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.

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: