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All About Designer Dog Breeds


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Hear a kind of dog with a funny or unique name lately? It’s probably a “designer breed,” also known as a hybrid of two different dog breeds. The first generation of designer dogs are developed by crossing two purebreds, and the offspring of these crosses go by the same name. For example, the parents of a Goldendoodle can either be a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, or two Goldendoodles. Most designer breeds were developed in the early 2000’s and have become increasingly popular since then by serving different purposes. Learn more about 10 of our favorite designer dogs, below!

1. Goldendoodle


The Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and Poodle. The breed hybrid was developed in the 1990’s to have the friendly, energetic nature of a Golden Retriever and the allergy-friendly coat of a Poodle and has since become one of America’s most popular dogs.

2. Labradoodle


Labradoodles are a cross between a Labrador Retriever and Poodle. Developed in Australia in the late 1980’s, this breed hybrid continues to gain popularity for its easy trainability and outgoing personality. They were originally bred as allergy-friendly aids to the blind, and they are now a favorite companion dog among many North American homes.

3. Maltipoo


This popular mix known as the Maltipoo is a combination of a Maltese and a Poodle. The breed was specially created to be a small-sized companion dog with an allergy-friendly coat. They are clever and quick to learn, and make great watch dogs, often barking at anything suspicious in sight! The Maltipoo will charm your socks off, and then curl up on your feet to keep your toes warm.

4. Cockapoo


The Cockapoo is made by breeding a Cocker Spaniel with a Poodle. This breed is one of the older “designer” breeds, likely resulting from an accidental breeding in the 1960’s. Cockapoos are people-oriented, compassionate, intelligent and make excellent pets for families with children. They are prized for their intelligence, low-shedding coat and easygoing nature.

5. Frenchton


The Frenchton is a mix between a French Bulldog and a Boston Terrier, but unlike other designer dog breeds which are half one breed and half another, Frenchtons are 75 percent French bulldog and 25 percent Boston Terrier. This dog was developed in the 1990’s to create a healthier, more energetic breed than its parent breeds. These dogs are friendly, loving and intelligent, and are well suited for apartment living.

6. Morkie


The Morkie is a cross between a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier. Both parent breeds are known for having a lot of personality, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Morkie does as well! They love to play and exercise, and are eager to please their owners. As long as they have a lap to sit on, they do equally well in apartments or larger living spaces.

7. Pomsky


A cross between a Pomeranian and a Siberian Husky, the Pomsky has achieved rapid popularity in recent years. Usually active and energetic, this rarer designer breed tends to be highly intelligent, loving, playful and self-assured. Pomskies can also make great guard dogs, like both of their parent breeds. The appearance and size of a Pomsky can vary greatly, but very often they look like miniature Huskies.

8. Puggle


The Puggle is a cross between a Beagle and a Pug. Originating in the 1980s, Puggles combine the Beagle’s boundless energy and the Pug’s warm, loving personality. These dogs also have the Beagle’s incredible sense of smell and desire to track, and the Pug’s slightly pushed-in face. They vary in color and size, but are consistently popular family dogs and easy to take care of and train.

9. Shihpoo


This crossbreed is a mix between a Shih-Tzu and a Poodle. Shihpoos are very loving and playful, and get along very well with other pets and children. Also known as “Shoodles,” these are easy to train, intelligent dogs that do well in any size home. The appearance of a Shihpoo may vary, but this dog consistently has a cute, alert expression and a devoted, people-oriented personality.

10. Aussiedoodle


The Aussiedoodle is a cross between an Australian Shepherd and a Poodle. Each of those parent breeds is considered one of the more intelligent breeds, so crossing the two makes for a super-smart pup! Aussiedoodles are wonderful for families with small children, but watch out: they sometimes bump into children with the intent to “herd” them! While Aussiedoodles love to be active, they are just as happy curling up at your feet as they are happy playing outside.

