Archive | January, 2013

The Knicker Thief

31 Jan

The Knicker Thief

Our favorite Shih Tzu is already back to his old tricks and cheeky as ever


Pet pampering – where to go to get that much needed hair cut

31 Jan

Depending on what breed of dog you have, there will probably come a time where you consider taking it to a groomer, but, how to you chose where to go?

You might think it would be as simple as popping down the road and into the nearest groomers to your house, but you should probably dig a little deeper and do your research.

Story time with Solomon the Shih Tzu:

A few days ago i had a text from my friend who was panicking and angry at the same time. After picking Shih Tzu puppy Solomon up from the groomers, she found an injury on her leg. After being taken to the vets, the poor little boy was given three staples to help close the wound. How did this accident happen? We don’t know. What we do know, is that the groomer should have admitted to having an accident (whether they were in the wrong or it was a simple mistake as a result of a wriggly puppy) and explained that he should be popped to the vets to be checked over. What happened was that the groomer neither mentioned it, nor would admit to having caused the injury.


I would also like to point out, that this groomer was recommended to my friend by family and friends, that they were qualified and experienced.I wish i could name and shame this groomer, but it isn’t really my place to do so, instead i will just give you some pointers on what to look out for. Needless to say, Solomon wont be taken back there, and they are also going to be losing other clients.

This being said, you will be happy to know that little Solomon is healing nicely and is on the mend!


Story 2: Cocker Spaniel “burnt to death”

This was a recent story that was in the news last year. The Cocker Spaniel was bathed and then left to dry inside a home made drying cage for twenty minutes. This cage was steel, fixed to a heater and then covered in tarpaulin. This is the perfect example of the need for correct equipment but also supervision. The poor dog suffered from serious burns and internal injuries, and later had to be put to sleep.


The research/what you need to look out for:

Qualifications and experience: Yes, you should check that the groomer has qualifications and experience. A groomer that is able to prove that they are qualified and has a fair amount of experience is a good start. However, just because they have some certificates hanging on the wall doesn’t necessarily mean that they are all that great of a groomer. Having a certificate doesn’t mean that you are patient and dedicated to the well-being of an animal, does it?

Reputation: The majority of groomers will gain most of their clients through recommendations. Ask around through family and friends if they know of a reputable and trustworthy groomer who they know does a good job. You can even check on social media networks such as Facebook or forums. Look out for reviews online, it is often here that you will find out if the groomer isn’t all they are cracked up to be.

Customer service: A good groomer will want you to be happy. This means giving a good service from beginning to end. They should be willing to show you a portfolio, talk you through their procedure and the different types of cut that are suitable for different breeds. From my research, i have noticed the odd groomer to appear to give the same sort of cut no matter what the breed. A Golden retriever having a similar hair do to a Shih Tzu… that’s a little odd, don’t you think? As i mentioned with Solomon’s story, it is important that if a mistake, no matter how small is made, that they inform you about it.

Your groomer should also be more than happy to show you the correct way of brushing your dog. This would not only be for the dogs own well-being, but also because ultimately it makes their job easier. It isn’t easy to groom a dog that is well and truly matted and can result in problems during the grooming process.

Equipment: Ask the groomer to show you what shampoos and any other treatments they use. Have a look at the ingredients label. A good groomer will use good quality products, nothing that is likely to cause any allergies or irritations.

Ask how the dog is restrained during the grooming procedure. From what i have researched it shouldn’t really take any more than a lead. However at this particular groomers they seem to use one lead around the neck and another restraint looped beneath the dogs hips and tied to a pole from the ceiling. I’m no expert, but my research suggests that a groomer should (most of the time) be able to control and groom the dog with very little restraint. Whilst i understand that it might sometimes be necessary to use extra restraint, some of these pictures looked to be too tight and the dogs were in what looked to be uncomfortable/unnatural positions.

The example of the Spaniel that burnt to death really shows how important it is to check up on what equipment and methods are used. Is a hair dryer used? Are the dogs put in a crate? If they are, will they be supervised?

Questions to ask:

1. How many years experience does the groomer have, and how long have they been in business?

2. Do they have a particular breed that they are more experienced with?

3. What types of services are available and at what price?

4.What happens in the case of a medical emergency?

For more information you can check out these links:

Labradors are the best food thieves around

30 Jan

I’m not sure if this is something that is more significant with labradors, or if it is just a dog thing in general, but both of the labradors that i have owned have been extremely successful in stealing and eating food items. So, you tell me, is your labrador a master food thief?

Yesterday, Maya somehow managed to find, steal and then eat one of those pouches you get of cat food. I’m not sure where she got it from, because we keep it inside a cupboard, but within minutes she had eaten the contents and a fair amount of the foil pouch before we could get it off her.

She will often stand on her hind legs and make attempts to steal whatever is on the counter, whether that is cat food, which she literally steals from beneath the cats noses, or food that is being prepared. Her worst habbit and something we are working on (and is improving slowly) is that she will circle the dinner table when we are eating and as soon as someone gets even slightly distracted, she jumps up and grabs food off the plate. I jokingly say that she circles like a shark, although of course, stealing food is a big problem and we are working on correcting it.

My old dog Clay however, was the real pro. When you considered how much food he was able to steal and then consume, it really is no wonder that he was overweight, despite having only a small amount of dog food and lots of exercise. His favorite way of stealing things he shouldn’t eat was through raiding the bins. Fist, he learnt how to lift the lid, something that really wasn’t that hard to figure out in the first place. That is when we decided to get a pedal bin (the one you have to put your foot on to pop the lid open), but, knowing that there was food to be had, the clever boy watched and learnt just how to get in. We would actually witness him putting his foot down to open it.

The worst thing he ever ate though, was an entire chocolate cake. I cant remember, but i am assuming he had a funny tummy for a while after that one!


Any breed can be gentle

29 Jan

Any breed can be gentle


“Dogs with jobs” week

28 Jan

Here on puppypanic next week will be dedicated to dogs with jobs. Each day i will give a type of working dog, some information and hopefully be able to find a little story or two.

If you would like to contribute in anyway, feel free to contact me (this doesn’t have to be regarding dogs with jobs)


Whistle training

28 Jan

A while back, i went to visit a friend of my mum’s who used to train gun dogs and police dogs. We chatted about how i was training Maya and i mentioned that i wanted to use a whistle as an aid for when i am out walking.

Whilst i really prefer to just be able to call my dog whilst we are out walking and for her to listen to me and come back, a whistle can be a useful tool, especially when it is windy (the whistle is louder than your voice).

She suggested that i had two types of whistle: one for her to come to me, the other for her to sit. I have been using two blows for come, and one for sit. In order to teach her what i expected from me i used positive reinforcement through giving her a treat whenever she did what i wanted.

To begin with (and still sometimes now) i would blow the whistle, then call her (so she knew what i wanted) and then when she started to move, i would blow the whistle again.

Getting her to sit was easier because i just gave her hand signal for sit whilst blowing the whistle.

She is doing pretty well, but i think this training possibly takes a little more time than her standard tricks, mostly due to the fact that it takes place outside where there are more distractions.


Dogs can make friends with anything

28 Jan

Dogs can make friends with anything

*found this picture on google*