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February 3, 2018 /


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Basics for training a puppy

October 31, 2017 /

When you first bring your puppy home (and preferably before, way before) you should have a plan on how to train your new family member

Socialization is an active process, not passive. Each thing that a puppy is exposed to serves as one more learning opportunity, whether it be pleasurable, or fear-inducing. These exposures should be enjoyable experiences.  Bring treats and toys to make the experiences more fun.
Not every location, person, animal, etc. is appropriate for the puppy to experience.  Owners must shield their puppies from potentially negative experiences (e.g. not the fireworks show).  Owners also must be taught to watch the puppy for signs of anxiety (e.g. lip licking, tail tucked, ears back, shaking, etc.).  Puppies can get overwhelmed by too many people, too much novelty.  If the puppy appears anxious, she should be removed from the situation and reintroduced slowly.
Vaccine status
New owners should be concerned about taking puppies who are not fully vaccinated to public places, especially where there may be other dogs.  You should be aware of the prevalence of diseases like parvo, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, etc. in your community.  If you are not sure, contact your veterinarian to get the latest information.  Owners should avoid dog parks, but walking on the street usually is not a concern.  Studies have shown that dogs that have attended a puppy socialization class are significantly less likely to be relinquished. Behavior problems lead to more relinquishment than do the diseases we routinely vaccinate against.  Puppies should NOT WAIT until they are 4-6 months old to begin classes.
Training a puppy – basics
Set rules
Owners must decide how they will want her to behave when she is a full-grown dog.  The rules must be clear in the minds of everyone in the house and must be taught to the puppy.
Be consistent
Rules need to be enforced every time by every member of the household in the same manner.
Start early
Puppies are constantly learning new behaviors.

This is a fun time for you and your new friend and if you are unsure or not experienced at training a puppy look for a trainer that will let you ask a few questions before you decide on a class and ask your veterinarian or friends and family for recommendations.

Gunner Australian Cattle Dog / Australian Shepherd

October 24, 2017 /

Name: Gunner

Sex: Male

Size:  Medium 26 Lbs. - 60 Lbs.

Breed:  Australian Cattle Dog / Australian Shepherd                                    

Shots:  Current with all shots


Hi my name is Gunner.  I am a 1 year old neutered Australian Cattle Dog / Australian Shepherd mix. I am up to date on all my shots and ready to go home.  I am a very active and sweet boy.  I like to play with balls, ropes and other toys.  I walk well on a leash and I am house trained.  I would love to have a home that has a lot of room to run and to chase small critters.  My adoption fee is $75.  This is used to cover vet care, vaccinations, food.  We are a rescue group, not a shelter and we foster these animals at our home.  After approval, we will meet you at our Adoption Center.  The address is 499 Dietrich Dr SE, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663  If you use a GPS use 495 Mill Ave SE (Lowe's of New Philadelphia) There is no sign for Winspear so turn in to Lowe's and stay to the right towards the Garden Center.  Go past the storage barns "For Sale" and turn right on Dietrich.  Follow Dietrich to a Red Brick house on the right.  Please MapQuest this address first before you call, to make sure you can make the drive to us.  Remember we show by appoint ONLY.


Ginger - Pug Terrier


Name: Ginger

Sex: Female

Size:  Medium 26 Lbs. - 60 Lbs.

Breed:  Pug / Terrier                                    

Shots:  Current with all shots


Hi my name is Ginger.  I am a 6 year old spayed Pug / Terrier mix. I am up to date on all my shots and ready to go home.  I love to run and play but really enjoy lying around and being a super watch dog.  I obey commands really well and can be very affectionate and love having my belly rubbed. I am a good hunter and herding and would do well on a farm or in a home with older children.  Call us at 330-465-6040, it's faster than email.  My adoption fee is $75.  This is used to cover vet care, vaccinations, food ets.  We are a rescue group, not a shelter and we foster these animals at our home.  After approval, we will meet you at our Adoption Center.  The address is 499 Dietrich Dr SE, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663  If you use a GPS use 495 Mill Ave SE (Lowe's of New Philadelphia) There is no sign for Winspear so turn in to Lowe's and stay to the right towards the Garden Center.  Go past the storage barns "For Sale" and turn right on Dietrich.  Follow Dietrich to a Red Brick house on the right.  Please MapQuest this address first before you call, to make sure you can make the drive to us.  Remember we show by appoint ONLY.


