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Anthropawlogy: A look at Dog Breeding throughout the Ages

I’m Cindy Romero, an animal activist, blogger, and “mother” of two dogs, a cat and a bunny.

Do you know anything about the genetic history of your pet, other common dog breeds and part of what it means to breed a dog in the world today? Before getting a dog, most people wonder what kind of breed best fits their lifestyle and personality, but not many consider the cultural ramifications of a well preserved dog breed lineage, the shifts that can happen in a dog’s brain or the dangers of poor dog breeding.

Until recently, the melting pot of American dog breeds has been explained as originating from Asia along with humans as we brought our pets with us.  These original dogs were believed to have largely mixed with European breeds, most dying off from the introduction of European illnesses, leaving them unrecognizable from the Native American dogs before the days of Magellan and Christopher Columbus.

Chihuahuas: More native than you are!

According to a 2013 NPR article, some North American breeds have a purer pedigree than evolutionary geneticist formerly thought. North American dogs have actually not mixed so much with European dogs after all.  The modern Chihuahua actually still has the same DNA that it did 1000 years ago in Mexico meaning it is a breed untouched by European influences.

Aside from the Chihuahua there are other dogs that have remarkably little European genetic influence including the Greenland dog, the Mexican hairless dog, and the Peruvian hairless dog. This shows that most American breeds are the result of the native cultures that made them, mostly before Europeans arrived. For some Indian and Inuit cultures these dog breeds are an important signature of their ancestors and they must be preserved.

Dog breeding today

A 2010 study found that one of the dangers of dog breeding is that on top of altering a dog’s behavior, personality, and physical traits, dog breeding also can affect how a dog perceives its environment. Breeders can decide to select two dogs with different skull lengths, shifting the dog’s skull and rearranging the brain. Dogs with short skulls such as the pit bull have a brain much different than other dogs. The part of the brain for smelling is rotated forward making it near the base of the skull instead of at the front of the brain.

There are of course other dangers of dog breeding, so it’s best to do your research and find a humane breeder so that you don’t inadvertently support cruelty and ignorance. Adoption is always a great option too, and it happens that 1 out of every four dogs in the US is a purebred (if that is important to you). Adopting a dog also doesn’t mean anything about how the dog will behave or how easily they will be trained. I always advocate adoption first because it saves lives and a there is a huge over-population of pets needing homes.

Now that you know more about breeding, go fourth and choose the best dog for you. Readers, how did you decide on your current pet? Is there anything you regret about buying from a breeder?

Boarding Your Dog

Every day people face the question of what to do with their pets when travel, illness, or family emergencies disrupt normal care. Some pet owners attempt to solve this problem by taking their pets with them, only to discover that hotel restrictions, travel-induced pet illness, and runaway pets can turn their trip into a disaster. Other pet owners turn over the care of their animals to well-meaning but untrained neighbors, or friends. Again, the results are often unsatisfactory. Pets entrusted to such part-time custodians frequently escape or become seriously ill because of lack of reliable, frequent, and knowledgeable supervision.Boarding Your DogFortunately, the majority of pet owners who find themselves in need of substitute pet care utilize the services of professional boarding kennels. Annually, more than 30 million pet owners recognize that full-time, knowledgeable and experienced boarding kennel operators provide the most dependable, secure and safe pet care available.

Because competent, ethical boarding kennels are an important part of your pet care program, and because the selection of a boarding kennel can be a confusing and disconcerting process for pet owners, the American Boarding Kennels Association (ABKA) has assembled this data to assist you in evaluating, selecting, and working with your local boarding kennel. Our goals are twofold:

1. To give your pet a happy and safe boarding experience.
2. To enable you to enjoy your time away from home content that your pet is receiving the best care possible.

