<![CDATA[Country K9 Pet Resort & Spa - Blog]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 15:03:13 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[Matting]]>Tue, 11 Jul 2017 01:33:16 GMThttp://countryk9pets.com/blog/matting

A mat refers to densely tangled clumps of fur in a pet’s coat.  Loose and live hair become embedded in large masses.  If your dog scratches or bites the skin or hair it becomes wet and tangled.  Sometimes mats can be combed out, but once matted down to the skin, it is impossible without seriously harming the animal.

Mats can form in both the outer coat as well as the deeper undercoat.  Sometime severe mats form in the undercoat and are unnoticeable because of a heavy outer coat.


Matting is especially prevalent in long-hair dogs during seasonal shedding if the excessive hairs are not removed.  Regular and frequent grooming, especially brushing, is absolutely necessary to not only prevent mats, but to keep your pet’s coat and skin healthy.  Friction areas such armpits, the neck, and groin are also prone to matting. The neck and body can also become matted from collar and harness wearing.


Severe matting can be extremely painful to your dog during brushing. Brushing only causes lives hairs to be pulled out of the skin with excruciating pain.  Matting can cut off blood supply to extremities and deny regular air circulation.  Skin denied fresh air and stimulation from regular brushing becomes quite unhealthy.  It can turn dark pink to red, and open sores are quick to form emitting a foul odor.

Even organic matter, like weeds and stickers, can become embedded in the skin. Mats have been known to contain stool of the pet and even fly larvae that further irritate the skin. Remember, sometimes these mats and their consequences can be completely hidden from view.

Removing Mats

Throughout the grooming industry, the term “dematting” simply means to rip the mats from the dog’s skin. At Country K9 we will not remove mats in this fashion as it will hurt your pet.  Severe mats, mats down to the skin, will requiring shaving to humanely remove.
<![CDATA[Declawing a Dog?]]>Fri, 10 Feb 2017 18:35:32 GMThttp://countryk9pets.com/blog/declawing-a-dogSo I recently came across someone inquiring about having their dog declawed.  You read that right, DOG!  Aside from the removal of dewclaws due to injury or removal of particular nails due to injury/tumors, I had never heard of declawing a dog.  I was actually quite surprised when I did an internet search that people actual do this so they won’t get scratched or because their dog digs holes or for cosmetic reasons.

Dog Paw Anatomy

Dogs are digitgrade animals.  This means that the weight bearing surface of their limbs is their toes, each with a claw and pad.  A dog’s paws are made up of the following five components:
Photo: Eric Isselee/Shutterstock
The digital and metacarpal pads work as shock absorbers and help protect the bone and joints in the foot.  The carpal pads sort of work like brakes and help a dog navigate slippery or steep slopes.
Paw pads have a thick layer of fatty tissue (kind of like whale blubber) that insulates the inner foot tissues from extreme temperatures, as it doesn’t conduct cold as quickly. As a dog’s paw gets cold when it hits the ground, arteries transfer the chilled blood back to the body where it warms up again.
The pads also offer protection when walking on rough terrain.  Dogs that are outside a lot and exposed to rough surfaces have thicker, rougher paw skin; dogs that stay in more and walk on smoother surfaces have softer pads.  The pads help dogs distinguish between different types of terrain.
The inner layer of skin on the paw has sweat glands that convey perspiration to the outer layer of skin, which helps cool a hot dog and keeps the pads from getting too dry.  Paws can also exude moisture when a dog gets nervous or experiences stress; dogs get sweaty hands, just like people do!


