Archive for June, 2011

Dog Breed Puzzle Solution

June 29, 2011

Free Online Puzzle

Check out the previous post for the dog breed puzzle before reading the solution below.

Rat Terrier – Miscellaneous Class.  Acceptance into the AKC Miscellaneous Class effective July 1, 2010.  When the Board of Directors is satisfied that a breed is continuing a healthy, dynamic growth in the Miscellaneous Class, it may be admitted to registration in the Stud Book and the opportunity to compete in regular classes. (terrier designation)

English Setter – Sporting Group

Afghan Hound – Sight Hound

Harrier – Scent Hound

Newfoundland – Working Group

West Highland White Terrier – Terrier Group

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – Toy Group

Boston Terrier – Non-Sporting Group

Canaan Dog – Herding Group

Catahoula – Non-AKC American dog breed.  It is an American dog breed but is not registered with the AKC in any dog breed group – not even the Miscellaneous Class of the AKC.

Corded Poodle – Foreign Dog Breed (Non-AKC).  German in descent.

Sorry if we tried to trick you a bit with the dog breeds.  The Boston Terrier dog breed is not in the AKC Terrier Group and the Catahoula is not an AKC dog breed.  A puzzle wouldn’t be fun if it were too easy.  For more information about the various dog breed s of the world, check out ” The New Encyclopedia of the Dog” by Bruce Fogle.

Dog Breeds Puzzle – Match the Dog Breeds to Groups

June 26, 2011

Free Online Puzzle

Test your knowledge of dog breeds.  Mix and match dog breeds with each corresponding group.  Dog breeds are listed below, A-K.  Match with the corresponding group, 1-11.  The solution will be posted in three days from the date of this post.

A) Newfoundland
B) Boston Terrier
C) Harrier
D) Canaan Dog
E) Rat Terrier
F) Afghan Hound
G) Catahoula
H) Corded Poole
I) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
J) English Setter
K)West Highland White Terrier

1) AKC Sight Hound (Hound Group)
2) AKC Scent Hound (Hound Group)
3) AKC Working Group
4) AKC Sporting Group
5) AKC Non-Sporting Group
6) AKC Toy Group
7) AKC Terrier Group
8) AKC Herding Group
9) AKC Miscellaneous Class
10) Non-AKC American Dog Breed
11) Foreign Dog Breed (Non-AKC)

See how many dog breeds you can match without having to check in books or online.  If you want to know more about the various dog breeds of the world, including AKC dog breeds, check out “The New Encyclopedia of the Dog” by Bruce Fogle.

About the Greyhound Dog Breed

June 23, 2011


Greyhound Dog Breed

Greyhound Dog Breed


Dogs looking similar to the Greyhound dog breed have been depicted in ancient art from thousands of years ago.  As a sight hound, the Greyhound has origins from the ancient Middle East.  Greyhound-like dogs are depicted on early Egyptian drawings as well as classic Greek and Roman wares.  Probably during Roman expansion, they Greyhound-like dog breed found his way to Britain.  By Saxon times, this dog breed was well established.

The Greyhound dog breed was kept by both commoners and nobility alike.  He helped the commoners catch food and joined the nobility on the hunt by coursing deer.  In the 1800’s the Greyhound dog breed was popularly used by the upper class for coursing hare in competition.  The popularity of such competitions spread to the lower class and betting on such races became commonplace.  In the 1920s, the chasing of a mechanical lure replaced the old fashioned way of Greyhound racing.  Greyhound racing remains popular today.

While Greyhound racing is more humane than pit fighting, the treatment of the Greyhound dog breed after he was no longer able to race was appalling.  Oftentimes, he was left to starve to death or brutally killed.  Animal activists and rescue groups like the Greyhound Protection League have changed all that.  Now Greyhounds who are no longer able to race are placed in loving homes to live out the rest of their lives.

The Greyhound dog breed is super-fast.  He can run at over 35 miles per hour.  Being fast, you would think that he is a hyper dog who requires a lot of maintenance if kept as a pet.  This is not true.  The Greyhound dog breed is extremely gentle, calm, and docile.  He is good with children and other pets (although due to his instinctive nature to chase, he should be carefully introduced to small pets).  The Greyhound dog breed only needs moderate daily exercise which can include a daily walk or short sprints in a game of fetch.

