Top 5 Dog Breeds Ideal for House Protection


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Most people usually get a dog for companionship or the sheer love of these adorable creatures. But in some cases, a dog can be a savior too. Many people often look for a dog that can protect them and their home from intruders and burglars.

Not all dogs are naturally good at guarding your home, though. Certain specific breeds act as excellent guard dogs. If you are thinking of adopting a dog that will keep you company and also protect your house, here are the top 5 breeds you should consider.

Bullmastiff

This crossbreed between Bulldogs and Mastiffs is a large muscular breed that is quite intimidating to look at. These dogs are best known for their great muscular strength, protective instincts, courage, and loyalty. It can easily knock over an intruder or at least block their path if they try to enter your house. This breed is otherwise very gentle with people known to it and can be a great companion as a family dog.

Doberman Pinscher

If you have seen a Doberman Pinscher, you already know why it is on our list. These dogs are fiercely protective and extremely fast. Just a look at one of these dogs will be enough to ward intruders away. With their lean but muscular build, sleek coat and long face, they look like they were born to protect. These dogs are brilliant and highly energetic. It would take a Doberman just a few seconds to reach an intruder before they enter your property. These dogs require regular exercise to maintain their strength and energy though and are best suited for large properties as they would love to run around and be active.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are both gentle family pets and fierce guard dogs. This breed of dogs is fiercely courageous and will do anything to protect its owner. This is one reason why they are the most popular choice for police and military dog squads. They are extremely strong, immensely loyal, and highly intelligent.

Giant Schnauzer

When the name itself says “giant” there is surely something big about this breed. This breed of dogs is huge and demands attention just because of its stature. Any intruder would think twice before crossing its path. These dogs are extremely loyal and intelligent too and make great family pets. But they are strong-willed and protective, so they can be trained to be very good guard dogs as well.

Rottweiler

This breed of dogs was originally bred for cattle protection and so, have a natural protective instinct. They are intelligent and extremely loyal. They are gentle when around the family, but do not trust strangers easily unless properly introduced. That is one quality which makes them perfect guard dogs.

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How Good is an Australian Cattle Dog for You?

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The Australian Cattle Dog goes by many names – Queensland Heeler, Red Heeler, and Blue Heeler. If you are keen on adding this canine to your family, you need to if it is a good fit for your lifestyle. Every breed comes with a unique set of characteristics, which plays a crucial role in how they behave in your household and outdoors.

Health

Due to the hardy nature of Australian Cattle Dogs, they have a long lifespan, when compared to other breeds. Expect them to be with you for around 13 – 17 years, with great care and high-quality food.

Maintenance

They have a dense, weather-resistant, and short coat on their bodies. Due to this reason, you don’t need to groom the Australian Cattle Dog every day. Brushing its coat once or twice every week will be sufficient. If you get a female, keep in mind that they shed their fur in seasonal cycles. On the other hand, males will only shed their coats, once or twice a year. During this period, frequent brushing will help deal with the excess amounts of fur.

Traits of Australian Cattle Dogs

As the name suggests, people used these canines to handle cattle in the wild. They were also responsible for protecting livestock from other animals. As a result, they are known to be intelligent and energetic by nature. Combined with the fact that they used to spend most of their lives outdoors, they need large volumes of exercise regularly.

At the same time, they are extremely agile and obedient, making them easy to train with a couple of sessions. They are great companions and love being around their owners. However, due to this characteristic, you need to give them ample amounts of attention. If you are not attentive to their needs, they will experience boredom. When coupled with the lack of exercise, they tend to become destructive.

If you live in an apartment, you need to make sure these breeds of dogs have plenty of space to run and expand their immense amounts of energy. As people trained them to take care of cattle, they are extremely alert. They remain protective of you and your possessions.

Again, as they needed to herd cattle, they are known to be nippy, especially when people run past them quickly. Fortunately, you can ensure this never happens with sufficient amounts of training.

Should you get the Australian Cattle Dog?

If you know for sure that you have the time and space to take care of this breed, then go for it. You can take them along for long hikes, as they love spending time outdoors. Also, you need to establish the fact that you are a strong leader, to prevent behavioral issues from cropping up.

If you think you are ready to get an Australian Cattle Dog, get in touch with an adoption center today!