Aside from a valid, serious medical reason, one should not declaw their dog!  Dogs need their claws to provide traction on surfaces when walking or running.  The faster the breed, the more important their claws are. A dog without claws will not be able to walk or balance properly, which could have long term effects on their joints and muscles.
If your dog’s nails are scratching you or your furniture, trim your dog’s nails or take them to get them trimmed.
If your dog is digging holes in your yard, make sure he/she gets regular exercise so they won’t get bored and dig holes.  If the problem persists, talk to your vet or a dog trainer to correct the behavior.
Declawing a dog is not cosmetically pleasing.  Instead take your dog to the spa and have their nails trimmed and painted.
<![CDATA[Leonberger]]>Tue, 31 Jan 2017 22:02:08 GMThttp://countryk9pets.com/blog/leonberger

The Leonberger is one of the oldest breeds originating in Leonberg in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.  This gentle giant is a very friendly, bright, playful, patient, loving and family oriented working dog.
According to legend, the Leonberger was purportedly bred to be an elegant dog in the spirit of a lion that would mimic the lion in the town crest.  Heinrich Essig, claimed to have created the Leonberger breed by combining the original stock that made the St. Bernard with white Landseer Newfoundlands and then injecting some Pyrenean Mountain Dogs (Great Pyrenees).
World War I almost rendered the breed extinct.  After the war, Karl Stadelmann and Otto Josenhans scoured Germany searching for Leonbergers; they found 25.   In 1922, a group of seven people joined together to form a breeding cooperative which brought about a revival of the breed.
Leonberger’s full coat tends to shed a lot, requiring daily brushing.  They need regular, moderate daily exercise and are rambunctious when they are puppies.  Leonberger’s benefit greatly from consistent, firm, loving socialization and training that will help ensure a mannerly, well rounded, 120 - 170 pound dog.  They are not a dog for the novice owner.
Leonberger’s are generally healthy dogs.  Like all large breeds, they can suffer from hip dysplasia which is largely controlled because of the effort of many Leonberger breeders who actively screen their dogs and leave dysplastic specimens out of the gene pool.  Though not common, Leonbergers do inherit and/or develop a number of other diseases; heart problems, Inherited Leonberger Paralysis/Polyneuropathy, osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, Osteochondrosi Dissecans, allergies, digestive disorders, cataracts, entropion/ectropion eyelids, progressive retinal atrophy, perianal fistulas, and thyroid disorders.  They have an average lifespan of 8 to 10 years.
For additional information on Leonbegers:  http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/leonberger/
<![CDATA[ When the Time Comes to Let Them Go ]]>Sat, 22 Oct 2016 15:58:56 GMThttp://countryk9pets.com/blog/-when-the-time-comes-to-let-them-go
Owning a pet is a wonderful experience. Pets provide us with loyalty, companionship, love and affection, as well as many physical and psychological benefits. Pet owners are found to suffer fewer ailments, such as headaches, colds and hay fever.  The presence of a pet reduces your heart rate and can lower your blood pressure.

No one likes to think about it or talk about it, but just like every other living creature, our pets die.  Every so often I have a conversation with someone about letting their pet go.  Sometimes it’s a client and sometimes it’s a stranger.  Sometimes I bring up the subject because I can see what the owner doesn’t want to see or admit and sometime someone asks me “When do you know it’s time?”

On Friday, October 21, my husband and I found ourselves in our vet’s office, tears’ streaming down our faces asking each other “is it time?” Our 12, almost 13 year old, Josie was having some issues that we attributed to being old.  She was a little stiff and slow getting around and had started suffering from incontinence.  The incontinence was remedied with medication and we thought we dodged a bullet.  Then on the morning on the 21st, she couldn’t get up and stay up.  It was like she was drunk.  She couldn’t control her back legs and now we had the opposite problem of the incontinence, she wasn’t going.  She was alert, but she wasn’t herself.  She either had a spinal tumor or degenerative myelopathy. 
There is no cure or successful treatment of either condition.  Any “treatment” would just delay the inevitable.  But the options still ran through my head; Do we go for the neurological consult? How long with it take to get an appointment? Do we try whatever “treatment” the vet had to offer? Do we have them put in a catheter?
So as the tears and now snot (yes, I was a mess), continued, I realized that I was doing exactly what so many people do.  At that moment I would have done anything and paid any amount of money to buy more time with Josie.  But at what cost to her?
So in the end, you know it’s time to let them go when you realize that keeping them alive is for your benefit and not theirs.
<![CDATA[Herding Dogs and Herding Behavior]]>Sat, 01 Oct 2016 16:29:15 GMThttp://countryk9pets.com/blog/herding-dogs-and-herding-behaviorPicture

Herding dogs were originally bred as working dogs and have heightened instinctive herding abilities.  Various breed were developed for specific tasks to help people manage domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep.

