Miniature Pinschers

Miniature or Mini Pinschers Dog

Miniature or Mini Pinschers Dog

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Miniature or Mini Pinschers are “well-balanced, sturdy, compact and smooth-coated dogs”. These dogs of the Pinscher breed were first bred to hunt small vermin in Germany such as rats. Pinscher in German translates to “biter”, which refers to the way these dogs attack their prey. The “Min Pins” are also known as the “King of the Toy Dogs”, and make for vigilant, active and proud companions which may possibly be a good choice for those who suffer from dog allergies.

While Mins aren’t necessarily considered one of the hypoallergenic dog breeds, they have such short hair which produces only a fair amount shedding. Mini Pinschers are well groomed dogs by nature, with smooth, straight and lustrous coats which closely cover their bodies. Due to this, these dogs are also low maintenance, but in the winter time care should be taken as the coat provides little warmth or insulation from cold weather. Also, keep in mind too that in warmer weather, these dogs are prone to overheating, and due to this their diet should be carefully administered to prevent obesity.

Generally, Miniature Pinscher dogs range in size from 10 inches to 12 1/2 inches in height, which is measured to the highest point of their shoulder blades. Their typical weight is 8 to 12 pounds, making them relatively small to handle. They also have small bodies with long legs, and are agile enough to curl up into many positions comfortably. As for their temperament, Min Pins are outgoing, clever, responsive, energetic and playful. They will typically attach themselves to one family member or two, but can be socialized into families including small children and other pets. Min Pins are also protective of their owners and property, prompting a lot of barking or various postures to protect. For this reason, these dogs can be considered excellent watch dogs, alerting owners and family members of potential intruders or strangers.

In terms of overall care of the Mini Pinscher, there are several things to pay attention to with these dogs. Miniature Pinschers tend to like to sleep or lie on soft objects or under small blankets/covers, so care should be taken that they do not get injured or hidden from human sight in traveled areas. Another precaution is that these dogs have a tendency to go after small objects (like prey), and therefore loose items such as bottle caps or other small items the dog could choke on should be kept out of their vicinity. Due to their curiousity, it’s recommended that Mini Pinschers be given a collection of appropriate toys that pose a challenge. These could include rope toys, small stuffed animals and cat toys that don’t contain catnip.

The Min Pins are very energetic and playful and therefore it’s recommended that if they live in a small apartment, the dog gets 45 or more minutes of daily exercise. These dogs can be troublesome in apartment environments because they are very protective and will tend to bark a lot, causing noise complaints. Generally, becase the Miniature Pinscher is very energetic, a fenced in secure backyard area for them to get exercise is the best idea. With their high level of curiousity and activity, keeping these dogs on a leash or harness when in public will help to prevent them chasing something of interest.

These dogs suffer from very few known health issues and tend to enjoy active lives of 15 or more years.  With their lengthy life span, their spirited and lively temperaments, and low-maintenance grooming these small dogs can make the perfect playful small pet for your household!

Also see: Dog Allergies Information and Hypoallergenic Dogs & Breeds

Pomeranian Dogs & Puppies

Pomeranian Puppy Dog

Pomeranian Puppy Dog

The small toy breed Pomeranian dog is considered a great choice for pet owners with dog allergies or without. While no dog is truly considered a hypoallergenic dog, the Pomeranian dogs have a minimal amount of dander which can cause allergy irritations to allergy sufferers. In addition, the Pomeranian’s small size makes it easy to wash these dogs, even in a sink, so they have low-maintenance.  They offer excellent companionship and a high level of intelligence, making them an excellent choice for anyone who may want to have a smaller pet in their home.

Pomeranians come from the same breed of dogs, the Spitz group, as another hypoallergenic dog, the Samoyed.  Poms have become more popular due to several famous owners: Queen Victoria of England as well as Fran Drescher on the hit sitcom “The Nanny”.    They are notable for having double-coats that are all-weather protectant against heat, cold, rain or snow.   Weighing in at 4 to 7 pounds with high foreheads, they are attractive small dogs which give great companionship.   They’ve seen their share of the spotlight at dog shows as well as in nursing homes or therapeutic environments due to their intelligent, spirited and loyal nature.