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Here are Interesting Facts about British Shorthair Cats

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One of the most popular pedigree cats in the world, the British Shorthair breed is known for winning several competitions. As the name suggests, these felines come from the UK and gorgeous looks.

The beauty of different breeds of cats is that they have unique personalities and temperaments. If you plan on getting one or you just want to learn more about these felines, here are interesting facts about British Shorthair cats:

Long lifespan

Out of all the cat breeds in the world, the British Shorthair has one of the longest lifespans. You can say that it does have nine lives, as it is healthy by nature. One of the reasons is because of the size of the gene pool, during the early years of breeding.

It comes in different colors

The common belief is that British Shorthair felines only have one color – gray. However, they come in a variety of shades. Silver, gold, black, white, and red are some of the hues of its coat. They also have different colors for their eyes, ranging from blue-green to copper and gold.

It could be the inspiration for Cheshire Cat by Lewis Carroll

If you read Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, you will remember the Cheshire Cat, which is a popular character in the book. There are several rumors which indicate that the author drew the illustrations for this persona from the British Shorthair cat.

The roots go back to Rome

The British Shorthair felines are one of the oldest breeds of cats to exist in the world. You can trace their lineage to the legendary Roman empire. As the Romans were planning on invading Great Britain, they carried these felines with them. The belief is that these cats were responsible for protecting the supplies of the soldiers from rodents.

They almost went extinct

You will find it surprising to know that these breeds of felines reached a point of extinction in the past. Although they were extremely popular for shows, their popularity started to decline with the introduction of Siamese and Persian breeds.

On top of that, the two World Wars stopped people from breeding the British Shorthair felines. Fortunately, dedicated British dealers made sure to keep these species alive with the right mating processes.

Vulnerable to obesity

The major reason why people love the British Shorthair is because of its muscular and solid frame. However, it is quite easy for them to become obese if you don’t pay close attention. Due to this reason, you need to ensure it gets regular exercise while feeding it high-quality and nutritious food.

If you are planning on getting a British Shorthair cat, go for it. There are plenty of options available, ensuring you can get one which you will fall in love with, instantly!

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Do You Want Companionship? Here are high-energy Cat Breeds You Should Consider Petting

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Contrary to popular beliefs, not every cat breed prefers to sleep in your house all day long. Some of them prefer to play with you regularly, as they like being active most of the time. You can use a variety of toys and have the time of your life playing and petting the following breeds:

Bengal

The reason why a lot of people want to adopt a Bengal breed of cats is because of their exquisite looks. While they are docile by nature, they love spending time playing with you. They are always ready to be a part of any action, as long as it involves climbing and chasing.

You will have a lot of fun having a Bengal in your household, as it loves to get your attention. These breeds of cats can go on walks with a leash, as long as you train them. The best part is that they don’t mind being in the water.

Bombay

Bombay is known to be social felines, who want as much attention as possible, from you. Due to their energetic nature, you can take these cats for a long walk to your favorite park. When they are at home, they will assist you in all activities, by following you around.

If you have children, they will get along with these felines. If you are up for the task, you can even teach these cats a couple of tricks. After a long day of fun and action, they will love cuddling up with you, while you give them hour-long pets.

Burmese

There isn’t going to be any part of your house that the Burmese can’t reach, thanks to its remarkable athletic abilities. They love being the center of attention, which means that you need to show a lot of affection via petting.

If you get interactive toys, they will have the time of their lives playing in your household. Even when they grow older, they won’t become sedentary. Once they are done with all the activities, they will be ready to sleep with you and call it a day.

Japanese Bobtail

If you think every cat breed hates water, you will be speechless when you spend time with the Japanese Bobtail. You can take it for a swim in a nearby pool and watch it have a ball of a time. They love being active throughout the day, so make sure you have a lot of toys.

The Japanese Bobtail will be the first person at your door, when someone rings the bell, due to their outgoing nature. You can even create an obstacle course, which the feline will clear in no time.

As all these breeds love receiving all the love and attention from their owners, which one will you choose to be a part of your pack?

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How can you teach your child to train your dog?

