Common Dog Diseases

I was doing some research for the book I’m writing and I came across some “common” dog diseases. The problem is that there were some that I had never heard of. That means that either they’re not that common or I’m not very knowledgeable on dog diseases. In either case, we will all become more knowledgeable on “common” dog diseases. Here’s a list of the diseases:

  • Canine distemper
  • Canine parvovirus
  • Canine adenovirus-2
  • Canine adenovirus-1
  • Rabies
  • Parainfluenza virus
  • Bortadella
  • Lyme disease
  • Leptospirosis
  • Canine coronavirus
  • Giardia lamblia

Probably most of you know about Rabies, Bortadella, Lyme disease and Canine distemper, but the rest of those “common” diseases aren’t that common. To down load a chart of the causes, symptoms, prognosis and treatment schedule of these diseases, click on the link below.


Canine Good Citizen® Program

All responsible dog owners should want their dogs to be good citizens. For a dog to be a good citizen means it’s well behaved in every situation. It walks on a loose leash. It lets it’s owner stop and talk to strangers without making a fuss and whether or not the stranger is walking a dog. It knows and responds to the sit, down, stay, and come commands in a correct and timely manner. And it will let a stranger handle it and hold it’s leash while the owner goes out of sight for a few minutes without whining, barking or pulling on the leash.

If your dog can do all that, she can become a AKC Certified Canine Good Citizen®. The AKC started the program in 1989. It is one of the few, if not the only program where the AKC allows non-registered mixed breed dog to participate. In order for a dog to get the certificate, the owner has to sign a pledge that she will also act as a good citizen with respect to her dog and the community. That means not only will she give her dog the appropriate care and training, but also pick up after her dog and obey the local leash laws.

After the pledge is signed, the dog has to pass a set of ten tests. These include:

  1. Accepting a friendly stranger
  2. Sitting still for petting
  3. Letting a stranger acting like a groomer brush the dog and examine the dogs ears and paws
  4. Walk on a loose leash with executing left, right, and about turns with at least one stop plus a stop at the end of the walk
  5. Walk on a loose leash through a crowd of people and dogs
  6. Do a sit stay and a down stay
  7. Come when it’s called
  8. Behave when in the company of other dogs
  9. Show no panic when items are dropped near by or runners or bicyclist pass in front of her.
  10. Allow a stranger to hold the dog by its leash while the owner goes out of sight for three minutes.

When your dog accomplishes all that, you’re given a Canine Good Citizen®. Certificate.

My thoughts are that being able to perform these ten exercises is the least your dog should be able to do. From there, training your dog to obey your commands quickly and reliably anywhere and any time will be easy. And, you should train your dog.

Train your dog to obey all your commands every time any where with this easy to follow complete training e-book. Find out how easy it really is to train your dog. Click on the link below now.

A trained dog is a happy dog and has a happy owner.

Your Dog’s Whiskers

When you look at your dog’s face, particularly around his muzzle, under his jaw and above his eyes, you will notice some long relatively thick hairs. The ones around his muzzle look like whiskers. They are the same as the long whiskers on cats. They are really not whiskers in the in the same context as the whiskers on humans. In fact, humans have nothing like them. They are sensing organs, and their real name is vibrissae.

Vibrissae are relatively long stiff hairs that are connected to very sensitive nerves. They act like levers increasing the sensitivity of the nerves they’re connected to. They give your dog the information he needs, to know where his head is with respect to his environment. They are so sensitive that they can let your dog know the direction of the slightest breeze.

Your dog’s eyes are quite good for looking at distant objects. But his close up vision is poor. He uses the vibrissae to help “see” close up objects such as his food when he’s eating. They help field dogs from getting hit in their face with branches when they run through the brush. And, when you dog gets old and his near vision gets really poor, they help keep him from bumping into things, like walls.

The problem comes about when groomers, either professionals or the owners themselves, cut them off to make their dog look neater. When they do this, not only is it painful to the dog, but they’re literally amputating an organ. The dog actually loses one of his senses. Fortunately, they do grow back.

