Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rottweiler Rescue

Get a Loyal Loving Friend Through Rottweiler Rescue

By Sharon Davies

Rottweiler rescue organizations provide a valuable service by serving as an alternative to the dog pound for owners of purebred Rottweiler dogs that, for a variety of reasons, must give up their dog. The owner may have gotten the Rottweilers with good intentions, planning to keep the dog for its entire life. Then something happens. Many purebred Rottweiler dogs end up homeless because of death, marriage, eviction or new children.

The Rottweiler is an excellent watchdog, and some owners get their Rottweilers for the purpose of guarding property. When the property changes hands, the watchdog may not be needed any longer needed. Instead of easing the Rottweiler into retirement as a house pet, some owners prefer to give their dogs away.

A Rottweiler dog owner who can no longer keep his or her Rottweiler can surrender the dog to a Rottweiler rescue organization. However, owners should be absolutely certain they are being forced to give up their dog before they turn the Rottweiler over to a Rottweiler rescue organization. Luckily for the dogs, Rottweiler rescue organizations are eventually able to find homes for most Rottweilers. Remember, no one should get any dog thinking that they can turn it over to a rescue group if things don't work out.

Anyone who wants to adopt a Rottweiler rescue dog should carefully consider the decision and be absolutely sure before they make a move to adopt a dog. A commitment to a dog should last the dog's entire lifetime.

Rottweilers are big dogs, weighing eighty to one hundred thirty-five pounds, and they have great strength. It is essential that such a strong, confident dog be properly trained, for the safety of the dog and the people around it. Obedience training for Rottweiler puppies should begin at an early age, preferably eight to ten weeks. With a rescue Rottweiler, though, you can't be sure what kind of training the dog has already had. Owners of rescue dogs should be prepared to go through obedience training with their dogs, to correct any problems with the dog's behavior and to introduce the dog to the structure and authority Rottweilers crave.

Confidence is a trait of most Rottweilers' personalities, but the Rottweiler longs for a pack leader. A rescue dog owner should provide the Rottweiler with enough exercise to fulfill the dog's need for vigorous recreation and with enough discipline to establish the owner as the leader of the pack.

Rottweiler rescue groups will only accept Rottweiler dogs that are in good health, with current vaccinations. Each dog that is accepted as a rescue dog undergoes a health and temperament evaluation by a veterinarian, and the owner who turns the dog over is required to pay a nominal fee to cover intake expenses. The fee is also meant to discourage owners from dumping dogs on the rescue groups, and encourages owners to think long and hard before surrendering their dog.

If you are interested in adopting a rescue dog, contact a Rottweiler rescue organization near you. Most organizations will require that you be at least 21 years old and that you have the permission and consent of all adults in your household. If you don't own your own home, you will be required to provide written permission from the owner for you to adopt a Rottweiler. If you are discouraged by these requirements, please remember that they are designed to reduce the possibility of an irresponsible owner having to return a rescue dog and to make sure prospective owners understand the commitment required to adopt a Rottweiler.

If your application is approved, you will be paired up with a rescue dog and asked to foster the dog for a temporary trial period. The result is worth the wait because your Rottweiler rescue dog will be a faithful companion for the rest of its life.

Sharon Davies hopes that by explaining some of the history behind the Rottweiler that more and more people will come to feel connected to the dog instead of fearing it. When thinking of getting a Rottweiler as a guard dog, remember that there is much more to them then just a scary looking dog. A lot of Rottweiler information can be found in different books or just by talking with your vet.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A suitable dog bed

Why you have to think about giving your dog a suitable dog bed

Your Upscale Pup deserves their very own little place of heaven in your home- a luxury bed that will give them lots of sweet dreams, after a long day of playing outdoors. It is really very important to get one that will be right for them. Some of the dog beds are so stylish and comfortable; you’ll be wondering why there isn’t a larger version available for you! You can buy dog beds for your fashionable pup from a variety of wonderful brands, patterns, shapes, sizes, and color choices that will please even the most discriminating pet parent. Your Pup deserves their very own little place of heaven in your home- a luxury bed that will give them lots of sweet dreams

When you want to buy dog bed one of the first things you need to do is measure your dog so you can be sure to get a bed that is the right size for your pet. First measure them from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail and then measure from their head to the floor. This will give you the approximate length and width you need in a dog bed. If you are looking at a bed with a mattress add 12 inches to your measurements.

