Have you ever wondered why bully breed dogs lick their paws? Paw licking, sucking, and biting can be the result of many different things. Let’s explore each potential cause of your paw epidemic and the possible treatments to end it. American bullys, French bulldogs, American bulldogs, English bulldogs and Pit bull breeds all fall on the list of breeds with the most skin problems. Virtually 100% of paw lickers are either purebred or crossbred. Dogs who are considered “mutts”, or are made up of various breeds, account for less than 5% of paw lickers.
Licking can be a sign of injury. Make sure to rule out open cuts , injury, or broken bones, if your pet is paying close attention to one paw. If there is no sign of injury present and a single paw is being licked, this usually points to a psychological factor. If all paws are being licked, signs are most likely pointing to an allergy or environmental trigger.
No matter what the cause for your dogs licking and chewing sensation, it all ends up with the same problem. This is a licking sound that drives you nuts. They often lick their paws raw, or chew off hair, leaving their paws unsightly and extremely soar. Left untreated, this can lead to serious consequences including infections, and permanent hair loss. Infections will then cause them to lick even more out of instinct to cure their infection, and the cycle goes on and on.
Addiction. Did you know that when you pet licks their endorphin levels are raised ? Your dog may be addicted to the opiate like feeling their brain is producing from them licking. The goal is the find a solution to the licking before your pet becomes addicted to the sensation they get from their licking high.
Your dog may just be a compulsive licker. Some dogs are bored or feel useless. Licking their paws gives them something to do, it becomes their “Job”. Find activities for your dog to do. You may just find that giving your dog something better to do ends this habit. Take your dog for walks, interact with them, and give them ample attention and this may help end their addiction to their paws.
Is your dog a nervous creature? He may be licking out of anxiety. In this case something will trigger your dog to begin the behavior of licking or chewing at their paws. Vets will often suggest a muzzle or cone around your dogs head to try to keep them from reaching their paws. If this is indeed a stress issue, the muzzle or cone is only going to further stress them out and they aren’t going to understand why they are being punished. Leading to further anxiety and stress. Your better option is to soothe their nervousness. Turn on the TV or radio when you leave the house. Sound reduces your dogs stress level, because it drowns out the scary outside noises they may obsess over until you return. Assure them you’re coming back and try not to sneak out unnoticed. Once they realize your gone, they are going to panic. Give them something to occupy their time while you’re gone. Soft chew toys will give them something to focus on while watching Animal Planet, and the time you’re away will go much faster.
Paw licking or chewing may be an environmental cause. Your dog may be experiencing an allergic relation to something. The first things to rule out in your household are things you have recently changed before the behavior began. Did you recently change the soap you wash the dogs bed in, a new carpet cleaning product etc.? If nothing has changed in your household environment, the usual culprit is your dogs diet. Many popular dog food products contain corn wheat, and other grains which are known allergy causes in dogs. The meat by-products contained within the mass produced dog foods, come from animals that have been fed growth hormones, antibiotics, and liquid methane to produce a cheaper faster useable product. Because so many unhealthy agents are put into mass produced dog foods, they are accountable for huge numbers of skin and allergic relations within dogs.
Many vets are not ready to change their thought process to agree that a raw diet is the proper way to feed a dog. Sadly the vets would prefer to prescribe you unnecessary, and in most cases ineffective, expensive prescriptions to manage your dogs allergies. However a natural raw diet for dogs in most cases will cure your pet of his allergic reactions, and skin problems. Raw diets contain no bi-products, no corn, wheat, or grain. They do however, have a much higher protein ratio. Within a few weeks of switching to a raw diet you will see an overall improvement in your dogs appearance, and more importantly his health. Many American Bully owners have already switched to a raw diet, and have spread the word throughout the community on all the good it has done for their dogs. Talk to a friend and you will be surprised to learn how many people have made the switch, and speak very highly of it.
Pesticides in your yard or garden can often irritate your dogs feet, causing serious allergies and reactions. Try to use minimal pesticides in areas your dogs have access to. Even pet friendly products can cause allergic reactions.
Your dog may have allergies just like humans to pollen and other seasonal allergens. Your dog may even be allergic to your grass! Allergic reactions to inhaled allergens will likely result in other areas of your dogs body being affected, like their face, abdomen, and genitals. To treat these types of allergies, Benadryl is usually the safest method of treatment for dogs. Check with your vet for proper dosage per your dogs weight. A good topical treatment to use, is to dip your pets feet in a bucket of water mixed with baking soda whenever they come inside from the yard. This removes any pollen and soothes their dry itchy paws. 1-2 tablespoons per gallon of water is the correct measurement if you want to give this method a try.
