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If you are looking to find the best dog leash for Pitbulls, you have come to the right place. Our comprehensive review includes high quality leads that are built with strong pullers (and chewers!) in mind.

Whether your top consideration is style, or you are looking for something on a budget, our Pitbull leash selection has you covered.

OUR #1 PICK

The best value for money

FuzzBunz Heavy Duty Padded Handle Reflective Dog Lead

Nylon is an ideal choice for a basic leash for any breed. Nylon has several advantages over other materials: It is durable, submersible, washable, and inexpensive. The problem with some nylon leashes, however, is that they can be thin and flimsy. Cheaply made nylon will quickly fray and become useless. And, the handles can get uncomfortable if you have a strong puller on your hands.

Quality Considerations

Before we jump into the review, we thought we would share a few of the qualities we were looking for in the best Pit Bull leash:

Strength and Durability: As everyone who owns a Pitbull knows, these dogs can be powerful pullers. Even if your pooch has been well trained on the lead, it can be impossible to fully train out the urge to take a mad dash towards a squirrel now and then. The first and foremost quality every Pit Bull dog leash needs to have is a heavy duty build capable of withstanding strong pulling.

Style: There are several styles of leads, from short control leads to 25’ long retractable leads, and several in between. Our review includes a wide variety of styles so that you can find what is going to work best for you.

Sometimes the answer to that depends on where you will be using it. For example, you might appreciate a 6’ leather lead for your everyday walks but find that a short 1’ leash makes more sense to use during training sessions.

Value: When we think of value, it isn’t just about the lowest price. It means that the price is reasonable for the high quality and useful features included in any product we recommend.

When it comes to leashes, there are plenty of cheap options to choose from, but unfortunately they may not be strong enough to maintain control of a powerful Pitty. Another problem with inexpensive leashes is that they are made with flimsy materials such as fake leather or thin nylon that just won’t stand up to everyday use.

A Few Tips to Leash Train Your Pit Bull

Here at Wiley Pup, we don’t just want to help you find great products. We also want you to have the information you need to build a beautiful relationship with your dog while giving them the skills they need to be well mannered members of your family.

If you are interested in learning more about positive reinforcement based training, be sure to read our comprehensive clicker training guide.

Here are a few tips for training your pooch to walk well on a leash:

Reward a Slack Leash

Whenever you have your dog on a leash, have some food rewards on the ready. Pitbulls are extremely easy to train with food since they are usually strongly motivated by food. You don’t even have to use high calorie treats. Most Pits will gladly work for their kibble (especially if every now and then they get an extra yummy treat such as a pea, small piece of cheese, or a shred of cooked chicken!)

The key is to know when to reward: When you have the leash in hand, and it has some slack in it. It’s that simple. When your dog is walking with no tension on the leash at all, say “Yes!” and hand her a treat.

In the beginning of your leash training sessions, you will reward often, even as much as every few seconds. As you progress with your training, you can start to reward less often. Eventually, you will only be rewarding outstanding examples of great walking a few times on the entire walk.

Stop and Ignore or Reverse Direction When They Pull

The second key to training a good walker is to never reward them for pulling. It is important to understand that if your dog wants to go forward and is pulling to get their way, and you give in to that behavior, you are inadvertently rewarding them by giving them exactly what they want.

If you make a point to either simply stop moving forward, or actually turn and go in the opposite direction, it teaches your dog that pulling doesn’t work. In this way, you can teach your dog to stop pulling without the need for harsh, physical corrections or inhumane correction collars that inflict pain on your canine’s sensitive neck area.

Practice Makes Perfect

Take the time to teach your dog the basics of walking on a leash indoors or in your backyard where distractions are low.

Be patient with your progress. It can take a few weeks of diligently rewarding slack and ignoring or reversing when pulling for it to sink in, however, this method is extremely effective as long as you remain consistent. And, it has the benefit of helping your dog look forward to walks and feel safe on the leash which can prevent aggression issues on walks.

Best Leash For Pitbulls | Including Chain Leashes
Best Nylon Lead For Your Pit
FuzzBunz Heavy Duty Padded Handle Reflective Dog Lead

Nylon is an ideal choice for a basic leash for any breed. Nylon has several advantages over other materials: It is durable, submersible, washable, and inexpensive. The problem with some nylon leashes, however, is that they can be thin and flimsy. Cheaply made nylon will quickly fray and become useless. And, the handles can get uncomfortable if you have a strong puller on your hands.

Not so with this deluxe FuzzBunz lead. They nylon webbing is heavy duty and stitched with reflective stitching for added reinforcement and better visibility in low light conditions. The handle is padded for a comfortable feel in the hand, even if your Pitty is a bit of an overzealous puller.

In terms of the price, going with nylon is your best bet budget wise. Although this lead is a bit more expensive than some others in its class, it is worth the investment. Quality hardware, the extra D-ring near the handle (for clipping keys or poopbags), and the extra stitching are worth a few extra bucks.

PROS
  • Heavy duty nylon webbing for long lasting durability
  • Reflective stitching for added visibility at night
  • Padded handle for comfort
  • D-ring at the handle to attach keys or poop bags
  • 6 bright colors to choose from
CONS
  • Pricier than some nylon leads, but the quality is there
  • Only available in a 6’ length
Best Control Leash for Pit Bulls
Leashboss Padded Handle Short Dog Leash

If you are looking for a control leash for your Pitbull, we recommend this selection by Leashboss. These types of short leashes offer you the ultimate in being able to keep your pooch safely by your side. They can be used as a walking leash, or you can clip them to the collar while using a longer lead so you have the option to get your dog under control in a hurry.

If you plan to take your Pit around a lot of people, pets, or other distractions, this type of control leash is almost a must. It also comes in handy for training sessions. You can drop the leash and work hands free without losing the option to get your dog under quick control when you need to.

There are a few features which really make the Leashboss stand out. First is the swivel clip. It may seem like a small detail, but if your dog tries to turn around and you don’t have a swivel clip, you are going to feel a twist in your arm equivalent to the force of your dog. The swivel clip prevents that from happening.

In addition, this lead features a padded handle, which can make a big difference for your comfort, especially if you are dealing with a strong puller.

PROS
  • Great choice if you want to maintain tight control of your powerful Pitbull
  • Good for hands free training sessions
  • Padded handle for comfort
  • Swivel clip to prevent twisting
  • Heavy duty nylon webbing
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes in 1’ and 1.5’ lengths (taller folks should go with the longer length)
  • Excellent price point
CONS
  • Super short leads are not comfortable to use on long walks
Best No Chew Dog Leash for PittiesOmniPet Chain Dog Leash with Leather Handle

Everyone with a Pitbull is well acquainted with this mouthy breed’s nature: If it fits in their mouth, it is probably going to get chewed. Some pitties develop the habit of chewing their leashes. In an instant that expensive leather leash is useless!

A Pitbull chain leash will solve that problem. Unlike soft materials, dogs generally wont even try to chew on metal. Yup! This leash is going to last! Plus, it looks pretty intimidating and would work well to compliment a studded leather collar if that “tough guy” look is something you are into.

It includes a leather handle which is available in black or brown. We recommend you go with the heavyweight option which is still surprisingly light in the hand despite using 3mm gauge for the chain. 

PROS
  • Pitbull chain leashes are chew proof for the mouthy Pit
  • Thick 3mm gauge chain will last for years to come
  • Very inexpensive option for your “go to” lead
  • Leather handle in brown or black
  • 4’ and 6’ lengths to choose from
  • Made in the USA
  • Excellent price point
CONS
  • A little heavier in the hand than nylon or leather leads
Best in StylePerri's Padded Leather Dog Leash

When it comes to a stylish look to set off the regal stature or your canine, consider these leashes by Perri’s. They feature a padded leather lining on both the handle and near the attachment point. Set off with several bright color options, this section serves both your comfort and fashion needs.