Once you have zeroed the size you have to select from the various styles that are available. To select a bed from the various styles that are available in the market you need to closely observe their sleeping habits. Where is your dog’s favorite resting place? What is position you dog like to sleep in? Does your dog head straight for a soft cushioned spot after a day outdoors? If so he may need a bed with extra support to cushion his tired joints after a long day at play. Maybe at the end of the day you always find your dog lying on his back on your bed snoozing. If this is the case your pooch may like a soft, roomy place to crash like a lounging bed. If you usually find your dog curled up while sleep your best bet would be a nestling bed. Soft and plush with higher walls or sides for support help your dog feel safe and protected.

Seeing that your dog gets older you perhaps will have to think of the several orthopedic styles dog beds given that they will offer extra support for those old painful bones. A lot of these options have memory foam that adjusts to the requirements of your dog. Dog beds come in an array of styles as well and it is up to you as to the style you select. Several of the styles you will find, include dog couches, the traditional round beds, and donut style and slipper versions.

Once you have found out the perfect size and style of bed for your dog you need to consider just a few more things. Will this bed be used outside? Do you need one for travel? Dog beds come in styles that will stand up to the elements and fold compactly for portability. Next choose what type of filling you want in the bed based on the amount of support your dog needs. Once you have checked with all the above you can check out with the prices. When investing in a dog bed it is important to get one made with quality that will fit your dog and actually be used by your dog. And if you shop for dog beds online you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the prices you can find. It’s the same as with so many products now. Low overheads mean that sellers can sell cheaply online, and still make a profit. You can easily see what is available in the world of dog beds. Whom would have even thought whether there was so much variety?

Finally you can choose the pattern of the covering of your dog bed to add final, fun touch and match your d├ęcor. Some companies even offer the option of adding your pet’s name to the bed. While shopping for dog beds like Italian Iron Palace Luxury Pet Bed it is important to take everything into consideration to find the perfect bed that your dog will love. After all you want your best friend to be well rested for another day of romping fun tomorrow.

Classic Cratewear
Get the 3-piece set that makes your pet's crate into a comfy home.

A Dull Dog

All Training And No Play Makes Jack Russell A Dull Dog

As dog lover, many of us always want to train our dog to be the perfect companion that will behave himself always.

But to build a strong and trusting relationship with our dog is not always just about always putting up a training regime for our dog to follow. Our dog is a social animal that needs fun time too.

There are also many benefits when we engage our dogs in fun and healthy games during playtime like:

* It's a great vehicle to build strong and trusting relationship with our dog.

* In the process we also learn to communicate better with our dog.

* Remember that every dog owners who play with their dog, stay with their dogs!

* It keeps our dog away from boredom. Many dog problems like chewing on carpets, furniture, digging in the garden, etc are a direct result of dog getting bored.

* Playing is also a form of exercise to keep our dog fit, healthy and mentally stimulated.

In addition, any game that your dog likes can be used as a reward for his good behavior in your training session with him. For example, use a favorite game like tug or fetch to reward recalls and long stays!

However, it is very important to remember that dog is a pack animal and you must always establish your alpha position, ie you remain in control of your dog even in the midst of all the excitement that you and your dog have while playing together.

Here are four all-time favorite games that you can play with your dog:

Game #1: Treasure Hunt

* Put your dog on a "down-stay" position.

* Put treats (food or toy) in a variety of hiding places within his sight.

* He has to wait until all the hidings are done.

* Return to your dog and issue the command "GO!", and send him to run around and find each of the hidden treats.

* Repeat this activity by varying where you put the treat.

You can increase the difficulty like hiding the treat where he can't see, example behind a piece of furniture, etc.

This game is especially good for dogs that have begun to learn "stay" command.

Game #2: Hide and Seek

* Put your dog on a 'sit' or 'down' stay.

* Go and hide.

* When you are ready, call your dog.

