Warren London

History of Dogs

There is no incongruity in the idea that in the very earliest period of man's habitation of this world he made a friend and companion of some sort of aboriginal representative of our modern dog, and that in return for its aid in protecting him from wilder animals, and in guarding his sheep and goats, he gave it a share of his food, a corner in his dwelling, and grew to trust it and care for it. Probably the animal was originally little else than an unusually gentle jackal, or an ailing wolf driven by its companions from the wild marauding pack to seek shelter in alien surroundings. One can well conceive the possibility of the partnership beginning in the circumstance of some helpless whelps being brought home by the early hunters to be tended and reared by the women and children. Dogs introduced into the home as playthings for the children would grow to regard themselves, and be regarded, as members of the family 
In nearly all parts of the world traces of an indigenous dog family are found, the only exceptions being the West Indian Islands, Madagascar, the eastern islands of the Malayan Archipelago, New Zealand, and the Polynesian Islands, where there is no sign that any dog, wolf, or fox has existed as a true aboriginal animal. In the ancient Oriental lands, and generally among the early Mongolians, the dog remained savage and neglected for centuries, prowling in packs, gaunt and wolf-like, as it prowls today through the streets and under the walls of every Eastern city. No attempt was made to allure it into human companionship or to improve it into docility. It is not until we come to examine the records of the higher civilisations of Assyria and Egypt that we discover any distinct varieties of canine form. 
The dog was not greatly appreciated in Palestine, and in both the Old and New Testaments it is commonly spoken of with scorn and contempt as an "unclean beast." Even the familiar reference to the Sheepdog in the Book of Job "But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock" is not without a suggestion of contempt, and it is significant that the only biblical allusion to the dog as a recognised companion of man occurs in the apocryphal Book of Tobit (v. 16), "So they went forth both, and the young man's dog with them." 
The great multitude of different breeds of the dog and the vast differences in their size, points, and general appearance are facts which make it difficult to believe that they could have had a common ancestry. One thinks of the difference between the Mastiff and the Japanese Spaniel, the Deerhound and the fashionable Pomeranian, the St. Bernard and the Miniature Black and Tan Terrier, and is perplexed in contemplating the possibility of their having descended from a common progenitor. Yet the disparity is no greater than that between the Shire horse and the Shetland pony, the Shorthorn and the Kerry cattle, or the Patagonian and the Pygmy; and all dog breeders know how easy it is to produce a variety in type and size by studied selection. 
In order properly to understand this question it is necessary first to consider the identity of structure in the wolf and the dog. This identity of structure may best be studied in a comparison of the osseous system, or skeletons, of the two animals, which so closely resemble each other that their transposition would not easily be detected. 
The spine of the dog consists of seven vertebrae in the neck, thirteen in the back, seven in the loins, three sacral vertebrae, and twenty to twenty-two in the tail. In both the dog and the wolf there are thirteen pairs of ribs, nine true and four false. Each has forty-two teeth. They both have five front and four hind toes, while outwardly the common wolf has so much the appearance of a large, bare-boned dog, that a popular description of the one would serve for the other. 
Nor are their habits different. The wolf's natural voice is a loud howl, but when confined with dogs he will learn to bark. Although he is carnivorous, he will also eat vegetables, and when sickly he will nibble grass. In the chase, a pack of wolves will divide into parties, one following the trail of the quarry, the other endeavouring to intercept its retreat, exercising a considerable amount of strategy, a trait which is exhibited by many of our sporting dogs and terriers when hunting in teams. 
A further important point of resemblance between the Canis lupus and the Canis familiaris lies in the fact that the period of gestation in both species is sixty-three days. There are from three to nine cubs in a wolf's litter, and these are blind for twenty-one days. They are suckled for two months, but at the end of that time they are able to eat half-digested flesh disgorged for them by their dam or even their sire. 
The native dogs of all regions approximate closely in size, coloration, form, and habit to the native wolf of those regions. Of this most important circumstance there are far too many instances to allow of its being looked upon as a mere coincidence. Sir John Richardson, writing in 1829, observed that "the resemblance between the North American wolves and the domestic dog of the Indians is so great that the size and strength of the wolf seems to be the only difference. 
It has been suggested that the one incontrovertible argument against the lupine relationship of the dog is the fact that all domestic dogs bark, while all wild Canidae express their feelings only by howls. But the difficulty here is not so great as it seems, since we know that jackals, wild dogs, and wolf pups reared by bitches readily acquire the habit. On the other hand, domestic dogs allowed to run wild forget how to bark, while there are some which have not yet learned so to express themselves. 
The presence or absence of the habit of barking cannot, then, be regarded as an argument in deciding the question concerning the origin of the dog. This stumbling block consequently disappears, leaving us in the position of agreeing with Darwin, whose final hypothesis was that "it is highly probable that the domestic dogs of the world have descended from two good species of wolf (C. lupus and C. latrans), and from two or three other doubtful species of wolves namely, the European, Indian, and North African forms; from at least one or two South American canine species; from several races or species of jackal; and perhaps from one or more extinct species"; and that the blood of these, in some cases mingled together, flows in the veins of our domestic breeds.

