Page 1

ALL ABOUT PUREBRED DOGS

This book let contains information on: Choosing the rig ht dog • Buying a puppy • Training your dog • Responsible dog ownership Getting involved in dog activities

WHATEVER YOUR AGE AND STAGE OF LIFE, PUREBREDS MAKE THE BEST PETS!


2

Dogs Victoria


WELCOME TO DOGS VICTORIA The decision to add a new member to your family in the form of a dog is a most rewarding one but one that should be well researched and thought out before making the purchase. All puppies are cuddly and cute but will that cute ball of fun grow into a dog that is suitable to your lifestyle. Dogs are a long term purchase and should definitely be a well thought out one. Where better to get all the information you need than Dogs Victoria. With just under 10,000 members spread around the state we are the peak body for purebred dog owners dedicated to providing correct information on the more than 200 recognised breeds and promoting responsible breeding and ownership of purebred dogs.

The health benefits for people of all ages in dog ownership are well documented. With a Dogs Victoria registered dog a whole range of wonderful canine activities are available to be enjoyed together by all family members. You will enjoy the benefits of a well exercise canine companion that will help improve your own health and fitness. Once you have made the decision to add a dog to your life allow Dogs Victoria to work with you to ensure you have the best canine family member possible.

Why purebred? This is a question we are often asked and the answer is quite simple, reliability. •

With a purebred dog you know what that eight week old bundle will grow into.

Purebred dogs are often healthier because most Dogs Victoria members far exceed the legislative requirements on heritable diseases. Most know their stock for many generations on the pedigree and make full use of available health testing.

Dogs Victoria members take pride in their reputation and in the puppies they breed.

www.dogsvictoria.org.au

Dogs Victoria

3


BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP WITH DOGS VIC TORIA Access to the State Dog Centre KCC Park is owned by Dogs Victoria and all the facilities and land have been developed specifically for our members to enjoy with their dogs. You can bring your dog for a swim in the dam, play in the fenced, off-lead area or an onlead walk around the 74 hectacre property. The Dogs Victoria office is also at this location. Council registration discount Although your dog is registered with Dogs Victoria, you must also register it with your local council. Many councils offer registration discount for dogs registered with Dogs Victoria and allow main register dogs exemption from desexing requirements. In this state, Dogs Victoria is the only canine body granted exemption. Government lobby Dogs Victoria works with state and local government to encourage dog friendly legislation and discourage any laws that would be detrimental to dogs and their owners. This is why it is important for all Victorian dog owners to be part of Dogs Victoria. Laurie Luxmoore Library and Research Facilities Located at KCC Park, the library is home to thousands of dog-related books, magazines, videos and DVDs. The library is open on Tuesdays from 11am to 2pm and some weekends. Canine Museum Also at KCC Park, houses an amazing assortment of dogrelated artefacts from historical to whimsical. It is the largest collection of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Canine Health Research Foundation Provides funding for ongoing research to improve canine health and wellness. Breeder Prefix (Kennel Name) Program If you have a main register dog and choose to breed her at some point in the future you must first pass the Dogs Victoria breeder prefix exam. This will give you valuable information on the ethics of breeding and help prepare you for the responsibility of whelping a litter of puppies. Dogs Victoria Magazine As a member you will receive this glossy, full-colour magazine monthly. It is packed with articles on different breeds, training tips, show and trial results, canine health and great offers from our advertisers. 4

Dogs Victoria

In the centre of your magazine you will find the Gazette that provides information on upcoming events in which you may wish to enter and a schedule of events for the next three months. There are important notices from the office and the ANKC Ltd (Australian National Kennel Council Ltd). This is where changes in policy, rules, regulations etc. are published so you are always up to date with the latest information. Also published in this section is information on recently registered litters, breeding prefixes approved, titles, awards and exports granted. Dogs Victoria website The website at www.dogsvictoria.org.au is constantly being updated with new information and dog-related news. Dogs Victoria events As a member, you can compete in shows and trials and earn titles for your dog. See the “Get Involved� pages of this booklet for more information. To contact us at Dogs Victoria Victorian Canine Association Inc. 655 Westernport Hwy, Skye, Victoria 3977 tel: (03) 9788 2500 fax: (03) 9788 2599 office@dogsvictoria.org.au www.dogsvictoria.org.au


ARE YOU READY FOR A PUPPY? Why do you want a dog? Is the dog to complete the picture of the ideal lifestyle? A pet should not be an accessory but an integral part of your world, a companion and a member of your family. You should only consider buying a dog if you are prepared to make it part of your life. Are you a suitable person to own a dog? Are you willing and able to provide your dog with daily food, water and attention? Will you exercise your dog daily even in winter or when you’ve had a long day at work? Are you ready for a long-term commitment? You should be prepared to commit to your dog for its entire life, which may be ten or more years. You can’t put a puppy away in the cupboard when the novelty wears off. A dog is “till death us do part”.

Is your home a suitable dog environment? Will it contain your dog so it does not cause a nuisance or put itself in danger? Backyard security is more important than size. Are you prepared for the financial commitment to dog ownership? Buying the puppy, which in itself may be a large expense, is only the first of many costs to come throughout the dog’s life. On top of its food bills there are many other regular costs (council registration, innoculations, flea and heartworm treatment) plus unexpected accidents that may require veterinary treatment. A puppy still sounds nice If you are ready, now comes the question of what breed. Take time to find a dog to match your age and stage of life.

The children need a dog Dogs teach children responsibility, but everyone in the family must be willing to help out. Remember, young children should never be left alone with a dog.

www.dogsvictoria.org.au

Dogs Victoria

5


CHOOSING THE RIGHT DOG FOR YOUR AGE AND STAGE OF LIFE Many people are interested only in the look of a dog, and other important characteristics can be overlooked. It is important to find a dog that suits your age and stage of life. A little bit of research can go a long way when choosing your new best friend for the next decade. Dogs Victoria suggests the following considerations before determining which breed of dog will best suit your lifestyle: How much space do I have available? Find a breed whose energy level and size will suit the amount of space you can provide. How much time can I commit? Some breeds require a lot of attention, exercise or grooming and others are more independent and lowmaintenance. All dogs need training and socialisation.

6

Dogs Victoria

What kind of activities do my family and I enjoy? If you are involved in outdoor activities, you’ll want an energetic dog with endurance. If you are more of the homebody type, then you want a dog that will be happy to laze around the house with you. What are the ages of everyone who will be around the dog regularly? Some breeds are more tolerant of children than others. It is important to NEVER leave young children alone with any dog or puppy. Am I a first time dog owner? Some breeds can be very challenging to train and may not be suitable for a first time dog owner.


WHY CHOOSE A PUREBRED If you purchase a crossbred puppy, it is a lucky dip. You may end up with a wonderful dog or something too big, small, energetic or high-maintenance. Every dog has its own personality, but temperament, size, appearance and many other characteristics are more predictable in a purebred dog.

Every breed has an official standard to which breeders strive to conform. This details the appearance, personality and temperament, coat, height and weight that are ideal for the breed. These are long-standing characteristics that were initially developed hundreds or even thousands of years ago and are now consistent in the breed.

