Frequently asked questions Tips

Read these 115 Frequently asked questions Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Dog tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Is it normal for puppies to lose their teeth?

Q&A: Puppies Losing Teeth

Q: My miniature Schnauzer is 6 months old. I have found three of her teeth in the past week. Is it normal for puppies to lose teeth? If so, how long will this go on?

A: Yes, just like human children, puppies lose their first or milk teeth to be replaced by their permanent teeth and the addition of molars for chewing. While this loss of puppy teeth and arrival of adult teeth usually starts around four months and finishes around six months, the timing varies by breed and individual dog. So what is happening to your dog is normal and necessary. See the Puppies tip category for more information.

How do I stop my dog from licking so much?

Licking the Problem

Dogs lick for a number of reasons. Puppies will often lick their littermates in a gesture of grooming. Mothers lick their puppies to help keep them clean. And adult dogs may lick as a sign of submissiveness or deference to a more dominant member of the "pack". Some dogs may just lick out of habit or because it gets them attention.

If your canine has a habit of licking you and you want to curb it, consider why she may be licking. If she's getting attention from you when she's licking, you're inadvertently rewarding her for licking. You'll have to concentrate on ignoring her when she's licking and lavishing her with attention when she's not.

To get her to stop licking the furniture, try bitter apple. It makes licking furniture and other household items less appetizing.

What is the world’s fastest dog?

The Fastest Dog

The Greyhound is generally known as the fastest breed of dog, able to reach speeds of 45 miles per hour on a sprinting track. Built to move, her sleek body is narrow with a broad chest and her legs are muscular.

However, if you're talking about pole weaving, the Guinness World Records has pegged a Border collie by the name of Jazz as the fastest. Jazz made it back and forth between 60 poles in 12. 98 seconds. Now try that one!

How do I trim my puppy’s nails?

Q&A: Trimming Puppies' Nails

Q: How do I trim my puppy's nails? I'm nervous about this process.

A: Lots of people are nervous about trimming their dogs' nails, but as long as you are prepared and careful, you'll do fine. Even if you nip a bit of the live part of the nail, you can apply pressure to the nail and the bleeding will stop.

If you're still uncomfortable doing this, I urge you to have your veterinarian or veterinary technician do it once while you're watching, so you can see the technique first hand. That really helps.

Also remember that if you can walk your puppy on a sidewalk or other hard surface on a regular basis, the pup's nails will be worn down naturally so you'll have to trim them far less often.

Here is a helpful step-by-step article with more details on nail trimming and the equipment you'll need:

When should a puppy be weaned?

Q&A: Weaning

Q: When should a puppy be weaned?

A: Weaning dates vary by size of the breed, size of the litter and by attitudes of breeders. Some prefer to move puppies to dog food rather soon to the limit the impact that nursing has on the mother. Others prefer to have the puppies nurse until the dam herself decides it is time for the pups to stop.

Here is an article that outlines a step-by-step process for weaning puppies at what seems to be rather early dates, with the breeder taking a major role in weaning quite abruptly at four weeks old:

Here is an article describing a weaning process that is more gradual. The breeder introduces puppies to some milk and then baby cereal between three to five weeks of age, the dam gradually produces less milk as pups make less demand on her, and weaning occurs more naturally:

Finally, here is information on the life history of a dog, including the recommendation that weaning occur no earlier than 3 weeks and no later than 7 weeks, depending in part on the size of the litter:

Why is my male dog urinating in the house and what should I do?

Male Dog Urinating Inside

If your dog is peeing in the house, he could be doing so for a number of reasons. If he's already housetrained, make sure that he doesn't have any health conditions that could be causing the accidents. You'll know if he's urinating or marking by the amount of urine that you find. If he's marking, he'll often leave a small spray. If he's relieving himself in the house, then you'll find a steady stream of urine and a puddle. Also consider whether there have been any changes in his environment such as a new pet, baby, change in food or other event that could be causing stress and anxiety.

If your dog is not neutered and is becoming an adult, he could be marking his territory. Neutering your dog will often alleviate the problem of marking in unwanted areas.

To fix the problem, you need to correct your dog immediately any time you catch him urinating in the house. Do so by using a firm voice and then immediately take him outside or to a designated elimination area. You might also want to consider crating your dog if you cannot be there to make sure that he doesn't continue this bad habit. Always give your dog plenty of opportunities to go outside.

How should I teach new puppy not to chew on me?

Q&A: Puppy Chewing Problems

Q: How should my brother and sister-in-law teach their new beagle not to chew on them?

A: This is a very normal situation with almost all puppies, in part because they are used to chewing and nipping at other puppies in their litter as they determine which one is "top dog" in the group.

Your brother and sister-in-law need to begin immediately to teach their puppy not to chew and nip on people, but to chew on their own toys. This means stopping the puppy from chewing on improper objects and people, giving the pup its own toy and praising the pup for chewing its own toys. They must be consistent in correcting the pup, but this can be done positively not as punishment.

Please check the chewing and biting tips in my Puppies/Training tip category for several different approaches to teaching "no bite." Different training philosophies lead to different solutions.

What tricks can I teach my dog?

Tricks Dogs Can Learn

If you're trying to come up with a list of tricks you can teach your dog, the number is endless. Most breeds can learn to do simple tricks. Here's a list to keep you busy:

• Sit and shake hands
• Give a kiss
• Play dead
• Roll over
• Bow
• High Five
• Fetch or fetch and put away toys

For more suggestions and ideas, try these websites:

Should I give my dog a rawhide chew?

Rawhide Chews

There are pros and cons to giving your dog a rawhide to chew. Rawhides come in a variety of types, including rolled, pressed, and pressed and cut.

There are benefits to rawhides. Dogs love to chew and rawhides promote a good outlet for their chewing behavior. Rawhides leave little to no mess since dogs will usually gobble every last portion. They will also keep your canine occupied for hours since they don't tire of chewing on rawhides. Rawhides will help keep your canine's teeth in good shape by reducing plaque and tartar.

Unfortunately, dogs may have a tendency to chew off a chunk of the rawhide and this can become a blockage in their stomach. Rawhides can also be full of artificial stuff. Pressed and cut versions are often laden with artificial coloring, so this is one thing to consider if you're giving it to your dog.

Always use your best judgment if you decide to give your dog a rawhide. It's best if you are around to supervise.

How can I ease the ache of teething for my puppy?

Q&A: Ache of Teething

Q: How can I ease the ache of teething for my puppy?

A: There are several things you can do to help a puppy whose adult teeth are coming in and appears to be experiencing some discomfort.

First, you should provide safe chew toys such as tough nylon bones for your dog. This can help as the teeth come through. Then, you might try giving your dog ice cubes or a frozen wet cloth such as a washcloth, as these cold items can help ease the ache of teething. This is rather like giving a baby a frozen teething ring.

Here is a helpful online article on dog teething:

And here is another:

Do Dachshunds howl at night?

Dachshund Sounds

The long bodied, short-legged Dachshund is intelligent, loyal, and playful. He makes a great companion animal for those who don't mind his stubborn nature. Dachshunds are a lively and courageous breed and have a hefty, hound sized bark for their size. However they are not known to be howlers.

Where can I learn about the Basset Hound?

Basset Hound

Basset Hounds are a sweet, gentle dog, originally meant to hunt rabbits and hare. They will enjoy the company of most everyone, including children and other pets. They do tend to drool quite a bit and make a mess of drinking, so they're not the best pets for a tidy household. They can also be stubborn and difficult to housetrain and need early obedience training.

If you're interested in learning more about this breed, visit the breed club website at

Why is the Boxer Dog ranked in the middle ranges for intelligence?

The Intelligence of a Boxer

Stanley Coren, a neuropsychologist and author of the book, The Intelligence of Dogs, has written on the subject of dog intelligence. According to Coren, there are three types of intelligence: adaptive, instinctive, and working/obedience.

Adaptive intelligence pertains to a canine's ability to learn and problem-solve new situations and relationships. Instinctive intelligence encompasses traits that are innate to a dog's breed like herding or hunting. And working/obedience intelligence places merit on how well a canine responds to commands.

Under Coren's criteria, a Boxer has an average rank in working/obedience. So even though the Boxer may be considered intuitively smart by some, instincts have no bearing on his ability to follow a command. Inherent traits like stubbornness and dominance all come into play in preventing a dog from responding to a command.

If my dog starts drooling after eating, is the cause a small stroke?

Drooling After Eating

Some drooling is normal for most dogs. They may drool while waiting for a meal, when they are fearful, or when they are nauseous from a car ride. And some breeds of dogs drool more than others. However, excessive drooling from a canine that normally doesn't do so can also a symptom of a health problem such as bloat or a gum infection. If you feel that your dog may have be suffering from a medical condition, always contact your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

What can I feed my dog?

Feeding Your Dog

You have a number of options available when deciding what to feed your dog. Dogs can eat a variety of foods and need a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and vitamins and minerals. The most common solution to feed your dog is to buy a commercial dog food. Feed your dog the best that you can afford. Look for products that have the highest level of digestible foods with no meat by-products and little or no preservatives. Other food options include raw diets and home cooked meals.

How can I convince my dog to stay off the couch or bed?