What is a Boarding Kennel?
Throughout the United States and Canada, there are approximately 9,000 boarding kennels offering their services to more than 30,000,000 pet owners annually. Boarding kennels are businesses designed and operated specifically to care for pets, as distinguished from breeding kennels, which are devoted to producing puppies; training kennels, which take in dogs for hunting, protection, and other types of specialized training; and veterinary hospitals, which are designed to care for sick and injured animals. Most boarding kennels provide a variety of pet services such as boarding, grooming, training classes, pet supply sales, and pet shipping. Although the vast majority of boarded pets are dogs and cats, many kennels also offer boarding for horses, birds, reptiles and exotic pets.

What is the American Boarding Kennels Association?
A characteristic common to all boarding kennel operators is a deep love and respect for animals. This is their basic motivation for establishing their kennel. In 1977, however, a dedicated group of kennel operators recognized that the love of animals, by itself, was not enough to guarantee the development of professional standards of pet care within the industry. What was also needed were educational opportunities for kennel operators, to enable them to stay abreast of developments in pet care, and some method of establishing and promoting a high level of ethical conduct within the industry. To achieve these goals, these concerned kennel operators founded the American Boarding Kennels Association, the ABKA.

Today the ABKA has a membership of almost 1,600 kennels throughout the U.S. and Canada; by means of its publications, conventions, seminars, regional meetings, ethics program, certification program for kennel operators, accreditation program for kennels, and industry committees, the Association helps member kennels to develop and maintain the highest professional and business standards. This in turn enables ABKA members to offer you, the pet owner, the most knowledgeable, ethical pet care available anywhere.

Successful Boarding
The goals of ABKA member kennels are happy, healthy pets, and satisfied pet owners. This requires a cooperative effort from kennel owner and pet owner. In the following pages, the ABKA, in response to numerous requests from pet owners, lists the features you should look for in selecting your kennel, and suggests what you can do to ensure that your pet receives the best care possible. Let’s start at the beginning.

There are several ways of locating the kennels that are convenient to you:

1. Yellow Pages: Yellow page advertising is the primary method of kennel advertising. Remember though, the size of the ad is no indication of the facility’s quality.

2. Recommendations of friends: Satisfied customers are the best recommendation that a kennel can receive. Ask your friends and neighbors about their experiences. Check with your veterinarian or ask the kennel in question for references.

3. Better Business Bureau: If your community has a better Business Bureau, a phone inquiry about your local kennels is appropriate. Ask about a specific kennel’s reputation and if any complaints have been lodged against them.

Evaluating a Kennel
After finding your local kennels, you can determine the one to use by:

1. Telephoning the kennel. Call to see if the kennel can accommodate your pet. During peak times such as the Christmas season and summer vacations, many kennels are booked up and cannot accept your pet. Also, because some pets require special handling or accommodations (very young puppies, animals on special medication or feeding schedules, or giant breeds, for example), all kennels may not accept them. While you are on the phone, make an appointment to visit the kennel.

2. Making a personal visit to the kennel. A personal visit is essential to determine whether the kennel will be satisfactory. During your visit, observe or ask about the following …

General appearance of the kennel proper:
Following regular daily clean-up procedures, the kennel should look (and smell) neat and clean. Kennel operators are proud of their kennels and like to show them off, but some of them do not permit visitors in areas where animals are housed. There are two key reasons for establishing a “No Visitors” policy. First, some dogs react unpredictably to strangers. (They become excessively fearful or aggressive.) As a result, the presence of strangers in the kennel can cause such dogs to injure themselves or develop intestinal problems. Second, visitors do not follow the same stringent disinfecting procedures used by kennel personnel, and can transport contagious agents (bacteria, viruses) into the kennel. However, kennels with a “No Visitors” policy should provide you some type of viewing window, so that you can see where your pet will be staying.

