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Professional dog training

| Dog Training | May 1, 2008

This Smooth Collie retrieves an obedience dumbbell made of wood; others are made of metal or plastic.Image via Wikipedia

A well behaved dog makes a perfect companion and pet and is a pleasure to have, however your dog isn’t born with this inbuilt good behaviour it is something which is taught to them preferably from an early age. The owner of the dog can take classes or read up on how to teach their pet obedience or the owner may prefer to take on the help and advice of a professional trainer instead.

Why is dog obedience a necessity?

Many times it is not just the dog who needs training it is the owner too, a dog is always willing to learn and eager to please its master and this doesn’t just apply to puppy’s it also applies to older dogs too. The old saying you can’t teach an old dog a new trick is so wrong, any dog regardless of their age can learn it just makes it easier if you start teaching your dog at a young age. Training is not only essential for safety reasons but it will also help to form a bond between dog and master.

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French bulldog house training & other breeds

| Dog Training | May 1, 2008

French Bulldog doing therapy visit at Senior's homeImage via Wikipedia

Some dogs will naturally pick up housetraining more easily than others, some breeds just love to please and this shows by the quickness they pick up housetraining, other breeds such as the French bulldog can just be downright stubborn or lazy. There are however two basic aspects to housebreaking your puppy and these are:

* Confinement so that your puppy cant go to the bathroom in the wrong place.

* Regular or constant access to the right place for your puppy to go to the bathroom.

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French bulldog history

| French Bulldog Facts | May 1, 2008

IconImage by Nueva Perspectiva via Flickr

There are many varied explanations of where the French bulldog actually originated from, however the most prevalent of these suggests that it came from the toy bulldog which was brought to France by some lace workers from Nottingham in the UK. There is however some that speculate the fact of artwork and skeletal finds of the bulldog know as Chincha in ancient Peru and which is said to closely resemble the French bulldog.

Excavated sites uncovered burial grounds which unearthed mummified bodies of dogs, skulls and skeletons, which did indeed confirm that bulldog like dogs did live around 1100 to 1400 AD in Peru. It was found that the Chincha bulldogs skull did have many similarities to what we know as the French bulldog today.

By the 1950`s and 1860`s England saw the increase of the toy or miniature bulldog and when many of the workers moved to France in search of work they took these smaller bulldogs with them. They found this small variety of bulldog was ideal for the small, cramped living conditions, in which they lived also these small bulldogs, were found to be excellent at hunting and killing rats which where to be a plague of that century.

Their popularity increased as more French realised they were not only good companions but also great “ratters”. By the mid 1860`s the breed became so popular and exportation to France was so great that the breed almost became extinct in England. The bulldog was then crossed with a terrier native to France the “terrier boule”, this also looked very similar to a small bulldog and this cross eventually gave rise to the French bulldog of which we know today.

Historians of other breeds have also claimed that the small bulldog was crossed with the pug but no evidence has ever substantiated this claim. What was known then as the petite boule quickly expanded in popularity throughout France and they became a favourite of the courtesans who adored the dog for its eccentric appearance? It was during this period that the upper class also fell for the charm of the little bulldog and its popularity soon began to extend to royalty.

The French bulldog however really took off in the 1880 when a group of French bulldog owners began to have regular meetings and it was during 1885 that the first provisional register of the breed was recognised and the French bulldog appeared in a show under its own name, the French bulldog in 1887. the French bulldog first appeared at a show in the United States in 1896 in New York, this is where the popular name “frenchie” was first given them and it is a name which has stuck with them ever since.

It was the Americans who organised the first ever French bulldog club in the world and it was these who first insisted that the “bat” ear of the dog which is still associated with the breed today should be considered the correct form for the standard.

Heatstroke & the French bulldog

| Care Tips | May 1, 2008

Red fawn pied French Bulldogs. Paler versions are sometimes referred to as fawn pied, lemon pied or honey pied.Image via Wikipedia

Any dog can suffer from heat exhaustion but due to the shorter breathing system that the French bulldog has, they are more susceptible than most other breeds. The number one cause of heat exhaustion in dogs is leaving them in a car on a warm day, if the temperature outside is around 75f then the heat inside the car can very quickly build up to over 130f.

The Frenchie has shorter airways than most dogs and this leads to less chance of the air which the dog takes in cooling and as dogs cannot sweat the only means they have of cooling down is by panting.

There are other factors that can lead to heat exhaustion in dogs and particularly the frenchie, the dog’s physical condition, the age of the dog and acclimatization of the weather. However all frenchies no matter how active they are or how well they breathe normally are more at risk from heat stroke than other breeds.

The signs of heatstroke in a dog are

* Beginning to pant heavily.

* Flushed and red skin on the inside of the ears.

* Overall weakness.

* Beginning to stagger.

* Fainting or loss of consciousness.

If your frenchie is showing signs of heatstroke then you must cool him down immediately, don’t try taking him to the vets you might not have time, heatstroke can be deadly.

Here’s what you should do

* Never try to give water to your dog, his airways might have become swollen which could result in the dog taking water into the lungs.

* Hose your dog down with cool but not cold water.

* Place an ice pack on the head and try to cover the rest of the body with wet towels or some other cloth that holds water.

* Where possible get the dog into a bath of cool water again not cold.

* If your dogs airways are swelling due to him panting a lot, you can use the children’s allergy treatment Benaydryl by dropper into your dogs mouth, it is wise to consult your vet for the exact dosage for your dog.

* Keep up with this treatment until the temperature shows signs of normalising, then and only then transport your dog to the vets.