Pomeranians are playful, friendly, protective, intelligent dogs who are easily trained making for great house pets and companions. These dogs are true extroverts and extremely active. While they come in many colors or varieties, orange and red seem to be the most popular colors to choose for Pomeranian puppies.  Due to their small sizes (typically 3-7 lbs), they’re often seen as pet fashion accessories, being carried around due to their small size, but they don’t like to be overhandled.  Often, the Pomeranian puppies or dogs are content to stay at their owner’s feet loyally for long periods of time. It’s generally advised that Pomeranian dogs be constantly kept indoors, fenced in or on a leash.  They may do best in small apartments or condominiums.  Poms are also well-suited to be around kids aged 3 years if they are raised with them.  Their intelligence and loyalty makes them easily trained.   However, one precaution is to not train these dogs too closely around peoples’ feet as these dogs can easily be stepped on causing injury.

In terms of grooming, since Pomeranians have a thick, plush coat, it is recommended that they be brushed daily or twice weekly at least, to keep their hair from matting.   Some owners may even prefer to keep their coats short and trim.  It’s also advised that specific attention is given to ear, nail and teeth care.   Pomeranians tend to be susceptible to teeth problems, so at least a once- a-week brushing will be a good habit.  Dental and dog vitamin treats can also help with this.

Some of the health problems Pomeranians can face include Legg-Calve-Perthes syndrome and hip dysplasia, as well as collapsing trachea, and Patent ductus arteriosus- a cogenital heart defect. Other health concerns include: skin diseases, Dry Eye and other eye diseases, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, and hypoglycemia. The skin problems can lead to allergies for the Pomeranian such as dermatitis or hot spots on their skin.

The Pomeranian dog will definitely make a suitable household pet for any dog allergy sufferer as well as those who want a loyal, intelligent, lively and vigilant companion.

Also see: Info about Dog Allergies and Breeds of Hypoallergenic Dogs

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog

When considering Hypoallergenic Dogs, the Portuguese Water Dog may be an excellent dog breed choice for allergy sufferers.  The PWD is one of several dogs that are considered well suited for pet owners who suffer from dog allergies. The reason is these dogs do not shed hair very much at all. They also are one of several breeds which has a single-coat, and they come in two varieties, either with curly hair or wavy hair. Dog allergies typically arise from proteins found in dog hair and dander, so when the dog isn’t shedding it’s less likely that these irritating particles will be present in the home or around areas the dog frequents.

It is important for the Portuguese Water Dog owner to know that their hair can continue growing longer and longer if not groomed regularly. This hair growth can lead to problems such as it growing over the dogs eyes and blocking vision, or causing matting of the hair leading to skin irritations. It’s important for Portuguese Water Dog owners to brush out their hair between the normal grooming sessions.

The Portuguese Water Dog makes an excellent household pet which makes an excellent companion both indoors and outdoors. The dog tends to bond with one primary family member and stays close to them. They are people-oriented and prefer companionship to isolation. While great with children the PWD can be rough if left unsupervised around young children. They also tend to be extremely loyal, independent and intelligent and are able to follow complex commands. These dogs have generally been used as therapy dogs or dogs for the hearing impaired. They can be trained to bark loudly at the sound of a telephone or doorbell for example. The PWD tends to have a loud distinctive bark which they use to warn of intruders or strangers on the family property, or they use to communicate wants to their owners. One other skill these dogs possess is swimming due to their webbed feet. The PWD used to help villagers fishing and retrieving lost items or people overboard in deep water.

These dogs may not be the right companion for every person though. While they are very smart, they require consistent exercise and mental challenge. They are far from lazy, dormant dogs, as they can become bored and turn destructive, going after the garbage or food that is left unattended in the kitchen. Portuguese Water Dog are prone to two eye diseases including Cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). The PWD is also susceptible to Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) just as poodles are. In addition, PWD’s can develop two fatal conditions: Storage Disease (GM-1), and Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy (JDCM)

It is generally recommended that a prospective owner with dog allergies or other allergies spends some time around the Portuguese Water Dog to determine if it will be a good, tolerable pet for them.

Also see more info about: Hypoallergenic Dogs & Dog Allergies

See PWDCA’s List of Portuguese Water Dog Breeders:

Hypoallergenic Dogs

Some dog owners decide to suffer from the nasty effects of dog allergies, which is not advised by most allergists.  The allergists generally voice concerns that having a dog allergy and continuing to associate with a dog that irritates your allergies can worsen your asthma and overall allergies.  In some cases, some people opt for what are termed “hypoallergenic dogs“, because they are easier to be around than regular dog breeds.  According to a May 2008 article in Dog Fancy magazine, people with dog allergies are generally allergic to dogs with fur, not dogs with hair.  It’s also important to note there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dogs, rather dogs that are better for those who suffer from dog allergies.  Scientists have yet to confirm hypoallergenesis in dogs.  For that reason, certain breeds of dogs tend to work better with allergy sufferers than others.

