It is so hot out! the suns beating down, you’re laying on your float relaxing in the pool and your American bully is circling the pool panting and crying. Maybe taking him in for a dip will hit the spot just like it did for you? But wait, can bully breed dogs swim? Well, despite a popular swimming stroke being named after our furry friend ” the doggy paddle”, not all dogs can swim.
Certain breeds are likely to be natural swimmers. There are 15 breeds which are known for getting their paws wet! If you are looking to pick a breed to share water time with you will want to take a look at the following: Newfoundland, Cocker Spaniel, Vizsla, Weimaraners, Schipperke, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Spanish Water Dog, Portuguese Water Dog, Irish Water Dog, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Standard Poodle and Irish or English Setter breeds tend to fall into the Naturals category. Breeds such as the English Bulldog, Corgi and Pug are more likely to have difficulty when it comes to water.
Not every dog can swim. But many breeds can learn to swim and enjoy being in the water. Every dog is different just like people but through a safe introduction to the water it is possible to make a swimmer out of your dog!
We are going to introduce your American Bully to the pool or beach by swimming lessons!
Pick a time to introduce them to the water that lacks chaos and loud noises. Do not decide to teach your dog how to swim while there is a BBQ going on and 10 kids in the pool screaming and throwing toys. It is going to be too difficult for them to focus on their lesson while there is so much other distracting stuff going on.
Know your swimming spot. If you are using a pool, make sure there is an easy entry/exit point. If you are using a natural body of water, avoid a river, the moving water will add stress and unknowns to your lesson. If you are using a lake or pond make sure there are no plants that can tangle your dogs legs up.
Panic or fear of water will set you up to fail. A lot of people think that simply throwing the dog into the pool will set his natural instinct to swim in motion, instead all you are going to accomplish is a fear and panic associated with the water . Your dog may paddle frantically and actually “swim” to a exit but he will not associate the water with a good experience and will most likely avoid the water at all cost after this incident. It will leave a long lasting fear.
Have treats, pats and hugs on hand. Positive reinforcement for being a good boy will go miles, just as in potty training or leash training. Your dog likes to know he did something that makes you proud.
If you have shallow water the best way to get your dog into the water is on his own. Throw in a ball or his favorite toy and let him run in to get it. Once your dog is comfortable in the water on their feet you can introduce them to deeper water to begin to learn how to swim. If you are using a pool and this is not an option you can go onto the next part which is picking your dog up and carrying them into deeper water.
The proper way to introduce your dog to the water is to support their weight in the water let them learn to paddle or move their legs in the water free of supporting their own weight. This can be accomplished by supporting them under their torso; specifically supporting their midsection and hindquarters. It is important your dog learns to move all 4 legs just as he does when he runs. Moving only the fronts will turn the back legs into anchors and will drag your dog underwater. You want to make sure you keep both hands on your dog until their stroke is steady and in good form. You want to see your dog is confident in their stroke as well.
Make sure your dog knows where the exit is. Repetition of the exit will ease your dogs mind in knowing there is a safe and easy way to get out of the water once they are tired or had enough. You will need to continually point them in the correct direction before it sinks into memory.
Over exertion can be a serious problem in the water. Keep your swimming lessons to a 10-15 minute maximum and give your dog ample breaks in between. Once your dog is tired he will simply give up in the water and this can lead to drowning. Dogs who easily become tired on land will also easily become tired in the water.
Never leave your dog unattended by the pool, just as you would not leave a child unattended. Even if your dog is a pro swimmer, mistakes happen and lead to horrific results.
Despite all the right tools some dogs are just not going to be swimmers or even like the water. If you have made every effort possible to teach your dog to swim and he resists going into the water or near it then you just do not have a swimmer! The American Bully breed are not natural swimmers, but with some educational time in the pool you may be able to make a water companion out of them. Do not get easily discouraged and please make sure to be safe in and around the water.
A lot of so called breeders get caught up in the “HYPE” of becoming rich by breeding dogs, and selling puppies. Well, let us be the first to tell you that it is just that, “HYPE”. What separates those who are successful through breeding from those who are unsuccessful, is that the successful breeders aren’t in it for the money. They have a bigger vision, which is to produce quality dogs, and enhance the breed. Most successful breeders don’t breed more than twice a year, because they understand that female dog pregnancy carries serious risks that shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are many things that can go wrong during the her pregnancy that could put not only the pups life at risk, but the mother as well. Unless the mother has proven to produce high quality, physically correct, healthy pups on a consistent basis, additional breedings are not worth the risk.
Breeding shouldn’t even be considered until your female dog is at least two years of age. This will ensure that she is mature, and can get full health clearance. It is also good practice not to breed your female in back-to-back heat cycles. Not only does this raise your risk as far as health goes, but ethically it is just not right. If you breed a female dog every single time she comes in heat, when does she ever have the time to just be a dog? From the pregnancy to the whelping of the pups, to raising a litter, a mother can get overwhelmed, and stressed. Some breeders will argue that there are times when it is ethical to do a back-to-back breeding. But from experience, most breeders who feel the need to get as many breeding’s as possible, do not have the best interest of the breed in mind.
