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 4, 2012

Think Twice Before You Give a Puppy as a Gift for Xmas

Dogster presents an excellent case for why puppies are not necessarily the greatest holiday gifts. In an article entitled "A Puppy is not a Present," the site reports that gifting a pup may be a novelty at first, but then when the novelty wears off, the dog could suffer from serious neglect.

Here's the article: A Puppy is NOT a Present

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My List of Five Outstanding Dog Training Products

If you've been reading my blog, you know I have 2 mixed breed dogs with totally different personalities and as it turns out, different dog training requirements.

I put together a list of the products I've used that have helped me train the BOYZ in a variety of training circumstances:

1. It's PAWSIBLE! Puppy And Dog Training DVD

2. When Pigs Fly! Training Success With Impossible Dogs -
Alvin is a true "pig's fly" dog - he listens when he feels like it (or when pigs fly).

3. The Ultimate HouseTraining Guide

4. Kingdom of Pets Secrets to Dog Training
(dog aggression)

5. Goughnuts Green .75 - the best chew toy for small dogs

These products have helped me and will help you train your dogs. Happy dog training!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cockapoo Dogs Rock!

Obviously I write frequently about the Boyz Alvin and Simon in this blog and in many articles.

Among these articles and blog posts are topics related to the subject of Cockapoo dogs (in general).

For the benefit of readers who might want to know more about Cockapoos (Cockerpoo), their unique characteristics, and their ranking as the best designer dog, I collected the articles into one summary article called Celebrating Cockapoo Dogs.

The link is as follows:


Cockapoos Rock!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sir Simon the Cockapoo Dog Gets Skunked!

Earlier this summer, Alvin walked into a skunk cloud (

Today, the Boyz can brag that they both got skunked!

Only Simon got it much worse than Al.

Simon's Spraying
At about 3:00 A.M. this morning, Simon had a close encounter with a baby skunk. His face was wet with skunk oil. We brought him directly to the shower. I covered him with the deskunking shampoo (bought for Alvin), waited 5 min, rinsed, and then repeated the process.

Stinky House
The entire house smells of skunk and deskunking shampoo. At least we got the skunk oil somewhat neutralized with the shampoo.

The Call to the Vet
We also called the vet to see if the dog should get a rabies booster and to see if it's common for a dog to lose his dinner after getting skunked head on. According to the vet tech at the office, as long as there are no open wounds, he doesn't need the booster and yes, it is common to puke after getting skunked (at least for dogs).

Lessons Learned
  • If you have an outdoor shower or a house handy, it may save your house a lot of stink to wash the dog outdoors.
  • Our house is enclosed with a fence and now we know where the baby skunks are getting in. Close the entry point asap! If your backyard is open to the woods, guess you're out of luck.
  • The sooner you get the skunk oil neutralized, the better. The longer you wait, the longer the smell will linger (up to 2 years!).

flickr photo - Baby skunk in grass from gamppart

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Help for Owners with Difficult Dogs

Some experts call them difficult dogs.

Other dog trainers use the label impossible dogs.

As an owner, you may have your own term of endearment for your disobedient canine.

You can let the bad behavior continue forever.

You can tolerate the jumping, growling, barking canine who chooses to totally ignore your commands.

You might as well be commanding an army of ants, because you get no results when you ask your dog to come. He continues ignoring you. It elicits the same reaction from you as when your spouse exercises selective hearing.

If you have become exasperated with your disobedient dog, here's an approach that works -
Transforming Difficult Dogs into Well-Behaved and Obedient Dogs.

The actual link to this article is as follows: You may be surprised what happpens when your dog is both eager and willing to obey your commands.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Who's Your Favorite TV Dog Trainer - Victoria Stilwell? Cesar Millan? Or Someone Else?

Victoria Stilwell
Cesar Millan
Out of curiosity and because I like finding out what people are thinking, I put together a quick poll: Which TV Dog Trainer Would You Pick to Train Your Dog?

I also put the poll on a dog forum: Some dog forums members seem to dislike the TV dog trainers pictured above! They don't hold back their opinions.

Vote for your choice or add your own favorite . . . What's your opinion?
Which TV Dog Trainer Would You Pick to Train Your Dog?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Selecting the Best Vet for You and Your Dog

After four surgeries and endless trips to the vet for various ailments for two dogs, I am convinced that the selection of a vet is an all-important factor to your dog’s well-being.