In visiting your local kennels, you will observe that there are several types of kennel designs currently in use. Some kennels have indoor/outdoor runs; some have totally enclosed facilities; and some house pets inside, but utilize outside exercise areas. Each of these designs has its own advantages, and you should ask the kennel operator to explain the advantages of the system in use at that kennel

When you are on a trip, your pet may decide to try to “find” you. Because of this tendency, and because very few homes are designed with pet security in mind, pets can escape from inexperienced individuals who might be asked to watch your pet. Boarding kennels, on the other hand, are designed to prevent this kind of accident. During your kennel visit, look for sturdy, well-maintained fencing, gates and dividers between runs. If your dog is a climber, digger or some other type of “escape artist” tell the kennel operator so that extra precautions can be taken (wire covered runs, locks on gates, etc.). Cats always require covered facilities.

Kennels areas where your pet will stay should be free of sharp objects, harmful chemicals and objects your pet might swallow. Primary enclosures (sleepingquarters) should provide solid dividers between your pet and the other boarders, both for reasons of safety and so that your pet will be able to relax and sleep without feeling challenged by his or her neighbors. Exercise areas should include barriers between runs high enough to prevent male dogs from urinating into adjacent runs. Surfaces should offer good traction even when wet. Firefighting equipment should be readily available.

Proper supervision is the key to good boarding. Pets should be checked frequently during the day by someone who is trained to recognize the signs of illness and distress. Experience and practical knowledge are required to detect or interpret such symptoms as lethargy (“I thought he was just sleeping”), severe intestinal disorders (friends or acquaintances rarely check the backyard for bloody stool), urinary problems (it is almost impossible to detect blood in urine when pets urinate on grass), loss of appetite, coughing, sneezing, or discharges from the eyes or nose. Yet, all of these signs can be significant. Competent kennel personnel are trained to recognize and evaluate such signs and to seek veterinary assistance when needed. Therefore, you should try to evaluate the competence of the kennel personnel.

One good indication that the kennel operator is keeping abreast of the latest developments in pet care is his or her ABKA membership. Check for a current ABKA membership plaque on the office wall. If your kennel operator has been awarded the CKO (Certified Kennel Operator) designation by ABKA, it means that his or her competence and ethical fitness have been acknowledged publicly by the Association. If the CKO plaque has been awarded, it will be displayed proudly along with the kennel’s ABKA membership certificate. Accredited kennels will display a certificate which attests to the fact that the kennel has been inspected and accredited by ABKA, and has met over 200 standards of excellence.

The kennel should be free of dirt, fecal accumulation, odors and parasite infestation (flies, fleas, ticks). There should be a strict schedule of disinfecting with effective chemicals.

Note: Since 1978, there have been worldwide outbreaks of an intestinal disease called canine parvovirus. This disease is spread when dogs come into contact with a contaminated surface (clothing, shoes, grass, carpeting, etc.). New vaccines are now available to combat this disease, but until the dog population develops immunity to the disease, it will remain a potential problem. Several professional disinfectants, including bleach at a 1:30 solution are effective against parvo virus. Therefore, if there have been any reports of parvovirus disease in your area, your kennel should be using one of these products for routine disinfecting, in addition to requiring the immunizations.

Health care:
Inquire about the following …

1. Water: Individual containers filled with clean drinking water should be available to each animal.
2. Food: Feeding procedures vary from kennel to kennel. Some kennels supply preferred brands of feed, which they serve to all boarders. However, they usually allow you to bring your pet’s favorite food, if you wish. Other kennels maintain a stock of the most popular brands, and feed whatever you request. Still others require that you bring your pet’s food when you check in. Determine the kennel’s policy, and if there are any additional charges for special feeding arrangements.
3. Veterinary services: Ask about the procedure for obtaining veterinary service, if required. Some kennels retain a veterinarian on the premises. Others prefer to use your pet’s veterinarian so that there will be a continuity of care. Remember that it is customary (and responsible) for you to be financially responsible for any veterinary care required for your pet while it is being boarded.
4. Immunization requirements: Dogs should be immunized against rabies, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvovirus (DHLPP), and bordetella. Cats should be vaccinated against rabies, panleukopenia or distemper, feline rhinotracheitis, calici virus, and pneumonitis (FVRCPP).
5. Medication policies and procedures: If your pet is taking medication, advise the kennel operator of the nature of the problem and the type and frequency of medication. Many kennels will not accept animals requiring excessive medication (more than three times per day, or nighttime medication, for example) or animals requiring potentially dangerous medication (diabetes shots, for example). Remember, it is essential that heartworm preventative medication be continued during boarding, if your dog is presently taking such medication. Inquire whether the kennel provides such medication, or if you should bring a supply. Ask if there is an additional charge for medicating.
6. Parasite control: If you live in an area in which fleas and /or ticks are a problem, your kennel should utilize procedures for controlling these parasites (pre-entry examinations for boarders, sprays, dips, etc.).

