Why Chaining Your Dog Is Not the Answer

Dogs need time outdoors. They like to be outside where they can run and do things that dogs do, such as follow scent trails. But unfortunately, scent trails don’t end where your yard ends and a dog won’t automatically stop running at the end of your driveway.

How do you give your pet time outside, but keep him safely within the boundaries of your yard? A standard wood or chain link fence is one option, but that is not much of a barrier for pets who are determined to dig under, jump over or chew through the fence. Many communities do not allow visible fences, and if cost is a factor, physical fencing is the most expensive option. Training your dog to stay in the yard is also an option, but a risky one, especially if he is not closely supervised.

Another option used by some pet owners is chaining or tethering their dog somewhere in the yard. While this may be keep the dog in the yard, there are some significant risks and potential harms of this approach.

Learn about DogWatch Hidden Fences

First, let’s start with the positives.

  • A chained dog will stay within a very specific area of your yard that you define.
  • The equipment that you need to contain your dog is relatively inexpensive.

But now let’s hit some of the limitations, risks and potential harms associated with chaining your dog.

  • While chained, your dog typically has very limited use of the yard, which inhibits their ability to truly run free or explore the many scents that surround them.
  • Dogs often get tangled in a chain or other tether, which can cause serious injuries such as broken bones or the loss of a limb due to lack of circulation.
  • If the chain becomes wrapped around a dog’s neck, he could be strangled or could hang himself. This is especially possible if he is on the upper level of a deck or near a fence or other obstacle that he tries to jump over.
  • The grass in the area in which the dog is chained will die due to the pacing patterns, urine and feces.
  • You need to have a rather large tree or secure post in a convenient place in your yard to ensure the chain will hold. The dog is likely to circle the tree, shortening the tether and further restricting his already limited movements.
  • Cork screws that turn into your yard are not very secure. Dogs often work them out of the ground.
  • With enough determination, a dog may be able to work the collar off his neck.
  • If another animal enters the yard, your dog is effectively trapped to the limits of the chain.
  • Dogs are pack animals that can become neurotic, unhappy, and anxious when isolated by being continually tethered. Studies show that chained dogs are more likely to become aggressive than unchained dogs.

If chains, traditional fences and basic training are not the answer to letting your dog enjoy time outdoors, what is?

A hidden or “invisible” fence is an excellent alternative to a physical fence, is much safer than a chain or tether and less risky than relying on training without the safety-net of the hidden fence. With a hidden fence, your dog is allowed to run free, but is trained to stay inside the specific invisible boundaries set by you and the training is reinforced by signals that let the dog know if he gets too close the boundary. The boundaries are flexible enough to encompass the front and/or back yards, as well as make mulch beds, flower gardens, pools and play areas off limits. And yet, even with this flexibility and security, they are less expensive than traditional physical fencing.

Give your dog the gift of untethered freedom this spring and allow him to safely roam his yard. To learn more about the benefits of hidden fences and how they work, visit our website at www.dogwatch.com or call your local DogWatch® Hidden Fence dealer today.

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Reasons to Go Home and Hug Your Dog

1. Dogs help us appreciate the simple pleasures in life.










2. Have you ever had a more consistent exercise partner?













3. Dogs keep us humble. Who else can get us to clean up after them like this?












4. The most important reason of all? Unconditional love. It makes your dog happy to make you happy.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in New & Noteworthy

2014 DogWatch Dealer Meeting

The weekend of February 7, 2014, brought approximately 175 DogWatch Dealers and staff to Huntington Beach, California (aka ‘Surf City USA”) to participate in the 19th Annual DogWatch Dealer meeting. Attendees included representatives from 80 Dealerships who traveled from throughout the United States and Canada as well as Great Britain, Denmark, Australia and Trinidad/Tobago. There were Dealers with more than 20 years experience as well as several who started Dealerships in the past year.

The annual conference provides a wonderful opportunity for Dealers to brush up on the latest technology and product development, spend time catching up with each other, and share ways that they are managing their business in order to bring the best pet containment solutions to their communities.

