Monthly Archives: August 2012

Best Guard Dogs for City Living

Getting a guard dog is one of the best ways to help protect your family and home – in fact, 65% of convicted burglars have said a dog would scare them off and make them move on to the next, less guarded home. When you think of guard dogs, large breeds like German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers often come to mind, but what if you live in close quarters in a city like San Diego, Manhattan or Chicago? Never fear, we’ve rounded up the best protective breeds for city living and here’s our guide to finding your new best friend (and protector).

Best Guard Dogs

Bulldog
The first line of defense with a bulldog is their intimidating appearance and abundant strength. This breed is loyal and protective, but is also known for being friendly and gentle with children. Bulldogs are great for city living because they require minimal grooming and exercise, making them ideal for apartment dwellers. Their size, usually topping out around 50 pounds, also makes them well-suited to city life. Be careful with them when temperatures start to climb, though, as their short nose tends to make them overheat in hot weather, so a shady spot or air conditioning is a must.

Chow Chow
This protective breed can be perfect for a city dweller. Chow Chows aren’t overly energetic, although they do enjoy a daily walk, and their basic nature is quite calm. Known for their huge ruff, which looks like a lion’s mane, this breed is loyal to its owners but views strangers with suspicion, making them great protectors. Chow Chows who are not well-trained by a human who is calm and able to keep the alpha position can show behavioral problems, and some insurance companies may consider them “high risk,” adding to the cost of homeowner’s or rental insurance.

Collie
It’s no mistake that Lassie was a Collie. This breed is highly intelligent, fiercely loyal, friendly, and easy to train. Even though city folk might not have to worry about Timmy falling down the well, if you or your loved ones are in peril, this breed will be sure to raise the alarm. Collies can be quite active and regular exercise or a small yard are a must to keep your Collie in top form. This breed is usually easy to socialize and can be a star at the local dog park, showing off his mad Frisbee skills.

Boston Terrier
This little guy (typically 10 -25 pounds) has been nicknamed “The American Gentleman” due to his tony appearance in formal black and white. This breed makes great companions, but that doesn’t mean they can’t turn up the volume when it comes to protecting their home and humans. Boston Terriers have a loud, piercing bark that, despite their diminutive size, is plenty big when it comes to scaring off the riff raff. These terriers require only moderate exercise and minimal grooming, making them a pleasant guard and companion for any city slicker

Rottweiler
Even though Rottweilers can grow to around 130 pounds, their calm, friendly demeanor makes them adaptable to city and apartment life. This highly-protective breed is a natural watch dog. They are known for their muscular frame, wariness of strangers and fierce devotion to protecting their homes. Even though the breed has gotten a bad rap for being aggressive and violent, if they are socialized from an early age with a firm but gentle owner, they can be perfect for the city. However, if you see your office more than your home, you may want to pass on the Rottweiler – as regular exercise is a must for this obedient, good-natured guardian.

Miniature Schnauzer
This diminutive breed can flourish in nearly any living situation, and its small size (maxing out at around 18 pounds) makes it perfect if you live in an apartment. This breed has personality plus, and is incredibly loyal to its family – even if they do like to be the center of attention. Despite their size, they make great watchdogs thanks to their tendency to bark at anyone who seems suspicious or threatening. Miniature Schnauzers are adaptable to any living environment, but do require daily exercise, so a small yard or regular walk is needed to keep him healthy and happy.

Which breed of dog do you think is ideal for protection in the city?

**article courtesy of Elli with drivenetwork.com**

Dog Fleas and Ticks: Common Myths

flea_tick_myths

Whether you’re mystified – or just mortified – by fleas and ticks, dispelling the following myths can help you gain a better understanding of these plentiful pests.

Myth: Cold weather kills fleas and ticks.

Fleas and ticks thrive in the fall and early winter. In fact, fall is peak time for deer ticks. And while you may see fewer fleas in frigid weather, they may still be living in your house and on wildlife in your yard. Plan to treat your pet and yard well into the fall and early winter (year-round if you live in a moderate climate).

Myth: If your dog is vaccinated against Lyme disease, a tick preventive is not necessary.

No vaccine protects 100%, so you do need to use a tick preventive, too. Also, ticks carry many other diseases, such as ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, for which there are no effective vaccines.

Myth: Cats don’t need flea and tick protection.

Other pets or people can bring fleas and ticks indoors to infest even the most reclusive cat. Feline flea and tick protection, such as Frontline® Plus for Cats, is always a good idea.

Myth: City pets don’t need flea and tick protection.

Pets living in urban settings can still encounter fleas and ticks from wildlife, nearby grass or foliage, or encounters with other pets. To minimize infestation risk, treat your pet and outdoor areas.

Myth: Fleas prefer carpeted spaces.

Opportunistic fleas will happily occupy cracks between hardwood, laminate, or floor tiles, simply waiting for a host to pass by.

Myth: A few visible fleas = only a minor problem.

You’re seeing the adult fleas – not the hundreds of eggs, larvae, and pupae developing in surrounding areas. If you see even a few fleas, treat your pet, home, and yard immediately.

Myth: Once fleas are no longer visible, treatment is no longer necessary.

Even if fleas seem to be gone, stay vigilant. Prevention is key, especially after an infestation. We recommend continual use of a monthly topical on your pet(s), and regular treatment of your yard/outdoor areas.

**Article Courtesy of DrsFosterSmith.com**