If you prefer an Herbal approach to your fight against paw licking and sucking, Green Tea or Sage Tea soaks can relieve skin irritation and prevent swelling. Dogs sweat from their feet. To prepare your tea, simply boil a cup of tea, allow it to cool and soak or wash your dogs feet with the tea. Sage is an antiperspirant so it will reduce the wetness, swelling, bacteria, and itching on your dogs paws. Make sure to pat dry your dogs feet if using this method. Warning Green tea can stain carpets so if you are trying this method make sure your dogs paws are completely dry before letting him run threw your living room! Rinsing you dogs paws with water after applying the tea would negate the process, you need to let the tea absorb and dry into your dogs paws.
Fungal infections on your dogs feet can only be diagnosed by a vet. They often closely resemble allergies or bacterial infections. A simple blood test or skin scraping can quickly narrow down the suspect list, and rule out genetic disorders, to help come up with the best treatment plan. Fungal infection treatments, are prescribed oral medications. Do not use athletes foot cream or spray, as this can be toxic if licked by your pet.
Many vets will prescribe steroids to treat your pets paw licking and biting. Use of steroids should be a last effort. We don’t know exactly how the steroids affect our dogs, because they cannot tell us. Topical treatment, which would be best suited for humans, cannot be used since our pets will eat them, and most oral treatments provide minimal relief. Starting a steroid treatment may be something you will need to continue for the rest of your pets life, so try to exhaust every other method before going this direction.
It is always encouraged to consult with your vet when coming up with a solution to your American Bully, Bulldog, or any other Bully Breeds ailments. Your vet doesn’t have all the answers, nor do we. We do encourage you to try herbal methods, and psychological changes like toys and TV as noted above, and of course dietary changes, before jumping into long term prescription and steroid use.
Boosting your pets immune system can help ward off susceptibility to some allergic reactions. Fish Oil capsules are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, and are very good for your dogs nervous system, heart, skin, and immune system. Many raw food diets already contain a fish oil ingredient, however if you are sticking with your current diet, try adding a Fish oil supplement into your daily routine. You may find it improves your dogs overall health.
What is an Exotic Bully? | Opinions from Breeders in the Bully Community
First, let us start off by stating that Bully Girl Magazine loves all breeds. With that said, there has been a lot of controversy over the past few years about a new breed of dog. The Exotic Bully. Those who brought this breed about and the many who have followed, love the Exotic Bully Breed. However, there are also many who despise this new breed, and feel that it is an unhealthy representation. Once more, there are a great deal of people who don’t even know what an Exotic Bully is.
Bully Girl Magazine looks to shed some light on this new Exotic Bully Movement. We have decided to get opinions from bully dog breeders, as well other bully community members around the world. We simply asked all these people the same two questions:
In your own words, what is an Exotic Bully?
What is your opinion on the new Exotic Bully Breed Movement?
The responses we received were interesting. The Exotic Bully is definitely a controversial topic on a global scale. Read the responses below and let us know what you think about the Exotic Bully Breed and Movement in our comments section.
Jacobi Guyton – The Bully Kingdom (Texas)
“Hmmmm, to me an exotic bully is exactly like the name exotic! Something special that you don’t see too often. My perfect exotic bull would be short and clean, with a slight bow on the front. It would have a full tail, and be very functional.”
“Since there is no standard for the exotic class. I feel that there are too many experiments out there. However, I have also seen some dope ass exotics bulls out there too. D1 Kennels does a great job in that class!”
Tim Levi – Elite Bully Kennels (Florida)
“Exotics in our opinion are Bullies that have been bred to the extreme by pushing the envelope of the breed standard.”
“Although we prefer pockets and standard American Bullies, we have friends that own everything from exotics to XL’s. To each his own. Who are we to judge? After all, this breed was founded on pushing the limits, since it’s inception.”
Orlando Ortiz – Hammerhead Bullies (Texas)
“An exotic bully is a smaller compact Bully with bulldog features.”
“The exotic bully breed movement is nice if it’s bred right. If you scatter too much blood around it can get messy.”
Jessica Wade – Unleashed Kennels (Georgia)
“You know, I have a few friends that breed Exotics and to each their own. They aren’t my preferred style of dog. But I have to say, I have seen some clean correct ones lately. If I had to describe it, I would say it’s an over-exaggerated style of features on a smaller, more compact dog.”
“I have no problem with it when done correctly. A functional dog should be the result. When the quality of life for these dogs gets compromised, I get upset. Dogs should not die at an early age due to health related issues.”
