5 Life-Hacks for Training Large Breeds

Are you the proud owner of a German Shepherd, Great Dane or maybe a Mastiff? While these dogs are a joy to be around and devoted companions, training them can be a bit more tricky than training smaller dogs. Here are 5 life-hacks you need in order to succeed.

Down Only On Soft Ground

You have probably taught your dog to lie down already, and might have found that he seems to refuse to go down onto hard ground such as tile floor, concrete or asphalt. Large dog breeds tend to have very sensitive elbows which hurt easily if we ask them to lie down on hard surfaces. Over time this can lead to the dog refusing to lie down altogether. To avoid this, only ask your dog to lie down on soft ground such as grass or carpet. If you are planning to take your dog along to a restaurant patio or coffee shop, take a soft mat with you that your dog can lie down on and relax.

Small Treats Work

You might think that big dogs need big treats for training. This is not true! Large breeds need to be watched especially close so that they do not put on too much weight. Every extra pound is problematic on their joints and overweight large dogs are prone to developing arthritis.

The good news is that even big dogs can work for small treats! Since most dogs practically inhale their training treats anyway, they won’t even notice if the cookie they get is the size of a cherry or the size of a pea. By breaking up your treats into smaller pieces or buying small training treats, you can not only manage your dog’s weight, but also save some money and get more out of your training sessions!

Longer Leashes

Large dogs have long backs. The size of some big breeds such as the Great Dane makes it very difficult to walk them on a regular 4-to-6 foot long leash. The dog will automatically be pulling when he is walking in front of you just because of the length of his back. Luckily there are leashes of all lengths on the market. 8 foot leashes work much better for large breeds, and will be more comfortable for both you and the dog. Finding the right leash is going to vastly improve training walks for the two of you.

Body Awareness Training

Many large dogs are unaware of their size. They might crash into people while playing, knock over vases with their wagging tail, or even push over smaller dogs just while walking around the house. Their lack of body awareness can however be improved with the right training approach. Dogs can be taught to know and pay attention to where their body is and how to move it carefully. You can start by setting up a little obstacle course for your dog in your living room: Pool noodles to walk over, cardboard boxes to step in, and cushions to balance on. Over time, your dog’s skills will grow and he will be a lot more mindful of his body.

Big Does Not Mean Bold

Large breeds often are quite fearful. The size of their body does not always go along with bravery. Make sure that your dog does not get scared or intimidated by other dogs at the dog park, other people that want to pet her, or loud noises. Fears and phobias can best be avoided by carefully monitoring the dog’s emotional state and always giving him the option to leave a situation when she is uncomfortable. Let your dog choose what she feels happy with and what not. A large dog that has deeply ingrained reactivity can be very difficult to manage, so make sure that your dog does not learn it in the first place.

Have fun training your large breed dog!

Oil painting of Oliver Taco, the cat which is now proudly displayed in the recipient's living room.

Personalized Pet Portraits: The Best Way to Honor Our Furry Companions

Pets claim a special place in the hearts of all who own them so that they feel much like members of the family. Are you in search of a way to pay tribute to the pet currently in your life or one who has recently pass away? Or perhaps you’re looking for the perfect gift for the animal-lover in your life?

There are many beautiful ways to honor our furry companions and keep them close to our hearts always, one being the creation of a pet portrait.

What Do People Do to Memorialize Pets?

When a cat or dog claims a portion of his owner’s heart, it is understandable that he or she will wish to have some token of their pet’s memory once the animal has passed. One popular way of holding onto the treasured memory of a pet is in getting footprints in ink or clay.

Photographs are another way to treasure the impact pets have on their owners’ lives. Just as many people choose to keep pictures of loved ones in plain sight so as to be reminded of their shared love, pet enthusiasts often do the same.

Having something even more permanent than a photograph takes the sentimentality one step further. Commissioning a pet portrait in honor of a beloved canine or feline is a great way to cherish their memory.

How Much Money Should a Pet Photographer Cost?

