Tag Archives: pit bull

Summer Safety Tips For Walking Your Dog

maheat1

“Take my picture already.”

When I lived in Maryland, I would wake up early, around 6am, to walk my dogs every single day.  Once I moved to Massachusetts, I was able to walk my dog a bit later, around 8am, but even like that I always have to remember the following:

  1. I need to walk Abby early in the morning.  I will probably have to start waking up at 6am again because the weather is hitting 90 degrees as of late.
  2. I have to make sure to take water with me.
  3. I need to pay attention to Abby’s body language.  If she starts panting too much, I will stop the walk, find a shaded area, give her water, not cold water for this can shock her instead of helping her, and wet her chest and head.
  4. Once we come back, I always check her paws, brush her, and wipe her off.  This way I keep her clean but at the same time I check to make sure that she is ok.
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Gorgeous dogs.

My last 3 dogs, pit bull mixes, were mostly white therefore they were able to handle the heat better than other dogs.  In the above picture, the white pit bull will probably handle the heat and humidity better than the dark one.  Please keep in mind that dogs of dark color overheat very easy.  Abby is a perfect example of that and that is why I need to pay attention to her body language.

Go out and enjoy a nice walk with your dog, but try to make your walks early in the morning and/or late in the afternoon and pay attention to your dog’s body language.

Dog Behavior And Walking Your Dog

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This picture was taken in DC. From L to R: My Alex, yours truly, Sarris, and Dozer.

When I do a consultation, the first thing I want is for the pet parent to tell me what issues his dog is exhibiting and what is it that they want to accomplish.  Once they do that, usually my first question is: how many times a day do you walk your dog and for how long?  Some pet parents look at me a little funny, but what they don’t know is that providing a dog with physical and mental stimulation makes a difference between having a balanced dog or a nightmare of a dog.

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A beautiful day in DC.

A walk, as I tell all my clients, is to be a structured walk.  What do I mean by that?  Your dog needs to be on your right or left side, not ahead of you and not smelling every single thing on his/her path.  In the above picture, I am walking 3 dogs, from left to right: Dozer, a Doberman Pinscher mix; Sarris, a Weimaraner; and my Alex, a pit bull mix.  All of them are walking beside me not ahead of me.  Walking is draining them physically, and walking while paying attention to what I am doing and I want is draining them mentally.  When we got home, they were all out like a light.  Well, to be quite honest, I took a nap too.

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Alex, “Mom, I think someone is taking our picture.”

I’ve written a few times about the importance of walking your dog, and do you know why?  Because some, if not a lot, of the behavioral problems exhibited by dogs are the result of a lack of physical and mental exercise.  In the above picture, they are all alert but calm.  That you’ll get from your dog if you take the time to walk him/her.  Before I forget; walking is an excellent exercise for us pet parents.  So go out and walk your dog:-)

Snow Storm in Massachusetts – 2/5/16

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Marcela, “This is what we woke up to on Saturday 2/6/16”

To say that it snowed in Massachusetts last Friday would be an understatement.  Well, we had to make the best out of all that snow, so on Saturday morning we ventured out with Abby to let her do her business, play and take some pictures.

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Abby, “What? We are going to go out now? There’s way too much snow moms. Do we have to?”

Abby was a little hesitant about going out and getting those beautiful white paws wet.  Can you see the hesitation in those eyes?

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Abby, “Moms, why didn’t you tell me playing in the snow was so much fun?”

Once we were out, Abby ran and played like crazy in the snow.  She was just a little bit confused about the paparazzo, aka Cynthia, following her and intruding in her privacy.  As you can see, take a look at Abby’s face in the above picture, she wasn’t too crazy about it.

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Abby, “Mom, what is wrong with you? Why are you laughing and crying all at the same time? You are confusing me”

Abby was having the time of her life, when all of a sudden she turned and I saw her face full of snow.  I laughed so hard that, of course, I confused the hell out of our poor puppy.  How could you keep a straight face when looking at that face?

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Abby, “Moms, I found it”

I was wondering why Abby had so much snow on her face, and before I could ask Cynthia about it she told me, “I throw treats in the snow and then ask Abby to get it.”  And so the mystery was solved.  By the way, since Abby is part Beagle we need to make sure that she uses her nose more than her eyes.  She found every single treat.  You go Abby!

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Abby, “I am tired. Let’s go home.”

