Indestructible Toys, lol

Simba
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German Shorthair Pointer or Velociraptor

Luna is settling in quite well. It’s been three weeks since she joined us. I had forgotten how relentless they are in the puppy stage. All Luna wants to do is play and wrestle. Poor Gypsy get the brunt of it. Simba is now 14 years old. The old girl has slowed down quite a bit in the last year or so. Luna somehow knows this and does not bother Simba with her rough-housing. However, it’s Simba that she tends to want to cuddle next to for a nap. Gypsy, who is 6 years old now, has also slowed down not due to age but weight gain and laziness. Simba has always been a grazer and never has been all that interested in food. She is more interested in treats than eating her food. Gypsy on the other hand, eats everything in sight. She devours her food and then will happily volunteer to eat Simba’s food too. With Simba not playing as much due to aging, Gypsy has been putting on weight, even though I have been keeping Simba’s food away from her. The vet has her on prescription food and now Luna is making her move more. Although, most of the interaction with Luna is while she’s laying, I’m hoping she will begin to run around with her more as she drops the weight and gets her cardio back. When Luna plays with Gypsy, she makes all these strange noises which make her sound like a wild animal. After looking at the pictures of them playing, I realized she could definitely stand in for a velociraptor between the sounds that come out of her, the intensity in her play, and the look on herd face.

 

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Simba Gets Another Little Sister

I would like to introduce the new addition to our family, Luna. Mum tells me she’s my little sister. She kind of looks like me, except she’s only one year old. We rescued her from the Mid-Atlantic GSP Rescue organization. Luna the GSPThey called her Anne and found her as a stray. They didn’t know her actual birthday, so we decided that we will be celebrating her Gotcha Day on August 4th of every year. We all fell in love with her right-away. Luna is a good girl, so far. She uses the doggie door and hasn’t had any accidents since she arrived. She also hasn’t destroyed anything yet, for a GSP that’s pretty good. She understands that I’m a senior (could probably kick her butt) so she loves to cuddle and lay with me but doesn’t nag me to wrestle or play tug-a-war. Gypsy is now getting payback from when she used to relentlessly nag me to play with her. Yup, Luna is like the energizer bunny, more like the energizer jumping spider with teeth. Gypsy has been hiding in mum’s bedroom to avoid her. Mum keeps saying, “I thought puppies are supposed to take naps!” I am just relaxing on my cot watching all this craziness going on. Toady we are all going out to buy the items that Luna needs.  Welcome home Luna!

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Dogs Living High on the Hog with These Budget-Friendly Tips

Pets bring us joy and companionship on a daily basis. They help us to worry less about the trivial things in life, they are quick to forgive, and they always have our backs. In short, they’re like royalty, and they should be treated as such, right?

The thing is, so many luxury pet items on the market these days come with an obscene price tag. Treating your pet like royalty can quickly drain your bank account if you’re not careful. However, there are also plenty of ways to provide your pet with a life of luxury that doesn’t require you to take out a second mortgage. If you’re looking to bless your royal furriness with a little extra comfort and care, here are a few tips to get you started.

Save on supplies.

Target is one of the best places to find luxury items for your pet. Not only do they have a large variety of products to choose from at great prices, but you can boost savings and convenience by implementing a few tips. For instance, you can discover loads of special promotions and coupons by simply downloading the Target app, and you can order any household essentials you need through Target Restock and get them the next day. Plus, Target will match the prices of any competitor on all its products.

Enhance their diet.

Your pet can’t live a life of luxury if they don’t have their health. Consider investing in a healthy diet for your furry companion so that they can stick around for a long while. While there are lots of expensive pet foods on the market, you can make high-quality pet food at home for much less. From chicken-and-rice dishes to homemade stew, you can have your furry friend chowing down on unique, budget-friendly meals that benefit their health and well-being.

healthy dog treats

Healthy Treat Recipes

Keep them active.

Along with a good diet, getting your pet regular exercise will do wonders in fostering their health and well-being. It is essential that dogs get the recommended amount of physical activity each day (how much exercise they need will depend on the breed). Take them to the park, walk them around the neighborhood, play with them in the home, and/or keep your pet active in any other way that fits your budget.

If you plan to allow your dog to run around your backyard, then it might be a good idea to invest in a fence. Although this isn’t the most budget-friendly option you can explore, it will help ensure your pet stays safe and secure during their outdoor activities. Depending on the size of your yard and the material used, you can expect to pay around $1,650 and $4,000 unless you do it yourself. You may need to save up for this expense, but it’s a solid investment in your pet’s health and happiness!

Keep them groomed.