These are just 10 of the many adorable designer breeds out there. Do you have a favorite designer dog that didn’t make the list?

Congratulating Trixie, the Dog That Got into a Four-Year University


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While aspiring undergraduate students across the nation receive news of their college acceptances this spring, one in particular stands out. That’s Trixie, a 6-year-old Golden Retriever from San Francisco who just received news of her acceptance to the University of California, Berkeley.

The dean of UC Berkeley came out with the following statement on Friday regarding the prestigious university’s historic decision:

Every year, the university is tasked with the important decision of selecting its incoming undergraduate students among a sea of qualified applicants. We received a total of 75,643 applications for the 2017-2018 academic year, and from this number, we were only able to select 15%. The university prides itself in its commitment to embracing diversity, which is evident in its multi-lingual and -cultural background. This year, the committee was pleased to offer an acceptance to our first canine, Ms. Trixie, an impressive scholar who will surely contribute to the diversity of our eclectic campus. Congratulations, Trixie, and welcome to UC Berkeley!

Trixie’s owners, Donald and Minnie Pincher, explained how their four-legged member of the family—who plans to enroll at Berkeley this fall with a major in engineering—exhibited signs of genius from a young age.

“From the day we picked up Trixie, we could tell there was something different about her,” said Donald. “This was no ordinary pooch. She started by staring intently at our daughter Sharpay’s math homework, then later on gripping a pencil between her teeth and solving equations on her own. Before we knew it, Trixie was helping us with our taxes!”

“We’re so proud of our little Trixie,” Minnie added. “Being a first-generation college student, she’s a source of inspiration for all the dogs out there who didn’t have an opportunity to receive a higher education.”

Once her owners realized how gifted their precious pooch was, the Pinchers homeschooled Trixie in order to provide her with a proper formal education. Besides her stellar math skills, Trixie’s talents include golfing, playing the trumpet and proficiency in Mandarin Chinese. One of her favorite proverbs in Chinese is “Yuren jie,” meaning…

April Fools!

K9 Veterans Day: A Day to Say ‘Thank You’ to Military Dogs


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On March 13, we recognize K9 Veterans Day, a day to salute the brave war dogs for their service to the U.S. military. While dogs have been accompanying humans in battle for centuries, official training centers for pooches under the Dogs for Defense did not come about until 1942. Today, there are about 2,500 working military dogs, and the day we commemorate them is also official birthday of the US Army K9 Corps. Let’s learn more about these paw-some military pups!

The Use of K9’s
Why would there be a demand for military dogs in the first place? The answer is that canines have special skills that surpass the human senses, proving very useful on the battlefield. Their superb noses can be used to sniff out explosives, locate soldiers and detect intruders. In addition to their ability to smell from far away distances, dogs can react quickly to dangers in their surroundings, and their innate strength is enough to intimidate an attacker without having to use lethal force. They are even trained to bite on command, revealing their discerning ability to stay loyal to their handlers while protecting them against their enemies. With their combination of optimal physical traits and fierce loyalty, dogs make the perfect partner for military use.

Breeds of the Military
Breeds used in the U.S. military have been narrowed largely to five breeds, the majority of which are German and Dutch Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. In fact, 85% of military dogs come directly from Germany and the Netherlands. In result, their handlers typically learn a few commands in the language of the dog’s country of origin. These breeds in particular are chosen for their consistent qualities of intelligence, loyalty and athleticism. Other breeds are used for more specialized roles, such as Golden and Labrador Retrievers as odor detection dogs. Others include Doberman Pinschers, Farm Collies (short coat) and Giant Schnauzers, Alaskan Malamutes and American Eskimo dogs.