Another important aspect of the Annual Meeting is celebrating our top achievers with Dealer Awards. Congratulations to all of our award winners!

2013 DogWatch Dealer Awards 


Tim Gourlay   DogWatch of Mid-Alabama
Alan Grammer   Metro East DogWatch
Rachel & Derrick Woiderski   DogWatch by K9 Keeper


Susan & Brian Harvey   DogWatch of NW North Carolina
Derrick & Rachael   Woiderski DogWatch by K9 Keeper
David LeCrone   DogWatch by DogFence Maryland

  1. Samantha & Ward Chapman   DogFence UK
  2. Shannon & Brent Potvin   DogWatch of Metro Atlanta
  3. Sue & Bruce Thompson   C No Pet Fence
  4. William Coden   Fido’s Fences
  5. Leddy Smith   DogWatch Systems
  6. Shawn Bader   DogWatch by Petworks
  7. Lisa White, William White & James Schaperkotter    DogWatch of St. Louis
  8. Liz & Jack Goetz    DogWatch of Greater Pittsburgh
  9. Julie & Wade McCormick    DogWatch Hidden Fence of Utah
  10. (3-way tie)
    Curt Little   DogWatch of Central Indiana
    Ty Kretzinger   DFW DogWatch
    Heidi Powell   DogWatch of Greater Cincinnati
Largest Single Customer

Fiona & Vance Plummer   Canine Containment (Australia)

Service Excellence Award

David Lillis   DogWatch of Greater Kansas City

40%+ Growth

Tommy Sjorring   DogWatch-Denmark
Tim Cline    DogWatch of Winchester
David Carter    DogWatch of the Low Country
Jan Van de Kamp     DogWatch-Holland
Dan Doleman      DogWatch of Tidewater
Ron Sweat      DogWatch of Wichita
Shannon Matthews     DogWatch of the Gulf Coast
Tim Gourlay    DogWatch of Mid-Alabama

30% to 39% Growth

Glenn Moragne      DWHF of Portland
Ernie Roy     DogWatch of New Hampshire
Cliff Milam     DogWatch of Chattanooga
Richard Gainey     DogWatch of North Florida
Jeff Bowser      DogWatch of NE Indiana
Alan Grammer      Metro East DogWatch
Rick Battalino      DogWatch by Village Landscapes
Joe Newton     DogWatch of East Georgia

20% to 30% Growth

Phil Holmes & Lee Myers     DogWatch of Charlotte
Mike Gonzales     DogWatch of Northwest CT
Tom Schmidt     DogWatch of SW Georgia
Dee & Tim Smith     DogWatch of Sarasota
Holly & Randy Hoyt     DogWatch of Cape Cod

15% to 19% Growth

Buck Horton     DogWatch of Central Alabama
Lynette & Michael Leonard     DogWatch of Metro Detroit
Jay Blankenship     DogWatch of Central Virginia
Dale & Bill Cuddy     DogWatch of the North Shore
Alex and Dave Spain      Triad DogWatch
Cal Noehring      DogWatch of Greater Toronto Area
Joe Kiselica      DogWatch of Central New York
Rob Girolami     DogWatch of the Carolina Coast
Drew Knutzen      DogWatch of Colorado
April & Rich Caron      DogWatch of Appalachia
Guy Treanor      DogWatch of the Twin Cities
Fiona & Vance Plummer      Canine Containment (Australia)

Fiona & Vance Plummer

Fiona & Vance Plummer, Largest Customer

Sam and Ward Chapman

Sam & Ward Chapman, #1 Top Dog








Rachel & Derrick Woiderski

Rachel & Derrick Woiderski, Dealer of the Year

Alan Grammar, Dealer of the Year

ALan Grammar, Dealer of the Year








Susan & Brian Harvey, Rookie of the Year

Susan & Brian Harvey, Rookie of the Year

David & Paula Lillis, DogWatch, Service Excellence Award

David & Paula Lillis, Service Excellence Award 

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in DogWatch Dealer Chat, New & Noteworthy

What Is Your Dog’s Lifespan?

