Today I put my knowledge of yesterday’s blog to test, journeying out the beach with my family and my baby Great Dane. What an interesting experience this was. Although terrified of water normally, he adventured into the water, nonetheless, going deeper until the water had risen to his neck. At that point, he turned around and galloped back to shore, cracking laughs out of all who sat nearby. However, I learned that not all beach go-ers are a fan of our four-legged beach guests. Out of fifty people around us, one couple sitting quite close-by yelled, “Ugh! I hate dogs. Keep him away from me!” after he had padded over to share his sandy kisses and shake his water-logged fur. Around this time is when I realized that there ought to be an etiquette guideline for beach dogs, but also for those who are at the beach in regard to animals there. Below you will find what I would consider a reasonable guide to treating other’s animals as well as respecting the people around you if you bring your buddy. If you are bringing your dog…. Make sure to keep him on a leash and close to you at all times. If there are no dogs nearby, and you are certain he will not run off, it is okay to let go of the leash, but always keep an eye out for other dogs just in case. Do not let your dog go potty on the beach. There is usually a grassy area if you walk closer to the roads or buildings in the area surrounding the beach where they can do their business. If you are running or walking your dog, make sure they do not destroy any sandcastles. That will earn you some bad points in that family. Do not let your dog run freely after leaping in and out of the water because he is likely to shake, and I do not know about you, but I know that I do not like to have wet dog smell on me. We all know dogs, just like humans, will get hungry and thirsty at the beach from roaming and being under the sun. However, you cannot let them roam to other people’s beach bags or picnics. If a family is having a barbeque or a picnic, perhaps try a new location to avoid the chance that your dog will be more interested in eating their food than laying under the sun. If you are at the beach and someone brings their dog… ….and you do not like dogs, politely pick up your things and move somewhere else to avoid being rude about it. If you are rude, you are only going to earn enemies on the beach. ….and you are allergic to dogs, you should probably move to a different location, or you can politely tell the owner so and ask them to simply try to keep their dog near them instead of near you. ….and you have little ones that are likely to get hurt, the best suggestion, as said before, is to move to a different location on the beach. If you would prefer not, either talk politely to the owner or just keep a closer eye on your little ones. Chances are the dog will stay away and do no harm, but it never hurts to be extra careful. ….and you brought a dog as well, make sure to keep the dog’s at a decent distance to avoid confrontation if your dog is likely to growl or fight with them. If your dog is gentle and easy-going, simply keep them close-by to avoid the possibility of any hostility from the other dog. If you are worried that the other dog is hostile or too excited, maybe move your location to make sure your dog avoids any fighting. Jack did very well for his first time at the beach. However, we did have some issues in regard to the lady who did not like him, as well as some barking issues with other dogs. Overall, however, he did quite well and enjoyed the beach tremendously. Sweet thing, though, has been exhausted and asleep on the couch ever since we got home. Perhaps that means I will have a bed
Several of my blogs have been informational and general for all dog breeds, for all dog owners, so that they may be more successful in their dog caring, and the dogs happier in their homes. Yet really, I wrote these blogs to learn more information to help my boys, my Great Danes. Now when I utter those words, that my dogs are Great Danes, and the fact that I have two in my tiny household, most drop their jaw and question why we would ask for so much trouble and difficulty. Shouldn’t one be enough, if you should have any? I smile and laugh at their confusion and lack of knowledge of the Great Dane breed. If they only understood these giant animals instead of judging based on their size and attempt at terrifying you by barking up a storm (which my dogs do frequently before licking the petrified human from head to toe), they would realize that Great Danes are simply baby teddy bears at heart. Unfortunately, most people do not give these loving dogs a chance, afraid they will hurt their little ones or tear up the house or eliminate any chance of having other animals in the household when in reality all of these are extremely unlikely, especially based on my experience with my two ponies. Let me share my wisdom and love of Great Danes with you, perhaps to convince you to make one an addition to your household, or simply to convince you to make an addition to your love of dogs. Whatever my opinion does to you is your choice, but open your mind to the possibility that this giant breed is perhaps the sweetest animal you have ever come upon. Read the list below about Great Danes only if you are willing to fall in love. Great Danes are gentle. While definitely playful as puppies and adults, they are gentle when coming to little ones, the sick, or the old. They somehow sense the delicateness of humans and respond accordingly. Even around adults and teens, however, they are gentle pets. They are affectionate and loyal. They show you love constantly. I do not know how many mornings I have been awakened by slobbery kisses on my face. They need you. These big ones curl up with you to watch late-night movies. They drowsily wake up to you as you get your coffee and watch you as you get ready. They follow you wherever you walk, no matter where you walk, as long as they are beside you. You are their best friend, and they are yours. You never have to worry about cleaning up your floors when you drop food or washing your counters from food messes. You never have to be concerned when cupcakes need to be thrown out. If you have candy in a bowl, do not fear! It will be eaten promptly. You have a personal vacuum, mop, and dish towel in one. (Great Danes have these gigantic eyes that are sweet and sappy that let them get away with especially if they have big blue-gray eyes like my baby) Great Danes are the best bed-warming-buddies you can come across. I am rarely cold whenever I sleep. Especially in the summer. Investing in a house alarm? Then invest in a Great Dane. They are devoted to their family and very protective. I am convinced they can sense danger, and I would beware of anyone they do not warm up to once I show them that the suspicious person in a friend. But I promise, simply having a Great Dane scares away many suspicious visitors. If these few points of the greatness of a Great Dane has not convinced you, please let me know right away because I will make you a lovesick puppy with the list of wonderful characteristics of the Great Dane as well as the many stories I can share with you about their sweetness, loyalty, and size. They are worth the investment and time you must put into them. They will become your best friends just as mine have.