Canines in Combat
There are several different roles that military K9’s may serve. Sentry dogs are taught to guard supplies and warn their handlers of incoming danger. They are especially useful for nighttime operations, when soldiers are more vulnerable to covert attacks. In addition to possessing the skills of sentries, the specialty of scout or patrol dogs is to detect the presence of the enemy long before soldiers become aware. According to the United States War Dogs Association, when a scout dog senses the enemy approaching, she will stiffen her body, raise her hackles, prick her ears and hold her tail rigid. There are messenger dogs that travel silently with their handlers, mine dogs trained to detect dangerous obstacles and casualty dogs that seek out the injured and fallen. Tunnel dogs were used to explore underground in Vietnam, and explosives detection dogs are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the War on Terrorism. There’s a canine role for just about any job in the military.

After Service
After these heroic canines have finished their service, they often stay with their handlers and their handlers’ families as pets. They may also find homes with law enforcement, or get adopted into families who welcome the opportunity to give these deserving dogs a happy home where they can enjoy retirement from working military life.

Dogs are pretty amazing, huh? Use the hashtag #NationalK9VeteransDay to show your support for canine veterans today!

5 Goldendoodle Facts That You Should Know


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The Goldendoodle is a hybrid breed developed in the 1990’s to have the friendly, energetic nature of a Golden Retriever and the allergy-friendly coat of a Poodle. They have since become one of the most popular American dogs and ranked #5 on our list of most popular dog breeds.

Here are 5 Goldendoodle Facts That You Should Know:

1. They’re a good choice for people with allergies.

While Goldendoodle fur varies from dog to dog, the hybrid tends to be a good choice for those with allergies to shedding dogs. Because of its Poodle-like fur, Goldendoodles hardly shed and are virtually hypoallergenic.

2. They’re brainy.

Both parent breeds of the Goldendoodle are in the top 5 of highest ranking in intelligence. The Poodle is #2, while the Golden Retriever is #4. This mix of smarts makes for one brainy pup.

3. They have good genes.

As a cross between two different breeds, Goldendoodles have a healthy genetic pool of variation. According to Goldendoodles.com, first generation (F1) crosses (the product of a Golden Retriever and Poodle) have the highest “hybrid vigour,” which is the idea that the first generation offspring are healthier than each of their individual parent lines.

4. They go by more than one name.

While “Goldendoodle” is the common name for this Golden Retriever-Poodle cross, they can also go by “Golden Poos”, “Goldie Poos”, or “Groodles.”

5. No two Goldendoodles are alike.

Since Goldendoodles are not purebreds, the characteristics of any one Goldendoodle cannot be predicted. A first generation Goldendoodle may look more like its Poodle parent or its Golden Retriever parent, and may possess any variation of personality or genetic qualities from either of its parents. These qualities become more consistent as Goldendoodles are bred between each other.

Ready for your new best friend? Check out our list of adorable Goldendoodle puppies today!

Getting to Know Guide Dogs


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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.

History
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.

Breeds
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.

Training
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.

9 Things You Didn’t Know About the Golden Retriever


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Golden Retrievers always rank high among the most popular breeds in the United States, and they’re #3 on PuppySpot’s list. These loyal, sociable dogs are excellent with children and families, and excel at obedience training and therapy work. They’re eager-to-please companions that can adapt to many environments, from apartments to larger living spaces. Here are 9 facts you need to know about Golden Retrievers!

1. They’re talented.
Not only do they make great family pets, but Goldens are also helpful to greater society. They’re used as hunters, guide dogs, search-and-rescue dogs and more. Their great trainability and keen sense of smell makes them useful for many jobs.

2. They love to swim.
Golden Retrievers give meaning to the term “doggy paddle.” These dogs have a knack for swimming in their blood; they even have water-repellent coats! They’ll joyfully take a dip in the pool or the ocean with you (sometimes without being asked).

3. They’re all over TV and cinema.
The camera loves Goldens, and is it any wonder why? Their friendly smiles and lovable character are irresistible to viewers everywhere. You might recognize the breed from the Disney movie franchise “Air Bud” or from Comet in the TV series “Full House.” This breed is a favorite in television and movies, and we’re not complaining!