Today these working dogs not only herd animals, but are used as police dogs, rescue dogs, therapy dogs and any other job suited to their intelligence, agility and willingness to please.

Herding Dogs
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A herding dog, also known as a stock dog or working dog, is a type of pastoral dog that either has been trained in herding or belongs to breeds developed for herding. Their ability to be trained to act on the sound of a whistle or word of command is renowned throughout the world.


In Australia, New Zealand and the United States herding dogs are known as working dogs irrespective of their breeding. Some herding breeds work well with any kind of animals; others have been bred for generations to work with specific kinds of animals and have developed physical characteristics or styles of working that enhance their ability to handle these animals. Commonly mustered animals include cattle, sheep, goats and reindeer, although it is not unusual for poultry to be handled by dogs.

The term "herding dog" is sometimes erroneously used to describe livestock guardian dogs, whose primary function is to guard flocks and herds from predation and theft, and they lack the herding instinct. Although herding dogs may guard flocks their primary purpose is to move them; both herding dogs and livestock guardian dogs may be called "sheep dogs".

In general terms when categorizing dog breeds, herding dogs are considered a subcategory of working dogs, but for conformation shows they usually form a separate group.

Australia has the world's largest cattle stations and sheep stations and some of best-known herding dogs, such as the Koolie, Kelpie, Red and Blue Heelers are bred and found there.

Herding Behavior

All herding behavior is modified predatory behavior. Through selective breeding, man has been able to minimize the dog's natural inclination to treat cattle and sheep as prey while simultaneously maintaining the dog's hunting skills, thereby creating an effective herding dog.

Dogs can work other animals in a variety of ways. Some breeds, such as the Australian Cattle Dog, typically nip at the heels of animals (for this reason they are called heelers) and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi were historically used in a similar fashion in the cattle droves that moved cattle from Wales to the Smithfield Meat Market in London but are rarely used for herding today.

Other breeds, notably the Border Collie, get in front of the animals and use what is called strong eye to stare down the animals; [5] they are known as headers. The headers or fetching dogs keep livestock in a group. They consistently go to the front or head of the animals to turn or stop the animal's movement. The heelers or driving dogs keep pushing the animals forward. Typically, they stay behind the herd. The Australian Kelpie and Australian Koolie use both these methods and also run along the backs of sheep so are said to head, heel, and back. Other types such as the Australian Shepherd, English Shepherd and Welsh Sheepdog are moderate to lose eyed, working more independently. The New Zealand Huntaway uses its loud, deep bark to muster mobs of sheep. German Shepherd Dogs and Briards are historically tending dogs, who act as a "living fence," guiding large flocks of sheep to graze while preventing them from eating valuable crops and wandering onto roads.

Herding instincts and trainability can be measured when introducing a dog to livestock or at noncompetitive herding tests. Individuals exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.

Basic Herding Dog Commands

  • Come-bye or just bye - go to the left of the stock, or clockwise around them.
  • Away to me, or just away or 'way - go to the right of the stock, or counterclockwise around them.
  • Stand - stop, although when said gently may also mean just to slow down.
  • Wait, (lie) down or sit - stop.
  • Steady or take time - slow down.
  • Cast - gather the stock into a group. Good working dogs will cast over a large area.
  • Find - search for stock. A good dog will hold the stock until the shepherd arrives. Some will bark when the stock have been located.
  • Get out or get back - move away from the stock. Used when the dog is working too close to the stock, potentially causing the stock stress. Occasionally used as a reprimand.
  • Hold - keep stock where they are.
  • Bark or speak up - bark at stock. Useful when more force is needed, and usually essential for working cattle and sheep.
  • Look back - return for a missed animal.
  • In here - go through a gap in the flock. Used when separating stock.
  • Walk up, walk on or just walk - move in closer to the stock.
  • That'll do - stop working and return to handler.
  • Hey's of shame - just repeat hey... that's all thank you.