Because these attributes are so predictable, you can determine which specific breed will best suit your lifestyle. With almost 200 recognised breeds, you’re sure to find at least one that suits your lifestyle. When you buy a puppy from a breeder recognised by Dogs Victoria, you will also get: •

Expert knowledge about the breed

Advice on caring for and training your dog

Support as the puppy grows

Confidence the puppy has been bred and raised in accordance with a code of ethics

Documented family history

www.dogsvictoria.org.au

Dogs Victoria

7


PUREBRED MYTHBUSTERS DEBUNKING SOME COMMON MYTHS ASSOCIATED WITH PUREBRED DOGS

Let’s clear up a few misconceptions before you select your next family pet.

Purebred dogs Purebred dog breeders put a lot of time and money into ensuring their puppies are healthy. Careful records are kept with the pedigree of each dog and many breeders even go to the trouble of using artificial insemination from purebred dogs around the world to ensure the bloodlines in Australia stay strong and varied. Do crossbred dogs have better temperaments? This is one of many ways in which purebred dogs are more predictable. When you get a crossbred dog you don’t know how it will turn out. In addition to health checks, responsible breeders make sure they use animals with good temperaments. Purebred dogs are just as loving and playful as any, but a predictable energy level means you can find a dog that fits easily into your way of life.

Are crossbred dogs non-allergenic? There’s no such thing as a non-allergenic dog. Lowshedding dogs often don’t aggravate allergies because the dog is less likely to leave hair or saliva around the house. An individual can be allergic to any or all of these things. Puppies that are a cross of two or more breeds may or may not grow into a low-shedding adult dog. There is no guarantee because they do not “breed true” like a purebred. A litter of crossbred puppies may have some that shed and some that don’t whereas a litter of a recognised breed will have the same, predictable coat. The following list is a good starting point when researching suitable breeds for an allergy sufferer. However, as each person’s allergies can differ greatly, it is advised that you spend time with a breed prior to purchase to find out if you are able to tolerate that particular breed of dog.

Some breeds with low-shedding coats:

Are crossbred dogs healthier? Crossbred dogs are unpredictable in many ways, including health and particular inherited diseases. Purebreds are tested for issues known to affect the breed, to make sure only healthy, fit dogs are used for breeding. Many diseases are being eradicated in this way. Crossing breeds creates a genetic lottery with unknown results that therefore cannot be tested for in advance.

Poodle (Standard, Miniature, Toy)

Yorkshire Terrier

Portuguese Water Dog

Australian Silky Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

Chinese Crested

Cairn Terrier

Aren’t purebreds for showing, and not house pets? Most dogs bred by Dogs Victoria breeders are chosen to be much loved family pets. People choose purebred dogs because they can select a predictable pet that suits their lifestyle.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Irish Water Spaniel

Bedlington Terrier

Schnauzer (Giant, Standard, Miniature)

When you hear the word purebred do you think of a Poodle with a lion clip? A hairless Chinese Crested Dog? Those “showie” breeds can make great pets, but don’t forget that predictable purebreds include Maltese, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, Jack Russell Terriers and Border Collies!

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

8

Dogs Victoria

Although low-shedding, many of these breeds require regular brushing to prevent knots and some with continuously growing coats need to be clipped several times a year.


www.dogsvictoria.org.au

Dogs Victoria

9


FINDING A BREEDER Now that you have decided on a breed that will suit your lifestyle, it’s time to find a breeder. This new member of your family will be around for the next 12-15 years, so you want to make sure that it arrives in your arms already happy and healthy. A good starting point when looking for a breeder is the Dogs Victoria breeders directory online or in the monthly magazine. Questions to ask •

Why did you choose this breed and how long have you been involved with it?

Can I visit your premises?

Do you have other breeds or litters available?

Can we visit more than once before choosing our puppy?

Can we see the mother and father or other family members?

Can we see the whole litter?

When can we take the puppy home?

When are the puppies wormed and vaccinated?

Are the puppies registered with Dogs Victoria?

If any unforseen conditions arise, can we return the puppy?

Are there any hereditary conditions associated with this breed? If so, can we see any testing results?

Do you have any questions for me?

10

Dogs Victoria

Answers to expect A responsible, honest breeder will answer all of your questions openly. The reason to ask questions and visit the premises in person is because you are looking for a breeder motivated by love and care, not money. When you visit, you will get a feel if this is a loving home or a puppy farm. Watch out for large numbers of litters or a big variety of breeds. The breeder should not let you take the puppy before it is eight weeks old. They should first be treated for worms at 2-3 weeks and vaccinated at 6-7 weeks. If the breeder refuses to discuss hereditary conditions, won’t let you visit the litter or see the parents or denies you the right to return the puppy, then you are more likely to end up with a puppy that isn’t as healthy or loving as it should be. In return, be prepared to be asked a lot of questions about your lifestyle and situation. You’ll probably be asked why you chose the breed, why you want a puppy, where you will keep it and what type of lifestyle you have. This is a very good sign of a caring breeder.


DOGS VICTORIA REGISTERS Registration with Dogs Victoria is different to council registration, which is required by law. Please ensure you register your new dog with the council in which you reside. Any dog can be registered with Dogs Victoria. The differences between the purebred register and the associate register is that to be on the purebred register your dog has to be of known, recognised and registered parentage of the same breed. A pedigreed purebred dog can be listed on either the Main Register (blue certificate) or Limited Register (orange certificate).

www.dogsvictoria.org.au

A dog on the Main Register (blue certificate) has full rights. The dogs on this register can be shown in conformation shows in order to gain titles and may be bred from to other Main Register dogs of the same breed and have their progeny registered as purebreds. The Limited Register (orange certificate) indicates that dog is pedigreed but cannot be shown at conformation shows nor can the dog be bred with and have the progeny registered as pedigreed puppies. To be on the associate register, a dog does not need to have known parentage. Dogs on any of these registers are eligible to compete in obedience, agility and many other trials and dog sports. Dogs must be desexed to be included on the associate register.

Dogs Victoria

11


What’s in a name? Now that you’ve purchased a pedigreed puppy, you will notice it has quite a big name for such a cute little furball.

Titles Only dogs on the main register can earn champion titles in the show ring, but dogs on any register can earn titles in other sports.

All pedigreed dogs are named as Prefix Dogname. For example, let’s use the name “Rantino Adevl N Disguise”. Rantino is the prefix, similar to a thoroughbred’s stud name or a person’s surname. All dogs bred by that particular kennel will have that name first. In order to be granted a prefix, a breeder must pass a test to show their knowledge, agree to adhere to a strict code of ethics and perform health tests on all breeding stock, depending on the breed of dog.

For example Ch Prefix Dogname UDX CDX JDX ET has earned a “utility excellence” title in obedience (UDX), but on its way there it would have earned a CD, CDX and UD. As a higher title is earned in each discipline, it replaces the lower title as the dog must earn the titles in a particular order. The other titles are for agility, jumping, and endurance.

The second part of the name, Adevl N Disguise is the name of the dog. This can be any name the breeder chooses within a certain amount of characters. All dogs with the same prefix must have different names and a dog’s name cannot contain someone else’s prefix. You are certainly not bound to this name and can call your dog anything you like as its call name. Some people choose this based on the registered name and others don’t. The dog in the above example might be called Devil or it might be known as Jemma (or any name) simply because the owner likes that name and chooses it for the dog. Non-pedigreed dogs are registered on the associate register using the name the owner has chosen for it. An associate dog can be registered as Fido, or Jack or Queenie and there is no prefix. No two associate dogs can have the same name, so even these dogs may have a registered name different to its call name.

