Category Archives: Labrador Retriever

Great Dog Books for Kids to Read


By Linda Cole

I grew up with a dog by my side and a book constantly in my hand. I loved reading about nature and animals, especially dogs. Some of the books I read as a child were classics then and are still popular today. If your child loves dogs, reading books about dogs is a great way to encourage them to read. There’s an excellent assortment of great dog books for kids to read.

Big Red, written by Jim Kjelgaard and published in 1945. Big Red is set in the Canadian wilderness. Seventeen year old Danny Pickett and his father are mountain trappers living in a small shack. Danny does odd jobs for their landlord, Mr. Haggin, who owns a champion Irish Setter show dog named Red. Danny falls in love with Red the moment he sees him and eventually convinces Mr. Haggin to let him train Red and teach him about life in the wilderness. Danny’s father has a run-in with a mean bear called Old Majesty who’s been killing Mr. Haggin’s steers. Danny and Red take on the dangerous task of tracking Old Majesty to stop the bear once and for all. This is a story about poverty, the privilege of wealth, trust, loyalty, determination, courage and love. One of my all time favorites, it’s a great dog book for kids that’s filled with adventure, action and the great outdoors.

Where the Red Fern Grows, written by Wilson Rawls in 1961. The story is set in the Ozarks where 12 year old Billy Coleman wants one thing more than anything else. His desire for a pair of Redbone Coonhound puppies is so strong he’s willing to do whatever it takes to earn enough money to buy them. After picking berries to sell and doing other odd jobs for neighbors, he finally saves enough money to buy his puppies and Billy wastes no time teaching them the art of coon hunting. This book is a tear jerker, but it’s an excellent story about the loyalty and courage of dogs.

The Incredible Journey, written by Sheila Burnford in 1961. Thinking they have been left behind by their family, a Labrador Retriever, Bull Terrier and a Siamese cat set off to find them. Traveling through the rugged Canadian wilderness, the three friends cover 300 miles. With danger around every corner, they are chased by wild animals, survive rushing rivers and hunger as they search for their lost family. This is another great book for kids that stresses the loyalty, courage and determination of two dogs and a cat surviving alone in the wilderness against overwhelming odds.

Barry: The Bravest Saint Bernard, written by Lynn Hall in 1973. This book is based on a true story about Barry, a Saint Bernard who lived from 1800 to 1814 at a monastery in the Swiss Alps. Barry’s job was to patrol the mountain pass used by travelers to cross the rugged mountains between Switzerland and Italy. Because of Barry’s bravery, he was able to rescue at least 40 people during his lifetime, making him the most famous St. Bernard of all time. To this day, one pup from every litter born at the monastery is named Barry to honor his courage and dedication. It’s a touching book that’s even more heartwarming because it is a true story.

Because of Winn-Dixie, written by Kate DiCamillo in 2000. Ten year old Opal and her father are new to town. While Opal is in the Winn-Dixie supermarket, she sees a dirty, ragged looking stray dog and adopts him even though everyone tells her to leave him alone. Winn-Dixie and Opal spend their days getting to know the residents of the small town. Winn-Dixie has a nose for trouble, but through it all, Opal and her dog become fast friends with the town’s more colorful residents. Along the way, she begins to understand some life lessons and learns how to let go of what needs to be left in the past. Opal also begins to develop a closer bond with her father.

Marley and Me, written by journalist John Grogan, is an autobiographical book about his life with a Yellow Labrador Retriever that chews on everything he can get his teeth on. Grogan chronicles life with Marley as he grows into an energetic adult. As Grogan’s family grows along with Marley, his exploits will make you laugh. This is an excellent book for kids that is funny and very entertaining, but does have a serious side to it.

These are some of my favorite dog books I’ve read over the years, and there’s many more just waiting for kids to discover. I still love a good book about animals and nature. The library is full of great dog books for kids to read, and it’s never too late to introduce a child to the joy of reading.

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.

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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.

Fascinating Facts About Dogs and Cats


By Anna Lee

Dogs and cats are the most common pets that people own. There are, however, other pets out there sharing life with loving families. Although a snake would not be my first choice as a pet, there are many folks who own them. A pet is what you consider a pet to be, whether it is a pig, a cow, a horse, a hamster, a frog or a lizard. If you (or your children) take care of it, feed and interact with it, then it is a pet. Following are various pet facts for your reading pleasure.

