Service Dogs Give Two Paws Up To Billy Elliot

Attending the show is a part of their training

The theater is for everyone, full stop. In order to make that ideal a reality for people with service dogs, the dogs must be trained to handle the specific challenges of attending a live performance. That’s why a group of dogs and their handlers from K-9 Country Inn Service Dogs went to see Billy Elliot The Musical.

The outing allowed the dogs to gain experience navigating the narrow spaces in a theater and staying in the same spot for long periods of time both before and after intermission. They also benefited from exposure to the loud noises, bright lights and all the movement associated with a live show.

Hide My Deaf/Blind Dog Away?

By Debbie Bauer

© Debbie Bauer

Here is my handsome, clever, fun-loving boy Vinny on our recent trip to Purina Farms.  This picture was taken at their Visitor Center and he is smiling, which is his normal state of mind.  You see, on this day, it was Saturday morning and the Visitor Center was full of children!  In fact, we struggled at times to get a picture, as children were running up to him trying to pet him and say hello.  Vinny loves children!  They are just at his nose height and he thinks they smell divine!If you’ve followed this blog for very long, you know that I love to travel with and do all sorts of activities with my dogs.  This blog just happens to focus on my dogs that are double merles and are therefore blind and/or deaf.  But I do have other dogs too – dogs that can see and hear and aren’t double merles.  I enjoy doing things with them as well.

I am a dog person through and through.  My life does revolve around my dogs much of the time.  And I love all my dogs – even the ones that can’t see and hear.  Living with them, those differences fade from the forefront.  I don’t focus on what they can’t do.  We spend our time figuring out how to do more and more together.

I realize that to most people we meet out in public, my dog is an oddity.  I mean, it isn’t every day that people meet a dog that can’t see or hear at all, right?  People think I am some sort of rock star to sacrifice my life to care for this poor dog with such devastating disabilities.  But this is not reality …

You see, that is only their perception.  I have my own perceptions of the situation, too.  To me, my dog doesn’t have any devastating disabilities.  He is funny and smart and capable of doing anything – it just happens that he can’t see or hear.  He loves to play.  He likes new adventures.  He has a personality.  I am not a rock star.  I am just a person, just like these other people, who happens to see past the differences to see all those things that a blind and deaf dog has in common with me.  And I have chosen to make him my friend.

Some people say that me teaching Vinny to do fun things and earn dog sports titles is somehow encouraging people to want a blind/deaf dog just like him.  They think that me enjoying my partnership with my dog is encouraging people to breed more dogs like him or to go out seeking a dog just like him.  I guess they think I should hide him away somewhere where no one will see him – to keep him a secret that I’m ashamed of?

© Debbie Bauer

Again, I don’t do these things with my dog because he’s blind and deaf.  I do these things with my dog because he’s my dog and we like doing things together!  I like earning ribbons and titles with my dogs – all of them!  I like traveling with my dog and watching him explore and learn about new things.

I hate to think about what would have happened had I hidden away all of my differently-abled dogs!  When I started this blog, there was hardly any useful information out there about working with blind and deaf dogs.  So many were killed.  So many people didn’t think they were capable of learning anything at all – not even to be toilet trained!

Without my brilliant dogs showing the world that they are feeling, thinking and learning dogs, there are many dogs that would not have been given the chance to find great homes.  Today, there are many differently-abled dogs out there having great fun doing activities with their people!

I love my dog just the way he is!  But I would love him just as much if he had been born able to see and hear!  It is not his fault that he was born this way.  He wants to play and learn and explore.  I want these things for him too.  I don’t want to hide him away.

Yes, that means we do get a lot of attention.  I use the attention we receive to help share with as many people as I can.  I share about the consequences of breeding two merle patterned dogs together.  I share about the realities of living with a blind and deaf dog – it’s not all a piece of cake!  There are challenges.  There are rewards.

I share with rescues and fosters and shelters how to teach these great dogs and find the best homes for them.  I share to dispel myths.  I share with fellow trainers so there will be more who can help clients with differently-abled dogs across the country and even around the world.

I’m proud of my dogs.  Please don’t expect me to hide them away somewhere.  How would you feel if someone expected you to hide your dog away somewhere?  I know you’re proud of your dog too.

With anything that brings attention, there comes the risk that someone else wants to recreate it for themselves.  If someone makes a movie about Dalmations and the dogs are so very cute, then so many people want a Dalmation whether it is the right breed for them or not.  If someone makes the world agility team with a pyrenean shepherd and it’s super fast, then many people want a pyrenean shepherd.  If people see me working with a blind and deaf Collie, will people want to get themselves a blind and deaf Collie too?

You get the idea.  It’s not the fact that my dog is blind and deaf that may make people want to imitate me.  It’s like this with anything – that is why we have fads.  Someone thought something was cool and wanted it too.  Education and advocating is the way to stop the double merle epidemic.  Hiding them all away just won’t work.

I cannot stop the attention I receive from doing what I love with my dogs.  My wish, though, is to teach compassion and responsible breeding.  And to promote adoption of differently-abled dogs whenever it is the best match for that person.  And always, I promote positive reinforcement training.  This is the message I want people to get when they see me with my dogs.  Don’t create more of them – but for the ones that are already here, make their lives as full as possible!