The Greyhound dog breed has an independent nature which can sometimes make him somewhat more difficult to train than the people-pleasing dog breeds like the Labrador Retriever dog breed.  However, he is a people-pleaser too and responds very well to positive reinforcement training.  As a calm dog breed, the Greyhound is also a relatively quiet breed.  He is not much of a guard dog and is not generally inclined to barking.

The Greyhound dog breed stands about 26 to 29 inches tall and weighs about 60 to 70 pounds.  He is graceful, slender, and strong.  He has a deep chest and his hindquarters have good muscle definition.  He has a long narrow muzzle and head with small folded ears.  His tail is long and tapering and his feet are hare-like.  Hare-like feet in dogs are feet which have longer toes.  This is common in fast-running dog breeds like the Greyhound dog breed.

The Greyhound dog breed has a short and smooth coat which only needs occasional brushing.  He can be any color like black, gray, red, or fawn.  He can be solid or with patches of color.  And he can be varying shades of brindle.  The American Kennel Club puts no restriction on color for the Greyhound dog breed.

As with most purebred dogs, the Greyhound dog breed tends to acquire some genetic health issues.  Like most large dog breeds, gastric torsion is a risk for the Greyhound dog breed.  Be careful about what he eats and don’t let him run immediately after eating.  The Greyhound dog breed also tends to develop arthritis and other rheumatic disorders.  Bone cancer is also a concern.

If you are considering bringing a Greyhound dog breed into your family, you couldn’t have chosen better.  Despite his large size, he is a great house pet and will do well with every member of your family.  But rather than buy a Greyhound dog breed, please consider adopting one.  There are thousands of Greyhound dog breeds all over the US retiring from their racing days and in need of a good loving home.

Greyhound Dog Breed Figurine

For more information on the Greyhound Dog Breed, check out “Greyhounds, Barron’s Complete Pet Owner’s Manual

Dog Training Tip – The First Command to Teach Your New Dog

June 20, 2011

Puppy Whisperer: A Compassionate, Non Violent Guide to Early Training and Care

‘Look’ or ‘focus’ is the foundation command for all other commands.  If you can get your dog to look at you, then you can get him to pay attention to what you have to tell him next.  This is touched on in several pet training books and manuals including “The Puppy Whisperer”.  “The Puppy Whisperer” calls it ‘pay attention’.

Before you teach the command ‘look’ or ‘focus’ find a special treat which your dog loves.  Make sure the treat is relatively healthy and can be broken down into small pieces.  Next, make sure to do training before meal times so that he is hungry for the treats.  And make sure he has just had a walk so that he is not overly energetic.

Hold the treat in your hand and get your dog’s attention by saying his name.  Just as your dog looks at the treat say ‘look’.  Then give him the treat and tell him he is a good dog in a lavish voice.  Training sessions should only last 5 minutes or so.  Do 2-3 sessions of 5 minutes each daily.

After a few days, you may notice that your dog looks automatically at the treat and you barely have time to say the command.  At this point in training, say your dog’s name and the ‘look’ command right away.  As soon as your dog looks at the treat, give him the treat and tell him he is a good dog.  If your dog doesn’t look, say ‘eh eh’ and take the treat out of his sight.

After a few days or so into training where your dog consistently looks at the treat in your hand when you say ‘look’, hold the treat for longer before giving it to him and praising him.  Hold for 3 second and slowly work your way to 10 seconds as training progresses and your dog succeeds.

When your dog is successful at reaching the 10 second hold it is time to move to the next step.  Say ‘look’, hold for two seconds and slowly move the treat towards your face and to your eyes.  When your dog looks in your eyes say ‘look’ again.  Then give him the treat, tell him he is a good dog, and praise lavishly.  After only a few successful sessions, stop saying ‘look’ the first time and only say it once when he looks you in the eyes.

