DESIGNER PUPPYS: Everything you wanted to know about raising designer or mixed breed dogs,
featuring The BOYZ: Prince Alvin His Cuteness (on left) and Sir Simon The Sad, Cockapoo pups.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What To Do When Your Dog Is Dragging His Butt - Part II

In Part I of What To Do When Your Dog Is Dragging His Butt, I explained that my doggie son Alvin had infected anal glands. The vet's initial solution - a round of antibiotics.

The Followup Vet Visit

Two weeks after the initial vet visit for butt dragging, we were seeing the vet again - all of us - me, my partner, Alvin, and Simon. Simon got a shot, and then Al was up for his post-antibiotics butt check.

Bottom Line - Al's anal glands were still infected.

So the pumpkin added to his diet along with the antibiotics did not work. With our permission, the vet put Al out (sorta), injected the an antibiotic directly into his anal glands, and then brought him out of his semi-conscious state with another injection.

A caution if you have never seen an animal get an an anesthetic - it can be upsetting. The process looks like putting a dog down and Al fought the shot but was clearly losing consciousness. Like my partner, you may want to leave the room and talk to the pet owners in the waiting area.


The injection of antibiotics may heal Al's infection, but we may be faced with recurrent anal expression or the removal of his anal glands. Interestingly, both poodles and cocker spaniels have anal gland problems. Since Al is half cockapoo (poodle/cocker spaniel combo) it figures he would have the issue.

Young and middle-aged dogs routinely have anal gland surgery, but a possible side effect is incontinence. Al's vet claimed he had never had that happen. Turns out one of his vet techs called several of the dog owners whose animals had the surgery before her dog had the operation. None of the owners reported incontinence as a surgical side effect. Good sign that the vet does successful surgeries for anal gland removal.

Al's followup visit is in 2 weeks. One step at a time.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What To Do When Your Dog Is Dragging His Butt - Part I

Recently, my doggie son Alvin, a Bichon Cockapoo, started dragging his butt on the floor every few hours. If you've never seen this behavior, you'd find it a little weird.

In Al's case, since he continued the dragging for 2 days, we took him to the vet. Turns out that was a good thing, cause he had an infection of his anal glands. The dragging relieves the pressure created by inflamed glands.

The vet expressed the glands and tested the fluid expelled. Since the fluid showed infection, he gave us antibiotics and this scenario: if the infection does not clear up, the vet would sedate Al, and inject an antibiotic right into the glands. And that's not the worst scenario - if Al continues to have infected glands, they may need to be removed.

Now, Al's vet always paints the worst possible scenario. Al's currently doing fine - the medication seems to be clearing up the infection.

Turns out many dogs (and poodles are suspectible - Al is part poodle) require anal gland expression periodically. Obviously, it's best that a vet does the expression because if the fluid is infected, testing can occur immediately. But because of the cost, many owners express the glands themselves.

Since the glands help expel fecal matter, a bulky stool is a necessity. So one way to prevent the problem from happening in the first place is to bulk up the dog's stool. Yup - Metamusil works, but you need to get the amount to give your dog from a vet.

One other preventive measure - pumpkin - the kind that's canned but not spiced. That's helping Alvin relieve himself much easier AND make sure the glands are activated with a bowel movement. A little (a tablespoon) in his food seems to work. Al is a 25-lb dog, so my guess is that more is needed for a medium or large dog.

More about Al's anal gland problem - What To Do When Your Dog Is Dragging His Butt - Part II.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Make A Photo Calendar Online As A Christmas Gift!

I've taken many photos of THE BOYZ, so I decided to make a photo calendar online at

This calendar, called Cockapoo Dogs, is for sale as a Christmas present. Here's the calendar:

You can also make a custom photo calendar on as a Christmas gift and then buy it for a reasonable price. Once it's completed (published) lulu will send it to you. It can have custom dates as well as special photos.

Click here to see my squidoo lens that shows you how to make your custom calendar.