12

Dogs Victoria

The Ch refers to championship points earned in the show ring, so not only is this dog versatile and skilled, but it is a great example of its breed as well. If the dog in the previous example was not a pedigreed dog, it couldn’t have earned the Ch title, but if it was an associate it could still have been “Dogname UDX ADX JDX ET.” Once you become a member of Dogs Victoria and have your puppy transferred onto your membership, your dog can begin earning titles, too!


MAINTAINING A HEALTHY PUPPY BY D R M B E LL

There are various things you as a new owner should do to maintain a healthy puppy. These include following a strict vaccination, worming and heartworm prevention protocol, ensuring your new puppy is well fed with a nutritionally balanced diet, ensuring good dental health is maintained and that your puppy is microchipped from a young age and groomed appropriately. Vaccinations There are various vaccinations available these days, with the most common being a C3 vaccine (covering distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus), or a C5 vaccine (which covers the three main diseases already mentioned plus forms of canine cough). These diseases, especially the first three can be life-threatening. (i) Canine distemper is a viral disease that can affect any age of dog, especially puppies. Affected dogs often present with a fever, discharge from the eyes and nose, vomiting and diarrhoea. Later in the course of the disease many dogs show muscle spasms, paralysis and if they survive are often left with permanent brain damage. (ii) Canine hepatitis is a highly infectious disease affecting dogs, especially those under two years of age. Affected dogs go off their food, often have diarrhoea and servere belly aches. In severe cases they can die in 24-36 hours. www.dogsvictoria.org.au

(iii) Canine parvovirus is a very contagious virus causing severe bloody diarrhoea that kills many infected dogs. (iv) Canine cough can be caused by viruses or bacteria. It produces a very contagious hacking cough that can last for weeks. There are various different brands of vaccines available, each coming with different recommended vaccination protocols. It is always best to check with your vet to determine the best vaccination protocol for your particular dog. Puppies should be vaccinated at 6-8 weeks, 12-14 weeks and then often at 16-18 weeks. Where Protech C3 vaccines are used you may not require the third vaccination. When vaccinating against canine cough at least two of these vaccinations need to be C5 vaccinations (unless using Forte Dodge intranasal form of kennel cough where only one of the vaccines needs to contain the canine cough). Once the series of puppy vaccines has been completed, dogs are required to be vaccinated annually unless the new biannual or triennial vaccines are used. Again it is best to consult your vet as to which of these vaccines best suits you and your dog’s needs. Dogs Victoria

13


Worming Dogs can be affected by various types of worms, these being two types of roundworm, two types of hookworm, whipworm and two types of tapeworm. Many of these worms can also affect people especially young children. Children love to kiss and cuddle dogs, especially puppies and puppies together with adult dogs love to lick puppies faces. During this licking process worm egg and larvae can be easily swallowed by humans. Hence it is very important to worm your dog regularly; in particular young puppies as they can be born with roundworm already inside them and can be infected soon after birth with roundworm and hookworm via their mother’s milk. The various worms can affect dogs in the following ways: (i) Roundworms are very good survivors with their eggs capable of living in the environment for several years. They can be passed from dogs to people. Dogs affected with notable qualities of roundworms show various signs including vomiting, diarrhoea and belly-ache. (ii) Hookworms survive inside the dog by burrowing into the gut wall and sucking blood from this area. Like roundworm they too can affect people. Dogs affected by hookworms can also develop diarrhoea. (iii) Whipworms live in the lower bowel of dogs and can spread many eggs into the dog’s droppings, which in turn can survive in the soil and dogs’ environment for years. Dogs showing signs of whipworm infection may show diarrhoea, weight loss and belly pains. (iv) Tapeworms – there are two main categories of tapeworm, hydrated tapeworm and the more common flea tapeworm. (v) Hydrated tapeworms are commonly found in areas where dogs come into contact with sheep, wild pigs and kangaroos. Dogs become infected with the worms after eating hydrated tapeworm from infected animals (e.g. eating infected sheep offal). With flea tapeworm the larvae develop in fleas and develop into adults in the dogs intestine after dogs eat infected fleas. These tapeworm are not a major health risk to the dog, but cause the dog’s backside to itch leading to them rubbing their backsides on the ground. Disturbingly around 80% of Australian dogs are affected to some degree by these various intestinal worms, hence it is important that you take preventative action and worm your pet regularly with appropriate worm preparations that will kill all the adult worms. It should be remembered that worming will kill worms present at the time of worming but unlike vaccinations does not prevent against future worm attacks. Because dogs can be reinfected from their environment and other pets, worming treatment must be regular, especially in your dog’s early months. Most veterinarians recommend dogs be wormed at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 weeks, then 4, 5 and 6 months and then every three months thereafter. 14

Dogs Victoria

Other things that should be done to keep your dog and family healthy and worm free are as follows: •

Keep kennels and sleeping areas clean

Control fleas with appropriate flea products to prevent the common flea tapeworm

Reduce the feeding of raw meat and offal

Wash your hands after playing with your dog, and avoid your dog licking your face

Fleas Fleas are one of the most common parasitic infections seen in our pets. Flea pupae can survive in your environment for a period of up to six months or more. Fleas start reproducing within 24 to 48 hours of their first feed. Fleas can cause skin irritations together with the transmission of the common flea tapeworm. Not only do fleas cause local irritation, but also prolonged exposure can cause your pet to develop allergies to the flea’s bites. Once this occurs your pet can develop generalised inflammation and irritation from the bite of one flea. For this reason it is extremely important that flea control continues at all times and not just when fleas are seen. Fleas are often resistant to many of the older flea products such as collars, powders and rinses. There are various very effective monthly products available now that provide very good protection against fleas and your local vet can provide you with the best product for your own dog’s situation. Heartworm Heartworm is a parasite transmitted by mosquitoes, which causes heart disease and heart failure. In Melbourne it has been found that 7% of the fox population carries the disease. With heartworm a single bite from a mosquito infected with heartworm can infect your dog. From this bite, heartworm larvae move through the tissues below the skin and then migrate to the heart and adjacent blood vessels of the lungs. Here they develop into adult heartworm. Heartworm and infection can be prevented by placing your dog on preventative medication. This is available in various forms, these include daily tablets, monthly tablets or a yearly injection. If puppies are placed on heartworm preventatives from a young age (normally starting around first or second puppy vaccinations) there is no need to blood test them first. However if heartworm prevention is commenced later than this, or if a dosage is missed a simple blood test may be required to ensure your dog is heartworm negative.