Sure. This leash for Pitbulls is a bit more of an investment than some others. However, the quality Amish craftsmanship and durable but soft lambskin leather won’t leave you disappointed.

If you decide to go with this lead, be sure to check out the matching collar sets as well. Note that there are 5 colors available with a black leather base, plus 7 more color options if you would rather go with a brown leather base. Definitely opt for the standard size which is 3/4” wide.

You may want to consider picking up some leather conditioner to keep this equipment in top condition. You will want to clean and condition your leash a few times a year to keep it soft and supple.

PROS
  • Sleek and elegant look that will get attention
  • Contrast leather padding available in 12 color options
  • Padding in the handle and near the attachment for comfortable control
  • Made in the USA by Amish craftsmen
  • Soft lambskin leather for a supple feel
  • Matching collars available to complete the..
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The Ultimate Dog Hiking Harness

Are you looking forward to some outdoor adventure with your furry friend this year? Hiking and camping are twice as fun when you can share them with your best four legged friend! Of course, the right gear makes any trip to the great outdoors better, and it’s no different when it comes to your K9.

In this article, we will be looking at saddlebag style harnesses which allow your dog to carry some of the weight on hikes. Our review also includes some great tips to make sure your next adventure goes off without a hitch.

OUR #1 PICK

The best value for money

EzyDog High Performance Summit Dog Backpack

If you are a serious lover of the outdoors and are looking for a dog hiking vest with all of the bells and whistles, this is our top recommendation. Although it comes in at a hefty price tag, it has plenty of design features, quality materials, and thoughtful ergonomic design. The quality justifies the cost for those that go hiking with their canine companion on a regular basis.

How to Pack Your Saddlebag Style Dog Harness for Hiking

If you opt in for a saddlebag style dog harness, then you can let your dog carry some essentials for your hike. Here are a few tips to make sure your first outing is a success:

Balance the Load: The last thing you want is to get halfway to your destination and find that the pack keeps slipping to one side. Not only will this be uncomfortable for your dog, it can cause an injury by throwing her off balance.


Reasonable Limits: The goal should not be to pack the pockets with the heaviest items you can find. Start by adding only very lightweight items such as treats, kibble, or a poncho. Once your dog has some experience with her new gear you can increase the weight with heavier items like sunscreen, water, and keys.


Bag it First: Consider packing your items in a plastic resealable bag before stuffing them in the pocket. This will extend the life of your gear and keep the items waterproof in case your pooch goes for a dip in the creek or you get caught up in a passing shower.

What to Pack in Your Outdoor Dog Harness

Your pooch can help out with the load in lots of ways. While you are planning your hike, here are a few things to consider putting in your pup’s pack:

Food – Most dogs should at least be able to carry the food they will need for an overnight hike. Keep in mind that they will eat significantly more to account for the extra calories they are burning on the trail. And, if you happen to be hiking through bear country, you will want to keep all food and dog treats sealed in your pack in an appropriate bear canister.


Collapsible Pet Bowl – You may take it for granted at home, but on the trail your pup needs a bowl to have a much needed cool drink of water. This one is lightweight and will collapse to fit neatly inside their saddlebag.


Poop Bags – It might seem like you won’t need these in the great outdoors. However, if you are planning a walk in well trafficked areas, or hanging out at a public campground, the expectation is that you will clean up after your dog. If space is limited, just pack a few of these “just in case.”


First Aid Items – Unless you are hitting the trail for a few days, in which case you are probably planning to carry a first aid kit in your pack, you won’t need to carry this entire kit. However, some tape, gauze, antiseptic pads and tweezers weigh almost nothing and will be a nice addition to a doggie day pack.


Medicine – If your pooch takes prescription medicine, it is always good to carry an extra dose. In addition, talk to your vet about the proper dosing of over the counter Benadryl, safe for most dogs in case of a bee sting.  


Doggy Booties – Even if you are not planning on encountering snow or ice, booties can still come in handy on a long hike. It is not unusual for a dog to experience a foot injury, especially if they are new to the trail or if the terrain is rugged. Booties can provide important protection in case of any major cuts on their pads by keeping the wound clean until you can get back to camp for some first aid.

How Much Weight is Safe for My Dog’s Hiking Pack?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors: the size of your dog, her fitness level, and terrain difficulty.

As a general rule, a fit and healthy young dog can carry about 25% of their weight safely. This assumes an actual trail (not jumping through thick brush or climbing steep rocky areas). Older dogs or those in couch potato shape can handle significantly less. Stout breeds in great shape can sometimes handle a little more.

If you are not sure of your canine companion’s fitness level, it is best to do some practice before heading out on a long hike with a pack. And, be prepared to carry the load yourself if it doesn’t work out.

When You Should NOT Use a Dog Harness with Pockets

There are a few cases when you should be especially cautious about using saddlebag style vests for dogs. The first is if the weather is quite warm and humid. These vests cover a wide area of the back which can trap heat right over the core of your pooch. Even breathable fabrics such as mesh won’t help in very warm weather.

Another time this type of gear is a bad idea is for brachycephalic dog breeds. These are those breeds with flat faces such as Pugs and French Bulldogs. These dogs often have restricted airways to begin with. They can easily begin to have serious trouble breathing if they overexert themselves. Adding both weight and heat to their walk is never a good idea. Get a harness just for this type of breed instead.  

Dogs with short legs and long backs such as Dachshunds and Basset Hounds are also not well built for using saddlebag style harnesses.

It is a good idea to pack another, more lightweight harness for your vacation in case the weather just doesn’t permit using a heavier hiking harness for dogs. For example, this durable adventure harness by Chai’s Choice is an excellent option.

Be sure to take the harness off on any rest brakes to give your canine trail companion a chance to rest and cool off between legs of the journey.

Ready to take a look at the best dog hiking harnesses? Let’s dive in!

Best All-Around Outdoor Dog HarnessEzyDog High Performance Summit Dog Backpack
Sizing Guide:

Size

Girth

Neck

Weight

Small

24-38”

12-24”

25-70 lbs

Medium

28-4”

16-28”

65-100 lbs

Large

32-50”

20-32”

95+ lbs

If you are a serious lover of the outdoors and are looking for a dog hiking vest with all of the bells and whistles, this is our top recommendation. Although it comes in at a hefty price tag, it has plenty of design features, quality materials, and thoughtful ergonomic design. The quality justifies the cost for those that go hiking with their canine companion on a regular basis.

Let’s start with a look at the quality materials used. A breathable, tear-proof mesh lines the back piece. This helps to wick away moisture and keep the area relatively cool. The zippers are waterproof and durable stitching throughout adds up to a very sturdy build.

The roomy pockets on either side open to a flap which makes them easy to stuff even if you first place your items in a Ziploc bag (a great idea for keeping them waterproofed). The fabric is reflective which also offers some extra safety in lowlight conditions.

In terms of comfort, this adventure dog harness has a padded chest piece to help distribute the weight. The wide back panel does the same, although be careful with this kind of saddlebag design on very hot and humid days as it will trap heat on the trail.

Finally, this harness features 6 adjustment points for the perfect fit and a padded handle so that you can help your canine companion over obstacles or up and down steep terrain. Overall it warrants the “high performance” label and is our top choice for those looking for the best outdoor gear for their pooch.

PROS
  • Roomy pockets to stow plenty of trail goodies
  • Durable and lightweight fabrics
  • Reflective for good visibility
  • 6 adjustment points for a snug fit
  • Wide range of sizes available to fit most dogs
  • Padded handle for quick control or assistance over obstacles
  • Breathable mesh fabric lining for comfort
  • Front and back attachment points
  • Padded chest piece
CONS
  • One of the more expensive options in this category
  • Pockets on the small harness may be a bit too bulky for some small dogs
Runner-Up Dog Hiking Harness with PocketsKurgo Baxter Dog Backpack
Sizing Guide:

Breed

Neck

Front Chest Strap

Belly Strap

Weight

Baxter

19-28”

20-38”

20-38”

30-85 lbs

Big Baxter

22-33”

24-39”

22-39”

50-110 lbs

This hiking vest for dogs is made by trusted name in canine gear, Kurgo. There is plenty of room for stuffing in the two side pockets. The smaller version as a 3.75 liter capacity, the larger version has a whopping 7.5 liter capacity. You want to be sure you don’t overload these bags with heavy items as they are big enough to weigh down even stronger dogs.