Amelia - Australian Shepherd / Border Collie / Australian Cattle Dog

May 5, 2017 /

Name: Amelia

Sex: Female

Size:  Medium 26 Lbs. - 60 Lbs.

Breed:  Australian Shepherd / Border Collie / Australian Cattle Dog                                   

Shots:  Current with all shots


Hi my name is Amelia. I am a 6 month old spayed Australian Cattle Dog / Australian Shepherd / Border Collie mix. I am up to date on all my shots and ready to go home.  I am (pretty much) housebroken, crate-trained, leash trained and great in the car. I am super smart and love learning tricks! Right now I know "sit", "stay", "lay-down", "high-five", "shake" "roll-over", "drop-it" and "leave it".  I can be very affectionate and love having my belly and back scratched. I have a lot of energy and am head-strong.  I would do best in a household with an experienced dog owner, a big yard and kids over 10.  I am good with big dogs, but still working on my manners with other puppies and smaller dogs.  Call us at 330-465-6040, it's faster than email.  Our adoption fee is $100.  This is used to cover vet care, vaccinations, food ets.  We are a rescue group, not a shelter and we foster these animals at our home.  After approval, we will meet you at our Adoption Center.  The address is 499 Dietrich Dr SE, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663  If you use a GPS use 495 Mill Ave SE (Lowe's of New Philadelphia) There is no sign for Winspear so turn in to Lowe's and stay to the right towards the Garden Center.  Go past the storage barns "For Sale" and turn right on Dietrich.  Follow Dietrich to a Red Brick house on the right.  Please MapQuest this address first before you call, to make sure you can make the drive to us.  Remember we show by appoint ONLY.

Are You Ready to Get a Dog?

July 5, 2016 /

Your heart says it's time to add a furry friend to your household, but you've got some practical questions. Is your home right for a dog? What type of pooch fits your lifestyle? Here's what you need to know before taking the plunge.

Do You Have Enough Time?

All dogs need attention. If you travel a lot and are rarely home, a dog probably isn't the best pet for you. But busy people can have dogs too, if they choose the right breed and temperament.
"There are border collie puppies that need to have mental and physical exercise 10 times a day, and there are older Labrador retrievers that just want to lie by the fire," says animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell, PhD, author of The Other End of the Leash. "We're all at different places in our lives, and dogs are no different."
If the dog will be home alone for significant periods of time -- for example, while you're at work for 8 hours -- you'll need to find a dog walker, doggie day care, or other way to make sure that your dog can get outside to do his business while you're out.
You should plan to devote time to socializing and training your dog, especially at the beginning. You'll need to do that even if you're bringing home an older dog.
"People sometimes don't realize how much it's worth to socialize and train their dog early," says Susan Nelson, DVM. Nelson is a clinical associate professor at Kansas State University's Veterinary Health Center.

Do You Have Enough Space?

Space is an issue when you bring home a dog. Other pets, like cats, can often thrive in much smaller spaces. But many dogs need a little more breathing room.
"Do you have a yard?" Nelson says. "In general, the bigger the dog, the more space and exercise they will need."

Do You Have Enough Energy for a Dog?

Dogs, just like people, need regular exercise to stay healthy.
Also keep in mind, a bored dog is often a destructive dog. If you don't give your new friend a good way to burn off extra energy, you may find that he takes it out on your new shoes or your flower garden.
Different types of dogs need different amounts of exercise. Regular walks around the block may be just fine for a shih tzu. But a Siberian husky or Great Dane is going to need more space to roam and someone to keep him company.
You don't have to have a big backyard if you choose a dog with lots of energy. But you should have at least one dog-friendly park or open space nearby.

Can You Afford a Dog?

