Spotlight: French Bulldog


The History of French Bulldogs

The “bouldogge Francais,” as he is known in his adopted home country of France, actually originated in England, in the city of Nottingham. Small bulldogs were popular pets with the local laceworkers, keeping them company and ridding their workrooms of rats. After the industrial revolution, lacemaking became mechanized and many of the laceworkers lost their jobs. Some of them moved to France, where their skills were in demand, and of course they took their beloved dogs with them. The dogs were equally popular with French shopkeepers and eventually took on the name of their new country. Enter the French Bulldog.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the dogs became popular with members of the Paris bohemian class: ladies of the night, artists, writers such as the novelist Colette, and wealthy Americans doing the Grand Tour. Impressionist artist Toulouse Lautrec even put a Frenchie in one of his paintings, “Le Marchand des Marrons.”

The Frenchie has gained rapidly in popularity in the past decade. Today, the breed ranks 21st among the breeds registered by the American Kennel Club, up from 71st in 2000, a testament to his qualities as a companion.

Frenchie Friday at K9s Only

French Bulldog Overview

With a tough-on-the-outside, sweet-on-the-inside demeanor, unmistakable bat-shaped ears and distinctive bow-legged gait, the French Bulldog has gained so much popularity that he’s fast becoming the city-dwellers’ dog of choice. He’s small – under 28 pounds – and has a short, easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors. He doesn’t need a great deal of exercise, fits comfortably into a condo, co-op or apartment, and is far less likely to bark than many small dogs. In fact, other than being a little pugnacious with other dogs, it would be hard to imagine a better dog for city living.

The French Bulldog should be on the short list of breeds for anyone who lives without a vast tract of suburban backyard. He’s also a good choice for those who might have trouble giving a more active breed ample exercise.

The Frenchie will make you laugh. He’s a charming, clever dog with a sense of humor and a stubborn streak. Bred for centuries as a companion, he’s very fond of people, and becomes particularly attached to his family. In fact, sometimes he becomes a little too attached, which means he’s not the best choice for someone who’ll be away long hours every day. They are a good candidate for Daycare! K9s Only doggy daycare is so full of Frenchies, that we call Friday’s Frenchie Friday! It also means he absolutely, positively cannot live in the backyard or garage, but only indoors as a member of the family. That’s doubly true given that he, like all brachycephalic, or “flat-faced” breeds, has difficulty regulating his body temperature and needs to live in a climate-controlled environment.

Photo: Eduardo Merille

The Frenchie can also be a little hard to housetrain and may not be safe with a slow-footed family cat. He also snores, which might seem like a minor problem until you’ve actually heard the dramatic sounds that can emanate from his small body.

For exercise, Frenchies jump on and off the furniture and do the “Frenchie 500” circuit through the house. A short daily walk of 15 to 20 minutes will help to keep them in shape. Schedule walks and outdoor playtime for cool mornings and evenings. Frenchies are sensitive to heat and can quickly succumb to heatstroke. This is not the breed for you if you enjoy hiking or jogging with a dog.

Breeders like to send French Bulldog puppies to their new homes when they are nine or 10 weeks old. Frenchie puppies can become unpleasant little tyrants if they don’t get to spend the optimal amount of time with their mother and littermates, learning the rules of behavior toward people and other dogs.

For the most part, the French Bulldog does best in a family where someone is home most of the day. He’s not always good with small children or cats, and he can be aggressive toward dogs he doesn’t know. When a Frenchie is the right match for you, though, you’ll find it’s impossible to have just one.

Health of the French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is prone to certain health problems. Here’s a brief rundown on what you should know.

These small, flat-faced dogs are prone to a couple of conditions. One is called brachycephalic airway syndrome. Dogs whose facial bones and tissues are compressed can have obstructed breathing because they may have an elongated soft palate, laryngeal collapse, narrowed nasal cavities or related problems. Dogs with these problems are said to have brachycephalic airway syndrome. Even if you can’t see their structural defects, you can tell they exist by listening to the dog’s labored breathing after minimal exercise. Dogs with brachycephalic syndrome cannot tolerate excessive heat or exercise. In some cases, surgery may be needed to improve airflow and breathing.

In addition, Frenchies can suffer from spinal malformations and a spinal condition called intervertebral disc disease. Reproductive problems are the norm, not the exception. They may also develop eye problems, such as cataracts, and intestinal malabsorption disorders.

Not all of these conditions are detectable in a growing puppy, and it is impossible to predict whether an animal will be free of these maladies, which is why you must find a reputable breeder who is committed to breeding the healthiest animals possible.  They should be able to produce independent certification that the parents of the dog (and grandparents, etc.) have been screened for common defects and deemed healthy for breeding. That’s where health registries come in.

French Bulldogs are sensitive to heat. Never leave one outdoors on a hot day or in a home without air conditioning.

Remember that after you’ve taken a new puppy into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping a French Bulldog at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to extend his life. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier dog for life.

