Today our breed feature is on the handsome/beautiful Border Collie. These pups sure are adorable, and come with an interesting history!
What They're Famous For: Border Collies are known for their impressive herding capabilities. You might remember the Border Collie, Fly, in the pig movie Babe. Fly was a fun-loving Border Collie in the movie who herded sheep with a passion. "Fly" from the movie really did accurately represent what Border Collies are famous for: herding sheep.
History: Surprisingly, the Border Collie wasn't officially recognized by the American Kennel Club as a breed until the year 1995. The Border Collie became distinct from the Collie way back in 1860 when Queen Victoria took a liking to the breed. "Scotch Collies", as they were called then, grew in popularity and became a top choice for farmers.
Size: Medium. Border Collies stand at about 18 to 22 inches tall and have a muscular but lean build that weighs them in at about 30 pounds.
Appearance: Border Collies come in two varieties when it comes to their gorgeous fur: those with medium-length coats and those with short coats. Border Collies come in a variety of colors as well but they're most known for their black-and-white, medium-length coat. They also have a distinct "herding eye", meaning that they have an intelligent, intense gaze.
Who They're Perfect For: Border Collies are ideal for those who don't want a big dog and also don't want a small dog. Their medium size makes them the perfect companion whether you have a big or small house. Border Collies hate being alone, so they're not the best dog for busy people. If you want to teach your dog tricks, they're perfect for you because of their quick brain and keen intelligence.
The Westminster Dog Show is one of the most famous dog shows, and began a little unexpectedly! The dog show had humble beginnings, all starting in 1876. The Westminster Club, at the time, was primarily a shooting club. They sent one of their members over to England to obtain a pointer for breeding reasons. However, the dog, named Sensation was so, well, sensational, that they instead used him as a show dog. From there, slowly, the Westminster Kennel Club was formed and created the Westminster Dog Show.
So now you know a little bit about the history of the dog show, but what about current history? Here's a recap on the results of this year's show, which took place February 13th and 14th.
Ain't nothin' but a hounddog... the winner of the Group this year was a Norwegian Elkhound named Daggarwood Delight.
On the opposite end of the size-spectrum, the winner of the Toy Group was the ever-lovable Pekingese, with an alliterative name of Pequest Pickwick.
The Non-Sporting Group is still plenty active! At least, the winning Miniature Poodle was. With plenty of energy, As If took home the gold for her group.
The ever-regal Irish Setter took home the award for the Sporting Category. Sea Breeze's shiny red coat billowed as he walked like a... well... sea breeze!
The breed with arguably the cutest face of all, the Boxer, won first place in the Working Group. Her name is perfect if she wants to sneak up on peole while they're discussing her win - Speak of the Devil.
The cute, fluffy, Twice as Nice was the winner for the Terrier Group. The Norwich Terrier is so adorable that you wouldn't believe he's not a stuffed animal!
Herding and Best In Show
The winner of the Herding Group this year was the powerful and regal Rumor Has It V Kenlyn. That's right, she's so awesome that she has a first and last name. This beautiful German Shepherd took home first place in Herding and the Best In Show!
Valentine's Day is for everyone! Whether you're taken or single, you can always celebrate Valentin'es Day the fun way. Go out with friends, hang with your family, or... celebrate it with your dog! Here are some ways to celebrate Valentine's Day the dog way.
Base some human and doggy treats and then chill with your furry best friend while enjoying some snacks together.
Get out there and enjoy that fresh air! Scour out some good hiking spots and take your pup with you. You'll get some quality one-on-one time with Fido and they'll love the exercise.
Go to a Dog-Friendly Restaurant
Who says you need another human for Valentine's Day dinner? Look up some dog-friendly restaurants in your area (usually any restaurant with an outside patio is cool with dogs) and treat your dog to a lunch or dinner. Ask if you can get some plain vegetables to share with your pup.
Go Toy Shopping
Take Fido with you to a pet store (leash on!) and pick out some new toys with them. Not only will they love their new toys, but you'll love watching them play. Afterwards, you can even have some outside playtime with their new toys.
Treat your pup to a nice grooming. Local vans or local pet stores do the full grooming treatment - bath included. While they're getting groomed, you can go treat yourself to a massage or mani/pedi. Then when you reunite, you'll both be looking fresh and stylish.
Okay, so maybe your dog is a couch potato. But that's not a bad thing! Snuggle up with them on the couch and pop a movie in. Sometimes the happiest a cuddly dog can be is when they're cuddling you!
No matter how you celebrate Valentine's Day, it's sure to be special with your doggy best friend in tow.
Valentine's Day is only a few days away and romance is in the air! Valentine's Day is a perfect time of year to pop the question to the one you love. And what better way to propose than with your favorite furry friend? Here are some great doggy proposal ideas so that your pup can have a part in your engagement story.
Personalized Dog Tag
It's easy to stop by a local pet store and make your own dog tag. Instead of putting your pup's name on it, write, "Will you marry me?" It'll be adorable when your partner unsuspectingly checks out your dog's new "name tag."
