Monday, September 19, 2011

Dog Sitting--Simba & Mattie

I was recently privileged to help out a few friends by dog sitting.  It just so happened that they needed a sitter at the same time.  So for about 3 weeks, we had 6 dogs in our house.  My fiancĂ© and I have two, our roommate has 2 dogs, and there were 2 dogs staying with us.  It was a fine time to be surrounded by so many loving creatures at the same time.

Simba is a 4-year-old, un-fixed, Golden Retriever.  He has the beautiful red-colored coat that many people seek.  I was amazed at how anxious this dog was.  Simba was the most anxious dog I have met in my life so far.  I am very happy to say that within three days we had him calmed down, on a regular exercise schedule, and seeming much more relaxed and happy over-all.  In the future I would like to get into a sort of "doggy bootcamp" program at my training facility.  ALL dogs who stay at my house, whether its just for a night or several days to weeks, must follow the same rules.  When Simba's dad returned to get him, he actually said to me, "he's like a different dog."  He was very impressed by his progress.  I informed the owner that Simba's not being neutered plays a large part in his anxiety.  I am VERY happy to say that he has since gotten him fixed!

Simba finally relaxing with Nekita.

Simba assimilating to proper feeding time.

Simba with Mattie (our other guest dog).

Mattie is an elderly golden retriever.  She was a very easy dog to care for.  Because she is older, she is very low energy and currently only needs the exercise of walking up and down the steps to use the bathroom.  We actually even had to carry her down the steps a few times.  Even though she was a little heavy at times, she was a real treat to have.  Mattie is a very sweet girl!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Breed of the Month--Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

Color:  Black and silver, salt and pepper, solid black
Height:  Males:  14 inches/  Females:  13 inches
Weight:  9-17.5 lbs
Life Span:  15 years or more

Breed Health Concerns:  Allergies, renal dysplasia, urolithiasis, Cushing's syndrome, epilepsy, diabetes, myotonia congenita, portosystemic shunts, retinal dysplasia, megaesophagus.

Coat:  Double coat, dense undercoat, wiry, hard outercoat.
Country of Origin:  Germany

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

Germany has been using Schnauzers for farm dogs for centuries.  They are loving family companions that kill vermin and are very tough, hardworking dogs.  The smallest of the Schnauzers, small black poodles, and Affenpinchers were used to develop the breed.  Other breeds that may have contributed include:  Wire Fox terriers, Zwergspitz, and miniature pinschers.

Charming, charismatic, and lively, this rugged breed can make an excellent watchdog.  The Miniature Schnauzer is fearless but not aggressive, intelligent, and a devoted member of the family.  This breed enjoys being with his family and is a very social animal.

The Miniature Schnauzer is a high-energy breed that needs plenty of regular exercise and good daily walks.  It is vitally important to get this breeds energy out to avoid destructive behaviors.

The Miniature Schnauzer's coat requires regular attention by a professional groomer.  Show dogs must have their coat "stripped," while the family pet can be groomed with simple "clipping."  The hair around the face must be kept clean and out of the eyes.

This breed excels in obedience and agility.  Properly motivated, the Miniature Schnauzer will learn training quickly and be ready for more.