Examples of dogs who may be better suited for those who suffer from dog allergies include include poodles, the designer hybrids known as “Labradoodles”, wirehaired terriers, Lhasa Apsos, and Shih Tzus.  It’s recommended that someone with dog allergies spend more time around the type(s) of dog they may be interested in getting to see how they react.  Refer to the list below for more hypoallergenic dog breeds you might consider if you currently suffer from dog allergies but want the presence of a puppy in your abode.

Hypoallergenic Dog breeds:

The Greyhound dogs are known as dogs with short hair and a single coat.  Dobermans, Maltese, Portuguese Water Dogs and Scottish Terriers make good choices for allergic pet owners, because none of those breeds of dog shed.  Samoyeds and Pomeranians have minimal dander or none at all, which is generally what dog allergy sufferers react to. The Bearded Collie and Yorkshire Terriers are both interesting breeds of dog with the same pH in their hair as human hair.  The Peruvian Inca Orchi and Xoloitzcuintli are both ideal for allergy sufferers since they don’t have any hair at all.  This of course is a personal preference depending on how you like your dog to look and feel when you pet it.

As you can see even if you’re allergic to dogs in general you don’t have to forgo getting a household pet and companion.  Select a dog which is considered “hypoallergenic“, or spend some time around various dog breeds to find a pet that’s compatible with you and your allergies!

Dog Allergies

Do you suffer from dog allergies but can’t bring yourself to part with your pampered puppy? Find yourself constantly sneezing or itching due to your pet dog? Many humans today suffer the effects of dander allergies caused when they come into contact with proteins that are part of their dog’s saliva, skin or hair. These reactions can cause sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose and many more irritating symptoms. The good news is these dog allergy effects can be reduce through several methods. First, it’s important to understand just what causes allergies. Allergies are caused when a person’s body has a misinterpretation to harmless airborne particles entering the body. Often, dander, dust or pollen reactions can cause these “false alarms” in many peoples’ bodies, triggering the various irritations.

Tips to minimize your dog allergies:

– Consider taking a daily antihistamine to relieve allergy symptoms.

– Keep your place clean, often – To minimize dog allergies in your home, it’s recommended you sweep floors and vacuum the carpet on a daily basis.  Additionally, wipe down your furniture on a regular basis and was your bedding in hot water.  This will help to remove loose dog hair where allergens are.  Also, learn how to get rid of dust mites which survive well in mattresses, carpets, furniture and bedding, so you can cut down on your allergies.  While house dust mites are not directly involved in dog allergies, they can contribute to asthma and other allergy problems which people experience. Reducing them will further help cut down on allergic reactions.

– Use hard floors instead of carpeting – Consider replacing your carpet in the home with hardwood flooring. Carpet tends to trap fur and dander well. If you’d rather keep the carpet, consider steam cleaning your carpet frequently.

– Use solid window coverings – Rather than use cloth draperies or traditional curtains which trap the airborne particles, consider using wood, metal or plastic for your window coverings.

– Use plastic covers for mattresses and pillows – These will reduce allergens where you sleep, giving you potentially more restful sleep at night.

– Perform flea control – Dead fleas leave carcasses on dogs’ coats which many people are allergic to. Use top quality flea collars, sprays and medications to help protect your dog from flea infestations.

– Perform routine pet grooming – Give your dog regular baths and grooming sessions. Use hypoallergenic shampoo as well as a wire brush to remove loose hair. Use puppy wipes on your dog in between baths. Make sure to wear a protective mask when doing the grooming so you can avoid breathing in the allergens. Another good tip is to do the grooming outside if it’s possible.

-Have a safe, allergy free room – Dedicate one room of your dwelling as a safehaven. You may prefer this to be your master bedroom, but it will be a room you can retreat to, free of allergies.

By using the above tips you can begin to reduce the allergens in your home and continue to coexist with the pet dog you love. if you don’t have a dog yet and are thinking twice due to your allergies, you can also choose from many hypoallergenic types of dogs.

