Author: Orla O'Keefe

Most of my day is spent playing with dogs. When they nap, I'm here working on my blog. You're welcome to reach out and connect with me.

Dog Collars Vs. Dog Harnesses – Which is Better for Training?

Is there anything better than exploring the great outdoors with your very best and furriest friend? Every dog owner and their fluffy companion look forward to their time together each and every day. Although this might be one of the best loved elements of your time together, it doesn’t necessarily mean that each walk is going to be as smooth sailing as you’d wish that it would be. Your perfect solution to this? Investing in a dog harness. You might be more familiar with the slightly more traditional choice of a dog collar, however, upgrading your selection of adorable accessories really could transform your training time as well as your walks with your dog for the better now and way into the future. Here is why you should consider making the switch for a new and improved dog harness the next time you hit the dog park or pound the neighbourhood pavements with your pup by your side…

Image Credit: Stylish Hound

Keeping your dog in-check

If you’re looking to teach your dog how to behave and make appropriate adjustments to their behaviour while you’re out and about, then a dog harness is your best first step on your journey towards creating the perfect fluffy little student. A Y-shaped chest plate on a harness creates a comfortable yet secure stance that makes sure that you have control of your dog, teaching them to stay stable, calm and close to their human at all times. This reinforced nature of smooth sailing walks will set in, making for chilled out adventures for the both of you.

Minimise pulling

The minimised pulling is one of the most significant benefits of making the switch from collars to dog harnesses for your walks. The better the control, the more likely your dog will stop pulling. The secure fit across their body prohibits tugging or charging onward whenever they feel. Less pulling means that you can really treasure and enjoy the time that you have outside with your best friend. The best dog accessories maximise your quality time and create special, positive moments that you will love to look back on for years to come.

Secure the safety factor

Getting a safer walk in goes both ways! Your dog is going to experience a comfortable distribution of weight across their entire chest and back instead of a focused dose of tension right at their throats. The lack of tension is far safer for your dog’s neck should they try to pull or zip forward ahead of you in a cheeky but predictable fashion! This is going to keep your dog nice and secure no matter what happens while you are out and about. You’ll also find that the greater level of control that you experience protects your arm, back and neck from nasty strains or pulls when your dog charges ahead of you. A double dose of safety? Yes please!

Go handsfree

The right dog harness can clip onto your belt or waist bag and give you handsfree flexibility for enjoying time with your dog, fully! Throw the ball, pet your dog or reach for treats with both hands. This is also fantastic if you want to hold a few training sessions whilst you’re out at the park.

Find freedom whilst saying goodbye to discomfort

The freedom, security and comfort that both of you will experience is unmatched! Look for padded handles, soft, silky and weather resistant materials as well as a secure fit to create optimum levels of comfort for you and your dog.

How to find the right dog harness…

Now that you’re schooled on some of the many benefits of investing in a dog harness, it’s time to start sniffing around for the right one! Here are the things that you need to watch out for whilst you’re looking for your dog’s perfect harness fit…

Materials: Hunt for silky smooth and ever so soft neoprene for a cosy and comfortable fit for your dog. You’re also going to want to watch out for a secure buckle, weather resistant hardware and safe joinery to make sure that your harness sticks with you and your dog through thick and thin.

Fit: Fit is essential for making the right choice for your dog, get it wrong and risk hurting them or causing more difficulty when you’re out on your walk so listen up! Measure your dog’s chest circumference to ensure that you are going to make the right and safest choice for your fluffy friend.

Style: Lastly, style. Choosing the right accessories rests on selecting your harness according to your pup’s playful personality! If they’re bold and bright go for something loud, perhaps they’re cute and cheeky? Look for energetic patterns. Maybe they’re more chill? Choose zen, calming colours like blue and green. Or maybe your pup is all business? The graphic geometric prints and plainer colour choices will work best for them!

Dog collars are useful, too!

Don’t forget that dog collars have their place in your dog accessory collection! Aside from adding some absolutely adorable personality to your dog’s looking, collars are a bit of a must for ensuring that your dog is nice and safe at all hours of the day. Your dog’s collar tag will disclose their name and your contact information which will make sure that you are always notified if the unthinkable happens and they wind up in the big wide world without you there. Your harness is best for walks, but it can be worn in combination with your dog’s collar and leash for a complete cute look that will have your dog wagging with excitement every single day!

