The 10 Most Common Dog Breeds That Live The Longest

Because we want our furry best friends to be around forever!

  One of the hardest things as a dog owner is when we have to say goodbye to our pooch — dogs just don’t live long enough. And while it’s our sincerest hope that your dog lives well into their senior years, sometimes it’s tragically cut short.    At The Vet Set, we’re here to help with the health and wellness of your dog so they can live a long vibrant life chasing squirrels, catching frisbees, and doing whatever it is they love the most. Join us in today’s post as we take a look at what dog breeds typically live the longest. 

Dog Breeds That Live The Longest

  There are many dogs that can live quite a long life but before we explore all the amazing breeds, let’s briefly talk about factors that can affect the longevity of your dog’s life.   Find a reputable breeder - If you do choose to go the way of a breeder when finding a dog, it’s very important that they’re reputable. Ensure that not only are they well known for their breeding services, but that they’re humane and they give all their dogs and puppies the proper health care. It’s important that breeders stay on top of the dogs they breed to keep an eye out for certain genetic conditions or health issues that keep cropping up in their puppies — this way they can retire a dog who is passing on their disadvantageous traits.    Consider nutrition - Just like humans, it’s important we are feeding our dogs high-quality pet food. It’s important they’re getting all the nutrients they need, while reducing their susceptibility to obesity that often shortens a dog’s life. In addition, feed them healthy treats like carrots or bones and reduce or completely cut out the amount of table food they are given.     Fix or neuter your dog - It’s important to not only fix or neuter your pet to prevent an overpopulation of dogs, but it’s also been shown that dogs that are fixed live longer than those who are not.    Small breeds live longer - The truth of the matter is, if you want to get the most out of your time with your dog, smaller breeds live longer than large breeds.   While there a multitude of things you can do as a dog owner to help your dog live a long life, sometimes it’s certain breeds that just fare better than others. Let’s look at the breeds that live the longest below!  

Chihuahua

  Chihuahuas are a small, and delicate dog that people love because of their fierce loyalty. Not only that, they make great travel companions for jet-setting around the world! Chihuahuas have one of the longest lifespans, with some living over 15 years! There was even a chihuahua in 2014 named Megabyte who lived well into its 20th year!    Chihuahuas are known for their gumption so it’s important for them to get adequate exercise and stimulation to avoid behavior problems from developing.   

Dachshund

  Dachshunds are another small breed that can live well into their 20s, as was the case with Chanel who is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest dog living at 21 years old!    While dachshunds can live for a very long time, they’re not without their health issues such as bad backs and obesity, so it’s important they get plenty of exercise and eat a healthy diet.    

Jack Russell Terrier

  A Jack Russell Terrier is considered a toy breed that can live well into 16 years of age. While the JRT Willie didn’t beat Chanel for the longest living dog, he was right behind her and lived to be 20 years old.    If you’re looking for a small dog that will relax and be a lap dog, this is far from the demeanor of a JRT. These dogs were bred as a working dog and need constant stimulation and exercise to manage their energy.   

Shih Tzu

  Shih Tzu’s are adaptable dogs who love your companionship and this breed is known for living to be over 15 years old. One thing you should know is Shih Tzu’s need proper maintenance because their coats can become a mess if not groomed regularly. The longest living Shih Tzu is known to have lived to be 28 named Smokey.     

Yorkshire Terrier

  Yorkies can live anywhere between 16 to 18 years and like terriers, they need constant exercise and stimulation — they’re not a lap dog or purse dog no matter what the media tries to tell you!   

Pomeranian

  A Pomeranian is known for its loyal, yet guarding behaviors and can be very friendly, while some describe them as bossy — what can we say, they love the limelight! Poms can live long lives and it’s not uncommon for them to live into their 20s.   

Maltese

  These small and dainty breeds are not only known for their affection and flowing coats but their health. Many Maltese exceed 15 years of age but can suffer from stress and anxiety if not properly acquainted with alone time — they’re very prone to separation anxiety.     

Shiba Inu

  Shiba Inus are considered to be more of a medium-sized breed that can live well beyond 15 years! People love this breed because they are a quiet, adaptable, and friendly breed. If you’re looking for a constant companion, however, Shiba Inus are known for being very independent and aloof — they like doing things at their own pace!  

Australian Cattle Dog

  Known also as a Blue Heeler, the Australian Cattle Dog is a medium-sized dog who lives as long as some of the smaller breeds! There was even one that was reported in 1939 that lived to be 29 years old! Typically Australian Cattle Dogs will live to be at least 15 years old.    If you’re ready for an extremely intelligent and immensely active dog breed, the Blue Heeler is for you!  