Other Quick Facts

  • French Bulldogs are restful and have minimal exercise needs, so they are a good choice for couch potatoes.
  • The French Bulldog should not weigh more than 28 pounds, making him easily portable.
  • French Bulldogs can be stubborn when it comes to housetraining. Be patient, be consistent, and consider the use of paper training or puppy pee pads to get around the problem (although it’s always best to get the pup outdoors).
  • Frenchies snort, snore and grunt, and they are known for making other odd noises.
  • Frenchies are not good swimmers and should not have access to pools, spas or other bodies of water.

Spring Allergies Affecting Your Could Be Affecting Your Dog Too.

By Dr. Becker

Did you know your dog or cat can suffer from seasonal allergies just as you do? Spring allergies that are affecting you could be affecting your dog too!

According to a survey conducted by Novartis Animal Health, over half of pet owners aren’t aware their fuzzy family members can also spend the spring season feeling miserable thanks to pollens and other environmental allergens.

Photo: Lee Haywood

Two Categories of Pet Allergies

There are primarily two types of allergies: food allergies and environmental allergies. If your pet gets itchy during spring, summer or fall, she’s probably reacting to seasonal, environmental allergens. But if her symptoms continue year-round, it’s more likely her sensitivity is to something more constant in her environment, or to something in her diet.

There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, however. If you live in an area that doesn’t have a hard freeze in the winter, environmental allergens can build up and cause year-round issues for your pet. In addition, seasonal allergies can progress to year-round allergies, which I’ll discuss shortly.

Signs Your Pet Has Seasonal Allergies

Unlike humans whose allergy symptoms usually involve the respiratory tract, dog allergies and cat allergies more often take the form of skin irritation or inflammation – a condition called allergic dermatitis.

If your pet has allergies, her skill will become very itchy. She’ll start scratching excessively, and might bite or chew at certain areas of her body. She may rub herself against vertical surfaces like furniture, or she may rub her face against the carpet. She’s trying to relieve the miserable itchiness by any means possible.

As the itch-scratch cycle continues, her skin will become inflamed and tender to the touch. Other signs of allergic dermatitis include areas of hair loss, open sores on the skin, and scabbing.

Hot spots can develop as well in dogs (hot spots are rarely seen in cats). A hot spot is inflamed, infected skin that occurs when your dog’s natural bacteria overwhelms an area of his skin. Typically the skin will be very red, and often there is bleeding and hair loss.

Photo: Jeremiah Roth

Other Signs to Watch For

Pets with allergies also often have problems with their ears – especially dogs. The ear canals may be itchy and inflamed as part of a generalized allergic response, or they may grow infected with yeast or bacteria.

Signs your pet’s ears are giving him problems include scratching at the ears, head shaking, and hair loss around the ears. If infection is present there will often be odor and a discharge from the ears.

While respiratory symptoms aren’t common in pets with allergies, they do occur. A running nose, watery eyes, coughing and sneezing are typical allergic symptoms in both two- and four-legged allergy sufferers.

Typically pets with seasonal allergies to ragweed, grasses, pollens, molds and trees, also develop sensitivity to other allergens inhaled through the nose and mouth. Animals with weaknesses in their lung fields can develop sinusitis and bronchitis, just as people do.

Another sign to watch for if you suspect your pet has allergies is generalized redness. Allergic pets often have puffy red eyes, red oral tissue, a red chin, red paws and even a red anus.

How Seasonal Allergies Can Turn Into Year-Round Allergies

Allergic reactions are produced by your pet’s immune system, and the way his immune system functions is a result of both nature (his genetics) and nurture (his environment).

I often see the following history with allergic pets who visit my practice:

  • A young pup or kitten, maybe 4 to 6 months old, begins with a little red tummy, itchy ears, and maybe a mild infection in one ear. His regular vet treats the pup symptomatically to provide him some relief.
  • The following year as soon as the weather warms up, the pet is brought back to his regular vet with very itchy feet, another ear infection, and a hotspot or two. Again, the vet treats the symptoms (hopefully not with steroids) until the weather turns cold and the symptoms disappear.
  • Year three, the same pet suffers from May through September with red, inflamed skin, maybe some hair loss, more hotspots, frequent ear and skin infections, and a tendency to chew his paws or scratch until he bleeds.
  • By year five, all the symptoms have grown significantly worse and the animal’s suffering is now year-round.

This is what usually happens with seasonal environmental allergies. The more your pet is exposed to the allergens he’s sensitive to, the more intense and long-lasting his allergic response becomes.

With my regular patients (those who start out life as patients of my practice), I begin addressing potential root causes at the first sign of an allergic response, which is usually around six months of age. I do this to reduce the risk of an escalating response year after year.

Photo: John M. P. Knox

Helping a Pet with Seasonal Allergies

Since the allergen load your environmentally sensitive pet is most susceptible to is much heavier outdoors, two essential steps in managing her condition are regular foot soaks and baths during the warmer months when all those triggers are in bloom.

Dermatologists recommend this common sense approach for human allergy sufferers. If you have hypersensitivities, your doctor will tell you to shower at night and in the morning to remove allergens from the surface of your body. I recommend you do the same for your dog or cat.