4. They’re considered the fourth smartest dog breed.

According to the AKC, Golden Retrievers are the fourth smartest dogs behind the Border Collie, Poodle and German Shepherd. That must be why they’re so good at many different jobs!

5. They belonged to presidents.
US presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan both had Golden Retrievers as pets while serving in the White House. The name of Ford’s Golden was Liberty, and Reagan’s was Victory.

6. They come in three recognized colors.
When it comes to Golden Retrievers, there’s not just one version of “golden.” The three standard colors of this breed are gold, light golden, and dark golden.

7. They’re calm and cool.
Despite their size and strength, Goldens are not particularly loud. They don’t bark much, except for if a stranger comes to the door. Most of the time, this majestic breed is quiet and well-behaved.

8. They get along with others.
Cat, dog, goldfish—doesn’t matter, a Golden can get along with just about anyone. They’re also very gentle around small children, though supervision is still needed because Goldens can get overexcited and accidentally knock over a child.

9. They set the bar for obedience.
Goldens excel in tests of obedience. In fact, they were the first three consecutive winners of AKC’s Obedience trials starting in 1977. These champs are truly outstanding dogs.

Westminster Insight
A Golden Retriver named “Tamarack And Blueprint’s Defying Gravity” placed in third among the Sporting Group at the 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

What do you love about your Golden Retriever? Comment below!

Tackling Obesity: Common Dog Food-Related Myths


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Just as obesity is an unhealthy, dangerous problem for humans, the same can be said for your canine companion. A whopping 34% of dogs are overweight, so as cute as an overly plump dog may be, obesity is a serious issue not to be taken lightly. The truth is that keeping your dog lean and healthy can extend his lifespan up to two years. And, weight management is crucial to avoid obesity-related health issues, especially if your dog is genetically prone to obesity (some breeds such as Cocker Spaniel, Labrador and Golden Retrievers, Basset Hounds, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Dachshunds should be watched more closely). With this information in mind, it is your responsibility as a pup parent to make sure your dog maintains healthy nutrition and a normal weight within the average range for his breed.

Oftentimes, common misconceptions prevent pup parents from taking good care of their pup’s physical health. Let’s debunk some of these myths to set you and your pooch up for successful weight management:

Puppies Are Always Hungry: Pup parents often see their dogs gobble up food in seconds, take treats without pause and beg for table food. These behaviors lead to the myth that dogs never tire of eating and are always ready for food. While dogs may always take food when handed to them (haven’t you ever had one too many helpings at Thanksgiving dinner?), this doesn’t mean they need food. Unfortunately, well-meaning owners often leave food in their dog’s bowl all day hoping to satisfy their “hungry” pooches. However, this is an extremely unhealthy practice. Dogs should be on a strict feeding schedule – depending on your veterinarian’s instruction, typically no more than 2x/day. Pooches don’t need as many calories as humans do. That said, water bowls should be filled throughout the day so that your dog stays well-hydrated.

Spaying and Neutering Cause Obesity: This is simply untrue. Spaying or neutering procedures may slow down a dog’s natural metabolism, but also means that your dog requires less calories to maintain a healthy weight. As your dog goes through body changes such as getting fixed, or getting older, you need to be aware of weight gain and act immediately to reduce caloric intake or increase activity level to offset the change.

Some Dogs are Picky, so Feed Them Whatever They’ll Eat: This may be true with toddlers (to an extent), but dogs should not be given the opportunity to choose what they eat. If you’ve experimented with giving them table scraps, you’ll notice they’ll almost always prefer human food. After all, a flavorful steak sounds much more delicious than a bowl of kibble, right? But this practice forms bad habit and will cause your dog to become “picky” and eat fatty, calorie-filled human food rather than the food designed to keep him fit and strong.