The price to have professional snapshots taken of your pet varies. According to Puptrait, some photographers do not charge the client anything before he or she has been given the chance to view the pictures that were taken.

Others charge for the session based on factors like how much time will be spent on photographing and the skill of the photographer.

In general, the prices for pet photography vary from studio to studio. At Puptrait, a $99 fee is charged up front for the session, excluding the price of prints. Once it is time to pay for the actual pictures, you have a great deal of flexibility as you’re allowed to spend as little or as much as you wish for as many or as few prints as you’d like.

I Want a Painted Portrait of My Pet. Who Would Be the Best Choice?

Paint Your Life is a fantastic option when it comes to having a personalized painting created of your pet. The process is made simple and hassle-free.

1. Browse the artists. Start the process of turning your own picture to painting by viewing the gallery where you’ll be able to see the work of all the talented painters who partner with Paint Your Life. These artists specialize in oil, charcoal, pencil, watercolor, acrylic, and pastel.

2. Select a photo for the painter to follow. Perhaps one of the pet photos you got from a photographer or a memorable snapshot from home. After it is uploaded, a proof will be created so that you can see exactly what the artist of your choice will be following in order to produce the painting.

3. Select a frame and sizing. You may choose to pick your frame at the start or wait until the end once you’ve seen the completed work.

4. Wait for the updates. Throughout the creation of the painting, you will receive frequent updates in order to ensure complete satisfaction with the end product. If there are changes that need to be made along the way, the artist will accommodate them at your request.

5. Arrival of the perfect pet tribute. The portrait will arrive at your doorstep framed and ready to be hung, ready to be admired for generations to come.

The Power of a Personalized Pet Portrait

Receiving a customized pet portrait generally elicits a great deal of emotion from the recipient, particularly that of joy, which is apt considering the delight our animals bring to us everyday.

Take a look at what one fortunate customer had to say about the beautiful pet portrait in this paint your life review.

And here a few priceless responses to the beauty of a customized pet portrait are captured on video, leaving no doubt as to the power of creating a memory such as this…

The decision to choose a customized painting is made even more simple by the 100% satisfaction or your money back guarantee from Paint Your Life. Pets are important and the company takes great pride in creating the memory of your pet that you have in mind, just as you envision.

If you’re looking for the perfect way to memorialize and honor a pet that has made an impact on your life, or that has impacted someone you care about, consider commissioning a personalized pet portrait and create a lasting memory.

Beau the Black Labrador Retriever

Beau is four years old and is the most loving dog I’ve ever owned. She loves to cuddle and is very keen on snuggling up under my blanket with me when watching films. Every night she sleeps with a blanket round her and her head on a pillow. She’s the goodest of all good girls and scores 14/10 for cuteness. I’ve also included a couple of photos of Beau with her BFF, Kai, a Weimaraner who made it to a good old age of 14, but is sadly no longer with us. Double trouble. Submitted by Robyn A.

 

How to Move a Dog Without Both You and Your Pet Being Stressed

What Is The Problem?

Lots of people have little furry friends. Sadly lots of people are forced to relinquish their beloved pets to shelters because of the difficult and problematic issues of a long-distance move. People know that moving can be very stressful for the whole family, and so by deciding to give up their dogs or cats, they believe they’ll be able to avoid some of the problems. Moving with a dog can be easy and stress-free if it is organized wisely organized. You should know that with a proper preparation, your next move can be smooth and worry-free for you, your family and your little friend.

Solution

Moving your dog requires special considerations in order to avoid extremely traumatic impact. Dogs can run out of the house during the chaotic moving process and get lost. The best solution therefore is to isolate pets away from the moving area into a comfortable temporary room in your house. Make sure to give them their familiar companionship, food and water. Try to visit them as often as possible during the moving day. When the relocation is over, move your dog into the new residence. Don’t worry if your dog is a little bit puzzled. Give him some time to get acclimated to his new home. Put your dog’s favorite treats and toys inside his carrier to help create a familiar atmosphere. By doing such things when moving pets, they will get used to the new place as quickly as possible.