Q&A: Puppy Digging on Furniture

Q: About digging on furniture...I have a puppy that digs on the bed or the mat. How do I stop him?

A: Training a puppy to be a "civilized" member of your family involves showing the dog over and over which activities are allowed and which are not. Consistency is absolutely essential for success.

Now, that does not mean simply telling the puppy "no!" as the puppy will want to do any of a number of natural activities such as digging again. A firm no may stop a pup momentarily, by distracting it, but it really doesn't learn much from that.

You need to show the puppy alternative activities that are allowed -- and then praise the pup for doing those things. For example, stop the pup from digging on the bed by telling it "no!" followed by picking it up off the bed, putting it on the floor and asking the pup to do an action you've trained it to do, such as "sit." When the pup sits, praise the pup. Then introduce a chew toy and praise the pup when it chews on its own special toy. You are encouraging a positive activity that is also natural -- chewing.

Now, about a pup "digging" on its own bed or mat [if that's what you meant by mat]. This is a very natural activity -- digging a hole or nest to sleep in. I see no reason why you would want to stop this. A dog should be able to prepare its sleeping place. You may want to avoid expensive dog beds if your pup really loves to dig before sleeping.

See my Behavior and Language section for more tips on digging dogs.

How do I groom a puppy?

Q&A: Grooming a Puppy

Q: How do I groom a puppy?

A: Answering your question is hard because you don't mention what breed the puppy is or how old it is. Both breed and age will influence the type of grooming you will need to do. Some medium- or short-coated breeds such as the Siberian Husky and many of the hounds are naturally quite clean. Puppies of these breeds will really only need a bath if they get in mud or roll in something smelly or if you plan to enter them in a dog show. They do need a good brushing and also need their nails clipped unless they go for walks on concrete as that tends to wear down nails.

Other breeds such as poodles are called "high maintenance" breeds and have many steps required for grooming, even as puppies. Here is a web site that has a helpful listing of grooming steps for such high maintenance breeds:

I encourage you to talk to an expert on your breed, or read the grooming section of a breed book for details for your particular dog. One tip is important for all breeds, however, and it's this: all puppies should be regularly and pleasantly handled on their paws, their tails and so on so they associate grooming with pleasurable contact with their people. From time to time, offer a pup a treat or special praise for letting you handle their paws, for example. When you're ready ready to clip nails, they'll be less anxious and more relaxed, making it easier to do.

What is a shih tzu?

Shih Tzu

A Shih Tzu is a toy breed of dog that is a very happy, affectionate companion and is good with children. They have long, luxurious coats that will require time for daily grooming. You'll find Shih Tzus in almost every conceivable color, though black and grey, tan and grey, and white are the most common. This breed has a tendency towards carrying health issues like kidney problems and eye problems so it is especially important to obtain a Shih Tzu from a reputable breeder.

Where can I learn about heartworms in dogs?


Heartworm disease is a serious infliction that can be fatal in dogs. A heartworm is a slender white worm about four to twelve inches long. A dog contracts heartworms through female mosquitoes that inject the heartworm into the dog's skin. The larvae then mature and make their way through the dog's arteries and to his heart. If only a few worms are present, the dog will not suffer any symptoms. However, enough heartworms will cause heart failure and death in a dog if it is not treated. Symptoms include weight loss, coughing, difficulty breathing, and fatigue.

Your veterinarian can prescribe the appropriate medication to treat your dog if he has heartworm disease. As a preventative measure, you can give your canine monthly heartworm medication if you live in an area where your dog is at risk.

You can find more details about this disease from the American Heartworm Society site at

How can I train my dog to go for walks?

Going for a Walk

If you're trying to figure out how to take your puppy for walks, but not sure where to begin, don't worry. Teaching your dog to walk on a lead is just a step-by-step process.

First, get your puppy accustomed to wearing a collar if she isn't already. Start by having her wear it around her neck for short periods and then gradually increase the length of time. She may resist at first, but keep at it. All dogs will get used to collars.

Next, add a leash to the mix. This is usually where you'll get the most resistance. The key is to let your dog "wear" the leash around the house for a while. Once you've let her run around, start picking up the leash and begin to lead your puppy in the direction that you want to go.

If she tends to run in the opposite direction, simply turn and walk the other way. She should follow you. If she tugs, simply stop and refuse to move until she stops pulling on the leash. After a few practice trials, you're ready to go outside and hit the pavement with your pooch.

When should a male puppy´s testicles descend?

Q&A: Male Pup's Descended Testicles

Q: My male puppy is eight weeks old, and my vet is concerned that his testicles have not descended. Should I be worried?

A: Your vet was concerned because most male puppies' testicles descend by about 10 days of age, and eight weeks is a point at which a dog can be said to be a cryptorchid [testicles retained in the abdomen]. However, some dogs can have testicles drop as late as when six months old.

You and your vet need to monitor this situation. If your dog passes six or seven months old and still does not have its testicles descended, your vet may urge that the dog be neutered to avoid the risk of cancer.

Here is a detailed discussion of the problem of cryptorchidism or "hidden testis," the problem your pup would have if his testicles did not descend:

Here are some other resources on male health problems that might be of interest to you:

I hope by the time you receive this that the situation has improved, but if not the above may be helpful to you in thinking about your dog's health. In any case, your vet should help you make any decisions in this matter.

When should a puppy first receive deworming medicine?

Q&A: Deworming Puppies

Q: When should a puppy first receive deworming medicine?

A: Because most puppies have at least roundworms transmitted to them in their mother's milk, it is necessary to begin worming puppies when they're quite young. Some breeders begin giving deworming medicine at two to four weeks of age. Anyone having a litter of puppies or bringing home a new puppy should have a veterinarian to guide them on health decisions such as this. Puppies need a sequence of vaccinations beginning at about six weeks of age as well as the series of dewormings. I encourage you to follow your vet's advice. Also, see the Care and Puppies tip categories for more information.

How can I teach a puppy to bark when it needs to go outside?

Signal to Go Outside

If you'd like to teach your puppy to signal when she needs to go outside, try using a bell at the door. It's an easy trick to teach and would be better than teaching her to bark. Simply hang a bell by the door low enough for your puppy to nose or bat with her paw. Every time you're ready to take her out, use a familiar command like, "Go outside!" and ring the bell yourself. Your puppy will soon associate the bell ring with going outside.

The next step is to encourage your puppy to ring the bell herself. Start with the familiar command, "Go outside!" Entice your puppy to ring the bell and offer her a treat or praise every time she does so. Then immediately take her outside to eliminate.

How do I teach a dog to sit and lie down?

Teaching Sit
and Lie Down

Teaching your dog to sit is one of the first fundamental commands in training obedience. To get your dog to sit, give the command, "Sit" and then squeeze gently at his waist with your hand and apply pressure downward. This should get him into a sitting position. When he responds, offer lots of praise and treats as a reward. Gradually, your dog will come to understand the command and you will no longer have to push down to get him to sit.

To teach your dog to lie down, use a similar concept. Teach your dog once he's mastered the sit command. Get your canine to sit first, then give the command, "Down". You can either lure your dog down with a treat and reward him then or gently place pressure on his back to get him in the down position. Always reward your dog promptly. Be consistent and patient and your dog will soon respond to both commands well.

What is an American Eskimo?

American Eskimo

Contrary to its name, an American Eskimo dog was not bred by Eskimos. Instead, this white spitz breed, also known as an Eskie, owes its origins to the Nordic spitz dogs from Europe. These dogs show a strong preference for members of their own family and are aloof around strangers. They tend to prefer adults, but will do fine around children. You can expect to keep up a regular grooming schedule with an Eskie as she tends to shed heavily. Regular exercise on a daily basis will keep this dog fit and happy.

What breed is Hooch in the Tom Hanks’ movie, Turner and Hooch?

Hooch the Movie Star

The large, lovable, drooling co-star in the Tom Hanks film, "Turner and Hooch" was known as Beasley the Dog and he was a Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as a French mastiff. The Dogue de Bordeaux is a very intimidating breed due to its sheer size and deep bark. This dog is an excellent guard dog and can be affectionate, but needs proper socialization and training from an early age to avoid any aggressiveness.

Why does my dog drag its bottom on the floor?

Scooting Dog

Has your dog been scooting on the floor? It may look like odd behavior to you, but that behavior could indicate that your dog has one of several health issues.

The first, and easiest to diagnose and correct, is impacted anal glands. The anal glands produce a strong smelling secretion used for territory marking and as a means of identification among canines. They are usually expressed during defecation and sometimes in instances of extreme stress or fear. However, occasionally the anal glands do not empty properly and sometimes painful impaction occurs which can lead to infection. A veterinarian or groomer can express your dog's anal glands if he needs it. You can also do this at home if you wish. Wear a pair of latex gloves, and have lots of paper towels at the ready (it's best to do this in the bath tub). Using your fore fingers, gently squeeze the glands until they are expressed.

A scooting dog may be a sign of other issues. Intestinal parasites or worms, such as tapeworms, can cause a dog to have an itchy backside. The dog will scoot on the floor to relieve the sensation. A quick and inexpensive test at your veterinarian's office will let you know what's going on. Intestinal parasites can usually be easily treated with a round of medication.