The cost of taking care of your new best friend can add up. Your costs may include veterinary care, food, and boarding or pet sitting while you're away.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals puts the average yearly cost of owning a medium-sized dog at just under $700. Bigger dogs cost a bit more; smaller dogs, a bit less.
You'll probably pay more than that during the first year, especially if you bring home a puppy, with expenses like spaying and neutering and vaccinations.
Don't cut corners. "People bring home puppies and they can't afford the parvo vaccination, and then the puppy comes down with parvo, which costs hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to treat," Nelson says.

What Dog Is Right for Your Family?

If you've decided that you're ready to bring home a dog, the next step is finding the right match for you and your family.
The most important thing, McConnell says, is to make sure your dog's personality matches your needs.
"People often confuse personality with breed," he says. "Even though there are some breed consistencies, every breed has different personalities within it."
You can start your search for a dog by looking for certain breeds that have characteristics you want, such as:
  • Active or mellow
  • Cuddly or independent
  • Good with kids
But ultimately, every dog is unique.
Also consider whether you want a puppy or an older dog. "A lot of people are getting older dogs, which is great," says McConnell. "They think that the dog may be calmer and less hyper, which can often be true. And they assume the dog will be house-trained. But just because a dog is house-trained doesn't mean it's trained in your house"
When your new dog comes home, expect that it will be a lot of work for the first few weeks.
"You're bringing in an entirely new living creature into your home, one who's probably in shock," McConnell says. "Imagine if you moved into a stranger's home and you couldn't tell them things like, 'I usually eat breakfast around this time, and I really want to get outside after lunch.' If you can, plan on someone taking at least a couple of days off to help your dog settle in."

My dog won't stop vomiting, please help!

Dear Dr. Dog,

My dog won't stop vomiting. It started one night after I gave her a 10 lb bag of bubblegum for dinner.

Ever since, she hasn't stopped retching.

Please Help!

Tom in Pittsburgh


Vomiting in Dogs: Causes and Treatment

A dog may vomit simply because he’s eaten something disagreeable or gobbled down too much food, too fast. But vomiting can also indicate something far more serious-your dog may have swallowed a toxic substance, or may be suffering from a condition that requires immediate medical attention. Vomiting can also be associated with gastrointestinal and systemic disorders that should be evaluated by a veterinarian.

What Might Cause a Sudden. or Acute, Episode of Vomiting?

  • Bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Diet-related causes (diet change, food intolerance, ingestion of garbage)
  • Foreign bodies (i.e. toys, bones, pieces of chewies) in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Acute kidney failure
  • Acute liver failure or gall bladder inflammation
  • Pancreatitis
  • Post-operative nausea
  • Ingestion of toxic substances
  • Viral infections
  • Certain medications or anesthetic agents
  • Bloat
  • Heatstroke
  • Car sickness
  • Infected uterus
Vomiting that occurs sporadically or irregularly over a longer period of time can be due to stomach or intestinal inflammation, severe constipation, cancer, kidney dysfunction, liver disease or systemic illness.

What Should I Do If My Dog Vomits Frequently?

An occasional, isolated bout of vomiting may not be of concern. However, frequent or chronic vomiting can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as colitis, intestinal obstruction or parvovirus. If your dog’s vomiting is not an isolated incident, please bring him to the vet right away for a complete examination and diagnostic testing.

What Other Symptoms Should I Watch For?

The causes of vomiting are so varied that sometimes obtaining a diagnosis can be difficult, so it’s important to give your veterinarian as much information as possible and indicate if other signs are also occurring. What to watch for:
  • Frequency of vomiting. If your dog vomits once and proceeds to eat regularly and have a normal bowel movement, the vomiting was most likely an isolated incident.
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Blood in vomit
  • Weight loss
  • Change in appetite
  • Increase or decrease in thirst or urination

When Is It Time to See the Vet?

Please see your vet if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, if your dog vomits more than once during the course of a day, or if vomiting persists past one day. 

Which dog is right for me?