About the Author

Debbie Bauer, HTACP, operates Your Inner Dog in the Effingham, Illinois area and has over 25 years of teaching and consulting experience working with dogs and their people. She specializes in working with dogs that display shy, fearful and reactive behaviors and also has extensive experience working with dogs with special abilities, including deaf and blind/deaf dogs. Bauer has trained dogs in a variety of fields, including therapy work, flyball, herding, print ad and media work, obedience, rally, agility, musical freestyle, conformation, lure coursing, tricks and scent work. She has over 13 years of experience with custom-training assistance dogs, including medical alert dogs, to match the specific needs of each person.  Her special interest lies in educating the public about dogs which are homozygous merle (often called double merle), and about how deaf, blind, and deaf/blind dogs can live happy fulfilled lives as part of a family.  

Who Else Wants to Know How to Deal with Matted Dog Hair?

For those who own a lovely dog, you know that hair mats do really happen. In as much as it’s a friendly disposition, the long and silky coats present a nightmare of a challenge to keep tidy.

The long coats develop into tangles and mats, which provide an unpleasant experience for both dog and the owners. The matted hair becomes even more aggravated when the dog gets wet. Unless these are not brushed or removed, they introduce a number of skin problems to the dog.

On occasions, the fur tangles up to your dog’s skin and this eventually results in itchy sores. The sores are masked by the mats, leading to skin infections which spread throughout the dog’s body. It is, therefore of utmost importance that you get rid of matted dog hair as soon as they develop. 

What is Matted Fur

what is matted dog hair

Matted dogs are dogs that have sticky and hard coats. You’ll know if your dog is matted by running a comb through their fur or hair. Though you might at first just use your hand to run through their coat, it still isn’t recommended because this isn’t enough to thoroughly flow through every strand of hair on their skin.

Use a comb, and you can smoothly go through their coat. It should easily glide through it. But if ever it gets snagged, then that’s a strong sign that you’ve got a matted dog. The best thing to do when this happens is to stop brushing, as forced brushing might improperly pull out their hair from their skin. That would surely be painful! Instead of continuing brushing, you might as well shave it to your dog’s ideal hair length.

What Causes Matted Hair

what causes matted hair

1. Friction

There are a lot of reasons on why your dog’s coat and hair gets matted. However, the usual reason is that of friction. A dog’s matted hair is usually found at the back of their ears, under their neck, in between their armpits, and even sometimes on the lower portion of their legs. These places are the spots where their body usually comes in contact with soil, grass, or other rough and dirty surfaces.

2. Posture and Position

A dog’s posture and position also play a huge factor in why they might be matted. Dogs that always sit down or dogs that are left or right hipped are the ones that are usually matted. This is because air doesn’t dry up their coat if it happens that their coat is wet. It becomes moist and it absorbs dust and dirty due to it being in contact with the surface it’s sitting on.

3. Lack of Grooming

The most important thing about being a dog owner is always to put grooming above anything else. Ensuring that your dog is groomed well also isn’t just about cleanliness, but it’s also about making sure that they stay fit and healthy. Groom them regularly, bath them if they give off foul smell or if they look dirty. This way, you’ll avoid them from getting unnecessary knots and tangles that then lead to matted coat. 

Matted Dog Hair Problems

matted dog hair problems

A lot of serious problems can happen if you don’t do anything about your dog’s matted coat. One of the usual problems that might happen is that they might have a pelted coat. A pelted coat is when the entire coat of your dog is matted, all the way from their neck to their tails, and even their legs and feet.

This then creates a large dirty mat over your dog’s body which can harbor parasites, pets, and other harmful microbial life. And not only that, because this will also make it impossible for you to brush out the mat.

A dog that has matted coat will also feel constant pain because the hair would always be pulling their skin. A slight movement that your dog makes would always result in pain because the hair sticks into their skin’s surface. Their skin surface will then be a breeding ground for bacteria. In worse cases, it can even lead to fungal growth.

How to Get Mats Out of Dog Hair

Fortunately for you, matting in non-shedding dogs can be prevented through regular care and grooming of your dog’s hair. Matted dog hair removal requires that you be patient with your dog, more so when she does not fancy standing still. To prevent a bad dog hair day, you need the best way to get mats out of dog hair. The following methods should come in handy.

1. Use Dog Detangler Spray

Before you start the detangling process, you need to first of all use a detangler spray. The spray makes the whole detangling and dematting process a lot easier on you and the dog. In this way, you can detangle heavy mats easily since the spray softens the hair for an easier process.

However, if the mats and tangles are not that severe, you can skip this step. But I would highly recommend using the spray no matter the severity of the problem. It would enable you to detangle matted hair painlessly.

Before you bath your dog, remember to first of all remove all the tangles and mats that may be present on the dog’s hair. If you might have realized, bathing the dog before makes the problem worse by creating more mats. In other instances, the water makes the tangles tighter. This makes them harder to remove even with the application of a detangler spray. What this means is that if you have a long-haired dog breed, then get rid of all the mats first before you can bath her.

You can choose to also use a detangling shampoo or a detangling conditioner for detangled hair. There is a catch though as these do not provide a lasting solution to this hair problem. 

For my dog’s detangling spray needs, I usually use the Stuff Conditioner and Detangler. I find it to be the best when it comes to removing the severe mats and tangles that my dog experiences. This product is good at both coat protection and also removal and prevention of tangles. If you are looking for a dematting solution that is easier and safe for your dog, then you could try out this product just like me.


