Beans And A Maltese

So, my Boston Terrier and I had to do some babysitting for almost two weeks. I wish I had taken some photos during this time, but I do have one after the fact:

sleeping boston terrier As I write this, Beans has literally been sleeping for almost 12 hours!

So let's talk about the babysitting a bit more. My son and his mom have a 7 year old Maltese named Rudy. About two weeks ago, they went off on a holiday together, and I agreed to look after Rudy while they were gone. At first, I did not know if I was crazy in agreeing to this, but thought, "Well, if it's going to be an adventure, might as well have it!"

The first day was kind of crazy. Beans simply does not know his own strength, and Rudy is quite a bit smaller. However, Rudy really did want to get along with Beans, but everytime Beans got a little too rambunctious, there was some snarling and gnashing of teeth on the part of Rudy.

When this would happen, sometimes Beans would look over at me as if to say, "Hey! What's going on? I just want to play?" with an expression on his face that only a Boston Terrier can have. Then they would settle down, and Beans did seem to realize (or appeared to from my observation) that Rudy was the older dog, and therefore the one in charge.

Being a Maltese though, Rudy is definitely a lap dog and it's quite obvious that he must get to hang out in my son's mom's lap frequently. While sitting at my desk and trying to get some work done, Rudy would start pawing at me, wanting to get up.

Well, this caused a bit of jealousy I think on the part of Beans. It was kind of funny to watch him walk over toward us, and just using the weight of his body, lean against Rudy, sort of pushing him away from me. It was sort of like giving him a slow hip check. And then Rudy would look up at me with his Maltese expression, as if to say, "Hey, what's goin' on here?"

As the days went by, the two of them really adjusted to each other well. They would snuggle up together, and for the last four days, would stand in front of each other and give each other "kisses." I wish I had my camera ready during those moments, but sadly, I did not.

Beans also has a rope toy that he likes to use to play tug of war with me. That was another funny thing to watch; Beans picking up his ropey toy, and then offering and end of to it Rudy. Rudy wanted no part of that game though!

So yesterday, Rudy was picked up by my son and his mom. He was very happy to see them, but after they left, Beans just seemed to become quite melancholy. He did not want to play with me, he looked out the door, and eventually just curled up on the sofa and went to sleep. He did not even come running as he always has in the past, when I put my jacket on to walk to the corner store.

He did wake up to go outside to do his business, but then promptly curled up in Rudy's small bed (as you can see in the photo above), and fell asleep. He has been snoring in it all night!

I think he misses his little friend, for the did become friends. I've never seen him sleep this long before! I'll have to make sure we get some good play time in today – to get his mind off of his loss. I am sure Rudy will be back for a visit though, soon.

 

 

Diamond Pet Food Expands Recall – More Brands

Yesterday, on May 5, 2012, Diamond Foods expanded their recent pet food recall to include even more brands of food made between December 9th, 2011 and April 5th, 2012.

Do you keep your dog food bags for any length of time after the food has been consumed? Seems you probably should be with all these recalls going on – just so you know if your pet may have been affected by tainted food.

The brands that are now included in the pet food recall include:

 

  • Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
  • Country Value
  • Diamond
  • Diamond Naturals
  • Premium Edge
  • Professional
  • 4Health
  • Taste of the Wild
  • Kirkland

These foods have been distrubed throughout the entire eastern USA and including Michigan down through Alabama. As well, it's been distributed into Canadian Provinces – and it may have been distributed to some areas that are not know by Diamond Pet Foods.

I am glad that I don't have to worry about this stuff with the diet I have my dog on, but for those who are still feeding commercial, it is a major concern.  This particular pet food recall is about the possibility of the food being tainted by salmonella.

Click here to find out what I don't feed my dog and what I DO feed him.

Find out more about the recall here.

 

Diamond Pet Foods Recall

Diamond Pet Foods of Meta, MO, USA has posted a press release on their website, dated April 6, 2012 advising those that purchase some of their pet foods of a voluntary recall.

In part, the press release advises,

Diamond Pet Foods is voluntarily recalling Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice. This is being done as a precautionary measure, as the product has the potential to be contaminated with salmonella. No illnesses have been reported and no other Diamond manufactured products are affected.

If you are feeding Diamond's "Lamb & Rice" formulation, please visit the press release linked above and check the product codes against any of the pet food packaging you have. If you find that you have pet food that is subject to the recall, you are requested by Diamond Pet Foods to stop feeding it to your pet and discard the food.

Poisoning Your Dog? Not With A Raw Meat Diet

YesBuiscuit has updated the list of the brands of pet foods that were hit by the recall due to the toxic, poisonous substance of aflatoxin being found in them. As YesBuiscuit points out, aflatoxin, which can cause a variety of cancers (more here), is a fungi that can arise in grains like corn. So called "premium" dog foods such as Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy food were included in the recall.

