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The issue most people have with running is a simple one: it can get boring pretty quick. With nothing to concentrate on for what can turn out to be a lengthy period of time, many will turn to physical activities that are more engaging. Training your dog to run with you is one way of making runs more bearable: seeing your canine friend struggle by your side while still enjoying the race is sure to provide more amusement than checking your phone mid-race. Unfortunately, dogs can be lazy, disobedient or simply too energetic to control. Therefore, training one to run with you takes a lot more effort than putting it on a leash and hoping for the best.
Why dogs can make great running companions
Like with humans, running is in every dog’s nature – most dogs will love running alongside their owners if the latter are patient enough to train them for it.
Furthermore, many modern-day dogs face risks due to reduced activity (with obesity being a prominent one) – running with your dog is a great way to keep it in shape and ward off illnesses.
But how do you do it? Well, a reward system should work well enough – bring your dog’s favorite snacks to the track and reward it when appropriate. The goal is to have your dog trail you constantly – while letting your dog run past you can be fun, it will ultimately rob the animal of its focus and cause it to run off on its own all the time. But, be aware that your dog may need to stop at certain points during the run to relive himself on the nearest tall tree.
Other than verbal commands, positioning and repositioning your dog in the correct position also helps explain what it should do. Eventually, your instructions will be minimal and the dog will follow you on its own – indeed, running with your dog with no leash and without the dog ever straying off course should be your ultimate goal.
What to keep in mind when training
Before even starting to train your dog for running, the first thing you should keep in mind is its body type and overall conditioning. Some dogs are able to run much faster and for much greater distances than others – if your dog is a bit slower, trying to force it to run too fast or too long will end up creating a bad experience for the both of you.
Aside from the dog’s breed, you should also take note of the individual state of its body: this includes weight, conditioning, muscular development and any history of illnesses that the dog could have. The last part is especially important: there are multiple illnesses that can render a dog unfit for running.
Lastly, don’t forget that different dogs have different personalities. While some dogs might love the idea of running with their owners and will gladly follow every instruction, others will have a harder time adjusting to the commands and might require extra work. If your dog falls in the latter category, you must take its personality into account when doing the training – beating or scaring your dog into obedience will lessen your results and ultimately take the fun out of the activity.
Dogs are great for kids because they are loyal companions that give love 100% of the time. Most children are naturally drawn to dogs, and many dog breeds are well suited for living with small children. When buying a dog for a young child, consider the dog’s temperament, patience and its size to determine if it is a good fit for your family. The following breeds are well known for their good personalities and their exceptional capacity to love humans, especially children.
Beagles are sweet dogs that have long been used for small-game hunting purposes. Despite this, they have an average energy level and they are small enough to adapt to living in any type of residence. Beagles are often adopted by families with children because they are inquisitive and loving. They are easy to get along with and enjoy the companionship of people.
Retrievers – Golden or Labrador
Both members of the sporting group, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are both popular dogs within the AKC. They are both medium-sized dogs, but they both have high energy levels that require lots of attention and exercise. These qualities are perfect for families with growing children. Golden Retrievers are known for high intelligence, capable of training in almost any area, while Labrador Retrievers are one of the friendliest breeds.
The Newfoundland breed is one of the largest dog breeds, but don’t let its size fool you. It has giant-sized patience also. This dog is famous for its gentle nature and its devotion to his family. The Newfoundland has enough energy to play in the yard with little ones, but he is not an overly energetic dog, either.
This fairly new breed is gaining in popularity every year thanks to its friendliness and strong tendencies toward obedient behavior. The Weimaraner responds well to training and has a brave yet non-aggressive personality. These qualities make the Weimaraner an excellent breed for families with small children.
Boxers may look scary, but they are one of the sweetest dog breeds you’ll find. They are playful and sometimes downright silly. Boxers are on the large side of what the American Kennel Club considers ‘medium.’ They have a thick, strong build, and they are very active. They are very affectionate dogs and love people.
Bulldogs are recognizable and popular dogs. They are adorable medium-sized dogs that have a friendly, approachable demeanor. The Bulldog’s personality is very calm, preferring to lie around all day than to be frisky and mischievous.