In rare cases, a scooting dog may be a sign of a urinary tract infection. The best course of action when your dog is scooting on your floor is to see a veterinarian - they can rule out serious issues and help your pooch get back on track!

How do I groom a Bichon Frise and what tools do I need?

Bichon Frise Grooming

The bichon frise has a soft and dense undercoat and a curly and coarser outer coat. Her fur has a plush, velvety feel due to the two coat types. Bichons need a great deal of daily grooming to avoid having matted, unkempt fur.

There are a few ways to groom a bichon, including the "pet cut" and the professional, all hand-scissored cut. Some of the main tools that you'll need include the following:

• Nail clipper
• Styptic Powder
• Steel Comb
• Slicker Brush
• Tearless Dog Shampoo
• Professional Clipper, #10 Blades, and Snap-on Combs
• 7" Scissors
• Thinning Shear

For more detailed information on grooming your bichon, go to

What is a Lucerne Hound?

Lucerne Hound

The Lucerne Hound is one of four varieties of the Swiss Hound breed. The other three are the Bernese Hound, the Jura Hound, and the Schwyz Hound. What distinguishes the Lucerne Hound from the other three are his markings and hunting skills. The Lucerne is typically blue with strong flecks. This dog is a sturdy, active breed and specializes in hunting deer.

Should I teach my dog to mouth gently or to never play bite?

Q&A: Puppy Biting Problems

Q: Should I train my Alaskan Malamute to mouth gently or not to play bite at all?

A: I am not a canine behaviorist but my husband and I have owned Siberian Huskies for many years. I believe you should work toward eliminating ANY biting, even so-called "play biting," as your dog has a very strong jaw. She could hurt someone by mistake by playing too hard. Most dogs get excited around new people including children, and a play bite could truly frighten a child.

Please check the Puppy Training and Safety tips categories for more advice on eliminating biting, nipping and so on. Try the approach given for "Eliminate Puppy Biting" under Puppy Training. You may have a bit of a challenge as your girl is already a year old. The easiest time to eliminate the behavior is in a puppy. But be firm, patient and consistent and you will make progress.

How should I housetrain my dog?

Housetraining Dogs

To housebreak your dog, you need to establish a routine that helps her learn to do her business outside. Take her to a designated potty spot after each meal, first thing in the morning, and before bedtime. If your puppy is young, she may still need to go out in the middle of the night.

Another helpful thing you can teach your dog is to give you a signal when she needs to go outside. One good method is to install a bell about 6 inches off the floor at your backdoor. Show your dog to hit the bell with her paw and then take her outside. Repeat this exercise several times. She should learn to signal to go out in no time!

How can I help keep my dog healthy?

Grooming Your Dog's Ears

A dog's ear is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. It's a dark moist area, and can be prone to ear infections if not cleaned regularly. If you're bathing your dog, take extra care to avoid getting water in his ears. If need be, you can place cotton balls on the insides of his ears to keep the shampoo and water out. This will help keep the ears dry and keep bacteria from growing in the ears.

How do I handle a mean dog when I am housesitting for the owner?

Handling a Mean Dog

If you've been hired to housesit or do other work on someone else's property and you encounter an aggressive dog, you should first take steps to ensure your own safety. If the dog appears to attack or charge, never run. Always find the nearest available item to use as a wedge between you and the dog. You can use a backpack, a bicycle, or a large plastic bin. Never get in a challenging posture with the dog. This includes staring the dog down or walking rapidly toward the dog.

Once you can safely remove yourself away from the situation, contact the dog's owner and insist that he take measures to secure the dog before you set foot on the property again. You should never attempt to control the dog yourself, either by force or other means.

What breed of dog is easy to training but also smart?

Smart, Easy to Train Breeds

Neuropsychologist Stanley Coren wrote a book called "The Intelligence of Dogs" where he details three criteria for rating canine intelligence. They include adaptive intelligence, which assesses problem solving ability, instinctive intelligence, which is an inherent trait specific to the dog, and working intelligence, which assesses the responsiveness to commands.

His list of dogs with the best working intelligence are breeds that are smart and easy to train. These dogs learned new commands with no more than 5 repetitions and obeyed commands the first time they were given at least 95% of the time. Here is his top 10 list:

1 - Border Collie
2 - Poodle
3 - German Shepherd
4 - Golden Retriever
5 - Doberman Pinscher
6 - Shetland Sheepdog
7 - Labrador Retriever
8 - Papillon
9 - Rottweiler
10 - Australian Cattle Dog

What is canine lipoma?

Canine Lipoma

Canine lipoma is a fatty-cell tumor usually found on older dogs. However, sometimes puppies or young adult dogs can get them as well. This common condition is typically benign, meaning that it is not life threatening. The lipoma can be single or multiple tumors on a dog's body. Treatment is not necessary unless the tumor causes the dog problems or if the owner wants to remove them for cosmetic reasons.

What can you tell me about breeding boxers?

Boxer Breeding

The Boxer has tendencies toward a host of health problems, including tumors, hypothyroidism, cardiomyopathy, colitis, corneal ulcers, deafness, and bloat. For this reason, it is especially important for breeders to screen the health of the breeding pair of dogs for any existing health conditions or genetic problems.

Anyone who is interested in breeding this energetic, working breed should do careful research and consult the breed club for more information. You can go the following websites for more information:

Why is the rabies vaccination given no earlier than 16 weeks?

Rabies Vaccination

Puppies receive immunity from their own mother's milk during their first weeks of life. After that, vaccines help to keep them from diseases such as parvovirus that can be found in their environment, including in soil and in the feces of other dogs. Some of a puppy's first shots are spaced accordingly to help fill the gaps between what immunity they receive from their mother and what immunity they will get from vaccines.

Puppies can receive a rabies vaccine after twelve weeks of age and are required by law in some states to have it by sixteen weeks of age. Some veterinarians recommend that the rabies vaccination be given separately from other vaccinations due to possible side effects and reactions.

What is a Brussels Griffon and where can I get one?

Brussels Griffon

The dog Verdell, from the film "As Good As It Gets", is a Brussels griffon, a spunky and affectionate toy breed. They come in number of coat colors including reddish brown, black, and black and tan. These dogs require an average amount of grooming and will do fine with a leisurely walk around the block. Do keep in mind that Brussels griffons do require strict training as they can sometimes be challenging little individuals when it comes to obedience.

Keep in mind that although dogs that you see on films may seem adorable, they are highly trained actors. Thoroughly do your research on a breed before you decide to make a commitment. What you see on the big screen may be very different from reality. If you still have your heart set on a Brussels griffon, the best place to get a purebred dog is through a reputable breeder. Find your local Brussels griffon breed club to get references for a breeder near you.

Where can I find information on dog breeds?

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a sweet, easygoing toy breed who mixes well with children and adults alike. They have a moderately long, wavy coat that requires combing just once a week. These dogs enjoy outdoor activities from walks in the woods to "pointing" at squirrels and birds in the backyard.

How can I retrain a fearful older dog that my husband and I adopted?

Retraining a Fearful Adopted Dog

If you have an adopted adult dog that has fear issues, you need to take steps towards properly socializing your pet to help her overcome her fears. You can try desensitizing her to situations where she shows signs of fear. For instance, if your dog is afraid of unfamiliar dogs, she has probably developed an innate distrust of other canines due to certain situations that occurred in her past. You should find a controlled environment where you can introduce her to various other dogs. Try to do so slowly and have her interact with friendly dogs. She should gradually be able to realize that a meeting with an unknown canine doesn't necessarily mean bad news.

If you find that you've exhausted all of your resources and your dog is not making any signs of progress, consider eliciting the help of a professional trainer or animal behaviorist that has experience with fearful dogs.

Why does my dog have dry skin and what can I do about it?

Dry Skin

As the temperatures drop and the heaters come on in homes, the skin tends the dry out. This is true for both dogs and people alike. If your canine is suffering from dry skin, it can usually be attributed to wintertime weather.

In order to remedy the problem, you can do several things. You can bathe your dog only as often as needed to keep her clean. Brush your dog regularly to help remove dead skin. Use a moisturizing shampoo specifically formulated for dogs. And feed her a healthy diet with fatty acid supplements to help keep her coat and skin healthy.

If you notice that your canine scratches excessively or if sores develop, then you have a bigger problem than just dry skin. Take your pooch to the vet right away for an exam.

Should I allow my groomer to trim off my dog´s whiskers?

Trimming a Dog's Whiskers

Some exhibitors will trim the whiskers of their dogs for show purposes. So if you take your dog to the groomer and he trims your pooch's whiskers, it may not be that unusual. However, doing so may limit a canine's senses since a canine uses his whiskers as a way to hunt and orient themselves to their environment. If you'd rather not have your dog's whiskers snipped, make sure you let your groomer know ahead of time.

What is a beagle?


An appealing and lovable breed, the beagle is an all around good pet. This energetic dog enjoys being around other animals, children, and is adaptable to city life, suburban life, and country living. Bred to resemble a miniature fox, Beagles have a medium length coat that comes in any mixture of black, tan, and white. You should take special care to train Beagles at an early age to avoid destructive behaviors like digging, constant barking, and howling.

What is the history of the Dachshund and where can I find pictures?