It’s well worth taking the time to develop a good relationship with a quality vet.

Where to Start
You could pick a vet from the Yellow Pages or from an Internet search; but would you pick your own doctor from the same source?

My guess is that you’d want a doctor comes highly recommended – someone you can trust.

And the vet isn’t just your dog’s doctor; he’s also the dentist, manicurist, psychologist, and a friend. When you roll all these things up into one, you can see why you need to spend time confirming that you’ve made the right choice.

The best place to start looking for a vet is by referral. If you know friends or relatives who take good care of their dogs, then that’s a place to start. Ask them who they’d recommend, and why. This last one is very important, because everyone has different priorities: for example, your friends like their own vet because he is a specialist in their own particular breed; or they don’t charge very much; or the office is only a five minutes’ drive. Their priorities are not necessarily yours, so it’s a good idea to make sure that your values coincide with the person giving the referral.

Another place to find a vet is through local training clubs (agility, herding classes, police K-9 academies, etc.) These organizations are almost guaranteed to place a great deal of importance on high-quality veterinary care, because the health and well-being of their dogs is such a priority.

Once you’ve compiled a list of vets that you’re interested in pursuing, call up the vet’s office and explain that you want to find a regular vet for your dog(s). Ask if you can you come in for a quick chat, introduce your dog, and have a look at the facility.

Visit the Vet’s Office
Before you decide to align yourself and your dog with a particular vet, test the waters first. Ideally, you want a chance to talk to the vet, and discuss his or her philosophies and approach to dog care.

Also, this is critical - if your dog ever really needs vet care (if there’s an emergency, or if he needs an urgent short-term appointment), you want to be sure that you’ve made the best possible choice as far as his health and comfort levels are concerned. Neither of you should be subjected to undue stress at a time like that – and you can avoid grief by spending a bit of time in preparation.

Questions to Ask the Vet
While you’re at the vet’s office, you’ll be assessing your potential vet’s overall attitude and approach to health care and animals; and you’ll also probably want answers to some specific questions.

Here’s a list of useful questions to help you on your way:

How many vets are there on staff?
If you need to make an urgent appointment, you don’t want to be waiting around while precious minutes tick past. Ideally, there’ll be at least two qualified veterinarians on hand, not just technicians or assistants.

What kind of testing and analysis capabilities does the clinic have?
If they have to send away to a lab for test results, it means that the results are going to be delayed. If your dog is very sick, time is an important factor: it’s best if the clinic has at least blood-analysis testing on hand.

What after-hours services are available?
A lot of clinics close the doors in the evenings and on weekends, which means that if there’s an emergency, you’ll have to go somewhere else – and subject your dog and yourself to an unfamiliar vet. (If you don’t mind this, then that’s fine; but be aware that in a high-stress situation when emotions are running high, it’s reassuring for your dog and yourself to deal with someone familiar.)

What’s their price range? How are payments made? Is there a facility for payment plans in case of unexpected vet bills?
The payment-plan option is particularly important. Even with pet insurance, vet bills can sometimes be high – and not everyone has the resources to deal with large vet bills. Ask the vet how they handle these situations.

How up-to-date is the staff with advances in the industry? Do the vet, the technicians, and the assistants attend seminars and workshops regularly?
The field of medical care is always moving forward. Responsible vets make the effort to keep up with the times, and see that their staff do, too.

Making the Right Selection
When you choose a vet, you’re balancing convenience and quality. There’s no right or wrong vet for you and your dog. That’s why making the choice can be so confusing. There are plenty of vets to choose from, and they’re all different!

Even though it’s tempting to go for the one right around the corner with the lowest prices, it is worthwhile taking the time to shop around. Your dog is dependent on you for his healthcare – and if you take him seriously as a family member, you’ll want to do the best thing by him.

A good vet knows how to take care of you as well as your dog. The relationship that you have with your vet will hopefully be one that’s based around a healthy mutual respect and positive synergy - there should be very little room for misunderstanding. When the two of you see eye to eye, it makes caring for your dog much easier.

Further Reading
For a comrehensive survival guide on stress-free dog care, including detailed information on when your dog needs to see the vet, how to respond to pet emergencies, dog First Aid, and all common health problems, check out the Ultimate Guide to Dog Health. It’s a complete handbook on dog health care, and teaches you how to take a proactive and prepared approach to dog ownership.