Bull Terriers are high energy dogs, but they are very easy to care for, with short glossy coats and hardly any health concerns. They are extremely playful – and at times mischievous – but they are always loyal and eager to please.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Although this breed isn’t as well-known as others, it is growing in popularity because it is suitable for almost any family and home setting. This Terrier has a consistently pleasant personality, and it develops deep bonds for its family. They are also a very healthy breed.
Just imagine, you are entering a horse show with your horse. Everybody is looking at both of you and forming their first impressions. It is quite obvious that you would want to leave a good impact on the audience; make sure that their first impression is the best impression. Here are some tips you can follow to make sure that you and your horse leave a positive impact on your audience.
- Clean your horse regularly. Invest in some good quality brushes and make sure to keep those brushes clean. If your brush is dirty, you cannot achieve a thorough result on your horse. Even after hours of brushing with a dirty brush, your horse will remain dirty. Make sure to have one brush for each horse, to avoid infections. While brushing the hair, make sure to brush it towards the direction of the hair growth.
- Select your brushes according to the season in the area you are living. Winter brushes are stiff and help in removing excess skin and dandruff. Dandruff is high during winter times and it is necessary to keep your horse clean of dandruff. For summer, use a soft and small brush or the face and a soft large one for the body.
- Always pick out your horse’s feet with a hoof pick.
- Be extra cautious around areas where the horses feel ticklish while brushing.
- To stimulate hair growth in your horse, massage the tail root of your horse with a body brush.
- Wash your horse regularly with a washing sponge, as it absorbs more water.
- Use the specified shampoo for your horse while washing it.
- It is easy to spray the shampoo off your horse with water rather than using the washing sponge to clean it.
- Make sure to wash every part of your horse’s body, especially under the tail and the hind legs.
- If you wish to body clip your horse for a show, make sure that your dog is used to it from before. This can be done by body clipping your horse regularly two weeks prior to the show.
- If you are using oil on your horse for that extra glow, make sure to use the right amount and not make it look too greasy.
- Make sure your horse exercises regularly. A small gap in the exercise can put your horse out of shape and it will take a long time to get them back in shape.
- Follow a proper diet for your horse and go for health check-ups regularly.
- Build a relationship with your horse. This relationship will lead to a better understanding between you two. A good relationship between the owner and horse can win shows.
Dogs need to be handled with utmost care and love. This is with both the dog’s and the owner’s health in mind. Some tips for taking care of your dog are listed below.
- Clean environment- Be especially particular about providing a protected and clean living environment for your dog from the very beginning till the very end. Ensure that the dogs are sheltered from hazardous elements; ensure a good quality of life for the dogs.
- Water- Make sure that water is always available for your dog and also make sure that this water is fresh and clean. Pet dogs are highly sensitive to water-borne diseases.
- Visit a vet regularly- Go for regular check-ups to vet to check if there are any vaccinations or medicines that need to be given to your pet. If you have a particular vet that treats your dog regularly, he/she will give you a schedule of vaccinations, deworming, and external parasite control. Stay in touch with your vet about your dog’s health and be sure to have a record of all the vaccinations and medications given to your dog.
- Diet- Obesity in dogs is serious problem which can result in body damage and sometimes even death. If your dog is overweight, his legs will get weak as they will not be able to take the weight and this weakness might result in fracturing of the legs. Follow the dietary requirements given by vet for your dog and stick to it. As rewards, provide healthy snacks over scraps or unhealthy snacks.
- Exercise- Always take your dog for a walk, at least twice a day. Dogs need regular exercise to stay healthy, active and fit. A dog in good shape is synonymous to a good with good mental health.
- Build communication- Communicate with your dog as if it is your friend. Shower your dog with love and always be affectionate to it. Dogs build a very deep attachment with their owners very quickly, and it is necessary for the owners to reciprocate this. Spending quality time with your dog will also let you understand its needs and requirement better. This will allow you to understand early signs of sickness in your dog and you can prevent it.
- Train your dog- If not complicated orders, train your dog to follow simple commands such as sit, stand, handshake, etc. Dogs are social animals and more people will be comfortable with your dog if the dog is used to these commands. Puppy and dog training classes are helpful for this.
- Grooming- Make sure to take your dog for grooming and dental appointments regularly. Long furred dogs or dogs with long nails will be prone to hair-lies and scratching if the grooming is not done regularly.