What is the predicted lifespan of your dog? The answer varies from breed to breed. Lifespan depends on other variables too, such as genetic disease and weight. As a matter of fact, according to a study done by Purina, keeping your dog lean could add 15% to their lifespan!

Gender and the impact of breeding also come into play. Female dogs live longer than males by an average of one and a half years. If a dog is extensively inbred, it will likely have a shorter life. And how about spaying and neutering? They impact your dog’s life span too, by giving him (or her) protection from certain kinds of cancer.



Affenpinscher 12-14
Afghan Hound 12-14
African Boerboels 9-11
Airedale Terrier 10-13
Akbash 10-11
Akita 10-13
Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs 13
Alaskan Klee Kai 14
Alaskan Malamute 10-13
American Bulldog 12-14
American Eskimo Dog 12-14
American Foxhound 10-13
American Staffordshire Terrier 12-14
American Water Spaniel 10-12
Anatolian Shepherd Dog 10-13
Australian Cattle Dog 10-13
Australian Kelpie 12
Australian Shepherd 12-15
Australian Silky Terrier 11-14
Australian Terrier 12-14
Basenji 12-14
Basset Hound 11-14
Beagle 12-14
Bearded Collie 12-14
Beauceron 10-12
Bedlington Terrier 12-14
Belgian Malinois 10-12
Belgian Shepherd Dog 10-12
Belgian Tervuren 10-12
Bernese Mountain Dog 6-9
Bichon Frise 12-15
Black and Tan Coonhound 10-12
Black Russian Terrier 10-11
Bloodhound 10-12
Border Collie 10-14
Border Terrier 12-15
Borzoi 10-12
Boston Terrier 14
Bouvier des Flandres 10-12
Boxer 8-10
Briard 10-12
Brittany 12-13
Brussels Griffon 12-15
Bull Terrier 11-14
Bullmastiff 8-10
Cairn Terrier 12-14
Canaan Dog 12-13
Cane Corso 11
Cardigan Welsh Corgi 12-14
Carolina Dog 13
Catahoula Leopard Dogs 12
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 9-14
Central Asian Ovtcharkas 12
Cesky Terrier 14
Chesapeake Bay Retriever 10-13
Chihuahua 14-18
Chinese Crested 13-15
Chinese Foo 11
Chinese Shar-Pei 8-10
Chipoo 14
Chow Chow 8-12
Clumber Spaniel 10-12
Cocker Spaniel 12-15
Cockapoo 14-18
Collie 8-12
Coton De Tulears 15
Curly-Coated Retriever 8-12
Dachshund 12-14
Dalmatian 12-14
Dandie Dinmont Terrier 11-13
Doberman Pinscher 10-12
Dogue de Bordeaux 5-7
English Bulldogs 8-12
English Cocker Spaniels 12-14
English Foxhound 10-13
English Setter 10-12
English Shepherd 15
English Springer Spaniel 10-14
English Toy Spaniel 10-12
Estrela Mountain Dogs 11
Field Spaniel 12-14
Fila Brasileiros 10
Finnish Spitz 12-14
Flat-Coated Retriever 10-13
Fox Terrier (Smooth) 10-13
Fox Terrier (Wire) 10-13
French Bulldog 9-11
German Pinscher 12-15
