WORLD PET NETWORK
Many people keep dogs as pets. Humans have been keeping dogs as companions for a very long time. Estimates vary from 15,0000 years to 30,000+ years ago with no definite time proven that I could find. We, as a species have been keeping dogs as guards, hunting assistants, and companions for a very long time.
Dogs now have assumed a much larger and sometimes more dangerous role than they have in the past. From police dogs (Sirius, who died in the 9/11 World Trade Center attack) to bomb-sniffing dogs who patrol Russian nuclear stations to seeing eye dogs who help guide people through dangerous traffic and assist them in their everyday lives.
These canine companions have worked their way into the fabric of our society and created relationships that go beyond words and in some cases, human understanding.
Photo of Hachiko
Hachiko (Hachi) is an Akita that has been immortalized as a bronze statue at the Shibuya Train Station in Tokyo. The story of Hachiko captured the world and still continues today. He was the essence of "Mans Best Friend" and even if he is long gone, his story still lives on in books and cinema.
As drug sniffing, security, police, or rescue dogs, there is no equal. Adaptable to many situations these dogs risk their lives every day to assist law enforcement.
Dogs can assist in physical therapy & mental therapy by providing comfort & affection to people with autism or anxiety disorders and more.
Dogs in War
There were many times that dogs have been used for war. The earliest established time was around 4000 BC by the Egyptians during a time of civil war between pharoahs & nobles in the times of the earliest dynasties.
More recently they have been in every war fought by man since WWI around the world. They are treated with respect and many are given military honors. They are trained and used by the world's militaries as much more than attack and guard dogs.
"Cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war" William Shakespeare
There have been many publications about dogs. Every medium you can think of has had either articles, clips or enactments of dog from books, cartoons, animations, movies, stage, brochures, theme parks, and more.
Dogs have created a micro-society of humans who create, manage, train and create a living tending to their needs. Trainers, veterinarians, dog food companies, groomers, dog toy manufacturers, pet store owners & employees, leash makers, etc. All these people have employment in their respected fields thanks to our canine companions.
What Exactly is a Canine & What Are Their Relatives?
Canines are members of the Canidae family. This family consists of 36 species of which include wolves, jackals, coyotes, foxes, and dogs. All of these can be called canines. The classification name for a dog is Canis familiaris.
Of these 36 species, There are 2 that can climb trees. One is the gray fox and the other is a raccoon dog.
Yes, A raccoon dog is a real thing. *Racoons themselves are closer relatives to bears than dogs.
Behavior may be influenced by many different factors. Most of these issues are introduced to the dog at a young age and like humans, may be hard to break as the dog ages. However, It's not impossible. With time, patience, dedication and some knowledge; behaviors can be changed.
Some of the more common behavioral issues are listed here.
***For detailed information on any and more of these issues, CLICK HERE
What is an option to help behavioral issues?
In some cases, a professional trainer is a great option to help you for multiple reasons. Timetables, schedules, and work may make it difficult for you to dedicate personal time.
Some certified trainers can assist your pet in behavior modification as well as security training, special needs training and many other functions. They have the experience, education, and training to do their best into transitioning your pet out of any behavioral issues.
Choosing the right dog for your lifestyle is one of the most important factors in determining which breed of dog is right for you. Do you need a guard dog such as a German Shepherd? Do you need a breed that is hypoallergenic such as a Bichon Frise? Do you need an assistant dog such as a Labrador Retriever?
There are many things to consider when getting a canine companion. Time, space, cost of maintenance, pets energy needs, other pets in the home, dedication, veterinary trips, training and more.
There are dogs which have a lot of energy and make great physical activity partners such as Corgis & Russel Terriers.
If apartment living is your thing, here is a list of the 10 best dogs to think about. These tend to be smaller with less requirements.
Many dogs excel at being put to work. They are happy when doing any tasks and do them very well. German Shepherds, Dobermans & more.
Quite a few breeds make great therapy dogs. Whether it is physical, emotional, or mental support they are always there with a helping paw.
Kennel clubs were introduced to set unified standards at dog shows and they continue to this day to lobby for the health and welfare of dogs worldwide. These clubs have many functions. They educate buyers about purchasing from responsible breeders and how to choose a pet to their lifestyle. They do health research & testing and much more.
***For more detailed information on these clubs, check the clubs down below.
The first official Kennel Club. It was established in 1873 and recognizes 211 breeds as of 2013.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) was established in 1884 and recognizes 189 breeds as of Oct 2016.
The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) was established in 1888 and recognizes 175 breeds as of Oct 2016.
The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) was established in 1911. It is the world governing body of dog breeds. As of Oct 2016, they recognize 340 breeds.
Despite all the different breeds of dogs that you can choose from, DO NOT HESITATE to go to a local shelter and see what is available there if you are looking to add a puppy or dog to your family.
Cleartheshelters.com is a U.S. Nation-Wide project to help clear out shelters. To date there have been over 103,000 total adoptions. If you or someone you know is looking for a pet, this is a great option.
Findingfureverhomes.org.uk is a UK based project to help rehome rescue dogs.
Petfinder.com is an online resource that links you with local or out of area pets that are up for adoption from different shelters.
Laws & Regulations
You need to be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding your choice of breeds. Worldwide there are breeds banned from some countries and not from others.
A "Wolfdog" is prohibited in Norway and some US states. Neapolitan Mastiffs are banned in Singapore. Presa Canarios are prohibited in New Zealand and Australia. The American Pit Bull Terrier is illegal in Ontario Canada, the UK, and a few other countries as well as in over 40 US cities.
Whether you agree with the laws or not it is in your best interest for you and the welfare of the animal to abide by them. In Romania, you MUST prove to be psychologically mentally fit to own a Neapolitan Mastiff. Perhaps that would be a good standard to go by worldwide before banning a breed altogether.
