Choosing A Dog That Fits Your Lifestyle

If you are trying to decide what kind of dog you need for your family's new pet, you should have a clear idea of the kind of dog you are looking for. There are several factors you should consider when you make that decision.


Do you have children?  How old are they?  How many people are in your home?  How much time can you devote to a dog?  How much room do you have?  How much energy do you have to spend with your dog?


While there are always exceptions, breed descriptions are usually reasonably accurate and they can make it easier for you to choose the right dog for your family.


Active Dogs


If you are young, like to exercise, or if you have very active children, you may want to consider getting an active dog.  It can be very disappointing to expect your dog to be active and then discover that he prefers to sleep in your living room all day.


In order to avoid this problem, look for an active breed that will fit your lifestyle.  Labradors and Golden Retrievers are considered to be excellent family dogs for this reason.  These dogs have fantastic temperaments, especially around kids, and they have lots of energy for play.


If you are looking for a smaller dog, look for a dog that is easy to control and train.  Terriers are small and playful but some of them can be hard to train.


Small Dogs


Smaller dogs are often a good choice if you live in an apartment.  They can fit a smaller space without being intrusive or uncomfortable.


Most small dogs tend to have quite a bit of energy so a good temperament is very important.  Some small dogs can have some temperament issues and may nip people, such as Chihuahuas and Dachshunds so they are not usually recommended for children.


There are some small to medium-sized dogs that are good with families and children such as Cocker Spaniels and Beagles.  These breeds have good temperaments and behave well.


Working Dogs


If you are looking for a dog that is very loyal, smart, and has lots of energy, you may want to get a “working dog” that has been trained for hard work or labor.  These dogs include sled dogs, herding dogs, and hunting dogs.  They can make good pets because of their extreme loyalty.


However, working dogs are usually hardwired to work.  They need work to be happy.  Otherwise they can develop behavior problems.  If you're not able to provide enough exercise or work for the dog, then these dogs are not a good fit for most people.  But, if you have plenty of room outdoors or work for these dogs, they do make good companions.


Smart Dogs


People often disagree about the relative intelligence of different breeds or how to measure dog intelligence, but there are ways to determine which dogs are and aren't smart.


Poodles, Collies, and Retrievers are usually ranked right at the top of any list of smart dogs.  Akitas, Shibas, and Shetland Sheepdogs are also rated as intelligent dogs.  Differences will vary but smart dogs can be harder to train because they can be stubborn.


Keep in mind that these dogs are still dogs and they will respond to the same stimuli as other dogs, most of the time.


You don't have to choose a dog that reflects your personality but it should fit your lifestyle, as well as your resources so you can take care of the dog.


If you don't have time to take care of a dog that needs to be groomed every day, look for a dog with a short coat; or, if you don't have time to walk a dog a couple of hours per day, look for a dog that doesn't require as much exercise.  Always consider how much time and attention you and your family have before you choose a dog.


If you think before you get a dog then your dog should be a happy family member for years.


Bed Bug Dogs Are Big Business

Bed Bug Dogs Are Big Business


If you’ve noticed the news lately then you probably know that bed bugs are everywhere.  There are stories about bed bugs in hotels, in hospitals, and in people’s homes, and that’s just for a start.  The problem is literally spreading.  Bed bugs can live anywhere there is a warm host and places for them to hide.  What’s more, it’s hard to find them and hard to get rid of them.  That means one thing:  bed bug dogs are big business.


Right now bed bug dogs are big in the United States.  That’s where can help you.  If you are interested in buying a trained bed bug detection dog and becoming a bed bug dog handler yourself, has the dogs you need and provides the training so you can go to work with your new canine partner.


The dogs at and Southern Star Ranch K9 Training Center are already trained before you arrive.  They are carefully chosen for their temperament and drive.  These dogs love to work for long periods and can find bed bugs wherever they may be hiding.  The dogs used most often for bed bug detection include:  Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Border Collies, and Jack Russell Terriers.  According to, they look at 100-125 dogs to find just one dog that has what it takes to be a bed bug dog.