Here are a few more tips to keep your friends cared for during the moving process…

Before Moving Day Tips

It is important to learn about pet rules and regulations when moving to new destination. You should know beforehand about your landlords and homeowners’ associations and their specific pet rules. Check whether your pet is required to get additional vaccinations, medications or certain certificates, especially when relocating to foreign lands. If you have questions ask the local animal control organization.

Talk to Your Current Vet

Your veterinarian may suggest behavior modification techniques or medication that can make relocation less stressful for your pet if he/she has a hard time traveling. They may also recommend that pets get identification microchips that may help if your dog accidentally gets lost during the relocation.

Find a Vet in Your New Area

It is impossible to control every issue, and trying to find a new vet in your new area before moving day can seem like a daunting task. One thing you can do is ask your current vet to make recommendations in case he or she knows of a colleague in the area. It is vital to make sure you are comfortable with your new vet in case of an emergency. Make sure you take all of your dog’s medical records with you to hand over to your new vet. Be sure to find the closest emergency animal hospital and keep that phone number at hand.

Update Your Address

Don’t forget to have new identification tags with your new address and new phone number made for your dog’s collar. And don’t forget to update your contact information in the database if your dog has an identification microchip.

Take Favorite Treats with You

Don’t pack the food away! Keep your dog’s food, water, bowls, medication and any other important supplies off the moving truck and readily available.

Traveling With Your Dog

You can calm and control your dog by spending some time driving together. Try to drive for short distances before the final move. Also, think beforehand for any special carriers your dog may need for transportation. There are special seat belts for large dogs. Check all rules and regulations and keep your dog’s special documentation handy if you are moving your pet by air or internationally.

After Moving Day Tips

Take your dog out on a walk to explore her new territory and show her the route to get home. If you let her outside unleashed in a new place right away, she might get lost or run away due to stress. Make sure your dog’s new identification tags are fixed properly to their collar. Before your dog enters your new home, take the time to secure expensive items to prevent damage to your new place.

If you are ready to hire a professional moving company, don’t forget to get your FREE moving quote right now. Don’t hesitate! Movers work hard to move you fast and stress-free!

Baxter the Border Collie, Poodle Mix

This is my dog Baxter, a Border Collie cross Standard Poodle. He is ten years old, turning 11 soon. We have had Baxter since he was four months old, and he is the sweetest and kindest dog I know. His personality is calm and lazy, and he likes his food. We all joke that he is permanently stoned. He sadly has bone cancer but he is fighting it like a champ and I am so blessed to have had him this long, and to have been able to say he has lived a great life with us. He also howls when someone is coming home, leaving or if he hears another dog. We call it singing. He is very good I think we should put him on a dog version of the Voice. Submitted by Natalie M.

 

Best Dogs for First Time Owners

If you’re considering getting a dog for the first time, you have a lot to think about! Dogs come in all different shapes and sizes. While this allows you to choose the perfect first dog for your lifestyle, it also means that you have plenty of dog breeds to sort through before you find the perfect one for you.

Not all companion dog breeds are equally suitable for novice owners. Some breeds require near-constant training or might come with a high likelihood of health problems. Here are some of the best dog breeds every first-time dog owner should consider…

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is a popular breed that is a good choice for new owners who are looking for a larger dog. They have a friendly, easy temperaments, don’t get into much mischief, and don’t require a strong trainer.

They are somewhat high-energy, so we only recommend them to those with active lifestyles. They require a lot of exercise. Expect to take them on at least a mile walk per day. Their larger size does mean that they’ll consume more food than a smaller dog, which can make them a more expensive option over time.

Poodles

These popular dogs can be suitable for some first-time owners. These lovable dogs take very easy to training and are not very stubborn. They’re loyal and pretty easy to handle for most owners.

With that said, they also require a lot of grooming and exercise. Expect to take them for a long walk each day and wear them out in a fenced-in yard. They are very active dogs. They will need daily brushing as well as regular trips to the groomers.