The Best Way to Reward a Puppy is with Treats: When your puppy does a good job, you give him a bite sized treat, right? While this is fine practice in moderation, an over-consumption of treats, which are often filled with empty calories, can lead to pet obesity. As a general guideline, treats should not comprise more than 10% of your dog’s overall diet. Also, if you notice your dog over-snacks on treats and sometimes doesn’t finish his entire bowl of food, it may be a sign he’s consuming too many treats.

Frequent, Small Meals are Better than a Few Solid Meals: Not necessarily. Again, consult with your veterinarian, but while this is a commonly adopted diet plan for humans, this can cause overeating in dogs and bad habits. Just because dogs eat the food that’s put underneath their noses, doesn’t mean their bodies require the calories.

Begging Dogs are Hungry: Dog behavior can be misleading and begging for food is an art that many dogs become quite talented at perfecting. If your canine is pleading, they’ve likely become accustomed to the fact that begging is rewarded with food. Any dog trainer will tell you it’s important not to indulge, but rather to ignore the bad behavior. Giving in will only teach your dog to continue begging. While we all love our animals dearly, in any kind of training, consistency of discipline is key. It only takes one time for your dog to learn this kind of behavior is tolerated. Rest assured, if your dog is a healthy weight and eating the correct amount of food at meals, he is not hungry.

While these myth-busters are helpful for common weight issues, there are some circumstances where your pup’s obesity may be the result of a medical issue such as hypothyroidism. If the weight management solutions you’re trying at home are not showing results, it’s best to take your pup into the vet for an evaluation to rule out other diagnoses.

When Your Dog Has Cancer


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Hearing your loved one has cancer can be devastating, whether it’s a family member or your furry friend. Yet in both pets and humans, cancer is a reality that cannot be ignored. In honor of Pet Cancer Awareness Month, we’ve put together a guide for understanding, detecting and treating cancer in dogs.

Types of Canine Cancer
thumbnail-cancer
According to WebMD, cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10, but experts say that half of all cancers are curable if caught early. Dogs can develop a variety of cancers including mast cell tumors, a form of skin cancer; malignant lymphoma, tumors in the lymph nodes; breast cancer, which occurs as mammary gland tumors; and soft tissue sarcomas. Other common types of cancer in dogs are Hemangiosarcoma or cancer of the blood vessels; Malignant Histiocytosis, which is cancer of the white blood cells; Melanoma; Osteosarcoma or bone cancer; and prostate cancer.

Causes
You may be relieved to know that while it may seem that cancer is an extremely common diagnosis in dogs, the main reason we are hearing about it so much these days is that dog owners are taking better care of their pooches to the point that dogs are living long enough to develop the disease. Cancer in any species is multifactorial, meaning that there is not a single cause one can pinpoint for why it develops, but the reasons are thought to be both hereditary and environmental. For the hereditary case, there are some breeds of dog more prone to cancer than others. You should be especially on the lookout for cancer if your dog is one of the following:

Among the possible environmental causes of canine cancer are intact sex organs, exposure to tobacco smoke and toxic environments.

Signs and Symptoms
Just like in humans, one of the most typical signs of cancer in dogs is an abnormal lump or bump. Other classic signs are a wound that doesn’t heal, any kind of swelling, enlarged lymph nodes or abnormal bleeding. These are signs that should be addressed immediately by taking your dog to a veterinarian. Especially if your dog is over the age of 10, there are other, subtler signs that should not be ignored, which include unusual odors, unusual weight loss, loss of appetite, respiratory problems, lack of energy or bone stiffness.

Treatment and Prevention
With early detection, cancer in dogs is very preventable. You can also lower your dog’s risk of breast or prostate cancer by spaying or neutering. In addition, healthy diet and exercise are always recommended to give your dog a long, happy life. However, if the cancer spreads quickly before it is detected, there are methods of treatment which still give your dog a chance at survival. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are among the common options. However, these can be costly and may require a specialized payment plan with your vet.