Your royal furball is meant to stay fresh and clean. Yes, there are obvious health benefits to grooming your pet, but it can also help them feel much better and improve their overall well-being. Besides, if they’re staying active on a daily basis, you don’t want them walking around and sleeping in the grime they collect from outside; nor do you want them to add unnecessary dirt and dander to your home. Save a pretty penny by learning to do all the grooming yourself—from bathing them to brushing their fur to cutting their nails.

Luxury doesn’t always come at a high cost. Shop at big-box retailers for all your pet products, and consider making your own pet food at home. Also, make sure your furry friend gets the exercise they need and groom them from home regularly.

Article by:  Aurora James

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Training A Dog To Use A Litter Box

Should You Litter Train Your Dog?

by Clara Lou

GypsyDogs are not cats. This is what we all know when it comes to understanding canines and felines individually. That still remains true even if your dog uses a litter box to eliminate. The dog litter box is a thing and like many other peculiar behaviors for a dog, you can train your dog to use the poop box. I’m going to tell you why and how to train your dog to use a litter box.

Why Litter Box For A Dog?

Again, it is important to note that dog litter-boxes were not invented because it looks fancy to see a pooch behaving like felines. There are better and bigger reasons why you may want to train your pooch to use a litter box. Imagine your apartment is on the 10th floor and you come home from work absolutely exhausted. Your dog needs to go pee immediately, frustrating, right?

What if you teach your dog to pee and poop inside a box that has been kept indoors? It will simply make your life and your pup’s easier. Moreover, teaching your dog to use a litter box becomes crucial in this tough time of the Covid-19 pandemic when you’re quarantined with your pet.

Dogs won’t go number one or number two in the house unless they have no option left. They will normally try to hold it as long as possible, making it unhealthy for your pet. There will be some unforeseen point in your life when you will have to keep your dog confined in a room for a long period of time. By training them to use a litter box they can relieve themselves without the stress of disappointing you when you arrive home. Training your pooch to use the litter box is a win-win for you and him.

How To Litter Train Your Dog

Whether it’s a puppy or a senior dog, you have to let them feel that it’s ok to relieve themselves in an indoor litter box. Before you start to train them, here are the things you will need. A dog litter box, a clicker, and your dog’s favorite treats. 

There are different litter boxes available in the market. But if you’re not a fan of hooded and fancy litter boxes, just use a plastic box large enough for your dog to move around in. You can find the dimensions in the product description. Some litter boxes also come with a layer of grass spread over the litter. But a conventional litter box also works.

If you already have cat litter, you can try it out to see if it works or get dog-specific litter. Your dog might be selective about the litter. Try different types until you find the right one. 



Using clicker as a reward-based positive reinforcement training is useful. 

Teach Your Dog To Feel Comfortable With The Litter box

Lift your puppy or dog and place him inside the box. And when they get inside, use a clicker to click and toss a treat. Repeat this until your dog feels comfortable with being in the box.

Teach Them ‘Use The box’ Command

Now that your dog has accepted their happy spot, teach them to go inside the litter box when they need to relieve themselves by using a command. Place them beside a litter box and tell him “use the box” or the command you would normally use when you train your dog to go outside. Your dog will likely get inside the box as he knows he will get his favorite treat and a click. Go through this process every time your dog needs to go out. 

Continue this process until your dog gets inside the box whenever you use the command. Once they are ok with that, try to make this command more challenging. Command them when there are distractions around. You can also practice this command when the litter box and your dog are in different rooms. Let him find the litter box himself on hearing the command making sure to always keep the box in the same spot of your home.

Use The Command When They Feel The Urge

For puppies, they need to pee once every one or two hours. So you will have to engage more if your pup is up to 6 months of age. If you have an adult dog, you know when they feel the urge. The usual signs are whining or barking. Some dogs may run around in circles, sniff around the door, or run back and forth between you and the door. There might be a few accidents while you train your pooch. Pick their accident up and place it in the box making sure they see where it goes. Be patient with your pooch and never scold him because it will stress him and leave your dog confused.

Whenever you see your pooch showing signs of needing to go, immediately take them the litter box. In a calm voice use the command you have been training him with. Continue placing his urine and feces inside the box when he has an accident. You can also purchase training scents to place in the box. 

More Treats

When your dog does his business, immediately use the clicker and pop a treat. Gradually, he will learn to use the litter box. Don’t give up if your dog still has accidents. It takes time and is a learning process just like when training a dog to go outside.

Follow The Schedules

Dogs usually follow a routine. Feed your dog at the same time every day and eliminate any free feeding. Your dog would want to go first thing in the morning and before going to bed. And after exercising and waking up from a nap.