* Be very excited when he finds you.

* You can make it more difficult by "hiding" behind doors, couches, etc. If he doesn't find you at first, call him again.

This is a good game for teaching and training your dog to wait until when he is called.

It is also a great game for kids to play with dogs, as long as we teach the kids NOT to encourage the dog to chase them.

Game #3: Clean Up Your Toys
  • Get a box or bucket and collect a number of toys and other dog-safe items.
  • Remember do not start with things that your dog likes to hoard or that you don't want them ever touching.
  • Scatter the toys in a small pile on the floor.
  • Through shaping and teasing, get your dog to pick up the items one at a time, and place them in your hand.
  • Remember to reward each "gift" that he place in your hand with a food treat.
  • Make it harder and harder to put stuff in your hand, while maintaining the fun of this "return for refund" game.
  • Each item retrieved is dumped into the bucket again.
  • Over time your dog may even learn to take the leap and start putting things directly into the bucket himself.

Game #4: The Shell Game

  • You need 3 small, identical buckets approximately one gallon size, Kibble or doggie cookies, a leash and training collar
  • Place your dog in a 'down-stay' position in the kitchen.
  • Go to your living room and place the three buckets side-by-side, with the mouth on the ground (upside down).
  • Leave about one foot of space between each bucket.
  • Put a doggie-cookie under one of the buckets.
  • Return to your dog and give him your "release" command, and walk him over to the buckets.
  • Say, "Where's the cookie?" and encourage your dog to smell the buckets.
  • When he gets excited about the bucket with the cookie under it, praise him lavishly.
  • Then, kick the bucket over and let him get the cookie.
  • Repeat this process by switching the bucket the cookie is hidden under.

Once your dog starts to get the hang of the game, you can add more complexity by spacing the buckets further apart or by adding more buckets.

Kum Chee
A Happy Dog Lover and Owner

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Modify Your Dog's Behaviors

Using Aversives To Modify Your Dog's Behaviors

Aversives are tools and techniques that your dog finds unpleasant and can be used to keep your dog away from a particular place or to stop him from engaging in certain behaviors. Please experiment cautiously and sparingly when choosing an aversive as individual responses will vary - it is often a case of trial and error. An aversive that is mildly unpleasant for one dog may be terrifying for another and have no effect on yet another. The goal is to apply the aversive at a level that will cause your dog to avoid the action or place without becoming fearful.

After finding an aversive that discourage your dog from a particular action or place, it is more effective when you also offer a pleasant and positive alternative to the place or action you need your pet to avoid.

Some typical aversives used for modifying dog's behaviors:

  • Textures
  • Tastes
  • Human-controlled Aversives
  • Surprise! Remote-controlled Aversives

Textures as Aversives

Apply these textures to places you need your dog to avoid as these textures will make his paws uncomfortable. In addition, add toys or treats to appropriate places to make them more attractive.


  • Shelf paper with the sticky side up
  • Double-sided carpet tape


  • Irregular/sharp rocks set firmly into dirt
  • Chicken wire set firmly into dirt with the sharp edges rolled under


  • Heavy plastic carpet runner with the pointed side up

You may need to weigh the material firmly or tape it to keep it in place. To protect furniture or floor finishes from sticky substances, attach the aversive material to a piece of foil or heavy plastic and secure that with weights or light tape. Texture aversives are more effective for puppies, small dogs and low-confidence dogs than for those that won't let a little obstacle stand in their way. Easy-to-attach, commercial varieties of texture aversives are available from most pet supply stores.

Tastes as Aversives

Most dogs do much of their investigative work (and much of their damage) with their mouths, anything displeasing to the tastebuds will often work quite well. However some of the following substances may damage furniture or floor finishes, make sure to test them in a hidden location before widespread use.

In addition, offer an appropriate item to your dog to chew on instead.

Example of such substances:

  • Bitter Apple or similar sprays and gels marketed specifically for taste aversion
  • Some hot sauces
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Insect repellants, especially those containing citronella or citrus odors
    (colognes, concentrated juices or fresh peels)
  • Some muscle rubs
  • Aloe gel

Human-controlled Aversives

Use these to interrupt or distract your dog from his undesirable behavior.

