Frequently Asked Questions.

Keep in mind that these answers are based on what we have researched and found personally to be true.  We are not Vets or experts.  We are a small rescue and have had some small experiences, learned a bit, and are willing to share our beliefs.  Hopefully there is something here that will help others.


1. Q. Do males & females have different personalities?
 
  A. No they do not.

Gender does not directly determine intelligence, affection, sociability, submission, dominance, aggression, activity level, ability to be housetrained, willingness to learn or much else in a dog.

Just like with people each dog has a different and distinctive personality.  That is why we take the care we do in placing a puppy or dog in a new home.  It is important for the personalities of the dog and their new people be a compliment.


2. Q. Do females shed more than males?
 
  A.  In unaltered, females shed more often then males due to hormonal changes during her cycles. Spayed females do not shed more than males. ALL DOGS SHED, at least twice per year.  Curly coated breeds such as the Poodle have a "tangle effect" which holds onto the hair until it is combed out. Short-coated breeds (such as Dalmatians) shed also and the hair is often more difficult to pick up even with a vacuum cleaner due to it's texture.   

Double coated breeds, like Pomeranians, primarily shed their undercoat, which requires brushing all the way to their skin during that shed or matting will occur.  Be prepared to brush your dog two or three times weekly.  Grooming should be a time enjoyed both by your dog and yourself.


3. Q. Are females or males easier to housetrain and train in general?
 
  A.  NEITHER

Each dog is an individual and has different learning curves and responds to different methods of training differently. High intelligence doesn't always make a dog more trainable, sometimes it just makes them more wily in ways to thwart you! HUMAN BONDING is the single most important factor in your dog's trainability. You must be bonded to your dog for it to even want to please you. Can you blame it? I don't have much desire to please a stranger, or someone I don't like myself, so I can't blame the dogs too much.

Age also plays a role in in how well they house train.  Puppies will have to go to the bathroom more often than an adult.  There are many aids and methods in potty training; piddle pads, litter boxes, belly bands and britches.  All can be great stress relievers during the training process.

Potty training takes consistency and attention.  The puppy must go out after eating, sleeping, playing, etc.  At first you will find yourself going out every hour or two.  Soon those times will lengthen and the outings will be longer apart.  Even with my older rescue dogs if I revert to "puppy" training most times they are very trainable.  They don't learn it on their own, they have to be taught.

The most common puppy training mistake that I see made is punishing the dog after the deed is done.  This only teaches them to be fearful, of the rug, of your hand, you, or whatever they relate to the punishment,.  It is completely ineffective for the potty training as they cannot relate the punishment to the completed behavior.  I find that it is common that the person who complains their pet won't come to them is generally the one who has used their hands to spank or punish the puppy.  I wouldn't come either if I expected to be hit.  In order to punish you have to catch them in the process of performing the act.  Even then the correction is "No" "Outside" and out the door you go.  Rubbing their noses in it does no good and spanking is just crewel and ineffective.  Consider that, to a dog, poo is really cool stuff and rubbing their noses in the poo is not the most horrible thing that can happen to them. After the deed is done, they don't relate that they are responsible to the poo or pee that they are getting rubbed in their face.  All they know is that you are mad at them and possibly hurting them.

Another common issue with potty training is the dog who gets "reversed".  If your dog is going outside and doing nothing... then as soon as you come in the door they piddle on the floor.  That dog is reversed.  Two things are important here.  The first is that you don't give up on them when you are outside.  Stay out there until the dog has done their business, then come in.  The other is a bit of a "fooled ya" trick.  When they are done, then come in, turn a circle, and go right back outside.  This will allow the body to say "hmmm... I am inside now time to potty..." then when they get outside the body is started and they go.  Tons of praise when they go and you are good to go back inside.  Generally two or three times of this and they have gotten "un-reversed".

Let me also de-bunk a popular misconception.  Boys are not the only ones who mark, girls do as well, they are just a bit more subtle about it.  I often have have people indicate that the don't want a male because they mark.  Marking is a dominate behavior most common in un-altered adults.  A pet needs to be taught that marking is not acceptable behavior.  In the mean time a belly band or britches (for the girls) can save a lot of stress and cleaner.


4. Q. Should I alter (spay/neuter) my pet and at what age?
 
  A.  Absolutely you should alter your pet.  All dogs placed by Displaced Pets rescue are spay/neutered before going to their new homes.  Even puppies will not leave our home until that is accomplished.

One of the leading causes of death in pet animals is mammary gland and testicular cancers. Early altering will prevent the sexual maturation and greatly reduce (almost eliminate) the incidence of these cancers.  With hundreds of animals being put to sleep each and every day it is your responsibility to spay and neuter your pets.

