Saturday, March 8, 2008

Dog Fix

If you are reading this blog you are probably a pretty serious dog person like me. I am actually on travel right now and it always amazes me how much energy I get from my dogs.

A couple of days ago I was having a sub optimal day. On my walk back to my hotel, I noticed that the grassy area just in front of my hotel has been turned into an unofficial dog park. It was great, I just went over to the onwers and the dogs and pet them for a while, the dogs I mean and everything seemed a little bit better.

Great Dane Puppies

This video is from They are an awesome rescue in austin, tx. While not solely a great dane rescue, they do have a bunch of them. Twice a year we sponsor these guys with a percentage of our sales. The woman that runs Paws of Austin is fantastic.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Little Bit About Labradors

Here is another article I wrote. I had to do one about Labradors, Kona kind of insisted.

The Labrador Retriever is one of several kinds of retriever. Although somewhat boisterous if untrained, they are exceptionally affable, gentle, intelligent, energetic and good natured, both as companion and working dog. With training, the Lab is one of the most dependable, obedient and multi-talented breeds in the world.

American or English

Labrador Retrievers are usually described as being either “English” or “American”, they can also be described a show or field Labradors, with the show Labradors being the English and the field being the American. English or show labs tend to be smaller and stockier than the American or field labs. Having said that, it is not uncommon for an American lab to be short and stocky and an English Labrador to be larger and thin many due to the tremendous amount of small scale or backyard breeders that actively breed Labradors.

High Energy

Labradors often have high energy and are smarter than the average dog. This means if they are not given sufficient amounts of exercise and training they can be handful, especially as younger dogs. A good brisk walk in the morning and the evening is a good idea for younger to middle aged Labradors. They are a very pack oriented, social dog so these walks have tremendous benefits to keeping order around the home as well as giving both of you much needed exercise.
Not only are Labradors high energy most have a food drive that is really second to none and I have often heard people say, “A Labrador will eat anything that is not getting ready to eat them”. Maybe a little bit of an exaggeration but not by too much.

Labrador Colors

In addition to coming in different body types, labs come in a variety of colors as well. The Black Labradors are the oldest of the Labrador colors followed by the Yellow Labradors. Next are the Chocolate Labradors which are most recent addition to the Labrador family. Do not be surprised if your black lab has a sibling that is yellow or brown though. Yellow and black often are found in the same litter and when chocolates and black labs are bred together, which they often are, you will have a mix of chocolate and black labs.
Fox Red Labradors are making a comeback in recent years. The fox red coloration was the original color that was associated with yellow labs until it was almost entirely bred out to achieve the more desirable yellow cream color. If you go for the fox red color make sure you go to a reputable breeder as some folks are taking short cuts just to achieve the fox red color. Another recent development in the Labrador world are Silver Labradors. Some breeders have been producing them but there is significant controversy surrounding these dogs as other breeders believe these dogs are actually a mix of a Labrador and something else.

Canine Info

Birth place: Newfoundland
Nicknames: Commonly called Lab/Labrador
Types: usually two types: English Labrador (heavier, thicker, and blockier) and the American Lab (tall, lanky)
Appearance: Solid, muscular, slightly longer than tall.
Stature: 22-24 inches in height (56-61cm.)
Weight: 60-75 lbs in weight (27-34 kg.)
Coat: Short, hard, easy-care, water-resistant double coat
Color: Solid black, chocolate, yellow, fox red (Silver or gray is controversial)
Head: Broad, with thick nose, pronounced stop, fairly wide muzzle, powerful neck
Eyes: Chestnut or hazel
Ears: Medium in size and decorated
Teeth: like scissors-bite
Limbs: bone structure is very good
Feet: Webbed for swimming
Tail: Otter tail, strong, thick near the body then tapering, completely covered with hair
Life span: 10-12 years

Canine Facts

The Labrador is considered the most popular breed of dog (by registered ownership) in the world, and is by a large margin the most popular breed by registration in the United States (since 1991), the United Kingdom and several other countries.

It is also the most popular breed of assistance dog in the United States, Australia, and many other countries, as well as being widely used by police and other official bodies for their detection and working abilities.

Labrador Retrievers respond well to praise and positive attention, and are considerably "food and fun" oriented.


Labrador pups should not be bought before they are 7–10 weeks old. They can carry some disorders like:

 Prone hip
 Elbow dysplasia
 Luxating patella in knee
 Eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, corneal dystrophy and retinal dysplasia.
 Hereditary myopathy causing deficiency in type II muscle fiber

Famous Labrador retrievers

Endal: he was a service dog in England as well as the most decorated dog in the world. He is the first dog to ride on the London Eye and the first dog known to work a 'chip and pin' ATM card. As of 2007 some three hundred camera crews from several countries have interviewed Endal and his owner Allen Parton, and a film of a year in his life is in production.

Jake: a black Labrador who became a national canine hero after burrowing through white-hot, smoking debris in search of survivors in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. Also helped search for Hurricane Katrina victims in 2005.

Lucky and Flo: twin Black Labrador counterfeit detection dogs who became famous in 2007 for "sniffing out nearly 2 million pirated counterfeit DVDs" on a six-month secondment to Malaysia in 2007. Following the multi-million dollar, 6-arrest Malaysian detection, they became the first dogs to be awarded Malaysia's, "outstanding service award" and software pirates were stated to have put a 60,000 dollar contract out for their lives.

