Category Archives: dogs

How to Introduce a Second Dog Into Your Home

By Ruthie Bently

When my first dog became a senior citizen, I knew I didn’t want to live without a dog so I began looking for a second dog to introduce into my household. I thought my first dog would be able to help me teach the new dog and that it would be good company for him, since I worked all day. My friends with multiple dogs assured me that owning two was no harder than owning one. I did some research before I got my second dog though, and learned that while it can be a rewarding experience there are a few guidelines to follow to make it as easy as possible for all concerned.

The first thing to consider is the gender of the dog you are going to get. If you have a female already, it’s better to get a male and if you have a male, try to get a female. Two dogs of the same gender in one household will have more dominance issues than a pair of the opposite sex. Even if you think that a mother/daughter combination might work, chances are it won’t.

There is a theory that if a new dog of a same sex is neutered or spayed before it arrives in your home, you may have fewer dominance issues. However, if the new dog is not altered before six to eight months of age you will probably still have dominance issues in a same gender household. The dogs will get along better if they are of opposite sexes. It’s also a good idea to visit a potential new dog in their current surroundings to see how they interact with other dogs they live with. Even if the dog is in a shelter, you can usually tell if they have dominance issues by the way they treat the dogs around them.

The age of your dog should be considered if you already have a puppy and are considering another puppy. Two puppies will bond with each other and will be harder to train when they have each other to play with. If you have an older dog, consider getting a younger dog; if you have a puppy consider getting a dog that is at least a young adult. If you are adopting an older dog, it will hopefully be well trained and can help you train the younger dog.

It is important to introduce the dogs to each other on neutral territory before you bring them home. You can judge their personalities and interactions and see if they would get along together on a daily basis. If you are getting a dog from a breeder, ask them if they can bring the new dog somewhere off the kennel property to meet your dog. If the potential new dog is on its own turf, it may feel dominance over your original dog, and you don’t want to give either dog an advantage. If they are both on unfamiliar ground you are apt to get a better sense of how they will do together.

You should have separate supplies for each dog: food and water bowls, leashes, collars, toys, crates, and beds. You shouldn’t make your new dog eat or drink out of the same bowls that you use for your original dog. You will only create undue friction between them, which may lead to dog fights. Dogs are pack animals, and when living together they will determine their own pack order. You can help maintain the pack hierarchy by feeding or giving treats first to the dog that displays dominance, even if this turns out to be the new dog.

Make sure your first dog gets adequate attention and let them know they are no less important even though they are now sharing their house and you with a new dog. Sometimes when we bring a new dog home the original dog may feel left out. By giving your original dog the same amount of attention and play time that you did before, you will help them accept the new dog faster and not feel left out. You want both dogs to like being with each other and feel comfortable when they are together. When your two dogs are being friendly to each other and playing well together; make sure you speak to them in a happy, positive, upbeat manner. This will help them adjust to each other as well and want to be with each other and you.

You may experience a few squabbles between them from time to time and there will be a period of adjustment. As the past owner of several dog pair combinations, I can tell you that it will be well worth the effort you put into it, and the lives of you and your family will only be enriched in the process.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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The Best Dog Breeds for Runners

By Suzanne Alicie

We’ve all seen those movies and television shows where the faithful dog keeps pace with his owner as they run through the park or on the beach. Luckily I am not a runner because my dogs would be dragging me all over the place. While any dog can be trained to run with you properly, there are some breeds that have a runner’s temperament and stamina.

If you are a runner who is looking for canine companionship, you may want to check out the following breeds to insure that you get a running partner who can keep up with you.


The Vizsla breed has shown an above average ability to be trained. As a natural hunter with a strong sense of smell, the Vizsla can be easily distracted if not well trained. But when it comes to keeping up with you and being a good companion runner, the Vizsla is affectionate and lively as well as having high energy and endurance. A Vizsla should be able to run for miles with you without tiring, as long as you can keep him focused.


This friendly and obedient dog breed has the added benefit of being very intelligent and easy to train. Possessing great stamina and balance, the Weimaraner is a perfect running partner for long runs. They will excel at a steady pace, and are also a wonderful companion for hikers. Like the Vizsla, the Weimaraner has been bred for centuries to be a hunter; that sense of smell can lead to distraction, but this breed is easy to get re-focused if he picks up a scent. Simple words of encouragement will bring him right to your side.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a strong athletic breed that was originally bred as a hunter – a lion hunter to be exact. This breed has wonderful endurance at a steady pace, and is a quick partner for sprinters as well. A Rhodesian Ridgeback is loyal and makes a good companion dog for its owner, but may have some socialization issues unless he is introduced to and becomes accustomed to people and other dogs being around.

