one of the greatest! She provided comfort and companionship to the many soldiers based in Afghanistan, and even though she was a stray, she quickly became part of the troops’ family. Upon his return home, Georgia National Guardsman Chris Duke requested for Target to be transported to the states. Target eventually made the journey to the U.S. and ended up with a military family in Arizona, but unfortunately met a tragic end when she was accidentally euthanized in a local animal control after escaping from her owner’s yard. Target’s memory will forever remain a prime example of the power of canine companionship.

Golden Retriever Angel lived up to her name when she saved her 11-year-old owner from a cougar attack. While walking in the woods near his home, Austin Foreman was approached by a wild cougar. Watching the scene unfold, Angel quickly jumped in front of the cougar, allowing Austin to run to the house and call for help. Both Angel and Austin escaped the attack with their lives.

Four-year-old pit bull mix Baby with four-year-old Morgan White Troopers

When The Berkeley East Bay Humane Society burned down this past May, many dogs and cats were left (once again without homes). Volunteers and aid workers took in the homeless animals and cared for them while new homes and shelters were sought out, but in the midst of the chaos, an unlikely hero emerged. Baby, a four-year-old pit bull mix, lived in the apartment above the shelter, and as the fire erupted, she alerted her sleeping owner JoHanna White to escape. Read more about this heroic tale here!

Dogs and arthritis

27 Jan

 I have a young dog with arthritis.  It is sad and frustrating for him and myself.  He wants to run, play and wrestle…and sometimes just can’t.  So I have been reading about it and thought I would share some of the things I learned.  Feel free to visit the web site listed below.

Osteoarthritis that is a progressive degenerative joint disease where the cartilage breaks down causing the bones to rub against each other and the result is dog joint pain and stiffness.

Hip Dysplasia is a genetic degenerative disease cause by a malformation of the hip sockets. Chronic inflammation of the joints occurs and the tissues surrounding the area begin to deteriorate and breakdown.

Elbow Dysplasia is also a degenerative hereditary disease where the bones do not form well and causes the bones to chip. It is considered to be hereditary and is seen as a common cause of front-leg lameness in larger breeds of dogs.

Knee Dysplasia is a malformation of the leg bones that causes the loosening of bone at the kneecap which is painful, and causes lameness and limping in your dog.

Hypertrophic Dog Arthritis is excessive bone growth or spurs in the joints.

Osteochondrosis results from poor breeding practices caused by a poor diet that leads to cartilage deterioration.

Degeneration of the Shoulders whereby unstable joint or trauma cause the breakdown of cartilage in the shoulder, leading to inflammation and pain on movement, and consequently, chronic canine arthritis that affects other parts of the body as well.

Degenrative arthritis is a painful condition and can make your dog’s life miserable, therefore the sooner you detect the signs of dog arthritis, the faster you can adopt measures to slow its progression and help save your dog from further pain. Here is a rundown on some of the signs and symptoms that your dog may have athritis:

Canine Arthritis Symptoms
  • Stiffness, lameness, or limping after rest
  • Loss of appetite or unusual weight gain
  • Inactivity and sleeping a lot more
  • Relutance to walk, run or climb stairs
  • Unusual urinating in the house
  • Irritability and behavioural changes
  • Depressed or withdrawn

Arthritis doesn’t discriminate. It affects not only people of all ages — including children — but also strikes our furry friends, too. If you’re a dog-owner, you make sure your buddy takes his heartworm medicine, eats well, looks bright-eyed and playful, and greets you as only a doggy can when you come home. You notice changes in mood and activity, so if your pet isn’t feeling his best you may suspect a cold or stomach virus – but it could be arthritis. In fact, arthritis affects one in every five adult dogs in the U.S. and is one of the most common sources of chronic pain that veterinarians treat

Dino to Fido

Arthritis is one of the oldest diseases in history. We know that the dinosaurs had it and there is evidence that early humans lived with the same chronic aches and pains. So it makes sense that Dogs Get Arthritis, Too. In fact, it is a common ailment of man’s best friend.