The Stuff Dog Conditioner.Ready to use,16oz
Via Amazon.com

The Stuff Dog Conditioner.Ready to use,16oz

2. Use A Slicker Brush and Wide-Tooth Comb for Soft Mats

Just in case your dog has soft mats, a better option would be to use either a slicker brush or a wide tooth comb. Alternatively, these two can be used one after the other by first loosening the mats with the slicker brush.

When done, you can then use the wide-tooth comb for picking the tangles and combing them out. You need to first of all get ready with a good quality slicker brush. It is the only way you will be able to effectively remove the tangles.

Are you wondering what the best option for a wide-toothed comb could be? My choice for this product is the Andis Pet Steel Grooming Comb. It is a low cost yet powerful dual sided comb. Other features I find appealing about this product are its fine and coarse teeth that are sturdy enough to remove mats on a dog’s coat effectively.


Andis Pet 7-1/2-Inch Steel Comb (65730)
Via Amazon.com

Andis Pet 7-1/2-Inch Steel Comb (65730)

Other brushes and combs work out great too, but a slicker brush always does the trick for me. To ensure that you always buy the best, properly asses the qualities of the slicker brushes available before you make any purchase. You should not buy one just for the sake of it.

One that’s neither too hard nor too soft to brush out any tangles should be the best choice. This type can be used on almost any type of dog skin without introducing further problems. For the best choice, I would recommend you go for a self-cleaning slicker brush for more efficiency.

Because of the hundreds of slicker brushes on the market, you might be spoilt for choices. So, if you ever find yourself in this situation, I would suggest you choose the Hertzko Self Cleaning Brush. It is my choice because of its fine, deep penetrating bristles that are capable of grooming my dogs’ undercoat without causing scratches on her skin. Additionally, I like how it cleans itself. Just a simple click and the brush rids itself of dog hair, readying it for next time.


Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush
Via Amazon.com

Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush

When dematting tangles, the best practice with either the slicker brush or the comb is to work with a small patch of hair at a time. The best practice is to start with the head area under the ears as you work the mats towards the tail. Hold the part of the matted fur closest to the skin and comb the tangles upwards. It is imperative that you do this to prevent skin damage or brush burns.

Proper comb care necessitates that once any pin is missing, twisted, crushed or pointing in the opposite direction then it should be discarded. I am not the type to blame my tools, but a damaged tool is bad for your dog’s lovely hair cuticles. Always make sure that the brush pins are smooth, polished and that they do not have rough edges. 

3. Use a Dematting Rake for Hard Mats Area

A dematting rake is a hand-held tool with a row (s) of sharp bladed teeth. If used with extreme care and caution, this tool can be great at removing even the severest of mats. To use it, you simply apply it directly albeit with small strokes onto the mats and tangles.

With every stroke, the mats loosen and open up then you can use the slicker brush for a final finish. The key to a smooth dematting process is to take care not to inflict pains on the skin since the blades of this dog mat remover can easily inflict cuts on the dog’s skin, tail and ears.

The rule of thumbs is to hold the patch of mats close to the skin with your fingers so that unnecessary pulling is avoided. Once you have gently held the matted area, start the dematting process from the upper parts as you work your way through to the bottom of the hair follicles. 

There are cases where the mats are too severe, with a thick undercoat under the mats. In case this is the case with your dog, I would suggest that you use a dematting rake for dogs comprising of curved blades.  These have a better penetrating power than the normal ones. When it comes to their usage, remember not to over rake on a single area of mats. The blades might end up cutting some hair, leaving your dog with a bald patch.

The GoPets Dematting Comb provides the best solution for a dematting rake if you ask me. It works great as a versatile tool for various dematting needs. First, it can be used as a dematting brush, then as a detangling comb and lastly as a de-shedding rake or an undercoat comb.  I usually give it to friends as gifts (they later appreciate it) when they need something to sort out the mats on their furry friends. 


GoPets Dematting Comb with 2 Sided Professional Grooming Rake for Cats & Dogs
Via Amazon.com

GoPets Dematting Comb with 2 Sided Professional Grooming Rake for Cats & Dogs

4. Thinning Shears to the Rescue

Just in case all of the above methods don’t work in solving the matted hair problem, then you could try using blending shears as a last resort. The first step is to lift up a small area of matted tangles. Then use the blender to detangle the area underneath the held hair.

When using the shears, tilt its blade from the skin so that you don’t accidentally sprain the skin. Afterward, make a number of cuts through the tangled patch of hair or alternatively cut behind the mats, closest to the skin.

You can then brush the blended area so that it doesn’t look like a whole patch of hair was chopped from it. One thing I love about blenders is the manner in which they make the hair appear natural. They also have the ability to get rid of any choppy marks left behind.

The key to a neater looking blended matted hair is to use the blender in a vertical position. Otherwise, the hair will not blend in with one another that quite well. Rather than chopping down the matted hair with shears, you should blend the whole body for a more natural look.

A fuller, dematted coat results in the process. With blenders, you can give your dog a look makeover more so the long-nosed breeds. Use the blender to eliminate the excess hair on their cheeks and ears for a more beautiful Shelty or Collie look.