Microchip All dogs must be microchipped before being registered with Dogs Victoria. Microchips are a small chip the size of a grain of rice that is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades via injection and provides your dog with a permanent means of identification. It is a fairly quick and relatively painless procedure that can be performed at the time of vaccination or consultation at your local veterinary clinic or at council microchipping days. All councils, RSPCA and vets have microchip readers which often quickly facilitate your pet’s return should they become lost. These days most councils insist your dog is microchipped before they can become registered. Registration is required with your council once your dog reaches 12 weeks of age.

www.dogsvictoria.org.au

Dogs Victoria

15


Dental Health The food you feed your dog plays an important part in maintaining the health and wellbeing of your dog. Selecting the right food becomes even more important if your pet has dental problems. Because it can be difficult to keep your pet’s teeth clean dental problems are quite common with up to 80% of dogs showing some signs of dental disease (especially older dogs). Dental problems normally start with a build up of sticky plaque which over time hardens to form plaque. If this plaque is not removed then infected, inflamed gums can develop and eventually this infection starts to affect the teeth sockets which can in turn lead to the loss of teeth. The infection of the gums can also spread to affect other body organs. The first thing owners notice when dogs have dental problems is bad breath. Signs that may be seen are yellow or brown tartar over the teeth, bleeding gums, a sore mouth, loose teeth or difficulty in eating. There are several factors that contribute to the occurrence of dental problems some of these are as follows: (i) Age – the older your dog, the more chance your dog has of having dental problems. (ii) Breed – small dogs are more likely to have poorly aligned or overcrowded teeth. This makes keeping their teeth clean harder, which in turn leads to dental disease.

16

Dogs Victoria

(iii) Food – feeding soft and sticky foods and tit-bits in the diet increases the chance of plaque build up on the teeth. As a dog owner you can reduce the chance of dental disease developing or delay its onset quite easily by brushing your dog’s teeth using specially prepared toothpaste and toothbrushes for dogs. Also feeding special formulated dry pet foods with large pieces of kibble that are designed to wipe the teeth clean and remove plaque and tartar as your dog eats them helps reduce dental disease. Your local veterinarian can help tailor a dental program for your dog that will best help you to reduce the development of dental disease in your dog. Nutrition and body weight Premium foods represent the best possible balanced foods available. Unlike commercial foods, which only meet the minimum daily requirement, the premium foods are designed to meet the optimal nutritional requirements for the various life stages of your pet. Premium foods are much more digestible, requiring a smaller amount to be fed and resulting in much smaller and firmer stool volumes. Premium foods feature added omega 3 and six fatty acids that help in keeping the coat healthy, minimising shedding and helping prevent against skin conditions. Premium foods also promote healthy bacteria in the bowel decreasing the incidence of gastrointestinal disturbances. Your local vet will be happy to advise you concerning the best food for your pets.


RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERSHIP

From puppy to senior, your dog will always need your companionship. In fact your dog considers himself to be your very best friend and how do you treat your best friend? All dogs look forward to the time spent with their families and friends.

Grooming Groom your dog every day so it always looks neat.

Sleeping But first things first. Your adult dog needs its own space. It should be provided with a warm bed in a draught free place.

Your dog needs a balanced diet, which can be met by many types of dog food on the market. An adult dog requires one meal a day or two small meals, if you prefer.

Kennelling The kennel should have its own enclosure with jump proof fences and dig-proof concrete floor for cleanliness.

Food and water A dog must have clean, fresh water available.

Raw bones are good in moderation. Your dog will enjoy a good chew and it will clean his teeth and provide different nutrients.

Exercise Exercise goes hand in hand with feeding. All dogs have to go for a walk with one or all members of the family. If you can manage the time, twice a day is ideal.

A dog likes variety so try a little bit of table scraps, but remember the overfed dog becomes fat and indolent - this shortens his life span and this does him or yourself no favours. Chocolate, sultanas, onions and macadamia nuts can be harmful to dogs.

In some parks dogs are welcome both on and off the lead to wander off sniffing and following a scent, play ball or catch its Frisbee. Take a plastic bag to clean up after your dog and put the droppings bag in the bin.

Health Take your dog to the vet at least once a year for a check up, and vaccinations. You should also take your dog to the vet any time you suspect it is ill.

www.dogsvictoria.org.au

Dogs Victoria

17


GET INVOLVED IN DOG SHOWS

For contact details see the List of Affiliates at www.dogsvictoria.org.au If you are interested in showing your main register dog in dog shows, also known as Conformation, the best way to get involved is through a dog club. There are several types of affiliated clubs that host dog shows, and you can become a member of any number of them in addition to your Dogs Victoria membership: Breed Club This is a club set up for one specific breed. They sometimes encompass different varieties of the same breed (i.e. the Schnauzer Club includes Giant Schnauzers, Schnauzers and Miniature Schnauzers). Not all breeds have their own club, but if your chosen breed does, that is the best place to get started for conformation training and advice. Even if you don’t plan to show, it is a good idea to get involved with the breed club for advice on health, grooming and other breedspecific issues. Group Club All breeds are divided into seven groups. There is an affiliated group club for each group. Please see the list following for all breeds listed by group. Multi Breed Club These clubs include a number of breeds that have similar characteristics, but aren’t necessarily in the same group. Some examples include the Scottish Breeds Club and Association of All Mastiff Breeds. 18

Dogs Victoria

All-Breed Club As the name implies, these clubs are open to all purebred dogs. They are mainly designated by geographic area and are named as such, i.e. Bacchus Marsh and District Kennel Club. Others have been created for a specific show such as the Australia Day International Dog Club, which hosts an annual dog show on Australia Day. Agricultural Societies These are also all-breed clubs but are also involved with other agricultural pursuits. Most of them host their local show. The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria hosts the Melbourne Royal and its associated dog show, which is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. At some shows there are special classes for older dogs, younger puppies and even fun prizes for best tail, head, eyes, gait etc. Check your monthly Dogs Victoria Gazette, which contains details on the upcoming dog shows. Many clubs also hold fun days, BBQs, walks or other social events throughout the year. If you would like to compete with your dog in conformation events to earn titles, it must be listed on the main register. If your dog is on the limited register, please contact its breeder as only the breeder can move a dog from the limited to main register.


BREEDS BY GROUP With almost 200 breeds to choose from, Australian families are sure to find at least one breed that suits them. A little research will go a long way to ensure that your new puppy will be part of the family for its lifetime. Read up on suitable breeds online or at your local library (or the Dogs Victoria library), then visit a dog show to see your chosen breed or breeds in person. All-breed shows are divided into seven judging sections, by group. The breeds in each group are as follows: GROUP 1 – TOYS Affenpinscher Australian Silky Terrier Bichon Frise Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Chihuahua (Long Coat) Chihuahua (Smooth Coat) Chinese Crested Dog Coton De Tulear English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) Griffon Bruxellois Havanese Italian Greyhound Japanese Chin King Charles Spaniel Lowchen Maltese Miniature Pinscher Papillon Pekingese Pomeranian Pug Russian Toy Tibetan Spaniel Yorkshire Terrier GROUP 2 - TERRIERS Airedale Terrier American Hairless Terrier American Staffordshire Terrier Australian Terrier Bedlington Terrier Border Terrier Bull Terrier Bull Terrier (Miniature) Cairn Terrier Cesky Terrier Dandie Dinmont Terrier Fox Terrier (Smooth) Fox Terrier (Wire) German Hunting Terrier Glen of Imaal Terrier Irish Terrier Jack Russell Terrier Kerry Blue Terrier Lakeland Terrier Manchester Terrier Norfolk Terrier Norwich Terrier Parson Russell Terrier Scottish Terrier Sealyham Terrier Skye Terrier Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Staffordshire Bull Terrier Tenterfield Terrier Welsh Terrier West Highland White Terrier

www.dogsvictoria.org.au

GROUP 3 - GUNDOGS Bracco Italiano Brittany Chesapeake Bay Retriever Clumber Spaniel Cocker Spaniel Cocker Spaniel (American) Curly Coated Retriever English Setter English Springer Spaniel Field Spaniel Flat Coated Retriever German Shorthaired Pointer German Wirehaired Pointer Golden Retriever Gordon Setter Hungarian Vizsla Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla Irish Red & White Setter Irish Setter Irish Water Spaniel Italian Spinone Labrador Retriever Lagotto Romagnolo Large Munsterlander Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Pointer Sussex Spaniel Weimaraner Weimaraner (Longhair) Welsh Springer Spaniel GROUP 4 - HOUNDS Afghan Hound Azawakh Basenji Basset Fauve de Bretagne Basset Hound Beagle Black & Tan Coonhound Bloodhound Bluetick Coonhound Borzoi Dachshund (Long) Dachshund (Min. Long) Dachshund (Smooth) Dachshund (Min. Smooth) Dachshund (Wire) Dachshund (Min. Wire) Deerhound Finnish Spitz Foxhound Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen Greyhound Hamiltonstovare Harrier Ibizan Hound Irish Wolfhound