If your dog develops cancer, as distressing as the news it, it shouldn’t be a cause of complete hopelessness. A dog with just a small lump that needs to be removed has a very good long-term prognosis, and even cases of malignant cancer have at least a 60 percent success range, according to WebMD. Recovery should take months rather than years. While nobody wants to imagine their dog having cancer, awareness and early intervention of the disease can ultimately give your furry friend a long, healthy and happy life.

6 DIY Costume Ideas for Your Dog This Halloween


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Halloween is coming up, and if you like to go trick-or-treating with your favorite furry friend by your side, you’ll have to make sure he looks the part. Below are six costume ideas to make this Halloween with your pup spooktacular!

1. Haunting Ghost

haunting-ghost
Source: toptenscentral.com

Go with this classic and super-simple Halloween look that will be sure to spook both your human and dog neighbors! All you need is an old white sheet and a pair of scissors. Put the sheet over your dog’s body and carefully cut out holes for his eyes and muzzle. Cut the extra fabric off, making the bottom of the sheet look torn and frayed. Make sure the sheet is not so long to prevent your dog from tripping over it. For extra points, teach him to say “Oooh!”

 

2. Pokémon GO! Player and Pikachu

pokemon
Source: PinkNews

Here’s a costume you can coordinate with your pup! With the recent Pokémon GO! craze taking over, a fun idea is to dress up as a player and dress your dog as a Pikachu. This look will work best with a white, fluffy, pointy-eared dog such as a Pomeranian or Siberian Husky. To transform into a game player, you will need a tracksuit with your team color of choice (yellow for Instinct, blue for Mystic and red for Valor). Pair the outfit with matching sneakers, hat and a backpack. Finally, make your own Pokéball by pasting white and black construction paper around a tennis ball in the appropriate pattern.

To turn Fido into Pikachu, you will either need a dye that is safe for pets, or natural food coloring. Absolutely DO NOT use hair dye or any dye with synthetic chemicals on your dog. His skin has a pH level that is more reactive than yours to the harmful chemicals in human dyes. Do not use dye on him if he has any persisting health issues. Food coloring is the safest option, whether it is store bought, or one you make at home. You can make your own “dye” using pigmented foods that are safe for your dog to eat, such as beets, blackberries, carrots, spinach, and turmeric powder. Squeeze or mash the ingredients to get the color out, and feel free to mix-and-match ingredients to get the color you desire. Once you’ve determined a dye is safe, apply yellow dye to your dog’s fur using a large brush. Then, clean the brush and use it to paint black stripes on his back and the tips of his ears. Finish by giving him Pikachu’s signature red-circle cheeks. Since it usually takes about four-six weeks for the dye to fade, you’ll be set to catch ‘em all long after Halloween night!


3. Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad

Photo from Wikipedia.org
Source: Wikipedia.org

This devilish character has been a copycat favorite of fans since the movie came out this year, and the doggie version will be sure to scare the socks off your friends (or kill them with cuteness)! The look works best on light-colored, long-eared and furry dogs like Cocker Spaniels or Afghan Hounds. Depending on your dog’s breed, you will apply a natural dye (see instructions for dye use above) to both sides of his head which will make him appear as though he has two long pigtails. Dye the right side pink and the left side blue to match Harley Quinn’s hairstyle, then paint a small black heart on his upper left cheek. Secure the ponytails with matching-colored ribbons, but make sure they are not too tight on your dog’s ears. For the outfit, take an old, white T-shirt and paint the sleeves red. Then, make him boots using white fabric or felt. Finish off the look by making a baton out of construction paper or cardboard and securing it to his outfit, making sure it’s safe and comfortable for him. With this look, no one will want to get on your puppy’s bad side.


