Water Rescue

Water rescue is the umbrella term for the lifesaving feats of dogs like Newfoundlands and Portuguese Water Dogs (PWDs). Newfies are legendary in this area, crowding the history books with acts of courage in aid of humans. PWDs were primarily bred to work alongside fishermen retrieving nets and even herding schools of fish, but have in modern times also been highly successful partners in lifesaving teams at beaches and watersports destinations. Both breeds are strong working dogs with extraordinary lung capacity and swim-stroke propulsion, webbed feet, muscled tails that act as rudders, and waterproof coats that protect them in icy water. A healthy, fully trained Newfie can swim over two miles and can keep a drowning victim afloat for more than an hour. He can bring a lifeline or rescue tube to a victim or tow an inflatable rescue boat with 10 people to shore. Where a human lifeguard must

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Tripods Don’t Stop

A common reaction when people see a three-legged dog is sympathy. (“Poor thing…”) Another is admiration. (“What a brave pooch!”) Both are entirely understandable. For humans, amputation can involve complex psychological and emotional issues. For dogs? Less so. Dogs have no notion of body image, no mental image of what they are supposed to look like. What they care about falls into two major categories: One, whether they are in pain. Two, whether they can do things they love: go for walks, play with toys, eat yummy food, get belly rubs, snuggle on the couch, etc. Nature is kind to animals in this way. A pain-free, well-fed dog with a loving home doesn’t give a hoot that her daily walk happens in the characteristic tripod hop instead of a lope. Amputee dogs, often called tripods, generally lose a limb either as a result of an accident or as a means

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Motivating Your Dog

  Does your dog’s response to cues seem lackluster? You may not have found the right motivation. Like humans, dogs work harder with strong motivation. Here’s how to turbocharge your dog’s drive—whether to come when called or break her agility speed record.   Find What Drives Your Dog We are all motivated to action by different things. Maybe it’s that afternoon caffè latte we promise ourselves if we finish the report, or the massage we feel we earned after a month of gym visits. But the wrong reward would leave us cold. If you wanted chocolate, would you toil for a carrot? What does your dog most want? If in doubt, parade different treats past your dog to see what really gets her attention. Most dogs go nuts for meaty, greasy, and smelly. A few dogs prefer bread-based items. Some dogs, particularly working breeds like Border Collies and some terriers,

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Lyme Disease in Dogs

Lyme disease is a tick-transmitted disease most prevalent in the northeast, the upper Midwest, and the Pacific seaboard states, but found throughout the U.S. Awareness is important, as dogs are 50 to 100 times more likely than humans to come into contact with disease-carrying ticks. Common symptoms include lameness (especially recurrent), fever, lethargy, and swollen lymph nodes. Ticks must be attached to your dog for 48 hours for him to contract Lyme disease, so daily checks and quick removal dramatically ups your chances of keeping your pooch healthy. To remove a tick, put on gloves, dab the area with rubbing alcohol, then use a pair of tweezers to grab the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible (if you accidentally leave parts of the tick behind, it can cause serious problems). Pull straight up; don’t twist or jerk the tick. Disinfect the area, wash your hands, and sterilize

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The Afghan Hound

This sleek, silk-coated aristocrat of the canine world was originally bred for life in rough mountainous terrain, but now spends more time at the doggie equivalent of the runway: the dog show. Afghans, like other supermodels, require a great deal of grooming and maintenance. A sighthound bred to catch deer, gazelles, and leopards, the Afghan boasts a top speed of 40 miles an hour and a 270-degree field of vision. The stunning exterior and strong personality of Afghans have inspired writers and artists all through history, not least Picasso, who depicted his beloved Afghan Kabul in both paintings and sculpture. Appropriately, the human companion of Prissy the Afghan in Disney’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians is an artist. Who better to appreciate a dog as graceful as a ballet of swans? To re-home an Afghan, search online for a rescue group near you.

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A Greener Home For A Healthy Dog

Chemicals and toxins in your household—from furniture polish to bug bombs—may put your dog at risk. Long-term exposure to many cleaning solutions can cause cancer or damage your dog’s liver or central nervous system. Greener cleaning can help: Pest control. When possible, stick to natural methods like sticky or non-lethal traps. There are many options for each type of pest, e.g. tannic acid to combat dust mites and brewer’s yeast to fight fleas. Carpets & flooring. Choose safe, low-toxicity materials made from natural fibers with little or no chemical treatment or opt for eco-friendly flooring like hardwood, cork, bamboo, or tile. Cleaning. Nix air fresheners (a big air polluter) and use baking soda to neutralize odors, and natural oils like vanilla and lavender to make your home fragrant. Stick to green all-purpose cleaners.

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Dog – Child Etiquette

Dog – Child Etiquette The risk of being bitten by a dog is low compared to other common causes of accidents, in or out of the household, but that’s no consolation to those who find themselves on the business end of a pair of canine choppers. Kids especially are vulnerable. They tend to get excited around dogs and might approach too suddenly, shout too loudly, or dish out well meant but unwanted hugs. To keep kids safe, here’s a primer on what to teach them: Don’t know the dog? Avoid. Lesson number one for kids is to avoid dogs they don’t know. Never approach an unfamiliar dog, especially one who’s tied up or confined behind a fence or in a car, regardless of the dog’s size or overpowering cuteness. Know the dog well? Respect the space. Just like people, dogs have personal space we should respect, particularly during dinnertime, naptime

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