Remember you can use the same steps in the squidoo lens to build an online calendar to sell!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Reality Check - The Best Grooming Service For Your Cockapoo Dog

C'mon - how much have you paid to groom your Cockapoo Dog? What's the cheapest, yet the highest quality grooming method?

Is it DIY grooming? You need the equipment (clippers, scissors, grooming table, etc) as well as a large dose of patience and skill.

Is the local grooming shop or the large pet store mighty inconvenient?

What about a mobile groomer? Convenient but pricey?

And do you hate to leave your dog at the shop or the pet store or watch him disappear into the grooming van?

Sounds like I've exhausted just about every grooming service available to the majority of people who need one.

Not true!

Read about The BOYZ's SpaMaster on this squidoo lens:
The Best Grooming Service For A Cockapoo

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How To Stop A Puppy From Biting - 3 Simple Steps You Must Take Immediately

Catching behavior problems like biting and mouthing may be the most important step you can take for your pup.

Because if you FAIL to stop these problems early on in your dog's development, you may have a H U G E problem down the rode.

How Do You Stop A Puppy From Biting?

The 3 simple steps are as follows:

1. Interrupt the behavior. Say "No" loudly, ring a bell, rattle chains, do whatever you can to distract the pup from biting and mouthing.

2. Substitute a favorite toy quickly. Have a favorite toy ready for the puppy to bite on. It should be one he plays with often and loves to bite and chew on.

3. Praise the dog with enthusiasm. Say "good dog" with feeling a few times.

Repeat steps 1 - 3. Repeat. Repeat. Not once. Not twice. But as many times as it takes to stop the puppy from biting you.

That's the simple 3-step process describing how to stop puppy biting. Do it over and over or you will end up with DOG bites. A puppy may not hurt. But a grown dog hurts.

You get the picture! Do it NOW.

Want more examples and details? See this lens:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Holistic Vet Outlines Ways To Stop Dog Aggression (Biting)

Recently I witnessed a small dog bite a woman - she bent down to pet the dog, an older Bichon Frise. He attacked the woman by biting her on the hand, knee, and ankle.

This incident occurred within seconds - yet the woman was bleeding and in obvious pain. And the dog was a small canine. Wonder what would have happened if it was a large dog equipped with much bigger teeth.

This type of dog aggression happens every day. One could argue that the woman should never have tried to pet the dog. Unfortunately, she mistakenly believed the dog who bit her was another less aggressive Bichon mixed breed dog - a true case of mistaken identity.

As a dog owner, you are responsible for finding ways to stop and prevent dog aggression. Dr. Becker, a holistic vet, recommends the following ways to ensure these bites do not occur:
1. Socialize and train your dog (obedience training).

2. Spay or neuter.

3. Supervise. Leaving a dog to decide what action to take can create an anxious animal.

4. Do not chain or tie up your dog.

5. Do not let a dog run loose (off your property).

6. Maintain your dog's health. A sick or hurt dog is more likely to snap at a human.


Dr. Becker's full blog post about ways to prevent dog aggression:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How To Train A Puppy The Easy Way

How to train a puppy the easy way implies 3 components - simple, cheap, and of high quality.

Taking a pup to an obedience class may be high quality and simple, but it ain't cheap.

Doing it yourself (DIY) without expert guidance may be simple and cheap but not very effective.

The solutions -
DIY with Expert Guidance

Also see Stop Puppy Biting

So what's your choice? You need all three types of training. Train easy or train hard - it's up to you - the dog trainer!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wanted: Captions For Photos Of Dogs

I frequently sift through photos of the BOYZ looking for the right one for a blog post, article, or book. Finally, after running across several that shout out for captions, I posted them here.

Amuse yourself - create captions for these photos.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One Year Anniversary of Simon's Canine Luxating Patella (Trick Knee) Surgery

Wow - it's been exactly a year since Simon came home from his luxating patella surgery stay in the hospital. If you saw him run today compared to a little more than a year age, you'd be amazed.