Another use of blending shears could be to trim the skirts of a Spaniel. It creates a natural and soft trimming even if the dog were to be clipped. They can be used on the hocks and feet of dogs for removing any wispy hair. Basically, a blending thinner or shear will have an array of uses once you buy one.

If you are looking for a new shearing blender, then I would suggest the Pet Magasin Pet Thinning Shears. Its serrated comb teeth (28 in number) make for a great general-purpose de-matting tool. 


Pet Magasin Pet Thinning Shears - Professional Thinning Scissors with Toothed Blade
Via Amazon.com

Pet Magasin Pet Thinning Shears – Professional Thinning Scissors with Toothed Blade

Word of Advice

There are times when all of these techniques might fail to work for your best friend. In as much as I wouldn’t want you to find yourself in this scenario, it is sometimes inevitable. If the mats and tangles situation does not improve, then I think it would be time to consider giving your long-haired friend a complete shave. She will not look great at first, but the problem will have been solved. After all, the hair will grow back after a while. For the best guidelines on how to shave your dog, I would suggest you check out the guide provided in this post.

Conclusion

Getting rid of matted hair on a long-haired dog can seem like a tiresome task, particularly if it’s severe. However, with the right tool for the job, it can be a fun activity so long as you take care not to over rake on the skin or accidentally bruise the dog’s skin.

I hope these techniques and tools have in a way solved your dog’s bad hair days. If you have any comments and suggestions, kindly get in touch with me in the comments section below. 

Matted dog hair removal

The post Who Else Wants to Know How to Deal with Matted Dog Hair? appeared first on Hello Cute Pup.

Who Else Wants To Know More About Best Dog Undercoat Rake?

Caring for our dogs requires an intense amount of dedication from us. However much it may get boring and tiring to do these repetitive tasks, it is one that I particularly love doing. Giving my dog a thorough scrubbing once in a while is one task I absolutely adore.

For short-haired dogs, helping them groom themselves is a pretty straightforward task. For the double-coated breeds, not so much fun is involved. Their long hairs keep shedding in spring and fall making grooming them such a hard task.

It does not always have to be this tiresome provided you have the right tools. Being well-versed with the anatomy of their coats is also a key step in grooming your hairy buddy. In this article, I intend to highlight the best undercoat rake to groom a hairy dog and explore the anatomy of the famous dog undercoat. 

What is Undercoat?

define undercoat

Perhaps you are wondering what this undercoat thing is. In long-haired dog breeds, there are two layers of coats. The upper, coarser coat, and then there is an inner, softer coat. It is this inner coat that is referred to as an undercoat.

Simply put, an undercoat is the soft layer of shorter fur usually present in dog breeds with double coats. The undercoat is found underneath the thicker outer protective coat (guard coat). Usually, the undercoat comprises of fur that’s shorter and softer than those on the top coat.

There is a reason why these coats are two. During extremely cold weather such as winter, the undercoats act as a second layer of insulation. In this way, the dog is kept warm even in the harshest of conditions.

In winter, the outer coat is the first insulative layer. It also repels moisture and rids the body of dirt. As temperatures become more extreme, the undercoat acts as a fuzzy sweater to keep the dog warm. As temperatures increase in summer, dogs with double coats undergo a seasonal process called shedding. 

At this time, the dog only needs less of the undercoat so that air can circulate uniformly through the body to keep the dog cool. It is during this time of the year that caring for these dogs becomes hectic as the shed hair needs to be brushed out or else it fills your living room.

The increased hair occurs seasonally in fall and spring. If care is not taken, your house will be filled with tones of fur. 

Dog Breeds with Undercoat

dog undercoat breeds

Technically, most dogs have the double coat or two-ply coat for protection against cold weather elements. This protective system is designed such that the outer guard hairs are stiffer and are naturally water repellent.

It protects both the undercoat and the dog’s skin from any weather elements. The undercoat, on the other hand, is fleecy and fluffy to provide adequate insulative properties.

Dog breeds with this type of setup are always gorgeous to own, apart from having to clean up the messy blown up hair during the seasonal shedding. There are also numerous dog breeds with this kind of double coats with the difference being in the amount of shedding experienced.

The breeds boasting a double coat are collectively referred to as Spitz dogs. They are bred as either working or herding dogs. Of late, some breeds are being domesticated as toy breeds.

Here are some of the breeds that boast the magnificent double coats. The list is divided into the different categories. 

Toy Breeds:  American Eskimo, Alaskan Husky, Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Chow Chow, Chinook, Finnish Lapphund, Finish Spitz, German Spitz, Keeshond, Icelandic Sheep Dog, Korean Jindo, Norwegian Elkhound, Pomeranian, Norwegian Lundehund, Siberian Husky, Shiba Inu, Swedish Lapphund, Samoyed.

Herding Breeds:  Swedish Vallhund, Shetland Sheepdog, Puli, Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Old English Sheepdog, Norwegian Buhund, German Shepherd Dog, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Pembroke Corgi, Canaan Dog, Bouvier des Flanders, Briard, Belgian Tervuren, Belgian Malinois, Beauceron, Belgian Sheepdog, Bearded Collie, Smooth Collie, Rough Collie, Australian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog.

Working Dogs: Tibetan Mastiff, Saint Bernard, Newfoundland, Leonberger, Kuvasz, Komondor, Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Black Russia Terrier, Bernese Mountain Dog.