Prevention of heatstroke

Common sense should some into play here, always remain alert to your dogs needs what might seem like a cooler day to you could be hot for your dog. Always limit the time your dog spends outside in the warm/hot weather and remember that most dogs will play forever regardless of if they are overheating.

Always make sure there is a shaded area for your dog to go and lie down in and that there is plenty of fresh cool drinking water for your dog. Just as you keep a first aid kit for yourself and your family you should keep one also for your frenchie, it could consist of the following:

* A bottle of distilled water.

* A cool down cloth.

* A cool down coat.

* Some towels.

* A bottle of children’s Benaydryl and an eyedropper.

French bulldog health

| Bulldog Health | May 1, 2008

morrbooImage by Conson via Flickr

The French bulldog breed is prone to several conditions and congenital diseases the most common of these being problems relating to breathing due to the squatness of their face. The French bulldog is also particularly prone to a condition called Von Williebrands disease which is a disease similar to haemophilia in humans. Many breeders of the French bulldog now routinely perform tests for this particular disease.

One of the most common defects found in the French bulldog is elongated soft palate or cleft palate, cleft palate is considered to be something which is almost impossible to correct in the French bulldog and so puppies born with this defect are generally put down at birth.

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French bulldog grooming tips

| Groomer Guide | May 1, 2008

French BulldogImage via Wikipedia

In order to maintain good health in your French bulldog it is essential that they are regularly groomed, grooming is also a great way of interacting with your pet and if trained from being a puppy it is something which your dog will look forward to and enjoy. Frenchies have short coats which makes the task easier than with many other long breed varieties and few minutes spent each day on the task of grooming will help to ensure your pet remains healthy.

Basic brushing Brushing the coat of your frenchie will help to remove dead hairs and skin, which could otherwise cause your pet to scratch. It will also help to smooth out the natural oils in their coat and this prevents odours. It is one of the most essential yet simple parts to grooming your pet; there are a variety of brushes and combs available at most pet stores which are suitable for your frenchie. As the French bulldog has a smooth short coat a weekly brush might be all that’s needed to keep their coat in great condition.

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French bulldog facts

| French Bulldog Facts | May 1, 2008

This color and pattern are referred to as black masked fawn. The base color of the coat can vary in shade from red to tan. The mask refers to the marking pattern on the face.Image via Wikipedia

* Do French bulldogs make good pets and companions?

The French bulldog makes an excellent companion, the frenchie requires very little exercise and is very easy to groom.

* Do French bulldogs make good guard dogs?

The frenchie can make an excellent guard dog due to its protective and territorial traits.

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Professional French bulldog groomers

| Groomer Guide | May 1, 2008

maggie_girlImage by Bill in Ash Vegas via Flickr

Just as we humans need to take care of personal hygiene to keep us healthy then so do our dogs, our dog can to an extent take care of itself a little by way of licking themselves in combination with using their paws, however in order for them to remain in top condition they do need some help from their owner.

The simple grooming and brushing of your dog is easy to do if they have short hair or coats, however some breeds are particularly harder than others to groom and take care of, here is where a professional groomer might help. So what do you look for in a professional groomer, listed below is some helpful advice for those wishing to hire the services of a groomer for their pet.

What does grooming involve?

Grooming involves more than just running a brush through the hair of your dog, it also includes bathing your dog, cutting or trimming the claws, cutting away or shaving matted fur and cleaning away external parasites.

Why should I go to a professional groomer?

One very good reason is the time it takes to fully groom a dog with a long coat and the other is that a professional groomer will have all the tools needed to take care of a wide variety of coat lengths. They will also have the physical ability and will have the training required for some of the coats of the breeds such as the poodle which has their coat trimmed and groomed into a particular style.

A trained professional can also handle a frightened or nervous dog more easily than an owner who isn’t used to grooming. However the professional groomer isn’t there to take over your job of taking care of your pet but only to enhance this and provide full grooming treatment as needed.

How do I find a qualified professional groomer?

Checking with friends and family is always a good place to start and failing that your vet should be able to put you in touch with a groomer. Some groomers are registered and qualified to take care of various procedures of grooming, so it is wise to do a little background search if you can.

What to look for in a grooming parlour

* Does the facility look and smell clean.

* Is the facility well lit.

* Do the staff handle the dogs with care.

* Are the cages where the dogs are kept adequately sized for the dogs.

* Are the dogs monitored when they are blow dried to prevent over heating.

* Does the grooming parlour keep records of pets, for example contact numbers, vaccination record, health records.

French bulldog care tips

| Care Tips | May 1, 2008

morrbooImage by Conson via Flickr

While your French bulldog is young try to avoid any forced jumping exercises, these include allowing your puppy to jump up onto the bed and back down from it, forced jumping or jumping up and down the stairs. This is mainly due to the vertical movements of this kind can increase the pressure on the cartridge of the articulations, any harm done to these early could cause deformation of the position of the legs. French bulldogs are still considered young until around 18 month of age.

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French bulldog puppy behaviour

| Frenchie Behaviors | May 1, 2008

MarciaImage by purpletwinkie via Flickr

Your new puppy’s parents and its genes will play a big part in how your puppy will turn out when it’s fully grown into an adult dog, you of course as the owner will also be able to influence this outcome. By petting, playing and teaching your new puppy good behaviour you can help your puppy to develop good socialisation skills.

Your puppy will have been weaned around the age of 6 weeks but they still learn valuable lessons from their mother up to around 8 t0 10 weeks, this is the time when they are ready to leave their mothers and litter mates. Here is a general guideline to your puppy’s stages of development:

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