This could take some commitment - but if your dog learns new tricks quickly, then this is perfect for you. Train your dog to run and get the ring when you say a certain command or phrase. Then when you're ready for the big day, say "Go get it" to your dog and watch the look on your partner's face when they come back with a ring box! (Just make sure you dog doesn't try to eat it.)
Paint the Question
If you're looking for a fun and goofy way to ask (and your dog is a good canvas) use doggy-safe hairspray to paint the question before you pop it! It makes for some cute photo-ops and hairspray like this is made specifically for dogs and vet-approved. So they won't be uncomfortable and it won't hurt them.
If you find training your dog a little too difficult, simply attach the ring to their color. There are a variety of safe ways to do this, and even specific collars for the purpose that hold onto the ring (and look pretty fly.)
Make a Sign
If you're crafty, construct a small, lightweight sign to hang around your dog's neck. When the time is right, call them into the room and let them strut their sign. When you do make your sign, make sure that your pup can walk without tripping over it.
No matter how you pop the question to your partner, you know that it'll be one of the best days of your lives - especially if your dog is there to share it with you!
February's not just about Valentine's Day or Groundhog's Day! It's also about the dogs (as always). If you want to celebrate your pooch this month, there are plenty of chances. Here are some of February's big dog holidays.
Dog Training Education Month
You love your pup for who they are, but that doesn't mean you don't want them to be a superstar! February is Dog Training Education Month, which means it's a whole month for you to devote to training your dog. And it's not about teaching them to 'sit' or 'stay'. It's about encouraging them to be athletes! On this dog training website, you can find an entire training schedule that goes from agility to paw control. Don't know what that means? You can learn!
Spay/Neuter Awareness Month
It's always important to increase your own awareness and spread awareness about spaying and neutering. This month-long holiday, started by the Humane Society of the United States, encourages you to spay and neuter your pets. The benefits to spaying and neutering are ample. Fixing your pet helps keep your dog from running away, curbs their restlessness, and increases their lifespan by about three years. Make this month either about fixing your pet or educating others about fixing their pets.
Pet Dental Health Month
Teeth are important! This has been ground into us since we were children, but it's not just human teeth that are important. That's why the American Veterinary Medical Association has deemed February "Pet Dental Health Month". By keeping up with your pet's dental hygiene, you can greatly decrease your pet's chance of periodontal infections. These infections can be quite serious and ultimately lead to heart attacks, strokes, or kidney disease. Listen to the AVMA's podcast about doggy dental health here.
There are lots of other individual dog holidays coming up in February, so stay tuned!
This week's breed feature is on the unique and furry Keeshond.
What They're Famous For: These pups are known for their adorable fluffy look and their relationship to dogs like Norwegian Elkhounds and Pomeranians. They were so prominent in Holland in the 18th century that they got to be known as the "Dutch" Keeshond.
History: The Keeshond is a breed that dates back many years. They have many close relatives like the Samoyeds, Huskies, Norwegian Elkhounds, and Pomeranians. The Keeshond emerged in Europe around the 17th century, travelling and arriving with Northern voyagers. They officially became recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930, under the plural name "Keeshonden."
Size: Medium. These dogs are bigger than the Pomeranian cousins but much smaller than their Husky cousins. They weigh up to 40 pounds and stand at about 18 inches tall.
Appearance: Keeshonden are full of fluff. They have primarily black and tan fur. Most Keeshonden have a black snout and face while the rest of them is surrounded in a mix of black and tan fur. Their tails feature a distinctive curl.
Who They're Perfect For: If you live in a cold environment, a Keeshond is perfect for you. That's because their fluffy fur insulates them even in colder temperatures. They originally come from frigid temperatures and are certainly meant to withstand it! They don't have extremely high energy, so they're good for people on-the-go. Make sure you have enough time to brush them twice a week because of their thick coats.
It's September and that means it's time for more pet holidays! Here are the big holidays coming up for dogs this month:
September 11th - National Pet Memorial Day
While this falls on a date in which we're also memorializing those who lost their lives in the Twin Tower attacks, it actually falls on the second Sunday in September every month. So you've got a lot to memorialize on this day. Take the time to remember 9/11 and to think about your pets you've lost. It's also a great opportunity to learn about and memorialize dogs who might have lost their lives in the attacks, as well.
September 18 - 24: National Dog Week & Deaf Dog Awareness Week
The last week in September gives you a lot to chew on as a dog owner! National Dog Week gives you a prolonged opportunity to celebrate National Dog Day, if you missed it! Celebrate your dog and you dog's friends all week long by giving them extra belly rubs, biscuits, and playtime!
Deaf Dog Awareness Week stems from Deaf Pet Awareness Week, and spreads awareness about the adoption of deaf animals. Petfinder.com celebrates it by showcasing adoptable pets with hearing problems or other special needs that would make a loving member of the family. It also provides resources and education about what it's like to own a deaf dog and how you can help them and make them happy!
September 19: Puppy Mill Awareness Day
We all know how bad puppy mills can be for grown dogs and pups. It can cause sickness in puppies and can dramatically shorten lifespans. Conditions in a puppy mill aren't good for any dogs, and these are the dogs that are, in turn, sold in pet stores. So you can celebrate Puppy Mill Awareness Day by taking a stand against buying from pet stores and encouraging your friends or anyone else looking for a dog to adopt.