Sporting Dogs: Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling, Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Boykin Spaniel, American Water Spaniel.

Terrier Dog Breeds: West Highland White Terrier, Wirehaired Fox Terrier, Wheaten Terrier, Skye Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Sealyham Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Irish Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, Tibetan Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Australian Terrier.

Lap Dogs: Yorkshire Terrier, Tibetan Spaniel, Shih Tzu, Pomeranian, Havanese.

Why is It Important to Brush and Remove the Undercoat? 

brush undercoat

After the extremities of winter, the increased temperatures render the undercoat of double coated dogs useless. It then needs to be shed so that the dog can cool when it gets hot. At this time, your pet needs proper and regular grooming to stay comfortable.

At some point, you might think of shaving the dog’s coat. However, vets and pet groomers advise against shaving the coat since it protects him from the sun and ultraviolet rays. Another reason you shouldn’t shave your dog is that they don’t sweat like you and hence don’t need an exposed skin to keep cool.

Regardless of all these, it is imperative that you remove the undercoat once the dog starts shedding it. Regular grooming is essential for the coat to perform its intended tasks more so in summer and spring.

When left undone, the fur tangles into mats which end up attracting moisture close to the skin. This moisture makes dogs pretty uncomfortable. By removing the dead undercoat, you create more spaces for air to circulate through within the dog’s skin. You will still be retaining the guard coat for protection against any external factors.

The good thing is that you can do the grooming yourself, just like I usually do. A gentle brush on the undercoat is all that it takes. But if you are a little unsure of yourself, you can seek the services of a professional dog groomer for a decent scrub. 

Dog Undercoat Removal

dog undercoat removal

Let me be sincere with you. Without the right tool for the job, removing your pooch’s dead undercoat is a grueling task. Things tend to get thick at times. For me, an undercoat rake does the job. I would suggest you use the blow rake since in my opinion it is the best undercoat rake. I have used it for years to groom my double coated Australian Shepherd and it works like magic for me.

Undercoat rakes are the ideal tools for those of you who want to home groom their pets. It works by removing the undercoat hairs that are ready to be shed. Just as its name suggests, a rake refers to a tool with a wide working headline with rows of rigid and round teeth.

The head is connected to a handle which you use to gently move the tool up and down the dog’s coat. In the process, the thick undercoat is raked out hair by hair. The selection process of a suitable rake should be done carefully.

Its pins should be such that they are about the same length as those of the dog’s hair. This length is to make sure the rake penetrates up to the undercoat, open it and remove the dead hair. At the same time, the pins should not be too long such that they scratch the skin.

Start the grooming process by making small strokes as you hold taut the dog’s skin. Increase the length of the rake strokes as the undercoat loosens. Always mind how deep the rake goes into the undercoat so as not to scratch your best friend’s skin. Once the coat is loose, brush them out with a slicker brush. A good rake should cost you between $10-$30. 

The Best Undercoat Rake


Pat Your Pet - 2 Sided Undercoat Rake for Dogs
Via Amazon.com

Pat Your Pet – 2 Sided Undercoat Rake for Dogs

If you are looking for an undercoat rake for your pooch’s grooming needs, the Pat Your Pet Grooming Tool is the best tool for the job in my opinion. I have used it for grooming my Australian Shepherd and can attest to its efficiency.

This tool is great for getting rid of knots, mats, and tangles besides being able to remove undercoats in long-haired dogs. It is a product that provides you with a 2-in-1 functionality. First of all, it is a dual 9 toothed comb for the toughest tangles. Secondly, it functions as a 17 teeth de-shedding and thinning tool.

It works best for both small and large breed dogs with either a medium or long sized coat. Regularly brushing the coats with this rake removes the dead hair in the pet’s undercoat. Shedding is reduced in the process.

If you are worried about the teeth either scratching or irritating your canine friend, then the rounded teeth are a welcome relief. These are completely safe on the dog. As a bonus, you get a cute paw tag for your dog. 

Conclusion

Caring for a double coated dog breed can be a grueling task, particularly in the shedding season. There is usually hair everywhere from the couches, the floor and just about anything the dog rubs itself on.

However, with the right undercoat rake, the grooming routine is one that I have come to love. It gives me the chance to further bond with my lovely canine friend. It could work for you too. I hope this article has helped you better understand your dog and how his double coat works and how best to groom it. 

Dog undercoat rake

4.8
Score

Still feeling a little uncertain about what to buy? Here are the best dog undercoat rake you can buy:

The post Who Else Wants To Know More About Best Dog Undercoat Rake? appeared first on Hello Cute Pup.

A Comprehensive Review of the Best Harness for Pitbull

For those who are the proud owners of a Pitbull, you already know of the tremendous energy this dog breed has. If left untamed, they may become quite unruly as they seek to dissipate all that raw power. Otherwise, a well-trained Pitbull is one of the most loyal and lovable dog breeds.

It is, therefore, vital to find the right training equipment when looking to keep control of your powerful dog. Since your dog would always love to pull on a leash, you need the best harness for Pitbull when either walking him or during training.

Due to the numerous choices available, choosing a Pitbull harness becomes a daunting task. Some of these products are even inappropriate and may pose a health risk to your dog. To make it a little easier for you, we have prepared this buying guide to ensure you end up with the best.