So the debate among pet owners and veterinarians who have little training in nutrition other than what the pet food manufacturers tell them continues over feeding a raw meat diet to your dogs and cats. Personally, I don't trust the pet food companies. They of course don't want you to feed a raw meat and bones diet to your dog as they would lose a lot of money – millions upon millions of dollars in North America. They have a vested interested in using scare tactics to keep you away from the real healthy choices you can make when deciding on what to feed your pet.

In 2007, it is estimated that perhaps as many as tens of thousands of pets died as a result of eating poisoned pet food. And guess what? Many brands of pet foods were involved in this, from non-premium to premium. How could this be? Well, because many of the brands of pet foods are simply relabelled. In 2007, melamime, aminopterin (a rat poison), and cyanuric acid (a chlorine stabilizer) was found in pet foods made by Menu Foods, a Canadian based pet food company that made foods for a wide variety of labels including Eukanuba, President's Choice, Wal-Mart (Ol' Roiy) and 17 of the largest pet supply chains. Furthermore, investigators and scientists found little difference in the nutritional value between less expensive and so-called "premium" pet foods.

It's also been discovered that the labelling on pet foods is very deceiving. Pet food manufacturers label the ingredients by weight, and they want you to believe that the meat in their dog food is the main ingredient. However, this is not true because although they may have used a pound of a beef byproduct, they then might add for example, half a pound of corn grits, a third of a pound of some other corn by product, and a quarter of a pound of rice, along with other grains. Ultimately, there is more grain by weight than meat in the pet food.

Pets may be able to "get by" on such a diet, but they are not thriving to the best they can be. It would be like you eating convenient fast foods every day for your entire life. Which ultimately would poison you and probably cause you to have a shortened life span with the increased risks of health issues.  That's what is happening to our pets that are fed most commercial pet foods.

Are veterinarians experts on nutrition and what brands of pet food to recommend? Well according to a documentary recently created, even a staff member at one of the most renowned Veterinarian Schools, located in Saskatoon, SK, Canada, admits that Vets have very little training in real pet nutrition!

You can watch this documentary here – although it is almost 45 minutes in length (come back and read more below once you've watched it):

 

I don't know about you, but I don't want to poison my dog. Interestingly, before switching to a raw meat diet for my dog, I had Beans the Boston Terrier on Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy food. Am I ever relieved I did some research and switched him over!   This was brought about due to some comments a very good friend made to me after talking about the problem Beans had with his short piggy type tail and his feces often get stuck to it. Green tripe was also mentioned in this conversation, and I began my own extensive research into dog nutrition. 

The more I read, the more I researched, and the more I read the illogical responses of commercial dog food advocates, I decided to give it a try. It did scare me of course, to think that Beans might eat raw chicken bones and other softer bones – but eventually I tried it. I was amazed and quite a bit happy to watch him crunch through some "meaty bones" – lamb riblets. He ate them like we would eat crackers and hard cheese. He loved me for it, too!

Other benefits since putting him on this diet is that the problem with the feces being stuck to his tail has almost been eliminated. His poop is not a gooey, sticky poop like it used to be. In fact, there really is little clean up required! The stool (poop) of a dog fed a raw meat and bones diet for dogs is much different than that of a dog fed commercial dog food. It is more solid but crumbles easily and does not have the same foul odor.

Boston Terriers are known for their flatulence issues, farting quite often; it's become a running joke with Boston Terrier owners. However, since putting Beans on a raw meat diet, I have noticed far less a problem with flatulence as well!

I know if you are reading this, you love your pet like I love Beans! Your pet is a part of your family. Perhaps your pet IS your family!  Would you feed other members of your family poison or a diet that is not the best for them? I think not!

And because you love your dog, you will want to learn more about the best nutrition you can feed it. Your dog can't do it for itself. And because you love your pet, and you're the caretaker of it's life and health, you will want to know more about how best to feed your pet – click here.

 

Raw Meat Diet For Dogs Should Include Green Tripe

A raw meat diet for dogs should include the addition of green tripe. What is green tripe? It is the stomach of a cud chewing animal like cows, sheep and goats.

Green tripe is one of the healthiest foods you can give your dogs, and they will love you for it! Green tripe differs from the white tripe that you might see at your local grocery store, which is white. The stuff you might buy at the grocer is not quite the same in that it has been cleaned, bleached and scalded and does not have the same nutritional benefits as the green stuff.

Although it is not as common in North America, green tripe has been used as a food or supplement in Europe for quite a long time, and it's only beginning to catch on in the Americas including the US and Canada. It has been found to have a perfect ratio of calcium and phosphorous, essential minerals to the well being and health of dogs and other pets. While humans will likely find the stuff to be a bit stinky, dogs love the smell of it and will gobble the stuff up!

