The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes 50 unique rabbit breeds, but there are over 300 breeds currently in the world – so how do you decide which bunny should become a part of your family? Keeping rabbits as pets can be so rewarding, as they are smart, affectionate, and make good companions without requiring much in return. However, not all rabbits are bred for the role of house pets – there are simply some breeds more suited than others, thanks to their great personalities and ease of care. Read on to see which 10 breeds make our list of best pet rabbits out there and find your new friend!
In a landmark ruling for dog breeding, a Norwegian court has essentially banned the breeding of two common flat-faced dog breeds due to issues with their propensity for brachycephalic issues. An Oslo District Court ruled that breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and English Bulldogs was a breach of Norway’s animal welfare legislation due to the possibility of health issues with their flat faces. The ruling maintains that any purposed reproduction could be outcrossed with a different, non-flat-faced breed. The ruling was well-received by animal welfare groups across the globe. The Norwegian Society for the Protection of Animals (NSPA) brought the suit up, as they oppose the breeding of animals that have congenital health issues. The flattened face features of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and English Bulldogs can lead to brachycephalic issues for dogs. Dr. Åshild Roaldset is the Chief Executive of the NSPA. He said that the breeding of these animals is a systematic and organized betrayal of dogs, our four-legged friends. The ruling now makes that betrayal a crime. The Norwegian Kennel Club opposed the NSPA’s lawsuit and said it was disappointed and surprised about the ruling. Tom Øystein Martinsen is the club chairman and he said that it was bad for animal welfare, as irresponsible people will take the market over and produce dogs that have no form of regulation. As such, the club is considering an appeal to the ruling. Brachycephaly is not just limited to English Bulldogs or Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Over a dozen breeds, including pugs and Boston terriers, suffer from similar issues. Cats, rabbits and horses can also struggle with brachycephalic issues–some of which include difficulty breathing and reproducing, as well as dental, skin and eye problems. But, the NSPA chose to limit their concern to the two specific breeds in that doing so would provide a strong legal precedent for discontinuing breeding of other brachycephalic breeds in Norway. Their goal was to offer a legal framework for the humane treatment of those breeds. They’re still working on what the judgment means for those other breeds, however, as the court stated that it could possibly have consequences for other breeds like the pug and French bulldog. Advocates of the ruling believe this may have long-lasting impact around the globe. There may also be implications for imports as currently six dog breeds (including American Staffordshire Terriers and Pit Bull Terriers) are not allowed to be imported to Norway (as they’re considered dangerous) and this ruling may carry over into that mentality as well. In 2019, the Dutch Kennel Club was the first to end the registration of 12 flat-faced breeds. These include English bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Boston Terriers and pugs. In that ruling, kennel clubs all over the country voiced their concerns and dismay.
Keeping your pet fit and at an optimal weight is essential for their overall wellbeing. Sometimes, even a few extra pounds on your four-legged besties can lead to health issues that might affect their quality of life. Unfortunately, a large number of pets are struggling with excess weight and finding a good balance between an active lifestyle and a healthy diet remains a problem for pet parents as much for their best friends. How Common Is Pet Obesity and Why It’s a Big Problem Pet obesity is a serious issue that’s affecting more and more cats and dogs each day – according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s data for 2018, around 59.5% of cats and 55.8% of dogs were classified as overweight or obese. These days, matters seem to be getting worse. According to a new survey from Hill’s Pet Nutrition, conducted in partnership with Kelton Global, it seems that the pandemic is only fueling obesity in pets. A third of the pet parents that participated in the survey said that their pets have gained weight since the pandemic started, which suggests a significant increase in the overall percentage of overweight pets in the United States. How To Tell If My Pet Is Overweight and How to Help Them A pet is considered overweight or obese when their body weight is 30% heavier than expected for their breed, size, and age. Of course, this is not the only way to determine if your pet is overweight – you can determine this visually, as well. Overweight dogs have a belly as wide or wider than their chest (you usually can’t see their waist when looking at them from above), you can’t feel their ribs easily when touching their sides, and they usually act more lethargic than usual as excess weight is slowing them down. But even if your dog did put on a few pounds, there’s a way to help them get back on the right track. The best way to do so is to combine a healthy, active lifestyle with a balanced diet and appropriate portions. While chronic overfeeding is the main culprit behind many pets’ obesity issues, a lot of it has to do with the choice of food as well. For overweight dogs, you may want to consult with your veterinarian to develop a weight loss plan for your pet. Most of the time the solution will include plenty of exercise daily and feeding a weight-management diet. When it comes to weight-management foods, Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight line of pet food for overweight pets really stands out from the competition because it has been clinically tested with impressive conclusions – over 70% of dogs that were fed this formula lost weight within 10 weeks. Made with natural ingredients, this weight management dog food will support muscle maintenance and help your pet maintain a healthy weight throughout their life. And, for our readers, we have a special offer: Shoppers can save $5 off any bag of Hill’s Science Diet weight foods (Science Diet Perfect Weight and Science Diet Light) from January to March with in-store coupons (limited quantities available) or on PetSmart.com (Valid until 3/19).