The Beginner’s Guide to Managing a Multi-pet Household

There are several reasons why you might think it’s a good idea to add another pet portraits to your household. Some animal lovers simply adore the possibility of having several four-legged friends underfoot. Meanwhile, there are pet parents who think their fur babies might be lonely staying at home all by themselves and believe that it would be good for their beloved pets to have a playmate.

Whatever the case, if adopting a new pet is something that you’re giving some serious thought to, it’s also important for you to remember that doing so requires a bit of planning. For one, even if your pet might be the sweetest, friendliest creature in the world, it’s impossible to guarantee how they’ll get along with the new addition. They’ll more than likely need a bit of prep before they’re ready to share stomping grounds that they’ve had sole dominion over this whole time. Having multiple pets also means addressing different sets of needs for each fur baby. Finally, you’ll probably also have to go through personal adjustments of your own.

Fortunately, by establishing a few ground rules and getting ahead of certain common situations, you and your new pets can all co-exist peacefully under one roof. Here’s our practical beginner’s guide on how to manage a multi-pet household:

Provide Each Pet with Their Own Supplies

Animals can be extremely territorial, not just about certain spaces in your home but also about the things that they use and feel that they own. One dog simply won’t appreciate having the scent of another on their bed, blanket, or favorite soft toys. They also won’t take too well to another pet sniffing around their food or water bowls. Maintain the peace in your home by giving each pet their own beds, playthings, and accessories. You can also invest in custom dog collars and leashes to make it easier to differentiate each pet’s items.

Stay Calm and Compassionate, yet Authoritative

Your pets will inevitably take their attitude cues from the way you conduct yourself. To assert control over the situation from the beginning, you’ll need to project a sense of firm yet considerate leadership. You’ll want to make it clear to your fur babies that you have full control over all the resources they need or want, such as food, toys, access to certain areas of the home, and even your attention.

This means establishing ground rules and making sure that your pets follow them. Generally, you’ll need to reinforce good conduct and ignore actions you don’t want to see repeated. If they’re polite and patient, reward them. If they’re unnecessarily noisy or rowdy, you may have to deprive them of games, toys, and other forms of interaction.

Introduce Your Pets to Each Other Properly

One of the most common mistakes that anyone can make when bringing a new dog into their fold is failing to properly introduce them to the existing pet. It’s a simple process that can help ensure a lifelong friendship between the two pups, though, so it’s worth taking the time and effort to do.

First, you’ll want to pick a neutral spot where the two fur babies can introduce themselves to each other. It should ideally be outdoors and fully-fenced, but one that neither dog has already claimed by having visited or walked through it frequently. It’s also a good idea to pick a quiet place where there aren’t any other people or animals about. Keep both dogs leashed and allow them to get familiar with one another.

You’ll know that the dogs will get along fine if they exhibit signs of positive body language, such as wagging tails and a genuine interest in one another. From there, you can allow them to interact with each other off-leash, rewarding and praising them for their good behavior the whole time. If either of them seems tense or frightened, comfort them and give them some time to calm down before giving it another try.

Feed Pets Separately and Supervise Them While They Eat

We’ve already mentioned how territorial pets can get in a general sense, but they can become even more aggressive when there’s food involved. To prevent your fur babies from getting all worked up and causing accidents, your best bet is to separate your four-legged friends during mealtimes. You can do this by following a certain schedule or simply establishing different feeding areas for them in the house.

Don’t prepare as you serve, either—instead, put an assembly line together so that everyone gets their chow at roughly the same time. Puppies, senior dogs, and those who suffer from certain health conditions may do better when fed in a crate or a closed-off space. This will allow them to eat in peace without experiencing hostile behavior from another pet.

You can live happily ever after with multiple pets at home, as long as you provide them with a reasonable amount of choice, control, and predictability over their lives. It can be challenging at first, but you’ll soon be thanking yourself for making such a great decision.

Puppy University Program, Partnering Vet Students And Service Dogs In Training, Graduates Its First Class

Graduating college is a huge accomplishment. But for these unlikely puppy university graduates, it means something so much more.