Dachshund History

The Dachshund breed dates back to 15th century Europe, where short-legged dogs with elongated bodies were skilled at hunting badgers. By the 17th century, the breed was officially given its name Dachshund, which means badger dog. There were two sizes of the breed that appeared during its development. The larger sized Dachshund weighed about 30 pounds and aided in hunting boar as well as badgers. The smaller 20 pound Dachshund specialized in hunting foxes and hare.

Dachshunds are now more commonly companion animals living the city life. To find more information and photos of this breed you can consult the national breed club for this lively dog. Go to

If my dog vomits water after drinking quickly, is this a real problem?

Vomiting Water

If your dog is vomiting his food and water after a meal, there is no need to panic immediately. At times, vomiting after meals can occur if your dog eats too quickly. If that is the case, then you can take steps to slow your dog down by feeding him by hand or feeding him out of a muffin pan.

Don't confuse vomiting with spitting up a meal. If your dog is truly vomiting, he'll act restless, salivate, lick his lips, and then the food will forcefully come out due to contractions in the stomach.

If a dog tries to vomit unsuccessfully, that's a sign of trouble. When in doubt, don't delay - call and/or take him to your veterinarian immediately.

Is rubbing a puppy’s nose in its urine or feces harmful to its health?

Q&A: Rubbing a Pup's Nose in Waste

Q: Is rubbing a puppy's nose in its urine or feces harmful to its health?

A: The old idea of rubbing a puppy's muzzle and nose in their urine or manure is now rejected as part of potty training. Some people still "show" the pup the "mistake," but certainly don't push their noses into the urine or manure. Many trainers don't use that approach at all, preferring a pro-active, positive training approach.

Remember, feces carry bacteria and viruses that cause disease. You wouldn't want a pup to get feces into their nostrils! Here's a reference on this aspect of dog waste:

Here's a detailed article on step-by-step puppy housetraining which activities such as the use of a bell for signalling "I want to go out" that I agree with:

How can I handle a big, hyper dog?

Handling a Hyper Dog

Dogs tend to jump when they are excited, attempting to get affection, or showing dominance. If you have a large breed that tends to jump during mealtimes, it's likely that he's excited about getting his meal.

With any dog, it's often a good idea to show them jumping is not an acceptable behavior. This is especially true with large and powerful breeds.

You should train your canine to sit before receiving any of his meals. Only once you have placed his dish down and given the command, should he get his food. Your large breed should learn that in every situation, he must demonstrate obedient behavior in order to be rewarded, whether it is receiving food or going for a walk.

If you have any difficulties with training your dog restraint during meal times or any other times, consider consulting with an experienced trainer to help you.

How do I groom a Border Collie for the show ring?

Grooming a Show Border Collie

The Border collie has two types of coats – short and smooth or medium and rough. For show purposes, bath your Border collie in a dog shampoo that brings out the luster in his coat. Then blow dry him to get rid of any loose hair and give him a nice clean outline. You can then add a volumizing cream if the coat is too skimpy or a blow dry cream to flatten if the coat is too bulky. For any wavy areas, you can use a porcupine brush and smooth on a coat manager. To give depths to white fur and lighten any stains, use a cover up cream. And for the finishing touch, use a light hold conditioning spray to fluff up the mane.

Where can I find a heated dog house?

Heated Dog Houses

Is the winter chill keeping your dog out in the cold? You can help to keep him warm by a variety of dog houses and accessories that are out in the market today. Specialty shops that carry unique pet items will carry doghouses that come with insulated walls, roofing, and flooring to help keep your canine toasty during the frosty weather. Some come with a vinyl strip doggie door to help keep the warmth in and the cold out. To add that warm touch, you can buy a commercial heating pad designed specifically for dogs at any major pet retailer. All you need is an electrical outlet to plug into and you have instant heat.

If you're feeling especially handy, obtain the plans to an insulated dog house and make your own!

How do I teach a puppy to come?

Q&A: Puppy Barking

Q: How can I get my 15-week-old puppy to stop barking when we are all in the room together, mainly at night watching TV or socializing?

A: It appears that the puppy is excited to have its family or "pack" together, perhaps after many of you have been gone during the day. The pup is talking to you, trying to get your attention, trying to get you to play with him. This is normal behavior for a pup.

One approach is to teach the pup a specific behavior that gains him attention, but requires that he be quiet and under control. You need to start teaching that away from the evening gathering, so the pup isn't confused. "Come" and "sit" and "down" are good starters for a young dog. Show the pup what to do, then praise with a treat or an affectionate pat. Don't practice too long as a pup will get bored.

Once the pup is responding consistently, you can begin to use that in the evening. But only give the pup your attention if he comes, sits or lies down and is quiet. If he continues barking, you then need to ignore him. Given him none of the attention he craves. Usually a pup will learn that barking gains him nothing, and will stop the behavior.

Be patient. Give the pup time to learn. But remember that you must be consistent. If the pup continues excessive barking, you may need to exclude him from the evening socializing for a few days, so that he learns to appreciate being with you. I'm convinced you'll succeed if you work on this situation with affection for the dog.

Here is an in-depth article on dogs barking that can help you:

Check out more tips on puppy behavior in the Puppy Tips section.

What can I do about unfair dog laws in my state?

Dog Laws

In order to obtain more information about how you can voice your opinions on canine legislations, go to one of the organizations heavily involved in animal welfare and canine legislation. The Humane Society of the United States is a champion of welfare for issues pertaining to all animals at the federal and state legislative level. The American Kennel Club also has a department specifically devoted towards federal, state, and local legislation for canines. Both are excellent resources and a good place to start to find out more about how you can become involved.

For more information, go to:

Do Australian cattle dogs make good companions?

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dogs are first and foremost active, working dogs with a strong herding instinct. They typically have a wary nature and need strong obedience training and socialization to get them accustomed to people and other animals. They also may try to dominate the pack through their herding instincts. In a family situation, that instinct could include attempting to herd children. These are all qualities to keep in mind if you are considering this breed for a pet.

How much phenobarbital should a dog receive for seizures?

Q&A: Phenobarbital and Seizures

Q: Is 130 mg of phenobarbital too much for a Norwegian Elkhound who weighs 49 lbs? She has suffered from multiple seizures. She just does not seem right since then. My mother is in the medical field and stated that 130mg of phenobarbital is a lot for a human being. I am just questioning the vet`s judgment.

A: You really need to ask another veterinarian for a second opinion if you are concerned about the recommendation of your own vet concerning medications. I have no veterinary training, and so cannot advise on questions like this. I was able to find a Web site for your on this substance that gives dosages for adult humans. This might assist you in talking about phenobarbital use with your own veterinarian or with a new one that you choose to visit.

When should puppies be vaccinated, and what is each shot for?

Puppy Vaccinations

Puppies typically are vaccinated at eight weeks, twelve weeks, sixteen weeks, and twenty weeks of age. Schedules may vary depending on your veterinarian. Occasionally, location plays a role as well as since some diseases are more common in certain areas. Here's a sample schedule:

• 8 weeks – DHPPLC (includes distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, and coronavirus), Bordetella

• 12 weeks – DHPPLC, Lyme disease, Rabies

• 16 weeks – DHPPLC

• 20 weeks DHPPLC

What is acidophilus used for, and does it come in tablets?


You may have heard of acidophilus and wondered what exactly it is and what it's used for. Acidophilus, known scientifically as Lactobacillus acidophilus, is a friendly bacteria that resides in the body of animals. It helps to regulate the bacteria that occurs in the intestinal tract and stomach. You can use it for your canine to treat diarrhea caused by antibiotics or to help regulate his digestive system. You can get acidophilus in a convenient tablet form.

How can I stop a neighbor´s dogs jumping our fence into our yard?

Stop Digging Under Fences

A dog that tries to escape his yard may do so for various reasons. They may include separation anxiety from his owner, boredom, and seeking attention. Dogs are less likely to escape when they are neutered or spayed and when he has regular exercise to expend his energy. Some preventative measures include fixing and fortifying gaps in the fence and giving corrections to the dog when he is caught trying to escape.

When this dog is not yours and he is trying to enter your yard, then you have a more limited range of response. The best approach is to discuss the problem with your neighbor. Be diplomatic and non-confrontational. If possible, encourage him to become educated on canine behavior, reasons why a dog roams, and solutions to the problem. If fortifying your fence is an option try to discuss a way to work together to resolve any means of escape on your shared property line.

Can I give my dog aspirin?

Aspirins for Dogs

Always check with your veterinarian before administering any form of human medication to your dog. Although some veterinarians recommend a dosage of aspirin for dogs to manage aches and pains, too much can give your dog ulcers and stomach upsets. An overdose of aspirin to your dog can also be fatal.

What is the history of the mastiff dog breed?


This bred, thought to have originated in Asia, has made his mark throughout history. Egyptian drawings dated about 3000 B.C. show depictions of the mastiff. Julius Caesar describes this massive, powerful breed as courageous canines who fought alongside the Roman legions during the invasion of Britain in 55 B.C.

For over two centuries, the mastiff held the role of a guard dog throughout Europe. Today, though the formidable presence of a mastiff makes him an ideal watchdog, when properly trained and socialized, he can be an affable companion.