Sweet, smart, and ready to be pampered, this pooch is looking for a family to love and cherish him forever! Our Adoptable Dog of the Week is Shiloh, a 2 years old Shiba Inu and Shepherd mix from Ballston Spa, New York. This handsome fella is neutered, current on his vaccines, and knows basic commands. Shiloh does well with larger dogs but needs a home without small animals or children in the family. Shiloh’s TaleThis gentle-hearted, charming pooch will steal your heart if you give him a chance! While initially a bit shy, especially around men, Shiloh turns into the sweetest, cuddliest guy as soon as he warms up to you. He will happily snuggle with you on the couch and lazily nap while you watch Netflix, but if you’re in the mood for hiking and exploring nature – he’ll be up for that, too. He’s really well balanced and will make a great companion to an active owner or a person that’s not too big on daily hikes or long walks, but wants a buddy to motivate them to ramp up that step count.A smart cookie, Shiloh already knows sit, down, stay, and come, and since he’s very treat-motivated, he might learn a few more tricks to flaunt if you’re willing to bribe him with yummies. He’s also very well-behaved on the leash and loves going on walks. When it comes to potential four-legged siblings, Shiloh does well with dogs his size or larger but doesn’t get along with cats or small breed dogs – or any other small animal, for that matter. Shiloh needs a quiet, peaceful environment to thrive and feel at ease, so he’d do best in a home without any children in the family. If you’re interested in learning more about Shiloh or how you could be the one to adopt him, contact Saratoga County Animal Shelter for more information.
Who could possibly resist this adorable face? We know we can’t, that’s for sure! Our Adoptable Dog of the Week is River, a 5 year old Miniature Schnauzer mix from Bloomington, Illinois. She has been spayed, microchipped, vaccinated, heartworm checked, and dewormed. River is looking for a home without kids, cats, or other dogs. River’s Tale This cute little bundle of fur weighs only 14 pounds and her ideal owner would be a homebody who is looking for a lapdog to love. She would do best in a home with a single owner or a couple set on spoiling a pooch like their furbaby. River is not good around strangers and would need a family that doesn’t have visitors often – as when they do, River must be in another room. She can also be a bit of a barker, so might not be the best pet for an apartment building where neighbors could complain. Even so, River is a sweet soul that will return all your affection tenfold. She is sweet and cuddly and will love nothing more than to spend time with you. A true tiny lapdog, this gal will fit right in your lap and won’t want to leave it! A perfect dog for people that want a cuddle bug and a velcro pooch by their side. A companion that will share all their adventures with them and be their four-legged bestie for years to come. River needs a home without children, cats, or other dogs and preferably a low-traffic home at that. If River, with her quirks and her charms, sounds like she would fit in perfectly with your lifestyle, contact Wish Bone Canine Rescue for more information about her and the adoption process. Fingers crossed – she’s a special pooch that deserves special people to love and cherish her.