Provision for animal comfort:

1. Temperature control: The kennel should be able to maintain temperatures within healthful, comfortable limits for your pets. If you have an older pet, or a pet that requires warmer or cooler accommodations than are normally provided, determine if special arrangements can be made.
2. Protection from the elements: Exercise areas should provide shelter from wind, rain, snow and direct sunlight.
3. Ventilation: Good ventilation (no drafts) helps minimize the spread of airborne bacteria and viruses.
4. Light: Lighting should be at comfortable levels during the day.
5. Bedding: Find out what arrangements are made for pet bedding. Some kennels provide resting platforms, bedding or newspaper. Others require that you bring bedding from home. Check if there are any restrictions on owner-provided bedding (wicker beds and feather pillows, for example, may not be accepted).
6. Sleeping Quarters: As you know from observing your pet, most of his or her time is spent resting or sleeping. Your kennel should provide a place for this purpose (a primary enclosure). It should be clean and dry, and roomy enough for your pet to stand up comfortably, turn around easily, and stretch out.
7. Exercise Area: All animals require exercise, but the requirements for dogs and cats are different. Let’s discuss their requirements for exercise individually:

Dogs Cats
Dogs should have enough space to enable them to break into a run. Exercise time will depend upon the kennel’s layout. In some kennels, dogs are allowed free-access to their own individual exercise runs during the day. In such kennels, you may want to make arrangements to limit your dog’s exercise time, if there is any reason he or she should not be allowed to exercise at will (an older dog with a heart condition, or a ‘hyper’ dog who tends to run weight off, for example). Other kennels use a ‘time-sharing’ method for scheduling exercise. In such kennels, make sure that the time allowed and the frequency of exercise periods are adequate for your dog. Because cats exercise isometrically (by stretching), and because they are not ‘pack animals’ that need, or enjoy, the company of other animals (as dogs do), they do not necessarily require separate exercise areas, but are content when housed in roomy primary enclosures. However, some kennels also provide ‘play areas’ for those cats that appear to enjoy the additional space. Whether or not your kennel provides such play areas, your cat’s primary enclosure should be large enough to permit stretching and moving around, and should contain a regularly cleaned litter box.

8. Additional services: Many pet owners find it convenient to schedule grooming, bathing or training for their pets while they are in the kennel for boarding. Ask if such services are available. If you are in the process of moving, the kennel may even be able to take care of shipping your pet. Such a service can save you time and trouble, and helps ensure the safety of your pet.

