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Monday, April 30, 2012

The Pit Bulls Lovers Blog

The Pit Bulls Lovers Blog was established in 2004 by Jason Mann. Jason gives excellent real life advice on everything that has to do with Pits from training tips to owning a Pit Bull and the responsibility that comes along with it. His blog offers many links to other blogs and websites that have a Pit Bull theme. He is a top blogger that has advertising on his page. One post in particular I really enjoyed about responsible ownership because of his no holds bar attitude. This is extremely important to all Pit Bull owners to have a well behaved trusted Pit Bull. Like the saying says one bad apple spoils the bunch. This has been true for all Pits in the media.

Jason, I would like to thank you for all of your effort to promote responsible ownership. The post is a thoughtful and provocative list of responsible dog ownership. I believe that it is our duty to change the image of the Pit-Bull breed by presenting well behaved dogs in our communities. Having my dog as a trusted valued member of the community is important. Mischa and I work hard to be ambassadors for all Pits. It is a passion of mine to educate neighbors and friends on what a joy the breed brings to my life and others. Training is ongoing and not one day passes where there was no lesson learned. Reaching out to local organizations can be a source of help as well. Many ASPCA’s have a referral list of local organizations that may work with Pit owners for free training and behavior modification. Responsible dog ownership is about taking action!
As an excellent source of information for Pit Bull owners, I can see why it can help define their destiny as responsible owners. It offers support to inexperienced pit owners and is a great place to start if you are entertaining the thought of purchasing or adopting a Pit Bull.

How to Ride Safe in the Car

Many people when getting ready to go on a trip to the local store or friend’s house bring their dogs along for the ride. One thing to remember is to make sure your dog is secured in the car or truck. This will protect your dog, family, and yourself from possible injury if an accident occurs. Here are some tips on how to ride safely in the car. Make sure your dog is comfortably restrained in the backseat of the car at all times using a safety harness or other protective device. It is important that the dog does not ride in the front seat for safety reasons. This also will cause fewer distractions to the driver. Also, if you drive a hatchback of some sort, remember that the very back of the car is vulnerable. Known as the crumble zone, this is not a safe place to keep the dog. Many like to travel with their dog in a crate, but remember to secure the crate with straps to protect it from becoming a projectile. A pet tube can also be used to protect the dog in the back seat. This can also help a dog who is prone to bark at objects or other animals outside the car. With many options out on the market to keep your pet safe and pending legislation in many states to secure pets while in a vehicle, it is a good time to start.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Animal Farm Foundation

The Animal Farm Foundation is located in Dutchess County of New York State. The  link will take you to a Foundation that is well known for their work with Pit-Bull type dogs. The links on the home page will show the work they do which includes rescue, training, and re-homing the Pit Bull dogs to loving homes. Working hard to match the dogs with the right owners to create a lasting relationship keeps their adoption rates high. By adding videos of the dogs along with attractive pictures under the available dogs link is a creative idea. Under the about us section the Foundation tells a story where they receive their dogs from. Some of the dogs come from abuse cases and shelters. Under the about us and home page they have narratives that explain how they work training the dogs by taking them out into the community and having volunteers take the dogs home. This helps the dogs experience life as it would be with an active owner. Under the education link, the Foundation showcases their work in our communities to educate people on responsible dog ownership and dispel myths on Pit-Bulls. They even offer free classes to the community of Pit-Bull owners in our area. They work feverishly with other shelters and professionals on Pit-Bull adoption strategies, public relations, and dog training. Under the grants tab they have a list of grant programs for low cost spay and neuter for Pits as well as AKC Good Citizen incentives. The Foundation offers training to Pit-Bulls for becoming service dogs to help people in need. Media has long painted the Pit-Bull as a demon breed and one organization that leads the charge in the Hudson Valley to change the Pit-Bull image is the Animal Farm Foundation. They have an organized website with a portal to like them on Facebook. Amazingly, they have over 14,000 likes to their community page.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easy Homemade Treats

Treating your dogs to a special homemade treat is not only a way to show your love and devotion, but a way to show that you care about their well being. With so many processed treats on the market, it is hard to keep track of ingredients. Plus, all natural treats can be very pricey. Taking time to make your own treats will make your four legged companion happy and save you some money.

Making homemade treats is an experiment, and like every experiment there is trial and error. My advice is to start with something easy like frozen yogurt pops. Try to build off of what your dog likes already and slowly add new ingredients as you get more comfortable with the recipes. For Mischa, she loves peanut butter, so I made her some homemade peanut butter dog biscuits, which were very easy to make. They even create great gifts for people that have dogs around holidays and doggy birthdays. There are many great recipes on the Internet for dog treats. Just remember to watch sugar and sodium levels. If you don't cook or bake don't worry. There are many treats for dogs you can make that do not require an oven. One of my favorite things to make in the summer time is flavored ice cubes. They are easy to make and are a refreshing treat for your dog. Making them takes five minutes. Flavor some water with low sodium chicken or beef broth and throw it in the freezer. Mischa even likes plain ice cubes if I don't have any on hand. You can purchase a bright colored ice tray so your family knows that there is something special in the freezer for your dog.  

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Trimming Nails

Mischa's nails grow fairly rapidly and taking her to the groomer every two weeks is no longer in my budget and I have decided to practice nail trimming with her. I quickly found that this is not easy or fun to do. It requires a boat load of patience and determination. First, I make sure she is calm and lying down. Taking her for a long walk or having a play date will drain the dogs energy. Second, I present the clippers to her letting her smell them and check them out. Using the standard clippers works fine and they are widely available at all pet stores. Third, about 15 minutes later I return to her with the clippers and some treats. After I present the clippers, I give her a treat to reinforce that the clippers are a positive thing and when they come out she gets a treat. Fourth, about 15 minutes later I return to her with the clippers and treats repeating step three. Then I proceed to start with her back paws and only clipped one nail. Then I praised her and gave her a treat, then walked away.

Below I have included a short video on proper nail trimming and locating the quick.

The next day, I repeated steps one through three and at step four was able to cut ten nails before she started to fuss too much. I am always careful not to cut too much nail or hit the quick, which is a vein in the nail. If your dog has black nails it is best to trim more frequently and only take a little at a time off. Just snipping a little at the end of the nail will work. Working with your dog will create trust and in the end it will prove to be time well spent. Some dogs will not need this much reinforcement but it is always good practice to introduce new equipment to them with something positive. Remember, lots of praise and a reward for your brave companion.