Written by Eric Bittman — March 25, 2014

The Power of Canines In Conversation

The Power of Canines in Conservation

Dogs are used to detect explosives, find disaster survivors, sniff out drugs and hunt down bad guys. There is little these canine noses can’t find. With a sense of smell that is anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than ours, it is no wonder we ask for their help in tracking things down. One of the ways dogs are helping with their amazing noses is through conservation programs. With special training, some dogs are becoming canine conservation sniffers.

Programs such as Working Dogs for Conservation, the African Wildlife Foundation (AFW) and Wild Helpers are training and working with the dogs to make a difference in our world. These high-energy, alert, dedicated dogs are being used to help other species and the planet in many ways.

Airport Security

One of the biggest challenges to protecting many species is the smuggling of various live animals and animal parts, such as bear bile and gall bladders, snakes, shark fins and baby monkeys. These canines are used in airports around the world, such as South Korea’s Incheon Airport. They are also used in marinas to sniff boats in places like the Galapagos Islands.

 

Photo by ukhomeoffice via Flickr

Scat Sniffers

The detection of scat, or feces, is very helpful to conservationists. Scat can provide a wide array of information about wild animals, such as diet, stress levels and reproductive health without ever disturbing the animal itself. With the DNA that is present, individual animals can even be tracked. Organizations like Conservation Canines (CK9) of the UW’s Center for Conservation Biology use dogs to track wildlife scat. The center analyzes the scat for valuable information without invasive tracking and tagging.

 

Plant Locators

It’s not just animals that these dogs are good at finding in the wild. Detector dogs are being used in some places to locate native plants. A collaborative project of The Nature Conservancy has trained six dogs to locate the endangered Kincaid’s Lupine. This plant is host to the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly which is found only in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Photo by Muffet via Flickr

 

Pest Infestations

Pest control is usually done by conducting visual inspections by people. This can be a lengthy and costly procedure. However, dogs can be trained quickly to accurately detect any given pest or infestation. They are able to detect these pest earlier in the infestation, in a more efficient manner, allowing the infestations to be treated before they get out of hand and become a larger problem. Many pest control companies in the UK utilize trained dogs for detection.

 

Tracking Poachers

Poaching is a large problem to many species around the world. Animals such as the elephant, rhinoceros, mountain gorillas and Grevy's zebras are all at risk of endangerment or extinction. Organizations, such as the African Wildlife Foundation, are using sniffer dogs to protect these beautiful animals by tracking down the poachers and preventing these illegal activities. They can also train the canines to detect illegal animal products like ivory or rhino horns.

Photo by US Army Africa via Flickr

The Right Dog for the Job

The training is done by professional trainers who specialize in working dogs. The training is very similar to that which is used for police canines, Army dogs and border security canines. These dogs are hand-picked to have the proper personality, dedication, and disposition. Not every dog can become a working dog.