September 23: Dogs In Politics Day (Checkers Day)
This day gives a nod to famous pups from political families! Use this day to learn a little bit about presidential dogs all the way back from Teddy Roosevelt's terrier to Barack Obama's Portuguese Water Dogs.
September 28: World Rabies Day
We'll post a more extensive post when it comes to this day, because rabies can be scary. Thankfully, World Rabies Day, sponsored by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, educates people about the symptoms, danger, and prevention of rabies.
All of us dog owners have done it. You know what I mean by "it." I mean full-on, human conversations with our dog. Especially when nobody is looking! And the way they look at us when we're talking is the best part! Almost as if they can understand us. Well, a new study shows that they just might!
Scientists in Hungary have published a new study that suggests that not only do dogs understand our intonation of our words, but can understand the real meaning behind those words.
We already know that dogs can build a vocabulary, as evidenced by the study that showed a dog matching hundreds of objects with their word over time. But this study shows even more, that dogs are more like us than ever. They actually use the same regions of their brain to process language as we do.
This study was unique from other studies in that it didn't just observe dogs as they responded to language, it actually used an fMRI scanner to take a look inside their brains. Don't worry, this study was completely safe. The dogs weren't restrained, they could simply leave the scanner if they wanted to.
The experiments were conducted at Eotvos Lorand University using 13 family dogs. A female trainer who socialized herself with the dogs beforehand spoke key phrases to the dogs while their brains were being scanned. All of these phrases were phrases used by their family such as "clever," "well done," and "that's it." She also spoke neutral words to them like "yet" and "if," words that the researchers figured the dogs wouldn't recognize. All of the words were spoke both in a happy tone and a neutral tone.
The result? The pups processed recognized words the same way, in the left hemisphere, no matter what tone was used. This is the same way our brains, as humans, process language. Tone, on the other hand, is processed in the right hemisphere.
So, what does that really mean for us? Well, even if we say the word "walk" in a gruff tone or the word "vet" in a happy tone, they probably won't fall for us.
Basically, you should say what you mean! No matter what tone you use, your dog will know if you're using nice words on them or telling them "good job." Now, go talk to your dog!
I know, there seems to be a new dog holiday every other month. But today, August 26th, is officially National Dog Day! This is a day to celebrate all dogs, whether they're big or small, purebreeds ore mutts!
National Dog Day is headed by Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate, Colleen Paige. You might recognize that name from our blog about National Puppy Day, and that's because she founded that, too! Paige founded National Dog Day in 2004 to celebrate all dogs and help the public recognize the need for rescue and adoption of dogs.
So why should we celebrate National Dog Day? Even if you dont' have a dog of your own, there are plenty of reasons! That's because dogs help us every day, whether they're working on the K-9 Police Unit, detecting bombs, working as service dogs, or serving as a war dog overseas.
National Dog Day is a great cause to support because they stand for what's right. They're against breed bans and judging dogs based on what type of dog they are. National Dog Day also discourages anyone from buying dogs at pet stores, as these dogs are often kept and bred in unhealthy conditions like puppy mills.
It's okay to want a purebreed! Take some tips from Colleen Paige on how to find a purebreed. You could go through licensed and reviewed breeders, or you could search through pet adoption sites to find the breed you want at a local shelter!
So, now that you know what National Dog Day is all about, how can you celebrate it? There are tons of ways!
Go on, get out there and celebrate!
Congratulations, you and your pup have made it to 2017! With a new year comes new dog holidays (or old, really, but you can keep celebrating them all the same). Here's how the month of January is dedicated to dogs.
National Train Your Dog Month
The month of January is a month you can devote to training your dog. You can make it your New Year's resolution to teach your old (or new) dog new tricks. This holiday was founded in 2010 by the The Association of Professional Dog Trainers. They don't just promote this holiday because they are a group of dog trainers, though.
The benefits of training your dog make it worth your time and commitment. Training your dog by yourself can be a worthwhile challenge. Even teaching them basic commands like "sit", "stay" or "down" can help promote your dog's cognitive health. You can even watch free webinars for some assistance at www.trainyourdogmonth.com.
Training your dog will also benefit you in their behavior. You'll have an easier time with them off-leash and might be able to take them to dog parks when you haven't been able to before. Plus, you could always train your dog to bring you a bag of chips when you want it.
Either way, if you celebrate this January dog holiday, you won't regret it. And neither will your pup.
Walk Your Pet Month
While you should always be walking your pet, January is the official National Walk Your Pet month.
There's a few ways you can celebrate this month! Take your dog for a walk every day this month, once in the morning and one at night. Not only will it help your dog get exercise, but it'll help you, too! Exercise for both you and your pet can promote cardiovascular health and weight management.
You can also use this month as a warning if your dog is overweight. More than half of America's dogs are obese or overweight, which means there's a serious lack of exercise and/or overfeeding. While you may love your dog no matter their size, they might have a shorter life if they don't maintain a healthy weight.
Walking your dog a little extra this month will promote their health and help foster that parent-dog bond that you love.