The Human-Hound Connection

Now you know that both you and your dog can get arthritis, but did you know that managing your dog’s arthritis can help you better manage yours? It’s true that having a pet can give you a positive spin on life, boost your attitude and lift your spirits. Pet-owners also tend to live longer and have fewer visits to the doctor’s office.

More good news is that the treatment strategy for osteoarthritis in humans and in canines is similar:

  • Early diagnosis and treatment
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercise
  • Proper medication

Don’t Spare Yourself to Spoil the Dog

We can’t help it. We spoil our pets. If you focus more on your dog’s health than on yours, try these tips to keep both of you healthy and active.

  • Visit the doctor. Your pet needs to see the veterinarian at least once a year for a check-up – maybe more. When you make his appointment, call your own doctor and schedule one for yourself. Make sure you both get some baseline X-rays to chart your bone deterioration.
  • Shed excess pounds. Pay more attention to what your pet eats and when, and do the same for yourself. Read the food labels for each of you to make sure that every bite is giving you both good energy and nutrition. Limit your servings and don’t cheat by eating between meals or slipping Fido extra snacks.
  • Coordinate your dog’s medication schedule with your own to make sure you both take your dosage every day. Arrange medicine with mealtime if it needs to be taken with food. Keep your meds together so you will see yours every time you reach for his. Use colorful stickers or permanent markers to help distinguish whose medication is whose, especially if you have trouble reading small print.
  • Never let your dog take your medicine – and don’t take his – without discussing it with your doctor.
  • Let Rover take you for walk. Instead of kicking your dog off the couch so you can stretch out, kick him off, grab the leash and stretch out together. Take a walk or run with your four-legged friend. You’ll both strengthen the muscles around your joints, which reduces stress on the joint itself. But don’t over do it. Both of you need to increase exercise levels slowly and stay hydrated. Monitor how you both feel after the walk to determine if you need to increase or decrease your level next time. Don’t only treat your own blisters and sore feet – be sure to check Fido’s paws and pads after exercising for lesions or lacerations.

Therapies may include:

  • Healthy diet and exercise to help maintain proper weight.
  • Working with your veterinarian to find a drug treatment that helps relieve the pain.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS): the most common form of pharmaceutical treatment for arthritis in dogs.
  • Over-the-counter pet treatments, such as pills or food containing either glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate or Omega fatty acids. Both have shown to help relieve the symptoms of arthritis in dogs.
  • A veterinarian-prescribed NSAID and an over-the-counter treatment that together may help decrease pain and disease progression.

Never give your dog human medication without checking first with your veterinarian. Certain medications can be toxic to dogs – particularly acetaminophen and ibuprofen – and a safe dose will differ between a greyhound and a dachshund.

No matter how you decide to treat your dog’s arthritis, make sure you work with a veterinarian to ensure that you select a program that helps your best buddy.

My silly silly dogs

8 Jan

I was letting them ‘out’ and they went flying out the door.  The two bigger ones slipped and slided, but managed to stay up.  The smaller one however…not so lucky.  I tried to slow them down and have them walk out.  They were too excited.  My smaller dog face planted immediately, then landed spread eagle on the ground.  The momentum of his motion had him sliding on his belly, uncontrollably, in circles to the edge of the patio (about 16 feet).  You should have seen the look on his face!  Shocked, confused, dizzy, and concerned.  He did not get hurt.

The bigger dog is able to see the squirrels in the trees better.  He went running full force to a tree, looking up,  and jumped.  He jumped so high he landed on the first branch of the tree.  He was in a position to climb the tree.  The lowest limb is about 5 1/2 feet off the ground, and his back legs made it!  A remarkable jump.   He was stunned, and in one smooth motion jump over the limb to the ground.  He did not get hurt.

The other big dog has a lot of fur.  He is a hairy beast.  He got into the trees and brush and somehow got an entire thorn-bush stuck to his tail.  It was not a little bush, but a big one.  When he walked into the door way it hit both sides of the door.  I realized what he had gotten himself into, and tried to help.  I pricked every finger on every razor-sharp thorn on that bush.  It was entwined with his tail, so every time he sat down, he stood right back up.  I cut half the fur off his tail to get it out.  He did not get hurt…but I have 4 band aids on.

