The Importance of Crate Training

Photo Credit: Unleashed Unlimited
Photo Credit: Unleashed Unlimited

Crate training a puppy or an adult dog can seem like a daunting task, especially when your dogs do not want to cooperate. For puppies, being locked up in a crate can be frustrating at first, and they often whine until they are let out. Adult dogs may not like the idea of being locked up in a cage either, especially if they have never been crated before. Even though they may not enjoy it at first, they will eventually.

There are several benefits to successfully crate training your dogs. The first, is it provides them with their own space. Somewhere that they can go when they want to relax, away from everyone. Crate training also helps housebreaking puppies. A puppy does not want to sleep in a wet bed, so it teaches them to not go to the bathroom in their house. It can even reduce the separation anxiety that dogs experience when they are away from their owners. Their crates become their safe places, and they feel comfortable in them, even when they are in an uncomfortable position.

There are a few tips that you should consider when you are starting to crate train. It is very important to place your dogs crate in a place that is close to you. For example, next to the couch or somewhere in the living room is the best. This way your dog does not feel isolated when they are in their kennel. They will also go into their crates to relax more if they are still near their owners. It is also important to put some comfy blankets in there for them to lay on. Chances are they do not want to always lay on cold plastic, and will not be happy to go into their kennels. Food is another important consideration. You do not want to feed your dogs in their kennel. It is important to feed them outside of their kennels, that way they will not begin to think that every time they go in their kennel they are going to be fed. Treats are a different story, it is alright to give them a treat when you tell them to get in their kennels, and they listen!

When introducing a kennel to a puppy or an adult dog that isn’t kennel trained, it is important to not just lock them in their and leave them. Becoming comfortable in their kennel is a process, and you do not want them to hate being in a kennel. Start with small time periods, and even put a treat in the back so they go find it. Giving their kennel a name helps. For  my dogs, it’s “go to your room” not “go to your kennel.” They absolutely love their kennels! It’s also okay to put their toys in their for them! I keep my dogs toys in their kennels and they will bring them out and even put them back.

It is definitely a process crate training your dogs, but in the long run it is well worth it. It becomes their safe place and your dogs will love their kennels, in time.

If you are new to crate training check out http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/why-crate-train-dog and http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/crate_training.html for some great tips and tricks to crate training!

Does anyone else have any tips? Please leave them in a comment if you do!

Which dog toys are tough enough?

Let’s just say that my dogs have a tendency to go through a lot of dog toys. I feel like no matter what toys I have bought, they still completely destroy them. I’m not sure if it is because the toys just cannot stand a chance against my three dogs, or if my dogs really are just too rough with them. I find myself giving them new toys on the weekend, and then by Monday, they are torn apart and ready for the trash. It just seems weird to me because I don’t see any of my dogs fighting over them or being rough with them.

Delilah with her  Photo Credit: Personal Photo
Delilah with her
Photo Credit: Personal Photo
Sahrabis with his stuff-less toy Photo Credit: Personal Photo
Sahrabis with his stuff-less toy
Photo Credit: Personal Photo

Even though there are many brands of dog toys that are not tough enough for my dogs to have for any length of time, there have been a few that I have come across that last a little longer than the others. Zanies Toughstructables are very durable toys that all of my dogs seem to love! Although they are not indestructible, they seem to have lasted longer than previous toys. Indestructible dogs toys brand also make a toy called the mega tugowar that has seemed to have stood up to them as well.

Another toy that I tend to purchase for them that they are very fond of are the stuff-less squeaker toys. I am particularly fond of these because there is much less of a mess associated with these toys than some of the other toys that I get for them. These toys are also less expensive than the other toys, which means I can buy more of these for the same price as the other ones!

Finding the right toys for your dogs can be hard, especially when your dogs destroy everything that you give them. It is all about finding the ones that last the longest, and don’t make much of a mess that you have to clean up! http://dogtime.com/interactive-toys.html and http://gizmodo.com/5913008/the-6-best-toys-to-keep-your-dog-really-busy have some good toy reviews for your dogs.

Who else has found a toy that they love for their dogs! I need more recommendations on new ones to try! Please leave a comment below.

Vaccinating is Important!

Photo Credit: Dr. Fosters and Smith
Photo Credit: Dr. Fosters and Smith

Vaccinating your puppy before taking them into public is probably the most crucial thing for you to do. More aI see more and more people these days out in public with their puppies that are too young to be FULLY vaccinated. I emphasized the fully because that is the most important part. A puppy needs a series of three vaccinations, before they are protected from several viruses, including parvovirus. The first vaccinations are usually done at eight weeks, twelve weeks, and the last at sixteen weeks. Additionally, it is important to keep up on yearly vaccinations.

Photo Credit: Canine Journal
Photo Credit: Canine Journal

Parvo is a virus found in both cats and dogs that can be spread either through indirect contact or direct contact. Generally, parvovirus is spread through feces, because the bacteria can live up to six months in the feces or the ground where the infected feces was. The mortality rate for untreated cases of parvo is over 91%. This virus is very aggressive and spread quickly if it is not noticed quickly.

