Tag Archive | #snhusmm

Dog of the Week-Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Pictures

Labrador Retrievers!

What is there NOT to say about a Lab?  Anyone who has ever owned a lab may never  own a different breed of dog.  Labs are smart, loyal, lovable, and will do whatever they can to please their owners.  Labs come in three colors like the ones pictured above.  The American Kennel Club standards for the breed allow three colors: black, chocolate and yellow. Blacks are all black, although a spot of white on the chest is permissible. Chocolate Labs range from light to dark chocolate brown, while yellow Labs range from fox-red to light cream. Yellow Lab coats also might appear golden, causing them to become confused with the golden retriever, which is a separate breed, each color has their own unique characteristics….or do they?  Some may agree or disagree

choc lab

Chocolate Labs

The crazy ones of the breed.  These dogs are high energy and require tons of exercise.  Although they are loyal, they are also retrievers and love a good game of fetch!  All Labs love swimming and have webbed toes to make them excellent swimmers.

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With this webbing also comes the issue of yeast infections between the toes. 

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If your lab is a swimmer, make sure to thoroughly dry between their toes to prevent yeast infections.  Ear infections are also common in Labs, due to a lot of swimming, moisture builds up in the ears.  Regular cleaning of the ears and ensuring they are dry  just like the feet, will keep your lab healthy.

Yellow Labs

Remember Marley and Me, the movie with Jennifer Anniston and Owen Wilson?  To me this is the perfect example of a yellow lab!  Yellow labs are strong willed and stubborn.  Each yellow lab  that I have met in my life have been that way.  Dragging their owners down the street during walks, running off when they got the chance, so many behavioral issues.  Yellow labs take a strong willed human to care for them, and someone who is more stubborn and determined than they are.

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With that being said, like any lab, they are great family animals and with the right training, can be great family dogs.  Remember to always be the Alpha with a yellow lab, as they need direction and do well when you are the leader.

Black Labs

The more docile of the group are the black labs.  They are more laid back and easy going.  They are easily trained and willing to help.  Unlike the other 2 a black lab is just as comfortable lounging around with his human as running around the dog park.  Like the other labs, they do have high energy and require a good amount of exercise to be kept healthy and active.  But they are just as happy to spend the weekend on the couch cuddling with their human!

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Black labs all seem to have these tender and loving eyes, that sparkle with excitement when they are about they are up to mischief.  But the eyes always have a sad look to them, like they are deep in thought and you can see into their soul, even as puppies.

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Have you ever owned a lab?  What is your color of choice?  Would you own another?  If so, what color would you choose this time?  The same color you have already had, or something different?




Dog of the week-Golden Retriever

Each week for a while, I want to take the time to give some basic information on one specific breed.  Each breed highlighted will give you some insight on whether or not you may want to get a dog like this or wait until I give more information on another breed you may like.

This week I want to highlight the Golden Retriever.  As many of you may already know I have sat for a few golden retrievers in my time, they are great dogs in my opinion, with a wonderful temperament for families with or without small children.  They are patient and loyal, and are always available with a tail wag when needed and of course a good snuggle.  Golden Retrievers are absolutely one of my favorite breeds.  They are beautiful to look at and are so much fun to play with!  They are super smart and easy to train, which makes them a great companion to almost anyone.

Golden Retrievers

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. The breed’s friendly, tolerant attitude makes him a fabulous family pet, and his intelligence makes him a highly capable working dog. Golden Retrievers excel at retrieving game for hunters, tracking, sniffing out drugs, and as therapy and assistance dogs. They’re also natural athletes, and do well in dog sports such as agility and competitive obedience.  With this being said, they also require a good amount of exercise in order to keep them sharp.  They do not adapt well to apartment living and prefer to be in a home with a yard where they can play, hunt, or herd.  They are especially sensitive to everything around them.  Which makes them great therapy dogs, because they are also sensitive to peoples needs and can be very calm when needed.

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General Information

Retriever Info

Photo credit: dogtime.com

The above information can be found here
As you can see, the Golden Retriever is a very well rounded dog, needing plenty of exercise, but not for long periods of time, they are playful, fun, loyal and do not tend to run away.  You do have to carefully monitor food intake for your Golden Retriever, because they do have a tendency to put on weight easily.  They are also very well known for the amount of hair that they shed on a daily basis.  If you do not like vacuuming every day, or cleaning up hair, then the Golden Retriever is probably not the dog for you.  They are easy to train, but you cannot train them not to shed.  Golden Retrievers do not like being left alone and would rather be in the company of their humans or at least the company of other dogs to play with. A good #doggiedaycare is almost essential unless you are a stay at home parent, as they love to play with others (2 legs or 4). 

