Friday, April 11, 2014

What to Look for in a Healthy Pitbull

Over the past few years, pitbulls have gotten a bad and completely false reputation for being a violent and difficult breed to train. But as more pitbull advocacy groups have been educating others on the truth, more people are starting to accept them again. Pitbulls are becoming more popular in the United States, and there are plenty of people that are looking for a sweet pitbull puppy or dog as a pet. 


Picking a pet is like a making any other major purchase; you need to make an informed decision in order to ensure a companion that you'll be happy with. Some people simply see pitbulls for sale and pick out the first dog they think is cute, but judging your potential pet on cuteness alone can lead to problems in the future. If you want a loving and healthy pet, look for these traits when you pick out your pitbull:

Appearance

There's nothing more heartbreaking than adopting a pet, and then realizing that it has a dangerous and difficult medical problem. You don't need to be a trained vet to see signs of health and vigor in a dog, and there are a few telltale signs of health problems that are easy to spot. The dog or puppy's eyes should be clear and clean, they shouldn't look bloodshot, yellow, runny, or very crusty. Their coat should look shiny, and have no missing patches of fur or sores (those can be signs of mange, fleas or other skin problems). Look at their stomachs for signs of extreme swollenness. A little pot belly or some chubbiness is normal on a puppy or dog, but an abnormally large stomach can be a sign of worms. 

Temperament

Judging a dog's usual disposition can be a little tricky. When dogs see potential owners they can get very excited and act a little more rambunctious than usual, so you shouldn't view this enthusiasm as a sign that your dog is going to be constantly bursting with energy. In fact, a happy and excited dog is a good sign that you've picked a pooch that will love spending time with you and your family. What you should look out for are signs of abnormal aggression. A dog that cowers in a corner may be a little shy, but a dog that immediately snaps at you or growls may be too aggressive for your tastes.

General health

Making sure that your chosen dog appears healthy when you see them is easy, but finding out about past health issues that could lead to future problems may require a little digging. Ask if the dog you're interested in has had any past health or dental problems that you should know about. A little infection or cold isn't much to worry about, but if you notice recurring symptoms and visits to the vet, that could be a sign that a dog is prone to certain problems. Also, find out what vaccinations they have already had, and arrange to get them caught up on anything they may need as soon as you adopt them.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Considering Buying a Pitbull? Read these Tips First!

Have you been thinking about getting a dog, but you want a unique one – one that maybe not everyone in the neighborhood will have (we're looking at you, Golden Retrievers)? Pitbulls might be on your list of likely dogs, which is a great thing! These dogs are loving, loyal, and more family-friendly than their big bad reputations would suggest. Owning a pitbull (or any dog for that matter) can be a very rewarding experience, but buying one is not something to be taken lightly. Before you reach out to Iron King Kennels about one of our beautiful pitbulls for sale, take a moment to read our tips.






Tip 1: Consider your lifestyle.

Owning a dog, particularly a puppy, requires a tremendous investment of time, money, and energy. You must be willing to commit to your dog. Do you have the time to walk your dog each day and the patience to socialize him or her by entering into different situations? This is particularly important with energetic pitbull puppies; it is not recommended that you let a pitbull run around off leash with other dogs, particularly unknown dogs, so the dog park might not be an option for getting out all that excess energy. Do you have the financial resources for food, shots, and medical care, as well as money for boarding or a pet-sitter if you travel? Are you willing to be diligent and consistent in training and disciplining your dog? Will you be devastated if your dog destroys your shoes, furniture, or other items? Be honest with yourself!

Tip 2: Be willing to be a breed ambassador

The stigma against pitbulls is a reality in our society. While most people would not be alarmed to see an off-leash golden retriever, Chihuahua, or cocker spaniel running towards them or their child, reactions to pitbulls are entirely different. In the event of an altercation between a pitbull and another dog, most people will assume the pitbull is at fault. By buying a pitbull, you are signing up for the responsibility of training, socializing, and disciplining a dog who arouses suspicion and fear in a lot of people, however unjustly. So you'll need to have energy, patience, and a positive attitude in order to not only train your dog, but win over the skeptics around you. With an obedient, friendly dog at your side, you'll do more to dispel the stigma than any number of advocacy campaigns.