April 19, 2016 /

Choosing the Right Dog for You

  • Keep an open mind when adopting, and you'll find the dog (or dogs) that will fit your needs and lifestyle.
The best thing about adopting a dog from an animal shelter or rescue group? So many amazing pooches to choose from! Man's best friends come in all shapes, sizes and—of course—personalities.
While almost any shelter dog can make a wonderful, lifelong companion for you and your family, some dogs will need more training, some will need more exercise and some will be happy to just sit on your lap staring into your eyes, trying to hypnotize you into providing more kibble.
Which kind of dog are you looking for? You may have an image of your perfect dog in mind, but is your heart open to a canine Mr. Right you weren't quite expecting? Browse adoptable dogs near you at The Shelter Pet Project, and consider the following questions:

What's your lifestyle?

If you live alone in a small, third-floor apartment, for instance, adopting a large, active retriever-mix might not be the best choice ... but then, if you're a runner and want a partner for your jogs, or you have a large family of kids who will play with the dog all the time, it could be fine! A dog's size, exercise requirements, friendliness, assertiveness and compatibility with children should all figure into your decision. Remember, you're not just getting a dog; your new dog is getting a family!

Purebred or magical mix?

How do you find out which dogs have the qualities you're looking for? Information is the key: learn about the personalities of various breeds, visit with animals at the shelter and speak with an adoption counselor for guidance.
Dogs fall into one of two categories: purebreds or mixed breeds. Most animal shelters have plenty of both. The only significant difference between the two is that purebreds, because their parents and other ancestors are all members of the same breed, are similar to a specific "breed standard." This doesn't always tell you much about a dog's good health or how she'll behave, but it will help give you an idea of how big she's likely to get and whether her ears will be adorably droopy or sharp and perky (and other such physical traits). With mixes, you'll get a unique, never-seen-before blend.

More about mixed breeds

Of course, the size, appearance and temperament of most mixed breed dogs can be predicted as well. After all, mixed breeds are simply combinations of different breeds. So if you know the ancestry of a particular mixed-breed puppy or can identify what type of dog he is (e.g., terrier mix), you have a good chance of knowing how he'll turn out, too.
Mixed breeds are also more likely to be free of genetic defects common to certain purebred dogs because of overbreeding.

Visit with shelter animals

While you're at the shelter, keep in mind that the animals there will be stressed out; quite often, a dog's true colors won't show until he's away from other animals and the shelter environment. So even if you walk past a kennel with a dog who isn't vying for your attention, don't count him out. He may just be a little scared or lonely.
An adoption counselor can help you select canines who will match your lifestyle. When you spend time with each animal, consider the following questions:
  • How old is the dog? You may be thinking about getting a puppy, but young dogs usually require much more training and supervision. If you lack the time or patience to housetrain your pup or to correct problems like chewing and jumping, an adult dog may be a better choice.
  • How shy or assertive is the dog? Although an active, bouncy dog might catch your eye, a quieter pooch might be a better match if you just want a TV and hanging-out buddy.
  • Is the animal good with kids? Ask questions of the adoptions counselors, but remember, not all shelter dogs will have a known history. In general, a friendly dog who likes to be touched and is not sensitive to handling and noise is a dog who will probably thrive in a house full of kids. If you get a puppy for your kids, remember that baby animals can be fragile and that, regardless of the dog's age or breed, you'll want to supervise his interactions with kids.

Choose a pal for life

Shelter animals deserve lifelong homes. If you're looking for your perfect pal, check out The Shelter Pet Project's website, which can help you with your search. After all, you're choosing a pal likely to be with you 10 to 15 years—or even longer. There's a dog out there who will love being part of your family!