Such devices are not meant to terrify your dog but to provide a brief distraction. Make sure that the moment your dog's attention is focused on the distraction action, redirect his behavior to an appropriate object, and followed by giving him lots of praise.

Examples of such aversives:

  • Spray bottle or squirt gun filled with water or a combination of water and a
    little citronella oil. (Note: Avoid the Super-Soaker water guns that have a very
    forceful spray)
  • Loud air horn
  • Whistle
  • Shaker can (soda can containing nails, pennies, beans or pebbles, with the
    opening securely taped shut)

Surprise! Remote-controlled Aversives

Sometimes the best approach for teaching your dog is to work from a distance. If every aversive is delivered with you in the room, your dog may quickly learn to refrain from engaging in undesirable behaviors when you're around, but engage in those behaviors as soon as you walk out of the room.

Available at pet supply stores or easy to make at home, these items are:

  • Motion detector that reacts with a startling sound or a spray of water
  • Snappy Trainer or an upside-down mouse trap that is securely taped under paper to
    avoid contact
  • Aluminum pie plate or cookie sheet containing water, pennies, beans or pebbles -
    preferably balanced precautiously
  • Scat Mat (gives a slight static shock)

WARNING: For fearful dogs, avoid using surprise techniques, especially noises. Also, remember to start out with the lowest level aversive first and experiment cautiously to see what works for your pet.

The use of aversives offers the advantage of modifying certain behaviors in your dog while distancing you from the 'correction'. Experiment with different types of aversives and try to match the aversive to your dog's nature and temperament. For example, using a surprise technique on a fearful dog should only be the last resort.

Above all, be patient and give your dog frequent play sessions and attention as well as appropriate objects for him to play with. That way, your dog's antics will amuse you instead of annoy you, and the special bond between both of you will continue to grow.

- extracted from Dumb Friends League (ARDD_R1004)

And remember to praise your dog abundantly when he does the right thing!

You Can Do It!

Kum Chee
A Happy Dog Lover and Owner

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dog Behavior

Why Does My Pet Eat Grass?
By Deena Caruso

Are you concerned when your dog or cat eats grass, then throws up afterwards? You’ll probably feel relieved to know that pets eat grass because their bodies need it.

Dogs and cats have been eating grass for a long time. In fact, grass is so popular among dogs that one species, dog grass, is named after them. Dog grass is also known as couch grass and quackweed, and it grows in all but the southern-most states.

You can think of grass as an herbal medicine. It acts as an internal cleanser, expelling excess mucus, bile, and other impurities. It also cleanses the bowels and expels worms. Cereal grasses contain enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Grass also contains chlorophyll, which was used for relieving pain, treating infections, ulcers, skin diseases, and anemia prior to the use of antibiotics.

Some pet owners grow grass specifically to give to their pets to prevent or treat diarrhea, anemia, cataracts, fleas, tumors excessive shedding, and other pet health problems. Pets that are fed grass on a regular basis are less likely to crave outdoor grass. So, if you don’t feel comfortable with your pet eating the grass in your lawn, you may want to grow your own grass for them to eat.

Try growing rye or barley sprouts. These sprouts are preferred over wheat grass because some animals are sensitive to wheat.

Follow these instructions to grow rye or barley grass. Soak one cup organically grown grain in one quart water for 8 to 10 hours. Then drain the container and leave it on its side in a warm place, away from direct sunlight. A tiny white rootlet will sprout from each grain within 24 to 48 hours. Caution: If you don’t see these rootlets, your grain isn’t viable and should be thrown away.

Next, spread the sprouting grain on one inch of moist potting soil or top soil in a plastic garden tray. For drainage create a one inch channel around the soil.

For two days, cover the tray. Then uncover it, and water thoroughly. Place the tray in direct sunlight or under grow lights. Keep the soil moist by watering when needed.

When the grass is 6-8” tall, cut it with scissors or a sharp knife. Place grasses in a ziploc bag, along with a damp paper towel. Be sure to expel air from the bag before sealing. Then store the grass in the refrigerator.

