Monthly Archives: May 2013

Say Cheese! Your Dog’s Smile Could Win FREE CANIDAE!

Does your dog’s beautiful smile melt your heart? Does your pooch grin wide enough to eat a banana sideways? And do they like to eat paw-licking-good dog food? Well then, fetch your camera and get ready to capture those dazzling doggie smiles!

Why? So you can enter your fabulous photo(s) in our new contest for a chance to win some FREE dog food! Is that BOL (bark-out-loud) awesome, or what?

The Grand Prize Winner will receive 6 months of premium quality CANIDAE pet food and a chance to be featured on the CANIDAE website or Facebook page!  Ten runners-up receive a 5lb bag of their dog’s favorite CANIDAE Life Stages formula.

Could Your Dog Be the Next CANIDAE Star?

Wanted: Dogs with winning smiles, happy expressions or gloriously goofy grins. Must be willing to work for pet food. Amateurs encouraged to apply.

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The Strong Willed and Loyal Giant Schnauzer

By Linda Cole

The Schnauzer comes in three sizes: miniature, standard and giant. They may look alike, but each size is a distinct breed. The Standard Schnauzer is the oldest of the three Schnauzer breeds, and the Giant Schnauzer is the youngest. The one thing to keep in mind with any breed is that they were developed because of man’s need for a partner to help perform a job or task. In other words, a new breed was created because of the occupations of man. The Giant Schnauzer was developed to be a drover dog for cattlemen.

In the early years, the breed was known as the Wirehaired Pinscher, but that changed in 1879 when a dog named Schnauzer won first place in a dog show held in Hanover, Germany. People began referring to the breed as Schnauzer because of the dog’s bearded muzzle (German translation for muzzle is schnauze) and because of Schnauzer’s win at the dog show. In their native country of Germany, the Giant Schnauzer is known as Riesenschnauzer, which means “the giant.” This breed, however, is not one of the giant dog breeds; it’s simply the largest of the three Schnauzer sizes.

The breed originated in two neighboring agricultural areas of Germany: Wurttemberg and Bavaria. Shepherds were impressed with the Standard Schnauzer for the dog’s sheep herding abilities, but the standard was too small for working with cattle. At the time, there were no railroads. A larger, more powerful version of the standard was needed by cattlemen as a livestock guardian and drover dog. Giant Schnauzers were also used as draft dogs to pull produce carts to market and then guard them. The Standard Schnauzer, which is the foundation stock for the two other sizes, was most likely crossed with the Great Dane, Bouvier des Flanders, rough coated sheepdogs, black poodle and wolf spitz to create the Giant Schnauzer.

The Giant Schnauzer became common as a guard dog around stockyards, butchers and breweries. Because of their strength, drive and courage, the Giant Schnauzer was used as a messenger dog in WW I and remains popular in Germany as a livestock guardian, all around farm dog, guard dog, military and police dog. On the American Kennel Club’s 2011 most popular dog breeds list, the Miniature Schnauzer is #12, the Standard is #91 and the Giant is #95.

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A Cat’s Mother’s Day Letter to “Mom”

By Rocky Williams, feline guest blogger

Dear Mom,

I’ve heard people talking about a special day that was created to honor all Moms. What a great idea! But Momma, I’ve also heard that many human beans don’t think you should be honored on Mother’s Day because you “only” have cats which means “you’re not a real Mom.” Rubbish, I say!

When you rescued me and took me home, I was just a wee lad who fit into the palm of your hand. I don’t remember my other mother, but I do remember the loving care I got from you. Without your “mothering,” I daresay I wouldn’t have survived. You nurtured me and helped me grow into the beautiful cat I am today.

You’ve been my only mother for ten years, and you would never abandon me. Ever. And I know you’d move heaven and earth to make sure I am healthy and happy, for all of my life. Momma, isn’t that the heart and soul of what it means to be a mother?

There are so many things I love and appreciate about you, Momma. For starters, I love that you will sit on half a chair (or less) so as not to disturb me. Some beans would chase their kitty off the chair in order to sit in comfort, but that’s not how you roll! You let your legs fall asleep if I’m curled up on them, and you let me stay on your lap long after you really, really want – or need – to get up. (Sometimes I laugh when I see you frantically racing to your litterbox because, not wanting to disturb me, you’ve waited too long).

Momma, I know I am a lot naughtier than most felines, but I love that you never say “Why can’t you be like other cats?” You accept that being mischievous is who I am, and you don’t try to change me. It’s like that fable of the scorpion who convinces the frog to carry him across the river, promising not to sting him because then they’d both drown. But midway across, the scorpion does sting the frog, who cries “Why’d you sting me?” and the scorpion says “It’s my nature.” You know I can’t help being naughty any more than that scorpion could help stinging the frog, and it doesn’t make you love me any less.