Acid Reflux in Dogs

Believe it or not the same irritable condition that develops in humans, acid reflux, can also develop in our pet dogs.  Acid reflux in dogs can lead to heartburn conditions.  These conditions can also lead to your dog being less active and having a low appetite, as well as refusing to eat its normal meals.  Just as it’s important to identify acid reflux disease symptoms in humans, it’s also important to identify them in your dog and take the appropriate actions in order to combat the health problems which your dog is at risk for.

How do some dogs develop acid reflux? Acid reflux generally results in heartburn which has biological causes.  It can develop in the same ways as humans develop the condition.  Usually dogs that have weak lower  esophagus spincters are more likely to develop acid reflux.  In general terms, a brief relaxation of the muscular opening at the base of the esophagus allows an uncontrollable reverse flow of gastric or intestinal fluids into the esophagus.  It leads to a weakening of the lining of the esophagus since all of the acid is flowing in reverse through the dog’s esophagus.  Dogs with poor nutrition and dietary habits can eventually develop the disease.  Dogs that are overweight also are prone to having this problem.

To fight the effects of this medical condition it’s recommended that you keep your dog on a regular, healthy diet.  Make sure your dog receives a dog food that is right for its size and age, and that consists of a proper balance of nutrients.  Feed your dog at the same few times each day and avoid over-feeding.  Letting your dog eat too much at once or whenever they want can increase the potential for acid reflux in pet dogs.  One of the best ways to treat the acid reflux condition in dogs is by not feeding the dog at all for one or two days.  After this period, it’s advised to feed the dog a regular diet of low fat/high-protein meals.  These should be smaller feedings given frequently to your dog throughout the day.

It may be best to contact your veterinarian to see if there are any prescription medications available for your dog.  Common treatments include Antacids which reduce stomach acid in dogs and H2 Blockers which block the body’s acid-stimulating histamine.  Special gastrointestinal pro-kinetic agents can be used to strengthen the sphincter in dogs.  There’s also natural treatments available including a special honey that can be fed to dogs before their meals.  This natural treatment will help to coat the dog’s esophagus and prevent acid reflux from irritating or damaging the dog’s esophagus further.  This sort of approach can help the dog’s esophagus to heal over several months time.  Generally though, the best way to prevent acid reflux in your dog is by giving it a healthy low-fat diet, and making sure your dog doesn’t eat too much during the day.

Keep a close eye on your dog to make sure it does not have any of the above complications or symptoms.  Learning to spot the symptoms of acid reflux in dogs can help fight the condition early on and prevent serious future health problems in your family pet.

Training: How to Stop your Dog from Barking

Training Your Dog How to Stop Barking

You’ve most likely have heard the phrase “its bark is worse than its bite” in reference to someone’s pet dog, which many pet owners find to be very true, and you may even wonder about how to stop your dog from barking.  A dog barks as its means of communication just as humans talk or shout at one another.  The reasons a dog might bark could be out of fear, loneliness, aggression or dominance, or a dog may be trying to communicate that it wants to be fed or to be let outside.  Dog barking is a natural response for many dogs simply to protect their property and family.  Older dogs may bark due to becoming more grouchy or grumpy and suffering from various ailments, including hearing loss.  Dogs that are older may become startled easily due to their hearing not being as sharp as it once was.  No matter what the reasons may be for your dog barking, know that it is something you can work to control.  Understanding the reason your dog barks can help you figure out the best way to cut down on excess barking or curtail troublesome barking from your dog.  The last thing you want is your dog’s bark causing complaints from neighbors or visitors feeling that they can’t be in the same residence.

So how do you ultimately stop your dog from barking?  Training your dog to bark may be one of the best ways to control barking.  Barking can be a form of attention albeit negative, and many dogs seek this attention over none at all.  Taking the time to train a dog to bark serves to make the dog feel more appreciated by its owner, reduces boredom, and teaches the dog to bark and stop barking as you command them to.  The idea is to first teach your dog when to bark, followed up by when to quiet down.  Using the command “speak” along with a dog treat when your dog barks is a great means of reinforcement.  Once your dog has this instruction down it’s time to teach them to stop barking on command.  Tell the dog to “speak” and let the dog bark repeatedly until you command “Hush”.  Give the dog a treat when it obeys this instruction.  You should also pay attention to certain events or people that may trigger the barking and work to control those (i.e. specific visitors, the mailman).  Generally the lesson to teach your dog when to bark and when to stop should work with your dog in a maximum of two weeks time.  If it hasn’t it’s time to take your dog to a vet to check for possible health problems, and then turn things over to a professional trainer who can tell you where you may be going wrong.