Can I confine my new puppy in the bathroom while I am gone?

Q&A: Crates for Puppies Alone

Q: I just got a puppy 6-8 wks old, Chow/Shepard mix. We are planning on crate training... as we both work full-time, we don`t want to leave him in the crate all day and it is too cold right now to be outside. Is it okay to keep him in a small room (bathroom) in the meantime?

A: I think you have done a good job of trying to sort out the issues facing you in trying to having a puppy when you and your spouse or friend are gone all day. This is going to be very hard on a pup, first of all because it will be very lonely.

Let me offer some approaches to consider. First, a crate should always be a positive place a pup wants to be, like its den, not a prison. So you want to begin now to introduce the pup to the crate -- with a toy or some food -- for short periods while you are at home. Close the door for short periods, leave it open at other times.

Second, begin housetraining right away. After your pup has eaten, take it outside soon for a little walk and to do its business. Praise the pup for doing its business outside with you there. Since you are gone all day, you will need to feed the pup even before you eat in the morning, so you can take it out for that short walk and business before you leave. You want the pup to learn to do its business, even if a piddle, every time you go out together.

Third, if you decide to use the bathroom to contain the pup during the day, make sure that there are no dangerous chemicals in the cupboard under the sink. A bored puppy will learn to explore everything, using its nose to open cabinets and its teeth to chew plastic bottles of sprays and cleaners. You might consider placing the crate in that bathroom during the day, so the pup has its "den" there for sleeping, even if it is open.

Fourth, other people would get a very large crate and put a blanket at one end for sleeping and newspaper at the other end for the pup to do its business. You may have to do something like this if the puppy is bored and begins to chew on cabinets etc. Again, make sure to provide the pup with toys and safe items for chewing while you are gone.

Finally, is there any way that one of you can come home at noon each day to let the pup out, provide it some quick exercise and a chance to relieve itself outside, which is what you want? Your pup will learn better lessons and you'll have a closer, happier relationship. It really is never fair to leave a dog for eight or nine hours without a way to relieve itself.

How do I feed a puppy?

Q&A: Puppy Feeding

Q: How do I feed a puppy?

A: Feeding a puppy correctly means providing the right amount of calories as well as the necessary protein, minerals and vitamins for healthy growth. Puppies need more of certain nutrients than adult dogs do because they are building bones and muscles.

Most people recommend using a dog food formulated specifically for puppies, and then feeding the puppy two or three times a day. Many people advise allowing the puppy access to the food bowl for 15 to 30 minutes; then pick it up. Provide fresh food at the next meal. A dog with constant access to food can become a picky eater. Of course fresh water should be available at all times.

If you have a purebred dog, I encourage you to talk with the pup's breeder for feeding advice. Small breeds and large breeds should be fed different foods for health reasons.

There are differences of opinion on feeding puppies, just as there is about feeding adult dogs. Many people use a quality kibble with balanced nutrition, while others prefer a natural diet of meat, vegetables, fruit and bones to chew. You might want to talk with your veterinarian for advice.

Here are some online resources for you to read for more advice:

Puppy care, training and feeding:

Feeding Dogs and Puppies

And here is a more detailed article from veterinarians:

Where can I find breeders of Olde English Bulldogges in the U. S.?

Olde English Bulldogge

David Leavitt started breeding a dog in 1971 based on the appearance of the 18th century English bulldog. His goal was to create a breed that had the appearance of the original dog, but not its aggressive tendencies. Dogs whose bloodlines can be traced back to Mr. Leavitt have been coined the Olde English Bulldogge. Today, there have been several generations of the Olde English Bulldogge and a parent breed club has been formed, called the Old English Bulldogge Kennel Club (OEBKC). There are steps in place to make this breed a formally recognized one.

To find breeders in your area, contact the OEBKC in order to find a breeder near you. Go to

What breed makes a good even-tempered housedog?

Good Even-Tempered House Dogs

If you're looking for a good mild mannered house dog, there are a variety of breeds to consider. If you're doing some research, look for a dog that has low to moderate exercise needs, is generally friendly and sociable, and has no aggressive or dominance tendencies. Remember to always evaluate your own personal preferences and needs. Some dogs are natural lap dogs, some dogs are more stubborn, and some may have high grooming needs.

Some good breeds to consider would be the following:

• Beagle
• French Bulldog
• Italian Greyhound
• Maltese
• Miniature Schnauzer
• Pug
• Toy and Miniature Poodles

What do I do if my dog had an allergic reaction to a vaccination?

Allergic Reaction to Vaccination

Though vaccines are necessary to keep your dog from getting potentially deadly infectious diseases, unfortunately, they do sometimes come with side effects. Common mild reactions to vaccines include soreness and swelling at the location of the vaccine shot, mild fever, lethargy, and sneezing. More serious, but rare reactions include life threatening allergic reactions and the development of a tumor or sarcoma at the location of the shot.

If your canine experiences any side effects due to a vaccine, your best option is to make a note of the symptoms and discuss it with your veterinarian prior to your dog's next set of shots.

How can I help my dog whose nursing pups are hurting her nipples?

Q&A: Nursing Pups Hurting Mother

Q: How can I help my female dog whose nursing pups are hurting her nipples?

A: Most mother dogs will stop her puppies from doing that by disciplining the pups calmly but firmly. Here is an online article that talks about the natural behavior of female dogs with biting puppies:

If your female is not doing that and she is very uncomfortable, that may mean you need to separate the puppies from their mother except at feeding time -- and then you'll need to supervise the feeding.

Puppies start getting their first or puppy teeth at about three weeks of age, and weaning typically starts at four to five weeks of age. So you need to help your female dog through this period when the pups have teeth and are still nursing.

If the problem is really serious, you should talk to your veterinarian for treatment options and you should consider starting the weaning process as soon as is reasonable. Again, your vet can advise you on that.

Where can I purchase webbing to make sled dog harnesses?

Webbing for Sled Dog Harnesses

Although you may be tempted to make your own harness for sledding, purchase them instead - there is an ART to the science of this activity. Properly constructing a harness so that it fits correctly on your sled dogs is a specialized task that is attempted by many, but accomplished by few.

Harness makers are quite often mushers themselves and know the techniques needed to make a harness fit a sled dog well without causing damage or harm to the dog wearing it.

Well made sled dog harnesses tend to be relatively affordable, ranging in price from $12 to $20 a piece.

What is a metzgerhund?

Rottweiler Metzgerhund

The Rottweiler Metzgerhund is actually the European name for what is known as the Rottweiler in the United States. This breed is a powerful, fearless guard dog originally used to herd cattle. He is a working breed who needs a task whether it is obedience, tracking, or search and rescue. If you're considering this breed, make sure that he gets lots of socialization and training to ensure he is not aggressive around small dogs or children.

Do puppies have problems if taken from the dam too early?

Q&A: Separating Dam and Puppies

Q: Is it true that if you pull a puppy away from its mother before the 7 - 8 week period it can possibly have issues later in life? I believe it was called dimensia, but I am not sure.

A: There is in fact a disease called canine dementia [pronounced "dimenshia"], which may be what you are thinking of. It is sometimes called doggy Alzheimer's because it has similar causes and impacts dogs the way Alzheimer's impacts people. The cause of this ailment appears to be the growth of plaque deposits around neurons in the dog's brain.

Here is a good explanation:

I could not find any references connecting the separation of puppies from their dams and dementia. There is a general belief that puppies should stay with their dam and littermates until 7 or 8 weeks to benefit from the mother's training and the social interaction with other pups. Some experts think that "separation anxiety" can develop in pups taken from the dam too soon. Here are two worthwhile articles:

Key stages early in the life of a puppy, including weaning:

Avoid separation anxiety:

What is a Jack Russell Terrier?

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is an energetic, lively, small sized breed. He makes an excellent companion for owners who will give him the space to roam. Terriers were bred to chase small animals such as rabbits and cats and therefore need to be kept in a secure area or leashed at all times. These dogs tend to do well with children if exposed to them from a young age. They also may be protective and make good watchdogs, but they are not aggressive.

What is puppy strangles and is it contagious?

Puppy Strangles

Puppy strangles or juvenile cellulitis is a condition affecting young dogs between three to sixteen weeks of age where swelling, hair loss, and lymph node enlargement occurs. Occasionally, a skin infection occurs at the feet and face as well.

It is not known exactly what the cause of puppy strangles is, but it is believed that it is a deficiency of the immune system that is inherited. This is serious condition that can result in the death of a puppy if not treated. It is advised that if your puppy may have this condition to seek a veterinarian immediately.

Where can I find information on smaller breeds of dogs?

Small Breeds for a New Dog Owner

If you're new to dogs and you're searching for that perfect toy or small breed, you've still got a lot of things to consider. The range of small breeds is quite broad. Some are friendly, fun loving dogs, some aloof and independent. Take the time to carefully consider what your individual needs are and how each breed might fit into your lifestyle.

Here are some suggestions:

If you're looking for a spunky, energetic breed, try a terrier. Keep in mind that these dogs have been known to be quite feisty and stubborn. The Yorkshire terrier, West Highland white terrier, and Manchester terrier are good options.

If you want an all around companion who would love to spend time on your lap consider the pug, Maltese, or Lhasa Apso.