Some of the symptoms of parvo is lethargy, vomiting, fever, and bloody diarrhea. If your puppy is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to get them checked out by a vet as soon as possible. Once the dog has parvo, the treatment is harsh, and it is long. They are generally hooked up to IV’s to keep fluids in them, and are given antibiotics, and anti-nausea injections.

The best thing for you and your puppy is to not take them in public, or anywhere that other dogs have been, before they have received all of their vaccinations. Sometimes it may be hard to leave your puppy at home, especially because you want to show them off, but remember it is for their best interest. I am sure that everyone would rather have a healthy puppy over them getting sick from going into public with you. To find out more about canine vaccinations, check out http://www.caninejournal.com/dog-vaccinations/ and https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/vaccinations.

What does everyone else think about vaccinations? Please leave a comment!

Tips for traveling with your dogs

Traveling with your dogs can sometimes be a daunting task. Car rides may make your dogs nervous, you have to stop frequently to let them go to the restroom, and then they get to stay in a new place. All of these aspects can make traveling with your pets on the bottom of your to-do list. Leaving your dogs at a kennel is the easy way out. Over spring break I am planning a trip to California with all of my dogs. While it is stressful for me, my dogs love it. They enjoy being in the car, and staying at my families house with me. To be honest, I prefer it over leaving them at a kennel or with my parents. I just like having my dogs with me.

Photo Credit: Dr. Prem
Photo Credit: Dr. Prem

I travel with my dogs a lot, and they have become pretty accustomed to traveling with me. But I always have to make a list of what to bring with me, so I don’t forget anything. Also, there are a few things that I always do before going out of town. First, it is important to make sure that they are up to date on all of their shots. This is important so they do not get sick in new places. Next, I always take them to get their nails trimmed. My dogs enjoy sitting in the car like a person, and I do not want them to damage my car seats. Another thing that is important to consider is if they need flea/tick preventative medicine. Since I live in Nevada, where fleas/ ticks are not common, I do not give my dogs preventatives, unless we are planning a trip out of town.

Next comes the list of things to pack. I usually bring their entire food container, food dishes, dog kennels, their blankets, as well as a basket of their toys to keep them busy. In my opinion, it is better to over pack for them instead of under pack and end up having to go to the pet store. I probably do not need to take their kennels with me, but going to places that they are not 100% familiar with can be stressful to them. For my dogs, their kennels are not somewhere that they go when they are punished, but their safe places where they feel comfortable, which is why I take them with me.

Photo Credit: Dogtipper
Photo Credit: Dogtipper

Everyone’s dogs are different and it is important to get to know your dogs traveling habits. http://www.akc.org/dog-owners/responsible-dog-ownership/travel-tips/ and https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/road-trips-your-dog both provide very helpful information about traveling with your pets. My dogs have been on several road trips, and even enjoy riding for long distances in the back of the truck (tied down of course). The first few trips may be stressful for your dogs, but they begin to get the hang of it and will come out of their shells. It helps to continue to exercise them like your normally would while on your trip, in order to keep them in a routine.

Does anyone else have any recommendations about traveling with your dogs? If you do, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment!

Exercising a Rottweiler is a big time commitment

Everyone knows that dogs need exercise, but how much do they really need. The answer to this is, how ever much is enough. Different sizes of dogs with different activity levels need all different amounts of exercise, and there isn’t really a set amount. For example, a smaller dog, such as a Jack Russell Terrier might only need thirty minutes of exercise, while a larger breed dog, like a Rottweiler, might need over an hour.

Photo Credit: Dogtread.com
Photo Credit: Dogtread.com

Another thing to consider is what is exercise. If you have a larger yard, where your dogs can run, they may not need as much exercise out of the house. If you have a small yard, where they are not running around much, they may need more out of the house exercise. The real way to tell if they are getting enough exercise is if they are maintaining a healthy weight, and are getting exercise daily.

Having three large Rottweilers, in a smaller sized large, is not ideal for my dogs to get enough exercise. They are in need to getting exercise everyday out of the house. This means that I take them on walks, take them to the dog park, or up into the mountains to run. For my dogs, I try and get them at least an hour of exercise a day on the weekdays, and then on the weekends I will take them out until they can’t go anymore.

Photo Credit: United Canine Association
Photo Credit: United Canine Association

It is definitely a huge time commitment when you live a busy life to make sure that your dogs are getting the right amount of exercise. It can also be boring to do the same thing everyday. http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/healthy-pets/10-fun-ways-to-exercise-your-dog/ gives you ideas on fun ways to exercise your dogs. One thing that I try to do is to take them to a different place each day of the week. I try my hardest to stay away from walking them on the same path that I did the day before.

If you do not have the time to take your dogs out for a day, you still need to make sure they get some exercise. http://www.cesarsway.com/training/exercise/Ways-to-Exercise-Your-Dog-Indoors gives you ideas for indoor exercise for your dogs. I will admit, there are some days when I am just too busy, and do not have the time to get them all of the exercise they need. When that happens, I usually will play fetch with them in the back yard one at a time, to get them at least some exercise.