Norwegian Elkhound Otterhound Peruvian Hairless Dog (Large) Peruvian Hairless Dog (Medium) Peruvian Hairless Dog (Small) Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Pharaoh Hound Portuguese Podengo (Small) Portuguese Podengo (Medium) Portuguese Podengo (Large) Rhodesian Ridgeback Saluki Sloughi Whippet GROUP 5 - WORKING DOGS Australian Cattle Dog Australian Kelpie Australian Shepherd Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Bearded Collie Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groen) Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laek) Belgian Shepherd Dog (Mal) Belgian Shepherd Dog (Terv) Bergamasco Shepherd Dog Border Collie Bouvier des Flandres Briard Collie (Rough) Collie (Smooth) Dutch Shepherd Finnish Lapphund German Shepherd Dog German Shepherd Dog (LSC) Komondor Kuvasz Maremma Sheepdog Norwegian Buhund Old English Sheepdog Polish Lowland Sheepdog Puli Pumi Pyrenean Sheepdog Longhaired Shetland Sheepdog Swedish Lapphund Swedish Vallhund Tatra Shepherd Dog Welsh Corgi (Cardigan) Welsh Corgi (Pembroke) White Swiss Shepherd Dog GROUP 6 - UTILITY Akita Akita (Japanese) Alaskan Malamute Anatolian Shepherd Dog Bernese Mountain Dog

Boxer Bullmastiff Canadian Eskimo Dog Cane Corso Central Asian Shepherd Dog Dobermann Dogue de Bordeaux Estrela Mountain Dog German Pinscher Leonberger Mastiff Neapolitan Mastiff Newfoundland Portuguese Water Dog Pyrenean Mastiff Pyrenean Mountain Dog Rottweiler Russian Black Terrier Samoyed Schnauzer Schnauzer (Min.) Schnauzer (Giant) Shiba Inu Siberian Husky Spanish Mastiff St. Bernard Tibetan Mastiff GROUP 7 - NON SPORTING Boston Terrier British Bulldog Canaan Dog Chow Chow Dalmatian Eurasier French Bulldog German Spitz (Klein) German Spitz (Mittel) Great Dane Japanese Spitz Keeshond Lhasa Apso Poodle (Standard) Poodle (Miniature) Poodle (Toy) Schipperke Shar Pei Shih Tzu Tibetan Terrier Xoloitzcuintle (Miniature) Xoloitzcuintle (Intermediate) Xoloitzcuintle (Standard)

Dogs Victoria

19


GET INVOLVED IN DOG ACTIVITIES Dogs registered with Dogs Victoria, on any register, can compete in dog sports. The best way to get involved with a dog sport is through a Dogs Victoria affiliated club. Junior Handlers

Junior handler competitions are a great opportunity for young Dogs Victoria members to compete at shows with their purebred dog. You can learn about dogs, develop confidence, make new friends and compete alongside other young handlers at conformation shows held on most weekends. Heats are held at all breeds championship shows conducted on non school days. At the Junior Kennel Club of Victoria’s championship show held in July, junior handlers compete in the state final; each state final winner then competes in the national finals. The winner of the best junior handler at the national finals wins a trip to England to compete in the World Challenge held at Crufts each year. If you are between 7 and under 19 years of age you can compete in junior handlers. More information can be found in the Junior Handler Manual and Junior Handler Regulations located from the ANKC Ltd website www.ankc.org.au/media/6578/15ankc-reg15_junior-handlers_oct-16v2.pdf 20

Dogs Victoria

Agility

Agility is a fast, exciting, fun activity for you and your dog. Agility involves competitors directing their dogs around obstacle courses in an attempt to both negotiate the obstacles correctly and ‘beat the clock’. The obstacles comprise various types of jumps, ramps, elevated walks, poles that the dogs weave through, different types of tunnels and a see-saw. Participation in agility training or trialling is great fun. It enables you to provide a release for the energy of your pet and yourself in a way that can be much more interesting and exciting than simply taking your dog for a walk. It helps your family pet to become more responsive to you and also helps you to gain more control and have a more obedient dog. Agility is an exciting way to enhance your leisure time with your dog.


Obedience

Do you want to stop your dog jumping up, digging, pulling on the lead, refusing to come when called etc? Well, dog obedience training is what you need! Where can I get involved? Dogs Victoria has many dog obedience training clubs that can help you enjoy this activity with your dog. Most clubs train weekly and they welcome all purebreds and mixes of all shapes and sizes. They can help you teach your dog to do fun things like retrieving, jumping obstacles on command, responding to hand signals and much more. Competition Obedience is available at club level, you may wish to compete at Dogs Victoria competitions. RallyO

RallyO is a fun sport where you and your dog work together as a team performing various exercises in a more informal and light-hearted manner than traditional obedience.

Track and Search

Track and Search is a more challenging type of tracking which includes variable surface, busy residential area, as well as tracking both day and night.

Dogs Victoria has many dog obedience training clubs that offer RallyO training. This activity promotes a bond between you and your dog, as positive praise and interaction is encouraged in this sport. www.dogsvictoria.org.au

Dogs Victoria

21


Tracking

Tracking is a challenging and rewarding dog sport which utilises your dog’s natural ability.

certain track or scent. Dogs learn to use their amazing sense of smell, to follow a trail to a certain track or scent.

Tracking is something that both purebred and mixed breed can do. It is a natural instinct for a dog to use its sense of smell. The dog’s tracking ability is extremely acute and we still don’t understand the dog’s capabilities in this area.

Dogs learn to use their amazing sense of smell, to follow a trail to find articles and the best reward of all, to find a tracklayer at the end.

Dogs have helped the hunter to find game and food and in France dogs hunt for exotica like truffles. We don’t have to teach a dog to track, we use their natural instinct to teach them that we want to follow a 22

Dogs Victoria

Handlers learn to read their dog’s body language which in turn enables them to trust their dog’s nose and follow them into the unknown.


Endurance

Field Trials

If you have a gundog you have the option of training your dog for retrieving and/or field work. Training your new friend for retrieving and/or field work brings out the natural traits which have been bred into your gundog for many generations. As a bonus you will find the joy that you and your dog can achieve from understanding each other and bringing out your dog’s natural traits.