Tall, handsome, and loyal? Where do I sign? Our Adoptable Dog of the Week is Magoo, a 4 years old Great Dane from Salem, Oregon. This gorgeous guy is neutered, and his adoption fee also covers a microchip, vaccinations, and deworming, as well as some goodies such as a collar and leash, and a pet insurance trial. Magoo is good with smaller dogs, but big breeds can make him nervous. He hasn’t been tested around cats or children while in the shelter.Magoo’s TaleIf you want a pooch with a regal look and gentlemanly manners, Magoo is your guy. He does take a while to warm up to new people, but once he’s relaxed around you, he’ll show his affectionate, snuggly side. He’s a big dog with an even bigger heart! If you’re offering treats, all the better – he’ll take them slowly like the gentleman he is and you’ll earn a few points with him. Magoo is a giant breed dog and weighs 109 pounds, so he needs an experienced handler – he’s leash trained, but he can pull from time to time, and you have to be sure you can handle a big pooch like him tugging on the leash.Magoo gets along fine with smaller dogs and wouldn't mind sharing his new home with a petite canine roommate, but he can be a bit nervous around larger dogs, so if you already have a big breed, they might not be a perfect match. As he was picked up as a stray before being brought to the shelter, his rescuers don’t know how he gets along with children or cats, as he hasn’t had a chance to spend time around either. If Magoo sounds like the perfect fit for your family and lifestyle, contact Willamette Humane Society to learn more about him and the adoption process.
With a smile like that, this gal could win anyone over! Our Adoptable Dog of the Week is Sienna, a 4 years old American Pit Bull Terrier and American Bulldog mix from Austin, Texas. This sweet pooch is spayed, up to date on her shots, and housetrained. Sienna gets along with other dogs, but needs a family without young children. Sienna’s Tale It’s been a bumpy road for Sienna in her short life, but she’s hoping her luck will take a turn for the better and she’ll get the happily fur-ever after she deserves! Sweet, loving, and exuberant, this is one energetic gal that will brighten your every day. She loves going to the river for playing and a quick swim, walks, hikes, toys, treats, but most of all – her people. She thrives off of attention and affection and would love someone to treat her like the princess she is. Ideally, her adopters would be an active couple, single, or a family. Sienna didn’t have much stability and consistency in her life and would benefit from an experienced adopter who could show her the ropes and work with her a bit on basic training. While housetrained, she’s still got a way to go – luckily, she’s smart and willing to learn, so it should be a breeze if you have previous experience with dogs. She is a kind soul and does well with other dogs that have similar personalities, but hasn’t been tested around cats. Due to her size and energy levels, she requires a home without young children in the family. If you think that Sienna would fit in perfectly with your family and lifestyle, contact Final Frontier Rescue Project for more information about her and the adoption process. Fingers crossed – she’s one dreamboat of a pooch!
This little love bug is looking for someone to give her the happy ending she deserves! Our Adoptable Dog of the Week is Chloe, a five years old Yorkshire Terrier mix from Waxhaw, North Carolina. She is spayed, housetrained, up to date on her vaccines, and microchipped. Chloe is a big-hearted girl that does well with other dogs and cats and loves being around kids. Chloe’s TaleThis tiny girl weighs only 8 pounds even though she’s fully grown – but even though she’s petite, she has a big personality and an even bigger heart. Chloe is very affectionate and would love nothing more than to be adopted by a family who will hang out with her, hold her and give her all the attention she craves! She will always want to be near you, even more so if you’re up for some belly rubs. Ideally, her new owner(s) would work from home or at least spend plenty of time with her – maybe a retiree looking for a loving companion in their golden years? Chloe also loves going on morning walks, so this might be a perfect opportunity to establish some healthy habits!Chloe’s sweetness isn’t reserved for her people alone – she’ll quickly warm up to anyone that treats her kindly and tends to get along with other pets, too, both cats and dogs, as long as they have a similar friendly disposition. She’d do well in a family with kids, too, as long as the children are respectful and are aware that they shouldn’t pick her up as she’s fragile due to her tiny size.If this little lady has stolen your heart, contact Carolina PAWS - Pet Adoption and Welfare Society to learn more about her and the adoption process. Fingers crossed – whoever gets to share their life with Chloe can count themselves lucky!
