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Mixed Breeds For Dummies, 2nd Edition


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 3

Part 1: Getting Started with Mixed Breeds 5 Chapter 1: Mixing It Up: Introducing the Mixed Breed 7

A Mutt by Any Other Name: Defining Mixed Breeds 8

A Tale of Two Dogs: How Mixed-Breed Dogs Come to Be 9

Even Toy Dogs Aren't Toys 10

They Don't Call 'Em Man's Best Friend for Nothin' 11

Chapter 2: Designer Dogs: Not Your Mother's Mutt 13

The Pros and Cons of Designer Dogs 14

The pros 14

The cons 14

The Major "Labels" in the Designer-Dog World 15

Oodles of Poodles 15

A basket of Toys 20

Intelligent perceptions: Border Collie hybrids 25

Chapter 3: A Little of This, a Little of That: Deciding Which Mixed Breed is Right for You 27

Asking Yourself the Right Questions 27

Do you have enough time for a dog? 28

Do you have enough money for a dog? 28

Are you ready to give your heart to a dog? 29

Looking at the Different Breeds 29

On the hunt: The Sporting Group 29

Ain't nothin' but a hound dog: The Hound Group 30

Workin' like a dog: The Working Group 31

Tenacious terriers: The Terrier Group 33

Big personalities in small packages: The Toy Group 34

All shapes and sizes: The Non-Sporting Group 35

Round 'em up: The Herding Group 36

Considering Age: Puppy or Adult? 37

Gender Bender: Male or Female? 39

Adding It Up: The Right Dog for You 39

Chapter 4: Choosing Your New Best Friend 41

Finding Your Very Own Mixed-Breed Dog 41

Breeders 42

Shelters 43

Rescue groups 43

Knowing Which Questions to Ask 44

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match: Temperament Testing 45

Be gentle: Testing for touch sensitivity 45

What's that? Testing for movement and object sensitivity 47

Who's the boss? Testing for dominance and submission 49

I'll get that! Testing for possessiveness and retrieval ability 52

Follow the leader: Testing for social skills 53

Part 2: Living with Your Mixed-Breed Dog 55 Chapter 5: Getting Ready for Your Dog's Arrival 57