The green in the tripe is actually the grasses and plant material digesting in the stomach at the time the cow, sheep or goat was slaughtered. It is this content that makes tripe so nutritious to dogs as it contains amino acids, digestive enzymes, and gastric acids, as well as vitamins and minerals. Even those dog owners that don't want to feed a raw meat diet to their pets have realized the nutritious value of green tripe and will add it to kibble.

When first starting to feed your dog green tripe, it is best to start off slowly as it does contain a lot of fiber. Add a tablespoon at the most for the first few days if you plan to feed it daily. Making sudden changes in your dog's diet can induce tummy aches and in this case, diarrhea. After a few days, you can increase the amount you are feeding, but watch your pet's stool and cut back if you have to.

Eventually, as your dog's digestive system gets used to the green tripe, you can add more to its diet.

The first time I opened up a can of green tripe, Beans, my Boston Terrier immediately started sniffing the air. Although some claim that the odor to humans is awful, I did not find it that bad – it wasn't great, but it wasn't over poweringly nasty. Beans licked the tablespoon clean, and looked at me as if to say, "More please!!"

It really is a delicious food to a dog, and wild canines will eat the tripe of their prey.

The best green tripe if you can find it is raw and fresh, with the fat trimmed. Some places will sell green tripe that is ground, but also contains a high fat content. Finding it in this form is more difficult today; grocery stores don't generally sell it and it's getting tougher to find a local butcher shop these days.

The next best form is flash frozen. If you can find this locally to you, try to make sure you are getting good quality fat trimmed ground tripe. You can also get whole (not ground) tripe; I've never tried this and am told it can be quite messy so it is best served outdoors.

Some pet stores sell green tripe in a can, and if this is the only thing you can get, my research shows that the best value and highest quality is that offered by Tripett. You can get it also by clicking here.

Raw Eggs For Dogs – Beans Loves His Raw Eggs!

The first time I gave Beans, my Boston Terrier, a raw egg, I cracked it into a bowl and set it down in front of him. He looked at the bowl, looked at me, sniffed the egg, and then licked at it.  After that first lick, he turned around and looked at me again as if it say, "Wow! Thank you, Daddy!" and then proceeded to slurp the egg right up. When he was finished, he was licking his chomps as if he had some special dessert.

Dogs do like raw eggs, and it would be the most natural state for a dog to eat eggs raw, along with raw meat and bones. However, there are some concerns that some dog owners and vets have about feeding raw eggs to dogs. Let's take a look at two of the more common objections:

Raw Eggs For Dogs And Food Poisoning

This is perhaps the scariest warning we hear and read about. We're told that a raw egg has the risk of salmonella poisoning, and therefore all eggs should be cooked.  Well, I personally have been eating raw eggs (generally in a milkshake) ever since I was a teenager, and I've yet to come down with a case of food poisoning. It may be that I have a stronger immune system – but I doubt it.

Raw eggs that are cracked open and then left out without being cooked or consumed immediately do have a very high increased risk of becoming laced with bacteria cultures that we just don't want to put inside our bellies, or the digestive systems of our dogs. I definitely would not consume a raw egg or feed a raw to my dog if the egg shell had been cracked, or if the egg white and yolk had been left out for a length of time after being cracked open.

It is virtually impossible for bacteria to be found inside an egg that has not had it's shell cracked or broken. My research on the matter has discovered that scientists estimate that the liklihood of salmonella bacteria being found inside an egg to be about 0.005% (five one-thousandths of one percent). The average consumer might come across a single contaminated egg once in 84 years. That's a risk I'm willing to take. And when you consider that it's not just the fact that you may come across a contaminated egg that contains bacteria, but that the conditions have to be right, meaning not refrigerated and kept in an environment that is conducive to bacterial growth, the risks of illness are still pretty low.

When you consider even further that a dog's digestive system is more acidic than a human's, the risk for the dog if fed a raw egg become even lower. Canines in their wild state eat eggs all the time, and these are eggs that are not kept in the refrigerator nor do they go through any strict sanitary procedures in their production and incubation.

So, if you are concerned about food poisoning if you were to feed a raw egg to your dog, I think it is safe to lessen the anxiety and realize that a raw diet for dogs is natural and safe, especially if you are buying your eggs in a refrigerated state and they are kept in a refrigerated state when you arrive home, and none of the egg shells have been cracked or chipped.

Learn more about a raw meat and food diet for dogs. Click Here.

