The Most Popular Dog Names of 2015

Popular Dog Names

Clockwise from top left: Charlie the Labradoodle from Weston, MA; Max the Schnauzer from Gallatin Gateway, MT; Buddy the mixed breed from Jacksonville, FL; DogWatch HQ office dogs Molly the Poodle mix and Lucy the Bichon Frise; and Maggie the Great Dane from Atlanta, GA

How did your dog get his or her name? Did you name her after someone – say, a character from your favorite book or movie? Or did you choose a Presidential name to fit his personality? Perhaps you picked something funny, or more traditional, or even something wild and crazy? Whatever you choose, the act of naming your pup is a big decision – and often a fun one, too!

On National Dog Day (August 26th), social network site Nextdoor announced the results of a survey of dog owners to see what names they picked. The top 10 most popular dog names in the U.S. this year are:

1. Bella

2. Lucy

3. Max

4. Daisy

5. Bailey

6. Buddy

7. Molly

8. Charlie

9. Maggie

10. Sadie

Reading this list, we recognized a lot of familiar names of DogWatch dogs from across the country. In fact, two of our DogWatch Office dogs share the #2 most popular name, Lucy!

Nextdoor also listed the most popular names by breed. Here’s how they stacked up.

Beagle: Daisy

Boxer: Rocky

Mixed Breed and Dachshund: Lucy

Labrador and Golden Retriever: Bailey

Chihuahua: Coco

Shih Tzu: Gizmo

German Shepherd: Max

Yorkshire Terrier: Sophie

So did your dog’s name make the list? If so, what drew you to that name? Did you name him or her after a particular person or character (i.e. Bella from Twilight or Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)?

If your dog’s name didn’t make the list, congrats on your independence from the pack! What name did you choose, and how did you come up with it?

We’d love to hear from you! Share your reactions to the list and your dog name stories in the comments below or on our Facebook page. We may include your story in a future blog post!

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Posted in New & Noteworthy

Today Is National Dog Day. What Is It and What’s the Deal With All The Dog Days?

Today is National Dog Day! When you visit your favorite social media site today, you’ll see lots of photos, videos, tributes, shareable stories and lots of #NationalDogDay hashtags. We love to join in on these fun events on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. − after all, we’re all about dogs at DogWatch! But with more and more of these national “days” popping up throughout the year, we wondered, “Where do all these “days” come from? Who creates them and why?”

To answer some of these questions, we looked into the origins of some of the most popular pet-related holidays.

National Dog Day LogoNational Dog Day (August 26th)
National Mutt Day (July 31st and December 2nd)
National Black Dog Day (October 1st)
National Specially-Abled Pets Day (May 3rd)
National Dress Up Your Pet Day (January 14th)
and more…

Today’s National Dog Day is one of many “dog days” created by “Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert” Colleen Paige. On her website, Paige calls her many successful, social-media-driven dog days a “lifesaving mission” that have “helped to save millions of unwanted pets in the last ten years.”

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Posted in Dog Stories

Banish Your Dog’s Back to School Blues

sad lucyIt’s that time of year most kids dread − Back to School. The end of summer means less time to play outside with friends, and more time devoted to classes and homework. That’s enough to put most kids in a bit a funk, but did you know the family dog might also share their pain?

That’s right, dogs can suffer from the Back to School blues, too. This week, Dog Tails gives families tips to help their dog manage the transition from summer vacation to a new school year.  By following this prescribed “homework,” you can help banish these blues soon and restore your dog to a happy state.

Dogs are sensitive to changes in their daily routine. Back to school represents a particular challenge. Days once filled with outdoor play, activities and attention are now mostly solitary and a lot less exciting.  To ease the transition, experts suggest slowly adjusting the dog’s schedule to the new routine.

This gradual transition can help avoid the dreaded curse of back to school season: separation anxiety. These feelings often cause dogs to act out in destructive ways, including excessive barking and chewing or eating things they shouldn’t. To help avoid or manage this behavior challenge, we’ve come up with the following plan.

Before School Starts

  • Shift playtime and walks to morning and evening hours, and away from school hours. Afterwards, give your dog a big meal and encourage her to rest. This pattern will mimic her new school day routine.
  • If your dog is used to having company all day, you’ll need to get her to used to being alone. Start by leaving her alone in the house for brief periods of time. When you or other family members leave and return, keep calm and quiet. Encouraging excited behavior (or even loudly scolding such behavior) only serves to increase the dog’s energy and in turn exacerbate the problem. Instead, wait until the dog calms down first before acknowledging her.
  • If your dog has exhibited separation anxiety and destructive behavior in previous “back to school” seasons, look into doggie daycares in your area. Most doggie daycares will allow you to schedule a “trial run” for an hour or a half day to see how your pup adjusts to the environment. If she enjoys it, doggie daycare could be a great option for your dog once summer ends. Even 1-2 days a week can provide her with some much needed exercise, stimulation and socialization.

After School Starts

  • Put your new routine into practice, and give your dog plenty of exercise in the morning, followed by a large meal. A tired dog is less likely to act out, and more likely to rest peacefully until you return home.
  • Provide your dog with engaging toys to play with while you’re gone. Think about hiding biscuits or peanut butter in a KONG rubber toy, which will provide distraction and entertainment for the dog, in addition to a yummy treat. Puzzle toys are also a great option for mental and physical stimulation.
  • Work hard to maintain that calm demeanor around the dog when leaving and coming home. Avoid extended goodbyes and hellos, especially if the dog is excited. Although it may be difficult to resist her adorable smiles and kisses, remember you have all evening and next morning to enjoy some cuddling, playing and petting.
  • Hiring a dog walker can also be a big help, especially for families with busy schedules. If your dog will be home for most of the day, a midday exercise break may be just the thing she needs to prevent her from engaging in destructive behavior. Plus, it will help avoid any “accidents” on those days when you are coming home late.

In conclusion, as professional dog trainer John Spieser says: “Dogs are creatures of habit and don’t take interruptions lightly. The favor we can do for them is to smooth out the speed bumps and do what it takes to turn a potentially confusing situation into a seamless evolution.” We hope our “homework” will help you do just that. And to all the students out there, good luck this year!

Photo Credit: “Sad Lucy” by Tim Dawson is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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Posted in Dog Behaviors

Doggie Diarrhea (Eww!): What You Need to Know

Last week, we tackled the mystifying question of why dogs love to roll around in smelly stuff. Today, we’re talking about another malodorous subject – diarrhea in dogs. Sure, it’s DEFINITELY not the most pleasant subject to read about – our apologies in advance. It is, however, important to be aware of any changes in your dog’s “business” and recognize the warning signs that can signal a serious medical issue. So we’ll keep it short and sweet (well, as sweet as we can). Here’s what you need to know about your dog’s diarrhea.

Potential Causes

Trash DogsDiarrhea in dogs can stem from a variety of different causes, from simple indigestion to serious illnesses. Here’s a quick list of some of the potential causes:

  • Changes in your dog’s diet
  • Eating non-food items, e.g., animal feces, garbage, dog toys, plants
  • Parasites, including giardia, coccidia, ringworms, whipworms, tapeworms, etc.
  • Stress
  • Allergies
  • Viruses, including parvovirus
  • Other systemic illnesses

The Different Types

Here’s where it gets icky. We all know what diarrhea looks like – loose, runny stools. But by checking the “color, consistency, smell and frequency” of your dog’s diarrhea, you and your veterinarian can help narrow down its cause.

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Posted in Dog Healthcare