  • Frequent baths give complete, immediate relief to an itchy pet and wash away the allergens on the coat and skin. Make sure to use a grain free (oatmeal free) shampoo.
  • Foot soaks are also a great way to reduce the amount of allergens your pet tracks into the house and spreads all over her indoor environment.
  • Keep the areas of your home where your pet spends most of her time as allergen-free as possible. Vacuum and clean floors and pet bedding frequently using simple, non-toxic cleaning agents rather than household cleaners containing chemicals.
  • Because allergies are an immune system response, it’s important to keep your pet’s immune function optimal. This means avoiding unnecessary vaccinations and drugs. And I do not recommend you vaccinate your pet during a systemic inflammatory response. Vaccines stimulate the immune system, which is the last thing your pet with seasonal environmental allergies needs. Talk to your holistic vet about titers to measure your pet’s immunity to core diseases as an alternative to automatically vaccinating.
  • If you haven’t already, move your pet to an anti-inflammatory diet. Foods that create or worsen inflammation are high in carbohydrates. Your allergic pet’s diet should be very low in grain content.
  • Research has shown that ‘leaky gut,’ or dysbiosis, is a root cause of immune system overreactions, so addressing this issue with a holistic vet is an important aspect of reducing allergic reactions over time.

Allergy-Fighting Supplements

Quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. I call it ‘nature’s Benadryl’ because it does a great job suppressing histamine release from mast cells and basophiles.

Histamine is what causes much of the inflammation, redness and irritation characteristic of an allergic response. By turning off histamine production with a quercetin supplement, we can suppress or at least moderate the effects of inflammation.

Quercetin also has some other wonderful properties. It inhibits 5-lipooxygenase, an enzyme that upregulates the inflammatory cascade. Quercetin inhibits the production of leukotrienes, another way the body creates inflammation, thereby decreasing the level of bronchoconstriction. Bronchoconstriction occurs in the lung fields as a symptom of asthma. Quercetin can actually suppress how much constriction occurs.

Bromelain and papain. Bromelain and papain are proteolytic enzymes that increase the absorption of quercetin, making it work more effectively. They also suppress histamine production.

One of the reasons I use quercetin, bromelain and papain together is they also suppress prostaglandin release. Prostaglandins are another pathway by which inflammation can occur. By suppressing prostaglandins, we can decrease the pain and inflammation associated with irritated mucous membranes and body parts. Using the three substances in combination provides some natural pain and inflammation control.

Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help decrease inflammation throughout the body. Adding them into the diet of all pets — particularly pets struggling with seasonal environmental allergies – is very beneficial. The best sources of omega 3s are krill oil, salmon oil, tuna oil, anchovy oil and other fish body oils.

Coconut oil. I also recommend coconut oil for allergic pets. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which helps decrease the production of yeast. Using a fish body oil with coconut oil before inflammation flares up in your pet’s body can help moderate or even suppress the inflammatory response.



Spotlight: Border Collie / Labrador Mix (aka “Borador”)


The Borador = A Very Happy and Very Sweet Companion

The Borador is a medium to large sized dog that results from a Border Collie and Labrador Retriever breeding. She is a happy and clever dog known for her participation in a variety of activities like competitive obedience, agility, drug detection, search and rescue, main trailing and police work. She has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years and is put in the breed groups of sporting and working, with talents in guiding, herding, watching, companionship, retrieving and guarding. She is sometimes referred to as a Border Collie Lab mix, a Border Lab mix, a Collie Lab mix, a Labrador collie mix and a Lab and Collie mix.

Where does the Borador come from?

Mixed breeds or Mutts have been around forever, this is not something new. What is new though is the deliberate breeding of two breeds that wouldn’t normally be brought together and then giving that mix a name that blends the two pure breeds. In the last 10 to 20 years these designer breeds or hybrids have become very popular. Sometimes the results are great and you get what the breeder wants, the best of both dogs. But sometimes you do not and that is something that cannot be guaranteed. Even puppies within the same litter might be different in appearance and temperament. Understanding a little more about the Border Collie and Labrador Retriever will give you more of a sense of where the Borador comes from.

The Border Collie

The Border Collie has been around for as long as people in Britain used dogs to herd and guard sheep! Collie coming from a Scottish dialect meaning sheepdog. He has been a top sheep dog for hundreds of years and Queen Victoria was known for being a fan of the breed.

Today he continues to be the top dog for herding and wining sheepdog trials. He is extremely alert, hardworking, clever and full of energy. He has to be busy or he becomes bored and destructive very easily. He is not the dog to get if you want a dog to chill and snuggle with, he has to be doing something. He is sensitive to his owners or handlers cues and can be strong minded or stubborn. His instinct to herd is so string if he has no sheep he may try to herd smaller pets and the kids! He also needs to socialized when he is young or he can become shy and fearful.

The Labrador Retriever

Canada is where the Lab comes from, in the island of Newfoundland of the north east coast. He was bred by fishermen to help with lines and retrieving fish and to be companions when they come home at the end of the day. They were called St John’s dogs then back in the 1700s. The English were impressed when they visited and in the 1800s he was brought to England where the nobility adopted him as a retriever for hunting. It was then he became referred to as a Labrador.

Photo: Smerikal

While these dogs thrived in England in Canada they disappeared because of tax laws and new regulations. In the 1920s he came to America and tops the list of favored dogs there as well as in England and Canada. Over the years he has proved invaluable in the military, the police force, as an assistant dog for those with special needs and more. He is sweet, intelligent, keen to please and devoted to his owner. Training is definitely important for him to help contain his exuberance!


