'Giant George': The World's Tallest Dog? (Photos)

Best Dogs for Allergy Sufferers
by Cathy Chambers - AssociatedContent.com

Children and dogs seem to go together naturally. Baby boomers grew up watching "Lassie" and their children fell in love with "Benji". Dogs are great companions for kids and in turn, caring for the family dog can teach a child about responsibility. Children with allergies are often denied access to dogs due to their symptoms. Some breeds though seem to be allergy friendly, meaning they don't appear to trigger allergies.

Keep in mind though that no breed can be considered hypo allergenic. Even hairless dogs have dander which is the most common trigger, they just produce less. Other breeds that produce less dander may carry pollen and other allergens inside with them on their coats. With that in mind, what breeds are best for allergy suffers? The American Kennel Club lists the following breeds as being compatible with allergy sufferers.

Portuguese Water Dog: This breed has been thrust into the limelight since the First Family adopted a PWD puppy. Good with children, these energetic dogs are a good choice for active families who are willing devote time to grooming and exercise.

Poodle: This breed comes in three sizes Standard, Miniature and Toy. Poodles make great family dogs. They do require regular grooming and exercise. Although Toy Poodles are often thought to be prone to snap at very small children, they do well with older children. (No preschooler should ever be left unsupervised with ANY dog.) Despite a reputation for being spoiled, fussy dogs, Poodles were originally bred as Sporting dogs.They are only fussy and spoiled if their owners choose to make them fussy and spoiled.

Bichon Frise: These little puff balls are active and sociable. They are considered good companion dogs.

Miniature Schnauzer: Schnauzers come in three sizes, Giant, Standard and Miniature. Although all are good family dogs, protective of their territory and good with children, only the Miniature Schnauzer is mentioned as being a good choice for allergy sufferers. The Giant Schnauzer Club of America says that the Giant Schnauzer is not necessarily "hypo allergenic".

Chinese Crested: This unusual breed has two coat types. The Hairless has tufts of hair on the head, tail and socks (feet). The Powderpuff is covered in long silky hair. The Powderpuff needs regular grooming while the Hairless needs to be protected from sunburn. The Hairless variety is also prone to skin irritations. These dogs do not require much exercise. They are known for being affectionate pets, they are sociable and enjoy the company of people.

Maltese: Another good family dog, this dog requires a daily grooming to keep their coats from matting. The small size of the Maltese makes it a good dog for apartment dwellers.

Bedlington Terrier: These dogs are noted for being good with children and easily trained. They shed very little and make good watch dogs. Their coats need to be brushed and combed once a week at the very least, this is another dog that needs their coat trimmed by a groomer. These dogs are definately "people" dogs who will want to spend time with the family.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier: This dog is one that needs an owner who is patient enough to deal with training and discipline. According to the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America, Wheatens require a firm hand from their owners. Some breeders advise that Wheaten puppies not be brought into homes with infants and toddlers since Wheaten's need so much attention. They are also dogs that require a good deal of vigorous exercise. Although the brouchure from the SCWTCA advises that these dogs do well as city or country pets, although they may not do well off the leash.

Xoloitzcuintli (Show-lo-its-queen-tli): The Xolo is sometimes called the Mexican Hairless. These dogs come in three sizes; Standard, Medium and Toy and have two coat variations completely hairless and covered in short hair. Xolo's are energetic and alert. They are also very devoted to their owners. The hairless Xolo has no dander, and no fleas. This breed may be close to being the perfect hypo allergenic dog.

Irish Water Spaniel: This Sporting dog is the largest of all the Spaniels. The breed is intelligent making it easy to train. They require regular grooming to prevent matting of their coats. This energetic dog would be well suited for someone who wants a dog for a walking or running companion, since they require regular exercise.