Other resources from the authors own experience:
Anal Gland Removal Surgery - Alvin's Story
Simon's Story - Canine Luxating Patella Surgery and Recovery

Material for this article courtesy of Kingdom of Pets
Photo from Veterinarian from Army Medicine

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dog Picture Caption Challenge for Your Entertainment

It's fun. It's entertaining. It promises a good laugh or three. It's free. What's better than that (yeah, a few things are, but not many)?

Amuse yourself by providing clever caption for the dog pictures in this article:

Caption Challenge for Cockapoo Dog Antics
I've taken many photos of the BOYZ Alvin and Simon over the past several years. They are mixed breed Cockapoo dogs - Alvin is a Bichon Cockapoo and Simon is ...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


About 10 years ago, I was driving through Groton, CT along a major route. It was early - 6 A.M. and still dark. Suddenly a horrible smell filled the inside of the car.

Apparently I had driven through a portion of the road that had recently been sprayed by a skunk's anal glands. The car vents were pulling in outside air. Yuck! The smell lingered for weeks.

I guess you could call what I drove through a skunk cloud.

A week ago, Alvin walked into a skunk cloud in the backyard. That also happened early in the morning as he was carrying out his morning routine.

Despite several shampoos with special deskunking soap purchased asap AND a grooming, he still stinks. Apparently the oil sprayed by our resident skunk takes up to 2 years to dissipate.

Poor Alvin! No one wants to be too near him and he can't figure out why.

We have invaded the skunk's territory and he is doing an excellent job of making sure we are aware of the violation.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Who's Ruining Your Dreams of Having the Perfectly Trained Dog?

Let's see - you are trying  to get your small puppy to stop jumping up on people. So you explain to everyone you live with that all you need to do is ignore the dog. And if you ignore the jumping; eventually it will stop.

It's a Proven Method, BUT . . .
Great advice and works for many small dogs. But not for all. Why? Just observe the behavior of the humans you live with. Who's ignoring what you have asked them to do? Who's dumb enough to scream at the dog as soon as the jumping starts. Duh! That's giving the dog the attention he seeks by jumping. And it's totally counter-productive.

Your Next Move
Your have two decisions in this case - give up, or persuade the offender that what they're doing is not working. Unfortunately, some people are ignorant and will never learn. But it's still up to you as the dog's owner or caregiver to train your dog. The ball's in your court!

Here's an article I wrote about the topic of dog training saboteurs who totally destroy your efforts. The article explains some of the things I've done to counteract their ignorance.
The Biggest Obstacle to Successful Dog training

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Only Dog Owners Can Appreciate This Laugh of the Day!

Dear Dog Owners:

So you probably think you own your dog, right?

Ever consider the possibility that he can manipulate your behavior better than you can manipulate his behavior?

Check out these seemingly innocent dogs . . . Alvin (left) is a master manipulator and Simon's not far behind.

Get your doggie laugh of the day! Enjoy this article: The Most Common Dog Behavior is NOT What You Think.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

For Dog Lovers: Read My SquidPaws Article about Cockapoo Dogs Alvin and Simon

If you follow my posts, you may notice links to articles (lenses) on, a writing platform.

The people who run the forum issue challenges to lensmasters (writers) called quests. A recent quest called for an article written using the theme called "SquidPaws."

My article for the quest is called My Love Affair with Cockapoo Dogs Alvin and Simon. Yup, it is a sappy title, but the vast majority of dog lovers with identify with its contents. Here's the link:

Happy Reading! You can post comments on this blog or in the lens itself.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

When Your Dog Needs His Anal Glands Removed . . .

I've posted several times about Alvin's infected anal glands (search this blog for "dog dragging butt" or "scooting"). The poor dog's visited the vet several times this year to get rid of his anal gland infections.

Finally, after an expensive several months, we decided Alvin's vet should perform the surgery to remove Alvin's glands.

You can find the documentary about this surgery in this article:

Lessons learned from this experience so far -

Buy a soft e-collar (see the link above) and see if the hospital will use it post-surgery.

Keep the surgical site as clean as possible.

Control the dog with a leash as much as possible. If he runs around and jumps up on furniture he can break stitches.