Overall, exercising your dog is definitely a big time commitment, but is it something that your dog needs in order to maintain their health. By taking the time out of your day to get them the exercise that they need will not only keep them healthy, it will keep them happy.

If you haven’t gotten to take your dogs out in awhile, take some time and get out and exercise them!

Delilah Is 3!

Today, my sweet girl Delilah is three years old. It feels like just yesterday that I was picking her up from the breeder in Las Vegas, and bringing her to her new home. Fast forward to three years down the road and she is still just as much a pain in the butt as the day I brought her home. So, since it’s her birthday, what more could she want than to go to the dark park and eat a doggy birthday cake. Yes, I said cake!

Photo Credit: Personal Photo
Photo Credit: Personal Photo

I have never made a doggy birthday cake before, I always just go buy something at the dog bakery, so hopefully this works out. I found a carrot peanut butter cake with peanut butter frosting that looks really good (for a dog) on http://www.browneyedbaker.com/dog-birthday-cake/. It never fails that I mess something up when baking, so I bought enough ingredients for two cakes, just in case I mess it up the first time. If I don’t, then I’ll have enough to make Sahrabis a cake for his birthday next week!

Below is a list of the ingredients that the recipe called for:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 egg

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3 teaspoons water

Before beginning to mix all of the ingredients, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees, and greased an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan. First, I mixed the flour and baking soda together in a bowl, and then added each of the remaining ingredients one at a time until everything was mixed together thoroughly. Next I poured the mixture into the pan, and put it in the oven. After putting the cake in the over I made the frosting. The frosting for the cake was just 1/3 cup of peanut butter mixed with some water to thin it out. After about 30 minutes I took the cake out of the oven and let it cool.

I have to say, this is probably one of the easiest things I have ever baked, and it made it even better that it was for my dogs! This is definitely something that I will make for each of their birthdays, especially because I know what is in it, and it is healthy for the most part.

Below is a picture of the completed cake I made for Delilah!

Photo Credit: Personal Photo
Photo Credit: Personal Photo

Does anyone else make treats for their dogs? If not, I encourage you to start! And let me know how it turns out!

Why Is Choosing the Right Rottweiler Breeder so Important?

After making the decision to get a new Rottweiler puppy, the next thing you want to do is find the right breeder. Finding the right breeder to get your puppy from is extremely important for a number of reasons. Think of it this way, your new puppy is going to be a member of your family for many years to come, and you want to make sure that you get the best out of this time. That means that you do not want a puppy that is going to have medical, temperament, or even socialization problems. All of these things can occur in a puppy if they do not come from a credible, experienced breeder.

Photo Credit: Esmond Rottweilers
Photo Credit: Esmond Rottweilers

The main reason that it is so important to get a puppy from a reputable breeder is health issues. Many health problems, especially in Rottweilers, can be genetic. This means that these problems can be passed down from either one or both of the parents. It does happen, and sometimes even after doing your research things can happen, either genetic or not. The most common problems that are passed down from the parents are issues with the dogs hips, joints, and even their hearts.

When researching reputable breeders, you should always ask the breeders that you are interested in if the parents have had health screenings to determine if they are fit to have puppies. A common health screening for dogs are the OFA tests. OFA tests are administered by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, and they concentrate on hip, joint, dysplasia, as well as other problems. It is crucial that the breeders have had their dogs tested, and have adequate results, prior to breeding. You should be able to ask all breeders for the test results for the dogs that they breed, if they cannot provide them for you, I would recommend purchasing a puppy from them.

Another thing that is important to consider when researching breeders is evaluating the pedigrees of the dogs that they are breeding. Aggression and temperament problems can occur in dogs that are inbred, as well as dogs that aren’t. Inbred dogs are surprisingly a big problem when it comes to breeding, and cause very severe aggression problems. You do not want to purchase a puppy who has been inbred, because it can lead to long term problems, that are often very difficult to deal with.

Photo Credit: EasyPetMD
Photo Credit: EasyPetMD

When you are researching breeders, you should take the time to visit several of the breeders facilities. By going to their facilities, talking with the breeders themselves, and seeing the environment that your puppy will be born in, it will help you make the decision that is the best fit for you. You get an opportunity to learn about the breeders and their dogs, and the reasons why they have decided to breed their pets. There are some red flags that should alert you about breeders. If the breeder is not willing to show you their facilities, and seems to get annoyed of you asking questions, I would be concerned. Also, if you see several signs of aggression from their dogs, that should also be a warning. Granted, Rottweilers can be territorial, but excessive aggression is not an ideal trait.

Overall, just like any other purchase, doing your research is key. By taking the time to research the best breeders, the puppy that you are going to purchase has a much higher chance of having a much happier life, and longer life span. Of course, it is not guaranteed that your puppy will never have any health issues, there is definitely a greater chance of them being health. Be sure to ask any and all questions that you may have, and if you do not get the answer you were hoping for, take that as a red flag, and continue searching. http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/puppy_mills/tips/finding_responsible_dog_breeder.html and http://www.petmd.com/dog/care/evr_dg_breeders provide great tips for finding and researching ideal breeders. If you are in the market for a puppy, I encourage you to do your research first.

If you have any advice about finding a breeder, please leave a comment.