The Borador is a very happy and very smart dog usually demonstrated by a wagging tail that rarely stops. She has a curious nature, is friendly and eager to please. She loves people and is very social. She will happily lap up any affection she can get and will return the favor! She can be playful and excitable but while she is an extrovert she would never usually show any aggression to people though she may to smaller dogs to dominate them. She is very loyal and will follow her family around the home to be with them as she always wants to be the center of attention!

Training and Exercise Needs

How much exercise does she need?

She needs a lot of activity as she has a lot of energy and likes to be doing something all the time. As well as a couple of long walks a day include things like trips to the dog park, some play time where you make her chase after things, some mental stimulation too, let her swim, fetch a tennis ball, play Frisbee. If you enjoy a physical activity yourself such as jogging, hiking, swimming, cycling, she would love to come and join in. In fact it is important she is owned by people who love to be active too otherwise there will be an incompatibility there where either she is not getting the exercise she needs or you are greatly begrudging the time you have to spend outside with her.

Can I train her easily?

The Borador is quite easy to train usually as she is intelligent, keen to please, loves the praise and treats and being active with you. Occasionally she can inherit the more stubborn side of the Border Collie which may hold you up but usually she is a breeze to train and in fact learns like the Lab, quicker than many other breeds. Because she has hound in her and so may be prone to seeing smaller animals as prey have her socialized and trained from a young age to make life easier on everyone and bring out the best side of her.


Free Feeder or Scheduled Meals. Which is best?


Do you leave food out for your dog 24/7? If so, you might be doing him a disservice.

There are basically only three ways (or some combination thereof) to go about feeding your dog.
1. Free Choice — food is available at all times and the individual picks when and how much their pet eats
2. Time Limited — owners put out food but take it away after a set amount of time
3. Amount Limited — owners offer a pre-determined amount of food and the pet can pick when to eat it
Free choice feeding is definitely the easiest option for owners — just fill up the bowl and top it off whenever you notice it getting low. Unfortunately, “easy for owners” and “good for pets” are frequently at odds with one another. Dogs that are free fed are at a high risk for becoming overweight. Who among us hasn’t snacked when we’re bored, even if we’re not all that hungry? Dogs will do the same thing. My owner’s been gone for awhile and the house is pretty dull without her … I know, I’ll see what’s in the bowl!

Photo: notto86

Even if your dog isn’t overweight, you should still reconsider free choice feeding. A loss of appetite is one of the first signs of many illnesses. Sure, you’ll eventually notice when your dog has stopped eating entirely (or maybe not if you think someone else in the house is topping off the bowl), but by that point the disease may have progressed past a critical point. I can’t overemphasize how important early diagnosis is to successful treatment.
Finally, leaving food out all the time is not very sanitary. Your dog won’t be the only critter that learns where to find its meal. You’re inviting insects, rodents, bacteria, and who knows what else (I’ve heard many a story of raccoons figuring out the doggie door) into your home when food is readily available.

Photo: Djun Kim

In my experience, a combination of amount limited and time limited feeding is best for pets. Determine the amount of food that your dog needs to maintain an ideal body condition and offer only that much per day. If your dog hasn’t finished the meal in 15 to 20 minutes, pick up the food, discard the remainder, and do not offer more until the next regularly scheduled meal.
Using this method, you’ll become very familiar with your dog’s eating habits and quickly notice even the smallest variation away from what is normal. For example, a dog with dental disease and oral pain may still finish its meal but could take longer to do so. This is also a good way to feed finicky animals; sometimes pets just need to get a little hungry before they’ll decide to dig into the nutritious meal that you are offering.

Written by: Dr. Jennifer Coates

Questions about what is best for you and your dog? K9s Only trainers are ready to offer advise on all your dog care questions!

Spotlight: Doberman Pinscher


Photo: Brent LaBrada

The K9s Only Training department recently received an influx of Dobermans to train. This amazing breed is smart, sensitive, sweet and just a pleasure to work with. Is the Doberman right for you? Read below to find out more or call one of the K9s Only trainers for more information.

The Doberman Pinscher is a medium-large breed of domestic dog originally developed around 1890 by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a tax collector from Germany. The muzzle is long, and so affords the leverage for an extremely strong bite. The Doberman stands on its toes (not the pads) and is not usually heavy-footed. Ideally, they have an even and graceful gait. Traditionally, the ears are cropped and posted, and the tail is docked. However, in some countries it is illegal to do so. The Doberman’s cropped ears and docked tail stems from the breed development as a purpose-bred working dog. They were bred to be a robust guard dog, and general consensus is that the cropped ears and docked tails helped create less “handholds” on the dog that an attacker could use to help ward off the dog. Docking is usually practiced because it is required as part of a breed standard for exhibition at dog shows. There is no medical reason for cosmetic cropping. Dobermans coloring is black, red, blue, and fawn and they have markings on the chest, paws/legs, muzzle, above the eyes, and underneath the tail.