Business procedures:
As a customer, you are entitled to be treated in a friendly, business-like manner. Furthermore, a kennel’s customer-handling practices are a reflection of their awareness of their responsibilities to you, the customer, and to themselves as professionals.
Therefore, you should observe the following:

1. Personnel: Kennel work is physically demanding and difficult. Nevertheless, kennel personnel should appear clean and neat. They should also demonstrate a high level of understanding and concern for your pet by their questions, their animal handling techniques, and their attitude.
2. Appearance of kennel grounds and office: Kennel property should be neat and well maintained.
3. Rates: Rates should be available in the kennel office. Be sure that you understand the method of calculating boarding charges. Some kennels have a checkout time, after which you are charged an additional day. Others charge by the night or day.
4. Boarding agreement or contract: Your kennel should have some type of boarding agreement, which clearly states your rights and the kennel’s responsibilities. This type of form protects you and the kennel from any misunderstandings in these areas.
5. Hours of operation: Days and hours of business should be clearly posted. If your kennel is closed on weekends or holidays, note and respect that policy. On those days, all pets are fed and exercised and the facilities are cleaned and maintained, but the kennel office is closed and there is no one in the office to meet customers.
6. ABKA Membership Certificate: Your kennel’s membership in ABKA is a public commitment to ethical practices, and your assurance that the kennel is subject to the ABKA Ethics Program. As a pet owner patronizing an ABKA kennel, you also can call on the ABKA for information and assistance should you experience a problem with a member kennel. If the kennel also displays an ABKA accreditation certificate, you are assured that they have met the stringent standards of the Voluntary Facilities Accreditation Program which inspects over 200 areas of kennel operation. The ABKA Code of Ethics and the Bill of Rights for Boarded Pets should also be posted in your kennel’s office, for your inspection. It is a public statement of the standards by which your kennel should be judged.

Using the information listed above, you have now located, evaluated and selected your boarding kennel, and have completed most if the steps necessary for successful boarding. However, there is still one thing required to assure that your pet receives the best care possible, and that is that you fulfill your part of the boarding. Even the best kennel in the world cannot take proper care of your pet unless you assist them by observing the following recommendations …

Preparing For Boarding

1. Make your reservations early: Most kennels are booked up on holidays and during vacation times. If you wait until the last minute to make your reservations, you may be disappointed. As you make your reservations, verify those items which you should bring with you to the kennel (immunization records, special food, medication, bedding, and toys). Make arrangements for any special services that you wish to have performed while your pet is in the kennel (grooming, training, or shipping). As you make your reservations, find out what type of payment arrangements are acceptable (credit cards, personal checks, money orders).
2. Prepare your pet for boarding: Remember that pets, like people, usually appreciate a vacation in new surroundings with new friends. Dogs, once they become familiar with their new surroundings, have a marvelous, exciting time, almost like kids at summer camp. (If your dog has never been boarded before, you might consider short, overnight stays at the kennel prior to an extended boarding stay to help him or her get used to boarding. Every time you return your dog is less likely to affected by “separation anxiety” and can enjoy boarding more.) As a rule, kittens take to boarding easily and have a wonderful time. Adult cats usually display a very nonchalant attitude towards boarding and prefer to sit quietly and observe the daily kennel routine. They don’t seem inclined to make new feline friends or participate in group play, but seem content to rest, eat, make friends with the help and purr. Make sure that all immunizations are current (and have immunization records, if your kennel requires them). Don’t overfeed your pet right before going to the kennel. The extra food is not really necessary and the result might be an upset stomach. Finally, because pets sense and reflect our emotions, DO NOT allow any member of the family to stage an emotional ‘farewell’ scene. Your pets can be made to feel unnecessarily anxious about the kennel visit if they are subjected to this kind of dramatic display.
3. Check in during business hours: Bring all agreed upon medications, etc. Make sure that medications list the prescription number and name of the pharmacy so the kennel can obtain a refill if your return is unexpectedly delayed. Allow enough time in the kennel office to fill out the necessary paperwork. The kennel needs to know such things as: name, address, phone number, return date, additional services requested, where you can be reached in case of an emergency, the name of a local contact, your veterinarian’s name and phone number, special feeding instructions (if any), medication instructions, etc. If your pet has any special problems which are not covered on the check-in forms, such as fear of thunder, epilepsy, or deafness, point them out to your kennel operator. All of this information helps your kennel take better care of your pet, especially if there is any type of emergency requiring special action. (And this is what professional care is all about. Anyone can feed your pet, as long as nothing goes wrong. But what you want for your pet is supervision by someone who can assess and respond properly to emergencies). Don’t be surprised if your kennel operator asks you to leave your dog in the kennel office, rather than allowing you to place your dog in his run. This is done so that your dog will see you leave and will realize that you have entrusted him or her to the care of the kennel operator. It also eliminates the possibility of your dog getting the erroneous impression that you are placing him in the run to “guard” it. When dogs get that impression, they sometimes become aggressive.
4. Relax and enjoy your trip: Remember that you are leaving your pet in the hands of capable professionals. Pets in the kennel probably receive more care and attention than they would at home.