Clinton and his Buddy: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton's Labradors Buddy and Seamus, and Russian President Vladimir Putin's Labrador 'Koni' are the famous pet labs.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Great Danes

Here is an article I wrote about Great Danes. Let me know what you think.

Great Dane is a member of the domestic dog (canis lupus familiaris) family. This specific breed, the “Apollo of all breeds”, is famous for its monster size and gentle temperament. The "Gentle giant" is among the tallest dog breeds, along with the Irish Wolfhound. The Great Dane was originally used for boar hunting in the woods of Germany. Their use as boar hunting dogs was one of the primary reasons that their ears were traditionally cropped. For modern Great Danes, who are mostly pets the only use is create the traditional Great Dane appearance. Many Great Dane owners choose not to have their dog’s ears cropped and in fact it is now outlawed in some western European countries.

Great Dane History

The modern Great Dane is a mix of an older style of Great Dane which can trace its ancestry to dogs the Romans used in combat and for hunting. These dogs were combined with Irish Greyhounds to give Great Danes a more sleek body while retaining most of the massive size. Some people say that Irish Wolfhounds were also used to create the modern Great Dane. While Great Danes remain a member of the Working Breed family of dogs they are mostly employed as family pets today.

Is a Great Dane the Right Dog For You

There are some very important things to consider when making the decision to own a Great Dane as a pet. They are large even giant size dogs. Their size will have a tremendous impact in many facets of your life. While they do not need a tremendous amount of room or exercise, they do require some. As puppies they can be very boisterous and due to their size can be a hazard to things around the house and even people. Not because they are naturally aggressive but rather because they just do not have a firm grasp of how large they are. When they are puppies use some care when introducing them to older dogs. The Great Dane at this point could be large in size for its age but it very much still sees itself as a puppy. As they grow older their size will have a serious impact. Their toys, their beds, their treats and food consumption, well, it is just larger and more expensive. If you plan to travel with you new Great Dane you will need a vehicle that can support the dog’s huge size. They do not require a tremendous amount of exercise but a daily walk will do them and you some good.

Great Danes as Pets

Great Danes are very much family dogs. They can not be left outside for long periods of time by themselves, especially when the family is home. They love their families and want to be with them and long periods of being “banished” to the backyard while the family is home will cause behavioral and emotional problems in your Great Dane. Mistreating or simply ignoring your Great Dane combined with a lack of socialization can create an unsafe environment as Great Danes are sometimes prone to defensive biting.
Great Danes are of average intelligence in the dog world but they are usually very responsive to verbal commands due to their emotional makeup. They respond well to firm commands but not to overly stern commands. If you give an overly forceful correction you might have a giant sulking dog on your hands. As with all dogs, never strike your Great Dane to give corrections. They will not respond well to this treatment and it will eventually cause behavioral problems with your Great Dane. If you imagine your Great Dane as a big hearted teenage boy you will be pretty close as to their emotional make up.

Canine Info

Alternative names: Deutsche Dogge ("German Mastiff"); Grand Danois (in French)
Birth Country: the country of its origin is ascribed to Germany
Appearance: Giant and powerful, yet elegant and noble
Stature: the usual height is 30-40 inches (76-86 cm.)
Power: the usual weight is for male: 54-90 kg (120-200 lbs.) and for female: 45-68 kg. (100-150 lbs.)
Coat: polished, bulky and close-fitting hair
Color: Fawn, brindle, black, blue, mantle and harlequin (merle not recognized by the various kennel clubs)
Head: Long and narrow, with a highlighted front end and a relatively hefty nasal channel; distinguished, expressive, finely chiseled and rectangular in shape
Eyes: dark, round, deeply set medium size eyes with an energetic and bright look
Ears: pointed, long and straight or left natural cropped legs
Teeth: Well-developed, strong with scissor like bites
Limbs: perfectly straight Front legs
Feet: solid and circle-shaped
Tail: medium in length, reaching to the point of the hock
Life span: Median ~8-10 years

Great Facts about Danes

 Dogs like Great Danes were also found in Ancient Rome, Greece and even Ancient Egypt according to ancient sources.
 Sources confirm that the age of this breed is over 500 years and they are the direct successor of Bullenbeisser composing about the 40% of its make-up.
 DanĂ­r tribe used Great Dane as hunting-dog with which it shares the taxonomical semblance.
 Pennsylvania’s state dog is Great Dane.
 In August 2004, a Great Dane named "Gibson" from Grass Valley, California was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's tallest dog, measuring 42.2 inches at the withers.


Danes usually have some great health problems like:

 Bloat
 Hip Dysplasia
 Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Back check the ancestral history of your loving Dane. If its relatives ever had any of these diseases refraining your doggy from exercise immediately before and after meal can help to reduce the risk. Back checking also helps to prevent your doggy from several genetic disorders. If a Great Dane is white (lacks color) near its eyes or ears then that organ doesn’t develop properly and as a rule the dog will possibly be either blind or deaf. Many pure white Danes are deaf.