Photo: VirtualWolf

Doberman Pinschers are well known as intelligent, alert, and tenaciously loyal companions and guard dogs. Personality varies a great deal between each individual, but if taken care of and trained properly they tend to be loving and devoted companions. The Doberman is driven, strong, and sometimes stubborn. Owning one requires commitment and care, but if trained well, they can be wonderful family dogs. Unlike some breeds (such as the German Shepherd), Dobermans are eager to please only after their place is established in their pack and that place is not as an alpha. With a consistent approach they can be easy to train and will learn very quickly. As with all dogs, if properly trained, they can be excellent with children. Dobermans adapt quickly, though they take their cue from their leader and value attention.

Photo: katzenfinch


Although they are considered to be working dogs, Doberman Pinschers are often stereotyped as being ferocious and aggressive. As a personal protection dog, the Doberman was originally bred for these traits: it had to be large and intimidating, fearless, and willing to defend its owner, but sufficiently obedient and restrained to only do so on command. These traits served the dog well in its role as a personal defense dog, police dog, or war dog, but were not ideally adapted to a companionship role. The Doberman Pinscher’s aggression has been toned down by modern breeders over the years, and today’s Dobermans are known for a much more even and good natured temperament, extreme loyalty, high intelligence, and great trainability. In fact, the Doberman Pinscher’s size, short coat, and intelligence have made it a desirable house dog. The Doberman Pinscher is known to be energetic, watchful, fearless and obedient.

Photo: BJ Neary


The Doberman Pinscher has ranked amongst the most intelligent of dog breeds in experimental studies and expert evaluations. For instance, psychologist Stanley Coren ranks the Doberman as the 5th most intelligent dog in the category of obedience command training, based on the selective surveys he performed of some trainers (as documented in his book The Intelligence of Dogs). Additionally, in two studies, Hart and Hart (1985) ranked the Doberman Pinscher first in this category and Tortora (1980) gave the Doberman the highest rank in trainability. Although the methods of evaluation differ, these studies consistently show that the Doberman Pinscher, along with the Border Collie, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Standard Poodle and Rottweiler, is one of the most trainable breeds of dog.


Spotlight: The Golden Reteriver



About This Breed

Photo Credit: Thatedeguy


The Golden Retriever originated in the early 19th century. It was developed after a long line of breeding from the Newfoundland, Tweed water spaniels and the Irish setter. The ultimate goal was to develop a breed of hunting dog that was big enough and had the endurance to hunt and retrieve a large number of game birds at a time. The Golden Retriever became quite popular with British nobility not only for its hunting and retrieving abilities, but because it was such a great companion. It is an excellent bird dog, and considered to excel in both land and water retrieval. The brees is so eager to please that it also makes an excellent search and rescue dog.

Physical Characteristics

The Golden Retriever is a large dog with a broad head and drop ears. The tail is otter-like, thick at the base then tapering at the end.


The Golden Retriever is most commonly seen in several shades of gold.

Photo Credit: Indexorama


The coat of the Golden Retriever is medium to long and usually wavy. There are feathers on the underbody, legs, feet, tails and ears.

Personality and Temperament


Photo Credit: Thomas Cook

Moderate to High


The Golden Retriever is the quintessential family dog. It is very loving and loyal to the family and enjoys playing games and socializing with people. The Golden Retriever loves children and is great with other animals.


Something to know about Golden Retrievers is they need and ask for a lot of attention! They don’t make for a great watchdog, as it will typically only bark at a stranger to say “hello.”



The Golden Retriever fares well in the city or country.


The Golden Retriever needs daily exercise and should be brushed weekly to avoid shedding.


The following conditions are commonly seen in Golden Retrievers:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hot Spots
  • Cataracts
  • History and Background

Lord Tweedmouth, often credited for the development of the Golden Retriever, lived along the Tweed River, north of the Scottish border, during the mid-19th century. There were already many retriever breeds used for hunting fowl and other game, but seeing further potential in the dogs, he sought to create a new breed which could combat the adverse conditions of the area.

To accomplish this, he crossed a Wavy-Coated Retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel. The result was four puppies with excellent bird-hunting abilities. Later, the yellow Wavy-Coated Retriever was cross-bred with Bloodhounds, black retrievers, setters, and Tweed Spaniels. This crossbreeding produced dogs with similar characteristics but with a distinct yellow flat coat. Some of these dogs entered the United States in the early 1900s with Lord Tweedmouth’s sons, and in 1912, they were formally recognized as the Golden (or Yellow) Retriever. This breed has since gained much popularity in America.

The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1927, and it remains one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States today.

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Top Ten Dog’s New Years Resolutions 2017


Recently, 100 dogs at K9s Only were surveyed and asked to list their New Years Resolutions. We were a bit surprised and even shocked at the answers we received.

#10 I Will Not Inhale My Food.

As soon as I hear the kibble hit the bowl, my mouth starts watering and my paws start dancing! I just can’t wait and for some reason I’m overcome with the desire to inhale every last delectable morsel. I will work on my table manners in 2016 and try to eat like lady (or gentleman).

Photo Credit: Patchattach


#9 I Will Exercise More.