When feeding the grass to your pet, cut or mince it into tiny pieces, or place a small amount in a blender or food processor with other foods. To be sure your cat or dog will accept the grass, begin feeding just a fraction of a teaspoon. Increase the amount gradually to approximately one tablespoon per 50 lbs. of body weight.

Once your pet is given the amount of grass his body needs, you probably won’t be seeing him eating the grass in your lawn. And you can feel relieved knowing that you’re feeding him something that he craves and that his body needs.

About the author : Deena Caruso, author, teacher, & distributor of natural pet products Helps pet owners create healthy, happy pets.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)

What is Canine Hip Dysplasia?

By Ty Magnum

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is a congenital disease that mainly affects large breed dogs. The word "dysplasia" means improper growth. Hip dysplasia can be described as a faulty or abnormal development of the hip. In CHD, the hip becomes loose and wobbly, eventually leading to a form of arthritis which is commonly referred to Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD). The degree of lameness that occurs is usually dependent upon the extent of arthritic changes in the hip joint. So too do environmental conditions such as amount of physical exercise, and weight gain contribute to the disease, and bring out symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms of Canine Hip Dysplasia?

The symptoms of CHD depend on the severity of the dysplasia. Another factor is the whether or not degenerative joint disease (DJD) is present. Dogs less than 1 year old have a tendency to have periods of acute bilateral (or unilateral) lameness in their rear legs. Older dogs with CHD exhibit rear limb lameness with an obvious weight displacement to the forelimb (front paws). Furthermore, the signs of lameness become more obvious with exercise or after a minor trauma. Again depending on the degree of joint destruction, visible signs vary.

Typical signs are

- Generally less active.

- Problem with stairs.

- Less jumping

- Trouble rising, or laying down.

- When running will exhibit a A Bunny hopping @ gait

- Painful reaction to the extension of the rear legs.

- A faint popping sound coming from the hip.

Are All Dogs at Risk Canine Hip dysplasia?

CHD can occur in any dog. However, large breed dogs are at a higher risk. The Orthopedic Foundation of Animals (OFA) believes that some of the breeds at highest risk are:




Clumber Spaniel

Neapolitan Mastiff

St. Bernard

Boykin Spaniel

Sussex Spaniel

American Bulldog


American Staffordshire Terrier



Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Golden Retriever

Gordon Setter


Chow Chow

Old English Sheepdog


Norweigan Elkhound

Giant Schnauzer

German Shepherd

Bernese Mountain Dog

English Setter

Black and Tan Coonhound

Shih Tzu

Staffordshire Terrier

Welsh Corgi




Bouvier des flandres

Welsh Springer Spaniel

Curly Coated Retriever

Polish Lowland Sheepdog

Portugese Water Dog

English Springer Spaniel

Pudel Pointer

Irish Water Spaniel

How is Canine Hip Dysplasia Diagnosed?

Initial assessment involves taking a history of the dog, and examining obvious clinical signs. The only real way to see if a dog is suffering from CHD is through X Rays. If found early enough in pups, surgery can correct the problem.

What Is the Treatment of Canine Hip Dysplasia?

Treatment for CHD can be as mild as recommending rest, or as severe as surgery, depending on the severity of the dysplasia, amount of DJD, the age of the dog, the size of the dog, and many other factors, treatment will vary.

Possible Conservative Treatment

- Weight monitoring

- Moderate exercise

- Pain relief medication

- Joint and health supplements

Possible Surgical Treatment

Currently there are three main surgical procedures used in for the treatment of CHD.

Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO)

In this procedure, three separate bone cuts are made in order to free the acetabulum component (the socket or cup) of the hip joint from the rest of the pelvis. The acetabulum is then rotated to provide better coverage. A bone plate is secured to maintain this new position and allow the bone cuts to mend. The procedure is for large breed dogs, no older than 10 months of age. Candidates for this surgery must only have mild CHD and no arthritis present.

Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO)

In this procedure, the head of the femur is removed. The residual portion of the femur forms a “false" joint with muscle, tendons and ligaments. Even though the false joint is not as superior as the original, most dogs experience a great reduction in pain. This particular surgery is far more effect in smaller dogs, with most experiencing an almost normal function of the hip.