Top Harness for Pitbull Reviews

Best Harness for Pitbull: 2 Hounds Freedom No-Pull Harness

Heavy Duty Dog Harness for Pitbull: URPOWER Dog Leash Harness

No Pull Harness for Pitbull: RABBITGOO No Pull Dog Harness

Spiked Harness for Pitbulls: Didog Soft Leather Harness

Leather Dog Harness for Pitbull: CollarDirect Rolled Leather Dog Harness

Weight Pulling Harness for Pitbulls: Canine Equipment Harness

1. Best Harness for Pitbull: 2 Hounds Freedom No-Pull Harness


Best Harness for Pitbull: 2 Hounds Freedom No-Pull Harness
Via Amazon.com

Best Harness for Pitbull: 2 Hounds Freedom No-Pull Harness

When looking for a harness, you need one that eliminates pulling from the dog. The 2 Hounds Freedom No-Pull Harness is a great option for eliminating neck strains as a result of too much pulling on the harness. Additionally, by restricting the dog’s movements, chances of him escaping are minimized.

A unique design specifically meant to reduce pulling features a loop that you set on the back of the dog, just between the shoulders. In this way, your best friend then has to walk in a straight line without any twists or strains on the harness. These features coupled with the padded straps make for a pain-free dog walk.

Since it is a walk from the back type of harness, the spinal cord of the dog is kept well aligned. This is great at keeping your dog at optimum health. With a soft swiss velvet lining, this harness goes behind the dog’s legs like a padded strap. This design prevents rubbing, which in turns makes it comfortable on the Pitbull.

We believe the versatility of this harness is another feature you will absolutely love. It can be used in two ways. You can either attach the double ended leash to the front of the harness or at the back. The former method is for discouraging pulling, while the latter is great for exercises. If you come to think of it, you need a harness with alternatives for handling your powerful best friend.

Things We Liked
  • It features a simple design that’s easy and quick to get on and off your dog. However, this does not mean the dog will be able to take it off. 
  • The harness can be adjusted from four points. It makes it a safe, yet comfortable fitting dog training equipment.
  • A soft velvet lining on the harness prevents injuries as a result of rubbing on the dog’s skin. The webbings are also turned out to alleviate any irritations. Despite the softness, this harness stands up quite well to repeated daily use.
  • It is available in a number of sizes to fit various dog sizes. You can find one that fits a large, medium, and small sized bulls. 
  • A double-ended leash is provided for increased versatility. Whether it’s exercising, or training, you only need a single harness. 
  • Another great feature is that the manufacturer replaces this harness for you in case the dog bites and ends up damaging it. 
Things We Didn’t Like
  • It sometimes tends to be too soft. Even puppies tend to chew right through it. Despite it being replaced for you, we think this might not be great at all in regards to durability. 
  • Some dog breeds still find a way of pulling on it despite the features put in place to prevent that. 
  • There are users we talked to who still find adjusting the harness a challenge. 

2. Heavy Duty Dog Harness for Pitbull: URPOWER Dog Leash Harness


Heavy Duty Dog Harness for Pitbull: URPOWER Dog Leash Harness
Via Amazon.com

Heavy Duty Dog Harness for Pitbull: URPOWER Dog Leash Harness

The URPOWER Dog Leash Harness comes in handy when you need something to keep your Pitbull under control for a long while. This product features a heavy-duty construction with its thick layers made from red nylon and blue jeans. These are then stitched together with an orange nylon for an overall structural strength and longevity.

Isn’t it just great to have a harness fitted with heavy duty hardware? Let’s face it; your Pitbull has tones of energy that a flimsy harness might not handle. The clasp that secures the leash onto the harness is made from a wear or rust resistant metal. Two of these clasps are provided so that you are able to adjust the fit according to your Pitbull’s measurements.

There is a tendency of certain harnesses to rub onto the skin of dogs when in use. As a result of the friction generated, heat causes injuries to the dog with time. However, this fault is eliminated in this harness with the inclusion of softly textured buckles.

Hard edges are smoothened out so that warping in the armpit area is non-existent. Your Pit can then walk and tag along comfortably. Apart from the excellent safety and durability features, this harness looks stylish and simplistic too.

You always want to stand out together with your Bull during walks in the park or obedience training classes. A vibrant stitching of orange and blue on either side gives the harness a stylish classic look. Keep it clean to maintain the amazing aesthetics. 

Things We Liked
  • The various sizes available is great when looking for a wide range harness and leash combinations. Within each of the sizes from small to large, there is also room to adjust either leash or harness or both. For an easier identification of the right size, take measurements of your pet’s girth and neck.
  • A stylish yet simplistic look is a plus for us. In as much as we recognize that harnesses shouldn’t be all about looks, finding one that meets your style and looks great on your furry friend is a plus.
  • A sturdy, strong, and durable harness is just what a Pitbull needs. This harness is made from heavy-duty hardware meant to withstand pulling and chewing from a stubborn pet. The double layered material, nylon stitches and metallic clasps all last a long while
  • It is gentle on your dog. Specifically, it is designed to reduce chafing around the susceptible armpits area. Soft textured lining and smooth edges reduce the risk of injuries due to friction
Things We Didn’t Like
  • The harness feels cumbersome when held or put onto the dog. You might feel it weighing down on your dog during exercises. It is also quite a handful when fitting and adjusting on the dog’s neck.
  • Quality-wise, it looks poor. Dogs chew into the straps with ease, the fasteners fall apart with minimal pulls. If your dog likes to chew on stuff, this harness may be a bad idea. 

