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Posts posted by ccit

  1. Many owners give their dogs Kong toys stuffed with food, believing them to be safe and indestructible. Having recently discovered that there are significant dangers with these products, I feel that pet owners should be warned of these in order to prevent illness and even death.


    These toys are not indestructible. There is a link here that describes the problems accurately. An Internet search for 'dangers of Kong toys' will reveal more. Some dogs are able to chew off the top ring and swallow them. If you wish to continue to use Kongs, please consider the following measures (the list is not definitive):


    • * Do not leave your dog unsupervised with them.
      * Purchase the correct size and type.
      * Check the Kong regularly and dispose of it if there are any signs of wear.
      * If the top ring, or any part of it is missing then consult a vet immediately.
      * Kong pieces are not radio-opaque so cannot be seen on X-ray. If the vet cannot find anything on X-ray, ask for further investigations. A barium meal may be needed.
      * Sometimes the ring piece will not cause total obstruction if the food can pass through the hole.
      * Surgery will be needed if the dog is unable to vomit the piece back or if it has moved down into the intestine but is unable to pass it rectally.
      * There are risks associated with surgery but if there is an obstruction there is no choice but to proceed with it.
      * If your dog is an ardent chewer it may be best to avoid Kongs entirely.


    I know of a dog that recently very nearly died due to this toy and that is why I have started this thread. It's life was saved by a very experienced vet who located it by deep palpation only - it had been missed by several other vets, leading the dog to become seriously ill. The dog had been x-rayed and the piece had not shown up.


    Many dog owners are under the impression that these toys are perfectly safe but this is not the case. I may be wrong but I wonder if the danger with these toys is

    a) that they are associated by the dog with food (including the rubber having the aroma of it). Maybe they confuse it with actual food.

    b) the last bit of the food inside it is always at the bottom ring and it is this is the sector that is easier to chew off. It is not difficult to imagine that a determined dog is able to work out that the food would be available if they remove that section. This would be a particular issue with dogs that are very food orientated.


    It is not my intention to stop owners giving their dog a Kong - there are dangers all around us. However, this is a risk that many people are unaware of and we can perhaps minimize it with some attention and care. If you wish to give your dog a Kong, please use with caution.

  2. Separation anxiety can be difficult to treat but I agree that it is early days for your dog. There is plenty of information on the Internet about dealing with this, one being Victoria Stillwell's Positively website. If you cannot sort this out with behaviour modification it may be worth considering seeing your vet. There are medications that can settle the dog down without tranquillizing it.


    I am sorry about hi jacking your thread with the Kong discussion but it is in my mind at the moment due to this unfortunate dog. It is good that you know about the risks. Is this the Kong toy that you refer to regarding the tongue getting stuck? It was due to suction and I imagine would occur with other balls or toys with a single opening.

  3. Strange I've never heard of that, I've always used a kong and they're recommended by loads of people.

    I hadn't heard of it either but if you are in any doubt about this, take a minute to read this. There are more references to this problem on that page and also via a search. Just because 'loads of people' recommend them it doesn't mean that they are a good thing. That is just herd mentality.


    Because you have never heard of it doesn't mean that it is not a problem. Now you have heard of it so do a search, think about it and decide whether you are 100% happy to recommend that a dog is left alone with these toys.


    The dog referenced in my previous post would have died had it not been for a first class vet and emergency surgery. The Kong was the correct one, not a replica. Kongs are not indestructible and dogs should never be left alone with them. BTW this particular dog is not destructive and does not chew anything in the house so I believe your comment about never been 100% safe when unattended is incorrect too. Checking the Kongs regularly is a good idea but it may come too late if the dog has already swallowed a piece of it.


    I'm not getting at you vwkittie - just trying to prevent other dogs suffering as this one has.

  4. You could also try leaving him with a Kong toy stuffed with something tasty such as a bit of his kibble ration mixed with peanut butter (make sure it's the no additives kind, read the label) and frozen solid overnight to keep his mind occupied.

    Please, please do not leave your dog unsupervised with a Kong. I know of a dog who has been very poorly and has just had to have major surgery to resect part of it's small intestine in order to remove the top ring of a Kong. The dog had chewed it off and swallowed it. It is only due to the experience of one excellent vet that it was identified and the dog treated. They do not show up on X-ray because they are not radio opaque.


    An Internet search for this problems will provide many references to people who have had the same issue. Use Kongs if you will, but please don't leave a dog alone with one and always check that it is complete. This is particularly important with ardent chewers. Personally, I would never give one to a dog again.

  5. Two years old is a good age to get a companion dog. It sounds as if you have a good start because yours is sociable with other dogs. IMO keeping two dogs (if possible) is good because they have company and someone to play with. The downside is that it is double the cost and double the work (except for walking of course). If you decide to go ahead, here are some things to think about:


    Breed - it may be best to stick with the one you already know. Also, they are the same size.