Once you fix the schedule, you will be able to predict when your dog will want to go number one or two. Place your dog in the box during the time when he normally relieves himself and give him the command. This will help you to avoid any accidents and will build more confidence in your buddy.

The EndNote

Training a dog to use a litter box is more of a necessity than teaching him cool tricks so focus on one thing at a time. It is easy and convenient for your pooch and you when you can’t go out for a potty walk.  Here are a few more things you may want to keep in mind.

 You will need to clean the litter box after each use. Ensure that you clean the litter box properly or your dog may end up not wanting to use it. Training your dog can be an enjoyable and bonding event.  Be patient and kind; this will make both of you happy.

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GSPs Singing Happy Birthday

This shelter in place has me losing it.  How can you say this is not precious?  I decided to upload the videos here for anyone who would like to use them to say happy birthday to a dog-lover they know.  Yes, my GSPs are bilingual so Simba is singing in English and Gypsy is singing in Spanish.

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Gypsy Breaks Free

This dog is going to be the death of me.  She has been a gypsy since the day I picked her up.  She just want to roam free and go out to see all that she’s missing.  She has 3/4 of an acre to roam free in whenever she wants.  I have fenced it all in thinking the fence would keep her contained to my yard.  First she figured out that she could dig her way out under the fence.  I installed stakes to keep the fence down so she learned to climb the fence.  After a couple of times of having to leave work and rush home like a mad-woman to pick her up somewhere in the neighborhood in addition to being fined by the township, I installed an electric fence.  Gypsy is clever though.  She knows when the collar battery starts to run low.  I’m not sure how she does it but she stays right on top of it.  I mark my calendar so that I don’t forget to change the battery every month.  A couple of days ago, I was vacuuming and moved the table which the transmitter sits on.  I didn’t notice that one of the wires must have become loose until of course, Gypsy was nowhere to be found.  I swear, my heart just stops when I realize she’s missing.  She does give me grief but how can you look into those eyes and not love her.

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German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP): All You Need to Know

Bred for long days in the wild, the GSPs are powerful, fast, agile and gritty. Typically, a GSP male weighs between 55 to 70 pounds with a height that ranges from 23 to 25 inches; females are a bit smaller. The coat is either solid reddish-brown (liver) or liver with distinctive white patterns. Their dark eyes sparkle with friendliness and enthusiasm. The GSP’s overall look is often described as “aristocratic” and “noble”.

GSPs make gregarious and trainable pets that maintain deep bonds with their family. They love physical activities like swimming, running, and organized dog sports – they are always up for anything that burns their endless energy while exploring the outdoors with human buddies.

This intelligent and energetic dog is passionate both at play and work. GSPs love being around people and are good with kids. When left in isolation for too long, the GSP becomes quite miserable. And if you don’t provide them with regular exercise and companionship, GSPs can become destructive and nervous. Males are usually more aggressive hunters and more outgoing.

The powerfully built GSP needs lots of physical activity – it needs at least an hour of exercise daily. With their water-resistant coat and webbed feet, they are excellent water dogs and love to swim.

GSPs are people pleasers and will work hard for you, especially if you reward them with play, food, or praise. They are usually dogged and learn new skills quickly. They, however, get bored easily so you’ll have to work harder in keeping them focused during training.

Additionally, GSPs are among the few hunting dogs that perform all gundog tasks. They can be both retrievers and pointers. They can hunt from waterfowl to upland birds, as well as deer, rabbits, and raccoons. Whatever challenge you throw at the GSP, he will comply with unwavering reliability.

Personality:

Friendly, willing and smart, GSPs do everything passionately and without being flighty or nervous. They don’t like being alone, though, and so they can develop separation anxiety. The German Shorthaired Pointer is a house dog, not a kennel or yard dog. They love every member of the family but they may have a favorite. 

Temperament is shaped by a couple of factors including training, heredity, and socialization. Well-adjusted puppies are playful, curious, and will to mingle with people.

Like every other dog, GSP should be socialized while young – you should expose them to different experiences, sounds, sights, and people. Socialization helps your GSP develop into a well-rounded dog.

Living With:

GSPs are not suitable for apartment dwellers. They are suited to people with an active lifestyle and a home with a wide yard encircled with a high fence. German Shorthaired Pointers are energetic and strong; they were bred to withstand the demands of hunting, so exercise is vital for them. Your GSP will take pleasure in a long walk, a game of fetch or a strenuous hike.

When engaged in enough physical activity, GSPs make fantastic house dogs. GSP is great with people but due to their hunting legacy – which regularly requires them to confront various situations while away from hunters – they can think independently.

GSPs should be trained with consistency and kindness using positive reinforcements like praise and food rewards. When treated harshly, GSPs simply become stubborn and less willing to take your commands.

