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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

“Hi Amber, it’s “Noel.” I am on vacation this week and was browsing the Internet and found a cute puppy’s picture at the animal shelter.  I’m going to head over there and pick her up.  I don’t know anything about this breed, can you tell me before I go?”

cute-dogFirst, I’m grateful Noel called me first.  More often than not, I get the call once things aren’t going well about a week or two after adoption or purchase.  After a few questions of Noel’s lifestyle, habits, and honest reasons for wanting this particular puppy, we decided together this dog was *not* a good fit for her.

Unfortunately, a lot of pet purchases and adoptions are made from “really cute pictures online.” Don’t get me wrong, cute dogs sell!  My Instagram page is devoted to cute dog pictures with plenty of followers!  Plus, my next dog is likely a yellow Labrador and I will check out the Internet to see who is out there.  Then make meet and greet appointments based on availability and pictures. Where this goes wrong is “what a cute face! Let’s bring this one home!” Not all breeds are created equal.

Breed research is vitally important before bringing home a dog.  It is truly necessary to match a dog’s breed to your lifestyle. Unfortunately, breed behavior can conflict with owner expectations and management. Though the dog will vary on an individual basis, you should make yourself aware of what their genetic DNA programming is.

Generally, breeds can look like this:

Herding
Job: ability to control movement of livestock
Turns into: easy arousal of movement including children and cars

Workingnational-dog-day
Job: various tasks, guarding, pulling sleds, search and rescue, police, military
Turns into: Resource guarding, protective of person or property, excessive leash pulling.

Hound
Job: Hunt using scent, sight, and speed
Turns into: distracted by smells and easily lose attention to owner, chasing.

Terrier
Job: Hunt and kill vermin
Turns into: Digging, chasing, killing rodents in yard or home such as hamsters and guinea pigs.

Sporting
Job: assist humans with hunting by pointing and retrieving.
Turns into: Carrying things in their mouths like laundry and shoes, possible destruction of items.

Amber WalkerSo, before you bring home the next “OMG that dog is so cute!!!!!,” a little breed research can make or break the happiness and compatibility success of both your family and dog!

Amber Walker is the owner of Animal Intuitions, you can contact her at (630) 53-PUPPY or amber@aitrainers.com or visit her website at www.aitrainers.com.

 

 

 

cat-and-dog-snuggling

 

My husband and I work with abused rescue dogs — and we’ve noticed that the addition of another pet in the family can really help each animal’s true personality “bloom.” In fact, most studies show that adding a new pet can be rewarding for animals AND humans – and through tons of trial-and-error, we’ve found that there are easy steps anyone can take to help ensure a smooth family expansion. We’re big advocates of the “Pet Parent 3-P’s” – be prepared, persistent, and patient. Here are a few insights we’ve learned along the way:

Introductions
It’s a good idea to have your new pet and existing pet(s) meet outside the home first, on neutral territory. Then, try to bring your new addition home when you can be around for the first few days. Remember that pets can feel jealous too, so it helps to plan quality TLC time with all the kids AND “furkids” in your family!

Supplies
Try to get the main supplies you need before coming home with your new friend. We’ve done this on the way home from the shelter, or a couple days before. Don’t forget a durable leash and collar (or harness, which puts less pressure on the windpipe), a high-quality food plus food/water dishes, and a sturdy ID tag. We also like to get a few new toys and a comfy bed. In certain cases, a security crate helps too.

Health
Make sure your existing dogs or cats are up-to-date on shots and in good basic health before bringing a new pet home. The first week after adoption, take your new guy or gal to the vet for a wellness check, and ask if he or she has been microchipped.

Expectations
Trust us … there are a few questions that are really helpful to work out in advance. For example: Who walks the dog at 6 a.m.? Who changes the litter box, and how often? Who’s in charge of feeding — how much, where, and when? Is the couch (the Tempur-Pedic mattress, Aunt Ethel’s heirloom rug, etc.) fair game, or off-limits?

Discipline
Just like humans, pets prefer some order. Let them know from the start who’s in charge. When you have to discipline, stay calm and use a stern, disapproving voice. But mostly, reward your pet when he or she does well! Many pets – especially those who have been without a loving home – respond amazingly well to enthusiastic praise. Once in awhile, sneak in a healthy treat too!

Housetraining
Just assume any brand new pup is NOT housetrained – so setting up a predictable routine (same time, same place, even a “cue word”) is absolutely key. Some pet parents really like the convenience of Poochie Bells, which hang from a doorknob so your pet can alert you when he or she needs to “go.” Ask anyone on the Two Bostons team to show you how they work!

What other special steps, tips and tricks have worked for you? We’d love for you to share YOUR comments below!
And don’t forget, the Two Bostons team can provide expert guidance when it comes to picking out the right homecoming items for your new pet.