Eventually, you are going to want to say ‘look’ without a treat in your hand.  Keep treats handy.  And when you give the command and he looks at you, give him the treat.  When your dog consistently becomes successful at looking in your eyes when you say ‘look’, slowly wean him off the treats.  You will still want to tell him he is a good dog and give him praise.

Some dogs may pick up the ‘look’ command right away while others may take longer.  Don’t get discouraged.  Every dog is different and learns differently.  The ‘look’ or ‘focus’ command will be used throughout your dog’s life.  Begin each training session with the ‘look’ command so that you know you have his full attention.  Check out “The Puppy Whisperer” for more great tips on raising a dog.

Shedding Remedies for Your Dog

June 17, 2011

FURminator deShedding Tool

Sephi and Maya are both big shedders.  Maya’s hair just falls off and floats everywhere whereas Sephi’s comes out in big clumps.  Needless to say, keeping dog hair off my floors and off my clothes is a constant battle.  I have used several different types of dog brushes over the years and can tell you with confidence which dog brushes and which techniques work best.

Before I share this information with you, let me advise that there is no absolute end-all solution.  Even with the best products, a dog who tends to shed is still going to shed.  And the right tools will help the most if you use them continuously.

Best Dog Brushes
The types of dog brushes which have worked best for me include the FURminator, rubber dog brushes, undercoat rakes, and slicker dog brushes.  The FURminator is more of a brand and their products include rubber dog brushes and undercoat rakes.  But they also have a specific dog brush called the de-shedding tool.  This product works very very well in removing your dog’s undercoat which is the part of the coat that is being shed.

   Rubber Dog Brushes
Rubber dog brushes also work very well.  When I was Sephi with this brush, it does wonders.  I was pleasantly surprised when I used this brush at the dog wash (called U-Wash Puppy in Shawnee Mission, Kansas).  The rubber dog brush, also called a curry brush, is also great on short-haired dogs like Maya and can be used on wet or dry fur.

   Undercoat Rake
The undercoat rake tends to work better on large dogs who have a thick wooly undercoat.  Sephi’s undercoat is definitely thick and wooly in the spring (the worst time of year for shedding).

   Slicker Dog Brushes
This is the tool I use the most.  Although I like the FURminator the best, the slicker dog brushes are easier to use.  I like how it builds up the hair in the bristles rather than let them fly everywhere.  I like how they glide through the hair.  The slicker dog brush is the brush I use every day.  I use the FURminator once a week, or once a day during shedding season.

   Other Dog Brushes
Other dog brushes include the bristle brush, de-matting comb, and pin brush.  The bristle dog brushes and pin dog brushes do not work very well at all and should only be used in final grooming touch-ups.  And de-matting combs work best for long-haired dogs whose coat tends to matt.  They do not work well for de-shedding.

De-shedding Dog Shampoo
This is a great product for helping to loosen your dog’s undercoat during shedding season.  FURminator makes a great de-shedding shampoo.  I honestly haven’t tried other brands but there are other brands out there.  Generally, I brush Sephi and Maya before a bath, during a bath along with the de-shedding shampoo, and after the bath.

The Best De-shedding Method
By far, the best way to reduce the amount of dog hair floating in your house or sticking on your clothes is to brush, brush, and brush your dogs some more.  If your dogs are year-around shedders like mine, brush them every day.  Use tools like the FURminator de-shedding tool weekly or daily depending on the amount of shedding.  When you bathe your dogs, use the de-shedding shampoo as directed.

Shedding dogs require a lot of upkeep, but they are worth it.  Battling with dog hair doesn’t have to be as difficult if you use the right tools and brush your dogs often.  For the FURminator and other great dog brushes and dog shedding tools, visit our affiliated store, Dog Brushes and Combs.

What Does it Mean to go to a Veterinary Hospital that is AAHA Accredited?

June 14, 2011


AAHA stands for American Animal Hospital Association.  The AAHA is an organization which evaluates animal hospitals throughout the US and Canada on over 800 standards in quality pet care.  AAHA does not evaluate all animal hospitals.  An animal hospital chooses to work to meet AAHA standards then elects be evaluated by the AAHA.  If the AAHA finds that the animal hospital meets their standards, then the animal hospital becomes accredited with the AAHA.