Summer. A season filled with tanning, beaches, relaxing, and burning. Sun-burning is dangerous for the skin. It could cause blisters, scars, wrinkles, and even cancer. Humans take precautions against these dangers by wearing sunscreen, long sleeve shirts or pants, or by simply limiting their exposure in the sunlight. But did you know that the sun does not only have an effect on humans, but also on our dogs? My dogs are particularly at risk because they have light-colored, short hair, and according to Claire Bristow, from DogTopics.com, these characteristics are two key characteristics that cause a dog to be at risk. She also says dogs that are in the sun at the hottest part of the day or experience allergic reactions, hot spots, or medical treatment that causes hair loss spots. For your Great Danes, try to avoid keeping them outside between twelve and four. The sun is usually at its peak during that time during the summer with no clouds to guard the heat and brightness. But are you not sure on how to look for sunburn on your dog, especially if they have a dark coat? Just keep an eye out on certain locations. Bristow says to keep a close eye on their eyelids, ears, nose, mouth, and on their underside, a.k.a. their belly and groin, as well as on the backside of their legs. These are the areas that you are most likely to show hair loss, redness, or sores, indicating a sun burn, somewhat like what humans experience. Surprisingly though, there are more ways then just keeping them out of the sun during those times to avoid sun burn this summer. If you do choose or need to keep your dog out during those times, try to make sure there is a dog house or shelter they can go under so they are not constantly penetrated by the sun’s rays. You can even purchase dog sunscreen to apply to your dog if you take him out to the beach during the day. However, you will need to re-apply this sunscreen often as it will wear off just as it does on humans. NEVER use human sunscreen on dogs. The ingredients inside it is toxic to dogs. If you are a frequent beach-go-er, you should even consider purchasing a dog body suit or clothing that can protect their skin from coming with contact with the sun’s rays. Lastly, although dog’s will get hot during the summer, try to keep their coats a little bit longer whenever you groom their furs. The extra length can protect the skin better than no length at all. While these are all good suggestions, the best suggestion of all is to try to keep your dog inside or time outside limited whenever the sun is at its peak to avoid the possibility of burning. It is crazy to believe that even dogs can be affected by the same medical conditions as humans, but they can. Dogs are more like humans than we know, in more than just their left-gaze bias tendency. In more than the fact that my puppy lays his head right on the pillow as if he was a human. In more than the fact that my adult Dane back-ups and sits on the couch like a human. Incredibly, more than that. All information on Dog Sun Burns: Claire Bristow, The Facts About Dog Sun Burn, http://www.dogtopics.com/89/the-facts-about-dog-sunburn/
To have a dog in your household is to have a best friend. To have three is to have a household full of noise. To have two of those three dogs as big as ponies? Well, that is just a household of chaos. Every day I encounter a new hilarious, disastrous event with my boys. Whether it is breaking a glass bowl to eat all of the contents inside, or spreading out onto my twin-sized bed so that I am without covers, I am grateful. They are my best friends. They listen to me whenever I speak to them of my problems. They curl up next to me whenever I cry. They jump on and off the couch, doing laps around the house, whenever I am happy and bouncy. Whenever I am hurt, they are gentle and careful when coming near me. Whenever there is a small child in the room or in my arms, they relax and tone down their excitement. And every time they behave accordingly, I wonder, is their reaction to my emotions coincidenal? Do they actually realize my emotion and match theirs to mine? Can they sense human feelings and react appropriately? I have decided that my wonder has gone on too long, and I researched the topic myself. Surprisingly, the answer to my question is yes, dogs can sense human feelings. According to research done and published in New Scietist by Dr. Kin Guo, dogs showed “left-gaze bias,” an ability that has never been seen in any other animal, only in humans. The left side of the brain is what controls displaying emotion while the right side of the brain controls the actual expressing of the emotion. As a human, whenever we are trying to determine a person’s emotion, we exhibit left-gaze bias.Dogs apparently do the same. They show left-gaze bias in trying to understand and read humans emotions in their face. Not only do they read our emotions, they can also smell and understand the hormones we emit for different emotions, as well as comprehending the tone in our voice and our body language. If you are yelling “NO!” and towering over your dog, they will understand that you are angry just as easily as they will understand whenever you coo at and pet them. Next time you walk into your house storming with anger or laughing with joy, keep aware of how your dog’s face tilts or the way his eyes shift to the left. You may be able to notice the left-gaze bias for yourself. However, I do not need to follow my dogs’ gazes to know they feel the same way I do. Whenever my couch pushes back a foot after they jump on and jump off in excitement, I know that they are as happy as I am, and I am grateful I have two best friends in them.