4. Beanie Baby

beanie
Source: purewow.com

This costume is one that requires very minimal effort. Your pooch is already cute and cuddly as is, so it won’t take much time to make him look like our favorite childhood toy. All you need to do is recreate the Beanie Baby tag using construction paper and markers, punch a hole through, and tie the tag to your dog’s collar. With this costume, he’ll look cute enough to squish!


5. Fearsome Lion

Photo from odditymail.com
Source: odditymail.com

Want your dog to be the King of the Jungle? All you’ll need is some reddish-brown faux fur, scissors, a needle and thread. This costume looks especially ferocious on Golden Retrievers and other big, light brown-colored dogs. Make a mane by fashioning the faux fur into a wreath around your pooch’s neck and sewing the ends together. For an even more authentic look, trim your dog’s coat so there is only long fur on the bottom of his legs and end of his tail (or if he’s a short-coated breed, attach pieces of faux fur to these areas). If you put effort into the details, you can end up with one scary-looking beast!


6. Superhero

Photo from costumecraze.com
Source: costumecraze.com

Your dog’s already a superhero in your eyes, so why not let the rest of the world see him that way, too? Take a piece of red fabric and tie it around her collar for a flowing cape. For the chest, take a blue square of fabric, fold it in half, and cut out a circle for your dog’s head. Then sew the sides together, leaving holes for your dog’s front legs to go through. Finally, print out the Superwoman or Superman logo, cut it out, and stick it to the chest. Fido’s ready to save the day!

 

 

 

 

Splish Splash: Can Your Pup Do The “Doggie Paddle?”


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Ever imagine your dog running through the ocean waves or swimming alongside you on a hot summer day? You may be in luck. Certain breeds are natural born swimmers. Take a look and see if your pup is ready to get his paws wet.

Golden Retrievers
water-breed-thumbnailThe quintessential water-friendly breed is the Golden Retriever. Early retrievers were crossbred with water spaniels to create the Golden Retriever, which means the breed’s skill for swimming is a biological trait descended down through its ancestry. They’re so suited to water; they even have water-repellent coats!

Irish Water Spaniels
Irish Water Spaniels are one of the most intelligent breeds in the world. The tallest of spaniels, these spunky and lively dogs have curly ringlets, which help form a naturally water-repellent coat. Irish Water Spaniels were trained to hunt for waterfowl, though they enjoy being pets and show dogs, too.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers
These retrievers are the smallest of their kind, but they sure don’t act small! They’re playful, energetic, and exceptionally fast swimmers. They have double coats that naturally repel water, helping them hunt, lure, and retrieve ducks and other waterfowl.

Portuguese Water Hounds
Originally from Algarve, Portugal, the Portuguese Water Hound is quite hard to find as they are a rare breed. These hardworking dogs were given the task of herding fish into nets and then taking them to the shore. The most famous Portuguese Water Hound is our first dog, Bo Obama, son of First Lady and President Barack Obama.

Labrador Retrievers
It’s no surprise that Labrador Retrievers adore water, since they are descendants of St. John’s Water Dogs. They used to help fishermen carry anything from ropes to fishing nets. They’re also very loyal, which makes them excellent companions. Labradors are well loved, ranking as the #1  breed in America, and are routinely used for water rescue missions.

Spanish Water Dogs
Spanish Water dogs are energetic, intelligent, and agile, as they can do anything from hunting to herding. They can be taught a great number of skills, but what they love to do best is engage in water sports.

Newfoundlands
These large dogs were bred to haul fishnets and heavy equipment from the water to the shore. “Newfies” have long coats that are thick, oily and waterproof, making them well-suited for swimming. Plus, their huge lung capacity is an advantage when it comes to swimming long distances.

Poodles
Despite being fluffy and “prissy,” standard poodles are actually excellent gundogs. They’re considered working dogs in the same category as retrievers. Those flamboyant (and sometimes ridiculous) hairdos? Their fur is designed to protect the joints when they dive into cold water. They’re also intelligent and hypoallergenic, making them great family pets.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
This large breed is believed to have been sired by two Newfoundlands several generations ago, then crossed with other breeds. Chessies have water-repellent wavy double coats and webbed toes to help them swim! Chessies are intelligent, protective, and very loyal.