Training your new puppy


For successful training, practice the following basic training steps with your puppy every day. Keep training sessions short. Your puppy will see everything as a game, so keep him stimulated by changing what he's learning. Do each command for about five minutes and come back to it whenever you can.
Practice the commands in lots of different places — in the living room, garden, hall or kitchen, even out on walks — so that he gets used to responding to you in all sorts of situations. You can use the click technique to help with other aspects of your puppy's training, such as encouraging him to stand still for grooming and getting him used to traveling by car.
Your puppy will learn very quickly and respond to love and affection as well as rewards. Obedience training will help build a lasting bond between the two of you and you'll be rewarded with a happy, well-trained dog.
Table manners
Giving in to your puppy's every need is not a good thing. As your puppy grows, so will his need to assert himself. Puppies often choose mealtimes as a battleground. But giving in to him is a mistake. You need to make sure he knows that you won't respond to his every demand.
Your puppy needs to learn that people around him, particularly small children, can be a bit unpredictable. But he needs to accept that their unpredictable behavior is not threatening. You can help him do this by imitating a child's behavior. Try stepping quickly towards his bowl — then drop in a treat. Gently bump into him, while he's eating, or roll toys nearby — anything to cause a distraction, but drop a treat in the bowl to reward him for continuing to eat calmly. Do this every so often, but not at every meal. If your puppy freezes mid-mouthful, growls or glares at you, stop and try again another time. If this continues, it's best to seek advice from a veterinary behaviorist or certified dog trainer.
Reading your puppy's body language
Dogs have always communicated with each other by using body language. This involves facial expressions, body postures, noises and scents. Dogs will use their mouth, eyes, ears and tail to express emotions. By learning how to interpret your puppy's body language, you can interpret your puppy's intentions.
Signs of aggression or submission
If your puppy is feeling brave or aggressive, he'll try to make himself larger by standing tall, with his ears and tail sticking upright. He'll also push out his chest and raise the hair on his neck and back. He might also growl and wave his tail slowly.
On the other hand, a submissive dog will try to make himself appear small and act like a puppy. This is because an adult dog will "tell off" a puppy but not attack him. Submission will take the form of a sideways crouch near to the ground, his tail held low but wagging away. He may also try to lick the face of the dominant dog or human. He may even roll on his back.
Your puppy's tail
Most of us recognize that tail wagging is a sign of friendliness and pleasure, but the tail can indicate other moods, too.
The normal way a dog holds his tail varies from breed to breed but generally speaking, a tail held higher than 45 degrees to the back expresses alertness and interest.
If your puppy's tail is waved slowly and stiffly, that's an expression of anger. If it's clamped low over his hindquarters, it means your pet is afraid. An anxious or nervous dog may droop his tail but wag it stiffly.
Your puppy's eyes
If your dog's eyes are half closed, that's a sign of pleasure or submission, while eyes wide open can indicate aggression.
In the wild, dogs stare at each other until one backs down or makes a challenge, so you should never attempt to outstare your puppy, especially if he's nervous.
Your puppy's smile
Submissive dogs and some breeds such as Labradors often open their mouths in a kind of lop-sided "grin", and indeed, it is a sign of friendliness. But when lips are drawn back tightly to bare the teeth, that's aggression, make no mistake.
Wanting to play
If your puppy wants to play, he'll raise a paw or bow down and bark to attract attention. Or he might offer up a toy, or bound up to another dog to get him to join in a chase.
How your dog sees you
Your puppy will watch you to read your body signals more than he will listen to you, and he'll quickly learn what you're feeling even without you speaking.
If you want to improve communication with your puppy, you can improve upon your own body language. For example, crouching down with arms opened out is a welcome sign while towering over him and staring is a sign of threat.
How your puppy learns
Your puppy will learn very quickly, so it's important that he learns how to behave properly right from the start.
Dogs learn by association, so if your puppy does something good, reward him. Then the action is much more likely to be repeated. But the reward must be linked to the action, so he must be rewarded quickly, within a second or two. The reward itself can be a few kibbles of puppy food or praise, or both.
Your puppy needs to be taught what he can and cannot do. Some harmless behaviors can be ignored, but potentially dangerous ones need to be handled immediately by interrupting the behavior with a sharp "no" to get his attention — be sure to reward him when he stops and pays attention to you. Shouting or hitting will not help your puppy learn.
Understanding barking and whining
Barking is a totally natural aspect of a dog's behavior, but you, your family and your neighbors will be happier if you can bring it under control.
It's hardly surprising many people have barking problems with their dogs, since most dogs have no idea whether barking is something good or bad. That's because our reaction to his barking is confusing to the dog. In his eyes, when he barks, he is sometimes ignored, while at other times he is shouted at to stop, and then again he may be encouraged to bark if, for example, there's a suspicious stranger nearby.
To help your dog know when barking is acceptable, you simply need to teach him that he may bark until he is told to stop. "Stop barking" should be considered as a command for obedience rather than a telling off.
Start the training by letting your dog bark two or three times, praise him for sounding the alarm, then say "Stop barking" and hold out a treat in front of him. Your dog will stop immediately if only due to the fact that he can't sniff the treat while barking. After a few seconds of quiet, give him the reward. Gradually increase the time from when the barking stops to the giving of the reward.
If you are concerned about excessive barking that you have no control over, you should seek advice from your vet about next steps, such as specialist training or therapy.
If you comfort your puppy whenever he whines, it may actually make things worse. It will make your puppy think he's being praised for whining, and get him into the habit of repeating it for your affection.
You can help your puppy learn to stop whining by not g,oing to him when he whines. By ignoring your puppy, and only giving him attention and praise when he stops whining, he'll learn that whining and whimperig is not the way to earn your approval.