Can you ride a bike while controlling your dog on the end of a loose two metre lead, or are you a runner who will be quite happy to run 20kms with your dog? If so Endurance is for you! The endurance test is over a distance of 20kms and is split into three sections, the first being eight kilometres, the second and third is six kilometres. There is a break of 15 minutes between the first and second sections and 20 minutes between the second and third sections. You’ll have to spend a suitable amount of time to get both you and your dog fit to compete in this sport.

www.dogsvictoria.org.au

Field trials are competitions using registered purebred gundogs where dogs and handlers are tested for obedience and natural hunting ability under normal hunting conditions. There are three forms of field trials for the various types of hunting dogs. There are field trials for the pointing and setting breeds, field trials for utility gundogs and field trials for spaniels and retrievers. In each of the disciplines a judge compares the work of two dogs at a time (a brace) and a dog is either eliminated or promoted to the next round depending on its standard of work. Field trials are conducted at three different levels or standards, these being Novice Stake, Open or All Age Stake and Championship Stake. The type of work required at each level is identical although the standard of competition at the higher levels is obviously better.

Dogs Victoria

23


Retrieving Trials

The ability and intelligence of well-bred and well trained gundogs is remarkable. Dogs Victoria and various affiliated clubs conduct competitive retrieving trials for registered gundogs. Retrieving Ability Tests may also include Associate Gundogs. These events are designed to test the various breeds in the type of work for which they were developed over hundreds of years. They provide breeders with 24

Dogs Victoria

the opportunity to test the natural working instincts of their dogs and therefore the chance to select breeding stock on the basis of appropriate temperament and for preservation of their invaluable working instincts. These trials provide the opportunity for owners to experience the pleasure of working closely with their dogs in competitive field sports.


Lure Coursing

Lure coursing gives your dog the opportunity to do what comes naturally... to chase, sniff the ground, jump, pivot and chase again. Regardless of the breed of dog, they are able to run and enjoy themselves in a safe and controlled environment. There are no dangerous obstacles which they can run into and the area is enclosed within KCC Park, owned by Dogs Victoria. This area is fully fenced and gives the dog the perfect opportunity to play a sport that comes closest to what they do naturally...to chase off lead. The equipment used is quite simple and consists of 300 metres of fishing line strung around several pulleys set into the ground to form the course. A plastic bag is tied to the line and is powered around the pulleys by a batteryoperated motor. The operator can stop the lure at any time and can change direction as well. This sport appeals to both big and small dogs and often several different breeds run together. If your dog is unsure of what to do, it can be run with an experienced dog so that they get the idea. The crowd encourages the dogs and, if confused, their owners are encouraged to show them how to run. This can cause quite a few laughs as well. Earthdog

Earthdog is an instinct test for small terriers and other breeds that were originally bred for hunting burrowing animals. Dogs follow an underground maze using only their keen sense of smell. This is another sport that is great for dogs that don’t live in urban or suburban settings. For those that don’t have a garden, it is a great way to let them exercise their instinct to dig. www.dogsvictoria.org.au

Herding

When the early settlers arrived at what became Australia, they brought with them their ways of using the land to provide sustenance, this included livestock and the dogs they had used to guard and herd this stock. Working dogs quickly became part of the backbone of the developing nation, of which is was said for many years that Australia rode on the sheep’s back. Herding challenges the working breeds and allows them to get in touch with their instinct to round up and move ducks and sheep. Many suburban backyard dogs of a working breed have shown great herding instincts. This is a good way to get your working dog out of the year and into the paddock. Dogs Victoria

25


Lure Racing

Sled Sports

Sledding, backpacking and weight pulling are all considered sled sports. Sledding is done in Australia on a dirt track, but the same principals apply as in snow sledding. Dogs pull scooters, for 1-2 dog teams, or 3-wheeled rigs for larger teams over a distance of 3-5 kilometres. To participate in sledding it is most important that your dog has the right equipment and training. For a great day’s fun for you and your pampered canine pet why not try lure racing? All dogs love to run and chase. Lure Racing is different from lure coursing in that it is run over a straight course of 80 to 100 metres for small terriers and other small breeds. The dogs are raced four at a time from starting boxes and chase a lure pulled by a battery-operated machine. Hurdle races and water jumps are also included on our fun days. The antics of some dogs when first raced have the spectators rolling with laughter, some stay in the boxes and others run straight to the fence to a person they know, instead of chasing the lure. After a couple of races they get the idea and are very keen to catch the lure. A fully enclosed racetrack is located at KCC Park, Westernport Hwy, Skye. Jack Russell Terriers, both purebred and crossbred and any other small breeds can join in on race days. 26

Dogs Victoria

Backpacking is an enjoyable activity for both you and your dog. Hikes vary in length from a short distance suited to puppies and less fit dogs all the way up to a 65km hike that takes place over three days. For this hike dogs and hikers are required to carry all equipment needed for self-suffienciency. To qualify for the Working Pack Dog title dogs must carry the full 30 percent of its bodyweight over a certain distance. Of course these hikes should never be attempted with dogs that are untrained, unfit or not in excellent health. Weight pulling is a competition of strength that many breeds of dog can enjoy as long as they are of a suitable size. Dogs pull a wheeled rig with weights (proportional to the dog’s body weight) across a finish line. General fitness must be maintained when weightpulling as heavy loads can place unnecessary strain and lead to injury if you do not maintain sound physical condition of your dog.


Dances with Dogs

Therapy Dogs

Dances with dogs is a new fun way to train and compete with your dog. Dances with dogs has two streams, freestyle and heelwork to music. Each stream has four separate levels and titles to each level. The levels are starters, novice, intermediate and advanced. Freestyle is just that, technical moves to a piece of music. A handler is only limited by their imagination… It’s a way of taking all of the tricks and skills you’ve all being having fun with in the past and choreographing them to music to produce a snappy routine to catch the judges eye. Heelwork to music involves traditional heelwork (dogs shoulder to handlers knee) choreographed to a piece of music. The twist is, in heelwork to music there are eight recognised heelwork positions. Doesn’t sound so simple now does it? As you progress through the levels, more of the eight positions should be included in a routine so that by the advanced level, the dog should be working in both left and right heel positions as well as front and back cross body heelwork. Add to this that in all eight positions the dog can be moving either forwards or backwards. Both streams are technically challenging and can draw on skills from both obedience and agility to increase the technical merit of a routine. These can be combined with a repertoire of moves varying from leg weaves and spins to reversing around props and walking backwards on hind legs. www.dogsvictoria.org.au

A small but dedicated group of volunteers who with their own dogs visit a variety of places around Victoria. There is a wide variety of dogs from Corgis to Great Danes including Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Poodles and Labradors. These dogs have been well socialised from very early puppyhood, ie. Puppy vet school, going to shopping strips, farmers markets and meeting people in a positive environment. This combined with some basic obedience, sit, stay and walking quietly on a leash are the makings of a potential therapy dog. Dogs should be able to deal with unusual situations and the likes of wheelchairs, walking frames, hospital and rehab equipment all the while being friendly without being boisterous. The owner/handlers too should possess certain people skills and be sensitive to the ways of the elderly and unwell. Of course spare time to volunteer usually during the week is essential Dogs Victoria