There have been reports that field dogs who had their vibrissae cut off when groomed for a dog show, came back from field trials with cuts and scratches all over their faces. When the dogs were no longer shown, and the vibrissae were allowed to grow back, there were no longer scratches or cuts on their faces after the fieldwork.

So next time you take your dog to a groomer, tell the groomer to leave your dog’s whiskers alone. And make sure you don’t cut your dog’s whiskers either. Your dog will be much happier for it.

Your New Puppy

Here is an article by J Ellis that should be required reading by anyone who has a new puppy.  Please let me hear your comments.

By J. Ellis – Southern Shadows Rottweilers

I am your Puppy, and I will love you until the end of the Earth, but please know a few things about me.

I am a Puppy, this means that my intelligence and capacity for learning are the same as an 8-month-old child.

I am a Puppy; I will chew EVERYTHING I can get my teeth on. This is how I explore and learn about the world.

Even HUMAN children put things in their mouths. It’s up to you to guide me to what is mine to chew and what is not.

I am a Puppy; I cannot hold my bladder for longer than 1 – 2 hours. I cannot “feel” that I need to poop until it is actually beginning to come out. I cannot vocalize nor tell you that I need to go, and I cannot have “bladder and bowel control” until 6 – 9 months. Do not punish me if you have not let me out for 3 hours and I tinkle. It is your fault. As a Puppy, it is wise to remember that I NEED to go potty after: Eating, Sleeping, playing, Drinking and around every 2 – 3 hours in addition. If you want me to sleep through the night, then do not give me water after 7 or 8 p.m. A crate will help me learn to housebreak easier, and will avoid you being mad at me. I am a Puppy, accidents WILL happen, please be patient with me! In time I will learn.

I am a Puppy, I like to play. I will run around, and chase imaginary monsters, and chase your feet and your toes and ‘attack’ you, and chase fuzzballs, other pets, and small kids. It is play; it’s what I do. Do not be mad at me or expect me to be sedate, mellow and sleep all day. If my high energy level is too much for you, maybe you could consider an older rescue from a shelter or Rescue group. My play is beneficial, use your wisdom to guide me in my play with appropriate toys, and activities like chasing a rolling ball, or gentle tug games, or plenty of chew toys for me. If I nip you too hard, talk to me in “dog talk”, by giving a loud YELP, I will usually get the message, as this is how dogs communicate with one another. If I get too rough, simply ignore me for a few moments, or put me in my crate with an appropriate chew toy.

I am a Puppy; hopefully you would not yell, hit, strike, kick or beat a 6-month-old human infant, so please do not do the same to me. I am delicate, and also very impressionable. If you treat me harshly now, I will grow up learning to fear being hit, spanked, kicked or beat. Instead, please guide me with encouragement and wisdom. For instance, if I am chewing something wrong, say, “No chew!” and hand me a toy I CAN chew. Better yet, pick up ANYTHING that you do not want me to get into. I can’t tell the difference between your old sock and your new sock, or an old sneaker and your $200 Nikes.

I am a Puppy, and I am a creature with feelings and drives much like your own, but yet also very different. Although I am NOT a human in a dog suit, neither am I an unfeeling robot who can instantly obey your every whim. I truly DO want to please you, and be a part of your family, and your life. You got me (I hope) because you want a loving partner and companion, so do not relegate me to the backyard when I get bigger, do not judge me harshly but instead mold me with gentleness and guidelines and training into the kind of family member you want me to be.

I am a Puppy and I am not perfect, and I know you are not perfect either. I love you anyway. So please, learn all you can about training, and puppy behaviors and caring for me from your Veterinarian, books on dog care and even researching on the computer! Learn about my particular breed and it’s “characteristics”, it will give you understanding and insight into WHY I do all the things I do. Please teach me with love, patience, the right way to behave and socialize me with training in a puppy class or obedience class, we will BOTH have a lot of fun together.

