All posts by Nancy Bown

Why do dogs wag their tails?

Check out this great article from PetBucket!

Tails serve many practical purposes for our canine companions, from giving them better balance while running to spreading their unique scent to other dogs nearby. Tails are also one of our pets’ key ways of communicating, letting others know when they’re feeling nervous, excited or open to communication. By watching your dog’s wag, then, you can better understand how he’s feeling and what he’s trying to say.

Dogs use their tails, face and body posture to communicate, making his tail one of your pet’s primary means of expressing his moods. In fact, studies have shown that dogs only wag their tails when they’re with company, making it a completely social activity. Watching a dog’s tail, how it’s positioned, whether it’s relaxed and how fast it’s moving can communicate crucial information. A tail held high usually signals enthusiasm, for example, and confident canines tend to hold their tails higher, allowing them to spread more of their scent. A dog holding his tail extremely high or wagging only the tip, however, is likely on high alert and you should avoid him or proceed with caution. Those with their tails low or between their legs are more timid or feeling nervous. Read the rest of the article here.

10 Really Important Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Adopt a Dog

Adopting a dog is no joke. It is a commitment. You can’t just adopt one because you find it cute or you felt pity for it. The moment you decide to adopt a dog, it becomes a major responsibility. This means that you have to devote some of your time in making sure that the adopted dog is safe and healthy.

This means that there are important questions you must ask yourself before adopting a dog. For instance, do you have enough time to take care of it? You are bringing home a living thing. The dog has to be fed, taken care of, brought to the park for a walk, groomed, and many others.

It is more or less like having children. If you think you can do it and you have enough time to spare, go for it. Otherwise, suspend your plans of getting a dog. Later on, when you can safely say that you can take care of the dog, it is time to revisit the idea of adopting one.

Your health must also be taken into consideration. Do you have allergies or anyone in the family? If the dog’s presence at home may cause allergy, it is best to just drop the idea of adopting one. If not, choose a breed that is considered hypoallergenic. You can’t risk the health of your family members because you want to have a dog.

Below are other questions you need to take into consideration before adopting a dog as presented in the infographic. Study it well so you can make the right decision.

10 Really Important Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Adopt a Dog

Teaching Your Dog Table Manners

We loved this article from PetBucket!

No one wants a dog that jumps on guests or begs during a dinner party, or that growls at other pets during his own meals. Teaching our canine companions mealtime manners is important, then, both during our meals and their own.

Dogs are scavengers by nature, so vying for food comes easily to them. Having a pet that begs, whines or whimpers while you’re eating is exasperating, however, and can be embarrassing when you have guests over for dinner. Fortunately, teaching Fido to respect your space during mealtime is simple with some consistent training. Start by having him go to his sleeping area or a favourite spot, and then give your dog a command such as “go to your spot” with a treat. Soon, he’ll start associating the command with that space and a tasty reward. Once you’ve mastered this step, you can add the “stay” command, starting from just a few feet away from his spot and slowly working your way backwards. Over time, you will be able to give the command and leave the room entirely, freeing you to enjoy your meal without a barrage of begging. If your dog does approach the table after you’ve told him to “stay,” lead him back to his spot as many times as necessary to get him to stay put. After dinner, be sure to reward your pet for staying in place with plenty of praise and a treat. Read the rest of the article here.

We’re Having A Doggie!

The holidays are a popular time to bring a new dog into your home. They make a wonderful family addition and bring many years of love and fun. Adopting a dog is also a big decision and requires planning and research. Selecting a new pet can also be a very emotional event. Cute puppies with tails wagging and lots of cuddling are often all it takes to win the hearts of a family, but are only part of the criteria used to choose the right pet. We have some ideas on how to choose your match that will bring years of love and companionship to you, and a forever home to a furry friend in need of a loving family.

Whether one chooses a purebred or mix breed dog, pet adoption is available. Approximately 25 to 30 percent of dogs in shelters are purebred, and there are also shelters for specific breeds from which one can adopt. When selecting a dog it is important to understand the general characteristics of the breed. Is the dog very active or is it more of a lap dog? How large will the dog grow and how often will it require grooming? Are their common health traits of the breed that could require special treatment during its life? The answers to these questions will make one more aware of the care required and will help in the selection of a companion who is likely to be a part of a family for a decade or more.