Beagle

  In 2009, there was a Beagle named Butch who lived to be 27 years old, but their life expectancy ranges anywhere from 10 to 15 years. A Beagle is a great hunting companion who is friendly and easy-going, and great in families.    If you’re looking for a dog breed that maximizes your time together, there are many small and medium breeds that will live a long time! And while there are factors that help a dog reach a peak age such as a reputable breeder, their nutrition, being fixed/neutered, and proper vet care, smaller dog breeds typically live longer.   

To get the best vet care in the Carroll Gardens area, schedule an appointment with us today!   

Maximize Your Disc and Ball Throwing Skills

Your dog loves playing outdoors and catching discs or balls, but the fun starts with a good throw!

  There is an absolute art to throwing a frisbee or ball to your dog, and they know it! It begins with the human — as a dog owner, you need to perfect your throw if only to make your dog look like a star at your local dog park!   At The Vet Set, play and exercise is key to a healthy, vibrant life for your dog. Get the most out of throwing a disc and make the experience fun and exciting for your pet. Follow along in today’s post for the best tips for throwing frisbees, balls, and all kinds of catching toys.

It’s The Throw That Starts The Fun!

  Have you ever thrown a less-than-perfect frisbee to your dog and watch as the excitement leaves and they stand in disappointment as the disc fall short — way too short? Enough that even your dog is embarrassed? Well, my friend, it’s time to learn how to properly throw your toy of choice to maximize the fun you and your dog can have!   Let’s get started!  

Find a toy your dog loves!

  First things first, you need a toy you can throw that your dog will enjoy catching. It’s important to find a disc or ball that aren’t too hard, so as not to damage your dog’s teeth and gums in the beginning.   There are many soft frisbees and balls that are great for beginners, and while they won’t fly super high or go extremely far, they’re less likely to hurt your dog.  

Start with a slow introduction!

  If your dog is new to catching, start out slowly such as a backyard. This way both of you can work out the kinks (your throw, their catch) in the privacy of your own yard! Get to know the toy and throw it around a bit before taking it public!   It’s also important to give your dog a lot of praise when they get it right and to be patient when they stand and stare — perhaps it’s your bad throw, we’ll never know!  

The Perfect Throw

  The perfect throw is one that doesn’t injure your dog! If you’re using a disc, place your four fingers under the lip of the frisbee with your thumb on top. Follow through the throw with a flick of the wrist, then your hand, arm, shoulder, and finally with your entire body.   Throwing a ball is a little more intuitive — you can throw overhand or underhand, and there are perks to both. Overhand you can get a nice clean, long throw, while underhand helps you pop it up high in the air.  

Controlled Throws

  It’s important that you are able to direct where the ball and frisbees will be going because your dog will be following it. If you don’t want your dog running every which way — even into dangerous situations like traffic — it’s important your throws are controlled and consistent.   Before even taking your dog out, you may want to spend time practicing your throws with a partner to better understand the mechanics of the toy.   One major pro tip, never throw the toy at your dog, allow them to see the toy and where to go to chase it instead of fumbling trying to avoid it from hitting them.   A good throw not only makes your dog look cool in front of all their puppy pals, but it also keeps them safe. Before embarking on this fun play get the right toys that your dog loves and spend time practicing your throw with and without your dog to get it just right!   And, when in doubt, invest in a ball thrower that does the job for you!  

Running and playing keep your dog happy and healthy, to learn more about preventative vet services, call us today!

 

The Different Methods Of Dog Training (Part Two)

Because training your dogs makes a difference!

  In part one, we examined positive reinforcement and clicker dog training as two approaches to training your dog. In today’s post, we'll navigate the four remaining methods to help you find a dog training solution that makes sense for you and your dog.   Dog training is as much a part of a dog's health and wellness as their immunizations are! At The Vet Set, we’re here to support you in every part of the journey! Read more about dog training below!

Why is dog training so important?

  You may have an amazing relationship with your dog at home, but it is about how they behave in different environments. A well-mannered dog is not only easier to handle, but it keeps everyone — including your dog — safe.   Dog training is relevant in just about every scenario and can manage things such as your dog darting into oncoming traffic, biting the mail person, and even another dog attack — dog training is imperative!  

Additional Dog Training Methods

 

Dominance Dog Training (Alpha Dog)   

  This type of dog training calls in dogs innate pack mentality to cement the association of submission and dominance. The theory follows that a dog will see a family as the pack and follow the hierarchy accordingly.   Instead of an alpha dog, dominance needs to be established with a member of the family and they must learn to submit. It has been suggested that to establish dominant behaviors, doing things like eating first, entering and exiting rooms first, and walking your dog on a leash better projects confidence and authority.   In dominance training, dogs are not allowed on beds or furniture and you’re also never supposed to get down on the ground or meet your dog at eye level — you are in charge and should always remain above your dog.   While this is still a popular and common dog training method, research has come out that dogs do not rely on a pack mentality as once thought, and a natural pack in the wild functions much more differently than dogs in captivity.   Dominance training can address unwanted behaviors, but it fails to treat the bad behaviors at the core leaving dogs with fear and anxiety.  