Dog-Proofing Your House 57

Removing chewing hazards 58

Protecting your furniture 59

Pushing up daisies: Giving your dog a place to dig 60

Born to run: Making sure your dog can't escape 61

Your Mixed-Breed Dog's Bedroom 62

Crate or pen? Your dog's first place to sleep 62

Thinking outside the box: Letting your dog sleep outside a crate or pen 63

Bedding 63

Giving Your Dog a Place to Eat 64

Stocking Up on Supplies 64

Collars and leashes 64

Dishes and bowls 65

Toys 66

Chapter 6: Bringing Home Your Mixed Breed 69

Giving Your Dog the Guided Tour 70

Walking her in and showing her around 70

Greeting the family 70

Meeting other pets 71

Taking her out to do her business 74

Showing the dog her sleeping area 75

Fighting Those First-Night Blues 76

Scheduling Time for Your New Dog 77

Exercise and playtime 77

Feeding time 78

Potty time 79

Chapter 7: Chasing the Chuckwagon: The Basics of Feeding 81

The Basics of Nutrition 82

Types of Dog Food 83

Commercial dog food 84

Homemade food 86

Raw diet 86

Don't touch! Foods and plants that are poisonous to dogs 87

How Much to Feed 89

Feeding according to your dog's age 90

Feeding according to your dog's size 91

Special Dietary Needs 91

It's My Treat: Giving Your Dog a Little Something Extra 92

Chapter 8: Grooming Your Mixed Breed 95

Why Grooming Matters: Inside and Out 96

Brushing Your Dog 96

Cleaning Your Dog's Ears 98

Look, Ma - No Cavities! Brushing Your Canine's Choppers 99

The Eyes Have It: Caring for Your Mixed Breed's Eyes 100

Mani/Pedi Time: Clipping Your Dog's Nails 101

Bathing Your Dog 104

Checking for Parasites 106

Preventing parasites 106

Curing parasites 107

The Daily Once-Over: Checking Your Dog for Problems 108

Chapter 9: Exercising Your Dog 111

Knowing How Much Exercise Your Dog Needs 112

Puppies 112

Adult dogs 113

Older dogs 115

Finding an Activity Your Dog Enjoys 116

Walking 116

Jogging and running 116

Biking 117

Fetch 117

Hiking 118

Swimming 119

Horse and hound 121

Part 3: Training Your Dog 123 Chapter 10: Housetraining 125

When You Gotta Go: Looking for Your Dog's Warning Signs 126

Scheduling Potty Breaks 127

If you work away from home all day 128

If you work out of your house 129

If your schedule changes frequently 129

Crate-Training to Prevent Accidents 130

How the crate works 130

Introducing your dog to the crate 131

Teaching your dog to go in a specific area 133

Teaching your dog to get it done faster 134

Other Training Methods 135

Paper training 136

Using a litter pan 136

Watching for Success 136

Observing your dog 137

Giving freedom only when she earns it 137

Working on Some Advanced Housetraining Techniques 138

Training your dog to potty on command 139

You rang? Getting your dog to ring a bell when she has to go 139

Chapter 11: Hup, Two, Three, Four: Good Manners and Basic Training 141

Preparing for Training 141

Targeting: The first step in training 142

Using a marker: The second step in training 142

Buying the right training tools 143

Making your voice and body work for you 145

Training the Basic Commands 147

Come 147

Heel 148

Getting started: The basics of Heel 149

Handling a dog who pulls 152

Trying the Heel off-leash 153

Sit 154

Down 156

Stay 158

Time 159

Movement 160

Distance 162

Getting your dog to come from a Stay 162

Dealing with Distractions 165

Looking at the different levels of distraction 166

Introducing distractions to your dog 167

Helping your dog be reliable off-leash 168

Finding a Trainer 168

Chapter 12: Tackling Mixed-Breed Training Challenges 173

Unpacking the Mental Baggage: Helping a Dog

Who's Been Abused or Neglected 174

Alone and Frightened: Separation Anxiety 174

Recognizing the symptoms 175

Knowing what to do about it 177

Severe anxiety: When to seek outside help 183

No More Mr Nice Guy: The Aggressive Dog 184

Recognizing the types of aggression 184

Knowing what to do about it 186

Jumping for Joy 187

Knowing why dogs jump 187

Keeping your dog's feet on the ground 188

Curing the insistent jumper 189

Chewing Your Dog Out for Chewing 190

Understanding why dogs chew 190

Solving the problem 191

From Beggar to Chooser: Getting Your Dog to Stop Begging at the Table 195

Nipping and Mouthing 196

Understanding why dogs nip and mouth 196

Preventing the problem 196

Curing the problem 197

Digging to the Center of the Earth 197

Knowing why dogs dig 197

Giving your dog a place to dig 198

Part 4: Keeping Your Dog Healthy 201 Chapter 13: Finding and Working with a Vet 203

Choosing a Veterinarian 203

Spaying or Neutering Your Pet 206

Microchipping or Tattooing: Keeping Your Dog Safe 207

Keeping Up with Regular Healthcare 208

Regular checkups and yearly vaccinations 209

Baseline tests 210

Controlling parasites 210

Addressing Special Health Problems 211

Skin allergies 211

Food allergies 212

Appetite issues 212

Skeletal disorders 213

Chapter 14: First Aid: Dealing with Emergencies 215

Gathering Emergency Contact Information 215

Assembling Your Canine First-Aid Kit 217

First-Aid Basics 218

Allergies 218

Bloat 219

Broken bones or dislocations 219

Burns 220

Choking 220

Cuts 220

Diarrhea 220

Heat stroke 221

Hypothermia 221

Insect bites 222

Poisoning 222

Puncture wounds 222

Run-ins with wild animals 223

Seizures 223

Shallow wounds 224

Shock 224

Snake bites 224

Vomiting 224

If You Lose Your Dog 225

Before your dog is lost: Getting proper identification 225

What to do when your dog is lost 226

Chapter 15: The Special Needs of Senior Dogs 227

How Old is Old: Knowing When Your Dog Has Earned Senior Status 227

The Early-Bird Special: Feeding Your Senior Dog 229

Use It or Lose It: Exercising Your Senior Dog 230

Social time with other dogs 230

Walks with you 231

Identifying Health Problems Common to Seniors 231

Hearing loss 231

Blindness 232

Arthritis 232

Digestive disorders 233

Cancer 233

Dementia 233

Depression 234

Recognizing Behavior Problems That Sometimes Come with Age 235

Saying Goodbye 236

Part 5: Having Fun with Your Dog 239 Chapter 16: Not Just for Purebreds: Showing Off with Your Mixed Breed 241

Participating in a Mixed-Breed Dog Club 241

Competing in obedience matches and dog shows 242

Competing in agility 244

Competing in Rally 245

Media Hound: Getting Your Dog on Camera 246

Knowing what animal agents look for 247

Preparing for work 247

What to expect when your dog performs in front of the camera 248

Chapter 17: Traveling with Charley 249

Deciding Whether to Bring Your Dog with You 250

Finding Pet-Friendly Places to Stay 251

Packing for Your Trip 251

Traveling by Car 253

Flying with Your Dog 254

What to do before you leave 254

Caring for your dog before and after the flight 256

Leaving Your Dog Behind 256

Finding an in-home sitter 256

Knowing what to look for in a kennel 257

Part 6: The Part of Tens 259 Chapter 18: Ten Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Dog 261

It Doesn't Cost Much - and It May Be Free! 262

Breeding is Time-Consuming and Expensive 262

You Reduce Your Dog's Risk of Cancer 263

You Help Control the Number of Unwanted Dogs in the World 264

Your Dog Won't Be as Likely to Stray from Home 264

Your Dog Will Be on Her Best Behavior 265

Your Dog Will Be Easier to Housetrain 265

Reproduction Can Be Risky 265

Your Dog Will Be a Better Watchdog 266

Your Dog Isn't You 266

Chapter 19: Ten (or So) Fun Activities You and Your Mixed Breed Can Enjoy Together 267

Competing with Your Dog at American Kennel Club Events 268

Participating in United Kennel Club Events 268

Training Your Dog to Dive 268

Joining the Fun at the American Treibball Association 269

Camping and Hiking: Finding Fun Outdoor Activities 270

Helping Your Dog Become a Good Citizen 270

Help Your Dog Help Other People 271

Dancing with Your Mixed Breed 272

Flying High with Flyball 272

Index 273

About the Author

Miriam Fields-Babineau has been a professional animal trainer since 1978 and is the author of 45 books in the field, including one on how to train cats! A psychologist and zoologist, she takes her work home with her and lives in Vermont with her family, dogs, cats, and horses.

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