Not a trace of limping or a stiff-legged walk.

It's truly wonderful what a competent veterinay surgeon can accomplish (along with owners who follow through on recovery instructions).

Should YOU and YOUR dog face the prospect of trick knee surgery, find out how to get your animal through surgery and the tough 2 1/2 month recovery period.

dreamhost promotion codes

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pause For A Puppy Quiz

I've been writing an ebook called
Raising Cockapoo Dogs The Right Way
and ran across the following while looking through the BOYZ's pics:

Are there two or three puppies in this picture?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Very Lovable Cocker Spaniel Pup Named Oliver

Vacationing in FL and I'm definitely missing the BOYZ. They're home and well cared for by dog sitters extraordinaire BJ and Anita and their boy Benjy. Latest text says they ALL went on a long walk. Got a pic showing the boyz lounging after the walk.

Across the street from where we're staying, Oliver lives with his BFF Cindy. When I met the dog, I was a little stunned by how much he and Simon look alike. And act alike.

Cindy asked me over this am to assemble her vacuum cleaner. I was met at the door by Oliver wriggling his butt for attention. He got a toy to give me as a gift. He got upset when I directed my attention to the vacuum for assembly and started the woofing that means "Here I am - play with me." All these doggie actions remind me of Sir Simon.

I always wonder what would happen to Simon if he managed to get lost. He greets everyone as a long lost friend, just like Oliver. What if the person he greeted would do him harm. What a terrible thought!

Cockers (and Simon is half spaniel) seem to be the most lovable creatures! Not a nasty bone in their sturdy bodies. Some people I know need to take likeability lessons from these dogs!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Sir Simon The Sad

Today is Simon's second birthday.

We gave him a new toy he guards from his brother Alvin. Since Alvin has been stealing toys from his younger brother since he was a pup who could walk under his legs, we decided Simon deserved his own toys.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Does Your Pup Have A Trick Knee? Limping Or Walking Stiff-Legged? Read Simon's Story To Find Out About Canine Luxating Patella!

If your dog walks like Simon does in the first few seconds of this video,

Then your precious pup may have a condition called trick knee in dogs (canine luxating patella). Simon did. And he was only a year old when the video was taken.

Before you get panicy, your dog may NOT need surgery to correct the condition. Simon did or he was eventually going to be permanently lame or blow out his ACL (anterior cruxiate ligament).

Regardless of whether your dog requires surgery or not, you're gonna want to read Simon's Story.


So you know what questions to ask your vet.

So you understand if you can postpone or forget about surgery.

If your dog does require surgery, you'll know what to expect pre- and post-surgery.

Recovery is a critical time period. Find out what problems can arise.

Read Simon's Story - you'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Always Remember (And Never Forget): Stop Puppy Biting Before It Turns Into DOG Biting

Some time ago, when Alvin and Simon were wee pups, I wrote a squidoo lens about correcting puppy biting:

The bottom line in this lens - stop and correct puppy biting so that the biting pup does not turn into a biting DOG causing tons of damage to human skin. Then, it's a BIG problem. Little dog teeth hurt; big dog teeth hurt a lot more.

Recently, I read a Kingdom of Pets article about the OUCH command:
Whenever your puppy inflicts any amount of pain, whether you are playing or not, cry out sharply with "Ouch" or something similar. The important thing is NOT to say "No" or anything that makes the puppy think it has done something wrong. They simply need to figure out some boundaries. An "Ouch" command lets them know where to draw the line while not punishing them for bad behavior. After all, you are your puppy’s favorite thing in the world. The last thing they want to do is poke multiple holes in your hand.

Follow the correction by placing one of the dog’s toys in its mouth to redirect the behavior.

Good advice!

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's Tick Season In The Northeast - Is Your Dog Protected?