Scientific Dog Training

  This type of dog training is a bit more vague, as there is not one method to identify. It incorporates a handful of training techniques such as operant conditioning and positive reinforcement, and strays from punishing bad behaviors.   Scientific training also likes to create an emphasis on the relationship the dog and the owner have, aiming to identify how that bond can be strengthened.   This training relies on always being current in new dog training methods and knowing more of the science behind it all to employ these new methods, which can be tedious and sometimes impractical for dog owners.  

Stimulus Dog Training

  This type of training implements a shock collar or spray bottle (stimulus) to punish bad behavior at a distance when a leash can’t be used.   Shock collars are used for dogs to stay within a boundary and correct the behavior of dogs dashing away, and they can also be used in hunting practice.   A spray bottle used in the same manner and requires constant monitoring from the owner. For example, perhaps you have a dog that jumps and lunges at people. You can use a squirt of water in their face to punish the behavior and hopefully quell their need to continue doing it.   Stimulus dog training has stirred up much controversy because not only does it rely on punishing bad behavior instead of rewards, but it can be stressful for dogs and lead to chronic anxiety in dogs.   And, if the devices are used by inexperienced owners, there is more of a chance that they’ll be overused.   This type of training is suggested to be used by professional trainers and not average dog owners to avoid any unnecessary and damaging pain in your dog.  

Relationship-Based Dog Training

  If you’re looking for a more individualized approach, relationship-based dog training is a great method. It incorporates a variety of dog training methods and puts the emphasis on you and your dog. It’s a type of training that is mutually beneficial and strengthens your bond and cultivates communication between you and your furry best friend.   For this training to be successful, It’s important for the owner to know their dog and what motivates them. Positive reinforcement is used to foster good behavior and to limit bad behavior, the dog’s environment is controlled as much as possible to reduce unwanted behaviors.   This may begin with teaching your dog to sit. First, it happens in a quiet room with no distractions and then gradually other distractions are added such as going to a noisy park or bringing other people into the room. If a dog becomes distracted, it’s up to the owner to discern why they’re being distracted. Is it because they can’t hear? Are they hurt? Or, are they just unwilling to perform the command?   This type of training only strengthens the bond between you and your dog and implements a series of different training methods to strengthen your relationship.     Training your dog not only makes life easier for both you and your dog, but it is a part of their wellness. Now you have information on different types of dog training to lead you towards an option that makes sense for you.  

For more information on dog training or to schedule an appointment at our Carroll Gardens vet clinic, call us today!

 

The Different Methods Of Dog Training (Part One)

Navigate the wide world of dog training methods!

  When you’re a first-time dog owner most people desire a dog who is friendly and behaves well, and, as you’ll come to find out, a dog doesn’t come with an owner’s manual on how to train them! What can be even more confusing and frustrating is that when you do a little research on training, there are so many ways to go about it!   At The Vet Set, we understand the difficulty in choosing a training method, which is why we’ve composed some of the most popular dog training methods to help guide you in your journey. Join us and weave through the different methods and get a better idea of how you want to train your dog.

6 Common Methods Of Dog Training

  Even as we explore the different dog training methods, in the dog community, how to train your dog can be hotly contested — professionals love to disagree and debate which methods are most effective and even ethical. Below are common methods with information on who might benefit from them.  

Positive Reinforcement

  This is much like the human behavior theory — the more a good behavior is rewarded, the more likely it will continue. And, if bad behavior is ignored with no rewards, it will stop.   For dogs, if punishment needs to happen, the removal of rewards such as a treat or toy occurs, but harsh and cruel punishment isn’t a part of the positive reinforcement in dog training.   Begin by rewarding your dog based on desired behaviors, immediately after it happens. You can use small treats in your pocket and dole them out with every good behavior. Treats and rewards are the way dogs come to know and associate the behavior with the reward.      Some will also impart clicker training with positive reinforcement to better solidify and give the dog a signal that the good behavior has been completed. It’s important to stick with brevity when it comes to the training with simple commands such as sit, stay, and come.   Positive reinforcement dog training requires consistency, so if you’re in a household with a family, significant other, or roommates, the commands and reward needs follow through from everyone.   The training begins with rewards seconds after the good behavior happens and then it can become gradually less rewarded as the desired behavior becomes more consistent. Remember that only wanted behaviors should be rewarded so if your is barking incessantly at a squirrel outside, letting them out is actually rewarding the behavior even though the barking stops.   This training has received some criticism because if you’re rewarding with treats, it’s easy to overfeed your dog when they’re learning, so again, using small treats is important.   This is an easy method for first-time dog owners and is relatively easy as long as the training stays consistent for your dog to learn good behaviors.  