A bit longer in design than the more sporty ExyDog design featured as our top pick, this hiking harness does include a stiff spine embedded in the backpiece for extra support. It has 5 places to adjust for a great fit, including a chest and a belly strap.

The zippers on the main pockets open wide for easy stuffing and feature a cover flap to keep grit and grime from gumming up the works. Each of the saddlebags also include a small exterior pocket, perfect for keys, medical cards, identification and other odds and ends.

This harness also includes reflective trim for safety. And, it has a back handle in case you need to get quick control over your pup on the trail. Although it does have a breathable mesh lining, the large surface area this vest covers will trap considerable heat on muggy days.

PROS
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Puppies are notoriously difficult to train and care for. However, most pet owners believe that dogs require less maintenance as they get older - and that's true, to a point. While young dogs need only routine vet visits and medications, taking care of senior dogs can be a more difficult task, especially as their health begins to deteriorate. Here are some ways you can make sure your best friend stays in tip-top shape so he's with you for a long, long time.

When are dogs considered seniors?

First, you may be wondering if your dog is even technically considered a senior yet. The problem is that this can vary from one dog to the next; larger dogs tend to age faster than smaller ones, though. Most small dogs are considered seniors around age seven, while larger dogs are considered seniors around age six.

Maintain an Exercise Schedule

Older dogs need exercise just as much as younger ones, but you may need to switch up the routine a bit. While young dogs can play frisbee and run, older dogs may need a little less exertion. If you notice your dog has trouble keeping up during your morning jog, for example, consider switching to a walk instead. Also, it's normal for most dogs to need a little more rest as they get older. However, if your dog simply won't budge or has extreme difficulty with movement, it's time to see a vet. He may have arthritis or heart problems that require additional care.

Adjust Their Nutrition

If you're like most dog owners, you've always tried your best to give your dog nutritious food. You know it's important for their overall health and longevity. That's even more true now that your pup is getting older. Take a bit of time to research dog foods that are meant especially for senior dogs. Because not all dog foods are the same, you'll need to find one that fits your dog's needs in particular. For example, many older dogs struggle with excess weight gain, which can affect their health dramatically. You may need a dog food formula that's formulated for weight loss. When in doubt, your dog's vet should have some great suggestions to get you started.

Look for Signs of Mental Health Issues

Just like humans, senior dogs can experience mental health issues such as dementia. To stay on top of the issue, pay attention to your dog's behaviors and look for signs. These may include confusion, restlessness or difficulty sleeping, pacing, having "accidents" around the house, nervousness or aggression. If you believe your dog may be senile, you may need to adjust your expectations for his behaviors.

Get Regular Checkups and Vaccines

As always, you should keep your senior dog caught up on all health checkups and vaccines. Depending on your vet's recommendations, these may be even more frequent than before. While most vets recommend annual checkups for younger dogs in good health, many senior dogs require semi-annual appointments to stay in optimum health. You should also keep giving regular doses of important medications such as flea, tick and heartworm prevention. If your dog has difficulty taking regular pills, Heartgard plus chewables can be a great alternative.

Enjoy Your Time Together

If you're concerned that your dog is already showing signs of aging, don't despair. You likely have many long years together. With proper nutrition, frequent health checkups and regular exercise, you and your dog should have a long, happy life together.

The post How to Care for an Aging Dog appeared first on wileypup.com.

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So, you have been trolling the local animal shelter’s website and you have stumbled on a great looking dog with a big smile on his face. The description reads “Border Collie Siberian Husky mix” and you want to learn more about this particular crossbreed to make sure it is going to be right for you.

You have come to the right place! While a great option for some people, this lovable mix does have some significant needs in terms of training, exercise, and companionship. In the wrong home, this could be a disaster in the making.

This article will take a close look at this cross, including an in-depth look at each of the parent breeds. You will learn about their history, temperament, and care needs. Read on to see if you and this hybrid breed are going to be a good fit.

Border Collie Husky Mix | Meet This Unique Cross Breed
Temperament:

With two hard working and intelligent parents, the husky border collie mix has a lot of drive for fun, learning, and activity. Although the playful nature of the Husky often balances out some of the notoriously intense personality of the Border Collie, this is a hybrid dog that needs to stay active and engaged or it can become depressed, neurotic, and destructive.

This is a hybrid that is ready to go for any adventure you have in mind. Both parent breeds are adaptable and have a general disposition that tends to favor an open mind about new experiences, particularly if socialized well as puppies.

Suitable for active families, even those with smaller children, the border collie and husky mix can be a great family dog. However, don’t expect to leave this dog outside unless you have a very secure fence since these smart dogs are good at finding the weak point in any enclosure.

This crossbreed needs a good amount of attention. It is a poor choice for busy folks who expect a dog to be content alone during long working hours each day. However, for those that have lots of love to give, and enjoy staying active, this mix can make an excellent family pet.

Size:

Both of these breeds are similar in terms of size. You can expect your border collie husky mix puppy to grow to about 20-23” at the shoulders, and between 40-55 pounds. This is on the larger end of what most people think of as a medium sized dog. Just big enough to enjoy outdoor adventure, while being compact enough to travel well!

Coat & Appearance:

Dogs of this particular breed mix can run the gamut when it comes to looks since both breeds come in a wide variety of striking color patterns. It is not uncommon for the face mask and curled tail of the Husky to carry over – although this is not always the case.

In any event, the coat will be double, just like both parent breeds. Expect that you will need to do a heavy grooming to pull out the shedding undercoat each Spring. Other than that, a weekly brush outside will do the trick, although these dogs do shed. If you mind the occasional fur pile that collects under the furniture, this might not be the right breed for you.

Health & Life Expectancy:

Although both breeds are considered relatively hardy for pure bred dogs, they do share two common health concerns that you should be aware of since it is also common in their offspring.

The first is congenital eye disease, a potential health concern in any breed that carries the gene that causes different colored eyes (and both parents do). You should ask your vet to check early, and annually, to make sure your husky and border collie mix maintains healthy vision.

Hip dysplasia is also a problem for both breeds, although this is true for most dogs of medium and large build.

Otherwise, expect this breed to live somewhere in the average of 12-14 years, typical of dogs of this size.

To really understand if a Siberian husky border collie mix is the right choice for you, let’s take a closer look at each of the parent breeds. Be sure to read through to the end! At the end of this article we will provide you with a helpful guide to decide if this hybrid is the right choice for your lifestyle and family.

Border Collie | Parent Breed Profile
History

The history of the Border Collie (a.k.a. BC) has its roots in the working sheep herding dogs that were bred by shepherds in Scotland and Whales region dating back to the 17th century. These hardworking men relied on their tireless canine coworkers to keep sheep under control over the rugged and expansive mountain terrain.

The dogs needed to work in close cooperation with the commands of shepherds, as well as have a strong sense of their job without supervision in more isolated areas of the range. Hence, the shepherds selectively bred for a dog that is famously intelligent, considered by many experts to be the smartest dog breed in existence.

Unlike some herding dogs that nip at the heals or bark excessively to control livestock, BCs use their famous “crouch and stare stance” to intimidate sheep into submission.

In more modern times, the BC has been breed for both work and the show ring. Dogs bred for work tend to be selected based more on intelligence, working ability, and performance in field trials and on their success in doing the work they were bred to do hundreds of years ago.