Written by Eric Bittman — February 21, 2014

How To Be A Good Dog Owner

How To Be A Good Dog Owner 
Before making the decision about buying a new dog, here are some points you should consider :- 
1. Is someone at home for most of the day ? 
A dog, especially a puppy, should not be left on its own for more than a few hours at a time. If you are out at work from 9-5 don't get a dog unless you can make satisfactory arrangements with a friend to let the dog out. 
2. What about holidays ? 
It is sad to say that more dogs are destroyed at holiday time than any other. Unless you have a helpful family to look after your dog, be prepared for the expense of boarding kennels. Because of the increase in running costs, reputable kennels now have to make a higher charge - don't forget to book well ahead. 
3. Are you prepared for the cost of keeping a dog ? 
This includes not only the cost of food, and kennels at holiday time, but also the cost of vaccinations and also possible veterinary fees in case of illness. A dog, like a child, can fall ill quite suddenly and unexpectedly, so be prepared for any eventuality. Take out pet insurance for peace of mind. 
4. Exercise 
To keep healthy and happy, dogs need daily exercise, and this means a good run in a field or park, or a game with a ball, not just a stroll round to the shops on a leash. If you love your dog, be prepared to sacrifice some of your leisure time each day, whatever the weather. If you can't provide this kind of exercise to a dog, consider giving a home to an older dog. Your local dogs home may have just the right one for you. 
5. Family circumstances 
Dogs and children usually love each other and get on well, but don't make the mistake of buying a young puppy for a small child. Young children can be very cruel and a puppy may be badly thrown about. Worse still a young pup's bones may easily broken if a child treats it like a toy. Wait until the children are older and a little more responsible. 
6. Grooming. 
If you don't have much time to spare, choose a dog with a smooth or wire coat which needs little attention to keep it tidy. Long and curly coated dogs look beautiful, but they need daily grooming to keep them this way. Poodles need regular trimming, as well as grooming, so unless you are able to do this yourself be prepared for extra expense. 
Author - John Moore - Please use my link http://www.pet-dog-cat.com As a responsible dog owner myself, I've experienced many of the problems mentioned in this article - I hope you've found it helpful.

Written by Eric Bittman — February 19, 2014

Tips for Taking the Best Photographs of Your Dog

If your dog just won't cooperate when you're trying to take his picture, the frustration can cause you to settle for a less-than-perfect shot. With a little patience and the right tips, you can capture the essence of your dog with ease, just like the professional photographers.

Get on Your Dog's Level

One of the biggest mistakes pet owners make when photographing their dog is standing over their pet to snap the shot. Instead, get on your dog's level and take the shot at the same level as your dog's face. Put your dog on a high surface and kneel down or even get down on your belly before you start taking pictures. When you take in your dog's point of view, you may even get new ideas for shots you hadn't previously considered.

Photo buy joamm tall via Flickr

Choose the Ideal Location

If you really want to capture your dog's true personality, consider taking your photography session to his favorite place. Take his photo in the place where he rests during the day or take him to the dog park or other favorite outdoor location. The primary goal of pet photography is to capture the true spirit and personality of your pet. There's no better way to do this than to choose the places he loves as the backdrop.

Photo by FastLizard4 via Flickr

Patience Is a Must

As much as you love your dog, he doesn't understand a whole lot of what you tell him. Don't go into your photography session expecting your dog to sit still like people would. It will take longer to get the perfect shot, making patience essential. Use favorite toys and treats to attract your dog's attention and consider using succession settings, which takes multiple pictures whenever you press the button. Many shots will be unusable, but you will be sure to capture a few gems.

Focus on the Eyes

"The eyes are the window to the soul"—the same is true for animals, just as it is for humans. When you are taking close pictures of your dog, make sure the eyes are in focus and centrally located in the picture to draw attention to your subject. You may need to manually focus the camera to ensure the eyes are in focus. Avoid using a flash, as it will simply reflect in your dog's eyes.

Photo by Anders.Bachmann via Flickr

Pictures in Motion

If you have an active dog, consider taking him to the dog park or out in the backyard to capture some action shots. For the best results, increase your shutter speed and use a continuous focus option. This will allow you to capture clear pictures, even when your dog is in motion.

