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3 Essential Dog Obedience Commands

Posted on: February 21st, 2014 by

A dog sits.

By G. Elaine Acker for Pets Best, a pet insurance company for dogs and cats. Elaine is the author of the Pet First Aid and Disaster Response Guide. Elaine is developing an online Pet First Aid course along with Dr. Larry Newell.

I have two small dogs. One is a Jack Russell mix that my veterinarian describes as an “American Terrier,” and the other is a suspected Chiweenie (although he was found on the side of the road, and his heritage is forever a mystery). They both have a willful streak, and even though my husband and I have been through advanced obedience training with them, we find that it takes regular obedience reviews, for both dogs and humans, for that training to be effective.

When we train, we focus on the following three obedience commands, which we consider the life-and-death essentials.

1. Sit/Stay
When your dog will sit and stay until released, you’re able to comfortably place your dog in a specific location, knowing that they’re safely out of harm’s way, until you return. This command makes it easy to do something as simple as take your dog onto a restaurant patio with the confidence that they’ll be well behaved and welcome.

It’s also valuable in emergency situations. For example, you’re visiting a local park with your kiddo and he or she takes a tumble off a swing. You’re able to put your dog into a “stay,” and go help your child without having your dog suddenly invading another family’s picnic, or getting into a tussle with another nearby dog.

Once your dog has learned the basics, you can practice by putting your dog into a sit/stay and gradually increasing the amount of time he or she remains in that position. Our goal is five minutes, and we always return to our dogs with a treat before releasing them.

2. Come

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Dog Breed Guide: Pomeranian

Posted on: February 19th, 2014 by


Dr. Marc is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.

About the Pomeranian

Height (to base of neck): 5-11″

Weight: 4-7.5 lbs

Color: Most common are orange, black and cream, but Poms have a wide variety of accepted colors, including white, black, brown, red, orange, cream, blue, sable, black and tan, spotted and brindled.

Origin: Pomerania region of Central Europe (today part of northern Poland and eastern Germany)

Coat: Abundant and textured with plumed tail and thick double coat, the top coat creates a mane around the neck.

Life Expectancy: 12-16 years

Energy level: Low to moderate

Exercise needs: Minimal

Is a Pomeranian the Right Dog Breed for You? 

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Why Do Small Dogs Live Longer?

Posted on: February 18th, 2014 by

Dr. Fiona is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.

Hi. I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell and I’m a veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital and I’m answering questions from pet owners today for Pets Best. This question is, “Why do small dogs typically live longer than larger dogs?” This is a great question and it’s definitely very true. Your typical Great Dane or Mastiff really only has a lifespan of sometimes just seven to nine years, and Chihuahuas or Yorkies or your other little breed dogs, it’s not uncommon for us to see them live over 15 years.

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Westminster 2014 Dog Show Results

Posted on: February 12th, 2014 by

A wire fox terrier named Sky won Best In Show at the 2014 Westminster Kennel Dog Show.

The Westminster Kennel Club held its annual show Feb 10th-11th, 2014 in New York City. The Best In Show Trophy went to five-year-old female Wire Fox Terrier, named “GCH Afterall Painting The Sky,” who more commonly goes by “Sky.” In case you’re wondering, when you see GCH in a dog’s name, it stands for “Grand Champion.” And when you see “CH” it stands for “Champion.”

Here are some fun facts about the Wire Fox Terrier breed, this year’s champion:

  • As their name indicates, The Wire Fox Terrier was bred originally for fox hunting, where they would follow the fox underground. Which is probably why these dogs can sometimes be diggers!
  • They originated in Britain sometime in the 1700s
  • They have energy and need to be exercised
  • They’re good with kids
  • They don’t shed a lot
  • They’re highly trainable
  • They’re the 116th most popular dog breed insured with Pets Best

This year’s Westminster also welcomed three new breeds to the dog show. They are the rat terrier, Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, and Chinook.

  • The rat terrier is the 45th most popular dog breed insured with Pets Best
  • The Chinook is the 196th most popular dog breed insured with Pets Best
  • The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is in a tie as the 248th most popular dog breed insured with Pets Best

Learn about different dog breeds in our Pets Best Dog Breed Guide. From their size, temperament and exercise needs, to common medical issues and their costs, as reported by their owners. Check back often as we continue to add more breeds!

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Blind Man Saved by His Dog, Receives 2nd Guide Dog

Posted on: February 11th, 2014 by

Cecil Williams with his dog, a black Labrador named Orlando. Williams is laying in his hospital bed with his dog Orlando after the subway train accident.In December 2013, a blind man named Cecil Williams fell onto the subway tracks in New York City when he fainted. His service dog Orlando, a black lab, jumped down after him. Orlando huddled on top of his owner to help alert the oncoming subway train. Both Williams and Orlando were still struck by the train, but amazing only suffered minor injuries.

Williams called Orlando his angel for saving his life. He also said that he and Orlando protect each other. This amazing story went viral.

The issue is, Orlando is 11 years old, and was about to retire from being a service dog. However, Williams’ insurance won’t cover retired dogs. After the public got wind of this, many people donated and now Orlando is able to stay with his longtime best friend. In addition, Williams is receiving a new service dog, a yellow Labrador named Godiva who recently graduated her training.
Williams sits down with his dog Orlando and his new dog, a yellow Labrador named Godiva.
Williams counts himself as lucky that he now has Orlando and Godiva to protect him. He told the Today Show, “The spirit of good will, it exists,” he continued, “In the world you see a lot of negative things, but I try to focus on the positive.”

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