How do I know if my dog has worms?

April 18, 2016 /
Dear Dr. Dog,

My new puppy has been acting strange. She won't eat, barely drinks, and whimpers alot.

I think that maybe she has worms. Please help, I am at my wit's end!





Dear Marcia,

Worms are one of the most common health problems for dogs. There are five types of worms that generally affect dogs: heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. Certain types of worms are easier to spot than others. For example, if your dog picks up a tapeworm, it’s common to see what resembles grains of rice in its stool. Heartworms, on the other hand, are harder to diagnose and an infected dog will often show only subtle symptoms until the disease has progressed to a more advanced stage.

Here are the 11 most common symptoms of worms in dogs:

1. Coughing

One of the advanced stage symptoms of heartworms in a dog is coughing. Dogs with hookworms and roundworms may also develop a cough.
Related: Heartworms in dogs: Myths vs. facts

2. Vomiting

Dogs that have worms will often throw up. Roundworms can sometimes show up in a dog’s vomit.

3. Diarrhea

Soft stools and canine diarrhea can be the result of worms. In addition to diarrhea, dogs with hookworms may have blood in their stools.

4. Low energy

Dogs that are lethargic and less active than normal may be showing symptoms of having worms.

5. Pot bellied appearance

If your dog starts to appear pot bellied or bloated, it may have contracted worms. This is commonly seen in puppies that have picked up worms from their mother.

6. Change in appetite

If you notice a sudden change in your dog’s appetite, he may have come into contact with roundworms. Dogs that are infected often lose their appetite. As worms steal a dog’s nutrients, a dog with worms may also show a sudden increase in hunger.

7. Weight loss

If your dog shows signs of rapid weight loss, he may have a tapeworm or a whipworm.

8. Dull coat

A healthy dog should have a shiny thick coat. If your dog’s coat begins to dull and dry out, he may have picked up a form of worms. Loss of hair or the appearance of rashes can also denote worms.

9. Itching and signs of skin irritations

Dogs that show signs of skin irritation may have a severe infestation of worms.

10. Rubbing its bottom on the ground or “scooting”

While this can often be caused by problems with the anal glands, dogs with worms will occasionally rub their rear ends on the floor in order to relieve themselves of the itch due to worms in the area.

11. Visible worms in fur or fecal matter

Some worms, such as tapeworms may appear as small moving segments in the fur or area around dog’s anus. Roundworms can often be seen in a dog’s stools.

If you suspect worms in your dog

If left untreated, worms can damage your dog’s internal organs and lead to loss of consciousness and death. If you suspect that your dog has worms, take it to your nearest veterinary office. Most intestinal worms are easy to treat and your veterinarian will prescribe a medication based on the diagnosis. Heartworm disease, however, can be expensive and difficult for your dog, so the best treatment is administration of a monthly preventive medication (which can also prevent other worm infections). Consult with your vet for recommendations for your dog.