A dog is a man’s best friend is an expression that hangs on the wall as a blue and white tile in many dog households. Is it really so? Read these five true stories and judge for yourself!
1. The Swansea Jack Story
Swansea Jack was a black retriever who lived in – unsurprisingly – Swansea, Wales during the 1930s. The story goes that Jack once saw a little boy nearly drown in the water near the house of his owner, William Thomas. Without a second thought, Jack sprinted into the river and rescued the boy from what had probably become his death.
Remarkably, two weeks later, more or less the same thing happened. This time a grown man went into drowning – and again Jack came to the rescue. And it didn’t stop there. According to local legend, Jack saved a total of 27 people from a particularly chilly ending. That earned him the title Bravest Dog Of The Year and his own statue.
The Swansea Jack story lives on today. Swansea FC football club still bears the nickname The Swansea Jacks, according to many a reference to the special story.
2. Bobbie The Wonder Dog’s Retreat
Bobbie The Wonder Dog was an American dog who was accidentally abandoned by his owners while on vacation in Indiana. Six sad, Bobbie-less months passed…and then suddenly Bobbie was at the door again. He had found his way home on his own. All 2,800 (!) miles.
The police concluded this on the basis of several people who claimed to have seen Bobbie’s immense hike. It earned him worn legs, but also the more than justified nickname Bobbie The Wonder Dog.
3. The mourning of Capitan
The story of Capitán is still going around in certain circles in South America. The four-legged friend from Argentina turned out to be missing after his owner, Miguel Guzmán, died unexpectedly in an Argentine hospital. Capitan was eventually found.
He had been lying on his owner’s grave for six days. The remarkable thing about this story is that the hospital where Miguel died was nowhere near his house. Capitan nevertheless managed to find the final resting place of his boss. Speaking of loyal friends…
4. Barry .’s Rescues
The Swiss Saint Bernard Barry is known in the Alps as a true rescue dog. Unlike Swansea Jack, this was actually Barry’s job. He and other Saint Bernards were and are being used to help hikers who were buried by snow and ice while walking.
The most extraordinary story has to do with a boy who got stuck between two large ice shelves. Barry reportedly not only rushed to the rescue, but also kept the victim warm and prevented hypothermia. Finally, the boy left his plight on Barry’s back, which was seated so that he could easily climb onto it.
The current rescue squad on the Great St. Bernard Pass, in tribute to the original Barry, always has one dog named Barry in its pack.
Hawkeye made national headlines in 2011, attending the funeral of his owner, Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson. 1,500 other attendees looked up in amazement as Hawkeye walked forward from the back of the room and flopped onto his owner’s coffin. Until the last moment, he showed loyalty to his former friend.
Gluten-free dog food
What most animal lovers among us may not immediately think about is that dogs can also be gluten intolerant. It is important for the health of your dog to recognize this as soon as possible and to purchase special gluten-free dog food.
Since every dog is different, the symptoms can manifest in different ways. These symptoms range from intestinal problems to skin problems. In most cases, the dog will vomit after eating dog food that contains gluten. If this is the case, it is advisable to pay a visit to the vet. The body of a dog with gluten intolerance does not absorb enough nutrients, causing the animal’s health to deteriorate.
If the animal has gluten intolerance, it is important to purchase special gluten-free dog food. But why are there grains in dog food anyway? Grains not only serve to bind the feed, but are also an important building material that provides the animal with the necessary nutrients such as proteins, minerals and fats.
In gluten-free dog food, the grains are replaced by carbohydrate sources such as vegetables and potatoes. In this way you ensure that the animal does not ingest gluten, but that it does receive the important nutrients for maintaining a healthy body.
The nutritional needs of course differ per dog. A large Shepherd will have different nutritional needs than a Chihuahua. The age and lifestyle of the animal also plays a major role in this. For specific advice on gluten-free dog food, you can go to pet stores.
What happens if your dog does ingest gluten?
If your dog does ingest gluten, the intestinal wall can be damaged. If the intestinal wall is damaged, the nutrients that the dog needs are hardly or no longer obtained from the food. In most cases, dogs therefore suffer from a nutritional deficiency, which deteriorates the health of the dog. With special gluten-free dog food, the intestinal wall can recover and the necessary nutrients can be absorbed again.
If your dog suffers from certain physical problems, do not wait too long with a visit to the vet. Because you never know, maybe your dog needs gluten-free dog food! By means of gluten-free dog food you ensure that the animal still receives the important nutrients for maintaining a healthy body. Of course, also think about the snacks that you give to the animal. These will most certainly not be gluten-free.