Cats are great companions. These great companions need utmost care and love. Some tips you should know before getting a cat are listed below.
- Before you adopt a cat, make sure you have enough time to take care of it. Cat might be independent in nature, but they are dependent in certain critical areas. You will have to make time for a feline, if you plan on getting a cat.
- Look for cat-sitter or a buddy just in case you need someone’s help to take care of your cat when you are working long hours or have some things to attend to.
- Test yourself for feline allergies before getting a cat. Realizing that you have feline allergies after getting the cat can be bad for your cat’s mental health, as they form attachments to the owner very soon.
- Before you get your cat home, take him/her to a vet and get a schedule for all the vaccinations and medications required for your cat. Consult your vet about the diet for your cat and make sure you stick to the diet. Make sure your cat is neutered as soon as its age permits. This will make sure that your cat is healthy and happy instead of miserable and frustrated.
- Get a good quality litter box and good quality cat litter. Look for enclosed litter boxes to give your cat more privacy, which will make him feel more comfortable. In an enclosed litter box, it is also easier for clumping litter. Make sure to clean the box regularly and maintain it neatly. Negligence of this can lead to your cat catching diseases and fungal growth which in turn will lead to you getting an infection too.
- Get toys for your cats. Cats are playful and can entertain themselves if you give them toys and a play area. Buy toys such as toy mice, string, feathers, soft toys or even empty boxes make great play areas for your cat.
- Buy a scratching post for your cat to help with his teething and nails growing. This also makes sure that your expensive bags and sofas are safe.
- Use catnip for training.
- Invest in pet insurance for your cat. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
- Make sure to start grooming early if you are getting a kitten home. If the kitten are used to the grooming routine, bathing, brushing, and trimming claws will be events to look forward to.
- Build a cat door for your house to make sure that your cat is safe and stays indoors. When you are taking your cat out, use a cat carrier.
- Make sure all your windows are screened and the dryer and waher in your house are always closed.
Pets make wonderful companions and are known to provide many physical and mental health benefits. A pet is considered as one of the best companions one could ever get. A better understanding of the bond between humans and pets will help in a better understanding of us human beings. This article gives you an insight into this by elucidating the different positive and negative effects of having pets.
Pet animals or companion animals are known for lowering blood pressure and regulating the heart rate in stressful situations. Some dogs are also trained in identifying seizures and acting accordingly. There has been several researches done to clearly mark the difference in pet owners and non-pet owners. It has been observed that pet owners are less stressed when compared to non-pet owners as pets keep the blood pressure under control. Some researches shave shown that the simple act of petting a dog or cat can reduce stress levels in several people.
Companionship with pets also helps with anxiety, especially with children. A recent study has found that a child’s blood pressure, heart rates and behavioral distress are especially low when around a pet. However, there are still researches going on regarding the exact relationship between a child and pet and the meaning of the strong bond they share.
Pet ownership also acts as an important source of emotional support for the elderly. It has been found that older people are found to be more physically active if they own a pet and vice versa. Dogs also assist the elderly in daily physical activities such climbing the stairs, bending the knee, daily exercise, etc.
One of the most obvious mental health benefits of pets is love and companionship. Pets make you feel emotionally attached to them as they are to you and tend to understand how you feel through your actions, tone, etc. One can feel more secure with their pet next to them, hence helping with anxiety levels. This secure attachment helps the brain in reducing stress response which affects your breathing rate, blood pressure and anxiety level. Spending time with pets also has been observed to stimulate the release of oxytocin in the human body, which gives a “feel good” factor to the body.
Having pets can also pose as health hazards. There are always times when your pet wants to run around and jump around your feet, which might knock you over your feet. There also cleanliness and sanitary issues with having pets. The pets should be maintained with utmost care and cleanse. If this I avoided, the close contact with pets can lead to some very harmful diseases. People with weak immune systems are highly prone to this and usually have allergies to animals.