On the other hand, the standards for showring BCs tend to be more focuses on appearance and structure. Although still quite smart, many of the BCs bred for the show ring tend to be a bit less intense and adaptable to family home life than their working counterparts.

Temperament:

With only a few exceptions, BCs tend to be very intense dogs. They can become hyperactive, neurotic, and destructive if they do not get enough mental stimulation in the form of training and a sense of purpose such as a job to do. In addition, they need quite a bit of daily physical activity which includes off leash running, playing, swimming and the like.

If their needs are met, Border Collies are extremely easy to train using positive reinforcement methods. Unlike many working dogs, BCs are generally affectionate and bond well with their people. If properly socialized when young, BCs usually get along well with other dogs, pets of all kinds, and children.

Size:

The AKC breed standard for Border Collies specifies a size between 19 to 22 inches (males) and 18 to 21 inches (females). It is a medium build dog that is surprisingly lightweight for its outward size, averaging just 30-55 pounds. This is because this breed has a build optimized for endurance and athleticism with a sinuous build rather than dense muscles.

Coat & Appearance:

BCs come in both long silky and rough (short and a bit wiry) coated varieties. Bred to thrive in the sometimes harsh outdoor conditions of the mountains, they have a double coat. If you live in a place where you get a cold winter, expect to have a major molt each spring as the undercoat releases.

Other than this seasonal shedding, a weekly brush outside and the occasional swim or bath will keep their coat in top condition.

Although the famous black and white coloration is by far the color most people think of when it comes to Border Collies, they also come in solid colors as well as tri-color and merle colorations. They can also have brown, blue, or mixed colored eyes.

Health & Life Expectancy:


Border Collies average a 12-15 year lifespan. It is considered a very hardy breed. Breeders routinely scan for hip dysplasia, eye, and ear abnormalities that are the more common problems seen in this breed.

Because they come in merle colorations, they carry genes for several congenital problems of the eye such as microphthalmia, a disease that causes small, misshapen eyes. Responsible breeders avoid breeding merle colored dogs together for this reason, but congenital problems can still occur.

PROS
  • Extremely intelligent and easy to train
  • Fantastic work ethic and sense of adventure
  • Affectionate and playful
  • Generally gets along with other pets and children
  • Adaptable to almost any environment that includes mental and physical stimulation
  • Low grooming needs
  • Not known to be a problem barker, unless allowed to be perpetually bored
CONS
  • Absolutely requires daily, vigorous, off leash play and exercise
  • Must be mentally challenged with games, dog sports, work, or structured play every day
  • Will become neurotic and destructive if needs are not met
  • Does not do well if left alone and bored most of the day
Siberian Husky | Parent Breed Profile
History:

The Husky is one of only two dog breeds (see also the Greenland Dog) which seems to share ancestry with the now extinct Taimyr wolf that once roamed the lands of Northern Asia. All other dog breeds have the Gray Wolf as their ancient ancestor.

Long before dog breeding clubs, the predecessors of the modern day Husky were bred by the native people of Siberia known as the Chukchi people. The dogs served as companions and helpers to these nomadic people who relied on hunting in extremely cold and inhospitable environments to survive.

Puppies of these early Huskies were raised near children, hence their playful and gentle nature with children was a central aspect of their personalities from the start.

The gold rush in Alaska during the early 1900’s brought many prospectors and adventurers to Alaska. By then the Inuit people native to the region had sled dogs that were likely descended from the Chukchi canines were found throughout the region, where they soon became popular for use in trade, transportation, and racing.

There are two basic types of sled dogs. Heavy breeds adapted to cold environments, such as the Alaskan Malamute, were selectively bread for pulling heavy loads. On the other hand, lighter weight sled dogs, and the Husky falls in this group, were bred to pull both quickly and over long distances.

Although Huskies are loved as family pets, they are also still bred and trained as sled dogs for both racing and ecotourism. 

Temperament:

Huskies are known to be quite playful and very tolerable of even small children. They have a strong pack drive and need regular companionship and a sense of purpose to thrive, however. They are smart but are less interested in “obeying” than BCs, with a little more drive to assert their own personality and seek fun at every opportunity.

Huskies generally do well with other dogs. However, they are also known to have a high prey drive, and can be obsessive about chasing cats, squirrels and other small critters. Since they have a penchant for escape, they need a very secure fence in order to be left outside unsupervised.

Size:

The standard for this breed looks for males (21-23”, 45-60 lbs) that are slightly larger than females (20-22”, 35-50 lbs).

Coat & Appearance:

Although Siberian Huskies are most famous for their black, grey and white wolf-like coat, they do come in color ranging from red to brown as well, in both solid and they typical grizzled appearance.

Their coat is double and includes a soft downy undercoat for insulation, and coarser outer coat for protection against the elements. They, like the Border Collie, will have a heavy shed in the spring in regions where the winters get cold.

Some people make the mistake of shaving their Husky in the warmer months thinking that it will help this arctic dog stay cooler. Unfortunately, this also removes the cooling function that fur can provide, along with protection from UV rays. It is better to keep Huskies in colder climates, or keep them mostly indoors when the weather is hot and balmy.

Health & Life Expectancy:

All Huskies carry the gene that allows them to have two different colored eyes in some cases. This gene is also associated with certain congenital eye conditions, such as progressive renal atrophy, one of the more prevalent health concerns in the breed.

In addition, cataracts are a problem for this breed and an eye exam should be included in your annual vet check-ups. Hip dysplasia is another issue to be aware of, particularly as you review the health records of the parents and grandparents of your dog.

Huskies live an average of 12-14 years.

PROS
  • Huskies don’t bark much, although they can be quite talkative with their own unique husky howl sounds
  • Playful and adventurous spirits that have a great deal of personality
  • Excellent with children and other dogs
  • Adaptable as long as they get plenty of attention and play
  • Trainable and intelligent, but independently minded as well – Start training early!
  • Affectionate companions that develop close relationships with family and friends
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Leather Dog Collars | The Ultimate Buyers Guide

If you buy quality, you only buy once.

There must be truth behind the saying, as where there's smoke there's fire right?

Leather dog collars just have a look and feel that manage to convey a timeless style. And, unlike nylon collars, they are built to last a lifetime.

Unfortunately, there are many “leather-like” collars on the market that just don’t cut the mustard. They often break easily and do not fare well if exposed to wet weather conditions.

On the other hand, well-made leather collars just get better over the years. This is particularly true if you follow a few simple guidelines for care. (We will give you some tips in this article.) A great leather collar will get softer and more supple while maintaining strength for well over a decade.  

This review takes a look at 5 dog collars made from genuine leather covering a variety of sizes, styles and colors. Plus, we included some bonus picks of complimentary leather leads so you can find a complete set.

OUR #1 PICK

The best value for money

Perri’s Padded Leather Dog Collar

Our top selection is a handmade leather dog collar that has a surprising price point for excellent overall value on gear that is built to last. It is made in the USA by Amish craftsman and features richly dyed lambskin leather for a soft and supple feel and superior looks.

IMAGE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

RATING

Perri’s Padded Leather Dog Collar

  • Handmade by Amish craftsman in the USA
  • Lambskin leather for a soft and supple feel
  • Reasonable cost for a collar that is built to last

BlackJacks Extra Wide Leather Dog Collar

  • Extra heavy duty build with thick leather and metal hardware
  • Available in extra wide for heavy pullers and giant breeds
  • Comes in two colors: Rich mahogany and black

OmniPet Signature Leather Dog Collar

  • Sizes that go down small enough for even toy breeds such as Chihuahua, Pugs, and Poms
  • Genuine leather, double layered
  • Very inexpensive, particularly for the quality

OmniPet Leather Studded Dog Collar

  • Genuine leather, double layered and sturdy stitching
  • Real nickel studs and hardware
  • Fantastic price point

GoTags Embroidered Leather Collar

  • Customize the bold lettering with your contact information for safety
  • Outstanding choice for hunting dogs and escape artists
  • 2 color leathers, 15 thread colors to choose from
Caring for Your Leather Dog Collar

It is a common misconception that leather goods require a ton of work to keep nice. In fact, they really only take a quick clean and conditioning a few times a year to stay nice. And, they become better with age as the leather starts to soften with regular use.