One of the most common reasons animals are abandoned have to do with housebreaking. The scent of estrus is noticeable to dogs for five miles! Instinct causes your dog to respond to this scent with urinating in their surroundings to mark their territory. Females piddle in tiny amounts and therefore it is less noticeable, and males lift their leg and urinate on objects to mark territory-which is more noticeable, but both genders mark their territory when left unaltered. Since the scent of urine is present-it then causes problems with defecation in the house as well. Since sexual maturity occurs in toy breed dogs well before the age of one year old this makes it advisable to alter your pet between the age of five and seven months of age (In boys, before they learn to lift their legs). Most vets recommend this age as well.


5. Q. Will spaying/neutering make my dog fat?
 
  A.  No

The activity level and diet of your pet determine it's weight.  If unusual weight gain happens then thyroid testing may be in order, or outside sources of food not under your control, well meaning neighbors for instance, should be considered.  Maybe they just need to start going for a long evening walk.


6. Q.  We are going to have a baby.  Do I need to give away my pets?
 
  A.  Absolutely NOT.  There is no reason to give away your pet if you are expecting a new baby, unless the pet has aggression issues before the child came along.  Pets with children can be very rewarding for you, your pet and your child. 

If you are having aggression issues that you are concerned about a good obedience class would be of benefit for both you and your pet.  That obedience instructor may suggest further behavioral modification sessions if a pet is still having issues.


7. Q.  Should I breed for just one litter to give my children the experience of the "miracle of birth"?
 
  A.  Birthing is a miracle, but NOT one I would want my children to witness!

It is bloody, agonizing, and potentially very dangerous to the dog and the puppies. MANY small breed females have Caesarean sections and MANY of them die. That is not something I would wish to subject my young children to. Children are usually very emotionally involved with their pet and it is a potentially traumatic experience for them, far from the "miracle" you hoped it would be.  Additionally you are putting the life of their much loved pet at risk with any pregnancy. What kind of "miracle" would that child see to watch their pet and her puppies die during that "miracle"?  Consider just how many dogs are in rescue - hundreds are put to sleep in shelters every single day.  Do you really want to add to that for the sake of an educational experience?.


8. Q. How often do I bathe & brush my dog, and with what?
 
  A.  This can vary with breed type.  A Maltese, Yorkie or Chinese Crested with their fine hair will need to be brushed more often than a Chihuahua.  Here are some suggestions for a few breeds that I have worked with.

With most dogs, between baths you can use a bit of baby powder for a dry cleaning that keeps them sweet smelling. Make sure not to get the powder in the dog's nose.  You can also use a "steam bath" method of taking a HOT wet towel and wrapping it around the dog for a few minutes, then rub vigorously. The steam bath will remove a great deal of soil from their coat and works great for a freshen up when traveling.

  • The Pom has a double coat and can have issues with dry skin and coat; and requires bathing approximately every other month or every third month-according to their lifestyle.  Use a gentle dog shampoo (I use a Protein Lanolin dog shampoo).  Brush with a metal pin brush (the longer pins the better) and metal detangling comb thoroughly at least once per week. Watch for mats behind the ears, under the front arms and along the backs of the legs as these are the areas where the coat is finer and will tend to mat.  Be sure to brush before a bath and after the coat has dried after a bath, that is when you will get most of the loose coat out.
     
  • The Poodle and Bishon have a curly coats that catches up the loose fur.  Brushing regularly with a pin brush to work out that coat is important to avoiding mats.  These dogs are considered hypo allergenic because of the type of coat and the minimal of shedding.  Brushing with a metal pin brush or even the fine slicker brush.
     
  •  Hair type coats like Maltese, Yorkie, Havanese and Puff Chinese Crested's have more of a human type of hair.  They require frequent brushing to keep the tangles down.  They also benefit from some additional oil in the coat, like silk oil or mink oil.  These are also considered hypo allergenic breeds because of the hair like coat, rather than fur.  I prefer a soft boar brush and comb for this coat type.
     
  • Short coats like Chihuahua actually have as much shed or more than some longer coated breeds.  The hair that they shed is also more difficult to remove from clothing, etc that the fur of some breeds.  A slicker brush works best to remove the shed on the Chi types of coat.
     
  • Terrier types.  Terriers benefit greatly from "stripping" the coat.   There are many YouTube videos showing how this is accomplished.  Their coats are a more coarse texture. My preference is a slicker brush for the terrier types.

9. Q. What does it cost to own and care for a dog?
 
  A.  Adopting a rescue dog is a wonderful experience. It is very important to be ready for the responsibility of being a pet owner. Many people adopt or rescue a dog without considering the long term costs associated with owning a dog. We want you to be prepared for all of the things that come along with owning a dog. 

Here are some of the things that you will want to consider:

What is your dog's life expectancy?

Little dogs have a live span average of 15-18 years.
The oldest Pom I have had was 22.

What is the placement donation for your dog?