27


BEYOND BEAUT Y GROOMING FOR GOOD HEALTH BY EVE A DAMSON

You already know that grooming makes your dog look lovely and smell sweet. But grooming is also one of the most important things you can do to maintain your dog’s good health. Regular grooming is a bit like a light version of a veterinary exam. That makes it extra important, not just for keeping your pup pretty but as the best possible way for you to establish what’s physically normal for your dog. Every time you put comb to coat, you have the chance to assess your dog’s ongoing health and detect any sudden changes in skin, coat, eyes, ears, nose, rear, paws, nails, joints, or generalised pain. If anything changes, you’ll be the first to notice. An all-over rubdown is a great way to begin every grooming session. It loosens dead coat, increases circulation in the skin, relaxes your dog for grooming – and it’s also an important skin check. Lumps, bumps, rough patches, sores, or bare spots in the coat may be missed if you aren’t actually putting your hands on your dog in a methodical way. This is also an excellent way to determine whether your dog has picked up any ticks or fleas. The once-over will alert you to other changes too. If your dog has a sore knee, hip, elbow, or shoulder, it may flinch or yelp in pain when you touch or rub it in that particular spot. If you find a lump, a sore spot, a 28

Dogs Victoria

bare patch, or anything else unusual and new, let your veterinarian know. Please don’t baulk at telling the vet about a lump or bump because you’re afraid it might be cancer. It may be just a harmless, benign cyst. Or if it is, for example, a mass cell tumor – a common type of cancer that often manifests as a bump on the skin – early detection and treatment almost always result in complete recovery. Orifice inspection.
It may not be the most pleasant chore, but gazing into your dogs’ eyes – and ears, nose, mouth, and rear end – is also an important part of a grooming health check. Problems often show up in these sensitive areas. Yeasty ear infections, gum disease, tooth decay, dry eye, impacted anal glands, even worms, are just some of the conditions that can be spotted visually. Call your vet if you notice any of the following • Red, rashy ears • Excessive ear hair, with clumps of was and dirt
• Runny nose
• Foul breath
• Red, infected areas on gums
• Tartar on teeth
• Loose or broken teeth
• Red, irritated eyes
• Excessively runny, watery eyes, or tearstains under eyes
• Redness, rash, or sores around the rear end
• Any foreign substance (flea dirt, tiny worms, or anything unusual) around the rear.


Now hair this!
After checking your dog thoroughly, the next step in regular grooming is usually brushing or combing the coat. If you have a long-coated breed, this very important step can help you spot skin problems you might not be able to detect with your hands. Don’t just brush the top layer of hair: if your dog is having any kind of skin problem, it will be down at the roots, so that’s where you have to look. Combing all the way down to the skin can reveal hot spots and skin infections hidden under matts and tangles. You might also find evidence of fleas or an attached tick. Regular brushing can also be a great way to assess a short-coated dog’s overall health. As you brush, feel and examine the state of your dog’s skin and coat. Is the skin smooth and supple, or dry and flaky? Is the coat soft and shiny, or dry and brittle? If your dog is eating a healthy, high-quality diet with sufficient essential fatty acids, his skin and coat should be in great condition. If you notice they are not, talk to your veterinarian. Sometimes, the very first sign of a health problem is as subtle as a driedout coat and flaky skin. Behaviour assessment
Beyond the actual hands-on aspects, grooming is also a special time to tune in to and bond with your dog. When you’re busy all day, it can be easy to miss subtle signs that your pet’s not feeling well. The best way to assess his behaviour during grooming is to minimise distractions. Turn off the television, the radio, the computer. Let grooming be the time when

www.dogsvictoria.org.au

you focus on your dog, and nothing else. Without the normal distractions of life you may realise you’ve been noticing behavioural changes for a while, without really registering them. Think about whether its been eating and drinking as usual, playing in the usual way, sleeping or resting more. Has it been reluctant to go on walks? Acting confused? Hiding? Scratching a lot? Dragging its rear end around the carpet? Limping? Following you around more closely than usual, or not following you around in the usual way? Each of these may – or may not – be a sign that your dog is experiencing the beginning stages of a health problem. Veterinarians have often told me their clients were the first ones to spot the signs of serious health problems, such as cancer, skin infections, and even neurological conditions; in many cases, the pet owner spotted the first signs during a grooming session. You are the expert on your dog because you see it every day. Groom it daily, or at least weekly, so that if your dog does develop a healthy problem, you’ll catch it and can have it treated. Reprinted with AKC permission.

Dogs Victoria

29


CARE OF THE OLDER DOG

Dogs Victoria offers advice on how to ensure that your dog is a valued member of your community. Here are a few tips on how to care for an older dog. When is a dog old? Around the age of seven years dogs begin to enter what some like to call ‘their golden years’. Luckily for most this is about half of the average life span for a dog. Like humans, dogs are living longer at present. Signs of aging you can note include: Loss of some senses Aging dogs may experience the same diminishing of senses as aging humans. The first of these will probably be their hearing and eyesight. This will make your dog reluctant to move very far from the house and apprehensive with strangers. Fortunately dogs are lucky 30

Dogs Victoria

with regard to the deterioration of the senses as they rely more on their sense of smell than sight or hearing. Their sense of smell rarely deteriorates. Deafness may occur in older dogs but their ability to pick up vibrations will usually protect them. Eye problems range from damage, infections, irritations, to cataracts. Their eyes need to be inspected regularly. Stiffness in the joints Your dog may be slow in getting to its feet indicating possible arthritis, rheumatism and pain in the joints. This stiffness is very evident in the cooler weather and with increasing ages. Some dogs may be reluctant to climb stairs where they have previously not had any problems. Arthritis simply means structural changes to the dogs’ bones involving degeneration and the physical breakdown of joints. Rheumatism means fluid in the joints causing pain and inflammation.


Dementia Dementia may affect the very old dog and owners need to be caring and understanding just as they would be with an aging human. A sign of this is when your dog walks out the front gate and continues to walk down the street becoming lost and disorientated. You need to explain to children what is happening to their friend and playmate. Incontinence This is a common problem particularly with desexed females. It usually occurs when the dog wakes up or gets excited. Incontinence is often a gradual problem with the mouth of the bladder weakening causing leakage and getting worse over a long period of time. Your dog cannot help it and scolding her will not cause her to stop. Decaying or loose teeth Just like humans their gums and teeth are not what they used to be and they may need attention. Sometimes tartar buildup, difficulty in eating or chewing raw bones, and bad breath are signs of teeth problems. Bad breath can also indicate other health problems such as kidney disease. Heart problems These will first show up in an older dog as shortness of breath and reduced energy. Other symptoms are coughing, especially at night, and a potbelly indicating fluid buildup in the lungs. It is best to have the condition confirmed by a vet. Unfortunately the condition is often not noticed until it is well advanced.

You can reduce the risk of health problems and help your older dog live to a long, full life by having regular veterinary check ups and by feeding him a diet that is specifically designed for the older dog to reduce any unnecessary weight gain. Special food is available to help your canine friend maintain his weight at a safe level. You will need to check his teeth on a regular basis, as his teeth will become loose or decayed, as he gets older. Using doggy toothpaste can help reduce tartar buildup. In severe cases your vet may have to clean the dog’s teeth. Incontinence is not a pleasant problem but there are ways to deal with it. Seek advice from your vet, as medication is available. Natural remedies and herbs from your local naturopath or health food store may also be helpful. Coated breeds benefit from an easily maintained hairstyle when older. Explain to your groomer that your dog is older and may need special attention. He should never be forced to stand or sit in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time. If you have any problems with your older dog, no matter how minor, please consult your veterinarian for advice.