Review your lifestyle to determine the amount of space available for the dog and the environment in which the dog will live. Space is more important to dogs with herding characteristics like Collies or Shetland Sheepdogs that like to run and bark and may nip at people to “gather” them. As a result, an apartment may not be the easiest environment in which to raise dogs with these traits. Older dogs have more mellow personalities and may be easier to introduce and play with children than young puppies.

It is hard to resist a puppy? The young canines are loving, playful and become “forever friends” to their owners. Puppies also offer an opportunity for children to learn responsibility by taking the dog on regular walks or grooming the pet on a regular basis. However, puppies require more time and attention to train and socialize the pet as it adjusts to a new home and family. Housetraining, puppy-proofing a house, and teaching the pet to obey are just some of the tasks of bringing a young dog in to the family. People with full daily schedules may consider adopting an older dog with arrangements for daycare that affords the dog time to walk or run and socialize

There are many other considerations to ponder when bringing a doggie into a family. Dog-Harmony’s “We’re Having a Doggie” program offers consultations on how to select the proper pet and will help find the best match for you. Adopting a dog through Dog-Harmony includes selection consultations, spay/neuter, vaccinations, obedience and crate training, bedding, harness, leash, and socialization for a nominal fee. To encourage a long-lasting relationship, Dog-Harmony will also provide follow-up consultations and training as needed. As you consider a gift for our family this holiday, think about adopting a pet. It will bring many years of happiness to your family and to a dog in search of a loving home.

For more information about adoption services, contact Dog-Harmony at hello@dog-harmony.org or 850-376-4190.

Why does my dog jump and how can I stop him?

We loved this article that Pet Bucket just sent out. We also love Pet Bucket. 🙂  Did you know that Pet Bucket is the best for less expensive medicine? We love them – and if you order through our link here – we also get a discount for our rescue dogs. Our team member (and the one behind our site design) Chelsea uses it all the time for her two dogs. She loves the service, their products, and the cost is so much better than your local vet or online solution (and did you know it’s the same medicine?! It’s not a knock off or a cheaper option – it’s the same!!). Check out more here.

Okay, back to the article about how we can stop our dogs from jumping!

It may be cute in a puppy, but when your full-grown dog jumps up to greet you, it can be a nuisance and dangerous for children and elderly friends. Because dogs jump up to say “hello,” it can be difficult to break them of the habit. With some consistent training, however, you can teach your pet a more polite way to welcome you and your guests.   When puppies greet an older dog, they often lick the adult’s muzzle as an appeasement gesture. In the same way, your canine companion tries to meet you nose-to-nose, jumping on his hind legs to do so. To break your dog of his highflying habit, it is important to show him that you will only greet pets that have all four feet on the ground. If your dog jumps, don’t acknowledge him by pushing him off, but instead look over his head and turn away if necessary. As soon as your dog’s front paws are planted, reward him verbally and with affection or a treat, withdrawing your attention immediately if he hops on his hind legs again. Continue reading here.

Protecting Your Pup from Mosquitoes

Such a great post on The Bark this week. Check it out…

This summer’s routine insect-prevention strategies are taking on a new urgency as public health experts warn that certain parts of the U.S. may experience outbreaks of the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects in Latin America.

As you protect yourself from any and all mosquitos this summer, don’t hurt your dog in the process!

The Centers for Disease Control recommends people use insect repellents that use of these ingredients:

  • DEET (used in Off, Deep Woods Off and Cutter)
  • Picaridin
  • IR3535
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • Para-menthane-diol.

Unfortunately, DEET can be poisonous to your dog. Ingesting it can cause your dog to have stomach problems, conjunctivitis, breathing difficulties and seizures.

Read more here.

Just Adopt The Dog!

Fostering dogs is an integral part of animal rescue. Not only does it help the foster dog learn the proper skills and behavior to be successfully adopted, it also allows more dogs to be saved. The need for foster parents is apparent as it seems that any shelter or rescue can always accept more foster homes.