Border Collie

Energetic and intelligent, Border Collies will love running with you to work off some of their excess energy. The Border Collie is a herding dog, and will attempt to group the people around it; this can be dealt with through training. A Border Collie is, simply put, an athletic dog who will strive to please and keep up with their beloved owner.


While many of us think of a Dalmatian as a fire truck dog more suited to riding than running, this breed was originally bred to run alongside a horse drawn carriage. This high energy breed is ideal for runners, as they are fast, intelligent and active. Running is a great way to keep your Dalmatian from becoming bored and using all that energy in a destructive manner.

While all dogs need to be walked and exercised, for a dedicated runner it is important to choose a breed that has the characteristics needed to be a good running partner. Training is an essential step in turning your pet into a running partner, however. Don’t expect to choose one of these high energy breeds, and have him immediately know to stay by your side. Dogs that aren’t used to being with runners are more likely to walk and run in short bursts as they do with children or other family members while on a leash. Be patient and teach the dog to be your running partner. Within a few weeks, your dog will be looking forward to long runs at your side.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

How to Choose the Right Dog Collar

By Ruthie Bently

Dogs should always wear a collar, whether it is for identification or training purposes. Not only that, most dogs wear collars from the time they are puppies until they leave us and cross the “rainbow bridge.” Choosing the right collar for your dog is very important; it needs to be comfortable, as well as being the right size and weight for them. There are other things to consider when purchasing a dog collar too. Is it for a new puppy or an adult dog? Is it for training, and if so what kind: obedience, confirmation or Schutzhund?

If you are choosing a collar for a puppy, just remember that they are teething and your beautiful leather collar may end up on the bottom of their crate if they get to it. When I was still in pet retail and sold a collar, our only alternatives were nylon or leather; now there are more choices. You can choose nylon, which is durable and easy to clean. Or you can choose cotton or hemp, both of which come from renewable sources. I like the renewable idea because I am a recycler, but do what fits your budget the best.

If you are choosing a collar for an adult dog, they are past the teething stage (though they may still be chewers) and a fancier collar is fine. I dressed Nimber in a collar made from saddle leather after he was an adult, and he looked great. Skye on the other hand, is a rough-and-tumble dog; she wears a decorated nylon collar that is easy to wash. When an everyday collar is fitted properly, you should be able to fit two fingers side by side between your dog’s collar and their body, and should not be able to pull the collar off over their head.

Are you looking for a training collar for your dog? Different trainers may require different collars for training; if it is a beginning obedience class most trainers prefer a choke collar. However, you should only have a choke collar on your dog when training, and it should be taken off as soon as training is finished. There are several link sizes, so make sure you get the appropriate link size. Don’t use a collar on a puppy that would be more suited to a two year old dog, choose a choke collar with smaller links.

A choke collar that fits well should not fall off over your dog’s head; however, it should be loose enough that it doesn’t choke your dog on its own. To fit a choke on your dog, face your dog, form the choke collar into the shape of the letter “P” and put it over their head. When fitted correctly you should have about four fingers worth of draw when making your correction. Too much or too little draw and your correction will have no effect on your dog.

The “pinch” collar is another training collar, so called because it pinches the dog’s neck much like a mother dog does with her teeth when she is disciplining a puppy. The pinch collar also has different link sizes, and links can be added and removed as needed. This collar does not go over the dog’s head, and when fitted properly should have about two inches on each side of the center ring that lies on your dog’s body. I prefer the pinch collar, as it does not cut off a dog’s wind, and I can give a firm, but gentle correction to get the results I desire.

You should check your dog’s regular collar every day to make sure that the stitching, buckle and any rhinestones or additions are not loose or coming apart. Your training collar should be checked daily as well for rust and elongated end rings. If the plating is beginning to come off, cease using it, as you can get metal slivers from the burrs that the wear of the plating can create. If this happens you should replace the collar with a new one.

Whichever collar you choose, whether it is for training, everyday wear or fancy dress, it should fit your dog properly and wear well. After all, you wouldn’t go to work wearing a tie with a hole in it or a pair of pantyhose that is three sizes too small.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

What Does Your Dog Breed Say About You?