German Shepherd 10-12
German Shorthaired Pointer 12-14
German Wirehaired Pointer 12-14
Giant Schnauzer 10-12
Glen of Imaal Terrier 10-14
Golden Retriever 10-13
Goldendoodle 14
Gordon Setter 10-12
Great Dane 7-10
Great Pyrenees 10-12
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog 10-12
Greyhound 10-13
Harrier 12-14
Havanese 12-14
Hungarian Vizsla 10-14
Ibizan Hound 12-14
Irish Setter 12-14
Irish Terrier 12-15
Irish Water Spaniel 10-13
Irish Wolfhound 5-7
Italian Greyhound 12-15
Jack Russell Terrier 13
Japanese Chin 12-14
Keeshond 12-14
Kerry Blue Terrier 12-15
Komondor 10-12
Kooikerhondje 13
Kuvasz 9-12
Labradoodle 13
Labrador Retriever 10-12
Laekenois 12
Lakeland Terrier 12-16
Lancashire Heeler 14
Lhasa Apso 12-14
Löwchen 13-15
Maltese 12-14
Maltipoo 13
Manchester Terrier 15-16
Maremma Sheepdog 12
Mastiff 9-11
Miniature Bull Terrier 11-14
Miniature Pinscher 12-14
Miniature Poodle 12-14
Miniature Schnauzer 12-14
Neapolitan Mastiff 8-10
Newfoundland 8-10
Norfolk Terrier 13-15
Norwegian Buhunds 11-13
Norwegian Elkhound 10-12
Norwich Terrier 13-15
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever 11-13
Old English Sheepdog 10-12
Otterhound 10-13
Papillon 12-15
Parson Russell Terrier 13-15
Peekapoo 13
Pekingese 12-15
Pembroke Welsh Corgi 11-13
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen 11-14
Pharaoh Hound 11-14
Pit Bull 12-14
Plott 11-13
Pointer 11-15
Polish Lowland Sheepdog 10-14
Pomapoo 13
Pomeranian 12-16
Poodle (Standard) 12-15
Portuguese Water Dog 10-14
Pug 12-15
Puli 10-15
Rat Terrier 16
Redbone Coonhound 11
Rhodesian Ridgeback 10-12
Rottweiler 8-11
Saint Bernard 8-10
Saluki 12-14
Samoyed 10-12
Schipperke 13-15
Schnoodle 13
Scottish Deerhound 7-9
Scottish Terrier 11-13
Sealyham Terrier 11-13
Shetland Sheepdog 12-14
Shiba Inu 12-15
Shih Tzu 11-14
Siberian Husky 11-13
Silky Terrier 11-14
Skye Terrier 12-14
Snorkie 12
Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier 12-14
Spinone Italiano 12-14
Staffordshire Bull Terrier 12-14
Standard Schnauzer 12-14
Sussex Spaniel 11-13
Swedish Vallhund 13
Thai Ridgeback 12
Tibetan Mastiff 11-14
Tibetan Spaniel 14
Tibetan Terrier 12-15
Toy Fox Terrier 13-14
Toy Manchester Terrier 14-16
Toy Poodle 12-14
Treeing Walker Coonhound 12-13
Vizsla 10-14
Weimaraner 10-13
Welsh Springer Spaniel 12-15
Welsh Terrier 12-14
West Highland White Terrier 12-14
Whippet 12-15
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon 12-14
Xoloitzcuintle 13
Yorkie-Poo 14
Yorkshire Terrier 14-16
Source: www.petcarex.com.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Dog Breeds/Traits, Dog Healthcare