Raw Eggs For Dogs And Biotin Deficiency

The next common objection to feeding raw eggs to dogs is the risk of a deficiency in the B Complex vitamin, Biotin. A deficiency in this vitamin can affect the skin, hair and nails. In humans, it can be the cause of skin issues around the nose, forehead and other parts of the body, and cause weak nails and hair loss or thinning. However, a biotin deficiency in humans is rare. Indeed, the FDA has not even estabilished a minimum daily intake requirement for biotin in humans because the digestive system creates biotin.  As well, such a deficiency is considered mild and easily correctable.

I have not been able to find any information on whether or not a dog's digestive system also creates its own biotin, but it is known a deficiency in dogs can have similar effects: hair loss and lesions on the skin. So how could feeding raw eggs to dogs cause a biotin deficiency?

Well, the yoke of an egg contains a good amount of biotin (in fact, it's one of the moset dense sources of biotin), but the egg white, in it's uncooked state, contains a protein called avidin which prevents biotin absorption. When the egg white is cooked, this is no longer a factor.  However, if a dog is getting biotin from other sources such as liver, there should be no issues with a lack of biotin in the diet.

From what I have read and seen, most of the objections to feeding dogs raw eggs because of the fear of a biotin deficiency are the result of a study done in 1963 where dogs were fed a diet high in egg whites.  Not the whole egg, just the whites. It was during this study that dogs showed symptoms of a biotin deficiency.  But please keep in mind when you are faced with objections about feeding raw eggs because of the fear of biotin deficiency, that these fears originate with this study which had nothing to do with feeding a couple of raw whole eggs a week to your dog. The study conducted consisted of a diet already high in egg whites – not just a few eggs a week.

I have been feeding my Boston Terrier a couple of raw eggs a week for several weeks now. As soon as he hears the egg being cracked, he comes a running!  He has shown no signs of biotin deficiency; in fact he has a lovely coat, and there are no issues with his stools or any other visible signs of any issues.  And eggs contain so many other valubable nutrients that giving him a few ever week is more likely to doing him far more good, nutritionally.

So get cracking and give your dog an extra treat of a delicious whole raw egg!

Learn more about a raw meat and food diet for dogs. Click Here.

 

Now, I will admit that I'm not a Veterinarian and I have no professional qualifications as far as nutrition. Having said that, I won't feed my dogs anything that I think is unhealthy for them. I have done my own research and these are the conclusions I have come up with after reading extensively on the subject. I find it odd that many Veterinarians and so called health professionals will advise against things because no scientific studies have been conducted and there is only "anecdotal" evidence. Well, the anecootal evidence and my own experiences are sometimes good enough for me, and perhaps the reason no such studies have been done is that it just might cause a bit of a dent in the commercial dog food producers' profit margins.

 

Raw Meat For Dogs – Boston Terriers And A Raw Meat Diet

Raw meat for dogs – many people are wondering about whether the commercial foods they feed their dogs, including Boston Terriers, are of the quality they've been told. Sometimes referred to as the "BARF" (Bones And Raw Food) diet, it is based upon the fact that a natural dog's diet would be in fact, raw meat mixed with some raw vegetable and plant. And certainly, there is something to be said for a diet that consistently mostly of raw meat.

I remember when I was a young boy and we had the old fashioned butcher shop nearby where the meat was processed in that shop and not in some large corporate "factory" which is what we mostly have today. Often, we would go to the butcher shop and he'd give us big meaty bones for our dogs, for nothing. He couldn't sell those meaty bones for anything, and was happy to give them away to those of us that new our dogs loved to chew and gnaw at them. Sometimes for hours, they would keep the dogs occupied, and certainly we didn't cook the bones and the meat that was on them.

Our dogs never got sick either, and whenever they were taken to the Vet for their annual rabies shot and checkup, they were always given a clean bill of health. There were no teeth issues, the vet never needed to remove tartar and we were never told we needed to brush the dog's teeth.  They were always very healthy.  They did have a mixed diet of commercial dog food and whatever scraps we had available.

Later in adult life, I began to switch my thinking, believing that Vets were experts on dog nutrition, and what I studied suggested that the best food for a dog was a high quality commercial dog food, generally a dry kibble.  Oddly enough, I still had to supplement this food with a vitamin and some oil (the Vet at the time suggested corn oil) to help improve the coat and skin.  Corn oil might have been ok, but there are far better alternatives!

When we first got Beans, our Boston Terrier puppy back in May, I was still stuck in the mode that high quality brand name dog food, supposedly "specially formulated" for the demands of puppies, and then adult dogs, etc etc was the best choice to make. And indeed, when we took him to the Vet for his first check up and vacinations, we were asked what we were feeding him. When we replied with the brand name we had chosen, we were told we had made a good decision.  But, we were also told that he still might need supplements and other things as he grew to keep him in top notch shape.