Tip 3: Ask a lot of questions.

What are the local laws where you live about pets in general, and pitbulls in particular? Some cities and towns ban pitbulls; make sure this is not the case where you live! And what about your insurance? Will your homeowner’s or renter’s coverage be in jeopardy if you bring a pitbull into your home? Before you go and pick up your pitbull, do your research!


Hopefully these tips will help you make the right decision when it comes to purchasing one of our pitbulls for sale at Iron King Kennels. Getting any type of dog is a big life event. Make sure that yours turns out well by considering every aspect of your life and adding a dog to the equation. Contact us today at Iron King Kennels for more information: 1- 352-857-9007. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

4 Questions to Ask Yourself before Adopting a Dog

Why are you thinking about adopting a dog? It seems like a pretty obvious question. Dogs are loyal, fun, and playful companions that are a joy to have, but wanting something cute and fun to play with isn't exactly the best reason for wanting a dog. Dogs are more than just fun for us; they also require a lot of work and care to make sure that their needs are being met. It can be tempting to check out pitbull puppies for sale and walk out with the first dog that catches your eye, but that wouldn't be fair to you or them. Before you dedicate yourself to finding a dog, you should make sure that you can answer these important questions that we, at Iron King Kennels, have provided about pet ownership.

Do I know how my family/roommates feel about having a dog?

Whether you're living with your family, a few roommates, or a significant other, you have to take their feelings into consideration before you adopt a dog. If you live with other people, make sure that they're okay with having a dog in the house. See how they would feel about occasionally having to take care of some feedings and walks when you're unable to. A dog can be a great way to teach your children about responsibility, but only if they're ready to handle it. Make sure that your kids understand that they'll be responsible for some feeding, brushing, walking, and other pet responsibilities. If you don't, you could end up caring for the family dog by yourself. 



What do I see myself doing in the next 10-20 years?

A dog is a big commitment, one that you'll have for hopefully a very long time. Before you adopt a dog, imagine how it will fit into your life over the next decade or so. Do you see yourself being able to give them the love and attention they need if you get a new job or have to change your work schedule? If you think you'll be traveling a lot, do you know how your dog will be cared for when you aren't around? If you're planning on doing a lot of moving or traveling, now may not be the best time to bring a dog into your life. All dogs deserve a certain level of stability in their day to day routines, and a constantly missing master or changing environment can give them a lot of stress.

Would I be willing to foster a dog/care for a dog before adopting one?

If you have never owned a dog before, you may want to consider fostering a dog or watching a friend's dog so that you can learn what it's like. You can read a lot about owning a dog, but there's nothing like hands-on experience to teach you. After a few days of taking walks, preparing meals, and entertaining a dog, you can see if ownership is truly right for you.

Can I afford medical care?

If you think that healthcare for humans is pricey, wait until pay for your dog's first round of shots. Dogs need consistent vet care, and a regular checkup with medicine can cost you a few hundred dollars. If you're worried about covering health costs, you should consider getting health insurance for your pet. It can help you cover regular vet costs, and can be very cost effective if your dog needs emergency treatment or coverage for a future health problem.   

Iron King Kennels believes in responsible pet ownership. When people take proper care of their pitbulls, they will get a more obedient and loving companion than they ever imagined. Contact us today if you are interested in one of these loyal pets or if you have any questions about their training or upbringing. We are happy to help!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

3 Outdoor Activities for You and Your Pitbull Puppy to Enjoy This Summer

Any pitbull owner will tell you that these dogs love to run, play fetch, and do tricks, and they certainly enjoy a dip in the water. And since your pitbull is a puppy, they are certainly going to be full of energy. With the weather getting warmer, what better way to let your pup have fun and get some exercise than by enjoying outdoor activities together? 