Unique and cute, this handsome fella is looking for a furever home! Our Adoptable Dog of the Week is Ace, a 2 years old Irish Wolfhound mix from Gig Harbor, Washington. He is neutered, up to date on his vaccines, and microchipped – he is also potty trained, knows basic commands, and does well in a kennel. Ace gets along with most other dogs, but due to his size and energy levels, he’d do best as an only pet in an adult-only household. Ace’s Tale Through no fault of his own, Ace was abandoned by his previous owners and is looking for a second chance at his happily ever after. This big shaggy boy is a sweet, energetic, and friendly pooch that will brighten your life – he loves swimming at the beach, going on walks, and making friends at the doggy park. If you are an active person looking for a four-legged companion on your adventures, look no more! He’s a bit shy at first, but as soon as he warms up to you, he’s the sweetest. An affectionate and fiercely loyal pooch, Ace would do best in a household where there’s someone always around or where he could go to doggy daycare when you’re at work, as he doesn’t like being left alone for too long. He is friendly and gets along with other dogs, but due to his size and energy, he might not be a match for your pet – a prior meet would be the best. For similar reasons, he needs to go into a family where there are no small children he could inadvertently knock over during playtime. Ace is potty trained, walks well on a leash, knows basic commands, and does well in a kennel. If you think Ace sounds like a catch, contact Wet Noses Foster Paws to learn more about him and the adoption process.
While most pet rabbits are meant to be kept indoors, there are a few rabbit breeds that are hardy enough to be housed outdoors. You might have an allergy, your dog doesn’t get along with your new pet, there’s not enough space in your home or something else entirely that makes it difficult to keep an indoor rabbit. Luckily, there are many hardy, adaptable bunnies that will not be endangered by living outside – provided that you take care of all their needs and make them appropriate outdoor housing. This will make sure that your rabbit is safe and happy while living in an outdoor enclosure, as the smallest mistakes (e.g. unsecured habitat) can cost your pet their health or even their life. But before we go over caring for an outdoor rabbit, let’s start with the best outdoor rabbit breeds so you can better choose your new companion.
Typically, we think of a soldier returning from an active war zone or an individual who has experienced a dramatically destabilizing event/s. But while these instances would understandably generate a temporary fight-or-flight instinct toward self-preservation, with PTSD, that fearful response never ends. It’s a psychiatric disorder that causes the individual to remain in a constant state of high alert for potential threats, and to move through life hobbled by relentless anxiety.But did you know that dogs that have comes through similarly traumatic situations can also suffer from PTSD?Causes of PTSD in DogsJust like with humans, this behavior is not down to a dog’s individual character or to a breed that is naturally stress-sensitive. It’s caused by situations traumatic to the individual dog that can be as simple as a relinquishment by their family for re-homing or the loss of companionship following the death of a pet parent.More obvious triggers can include:- Emotional abuse through a puppy mill or animal hoarding- Extreme violence including dogfighting- Chronic physical abuse- Active duty in a war zoneOr singular instances such as:- Exposure to a natural disaster – hurricane, tornado, fire, and flooding- Involvement in a serious accident – a fall down stairs or from a height, a motor vehicle crash or other unexpected incident Related content: - Big Bang Therapy – How to Keep Your Dog Calm During FireworksRecognizing the Signs of PTSD in DogsTo effectively treat your dog’s PTSD, you need to recognize the signs, identify the cause and be able to distinguish this behavior from other situational reactions. For example, dogs that suffer from separation anxiety will often adopt destructive behaviors such as chewing, urinating, pooping or barking when you leave the house. Dogs that are fearful of loud sounds may begin to cower and hide long before that thunderstorm rolls through. The trick is to separate these more common behaviors and reactions from those caused by PTSD. And that’s where you as the pet parent, enter the picture.Your vet is going to need as much information as possible about your pooch’s history and will want you to start taking notes about what seems to trigger his fearful actions. What are you looking for?If your pet has been in the family for a while, look