The three pups, named Koda, Esme, and Tucker, are from Saint Francis Service Dogs. They took part in the first-ever Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine’s Puppy University program this past year. .

The program began in 2015 when the college’s Center for Animal Human Relationships (CENTAUR) partnered with Saint Francis Service Dogs – a nonprofit based in Roanoke, Virginia that helps people with disabilities become more self-sufficient and independent with service dogs.

Over the course of year, they spent their weekdays at the veterinary college in a structured program as part of their service dog training. They learned foundational skills like interacting with people and other animals, walking on a leash, and traveling on the bus.

RICHMOND.COM

On the weekends, the pups went home with their puppy raisers and learned more socialization and training.

Not only does the program help puppies become service dogs, it also helps the veterinary students learn lessons on the human-animal bond.

So when it came time to finally graduate, the three pups got the full college experience, of course.

They had their very own graduation ceremony – complete with caps and gowns – and received their “diplomas”.

Their training isn’t over, though. They’ll spend nine to twelve months formally training with Saint Francis Service Dogs before going on to help those in need.

RICHMOND.COM

We can’t imagine these pups being any less than amazing in their new roles as service dogs. If you’d like to help out Saint Francis Service Dogs, click here.

Big Dog Carries Little Friend

Blizzard, a huge St. Bernard, took a liking to his little sister right off the bat. Now, the big dog carries his little friend everywhere they go. 

Big Dog with Little Dog

Lulu, a Shi Tzu mix, came into the family as a puppy.

She immediately bonded to Blizzard, following him everywhere. She saw him as a source of protection. 

And comfort. 

Not long after the two met, Lulu began climbing on top of the Saint Bernard to sleep. 

Let Me Carry You 

Not long after she began sleeping on his back, Lulu got the unexpected bonus of getting a ride – everywhere. 

Blizzard walks with Lulu perched on his extra-wide back. She gets a birds-eye view of the world while they walk down the country roads surrounding their home, go sightseeing in the town, take hikes, or simply watch tv together. 

Dog Carry Little sister

Anytime LuLu is separated from Blizzard, she demands to climb back on her big brother’s back.

Why Do Some Dogs Bond So Strongly?

If you live in a multi-dog home, or have tried to encourage your pup to make friends, you know it’s not always a slam-dunk. 

Sometimes two dogs just don’t get along, no matter what. 

Others act like old friends from the minute they meet. 

In the case of Lulu and Blizzard, it was love at first sight. These two share an exceptional bond. With Blizzard allowing her onto his physical space, it shows a great deal of comfort with her. 

What causes this close bonding?

Energy Matters

Dog behavior expert Cesar Milan teaches a lot about your dog’s ability to read energy. According to him, they read our energy (emotions, chemical signals, etc). This is why some dogs like us more than others.

Dogs Playing In Field

And, why your dog knows when you’re sad, happy, or angry.

The same seems to be true for dogs. 

Have you ever met someone new, or been introduced to someone in a group of people, and you knew immediately that you disliked that person? You have nothing to base your judgement on but “gut feeling.”

Humans are not very in tune with what our gut is telling us. In that situation, we are reading that persons energy, or having a bad chemical reaction to them. 

Your dog does this on a much higher level with both people and other dogs. 

Don’t Let Your Dog Wander Into Unsafe Territory

One of the worst things that can happen is your dog slips out of your yard and winds up around unfriendly dogs. Make sure you know where they are at all times. 

Why Does My Dog Runs From Me?

Having trouble getting your dog to come to you when called?

Does your pup think it’s fun to run from you when you’re outside?

Have you had problems with your dog running away when they get off leash?

Not Coming When Called is Dangerous

HTTP://CESARSWAY.COM

Two of the first commands that successful trainers teach are “Sit,” and “Come here.”

Sit teaches your dog to be calm and stationary. This can be life saving if there is an emergency. 

But, “Come Here” is a truly life-saving command. 

Even if your dog is normally well behaved, all it takes is one run away for disaster to strike. If they are prone to bolting when they manage to get out of your fence, or they slip their collar, they can easily run into traffic. 

Or, they simple run away. 