For more detailed information on wolfdogs click the link below https://shywolfsanctuary.org/
EXERCISE & TRAINING
Regardless of what type of dog you have and for what purpose, they all thrive on
some sort of exercise, training, and interaction. If you have a piece of property that your dogs can roam and run around outside on, you have an advantage over someone living in a 3rd story one bedroom apartment. There are, however, some options for people in apartments.
A) Choose the right breed for your lifestyle.
B) Find a dog park.
C) Treadmill so they can run indoors. Make sure it is sized and angled properly for your pet.
D) Walk them on a leash regularly
For most people they just wish a dog to be a companion for them, their children or for the whole family. It is important for your pet to get exercise just as it is for you.
A few ideas for your pet to get exercise are
1) Walk your pet. It benefits you both.
2) Find a pet buddy so your pet has a playmate to help keep active.
3) Find access to a dog park.
4) Passive treadmill.
5) Pet sitting service. They typically do more than just watch your pet.
6) Learn to swim and take your dog swimming. (May need to assist them until they learn how)
Passive treadmills are becoming increasingly popular as a way to exercise your pet indoors. Passive simply means the treadmill works under the dogs own energy. These plans and designs can be found everywhere online from complete kits to diagrams to create your own.
There are a lot of videos, websites, and books on dog training. Some dogs learn more commands than others and it is important to have the proper dog for the proper job. Have you ever noticed a chihuahua guarding an impound lot?
Many people train their dogs or puppies on their own. Basic commands such sit, stay and shake paw are easy with some patience and repetition. For more advanced training you may want to pick up a book or even contact a certified trainer. There are many available all over the world and one may be located near you. Click the link below to assist you in finding one.
Tip* If you have a pet constantly pulling you as you try to walk it, shorten the amount of leash they have. Dogs can be very powerful when they are planted firmly and can use their body to their advantage. To take that ability away, shorten the leash so that they cannot get their front end lowered. Even a little dog with the right leverage can pull an amazing amount of weight.
The above basic lessons are good and all you need to learn is how to teach a few more of your own commands. You can mix it up a bit and teach them in a different language if you want. The key is voice tone and just use the same short words repeatedly. You can add hand signals for the association as well.
HEALTH & SICKNESS
There are ways to tell if your dog is under the weather if you keep your eye open for them. Unlike kids or people, they obviously can not tell you when they are sick. They also could be infected with worms or a tick bite and without an inspection, you may not know. Your pet could have skin issues which are sometimes linked with diet or they may have other ailments that are not instantly noticeable.
The following images should help you diagnose and/or treat symptoms of sickness up to a point. However, if you are unsure do not hesitate to contact a vet for a professional opinion.
No-one likes to see their pets under the weather but not all the symptoms stand out noticeably for you to take proper action. A few of the more common ones are the dogs' balance, butt rubbing, no strength, loss of appetite, change in attitude and not being as clean/hygienic as they were among other things. The links below give a bit more information on what to look for and how to know if your pet is sick or has a bug/parasite/tick, been poisoned and more.
Some Issues You May Come Across Owning A Dog.
Simply Click On One of The Images.
Fleas: Infestations, Treatments, Lifespan, Dangers & More.
In all cases if you are unsure
do not hesitate to call or
There are some people who feed their dogs raw but most of the population feed their pets out of a bag. Since a vast majority buy their dog food from grocery stores, I will post what I have researched are the most relevant mainstream foods for you to decide from as of 2018.
With over 76 different brands and counting, it's easy to get overwhelmed. I researched many different brands, websites, as well as consumer reports. *(Research was done in 2018).
Four of the brands that stood out above all the comparisons I looked at were Acana, Taste of the Wild, Eukanuba, and Orijen. These brands are not typically found at any big chain grocery stores and usually need to be purchased at a specialty store or online. The only "grocery store" brand that made it into the top 10 was Purina Dog Chow. Closely behind were PC Lamb and Rice and PC Salmon blends
I cannot really say if any links I found would help you to decide on "THE BEST" grocery store brand of dog food from a place like Walmart. However, since Purina Dog Chow can be found there that is a good option as it scored well on a couple of different lists overall for quality and other scoring factors such as nutrition, cost, availability and more.
RAW vs KIBBLE
There are pros and cons to both sides. There are also other factors to consider aside from the choice of the dog's diet itself. *The ability to get it and have access to raw food whenever you need it, storage of the meat and the smell. (In a small apartment some thought the smell would linger and be noticeable. )
Storage was the number #1 issue. A majority of people had apartments and most had no deep freezer or room to spare in their fridge/freezer for enough raw for a week's worth of feeding, let alone longer.
A small 10-pound dog would obviously eat a lot less than a full grown 120-pound however with the ease of convenience of feeding kibble, that may be why so many go that route.
Below are a couple of links for you to compare raw vs kibble for yourself.
On a personal note... Rawhide. Yes or no? If you never have, I would not start. Over the years I have saved probably no less than 3 dogs due to choking on rawhides. When the rawhide is large it is ok. When the rawhide can fit fully into the mouth it's time to throw it out. Rawhides can cause more than just choking/blockage issues resulting in a big vet bill or death. It can cause stomach irritation, bowel issues and toxic contamination.
Real beef bones from a butcher, farmer, etc are an alternative option. You can give them to dogs raw or boiled and cooled. (Remove and throw out all the tiny little sharp bones that may be attached to the meat). A durable toy, Milk Bones, Beggin Strips or equivalent for alternative treats are all good as well. There are many options to rawhide.
If you do buy them, purchase large ones and throw them out before they get to be a choking size. Just because you have a little dog, does not mean they need a little rawhide.