Key Takeaways for today…

  • all around great dogs
  • easy to train
  • lots of grooming
  • potential for weight gain
  • high energy levels in short bursts
  • great therapy dogs
  • wonderful family dogs
  • loyal dogs
  • friendly towards other dogs
  • friendly towards strangers
  • weather tolerant
  • prefer to be in groups

Leave me a comment about your experiences with Golden Retrievers!  Have you owned one?  Would you own another?  How did you deal with the hair?

Puppies, Puppies, Puppies

What can be said about Puppies?

Puppies, while we love them, they can be a ton of work.  Before you run out and adopt a new puppy, take the time to realize how much work they really can be.


Potty Training

While we all know that potty training can be difficult for some puppies, some are easy to train.  What options do you have for training your pup?

Crate Training

One option is crate training.  Crate training can be stressful for both you and your dog.  If not done properly, crate training can cause fear of the crate, stress, and anxiety in your dog.  Some very helpful tips can be found on Cesar’s Way .

One of the most essential tips for crate training your dog is to make sure to get your dog accustomed to spending short periods of time in the crate before leaving them for long periods of time.  Dogs who have been abandoned or spent time in shelters may be more afraid and stressed than other dogs, mainly because they already know what it is like to be locked in a cage.  Make the cage a happy place to be with treats and toys.  Something to chew on is a plus as it will keep the puppy occupied for a short time.  15 minutes of stimulation for a dog is plenty and will mentally exhaust them so that they will nap.  Show the puppy that even though you are leaving, you will return.  Leave them for a few minutes to start with and return.  Then for longer periods of time, and return.  Showing the puppy that you will eventually return, and not because they are barking or whining.  Even though some puppies can be quite shrill, be sure not to run back if they start to cry!  They need to accept that you cannot come running every time they cry, just like children.

Pee Pad Training

I am personally not a fan of pee pad training for a puppy.  This still teaches them that it is okay for them to go potty in the house.  To me this is not acceptable.  Teaching a dog bad habits that you will just have to break later, is not ideal.  Unless you are okay with buying pee pads for the duration of the dogs life, and are happy to keep cleaning the mess up every day, this in not something that I recommend.  However, it is something that people do and it is an acceptable way to train your dog to potty in one spot and not all over the house.  More information on Pee pad training can be found here

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Helpful Tips for Potty Training

  • Keep the puppy on a regular feeding schedule and take away his/her food between meals.
  • Take puppy out to eliminate first thing in the morning and then once every 30 minutes to an hour. Also, always take him/her outside after meals or when he wakes from a nap. Make sure he/she goes out last thing at night and before he’s/she’s left alone.
  • Take puppy to the same spot each time to do his/her business. His/her scent will prompt him/her to go.
  • Keep him/her on a leash so you know when the puppy has done his/her business
  • Stay with him/her outside, at least until he’s/she’s house trained.
  • When your puppy eliminates outside, praise him/her or give him/her a treat. A walk around the neighborhood is a nice reward.

Behavior Training

Behavior training is another thing to consider before jumping in to get a puppy.  Some puppies are easily motivated to do what you want them to do on command, and others are a bit more difficult.  Behavior training can be done at home with little money, just invest some time spent with the dog each day training, usually in increments of about 15 minutes a day(puppies have a short attention span).  Other dogs may be a bit more difficult, or have issues that you are unable to address on your own.  When this happens, you may need to invest some serious dollars in order to hire a dog trainer.  The best dog trainer in the world of course is Cesar Milan, and I refer to him frequently in my blogs.  He has many helpful tips on training dogs on his pages.  If you ever have a question about dog related anything and you cannot find it on my blog, see his page Cesar’s Way

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Treats seem to be a favorite of most pets, in my experience, I have found this the best way to train a puppy.  Most dogs, with a bit of time and a few treats, can be taught basic commands.  Sit, roll over, stay,  beg, all can be taught using treats.  To keep your dog from becoming food aggressive, while they are eating, just toss in a couple of treats.  Each time you do this move your hand closer and closer to the bowl until you can reach your hand into the bowl with no response from your dog!  This is one of the best tricks I have learned yet.  Of course, all training has to be the same for everyone in the family.  One person cannot use sit and another use down for the same command.  If you want your dog to sit use simple one syllable words like sit.  If  you want your dog to lay down use commands like down or lay.  Dogs can understand simple one-two word phrases.


Key Takeaways for Today

  • Training requires time
  • Training is not for the faint hearted
  • Training needs to be the same with every person in the home
  • Everyone should participate, so the the puppy listens to everyone
  • Potty training can be a long process
  • Stay away from pee pads unless you want to spend your life cleaning up after your dog