    Sex - many people say that a dog and a bitch works better together but if you go for this, make sure that one of them (or both) is neutered. Personally, I have all bitches and they are fine together. I have also known people who just keep dogs (neutered) and they too are happy in each other's company.


    Cost - it will be double what it is now and the most problematic thing is the veterinary fees so do factor that in.


    If you decide to go for it, the easiest option would be to have a puppy because it will quickly learn it's place in the home. However, I have introduced older dogs into my home and that has worked too. It depends on the personality of the dogs.


    The big problem in introducing a new dog into the house is that you don't actually know how it is going to work so choose a good breeder, make sure that you take the dog on a one month trial and can return the dog if it doesn't work out.


    If you have a pup you may find that your dog will not take to it at first. You need to manage the situation carefully and in time all should be well.

  6. If it makes the dog ill (vomiting and diarrhoea being the main problem) then yes, it is clearly bad for the dog. Also, if it is eating the poo of unknown dogs it is undesirable because it might contain worms, drug waste etc. Either way, it is something that most dog owners dislike and should prevent.


    All sorts of theories are put forward, but nobody knows for sure why dogs do, or don't develop the behaviour. The behaviour modification that Chez2 mentions might work with some dogs but the ones with true coprophagia will just see it as a situation to be exploited and their speed can be amazing. Some will even loiter around the back end of their companion dogs.


    I don't know if the stool consistency makes a deal of difference - it might to some dogs. Odour is something that most dogs find attractive, hence rolling in fox poo. However, if the dog is fed on good quality food, be it raw or commercial the smell shouldn't be too strong. Poo usually smells awful when the dog is fed on poor quality dog food.

  7. Thank you for explaining about the source of the information. It rather looked as if the advice was your own and I couldn't see the reasoning behind it but was interested to know so there is no need to take offence - none was meant. It is an interesting theory and one that I haven't come across. However, I still believe that the experts that you saw on television are wrong. If a dog has coprophagia there is very little the owner can do about it other than take measures to prevent the dog from getting at the poo. Nobody knows why some dogs have the problem so it is doubly hard to treat.

  8. Someone mentioned cleaning it up immediately. This can actually cause the poo eating.

    @Chez2 - how to you work that one out? Surely if the poo is removed immediately it can't be eaten? In any case it is basic hygiene to remove the faeces as soon as it is done or at least asap. Leaving poo around the garden will not stop a dog dog with coprophagia - it will just make it available.

    If pineapple works, then fine but in most of the cases it is a waste of time and money. There is no 100% effective treatment for this condition AFAIK and if someone discovers one they will be on to a great business opportunity.

  9. Yes, a harness is the best option for you. When it comes to choosing one, have a look for a harness with a D ring on the chest piece. You may not need it but it can be used to steady the dog if he starts to pull. The Perfect Fit is an example of a harness with this arrangement. It can be used with two leads - one clipped to the chest piece, one to the usual place on the back of the harness. Alternatively it can be used with one of those leads that is double ended i.e. has two clips.

  10. Because you didn't read the other posts, you will have missed this comment by the OP: "I can't see being able to train her to walk next to me will be anytime soon, what with just trying to get her to being comfortable going at all?"


    The arrangement that you describe might be alright for a dog that is trained to walk properly. However, the OP's dog clearly needs some work doing with it. The first thing to do is to gain it's trust and then to concentrate on getting the dog to walk on the left, to heel and on a loose lead. This can only be done with a proper collar/harness and lead. Sometimes Halti collars or similar can be used and these are particularly suitable if the dog is large and a puller. Most dogs object to head collars at first but soon get used to them. As well as stopping the dog pulling, they can reduce anxiety, making the walk more pleasant for dog and owner.

  11. Flexi Leads with cord can be quite risky as they can easily cut into someone. The tape ones are better. However, as has been said a long training lead such as this one is a good option when on open ground. Not so good when in woodland as the dog can get tangled up around a tree. Of course they should never be used near a road.


    As vwkittie says, it is best to have a short lead for normal walking. Your dog sounds like it has a few problems with walking so it may be best to concentrate (initially) on getting him to walk properly in just one situation rather than confusing him. Dogs tend to fee more secure in a situation that they understand. Flexi Leads can give them too much freedom and they can 'teach' a dog to be a puller if you are not very careful.

  12. Flexi Leads usually come with a safety strap included in the pack. However, please, please do not use these leads when walking the dog on a road. If it is incorrectly locked or the ratchet breaks you could well find your dog underneath the wheel of a car. I know of a dog that was killed due to the owner using one of these on a road.


    They are fine on open ground but in this situation always team it up with a harness, never a collar because if the dog bolts it could damage it's trachea.


