Tag Archives: housetraining

3 Reasons to Thank Dog Moms This Mother’s Day

Mothers are our everything, raising their children with endless love, care and compassion. While their children are of a different species, dog moms also deserve recognition for the time and devotion they put into raising their fur babies. This Mother’s Day, let’s look at the top three reasons for celebrating our fabulous dog moms!

Reason 1: Unconditional Love
There’s no love as unconditional as that between a mother and her child. Except for maybe, the love of a dog mom for her precious pup. A dog mom will see past her fur baby’s flaws and love her dog simply for being her faithful companion. Through all the messy accidents, chewed up socks and stubborn moments, a good dog mom will always stand by her pup. Many human relationships cannot boast the same kind of pure, long lasting love.

Reason 2: Responsibility
Whether you’re a mother to a human or a canine, you’re responsible for the welfare of a living, breathing creature who depends on you for survival. Your presence means the world, and no one knows how to take care of your baby like you do. Dog moms want the best for their pup, and will be there through sickness and in health. Many dog moms will invest in dog insurance to protect their pup’s health, training classes to improve their pup’s behavior, and doggy daycare for times when Mommy can’t be around. Owning a dog is like working a second job, and it takes a special kind of person to take on that level of responsibility.

Reason 3: Give and Take
From the moment your puppy arrives home, you will have to give, give and give. This often starts with putting in time for training. Housetraining a dog is much like potty training a child—both instances require a lot of patience and encouragement. Much of your life with your pup will consist of obedience training, teaching right from wrong and offering guidance every step of the way. A dog mom will give her all to her fast-growing pup, expecting nothing but love in return, and still, her dog will reciprocate with affection, quality time and lessons of her own. Not only are there proven human health benefits to owning a dog, but your pup can also teach a thing or two to other members of your household. The best types of relationships, after all, involve some give-and-take.

Who said Mother’s Day is only for the caretakers of humans that walk on two legs? This Mother’s Day, take a moment to recognize the super dog moms for all they do too! And if you’re a dog mom, give yourself a pat on the back—thanks to you, the life of a pawsome pup could not be better.

Getting to Know Guide Dogs

Guide dogs, also known as seeing eye dogs, are special pooches that help the blind navigate their world. Guide Dogs of America provides blind and visually impaired people with guide dogs free of charge in North America. Now that deserves a “round of a-paws.” Let’s get to know more about these paw-some pups and how they perform heroic acts every day.

The first school for training service animals, including seeing eye dogs, was established in Germany during World War I to assist veterans blinded in war. Outside of Germany, interest in service dogs did not become widespread until the mid-1900’s. The first guide dogs were German Shepherds, appropriately coming from the service dog school’s country of origin. In 1929, Nashville resident Morris Frank succeeded in convincing Americans to grant people with service animals access to public transportation, hotels and other open public areas. By Federal law, blind people with service dogs are now allowed to go anywhere the general public is allowed, including restaurants, hospitals, stores, airplanes and taxis.

The dog breeds used in guide dog service are chosen for their easy trainability and sound temperaments. The most common breeds selected as guide dogs are Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds, but other breeds have also been known to be good choices, such as Labradoodles, Standard Poodles, Collies, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Havanese and Vizslas.

Many guide dogs are trained from birth for the special task of aiding the visually impaired. Dogs who start training at birth take about 18 months to complete their program (DGP for Pets). Just like all domesticated dogs, guide dogs must first learn housetraining and basic obedience before receiving additional guide dog training. After about one year, the guide dog meets her partner and they train together for two weeks.

The guide dog recipient is just as responsible in training as the dog. It is the responsibility of the visually impaired person to use his or her senses to judge whether or not it is safe to cross the street, for example, but the guide dog may refute the action if she deems it hazardous. The dog’s intentional refusal of a command is called “intelligent disobedience.”

Meeting a Working Guide Dog Team

If you encounter a visually impaired person with a guide dog, you should treat this person as you would any other stranger on the street and respect boundaries. Do not pet, feed or talk to a guide dog without asking for the owner’s permission first. While they may be irresistibly cute, guide dogs are at work and should not be distracted. After all, the owner depends on his or her guide dog to be vigilant of dangers.

Guide dogs are special service dogs that have helped aid the blind for decades. Their ability to learn techniques above and beyond basic training techniques in order to devotedly assist their partner is truly remarkable. We never cease to be amazed at what dogs can do in our everyday lives.