Before adopting any dog, it is important to consider your lifestyle and how any dog will fit into your family. Very active dogs like the Portuguese Water Dog will not be content to lounge around the house all day. A Chinese Crested is not the choice for very active individuals. When you find a breed that you like, find a reputable breeder. If you don't feel comfortable taking on a puppy, look for rescue organizations. There are rescue groups for virtually every breed. A rescued dog can make a wonderful companion. Remember too that dogs are pack animals and by nature most are very social. When they become part of a family, they are happiest when they are involved in the daily activities of the family "pack".

It's important to mention again that there is no magic "hypo allergenic" breed. Some people with severe allergies may not be compatible with any of these breeds. And people who manage to co exist with these breeds should also remember that there are degrees of tolerance. Your child may tolerate the dog but not be able to groom their pet. Although there is no one breed that is truly "hypo allergenic", any of the breeds mentioned in this article or on the American Kennel Club web site would make a wonderful companion for someone who suffers from allergies.

Tips for Puppy Buyers

Source: The Better Business Bureau -

•Look for a breeder who only has one or two breeds and follows a breeding plan.

•Ask the breeder questions before you look at the pup. Otherwise, it may be difficult to walk away from a cute pup.

•The breeder should be willing to take back any puppy that does not work out.

•The breeder should guarantee the pups are free of genetic diseases and replace the pup if a disease should crop up. Many genetic diseases are not detectable until the dog is more than 2 years old, so the guarantee should be for the life of the dog.

•Ask the breeder for references, including other customers and veterinarians.

•A responsible breeder will want to gather information about potential puppy buyers, including whether the buyers have other pets and children.
Those looking to add a puppy or dog to their family might also consider finding a breed-specific rescue or shelter.

Tips for New Cat Owners
by Steven Briseno - AssociatedContent.com

Getting a new pet is always fun and exciting. From the moment that new furry friend walks into your home your job begins. Remember it is always a good idea to get your cats at kittens. The reason being is that adult cats all ready have their own customs and personalities set. Once they are, it is nearly impossible to change. As a kitten you can teach and train your cat anything you need to.

The first thing you should teach it is were to do its business. A good way to do this is to keep your kitten in the room where the litter box will be for a day or two. Remember to place a bowl of food and water in the room while they are potty training. Now that your kitten knows where to do its business, it is time to talk about food. Choose a place in your home to have a bowl of water out for them. Water should be available for your kitten all day. As for the food, you should choose a time in the day to feed your kitten. If you choose to feed your kitten dry food it is a good idea to soften up the food with a little bit of water for the first month. It makes it easier for the kitten to chew.

So now that your kitten is potty trained and has been fed it is a good idea to go over training. Cat's have a tendency to scratch up furniture. They do it to sharpen there nails, non the less it is a destructive habit. Luckily a scratching post is a quick fix. They are available everywhere and are relatively cheap. Spending fifteen dollars can save you hundreds on furniture repair. Some cats are a little stubborn and prefer to scratch up your furniture even if they have a scratching post. To fix this keep a spray bottle close to the couch at all times. When you see your cat starting to scratch the furniture give them a quick spray. Make sure your cat does not see that you are the one spraying them. If they do they might learn to scratch the furniture when you are not around. Those are a few tips to get you started. May your new kitten live a long, healthy life.

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How to Make Great Dog Clothes
from Baby Clothes
by Angie Grey - AssociatedContent.com

You can make fashion statements for your pet by using pieces from your child's wardrobe. Once the clothes are outgrown, baby clothes are generally discarded or resold. You can recycle these clothes simply to make cute little outfits for your pet. You can use the following tips to create your own fashion line in a budget friendly way.


Before you start the 'remodeling' you will need to take measurements of your dog. Start by measuring your pet round the neckline. You should also measure your dog from the back of the neck along the spine to the hip bone. Remember to note down these measurements! Bring out the outfit you want to alter and measure it too. Using the measurements from your pet (the measurement of its length), you should lay the baby fabric front side face down. You should measure the fabric from the center of the material neckline to the desire length of the outfit you want to make. Next, you will have to cut across the fabric. Cut the fabric into two pieces.