Carlos Hernandez – Pound4Pound Bullys (Connecticut)
“In my opinion an Exotic Bully is simply the look of the dog. Certain features in the dog make it exotic, not just the bloodlines.”
“I have no problems with the exotic breed as that is what I am currently breeding. I definitely enjoy having exotics. The designer looks they carry as well as their temperaments is something I love.”
Brandon Johnson – Triple J Bullies (Louisiana)
“An exotic bully is a man’s best friend!”
“I love it. I can see things changing. A lot of folks are becoming aware of the breed, and we’re here to make a mark.”
Haile Selassie – H.D. Bullyz (Pennsylvania)
“An exotic to me is something that is not ordinary, or is different than the usual.”
“I feel there is room for all likings. Hopefully, with more time we will see more improvement in the breed.”
From what we can gather, the Exotic Bully Breed is a new designer breed. When bred right you will have an exotic looking bully that will still be functional. When bred wrong, it can lead to various health issues, which can shorten the life span of the dog. Everyone has different opinions when asked about the exotic bully. What are your opinions on the Exotic Bully Breed movement? Leave a comment below and share opinion on this topic.
Bull Terrier: Origin, Stereotypes, Temperament
Bull Terriers are a type of terrier that are best known for their outwardly sloped “egg” faces. For many people, the most recognizable Bull Terrier is Spot, the Target mascot. We will discuss the Bull Terrier’s origins, stereotypes, and the reasons that this breed makes a wonderful companion.
The Origin of the Bull Terrier
Bull Terriers have a long history, dating back to the early 1800’s in England. Initially, “Bull and Terrier” breeds had two purposes: for vermin control, and for participation in popular blood sports of the day. The original Bull and Terrier breeds were based on Old English Bulldogs (a now-extinct breed) and Old English Terriers. Since the exact lineage of these dogs is unknown, it is probable that other terrier breeds were represented as well.
As a group of dogs, Bull and Terrier breeds were intended to have the speed and agility of the more lightly built terriers, but the tenacity of the Bulldog. The goal was to create an animal that would perform well in combat situations. This was required for animals used in blood sports. Sadly, many of these dogs were bred for fighting bulls and bears for entertainment, which necessitated a strong-willed, fearless animal that had both strength and speed.
Despite the value of a bulldog / terrier cross during the evolution of the Bull Terrier, little was done to preserve the ancestry of this dog. No breed standards existed until the mid-1900’s, and breeding was solely based on performance measures, as opposed to the dog’s appearance. Eventually, Bull and Terrier breeds were divided into two groups: Bull Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. The latter of which was smaller and easier to handle than the former.
In the mid-1850’s, James Hinks began breeding Bull and Terrier type dogs to the now-extinct English White Terrier. His intention was to create an animal with a cleaner appearance, better legs, and a nicer head than standard terriers. In 1862, he entered a dog named “Puss” into the Bull Terrier Class in a Chelsea dog show. Puss was immediately popular, and thus “Hinks Breed,” also known as “The White Cavalier,” was born. Over time, what is now known as the Bull Terrier was bred with Dalmatian, Whippet, Spanish Pointer, Borzoi, and Rough Collie to create the dog as we know it today. The first modern Bull Terrier, named “Lord Gladiator,” was recognized in 1917.
Although Tom Hinks set out to create an all-white dog, there are many health problems associated with all-white coloring, including deafness. In 1936, the AKC began recognizing colored Bull Terriers, with brindle being the preferred coloring today.
Bull Terrier Stereotypes
Bull Terriers are not commonly considered a fighting breed. However, to the uninformed they suffer from many of the same stereotypes as other bully breeds. Indeed, the blanket term “pit bull” commonly includes Bull Terriers.
One of the top stereotypes of this breed is that it is vicious, which could not be further from the truth. In fact, part of the breed standard for the Bull Terrier is a “gentleman” temperament.
Another common stereotype of pit bull-type dogs is that they have locking jaws, which will latch onto humans, dogs, or other animals and never let go. Again, this stereotype has been proven time and again to be merely a myth.
Bull Terriers are also unfairly assumed to be poor candidates for living with children and other pets. It is true that some terriers are inherently dog-aggressive. However, the Bull Terrier is well known for its ability to get along well with other animals, especially when properly socialized. Similarly, Bull Terriers are widely considered one of the top breeds for children, due to their fun-loving nature.
While people commonly assume that all forms of pit bulls have been bred for fighting, this is simply not true. Indeed, James Hinks’ original Bull Terrier was not intended for the fighting ring, and instead as a “gentleman’s companion.”