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When you adopt a dog and have a kid in the family, you need to teach your kid how they, too, can help their new canine family member. You can’t be teaching your dog to obey your commands if your little one sabotages the process by giving it treats despite lousy behavior. Training is a dog that is an essential part of domesticating it. You can’t have your dog run wild in the household, tearing up furniture and wetting the carpet.

Consistency is essential when trying to train a dog. Inconsistent behavior by another family member, not in line with your training efforts could make all your attempts futile. If your kid is over the age of eight, you can easily ask them for help in training your dog. However, if they happen to be younger, make sure their actions don’t confuse the dog, who is trying to learn what you’re teaching it.

Tips to enable your child in dog training

The following tips will help you make your child understand why and how they can train the dog –

  • Tell them to turn their back to unwanted behavior – Say, your dog is jumping while you’re arriving home with your kids and you’d like it to calm down. You should all turn your backs to it. When you listen for signs of it having calmed down, you can turn around and proceed as you would. Nobody likes an unruly dog greeting their house guests. Ignoring your attention-seeking dog when it’s behaving in a way you don’t approve of, will send it a signal. Hopefully, it won’t repeat this unwanted behavior after a couple of times.
  • Teach them how to use praises – A dog thrives on encouragement and rewards. Teach your kid to observe how your dog waits for a treat, after having followed a command well. The dog will lavish you with its attention when you’re tossing it treats. It may not be equally receptive to you at other times. Show your kid how they can use treats preciously to elicit good behavior from the dog instead of pampering it needlessly.
  • Just involve them – Yes, training a dog while having a child around can make the process doubly difficult, but it doesn’t have to be so. Training establishes a bond between the dog and its humans. You want your child to share in the joy. So, don’t keep him/her away when training your dog. Your child can lead with basic instructional training like “Sit,” “Stay.”

Conclusion

When you adopt a dog into a family, it is every family member’s responsibility to train it. Don’t allow your child to have a free pass. After all, your dog will be spending as much time around your children as they will, you.

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Here’s the Checklist for Evaluating Pet Food Options

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One of the keys to ensuring your four-legged friend has a long and healthy life is to feed it high-quality meals. These days, due to the expansion of the commercial pet food industry, it is crucial you know what you are giving your furry companion.

When you go to a local supermarket, you will come across pet food from a variety of manufacturers. Similarly, the list of ingredients they use differs in every brand. The best way to make sure your pet receives the right food is to evaluate all the available options. Given below is a simple checklist which will ensure your furry friend gets all the necessary nutrients from commercial pet food:

Check the reputation of the brand

It is a profitable business for companies to make pet food, as there are millions of four-legged companions in households all over the country. Once owners find out their furry animals love a specific brand, they may never switch to another firm’s products.

However, not every company is the same, as they use different types of ingredients in pet food. The best way to know which one is good for your furry friend is to do your research. If the company has been in the market for a long time, there is a reason why they remain relevant even today.

Find out if the pet food manufacturer conducted trials

The company whose pet food you choose should hold feeding trials, to see if it is appropriate for specific pets. Will you purchase a product, if the firm only tells you that it is safe without any testing? Not only will you avoid it, but you will also make sure your family and friends know about it.

The same applies when it comes to pet food, so you need to make sure it follows AAFCO procedures. If it does so, it means that the company followed the necessary protocols set by this organization for testing its diet. It is a relevant standard, which helps you differentiate the best of the lot.

Presence of veterinarians and strict quality control

When there are veterinarians in the company, it shows that the manufacturer is taking nutrition seriously. Only these professionals know what type of diet is right for the wellbeing of pets.

Similarly, the food should have gone through multiple quality control checks. The reason is that it ensures that the manufacturer follows the industry standard to keep contaminants out of their products.

Zero unproven claims

A common marketing technique among pet food companies is to display various applications on their products. The reason is that it captures your eye, increasing the chances of you purchasing it.

However, you shouldn’t just believe the claims to be valid. You must check if the company provided information on how it made a specific statement. If you don’t find any verification for the claim, you should avoid this pet food manufacturer. Make sure you follow this checklist before purchasing pet food from a local supermarket!