Dogs bark to give a warning or an alarm. Dogs in the wild will bark as a means to send messages to the pack. Dogs bark when they are anxious, excited or when they are bored. They also bark to attract attention from humans. However, dogs do not bark when they attack. If you want a dog that does not bark, there is such a dog. It is the Basenji dog from the Congo. Although it doesn’t bark, it makes a yodeling sound that could possibly be more annoying than barking!

If your dog bays at the moon don’t let it upset you, it is just the dog’s natural urge to call the pack together. If your dog howls when you leave it home alone, turn on the TV or radio to keep it company.

If you’ve seen a scared dog run, you know that he puts his tail between his legs. A dog’s anal glands carry “personal” scents that can identify him or her. By putting the tail between the legs it is similar to a human covering his or her face in an effort to hide it.

Dogs pant to cool their bodies; they do not sweat like a human. Dogs take anywhere from 10-30 breaths a minute and their hearts beat between 70 and 100 times a minute, much more often than a human heart beats per minute.

The average dog has 42 teeth, which is more than I have! Now I have an urge to count Abby’s teeth. She is 11-1/2 and still has not lost one of her teeth. If you brush your dog’s teeth on a regular schedule the dog will get used to it, or so they say. A dog’s mouth can exert 150-200 pounds of pressure per square inch.

Did you know that two dogs survived the sinking Titanic? Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible. One in three households own at least one dog, and the Labrador Retriever is the number one dog in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

There are an estimated 5 million cats in the world. The largest cat is called a Ragdoll, with the male weighing up to 20 pounds. The domestic cat is the only feline species that can hold its tail vertical while walking. All wild cats hold their tails horizontal or tucked between their legs.

It is possible for one female cat to have up to 100 kittens in her lifetime. A cat’s normal body temperature is 101.5. Cats prefer their food to be room temperature. Do not feed dog food to your cat, but do change its water bowl at least once a day. Cats have either round, slanted or almond shaped eyes, and can see up to 120 feet away.

The biggest frog in the world is a Goliath from West Africa. It is about a foot long and can weigh as much as a house cat. That is one big frog. A frog can jump 20 times its own length, whereas a flea can jump 150 times its length.

If you want a pet that is small but multiplies fast, a hamster is the answer. A hamster can have 4 to 12 young at one time, and the word hamster is German for “storing food.”

Finally, a puppy will sleep up to 14 hours per day, which reminds me – it’s time for Abby and me to take our naps. Good night! Sleep tight!

Read more articles by Anna Lee

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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.

The Best Dogs for Agility Training and Trials


By Anna Lee

I am sure you’ve seen those dogs on TV, the little lightning bolts that seem to streak across the ground and fly through the air like the wind. I enjoy watching them, and it is amazing how they can move at such speeds and be so accurate! I wish the sport of Dog Agility was on TV more often because it is fascinating.

In Agility events the dogs must complete an obstacle course, which is set up in a large outdoor area. The course has many components to it. Some of the aspects of the course are: the sea saw, tunnels, dog walk, pause (not paws!) table, pause box, jumps, A-frame and weave polls. The weave polls fascinate me the most. Weave polls are a series of poles stuck in the ground, in a line maybe 1 foot apart. The dog works its way through the poles weaving in and out. That is just one small segment of the agility trials, but accuracy and speed are the keys. The course is timed, and if the dog misses an aspect or goes out of bounds, time penalties are added to the score. The dog with the shortest time wins and is proclaimed the champion!

The sport of Dog Agility requires a sure footed and speedy dog with determination and a will to compete. Not all dogs are physically able to run the course due to their size, their breed characteristics and their ability to listen to and follow commands. Three breeds that rise to the top in Agility Trials are:

The Border Collie – This dog was bred to gather and control sheep. He stares down his flock with an intense eye. The Border Collie has unlimited energy and stamina. This medium size dog weighs approximately 30-45 pounds and stands approximately 18-22 inches high at the shoulder, and can live to be 15 years old. I have several friends with Border Collies and they are amazing to watch under normal circumstances.