For a small dog that is still likes to be active, consider the Beagle, dachshund, or toy or miniature American Eskimo.

Click here for the small breeds:

Click here for the medium-sized breeds:

How do I groom a Scottish Terrier?

Scottish Terrier Grooming

A Scottish terrier resembles an older gentleman with his long eyebrows and full beard. His hard and wiry coat is weather resistant and his undercoat is soft and dense. Scotties need a moderate amount of grooming to maintain their distinctive look. Generally, brushing a few times a week and professional grooming every few months will do. Take care to make sure that his undercoat does not become matted.

For more information on grooming this spunky breed, go to

How early can a puppy be placed at a boarding kennel?

Q&A: Puppies in Boarding Kennels

Q: At what age is it safe to put your puppy in a kennel? I`m considering doing this at 11 weeks. My husband is concerned about health issues. How many days is safe?

A: I am glad you took time to ask this question, because it could in fact be important to your pup's health. In general, I would agree that 11 weeks is too young. Here's why.

A puppy does not fully build its immunity to serious diseases such as Parvovirus until it has had its full series of vaccinations, including the booster shots usually given about 16 weeks of age to as late as 20 weeks of age. So at 11 weeks, your pup is very likely to be susceptible to Parvo, a very nasty bug, and other diseases.

Of course a boarding kennel will work very hard to sanitize its facilities, but some of these infectious agents are hard to kill, and you never know when an adult dog that is a carrier will be at the boarding kennel you choose.

Here are a few Web site references to help you on this. They give the recommended vaccination schedules from different veterinarians:

Vaccination Schedule:

Background on Types of Vaccinations:

Schedule of Vet Visits for Puppies:

Where can I find recipes for homemade dog food and treats?

Q&A: Homemade Dog
Food & Treats

Q: Where can I find recipes for homemade dog food and treats?

A: There are lots of great recipes for homemade dog treats on the Web, and I'll share some sites where you can find them. Of course, thinking of dog treats reminds me of the hours I spent making special high-calorie treats for our racing Siberian Huskies so my husband Rick could "snack them" while out on a long-distance race trail.

Here's a fun recipe collection that includes Sunshine Liver Brownies and much more:

Here's another collection including Simple Simon's Birthday Bones:

And here's one with Good Puppy! Cookies:

And if you're really serious about cooking for your dog, here's a page with 130 recipes including dinners such as Chow Chow Stew:

Why is my dog´s penis dripping blood?

Dog's Penis Dripping Blood

Dripping blood from the penis is a symptom that can show up in prostate disease in male dogs. These dogs usually also have difficulties in defecating. Cystitis, which is more common in female dogs, is accompanied by bloody urine and difficulty urinating or having accidents.

If your dog has blood dripping from his penis, it is always advisable to get an examination from a veterinarian who can physically look at the dog and make an educated assessment.

How should I introduce a male puppy to an older female dog?

Q&A: Introducing a Pup to an Adult Dog

Q: How can I introduce a male puppy Rottweiler to my 18-month-old female Rottweiler?

A: In most cases, this is the easiest type of introduction. Female dogs generally will "mother" a puppy. We introduced a male Siberian Husky puppy into our home where a 12-month-old female Siberian Husky already lived. They soon were pals, and one of our favorite pictures of the two of them sleeping together.

Now, if your female is especially possessive of you, you might have a case of jealousy. You want to make sure that you give the older dog plenty of love and attention. If you give the pup all the attention, you could create a problem. You need to set the tone right from the start that you love both dogs, and will give hugs and petting to both.

In addition, you want to make sure the pup doesn't pester the older dog excessively. If you see any indication of annoyance on the part of the older dog, you'll want to be sure the female has a place to go to escape the puppy. Still, because she is just 18 months old, she likely has a good bit of puppy playfulness in her and will welcome the puppy as a playmate and they should get along well.

If in fact they like to play, then you also have to make sure your female isn't too rough with the puppy. You need to supervise their play interactions so you can help the female learn that. Again, I think you will have a good experience, but you want to make sure that's the case.

Here's a Web site with an article on introducing a new puppy to current pets. It offers some additional ideas:

How can I eliminate tear stains on the face of my Maltese?

Tear Stains in Maltese

Tear stains are a common problem among small dog breeds like the Maltese. Most veterinarians agree that the cause is commonly due to excessive tearing. When the fur around the face of your dog is constantly wet, it becomes a breeding ground for yeast infections. These yeast infections can cause a reddish-brown stain on your dog.

The way to curb the staining is to first determine the cause and remove it. In addition to excessive tearing; blocked tear ducts, ear infections, teething in puppies, allergies, and fleas, can cause tearing in a dog. The next thing to do is to put your dog on a course of antibiotics. Your veterinarian can recommend the best treatment for your pet.

How old is the oldest living golden retriever?

The Lifespan of Golden retrievers

Golden retrievers typically live to about 12 to 14 years of age. There is no widely known reliable source that has a listing of the oldest living Golden retriever. However, some dog owners have reported their Golden retriever to be alive at 17 years of age.

For some interesting statistics on the lifespan and common causes of death in Golden retrievers, you can visit the website of the Golden Retriever Club of America at

Where can I see pictures of many dog breeds?

Pictures of Dog Breeds

If you're looking for a resource with photos of numerous breeds, there are a few options available to you. You can check with your local bookstore or library for a comprehensive guidebook available that has photos, descriptions, and pros and cons of a breed. Or if you prefer to look Online, the American Kennel Club recognizes over 150 breeds of dogs and has a section complete with photos, histories, and detailed information about each breed. For more information, go to

What do I do for a puppy whose ears were cropped and is uncomfortable?

Ear Cropping Discomfort

Cropping the ears of a dog is a fairly significant surgery and your dog will surely experience a great deal of pain and discomfort. You must keep your dog's ears clean and you can expect to go through a minimum of three months of ear taping sessions with your dog. You can help manage the pain with drugs, but you should seek the advice of your veterinarian to recommend the best solution.

How can I train a timid or feaful dog?

Timid and Fearful Dogs

A fearful dog tends to respond by fighting or fleeing. If you're attempting to train a timid dog, the most important thing to do is build up her self-confidence. Train her how to behave properly by teaching her basic commands. As she learns what behavior is expected of her, she will become more self-assured. You can also begin socializing her to a variety of situations so that she is accustomed to it. You should always introduce her to new things slowly and never be forceful about it. If meeting new people frightens her, for instance, give her time to come around. Expect an adjustment period before you to see results.

What is the best way to train a black Labrador Retriever?

Labrador Retriever Training

Labrador retrievers are known to be fairly trainable dogs. They respond well to commands, are eager to do work, and like pleasing their owners. If you are considering training your dog the basics, he should do fine in a basic obedience class.

Labradors also are great dogs for field trials, excel at service work, and ideal for narcotics detection. If you're interested in training your Lab to participate in competitive sports, contact your local club for more detailed information on the sport that you are interested in. The American Kennel Club has local listings. For more information, go to

What are the signs of rabies?

Rabies Symptoms

There are two forms of rabies that may appear in dogs – "dumb rabies" and "furious rabies". When dumb rabies occurs, muscular paralysis takes over the dog. You'll notice changes in the sound of the bark, breathing difficulties, excessive drooling, and an inability to drink due to the jaw hanging open. With furious rabies, dogs will begin to act mad. They begin to roam and act aggressively towards people, other animals, and even inanimate objects.

There is no cure for rabies once the symptoms show. Dogs will usually die within two to ten days.

How and what do I feed a puppy?

Q&A: Puppy Food

Q: How and what do I feed a puppy?

A: You have a number of choices to make about puppy feeding. This includes the choice of dog food [regular or premium, puppy chow or regular dog food, commercial or natural] and whether to feed on a schedule or allow free feeding where dry food and water are available at all times.

From all the reading I've done, combined with our experiences, feeding on a schedule is preferable. Here are some reasons: puppies that are free fed are more likely to become fussy eaters, housebreaking is harder because it is more difficult to know when a pup needs to go outside, and your dog is less likely to eat when you need it to if you are traveling with the dog or competing in sports or obedience.

Puppies need to be feed a nutritious diet several times a day to support its rapid growth. Here is a helpful article on new puppies, including a section on feeding:

And here is a detailed article on what to feed a puppy and when, from a site supported by veterinarians:

I encourage you to ask your veterinarian for advice as well.

Are there alternatives to commercial dog food?

Food Allergies

Yes, dogs do get food allergies. They can also be allergic to pollen, plants, fleas, and food. Many experts believe that only five to ten percent of the allergies that dogs get are actually caused by foods.

If your dog has inflamed skin around his feet, face, ears, armpits, or groin area, that may be a sign of a food allergy. Occasionally, a dog vomits as a reaction to a food allergy.

If you think your dog has a food allergy, your veterinarian can help you determine what the source is. You'll usually have to go through a process of elimination to see what foods, if any your dog is allergic to.

How can I solve a problem with my dog´s smelly fur?