Just before the recent week of major rain every day, it was clear that tick season was in full swing in the Northeast; well at least along the Connecticut shoreline . . .

** The groomer removed a tick from Simon's belly.

** I removed a tick from Simon's muzzle.

** I found a tick in my hair (I was outside staining the deck)

Okay - they were all large, brown, and visible and we cut them up with scissors (the only way to kill them according to the groomer).

Deer ticks, the ones that cause Lyme Disease, are small. That means we killed common ticks. Unfortunately, because we're in CT, deer ticks carrying Lyme disease are still a threat. Simon and Alvin are protected against ticks year round with Frontline, whick kills ticks within 48 hours (and diables them as soon as they find the animal).

Make sure you protect your dog against ticks (and fleas):

Small Dogs Up To 22 pounds (Alvin)
FRONTLINE Plus for Dogs - Orange (Orange; 3 Month Supply; For Dogs up to 22 lbs.)

Medium Dogs From 23 To 44 pounds (Simon)
FRONTLINE Plus for Dogs - Blue (Blue; 3 Month Supply; For Dogs 23-44 lbs.)

Large Dogs From 45 To 88 Pounds
FRONTLINE Plus for Dogs - Purple (Purple; 3 Month Supply; For Dogs 45-88 lbs.)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Secrets To Dog Training - "Hot Tips For The Bedroom"

Kingdom of Pets, the dog training experts who author Secrets To Dog Training, the dog owner's bible, issue a periodic newsletter. I found an article entitled "Hot Tips For The Bedroom" - a discussion of issues you might not be aware of when you let your dog sleep with you. Since roughly half the people who own dogs sleep with them, it pays to read this article.

Here are the tips in a nutshell:

#1 You should not let puppies or untrained dogs ON the bed, let alone sleeping on it. Their early training is the time when you establish your dominance and their boundaries. Only adult dogs should earn this privilege.

This one is not that obvious, but what is obvious is that an untrained dog can make a big mess in your bed or fall off the bed. Ready for a trip to the laundry or to the vet for broken bones?

#2 For dominant and Alpha dogs, avoid letting them sleep in your "spot" (with you in it or not). This suggests to them that they are in direct competition with you as pack leader.

#3 Don’t ever let your dog on your bed without inviting them first. This is often communicated more with body language, such as a quick succession of pats on the area of the bed you’re asking them to go to.

#4 Have a command for them to get off the bed too (if they are being restless and disruptive this can save a good night’s sleep, and it beats shoving them off). If your dog ignores you when you ask them to get "Off," you’ve got a bit of obedience work to do. If your dog growls at you at all, even when you attempt to adjust their position, then you’ve got some work to do (NOTE: don’t confuse a tired moan with a growl. It can sound similar, but a moan will occur without any aggressive posturing, for example, their mouth will be shut and lips not curled, and they won’t be making eye contact - their eyes might even be closed!)

#5 It’s best to allow your dog to sleep at the bottom end of the bed, and above the blankets.

Some dogs like to burrow under the blankets, which is a risk not only because they can get squished, especially if they’re smaller than you, but they can also potentially suffocate under there. If you allow this, adjust the blankets after they settle in to be sure that they can easily stick their head out. Because they generate a lot of heat too, these burrowers will likely move when they get too warm anyway.

Hope these tips help YOU get a good night's sleep!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Four Tips To Avoid Behavior Problems With A New Puppy

I don't know about your dogs, but Alvin and Simon are sorta well-behaved - when they choose to be. And sometimes they behave badly, like this morning when they tried to dig a hole for the foundation of their new dog house and came in covered in mud.

But they can behave well - I asked them to pose for the picture below, and they actually sat still for a few minutes. Miracles abound!

According to Dr. Becker, the holistic vet, you can avoid puppy behavior problems by following the following tips (additional references are below each section):
Bring your puppy to the vet as soon as possible for an examination. A sick pup won’t adjust well to his new environment, even if the illness is minor. It’s also hard to gauge a new dog’s real temperament and personality if he’s feeling under the weather.