The Shetland Sheepdog – This dog was bred to stand guard for farmers. He kept birds and hungry sheep from the gardens. They make excellent family pets and they are superstars in dog sports. They only weight about 20 pounds, are 13-16 inches at the shoulder, and can live to be 15 year old.

The Australian Shepherd – This breed originated in the western United States, not Australia, and was bred to herd livestock. This is another great family dog that is full of energy. The Australian Shepherd is 18-23 inches at the shoulder, can weigh 40-65 pounds, and live about 15 years.

If you think you might be interested in Agility Trials and want to get a puppy and start training them, there is a lot of information online regarding this sport. You can start agility training while your puppy is still young. There are many good books and videos available as well. It is important to get proper guidance so that your dog or puppy does not get injured. The website Agility Training for Dogs (www.agilitytrainingfordogs. com) has a lot of very helpful information and is a good place to start.

There are several dog breeds involved in Agility Trials other than the three breeds mentioned above. As to what type of dogs are best suited for agility training, ask yourself: Is your dog the star of the dog park? Can your dog move like a speeding bullet? Can he jump like a jackrabbit? If the answer is yes to those questions, then maybe he should be given a chance at Agility Training and Trials.

For agility training you would not choose a Great Dane or a Mastiff; they are too big and slow moving. You also would not want to use a Dachshund or Yorkie as their legs are much too short. They are lovable dogs, but not quite right for this particular sport! It is important to have your dog checked out thoroughly by your vet first, as you do not want to put undue stress on your pet.

Read, learn, research, ask questions, watch videos, and attend Agility Trials – learn as much as you can before you get involved because it requires a great deal of time and dedication. Six to nine months of solid agility training is necessary before a dog can compete. This sport requires dedication from the dog as well as the owner. If you cannot invest the time required, it may be best for you to leave the agility training and trials to others.

As for Abby, my 11-1/2 year old Lab, we will sit on the sofa and watch the Agility Trials on TV together. The fact that she can still jump on up the sofa means she is agile enough for me!

Read more articles by Anna Lee

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.

The Best Dog Breeds for Cat Owners


By Anna Lee

You have a cat, or maybe you have two cats. You’ve always wanted a dog to join the family but perhaps you worry that they won’t get along? Can cats and dogs live together in harmony? How hard is to introduce a dog into a house with cats? Will a dog get along with the cat right away, or ever? What is the best dog to get? Help!

Some dog breeds are literally born to adapt to any situation. Some dogs are as gentle as can be with a child, another dog, a cat or many cats. If you want a small dog or a large dog there are several breeds to pick from. Here are some suggestions, tips and helpful ideas.

The Boxer is very good with children. A Boxer can be very good with cats if socialized early on. People misjudge Boxers frequently. If they are well trained they are excellent family dogs, no matter who the family members are!

The Bichon Frise is a happy dog that gets along with other family pets, either cats or dogs. Bichons make great multi-pet dogs, and they are also excellent with children.

The American Cocker Spaniel is an adorable little dog with an easy going personality. The Cocker gets along well with other animals, including cats. I know several people that have Cockers and cats, and they all get along fine.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever gets along well with cats that are family members, but may not be as friendly with strange cats. The Chesapeake has similar personality traits as the Labrador Retriever, which is a laid-back calm disposition and very accepting.

The Vizsla is a dog that is easy to train, but they are shy at times. They are reliable with children but may be too much for a toddler to handle. The Vizsla requires a lot of daily exercise. If you can put up with the training and exercise you will have a good dog that does well with cats they are raised with. They can’t be trusted with hamsters or rabbits though.

The Otterhound is a large size dog that is friendly, exuberant and outgoing. They are good with children, all other dogs and cats in your family. The Otterhound may, however, chase a cat that does not belong to the family. They range from 66 t0 115 pounds and require a loving hand during training.

The Labrador Retreiver will usually get along with any person, any animal – including cats. When we got our lab my husband had a 10 year old cat named Friday, who only had three legs. The day we brought Abby home she eagerly ran over to check out kitty. Friday hit poor Abby on the head 10 times in a row, just to let her know who was boss. That was the end of it; from that day on they were friends. You probably know cats don’t like to get wet, and you may know that labs drool. Abby would stand over the cat with drool or water pouring out of her mouth and onto the cat and he just stood there! After that initial meeting on day one, whatever Abby did was ok with Friday!