Smelly Fur

If your dog's fur is a terror on the olfactory senses, here's a few reasons why and some ideas to fix the problem:

• Your dog has rolled in something smelly outdoors. Give your dog a complete bath with a shampoo formulated for dogs to get him fresh again.
• He' been in the water and his fur isn't drying out completely, giving him that musty scent. Make sure to dry his fur out completely in the sun or by using a pet dryer.
• It's not really his fur. Some dogs have a condition called seborrhea where they secrete excessive oil and odor. Frequent bathing with a medicated shampoo from your vet should do the trick.
• Your dog has long hair on his backside and it's become soiled from defecation. Frequent brushing and a monthly trim will help keep him clean.

What should I do for an older dog during a Parvo outbreak?

Parvovirus Strains

If you're taking an older dog to a place where she will come into contact with a lot of other dogs and there has been a recent parvovirus outbreak, there is cause for concern as parvovirus is a deadly disease. However, there are also a few other things to keep in mind. There are published reports that state that an older dog has a diminished immune system and therefore would be more susceptible to getting parvovirus. However, a great deal of evidence suggests that the parvo vaccine lasts a very long time and that an older dog is not likely to get parvo. That having been said, it is always best to assess the situation for yourself as to the likelihood that your dog will get sick and to consult your veterinarian for advice.

What is the typical behavior of Chesapeake & Labrador Retrievers?

Chesapeake & Labrador Retrievers

The Chesapeake Bay retriever and the Labrador retriever are both large sized active dogs that tend to make good family dogs due to their good disposition with children. However, there are differences between the two breeds to consider.

While the Labrador retriever tends to be an all around friendly, trainable pet, the Chesapeake is a bit more discerning. Chesapeakes are good with children if raised with them and require strict training and socialization to avoid any type of headstrong behavior. Labradors tend to want to please their owners and are generally adaptable to most situations and people of all ages.

Both breeds are happy to go out for a vigorous round of exercise and take well to the water although the Chesapeake tends to be more of a strong swimmer.

Can I let a puppy run free with a 13-year-old dog during a long walk?

Going Off Leash

Though it's tempting to walk your puppy off leash, unless you are in an enclosed area designated for dogs, an off leash area for dogs, or on your own property, it is generally not advisable to walk your dog off the leash. Even in less urban areas where your puppy is away from the danger of traffic, it is always a possibility that your dog could suddenly bolt due to loud noises, wildlife, or something to give chase to. Use your best judgment when walking with your puppy and account for any unforeseeable instances with you, your puppy, and those around you.

What is a rat terrier?

Rat Terriers

The Rat terrier is a small to medium sized terrier that has a generally friendly temperament and has been bred for hunting and companionship. Breeders have crossed the toy fox terrier and Manchester terrier to come up with this affectionate yet protective dog. This breed has recently been recognized as an official breed by the American Kennel Club.

How can I stop my dog eating its poop?

Prevent Dogs Eating Feces

It is actually a fairly common occurrence for a dog eats his own feces, an act known coprophagia. Some dogs do it and some never will. There is no known cause for why this happens, though there are several theories. One theory suggests that the behavior stems from a dog's days in the wild when it was normal to devour all parts of an animal, including its feces. Another theory suggests that eating feces may provide some nutrients or aid in digestion. A third theory states that eating feces may simply be a sign of stress in some dogs.

To avoid this problem, you can clean up after your dog immediately so that he does not have an opportunity to dine on his own poop. There are commercial products on the market available that you can add to your dog's food to make the taste of his feces less desirable.

What are some small white dogs that are good pets?

Small White Dogs

So you're looking for a breed of dog and you have your heart set on a smaller dog with mid-length white fur. It sounds like you'd be interested in one of the spitz breeds. The toy or miniature American Eskimo might be right up your alley. This dog has a thick medium length overcoat, loves to be with his owner, but may be a little aloof around strangers. You'll need some early training and socialization with this dog, but they are fairly easy to train and enjoy learning tricks. The toy version is 9-12 inches at the shoulders and the miniature version is 12-15 inches at the shoulders.

If you're still looking for more options, consider the following breeds:
• Bichon Frise – This breed is a gentle, playful and affectionate dog with a curly, plush white coat.
• Coton de Tulear – This dog a rare white breed, originally from Madagascar.
• Toy poodle – They are a responsive working breed of dog with an abundant dense coat, in many shades from cream to silver.

What dog breeds are better for people allergic to dog hair?

Breeds for Allergy Sufferers

Dogs that are hairless or have a single layer of coat tend to produce less dander and are therefore better options for people who suffer from dog allergies. This list includes, but is not limited to the Basenji, Bedlington terrier, Border terrier, Cairn terrier, Yorkshire terrier, poodle, Schnauzers, and Chinese crested. The new "designer breeds" of dogs, including the Yorkipoo, cockapoo and other poodle mixes have been known to be good dogs for allergy prone folks.

What dog breed has the best eyesight?

The Best Eyesight

Like their name implies, dogs under the sight hound group use extremely acute eyesight to hunt. Breeds from this group include the greyhound, saluki, whippet, and pharaoh hound. Among these dogs, some sources tout the greyhound, which is also the fastest dog, as the dog with the best eyesight.

How should I trim a Sheltie?

Trimming Shelties

The Shetland Sheepdog needs special care to prevent fur matting. Daily combing and brushing is a must. You should trim your Sheltie every three months or so to keep their coat in good form. • You can trim the backside or skirt of your Sheltie with thinning shears if it becomes too thick, but seek the advise of a trained professional for guidance the first time you do this. Also trim the area around the anus to keep it clean. • Mats may occasionally need to be cut around the ears. Take care not to cut your dog if you need to do this and you can relax the dog first with massaging before attempting this maneuver. • Trim the excess hair on your dog's feet to keep dirt and gravel out of their paws. Always detangle FIRST and bathe SECOND - water increases the tangles.

How can I find a dog breed that is good for life in the city?

Breeds Good in the City

The city dog does well with all the bustle and noise of an urban environment. Traffic lights, cars, shops, and a good crowd does not deter or phase them. If you're looking for a dog that would do well in the city, here's a partial list:

• Basset Hound
• Boston Terrier
• Cardigan Welsh Corgi
• Dachshund
• French Bulldog
• Keeshond
• Maltese
• Pug
• Shih Tzu
• Scottish Terrier
• Yorkshire Terrier

What breeds are good for allergy sufferers?

Breeds for Asthma Sufferers

If you're an allergy sufferer and still want a dog, there are a few things you should know. Allergens from dogs (typically a dog's dander) can cause allergic reactions. Those allergens are also considered to be a factor in triggering asthma, an allergic inflammation of the lungs.

But there is hope. Though dogs can't make allergies go away, breeds that are good for allergy and asthma sufferers do exist. These breeds of dogs typically shed very little dander and therefore don't tend to set off a reaction in allergy sufferers. Some of the breeds include the American Hairless, the Basenji, the Bedlington terrier, Bichon frise, Chihuahua, and the poodle. The recently popular "designer breeds" of dogs, which includes Yorkipoos and cockapoos are also known to be better dogs for folks suffering from allergies.

Is there a way to stop a puppy from peeing in its kennel overnight?

Q&A: Peeing in
Crate Overnight

Q: Is there a way to stop a puppy from peeing in its kennel or crate overnight?

A: Young puppies really can't hold their small bladders very long, so peeing in a kennel overnight is quite normal. You can reduce the problem by creating a pattern of feeding, drinking water and trips outside to pee that "empty" the pup pretty well before bedtime.

This means feeding its last meal no later thank around 5 or 6 p.m., restricting water consumption in the late evening, and taking the pup out both soon after it eats and just before bed time. And more often if the pup signals a need.

Here is a step by step outline of housetraining a puppy that is worth reading:

How can I stop my dog from peeing and pooping on our bed?

Soiling the Owner's Bed

In order to keep your dog from soiling your bed, you need to find out what the cause is and then take steps to remedy your dog's problem. First make sure that your dog does not have any medical condition that causes him to eliminate in the house. Always make sure that your canine has plenty of opportunities to go outside and eliminate.

Then, your next step, if your dog is perfectly healthy, is to thoroughly clean your bedding and eliminate any evidence of odors that could lure your dog back to marking the same area. You need to be very vigilant in watching your dog to make sure that he does not continue to use your bed as an elimination area. If he is caught, correct him in a firm tone of voice immediately during the incident and not a minute later. Then take him to an area where he should eliminate.

It's helpful to create a consistent routine so that your dog knows when he can go outside. If you cannot watch your dog for a few hours when you are not home, either place him in an enclosed area of the kitchen or crate him until he has learned not to eliminate in the house.

When do a puppy’s eyes open?

Q&A: Puppy's Eyes and Ears

When do a puppy's eyes open?

Here's a handy way to think about early puppy development:
-- eyes open at about two weeks of age.
-- ears open completely by three weeks.
-- pup able to move around pretty well by four weeks.
In the first four weeks, pups are almost totally focused on eating and sleeping, but at four weeks they start to interact with their littermates more and more.

How can I stop my dog eating poop or stool?

Q&A: Eating stool or poop

Q: How can I stop coprophagy, in other words my dog eating poop or stool?

A: The best prevention is eliminating access to poop. This means cleaning up immediately after the dog poops, whether in your yard or on a walk. The next most important thing is to teach the dog "no" or "no eat" when it sniffs a poop. After the "no eat" command and you have the dog's attention, call the dog to you, praise the dog and give it a treat. Be consistent in this training process. There are other ideas that have been tried, as described in this helpful article on the Web:

How do I stop my 15-month-old dog from soiling inside at night?