Crate train your puppy. It’s much easier to housebreak and supervise a crate-trained puppy. Dogs are natural den dwellers, so if you make all your new pet’s crate experiences positive ones, he’ll quickly come to view it as his ‘bedroom’ – his own quiet, safe space. References: and

Make sure your new puppy gets plenty of rest and quiet time in her crate or another enclosed, safe area of your home. Puppies are babies and require lots of sleep. In addition, your new pup needs to learn to be alone and not to expect constant attention from human family members. Reference is

Socialize and train your puppy. In order to create a balanced, well-behaved adult dog, puppy owners must be extremely conscientious about socialization and training. There is nothing more important in raising a healthy, well-adjusted dog than insuring she is thoroughly socialized and receives basic obedience training, at a minimum. Reference is ezinearticles:

Also refer to

Monday, April 18, 2011

Canine Luxating Patella (Trick Knee) Surgery And Recovery - Simon's Story

So your pet has been diagnosed with luxating patella or trick knee or floating kneecap. His kneecap keeps sliding out of its bony groove. Your thoughts are likely as follows:

Is he going to be lame for the rest of his life?

Is surgery necessary?

What happens if your dog doesn't get surgery?

Suppose I elect surgery - how long is the recovery period?

What if the repair doesn't work?

And then there's the financial aspect (sad, but true). Can you afford thousands of dollars in vet and animal hospital bills?

Want to get the answers?

You can surf the net for a few hours and get some of these questions answered.

Or you can read Simon's Story - from the time he was diagnosed with luxating patella in dogs to the end of his recovery period.

Once you finish Simon's Story, you'll know if you should pursue the non surgical route, what questions to ask your vet, and how to make sure your pet has a successful recovery.

Here's excerpts from Simon's Story - Click the pic and check it out!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What To Do When Your Dog Has Diarrhea - The Boyz Get Real Sick!

By this time, I'm used to Alvin's infrequent bouts of vomiting, but this time Alvin vomited AND had very loose stools. Two days later - Simon left puddles of vomit and diarrhea when I left them home for a whole 1 1/2 hours.

What do you do when your dog has diarrhea and/or vomiting? If it persits for more than a day, the dog has a good chance of getting dehydrated. Since that can lead to more severe medical issues, you need to bring him to a vet.

In Alvin's case, the vet checked him for dehydration, gave him a shot to stop the vomiting, and presecribed a special dog food.

He recovered in about 2 days. In the meantime, Simon started with a much more severe case of vomiting and diarrhea.

Another trip to the vet - same treatment with the addition of bloodwork, an antibiotic shot, and an entire day of fasting! Simon fasting? Okay, so he's a little overweight. But Simon not eating is a very unhappy canine. As I write this he is moaning because he had a few spoonfuls of the special dog food and thinks my lunch belongs to him. What a sad face!

Today, Alvin is fully recovered and Simon is on the road to recovery. The blood work showed no pancreatitis (a very good thing)!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Doggie Garden Invasion And Morning Muddy Paws

If you read my post from March 30 (, you know it's the time of year for doggie garden invasion.

This morning Alvin topped the garden invasion prank (it IS April Fool's Day) by leaping the fence and digging a hole to get UNDER the deck. It's raining, he's muddy and playing hard to get under the deck.

I opened the deck lattice to release him, he ran out and vaulted the fence to his freedom (or so he thought). Simon the Snitch (if you want to know where Alvin has disappeared to, just ask Simon) grabbed him by the ear and started the scolding process.

Meanwhile, I'm late for work and Alvin is all muddy - tracking pawprints across the kitchen floor. It is during these trying times that I wonder if it's time to ship the mutt back to Missouri.

Ten minutes later, he's clean but wet. When I went to change my clothes, the two wonders were calming sitting on the den couch licking their wet feet. Like nothing happened.