    The first thing to do with your dog is to spend time getting it to walk to heel on a loose lead so obtain a good strong collar and lead (or harness and lead). This could take a few weeks to perfect but it is time well spent.

  13. I think a cross between two breeds offers all good news. It decreases genetic problems and discourages further breeding. Surely when weighing your own pet's health against the 'pedigree vs mongrel' snobbery the choice should be obvious?

    Your assessment of the problems with pedigree dog breeds may be the reason why these first crosses proliferate but it is fundamentally incorrect. There is some truth in what you say, particularly in relation to the brachycephalic breeds but there are people in the world of pedigree dog breeding who seek to repair the damage that has been done although sadly, they are too few.


    With regards to the health of pedigree dogs to some extent you seem to be misinformed. My own breed is renowned as being particularly healthy. Reputable breeders of pedigree dogs know their breed inside out and will have all the necessary health checks done before breeding in order to ensure they are producing sound, healthy puppies with good temperaments. Good breeders know their lines, often five, six and more generations back. They will provide life time support. The purchaser knows exactly what they are getting, how to manage the coat, the breed characteristics, temperament, exercise and dietary needs.


    You are wrong in saying that snobbery is part of the choice in selecting a dog. In fact the snobbery is actually the reverse these days because people who buy these crosses often boast about their dog, giving it some imaginary name to indicate that it is actually a breed when in fact it is not. You only have to look at the title of this thread to see that.


    As mentioned earlier in this thread, the purchaser of first crosses often has no idea of the ancestry of their puppy. They cannot know if there was a rogue dog with a bad temperament a few generations back. Also, it is extremely unlikely that the breeders will have had health checks done. If a Labrador has a poor hip score and is mated to a Standard Poodle with bad hips, just because they are different breeds does not mean that they will not pass down the hip problem. Same with other diseases such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy.


    There is also the problem of completely different coat types. As has been mentioned earlier, very often all groomers can do is to clip the coats short which is not good for the dog. Owners are notorious for not brushing and combing their animals properly and the result is matted up coats and a dog that is in pain.


    Breed temperaments differ and with cross breeds you do not know how that will manifest itself in the offspring.


    Lastly, my concern is that (as already mentioned if you did not read it), there is no paper trail with these pups. Bitches can be mated at any age, have many litters and there are no checks in place. At least the Kennel Club registration of litters has strict requirements relating to animal welfare.


    You seem to be under the illusion that all you have to do is breed two totally dissimilar breeds and hey presto - healthy puppies. It isn't as simple as that. You take no account of welfare issues such as how and where the puppies are bred. Poor animal husbandry in the first few months of life can lead to terrible damage to the puppies and their dam. If you want the best chance of purchasing a healthy puppy, go to a reputable breeder who knows their breed and has documentary proof of having done all the health checks that are required by the Kennel Club. See the puppies with their own mother in the home in which they were bred. With pedigree breeds it will be clear that the bitch is the mother of the pups. With cross breeds it is not so obvious and the bitch could be anywhere - maybe in a puppy farm somewhere.

  14. It's understandable that you liked the pup that you saw and in these circumstances it is human nature to want one too. Sometimes it's best to stand back for a while because the desire might well fade in time.


    With the Labradoodles, because they are cross breeds the amount of moulting is variable and maybe that applies to this crossbreed too. If that is important to you then I would advise you to choose a specific, full pedigree breed because you then know what you are getting. Consider too that even if this particular cross breed doesn't moult you will probably have to give the dog a good grooming several times a week to prevent matts from forming. This will, of course quite involve a lot of hair flying about in the atmosphere and landing on carpets and furnishings unless done outside.

  15. It sounds as if you are quite keen on this particular cross breed. There are plenty of puppies for sale on the Internet and some of them are as, or more expensive than a pedigree dog - I have just seen some for £950! A full pedigree Poodle or Schnauzer with all health checks done could cost less than that. If you are determined to have one, please read up as much as you can about buying a puppy and welfare issues. Before you part with any money, be sure to to see it with it's mother and check the bitch to make sure she is the parent.


    Ask if the sire and dam have had all the relevant health checks before being bred with (you will have to check those up for each of the breeds). Also that they have been wormed and examine by the vet. Don't take a puppy until it is at least 8 weeks old.


    Remember that there is no paper trail with these cross breeds so you have no idea how many litters the bitch will have had or indeed how young she was when she was first bred from. The Kennel Club impose a limit on pedigree litter registrations but of course this doesn't exist with cross breeds.


    People who breed these types of dogs are often doing it for the money, not to further the health and welfare of their breed because they are not specifically a breed. There is also a lot of puppy farming going on with cross breeds, fuelled by the fact that there is no KC registration. Please make sure you don't contribute to the misery of these poor animals by buying a pup from such a place. Sometimes they are removed to people's homes to make it seem as if they have been bred there so you really have to do your homework and be prepared to ask a lot of searching questions.