Picking Up Your Pet
When you return from your trip, here are some things that can help you and your pet to have a happy homecoming:

1. Pick up your pet during the kennel’s normal business hours: Attempting to conduct business after hours is not only an imposition of the kennel operator and a possible disruption of sleep for the boarding animals, but can also result in a wasted trip to the kennel (because all personnel may be working in the kennel area and unable to hear the doorbell). For these reasons, many kennels assess an additional charge for after-hours pickup, to discourage the practice.
2. Ask about your pet’s stay at the kennel: Did your pet adapt well to kennel food, routine and environment? Did he or she display any unusual behavior or require any special handling? This information will be entered on the kennel’s records, to assist kennel personnel in caring for your pet during the next stay, but you should also be aware of it in the event that you move or use the services of another kennel in the future.
3. Do not feed or water your dog for at least four hours after returning home: Cats adapt to their return home with the same easy acceptance with which they adapt to boarding, but dogs can become very excited when you return. And, when dogs become excited, they tend to gulp food and water. Unfortunately, owners who allow their dogs unlimited access to either food or water immediately after returning home, frequently trigger vomiting and/or diarrhea. If your dog appears to be thirsty, provide a few ice cubes, rather than water. Let him or her calm down (about four hours) before offering food.
4. Contact your kennel operator if you have any questions about your pet’s behavior after returning home: Sometimes pet owners become unnecessarily concerned about behavior, which is completely normal. (For example, many dogs tend to sleep almost continuously for a day or two after returning home. This is usually a result of being back in a relatively calm environment after the excitement of the kennel). However, if you observe anything that appears to be out of the ordinary, contact your boarding kennel operator to discuss your observations. Your ABKA kennel operator wants you to understand the boarding process and your pet’s reaction to it, and will be happy to discuss any questions you might have.

ABKA member kennels have an investment in their profession. Through their participation in the educational programs of their association, they advance their knowledge and skills. Through their participation in ABKA’s Ethics Program, they demonstrate their commitment to high quality, ethical pet care. To you, the pet owner, this is your assurance that your pet’s time away from you will be as safe and enjoyable as possible.

Your ABKA member kennel is a valuable member of your pet care team, which includes your pet, your veterinarian, your kennel, and you. ABKA members invite you to stop by for a visit. They would like to get acquainted with you and your pet, and they would be pleased to explain their services to you. They are proud of their kennels, and of ABKA, their trade association, which serves the boarding industry through Education, Encouragement and Example.

Developing a good relationship with a boarding kennel will make things a lot easier for your pet, your family, and you. Taking a few of the precautions mentioned in this booklet before and after you board your pet will result in a pleasurable (and economical) vacation for every member of your family. Do your homework in advance, and trust your kennel owner to provide a safe, happy homecoming when you return. Have a good trip!

**Article Courtesy of**

Picking a Name for Your Dog

Picking a name for your dog is a form of art. It is an expression of a dog owner’s creativity, ingenuity, feelings, sense of humor, or even spite. Indeed, naming a dog is a serious undertaking.