English Setters
These setters might look a bit unusual with their speckled or mottled coats, but English Setters are intelligent, sensitive dogs who love the water. Their “belton” coats have many recognized combinations, such as white and black, white and orange, and even some with a tricolor belton of white, black and tan.

Move over Michael Phelps, these aquatic pooches are ready to dive in headfirst!

A Spotlight on Service Dogs


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A service dog is a dog trained specifically to assist people with disabilities such as visual impairment, hearing loss, mobility impairment, mental illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or health conditions such as diabetes.

It may not be that surprising to many dog lovers that on top of the all the amazing benefits the average pet dog provides, certain dogs have the capability to provide life-changing services for owners in need. More than just pets, service dogs are technically “working dogs.” To honor these incredible animals, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about service dogs, including which breeds are most suitable for service training, the process for a dog to become certified, and how you can get involved in service animal organizations.

Common Service Breeds
service-thumbnailThe breeds that tend to take well to service-based training are German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Border Collies. Yet, there are also other breeds that are best for specific disabilities. For instance, smaller breeds such as Setters and Shiba Inus are often used for seizure assistance. In general, small breeds are better suited for conditions that require medical alerts; but for mobility or balance issues, larger, stronger breeds are necessary.

Physical Assessment
The first step in evaluating whether a dog is a good candidate for service, is to schedule a nose-to-tail examination by a licensed veterinarian. If a dog has a condition like arthritis for example, he would not be considered a good candidate as the condition could inhibit him from performing his duties and add unnecessary strain to his body. Service dogs should all be neutered or spayed so they are not in heat while working. Age is also a factor as dogs should be at least 6 months old and past the puppy stage.

Personality Evaluation
Disposition and temperament are crucial factors in determining whether a dog is capable of becoming an effective service dog. A neutral personality that isn’t too active or too passive is the easiest personality type to train for service duties. A dog who is pretty even-tempered, rather than aggressive or overly submissive, is likely to be a great fit.

Sourcing A Reputable Trainer
Training a service animal requires a lot of expertise, patience and of course a tailored program customized to the illness or condition the dog is being trained to assist. While there is no required certification in the United States, the service dog training community has created self-regulated, minimum standards of which all trainers should meet. While anyone can learn to train their pet, it’s highly recommended to seek out a professional when it comes to service-based training. A professional trainer will put in the time (often hundreds of hours over 6 months to a year) and focus on “proofing,” which is the art of tuning out distractions and always being on command.

Public Testing
Intermittently throughout and certainly towards the end of the service-training program, professional trainers will take the soon-to-be service dogs into public environments and essentially test the dogs’ skills. Often equipped with a video camera, the trainers will test the dogs’ public conduct, including expectations such as only urinating and defecating on command, curbed excitement, no display of aggression and reduced hyperactivity.

Graduation and Registration
Once a dog successfully completes a service-dog training course, it’s the responsibility of the owner or trainer to register the dog with a reputable service organization such as the United States Service Dog Registry. Because service dogs are self-regulated in the U.S., it’s imperative that owners are diligent in completing the paperwork and registering their animal. A public record of a dog’s service training is helpful for any situation where the dog may be questioned or as evidence in the case of any sort of altercation. Remember, the dog just graduated an intensive program; it’s the least us humans can do!

Finding a Human Match In Need
Similar to trainer resources, there are plenty of places to find people in need of service animals. Remember, public accommodations for service dogs are only made if they’re accompanying a disabled individual.

Whether you have a dog you’re interested in training and donating to become a service animal, or you or someone you know is in need of a service dog, we hope you’ve found this information helpful. It truly is incredible that in addition to providing unconditional love, dogs can provide humans life-saving care.