Photo by Jellaluna via Flickr

Print With Professional Quality

Once you have the perfect pictures of your pet, you can create greeting cards, postcards, collages, calendars and more. While you can print your pictures at home with just about any printer, ordering your picture products from a professional online printing service like printingforless.com will produce a higher-quality image and better final product. This level of printing will enhance the beauty of any photograph you obtained of your favorite four-legged family member.X

Written by Eric Bittman — January 13, 2014

Housebreaking Your Puppy

So you gave yourself the gift of a new puppy or someone else gave it to you.  Unfortunately, this little bundle of joy doesnít understand the specific places designated for going to the bathroom.  So what do you do?  How do you housebreak your new pet?
Housebreaking really isnít all that difficult.  As with all, dog training it will take consistency and patience but the hardest part will actually be training you and the rest of your family. 
Before you start any training, you always want to be certain your pet is healthy.  There is nothing worse then continually disciplining your puppy for going in the house and then finding out they have a kidney or bladder dysfunction.  
The key to housebreaking your puppy is close supervision.  You need to catch your pet right before or in the act of making a mistake so you can immediately say ìah ahî and take them outside or on to their paper.  Using a crate can really speed up the whole process because it makes it easier for you and the rest of the family know when your puppy will need to go to the bathroom.  General, but this will very with each puppy, about thirty minutes after eating your puppy will need to go.  I recommend feeding your puppy at specific times then put them inside their crate for the thirty minutes and then take them directly outside.  Walk around for a bit, if they havenít gone after a few minutes take them back inside and put them in their crate, repeat until they go to the bathroom.  Having treats and lots of praise ready for when then do go will also speed up the process of you puppy learning.  Some other times your puppy will most likely need to go is right after waking up and after excited play.     
Another thing to keep in mind is how long puppies can actually hold their bladder and bowels for:
2 months old - 3 hours
3 months old - 4 hours
5 months old - 6 hours
6 months old - 7 hours
So, if you work a 9-5 job and your planning on leaving your puppy at home by itís self all day it may not be realistic to expect your puppy to be housebroken until at least 6 months old.  
When your pet starts to go to the bathroom outside you want to have a word that you will say.  This way your dog with start associating your command with the act of going to the bathroom.  Eventually your dog will be able to go on command, this can come in really handy in the winter when itís really cold and you want your pet to hurry up.  ìHurry upî is the command I have chosen to use with my dogs.   I think is sounds better then ìGo pottyî or ìtoiletî, but itís your command so you chose what ever word you will feel most comfortable with.         
Housebreaking your pet should not take very long, if your finding that your pet is continually having accidences and itís driving you insane ask yourself two questions.  One, could my puppy have a health problem? If not, have I really been consistent in watching my puppy and catching him before or during the mistake.  If you havenít been consistent you canít really expect the dog to understand.  Itís time consuming at first because you really need to pay attention to what your dog is doing and what he looks like when heís about to go to the bathroom. But remember if your consistent everything goes much smoother and your puppy will be housebroken in no time.

Written by Eric Bittman — January 07, 2014

Should Your Dog Go Swimming?

Running, fetch, Frisbee. Chances are you've enjoyed these activities with your dog at some point, but maybe your furry friend has developed arthritis or hip dysplasia and can't run much anymore. Maybe his weight has gotten a little out of hand and he can't quite jump for those flying discs these days. Or maybe you live in a particularly hot climate and worry that the heat is keeping your dog from getting all the exercise he needs. Swimming is an excellent alternative in these situations.

Should Your Dog Go Swimming?

Before plunging into the pool, make sure your dog is able to swim. Despite the phrase "the doggie paddle," even the most basic swimming motion is not natural to canines, as The Discovery Channel explains. Some breeds shouldn't go into water where they can't stand with their head above the waterline. Bulldogs, dachshunds, Maltese, pugs and other dogs are simply unable to swim, either due to their leg strength or other physical limitations. While other dogs such as retrievers, setters and spaniels are known for their love of water, that doesn't mean your pooch of that breed will automatically want to dive right in. Acclimate your dog to the water at his own pace. Forcing or tossing him into the pool is likely to traumatize him, could potentially create a fear of the water, and cause a trust issue with you.