Total hip replacement (THR)

In this procedure the head and neck of the femur are both replaced with either stainless steel or titanium implants. This surgery is used on young dogs who have fully matured developed physically. THR is also used in older dogs who weigh a minimum 40lbs. If done correctly, the procedure can be very successful; however it is only done by a select few, and is very expensive.

Is There Any Way to Prevent Canine Dysplasia?

CHD is a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Responsible breeders are working on reducing the chances of CHD by breeding dogs that are less likely to produce pups that will have the disease, by better sceening methods.

Environmental factors do NOT cause CHD. Instead, they bring out the symptoms in a dog that already has the disease. Responsible owners can help dogs with CHD by addressing these environmental variables. By closely monitoring a dog’s diet, for example, owners can insure that a pup will not grow too fast, or become over weight. Here is a list of variables that can be controlled in order to nurture a dog with CHD.

- Limit rough play, jumping, climbing stairs or slick floors.

- Monitor food intake.

- Calcium supplementation (may increase the bone remodeling).

- Forced running for any distance, especially on tarmac, asphalt or other hard surfaces

- Have your dog certified by The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)

Ths website only provides BASIC information about Canine Hip Dysplasia. your veterinarian is always your best source of health information. Consult your veterinarian for more information about CHD and its prevention.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


How To Deal With Your Dog's Teething Problem

There is a part of every puppy's life that every dog owner would gladly live without - that maddening, frustrating, must-chew-everything-that-isn't-stapled-to-the-ceiling, teething age.

At about 4 months old, our puppy will lose its first set of teeth and the adult teeth will begin to grow from the gums. The teething process continues on and off for several months and this is often a painful and uncomfortable process for our puppy. We will notice that our puppy is teething from his increased chewing and biting on everything imaginable that is within reach.

Although sometimes tiresome, teething is a stage all puppies must go through and, happily, it will pass fairly soon. Relieving our puppy's pain and protecting our possessions from the sharp little teeth will be our top priorities!

What we can do:

1. Crate Training

The best way to prevent destructive chewing during our puppy's teething stage is to crate train our puppy. In addition, this will keep him away from the deadly things he'd love to chew to pieces when we aren't looking, like electrical cords of appliances that are still plugged in.

Make sure we provide a crate that is big enough for our puppy to turn around in. It is also important that we make the crate a safe and happy place for our dog by providing him with stimulating toys while he is in the crate.

2. Chew Toys

Chew toys and other gnaw-ables are going to be very useful in helping our puppy during his teething stage of his life. Although it is always tempting to let our puppy to chew on an old pair of socks or old leather shoe, this action is tantamount to telling our puppy that ALL shoes and socks are available to him for chewing!

Frozen rubber teething rings will help ease the pain of cutting teeth when our puppy has to be crated for safe keeping while you are either busy or out.

In addition, always remember to:

a. Positively reinforce chewing on things he is allowed to with praise and petting, and try to identify each item with "Is that your stick? Good boy!"; and

b. Negatively reinforce his chewing on inappropriate items by removing the item and saying "No, that is mine." and exchanging it with a proper chew toy with "Here is your ball, good boy!"

3. No Chew Toys, try the following two tips:

Buy a few cheap wash clothes and soak them thoroughly with water. Then put the wash clothes in the freezer. When fully frozen, give it to the teething puppy to chew.

Mix chicken or beef broth with 1 � cup of water. Pour them into ice cube trays to made broth ice cubes. They are tasty treats on hot days.

Finally, teething puppies will put their mouths on us and it is up to us to teach them at an early age that this is not acceptable. Just as mentioned above, every time they exhibit mouthing behavior, we must redirect them to an acceptable chew toy (or frozen clothes or broth).

Another important factor in bite inhibition and limiting mouthing behavior is proper socialization. It is very important in this stage to take our dog to a puppy class or puppy play group. When allowed to play with other pups, our dog will learn what is acceptable play behavior. The other dogs will help him to learn that biting is not appropriate. Also socialising our dog to many different kinds of people and situations will help him not to be afraid of new things and will significantly lower the potential for biting.

And remember to praise your dog abundantly when he does the right thing!