for changes in behavior. A sudden reluctance to go for a car ride, enter a room, climb stairs or hang out with other dogs in a park. He may suddenly become shy or timid when he would typically be outgoing. Visual cues may include crouching low to the ground, panting and pacing, restlessness, tucked tail, clinginess and/or unexpected aggression. He may begin barking for no reason and become highly alert to any noise or movement around him. Related content: Tips for Welcoming an Abused Dog Into your FamilyFor pets that are new to your home, consider their history. With the rescue of adult and older dogs becoming a growing (and welcome) trend, don’t hesitate to ask questions about how your pup came to find his way to a rescue. Is he the result of a hoarding or puppy mill situation? Was he removed from a neglectful or abusive home? Is he okay with kids and other dogs? If not, why not?Once you have a fuller picture, you can work toward a recovery plan. Be aware that no treatment will cure your pet of this condition but it will allow him to live a comfortable, less stressful life.Treatment of PTSD in DogsYou may be surprised to learn that dogs don’t have memories. Even though they seem to remember how to perform tricks and respond to basic commands, it is typically a trigger that causes the behavior. And that leads to a couple of easy-to-use methods for minimizing PTSD-related reactions.The first is called de-sensitization and it requires gentle, continual exposure to a triggering situation. For example, a fear of gunfire, explosions, thunder, and fireworks can be alleviated if you playback a recording of those sounds on a very low volume. Gradually increase the volume each day and over time your dog becomes aware that the offending sound is no longer associated with something negative.With counter-conditioning, your pet is rewarded with a treat every time a trigger is activated (noise, exposure to kids, dogs, men, or another stimulant). He then begins to associate something positive with the previously negative stimulus.The third type of treatment you can try at home is simply rough play for a few minutes. Findings by Washington State University show that this type of interaction between owner and dog can result in large amounts of neurotrophic growth in the brain. Simply put, this new growth helps to replace past, negative memories housed in a particular section of the brain. These new cells can actually allow for new, positive interactions to build and replace the negative ones.And finally, self-discipline. Yes, we’re talking to you as the pet parent. If you’re dog suddenly shifts into a frightened, fragile state, don’t coddle him. If it’s about having to climb into a car, then take him for a walk. If it’s about a stranger at the door, escort him to a separate room. You get the picture. If you constantly soothe him, you’re reinforcing that he’s right to be upset. So, remain calm and allow your voice, body language and actions to show him there’s nothing to worry about.Tips to Minimize the MeltdownsBringing your beloved pooch back to a reasonable state of Zen takes time, effort and patience. He will always have triggers you need to manage – that will never change - but you can help him lead a less-stressed life by introducing a few simple steps:1. Establishing a RoutinePredictability is important for all dogs and allows them to anticipate how their day is going to unfold. This includes walks so they understand when and where they can relieve themselves, meals so they know those hunger pangs are temporary as well as treats for special behaviors. Dogs just aren’t big on surprises and the more structured the day, the less stress he’ll have.2. Create a Safe PlaceYour pet needs a place where they can retreat to when anxiety starts to build. It could be a dog bed, a crate, or just a favorite blanket on the floor. Not sure where to put it? Let your dog decide on this one. If you have a beautiful plush bed set up by the TV set but he tends to retreat to the basement, then that’s where his bed should be. Particularly with dogs dealing with PTSD, you need to create a safe, predictable space that he knows will be waiting for him. And toss in an old t-shirt or a piece of clothing with your scent on it for added comfort.3. Lose the MedicationsBefore you opt to give your pet medication – such as beta-blockers to help slow his heart rate or CBD oil to help him chill out – consider tweaking his diet. Did you know that your pooch will benefit from the same Omega-3 oils that you use for brain and heart health? Additionally, you might want to check into some of the natural body-calming therapies such as weighted blankets, thunder-shirts that are proven to prevent hyper-ventilating and also hands-on body massage to help relieve stress.