Off to work my parents go, and home I stay to spend the day. The couch beckons and I can’t resist, so I snooze away the afternoon in utter bliss. I would exercise more if they took me to daycare at K9s Only especially now since they have UNLIMITED DAYCARE! I’ll have to figure out how to make sure they take advantage of that!

#8 I Will Not Jump Up On The Bed or Couch With Muddy Paws.

It’s not that I’m rude and just don’t care. It’s just that by the time I’ve played outside and managed to frolic in every puddle I can find, I’m tired and just want to snuggle, so up on the bed I go. I think my paw prints are cute, but my parents apparently don’t agree because I’m yelled at immediately. I will try super hard to remember to wipe my paws like the mat in front of the door says.

Photo Credit: Sam Craig


#7 I Will Beg Less.

My guardians are such push-overs and I usually end up getting what I want when I give them my puppy dog eyes and start the pitiful whine. But honestly, it’s really beneath me and demeaning. I will save my begging for super important things like steak night or daycare at K9s Only.

Photo Credit: Lovinlife642000


#6 I Will Not Wake My Parents In The Middle Of The Night.

Whether it’s because I have to go potty or the raccoon’s in the neighbors yard are having a party, I will not bark or scratch at the door. I will hold it till morning and I will not bark my head off in their room… unless of course there’s an intruder then all bets are off.

#5 I Will Not Eat The Christmas Ornaments or Urinate on the Tree.

Boy oh boy does this make my mom mad! I just don’t understand why they insist on hanging dog toys on a tree that I’m not allowed to pee on! I’ve created a mantra that will ensure that by December 2016, I’ll have it down. “Dog Toys hanging on trees in the house, I shall not consume or douse!”

Photo Credit: Don Graham


#4 I Will Recognize The Difference Between Furniture And Fire Hydrants.

I will work really really hard to not mistake the couch, coffee table and walls for fire hydrants. I know it really pisses (Ha! no pun intended..ok maybe) my parents off and they clean it up so fast the smell disappears so it’s really not even worth it.


#3 I Will Greet Guest In More Appropriate Ways.

Apparently, humans are not fond of my nose pressed up against their tush. Something about their personal space. I don’t understand it because dogs like it just fine. So, I vow to sit pretty and wait to be pet or hold my paw up for a shake. This should really really go over well with my parents as I’ll put the money they spent of training me at K9s Only to good use.

Photo Credit: Tim Dorr


#2 I will Bark Less at The Mail Man And Other Uniformed Delivery People.

So, this is a hard one. I’m a dog. Barking at strangers is what I do and I have to admit I’m pretty good at it, not to mention that these intruders leave immediately as soon as I start barking. But, my parents are always telling me to quiet and shush, so I will do my best to control myself, trying to limit my bark to one or two outbursts and then just follow with a low growl.

Photo Credit: Jmcmichael


#1 I Will Refuse To Be Taunted My Those  &^%$ing Squirrels!

They are the bane of my existence. I hate them, they hate me. The squirrel family living in the tree in my yard will not move. I’ve attempted innumerable times to bark so much they get fed up and leave. I have tried to chase and catch them as they run through my yard, my growl menacing and as evil as I can manage.They don’t care. They sit up on their high branches and snicker and taunt. They throw orange peels at my head and I stupidly think it’s a treat. It’s embarrassing. I will work diligently to ignore these good for nothing maddening creatures. I will not be tricked this year!

Squirrel in tree

Spotlight: The German Shepherd


The German Shepherd Dog is a breed of large-sized dog that originated in Germany in 1899. As part of the Herding Group, German Shepherds are working dogs developed originally for herding and guarding sheep. Because of their strength, intelligence and abilities in obedience training they are often employed in police and military roles around the world.


Photo Credit: Ronoli

German Shepherd Dog

In Europe during the 1850s, attempts were being made to standardise breeds. The dogs were bred to preserve traits that assisted in their job of herding sheep and protecting flocks from predators. In Germany this was practiced within local communities, where shepherds selected and bred dogs that they believed had the skills necessary for herding sheep, such as intelligence, speed, strength, and keen senses of smell. The results were dogs that were able to do such things, but that differed significantly, both in appearance and ability, from one locality to another.

To combat these differences, the Phylax Society was formed in 1891 with the intention of creating standardised dog breeds in Germany. The society disbanded after only three years due to ongoing internal conflicts regarding the traits in dogs that the society should promote; some members believed dogs should be bred solely for working purposes, while others believed dogs should be bred also for appearance. While unsuccessful in their goal, the Phylax Society had inspired people to pursue standardising dog breeds independently.

Max von Stephanitz, an ex-cavalry captain and former student of the Berlin Veterinary College, was one such ex-member. He believed strongly that dogs should be bred for working.

In 1899, Von Stephanitz was attending a dog show when he was shown a dog named Hektor Linksrhein. Hektor was the product of few generations of selective breeding and completely fulfilled what Von Stephanitz believed a working dog should be. He was pleased with the strength of the dog and was so taken by the animal’s intelligence, loyalty, and beauty, that he purchased him immediately. After purchasing the dog he changed his name to Horand von Grafrath and Von Stephanitz founded the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (Society for the German Shepherd Dog). Horand was declared to be the first German Shepherd Dog and was the first dog added to the society’s breed register.