What Is Your Dog Thinking?

When a dog sits in front of you, her golden brown eyes focused on your face, and then she tilts her head, while wrinkling her brow every so slightly, you’re likely to interpret the look as a question. When she snuggles into your lap and sighs, it is natural to think that she loves you and is content. Are we simply projecting our own feelings onto our pets or are they sharing and communicating their feelings of joy, perplexity, and love with us?

Every dog lover has experienced that closeness and those intelligent, questioning looks. What does she want? Food? A pet? To play? Is she simply wondering what you’re thinking? After all, you’re wondering what she’s thinking.

When Gregory Berns began questioning what Callie, his adopted two-year-old Feist, was thinking and feeling, he was in the unique position to do more than simply wonder. As director of the Emory Center for Neuropolicy he used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to study brain activity in human subjects. Why not use the same technology to study canine brains?

Of course there were reasons to doubt the possibility of studying dogs with the fMRI technology. The machines are noisy and the subject being scanned must remain perfectly still while the images are being taken. The experiments that he had in mind would require the dog to be unrestrained and fully alert, not sedated.

These obstacles were overcome through training. Using only positive training methods, the dogs learned enter the scanner chamber willingly. They were taught to wear ear protectors and to lie perfectly still with their heads on a chin rest while the scans of their brain activity were being made.

While in the chamber the trainer used hand signals to indicate that the dog would or would not receive a treat, which stimulated brain activity that was recorded as images by the MRI. Brain activity was also stimulated in other ways such as by smells of familiar and unfamiliar people.

The researchers are using these scans to determine which areas of the dogs brain respond to the various stimuli. They hope to learn about the range of emotions that dogs experience and how much language they actually understand.

Though the study continues, Berns has shared some of his fascinating initial findings in his new book, How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain. His findings will come as no surprise to anyone who has loved and been loved by their faithful canine friend.

As for Gregory Berns, he says, “The idea behind the book is essentially my deep-seated desire to know what my dogs are thinking, and whether they love us for something more than food,” He continues, “I think the answer is definitely, yes. They love us for things far beyond food, basically the same things that humans love us for. Things like social comfort and social bonds.”

For more information:





Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Dog Behaviors, Dog Stories

Books for the Dog Lovers in Your Life

Books for Dog LoversWith the gift giving season upon us, are you stumped for ideas?  If there are dog-lovers on your list, why not give them a good dog related book?  (And why not get one for yourself, too?)

We’ve put together a list of dog books with suggestions for kids and for grown-ups, too.  We’ve included some for learning, laugher and inspiration and more than a few that will touch your heart.

There are Amazon.com links for convenience. (We have no promotional relationship; the link is simply for your convenience if you are an Amazon.com shopper.)

Here are some classics, appropriate for children up to third grade:

The Henry and Mudge and Mo Willems books are great for new readers from kindergarten to 2nd grade.

If you’re looking for educational books that teach children how to approach and relate to dogs, here are several good choices:

For the up-and-coming dog trainers in your life, why not invest in some of these dog-trick books? These will provide hours of entertainment for young and old alike:

Got a dog-loving baker on your gift list? These dog cookbooks, along with a dog bone-shaped cookie cutter, will be the perfect gift:

We all have one in the family, that person who has everything and insists you don’t need to get them anything for Christmas. We have a solution. Give them one of these great coffee table dog books:

Sometimes we just want a “good-read”.  Here are a few suggestions:

We hope this gives you some ideas for the dog lovers in your life. If you have other suggestions, please post your list on our Facebook page. (Thanks!)


We wish you and your family all the best this holiday season.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Dog Products, Holidays

Thanksgiving Is Going to the Dogs!

2012 winner, Wire Fox Terrier, “Sky”

Although the Macy’s parade and the ensuing football game shape Thanksgiving Day across the United States, for many dog lovers it’s The National Dog Show that takes center stage.  In its 80th year the Dog Show, which is broadcast right after the parade, features over 3,000 dogs in more than 150 different breeds and has become part of the Thanksgiving Day tradition for breeders and dog enthusiasts nationwide.

For the past two years, the Best in Show has gone to a Scottish Terrier, which is the first time since 1972 for a single breed to take top honors two years in a row. So with over 3,000 nearly perfect specimens in their breed, how could the judges possibly determine the winners? They start with a boilerplate set of criteria for each of the breed categories:

Baseline Judging Criteria

  • Balance: overall appropriate proportions in size
  • Weight
  • Size
  • Eyes: color, size, shape
  • Ears: shape, length, position
  • Head: shape
  • Muzzle: shape, length
  • Whiskers: thickness
  • Teeth: kind of bite (e.g. level or scissors bites)
  • Tail: how it arches and sets (e.g. how high or low)
  • Shoulders: bone, muscle
  • Legs: muscles, stance, proportionality
  • Coat: texture, length
  • Color: accepted breed colors

As you can imagine, once a dog reaches the National Dog Show level, they already are in the top of their breed. So this is where the hair splitting begins. Judges closely inspect everything from the dog’s bones and muscles to his gait and attitude. The winners are the dogs that most closely match their breed’s criteria (as determined by the American Kennel Club and organizations that specialize in particular breeds).