Bull Terriers as Companions
What makes Bull Terriers great dogs and companions? The typical Bull Terrier personality should be charming, mischievous, and playful, which is why this dog is revered by many. Part of the reason this breed was initially called the “White Cavalier” is because of the level of chivalry a Bull Terrier is supposed to possess. For instance, this dog should never start a fight, but should be courageous enough to finish one.
Additionally, the Bull Terrier socializes well with both humans and other animals. Indeed, according to a poll conducted by the American Kennel Club, 94% of Bull Terrier owners say this breed is good with children. In addition, 84% of owners say this breed is good with other dogs. Since the Bull Terrier was never intended to be a pit-fighter, few Bull Terriers display inherent dog-aggression.
For many dog owners, Bull Terriers are ideal because they can be very independent dogs. They have an even temperament and accept discipline well. At times they can be stubborn, which makes them better for experienced dog owners; however, they are extremely people-oriented pets. As with any dog, socialization is necessary for ensuring they get along well with unfamiliar people and animals. In terms of temperament, a 2008 German study showed that the Bull Terrier most closely matches that of the Golden Retriever. The Golden Retriever is widely regarded as one of the most family-friendly canine companions.
The Standard Bull Terrier
The Bull Terrier is a short, dense dog that weighs 55 – 65 lbs. Shorter in stature than a typical pit bull, these dogs make great companions for people who prefer a smaller dog. Miniature Bull Terriers also exist. They stand only 14’’ tall at the shoulder, and are approximately half the height of the Standard Bull Terrier. The average lifespan of this breed is 10 – 14 years, which typical for a dog of this size. Bull Terriers do not require extensive grooming, due to their short, rough coat.
Ultimately, the Bull Terrier is an older breed with origins in England. Bull Terriers are unfairly stereotyped, like all “pit bulls”. At the end of the day, they make fantastic companions due to their friendly and loving nature.
Ruff House Rescue | Millions of Adobtable Pets are sitting in Shelters
Ruff House Rescue saves homeless pets from kill shelters here, and across the country. Animal rescue has become a necessity because euthanasia is the primary solution. Shelters (funded by your tax dollars) have been put in place to solve the homeless pet problem. Without rescues like Ruff House, countless more would perish in the shelter system, which euthanizes healthy, adoptable pets every day.
Ruff House Rescue pulls hundreds of animals every year from these shelters and finds these pets the loving homes they deserve. Ruff House is comprised of dedicated volunteers, who give their time and their love to help save so many. Once having been rescued by us from a shelter, each pet is vaccinated, altered and micro-chipped. They are loved and cared for until they find a home to call their own. This could take a day or a year. No adoptable animal is euthanized.
Bully Girl Magazine had a chance to sit down with the president and founder Diane Indelicato for an exclusive interview, to let her explain what Ruff House Rescue is all about. Here is what she had to say:
Tell our readers about Ruff House Rescue, and how it all began.
Ruff House Rescue started in 2009. We’re a 501c 3 organization. There has always been a tremendous need for rescue, especially for the bully breed. We started pulling pit bull breeds and other breeds from the Manhattan and Brooklyn shelters, and rehoming them. We have foster homes for our dogs, and we have our own facility here in Freeport, NY on the nautical mile. Our dogs are spayed, neutered, vaccinated and microchipped before they go to a new home. Adopters must be approved before any dog is sent home. We’ve rescued and found new forever homes for a lot of dogs since our inception.
Do you focus on mostly rescuing bully breeds, or do you rescue all dog breeds?
We rescue all types of dogs. A lot of people are confused with what dog rescue actually means. While we encourage dog adoption, we do understand that bully breed dogs aren’t for everybody, so we do rescue and find homes for all types of dogs. People are very open to adopting, so we want them to understand know that there are all types of dogs to adopt, and that rescuing doesn’t pertain to any one breed of dog. They can come in and meet all of the different breeds that we have rescued, and see which is the perfect fit for their family.
Explain to our readers, why it is so important to spay or neuter their pets.
Rescuing is not just all about adopting out dogs to new homes. It’s also about educating people to help them understand why they need to spay and neuter their pets. The main reason is because millions of beautiful, adoptable pets around the world are sitting in shelters, and are euthanized daily. I don’t think there is enough awareness. I think people need to get involved, and make a difference. Adopting might not be as convenient as going to a puppy store or breeder, but for every puppy or dog that you are buying a shelter dog is being euthanized somewhere. So we just want people to be educated and aware of what is going on.
What would be the best way for someone who is looking to adopt, to get in touch with Ruff House Rescue?
To adopt a puppy or dog from our facility, please visit our website at www.ruffhouserescue.org. You can also email us at [email protected], or you can visit our facebook page at facebook.com/ruffhouserescueny.
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