These commands may be indicated by a hand movement, whistle or voice. There are many other commands that are also used when working stock and in general use away from stock. Herding dog commands are generally taught using livestock as the modus operandi. Urban owners without access to livestock are able to teach basic commands through herding games.

These are not the only commands used: there are many variations. When whistles are used, each dog usually has a different set of commands to avoid confusion when more than one dog is being worked at one time.

Herding Dogs as Pets

Herding dogs are often chosen as family pets. The collie breeds including the Bearded Collie and Border Collie are well known. Although they make good family dogs and show dogs they are at their best when they have a job to do. These dogs have been bred as working dogs and need to be active. They retain their herding instincts and may sometimes nip at people's heels or bump them in an effort to 'herd' their family, and may need to be trained not to do so.[1] Their activity level and intelligence makes them excellent canine athletes. The Shetland Sheepdog, Rough Collie, Smooth Collie and Old English Sheepdog are more popular as family companion dogs.

Herding Breeds

Signs of Herding Behavior

The herding behavior is modified from the predatory instinct, to hunt and prey on other animals. Instincts don’t go away and if a herding dog’s needs aren’t met, they can show up in inappropriate places.  If your dog is constantly trying to control your movements, round up the kids while they are playing (especially squealing children), or move the cats around in an orderly manner, your dog is displaying herding behavior.


  • Stay calm the moment your dog starts pushing you around.  Avoid laughing, running away or yelling, because this reinforces the behavior; your dog might think you’re playing a game.
  • Leash your dog when you walk with them until you’re confident you’re got their herding behavior under control.  The leash will allow you to maintain control over your dog so they can’t take off and start chasing and herding people or animals.
  • Enforce obedience training so you can control your dog’s actions.  Teach them basic commands such as “sit” and “stay”.
  • Provide your dog with other ways to satisfy their urge to herd.  Play games, such as fetch and tug.  Command your dog to “sit” before throwing the ball when playing fetch.  This teaches your dog self-control and satisfies their urge to chase moving things.  Tug gives your dog’s mouth a workout and provides them with an outlet to bit and nip.
  • Keep your dog busy and entertained so they are less likely to resort to herding.  Provide mental stimulation; food stuffed toys and obedience training sessions with rewards.  Take your dog on doggie play dates so they meet other people and dogs and can improve their socializing skills.  Take your dogs on walks for physical stimulation.
<![CDATA[Canine Lymphoma]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2016 19:29:10 GMThttp://countryk9pets.com/blog/-canine-lymphoma

Lymphoma describes a diverse group of cancers in dogs that are derived from white blood cells call lymphocytes.  Lymphocytes normally function as part of the immune system to protect the body from infection. It most commonly arises in organs that function as part of the immune system such as the lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow. The most common type of lymphoma in dogs is multicentric lymphoma, in which the caner first becomes apparent in the lymph nodes.
Multicentric lymphoma; swollen mandibular lymph node under the jaw.
Other common lymphomas in dogs include cutaneous lymphoma (lymphoma of the skin), alimentary or gastrointestinal lymphoma (lymphoma of the stomach and/or intestines) and mediastinal lymphoma (lymphoma involving organs within the chest, such as lymph nodes or the thymus gland).

Lymphomas represent approximately 7-14% of all cancers diagnosed in dogs. Some progress rapidly and are acutely life threatening without treatment, while others progress very slowly and are managed as chronic, lethargic diseases.

Canine lymphomas are similar in many ways to the non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHL) which occur in humans. Canine lymphomas and NHL are nearly indistinguishable when examined microscopically and both tumor types exhibit similar responses to chemotherapy.