New Breeds for 2013

Treeing Walker Coonhound

The National Dog Show gives everyone a chance to see the newest breeds joining the field of more than 175 American Kennel Club-sanctioned breeds. 2012 saw the introduction of two new breeds, the Russell Terrier, who looks a lot like the Parson Russell Terrier, and the Treeing Walker Coonhound, which is descended of the English and American Foxhounds. This year three new breeds are making their debut: the Chinook, bred as a sled dog in New Hampshire and named the New Hampshire State Dog in 2009;  the Rat Terrier, another American breed prized as both a companion and a hunter of vermin and small game; and the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, described as a small, primitive breed that hunts by sight, scent, and hearing.

Russell Terrier

Actor and television host, John Hurley, brings his unique, wry sense of humor to the National Dog Show. He not only narrates what is happening, but he makes viewers chuckle with his behind-the-scenes look at the show.

Get all the details of this exciting day at the Kennel Club of Philadelphia website. http://nds.nationaldogshow.com/kcp.php




Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Dog Training, Holidays

Pumpkin Biscuits for Halloween!

On Halloween, many dogs will be trick-or-treating along with their people. Remember to keep your dog away from the candy – especially the chocolate, which can be toxic to dogs (See our previous post about Halloween safety.)  But no need to leave canine friends out of the fun. Here is a simple recipe for Peanut Butter Pumpkins that you can share with your favorite trick-or-treating dogs.
Peanut Butter Pumpkins
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup peanut butter
(Can substitute with almond butter)
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup water

Directions: Preheat oven tp 325 degrees. Combine oat flour, rolled oats, and baking powder in a  large mixing bowl. Add the peanut butter and water. Mix the ingredients together untils dough forms. Roll the dough into 1/4″ thickness. Cut into Halloween shapes. (pumpkins, witches, bats, ghosts, etc.)  Bake for 40 minutes.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Halloween, Holidays

A Graying Muzzle: Caring for Your Senior Dog

One day you’ll notice some gray hairs on your dog’s muzzle or around his eyes. About the same time you might see that he isn’t as quick to fetch a stick or to dash out after that squirrel crossing the yard. Just like you, he’s aging.

It’s always a good time  to learn how to care for your senior dog. Aging dogs aren’t very different from aging people. They begin to get gray hair; some won’t see or hear as well as they once did; others might develop arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease. And just like you, your senior dog needs a proper diet, exercise, and regular medical care to age gracefully.

But when does a dog become a senior? It probably doesn’t seem long ago that he was a feisty puppy whose sturdy little legs were so short that the grass in your yard tickled his belly. Dogs age faster than humans, and large dogs faster than small ones. Your dog’s size generally determines when he is considered a senior. The ASPCA recommends that you begin feeding your dog a senior formulated dog food based on his size by the following schedule:

  • Small breeds (dogs weighing less than 20 pounds)—7 years of age
  • Medium breeds (dogs weighing 21 to 50 pounds)—7 years of age
  • Large breeds (dogs weighing 51 to 90 pounds)—6 years of age
  • Giant breeds (dogs weighing 91 pounds or more)—5 years of age

It is important to feed him a good quality dog food that, though lower in calories, doesn’t reduce the amount of protein. Your vet can recommend a food that is right for your dog.

Though your pooch might not be as energetic as he once was it’s important that he get regular exercise. Exercise will help him maintain his weight and slow the effects of aging. Even as he slows down, continue daily walks and games such as fetch or tug-of-war, though as time passes the intensity of the exercise should be moderated. Interaction with other dogs at dog parks or arranged play dates will also encourage him to keep moving.