After work, I'm buying the green plastic 4-foot fence from the depot!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's THAT Time Of Year - When The BOYZ Start Invading The Gardens

This is the time of year when The BOYZ can really start getting into trouble. They get winter salt on their paws, chase the squirrels and rabbits, and start prowling in my gardens!

We erected a two foot fence around all the backyard flower and shrub beds just last year.

Alvin (who stands a whole 12 inches at the shoulders) has discovered he can scale these picket fences with ease. Actually, danger aside, it's a very athletic leap - back paws tucked up, springing from a standstill.

Unfortunately, he can now get into the budding bushes and flowers to poison himself.

That means the owners need to try and outsmart the mutt. Ain't easy. Either we train the little monster to stay out of the beds, build a bigger fence, or ban him from going outdoors.

The option that will work best is to build a bigger fence! Onward to Home Depot . . .

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Elizabethan Collar (ecollar) - Is It Worth The Effort?

The BOYZ have suffered through several post surgery periods during which they needed an ecollar to prevent them from licking sutures. I suspect that most dogs hate them and spend much of their time attempting to remove their ecollars.

What's a dog owner supposed to do under these circumstances? If you give in to their whims, the dog is at big risk for infection. If you leave them on, they may keep themselves amused, but they are NOT comfortable for the dog and tend to mutilate the furniture, moldings, and owner's legs.

A Solution
While assembling an ebook on Simon's luxating patella surgery, the solution to this problem jumped out of a squidoo lens written at the time Simon was recovering.

He had to wear an ecollar - he had 8 easily reachable stitches in his right leg. He had the hard plastic ecollar from the animal hospital.

Researching wholesale pet supplies online results in SOFT ecollars. What a revelation! The dog is more comfortable, the furniture and the owner can't be damaged!

FYI - here's the two comfy ecollars you might consider when your pet has to be restrained from licking stitches (or hot spots for that matter):

Pro Collar

Don't Forget The Thermometer!
Almost forgot . . . Post surgery you should take a dog's temp to see if it rises - a possible sign of infection. A rectal thermometer gives the most accurate readings, but requires care - make sure you put vaseline on the tip before you use it. And read the directions - dogs have been injured due to incorrect insertion of a rectal thermometer.

Here where you can buy the one we used for Simon:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Creative Dog Grooming - Simon's New "Do"

Last Sunday the boyz were groomed by their favorite Spamaster and Professional Furrologist. The Spamaster agreed to shave Sir Simon closer around the muzzle to lose his fuzzy bear appearance. We were actually going for a Cocker Spaniel look.

After the grooming, Simon strongly resembles his mother June Beth, a cream-colored Poodle. That's June Beth on the right.

Bottom Line - the moustache, and beard are gone, and we can now see Simon's expressions. His best feature is the doelike brown eyes (a prominent feature of his daddy Spotty) - they are truly expressive when there's no hair in the way.

And for those of you who think we are "Cocker Spaniel" owner wannabees - we aren't, we just wanted to see the real Simon at his Cockapoo best!

And the Spamaster worked her magic again!

Sir Simon The Sad With His New Do

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What You Can Do To Prevent Dog Anxiety During A Vet Visit

Does your dog get anxious going to and during a vet visit? Sir Simon AND Prince Alvin turn into balls of mush as soon as we're within 5 minutes of the office. Then, they want to be picked up on the way into the office and held while waiting for the vet.

I can't say that I blame them and I wonder how they fared at the animal hospital during their stays for neuter and knee surgery.

Apparently there are several things you can do to ease their anxiety and make it easier on them and the vet. That's the theme of an article that spells out 5 things to teach your dog to improve vet visits by Colleen S Koch, DVM, KPA CTP.

Here's the condensed version:

1. Touch - if your dog is used to being touched, it makes the vet's exam much easier and less stressful for your dog.

2. Stand Still - it is difficut for dogs to stand still for even short periods of time. The boyz's groomer has taught them to stand still and I'm sure the vet is happy with that lesson!