Why is that? Well, perhaps it's because commercial grade dog food isn't all what it is shaped up to be.  It seems to be "convenient," no special handling required, and yet there is still a good chance that he might need supplements?  Well, when commercial dog food is made, it's not exactly the best stuff available. Often, the meat that is used is meat that is not considered "human consumable."  In other words, this food is not even what a "natural diet" of canines would be – imagine wolves, coyotes, and other dogs, whose digestive systems are exactly the same as our pet's, going for the "non-human consumable" parts of their prey!  That just doesn't make sense.

Further, dry dog food kibble contains a lot of filler including grains that are simply not natural for canines to eat at all. This creates a carbohydrate imbalance to protiens that would is natural for canines.  And when the meat that is in commercial dog food is prepared, it is subject to such high heat that it destroys enzymes and nutrition to the extent that additives have to be added back in. Certainly, in this respect, a raw meat for dogs diet is superior.

In their natural state, canines would eat not only raw meat from mammals such as lamb, beef, and other animals, but also fowl such as chickens and birds that they could capture. Raw eggs are also included in that natural diet.  While bones from cooked foul like chicken bones are dangerous, uncooked chicken bones pose very little hazard to dogs, including Boston Terriers. And, there is the additional benefit of bones of all types that they help to keep teeth clean and free from tartar build up.

Raw Meat For Dogs Evidence

One of the common arguments against feeding a raw meat diet for dogs is that there is no scientific studies to show that this is preferred. Well, indeed this is true – but this is because there have been no scientific studies conducted!  That's kind of like in the "old days," when the common belief was that the world was flat, to tell sailors not to believe or consider the anecdotal evidence because it was not "scientific" belief of the day. Although the scientists of the day had conducted little or no study on the matter, imagine telling Christopher Columbus that he should not sail across the Altantic because he risked falling off the edge of the world simply because that was belief at the time, and to ignore the anecdtotal evidence that science, ruled by The Church, refused to study!

So in this case, the best evidence we have, is indeed anecdotal evidence.  And it is that anecdotal evidence that motivated me to give it a try, knowing that all wild canines seemed to survive, and thrive, on a raw meat for dogs diet.  I am weaing Beans the Boston Terrier puppy off commercial dog food, to a raw meat diet – and Beans appears to not only enjoying it, but thriving even better on it!

As far as preparation and safety considerations, it's not different than what I would consider for myself. Raw meat on it's own, as long as it has not been left out for hours and hours at room temperature, is safe.  And in that regard, canines have a digestive system that is far more resistant to bacteria anyhow. So if I am using safe practices for myself, but instead of cooking, giving raw and uncooked, Beans will be quite safe.

There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that pet dogs fed a raw meat diet including bones live longer, have fewer health issues over time, and in fact, over the long run, this type of diet is less expensive than a commercial dog food diet. 

If you'd like to know more, I would highly urge you to go here and find out more!

 

Puppy Training – Teach Your Dog To Speak

Teaching your dog or puppy to "speak" on command is often considered a "trick," as in a playful command to teach the dog. However, it can also be a very handy command at times, for your puppy or dog to know, no matter what breed it is.  By teaching your puppy to bark on the command of speak, you are also exerting some control over when the dog barks,  If it knows to bark at your command, there is more liklihood of obedience when you command the dog to stop barking.

As well, there could be situations where you do want your dog to bark – perhaps not constantly, but just a bark to let others know you've got a dog with you.  There could be safety reasons why you might want to teach your Boston Terrier or other breed of dog to bark on command.

Some dogs can be quite stubborn, but teaching your dog to "speak" can be fun and entertaining if you approach it the right way and understand how and why dogs usually bark in the first place. I'm not talking about dogs barking as a warning, but that barking noise you hear from the neighbours backyard, or from inside a house where the master is vacant. Sure, it could be "lonliness," but if you think about it in other terms and notice when your dog barks, it's probably more out of an emotion that us humans would identify with as frustration.  Now, I want to stay out of the whole anthroporphism debate; I tend to agree that we as humans use our own understanding of emotions and apply it to animals in a way that can be incorrect.  But for this purpose, a good description of perhaps what is going on in a dog when it barks is something similar to what we would call frustration.

So, how did I teach Beans to respond to the command, "Speak?" I took advantage of this "frustration."  I have not used this technique with all dogs I have trained – my German Shepherd/Lab named Tara seemed able to "get it" pretty quickly by mimicing me, and when she did, she received a treat.  I'll write more about the method I used with Tara. It's probably safe to say though that for most dogs, using frustration and their barking when they are frustrated is the best way to teach a dog to bark on command of "Speak."

I should also point out that you might want to use a different command like "Talk" or even "Talk to me."  I prefer one word commands as much as possible, at least at the beginning of the training of a particular command.  And you need to be consistent.  If you are trying to train your dog to "sit" and then a different position for "down," telling the puppy to "sit down" can be confusing.  Keep that in mind, and always be very consistent with the commands you use, and keep them as simple as possible, especially at the beginning.