I am a Puppy and I want more than anything to love you, to be with you, and to please you. Won’t you please take time to understand how I work? We are the same you and I, in that we both feel hunger, pain, thirst, discomfort, fear, but yet we are also very different and must work to understand one another’s language, body signals, wants and needs. Some day I will be a handsome dog, hopefully one you can be proud of and one that you will love as much as I love you.


Your Puppy
May be posted, reposted, cross-posted and used with permission as long as credit is given.
Copyright 2000, by J. Ellis – Southern Shadows Rottweilers.

Are Dogs Really Color Blind

There is a common misconception that dogs are colorblind and only see in various shades of gray. This is not true. Dogs can see different colors, but not like humans. In the human retina there are two different kinds of photoreceptors called rods and cones. The cones are the ones that respond to color.

The human retina has three different types of cones with each type responding more or less to blue, green or orange. Thus, with the interaction of the three types of cones, humans can see a complete rainbow of colors from violet through green and yellow to red.

Dogs only have two types of cones. One is like the human blue responding cone, and the other responds to yellow. This means that dogs don’t see red; that is a red object looks dark gray or black to a dog. Since dogs don’t have a green or orange responding cone, but have a yellow responding cone, both green and orange look like yellow. This means that if you throw an orange ball on a grassy area, for your dog to retrieve, it has the same yellow color to it that the green grass does, and is hard for the dog to find even though the ball stands out like a beacon to the humans.

To summarize, dogs aren’t colorblind. They just don’t see colors like humans do.  And don’t get an orange ball for your dog to play with on your lawn. Get a black or blue one. Obviously, the designer of the orange ball was more interested in it being visible to the human than to the dog.

A trained dog is a happy dog and has a happy owner.

For information on how to train your dog, go to

The Three Secrets To Dog Training

There are only three dog training secrets that you have to know and must use to be able to train your dog. By training, I mean teaching your dog to immediately do what you tell him to do and to not do actions that you teach him are forbidden.

The key words here are “Have To Know ” and “must use”. If any one of these secrets are not known or not used, either it will take you a very long time to train your dog or your dog will never be very well trained.

The three dog training secrets are:  Timing, Motivation, and Consistency


Your dog associates anything you do or say  to the action he has done for no more than 10 to 15 seconds after he has done it. That means that if you give your dog either praise or a treat (reward) or a correction 20 seconds after he did or didn’t obey your command, he does not know why he is getting the praise or the correction. That confuses the dog. The secret of timing to dog training is to reward or correct your dog within 10 seconds of the action. For puppies, it should be 5 to 8 seconds. Ideally, the reward or correction should be immediate. That means that when you’re training your dog you are prepared to reward or correct your dog as soon as your dog responds – or doesn’t – to your command. When you tell your dog to sit, you reward him as soon as he sits. You give  him a correction within 3 to 4 seconds after your command if he hasn’t started to sit.


The motivation dog training secret has two parts. The first part is that your dog needs physical motivation to obey your commands. Of course, your dog must be shown what it is you want him to do.  He’s not going to do it just because he likes you or because you’re the one who feeds him. He’s going to do it because he wants the reward and doesn’t want the correction. The correction can be a quick pull and release (a jerk) on the leash that’s attached to the dog’s training collar or it can be physically making your dog do what you told him to do. The training collar should be either a slip (choke) collar, a pinch (prong) collar or a martingale (no slip) collar . An e-collar can also be used, but I don’t recommend it . The strength of the correction has to be just sufficient to get your dog’s attention. If he ignores the correction, it’s obviously not strong enough. You should not have to give him more than three or four corrections before he understands what it is you want him to do. The second part of the motivation dog training secret is the immediate reward that you must give your dog when she obeys your command. The reward can be lavish praise or a treat or both. If your praise is lavish and timely, you will be on your way to having a happy well trained dog.


