Useful Tidbits

The Best of...

*Best Place to purchase Baby Gates---"Babies R Us" (thank you Gary Biba) *Important training tool to maintain sanity----Baby Gates limit muddy paws to tile, guests can enter home without dog paws, dogs can't bolt out the door, etc.

*Best Newsletter on natural dog care & training--The Whole Dog Journal 1-800-829-9165

*Best food puzzle-- Kong stuffed with "kibbleloaf", (some canned dog food mixed in with canine's dry food)  Put in Kong and freeze for 4-6 hours.

*Best Place to purchase plush toys--Goodwill (just cut off plastic eyes and hot glue fabric together).

*Best Shampoo-- Dr Bronner's Magic Soaps (Lavender, Peppermint etc). I use 1 part soap diluted with 8 parts water.  For Goldens (and other long hairs) add 1 part Aloe Vera juice. 

Helpful Hints for flea season:

*Any shampoo will kill fleas that are on a dog, just leave shampoo on canine for 5 minutes.

*If your hands feel dry and rough after bathing your canine, shampoo is too harsh for your canine's coat.

*Frontline, but use half the recommended dosage, get the smaller size but don't save an opened vial.

*Halo Pets makes an all natural flea dip made from essential oils that can be added to shampoo or diluted into a daily flea spray.

How to Handle

Ball Retrieving nut?   Try the "Chuckit" available from the Pet Warehouse catalog (1-800-443-1160 or for $12.95. For those dog owners who have plenty of room for Rover to run, this is a GREAT investment and saves wear-and-tear on the owner's arm, as we all know Goldens DO NOT tire of retrieving. The makers of Chuckit say it's like having a bionic arm. It'll wear out dogs long before their owners because Chuckit does most of the work. (THEY ARE SOOOO RIGHT!) Using this gadget, a tennis ball can be thrown up to 140 feet. It's designed for hands-free pickup and, best of all, no one has to touch a slimy ball.  (Micki and Robb Miller)

Canine Dental Care   In response to "Easy Dentistry?", instead of (or along with) giving your dog(s) bones to keep their teeth clean, why not brush their teeth. By performing this simple task, you can significantly reduce the chance of your dog developing canine periodontal disease, which can lead to further life-threatening health problems. I have 3 dogs and EVERY NIGHT they get their teeth brushed. It only takes a few minutes and they LOVE it! Once you get the knack of it, it's easy and the dogs thoroughly enjoy it (mine actually fight for position to have their teeth brushed first). Why put your dog through the surgical procedure of cleaning their teeth (and the risks associated with surgery) when a simple alternative is available. (Micki and Robb Miller)

Upset Tummies  You know how when you have a sick dog and you KNOW you should put them on a bland diet for a day or so but you don't really have time to make that rice before you run off to goodness knows where?  Well one day I had about 3/4 of a glass casserole of baked rice left from a dinner, David and I were both leaving town so I decided to cut it up into little 1/2-cup amounts, put in plastic wrap and freeze it for later leftovers.  ANYWAY as I was leaving for the show last weekend my puppy took a big poop...Not the pretty kind and I thought oh great Then I thought hey...I'll get about three of those little Ice cubes of rice and put into the cooler.  Well it worked great the "cubes" were thawed by that evening and I didn't have to drive around looking for a Chinese restaurant to buy Rice to go!  (Linda Willard, Highmark Kennels)

Another Tip for Poop Eating Goldens  Try dicing very finely raw eggplant.  Add about 2 tablespoons to each of your dog's food for two weeks.  Something in the eggplant changes as it goes thru their digestive tract and becomes incredibly vile when it exits (poop).  I have had excellent results with eggplant and it also works in cat poop, according to some of my clients.  (Lacy Browning of Any Dog Can! Training)

Thunderstorm / Loud Noise Anxiety  We have found something that is working great for Max's thunderstorm anxiety and wanted to share it with.  It's calledRescue Remedy and is available at Whole Foods or Sun Harvest.  It is a flower essence and promotes a sense of well-being.  It has a cumulative effect so that each time we have used it, Max is less anxious the next time we have a thunderstorm, even before we give him the Rescue Remedy.  We've given it to him about three times since July.  Last night, even with the big booming thunder, he was only mildly anxious before giving him Rescue Remedy and within 15 minutes of giving it to him he relaxed and went to sleep, even though it is not really a sedative.  Eventually I think he will be OK with thunderstorms and we can stop using it completely.