Labrador Retriever

Labs are known for being some of the friendliest dogs around. They’ve been the number one dog in the United States for the last several years, and for a good reason. They’re friendly, easy to train, dependable, and loyal. They are not stubborn and pretty much listen to whatever their owner says.

These mellow dogs do require a bit of exercise each day, so they are suitable for all dog owners. They shed and do need to be brushed regularly, especially during the changing seasons when they tend to shed particularly bad. If you do decide to get one, go here to find the best dog food for a Labrador Retriever.

Papillon

This is one of the best little dogs for new owners who are in the market for something small. They only reach about 7 to 9 pounds when fully grown, making them perfect for apartment living. Furthermore, these small dogs do not have the negative health consequences that other small dogs tend to have.

These tiny dogs don’t require much exercise, though you should plan on taking them for walks or letting them romp around in a fenced-in area. They have low energy levels, so you definitely want to find the best dog food to keep them healthy.

They have decently easy-going personalities and are very low maintenance, though they can be a little yappy. They are not particularly shy or aggressive towards other dogs or people.

Bichon Frise

These tiny dogs are another great lap dog. They’re a little bigger than the Papillon, reaching about 15 pounds, but they love to cuddle. They require regular grooming as well and would probably benefit from a trip or two to the groomers. They do not have many health problems, especially when compared to other dogs. They do not shed very much, and they are not hypoallergenic.

They are not very active and many would prefer to spend the day on the couch. After a short 30 minutes of play time, many of these dogs are good for the rest of the day.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These laid-back dogs make great companions and family dogs. They can easily become your best friend. They’re a little bit on the smaller size at around 15 pounds, which makes them suitable for those living in apartments. They are often considered gentle and playful. They have about the same activity level as the Bichon Frise, preferring to spend much of their day lounging around.

They do require regular brushing, with a daily brushing usually being necessary to keep their coats healthy.

Greyhound

While greyhounds are popularly known for their speed, they’re actually couch potatoes. They can run very fast, but don’t have the stamina to run for very long. It would be in your best interest to take them on daily walks, but they don’t need any more activity than any other big dogs. Despite their larger size, they are also one of the best dogs for apartments.

These dogs are not the easiest to train. Not because they’re stubborn, but because they just have a hard time paying attention.

Miss Lucy the Maltese, Shih Tzu Mix

This is Miss Lucy. She is a Shih Tzu Maltese Mix and is almost eight years old. She is blind. We have had her for the last four days and she meshes well with our other dogs Baxter and Bentley. Since she is blind she walks into walls a lot which is really adorable. When she doesn’t know where she is in the house she barks until someone goes and shows her which room she is in. Submitted by Natalie M.


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Joey the Shih Tzu (aka Joey the Tongue)

I was asked to foster a beautiful boy named Joey when he was eight years old. He was an owner surrender, and is now 11 years old. After having all of his medical conditions cleared up, I asked Joey if I could adopt him as my son. He jumped in my lap, so I figured that was a “Yes.” Joey and my other rescue Holly enjoy each other. They love watching TV on the couch, love walks, and he loves his toy lambchop. They both sleep on a pillow like a human on my bed. I don’t know if they know, but they have done more for me then they will ever know. Submitted by Randy B.

 

Pet Care Tips For Traveling With Your Pets

Are you planning to spend your next vacation with your four-legged friend?
Are you worried about your dog’s health?
Do you want to be the most loving and responsible pet owner possible?

No worries! You have come to the right place. We have some tips which will allow you to travel with your pet safely and comfortably.

Indeed, dogs are the most adorable and wonderful creatures that God has created. But, taking four-legged friends on your travels can be both stressful and a fantastic experience at the same time. If you keep the below-mentioned tips in mind and prepare your pet accordingly, then you will be able to figure out all the challenges and make the trip much safer and effective.

Now, without any further ado, let’s dive into these tips that will ensure that all of your pet experience stress-free travel…

6 Tips For Safe Traveling

Let’s begin….