3. Down positions - helps the vet examine your dog for any number of things - fleas, ticks, sores and to take x-rays.

4. Clicker trained dogs make everyone’s life easier. Why? When the vet clicks, the dog knows he has done something right! See When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs for lessons on how to train your dog with a clicker.

5. Hand target with nose. Apparently this has many different applications at a vet's office or clinic, including the following:
If dogs know how to hand target it helps us to move them around the clinic; on scales, into kennels, from one kennel to another, and makes them more comfortable in stressful situations.

It is much easier to apply Elizabethan collars as well as put on muzzles if your dog knows how to target. Dogs that know how to hand target can be easily distracted by the “trick” during uncomfortable situations, or moving past another “scary” dog or thing. You can also use this to help your dog learn to stand still, for any purpose.

So, what do you think? I say anything that eases a dog's anguish is worth the effort! No one likes to see a pained and feaful doggie expression (on a dog, that is!)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Housebreaking An Older Dog - Where Do You Start?

A visitor recently commented on the boyz’ impeccable toilet habits.

And then came the BIG question – “What would you recommend for my 3 Westies? They mess in the house all the time." (My thoughts – THAT must be a lot of fun to come home to!). (Pic is from

housebreaking an older dog
The Westies in this discussion are not puppies, but adult dogs. My response was based on 3 things – the experts' advice, experience, and intel gathered from dog forums.

Here are my suggestions for housebreaking an older dog:

1. Get them a checkup at the vet to rule out medical issues that may cause them to be incontinent. If you don’t, you’re wasting your time. For example, one of these dogs takes medications for seizures. Is the medication contributing to the problem?

2. In general, housebreaking an older dog parallels the process for housebreaking a puppy. Choose crate training (, paper training, or the direct method. The direct method involves keeping a watchful eye out for the obvious signs of poop or pee readiness – sniffing, circling, and squatting.

3. An older dog may have developed issues that need to be addressed a little differently. Three of these issues are separation anxiety, dogs who refuse to go outdoors during bad weather (Alvin borders on this woosie small dog syndrome), and older dogs who received inadequate housetraining; for example a shelter dog or a dog whose owner could not devote the time to housetraining.

The separation anxiety issue was addressed on a It’s Me Or The Dog TV show (animal Planet). A Dobermann would pee as soon as his male owner walked out the door. The owner’s wife kept a large mop by the front door. Victoria Stilwell addressed the anxiety problem and the peeing stopped. No – it ain’t magic, although it does seem that way when the problem is solved in an hour-long show. The important point here is the expertise of a dog behaviorist.

4. You will need a step by step procedure to implement and you need to stick to it without deviation. Illustrations are mandatory as well as a well-laid out easy understandable approach.

So, you can search the net and learn from any quack who happens to have an opinion about housebreaking an older dog, OR you can learn from the experts at Kingdom Of Pets. The online book is called The Ultimate HouseTraining Guide, and you can buy it (no, it’s not expensive) by clicking the picture shown below.

If by chance you should have additional issues with your adult dog (excessive barking, chewing, jumping, aggression toward other dogs, etc) – you might opt for the big kahuna - the Kingdom of Pets bible called Secrets To Dog Training (click the title to find out more). This uses DVDs, case studies, and represents the collective expertise of dog trainers with hundreds of years of experience.

I wished my visitor the best of luck with her Westies and congratulated myself for devoting the time and energy to housetraining the boyz when they were pups!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Goughnuts .75 - The Small Dog Toy - Causes Major Debate Among Co-Workers

Okay - so my co-workers and I were discussing the best small dog toys.

I mentioned how much I had paid for a GoughNut Green .75 (wee little Goughnuts) for Alvin. I neglected the fact that I paid even more for the GoughNuts Stick Green for his birthday because I was being beat about the head re the price of the Goughnuts .75.