Here is all you need to do to make sure your gear stays in great condition for the life of the product:

  • Wipe with a damp cloth to knock off dirt or mud if it gets especially dirty from a romp in the woods.
  • Twice annually, use a special saddle soap designed for maintaining horse tack to give the collar a deep clean with a product that won’t strip it of natural oils.
  • After cleaning with saddle soap, use leather conditioner by applying a light coat and allowing the gear to rest for 24 hours so it can soak in (to keep it from getting on your dog’s skin).
Qualities To Look For In Premium Leather Gear For Your Dog


Top Grain or Full Grain Leather

These labels refer to two different finishing techniques on leather goods. Both indicate that the product is made with genuine leather, and both have their advantages when it comes to dog collars.

Top grain leather tends to have a more refined look because the surface of the hide has been finished by a sanding process that removes imperfections from this natural material. It is usually dyed and then treated so that the surface is smooth and glossy with a high end look. It tends to be less porous than full grain leather, making it a bit more stain resistant.

Full Grain leather has less processing. It tends to be a fair bit stronger, particularly over the lifetime of the product. It is a favorite choice for leashes since they are put under more stress and need the extra strength (for larger dogs, that is).

Full Grain leather tends to develop a better patina over the course of a lifetime. It readily absorbs oils, for example from skin, and it just gets softer and softer over the years.

The Pros & Cons of Padded Leather Dog Collars

One of the features you will notice among the selections in this category is a padded interior. There are a few advantages to this style. The first is that it is more comfortable for your dog. And, it can provide some protection against chaffing which can be important for short haired dogs or strong pullers.

Many manufacturers, including two we have featured, are now using the padded lining to create a sharp two-tone effect which really bumps up the style points.

However, the main downside of the padded models is longevity. Even if well made, the softer leather used for the liner is likely to wear out long before the tougher leather outer.

And, if they get soaked (for example from swimming) the padding can get saturated, causing it to trap moisture against the skin if not promptly removed to dry. If you have a regular swimmer on your hands, you may want to use a nylon collar for their fun water games.

Nickel, Brass or Stainless Steel Hardware

Look for collars with these metals used in the construction. While each has a different look, they are all sturdy and rust resistant. Avoid gear that either doesn’t specify the metal used (often in these cases a cheap base metal is used which is then coated), or plastic clips.

How To Properly Size Your Dog Collar

Before spending your money, be sure to take some accurate measurements to get the right size. If you have a tailor’s measuring tape, great. But if not, you can always use a piece of string, then lay it out flat to measure against a ruler.

You will want to measure around the place on the neck where the collar will lay, usually near the base of the neck. You want your tape, or string, to be snug but not tight. Then,..

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Some of our regular readers have noticed that we sometimes feature products sold through Chewy.com in our product reviews. Although rapidly gaining in popularity among pet owners who are in-the-loop, not everyone has heard of this pet specialty online retailer.

We thought it might be helpful to let our readers know a bit more about Chewy, and why we feel good about recommending their products to our readers.

Here are 10 great reasons to love Chewy:

 Hopefully, this article has helped you decide if ordering from Chewy is a good choice for you and your special furry someone!


#1

Amazing Customer Service

Don’t take our word for it. Forbes has reported that their outstanding commitment to customer service is a main reason why Chewy surpassed mammoth online retailer, Amazon, in pet food sales in 2018. This is a pretty major accomplishment!

Customer service isn’t just an afterthought for Chewy – It is the central theme of their company mission statement. Expect to get a real person on the phone when you call – not an answering machine or a robot.

Chewy offers an online shopping experience that has that small store feel thanks to their dedication to customer satisfaction.

#2

Trained Pet Product Experts - On Call 24/7

Chewy staffs their call centers with employees who are trained to have expertise in the products they offer. Each team member in their call center trains for a full month to learn the product lines as well as how to build a positive relationship with customers as the first priority in each interaction.

If you have questions about a product, call anytime to learn more. Can’t decide between a few different options? Their customer support is ready to help you find the right product for your beloved pet. Don’t feel like talking on the phone? Use the chat feature on their website to get answers fast.

#3

Huge Selection of Pet Food

Chewy offers one of the best selections of specialty dog food to be found anywhere.

While they have plenty of budget friendly options, they also have a comprehensive selection of high-end all natural varieties from industry leaders in the healthy pet food movement such as Blue Buffalo[SS1] , Taste of the Wild, American Journey, and Canidae.

There are over 3000 products to choose from in the dog food category alone! Among them you can find any number of limited ingredient, high protein, grain free, and even some prescription food options.

#4

30 Day Money Back guarantee

This online retailer stands by the products they offer with a 100% unconditional guarantee on all orders. You don’t have to worry about dealing with a third party distributer as is sometimes the case with other large online retailers.

It doesn’t matter why you don’t want what you bought…just return it if it doesn’t work out. It is a great way to buy with confidence, allowing you to take a risk on a new type of food, treat, or toy. If your finicky Fido isn’t a fan then you can get your money back.

#5

Pet Centered Product Line

Chewy is focused exclusively on pets which brings some advantages to pet owners. First, it gives them a focus on finding and offering the best pet toys, foods, and gear. Basically, these folks have made it their business to stay in touch with the latest pet trends and have the expertise to find the best stuff.

Second, Chewy works with their manufacturers and takes time to get to know the products they offer. Most products have videos right on the product page where a member of the Chewy staff explains the features of each offering.

They don’t have third party retailers selling on their platform. At Chewy, the products are selected by a buyer who checks out each offering first before deciding if they are willing to offer it to their customers. Think of it as a well curated selection of the best dog stuff out there.

#6

Signature Lines of Pet Food

Driven by their extensive knowledge of pets, customer needs, and veterinary nutrition, Chewy has developed its own lines of pet food that are well reviewed by pets and experts alike.

Their line is named Stella & Chewy’s. It features freeze dried meal mixers, a line of grain-free kibble made with novel proteins, and several types of dog and puppy treats. Following the current movement towards whole food nutrition and high quality domestic ingredients, the Chewy brand foods are fast developing a loyal following.

#7

Free shipping on orders over $49

Chewy ships via FedEx and offers free 1-2 day shipping on any orders over $49. Smaller orders are shipped with a flat fee rate which is very reasonable.

Here is another related plus: All of their orders ship from domestic warehouses. No more waiting 6-8 weeks for something to arrive all the way from China!

#8

Auto-Ship Price Breaks

Auto-ship is a great option for customers that want to buy dog food or treats and want to take the hassle out of going back to re-up the order every month. You can customize your ship dates to adjust to a schedule that works for you. And, you enjoy a 5-10% discount on products that you put on the auto-ship program.

#9

Daily Deals

Chewy offers serious daily deals for bargain hunters. Filled with toys, gear and treats, daily deals give you a chance to try something new for a fraction of the normal price.

And, it is not bottom of the barrel stuff. These are among some of the most popular items in their catalog. Familiar brands such as Greenies, Natural Balance, and Nylabone regularly show up with significant price breaks.

TIP: You can find the daily deals along the top bar under “Today’s Deals” on the home page.

#10

Great Place to Work

Finally, Chewy has a strong reputation as a great place to work. They have over 7,000 employees working in 11 warehouse and office locations. Many of their locations are in small towns such as Mechanicsburg, PA and McCarran, NV where they play a vital role in local economies.

Many employees, such as the customer service reps at the Hollywood, FL location, enjoy a pet friendly workplace. Nothing says: “We really love dogs!” like being able to bring your pooch to work!