The cost of a bed bug dog includes a week of training to become the dog’s handler.  During the week of training you will also be bonding with your new canine partner.  Following the course the handler must also pass a written exam and earn their certification before going to work with their dog.


Every company that buys a bed bug dog from Southern Star Ranch K9 Training Center is required to attend the bed bug dog handler class.  The course teaches the handler the temperament requirements of a dog; the basic principles of dog training; scent and the effects of temperature, humidity, and air currents; training drills; building searches; and how to provide proper health care for the dog. The course is a one week program.


A class for people interested in becoming a bed bug dog trainer is also available at or you can also find an online training program at  You will learn how to take a dog that is untrained and teach it everything it needs to know to become a bed bug detection dog.  Each course is a six week program and it can be tailored to meet each person’s individual needs.


If you already own your own bed bug detection dog business you can contact about ways to generate more leads for your business. connects people with bed bug problems with companies who have bed bug dogs for hire.  They can put you in touch with customers who are looking for a bed bug detection dog to search their home or business.


Whether you are looking for your first bed bug detection dog, or you have a bed bug dog business that you want to expand, be sure to visit and for more information.


10 Things You Should Never Give Your Dog

It can be fun to figure out what your dog’s next treat should be.  You might also be tempted to slip Fido some scraps from the dinner table.  Before you start doing anything like that you should know that there are certain foods you should never feed to your dog.


  1. Chocolate is widely known as a food you should keep away from your dog.  It can speed up their heartbeat and lead to a heart attack and seizures.  In addition to that chocolate can also cause increased urination as well as vomiting and diarrhea.  As soon as you realize that your dog has gotten a hold of the chocolate you need to take it to the animal emergency center.


  1. Grapes and raisins simply do not agree with a dog’s digestive system.  There is no exact measurement of how much they can handle so it’s best to keep all grapes and raisins away.  If not you might find increased urination, vomiting, and diarrhea.


  1. Onions are another food that can wreak havoc.  They can break down a dog’s red blood cells and drastically decrease the oxygen that gets to its blood.  While the problems might not show up right away it can accumulate over time.  Keep an eye out for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and a general malaise.


  1. Macadamia nuts are another no-no.  There is something in the nuts that can cause fever, heart problems, seizures or even paralyze your pet.


  1. Please never feed your dog Alcohol.  Their bodies just cannot handle it and it can give them alcohol poisoning very easily and lead to death.


  1. Bread dough is another food to avoid.  This is very soft and might cause the dog to think that it can just swallow the dough whole.  The dough can then rise in your pup’ stomach and cause bloating and nausea. 


  1. Never feed your dog a caffeinated drink.  This will simulate their system in the wrong way and can have a bad effect.  Your dog’s heart might race which can lead to seizures or heart attacks.


  1. Avocadoes might be yummy for humans to eat but they are toxins to dogs.  They contain a chemical that can damage many of the body tissues in dogs.  Guacamole dip is a mix you’ll also want to avoid.




  1. Be extremely careful with any food that has a pit.  These pits have cyanide in them, which are dangerous. It might even overtake the bodies of smaller dogs and lead to death.  If the cyanide doesn’t harm your dog, they still might choke on the pit itself.


  1. Do not give your dog raw fish.  When fish is not cooked it can contain parasites.  When a dog swallows these parasites they will attach to the wall of the intestines.  This isn’t something you’ll notice right away either.  It is a tricky thing to catch when your dog has these parasites.  If you must feed fish to your dog you should make sure that it’s thoroughly cooked.







10 Signs of Dominance in Your Dog

10 Signs of Dominance in Your Dog


Having a dominant dog around the house can be annoying as well as dangerous.  A dog who thinks he’s in command might eventually bite you or someone in your family if he is challenged. It’s important to recognize the signs that your dog is becoming dominant and do something about the problem.


Signs of dominance in your dog


Excessive barking.  Dogs that bark all the time are not just a nuisance, they are imposing their voice on everyone.  This is a sign of a dominant dog.


Getting on furniture or the bed without permission.  If you allow your dog to get on the furniture or the bed, it’s important that you teach your dog that he is only allowed to do so when he has your permission.  If he gets up on furniture or the bed whenever he wants, he is displaying dominant behavior and putting you in a subordinate position.