The consistency dog training secret is that every time your dog is given a command, he must obey that command. If you give him a command and you let him not obey it, for whatever reason, you are telling your dog that he doesn’t always have do what you say. If that happens, your training is significantly set back because you now have to teach your dog that he does have to always do what you say. He will be testing you for awhile. The same is true for negative behavior. If you are training your dog to not jump up on guests when they come in the door, and you let him get away with doing that once, without a timely correction, you have just set that training back also. There are no ifs,  ands, or buts. Your dog must do what you tell him to do every time you tell him with no exception.

These three secrets alone are not enough to train your dog. You have to know how to use these secrets. Your dog doesn’t know your language. You have to teach your dog what your commands mean in whatever language you use. To find out how to use the three dog training secrets to train your dog go to:

Scent Sensing Dogs

We humans have the tendency to think that our dogs see the world the same way that we do. This is not so. We see the world primarily through our sense of sight. Although some dogs have better peripheral vision than humans, and some dogs can detect motion at further distances than humans, dog’s eyes, in general, are not as good as human’s eyes. They don’t see detail as clearly as humans do and they can’t see all of the various shades and colors that humans can. In short, dogs, including sight hounds, don’t use their eyes to “see” the world. They use their noses. They have scent sensing organs in their noses that humans don’t have. A significantly larger portion of their brain is dedicated to scent sensing and scent discrimination than in humans.

Most of us know that dogs can be trained to detect drugs, explosives, and many other substances as well as detect scents and follow scent trails of both humans and other animals. What most of us don’t realize is that they can determine who past by the area where they’re sniffing, whether it was another animal or a human, whether it was well or sick, and, in the case of females, whether they are ovulating or not when they passed by.

By knowing how sensitive dogs scent sensing is and how they can discriminate among hundreds, if not thousands, of different scents, dogs can be trained to help humans in a myriad of tasks that humans are incapable of performing. And dog training is what we are all about. We’re not into specialty training, at least not yet. But we are into obedience training and dog problem solving – what some people call dog behavior modification.

For information about dog training or solving a problem you may have with your dog, go to:

Discrimination Against Pit Bulls

Discrimination Against Pit Bulls

Although there have been a lot of news items about pit bulls, the pit bull is not really a breed of dog, but a type of dog. The dogs fall into the Molosser Breed Group. Dogs of the pit bull type are sometimes referred to as bully dogs. They include:

American Pit Bull Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier

Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Miniature Bull Terrier

American Bull Dog

There are provinces in Canada and states in the US that ban bully dogs. Cesar Millan, a renowned dog trainer was not allowed to use his pit bull, Junior, to perform a demonstration of dog training in Ontario, Canada because Ontario bans all bully dogs. The province of  Manitoba also bans all bully dogs. Cities in Colorado, including Denver and Aurora, ban bully dogs. In some cases the law is worded such that it bans any dog that looks like a pit bull or pit bull mix. There are no provisions for dogs that have been trained as therapy dogs or service dogs for the disabled.

The laws are obviously written by people who are ignorant about dogs and don’t know why some dogs are more aggressive than others.  The politicians, who obviously know little about dogs, have had a “knee jerk” reaction to reports about people or other dogs being attacked by “pit bulls”.

One problem is that an incident involving a bully dog is much more news worthy to the news media than an incident involving a Chihuahua. This puts the bully dog constantly in a bad light.

The main problem is that no one apparently cares about finding out why the person or dog was attacked. Was the dog provoked by the bite victim? Was the dog left tied up with no human contact except the person that gave it food and water?  Was the dog trained to be an attack dog? Was the dog ever socialized? Was the dog ever trained?

Rather than punish the dog, the owner should be punished. As Barbara Woodhouse, an English dog trainer wrote in her book  “No bad dogs: The Woodhouse Way”, “There is no such thing as a difficult dog, only an inexperienced owner”. Dog owners should be educated on how to be a responsible dog owner. Part of that education should include learning how their dog thinks, and learning how to train and socialize their dog.