Lots of luck if your dog has this surgery. It's not pretty at all!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Introducing a Puppy to Your Dogs - Theodora Visits With Alvin and Simon

Last weekend the Boyz bid farewell to their buddy Benjy the Bichon, otherwise known as Junior. Benjy moved with his owners to Indiana.

His replacement is cousin Theodora (Dora), a Welsh Terrier pup. She visited this weekend to see the BOYZ for the first time.

Because we've done this dance in the past, we knew to separate the BOYZ and introduce them to Dora one at a time. We brought her outside on the deck and let Alvin investigate the visitor. He circled, sniffed, barked, and posed in his playbow position (downward dog in yoga).

After they were comfortable, we brought out troublemaker Simon who usually hates other dogs at first. We kept him on leash until he decided it was time to stop growling and to start playing. Soon enough, they were all running after each other on the grass.

Introducing a small pup to other dogs in the house is a process. You can't overwhelm a young dog - they can get traumatized easily.

Looks like Dora is headed for the leader of the pack of Alvin, Simon, and Theodora.

We forgot to get a picture of Theodora, but here's what she will look like when full grown:

Friday, May 4, 2012

Before You Use Medication to Treat Anxiety in Dogs . . .

I hate to medicate a dog for anything, although I do realize some medical conditions require medication. I have an issue with owners who use medication as the first line of attack when other solutions may work just as well.

Take the example of anxiety in dogs. Yes, your pup Rocky may quiver uncontrollably when there's a thunderstorm or suffer from separation anxiety.

But a pill is not always the answer. We are conditioned to think "pills" first. Hence the expression "Take a chill pill." Consider the long-term effects of medication. What will happen 5 years from now to the dog who's been medicated for anxiety during this time frame?

What should come BEFORE medication?
Other therapy. For example, a newer treatment is named the Thundershirt, a wrap-around-the-dog garment with mild compression. It simulates a womb-type environment and calms down many dogs. A similar garment has worked on autistic children so someone developed one for dogs.

I just bought a Thundershirt for Alvin. He actually likes wearing it and it calms him immediately.

See this article for reviews and Thundershirt details:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Best Small Dog Chew Toy - Goughnuts Green .75

Alvin Ain't Letting Anyone near His Goughnuts Green .75

Looking for the perfect small dog chew toy to prevent your pet from chewing your cell phone, furniture, the electric chords, and anything else of yours they can find?

Definitely one of the most annoying dog habits, destructive chewing can be stopped and even prevented.

Here's a recent article about the features of the superior dog chew toy called goughnuts:

Direct Link:

Article Title Link:

Top Ten Reasons Why Goughnuts Green .75 is the Best Small Dog Chew Toy
In general, goughnuts are manufactured and advertised as dog chew toys. Dogs cannot make a dent in these doughnut shaped hard rubbery feeling toys. The green...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Why Raising Cockapoo Dogs Requires A Different Approach Than Raising Other Dog Breeds

Simon, a 1st generation Cockapoo
Hey, every Cockapoo dog's unique - that's why these dogs are so popular.

And, because Cockapoos are a combination of Cocker Spaniel and Poodle, they require special handling. For example, they may have medical conditions common to the original dog breeds.

For example, at a year of age, Simon started limping and needed surgery to correct a condition called luxating patella. Similarly, bro Alvin started scooting (dragging his butt) and eventually had his anal glands removed. Both conditions are common surgeries for smaller dogs. A check of the Cockapoo forum revealed that this mixed breed suffers from both conditions.

Bottom line is that because Cockapoos are mixed breed dogs, their owners need to be aware of the specific characteristics of both Cocker Spaniels and Poodles. That information is spelled out in detail in this ebook:

Raising Cockapoo Dogs the Right Way.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dog Owners Bullied By Their Pets

Yeah sure - dog owners aren't subject to bullying by their pets. Or are they?

Let's take a closer look at what bullying can entail. Sometimes bullying involves obvious verbal and physical abuse. That really does not apply to dogs and their owners unless your dog is attacking you.

A much more subtle form of bullying occurs when your dog has trained you to do what he wants you to do. And you do it. Because it's a habit. You've become a trained seal. It may have started out as you training your dog. Somehow it's now reversed. Fido has trained you.

Think about it.

When it's your dog's dinner time and you forget - who reminds you?  Insistently!