I love my dogs

8 Jan

Well, lets not hide the truth…. I LOVE DOGS!  They are the best in every category.  I am amazed at how much they improve my life.  I think it is so wonderful that God gave us dogs

I sometimes wonder if God gave us dogs to show us an example of unconditional love that is enduring.  This is an example of how HE loves us, only on a much smaller scale.  This relationship and that of parent/child are both tremendous examples.

I have 3 dogs.  They are great.  One is a pedigree and two are rescue’s.  I love them all.  It is funny how the pedigree knows he was obtained differently.  He didn’t ever go through a moment in his life at a pound, or overnight outside alone, or just plain lost.  He is a bit spoiled.  My 2 pound dogs however, they are grateful and happy souls.  They love being part of our family, and are always happy and close. 

I have two of the three off leashed trained, and I am very close to getting the third one completely trained.  Today was his first day off the leash for about an hour.  He had a rough moment when a neighbor walked by.  He ran up to him to say hello, and scared the poor guy.  He didn’t touch him though.  Phew.  I was able to get his attention and gain control of him.  He came every time I called him.  That was great.  I took him for a long walk, with a leash, and had the best walk with him ever.  He didn’t pull, yank, or drag.  He is a 60 pound chunk of muscle, so this is a big deal.  I am soooo happy that he is finally catching on.  I started working with him a year ago.  He is young and stubborn.  I have been afraid he was going to get hit by a car every time he got loose. 

Sometimes when I am at my computer, my dogs will get on the bed next to me and stare and smile at me.  It is fun to see them happy, and be able to express their contentment.  I am really Blessed to have them.  I will always have a dog.  I realized that I don’t trust people who don’t like dogs (except for someone who was injured or is allergic).   Cats are ok, and I understand why people like them.  I don’t like the smell of the litter box regardless of the type of box or litter.  I can always smell them. 

My dogs do not mess in the house, tear things up, break things, or anything destructive.  occasionally they will bark up a storm, but they are a pack and drive on each others energy.  I do follow the Cesar Milan concepts of pack leader and keeping the dogs calm and submissive.  They are much happier this way.  I have not , nor do I expect to, have any dog fights. 

I have not taken them to a dog park.  I think they would do ok, as long as the other dogs there at the time are well-balanced.  I wonder how that would go, I may be surprised. 

I recently went with my sister to put her dog of 15 years down.  He lived with me for many years and he was a great border collie.  He had epilepsy for many years, and over the last few days of his life he was in a constant seizure. This dog at his ideal healthy weight was about 20 pounds, but on this day he only weighed 10.  He was wasting, despite all attempts to have him gain weight.  It was the right thing to do for this dog, it was peaceful and painless.  He was such a good dog, and I will always remember him.  I know he meant so much to my sister and her son.  He was a sweet and loving little dog.  He was never over bearing, and knew to be gentle with everyone.  As a border collie when the kids were small he would herd them and keep them all together.  It was fun to watch.  He worried about others.  This sweet little dog really had a heart for caring.  He was also a fast and agile runner.  In his hey day  wow that dog could move.    I am sorry he is gone.  It is the painful side of having dogs, they don’t live near long enough.  The memories are priceless, and life with him has been so much richer, and precious. 

God Bless anyone who takes care of any creature.  Cats, dogs, birds, snakes, mice or what ever.  Animals are ours to care for and take care of, as well as enjoy.  I have no tolerance for anyone who abuses, harms, neglects, or rejects any animal.  I understand hunting, and conservation.  I appreciate that is part of our charge as well.  It provides balance. I am talking about abuse and harm for no reason. 

Well, enough of that.  It is clear I am biased towards canines.  They do it all.  They protect, interact, play, relate, give of themselves, entertain, work, and many other things.  They are versitile as well.  They visit the sick and elderly, they work, they search, they guard, and they love.  No other animal amongst us does all the different things a dog can.  What an incredible gift from God they are.