Bottom Line

We hope Wiley Pup has earned your trust as a great source of information about all things dog. We thought it was important to give our readers more information on Chewy since we sometimes recommend products they offer.

Sharon Elber (M.S. in Science & Technology) - Professional Dog Trainer

Sharon is a writer and received her M.S. in Science & Technology Studies from Virginia Tech and has worked as a professional dog trainer for over 10 years.

The post 10 Reasons Why We Love Chewy appeared first on wileypup.com.

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One of the biggest health trends of 2018 has been the rise of CBD oil – for both people and pets. However, many people have seen these products popping up at their favorite pet boutique and are wondering if there is more to this trend than just clever marketing.

This article is designed to answer your questions about CBD oil for dogs by exploring the current state of medical research for this promising natural supplement. While there is still much to learn, the actual evidence for the benefits of this supplement may surprise you.

CBD Oil: What Is It?

CBD oil, also known as cannabidiol, is a compound that is extracted from plants in the cannabis family. It belongs to a class of chemicals known as cannabinoids.

It turns out that many different plants, many of which have been used for traditional healing for centuries, also produce cannabinoids. 

For example:
  • Echinacea: You may know this garden flower by its common name: The American Cone Flower. Holistic healers have long been prescribing this plant for its anti-inflammatory properties and immune boosting powers. Scientists have verified that the active compounds in this plant include N-alkylamides, which mimic the action of cannabinoids.
  • Cocoa: Yup. Turns out chocolate contains compounds that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, including N-Linoleoyl ethanolamide and N-oleoylethanolamide. While it may help boost our mood, chocolate is highly toxic to dogs (for other reasons) so its healing benefits don’t translate to our furry friends!
  • Black Pepper: One of the compounds found in this common spice is called beta-caryophyllene, a terpene that is responsible for the characteristic smell of pepper. It is also found in cannabis. Research has shown this compound exerts anti-inflammatory effects and may even help common cancer treatments’ ability to fight tumors.
Will CBD Oil Get My Dog High?

No.

Cannabidiol is in cannabis, the family of plants that includes marijuana. This might worry some pet owners because dogs have gotten into stashes of medical grade marijuana or pot infused edibles made for recreational use. In some cases, this has even resulted in overdose and death in small dogs that ate large quantities of these products.

However, when it comes to CBD oil for dogs, this supplement is extracted from a specific variety of cannabis known as hemp. Hemp is a very special type of cannabis that is defined by U.S. law to include less than .3% of the compound known as THC.

It is THC, another cannabinoid found in cannabis, that produces the psychoactive effects of the plant (along with other properties). Without THC, hemp does NOT cause the high. AND, THC is precisely the compound that some dogs seem to have problems with, but only when much more concentrated than you would find in quality CBD hemp oil made for dogs.

Safety & Side Effects Of CBD Oil In Dogs

In addition to being non-psychoactive, CBD oil has been confirmed to be safe in both humans and dogs. This is true even at extremely high doses of CBD. It has a very good safety profile with low incidence of side effects, and those are mild. Nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in appetite were those most commonly reported in human studies.

One thing that is important to note is that if you decide to use CBD oil with your dog that you purchase it from a reputable manufacturer and buy a product specifically made for dogs. Read on to learn more about how to make sure you are making a good choice for your pet.

How Does CBD Oil Work?
Early Research

Cannabis based medicine is nothing new. In fact, it has been used for both medicinal and recreational use for thousands of years. However, due to a prohibition on marijuana in much of the world, research has been hampered. That is, until recently.

The Endocannabinoid System

In 1988, researchers discovered a previously unknown biological system present in all animals (those with bones that is): The Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

This distinct system is made up of a collection of transmitters, receptors and special enzymes that are responsible for maintaining homeostasis, in other words balance, in a wide variety of critical life processes. (See table below.)

Cannabidiol specifically interacts with this system by breaking down into lipids which in turn activate endocannabinoid receptors. Now it is a little easier to understand why CBD oil has become such a big deal in health circles for both people and dogs.

The long list of potential benefits that is supported by research is precisely because of the role that the ECS plays in achieving balance in several important biological systems, including:

The Entourage Effect

The other thing that people new to CBD oil should understand is “The Entourage Effect.” Although it sounds a bit like a marketing ploy, this term was actually coined by scientists in 1998. It describes the principle that the hundreds of compounds found in cannabis have a complex relationship.

Even trace amounts of one cannabinoid can amplify or mitigate the effects of the others. For example, it is widely understood that THC and CBD interact, and even trace amounts of THC may amplify the pain relieving power of CBD.

In the CBD world you will come across “full spectrum” CBD oil. These products have been gently refined to preserve the full cannabinoid and terpene profile of the whole plant.

Other products, often marketed as “THC free” or “CBD isolate,” contain only the CBD which has been chemically extracted in isolation prior to adding to a carrier oil or topical.

Note that full spectrum products usually contain trace amounts of THC. However, as long as you are buying a quality product from a reputable manufacturer, CBD for dogs will be refined from hemp, which is naturally very low in THC. Full spectrum oils made just for dogs are safe and may even enhance the properties of the oil.

Full spectrum oils are more difficult to extract and need to use organic hemp for a clean finished product. They tend to be a bit pricier as a result, but many pet owners and holistic veterinarians appreciate the difference of the Entourage Effect. 

What Are The Research Backed Benefits Of CBD Oil For Dogs?

Let’s turn now to the specific potential health benefits of cannabidiol, with links to primary research for your review.

CBD Oil For Dog Pain

Pain is one of the most researched aspects of the Endocannabinoid System as well as CBD oil more specifically. Let’s break it down:

Neuropathic Pain

This type of pain occurs when the nerves themselves are damaged or dysfunctional, signaling pain. In some cases the pain may occur in areas unrelated to the source of the problem. Typically, neuropathic pain can be tricky to diagnose and treat, particularly with our pets who are not able to tell us where it hurts.

Neuropathic pain is associated with several conditions in dogs, including:

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
  • Degenerative spinal conditions
  • Injury to the spine
  • Amputation of a limb (phantom pain)
  • Tumors, particularly around the spine or brain
Nociceptive Pain

This type of pain is from damage to the various tissues in the body. It is generally the culprit for pain in dogs from:

  • Injury
  • Surgery
  • Bruises
  • Sore muscles
  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Inflammation
Inflammation

While inflammation typically causes some kinds of nociceptive pain by damaging tissue, it deserves a special mention since reducing inflammation is a major goal of certain drug targets, such as NSAIDs.

Inflammation is also an important component of several conditions in our canine companions, notably:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Allergies
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Tick Borne Illness (such as Lyme disease)
  • Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD)
  • Arthritis
  • Inflammatory Nervous System Disorders
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Can CBD Oil Help With Pain In Dogs?

Now that we have taken a brief tour of the types of pain and its causes, it is time to look at the research on cannabidiol.

In fact, CBD oil has been show to be effective against both neuropathic and nociceptive pain types. And, it also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. These are not just one off reports, rather, numerous studies have repeated these findings.

The mechanisms of how CBD works to mitigate both pain and inflammation are complex. It appears that it is happening among multiple pathways including by enhancing the effects of opioids and their receptors, changing pain perception in ways similar to anti-depressants, and blocking the communication of pain signals in the central nervous system.

Moreover, the precise role that THC may play in enhancing the pain reducing effect of CBD is still a matter of study. (This returns us to the notion of full spectrum CBD oil which many people seem to prefer when it comes to chronic pain management.)

When it comes to inflammation, the results are actually quite stunning!

One study showed that even as little as 2mg of cannabidiol a day can significantly improve mobility for dogs with Osteoarthritis (OA). Another showed that the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are so strong that they may even reduce the nerve damage caused by the progression of OA leading to significantly better health outcomes.