Potty training puppy
When housetraining your puppy, the most important rule to remember is: if you don’t catch him in the act, don’t punish him for it. Should you come across a mess that was left behind when you were gone, clean it up and let it go. Discipline is useless unless you catch your pup in the act, otherwise he won’t know what he’s being punished for.
The puppy peed and pooped many times before meeting you and no one ever made a fuss about it. Therefore, he will not be able to associate the penalty with something he has done hundreds of times before without incident, especially if he did it more than 30 seconds ago.
Like children, puppies don’t think about what they did before unless it was really fun. They think about what to do next. Young puppies have a very bad memory. Plus, you have to admit it was your fault and not your pup’s.
If you had been keeping an eye on him, you would have noticed that he suddenly started walking around or running in circles, sniffing for the right spot. Your puppy will show the same behavior every time he needs to go to the bathroom. The act can vary a bit from pup to pup, but they will always show their pre-potty pattern.
If you catch your puppy in the act, don’t get mad. Again, it was your fault for not paying attention to the signals. Pick it up quickly but calmly and firmly say “no” without raising your voice. Carry him outside or to his papers. You can push his tail down while carrying your pup to stop him from peeing or pooping. He will get excited when you take him outside or to his papers, but this is part of the learning process. When he’s done with his needs, it’s time to reward him with a sweet tone or a treat.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. And this also applies to potty training workouts. If you overreact and startle or frighten your puppy, you will not make much progress. Some people think that rubbing a puppy’s nose in his need will teach him a lesson, but this is definitely not the case. In the puppy’s mind, there’s no difference between rubbing his need at the accident he left in your living room an hour ago and rubbing his nose in the feces the neighbor’s dog left in the park a week ago.
Peeing and pooping are natural instincts and punishment rarely speeds up the potty training process. Instead, it makes the dog nervous or anxious. Punishing your puppy can cause long-term relationship problems. If you punish your puppy for making a mess while you were away, he won’t remember it long after you come home after a few hours.
If you come home and your puppy runs away and hides, he won’t because he’s been in an accident. Instead, he has learned that when you first come home you are always in a bad mood and he is punished. Hence, your pup has decided to avoid you for a while and goes into hiding. Because discipline was misunderstood, your puppy will become scared, which can have a lifelong impact on your relationship.
Regardless of the method you use, spend as much time with the puppy as possible if you want to speed up the housebreaking process. Always keep an eye on your puppy and be there when needed. You will be surprised how much progress can be made in just one week!
How did I wash my dog?
When you see people bathing a dog in movies or on TV, it usually seems like a happy and fun time for everyone involved. Unfortunately, bathing your dog in real life isn’t always such a positive experience. Dogs don’t mind being dirty and smelly – in fact they really like it – and many aren’t afraid to argue if they think it will help them out of the tub.
Power of positive association
The first thing you want to do, as is the case with almost anything you introduce to your dog, is to tie the bath to something positive. In other words, offer treats, toys, and affection to take your dog to the bath, and each time they behave in a way that is helpful during bath time.
Start by letting them hop in an empty tub and just spend time there feeding them treats or toys and work your way up to adding warm (not hot) water.
Don’t be afraid to repeat actions until they seem to actually get it. For example, if you have a dog bath or a specific area you dog wash in, have them come to you and offer a treat every time they obey until they come, even without a treat.
Protect the ears
You have to be very careful to avoid getting water in your dog’s ears. Not only is it uncomfortable for the dog but it is also something that can cause health problems.
If you have a puppy, start bathing as soon as possible. The dog will therefore be less opposed to the experience when they are younger. This is because they have no negative associations with it. By getting them used to it early, you will encounter fewer problems later on.
Use the right shampoo
One way to make a bath more enjoyable for your dog is to choose a shampoo that will keep them from scratching and drying out the skin. Ideally, you want a mild soap that cleans and removes unwanted odors without stripping away important oils. The best way to make sure you get the right shampoo for your dog? Talk to your vet.
Work from the neck down
You don’t just want to keep your dog’s ears safe, but also the eyes and mouth. How are you doing this? By washing from the neck. You can achieve this by using a bucket or cup to wet your dog or using a sprayer. You can even find sprayers specifically designed for bathing a dog. So what do you do to wash your dog’s face? Use a damp washcloth.
Many people swear by dog blow dryers, but the sound and feel are definitely something to get used to. Be careful not to burn the skin. The other way to go is to just wash the dog off. If you are going to do this, use one of the absorbent dog towels that can be found at most pet stores. And, of course, be prepared for the inevitable “shake” as your dog dries itself.
By making pleasant associations with bath time and staying calm and assertive while bathing your dog, you can give him the opportunity to share affection. Above all, be patient.
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