We saw a recent article on Yahoo! Shine detailing seven dog breeds that don’t deserve their stereotype and really wanted to share it. We couldn’t agree more! Properly training your dog, regardless of breed, is the single most important thing owners can do to make sure he grows up without any behavioral issues.

We consulted our expert trainer Beverly Ulbrich, founder of The Pooch Coach, to help further debunk these breed stereotypes. She told us any dog can be fearful and aggressive.

pit bull dog
American Pit Bull Terrier by Scott Kinmartin, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“All dogs need to be properly socialized and trained so they are not fearful, which almost always leads into aggression,” Ulbrich says. “Dogs need to learn boundaries and have bite inhibition. They should be taught not to growl or snap when upset.”

She also emphasizes dogs should be treated as individuals and it isn’t fair to make general assumptions about a breed.

“I don’t like spearking in generalities about breed,” Ulbrich says. “Breeds are like nationalities for people; they might look similar, but personalities and disorders vary greatly.”

Pet insurance is quickly becoming popular with numerous companies now popping up on the market. But it takes more than just signing your dog or cat up and paying a premium; most companies require “routine care,” which an owner must comply with to keep their coverage intact. And most companies restrict what’s covered, so you may be stuck footing the bill. Here are four major things you need to consider before deciding on pet insurance.

1. Vaccinations and Preventative Care

You must keep up vaccinations and certain “preventative care” to maintain a policy. A dog must be spayed or neutered within one year of age or within 60 days of adoption. Breeding dogs can be insured for an additional premium with some companies. Regular vaccinations must be kept up-to-date, as well as medications to prevent fleas, lice and parasites. Apart from regular vaccinations and flea/tick medications, owners are also required to administer heartworm medications, if recommended by their vet.

“If it’s not recommended by the vet, it is not a specific requirement of our policy,” Trupanion insurance spokeswoman Heather Kalinowski says. “For vaccinations, again, we operate by the vet’s recommendation. As long as the pet owner is following recommendations set by their vet for appropriate vaccination, we will provide coverage.”

yellow dog getting shots
Yellow Dog puts on a brave face (sort of) for his vet-recommended shots.

Vaccinations are pretty much a given with pet ownership, but keep in mind you must oblige with whatever preventative medications and treatments your vet deems necessary in order to keep an insurance policy, which can be an added expense. Also be wary of over-vaccinating your pet; some vets will call for every shot in the book and others adhere to timelines of what has been clinically proven to be effective. You can read more about the vaccinations your dog really needs here on YDB.

With all the recent talk of contaminated jerky treats, you may be wondering which treats are safe for your dog. We at Yellow Dog Blog have got you covered! We filled our shopping cart with 11 safe and healthy treat options that are easy to find (we found all but one at PETCO). You’ll notice almost every package overtly says if the product was made and/or sourced in the United States. Please note we have not been paid for this article; all the treats selected are ones we feed Yellow Dog and Sundown, and they love ’em!

1. PureBites

pure bites freeze dried treats

Freeze-dried treats are the motherlode of treats for your dog. They are as simple as it gets; one meat ingredient with water content removed.

There are several brands on the market but most major retailers carry PureBites. They are sourced 100 percent in the U.S. and have a very high protein content, as you might imagine. PureBites are about as healthy and natural as you can get!

It’s time to spread the word: the Golden Gate National Recreational Area is trying to cut off-leash access by nearly 90 percent at local recreation areas. The GGNRA released a 1500-page proposal to eliminate off-leash dog areas in the Bay Area at Fort Funston, Crissy Field, Ocean Beach and elsewhere in Marin and San Mateo.

We, the dog public, need to fight back! Chair of SFDOG Sally Stephens is leading the charge against these changes. Join Sally and the SF Dog Connectors at Fort Funston Saturday, October 19 at noon to learn more about what you can do to help save the Fort!

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, the GGNRA released a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) in September for the proposed Dog Management Plan. They released a Draft EIS in 2011, which would have cut where you can go with your dog in the GGNRA by 90 percent. Public comment on the Draft EIS was overwhelmingly against the plan by a margin of 3-to-1. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution opposing the plan, in large part because it did not consider the impacts on city parks if the GGNRA made these cuts.

fortfunston
Yellow Dog and Sundown enjoying some off-leash time at Fort Funston. If the GGNRA proposal is implemented, we may not get to do this anymore.

Despite this opposition, the GGNRA has essentially not changed their plan. The Preferred Alternative in the SEIS is the same as the Draft EIS with some minor changes. It still cuts where you can walk with your dog, both on-leash and off-leash, by roughly 90 percent.