Do you absentmindedly pet your dog when he pushes his muzzle or whole body against you?

Can you get the bugger out of your bed?

Does he glom the entire bed and make noise all night?

Now who's the bully?

It's a very common dog behavior problem and needs to be dealt with. Read about it here:

Friday, March 16, 2012

What To Do When Your Dog Is Dragging His Butt - Now It's Simon's Turn

I've written extensively about Alvin's anal gland issues and his multiple trips to the vet to remedy the situation. See these posts:
Part I of What To Do When Your Dog Is Dragging His Butt
Part II of What To Do When Your Dog Is Dragging His Butt
Part III of What To Do When Your Dog Is Dragging His Butt

Now it's Simon's turn to drag his butt. At least I have a little experience in this "area."

Simon's been scooting on and off for the past 4 days. When we first noticed it, we had friends over who know how to express the glands. We tried it and nothing happened. Then we cleaned his anal area and applied an antiseptic approved by the vet because it looked a little inflamed from the scooting activity.

Poor Simon - this morning I noticed him dragging his butt on the kitchen rug. This time expressing the glands produced some fluid. I cleaned up the area using a pet wipe. We need to keep a lookout for more scooting.

The question is - when does butt scooting require a vet visit? We took Alvin in after a week of discomfort. But with Simon the glands can be expressed, so it's a day-to-day watch and see.

What I don't understand is why the glands are not self-expressing as they should. With every bowel movement, the fecal matter should be sufficiently solid to push up against the glands and release the fluid. It's gotta be a diet thing.

We have a good relationship with the Boyz' vet techs, so I might just call in if things get worse. Sometimes they talk through the problem over the phone.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wow! A Specialized Dog Forum For Cockapoo Dogs!

I found this Cockapoo dog forum by accident (google search on Cockapoo dogs)and am really happy with the dog owners on the forum.

Best of all, there's no people or Cockapoo dog bashing because they all own Poo's.

After suffering through the slings and arrows on other forums, this is a refreshing find.

If you have a Cockapoo pup or dog, join and find out everything you wanted to know about Cockapoos. I Love My Cockapoo forum

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why Legit Designer Dog Breeders Live on the Edge!

Obviously, you do NOT want a Cockapoo from a puppy mill (or a pet store, usually stores get the pups from mills).

You do want a Cockapoo from a reputable breeder. One who takes care in selecting healthy parents, maintains sanitary dog living and birthing areas, socializes the pups, provides the puppy buyer with a written guarantee and a solid contract, and answers all your questions truthfully. And stays in contact.

Where do you find such a breeder? Strictly by referral. For example, Simon's breeder fits these criteria perfectly. Only problem is I can't tell you anything more about the breeder or the location, or the website (which, by the way, showcases some adorable pups).

Why? Cause some nut job who hates the concept of designer dogs is liable to contact this breeder and read the riot act. It's happened. I had to quickly retract a forum post because a psychoid threatened Simon's breeder over the phone.

It's really unfortunate.

One other suggestion - you might find a referral at a vet's office. Sometimes vets and/or their techs are aware of good breeders.

Best of luck finding a Cockapoo pup for your family. You will always be happy about your choice.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Raising Cockapoo Dogs The Right Way

Sir Simon on the cover of 
Raising Cockapoo Dogs The Right Way
Thinking about getting a Cockapoo pup or dog?

Let this newly published ebook help guide you through your pup's first two years. It covers preparing for a new pup, housetraining, obedience training and deciding the best way to groom your Poo through common Cockapo medical issues.

Best of all it spotlights Prince Alvin and Sir Simon in all their Cockapooness (or is it Cockerpooness?). Whatever! Be prepared and avoid common mistakes with your pup!
Click for your copy.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

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

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 oral antibiotics.

In Part II of What To Do When Your Dog Is Dragging His Butt, we found out that the oral antibiotics did not work, so we agreed that the vet should inject antibiotic cream DIRECTLY into Alvin's anal glands.

Two weeks later, we were in the vet's office again for a scheduled followup appointment.

Good news - infection had cleared up.

No surgery for the immediate future.

It's a "wait and see what happens" scenario.

Right now, it's a month after the last vet visit and Alvin is doing fine. No scooting across the floor on his butt.

We are continuing the pumpkin once a day in his dinner.

Here's hoping that Alvino will not have another butt exam this year!