Abby ran around for about 40 minutes.  I don’t recommend pet parents doing this unless you frequently check on your dog.  Even though Abby has short hair, she is nice and stocky therefore she is better equipped to handle cold weather.  She also wears a jacket to keep her warm.  Not all dogs can do this.  Alex, our pit bull mix, never stayed out playing in the snow longer than 3 to 5 minutes.  Even with a sweater and jacket she’d shiver like crazy.  She was not a big fan of snow and preferred to have a nice short walk instead.  Abby is the complete opposite, as soon as she sees snow she wants to go and run.  And this is why I say that dogs are individuals.

We have more snow coming today, Monday, and so we’ll try and capture more pictures with Cynthia and Abby.  Bundle up and don’t forget to keep your canine companions and yourself warm, dry and well hydrated.

Belated Happy New Year 2015

2015This was the first year we were not home.  Instead we went to Boston to visit family and did a little sightseeing while there.  As you can see, Alex could care less about the ducks around her.

20152It was funny to see Alex totally uninterested in all the real ducks around her, but once she saw these “fake” ducks she couldn’t help herself and she had to go and meet them.  As you can see, she is meeting them the polite way, the doggie way.  How?  By sniffing the tush.

20153Alex even posed with them.  She was such a good girl.  By the way, because it was so cold that day, we were out for about 20-30 minutes only.  We parked very close so we went back to the car and headed to get some food.

20154We could take Alex pretty much anywhere dogs are allowed because she is used to so many things, including horses.  We saw a policeman on a horse, but I was hesitant about asking him for a picture so we kept walking.  When Alex was a puppy I took her everywhere so that as an adult dog she would be comfortable in different situations and areas.  Belated happy new year 2015!

Have A Great Life Handsome Dexter

Dexter, Bella, and Alex (L to R)

Dexter, Bella, and Alex (L to R).  This was the last time Dexter stayed with us.

We met Dexter, a very handsome Boxer mix, about 2 years ago during a pack walk in Annapolis, MD and the impression I got of him was that he was a quiet and gentle boy and you know what?  I was right. 

Dexter stayed with us for almost 3 weeks this time, and I was glad that we had all that time with him before he and his mom moved to Phoenix.  Will I miss him?  Yes, I will miss him dearly, but I hope that he does not miss us at all.  Leave that to us.  I want him to be happy.  That is what I want and wish for all the dogs that stay with us.

chao2I don’t board a lot of dogs at one time because I want to provide the care, attention, love, exercise, and so many other things that a kennel facility is not able to do.  The only bad thing about it is that I end up falling in love with all these beautiful dogs, but I don’t regret it.  Have a wonderful life our sweet, handsome, gentle Dexter and may your life be full of love, peace, and a lot of treats.  We love you, always.

Dexter’s Energy Level

Dexter, Bella, and Alex (L to R)

Dexter, Bella, and Alex (L to R)

When we first met Dexter, a handsome boxer mix, I thought that he was a high energy dog, but I was wrong.  Dexter is actually a medium-level energy dog.  Why am I talking about this?  Because your level of energy and that of your future or current dog is very important in order to make the right match.  Dexter does well, during Summer, with a 30-40 minute walk in the morning, and evening, and a small break around noon for 15 minutes.  But, when Winter comes, he needs longer walks.  The first few days, when he comes to stay with us, I walk Dexter the most because he has an abundance of energy, but as days go by I have to use Bella for longer walksn because this handsome boy starts to walk behind me rather than next to me. 

dexenergy2Also, remember that as dogs age their level of energy will decrease.  Alex, my pit mix, so far has been the dog with the highest energy level.  If she were a human being, she’d probably be classified as hyperactive in her younger years.  Well, it only took 10 years for Alex to calm down.  How would you classify your dog’s energy level?  Have a great week.  

 

Memorial Day 2014

Odenton, MD

Odenton, MD

When Alex, my 12-year-old pit mix, was not able to walk because of her ACL injury last November, I told myself, “I’ll walk by myself while I enjoy listening to some music for a change.”  Ha!  Do you know how many times I went out walking by myself?  Once.  Yes, once.  I hated it, and I was bored half to death.

Alex, Bella, and Walter (L to R).  The smiling human is your truly, Marcela

Alex, Bella, and Walter (L to R). The smiling human is your truly, Marcela

What saved me from boredom were the doggies that came to stay with us while Alex was recuperating from her injury.  Nowadays, Alex is doing better and she is able to walk with us, but not for too long.  I still have to be careful with her.  On this holiday, just like any other day, please remember to walk your dog.

Alex and Walter (L to R)

Alex and Walter (L to R)

And, make sure you add a little extra food if your walks are longer than usual.  Have a great Memorial Day from my pack to yours!