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Is a Smiling Dog Showing Aggression?

By Linda Cole

One of my dogs, a Terrier mix named Sophie, was a smiler. She would curl up one side of her lip and wiggle all over, grinning if we asked her to do something she didn’t really want to do or when we talked to her in our “You’re such a good girl” voice. I called it her “Elvis” smile because that’s what it reminded me of. It was so cute and always made me laugh. If she was in trouble, which was rare, I quickly forgave her transgression. As it turned out, Sophie knew exactly what she was doing, and it worked. A smiling dog might be showing aggression, but not always. Sometimes, a smile is just a smile; it’s a way some dogs convey they are not a threat.

When it comes to understanding a dog’s body language, everyone recognizes that a snarl with teeth bared means to back off and leave that dog alone. When Sophie smiled, she was showing deference to us with a submissive grin. The difference between a snarl and a submissive grin is broadcast loud and clear in a dog’s body language.

When a dog submits, he lowers his body closer to the ground, and may cower. His tail is tucked to one side, but never between his legs like with a fearful dog. His ears are held out, resembling airplane wings. He holds his front paws up, avoids eye contact, might roll over on his back, and may urinate to signal his compliance to you or another dog. When a submissive grin is added, you see excited body movements and squinting eyes. An aggressive dog isn’t going to roll over and expose his belly to someone or another dog he views as a rival. Everything about his body language says he’s on alert and ready to fight, if necessary. A growl usually accompanies his snarl, but not always.

There’s a difference between a dog submitting and one showing fear. A submitting dog isn’t a threat, but a scared dog could attack out of fear. One clue is the position of his tail and ears. The submitting dog pulls his tail to the side, and holds his ears out to the side. The fearful dog tucks his tail between his legs and he has “whale eyes,” meaning you can see the whites of his eyes, and his ears will be pulled back against his head. His overall body language says he’s scared. All he wants is to be left alone. Never turn your back on a fearful or aggressive dog. Watch them without making direct eye contact.

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Frank Inn, Hollywood Animal Trainer Extraordinaire

By Langley Cornwell

This guy is such an inspiration to me! I’d love to have a chat with him, but since he died in 2002 at the age of 86, I’ll have to settle for reading and writing about him. To catch you up, here are a few facts about Frank Inn:

He was a pioneering animal trainer who turned shelter pets into movie stars.

The animals that Frank Inn trained won 40 PATSY Awards, which is the animal kingdom’s equivalent of the Oscar. Three of the animals he trained won the award multiple times.

This legendary animal trainer was the first inductee into the International Association of Canine Professionals’ Hall of Fame.

One of the most recognized 4-legged movie stars that Inn created was Higgins, of Petticoat Junction and Benji fame. Other animals he trained included:

• Francis the Talking Mule

• Orangey the Cat (Rhubarb in Rhubarb, and Cat in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

• Bernadette the Dog (Cleopatra on Jackie Cooper’s TV series The People’s Choice

• Arnold Ziffel, the pig on Green Acres 

• All of Elly Mae Clampett’s animals on The Beverly Hillbillies

• The chimpanzees that starred in the children’s TV show Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp

Frank Inn was known to visit animal shelters and take home healthy pets to keep them from being euthanized. There was a time when Inn and his assistants had over 1,000 animals in their care. The feeding bills alone came to more than $400 per day.

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Is Your Dog’s Collar on Securely?

By Tamara McRill

Putting on a dog collar should be an easy task, right? Pick one that fits your dog’s unique personality, slip it around his neck (not too tight), fasten, give your woofer an affectionate head rub and you’re good to go. At least that’s what I always thought, but it turns out there’s more that goes into making sure your dog’s collar is on nice and secure.

I found this out the hard and heart-stopping way, with my chocolate Labrador, Wuppy. We were all geared up to take a walk in our new neighborhood, which is super exciting when you’re a dog that loves the adventure of new locations. When Wuppy and I set off, he bounced right out of his collar!

See, Wuppy has a generous waddle – the loose skin around a dog’s neck – which, combined with his bouncy behavior makes keeping him in his dog collar a little tricky. Luckily for me, our older dog, Cody, was also in the yard with Mike. So Wuppy bolted straight to the two objects of his hero worship.

Go By Feel, Not Sight

The first thing I learned when I started researching how to properly make sure my dog’s collar was secure was that I was doing it wrong. No shocker there – he did escape. I was looking at Wuppy’s collar to see if it looked like it was loose enough, when I should have been feeling it.

A good rule of thumb for flat collars, which are the most common, is to make sure you can get two fingers underneath it. You simply slide your fingers in between the collar and your dog’s neck. If there is more space than that, try tightening it up a notch until it is tight enough to comfortably allow your fingers underneath. If you can’t get two fingers under the collar, then loosen it up because you could be accidentally hurting your dog’s throat.

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