Now, think about your dog's favorite toy or treat and get it. What we want to do is "tease" the puppy with the toy. In my case, I started the other night using a big fluffy ball that Beans like to chase, and then tug with me. I lay down on the floor, as Beans enjoys chasing the ball as I move it over my legs and toward my back, and then back to my front, with Beans jumping over me.  But this time, I made sure that I always kept the ball far enough away from his mouth that he could never reach it, no matter what he did.

This of course frustrated him. And as we played "keep away," Beans chased and chased, and never was quite able to get the ball into his mouth. While this was going on, I repetively said to him in an excited voice, "Beans, Speak!"  This went on for quite some time; Boston Terriers can be stubborn and maybe some of them have a higher tolerance for frustration, but finally after about ten minutes, Beans let out a little bark. At that point, I let him have the ball and praised him over and over, "Good speak, Beans! Good boy!" And I let him have the ball to chew on.  Then I took it away from him, and we repeated the process.  We probably played this game for about an hour – and during that hour, might have had 4 times when Beans was successful in getting the ball after letting out a bark.

The Key To Puppy And Dog Training – Repitition, Repitition

The first time you do this with your Boston Terrier or any breed of dog, you might think after a bit that they've "got it." Chances are, they sort of do, but not really. And there's also a good chance after the first session, that the dog will get tired out and totally lose interest. And that's ok.  Don't be discouraged.

Today, we had another opportunity to play the "keep away game," this time with a rawhide that Beans was enjoying chewing on. He let me take it away from him, and then he chased it as I kept it just out of his reach. He'd try to pounce on it, chase it, wait for it to stop moving and then pounce again, and every time, I would not let him get it.  Finally the "frustration" set in and Beans barked, while I continued to say repeatedly as this game went on, "Beans, Speak!"  When he barked, I let him chew on his rawhide for a minute or so, then took it away.. and we started all over. Repitition, repitition. At one point, Beans abandoned the rawhide and decided he wanted to play with his Kong Snubba Wubba. (This is a favorite of Beans, and it is very durable – I highly recommend you get one). We did the same thing with the Kong toy… always JUST out of reach of Beans, while I continued to say, "Beans, Speak!"  When he barked, he got the toy.

This continued for awhile until I got to the point where he would sit in front of me, I would say "Speak, Beans!" and he'd let out a bark.. sometimes a good strong bark, sometimes more of a playful yelp – and each time, he'd get to have the toy in his mouth.

Finally, we used treats – the liver treats I made up for him the other day. He LOVES those treats. I made him sit and told him to "Speak" several times. Stubborn Boston Terrier that he is, he really did not want to do this, so I put the treat close to his mouth, he tried to lick it, and I'd as quickly, pull my hand away, commanding him to "speak."

Finally, he did bark and he got the treat. We repeated this with the treat several times, until I could just say, "Beans Sit!  Good boy.. Goood Boy… Speak!" and he'd let out a bark, and get the treat. Sometimes he'd whine… but that wasn't "speaking" – to me, that is another command I want to teach him – to "Sing."

Has he fully "got it?" Probably not – but we ended the session with about 15 sequences in a row where I'd command him to "Speak" and he'd bark immediately and receive his liver treat.

Tomorrow, we'll reinforce this, and if we have to start at the beginning, so be it. That's what we'll do until every time I am confident that whenever I command "Speak," I will hear a bark from Beans.

Now as i said above, it doesn't always take this kind of work. With my Shepherd/Lab, Tara, I just would command "Speak" and then I'd let out my closest version of a bark – and after several tries, she just mimiced me and received a treat.  And it's not a bad idea to try to mimic a whoof sound when you are commanding your dog to speak while playing the "keep away game." If you don't want the neighbors to hear, just close the windows!

Have fun with this – I know your Boston Terrier will have fun too, and when he/she finally "gets it," they are going to have a really proud look on the face and will show you they understand what it is you want them to do. It's a lot of fun!

 

 

 

 

Boston Terrier Treats – Make Your Own For Your Boston Terrier

Sometime ago, I purchased a side of beef from a farmer. At the time, I had mentioned that I don't really like liver and told him not to bother giving me the liver from the cow. However, he had thought I had said I loved liver – and he ended up giving me about 15 lbs of the stuff – others who had told him that they werent' planning on using it.  When he brought the grocery bags full of the liver, I didn't want to refuse it – he was nice enough to give it to me for free.  but I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. I figured though that maybe I would find someone who did enjoy beef liver and give it to them.

