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Basic Dog Care
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Dogs are pack animals, which means they do things as a group. When we bring a dog into our home we become their pack. Dogs that are kept in a kennel, tied up, or not allowed to interact with its human pack develop behavior problems. What they really are saying is "make me part of your family. A friendly pat on the head, a hello as you pass them, playing with a ball or stick, and letting your dog be part of your family will let your dog know that he belongs to your human pack.

pack dog



Dogs like to feel that they have a job within their family pack. Some dogs are guard dogs, some are herding dogs, some help their human family to do things they cannot do themselves like guide dogs for the blind. Some dogs just want to be your friend and pal. Your dog may even save your life.

Fee Fee



Puppies are so cute! But they take a lot of care. They need your attention, guidance, and love 24 hours a day. They don't automatically know not to go potty in the house, or not to tear up your favorite shoe. Puppies respond to firm tones of voice but not loud or yelling voices. If you yell at your dog he will only get scared. Always call your dog like you are inviting him to a party.



Picking out a Healthy Puppy


Training: Your dog is never too old or too young to learn what you want him to do. Having your dog "sit" and "stay" may save his life when he wants to dash across the street to say hello to another human or dog. All dogs that belong to a human pack should go to "obedience school." Even when your dog is all grown up, he is like someone in kindergarten. They depend on you to help them and guide them because you are the pack leader.

Sit for SafetyMost dogs that don't mind you don't know what you want from them. All dogs want to please. They are "team" players and want to go along with the group. Dogs who bark all the time, act mean, act scared of you, don't come when you call, chew up furniture, or go to the bathroom in your house, are all saying that something is not right with them or that they don't know what you want. Spanking a dog, rubbing a dog's nose in his ‘soiled’ area, or yelling at his bad behavior, only makes your dog confused and doesn't fix the problem. Show him what you expect. Most bad behavior can be corrected by taking your dog outside regularly so he can go to the bathroom, play with him so he feels like he is part of the family and doesn't need to tear apart furniture, or bark to get attention.





1. Build a good relationship with your dog before makes any corrections.

1. Never hit your dog, either with your hand or an object such as a rolled-up newspaper or something he has chewed.
2. Use a choke collar to make a correction - they make it easy to get his attention. 2. Never shout at your dog or blame him for not obeying your command.
3. Use positive reinforcement. 3. Never chase after your dog.
4. Correct at the moment your dog makes a mistake, not a few minutes after. 4. Never corner your dog.
5. Use food, toys, attention, praise or a combination of these to reward your obedient dog. 5. Never jerk your dog's leash upward. This could injure his neck.
6. Be consistent with corrections. 6. Never leave your dog locked up in a small dark room.
7. Follow a correction with another opportunity for our dog to do it and get it right, and reward him when he does so. 7. Never punish your dog for doing something you did not see him do at that precise moment.
8. Rattle a loud, noisy object or use a low tone in your voice to startle your dog just as he is about to do something wrong. 8. Never withhold feed or water from your dog for long periods of time.
9. Use a collar and leash when training outside. 9. Never do anything anyone, including a trainer, tells you to do that you don't feel comfortable doing.
10. Be comfortable correcting him around others. 10. Never rub his nose in messes in the house.


Vaccinations: Just like you, dogs need shots to protect them against illness and disease.


You need to provide fresh clean water at all times, and adequate food throughout the day.


VERY THIN RIBS Ease to feel with no fat cover
TAIL BASE Prominent raised bony structure with not fat under the skin
ABDOMEN Sever abdominal tuck accentuated hourglass shape
UNDERWEIGHT RIBS Easy to feel with minimal fat cover
TAIL BASE Raised bony structure with little fat under the skin
ABDOMEN Abdominal tuck, marked hourglass shape
IDEAL RIBS Possible to feel with slight fat cover
TAIL BASE Either a smooth contour or some thickening possible to feel bony structures under a thin layer of fat
ABDOMEN Abdominal tuck, well proportioned lumbar waist
OVERWEIGHT RIBS Difficult to feel with moderate fat cover
TAIL BASE Smooth contour or some thickening; still possible to feel the bony structures
ABDOMEN Little or no abdominal tuck or waist, back slightly broadened.
OBESE RIBS Very difficult to feel with thick fat cover
TAIL BASE Appears thickened, difficult to feel the bony structures
ABDOMEN Pendulous bulging belly with no waist, back markedly broadened, muscle areas on either side of the spine bulge at the sides


Never leave an animal in the car in the summerIt's too hot in the car

Summer Hazards: Your dog should NEVER be left in the car with the windows up during the summer. The temperature in a car can soar to over 160 degrees in 10 minutes, hot enough to kill a human and a dog. Your dog has tough feet but in the hot summer, the bed of a truck can create painful burns from the hot metal. Provide him a blanket to lay on.

NEVER allow your dog in the back of a truck without being restrained by a leash. Sudden turns can throw him out of the truck. This also makes sure he cannot jump out while the truck is moving to chase another dog, cat, or squirrel and get hurt.


Stand very still and try to be calm: DON’T SCREAM OR RUN.

Don’t stare at the dog, but be aware of it.

Don’t make any sudden moves

Try to stay until the dog leaves, if it doesn’t-very slowly back away

If the dog comes up to sniff you, don’t resist

If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly

Plan, in case of attack, to buffer a bite with a purse, jacket, book, or other object

Climb a tree or jump on a car hood

If you fall or are knocked down, curl into a ball with your arms and hands over your head and neck: try not to scream or roll around

Get a good look at the dog so that you can properly identify it later, if you have to report a bite.


(From "Choosing & Caring for a Shelter Dog)



Pepper.jpg (7957 bytes)

This was my dog, PEPPER

I got Pepper when she was 12 weeks old. She was a German Shepard and Australian Shepard mix.She was smaller than my cat when I brought her home. She was a very good dog. We went to obedient classes and learned how to work together. She was very well mannered and lived in the house. She enjoyed sleeping on the foot of the waterbed until she was no longer able to get up into the bed alone. She had hip dysplasia which is common in larger breeds. She was my best friend for 13 years and was a natural protector. She went to the Rainbow Bridge in May, 1999.

I will always remember you Pepper.
I Love you, and miss you.


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Last update 5-28-2005