Ah, the sound of barking in the morning. It is my alarm clock. By hearing the barking and padding of feet on the stairs, I know that Bauer has climbed out of my mom’s queen-sized bed, after taking up half of it in the night, and is ready to be fed, let out, and be the rooster call of the morning for my neighborhood. By the small, tiny whine and licks on my face, I know that Jack is out of my bed, ready to join Bauer outside, where he will scarf down more food than Bauer eats tripled, despite his size. My only hope, as I stumble down the stairs to the doorway, is that this time the food will stay in their round tummies or out on my small 8 x 2 lawn instead of on my wood floor. However, this hope is only answered if my big boys are eating the right food. Did you know that Great Danes have extremely sensitive digestive systems? My floor does. Most dog goods contain whole grain corn, an item that does not digest well in Jack and Bauer’s stomachs and is overall not very good for them. Unfortunately, if you look at the back of the dog food bags at the store, all contain whole grain corn, and the majority of the time it is the first ingredient on the list meaning it contains more corn than anything else. So how should you go about feeding the big love of your life? Here on some tips on what to avoid and the way to go when feeding your Great Dane: · Eagle Pack is the way to go if you want to buy premium, dry dog food. It is filled with healthy nutrients. The makers even conducted a trial with the dog food specifically for Great Danes resulting in great results for the breed. · Raw dog food is an item that has been debated on whether or not it is best to feed your dogs it or premium dog food. However, there is a possibility of the raw dog food containing bacteria, so for our big boys, the best suggestion for their delicate stomachs is to avoid the product overall. · Home cooking your Great Danes meal is another way to go. It reduces the risk of bacteria, and you get the ability to chose what goes into your Dane’s stomach. Some quick suggestions on what to cook? Click here. · For my own research, I simply took snacks that were in my fridge that I would consider healthy for me and fed them to my boys. It turns out, this food is just as healthy for them, especially if you substitute the veggie for a chew snack. Just like carrots, apple slices are very good for them and they scarf them down. However, there are definitely some things you MUST avoid. o Dr. James Glover says, “Vegetables known to be toxic to dogs include onion, garlic, green parts of tomato plants, potato peelings, raisins, grapes, rhubarb leaves, broccoli and pips or stones from many household fruits.” Do not let your miniature pony’s digestive system or tummy end up with troubles because you did not watch their food intake. Keep an open eye for the back of dog food bags and what they reach off the counter because if your Dane is like mine, I know he can reach and consume the loaf of bread on the counter. Mine has. Multiple times. Along with the cupcakes, cake, tortillas, and candy. Websites you can check out where I got my information: · http://www.about-great-danes.com/dog-food-for-great-danes.html · http://www.petpeoplesplace.com/resources/advice/dogs/289-dogs-be-fed-carrots.htm
I walk out of the house – more so dragged out – for a walk that will not last long before I will stumble back into the house, yanking the leash, which is probably going to tear any moment, behind me, hopefully bringing the big white and black pony behind me. This walk will almost certainly consist of the familiar saying, “Look at that horse!” and the slowing down of cars, accompanied by the wide-eyed stare, jaw-drop, and finger-pointing. If a squirrel so much as sneezes, the leash will be whipped from my hand, after being pulled through the gravel of course, and then I will remain laying in a heap on the ground contemplating running after my horse only to be seemingly laughed at by him, or to let him go off and let someone else see me in need of saving. This is if I am lucky. Most are scared by the size of this animal, the fact that he can place his paws on your shoulder and still not be fully extended, and the fact that the paws themselves are almost the size of your face. However, this animal is one of the loves of my life. He is Bauer, my oldest great dane, only one of the two little devils in my house. My other love, Jack, is about three years younger, yet just as intimidating in size. In fact, they are both only intimidating in size. They are oversized teddy bears. They fill my household with barking, love, and dripping slobber at all times. Every day is filled with adventure, humor, and learning of the great danes. For the next seven days, I will be taking you into the life of a household with two enormous great danes, the ups and downs, and tell you the secrets of the great dane ways. Good luck hanging on. I think I heard a squirrel sneeze.