In 2019, the candy manufacturer launched a contest called the “Cadbury Bunny Tryouts”. The competition invited pet owners from across the United States to submit pictures of their beloved pets wearing bunny ears. This year, the entries were narrowed to 10 finalists by a judging panel and then put to a public vote. On March 29th Cadbury officially announced that the winner of the 2022 competition is English Doodle Annie Rose from Ohio. As the “bunny” that received the most votes, Annie Rose was awarded the title of Cadbury Bunny complete with her own Cadbury Clucking Bunny commercial, $5000 prize money, and, of course, bragging rights. Past winners of the Cadbury Bunny Tryouts were Henri the English Bulldog (2019), two-legged coonhound Lieutenant Dan (2020), and Betty the Tree Frog (2021). With the events of the last 2 years, it seems fitting that we would be celebrating a pup that brought so much joy to residents of Ohio nursing homes. When the COVID-19 restrictions made it so that Annie Rose couldn’t enter the facilities the way that she traditionally had, she didn’t let it slow her down. Instead, she moved her visits outside where she would greet the residents through their windows. “We can’t thank everyone enough for voting for our very own Annie Rose and making her the next Cadbury Bunny, especially her doodle families and friends who went over and beyond,” said Annie Rose’s proud owner Lori R. “Our community rallied behind and supported her just as she has for them for years as a therapy dog. All of us are still shocked by the news but can’t wait to get Annie Rose those iconic Cadbury Bunny ears.” In addition to the prizes and recognition that Annie Rose has received, she was also able to earn a donation for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. As part of the contest, Cadbury committed to donating $5,000 plus an additional $5,000 for every 5,000 votes up to a total donation of $20,000. “A huge thanks goes out to all of the amazing contestants that made selecting this year’s top 10 so difficult and a big congratulations to our newest Cadbury Bunny, Annie Rose,” stated Teal Liu, Cadbury Brand Manager in the official press release. “From cats and dogs to sugar gliders and hedgehogs, cuteness and creativity was not in short supply when it came to this year’s finalists.” While the 2022 contest is now officially over, pet owners are encouraged to start thinking ahead to next year. Watch for sales on bunny ears following Easter this year, or you can make your own to suit your pet’s needs. For more information, check out the Cadbury Bunny Tryouts 2022 Contest Official Rules.
This goofy blue-eyed boy will make someone so happy! Our Adoptable Dog of the Week is Dex, an almost 4 years old Siberian Husky mix from Des Moines, Iowa. He is neutered, current on his vaccines, and will be microchipped prior to adoption. Dex is sweet but a bit rowdy, so he might do best as an only pet in a family with adults or children in their teen years.Dex’s TaleIf you’ve always wanted a silly dog that loves to play and adores being by your side, Dex is your guy. This lovely pooch is happiest when playing with his toys or hanging around his humans, and will be the perfect companion for all of your adventures. He can be a bit shy at first, but as soon as he warms up to you, he’s a real cuddle bug.Due to his husky genes, Dex can be a bit vocal at times, so he might not be the best roommate if you live in an apartment – a home with a fenced yard would be ideal for him. Also, as he tends to grow very close to his people, Dex would need an experienced adopter that could manage his separation anxiety issues – or even better, someone that works from home and would be around to keep Dex occupied and at ease.Even though a friendly guy, Dex can play rough with other dogs, so it’s best he meets his potential fur siblings or goes to a home where he would be an only pet. He’s not too enthusiastic about cats, though, so it’s best if there are no felines in his new family. As for kids, young children can be a bit too much for Dex, so he’d do best in an adult-only home or with a family with teenage or older kids.If you’ve fallen head over heels for those dreamy blue eyes, contact Animal Rescue League of Iowa Inc. for more information.