Common symptoms of canine lymphoma

Canine Lymph Node Locations
The most common initial symptom of multicentric lymphoma in dogs is firm, enlarged, non-painful lymph nodes.  A lymph node affected by lymphoma will feel like a hard, rubbery lump under your dog’s skin. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, lethargy, weight loss, swelling of the faces or legs (edema) and occasionally increased thirst and urination.

Cutaneous lymphoma tends to appear first as dry, flaky, red and itchy patches of skin anywhere on the body. As it progresses, the skin becomes moist, ulcerated, very red and thickened. Masses in the skin can also occur with cutaneous lymphoma. It may also appear in the mouth, often affecting the gums, lips and the roof of the mouth.
Gastrointestinal lymphoma presents with vomiting, watery diarrhea and weight loss.  The diarrhea is often very dark in color and foul smelling.

Dogs with mediastinal lymphoma typically have difficulty breathing. This may be due to the presence of a large mass within the chest or due to the accumulation of fluid with the chest (pleural effusion). Affected dogs may also show swelling of the face or front legs as well as increased thirst and urination.

How is canine lymphoma diagnosed?

The best way to diagnose lymphoma is to perform a biopsy to remove a piece of the lymph node or other affected organ. The most common methods for lymph node biopsy as Tru-cut needle biopsy, incisional wedge biopsy, or removal of the entire lymph node (excisional biopsy).  The larger the biopsy sample, the better the chance for an accurate diagnosis of lymphoma.

In addition of biopsy, blood tests, a urinalysis, x-rays, an abdominal sonogram and a bone marrow aspirate are used to determine how far the lymphoma has spread throughout the dog’s body.

How is canine lymphoma treated?

The most effective therapy for most types of canine lymphoma is chemotherapy. Surgery or radiation therapy may also be recommended in some cases.  Most dogs with lymphoma experience remission of their cancer following treatment and side effects are usually not severe. Remission means a regression of a dog’s cancer. Remission may be partial, meaning the overall cancer load has been reduced by at least 50% or it may be complete, meaning the cancer has become undetectable to any readily available screening test.

Most dogs tolerate chemotherapy well, actually must better than humans typically do. Generally, fewer than 5% of dogs treated for lymphoma using chemotherapy will experience side effects that need to be managed in a hospital setting. The most common side effects include loss of appetite, decreased activity level and mild vomiting or diarrhea that persists for a day or two.

Unlike people, dogs usually do not lose their hair when treated with chemotherapy. The exceptions to the rule are Poodles, Old English Sheepdogs and some Terriers.

How is chemotherapy given?

Most chemotherapy drugs are given by intravenous (IV) injection and some are given by mouth as a tablet or capsule. An IV catheter is places in one of the dog’s veins, the IV is flushed with saline and then the chemotherapy drug is administered.   
Chip receiving his Chemotherapy

Where can your dog receive chemotherapy?

Dr. Rogers Fred III and his wife Kim, run Valley Veterinary Oncology, P.C. (VVO), an independent specialty practice located within the Valley Veterinary Emergency and Referral Center offering consultation services, cytology interpretation (in house and referral) and chemotherapy. They provide compassionate individualized cancer care for their patients and their owners.
<![CDATA[What is a Puppy Mill?]]>Sun, 07 Aug 2016 18:02:54 GMThttp://countryk9pets.com/blog/what-is-a-puppy-millPicture
A puppy mill is a large scale commercial dog breeding operation.  Hundreds of dogs are usually housed in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water or socialization. 

Puppy mill dogs do not get to experience treats, toys, exercise or basic grooming.  Dogs are often kept in cages with wire flooring that injures their paws and legs and it is not unusual for cages to be stacked in columns. Female dogs are bred at every opportunity with little-to-no recovery time between litters and when they can no longer reproduce, they are often euthanized.  Breeding dogs at puppy mills might spend their entire lives outdoors, exposed to the elements, or crammed inside filthy structures where they never get the chance to breathe fresh air or see the sun.