Unfortunately, in the animal rescue community, it seems common to encounter those (especially online) who make comments about fostering that can actually be very hurtful to those who choose to foster. Click here to read more on BarkPost.

We heart Pit Bulls… and you should too!

Thinking about adopting a pit bull? Congratulations! Pit bulls can make very sweet and loyal family dogs. Adopting a pit bull should be fun and joyful, so we’ve created a list of handy tips to help you make good choices.

Socialization is the key to a happy and confident dog. All puppies should be enrolled in a puppy class where part of the time is devoted to off-leash play with other dogs.

Pit bulls are enthusiastic learners. They enjoy trick training and many graduate at the head of their obedience classes. There are many pit bull rescue groups that can recommend training classes.

It’s play time! Pits are moderately active indoors and extremely active outdoors—be prepared to spend a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes twice a day engaged in aerobic-level activities with your dog.

You may experience breed discrimination.Legislation may prohibit you from living in certain communities, and homeowners insurance may be harder to find. Before you adopt, call your local city hall or animal shelter to find out about your local laws.

Do your research. Bringing home a pit bull may be tough because many people wrongly associate them as being aggressive. Be prepared with breed facts and history to let people know that it’s bad ownership—not bad dogs—that causes pit bulls to be aggressive.

Adoption is the best option. By rescuing a pit bull, you are saving a dog that needs a home and family. Adopting a pit from a shelter means that the dog will have had an initial health evaluation and should also have already been vaccinated and spayed or neutered for you. More and more shelters use a standardized evaluation to assess the behavior of their dogs. If the dog you’re interested in has been evaluated, ask to see the results so you can get a more complete picture of the dog’s typical reactions to things.

Consider adopting an older pit bull. With an adult dog, what you see is what you get. Their personality is already developed, and you’ll be able to spot the characteristics you’re looking for much more easily than with a puppy.

Set a good example for others. Become a proud parent—be sure to show your pit bull the love and care she deserves. And always let others know what great companions they make!

Adopting A Rescue Dog Is Awesome

You will save a life. 2.7 million dogs are euthanized in shelters each year.

Rescue dogs can make incredible transformations when they are adopted into loving homes.

Most rescue dogs are relinquished for reasons that have nothing to do with behavioral problems, and they are generally quite loving and gentle.

Choosing rescue dogs means that you won’t be supporting inhumane puppy mills.

When you adopt a rescue dog, you’ve got a best friend for life.

Are You Ready to Adopt?

When adopting, you are making a commitment to care for an animal for the rest of his life—that could mean 10 to 15 years for dogs and up to 20 years for cats. As you go through lifestyle changes such as moves, the birth of children and new jobs, your animal will remain a permanent part of your life. If circumstances change, will you still be able to care for your pet?

  • Owning a dog or cat costs more than the initial adoption fee. Food, veterinary care, spaying or neutering and proper identification—that means a collar with tags and a more permanent form of ID such as microchipping—can add up.
  • Time is also a factor. Dogs benefit from several hours of exercise and companionship every day. Cats are healthiest and happiest indoors and love to be treated to energetic play sessions. If your work demands that you travel often, or if you’re out of the house most days and evenings, this may not be the right time to adopt.
  • It is important to consider whether your children, along with your resident pets, are able to accommodate the addition of a cat or dog to your household.

Why Support Dog-Harmony?

The reason we feel people should become involved with Dog-Harmony or to donate is we are the only proactive rescue using education as a tool to lessen Shelter population. Behavioral issues are the number one reason dogs are surrendered to a shelter. By having a certified trainer running the organization – we can be sure our dogs do not have any behavioral issues before they leave our care therefore reducing the risk of return. To this day we have had one return and it was due to a family situation not any fault of the dog.

Dog-Harmony is a necessary community organization to help lower the euthanasia rate. By providing education we hope to lessen the number of dogs surrendered to a shelter.

Our mission statement is to create lifelong adoptions by providing personalized and ongoing education support and training for people and dogs.