Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Slip Collar (Choke Chain)

The Slip Collar is most commonly known as the Choke Chain.  The Slip Collar is a steel chain with a large ring at each end.  To use the collar you pull the chain through one of the rings then slide it over the dog's head.  The Slip Collar should go over the dog's head without any force.  A slip collar should only be worn during training.

This training tool uses negative reinforcement and positive punishment.  Although the slip collar can quickly suppress unwanted behavior, it can easily be used incorrectly.  Improper use can lead to sever neck damage and possible strangulation.

I do not recommend using a Choke Chain when training your dog.  Again, look into a head collar or easy-walk harness instead.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Do I have TIME for a dog?

Having a dog for life is a commitment.  Dogs take a lot of time and energy to train properly.  If you really want to have the perfect dog, you have to work for it.

When considering to adopt its important to take a good look at your daily schedule.  Dogs require a minimum of TWO walks per day, and yes EVERY DAY!  It is important that each walk is a minimum of 30 minutes, and should be closer to an hour.  Keep in mind that many high-energy dogs will require longer walks.

Besides walking your dog twice a day, you will need time to train him/her in basic obedience and other skills.  It's also important to have play time a few times throughout the day.

Realistically, you should consider that you will be doing DOG TIME about 3 hours per day.  This of course will vary by your dog's energy level and age.  Younger dogs need more exercise because they have lots more energy.  Once you get your dog into an exercise routine, less time may be required.  Also consider time for love, cuddling, and petting.

If you're really seriously considering adopting a dog, talk to your friends with dogs, walk your neighbor's dog a few times, and visit your local shelters (BEFORE you're ready to adopt).

Really think about if you have the appropriate amount of time before bringing a new member into your family.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Breed of the Month--Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso

Color:  Any combination of black, white, brown, sandy, slate, smoke, honey, golden, dark and grizzle.
Height:  Males:  10-11.5 inches/  Females:  slightly smaller
Weight:  13-18 lbs
Life Span:  up to 18 years.

Breed Health Concerns:  renal dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy.

Coat:  Both a dense outer and innercoat.
Country of Origin:  Tibet (China).

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

Shaggy, small dogs have been known of as far back as 8000 BCE.  Believed to bring prosperity and peace, these small dogs were widely given as gifts.  Buddhism encouraged the breed's look of a lion, the symbol that represents the power of the Tibetan Buddha.

Lhasa Apsos can easily distinguish friend from foe and have served as highly regarded companions.  Lhasa Apsos can become possessive if not properly socialized from a young age.

Although small, the Lhasa Apso is very sturdy and requires plenty of regular exercise.  The Lhasa Apso will insist on being part of the daily action and family activity.

Show ring Lhasa Apsos require daily grooming.  The family pet should be brushed regularly and extra care must be taken to make sure the eye area stays clean.

Lhasa Apsos have been spoiled dogs for centuries and can make training more of a challenge.  Because they are devoted, the can be quick learners when properly motivated.  Socialization is critical for the Lhasa Apso.