Dogs are often bred with little regard for genetic quality.  Puppy mill puppies are prone to congenital and hereditary conditions.  These can include:
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Musculoskeletal disorders (hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, etc.)
  • Endocrine disorders (diabetes, hyperthyroidism)
  • Blood disorders (anemia, Von Willebrand disease)
  • Deafness
  • Eye problems (cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, etc.)
  • Respiratory disorders
Puppies often arrive in their new homes with diseases including:
  • Giardia
  • Parovirus
  • Distemper
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Kennel cough
  • Pneumonia
  • Mange
  • Fleas
  • Ticks
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Heartworm
  • Chronic diarrhea
Puppies are also removed from their mothers and littermates at a young age so they often suffer from fear, anxiety and other behavioral problems.

There are an estimated 10,000 licensed and unlicensed puppy mills in the United States, in total selling more than 2 million puppies annually.  The vast majority of these dogs are sold to pet stores by dealers or brokers.  Avoid the temptation to "rescue" a puppy from a pet store, as this just puts money into the pockets of the puppy mill industry and ensures they will continue to breed dogs in inhumane conditions.  Adopt or find a responsible breeder!

<![CDATA[House Training a Puppy]]>Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:58:56 GMThttp://countryk9pets.com/blog/house-training-a-puppyPicture

House-training your puppy requires vigilance, patience, plenty of commitment and above all, consistency.

Establish a Routine

Puppies do best on a regular schedule, just like a baby.  The schedule teaches him/her that there are times to eat, times to play and times to potty.

As a rule, a puppy can control his/her bladder 1 hour for every month of age.  So if your puppy is 2 months old, he/she can hold it for about 2 hours.  Don’t go longer than this between bathroom breaks or he’s/she’s guaranteed to have an accident.

Take your puppy outside frequently – at least every 2 hours – and immediately after he/she wakes up, during and after playing, and after eating or drinking.

Pike a bathroom spot outside – always take your puppy (on a leash) to that spot.  While your puppy is eliminating, use a word or phrase, like “go potty”, that you can eventually use before he/she eliminates to remind him/her what to do.  Take him/her out for a longer walk or some playtime only after he/she has eliminated.

Reward your puppy every time he/she eliminates outdoors.  Praise him/her or give him/her a treat – but remember to do so immediately after he’s/she’s eliminating, not after he/she comes back inside the house.  Puppies are easily distracted so if you praise him/her too soon, he/she may forget to finish until he’s/she’s back in the house.

Put your puppy on a regular feeding schedule.  What goes into a puppy on a schedule, comes out of a puppy on a schedule.  Depending on their age, puppies usually need to be fed three or four times a day.  Feeding your puppy at the same times each day will make is more likely that he’ll/she’ll eliminate at consistent times as well.  Depending on what type of food the puppy eats (dry or canned), the amount of food eaten, and the amount of fiber in the diet will dictate how frequently the puppy will need to defecate.  Typically, you can expect your puppy need to defecate anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour after he/she has eaten.

Pick up your puppy’s water dish about 2 ½ hours before bedtime to reduce the likelihood that he’ll/she’ll need to potty during the night.  Most puppies can sleep for approximately 7 hours without having to eliminate.  If your puppy does wake you up in the night to go potty, don’t make a big deal about it; otherwise he/she will think it’s time to play and won’t want to go back to sleep.  Turn on as few lights as possible, don’t talk to or play with your puppy; take him/her out to do his/her business and return him/her to his bed.

Supervise your Puppy

Don’t give your puppy an opportunity to eliminate in the house; keep an eye on him/her whenever he’s/she’s indoors.

Tether your puppy to your or a nearby piece of furniture with a 6 foot leash if you are not actively training or playing with your puppy.  Watch for signs that you puppy needs to eliminate; barking or scratching at the door, squatting, restlessness, sniffing around or circling. When you see any of these signs, immediately grab the leash and take your puppy outside to his/her bathroom spot. If he/she eliminates, praise lavishly and reward with a treat.  While house-training your puppy, your yard should be treated like any other room in your house so keep your puppy on a leash while they are in your yard.