3. No Pull Harness for Pitbull: RABBITGOO No Pull Dog Harness


No Pull Harness for Pitbull: RABBITGOO No Pull Dog Harness
Via Amazon.com

No Pull Harness for Pitbull: RABBITGOO No Pull Dog Harness

One of the reasons for looking for a harness for Pitbull is their tendency to pull on a leash and wriggle their way out. Sometimes they end up chocking and straining their necks too much in the process. However, with the RABBITGOO No-Pull Harness, the pressure generated from a pull is evenly distributed into the rest of the body. The chocking risk is minimized in the process.

Depending on your leash attachment preference (to some extent, your Pitbull’s too), you are provided with two points for that. These metallic leash attachment points are located on the back section and the other one at the chest. Consequently, you are able to change walking techniques from a walk behind to the side or the front.

Another reason we have high regards for this harness is the ability to adjust the fit in accordance to your pet’s size. Adjustable slide straps on the harness ensure a customized snug fit on your canine friend. This feature is particularly useful when you need one that your dog can grow into as you two make great memories together.

Made from breathable material, this harness provides your Bull with a comfortable control mechanism. Heavy padding on the material further makes the dog feel like wearing a soft sponge around the neck, armpit, belly, and shoulder. This padding is only on the inner parts in contact with the body. The outer part is made from tough material for adequate strength.

On this black harness for Pitbull are reflective straps for safety while taking walks. It makes him visible from a long way out eliminating the risks of getting hit by motorists, more so when it’s dark. We also love the ease with which this harness can be put on and off of the dog. There is no fumbling with buckles or flimsy straps for a hassle-free process. 

Things We Liked
  • First of all, we love how low cost this harness is. Costing under $20, it provides you a great value for such an essential piece of investment. If you consider the range of features it comes with, this harness is definitely a great choice for your Pitbull.
  • The chest and the back pieces have a decent padding on them to minimize heat generation as a result of frictional forces. You don’t have to worry about chaffing as you train your dog.
  • A reflective webbing adds to the overall visibility of both the dog and the harness itself. Passersby wouldn’t accidentally bump into you in the process of your walks in dimly lit conditions.
  • Available in a range of sizes for all Pitbull aged from young puppies to full grown Pitties. 
  • Leash attachment provides you with a comfortable way of handling the Bull if you use the one at the back. But if you want more control, then the one in front offers an excellent choice. 
Things We Didn’t Like
  • It’s a design that requires care, or else the Pit might chock if he’s a heavy puller
  • Materials of construction are not as heavy duty as those used to make some of the harnesses in this review.

4. Spiked Harness for Pitbulls: Didog Soft Leather Harness


Spiked Harness for Pitbulls: Didog Soft Leather Harness
Via Amazon.com

Spiked Harness for Pitbulls: Didog Soft Leather Harness

Although not so common, spiked harnesses are becoming a hit with most Pitbull owners. Apart from making your friend look totally awesome, they offer great functionalities too. The Didog Soft Leather Harness is one of such that we find appealing. We would, therefore, like to recommend it to you if you fancy owning one of these bad boys.

This particular model is made for medium, large, and extra large sized dogs, particularly Pitbulls. However, other breeds such as Bulldog, Golden Retriever, K9, and a Labrador can still comfortably slot into one. While at it, you can use the harness for different activities such as dog walking, hiking, sports, dog training among others you may feel like.

This product comes in a complete set of the harness itself, a collar chain, and a chain leash. You are in turn provided with a great value for the price you spend on any set of this product. Your whole range of dog control equipment would be catered for in effect. If you own more than one dog (which most of us do), then you should be well set.

The leash provided measures 28 inches in length, the chain has a 5 mm diameter and is 20 inches long. When setting out, you have the choice of attaching this leash at two points, back or front for either comfort or control. A soft leather construction offers a durable and solid control mechanism for an energetic dog breed such as a Pitbull.

Things We Liked
  • Comes in a set containing a collar, harness and leash. It becomes much cheaper and cost-effective in this way than buying each of these separately. Those with different dog breeds would find this feature more appealing.
  • Can be used by different dog breeds. It is not only meant for a Pitbull. Golden retrievers, K9, or a Labrador (any other large sized breed) can seamlessly fit into the harness. Provided you choose the right size.
  • Soft leather construction is a great choice for heavy chewers and pullers. The durability comes in handy when you use the harness on a daily basis. Weighing only 2.56 pounds, it doesn’t weigh down your dog at all.
  • The spikes on the harness are a great safety mechanism. Besides discouraging unnecessary chewing on the leather, the spikes provide a defensive layer in case a stray dog decides to attack your dog.
  • Available in a variety of colors and sizes. there is black one, a pink, and a purple option too.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • The spiked rivets on the harness sometimes rust when exposed to water.
  • The quality is at times poor, with the sizing being off. A particular size may be too large or small for your dog.