Some breeds may adjust better to living with a cat in the home, according to the books and research I have done and stated above. I have found that the small, high strung dogs do not match up well with cats. Sometime the larger the dog, the more gentle the personality and disposition. I do feel that if a cat and dog are raised together from day one, or at least early on, there is a very good chance that they will be lifelong buddies.

Read more articles by Anna Lee

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.

Basic Dog Grooming: Supplies and Procedures


By Ruthie Bently

Each dog breed is different, and there are many hair types, show clips and grooming procedures for them. The basics of dog grooming, however, apply to every dog, whether it’s a Labrador Retriever, an Airedale Terrier, a Poodle or a Portuguese Water Dog. When grooming your dog, they should be relaxed and this should be an enjoyable experience for them.

Basic grooming supplies include a brush, comb, shampoo, conditioner (for longer coats), detangler, ear cleaner, toothpaste, toothbrush, dog toenail clippers, styptic pencil or powder, cotton balls and CANIDAE® Snap-Bits™ dog treats. All supplies should be for use on pets, not humans. The ph of our hair is different and you could dry out your dog’s coat and remove essential oils by using shampoo made for people. There are many good dog shampoos on the market and some of them are even “tearless.” I use the Snap-Bits after I groom Skye as an enticement for the next time, and they always work.

Brushing your dog removes dead hair and stimulates the glands that produce the natural oils which lubricate their skin and coat. I am constantly combing burrs and thistles out during the months when they are plentiful. I usually brush Skye’s coat outside as soon as the weather is warm enough to do so. Though she is a short-coated dog, like many dogs that shed, she can really blow coat in the spring and fall. I brush head to tail and use a rubber palm pad. The rubber creates a static charge with the hair and the hair sticks to the brush and massages Skye’s skin at the same time.

Bathing is important for all dogs regardless of age. Your dog’s activity level, what they get into, and how much they groom themselves will give you an idea how many baths they need in a year. There is no hard and fast rule, though some say you should bathe your dog at least once a month. If you have a dog that loves to roll in smelly things, or dig in the mud, you may have to bathe them more often. It’s good to bathe your dog yourself if you can, as it gives you a chance to examine them for injuries or any other abnormalities that a groomer may not be looking for. I found a cyst on my first dog’s back that way, before it came through his skin and became a major health issue.

Cleaning their ears is important because it lets you check for infection, ticks or ear mites that may be there. You can also look for anything that may have gotten lodged in your dog’s ears from their outside excursions. I clean out any heavy debris with cotton balls, and then use ear cleaner. Most ear cleaners are very easy to use; the one I use is self-drying and just gets squirted into the ear and then Skye shakes her head to remove it. You have to take more care with a dog whose ears droop, as it is easier for them to get an infection.

Cleaning their teeth is important because you can keep plaque from forming. You can also check your dog’s teeth for cracks, breaks or cavities that may be forming. It is important to use a toothpaste made specifically for dogs. Some human toothpastes have chemicals and artificial sweeteners in them that are toxic to dogs. Many veterinarians anesthetize a dog to clean their teeth. Depending on your dog’s age, this could be dangerous. There are human dental hygienists that clean dog’s teeth and use natural products and no anesthesia, but they can be difficult to find, so cleaning your dog’s teeth yourself is a win-win situation.

Keeping your dog’s toenails clipped prevents them from scratching and hurting themselves or you and your loved ones. It also keeps them from getting their toenails caught in fabrics or damaging the floors and furniture in your home. There are many types of clippers on the market, I know a breeder who uses a Dremel tool to trim her dogs’ toes because she likes the job it does. Having styptic powder is important if your dog has darker or black nails, as mistakes can happen and the styptic powder will stop the bleeding.

I love grooming Skye, as it gives us more special time together and my attention is wholly focused on her, which she loves. It doesn’t take much of my time and we get to bond further and get even closer. It has a calming effect on me and her occasional antics are hilarious, even if half of the bath water ends up on me.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

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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.