Confine your puppy when you can’t supervise

When you’re unable to watch your puppy at all times, confine your puppy to an area small enough that he/she won’t want to eliminate there.  The space should be just big enough for him/her to comfortably stand, lie down and turn around.  You can use a portion of a bathroom/laundry room blocked off with baby gates or crate train your puppy.

Mistakes Happen

Expect your puppy to have a few accidents in the house; it’s a normal part of house-training.  Here’s what to do when an accident happens:
  • Interrupt your puppy when you catch them in the act of eliminating in the house.  Make a startling noise (be careful not to scare him/her) or say “OUTSIDE!” immediately and take him/her to his/her bathroom spot.  If he/she finishes eliminating outside, praise and give a treat.
  • Don’t punish your puppy for eliminating in the house.  If you find a soiled area, it’s too late to administer a correction; just clean it up.  Rubbing your puppy’s nose in it, taking them to the spot and scolding, or any other punishment will only make him/her afraid of your or afraid to eliminate in your presence. 
  • Clean the soiled area with a product designed specifically to clean pet urine/feces.
<![CDATA[Crate Training]]>Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:49:54 GMThttp://countryk9pets.com/blog/-crate-trainingPicture
Crate training uses a dog’s natural instincts as a den animal.  A wild dog’s den is his/her home; a place to sleep, hide from danger, and raise a family.  The crates becomes your dog’s den, an ideal spot to snooze or take refuge during a thunderstorm.

The primary use for a crate is for house-training; dogs don’t like to soil their dens.  A crate can also limit the access to the rest of the house while he/she learns other rules, like not to chew furniture.  Crates are also a safe way to transport your dog in a vehicle.


  • A crate is not a silver bullet.  If not used correctly, a dog can feel trapped and frustrated.
  • Never use the crate as a punishment.  Your dog will come to fear it and refuse to enter it.
  • Don’t leave your dog in a crate too long.  A dog that’s crated day and night doesn’t get enough exercise or human interaction and can become depressed or anxious.  You may have to change your schedule, hire a pet sitter, or take your dog to doggie daycare to reduce the amount of time he/she must spend in his crate every day.
  • Puppies under 6 months of age shouldn’t stay in a crate for more than 3 or 4 hours at a time.  They are unable to control their bladders and bowels for that long.  The same holds true for adult dogs that are being house trained.  Physically, they can hold it, but they don’t know they are supposed to.
  • Crate your dog only until you can trust they will not destroy the house or injure themselves.

Types of crates

Crates come in different sizes and can be purchased at most pet supply stores or big box stores with pet departments.
A dog’s crate should be just large enough for him/her to stand up and turn around in.  If your dog is still growing, choose a crate size that will accommodate his/her adult size.  Block off the excess crate space so your dog can’t eliminate at one end and retreat to the other using a divider panel.

Types of crates:
  • Plastic (often called “flight kennels” or “travel kennels”)
  • Fabric on a collapsible, rigid frame
  • Collapsible, metal crates

