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Posts tagged with: pets

How to Raise the Perfect Puppy


Choosing a family dog can be a tough decision when you realize how many different dog types and breeds that have proliferated over thousands of years.  This wide variety gives you plenty to research – unless you already have the pet of your dreams in mind – when you decide to adopt a new puppy. Here are considerations to help you find and raise the perfect pet.

Purpose of a Pet

Some people want playful dogs to add excitement to their lives, while others simply have a natural ability to communicate with animals. There are many other reasons to own a pet, but whatever your reason is, you must take responsibility to ensure not only the dog’s safety, but the safety of others, especially children. Even if you decide to raise a “watch dog,” you need to create a friendly environment for your dog so that they treat guests kindly.

Once you determine the reason for having a pet, your next move should be to explore animal shelters. It may help to make a list and call it something like “kennels and their puppies for sale near me.” This type of list can help you save time and money, as you accelerate your research on dog availability and prices. Be sure to ask yourself if you are in a good financial position to provide food, medical and other care for the dog.

Decide Your Puppy Type and Breed

Some dogs are pure breeds, while others are cross-breeds or mixed breeds. Today there are 339 pure dog breeds recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI), also known as the World Canine Organization. These breeds are divided into the following 10 groups, based on purpose, appearance or size:

  1. Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (besides Swiss Cattle/Herding Dogs)
  2. Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossid, Swiss Mountain/Cattle Dogs
  3. Terriers
  4. Daschunds
  5. Spitz and Primitive Types
  6. Scenthounds and similar breeds
  7. Pointers and Setters
  8. Retrievers
  9. Companion/Toy Dogs
  10. Sighthounds

These 10 breeds are further divided into subgroups based on geographic origin, where there is usually a breed organization for the dog. Certain countries are responsible for creating specific dog breeds, but sometimes country names of dogs are inconsistent with where the breed originated. So try to educate yourself on your breed selection to develop a better understanding of your dog. Here is a partial list of popular puppies:

  • Boston Terrier
  • Cavachon
  • Dachshunds
  • Havanese
  • Lhasa-Poo
  • Maltese
  • Morkies
  • Poo-chon
  • Shih Tzu
  • Shorkies
  • Yochon
  • Yorkies

Training Your Puppy

You will probably want your puppy to an upbeat lifestyle, since that’s one of the main attractions to dogs. But keep in mind dogs can be very messy animals, so if you have expensive items to protect, such as carpet, rugs and furniture, it pays to train your dog to adapt to people world. The major keys to successful dog training are consistency, patience and positive reinforcement.

Usually it takes at least four to six months to house train a puppy, but for some dogs it may take twice as long. Previous living conditions and bladder size are key factors that will help you predict the time frame for proper training. Small bladders mean more frequent “bathroom” or outdoor elimination experiences. Offering rewards such as treats for good behavior help speed up the learning curve. Here are essential house training steps:

  1. confine the dog to a space, such as a room or crate
  2. give the puppy more freedom as he or she learns proper elimination
  3. develop a regular feeding schedule
  4. restrict access to food between meals
  5. take the dog to a designated elimination site after waking up, throughout the day and before sleep

It’s best to avoid punishing your dog if he or she has an “accident” because then they develop fear of their master. Clapping loudly followed by taking the dog to the “bathroom” area is a more effective alternative. Once again, treats are a great form of positive reinforcement.

When it comes to animals, there is such a thing as perfect pets. A perfect pet is the one that brings you, your family and visitors happiness without hassles. Find a kennel that offers the puppy you desire then give your pet the attention and care it needs – along with rewards – to establish a great relationship.

It’s Good to Be Back


I’m so excited to be writing here again. I was shocked when Ashley’s post mentioned we had been writing here for 3 1/2 years now (we started the same week.) I feel like I need to go back and re-read where I’ve been sometime soon to prove how far I’ve come. Just a recap of what comes to mind:

  • We lost our home and moved into a tiny apartment.

    Not sure what we would do without board games. Between work, gymnastics training and school, board games keep us sane!

  • We sold our giant van.
  • We lived survived and thrived living in 900 square feet with all five of us and our 4 animals.
  • I lost my primary source of income.
  • We spent 9 months ‘glamping’ when I could no longer afford our apartment. I’m grateful for the gift, it kept us from becoming truly homeless or spending a single night in a shelter.
  • We had to say good-bye to all our animals in one way or another, but enjoyed raising chickens while we were glamping.
  • We moved to another state earlier this year and in with my grandmother.
  • I got a great new job.
  • I continue to work 2 part time jobs and a variety of odd jobs.
  • We rented our very own home in Georgia, leaving one of the twins in Virginia, and now we each have our own bedroom after 3 years of tiny living.
  • For the first time in a LONG time, we are not living paycheck to paycheck.  But I still have a long way to go in learning to make better money choices and becoming truly debt free.
  • And this is where we begin today.

So much has happened during my life on BAD. I can’t wait to see where we go next. I write this as Irma rages outside. I was so grateful to be able to work from home today and tomorrow while she moves on through. We’ve had some limbs fall on the roof, one took out our backside neighbors brand new fence. We will wander out when it’s over and see the damage, but for now I’m just grateful for a cozy home.

I’ve made some terrible financial decisions lately. And it’s huge for me to be able to just say that. I even said as must out loud to a friend this past weekend when we went out for chips and dip. Thinking with my heart instead of my head. More on those coming soon. But I definitely recognize that I have a problem.

Debating Necessity…


Thanks to the early onset of darkness, I haven’t been able to take the dogs running after work. They go a little stir crazy during the week so I try to take them out for several hours on the weekend.

Trouble has started to present itself on the hydration front. There are no water sources on the trails or in the parks.

Unfortunately, I’m limited on how much I can carry. Once I mix in my necessities (granola bar, house keys, and shimmer lip gloss), my hands are full. I’d carry a backpack but I get quickly overheated – and if you’ve ever run with a backpack, you know how awful it feels.

Instead, I hike or run a little, walk back to my house, drink water, and head out again. I figured it was something I’d have to live with. But then, while out on a trail, a girl ran past me with a water bottle belt with tiny little pockets for necessities.

I never dreamed I’d be ogling a glorified fanny pack.

I went to the sports store and found one just like it… for $19.99. It’s not a life changing amount – unless you’re dealing with unemployment. That $19.99 would look better as four meals than an optional piece of sports equipment.

I debated with myself for a good half hour then finally, the accountant in me won the battle and I left empty handed. As I kissed my runners fanny pack goodbye, I promised I’d be back as soon as my husband was gainfully employed.

In the mean time, I will stick close to home or… duct tape a water bottle to my arm.