Finally, cannabidiol has been shown to enhance the effects of opioids, reduce their tolerance building capacity, as well as mitigate some of their side effects.

If you think your dog may be able to reduce the amount of medications they are taking for chronic pain, it may be worth discussing the role of CBD oil can play with your veterinarian.

CBD Oil For Dog Anxiety

Although CBD oil has been studied in relation to a variety of psychological and cognitive disorders, it is perhaps its relationship to anxiety that is most relevant to our canine companions.

In human studies, CBD has shown promise in several anxiety related conditions, including:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • PTSD
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder


While these conditions do not have a direct analog in the canine world, most animal behaviorists believe that several behavior problems that dogs struggle with are related to anxiety, including:

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Are you a Pitbull lover? Then you already know their good looks, giant smiles, and big personalities make them the star of the show wherever they go.

Pits are also powerful dogs that are a little notorious for trying to slip the lead to go after small prey while on walks. Or, to run across the street to bound up and say hello to the neighbor’s dog with little awareness of traffic or other hazards.

Novelty collars just won’t do for these dogs. And, in some cases, a harness may actually be a better choice for everyday walking.

To help you decide, we have provided some information on the best collars for Pitbulls followed by reviews. We have featured a wide variety of types, styles and budget options so that you can find exactly what you are looking for.

Weather you are looking for a tactical military look or that classic dignified elegance, either way, we have you covered.

OUR #1 PICK

The best value for money

Perri's Black Padded Leather Dog Collar

When it comes to that understated but classy look, this selection by Perri’s is our top choice. Soft lambskin leather is hand tooled by Amish craftsman for a finished product that also feels as good as it looks. The quality extends to polished stainless steel hardware as well.

IMAGE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

RATING

Perri's Black Padded Leather Dog Collar

  • Soft Lambskin leather for a luxurious feel
  • Amish craftsmanship that is renowned for its quality
  • Gorgeous looks with contrasting colors for a real pop

BlackJacks Leather Large Breeds Dog Collar

  • 2” wide for added safety and style that highlights Bully Breeds’ powerful good looks
  • Extremely durable build with top-notch materials
  • Heavy duty, military grade construction with reinforced connection points

Link AKC GPS & Activity Monitor Smart Collar

  • GPS locator that works with your mobile device
  • Remote tone for reinforcement training at a distance
  • LED light for evening visibility

OmniPet Signature Leather Studs & Spikes Dog Collar

  • Stand out looks with 4 bright color options
  • Excellent value for gear built to last
  • Polished nickel spikes for flashy style

OneTigris Military Dog Collar

  • Tactical style and extremely durable construction
  • Easy to clean and care for
  • Padded interior for comfort wear
What To Look For In A Pitbull Collar

Here are a few things to consider before you buy:

Quality Construction

The key here is to pay attention to two main things. First, what is the collar made of? We would recommend you stick to genuine thick leather or heavy duty nylon webbing. Second, check for reinforced stress points. Good indicators are extra stitching, metal gromets, and steel hardware.

Width Matters

We would not recommend a collar width under 1” for Pitbulls. Much thinner and you risk creating a situation where the collar will pinch or cut into your dog’s neck if they happen to pull hard on the leash. Wider straps help distribute weight more evenly and provide a more comfortable wear.

Real Leather

Avoid fake leather, or “leather like” materials. These materials are flimsy and don’t hold up to wear and tear. A genuine leather collar of at least 2 mm thickness can last a lifetime if properly cared for. (Read on for some care and maintenance tips!)

Beware of Novelty Collars

There are plenty of fancy looking collars on the market. The problem is that many of them are made from cheap materials. They might save you some money in the short term, but you will need to replace them all too soon and they may even fail when you need them most.

Why We Don’t Recommend Prong or Choke Collars

Many people looking for a training collar for their Pitbull may be expecting to find choke or prong style collars high on the list of the best. These collars are designed to tighten when pulled to apply a painful pinch if the dog fails to stay in a proper heel position. However, you won’t find them featured in this article.

We agree with the Human Society of the United States: Choke and prong collars are based on outdated training philosophies and are potentially dangerous in the hands of non-professionals.

Likewise, training collars that use shocks to train dogs are just not something we are comfortable recommending. Instead, we agree with most professionally trained animal behaviorists, many of whom have been quite vocal in their concerns about these types of punishment based collars.

The main problem with these types of collars is that although they use pain to inflict a punishment for bad behavior, they do nothing to teach the right behaviors. Imagine being a kid in school and getting wrapped on the knuckles with a ruler every time you don’t write down the correct answer to a math problem, without ever being taught the basics of arithmetic. Sounds a little unfair, right?

And, dogs don’t always understand what they are being punished for. This can lead to a situation where a dog is repeatedly traumatized leading to fear and aggression issues down the road. This is not just an opinion, it has been scientifically demonstrated.   

The neck is a delicate area that is prone to injury. Tracheal collapse, whiplash, spinal injury and damage to delicate glands in the neck are all risks of improper use of choke and prong style training collars.

To be fair, any collar can cause neck damage. We urge our Pitbull readers to consider using a collar for identification tags and a sharp look, while using an escape proof dog harness for walking and/or restraint. Because harnesses distribute weight evenly over the chest, they are much less likely to cause injury, even for strong pullers.

Collar Training for Pitbulls: Pro Tips

Walking a dog with a leash and a collar (safely) requires leash training. Your dog needs to learn that when he is on the leash, he needs to keep slack in the line.

The absolute fastest way to train a dog to walk nicely with a collar is to use clicker training methods. These easy to use techniques pair a sound (called a mark) with a small food reward to very quickly teach your dog how to know when he is doing exactly what you like. 

Even if you don’t do clicker training, using reinforcement is the way to go when it comes to teaching your dog any new tricks, including how to walk politely on a leash with a collar on.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Start Inside

When your..

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Can dogs eat rib bones?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: It’s complicated.

Bones and dogs are one of those issues where veterinarians often disagree. Some argue they are safe under certain conditions, others argue they are just not worth the potential downsides since the nutritional needs they satisfy are met with commercial canine food and approved safe chew toys.

DANGER!

All vets, even those that advocate for bones under the right conditions, agree that you should avoid all of the following:

  • NEVER: Feed your dogs cooked bones they can crack or swallow.
  • NEVER: Leave your pup unattended when they're chowing down on them.
  • NEVER: Allow your canine to have a bone that is small enough for them to swallow whole.
  • NEVER: Give bones to multiple dogs unless they are completely separated as it is a common trigger for serious canine fights.
Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones? The Risks.

If you are sitting down with a plate of cooked ribs and want to give your pup the leftovers, don’t. Cooked bones are never okay to give your dog with one exception we will look at further in this article. Ribs don’t count as the exception.

There are many dangers associated dangers for canines. Cooked bones are brittle and when they shatter they can make very sharp edges which can injure or even kill your dog if ingested.

  • Sharp shards of cooked bone can puncture the esophagus, the throat, the stomach, or the intestines. All of these are emergency situations. They can lead to expensive surgery, serious complications and even death.
  • Hard cooked bones can get lodged in canines mouth, creating lacerations, a great deal of pain, and a trip to the vet.
  • Choking hazard: Your pup is prone to trying to swallow things larger than he can handle. It is possible for them to bite off a bit from a larger bone then choke on the chunk.
  • Because cooked bones are hard, if you give your dog one that is too big to choke on, it may still be a dental hazard. Canines can and do sometimes shatter their teeth by being overzealous with their chewing/gnawing!

Instead of giving your dog a rib bone for a treat, after your meal is finished, give them an alternative doggy treat that is safe for them to consume. Your pup relies on you to make good decisions for them.

Raw Bones: Still Not Out Of The Woods.

While some holistic vets and raw diet enthusiasts do recommend bones under the right conditions, there are still risks you should be aware of.