Puppies need to exercise daily, and playing active games is a great way for your pup (and you) to stay healthy. Daily activities help them to live a long and healthy life and support their physical development. Exercise also helps with their mental stimulation and prevents them from being bored, frustrated and mischievous. Taking your pup out for regular outdoor play also helps to decrease behavioral issues like chewing and digging.

So, how do you fill your pup's waking time? Below are three great outdoor activities your pitbull puppy will love.

Playing fetch

There's nothing better than playing a good old-fashioned game of fetch with your pup. Whether in your backyard or in a park, fetch helps teach your puppy how to focus and follow orders. If it's your pup's first time playing, spark their interest by throwing the toy and showing them how to chase it and retrieve it. Also, while fetch is a pretty straightforward activity, make sure that the toy you use is light so that your pup can pick it up and avoid any materials that may be rough on their mouth.

Swimming

While everyone needs a break from the heat, swimming is beneficial for more than just staying cool in the hot weather. Swimming strengthens and tones muscles, joints, and ligaments, and also helps with weight management and relaxation. Plus, most dogs just plain enjoy the water.


If you want to teach your dog how to swim, your pup needs to gain confidence first. Start by exposing your dog to water, preferably in a shallow plastic pool so they can practice and get used to the feeling. When they seem more comfortable, find a body of water where your dog can gradually walk in with you. Help encourage your pup to get in by bringing toys.

Doing tricks

Who doesn't love a pup who can put on a show? Teaching your dog tricks is a great way to combine exercise and discipline, and allow the two of you to bond. Whether it's rolling over or playing dead, teaching your dog to do tricks is a mental and physical workout. You should start with basic training commands such as "stay" and "come," since these help with focus, and are crucial when your puppy is around other dogs, animals and people.


If you're looking for pitbull puppies for sale and are interested in welcoming one into your home, keep in mind that dogs learn best when they are trained early and often. The good news is that your pup needs as much down time as active time, so you'll get a break, too! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Top 3 Dog Training Tips



Among the many important responsibilities dog owners have, training is among the most important. A well-trained dog is easier to care for, causes less trouble and will ultimately live a happier life. Whether you're in the process of training your pitbull or about to welcome an XL pitbull to your home and want to know how to properly train your dog, here are our top three tips to help. 


1. Set realistic expectations

Always remember that teaching your dog how to obey the rules takes time, so don't expect them to learn everything right away. The bad behaviors that are the "normal" for dogs -- like barking and jumping -- will take the most time to control. Also, take how long your dog has been able to get away with certain behaviors into account. For example, if your dog has jumped up on the couch for a few years and you want them to stop now, it's going to take more time for them to understand, since the dog is used to being able to do that. This doesn't mean it's too late, it just means it will take more time than training a dog that you just brought home would. 

2. Be consistent with training

When training your dog, it is crucial to be consistent. This means setting aside time each day to train your dog. You should plan to spend 15-20 minutes every day teaching your dog; however, don't go overboard with training, as it can leave your dog tired. 

Also, make sure that everyone in your home is on the same page about the training rules. Whatever expectations you establish with your dog, make sure your family is aware of and reinforces them. For example, if you don't want your dog lying on the bed, it's important that no one breaks this rule. If you don't reinforce the rules, your dog will have a hard time learning what is wrong and right.

3. Use positive reinforcement techniques 

Many owners use treats as rewards when training their dogs. While this certainly helps, you can also reinforce your dog's good behavior with praise, touch, games, walks and toys. Positive reinforcement is crucial, as it will influence your dog to act the way you want them to. Keep in mind that how your dog behaves should produce the treat, not the other way around. Only reward your dog when they behave as you ask.



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

4 Tips for Introducing a Your Dog to a New Pitbull Puppy



Bringing a pitbull puppy into your home can bring you and your existing dog a lot of fun and companionship. But it's important to remember that your current dog may not feel at ease sharing their space and toys with another dog. Like people, dogs are individuals. Some have a lot of tolerance for other dogs, others not so much. That doesn't mean things can't work out -- it just means that you have to properly introduce them and teach them how to interact with one another. 