We found out about it through a trainer named Marti that Lacy referred us to.  She uses various flower essences for a lot of behavior problems in dogs.  I know, I laughed when I first heard about this too, but it's working to improve a lot of Max's problems so I'm not laughing any more.  – Loralei Priessman

Trouble with unleashed dogs while out walking?  I always wear one of my carpenter's aprons when walking the dogs. First, I can carry plastic bags for scooping, but second it will hold a shaker can and pepper spray. 

If I see a dog coming for us, I shake the can very vigorously and if the dog keeps approaching, I will throw the can at the dog while saying “Bah!!” as loud and gutterly (is that a word?) as I can.  “Bah!” can come from deep in your gut and will come out very loud and low, like a sound a man could make.  Usually that will scare the dog off. 

If the dog is still approaching, I will try and get myself in front of my dog to block the other dog's approach.  If the dog is still approaching, and this can happen with a really aggressive dog, the pepper spray comes out.  Spray at once in the direction of the bad dog, as dogs will pick up the spray from a distance and get more worried about their eyes burning than your dog. 

If the dogs should ever get into it, don’t try to break it up. There is nothing you can do if you don't have a bucket of water or hose handy.  Usually the shaker can is quite effective.  I have always had luck with it.  Just in case you don't know what a shaker can is a soda can flushed out with water and dried out. You put about 8 pennies in it and tape the top closed.  –Lacy Browning, Any Dog Can!

What You Need Is A “Poop Shield”

By Kathy Heck

One of our Goldens is a poop eater, and she is not even brand loyal.  It can belong to her packmates, strange dogs, kitties, deer, etc.  If it is poop, she goes for it. The technical term is coprohagia.  No one knows why dogs eat poop, but they do.  Logic tells us that if it bothered them like it bothers us, they would not do it.  But it is still a very disgusting behavior especially from an otherwise darling Golden girl.  In addition, it usually results in some extremely gross vomiting at a future point in time.

With three Goldens in our household, this has become a labor-intensive problem.  None of them are allowed to poop unsupervised, and all poops are immediately picked up and placed out of harm’s way.  Of course, a stern “No!” works when you are standing there, but that also means every outdoor moment must be supervised—at least until the other two dogs are emptied. With great diligence, we can control the backyard poop scene. 

However, visits to our subdivision’s fenced park with our “doggie play group” have proved to be more challenging.   The park is bordered on one side by a greenbelt that is frequented by deer.  At night they graze the watered grass in the park and do what deer do—poop.  Our little darling discovered deer poop and developed several nasty intestinal infections (giardia) compliments of Mr. & Ms. Deer.  Or, as our Vet humorously put it, “due to dietary indiscretions.”

What to do?  For the backyard problem with our other dogs, we tried putting meat tenderizer in their dogfood; then, we tried adding a commercially available tablet to their foodno success.  The next step is "booby trapping" stools with Tabasco saucewe’ll let you know how it works.  Thus far, supervision has been essential.

However, our time in the park is supposed to be “off leash, run & have fun” time (we go at the crack of dawn to avoid children and less dog-friendly folks).  So, to control poop eating in that situation, our Vet suggested a muzzle like the Greyhounds wear.  By searching the Internet, we discovered the National Greyhound Association’s website (National Greyhound Association, P.O. Box 543, Abilene, KS 67410, Telephone: 785-263-4660, Fax: 785-263-4689, Internet: 

The NGA supply catalogue offers a variety of muzzles.  However, I was mystified as to which one to order.  I did what any smart shopper does and picked up the telephone. I jokingly told them I needed to speak to their “muzzle consultant” and was transferred to a wonderfully helpful woman in the order department.  I explained our problem and she said, “Oh, what you need is a plastic kennel muzzle.  The other models are fine, but you would need to add a poop shield to them.”   Since “poop shields” are not listed on their order form, I guess she was kiddingbut who knows?!  After I stopped laughing, I ordered two muzzles:  a medium and a large.  They are solid plastic in front to prevent eating and have large air holes on the sides. The muzzle has worked well, and the medium is a perfect fit for our petite 8-month-old female offender.  Thankfully the strap is royal blue so it perfectly matches her collar—a girl does need to know how to accessorize, but this is a bit much! 

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