Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chew on This: Elk horn dog chews

With a big dog, you need a big chew. I have tried the bones that come from the pet store, and while my newf enjoys them, they don't last very long.

Recently, I found elk horn chews. My dog goes crazy for these! They come in various shapes and sizes, but her favorite is about 6 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter...the size of her large fetch stick. She will gnaw on the chew for hours.

I love that elk/deer horn chews are

  • organic
  • sustainable
  • long-lasting (they don't splinter or crack, instead they wear away over time)
  • economical
  • readily available (either at your local pet store or online)
  • no elk or deer were harmed in the making of these treats

I love the peace of mind knowing she isn't going to break a splinter off and swallow it. I love that she enjoys it so much.

Today's chews are cleaned and sanitized for our dogs' protection, unlike what might be in the wild. Ranging from $7.- $16, they seem steep, but last a long time. Unlike bones, they can be gnawed on by a large dog for months.

One warning, not let it fall on your foot! It's as heavy as a rock and could easily break your toe! And I wouldn't try to have the dog fetch it in the house.

Beyond that, they are a good alternative to rawhide, and certainly will last longer!.

Monday, April 25, 2011

How to stop a dog fight

Last month, while trying to stop another dog from going after my newf, I was bitten pretty badly on the forearm. I did what any loving pet owner would do: I tried to get in between the dogs and block them from one another. As a newf owner, I know to take the space of my big dog when I need her to listen. I stepped in front of her and the other dog, going in for the attack, latched on to my arm. In retrospect, I would never do this again.

So hopefully, you can learn from my mistakes. I present to you:

Ten things to do if your dog gets into a dog fight:

1) DO NOT, under pain of death, try to get between the dogs. You have a high chance of getting bitten. Trust me on this.

2) Citronella spray by the dog's nose

3) try an air horn. It can startle the dogs enough to pull them away from one another

4) spray the dogs with a hose. Or use a bucket of water

5) scream with a high-pitched screech. This can sometimes distract the dogs long enough to get them separated

6) carry a container of pepper spray

7) fire extinguisher sprayed to the dogs (make sure it is safe to spray in the face)

8) use a leash to "lasso" the dog's leg, and pull them out and secure to a tree/fence, etc. Then get the other dog by the back legs "wheel barrow-" style.

9) if the fight takes place inside, you can try slamming something to the floor to startle them

10) Try throwing a blanket over one of the dogs in order to confuse it

There is something else I've heard, but it seems ridiculous. Apparently, you are supposed to stick your thumb up the dog's bum. This startles enough to get the dog to let go. Now, I cannot begin to tell you how crazy this seems. If you get close enough to do this, you are probably going to get bitten.

The best way to stop a dog fight is to prevent it in the first place. Make sure your dog is dog-friendly. If you are at a dog park, monitor the play, and if they get too frenzied, bring your dog over for a break. Dogs that get too riled up can turn to aggression as their excitement increases. This is what happened to me with the dog my dog was playing with.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Alternative Ball for Big Dogs

Those of us with giant breed dogs are often nervous around tennis balls. If you have been in newf circles for long, you will have heard of the friend's friend whose dog choked on a regular-sized tennis ball. While the prospect seems remote, I offer this story.

When Poppy was about 6 months old, I was defrosting some rather large chicken breasts. She is well-mannered and doesn't counter surf, but I cannot say the same for the cat. The cat knocked the chicken breast to the floor, and Poppy snapped it up. It happened so quickly, I wasn't sure she actually had anything. My husband proved she did, indeed she had an entire chicken breast, about 4x6, in her mouth. She closed her mouth around it, and there was no evidence! Had we not looked, we never would have known.

Based upon that incident, I resolved that she would not play with regular-sized balls. Luckily, I found Tuff Ball. Not only is the ball stronger than a regular tennis ball, it is also larger. And at around $4.00, it is very reasonably-priced. She really loves hers.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Gentle Leader is my life saver

Now that my Newf is getting older, I find there are times she forgets I am attached to the other end of the leash and pulls a bit. This doesn't happen that often, but I have been pulled through at least one sprinkler and been knocked down after I got my feet tangled up and she decided it was time to move. In her defense, she is very gentle, but she is also a pup. She sees! it! and wants to go, NOW.

In the past, I have used a martingale collar, as well as a training, or "pinch" collar. (The name is misleading, it does not pinch at all). She was still pulling with the pinch collar, so I tried the Gentle Leader. It is a wonder, is all I have to say. I have to admit, when I first saw it, it seemed...inhumane. Invented by Dr. R.K. Anderson, the collar goes across the nose and over the muzzle, similar to a bridle on a horse. The dog cannot pull, because if she does, her head comes around to face you instead. This is especially important for a strong breed, because the dog cannot get her "back" into the pull, which means you can correct it sooner. Because the collar goes across the nose, you don't jerk to correct, but gently lead the dog around to face you. Does it work? Amazingly. The difference with Poppy is night and day. It really is. In the above photo, she is wearing it, but you cannot tell because it is black, and well, so is she. So here is a picture of a Golden wearing it instead.

This video is great, and I challenge you to watch it.
Loose Leash Walking Tips. ABRI doesn't have direct links, but if you scroll to the bottom part of the page, you will find the video.

I highly recommend the Gentle Leader if your dog likes to pull and won't walk with you. After all, we are supposed to take them for a walk, not the other way around!

this post was not solicited in any way. I was not paid, or given free product. I just really like the Gentle Leader and how it improves my relationship with my dog

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Nobody here but us dragons

This is the silliness that is a Halloween costume on a Newf. She didn't mind the wings, but the tail was right out. We were attempting to make her look like a dragon, specifically, Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon. Blame my children.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A dog blog, really?

All I can say in my defense? It was necessary. I tend to learn so much about whatever my latest interest is, and well, I thought I would share the wealth. Does that make me narcisstic? Perhaps. But I wanted to have a place to focus all of the information I am finding out about dog food, toys and grooming. Sort of a Bookmarking system for myself, if you will.

You are more than welcome to read. I hope you do. I plan to include fun stories of my goofy newfy, so you can appreciate her, too. I don't know how often I will update, but now I have a place to put...stuff.