  16. You have made a good point about the coat care. What you have in this mix is two dogs with completely different coat types, the Poodle having a single, woolly one and the Schnauzer double, wire haired. With these cross breed puppies you really don't know what the coat will turn out like and groomers can find it tricky knowing what to do with them. I am hoping that Hardwick Hounds will come into the thread because I am sure that she will be able to give you more information about this.


    With a pure bred dog you know exactly what you are getting and if you can find an experienced breeder who is knowledgeable about their breed then all the health checks will have been done. Also, they will offer advice and back up.


    With regards to cost, my understanding is that there are cross bred dogs that are as expensive, if not more than a pure bred one so you really need to do your homework. The Kennel Club is a good place to start, as is the specific breed clubs.


    You ask about a non moulting breed. Both the Poodle and the Schnauzer would be good choices. Any smooth coated breed such as the Pug, Labrador will moult but double, harsh/wire coated tend not to, as does the Poodle. However, these breeds will require some coat care - regular brushing and combing plus visits to the groomer.


    Here are some other non moulting, small breeds from the terrier group: Border Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Norfolk/Norwich Terrier, West Highland White Terrier. If you check on the Kennel Club website you will see that most breeds have associated rescue organisations and if you are minded to offer a home to such a dog, it would be worth contacting them.


    Read up and do a lot of research first. Above all, take your time - with a bit of luck you will have a healthy dog for many fulfilling years. Save up for a bit longer to get the dog of your choice. In this way you and the dog will have a happy relationship.


    There are some articles on first cross designer dogs here, here and here.

  17. What's a Schnoodle and why do you want one? If it is a cross between a Schnauzer and a Poodle, each of those breeds is lovely so why not look for a pure bred dog of one breed or the other? I don't want to lecture but please understand that there are many good reasons why you should consider a pedigree dog from a good, reputable breeder rather than a first cross or a so called 'designer dog'. There are no benefits to it at all.

  18. Don't be put off - it's an innovative idea. Sometimes people are not very forward thinking. You never know with services that are completely different - this one may just take off. A friend who owns Labradors likes to have them bathed, particularly when moulting. If she was closer she might use this service. As it is she gets Dial A Dog Wash who come to the house. As someone said earlier, it's about convenience. I would imagine that clientele for this would mainly come from the surrounding areas, within a five mile radius and maybe Worksop. Maybe it would be best to ask folk in those villages.

  19. Quote rubydo1 #5: What I do find is a lot of dog owners I know would like a pick up and drop off service for dog grooming as they don't drive.

    I agree with rubydo1, although I have nothing to back this up - just a feeling. I've taken one of mine to the groomers for the first appointment this morning. I'm getting on in years and it has been a bit of a struggle; it would have been much easier for me if the dog had been picked up and brought back. Would have been happy to pay for the service.


    It would probably not be cost effective for you to offer pick up and drop off yourself because when you are out on the road you are not grooming. If you did, I would be tempted to book an appointment. As it is, you are a bit too far away, especially as I would need to come back when the dog is finished. I take your point about the experience thing but quite honestly, I wouldn't be bothered about that. As long as my dog was being groomed properly and looked after I would be happy. Wouldn't want to sit around in a garden centre waiting for the work to be completed - would rather be in the comfort of my own home. Have you considered employing a driver?


    Perhaps the bathing service might work but I am rather sceptical because a lot of people these days just want as easy a life as possible.

  20. It is not a service that I would use either but I have a small breed that I can easily manage at home. I would imagine that you would need to clear it with your insurance company (public liability?) and do a risk assessment, especially with large breed dogs. I think that most people would just want someone else to do the job and to pay accordingly. Some people tend to prefer the easiest way with minimal effort. However, it is an interesting idea and if you get it off the ground, I hope it does well for you.

  21. It's unlikely you will get one from a local dog rescue so try one of the dedicated Westie rescue organisations (look online for them). Other small terrier rescues exist for the Border Terrier and Cairn Terrier. Little Dog Rescue would also be worth looking at.


    Alternatively, contact one of the breed clubs (search online or look at the Kennel Club website) because some of their members who breed for show sometimes let older dogs go to pet homes. This is usually because the dog has retired from the show ring and/or breeding or perhaps did not quite make the grade for showing for some minor reason. If they have not been kept in the house they will need house training but this is usually not a problem with older dogs. These dogs are well bred and often make super pets.


    If you can travel and want to help a poor dog in distress, consider trying Many Tears dog rescue. They have a lot of smaller ex breeding dogs, many of whom have had traumatic lives in puppy farms. Your experience with the Westie breed would be very useful. Also check out the rehoming page of the Dogs Trust website - you can use the drop down box to select your breed of choice.

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