Excess water drinking This also occurs in the older dog and may indicate the presence of underlying health problem. All dogs need fresh clean water at all times, but gulping large amounts of water frequently is not normal. Lower tolerance level If your older dog is exhibiting these conditions you may find that your dog is not as tolerant around young children as he may have been when younger. Sudden movement or getting in the way of children at play may result in fear and pain for the dog and a nip or bite for the child. How to care for the older dog As dogs grow older they become fixed in their habits and less adaptable to change. If he has become accustomed to certain routines it is important to disturb these routines as little as possible. Being older doesn’t mean that he won’t enjoy his walk. On outings he may want to walk at your side, explore, sit in the sun, play with another dog, or wait for you to do whatever you are doing. Just give him the opportunity to exercise at his own pace and ensure his physical and mental well being. Close attention must be paid to the older dogs’ feet, as less walking will result in his nails becoming longer. www.dogsvictoria.org.au

Dogs Victoria

31


BARKING DOGS

Dogs Victoria offers tips on how to ensure that your dog is a welcomed member of your community. Here are a few tips on how to ensure that your dog does not bark continuously and upset your neighbours. Why dogs bark Barking is a perfectly normal and natural canine behaviour. Together with whining and growling and bodily gestures like wagging their tail and licking – it is the way that dogs communicate with each other. If you own a dog, you should expect it to bark occasionally. It is unrealistic to think you can train your dog to stop barking altogether. However, it is not acceptable for your dog to bark continuously all day and all night. You and your neighbours will be much happier if the barking is under control. 32

Dogs Victoria

Dogs that bark do so for a variety of reasons: • Boredom and frustration – to alleviate these problems dogs begin barking, often with the owner running out of the house to scold the dog or yelling at it from inside the house to ‘shut up’. As far as the dog is concerned, it has achieved what it wanted. Some attention even if it is a scolding is better than no attention at all. •

Loneliness – dogs that are socially isolated or confined for long periods of time alone will bark because they need some form of outlet for their pent-up energy. Dogs left alone all day will take up barking as a call for company and before long it becomes a habit.


Fear and excitement – dogs will bark excitedly when a stranger comes to the door or as an instinctive warning of an intruder or when a dog senses a threat. Barking is their outlet, which helps to release tension for a dog.

Fun – some dogs will bark just for the sheer fun of it and just like loud music it can be very unpleasant for human neighbours.

How to stop uncontrolled barking The first step is recognising that most dogs bark because they are lonely, bored, frustrated, frightened, excited, or alerting us to danger. These are all situations that an owner can alleviate. If you think you have a dog that may be upsetting the neighbourhood, there are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce the problem. Some helpful hints to stop uncontrolled barking are: • A well-exercised happy dog is more likely to sleep all day while its owners are not at home, so spend time playing with the dog. Even if you have a large yard, you still need to give your dog fun things to occupy itself such as a digging pit or a special chew toy. •

If your dog spends most of its time alone in the back yard, it will need ‘social exercise’ – the opportunity to walk around the neighbourhood, so that it can investigate and identify all the sounds and smells that tantalise the dog when it is in its yard.

If possible, bring the dog into your house when you are at home. This will help your dog to feel a part of its family or ‘pack’ and not a distant relation. It is extremely important to get on the floor and have fun with your canine companion.

Obedience training is great fun for the whole family and is terrific mental exercise for your dog. Most dogs really enjoy rapid play ‘trailing’ games of ‘heel’, ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stand’, and ‘come’ for hugs, massage, and a celebration of praise and treats. Never allow training to become dull – always make it fun and interesting.

Dogs are ‘social’ animals and need regular companionship. Taking your dog to the park daily or weekly to make doggy friends will make a big difference. Dogs romping and playing together tire rapidly and will sleep happily while they recover. If possible, get another dog to keep your dog company, it doesn’t matter what breed, although two dogs of the opposite sex usually make the best companions.

One of the simplest ways to teach a dog NOT to dog something is to teach the dog to do it on command. In this case, teach the dog to ‘bark’, ‘speak’ or ‘talk’ on command. Once the dog has been taught the meaning of the word, use the command ‘no speak’ when you want the dog to be quiet.

www.dogsvictoria.org.au

Sometimes puppies will bark because they are separated from you (their pack). Pups will eventually settle down if you DO NOT respond to their barking. If you call out or visit them while they are barking, they will be rewarded for barking and continue to do so, so it is important to be strong and not give in.

If the family dog is barking because it is warning of a possible intruder, acknowledge the dog and say calmly ‘oh good dog...go to your kennel now…well done’. After all many people want their dog to be a guard dog and the dog simply wants its pack to be alerted to the danger. There is no point yelling at the dog to ‘shut up’ as the dog only thinks its owner is joining in on the alert. Once the danger has been acknowledged, the dog will be satisfied and will usually shut up.

If you continue to have problems, another option is to consult your vet or local obedience training club for some special advice. Please feel free to contact Dogs Victoria for further advice on what you can do to deal with a problem ‘barker’.

Dogs Victoria

33


TAKING YOUR DOG ON HOLIDAY Taking your dog on a holiday can be fun and rewarding. To have a safe and comfortable trip, take the following items with you:

Pack your dog’s regular food, bowls, and a cooler of water, as some dogs find it difficult to adjust to abrupt changes in diet.

A crate and a favourite toy from home will help your dog feel more secure in a strange place.

To ensure the safety of your dog when travelling, use a crate or an animal safety belt, available in pet supply stores.

A strong lead and collar for your dog to wear. Attach suitable identification to the collar, including the dog’s name, address, and council registration. You should also ensure your dog is microchipped. Some recent photographs of your dog. These will be helpful in finding your dog if you are accidentally separated. The telephone number of your veterinarian and any special medication your dog needs.

Airlines, trains, buses, boats, hotels, and motels have their own regulations about dogs. Make sure that you speak to your travel agent or directly to the people concerned well in advance of your trip. You can contact Dogs Victoria on 9788 2500 or visit www.dogsvictoria.org.au for further information.

34

Dogs Victoria


BECOME A MEMBER OF DOGS VICTORIA Once you purchase your puppy you will probably want to start getting involved in the many activities offered by Dogs Victoria. Although some of the more active sports require dogs to be physically mature before participating, puppies as young as three months can be shown in dog shows. Many obedience clubs also offer puppy preschool courses and puppies can then begin regular obedience training once that phase is complete. Any of these types of activities are great for socialising your puppy and making sure it is used to being around other dogs and people.

To become a member of Dogs Victoria simply complete the application for new membership and submit to Dogs Victoria along with a photocopy of photo ID. Applications can be posted, faxed or scanned/emailed.

Once your puppy begins to grow into an adult you may want to get involved in other dog sports. You will need to be a member of Dogs Victoria in order to compete in these events and earn titles for your dog.

9788 2500 office@dogsvictoria.org.au www.dogsvictoria.org.au

www.dogsvictoria.org.au

Dogs Victoria

35


www.dogsvictoria.org.au

03 9788 2500

ALL ABOUT PUREBRED DOGS  
ALL ABOUT PUREBRED DOGS