But now I'm glad I have that liver! It will make an awesome treat for my Boston Terrier, Beans.  In fact, Beans has already enjoyed some of it, and it was very easy to prepare.  Here's what you can do too, if you liver in the freezer that you won't be eating yourself, and one way I prepared it.

First, I defrosted the liver in the microwave using the "Beef" setting for defrosing meat.  I set it for half a pound, let the microwave work, and then turned it over in the microwave and defrosted at the .5 pound setting once again (it was about a pound of liver all together).

The liver I recieved was already cut into fairly thin strips but they were long strips. I thinned these down even more and cut them in half, and then placed the liver strips in boiling hot water until they were all browned, cooking the blood out of them.

Next, I put the strips on a cookie sheet and then into the oven at the lowest termperature of 170F. After 1.5 hours, I turned the strips over and they went back into the oven for another hour and a half.

What I ended up with were "jerky" like in texture and I could break them into smaller pieces.  Beans absolutely loves them. I am storing them in a zipper locked plastic freezer bag. After my first experiment, I will do a much larger batch, and freeze those I want to keep for a period of time.

As an additional treat for Beans, I used some of the water that the liver was boiled in and put that on his dry kibble. The Boston Terrier puppy seemed to appreciate the additional taste.

Some dog owners are advocates of feeding raw meat to dogs, as in their opinion, this is the most natural form of food that a dog would eat.  However, that is not something I could do on a regular basis – and I'm told that feeding a dog a large quantity of raw meat that normally is used to dry kibble might be too rich for their stomach and digestive system.  But I did give Beans a few small pieces of the raw liver and I know he thoroughly enjoyed it. There were no issues afterward – and although some say that liver and Boston Terriers equals lots of gas and flatulence, I did not find that to be the case with Beans at all.

Preparing liver treats for your Boston Terrier might not be for you, but I don't mind doing this kind of thing. I make my own wine, and when I get a pig for the freezer, I will even ensure I get the lard so I can render it myself and have enough of it to last me a long time.

So for those of you who are not into preparing home made treats for your Boston Terrier or other breed of dog, I highly recommend these liver treats which Beans also loves and they make for great training treats.

If you do make your own treats, let me know in the comments what you do!

 

Boston Terrier “Backyard Breeders” – A Controversial Post

I love dogs. I've owned dogs all my life – either as child with my famly, or an adult.  Looking back, we've owned a number of different dogs, looked after them, trained them, and loved them.  I don't think there is anyone who knows me that would call me an "irresponsible" dog owner.

It's only been the in the past few years that I've come across the term, "rescuing dogs." I think it's a modern term for what we would just do as matter of course, many years ago. I realize that there are many dog owners who are very irresponsible, and in too many cases, this has meant animals that are not cared for, are abused, and end up needing "resucing" from a pound or vet hospital.

The dogs I've owned have ranged from "Heinz 57's" to purebreds that are registered.  When we first immigrated to Canada, we lived on a farm and one of the first things we did was get a dog. From a neighbouring farm, who's female had babies.  That first dog was a male, and he was allowed to roam the farm – and visit the neighbours, and as a result, he fathered some pups.  One of those pups became another dog that we owned. 

Both Dad and Son were wonderful dogs, although when we had to move from the farm into town, the father did not take to it very well. Being used to roaming fields and forests, and off a leash, he didn't adjust well to city life at all. And as he got older, he got worse and probably out of frustration, became aggressive.  His son however, adjusted very well and he lived a good long time with our family.

After he died, we went through a few more dogs – that lived good lives in our family. Some were purchased, some were got for nothing. One particular dog, a German Shepherd/Lab cross named Tara was a beautiful dog that I trained and could have her doing more things than most poeple's dogs. she would eliminate on the command, "Empty." I could have her hold a treat on her nose for half an hour before she'd eat it, only after I said, "OK." She walked very mannerly, knew how to "heal," and I could stand in  a field and tell her to sit, while I walked 100 yards away from her, then did a circle, and she would sit waiting for me to say, "Come."

I loved that dog, and she loved me. She was not a purebred of any sort, but she had a wonderful life with me, and my three sons.  When I had to go away, and could not take Tara with me, I would board her at a kennel – but Tara would not eat the entire time we were separated.  She would go a week without eating if I was not there. It was perhaps one of the saddest things in my life when some "life circumstances" changed, and I had to move into a house where I rented a bedroom, and Tara could not come with me. By that time, she was getting old, and I knew that to give her up would probably mean a slow and painful death for her as she would likely just die from starving herself, if I gave her up to someone else.  I had to make the awful decision to put her down.