Dogs are always there for us, even in times of great tragedies, providing comfort and being a consolation when everything else fails. Even more so when they are taught specifically to provide emotional support, like the Golden Retrievers that are trained by Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Ministries. Less than a day after the senseless massacre in Uvalde, where 21 people lost their lives to a mass shooting, comfort dogs are being brought to help the first responders and survivors cope with the trauma. LCC K-9 Ministries team of Golden Retrievers has 8 dogs in Uvalde, aged from 3 to 9 years, and their main job is to connect with people and let them express their feelings in a safe, guarded space between a person and a dog – offering consolation than only a pure-hearted being such as a dog can offer. The comfort dogs will also be present at the mass vigil and available to families of victims and survivors, first respondents, and the people who have survived the shooting.The team of dogs comes from all over the country – Austin, Texas; Wichita Falls, Texas; Houston, Texas; Plano, Texas; Kingfisher, Oklahoma; and Fort Collins, Colorado – and is accompanied by the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Ministries’ coordinators, who say that while they are there for the people and share in their sorrow, it’s the dogs that are the ones making the real difference. And it’s not their first time, either: these comfort dogs have been there for the survivors of many tragedies in the past, including Sandy Hook, and they’ve seen firsthand how much they can help. It doesn’t surprise, then, that the initiative is always growing: they started with four dogs in 2008, and now they have more than 130 dogs across 27 states, always ready to provide comfort where it’s the most needed. And to make the matter even more touching, Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Ministries never charge for the invaluable service their dogs provide to survivors. They are funded by donations that cover the travel expenses for the dogs and go all over the country to help those that need it the most.
Who could ever resist a face as cute as this? Our Adoptable Dog of the Week is Sosa, a 5 years old Rottweiler and German Shepherd mix from Great Falls, Montana. He is neutered, knows some basic commands such as come, sit, and down, and is ready to find a forever home. Sosa is a friendly dog but would do best as an only pet as he doesn’t do well with cats and can be picky with other dogs. However, he loves children and wouldn't mind sharing a home with kids!Sosa’s TaleIf you’d love to share your life with a big pooch that has an even bigger heart, Sosa is your guy! This handsome fella weighs around 90 pounds and he’s all sweetness and love. He’s the definition of a good boy – he has a happy-go-lucky attitude and loves being cuddled and showered with attention and affection. Sosa’s also very playful and will enjoy playing fetch with you in the dog park or in your backyard! He knows a few basic commands but could work a bit on his manners when on a leash. Luckily, he’s very treat motivated and eager to please, so with a patient and willing owner by his side, he could learn so much more and truly blossom. Sosa isn’t a good match for a family that already has pets: he’s not good around cats and has had some negative history with other dogs, so it would be best if he’s the only pet in the family. On the other hand, he’s very good around kids and would love to play and snuggle with them, so he’s perfect for families with children. If you think Sosa sounds like a dog that would fit in perfectly with your lifestyle, contact Maclean-Cameron Animal Adoption Center to learn more about him and the adoption process.
We dare you not to fall head over heels for this unique smile! Our Adoptable Dog of the Week is Mr. Big, a year old Labrador Retriever mix from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He is neutered, up to date on his shots, crate trained, potty trained, and leash trained. Mr. Big is great with kids, as well as other pets – including both cats and dogs. Mr. Big’s Tale When Mr. Big was born, he was the runt of the litter, at the quarter of his siblings’ size, full of internal parasites and struggling to stay alive – but this little fella just kept on fighting. Now, he’s a picture of good health and charm, and he’s ready to find his forever home. Mr. Big has both unique looks and a unique personality – he’s the sweetest guy around, with positive energy to spare. He’s vocal and loves having “conversations” with everyone and everything, he makes weird noises when he’s excited, and he’s a bit clumsy. Mr. Big is a special pooch that will quickly steal your heart with his goofiness and cuteness! He’s friendly and does great with other pets, and loves playing with cats and dogs alike. He gets along with kids, too, but due to his size and excitement levels, small kids might not be the best match – he might inadvertently knock them over during playtime. Mr. Big is a smart cookie that mastered all of the basic training and then some: he’s crate trained, potty trained, behaves well on a leash, and knows commands such as sit, stay, or wait before starting to eat. Really, all he really needs is a loving owner by whose side he could thrive even more! If you want to share your life with a pooch that has a one-of-a-kind smile and personality, contact 405 Animal Rescue to learn more about Mr. Big and the adoption process.