When it comes to diet, you can feed them with grain-free products, for instance, Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Large Breed Puppy separated into two meals per day when they are young. 

History:

The German Shorthaired point didn’t come to be by chance. The dog’s ancestry stretches back to the 1600s when Hanoverian hound breeds were crossed with heavy Spanish pointer breeds to create a dog that’s enthusiastic about pointing birds as well as trailing mammals. These versatile hunters could also trace and kill the wounded game when the need arose. 

Later crosses with the English pointers made the breed a more elegant pointer but decreased the GSP’s killing and retrieving prowess, so successive selection was directed at restoring these desirable traits. The tipping point in the breed’s recognition came in the 1800s with the celebrated capabilities of two dogs, “Treff” and “Nero”. 

The two dogs, referred to as Deutch Kurzhaars, are said to be the ancestors of the Modern GSPs. Since then, German Shorthaired Pointers renown has grown around the globe as the perfect dog for anyone who wants a versatile hunter. Not content with just being excellent hunters, GSPs are also versatile companions.

This resourceful dog hunts various types of game, it is a friendly companion and retrieves from both land and water. He has an elegant, easy-care coat, but demands lost of physical activity. A GSP can be the best dog you ever had, but that’s only if you can provide him with the physical and mental challenges he craves.

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COVID-19 Risk To Pets.

The World Health Organization declared that the COVID-19 novel coronavirus is now a global pandemic in early March of this year. People are worried not only about their own health but the health of their dogs, cats, and other pets. The virus was originally transmitted from animal to human. It is such a new virus, that not very much information about it is know yet. No one knows for sure if humans can transmit the COVID-19 to their pets or vice versa. What the officials are stating is better to be safe than sorry.

Dogs can contract certain types of coronaviruses, such as the canine respiratory coronavirus, but this specific novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19, is believed to not be a threat to dogs. Li Lanjuan, an epidemiologist and representative of China’s National Health Commission cautioned pet owners in China to be cautious about their pets’ health as well as their own. The one dog in Hong Kong that tested positive displayed a low-level of infection. It is likely that it was transmitted from human-to-animal. There is no evidence thus far that the virus can be transmitted from animal-to-human. If taking a pet outdoors, keep a safe distance between your pet and other people, including their pets. If your pet comes into contact with someone who is showing signs of illness, you will need to quarantine them for 14 days.

The CDC doesn’t think that there are cases in the US where animals have been infected with the COVID-19. However, we’re not really testing animals here and we are also just at the beginning of this new COVID-19 madness. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19.The consensus is that the virus does not survive on their fur but common sense is urged. If touching someone else’s dog, wash your hands properly.

If anyone in your household has been infected by COVID-19 or has been quarantined awaiting results, officials state to avoid direct contact with pets, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. Service animals should be permitted to remain with their handlers. When possible have someone else care for your animals while you are sick. If the individual in isolation is the only person the care for the pet, then the following precautions should be taken. Restrict contact with the pet just as you would with other people, wear a facemask while interacting with pets, wash hands thoroughly before and after interacting with pets until the individual is medically cleared.

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Music Therapy and Your Dog

I realized years ago that music really helped sooth Simba while I was gone.  Simba has always been a high anxiety pup with separation anxiety.  She tends to bark at any little noise coming from outside thinking that it may be that horrible, big, brown UPS monster.  For the life of me, I can’t figure out what she has against the UPS truck or Mail carrier.  Maybe since they come up to the door and either knock or ring the doorbell, she feels they’re trespassing on her turf. She just doesn’t bark when she hears a noise coming from outside, she continues to pace for a good long time.  Dogs will usually pace when they’re nervous or anxious.  Simba is high strung when it comes to noises. 

Music has been shown to affect dogs as much as it affects humans.  I remember driving my son to his hockey games and he would ask me to play his CD on the way to the game. I can’t even tell you what genre it was, all I can say is that I immediately turned to road rage, wanting to pull my hair out, speeding, yelling at other cars, turning on two wheels, well you get the idea. As soon as he got out of the car, I turned off the radio and sat in total silence for several minutes examining how my mood changed from the music. Shelters have tried playing different genres of music and realized that each genre had a different effect on the dogs.  Classical music was one that helped relax the dogs the most. I have read many posts regarding this subject but found Music Therapy for Dogs – Does It Work? had great information on the subject.  One area discussed was If Your Dog Howls at His Soothing Music. I found this to be very interesting since Gypsy likes to howl only to certain songs.  One song, in particular, is ‘Hello’ by Adele.  I often wondered what she’s thinking when this song comes on the radio that makes her sing along.

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