Horand became the centre-point of the breeding programs and was bred with dogs belonging to other society members that displayed desirable traits. Although fathering many pups, Horand’s most successful was Hektor von Schwaben. Hektor was inbred with another of Horand’s offspring and produced Beowulf, who later fathered a total of eighty-four pups, mostly through being inbred with Hektor’s other offspring. In the original German Shepherd studbook, Zuchtbuch für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SZ), within the two pages of entries from SZ No. 41 to SZ No. 76, there are four Wolf Crosses. Beowulf’s progeny also were inbred and it is from these pups that all German Shepherds draw a genetic link. It is believed the society accomplished its goal mostly due to Von Stephanitz’s strong, uncompromising leadership and he is therefore credited with being the creator of the German Shepherd Dog.


When the UK Kennel Club first accepted registrations for the breed in 1919, fifty-four dogs were registered, and by 1926 this number had grown to over 8,000. The breed first gained international recognition at the decline of World War I after returning soldiers spoke highly of the breed, and animal actors Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart popularised the breed further. The first German Shepherd Dog registered in the United States was Queen of Switzerland; however, her offspring suffered from defects as the result of poor breeding, which caused the breed to suffer a decline in popularity during the late 1920s.

Popularity increased again after the German Shepherd Sieger Pfeffer von Bern became the 1937 and 1938 Grand Victor in American Kennel club dog shows, only to suffer another decline at the conclusion of World War II, due to anti-German sentiment of the time. As time progressed, their popularity increased gradually until 1993, when they became the third most popular breed in the United States. As of 2009, the breed was the second most popular in the US. Additionally, the breed is typically among the most popular in other registries. The German Shepherd Dog’s physique is very well suited to athletic competition. They commonly compete in shows and competitions such as agility trials.

Modern breed

The modern German Shepherd Dog is criticised for straying away from von Stephanitz’s original ideology for the breed: that German Shepherds should be bred primarily as working dogs, and that breeding should be strictly controlled to eliminate defects quickly. Critics believe that careless breeding has promoted disease and other defects. Under the breeding programs overseen by von Stephanitz, defects were quickly bred out; however, in modern times without regulation on breeding, genetic problems such as colour-paling, hip dysplasia, monorchidism, weakness of temperament, and missing teeth are common, as well as bent or folded ears which never fully turn up when reaching adulthood.


German Shepherds are large sized dogs, generally between 55 and 65 centimetres (22 and 26 in) at the withers, with an ideal height of 63 centimetres (25 in) according to Kennel Club standards. Weight is 30–40 kilograms (66–88 lb) for males and 22–32 kilograms (49–71 lb) for females. They have a domed forehead, a long square-cut muzzle and a black nose. The jaws are strong, with a scissor-like bite. The eyes are medium-sized and brown with a lively, intelligent, and self-assured look. The ears are large and stand erect, open at the front and parallel, but they often are pulled back during movement. They have a long neck, which is raised when excited and lowered when moving at a fast pace. The tail is bushy and reaches to the hock.

German Shepherds can be a variety of colours, the most common of which are tan/black and red/black. Most colour varieties have black masks and black body markings which can range from a classic “saddle” to an over-all “blanket.” Rarer colour variations include the sable, all-black, all-white, liver, and blue varieties. The all-black and sable varieties are acceptable according to most standards; however, the blue and liver are considered to be serious faults and the all-white is grounds for instant disqualification in some standards.

German Shepherds sport a double coat. The outer coat, which sheds all year round, is close and dense with a thick undercoat. The coat is accepted in two variants; medium and long. The long-hair gene is recessive, making the long-hair variety rarer. Treatment of the long-hair variation differs across standards; they are accepted under the German and UK Kennel Clubs but are considered a fault in the American Kennel Club.


German Shepherds were bred specifically for their intelligence, a trait for which they are now famous. In the book The Intelligence of Dogs, author Stanley Coren ranked the breed third for intelligence, behind Border Collies and Poodles. He found that they had the ability to learn simple tasks after only five repetitions and obeyed the first command given 95% of the time. Coupled with their strength, this trait makes the breed desirable as police, guard, and search and rescue dogs, as they are able to quickly learn various tasks and interpret instructions better than other large breeds.


German Shepherds are highly active dogs, and described in breed standards as self-assured. The breed is marked by a willingness to learn and an eagerness to have a purpose. They are curious which makes them excellent guard dogs and suitable for search missions. They can become over-protective of their family and territory, especially if not socialised correctly. They are not inclined to become immediate friends with strangers. German Shepherds are highly intelligent and obedient.

Use as working dog

Photo Credit: Sean

German Shepherds are a very popular selection for use as working dogs. They are especially well known for their police work, being used for tracking criminals, patrolling troubled areas, and detection and holding of suspects. Additionally thousands of German Shepherds have been used by the military. Usually trained for scout duty, they are used to warn soldiers to the presence of enemies or of booby traps or other hazards. German Shepherds have also been trained by military groups to parachute from aircraft.

The German Shepherd Dog is one of the most widely used breeds in a wide variety of scent-work roles. These include search and rescue, cadaver searching, narcotics detection, explosives detection, accelerant detection, and mine detection dog, among others. They are suited for these lines of work because of their keen sense of smell and their ability to work regardless of distractions.