Whether your dog has lost his hearing due to age, illness or was simply born without this particular sense, he deserves to live his best life. And to ensure he feels fulfilled and connected while always staying safe, you need to provide him with training that’s easy for him to understand and respond to.While his lack of hearing may not be an issue at home in an established routine and a familiar surrounding, your pet still needs to understand basic commands that will allow you to quickly communicate and take control when necessary. Because in addition to ensuring he demonstrates appropriate behavior in public situations, there is also any number of unsafe conditions including traffic, wild animals, and even threatening weather that can happen in an instant and require your pet’s full attention so you can guide him accordingly.Let’s Get StartedSimilar to when teaching the five basic commands of Sit, Stay, Heel, Leave It and Come, to a hearing dog, you’re going to rely on rewards-based training with your deaf pet. A tasty little treat is appreciated by all dogs to make the process a lot more fun, and net the results you want, faster.When training any command to a dog without hearing, your first goal is to get their attention followed by their focus. After that, you’ll use sign language to communicate the command you need him to follow.Heads UpBelow are some of the more popular approaches to capturing the attention of a non-hearing dog. All should include the offer of a reward or treat each time your pet redirects his attention your way. When he looks away, repeat the signal and when he responds, offer another reward. Eventually, your dog will connect whichever method you choose – laser, foot stomp, vibration collar – with the need to look over to you (and a treat!).When at home or in a controlled, indoor environment:- A soft touch on the back or shoulder is a gentle way to let your dog know that you want his attention without startling him.- Laser pointers, waving arms, a hand motion, or stomping the floor also work when you’re across the room from your dog.When outdoors and your pet is unleashed:- A flashlight is a quick way to let your pet know that you need his attention.- Vibrating collars (not shock collars) are also an excellent way to communicate with your pet. Particularly in an open area like a dog park, where your dog may not be within your sightline.For a less structured but equally effective approach to keeping your dog engaged, give him a tiny treat every time he randomly looks over at you. He’ll soon learn that staying close, tuned in, and within your range of vision, really pays off.Hand SignalsYou can choose whichever type of hand signal works best for you and your dog. The only criterion is that you remain consistent, use it exclusively for that particular command, and keep gestures distinct from one another to avoid confusion.And if you’re working with an older animal that’s losing its vision, you may want to avoid smaller gestures that can be hard for him to read from a distance.Decide on the command you want to train, gain his attention and draw his focus to you. Each time he performs the task, reward him with a little treat. Gradually increase the distance and duration for each command so that the treats take a little more effort to earn. Eventually, you’ll be doling treats sporadically versus continually. And yes, during the training phase you may need to adjust the volume of food your pet is receiving to offset the added calories.Below are a few examples of the common visual cues that can be used to successfully train the five key commands to a deaf dog.Sit – elbow bent with hand palm facing your chest, straighten your arm downward with the palm now facing your dog. It’s a quick, highly visible gesture your pet can see from a distance.Stay – with arm outreached and palm flat but at a slight angle has become a universal signal for your dog to remain in place. Whether training a hearing dog or one without this sense, the flat hand angled toward them is an effective cue.Come – arms wide open is easily spotted from a distance and can help wrap up a dog walk at an off-leash park, draw your dog away from a high-traffic area, or simply call him over for a hug and a treat.Leave It –arm lifted, hand in a loose fist, knuckles up as if you were holding something. Then open your fingers and emulate the act of dropping it. Your pet knows whatever they’ve picked up or are thinking of picking up, is a no-go.Heel – there is no one hand signal for teaching a deaf dog to heel, however it too, can be mastered. Leash your dog, set out on your walk, hold a treat in your hand and rest it just by your waist. He’s going to smell it immediately and want to stay close to the treat. When you’ve walked with him at your side for a few feet, offer a treat. Repeat the process, each time increasing the number of steps before the reward is given.There’s no reason you can’t offer up other easy-to-read hand signals to help communicate and connect with your dog. From thumbs-up for a good boy to a tell-tale wagging finger for when misbehaving happens, you and your pet can have your own special language.And if you’ve just adopted a dog that is fully hearing, consider incorporating hand gestures into his five-command training. As he ages and hearing loss happens, those hand gestures will help ensure he stays safe and connected.
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