In each and every case, when I have chosen a dog, it's based on my own subjective desires about what I want. And that is what I look for in a dog, and I don't really care where it comes from. I'm not interested in showing a dog at a competition. I just want a companion. I have my own price limits too.  About 7 years ago, I took my son, who was about 2 years old at the time, to see some Maltese Puppies. David fell in love with one of them.  I have no clue if the breeder was a "backyard breeder," I'd never heard of the term at that time.  All I knew is that it was the closest place (and we travelled a good 200 miles) to get a Maltese puppy.  Today, that puppy named Rudy is very well loved by my son. He is well trained, healthy, and for what it's worth, "registered."  First dog I ever owned that was "registered."

Rudy came from a house – not a large kennel. I have no clue what the breeder did in how they selected parents. I know though, that when David and I saw Rudy, we both really enjoyed him (although toy size dogs are not really my thing).  So we got him.

Before I got Beans the Boston Terrier back in May, I had become aware of this term, "rescuing dogs." At that point, the girlfriend that I had at the time and I had talked many times about getting a Boston Terrier together. I put myself on email lists and checked out a variety of websites, called a variety of vet clinics and SPCA agencies within a 60 mile radius. Over several months, none had any Boston Terriers that needed to be "rescued."  Finally, one day, I saw a newspaper classified ad for Boston Terrier puppies – about ten minutes away from where I live! 

We did our "due dilligence" and although Beans was not going to be "registered," we fell in love with him and purchased him. Was it fro ma so called "backyard breeder?" I guess….  But a very loving and concerned backyard breeder. A breeder that would not sell to us until she was satisfied that one of her pups would be responsibly looked after and have a good life.

There were other dogs, it is true, that needed to be "rescued" locally – but none appealed to me, none were dogs due to size or breed that I liked, or wanted to have.  We wanted a Boston Terrier – or a Boston Terrier mix, and that could live with me in my circustances, and be a companion.  And I we didn't have $1,800.00 that  a couple of the major breeders wanted.

This evening, on our Facebook Page, I had posted information about a "Tiny Boston Terrier" that was available in Florida.  I was a bit astounded at one of the responses I received from a "Michelle Trail" of California. She wrote,

 

Please don't sell puppies on FB.

My response:

 

I'm not. Some folk here are looking for puppies, so as I come across ones that are available, I let folk know – including Bostons that need rescued.

Michelle Trail's response:

1) If there are people who are responsible and fortunate enough to become a Boston owner, they should know the channels in which to acquire a guaranteed healthy puppy; 2) Whatever this "domesticsale.com" ad is appears to me to be some backyard breeder; 500 bucks for a Boston, rigtht and 3) I don't see any posts on your wall of people looking for Bostons.

My response:

Hey Michelle – if you don't like my page, you are free to "unlike" it…. not a problem. 1. This is simply an added service I'm providing. 2. I have no clue if they are "backyard" breeders, Dixie is apparently CKC registered. The price could be because she is so small. I've seen a range of prices from very good breeders – much depends on the market and the location. Economics. 3 – Scroll further down, and you will see them. I certainly did not delete them. 4. I'm not here to debate anyone – I'll do that in other forums, so again, feel free to "unlike" the page! :)

Also, as much as I am not for "puppy mills," many so called "backyard breeders" are very loving, responsible, and provide excellent companion dogs at a price that is affordable. In my particular case, I spent months looking for a Boston Terrier to rescue, but in my area, within 60 miles at least, there simply weren't any available that needed to be rescued. I got mine from a breeder who is very loving, very concerned about who she sold to, and this term "backyard breeder" is almost a derogatory snubbish term against some who don't deserve it.

Take it as you will. I would never purchase a puppy from a pet store – funny enough, those so called "puppy mills" that provide pet stores with so many puppies that are uncared for, are often 'registered" and apparently meet regulations. So much for regulations, huh? But I'm not a "regulation" kind of guy; I can love a puppy and a dog that is not worthy of "regulation."  But I am willing to buy a puppy (or get one free) from a so called "backyard breeder."  My first option would be to "rescue" a dog, if it matched my own subjective criteria – but failing that, please don't tell me what I should or should not do, and please don't try to regulate me and my affections.  Oddly enough, those who want more regulation are the very ones who end up supporting snobbishness and huge prices… or go free.  Michelle's response is quite telling – she keyed in on the price of the Boston Terrier available – $500.00.  But, that particular BT was a "mini-boston terrier" and it's quite conceivable that any breeder would sell a Boston Terrier that did not quite make the minimum standards, backyard breeder or not – at a discounted price.  Indeed, even the most careful of Boston Terrier breeders will have puppies that don't meet "standards" – what are they to do with them?

Please don't tell me what I should or should not do on my Facebook Page. I welcome you to like it, I hope you will, I have my own incentives for having it, and I really appreciate the people that are there.  Please don't paint "backyard breeders" with the same brush, either. 

And you may disagree, and that's fine – I look forward to your objections.