Clicker Dog Training

  Clicker training is rooted in operant conditioning which is also based in learning through rewards and punishment for behavior, and also relies greatly on positive reinforcement.   Clicker training is even sometimes grouped as a part of positive reinforcement training instead of being its own separate method. The major distinction is that in clicker training, owners and trainers rely on a device that makes a quick, audible noise (whistle or clicker) that signals to a dog when the desired behavior has been completed.     Dog trainers like clicker training because it signals to a dog the exact behavior that is being rewarded and it can be used to solidify new behaviors and better address verbal commands.   Clicker training is pretty simple: first, the dog needs to understand that when they here a click, they know a reward is coming. Then the dog can associate a specific behavior with the click, thus the reward. Lastly, verbal communication can be replaced for them to form a new association.   We’ve explored two of the six dog training methods including positive reinforcement and clicker dog training. There are still four methods to cover, so look for part two in the near future!   What dog training method have you found successful? Tell us in the comments below!  

For more information on dog behavior and our Carroll Gardens vet services, reach out to us today!  

An Education In Dog Collars!

Because dog collars go beyond just looking cute!

  If you’re new to owning a dog, welcome to the wonderful world of controlled chaos — where what your dog eats, what type of training method you use, and the kind of collar they wear all come with giant, judging opinions from other dog owners!   It’s true, the doggy space comes with a lot of critiques on a lot of things, and at The Vet Set, it’s important to us that you have all sides of the information to make a decision that is right for you, after all, no one knows your dog or your situation better than you! Follow along in today’s post as we explore everything related to dog collars.

Commonly Seen And Used Dog Collars

  The thought behind dog collars is that, first and foremost, you want a well-trained dog so you only have to use a flat collar — it addresses essentially the root of the dog collar critique. When you have a well-behaved dog, you don’t have to implement anything but their training. This sounds amazing, but as we all know, it’s not reality.   Let’s examine some of the most commonly seen and used dog collars.  

Classic Flat Collar

  We all know and recognize the flat collar — it’s the collar that can have the most flair and up your dog’s accessorizing game! The goal is for your dog to be able to walk and wear a flat collar, which means they should be able to refrain from pulling, lunging, and overall misbehaving.   You want to make the flat collar essentially useless to your dog, so if you’re pulling up on the collar when they’re not doing something, it automatically draws their attention and gets them to pull back.   Instead, learn methods to control their behavior with your voice, not through the leash.  

Harness

  A dog harness is the type of leash that goes under and through your dog’s front legs, wraps, and clips on their back. More of the tension is put on the neck and chest, which may be beneficial for short-nosed dogs, however, the issue being with harnesses is it gives dogs the ability to pull aggressively, which can hurt them and be harder to control large, heavy breeds.  

Head and Nose Harness

  This can be appropriately compared to a horses harness, in that it slips around a dog’s snout and attaches behind the ears, typically on the neck. It’s wonderful for dogs who pull and, for some breeds, it has a calming effect helping them to relax and enjoy their surroundings.   The issue that arises with these harnesses that it can jerk your dog’s head and neck quite quickly, causing injury, and these types of collars can be difficult to get your dog into.    

Pinch or Pronged Collar

  These collars are very controversial in the dog circle, with the praise that they work well if used properly and help in dog training, and the critique being they’re harmful and cruel to use on dogs.   When people do intend on using a pronged collar the Humane Society insists that it’s fitted properly and that the prong length is appropriate to the size of your dog. For example, a Chihuahua should not be wearing a pronged collar designed for a pit bull.   It’s important that the fit only sits on your dog, the prongs should not dig in. Consulting an expert or dog trainer for the best fit is encouraged with this type of collar.   It’s also important to point out that a pronged collar can punish your dog when you’re just trying to communicate simply tasks such as sitting or lying down, which can be confusing and intimidating for your dog.   People like this type of collar for dogs that pull and lunge, but people often argue that there is always a better, more humane option to turn to first.  

Martingale

  A martingale collar combines a flat and slip collar together for a collar that has a limitation of how much it can slip.   This type of collar is great for breeds with narrow heads such as Whippets, Greyhounds, or mixed breeds, however, they’re often contested because they run the risk of injuring a dog over time if it pulls too excessively.  

Slip Collar

  A slip collar is a very basic collar often composed of rope. This type of rope is often seen in shelters or in training classes for very out-of-control, untrained dogs. It keeps everyone safe by allowing the person to easily take control and contain a dog.   Slip collars may be great for a short time, but if used for a long time, it mat be damaging to your dog’s neck.   There are many types of collars available that all fit and do things a little differently, so it’s important to do your research and consider the advantages and disadvantages of them all.  

For more information on our Caroll Gardens vet clinic or to get our take on the best leashes for your dog, schedule an appointment today!

     

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