Another specific area to focus on training your dog’s barking is simply when you leave and return to the home.  Some dogs tend to become stressed or anxious when their master or family members are leaving them at the house and begin to bark.  In these instances, it may be best to keep hellos and goodbyes more casual or simply not using these at all with your dog.  Instead, simply come and go as you please at the house.  Also avoid giving your dog a treat when you come or go as this may be rewarding them and thus reinforcing the problematic behavior.  Shouting at your dog to quiet down or shutup also will not do the trick in these barking fits.  It’s best to maintain strong eye contact with your pet and firmly say “Hush” or “Quiet”.  Be consistent in this approach and make sure to praise your dog once they obey the command.

There also exists one dog, the Basenji, which is known as the only dog that is unable to bark, but don’t choose this dog in lieu of consistent training.  If you are finding that training and encouragement simply aren’t doing the trick to prevent your dog’s excessive barking it may be time to refer to an anti bark collar guide and choose a dog collar to help control your dog’s problematic barking habit.  There tends to be general misconceptions that these devices will hurt a dog when in fact they are more of an uncomfortable sensation which helps teach the dog to stop barking.  Realize that it is possible to prevent this pet dog problem, whether it be through the use of these special devices or your own consistent training.

Also see: Top 25 Most Intelligent Dogs

Dog Grooming: How to Give a Dog a Bath

One of the best grooming habits to get into with your pet dog is giving them a regular bath. How often you should give your dog a bath really comes down to its level of activity, if it goes outdoors often, if it stays on furniture or beds, and if anyone in the home is living with dog allergies. It’s been noted that regularly bathing a dog is one of several ways to combat dog allergies. These can also help to reduce dog skin allergies, preventing rashes and other conditions from happening to your dog. Use this information here as a general guide in dog grooming by giving your dog a bath. Check with your veterinarian if there are any special conditions your dog has that may need to be addressed when giving your dog a bath. Also, prior to your dog’s first bath, consider training them to be comfortable with the area you will bathe them. Bring your dog to the area and feed it meals or treats there so that it will see the area as a positive place.

Before your dog’s first bath time, make sure to groom, brush and comb its coat to remove dirt, hair clumps and mats which will interfere with the washing process. Bring your dog to the bathing area and consider using a leash and special gloves on your hands to prevent biting or scratching. You should then test the water temperature before you soak your dog thoroughly. Larger dogs are best to wash outdoors if the weather is suitable, or in the shower/bathtub. If your dog is smaller consider bathing them in either the bathtub or sink. Consider the bathtub if safety might be a risk due to your dog getting nervous or anxious and falling out. A third option is to take your dog with you directly into the shower as weird as that may sound. Either way when washing your dog consider using a bucket in addition to a spray hose (from the sink, shower or outdoors garden hose), in order to completely soak your dog’s hair down. If using an outdoor garden hose make sure to use a lower pressure setting when hosing your dog down.

Use a shampoo specifically designed for dogs. Dog shampoos use a different pH level than shampoos designed for humans, and also come in varieties that are tear-free. If your dog has any sorts of skin conditions or dog allergies, you’ll want to check with a veterinarian before choosing the right shampoo for your pet. When using the shampoo consider using a squeeze type bottle and diluting it with water before administering it onto your dog. Take care not to get the shampoo in your dog’s eyes or ears while doing this. Use a cloth to wash your dogs face area gently and use cotton balls to avoid soap or shampoo getting into their ears.

Once the dog’s been thoroughly washed with shampoo or soap, rinse them off entirely using warm, tolerable water. Next use a large towel to towel dry your dog off. You can also use a blow-dryer on a low temp setting to dry your dog completely. Take care not to use a hot setting on the blow dryer that might burn your dog’s skin.

Whether you have one of the hypoallergenic types of dogs or a larger breed with longer hair and more fur, a regular wash will be one of the best ways to care for your dog. Bathe your dog consistently to help keep your dog healthy, clean and free of harmful pests like ticks, fleas and other bugs.  You can also apply Frontline Plus Flea and Tick control for dogs about 48 hours after you’ve bathed your dog to further protect it from fleas and ticks.  With regular baths and this special product, you can keep your dog healthy and happy!