By Linda Cole

We each have our own unique personality that reflects who we are and how we view life. As dog owners, our choice in breeds is a reflection of our personality. With all the different breeds available, why do we choose one breed over another? And what does your preference in a particular dog breed say about you?

Every dog owner has their reasons for adopting a certain breed. Your choice in a specific dog breed may depend on if you are partial to lap dogs, family friendly dogs or working dogs to help out with livestock or guard possessions. The breed of dog you end up with does reveal aspects of your personality, and can say a lot about you and your lifestyle. I’ve had the pleasure of being a human parent to three purebred dogs over the years. One was an American Eskimo, and two were Siberian Huskies, which says I like sports and winter activities.

People who are fun loving, social and easygoing have a tendency to pick a dog breed like a Golden Retriever or a Lab. This breed says you have a focus on family and have an active lifestyle. People who choose a Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel or Labradoodle usually love being outside and may spend their free time volunteering and donating to causes they are passionate about. Owners of these breeds tend to be low keyed, even tempered, honest, and like being around others.

People who favor Pointers, Weimaraners, Griffons or Setters are passionate with a motivated energy behind everything they do. They like the good things in life and enjoy spending a day out on a trail with their best friend by their side. There’s no dog more determined and focused than a bloodhound hot on a trail. A Beagle is relentless and can be extremely intense as she yaps at a small bug or earthworm she found on the ground. Those who love the scent hound group are fun loving people who are much like this breed of dog – they’re go-getters who won’t let any obstacle slow them down. They are curious and loyal, with a bit of a stubborn streak.

The Greyhound, Whippet, Saluki and Basenji are just a few of the breeds that belong to the sight hound group. This breed finds and keeps their prey intently in their line of sight. People who share their home with any of the sight hounds are organized, and typically quieter than other dog owners. They are relaxed and love having a small gathering of close friends and family around them.

Terriers were named aptly as a breed. They are terrors when it comes to digging out rodents underground. A terrier owner tends to be fun loving and energetic like their dog. Funny, flexible and focused on the task at hand, an owner of this dog breed can easily carry on a conversation with a friend or a stranger. They aren’t afraid to jump in feet first and can have a competitive tenacity.

People who own the dog breeds in the toy group like Chihuahuas and Poodles are fun loving, sincere, compassionate and loyal. They are usually very neat and will do anything for their favorite people. Owners of dogs like the Maltese or Shih Tzu tend to be more sophisticated and love a good leisurely lunch with friends. Spending a day at the mall in search of the perfect outfit makes for a day well spent for them. This person is friendly and would be the perfect person to tell a secret to.

Your choice of a specific dog breed says more about you than you may realize, even if the dog isn’t a purebred. We pick a dog based on our lifestyle and even a mixed breed can reflect our personality when we choose a lab mix that will go hiking with us or a smaller lap dog mix that would be happy residing on the couch beside us.

It’s important to remember that regardless of which breeds interest you, the process of picking out a puppy should be done carefully. You need to consider what you are looking for in a dog, the unique qualities in a specific pup, and how he will fit into your home. You might be surprised to discover just how much your preference in a specific dog breed matches your lifestyle and personality, and what your dog breed says about you.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Skijoring: A Fun Sport for You and Your Dog

By Suzanne Alicie

They say curiosity killed the cat. In my case, curiosity only bruised my hind parts. Thanks to the recent snowfall on the East Coast I had a chance to try out skijoring with my dog. A Samoyed breed, she loves the snow and cold. I on the other hand, would rather be in the warm house. Having read up a little bit on skijoring, I decided I had to give it a try.

For those who haven’t heard of skijoring, it is a sport for a person and a dog. The person straps on skis and has their ski poles while the dog is placed in a harness which is attached to the person’s waist. I didn’t go out and get any special equipment just to test this. I used our walking harness and attached the leash to my belt with a clip.

So I wrapped up and got us both all hitched together, then let her pull me along the driveway. Everything went well, as long as we were moving. Once she stopped I kept right on going, ending up in a pile of snow with my big white dog looking at me like I had lost my mind. I am blaming that on the icy surface of the snow, not myself or the dog.

Skijoring is not an experience I will be repeating; however, many people spend hours every day honing their skill and forming a bond with their skijoring partner. Skijoring requires a great deal of skill, training and trust between the person and the dog.