You Can Do It!

Kum Chee
A Happy Dog Lover and Owner

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Removing Pet Odors And Stains

To successfully train your pet to avoid those 'scent marked' areas of his urination and/or defecation:

  1. Find all soiled areas using your nose and eyes. A black-light bulb will usually show even old urine stains. Turn out all lights in the room; use the black-light to identify soiled areas and lightly outline the areas with chalk.
  2. Clean the soiled areas appropriately to remove the odors (see below).
  3. Make the areas unattractive and/or unavailable (see below).
  4. Make his potty area attractive.
  5. Train your pet to use the appropriate place to eliminate by using positive reinforcement (eg praise, treats and play times immediately after he has eliminated).

These steps work as a team for your effort to be successful. For example, if you fail to completely clean the area (including removing the odor), your pet will be able to smell his personal scent and he'll continue to return to the 'scent marked' area for his urination and/or defecation. Bear in mind that even if you can't smell traces of his urine, your pet can. Hence your most important chore is to completely remove (neutralize) that odor.

Do Not Use these methods to remove odor:

  • Steam Cleaners ' Do not use steam cleaners to clean urine odors from carpet or upholstery as the heat will permanently set the odor and stain by bonding the protein into any man-made fibers.
  • Cleaning Chemicals (especially those with strong odors such as ammonia or vinegar) ' From your pet's perspective, these don't effectively eliminate or cover the urine odor. It may actually encourage your pet's inclination to reinforce the urine scent mark in that area.

To Clean Washable Items:

  • Machine-wash as usual, adding a one pound box of baking soda to your regular detergent. If possible, air-dry the items.
  • If you can still see the stain or smell the urine, machine-wash the item again and add an enzymatic cleaner. Be sure to follow the directions for using the cleaner carefully.
  • During the re-training period, a good way to discourage your pet from using the bedding is to cover the bed with a vinyl, flannel-backed tablecloth. They're machine washable, inexpensive and unattractive to your pet.

To Clean Carpeted Ares and Upholstery:

  • Soak up as much of the urine as possible with a combination of newspaper and paper towels. The more fresh urine you can remove before it dries, especially from carpet, the simpler it will be to remove the odor. Place a thick layer of paper towels on the wet spot and cover that with a thick layer of newspaper. Stand on this padding for about a minute. Remove the padding and repeat the process until the area is barely damp.
  • If possible, take the fresh, urine-soaked paper towel to your dog's potty area and let him see you doing it. Don't act angry when you do this but try to project a 'happy' attitude to him. This will help to remind him that eliminating isn't a 'bad' behavior as long as it's done in the right place.
  • Rinse the 'accident zone' thoroughly with clean, cool water. After rinsing, remove as much of the water as possible by blotting or by using a 'wet-vac', 'shop-vac' or 'extractor'.
  • If you've previously used cleaners or chemicals of any kind on the area, then neutralizing cleaners won't be effective until you've rinsed every trace of the old cleaner from the carpet. Even if you haven't used chemicals recently, any trace of a non-protein-based substance will weaken the effect of the enzymatic cleaner. The cleaner will use up its 'energy' on the old cleaners instead of on the protein stains you want removed.
  • To remove all traces of old chemicals and clean old or heavy stains in carpeting, consider using or renting an extractor or wet-vac. This machine operates much like a vacuum cleaner and is efficient and economical. Extracting/wet-vac machines do the best job of forcing clean water through your carpet and then forcing the dirty water back out again. When using these machines or cleaners, be sure to follow instructions carefully. Don't use any chemicals with these machines ' they work more effectively with plain water.
  • Once the area is totally clean, you should use a high-quality pet odor neutralizer available at pet supply stores. Test the affected surface for staining first.
  • If the areas still looks stained after it's completely dry from extracting and neutralizing, try any good carpet stain remover.
  • If urine has soaked down into the padding underneath your carpet, your job will be more difficult as you may need to remove and replace that portion of the carpet and padding.