Growling at you or other members of the family.  Dogs that growl are giving you a warning that they may bite. This is a clear warning that your dog is displaying dominant behavior toward you.


Demanding your attention through nudges, whining, or mouthing you.  Dogs that are constantly demanding your attention in these physical ways are displaying dominant behavior and trying to force you to pay attention to them.


Guarding food or toys.  Dogs that guard their food or toys and who won’t give them up to you easily are showing that they don’t have to obey you. They are displaying dominant behavior and treating you like a subordinate.


Refusing to move out of your way.  Dogs that block your path or refuse to move out of your way when you tell them to get off something are showing dominant behavior.  Again, they are showing that they don’t respect you.


Will not let anyone including you, the vet, or groomer handle him.  Dogs that refuse to let anyone, including you, handle them are being dominant.  They are showing a lack of respect toward humans.


Humping you or your guests.  In addition to being bad manners, this is dominant behavior.  Dominant dogs will hump dogs and other animals that they regard as being below them in the pack.


Ignoring commands he knows well.  Dogs that ignore your commands, even though they know them well, are showing a willful disregard for your authority.  Your dog is showing you that he is dominant and he doesn’t have to obey you.


Peeing or pooping on your bed.  A dog that pees or poops on your bed is showing you exactly what he thinks of your authority, and it’s not much.  This is dominant behavior.


If your dog is showing signs of dominance it’s time to get help from a dog trainer or behavior specialist.  Dominant dogs are often intent on preserving their position so if you do anything that they find challenging to their authority, they may bite you or someone in your family.  Get help from a well-qualified professional.

5 Tips For Taking Good Dog Photos

5 Tips For Taking Good Dog Photos


If you have a dog then you probably have some photos of your favorite pooch.  You may also know how difficult it can be to get a good picture of your dog.  As soon as you haul out the camera it seems like some dogs start turning their backsides to you. Other dogs start walking toward the camera to investigate which means all of your pictures are close-ups of their noses.  And some owners only seem to get pictures of their dogs sprinting through the background.  Don’t despair!  Here are some tips for getting good photos of your dog.


1.  Plan ahead.  In order to get some good pictures of your dog you need to do a little strategic planning.  That means letting your dog get used to the camera.  If you only bring out your camera a minute before you want to take a picture your dog is going to walk straight to the camera to investigate it.  Instead, take your camera out and let your dog get used to it.  Take the camera out often.  Wear it a while.  That way your dog will be used to it and will act naturally.  You should also consider some other factors before you take pictures.  Is your dog wound up and zooming around?  Then be in position for his action shots.  Is he being lazy and mellow?  Get in the best spots to take those shots.


2.  Take lots of pictures.  If you take just a few pictures of your dog you may get lucky and get a great picture but you’re much more likely to get good pictures if you set aside some time and take lots of photos.  You can catch your dog doing all kinds of cool things and his personality will really come out in the pictures.


3.  Consider the angle.  Some of the best dog pictures are usually taken at your dog’s level.  Many people take pictures standing up, looking down at their dogs but if you really want to get good pictures of your dog then get right down on the floor with him.


4.  Look at your surroundings.  You can take great pictures anywhere but it certainly helps to have good surroundings, free of clutter.  Simple surroundings can help focus attention on your dog.  A clean, sandy beach or green trees will make your dog look great.  Watch for things growing out of your dog’s head like telephone poles.  And try to keep some contrast in the background.  If you have a black dog stay away from black backgrounds; stay away from light backgrounds for light-colored dogs, and so on.


5.  Have fun.  Don’t be afraid to have fun with your dog.  Remember that you don’t have to make every photo look the same.  Mix them up a little!  Have some close-ups.  Do some body shots.  Take a head shot.  Use different angles.  And ask a friend to help.  Sometimes having a friend playing with your dog can help, especially if your friend has a squeaky toy.  Professional photographers often use squeaky toys to get a great facial expression from a dog.


Follow these tips and you should be able to get some great pictures of your dog.  It’s all for fun so go out and have a great time with your dog and your camera.