  • ​Choking hazard: Canines can sometimes try to swallow things too big to fit down their throat and start choking. If you do decide to feed raw bones, they need to be too big for your pup to even think about trying to swallow them whole. If your dog starts choking, open their mouth reach to the back of their mouth, and try to pull the object out.
  • Stomach blockage: If your dog is chewing on bones that are small enough to swallow, that does not mean they will be small enough to pass from the stomach to the intestine, a blockage that can be potentially fatal or cause expensive and invasive surgery to correct.
  • Intestinal Blockage: When bones are digested they turn into a chalky like lump that can get stuck in the intestinal tract and/or create serious constipation. If you are going to feed raw bones, it needs to be in moderation.
  • Parasites and food borne illness: The same risks that apply to humans in terms of eating raw meat also apply to canines. You are opening the door to potential health risks in feeding raw bones. Some suggest that freezing for several weeks prior to feeding raw to reduce these risks, however, there has not been much research to support this claim.
Safety Precautions For Raw Bones

If you are feeding a raw diet to your dog, chances are you are interested in how to safely feed raw bones to your pup. Remember that you can’t eliminate the associated risks, but you can try to minimize them.

Here are some basic guidelines to follow:

  • The safest raw bones for consumption for dogs are the non-weight bearing small raw kinds of poultry, namely poultry wings and necks. For smaller canines, some raw food diet people will grind these in a food grinder and portion them in the freezer in meal size containers.
  • If you are using raw bones for to give your dog something to gnaw on, be sure they are much too large to swallow and don’t let them eat huge quantities of bone marrow in one sitting as it is very high in fat.
  • Always monitor your pup when they have a bone.
Cooked Bones: The Exception To The Rule

The one exception to the “never give your dog a cooked bone rule” is when you are giving them a large beef or bison shank or knuckle bone that is far too big for them to swallow, and too substantial for them to shatter.

These are the types often found at pet food supply stores, sometimes they are already hollow for stuffing, other times they still have the marrow inside for a tasty (but very high fat) treat for your pup.

Notice that rib bones are NOT one of the approved cooked bone exceptions.

Can dogs eat any type of rib bones from the great pile of cooked ribs you just ate? No.

Is There a Safe Way to Share Ribs with My Dog?

If you just can’t stand to have a great meal without sharing with your dog, then there are a few things that you can do to let your dog in on the fun, safely.

  • Offer an alternative treat made just for dogs such as a toy stuffed with some peanut butter.
  • Make a special set of a few ribs for your dog without additional spices and sauces, then take the meat and connective tissue off for him and discard the bones.
  • Wait until it is time for you to eat dinner to feed your dog his dog approved meal.
  • Consider a rawhide chew or bully stick for a fun and lasting distraction for your dog during your supper.

The post Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones? Essential Safety Info appeared first on wileypup.com.

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Can Dogs Have Asparagus? We Delve Into The Drama

While some folks have a “No people food!” policy with their dogs, others supplement their pet’s diet with healthy foods that are safe for canines. The right foods can offer nutritious variety to a processed kibble diet. The wrong foods can be dangerous.

Asparagus can be a healthy and fun snack for your pooch. It is safe for your pup as long as you follow some simple rules.

It's a tough and fibrous vegetable, meaning there is a small chance of a choking hazard that you can avoid with either of the following strategies:

  • Cut into small pieces before giving it to your dog.
  • Lightly steam to soften before feeding.

The vegetable is also mildly toxic, even to humans, when raw. It largely depends on individual sensitivities as to how strong a reaction to expect.

Most people and canines are not bothered by raw asparagus in small quantities. However, if you want to be on the safe side, cook before feeding to your pooch. Remember that over-cooked vegetables lose many of their valuable nutrients, so keep it to a light steam.

It is always safest to start with a small quantity of any safe food you add to your pups diet. Individual dogs can have allergies or intolerance's just like people. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Finally, it is always best to keep additions to your canine’s diet in moderation. Rapid changes to their diet can cause gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting or diarrhea. One of the best ways to avoid this is to add asparagus to your dog’s regular dish of kibble, rather than feeding a large amount on its own.  

Can Dogs Eat Asparagus Ends?

The bottom end of asparagus usually gets chopped off and discarded because people find it too tough. However, don’t let these ends go to waste! Your dog won’t be offended if they get the ends. Just remember to steam them or chop them into ½” pieces first.




Can Canines Consume Asparagus Fern?

There are two different things sometimes referred to as “Asparagus Fern.”

The first is the ferns that form in the garden when the vegetable matures. Gardeners know that they need to let some of the asparagus stalks grow to enjoy the harvest the following year. In the fall, these ferny plants will flower and develop small clusters of red berries.

The second kind of asparagus fern is an attractive and popular house plant (Asparagus densiflorus), often grown for its lush foliage and pretty seasonal red berries. It is closely related to the one grown for food, although it does not produce edible stems.

It turns out that BOTH varieties of fern are mildly toxic to canines and felines. Both the foliage and the berries it can cause stomach upset and/or a skin rash. Vomiting and diarrhea are the most common side effects if a dog eats the fern type.

Gardeners should make sure their dogs are kept out of the asparagus bed and if you have the indoor plant, be sure it is out of reach and that the berries do not drop within range of your pooch.

My Dog Ate The Fern! Should I Take Him To The vet?

If you know your dog ate a small amount of the fern then keep an eye on them. Chances are that they may not even have a notable reaction to eating a small amount.

Call your vet if you suspect that your dog has eaten a significant quantity of either version of mature asparagus fern or the berries, or if they show symptoms including loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea.

Health Benefits

It turns out it's one of the most healthy vegetables out there. It is a nutrient dense food with many potential health benefits. In addition to providing some fiber for your pups diet, the vegetable is packed with the following nutrients:

  • Vitamins A, C, E, B6 and K
  • Thiamin
  • Iron
  • Folate
  • Niacin
  • Potassium
  • Antioxidants
Asparagus & Pumpkin Dog Treat Recipe

If you happen to be a gardener and have a surplus of asparagus each spring, you may want a fun way to share the bounty with your pooch. Here is a fun and easy dog biscuit recipe to try.

Ingredients:
1 cup shredded or finely chopped asparagus
½ cup canned pumpkin (check the label, do not use the pre-spiced kind)
2 TBSP peanut butter
1 egg
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup rolled oats

Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
2. Mix the first 4 ingredients well.
3. Mix the flour and the oats in a separate bowl before combining, a little at a time, with the wet ingredients. Dough should be similar to cookie dough, adjust by adding more oats if needed.
4. Roll out dough to ¼” thick and cut into cute shapes or slice quickly into strips with a pizza cutter.
5. Bake on a baking sheet for 25 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
6. For a crunchier treat, turn oven down to 200° F and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Freeze the extra in a plastic bag for up to 6 months for asparagus dog treats that offer spring nutrition year round! 

Strange (and harmless) Side Effect

If your pooch eats it you may notice one strange side effect that is perfectly harmless: Strange smelling urine. Just like in people, this weird side effect of eating asparagus is nothing to worry about.

Another side effect? Well, a little gas can be a result of adding new foods to your dog’s diet. Other than a slight affront to the olfactory senses, nothing to panic about.

Dog scared by fart - YouTube
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?

Asparagus is a nutritious addition to your dog’s diet as long as you do so in moderation and feed it lightly steamed. As with any new addition to your dog’s food, try a little bit first to make sure it is not going to cause any unusual reactions.

On the other hand, be sure to make sure to keep Fido out of the asparagus bed in your garden. The ferny tops are toxic to dogs and cats (and people) and are best to avoid. This is also true of the common houseplant known as the Asparagus Fern. Call your vet if you suspect your pet has eaten this plant.

Does your dog love asparagus? Leave a comment below to share your story! 

The post Can Dogs Eat Asparagus? Learn The Side Effects appeared first on wileypup.com.

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