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Here’s Why Felines Love Snuggling Up in Boxes

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So, you’ve come back home from a trip at the mall and brought your kitty back a shiny new toy. But imagine this, the moment you take the toy out the bag, you cat swoops into the empty bag instead of showing any interest to the toy. Has this happened to you? If you’ve been a cat parent for a while now, chances are, you’re all too familiar with your cat’s fascination with bags, boxes, baskets, and other enclosed places. Ever wondered why your cat never misses an opportunity to snuggle up in these? Let’s find out.

It makes perfect sense to your cat

Your cat’s behavior may seem odd to you. But your cat is functioning out of instinct. Cats have primarily ambushed predators. So, a box or basket gives it a place to carefully stalk its prey from, before it decides on the right time to pounce forth and go for the kill. Your cat can then retreat back into this enclosed space to hide from other predators that may be lurking in the vicinity,

Also, the enclosure of a box provides it with a sense of safety and security. Cats like being in control. They don’t want to be snuck on and taken by surprise. When your cat is in the box, it can see you, but you can’t spot them unless you directly come into their line of vision. Such a set-up suits your cat just fine.

Cats also tend to run away and hide when faced with conflict. They don’t have the kind of conflict resolution mechanisms that we possess in us — their natural reaction when in conflict, is to escape to a place where they can de-stress.

Another reason that might explain why cats love themselves some box-time is because it helps them adapt to change. If you’re planning to move houses, make sure you get your feline friend a box to cozy up in. They will prefer to make a home out of this box before they’re ready to come out and explore their new surroundings.

Cats like being warm. Your box’s small enclosed space provides it with its much-needed warmth.

Let’s not forget, your cat is curious why you have an empty box lying around and what its purpose could be. You can trust your cat to play detective and sniff and prod it until it has figured out a satisfactory reason for the box’s existence in the household.

Now you know

If all the reasons listed above weren’t adequate, there’s another. The texture of a cardboard box enables it to become a favorable toy for your cat, which can scratch and bite it if it so pleases and keeps itself entertained for hours.

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Why the FDA’s Latest Statement on Grain-Free Dog Food Dangerous?

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The FDA has, of late, been investigating the link between grain-free dog food and canine heart disease. Why? Because the FDA knows the importance of our diet, on our wellbeing. It suspects that there is a relation between canine dilated cardiomyopathy(DCM) and a grain-free dog diet.

The food items under investigation are legumes such as lentils and peas, legume seeds, potatoes. These food items are common in dogs reported with DCM. While DCM is not rare in dogs, the dog breeds reported with having this condition are not usually the ones at risk. Hence, the FDA thought it wise to examine what the co-relation could have been.

Can a grain-free diet really harm your dog’s heart?

The FDA thinks so. Dilated cardiomyopathy can weaken your dog’s heart muscle and lead to cardiac failure.

When the FDA investigated the diet being consumed by the diseased dogs, it realized that 90% of the food examined was grain-free ie. devoid of wheat, rice, barley, grains, soy. These diets also contained peas, lentils, and potatoes. No protein sources were found to be problematic.

The FDA also listed 16 brands of dog food that it believed had connections with the development of DCM. It hasn’t stated anything definitive though, and investigations are continuing on the subject.

The FDA received 515 reports of DCM in dogs between 2014-2019.

Should you be concerned?

As a pet parent, you will naturally worry if the FDA suddenly comes out with a statement linking the food you’ve been feeding your dog with cardiac difficulties. Remember that the FDA is still speculating. If you’re worried the diet you’ve been feeding your dog is harmful to it, consult your vet.

Manufactured dog food also contains exotic fruits, meats, and vegetables. These ingredients could also be the culprit – one doesn’t know yet. Other factors may also be involved.

For now, the FDA has requested pet parents to report to them, if their pet develops DCM and they believe it could be as a result of their diet.

When you seek your vet’s counsel, you can both monitor your dog together for symptoms of DCM. The vet will be able to tailor a diet plan according to your dog’s individual growth and developmental needs.

One hundred nineteen dogs, out of those reported with DCM, have died. It’s a cause for concern. Research is still underway, and hopefully, we’ll have the answers we seek very soon. Until then, we need to be cautious of what we are feeding our dogs. Nothing matters more to a pet parent than their pet’s health, and no pet parent will want to jeopardize their pet’s health at any cost.