Passive vs. Standard Disobedience 

When your pup refuses to come to you, they are either being 

Passive: they won’t come to you, but they don’t really run away. They are preoccupied with something else, or are simply sitting there stubbornly. 

Active: They won’t come to you, and they run in the opposite direction. 

Active disobedience can be viewed as play to your dog. Watch how they interact with other pups. They often chase each other, taking turns with who’s the leader and who’s the pursuer. 

Fear

If your dog won’t come to you and looks scared or apprehensive, chances are you are the problem. 

Have you punished them after they’ve come toward you in the past? Dogs make quick associations. One bad experience can make them fearful of similar future interactions. 

Re-train your dog to associate coming to you with positive emotions: petting, belly rubs, praise, and treats. 

Dangerous Play

Your dog may run from you because they think it’s fun. But, anytime they move in the opposite direction you risk them being hit by a car, running away and becoming lost, or experiencing a problem with another dog or person. 

Do not run after your dog yelling and making a general ruckus. This is viewed as energetic play. 

  • Instead, run in the opposite direction. Laugh loudly. Once your a few few away, drop to the ground and roll around. 

Basically, imitate a dog. 

Because they’re curious and want to play, most dogs will come running over to check you out. 

If They’re Heading Toward Danger

If you dog is heading for the street or towards source of danger, skip yelling “come here” and opt for “SIT” or “Stop.” Repeat it rapidly if needed. You are trying to break your dog’s concentration and get them to stop long enough to keep them safe. 

Why Does My Dog Stare At Me?

When you sit down to dinner (or lunch, or breakfast, or even when you think about food), do you have a set or two of doggie eyes fixed on you?

Does your dog stare at you intently at certain times of day?

Do they give you a look that says, Hey, I need something, why are you not getting it for me?

Why Your Dog Stares at You

Hoping that your pup is staring at you lovingly? Contemplating how great you are for giving them so many delicious treats?

Unfortunately, dogs don’t think this way. They’re holding your gaze because it leads to a reward. 

Feed Me!

When does your dog start staring?

Is it a little before dinner time? Were you caught up in a book, TV show or finishing up some work and you noticed your pooch giving you the eye?

They were communicating that it’s time to eat. 

If they do this while you’re eating, they are communicating (begging) for some of what’s on your plate. You may notice that in these situations, your dog is amazingly skilled at looking extra sad. Dogs know which looks get them the most food. Ears forward, softened eyes, head slightly down? You can’t resist… and they know it!

Walks, Play Time, and Rides

Staring isn’t always about food. 

You dog can communicate other needs with a prolonged look. They may be telling you that it’s time to:

  • Go for a walk
  • Go outside to use the bathroom
  • Play with their favorite toy
  • Go outside to play
  • Refill the water dish

No Food? Ok, Just Tell Me How Great I Am

Your dog may also stare at you simply because they want to catch your attention to remind you to give them attention. 

They will look at you for praise and petting. 

They will look at you simply to have you look at them. 

Your Dog Depends on You

Your pup depends on you for all of their needs: food, exercise, play, affection, and care. 

Keep them safe, healthy, and protected: get them and always know where they are.

Also, make sure they’re covered by pet health insurance for those unannounced trips to the doggie ER, or for expensive, prolonged medical care. 

Shelter Dog Flips Out After Being Adopted

For some shelter dogs, their second chance at life never comes. They spend days, weeks, months in a shelter without anyone choosing them or giving them a chance to be loved. But luckily for one shelter dog, that wasn’t the case.

Every good story should have a hero and this story has a sweet but shy dog called Benny as our hero. He had no idea what his future was going to be or how long he would be in the shelter for.

Unfortunately for Benny, the shelter he was in was Carson Animal Care Center, which is a high-kill shelter in Gardena, California. This mean’t that Benny was literally between a wonderful life and possibly being put down if someone didn’t save him. Well someone did.

Earlier this month, Benny was rescued and adopted by a loving family. Well Benny shows us all what that mean’t to him. This is a fantastic reaction.

This is why rescuing a shelter dog is wonderful. It is a great thing to do for both you and the dog. We have discussed it before and while we can articulate much through our words, we can articulate much more through adoption videos like this.