Soiling In the House at Night

If a housetrained dog is suddenly having accidents at night in the house, it's time to examine the current situation. Before you jump to any conclusions, consider whether there have been any major changes in your dog's life, schedule or routine. For instance, has there been the addition of a new pet or child in the household? Or perhaps your dog is not given an opportunity to go outside as he previously had. Also, make sure that your dog is healthy and not suffering from any medical conditions that would cause him to have accidents.

If you've ruled out his environment, it may also be possible that your dog has matured and is marking his territory. Unfortunately, his territory includes your house.

The key is to address the situation promptly before it becomes an ingrained habit. You can do this by securing your dog in a crate overnight. Few dogs will soil the area where they live and sleep. Be sure to take your dog outside as late as possible before bedtime and immediately upon waking up. If your dog alerts you that he needs to eliminate in the middle of the night, do take him outside. After several weeks of crating, you can begin to leave your dog out of the crate at night to check on his progress.

What is the best approach to get skunk smell out of a dog’s fur?

Deskunking Your Dog

If your dog has had an encounter with a skunk and he's been sprayed, you can do a few things to alleviate the stench.

First, quarantine your dog to the backyard until you can clean him up to avoid bringing the odor into the house. Methods like tomato juice do require several baths over a number of days and may not be as effective. Dog shampoos targeted to deodorizing your pooch also come with mixed results. According to one Kansas State veterinary technician, a homemade concoction will do well to clean your dog up. Here's the recipe:

• 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
• 1/4-cup baking soda
• 1-teaspoon liquid soap

(This recipe can be doubled for bigger breeds.)

Wet your pet down and work the mixture through the pet's hair. Leave on for three to four minutes and rinse. Be sure to throw away any excess mixture.

How do I groom a Golden Retriever?

Golden Retriever Grooming

Golden Retrievers do shed quite a bit and require regular grooming due to their hair type, the frequency of matting, and the potential for hot spots on their skin. A thorough brushing several times a week is very important, and the use of a slicker brush to remove loose or shedding hair will be helpful to control dog hair in your home.

Do Cocker Spaniels have skin problems?

The Problem with American Cocker Spaniels

The American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel are actually two separate breeds of dogs, each with its own characteristics. They are both medium sized dogs known to be playful, friendly, and trainable. However, in the case of the American Cocker Spaniel, rampant careless breeding has led many dogs in this breed to have health and behavior problems. This includes, aggressiveness, difficulty in training, deafness, and skin problems.

What are the best options for the layout of a dog kennel?

Laying out the Kennel

If you're laying out a kennel for your dog, it can be a daunting task to start if you've never done it before. Here's a few ideas to help make the process go a little bit easier:

• Make the inner chamber of your kennel large enough for your dog to lie down comfortably.
• Make the clearance height of the kennel at least six inches taller than your dog's head.
• Use a hard surface for flooring that is easy to clean like concrete.
• Concrete block is recommended for wall construction. Although it is higher in cost than wood, it will last longer, be easier to clean, and be lower in maintenance costs.
• Use insulation batting to keep the kennel warm and a ceiling fan for summer months.
• Place windows about five feet above the floor to allow natural lighting and placement of cabinets or other storage items.

How should I groom my Australian Shepherd?

Grooming an Australian Shepherd

There's a lot of variety in an Australian shepherd's coat. His outercoat is somewhat coarse while his undercoat is soft and thick. The fur can be either completely straight or have a slight wave. You should brush an Aussie's coat every week with a slicker brush. If he is shedding quite a bit, you can use a shedding blade to remove excess hair. Never shave your Aussie if his coat becomes matted, as this will only lead to sunburn. To keep the level of matting down, use a pin brush on the feathers, or long fur, on your dog. This includes front legs, back legs, and behind the ears.

Where can I find information on small German spitz dogs?

German Spitz

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes the German spitz as a foundation stock breed. However, there is no official breed for the German spitz in the United States. The Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) is a worldwide organization that recognizes breeds including the German spitz. The Pomeranian is the smallest size of the German Spitz under the FCI and is now recognized as a separate breed in the United States. The FCI classifies four other sizes of the German spitz. From smaller to largest, they are the Kleinspitz, Mittelspitz, Grossspitz, and Keeshond or Wolfspitz.

Try these websites for more information:

Where can I find kennel and doghouse ideas?

Dog Houses and Kennels

Today, there can be more to the average dog house than four walls, a sloped roof, and a door opening. Dog houses come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and construction materials. Many homes for dogs have been designed to be miniature versions of the ones that us two legged folks live in.

If you're looking for some ideas to put together a kennel or a dog house, there are a number of resources available for you. There have been books published on unique dog houses, some with instructions detailing how you put a house together yourself. You can contact your local bookseller or library and request a search on the subject to see what you can find. The Internet is also an excellent resource. Some Websites have posted a step-by-step "how to guide" on how to build your own kennel or home for your dog. Still other sites will sell these plans to you. Simply go to a major search engine and type in the key words desired.

Why do dogs howl at the moon?

Howling at the Moon

It's late at night, the full moon is shining brightly, and you hear the dogs in the neighborhood doing a chorus of howling. Why do dogs howl at the moon?

In actuality, dogs may appear to howl during a full moon, but it's more likely that they are simply howling to communicate with each other. It may just be easier to notice that they're howling on a night when the moon is in plain view. Dogs howl to signal location when they are hunting. They also howl when left alone for long periods and they are trying to signal to their family members. It's also very contagious. One dog's howl may set off a string of howls around the neighborhood.

How can I help my country-dwelling dog adjust to life in the suburbs?

From Country Dog to Suburbia

If you're moving to a new environment with your canine, there are some things that you can do to help him adjust to a new lifestyle.

First, make a list of priorities to decide what types of things will help make the new environment a home. For instance, if you are moving from the countryside to a suburban environment, perhaps a good compromise would be access to a large backyard, park, or proximity to an outdoor area for hiking.

Next, help acclimate your dog to the change in environment by introducing him to the new area slowly. If your dog is used to open areas and needs to get used to streetlights, cars, and stop signs, show him the rules of expected behavior.

Finally, bring pieces of your dog's former environment to his new home. He'll be comforted by familiar objects like his food bowl, bed, and favorite toy.

What small breeds are good with children?

Breeds Good with Children

Are you searching for the perfect pet that will be good for your family and great with kids? Friendly, tolerant, and good-natured, these breeds love everyone, children and adults alike:

• Boxer
• BostonTerrier
• Irish Setter
• Keeshond
• Labrador Retriever
• Mastiff
• Newfoundland
• Pug
• Siberian Husky
• Vizsla

What is a Brittany spaniel?

Brittany Spaniel

The Brittany is a friendly and affectionate member of the family who will show wariness towards strangers. For this reason, the Brittany, a mid-sized breed, makes a great watchdog. This breed is an all in one package – a hunter, a pointer, and a retriever. While this breed resembles a spaniel and was once known as a Brittany spaniel, this dog is now simply referred to as Brittany due to his pointer capabilities.

Which breeds of dogs originated in Scotland?

Dog Breeds Developed in Scotland

So you want to know what dogs are from Scotland. Though many dog breeds have evolved from an earlier stock from many parts of the world, there are a number of sheep dogs, terriers, and hunting dog breeds that have been either created or shaped in Scotland. Here's a list:

• Collie
• Gordon Setter
• Scottish Deerhound
• Scottish Terrier
• Shetland Sheepdog
• Skye Terrier
• West Highland White Terrier (and related terriers including the Cairn Terrier, Dandie Dinmont, and Scottie)

For more information on these and other breeds, you can go to the American Kennel Club's breed page at

How do I stop my dog eating poop from the cat´s litterbox?

Stop Eating the Kitty Litter

If your canine seems to favor your cat's litter box, you can curb his poop eating behavior. It's a little known fact that some dogs just eat poop. This act is known as coprophagia. There is no known reason why dogs eat feces. The theories guess that dogs may do so for nutrients, because they like the taste, or due to anxiety.

The best way to correct the problem is prevention. If you can, prevent your dog from having any access to the litter box. You should also train your dog to avoid the litter box. You can monitor your dog and condition him to replace the kitty eating behavior with another one. For instance, every time he approaches the litter box, call him to "come" and give him praise. With consistency, he should learn to steer clear of the cat's box.

How can I be sure my dog gets the exercise he needs?

Getting Enough Exercise

So how do you know if you're dog is getting enough exercise? How much exercise a dog needs depends on a few things. If your dog is an active breed, then he'll be happiest with vigorous playtime and space to run on a daily basis. Most toy breeds will be content with a short jaunt around the neighborhood once a day.

Also consider the age of your dog. A puppy often has spurts of energy and needs several opportunities to work his lungs throughout the day. An older dog is more sedentary and needs less exercise.

If your canine is restless or tearing up the house, it may be a sign that he isn't getting enough exercise. Always consider whether your dog is eating a proper amount of well-balanced meals. If he is, he should not be overweight. That could also indicate your pooch needs more time getting fit.

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