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Here’s All You Need to Know About Heritable Behavioral Differences Between Cat Breeds

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Did you think only humans inherited personality traits from their parents? Recent research has found that cats inherit behavioral traits from their breeds. The level of activity they indulge in, their aggressiveness, sociability, how shy they are – are all determined by the breed they belong to.

Although cats are possibly the second-most popular animal to be domesticated, not much research has been conducted into cat behavioral traits and its origin, until now. Researchers at the University of Helsinki found that the most difference, when it came to behavioral differences between cat breeds came with regards to activity level displayed. The least difference was observed in the stereotypical behavior that they adopted.

The focal investigator of this research group, Professor Hannes Lohi attributed this, to the fact that activity is more of a permanent trait than is stereotypical behavior, which isn’t quite as static. Stereotypical behavior depends on the cat’s environment and may incorporate changes over time.

Three vastly different cat breeds were chosen for studying the hereditary of behavior and mannerisms in cats, with relation to their breeds. The three breeds, so chosen, were – the Maine Coon, descending from Nordic and landrace cat breeds, the Turkish Van, with no links to any other cat breed and the Ragdoll, a distant cousin of American and Western European cat breeds.

About half of all cat traits are inherited

The study found that of all the behavior traits examined, nearly half were passed down by breed. If the same cat breed did show distinct differences in behavior, it is possibly because they were subject to a behavioral trait selection and elimination process at the time of breeding.

The behavior of cats belonging to the same region may be similar despite breed differences, because of their shared history.

What piques the interest of the researchers now is how these behavioral traits came to be originated in the breeds.

The study conducted had asked for feedback on responses for 6,000 cats. It is the second-largest inventory of information collected on feline behavior in existence.

The same researchers have gone on to expand their sample size and now hope to collect information on 20,000 cats. We wish them all the best in their endeavor. After all, why should dogs have all the fun? Us, cat parents, need to know what goes on in our mysterious brains too.

Takeaway

The research performed by the University of Helsinki has thrown up numerous interesting nuggets of information. We now know that Bengal cats are among the most active and British short-hairs, just as lethargic. A Burmese cat will be amiable and friendly to a stranger, but a Russian blue will most likely shy away. Useful info? We’d certainly say so!

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Do Cats Drink Tea?

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Cat owners are aware that their feline companions love tea. Your furball has the inclination to lick and smell any tea left anywhere. It does not hesitate to drink from teacups directly. Do remember that if you love caffeinated drinks like coke and coffee, and tea too, it is essential that you keep them away from your cat.

Tea may kill

Your cat loves tea as it soothes the animal’s senses. Not only tea, but your cat will also drink coffee and fanta as well. Excess amount of tea, however, could kill your cat. This is especially applicable for chamomile or earl grey varieties. Herbs attract cats, and they drink only for the scent of the herbs.

Higher caffeine content drinks will cause harm to cats if they drink it in excess quantities. This is as the caffeine has toxins, and these chemicals could be too much for cats to manage. Kitties may be poisoned by caffeine. This has a high probability of happening as it is not possible to monitor the cat all day and night. If your cat has drunk too much caffeine, then the animal will exhibit a few symptoms like vomiting and restlessness. There can also be heart palpitations and diarrhea. Muscle tremors and rapid breathing may happen. Allergies and fits are quite common in such conditions.

Quick treatment is needed

If you observe anyone or multiple symptoms in the cat, take the animal to the veterinarian immediately. Appropriate treatment should be given as quickly as possible. Your cat’s life depends on your swiftness. Many of such symptoms could lead to a few other complications like coma, dehydration, and seizures. In extreme cases, death may occur. Some cats, however, can drink large quantities of tea and survive. This is as these cats have been drinking tea from their kitten days, and their body is immune to the toxic effects of the caffeine.

If you have just brought home a kitten, then it is unwise to take risks. The thumb rule in such cases is to assume that all plants kill cats. Concentrated extracts from any flower are poison to most cats. This holds true even if the cat does not drink the tea. Rubbing the liquid on its belly is dangerous enough for some particularly vulnerable kitties. This is as cats do not process the same way as humans do. The liver of a cat is different than a human’s. It makes your kitty vulnerable. The kidney lacks the enzymes which are required to break down a number of substances and also the internal pathways to remove them. This is why you must not allow your cat to touch any medicine you eat, including all tablets and vials.

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