What Are the Benefits?

A perfectly healthy and fit dog will benefit from regular swimming. The energy he expends with one minute in the water is equal to the energy spent with four minutes of running, as he has to work harder to keep moving in the water than he does on land. Respiratory, cardio-vascular and muscle systems all benefit from this workout, and it avoids putting heavy pressure on his joints. To promote proper bone density, however, a healthy dog still needs land-based exercise in addition to the water workout.

The no-impact aspect makes swimming an ideal option for a dog before and after orthopedic surgery. Muscle strengthening around the injury is essential and the weightless movement of swimming won't exacerbate the problem. After the surgery and adequate recovery time, a dog can work on improving circulation, strengthening the muscle and joint mobility through swimming, without endangering the surgical repairs, according to VividLife.me.

Land-based exercises can stress an overweight dog's joints and bones. The non-concussive movement of swimming improves the metabolism and burns calories without straining the dog's body.

Where Can Your Dog Swim?

If you're lucky enough to have a pool in your yard, then your dog can start treading water right in the comfort of his own home. If you don't have a swimming pool built in to your yard, there are companies like In The Swim that carry affordable above ground pool. options. An above ground pool is a great choice since you won't have to worry about your dog accidentally falling in before he knows how to swim. Even if you don't go the swimming pool route, there are still options for your pooch to paddle around. Your community may have a dog beach where the ocean or lake is open to pets. Some doggie day-cares and kennels offer dog-only pools.

Avoid stagnant bodies of water that may harbor bacteria, parasites or other dangerous organisms your dog may swallow, as PetMD advises. Always watch your dog when he is in the water. He may not know where to exit. He also may not be proactive enough to get out when he's tired, so a life vest could be a wise investment. Even a strong swimmer will be safer wearing a doggie life vest.X

Written by Eric Bittman — December 10, 2013

Have a Pawsitively Happy Holiday: Make Your Pet the Star of Your Christmas Card

Approximately three-quarters of all households in the U.S. own at least one pet. These pets become part of the family, so it's no surprise that many people decide to feature their pets on their annual Christmas cards. Even though Christmas is still several months away, the time to plan an eye-catching holiday photo is now, especially if you intend to order and mail paper cards. To get the best shot of your pet for this year's card, follow the tips below.

Jingle dog

Photo by Flickr user nightthree

1. Dress your pet in a costume.

Whether you are photographing a dog, cat or bird, plenty of adorable pet costumes are available to give your Christmas card a special touch. You can find costumes at pet stores, such as PetSmart, as well as from specialty costume retailers, such as Party City. Make sure that the costume you choose fits your pet well and matches the background you will use for the photograph. To add whimsy to the card, consider making your pet part of a Christmas scene, such as a Santa Claus delivering presents or a snowman in the yard. However, try to limit the scene to only a few props, as pets are likely to destroy elaborate scenes before you can get a decent picture.

2. Prepare your pet before the photo.

To get the best possible picture of your pet, make sure he is in a good mood before you take the photo. Try to schedule the photo for a time when your pet is usually awake and active. Feed him at his usual time, and take him to do his business shortly before the shot. Spend some time playing with him before you begin so that he won't be too restless while you're trying to take the picture.

3. Get a good shot.

Before the photo shoot, practice taking pictures of your pet at home, and give him a treat each time he sits still for a photo. If you will be traveling to a studio or department store on the day of the actual photo shoot, take your pet to the location a few days in advance to get him used to the sights, sounds and smells. On the day of the shoot, encourage your pet to look at the camera by making noises that usually get his attention, such as squeaking a toy or imitating a dog bark. However, avoid calling the pet's name, as this may cause him to come to you instead. Be sure to bring plenty of treats for your pet in case he needs an extra incentive.