Giving human names is now the current trend in naming dogs. When you look at the list of the most popular dog names, it looks like a page out of a grade school class record. Many dog owners look at their pets as family members and give them personas that echo their status in the pack.Dog NamesFor many dog owners taking a pick from among the most popular dog names is the easiest way to go in naming that cuddly little pooch that will soon become an important part of the family circle for a lifetime.

Whatever may be the source of inspiration for your dog’s name, remember it will be the one he will carry and answer to for the rest of his life. It will be an identity, a persona, an expression of individuality.

There are dog owners who regret giving their dogs names which are products of a spur-of-the-moment decision. Will you be comfortable naming your cuddly St. Bernard Twiddles? Will this name suit her as she grows to be a hundred pounds? How about naming a miniature Doberman pinscher, Goliath? Will these names suit your dog’s appearance and personality when they grow older?

Naming your dog is not as simple as going through the most popular dog names and picking out what sounds good to you. The best way to go about selecting a name for the newest addition to your family is to get to know the puppy first. A day or two of being together will reveal different facets of your puppy’s behavior and personality which can eventually help you pick out the best name that will suit him for the rest of his life.

Over the years, Fido and Spot have been replaced with Buddy, Max, Molly, Maggie, and Jake. The most popular dog names for both male and female are people names. This is a sign that more and more dog owners treat their pets as they would their children and other family members.

These names reflect a dog owner’s effort to make his pet an integral part of the family—with its own identity and niche.

There are hundreds of popular dog names to choose from so much so that you will have a hard time choosing the best one. Here are some valuable tips to help you -

  • Pick a name that you will be proud to call out in a dog park. Maggie and Jack are less embarrassing than Gigolo or Stinky.
  • Get one that your pet can easily recognize. Studies have shown that dogs respond better to one or two-syllable names than three or more syllables. Compare calling out Betty and Bartholomew
  • Whatever name you choose, be sure the entire family agrees on it. Use it every time—while playing, training, hugging, or on your daily walks. Let him know that by calling out his name, you want his undivided attention.

**Article Courtesy of Dog Names Woof **

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

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.

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

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**

Father’s Day E-Cards

Below you will find our selection of dog Father’s Day ecards. When you find the dog Father’s Day ecard you would like to customize just click “Select”. Next choose from over 100 dogs to star in your Father’s Day ecard, including: Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, Pug, German Shepherd, Beagle, Chihuahua, Dachshund, Jack Russell Terrier, Greyhound, Yorkie, Poodle, Rottweiler, Border Collie, and many more!

Father’s Day Wishes
Father’s Day Wishes
Dad, You Rock!
Dad, You Rock
Father’s Day Breakfast
Father’s Day Breakfast
Keep Out! Except Dad
Keep Out! Except Dad
Cheers: Father’s Day Edition
Father’s Day Edition
You Love Me Even If…
You Love Me Even If
Father’s Day Firsts
Father’s Day Firsts
You Changed My Life
You Changed My Life
Happy Father’s Day
Happy Father’s Day
Happy Father’s Day
Happy Father’s Day
Sloppy Kisses
Sloppy Kisses
My Father, My Friend
My Father, My Friend
Father’s Day Masterpiece
Father’s Day Masterpiece
Father’s Day Masterpiece
Father’s Day Masterpiece
Warm and Fuzzy Love
Warm and Fuzzy Love
I Love You
I Love You
I Love You
I Love You
You’re Out Of This World
You’re Out Of This World
Love Poem
Love Poem
Especially For You
Especially For You
Father’s Day ArtFather’s Day Art Traveled The WorldTraveled The World
Just Dropped In: Father’s DayJust Dropped In: Father’s Day You’re A TreasureYou’re A Treasure
A Picture For YouA Picture For You

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The Top 12 iPhone Apps for Dog Care, Play and More

It’s time to take another look at some of the practical and fun iPhone apps created for dog owners. When Woof Report last featured some of Apple’s apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch, the app store offered 30,000 apps of all kinds, which sounded like a lot — and now there are more than 300,000!

iPhone Apps for Dog

Below are some of the best apps for dog owners. Download them to your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad to find dog-friendly locales, off-leash parks, pet first aid tips, and more; many are free or cost just $.99 each. And if your favorites are missing from the list, please add them to the Comments section on the site.