The AAHA evaluates several areas of pet care including management, diagnostics, pharmaceutical, medical records, medical procedures, quality of care, and more.  Once an animal hospital is accredited, they have to be reevaluated every three years in order to make sure they continue to meet the AAHA standards.

The animal hospital which I take Sephi and Maya for both routine care and emergency care is the Animal Hospital of Lawrence located in Lawrence, Kansas.  This animal hospital is accredited with the AAHA.  Although this animal hospital is a bit more expensive than what I am used to, Sephi and Maya are worth it.  I’d rather visit an animal hospital which I know has up to date information and technology.

For more information on the AAHA, visit their website at  The AAHA also has a website called which is a great resource for all sorts of health information on dogs.

Sephi and Maya’s Annual Visit to the Vet – Part II, Keeping Your Dog’s Teeth Healthy

June 11, 2011

Smokehouse USA 100% Natural Meaty Mammoth Bone

Dogs with bad teeth are the next most common thing that Sephi and Maya’s vet sees.  I, too, have had dogs with bad teeth.  But some years ago before I got Sephi, I learned that keeping my dog’s teeth healthy is very important.  It is also very simple.  The easiest thing I do is give my dogs things to chew on.  Sephi and Maya always have lots of hard toys and bones to chew.

I do not give Sephi and Maya rawhide bones because of their inclination to gorge.  Eating a rawhide bone too quickly can cause serious issues if the rawhide gets stuck in their intestines.  If your dog won’t chew on hard toys or hard bones, you can try a rawhide bone.  As with all chew toys and bones, make sure you are able to monitor your dog when he has it.  Some dogs will chew a rawhide a little at a time but some dogs will actually eat it in big chunks.

If your dog doesn’t like to chew, you will need to brush his teeth on a regular basis.  You can get special dog toothpaste from a pet store or from your vet.  Your dog probably won’t like to have his teeth brushed, but it is for the best interest of his health.  Like being overweight, having bad teeth can also lead to other more serious health issues.

Fortunately, Sephi and Maya love to chew and thankfully they only chew the specific toys and bones that I give them.  Because they love to chew, they have great teeth with no tartar.  Sephi is 10 years old and other than a little yellowness and broken off pieces, her teeth are in better shape than most other dogs her age.  For some great toys and treats great for chewing, visit our Amazon affiliated store, Chew Toys and Treats for Dogs.

Sephi and Maya’s Annual Visit to the Vet – Part I, Maintain Your Dog’s Weight

June 8, 2011
Maintain Your Dog's Weight

Maintain your dog's weight - keep "bad" foods at a minimum or eliminate from the diet completely.

“Sephi and Maya are in perfect health”, says the vet.  They are not overweight, their teeth are in good shape for their age, their hearts sound good, their ears are clean, and so on.  The vet stated that the two most common problems he sees at his clinic are pets who are overweight and pets who have lots of tarter on their teeth.

As you may know, being overweight can lead to other health problems, such as diabetes.  The same goes for dogs.  Yes, dogs can get diabetes too.  The best way to prevent your dog from getting diabetes is to maintain his weight.

How do you maintain your dog’s weight?  You do it by monitoring his food.  Many dogs will eat and eat until they are beyond full.  And many owners mistake their dog wanting to eat to mean that their dog is hungry.  This is not always the case.

Dogs will generally overeat because it is genetically ingrained for them to do so.  Consider the wolf.  Dogs are a long way domesticated from the wolf, but they still have genetic traits similar to a wolf.  A wolf doesn’t get to eat very often.  Food is scarce and often hard to come by.  So when wolves take down a large animal, they gorge.  They eat until they are beyond full because who knows when their next meal will be.  Our dogs are fed regularly yet they still tend to have that instinct to gorge.

