Yorkshire dog owners told to ‘bag it and bin it’

by Darren Jamieson on September 20, 2010

One of the most annoying things for responsible dog owners is owners that refuse to clean up after their dogs. It’s unsightly, it’s selfish and it gives dog owners a bad name. It also leads to dogs being banned from areas such as parks and beaches when, if the owners were responsible and cleaned up after their dogs, there would be no need for such draconian measures.

dog foulingOnly the other week I was walking along a beach in Prestatyn, North Wales, and a dog owner pretended not to notice as her dog fouled the beach behind her, before she walked on – refusing to clean it up. It’s people like her that are the reason dogs are getting banned from public place. Now a new scheme in West Yorkshire aims to educate the irresponsible dog owners to the plight of dog fouling, and to get them to clean up after their pets.

According to recent figures, dog mess is a bigger problem in the UK than we perhaps realise. There are roughly eight million dogs living in this country, and between them they manage to generate one million (more…)

Clicker dog training

by Vivien Richardson on September 19, 2010

There are many products out on the marketplace aimed at helping dog owners to achieve a required understanding between them and their dog.

One of the most popular training products is the ‘clicker’. This was taken from trainers of Dolphins. A Clicker will let a dog know what is expected from them at the exact moment in time. However it can only be used when a training routine has been understood by the dog, and is completed successfully.

The sounds that a clicker omits are faster than a verbal command, to a dog is it is a positive affirmation that he is receiving his owner’s praise. On first inspection the clicker looks a though it has come out of a Christmas cracker, when pressed it just makes a loud ‘click’.

When you first purchase a clicker try it out away from your pet, then take your time to use the clicking sound near (more…)

How to train a dog to stop pulling on his dog lead

by Vivien Richardson on September 18, 2010

If you are out for a walk with a dog it can be annoying when he is constantly straining at his lead. Your dog is not being naughty; he is excited at what is ahead of him.

If there is nothing interesting around them, dogs will try to get to the next point of a journey quickly, hoping it will offer other delightful smells. A dog owner will automatically continue to move forward and the reaction from the dog’s point of view is that pulling on his dog lead is part of his daily routine and a way to make you go faster.

The correct way to let your pet know that pulling on his dog lead is unacceptable is by stopping and waiting for him to look at you. When he stops, it allows his dog lead to slacken off, this is the time to start letting him know what is acceptable, and what is not.

Move forward so that your pet is at the side of you and stop, the minute he moves in front and the dog lead is tight, stop again. This time when he stops and you move to his side give him his reward, your praise.

Dog training to allow your pet to (more…)

Top 5 films about dogs

by Mark James on September 17, 2010

Broadly speaking, dogs seem to have a bit of a raw deal in films today. They seem to fall into two categories: direct to video fluff similar to Air Buddies, which stars a quintet of golden retriever pups so cute they make you want to puke, or slavering zombie horrors trying to sink their teeth into Milla Jovovich in films like Resident Evil. It’s a far cry from the fame and respect accorded to canine De Niros such as Rin Tin Tin and Lassie.

Many canine film stars owe their careers to Strongheart, a German shepherd who was one of the earliest animal actors. After being trained to be a police dog whilst in Germany, he was brought over to the States by married filmmakers Laurence Trimble and Jane Murfin, who had some experience with canine actors. Strongheart made several popular films, such as White Fang (1925), and did much to popularise the breed in America – his lineage survives even now.

Although many of his films are now lost, he paved the way for many four-legged thesps, which we at Dream Dogs now salute. Bear in mind that we’re only considering the stars of the show, and not side characters; if that were the case, Jed, the wolf/husky cross who stars in John Carpenter’s The Thing, would be first in line for a doggy Oscar.

The Lightning WarriorThe Lightning Warrior

Starring Rin Tin Tin, this was a serial that spanned a dozen episodes. The plot is a little thin – the furtive Wolf Man is terrorising a small western town, and apple cheeked Jimmy Carter teams up with (more…)

How to stop a puppy biting you

by Vivien Richardson on September 16, 2010

Stop a puppy bitingA puppy learns to bite from the minute he is born; playing with his litter brothers and sisters. It is way of sticking up for himself and having fun at the same time.

Rolling about on the floor and simulating a fight with his fellow puppies reduces excess energy, however, as a puppy grows up they will not realise that the bites are starting to cause pain, a brotherly or sisterly yelp from a sibling will come as a surprise.

A puppy will have to be taught to play gently. A dog owner must yelp when they are nipped and, after a while, the sound will teach a puppy that it is not acceptable to bite.