Dog Park Finder
Near home or on the go, the Dog Park Finder app powered has you covered with listings of 2,400+ dog parks. Using your phone’s GPS, it finds the nearest park, and includes photos, user reviews and details, such as if it’s fenced, has small dog areas, and the hours and days of operation. FREE.

Paw Card
With the Paw Card app, create an unlimited number of profiles for your dogs, cats, and other pets to keep track of their vital information and always have it with you. Record your pet’s ID tag numbers and vet contacts, and track your pet’s medications, medical and vaccination history, and more. That’s not all, email your pet’s Paw Card to your dog walker, pet sitter, or vet. FREE.

Search pets by breed, age, gender and size from 13,000 shelters and rescue groups around the country with the Petfinder app. It’s just what you need when someone tells you they’d like to buy a pet, or if you’re looking for a new family member. Bookmark your favorite pet profiles and share them with friends via email, Facebook and Twitter. FREE.

Pet First Aid
Be prepared with the Pet First Aid app and you’ll have instant access to clear, concise advice for common pet emergencies. With detailed articles, video, and illustrations, you’ll know exactly how to care for your pet. Learn how to handle bites and stings, bandaging, burns, bleeding, fractures, poisoning, and much more. $3.99.

Locate all the dog friendly spots in your area with the FidoFactor app – dog parks, dog friendly restaurants, bars, pet stores, hotels, and more. And not only will you find directions, hours and contact information in its growing user-generated database, but you’ll find user reviews too. FREE.

MixItUp with
Take a gamble on the MixItUp with app that allows you to seamlessly insert your dog (or cat, or your significant other) into three famous paintings from the classic 1903 Brown & Bigelow “Dogs Playing Poker” calendar. The best part, a percentage of the proceeds from each download is donated to $.99.

Pet Acoustics
With the Pet Acoustics app, you’ll get music specifically designed for the hearing sensitivities of your pet in terms of frequency, volume and rhythm. Use it to calm and soothe your pet for rest time, car travel, veterinary visits, and at other times. $1.99.

Best of 101 Dog Tricks
Teach your old or young dog a few new tricks with the Best of 101 Dog Tricks app. The app includes eight tricks from Kyra Sundance’s best-selling book, 101 Dog Tricks, and teaching your dog the tricks is a snap with video, photos and step-by-step instructions. $.99.

Download the iKnowDogs app and become an absolute expert on dog breeds. This detailed reference guide includes over 1,200 photos and facts about AKC recognized dog breeds, and lets you identify dogs by appearance, temperament, purpose and country of origin. $3.99.

Always have a squeaky toy on hand to get your dog’s attention, thanks to the iSqueek app, a virtual squeak-toy that reacts realistically to your touch. Press on any of the 18 toys, each with it’s own sound, to create long or short sound bursts to which your dog will respond. (Have plenty of praise or a treat for your dog to make up for the fact he doesn’t actually receive a squeaky toy when he responds!). $1.99.

Pet Services Finder
Find all the services for your pet’s needs at home or on the road. The Pet Services Finder helps you locate the nearest veterinarians, emergency clinics, doggie daycare facilities, dog sitters and walkers, dog groomers and more. Once the results appear, it’s your choice: click to call, get directions or read and post reviews. FREE.

Pictures of your dog on your phone are a must, and the PetSnap app improves your odds of taking a great shot. The app offers 32 different sounds to instantly get your dog’s attention, perfect for getting him or her to look right into the camera. $1.99.

The Scoop:
Those with cats, be sure to download the CatPaint app, which lets you effortlessly add all or any of sixteen adorable cats to your photos.

** Article Courtesy of Woof Report **