Training your puppy from an early age

by Vivien Richardson on February 28, 2010

puppy trainingPuppies are adorable, with their appealing ways and high energy levels. As an owner it is hard to stop them from forming bad habits when they are so incorrigible.

Some of the bad habits that you will find easier to stop include barking, biting, chewing furniture (which can be a big issue if you happen to have some expensive items, such as an old antique bookcase) and, when they are allowed out of the house, lead pulling.

At an early stage in their life a puppy will want to build up a rapport with their new owner. Vocal commands are essential and warm praise and commands in a deeper tone will be recognised by your new pal. Smacking a puppy or shouting at him is not good as it can cause him to become upset, and your dog will (more…)

Why does my dog lick my feet?

by Vivien Richardson on February 27, 2010

toesWhen your alarm wakes you up in a morning and you rush to the bathroom, why on earth do pet dogs start to lick the soles of your feet? Most pet owners assume it is a sign of affection, but sorry to disappoint you or burst your bubble, that is not correct.

A mother dog constantly licks all her puppies from the minute they are born. Some of the placenta at birth may need licking off and ‘mum’ will do that. Placenta is full of essential nutrients and this can be passed on to a litter of puppies via the mother dog.

Puppies will learn to bond with their brothers and sisters by licking them. When they are older, they are weaned (more…)

Aussie gameshow host saved by whippet

by Leanne Thompson on February 26, 2010

Adriana Xenides

Adriana Xenides is Australia’s answer to Carol Smillie, and she even used to co-host the Wheel of Fortune on Australian TV. Adriana is currently very thankful to her pet dog, Red, who saved her life recently when she collapsed while at home.

Often dogs save the lives of their owners by alerting others so they can help, or by dragging their owners to safety. Red went a stage further however and began CPR (of sorts) on Adriana. Adriana has suffered a lot recently with heart attacks, experiencing five heart attacks in the last two years. Her most recent scare happened when she collapsed while she was home alone with her dog, but Red knew exactly what to do.

As Adriana explains:

Red saved my life. I collapsed at home recently. The pain associated with my condition was so excruciating I passed out. When I woke up, it was dark, so some time had elapsed.

I could see two gold eyes watching me and in my mouth was (more…)

Black Labrador given medal of honour

by Darren Jamieson on February 25, 2010

A Black Labrador named Treo was yesterday given the PDSA Dickin Medal, the highest medal of honour that can be awarded to an animal. The medal is the animal equivalent of a Victoria Cross, and was presented to Treo at a ceremony in London yesterday by Princess Alexandra.

What did Treo do to deserve this high honour? Treo was one of the many sniffer dogs working with our troops in Afghanistan, and his bravery has saved the lives of many soldiers and civilians. Treo found explosive devices that had been hidden, and would have killed dozens of brave men, on two separate occasions.

Treo worked with 104 Military Working Dog Support Unit and completed tours of duty in Helmand province.

Treo becomes the 63rd animal to be awarded with the Dickin Medal from the PDSA, and the 26th dog. Other animals include messenger pigeons from World War II, a trio of horses and a cat.

Treo’s handler is Sgt Dave Heyhoe and they have been together for five years. Treo has now retired from active service and will live out his days (more…)

Springer Spaniel falls 300ft from cliff top and lives

by Leanne Thompson on February 24, 2010


It seems that every few months we’re treated to a story of a dog that manages to fall of a cliff and survive, and it’s usually a spaniel! Last summer saw two dogs fall of a cliff, one was saved by his collar and the other, the spaniel, fell off the same cliff twice.

This time a springer spaniel has fallen off a 300ft cliff into the sea while she was chasing a seagull. Don’t panic though, as this springer spaniel, named Poppy, is fine and was rescued by a lifeboat and its crew.

The incident happened in Newhaven, East Sussex, as one of the lifeboat members, Gavin Butcher, explained:

She was shivering – she was cold and nervous but apart from that she was as good as gold.

Myself and another crew member have both got springer spaniels ourselves so we were very relieved.

After falling 300ft off the cliff, and failing to catch the seagull, Poppy (more…)

Police officer found guilty of allowing dogs to die in car

by Darren Jamieson on February 23, 2010


PC Mark Johnson, a police dog handler from Nottinghamshire police, was yesterday found guilty of leaving two police dogs in his car on one of the hottest days of last year, causing both dogs to die of heatstroke.

PC Johnson was found guilty on charges of animal cruelty and was ordered to pay court costs of £2,500. He was also given just a six month conditional discharge. PC Johnson claimed he was suffering with mental health problems at the time, which accounted for his actions in allowing the dogs to die in the car.

PC Johnson claimed that he was suffering from an ‘obsessive compulsive disorder’ which was caused by the Independent Police Complaints Commission investigating him on a number of matters.

The two Alsatians, named Jay-Jay and Jet, were left in the officer’s car on June 30th last year, when temperatures that day peaked at 29.3C. Temperatures inside the car, where the two dogs were trapped, would have been much higher. It is believed that the two dogs would have died in under (more…)

Pet dog saves life of toddler in freezing weather

by Leanne Thompson on February 22, 2010

amd_victoria_benschWe’re so used to stories in the media of how dogs have attacked children that it makes a refreshing change to see a story of how a dog saved the life of a toddler actually getting some media coverage. Three-year-old girl, Victoria Bensch, wandered away from her home in Arizona last week and spent 14 hours in the freezing cold, over night, in temperatures that reached below 30 degrees, before she was rescued.

Experts believe the girl would have died from hypothermia had it not been for the family dog, a Queensland Heeler named Blue.

Local news station, KPHO, reported that Victoria was eventually found the following morning over one kilometre from her home, huddling up to the family Queensland Heeler for warmth.

A rescue helicopter eventually found Victoria, and the heroic dog, in the mountains surrounding the town.

Sgt Jeff Newnum, from Yavapai County sheriff’s office, stated:

She was able to stay warm with the dog.

It’s probably what saved her life — it was extremely cold out here.

Dwight D’Evelyn, another sheriff involved in the rescue, added:

The dog kept her alert, warm and gave her companionship throughout a very cold night.

The dog was so protective of Victoria that he was even uneasy about the rescuers who came to help them, although when he realised that they were there to help he (more…)

Dog coats – is your dog happy wearing a dog coat?

by Vivien Richardson on February 21, 2010

dog sweaterIn the autumn and winter months you will often see pet owners taking their dogs for a walk. Nothing wrong with that you might say but dogs in fluffy coats seem to be taking over, especially in the cities.

Clothes for dogs are on the increase with sporty coats, weather proof ‘Macs’ and the humble sweaters hitting the pet shops and markets in a variety of colours.

To pet owners, clothes on a dog (more…)

Can my dog laugh?

by Vivien Richardson on February 20, 2010

laughing dogIt was suggested by animal psychologist Nobel Prize winner Konrad Lorenz in his book Man Meets Dog that dogs are capable of laughing just like humans.

Sometimes when you take a picture of your dog his mouth will be open, his pink tongue hanging out and you just know that he is either laughing with you or at you. (more…)

Essential healthcare tips for your dog

by Vivien Richardson on February 19, 2010

Dog owners should be aware of health concerns that could affect their pets in cold and wet weather and strive to give them the best in healthcare.

As your dog gets older or spends too much time in cold or wet weather, sore bones can make your pet slow down as the cartilage starts to wear away. Getting up from his dog bed will be a struggle and walks become a marathon as he or she slows up, so be sure to help your dog stay warm and dry off properly when he comes in from a walk. (more…)

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