Killing all dogs that look like pit bulls or pit bull mixes, as is suggested in the laws banning bully dogs, is not the answer. But educating the public, including the news media, is a good start toward the answer.

A trained dog is a happy dog and has a happy owner.

For information on how to train and socialize your dog go to:

What Training Your Dog Can Do For Your Dog – And For You

There are a lot of different reasons why people train their dogs. Some people do it for competition. Some people do it because it’s fun and rewarding. And some people do it because it’s the one thing responsible dog owners should do.

Training your dog does not have to take a lot of your time. You don’t have to have your dog perform perfectly as he would have to do in competition. And you only have to train him to obey the commands that are important to you and that will simplify your life.

There are five basic commands that are usually taught in dog training classes. Each one normally builds on the previous one. The five are:

1.    Heel – Your dog walks on a loose leash (or no leash) at your  left side with his head close to your left leg. He starts from a sitting position, and when you stop, your dog sits. The command is “Fido Heel” where “Fido” is the dog’s name.

2.    Sit – No matter what your dog is doing, when you say “Fido Sit“, your dog sits.

3.    Down – No matter what the dog is doing, when you say “Fido down” your dog  lies down.

4.    Come – No matter what your dog is doing when you say “Fido Come” your dog comes to you and sits in front of you.

5.    Stay – When you say “Stay“, your dog stays in the position he was in when you give the command. If your dog was moving, he stops moving but remains standing. If he was sitting, he remains sitting and if he was lying down, he remains in that position. There are some dog trainers who don’t use the “stay” command. Their philosophy is that if you give your dog the “Sit” command, the dog doesn’t move until you release him from that command. In that case, the fifth command would be “Free” which releases the dog from the previous command.

Once you train your dog to obey these five commands, you can then solve almost every bad behavior problem your dog might develop.

For example, if you have to hold your dog so that he won’t run out of your house when a guest comes or goes. All you have to do say “Fido, Sit Stay“. Your dog sits and stays sitting while your guest either comes in or goes out.

If your dog has a habit of jumping up at people, you just have to say “Fido Sit” and your dog sits. He can’t jump up if he’s sitting.

For more information on training your dog, go to:

A trained dog is a happy dog and has a happy owner

How Dogs Think

How Dogs Think

In order to train your dog properly, you should really understand how your dog thinks. It is sometimes difficult to remember that a dog is not a child. A lot of people treat their dogs as though they were their children. This is
not really bad as long as they know that they are not children, they don’t think like children, they don’t learn like children, they don’t react like children, and you can’t reason with them like you can with children. Children, as well as adults, understand the concept of “yesterday” and “tomorrow”. Dogs live only in the present. They remember previous experiences, but don’t have the concept of when that experience occurred. They have no concept of “tomorrow”. They do know that if they perform in certain way, there will be an expected result. There are few similarities between dogs and children. And, to train a dog, you have to realize that you’re training a dog, not a child. That means that you have to understand how a dog thinks, and be able to think like a dog.

Dogs don’t think in a language. They think in images. They don’t understand a language.  But you can teach them to react to words. They don’t understand what the word means, as a child would, but they can be taught to react to the sound of a word.  So, you can teach a dog to sit when you say “sit”. The dog doesn’t really know what the word means. But he knows that when he hears “sit” he’s supposed to sit down ( if he’s trained properly).  He doesn’t understand sentences or the meaning of them. So, if you say “Don’t sit down here.” he hears the word “sit” and he sits down.

Since your dog lives and thinks only in the present, he doesn’t understand the concept of “don’t do something”. If you say “don’t sit” he sits because he doesn’t understand what “don’t” means. You can, however, teach him that “No” or “don’t” or any other word that you want to use to make him stop doing what he is doing or what he is starting to do.

These are some of the things to remember when you train your dog and when you talk to your dog the same way you talk to a child.

A trained dog is a happy dog and has a happy owner

For more information on how to train your dog go to

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