Dental care is important for all dogs, but increases in importance as your pet ages. Brushing his teeth regularly and having them professionally cleaned at least once a year  or whenever your vet advises can help to prevent periodontal disease, which contributes to many serious health problems, even heart disease.

Consider changing your dog’s annual visits to the veterinarian to semi-annual. Also watch for changes in his coat or habits such as eating, drinking, urinating, and responding to the environment. See your vet promptly when you notice rapid changes as they could be signs of illness.

Provide physical accommodations as your dog needs them—a soft bed for an arthritic dog, and a ramp or stairs to help him into the car. Rugs can help him to navigate on a slippery floor.

Most importantly, enjoy your dog and the bond that you have formed with him over the years. Make him as much a part of your life as you are able. Continue to take him with you as you did when he was younger. Both his mind and his body will benefit from interaction within family and others, and you will continue to benefit from the companionship and love of your faithful friend.




Tagged with: ,
Posted in Challenges, Dog Behaviors, Dog Healthcare

8 Ways to Celebrate National Dog Week

Sunday, September 22 is the first day of the 85th annual National Dog Week. This weeklong celebration was founded in 1928 by William Lewis Judy, affectionally known as Captain Will Judy. A decorated World War I veteran, Judy loved dogs. He founded a publishing house in 1921 and bought Dog World magazine in 1923, which he published for more than 35 years. He also helped to establish the Dog Writers’ Association of America.

National Dog Week was founded to honor our canine friends for their service as well as their loyalty and companionship. In the introduction to his classic book The Dog Encyclopedia: A Complete Reference Work On Dogs, Judy wrote: “Who invests in a puppy receives in return for his investment ten years of companionship, sport, and devotion that he can not purchase elsewhere at any price.”

In keeping with the theme for this year’s celebration, Kids and K-9s: Celebrating the Bond between Youth and Dogs, here are eight ways to celebrate the special bond that exists between kids and dogs.

  1. Teach a child how to take a great photo of their dog. If you’d like some help, there are many sites on the internet that offer tips on how to take great pet pictures, such as Digital Photography School and Make the Photo. With your help, your child will create images that he or she will treasure for a lifetime.
  2. Help a child create a Facebook page to record the adventures of the family dog—a good way to share the photos created with their newly developed photography skill and a fun way to connect with others who love their pets.
  3. Encourage your child to raise money for a local shelter or dog rescue organization. Instead of the traditional lemonade stand, take advantage of the cool fall weather to help them set up a hot apple cider and pumpkin cookie stand, or hold a yard sale. Be sure to make signs to let patrons know that the funds are going to a good cause.
  4. Bake some healthy pet treats with your children. There are many recipes on the web to choose from, and we have included an easy recipe for Pumpkin Dog Treats at the end of this article.
  5. Take your children with you to donate dog food to the local food pantry. Families who lack sufficient food for themselves often struggle to feed their pets as well.
  6. Volunteer with your child to spend time with or walk dogs at a local shelter. It’s never too soon to teach your children that volunteering can be fun.
  7. Take your children and the family dog on a special outing—a picnic and hike or a visit to a dog park. Take along some of those homemade dog treats for your four-legged friend.
  8. Arrange a “kids and dogs” play date with another family. Be sure to include treats and toys for all.

Helping with the care of a family pet can be a gentle way to teach children to take responsibility for the needs of those they love and for others. Join all of us at DogWatch® in celebrating National Dog Week, from September 22 through September 28 with our children and their gentle four-legged teachers.

Pumpkin Dog Treats

1/2 c. canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
4 tbsp molasses
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Blend all of the wet ingredients (pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil, water) together.
Add the dry ingredients (wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon) and stir until a soft dough forms.
Grab the dough by teaspoonfuls and roll it into balls with your hands (hint: wet hands work best). Drop the balls onto a cookie sheet/pizza pan and flatten them with a fork.
Bake until hard (approximately 25 min.). If you want them a bit crispier, you can just turn off your oven and let them cool in there overnight.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Dog Treats, Holidays, Uncategorized