4. Use high quality card materials.

If you are sending paper cards, be sure to use materials that do your pet's photo justice. One of the easiest ways to ensure that your cards are printed properly is to order from a professional service. For example, you can orderChristmas cards from minted.com that are specifically designed to feature photos.

Written by Eric Bittman — November 13, 2013

Halloween Dog Photo Contest 2013

We have so many exciting pictures entered into our Halloween Dog Photo Contest!  Any dog related Halloween picture which contains a costume, nail polish and/or fur dye!  You may enter the contest by emailing the picture to us at info@warrenlondon.com or by posting on our Facebook Wall!  First Place will win $100 to the Warren London website, 2nd Place wins $50 and 3rd Place win $25!  Winners will be announced November 2nd. Good Luck!!!

 

FIRST PLACE!

Daisy's Halloween Nail Art sent in by Jessica!  Looks great!

 

2nd Place!

 

Toby Sent in from Tyler in California!

Third Place! 

Sent in by Amanda Morrisey, this is Axel with the Bat Halloween theme along with her painted nails!

 

Great Photo sent in by Lexie the Groomer!  

 

 

Dogs, Prince Charlie and Lady Ashley, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, posing next to pumpkins that Joanne Polyak and her husband carved into the likeness of their faces....!!!!

 

 

Bonsai and his candy corn nails sent in by Becki Giles!  

 

 

This is Zoey with her Orange Halloween ears!

 

Miss Sparkles sent in by Pamela Gross showing off her dog in her costume along with her Warren London Blue Nail Polish!

 

This is Jemma sent in by Lisa Alford with her great costume for Halloween!!!

 

 

 This is Molly and Patches dressed as the holy nun and holy pope sent in by Anthony

 

This is Toby sent in from Christine!

 

This is goldendoodle Brody. He is dressed like his mom and his best buddies (her soldiers). His name is Brody, but you can call him SGT Doodle reporting for trick or treat duty!

 

 

Haiku started out as the saddest little unicorn, so now she's going trick or treating as a pretty princess. A rather serious pretty princess sent in by Beth!

 

Leo the Candy Corn sent in by Erin!

 

Brumley the Bulldog sent in by Joy!

 

Sent in by Michelle!

 

 Here are two pictures. Both are pomeranians and small one name is Cher and wore a nurse and another one is Jambo and wore a police dog. Sent in by Lourdes and Joe, the owner. 

 

Our Names: Bonnie and Beth Abelew
Dogs Names: Phoenix and Gryphon. The game of Candyland has come to life. Gryphon is King Kandy, standing in front of his special Candy Castle. Phoenix is Princess Lolly, living happily in the Lollipop Woods.  The pair are standing on the Candyland gameboard, all ready for the game to begin!

 

 

A picture of my dog Roger (4yo Boxer) for your Halloween contest. He dressed as a scuba diver this year. The outfit was homemade with some simple household items and cardboard. Sent in by Janna Turner.

 

The scary fishspoos out on the prowl this Halloween this is isis 2yr old standard poodle. Sent in by Kristina White.

 

marsha vesnefskie pumpkin patch

 

 

 

 

Written by Eric Bittman — October 22, 2013

What To Know About Dog Shows

According to the American Kennel Club event statistics, more than 3,000 dogs and 150 breeds are entered into a typical large all-breed AKC show. There are also specific breed shows, agility shows and herding trials. That's a lot of competition for any dog! If you are interested in getting your dog started in dog shows, you need to know how to prepare him and yourself for the challenge.

Fulfill Basic Requirements

Photo by joshwept via Flickr

The first thing you need to know before entering your dog into dog shows is what is necessary to qualify. The AKC requires dogs meet several basic requirements, including:

  • Be registered with the AKC
  • Be at least six months old
  • Be the correct breed for the desired show
  • Meet breed standards

The AKC will not accept any dogs into their competition that do not meet all four of these requirements so it is important to determine if these are met before you set your heart on showing your dog.