Skijoring is a very popular sport for dog owners in the colder climates, where it is a competitive sport including slalom, obstacles and both sprint and long runs. Of course, skijoring is aimed at cross country skiing, and not downhill! There are several companies that specialize in skijoring equipment, dog training and tournaments. Skijoring is also done with horses, and motor vehicles such as snowmobiles. The name skijoring is from a Norwegian word that means ski driving. Some variations of skijoring include snowboarding with a dog to pull you, and even skijoring on grassy fields instead of snow.

The most common dogs for skijoring are athletic and herding breeds such as pointers and setters. All the northern breeds such as Samoyeds, Huskies and Malamutes are naturally inclined and enjoy this sport. But if you are interested in skijoring, pretty much any mid to large sized energetic breed will be capable of pulling you. The dogs that compete in skijoring competitions are trained with the person on foot initially. To be a successful skijoring dog, the animals must learn to pass another dog without stopping to greet them.

If you are in a cold climate and enjoy cross country skiing, you may appreciate the sport of skijoring as a way to spend more time with your dog and to form a closer bond with him as well. Skijoring is excellent exercise for your dog as well as a way to expend excess energy and advance your dog’s trained behavior. The training learned for skijoring will carry over in your dog’s everyday living, much the same as the military bearing of a soldier is noticeable even when he isn’t in uniform.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Indoor Games to Play with Pets on a Cold Winter Day

By Julia Williams

If you live in a frigid winter climate like I do now, you’re probably getting pretty tired of the cold and the snow. I know I am. I started dreaming of warm spring days in early November, and I think my cats did too. We’re used to mild California winters, where spending time outdoors in December is a pleasant experience. Not so these Montana winters!

So how do we keep our pets entertained when being outdoors seems more foolhardy than fun? Play games indoors! There are lots of indoor games you can play with your dog or cat that can help them burn off some energy and keep them stimulated. In addition to alleviating boredom, playing games with your pet can deepen your bond.

Indoor Games to Play With Dogs

Hide And Seek: Yes, the classic game that all children love is a blast for dogs too. Sneak away from your dog and go find a good hiding spot in your home. Once hidden, call your dog and stay there until they “discover” you (and perhaps get a tasty dog treat as their reward).

Find The Treat: This game entails hiding a biscuit or other treat somewhere in your home, and then asking your dog to find it. You’ll need to show your dog how this game works the first few times, but soon they’ll be sniffing out the treat on their own.

Dog Sports: Soccer balls and basketballs are ideal for some sporty fun indoors with your four-legged friend. Roll the ball, and encourage your dog to push it along with their nose or paws. Most dogs quickly comprehend that the object of the game is to roll the ball to you.

Indoor Agility: If you have a big basement or a large playroom, you can set up a mini agility course for your dog. Who knows, you might both enjoy this so much that, come spring, you decide to take up this wonderful outdoor dog sport!

Bubble Chase: You’ll need a lot of space for this great energy-burning game as well. However, leaping and pouncing at bacon-scented bubbles is something that every dog enjoys.

Teach A Trick: Cold winter days are the perfect time to teach your dog a new trick or two – indoors where it’s cozy and warm, of course. Although not exactly a “game,” teaching your dog tricks is a lot of fun and very rewarding.

Indoor Games to Play With Cats

Kitty Whack-a-Mouse: A youtube video inspired me to make one of these fun games for my cats. It’s basically a feline version of the classic Whack-a-Mole found at every carnival. You remember that game, right? To make one for your cats, take an extra large box and cut some holes in the bottom panel, big enough for you to fit your hand through. Put the box on its side and call your cat over to it. Stick a furry mouse cat toy through one of the holes, wiggling it to entice them to grab it. (Wear a thick glove or an oven mitt to protect your hand). Try to pull it back before your cat can get the toy, and immediately stick it out another hole. This game will entertain you, your cat and anyone watching.

Interactive Toys: you can buy a wide variety of cat toys designed for you and your kitty to play together. At the dollar store, I found a furry mouse on a string that was attached to a long wand. I bought a dozen because I was sure that the game of “chase the mouse” would go over well at my house, and it did. Another feline favorite is the “fishing pole” with feathers or a soft toy on the end.

Stairway Ball Toss: I play this energy-burning game with my friend’s kitten who loves to chase things. I throw a small cat toy ball up the stairs and she runs up after it. When she bats at the ball it rolls down the stairs, and she chases it all the way to the bottom.

With a little imagination, there’s virtually no end to the indoor games you can invent to play with your pets. I hope these suggestions inspire you, and help you to entertain your pets during the dead of winter.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.