Pet-therapy or animal assisted therapy is a form of therapy that involves the use of animals for treatment. It is a guided interaction between a trained animal and human. The goal of pet therapy is to improve the patient’s emotional, social and cognitive functioning. In the recent times, it is one of the most popular ways to help someone cope with mental disorder or health problem. Generally, pet therapy is done using cats or dogs. However, other animals such as fish, guinea pigs, horses, etc. that meet a certain criteria are also used. But, at the end of the day, it depends on the patient’s treatment plan on what kind of animal he/she will choose.
Animal Assisted therapy has a formal plan of sessions and a goal for each session that the patient and the pet will have to meet through a guided interaction. Sometimes, pets are also used for increasing the trust of a patient in a therapist as a therapist who enters with a pet is seen as less threatening, and is better at understanding.
Pet therapy can benefit a wide-range of mental problems such as children going through dental procedures, people undergoing cancer treatment, people in long-term care facilities (prison, mental health institutions), people hospitalized with chronic heart failure, people with post-traumatic disorder, people undergoing high levels of stress and anxiety, people undergoing depression, people with temperament issues, children with mental retardation, children with ADHD, autistic children, dementia, etc.
Different animals have different issues that they can help the patient deal with. For example, in a recent study it has been found that activities like grooming a horse and taking it around the pen have shown to reduce PTSD symptoms in children and early adolescents. Dogs are one of the most commonly used animals for pet-therapies as they are considered a man’s best friend. Dogs help with the treatment of children showing the symptoms of Down Syndrome or mental retardation. Children suffering with these are found to be slow learners due to slow processing in the brain as well as anxiety issues. Dogs have found to reduce these anxiety levels and make the children more comfortable in that particular environment. Once, when a group of highly stressed individuals were given kittens to pet, it has been observed that the stress levels have gone down of at least 50% and most of the people who entered the room with a dull face were smiling by the end of the petting session. However, when the same was tried on toys, it didn’t work and a consensus has been drawn that petting living things, hard-shelled or fluffy helps in relief from anxiety and stress at a great amount.
- Golden retriever- This breed can be yellow, chocolate or black in color and is known for being easy-going, friendly, multi-talented and energetic. The most distinguishing characteristics of this breed are the clean-cut head, thick fur-like coat and an otter tail.
- German Shepherd- Standing on the second position, the German shepherd is an alert, loyal, obedient, curious, confident, intelligent, watchful and a courageous dog. However, the first impression that one get of a German Shepherd is strong, agile and strong animals which is an incomplete description of the graceful animal.
- Labrador retriever – One of the evergreen popular breed of dog, the golden retrievers are known to be friendly, intelligent, kind, reliable, trust-worthy, and confident. Golden retrievers are the most popular dogs that are used for therapy purposes.
- French bull dog- This is one of the most popular small-dogs breeds. The French bull dog is alert, adaptable, playful,, affectionate, keen, sociable, easy going, patient, athletic and smart. They are available in white, brindle, fawn, tan colours. The French Bulldog is known for its bat ears.
- Bulldog- A medium sized dog, the bulldog is gregarious, docile, willfull and friendly. It has a muscular and hefty body with a wrinkled face and a pushed-in flat nose. The colors this breed of dog is available in are- white, fawn, brindle and white, red and white, fawn and white, red brindle and red.
- Beagle- Another small to medium sized hound, the beagle has gained immense popularity in the last few decades. Beagles are amiable, excitable, determined, gentle, intelligent and even tempered. The breed is available in lemon and white, tri colour, chocolate tri, white and chocolate, red and white, orange and white, white and tan.
- Poodle- Once highly popular, the poodles lost their popularity in the recent times. Poodles re alert, intelligent, faithful, instinctual, active and trainable. They were known for their thick fur and how that fur could be designed in different ways. The breed is available in black apricot, white, cream, black and white, blue, silver, sable, brown, red, grey.
- Rottweilers- This medium to large dog is renowned for being loyal, confident, protective, smart, alert, devoted, obedient, steady, fearless, calm, and courageous. They are descendants of the Roman drover dogs and are popular for police use due to their strong abilities. The breed is available in black, blue, tan, mahogany.
- Yorkshire Terrier- This small bree of dog is known for its thick fur and extremely adorable looks. The temperament of the dog is bold, independent, confident, intelligent and courageous. The Yorkshire Terrier is available in black and tan, blue and tan, black and gold and blue and gold.
