• Working Paws

Pawdicure anyone??

How long is too long?

Do you dread trimming your dogs nails because you are not confident or maybe they act like you are killing them slowly nail by nail? It can be challenging if your dog has not had it's feet played with repeatedly as a pup to help desensitise them.

Despite the displeasurable side of nail trims, it is really important that you keep your dogs nails short and trimmed regularly. Long nails will definitely give your dog pain as well as adding pressure and possible structural changes to your dogs leg, inhibiting their ability to walk without pain.

There are so many nail trimming gadgets available that even people who live on a remote island have no excuse not to address the needs of a nail trim. Of course if you have a groomer close by, you can pop in and usually for $10 get the job sorted.

One of the ever present hazards for some dogs who scale every fence, haybale and chook shed is getting their dew claws caught and causing some quite severe splits, rips and tears to their legs. Even more so for the Guardian Breeds who tend to have front and rear dew claws to assist in scaling mountainous terrain.

When puppies are born, good breeders will remove the dew claws when pups are just days old and the nail is still forming. A relatively quick and simple way of preventing possible leg calamity for those pups who are inclined toward the curious side.

Of course an easy way to keep your dogs nails at a decent length is by walking them on concrete and not grass whenever possible and perhaps a few rounds of the tennis court which is quite the perfect gritty surface.

Why always the socks?

Your dirty socks, your bra, your undies, a t-shirt, scarf, once you have worn them they have your unique earthy smell. The smell of the person who cuddles them, feeds them, walks them and snuggles with them. It's pretty simple really, your dog is just wanting more of you.

Dogs are without doubt one of the best teachers of putting your things away properly, put the dirty clothes in the linen basket, hang your jackets up, store your shoes away properly. The cute cheeky puppies that turn into monster dogs do so only because you fail to teach them. If we want to have a well behaved dog who does not steal our clothes and chew our shoes because they simply want to be as close to the smell of us, then we have to be good teachers and understand why but also remove the temptation.

Of course one of the best ways to prevent this is to provide your dog with an acceptable but permanent alternative (as well as putting things away). Wear an item of clothing, get it grubby and earthy and get your smell into it. Allow your dog to have this clothing item or you could even make it into a special cushion. Give it to them in stress times, in times when you have to go out for long periods and allow them the comfort of your smell for that is what they are wanting when they can't have you.

The Price of a Dog

Ask any dog owner and they will tell you that their dog is priceless and certainly during the pandemic the price of some breeds went through the roof.

But, lets talk about the working dog and what a real worker is worth. They very often do the job of 2 or even 4 stockmen, they are forever ready and complaints about long days, early starts and dirt beds don't reach the ears of their master. They love it, they live for the opportunity to show their ability and to get a word of praise from their one and only love - their master.

Every year the Casterton Kelpie Auction is a premier event on every farmers calendar and this year the top dog Milo was sold for $22,000 - not a record but certainly up there. The average price paid for a stock working kelpie ranges between $4-8,000 and when you think about what a massive difference they can make to a stockmans day, they are worth every dollar spent.

PAWS UP until next time..

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