To Clean Floors and Walls:

  • If the wood on your furniture, walls, baseboard or floor is discolored, it means that the varnish or paint has been affected by the acid in the urine.
  • You will need to remove and replace the layer of varnish or paint.
  • Try to use washable enamel paints and some washable wallpapers as these materials respond more favorably to enzymatic cleaners

- extracted from Dumb Friends League (SCTR_R99)

Kum Chee
A Happy Dog Lover and Owner

Friday, April 3, 2009


Territorial Marking Behaviour in Dogs

Dogs are territorial animals, ie. they ‘stake out a claim’ to a particular space, area or object, to other people and animals by marking it with a variety of methods and intensity. For example, a dog may bark to drive away what he perceives as intruders to his territory; or a cat may mark a valued object by rubbing it with her face.

Some dogs may go to the extreme of urinating to mark a particular area as their own. Such behaviour should not be mistaken as housesoiling; rather it is a territorial behaviour. To solve the problem, we have to address the underlying reason for your dog’s need to mark his territory in this way.

Difference Between House-soiling And Urine-Marking

Your dog is urine-marking his territory when:

· The problem is mainly urination as dogs seldom mark with faeces

· The amount of urine is small and is found mainly on vertical surfaces although dogs do sometimes mark on horizontal surfaces.

· Leg-lifting and spraying are dominant versions of urine-marking.

· If your dog is not spayed or neutered as your dog is more likely to urine-mark compared to another dog that is spayed or neutered.

· Your dog urinates on new objects in the environment (eg a shopping bag, a visitor’s handbag), or objects that have unfamiliar smells, or objects that have another animal’s scent.

· Your dog has conflicts with other animals in your home. When there’s instability in the pack hierarchy, a dog may feel the need to establish his dominance by urine-marking his territory.

· Your dog has contact with other animals outside your home, eg if your dog sees another dog through a door or window, he may feel a need to mark his territory.

· Your dog marks frequently on neighbourhood walks.

What You Can Do:

· Spay or neuter your dog as soon as possible as it may stop your dog’s urine-marking. However, if he has been urine-marking for a long period of time, it may be difficult to break his pattern of behaviour

· Resolve conflicts between animals in your home.

· Restrict your dog’s access to doors and windows through which he can observe animals outside. If this is not possible, discourage the presence of such animals near your home.

· Clean soiled areas thoroughly. Don’t use strong smelling cleaners as these may cause your dog to ‘over-mark’ the spot.

· Make previously soiled areas inaccessible or unattractive.

· If making soiled areas inaccessible or unattractive isn’t possible, try to change the significance of those areas, eg feed, treat and play with your dog in the areas he is inclined to mark. A dog is less inclined to urine-mark areas that he feeds and plays at.

· Keep objects likely to cause marking out of reach, such as guest’s belongings, new purchases, etc.

· If your dog is marking in response to a new resident in your home (eg a new roommate, etc), have the new resident make friends with your dog by feeding, grooming and playing with your dog. Make sure good things happen to your dog when the new resident is around.

· Watch your dog at all times when he is indoors for signs of his urinating. When he begins to urinate, interrupt him with a loud noise and take him outside. Praise him and give him a treat if he urinates outside. If you are unable to watch your dog, put him in a crate where he has never marked.

What You Should NOT Do:

· Don’t punish your dog after he has urine-marked as punishment administered even a minute after the event is ineffective as he won’t understand why he is being punished.

Dog Aren't People

Remember dogs don’t urinate or defecate out of spite or jealousy.

If he urinates on your baby’s diaper bag, it’s not because he is jealous of, or dislikes your baby. It’s the unfamiliar scents and sounds of a new baby in the house that is causing him to reaffirm his claim on his territory.

Dominance or Anxiety?

Urine-marking is usually associated with dominance behaviour. While this is often the case, some dogs may mark when they feel anxious or upset.

For example, a new baby in the house brings new sounds, smells and people, as well as changes in routine. Your dog probably isn’t getting as much attention as he was used to getting, which cause him to feel anxious. As a result, he may start to urine-mark.

If your dog is feeling anxious, you may want to consider talking to your veterinarian about medications to reduce his anxiety while you work on behaviour modification.

- extracted from Dumb Friends League (TMBI_R00)

Kum Chee
A Happy Dog Lover and Owner