The Categories

Photo of the Hounds group edited by Pharaoh Hound photo by Ed Schipul via Wikimedia Commons

Once you have determined whether your dog meets the AKC requirements for competition in a dog show, you need to determine the category for your dog. Each dog breed, including all variations of particular breeds, are categorized based on their primary uses and other similar features. The AKC divides dogs into the following groups:

  • Sporting
  • Hounds
  • Working
  • Non-Sporting
  • Herding
  • Terrier
  • Toy

Check your breed's standards to determine which group your dog belongs in. Before you sign your dog up for a show, you will also need to make sure his breed qualifies for that specific show. All-breed shows are open to dogs of all breeds; specialty shows are only open to specific breeds that will be listed; and group shows are open to dogs in one of the seven categories.

Tips for Getting Started

Photo by whartonds via Wikimedia Commons

Now that you're ready to move forward, you need to prepare your dog and yourself for the show. These tips can give you the edge when you begin competing. Some dogs win these competitions repeatedly so it can be difficult for new dogs to break into the competition and do well. With the right steps, you increase your chances of success.

  • Attend shows in person. Observing what goes on at dog shows is essential to understanding what you and your dog will be up against during the competition. Sometimes the grooming areas are open to the public. If this is the case, take some time to walk around and talk to the groomers and other professionals to get some inside information.
  • Visit your vet. Your dog needs to be in optimal health to compete. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on all his vaccinations and is not suffering from any hidden ailments. A clean bill of health is your ticket to success in dog shows.
  • Prepare your dog. Grooming your dog in the style required of his breed is essential to his success in the show. The wrong hair cut will cause the judges to pass up your dog without so much as a second glance. You must also put your dog through obedience training to ensure he behaves properly out on the floor. A dog that doesn't follow your lead and barks at the judges, other competitors or spectators will not leave a good impression.
  • Protect your dog. Once your dog gets a clean bill of health and is properly trained, it is up to you to protect him from harm until the show. Because dogs need to spend time outdoors, keep a close eye on him to ensure he isn't in danger. Check your yard regularly for pests, including ticks, winged ants and other insects that could put your show dog at risk for illness or injury, and safely remove them if you find any.

Written by Eric Bittman — October 21, 2013

Coping With Pet Loss

Americans are proud pet parents to 78 million dogs and 86 million cats, according to the Humane Society of the U.S. They estimate that almost 50 percent of U.S. families have at least one dog and 39 percent have at least one cat. Imagine all the joy these families get from their furry friends—but with that must eventually come the sadness of losing the family pet. Pet-loss grief is real and can be as intense as the loss of a family member. Here's help for when it happens.

The Process of Grieving

The grieving process is different for everybody. Some may grieve for days, while others experience a measure of grief for years. Even after several years, people may get triggered by seeing another animal that looks like their pet.

You may feel sadness, anger and even guilt as part of the grieving process, and you can even cycle through these feelings several times in one day. Depression and withdrawal from others can occur if the grief becomes intense. Learn ways to cope with the grief to help you move through it and into a state of acceptance.

Coping with the Grief

Find others to be around with similar attitudes about pet loss. There are many places where you can find support; many cities have pet cemeteries and sponsor pet loss support groups. There are support hotlines and even entire organizations devoted to pet grief, such as the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB).

Another way to cope is to channel your the grief into some type of memorial project. Make a scrapbook with photos of family members with the beloved pet, and include short stories or thoughts about them and perhaps a collar or small toy. Keep any sympathy cards you received in the scrapbook, too. Page through the scrapbook when you're sad, recalling your happy moments with your pet—this can help you move through the grief.

You can hold a funeral service for the pet and invite friends and family members to participate. Bring some of your pet’s favorite toys, buy flowers and share some photos with those in attendance. If your pet will be cremated, you can still hold a memorial service outside, and plant some flowers in their honor somewhere in the yard.

If children are dealing with the loss of a pet, get them involved in the process. APLB recommends children draw pictures of their pet playing with them. Allow children to help decide where to have a memorial service and where to plant flowers. They may want to keep one of their pictures or one of the pet’s toys in their room to feel closer to the pet.

Written by Eric Bittman — October 11, 2013