Of course, you want both dogs to be happy with their new living arrangements. Therefore, it's important to ensure that you make your new dog feel welcomed and your current dog feel included. Maximizing the potential for a great friendship between your new pitbull puppy and your current dog involves a few important steps. 


Whether you're looking at pitbull puppies for sale, or have already brought your new pup home, here are four tips to help you introduce your dogs.

1. Arrange a meet-and-greet on neutral ground
Once you find a pitbull puppy you're interested in adopting, arrange an introduction with your potential pup and your existing dog. You want to get a sense of how they will get along with each other before you officially adopt. Also, while you may be exited for the two dogs to meet, you want to ensure that both dogs feel comfortable. You should introduce them on neutral ground -- a place that neither dog would consider its territory. Both dogs should be leashed and walked with their own person.

2. Do what is "normal" for your family
After your dogs have met, it's time to bring your new pup home. As excited as you are to welcome your pitbull puppy to the family, it's vital that you maintain normalcy for your existing dog. Your pet already has a routine down. From when it's time to eat and go outside and where to sleep to whether or not he/she is allowed on the furniture, your existing dog is used to certain schedules and limits. As you keep your old dog's routine the same, you can slowly integrate the new pup into those habits.

3. Be mindful of any "hot" zones
Your existing dog may feel some slight jealously for the new pup -- after all, it was their home first. Be careful and watch their interaction together to see if there are any trigger zones. Most protective reactions come when eating and playing with toys. You should feed them separately until you know that they can eat side-by-side, and also keep a separate water bowl for them. Monitor their play time and give them separate toys until you know that they can share them.

4. Continuously work on building bonds
This goes for you, as well as your new pup and current dog. It's important to spend time playing together, training and teaching them, and devoting attention to them individually and together. You should have daily walks and playdates. As the bond forms, your dogs will become more comfortable together and learn their boundaries.



Thursday, December 12, 2013

6 Tips for Training Your New Pitbull Puppy


Despite their bad rap, pitbulls are very friendly, loyal and loving dogs, making them the perfect addition to any family household. If you're interested in adopting blue pitbull puppies, below are seven tips to help you in the process.

Start training early


The general rule of thumb when it comes to adopting any type of puppy is to start them early on training. As soon as you bring your new pup home, you should be guiding their behavior and enforcing the rules. Puppies learn much faster and more easily than adult dogs, and the first 20 weeks of development can be the most crucial. 

Show the puppy you are the boss

It's vital to teach your pup early on that you are the boss and they must obey your commands. Remember, you will be the one to reward the pup for good behavior and punish them for bad behavior, so if you won't discipline them, they won't learn. You can show the dog you are in charge by controlling their food, demonstrating that you provide it and that they only get it at certain times. Also, lay down some rules about certain pieces of furniture that the puppy isn't allowed on (e.g. tables) and about chewing furniture and other household items. 

Teach socialization with people and animals

Socialization should be a top priority for your new dog, one that you should engage in regularly. It's important that your pup learn to be comfortable around people and other animals. You should introduce your puppy to children, adults, dogs and other animals in a secure setting so that they can become more comfortable with them and less territorial later.

Get your puppy used to a leash

Pitbulls grow to be strong dogs, so you should get your puppy used to being on a leash as early as possible. Walk your dog regularly and use commands to teach them how to behave on the leash. 

Make exercise a habitual activity

Pitbulls are full of energy -- especially puppies. You should take your pup to an enclosed area (no open dog parks until they are fully trained) each day for 20 to 30 minutes of outdoor playtime. This will provide an outlet for your pup's energy and instinctive behaviors. After all, a tired puppy is less likely to get into trouble than a bored one. 

Use positive reinforcement

When your pup obeys the rules, use positive reinforcement techniques to reward them (for instance, giving them a treat). This will encourage your dog to behave consistently. Pits are eager learners and more than happy to work for the reward.

Always remember that training takes time. Be patient, keep at it, and you will have a loving and faithful companion for life.