Crate Training Process

The time it will take to crate your dog depending on your dog’s age, temperament and past experiences.  Keep the following two things in mind while crate training:
  • The crate should always be associated with something pleasant.
  • Training should take place in a series of small steps; Do Not go too fast.
1. Introduce your dog to the crate
  • Choose an area in your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family and place the crate in that area.  Put bedding in the crate and take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure.  Some dogs will be naturally curious and take to the crate right away.  If yours isn’t one of them:
  • Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice.  Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won’t hit your dog and frighten them.
  • Encourage your dog to enter the crate by placing some treats nearby, then just inside the door, and then finally, all of the way inside the crate.  If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that’s okay; don’t force them to enter.
2. Feed your dog his/her meals in the crate
  • Begin feeding your dog their regular meals near the crate.  This will create a pleasant association with the crate.
  • If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all of the way at the back of the crate.
  • If your dog remains reluctant to enter the crate, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious.  Each time you feed your dog, place the dish a litter further back in the crate.
  • Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they are eating.  The first time you do this, open the door as soon as your dog finishes their meal.  With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating.
  • If your dog begins to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly.  Next time, try and leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period.  If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop; otherwise, they’ll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine.
3. Lengthen the crating periods
  • After you dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you’re at home.
  • Call your dog over to the crate and give him/her a treat.
  • Give your dog a command to enter, such as “kennel” or “crate.”  Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with the treat in your hand.
  • After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and then close the door.
  • Sit quietly near the crate for 5 – 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes.  Return and site quietly for a short time and then let your dog out of the crate.
  • Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you are out of their sight.
4. Crate your dog when you leave
  • Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving your dog crated when you’re gone for short time periods.
  • Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat.  You might also want to leave him/her with a few safe toys in the crate.
  • Vary at what point in your “getting ready to leave” routine you put your dog in the crate.  Although he/she shouldn’t be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate your dog anywhere from 5 – 30 minutes prior to leaving.
  • Don’t make your departure emotional and prolonged – they should be matter of fact.  Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly.
  • When you return home, do not reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to him/her in a excited, enthusiastic way.  Keep your return low key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return.  Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you’re home so he doesn’t associate crating with being left alone.
5. Crate your dog at night
  • Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat.  Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in the hallway, especially if you have a puppy. 
  • One your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with his/her crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer.

Potential Problems


If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether he's/she’s whining to be let out of the crate, or whether he/she needs to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from his/her crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, he'll/she’ll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at him/her or pounding on the crate will only make things worse.

If the whining continues after you've ignored him/her for several minutes, use the phrase he/she associates with going outside to eliminate. If he responds and becomes excited, take him/her outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore him/her until the stops whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what he/she wants. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again.
Separation anxiety

Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but he/she may injure himself in an attempt to escape from the crate. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counter-conditioning and desensitization procedures. You may want to consult your veterinarian and/or trainer for help.
<![CDATA[What is a Plott Hound?]]>Mon, 18 Jan 2016 22:54:28 GMThttp://countryk9pets.com/blog/what-is-a-plott-hound

The Plott Hound is one of the least known breeds of dog in the United States, even though it is the state dog of North Carolina.  Plotts come from the mountains of western North Carolina and are the only coonhound breed not descended from the Foxhound.


In 1750 Jonathan Plott and his brother left Germany bound for America. They took with them five Hanoverian Hounds. Jonathan Plott's brother died during the trip but Jonathan settled in North Carolina. It was there that he raised a family and bred his dogs. A mix of Bloodhounds and Curs reportedly comprised the original stock. For the next 200 years the dogs were bred by generations of Plott family members and were referred to as the Plott's hounds.

The dogs worked at hunting bear and raccoon in the Appalachian, Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains of the eastern United States. They are very effective in the search for coyotes, wolves and wildcats.  The Plott family rarely put the dogs on the market so they remained rare outside the southern United States.

The dogs were recognized for the first time in 1946 by the United Kennel Club. Plotts are hardy and have superior hunting instincts.  The breed was carefully developed to be stronger and more persistent. They were able to make good family companions but were seldom kept as such, as most owners acquired the dogs for the hunt.

In 2006 the breed was officially recognized by the AKC as the "Plott" and is now shown as a show dog, but there are many who still hunt and breed them as hunting dogs.


The Plott hound should be athletic, muscular, and agile in appearance.  It should be neither low-set and heavy, nor leggy and light.  Its expression should be one of intelligence, confidence, and determination.  Is skin should not be baggy like that of a Bloodhound.  The Plott is a strongly built yet moderate hound, with a distinct brindle-colored coat.  Brindle is defined as “Finely streaked or striped effect or pattern of black or tan hairs with hairs of a lighter or darker background color.  Shades of colors accepted: yellow brindle, red brindle, tan brindle, brown brindle, black brindle, grey brindle, and maltese (slate grey, blue brindle).”

At a Glance