Good breeders do health testing, take dogs back when necessary, and treats every dog like one of the family. Any breeder who consistently breeds the same female dog, regardless of the fact that the pups she is producing are of lower quality than the breed standard, is overbreeding and is only in it for the money. Take your time when doing research for a reputable breeder. They are out there. Nine times out of ten, if they interview you before giving you a pup, they offer a health guarantee, and want you to keep in touch to see how your pup is developing, they are a good breeder. Beware of overbreeders, they will sell you an unhealthy pup, and disappear in the wind with your money.
Back to Basics: Caring for your Dog
Dogs are definitely great companions, and make wonderful additions to any loving home. However, it’s imperative that you understand that their health and happiness is as much a priority as your own.
A balanced diet is very important, whether it be a puppy or a full grown dog. A lot of health issues can be prevented, simply by making sure that your canine is eating healthy, nutritous food and getting all of the necessary vitamins. You should consult your vet to find out which dog foods have the right nutritional balance for your dog.
Water is just as important as food. Clean, fresh water should be available to your dog throughout the day. All food and water bowls, should be cleaned as often as possible to prevent any bacteria from growing inside them.
Every dog, of every breed needs exercise. Exercise will not only help them to burn calories and stay healthy, but it will stimulate your dog’s mind. The amount and type of exercise will vary depending on the breed of the dog. Keeping your dog active with exercise will keep them from getting bored and pickup up bad habits such as: chewing on furninture, or running throughout the house.
The type of breed that you have will determine the amount of bathing and grooming that you will need to keep up with. For example, long haired dogs will need more frequent brushing to reduce shedding, whereas a short haired dog will just need a maintenance brushing here and there to maintain a healthy and shiny coat. Again, check with your vet to see what the best practices are for the type of dog that you have, or will be getting.
Also, make sure to check your dogs coat daily for fleas and ticks. Especially during the warm seasons. Your vet should also be able to give you options for flea and tick prevention. Avoid giving your dog any type of medicine or product that has not been prescribed by a veterinarian. There are many poisonous medicines and products out there that could harm your pet.
Always keep your dog, no matter what size, on a leash when you are outside of your yard. If your yard is not fenced in, then keep your dog on a leash when outside, period. Puppies, as well as large dogs, could take off in any direction and be harmed or worse by oncomnig traffic. Dogs get excited very easily. Keep them on a short leash if you see anything that may cause them to get excited. This will enable you to control them better, should this occur.
Eventually your companion will need to relieve themself. When walking your dog, alway keep a pooper scooper, or bag with you at all times, to clean up any mess that they make.
Following these guidelines will help you and your dog live a healthy and stress free life. For more great article of taking care of your dog, visit www.bullygirlmagazine.com.
4 Ways to Prepare for a Bully Breed Dog Show
Bully Breed Dog Shows are popping up all over the globe, as the breed becomes more and more popular. If you have bully breed dogs, and you are looking to put them inside a registry show ring, there are a few things you need to do first.
BOND WITH YOUR DOG
This is one of the simplest, yet most important steps you can take to guarantee a more positive experience at a bully breed dog show. If you and your dog don’t share a bond, you can’t expect your dog to behave, and perform at a high level inside a show ring. All of this work needs to be done outside of the show ring. Take your dog for long walks. Play with your dog. Let him or her know that they are part of the family, and there will be nothing that they won’t do for you. It is a natural canine instinct for a dog to want to please their owner. So bond with your dog, and praise all of their accomplishments. You will see a big difference at any event, when your dog feels like it’s you and him/her against the world.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Far too many people show up to bully breed dog shows, with no former experience, and no type of training or preparation for the event. You can’t expect to take 1st place inside a show ring, against someone who has a ton of experience and knows exactly what the judges are looking for. Again I stress that all of the work begins outside of the show ring. Find someone local to you who has shown inside the ring before, and ask for tips and advice. Have them show you how to stack your dog properly when inside the show ring. Most registry websites will have a list of their judges, with some form of contact information. Give the judges a call, or send them an email and pick their brain. They will be more than happy to give you tips and advice on how to properly show dog, because they would rather have a show ring full of professional looking handlers, than a bunch of people just winging it and hoping for the best.
LOOK THE PART
I’m not saying that is guaranteed that you will ever lose at a bully breed dog show, strictly because of the way you’re dressed. But, if it came down to your dog and one other dog for Best in Show, would you want to be the guy the in the dress clothes, or the guy in the street clothes. In my opinion, it all adds up when judges are making crucial decisions. Maybe not for easy choices, but when there is a tough call, I would definitely feel more comfortable knowing that I look the part.
If possible, arrive early to the event. This will allow you to set up and get your dog, as well as yourself, comfortable with the environment. Take him/her inside the show ring and practice before the crowd gets there and praise him/her for doing a good job. Introduce yourself to the show hosts, staff and judges. Fill out whatever necessary paperwork to register your dog for the show. Get all of that stuff out of the way, so that you can focus on the show ring, and taking home some trophies, and ribbons.
All of these things will help you to have a better experience at a bully breed dog show, whether you take home 1st place or not. You will definitely give your dog the best shot possible, by having a strong bond, practicing, looking the part, and arriving early to the event.
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