At one time the German Shepherd Dog was the breed chosen almost exclusively to be used as a guide dog for the visually impaired. In recent years, Labradors and Golden Retrievers have been more widely used for this work, although there are still German Shepherds being trained. A versatile breed, they excel in this field due to their strong sense of duty, their mental abilities, their fearlessness, and their attachment to their owner.

German Shepherd Dogs are used for herding and tending sheep grazing in meadows next to gardens and crop fields. They are expected to patrol the boundaries to keep sheep from trespassing and damaging the crops. In Germany and other places these skills are tested in utility dog trials also known as HGH (Herdengebrauchshund) herding utility dog trials. READ FULL ARTICLE

Article from: The German Shepherd Rescue Elite 

Thanksgiving – Your Dogs Point of View


We got so many comments on this post, I thought I’d share again. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Friends!

The big day is coming! You may be traveling to a family or friends home or preparing a Thanksgiving feast in your own home. If you’re traveling, we hope your pup is going to be celebrating Thanksgiving with all of his pals at K9s Only.

I know what Thanksgiving means to me and most people… a time to gather with family and friends, to feast and remind each other what we are thankful for. I’m a big proponent of going around the table and asking everyone what they are thankful for and inevitably I get some eye rolls. But, I want my son’s to hear what’s said and I hope and pray that they say they are thankful for something other than Minecraft or their iwalk. Then I wondered… what does Thanksgiving mean to my dogs? There is so much hustle and bustle in our home , cleaning, setting the table, shopping, the doorbell ringing, guests arriving and the amazing smells emanating from the kitchen. What’s my dogs point of view during all of this?

Putting myself in my dogs paws, I’m thinking that all of hoopla is for me. After all, mom prepares my food in my kitchen where I’m bound to find crumbs and an occasional bit of food dropped (on purpose of course) on the floor. The pantry is where my treats are kept and dispensed from the kitchen. Then, to my great surprise, aunties and uncles and cousins arrive and so many people are in my kitchen preparing what smells like heaven. I love my family! I love that they are going to all of this trouble for me!

But why oh why is it taking so bloody long? I’ve been smelling the turkey roasting in the oven all day! Mom opens the oven and bastes the turkey every stinking hour. I think she’s secretly trying to torture me.


I’m constantly told to get out of the kitchen, my kitchen, but I follow my nose back in as there are other amazing smells; sausage and bacon and garlic oh my! I’m frustrated and impatient! When can I finally eat? I wander into the living room to find platters of delicious looking treats arranged on the coffee table, and as I approach to sample, wine glasses are quickly snatched off the table, something about my tail, my name is yelled and again I’m told to to get “Out!”

At last, everyone begins to gather in the dining room, yet, I’m told to stay out. I, being the stealthy ninja dog that I am, manage to hide under my human brothers chair, like I always do, but I’m caught and scolded and told, again, “Out!” So, dejected, I lie down in the corner and watch everyone oohh and ahh over my turkey.

As I brood, I come up with a plan! I sneak off into the kitchen to see what’s left. I peek into the trash can where I occasionally find a discarded treat that I can easily remove and gobble up (pun intended) but mom, bring the conscientious mother she is, has tied the garbage into a tight knot. I sniff the counter, hoping that there is something there for me and throwing caution to the wind, I jump and put my paws up on the counter only to be caught, red pawed, by mom and scolded again!

This stinks! I’m sad and hungry and my feelings are hurt! As I sulk out of the kitchen, mom calls my name. My spirits soar! I bound back into the kitchen with all the hope of a kid on Christmas morning. I jump, I spin and I think I may have even barked in all my excitement. My mom has prepared a bowl just for me! It has sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and a little bit of the delicious turkey and broth all mixed in with my kibble. I am a happy dog! I inhale my dinner and lick my chops. All’s right with the world once again!

So, the moral of this silly story…put yourself in your dog’s paws and don’t forget to dress up his kibble with some butterless mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. Add a little bit of white turkey meat and toss in chicken broth. Your dog will thank you for it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Hundreds Join Man And Dog For Their Final Walk On The Beach Together


Hundreds of people gathered on Porth beach in Newquay to join Walnut the whippet and his owner Mark Woods on their final, heartbreaking walk.

Dog walkers from across the country gathered in the drizzle to offer Mark and 18-year-old Walnut their love and support as he and his beloved pet went for a final stroll in their favourite spot.

Over the years the pair have been pretty much inseparable, but after almost two decades of doggy bliss Walnut’s health has sadly deteriorated. For the past eight months Mark has been nursing Walnut, helping him to eat, and lifting him as he became too frail to stand up and walk.


As a result, Mark’s made the tough decision to end his suffering and have his beloved pal put to sleep.

But he wanted Walnut’s final hours to be filled with love and happiness, so earlier this week he posted a Facebook invitation asking people to join them for one last walk along Porth Beach – Walnut’s favourite.

Their story has since gone viral, and in the last few days the pair appeared on TV and radio.

And this morning when Mark and Walnut arrived at the beach, hundreds of people were there waiting for them.