Tip #1 — Microchip your Pet

No matter whether you are planning to travel by train, plane, or some other source, it may be a good idea to get your pet is microchipped. This way, you can easily find your pet from anywhere at any time. It is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to find a lost pet.

It is a painless process that will help you track the exact position of your pet if he gets lost. The microchip is basically inserted under your pet’s skin, which contains his identification details. By coordinating with the vet, one can scan the chip effortlessly. Also, it will be easy for other individuals to discover the rightful owner.

If you don’t want to follow this tip, but still want to secure your dog if he gets lost while traveling, then you can also wear a collar while traveling. Don’t forget to imprint the tag with your personal details like name, phone number, address, etc. It will be easy for the finder to consult the right owner.

Tip # 2 — Make Sure you Bring Extra Food and Medication

Whenever you plan to travel, don’t forget to carry your pet’s favorite food along with proper medication if needed. This will help you to cover the entire journey without any hassle. Once you have decided to travel, make sure you pack a separate bag for your pet, including water scoops, bowls, first aid kit, etc.

Packing things will help you to locate the items easily in case of an emergency. Also, carrying travel food and water dishes is not only makes it easy to make a meal, but it also easy to clean. Therefore, whenever you travel, make sure you always have your dog’s refreshments available along with medication.

Tip #3 — Don’t Forget to Hire a Professional Pet Sitter

You may have to spend some money if you follow this tip. But professional pet sitters are people on which you can entirely depend. By hiring a professional pet sitter, you don’t have to worry about a single thing when you leave your pet alone for a while. They will train your pet and ensure that your furry friend moves without any hassle.

Moreover, they know how to train animals so that your pet gets familiar with things and can travel to new places without making any fuss. So, if you are ready to make investments, then it is one of the most effective ways to make your journey hassle-free.

Tip #4 — Carry Endless Entertainment

If you want to distract your pet and keep him busy, then give him lots of toys to play with. Try to carry the toys that your pet already knows and are his favorite. Also, try not to feed your dog while traveling. Prefer feeding your dog 3-4 hours before the departure. It will keep your pet away from stomach discomfort.

So, if you want your four-legged members to come along with you and want everyone to experience a stressful journey, then don’t forget to carry an endless entertainment.

Tip #5 — Vaccinate Your Pet

If you want to ensure that your canine friend is happy with your travel, then make sure you have a talk with your Vet. If your pet is required to go through some vaccination, then the vet will recommend the right way to go about it.

Some vaccines require a series of injections. Therefore, it’s better to contact your vet in advance. Therefore, make sure whenever you travel, your pet’s vaccines are updated.

Tip #6 — Get a Health Certificate

When traveling with your pet, make sure you have all the necessary paperwork that might be required during your trip. Various places require updated health certificates duly signed by an accredited veterinarian. Places like border authorities, airlines, hotels, immigration agencies, etc. may ask for your pet’s latest health certificate.

Try to get this certificate within ten days of starting your journey. This is a requirement upon entering many foreign countries. Also, make sure you keep an electronic copy of your pet’s health certificate, just so that you have backup and so that you don’t spend extra time needing to find copies.

So, always remember to carry the health certificate along with you to make your journey more effective and hassle-free.

Learn more about pet care tips that can help you become a responsible pet owner.

In a Nutshell

Traveling with a pet is not a cakewalk. One needs to look at various factors to keep the journey safe, comfortable, and enjoyable, such as food, medication, surroundings, documents, etc.

Hopefully the tips mentioned above will help you to prepare well for the trip and ensure a safer and more enjoyable journey. If you are successful in providing extra security and care for your furry friend, then will you have an enriching experience, not a stressful one.

So, what are you waiting for? Start preparing for your next trip with your most adorable family member.

Still having second thoughts? Or want to share some other tips that can help other people take trips with their pets in tow, do leave a comment below. You can also share your traveling experience with your furry friend.

Happy and Safe Traveling!