Our placement fees range from $50 - $350

Vet Care:
(all of our placements are spay/neutered, current on vaccinations and micro-chipped)
- Wellness check at your Vet? $75
- Annual Vaccinations $35 annually
- Heartworm Test $45
- Fecal Parasite Test $40
- Dental $350 to start
- Broken Limb $500 - simple splint
$2000 if surgery is required
- Flea and Tick Prevention $30 per month
- Heartworm Prevention $15 per month
Harness and Leash

$30

Crate

$35 - 75

Bedding

$30

Toys & Bones

$50 annually

Grooming Supplies (brushes, shampoos, etc)

$40 annually

Groomer

$45 to $80 depending on coat type

Fencing

$50 x-pen type
$200 to $1500 chain link yard

Training

$150 - $350
in home or classroom training

Boarding

$15 - $35 per day
We offer limited boarding for $15 per day.

 

8. Q. I want a teacup dog.  Do you get those?
 
  A.  First off, there is no such thing as a teacup dog, in any breed.  That is a term created by puppy mills in order to put big prices on little dogs.  The smallest of the Toy dogs are the Chihuahua, Pomeranian and Toy Poodle.  I will speak to Pomeranians since that is my expertise. 

The Pomeranian's proper size is 3 to 7 pounds.  They are part of the AKC Toy group.  In the US there are no such thing as size variations for Pomeranians.  Since the Pomeranian originally came from the larger Spitz breeds a quality breeder may occasionally see Pomeranians over that 7 pound mark, but those should be rare.  Puppy Mills love to breed the bigger Poms as they get bigger litters and it means more money.  These bigger Poms are the largest majority of the Poms that we find in rescue.  Poms of the proper size, 3 to 7 pounds, are less common.  Poms that come in under that 3 pound mark very often have health issues and live shorter lives. 

In the Poodle and American Eskimo breeds there are size variations of Toy, Miniature and Standard.  Each of those have very specific characteristics and none are called teacup.

If you see a breeder marketing Standard, Toy and Teacup Puppies run; as that is a puppy mill or back yard breeder who is just out for the money.  I have also seen rescues buying into the hype and marketing tiny dogs as teacup.  We don't do that here.  All that serves to do is to validate the marketing hype that has been created by the puppy millers.  If you come to me looking for a teacup dog expect some good natured education.

 

9. Q. I work long hours, is it bad for my dog to be alone for 10 or more hours a day while I am at work?
 
  A.  Thereís a reason we call them our best friends: They are wired to spend time with us, watch us and help us. Thatís not to say you shouldnít get a dog if you work, far from it. A dog is a friend who is always there to greet you, play with you and exercise you.  Not many of us can spend all day with our dogs, even though it would be amazing if we could. We have work, school and other commitments in our lives.  Where 10 or 12 hours a day isn't ideal, there are ways of managing it so your dog is safe happy and comfortable.

Teach your dog that being home alone is okay. Every dog should be able to stay on his own all day without falling apart emotionally or becoming destructive. From the time you first get him, whether heís a puppy or an adult, practice leaving him alone. Start with just a minute or two and gradually extend the length of time as you become comfortable with his behavior while youíre out of sight. He can be in his crate, in a gated space, or once youíre sure heís trustworthy, on his own in the house. Watch for potty accidents, too, as these will tell you how long your dog can be left without needing to go outside.

As you work with you dog on being alone, donít re-enter the room if heís crying, whining, howling or barking. Wait until heís quiet, then go in and praise him in a brief, matter-of-fact tone of voice. You want him to think that being on his own is normal and safe. Give him a treat when you leave but not when you return.

If you feel that your dog is having separation anxiety when you are gone.  Try using a crate for his away time.  Make sure that the crate is big enough for him to move around in and that he has access to water.  Many little dogs, when left the run of the house, will begin looking for you.  As they search they become more anxious that they can't find you.  To much space can lead to an increasing anxiety.  When you put them in their crate they consider that their den, or safe place, they will relax and know that you will be letting them out when you return.

Make sure he has constructive ways to occupy his time when youíre not around. Stuff a Kong toy or fill a puzzle toy with his daily ration of kibble so he has to work for his meals.  Give him an antler or raw bone to gnaw on.  But a word of caution: Never leave your dog unsupervised with a toy that could be chewed apart and swallowed. Before leaving your dog alone, make sure any toys in the environment are indestructible.

Leave the radio tuned to a calming classical station so that they aren't in a totally quiet space.  This way they are less affected by other noises that happen throughout the day. Choose the station carefully. You donít want to come home to a dog who is amped up from listening to people shout at each other all day.

Your dog will be overjoyed when you come home and take them for a walk first thing.  They are so happy to see you that being alone for a long day isn't a big deal at all.
 



As stated throughout this page. 
I am no expert, these are just things I have found to be helpful to me and/or represent my own opinion. 
Hopefully they will be helpful to you.

 

 

 

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