5. Leather Dog Harness for Pitbull: CollarDirect Rolled Leather Dog Harness


Leather Dog Harness for Pitbull: CollarDirect Rolled Leather Dog Harness
Via Amazon.com

Leather Dog Harness for Pitbull: CollarDirect Rolled Leather Dog Harness

A puppy Pitbull is still energetic enough to warrant a strong enough harness when taking her for a walk. Made of genuine pure leather, the CollarDirect Rolled Leather Harness is an excellent choice for a small-sized dog. It could be a puppy or the small sized breeds, with a chest girth measuring about 15 to 25 inches.

To determine the right size, we would advise you to measure the chest girth, just behind her front legs. If it matches the specified dimensions, then you are good to go. As part of the harness system is an extra rolled leather leash about 4 feet long. You can use this to guide small dogs, puppies, toys (kids love them) or miniature dog breeds.

The harness is available in a myriad of colors (about 13). There’s black, red, blue, orange, brown, lime green, yellow, pink, purple, mint green, navy, white, and beige. Whichever color matches your dog’s fur should be probably available. Another feature we love about this product is the rolled leather used. This design prevents the harness from tangling with fur causing damage.

We know how you love stuff that is easy to use. This product is one of those. The few attachment places and rings are quite easy to work out. Putting it on or taking it off can be a one-handed operation. The specially treated leather feels smooth, looks great, and is soft on the fur (skin). Dogs with a long-haired coat, as well those with short coats can use it too. 

Things We Liked
  • We loved the simplicity of this harness. As a step-in leash, sliding it into position is a breeze requiring no additional skills.
  • There are numerous colors from which you can choose from. For every color you decide on, there is a matching lead for it. This leash is long enough for a walk-behind harness during exercises.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • It is only meant for small sized dog breeds. You can only use it on puppies, miniature dogs or toy dogs.
  • The loop at the back of the harness stretches at times, making the dog slip off the harness. You may figure out a way around it but it takes times.

6. Weight Pulling Harness for Pitbulls: Canine Equipment Harness


Weight Pulling Harness for Pitbulls: Canine Equipment Harness
Via Amazon.com

Weight Pulling Harness for Pitbulls: Canine Equipment Harness

The Canine Equipment Harness is a great option for Pitbulls that like to pull on harnesses. It has straps means to evenly distribute the pulling weight across the chest and shoulders. The pressure dissipated might cause strains on both the neck and back.

Fleece lining adds traction to the harness to minimize shifting during walks and exercises. Its lining is also heavily padded with additional fleece on the shoulders and neck areas. The likelihood of injuries or fur mats/tangles is minimized.

Additionally, the fits can be adjusted using anti-slip sliders for a custom fit. There are also different sizes for all dog sizes (small, medium, large, and X-large). An extra safety shackle quickly snaps out of place when you need to release the harness at an instance.

Leash attachment points on this harness are made from Stainless steel D-shaped rings. Three of these are provided for convenience. Attachment integrity is reinforced by rock lockster buckles. Any accidental adjustment is prevented using this system.

Things We Liked
  • The anti-slip sliders prevent slip-ups when in use. We love a secure system that does not break loose unnecessarily. This is one of the features that make it stand out.
  • Heavy-duty metallic stainless-steel attachment offers longevity of service even in repeated usages.
  • A reflective piping fitted on the harness improves nighttime visibility.
  • Overall material quality is great too. Various users have had it for long periods yet it still works great.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • We don’t like the sizing of the harness. Even after taking the correct measurements, the fit can still be off.
  • Some of the clasps on the back of the harness look cheaply made. They have a plastic feel to it.

Conclusion

The best harness for Pitbull is a great investment when you need to keep him under control. All the harnesses in this review were made with Pitbulls in mind but can still be used for a variety of other dogs.

It is by investing in the best gear that you can eliminate the negative stereotypes surrounding this breed. We hope any of these harnesses will give you maximum control, will be chock-free and also become durable. 

The post A Comprehensive Review of the Best Harness for Pitbull appeared first on Hello Cute Pup.

Julián Castro Unleashes Comprehensive Animal Welfare Plan

Images via Julián Castro campaign website

Julián Castro, a Democrat running for president, just unleashed the most ambitious and visionary animal welfare plan coming from anyone running for political office, ever.

His plan centers around making the U.S. a “no kill” nation and calls for ending euthanasia of all domestic dogs and cats in shelters.  It also calls for improving federal housing policy for people with pets, a subject that this former Housing and Urban development secretary is well familiar with. Also, very importantly, he wants to prohibit the testing of cosmetic products on animals, and will make animal cruelty a federal crime and establish minimum spaces for farm animals.

Dog Stabbed by Owner Makes Miraculous Recovery

Dog Stabbed by Owner Recovery Photo Via AHS

A miraculous recovery thanks to the help of the Arizona Humane Society has led Copper, a three-year-old Redbone Hound, back from the brink of death after being stabbed by his owner. Nearly one month later Copper has regained the use of his right side and has been adopted into a deeply loving forever home.

In July, an AHS Emergency Animal Medical Technician™ (EAMT) responded to the scene of Copper completely soaked in blood after suffering multiple stab wounds. Copper was quickly transported to an overnight clinic to be stabalized before being transported to the Arizona Humane Society’s trauma hospital. Once in the care of AHS’ animal trauma hospital, chest and abdominal x-rays revealed the hound had three lacerations 1.5 centimeters deep to his neck.

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