Pit Bulls Waiting To Be Adopted Get Tiny Cottage Sanctuaries

Go to any local shelter and there’s likely at least one Pit Bull waiting to be adopted. It can take many weeks, even months to place a Bully in the right home. That’s why Luvable Dog Rescue in Eugene, Oregon has taken it upon themselves to make light of a few lucky bully’s living arrangements.

At $10,000 – $20,000 a pop, the rescue has built six tiny cottages that mimic the look, feel, and style of a modern cottage home…albeit a bit smaller. They’re built with two fully loaded individual “bedrooms” to house two dogs.

Equipped with dog beds, televisions, art work, music, even heating and air-conditioning, these cottages are no joking matter.

Form And Function (And Fun!)

As you can see in the photos, these cottages aren’t just stylish buildings that replace drab kennels. The cottages are genuine replicas of a home, which provides a homelike, peaceful environment for the Pit Bulls to partake in activities that prevent depression and boredom (two traits common among the breed).

Comfort aside, the tiny dog houses are also built for function. Liesl Wilhardt, the founder and executive director of Luvable Dog Rescue, spent years raising funds for the project and researching a logical design.

‘“There are basic guidelines to creating a space for animals that is functional and easy to clean but also pleasant for the animal to live in,”’ she told This Dog’s Life.

In Case A Tiny Cottage Wasn’t Enough…

Settled on 55 acres, Luvable Dog Rescue has more than enough space for the dogs to run, play, hike, and exercise. Each dog gets a 45-minute walk per day, sometimes two!

When they’re not tending to their homes, that is…No cars, no sidewalks, no leashes…55 acres for a dog to run free is every dog lover’s/dog’s dream. 

These Three Huskies Are The Cutest Escape Artists You’ll Ever See

Siberian Huskies are known for their striking multicolored eyes, signature facial markings, and unique “voice”. Something else Huskies are famous for? Their escape abilities.

Often called the “Houdini” of dogs, Siberian Huskies can escape from nearly anywhere and everywhere. No matter how secure the fence, gate, or crate is, Huskies have an innate ability to open them.

Three Huskies from Iowa are no different.

Gracie, Kona, and Crimson live with Callie Gansen in Dubuque, Iowa. The siblings are three peas in a pod and just happen to be the world’s cutest escape artists.

One day, Gensen wanted to share their escape tactics with the world. She decided to film the three of them escaping, which she says they do daily.

Gansen decided to share the video to a Facebook group dedicated to Huskies. Then, she uploaded it on YouTube.

The video begins with all three of them behind a seemingly secure gate. Gracie then takes a few steps back, jumps high in the air, and completely clears the fence.

Kona

“I usually have to put a fence on top of the fence that’s shown in the video to keep that one from jumping it,” Gensen said.

With Gracie free, it was Crimson and Kona’s turn. Rather than exert effort to jump the gate, Crimson decided to use a more tactful approach. He uses his nose and teeth to loosen the lock on the gate door. Mere seconds later, he manages to open it. Kona promptly follows.

Once Crimson reaches Gansen on the couch, he gives a signature Husky “growl” as if to say, “I told you I’d get out.”

50 Greatest Dog Names


The 50 Greatest Dog names. That is a big statement. We have used research form our friends at BarkPost to see what they listed as the classic 50 dog names. They did some research and these are the sure fire names that are always in the top dog name lists. So here you have it:

The 50 greatest dog names:

1. Spot

2. Buddy

3. Bandit

4. Benji

5. Ginger

6. Patches

7. Fido

8. Socks

9. Brownie

10. King


11. Bella

12. Charlie

13. Lucy

14. Rocky

15. Max

16. Lady

17. Lassie

18. Lucky

19. Sparky

20. Beauty


21. Fluffy

22. Daisy

23. Sadie

24. Princess

25. Rex

26. Teddy

27. Bear

28. Shadow

29. Lady


30. Missy

31. Sasha

32. Roxy

33. Coco

34. Cricket

35. Champ

36. Milo

37. Rufus

38. Scout

39. Samson

40. Bailey


41. Jake

42. Toby

43. Duke

44. Winston

45. Hunter

46. Gracie

47. Angel

48. Stella

49. Honey

50. Sugar

Does your dog’s name appear in the all-time Top 50?

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