- Siamese- Originated in Thailand, this cat breed is popular since the 19th Siamese cats are known for having distinct markings called ‘points’ which are the coloured areas on their ace or body. The Siamese cat is an ancestor of many other cat breeds such as oriental shorthair, sphinx and Himalayan.
- Persian-Also called as the “smushed-face” cats, the Persians cats are known for their beautiful, long, fur coats. They can come in any colour and have a comparatively flat face. However, these beautiful creatures are considered high-maintenance due to their long fur and regular grooming that is required to maintain it.
- Maine Coon- Also known for their thick furs and large stature, the Maine Coon is considered as a gentle giant. Maine Coons are great at hunting and remain as one of the most popular cat breeds since the 1970s. Another interesting feature about them is that, Maine Coons have extra toes, which make their already large feet look larger.
- Ragdoll- Ragdolls have a docile temperament and get their names from it. They have distinctive blue eyes and are known for having a few dog-like personalities such as following their owner around the house or the need to stay with the owner.
- Bengal- These cats have wild markings which make one believe that they might belong in the jungle more than at home as pets. These cats are energetic and require a lot of exercise. It is believed that the Bengal cats are originally bred from domestic cats and wild cats, which is the reason for their wild markings, which the Bengal cats inherit from the wild cats.
- Abyssinian- Originating from Ethiopia, these cats are known for their distinctive red/orange agouti coat. The coat has individual bands of light on each hair, giving the Abyssinians cats their unique look.
- Birmans- These cats are similar to the Siamese and Ragdoll in terms of color-pointing. They have bright blue eyes and a medium long coat with no undercoat. The Birmans were used for breeding to develop the Ragdolls.
- Oriental Shorthair- These might be confused with Siamese cats, but one has to remember that these cats have distinctive green eyes and come in different colours and patterns. These cats however are highly prone to skin cancer and utmost care should be taken when domesticated.
- Sphynx- The unique feature about this cat is that it has no fur or hair. These cats are every social, active and have dog-like felines.
- Devon Rex- These cats have short and wavy hair coat with thin, slender bodies. They have large ears. These cats are playful, active and is often called as a “monkey in a cat suit”.
- The shrimp’s heart is located in its head.
- Cows have friends and share a deep attachment with them. Once separated, both the cows undergo a great amount of stress.
- A snail can sleep in its own shell for three years.
- Pandas do not have a particular sleeping spot, they sleep wherever they happen to be at.
- Sheep can self-medicate when they are sick. They can identify the specific plants that will cure the illness and eat that plant.
- Once the finger print of a koala has been confused with the finger print of a human due to their great similarity.
- Slugs have four noses.
- Elephants are the only animals that cannot leap or jump.
- Tiger’s legs can remain standing even when they are dead, due to their great strength.
- Penguins use stones as a gesture of love. A male penguin gives a female penguin a pebble and if she accepts it, they become partners.
- Some penguins carry their eggs on their feet, instead of building a nest.
- A healthy domestic cat is faster than Usain Bolt.
- You can say if a dog is happy or not by seeing the direction to which the dog wags his tail. If it is to the right, the dog is happy and if it is to the left, it means that the dog is sad.
- Rabbits can detect predators from all directions suing their 360’ paranomic vision.
- The horn of a rhinoceros is made of hair.
- One can hypnotize a dog by placing the frog on its back and gently stroking its stomach.
- Sloths take two weeks to digest their food.
- Penguin urine makes up for nearly three per cent of ice in the Atlantic Glaciers.
- Newborn fox cubs cannot see, hear or walk. The mother should stay with the cub at all times, while the father gets the food to them.
- Female lion and sisters live together for their lifetime. Their female cubs also stay together with pride. However, male lions do not stick with their family and usually venture out on their own once they become old enough.
- Pigs hearts have been used for human heart transplants.
- Zebras communicate with each other through gestures. For example, if ears of a zebra are flat back, they zebra is annoyed, uncomfortable or angry.
- Bats always turn left when they are leaving a cave.
- Giraffes have no vocal cords.
- An ostritch’s brain is smaller than its eye.
- Due to falling out of trees regularly, more than fifty per cent of orangutans have fractured bones.
- Frogs cannot vomit. If a frog absolutely has to vomit, then the frog vomits out its whole stomach.