To maintain your dog’s weight, ask your vet how much and how often you should feed him -and stick to it.  Don’t let your dog guilt you into feeding him more.  Don’t mistake his begging to mean that he is hungry.  You can still give your dog treats from time to time, but limit amount and type of treats.  If your dog likes really fatty treats, limit these even more so.  If you notice your dog is getting a little overweight or is not losing the weight from the diet recommended by the vet, then decrease your dog’s food or change the food to one specifically for overweight dogs.  If your dog is losing weight too fast, then increase his food intake.  Remember to always exercise your dog regularly to help maintain good health and weight.

Dog Book Review – The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

June 5, 2011

The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel

“The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein is about the life of a family through the eyes of a dog.  Enzo is no ordinary dog.  He has a very keen understanding of human emotions and interactions.  While his family go through trials and tribulations, Enzo is there to lend a helping paw.

Denny is the human Enzo is most loyal to.  Denny is an aspiring race car driver who is very good at what he does.  Enzo follows him through life where he meets a wonderful woman named Eve, they marry and have a beautiful daughter name Zoe.  But Eve dies young.  Denny struggles to maintain custody of his daughter as Eve’s parents (who Enzo titles as the Evil Twins) scheme to keep her away from him.

Obviously with such trials on his family, Denny’s ambition to become a professional racecar driver takes a backseat, so to speak.  It’s Denny’s love of car racing which gives this book its title.  But “The Art of Racing in the Rain” isn’t really about car racing.  Although Enzo, the narrator of the story, uses car racing idioms the book is really about life – the ability of ordinary people to overcome difficult circumstances.

Once I got started, I had a difficult time putting this book down.  I read a quarter of it the first night, then a quarter another night, and I finished off the last half of the book in half a day.  I hated the “Evil Twins” as much as Enzo.  And I admired Denny’s strength and goodness throughout.  “The Art of Racing in the Rain” is a well written book which any dog lover will love.  Check out “The Art of Racing in the Rain” at our affiliate site, Dog Lover’s Book Store.

Protect Your Pets in a Tornado Emergency

June 2, 2011

Recent deadly tornados in my area had me worrying about what would happen if a tornado hit my neighborhood.  Fortunately, I have a basement.  But unfortunately, my dogs inhabit the upper level of the house and can’t get to the basement when I am not home.

Wednesday, May 25th, there was a tornado warning in downtown Kansas City.  I work downtown in Kansas City and was at work at the time.  The company I work for has safety features in place where alarms sound and we have designated safety leaders who make sure everyone gets to a center part of the building for safety.  It is said that the center part of a house or building is safer than the edges.  The basement would have been safer but our company is too big and our building too small for everyone to get in the basement.  So we were taken to a center part of the building.

Our time spent in this area was a long one-and-a-half hours.  I couldn’t help thinking “what if” – What if a tornado hits our building?  What about my dogs at home?  I had no one to call to make sure my dogs were taken to safety.  Fortunately, I know that Sephi is sensitive to thunder and would have gone into the bathroom.  The bathroom is not in the center of the home but it has no windows.

So what can you do?  Talk to a trusted neighbor and see if they would be willing to take your dogs to a safe area until the tornado warning is passed.  This may be difficult as you would not want your neighbors to endanger themselves.  Or you may not have neighbors you know well enough to give a key to your home.

I have good neighbors but I just can’t bring myself to ask them to risk themselves.  They are not big dog lovers and it really is a hard thing to ask of someone who is not a close friend.  Instead, the dogs are now kept in the basement when I am not home during tornado season.  The basement is finished and my dogs have all the comforts they need.

Another thing you can do is make sure your dogs always wear their id tags.  If such a horrible thing happens where a tornado hits your house, hope that your dogs get to safety and are found.

If you are home, get you and your family to the basement.  If you don’t have a basement, get to the lowermost centermost part of your house.  Stay away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls.  Get under a sturdy table and protect your head and neck with your arms.  Keep everyone in your family calm, especially pets who won’t understand what is happening and may panic.

Natural disasters are hard to predict.  They can come without warning.  Unfortunately, you don’t always have much time to react to a natural disaster.  But if you have warning, act calmly but quickly.  For more information on how to be safe before, during and after a tornado, visit  Also, here is another great article on how to help your pets in case of an emergency from Paw Prints the Magazine.