Anyway, I presented a convincing argument that the GoughNuts .75 is indestructible and will last forever.

So, instead of continuing to buy many $5 - $10 toys that Alvin rips to shreds in 5 minutes flat, I bought a toy that has lasted more than a year with hardly a tooth mark.

And the little bugger carries it around every night to throw it for him repeatedly. And of course the Goughnuts party happens during dinner time. That toy has hit more walls!

He carries it outdoors and leaves it in frigid weather, snow storms, and hidden under bushes. We recovered one of the 2 goughnuts under a snow drift the other day - unscathed.

So, yeah - I made a great argument for that pricey small dog toy that's worth every penny, besides saving a lot of chewing on my things.

Now we have to work on Simon to stop dog chewing on bathroom rugs!

See this squidoo lens for best products for dog training:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Need To Stop Dog Chewing? Find Out What Prince Alvin Got For His 2nd Birthday

Did he get a birthday cake?


Did he get a gourmet dinner? Yes!

But what toy did we get the cute ex-puppy for his 2nd birthday?

The cute former puppy Prince Alvin His Cuteness is a chewer - a real bad chewer. He works with younger brother Simon.

Simon steals and Alvin chews the stolen items. Their last target was a pair of boots left in the kitchen after a hard afternoon shoveling snow. One disappeared and showed up pretty well torn to shreds.

Mistake #1 - You think we'd know better than to leave the boots where the thief would find them!

Mistake #2 - The Prince's favorite chew toy - a green goughuts for small dogs - was buried in a snow bank where he left it. The boot was an inconvenient substitute!

We decided it was time for another Goughnuts indestructible chew toy for his birthday. We ordered a Goughnuts stick to suplement his original goughnuts (in the shape of guess what - a doughnut!). He just cannot destroy the goughnuts because it was designed to stop dog chewing (your stuff to shreds).

Ain't the Goughnuts Stick just the perfect gift for the Prince!

BUY the GoughNuts Stick Green

By the way - you probably think the goughnuts stick is a little pricey! Guess how much the boots cost! What price to STOP dog chewing!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sir Alvin The Reluctant Snow Puppy

This is a rare picture of Sir Alvin romping in the CT snow before so much fell that it's now over his head. Now he just pokes his head out the doggie door and backs back into the house.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Another Opinion On Canine Luxating Patella (Trick Knee Or Floating Kneecap) Surgery

Wish I had access to Dr. Karen Becker's opinion on canine luxating patella surgery BEFORE Simon went under the knife!

A little background - Simon had the surgery for luxating patella last summer. His recovery period (the most critical time frame for successful surgery) was 10 weeks. You can read about Simon's surgery and recovery by clicking this link:

Simon's condition was diagnosed as grade 1 - the mildest form. The surgeon did say we could wait, but the prognosis included arthritis and possible Anterior Cruxiate Ligament tear. We opted for the expensive surgery and the L-O-N-G recovery period.

Dr. Becker, a holistic veterinarian, is clearly conservative. She recommends the following:
"If your dog can’t walk or run normally without having intense pain, you need to consider surgery in correcting the knee cap issue."

In other words, if the dog has grade 3 or 4 luxating patella, then surgery is called for. If not, these are some of the the treatments Dr. Becker recommends:
  1. Maintain the dog's optimal body weight. See this post: How Do I Know If My Dog Is Overweight?

  2. Promote good muscle tone by keeping the dog moving.

  3. Give the dog oral medications to "rebuild and keep the cartilage resilient and strong, as well as to improve joint fluid." See your vet for the medications.

  4. Feed the dog a "species-appropriate, carb-free diet. This can actually help reduce the amount of canine inflammation associated with a luxating patella."
According the the vets taking care of Simon, his issue - a congenital misplaced ligament attachment on the lower leg bone - was correctible only with surgery.

But should we have waited until the condition worsened?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snow Puppies Alvin And Simon

The BOYZ (mostly Simon) love winter sports!