Play and one to one interaction is important as a bonding exercise between a puppy and owner however, patience is required. A firm tone of voice is acceptable, but no smacking should be allowed or your puppy will (more…)

The dog that eats like a horse

by Leanne Thompson on September 15, 2010

The next time you complain about how much it costs to feed your dog, or bemoan the fact that he’s eating you out of house and home, spare a thought for Gary Randfleish in New South Wales, Australia. His dog, a Pyranees named Snowbear, really does eat like a horse – as he’s roughly the same size as one.

Snowbear weighs the same as an average adult male, 75kg, and towers over his fellow pooch Beethoven (naturally a St Bernard). Snowbear gets lavished with attention wherever he goes and between him and Beethoven they’re eating everything Mr Randfleish can afford to give them.

Gary Randfleish commented about his two very hungry dogs:

“He’s a very friendly, calm soul who loves people. He’s my best mate, and him and Beethoven make quite a pair and match each other quite well.”

Mr Randfleish is an experienced dog owner, having owned many different breeds in the past. He has owned large dogs such as Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds too, so he knows about hungry, high maintenance dogs. In his opinion however, Snowbear (more…)

Top 5 low maintenance dogs

by Mark James on September 14, 2010

Let’s be honest here: as much as we all love dogs, the effort you put into looking after them can sometimes be a pain in the posterior. How many times have you come home from a gruelling day at work to find your faithful hound waiting in the hallway for you with his lead in his mouth, when all you want to do is slump in front of the TV and crack open a bottle of wine whilst you wait for your Findus Crispy Pancakes to cook in the oven?

How many Sunday morning lie-ins have been scuppered by the realisation that you need to get out of bed to take your dog out to do a boom-boom?

Walking your dog is just one aspect of the time and energy you need to put into looking after your pet. If your dog sheds, a lot of time must be spent grooming him as part of the war to stop your house from becoming a giant hairball. As tired as you may be, you need to spend some quality time with him, which means play time and obedience training. We all know that this effort is vital to ensuring your dog is healthy and happy, and it strengthens the bond between you both, but we’ve all had the (more…)

Dog saves family by attacking burglars

by Darren Jamieson on September 13, 2010

We wrote a list recently about the top five dogs to have as guard dogs – maybe we should add Staffordshire bull terrier to the list now too. A Staffie named Alfie recently saved his family from armed masked intruders, who were intent on robbing them in their own home, by leaping into action, armed only with his teeth and a tenacity that couldn’t be suppressed.

AlfieAlfie, at just four years of age, attacked the armed intruders when they broke into his family’s home in Winstanley, Wigan. The armed intruders got more than they bargained for when they came barging into the home, waving guns around, as the dog immediately went for one of them, biting him in the leg and refusing to let go. The armed man then hit the dog several times with the butt of his gun, before 22 year old Carly attempted to help Alfie. She herself was clubbed over the head for her troubles, as one of the intruders knocked her to the floor, causing a gash in her head.

This merely spurred Alfie on as he (more…)

What vaccinations does a puppy need?

by Vivien Richardson on September 12, 2010

New puppies make be very exciting and fun to play with, but they also need a lot of care and attention in order to look after them properly.

Some of the essential things that a puppy needs include quality pet food, a comfortable dog bed and a suitable dog collar and dog lead. Another thing that new puppies need, before they are allowed to even play in the garden or to meet other dogs, is their vaccinations.

Vaccinating your pet is an essential part of your puppy’s pet care. A local vet will be happy to explain what the set of vaccinations are, and how they protect your puppy from unwanted bacteria.

To help you understand vaccinations, here is a quick over view of vaccinations for a puppy, and some of the diseases that they guard against:

1. Parvovirus is contagious, it suppresses a puppy’s immune system causing him to vomit and have diarrhoea.

2. Rabies is a disease that is known all over the world; this disease is carried by (more…)

Answers to questions about flying with your dog

by Vivien Richardson on September 11, 2010

When you want to take your dog abroad there is always a concern that a dog will be upset or uncomfortable on the long journey. A recently conducted survey with the employees of the cargo department of a major airline revealed that most pet owners ask the same questions about how to make sure their dog has an enjoyable trip.

Listed below are some of the answers to many of the questions that pet owners ask airline staff on a regular basis.

If a flight schedule is on a long layover, your dog will be happy in the holding area as it is fitted with temperature controls to keep him comfortable.

The law states that your dog can be taken out of the cargo area by trained staff in an emergency.

dogs on planes

Dogs on planes

There is no need to worry about your dog, all of the cargo staff are fully trained in pet care and they will regularly check to see if your dog has enough food and water.

All animals are loaded on to a plane after passengers have boarded, and they are the first to disembark at the end of a journey.

When a plane is cancelled, or there is a change of plans, your dog will be placed in the airport kennels, or placed on another connecting plane.

It is wise to make sure your dog is in good health before planning a holiday, his vaccinations are up to date and that you have completed his health certificate.

Health certificates are valid for 10 days, if you are going to be away longer than 10 days you will need to complete another certificate.

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