Taking the top part of the cut fabric put it on your dog in order to size it. The top half of the outfit should be cut along the center to allow it to fit around the neck. If there is (are) a button(s) on the outfit, you should cut below the button line and leave the button untouched. You can next sew around the arm opening with your hand.

You can use either Velcro or elastic to make the outfit hold onto your dog while keeping it comfortable at the same time. The Velcro or elastic can be fixed underneath the dog's belly. Remember to make sure that it is loosely fitted around the neck.


In order to make a blue jean/denim jacket outfit, you should fix the material to the dog (as already described so far).You can then add several rows of lace at the bottom of your jacket. Once the lace has been put across, you should sew each row on top of each lace. Trim the unnecessary pieces as needed and add a bow for a jaunty look.

Safe Ways to Occupy
Your Dog in the Car
by Stephanie Bell - AssociatedContent.com

Many dogs love riding along in the car, yet some love to run around, which is dangerous and distracting when you are driving. Here are some tips to keep your dog safe and distraction-free when he is riding along.

1).Take frequent breaks. On long road trips, your dog may become restless and start trying to run around the car if he has to go to the bathroom. Be sure to stop at least once every two hours (preferably more) to give your dog some exercise and let him relieve himself. He is much more likely to calm down and sit still if he burns off some energy.

2). Have several toys ready. Kong toys can keep dogs occupied for a while as they try to dig out the food. Bring a new chew bone that can keep them occupied as well as a few of their favorite comfort toys. Your dog will be happy to sit still if he has a distraction inside the car. Chew bones are great for occupying your dog in the car.

3). Consider a safety harness. It is very important that your dog stays safe in car accidents. Without a seat belt, dogs are extremely susceptible to injury or even ejection if you are in an accident. There are now restraints made especially for pets, both small and large. These seat belts for dogs are under $50 and are a good investment for your dog's safety. Pet restraints can be purchased here.

4). Have someone hold the pet. If you have another passenger in the car, they can limit the distractions and hold the pet. Stroking the pet or gently playing will make even an anxious dog settle down. Otherwise, the dog may run around and jump in your lap or get into something potentially toxic under the seats.

5). Bring their doggy bed or blanket. Anything that reminds your dog of home will likely make him lay don and relax. A doggy bed can make him more comfortable and a blanket with a familiar smell might ease his anxiety over the unfamiliar environment of the car.

6). Put them in the crate. For shorter rides, such as to the veterinarian, consider putting disobedient dogs in the crate. The crate is never intended as punishment and provides a safe den for your dog. Never leave them in the crate for too long. This is really only necessary for very short drives if there are no passengers to safely help occupy your dog.

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Ask Dog Lady: Layla Turns His World
Upside-Down - He's Embarrassed to
Be Seen with Lhasa Apso
ASK DOG LADY - SunTimes.com

I've just started seeing a woman with a white Lhasa Apso named Layla. My girl, Sally, really likes Layla and takes very good care of her. The dog has two beds, eats expensive food and has two little sparkly clips to hold back the fur in her face.

Sally also walks Layla a lot and I do like walking the dog with her. The problem is Sally dresses Layla in a pink and green striped sweater in the winter. She says the dog gets cold.

I am a little embarrassed to be seen with a dog dressed like this. Why do dogs wear sweaters? Do you think I could ask Sally to leave off Layla's sweater when I walk with them?

A. Wading in to this dog outerwear issue is treacherous because some people, such as your Sally, honestly believe their pets need the extra layer of warmth in addition to their natural hair and fur. In the cases of short-hair sylphs (Chihuahuas, whippets, and Italian greyhounds), this is probably true.

For a solid, muscular chunk of Lhasa Apso, Dog Lady wouldn't waste the clothing allowance. Dogs are nudists. They like parading around in their birthday suits and are uncomfortable wearing clothes.

You can cheerfully ask Sally why she dresses Layla. You might learn something. Maybe the veterinarian suggested a sweater. If not, try liberating Layla during your outings together. Be frank about how you really don't believe in dressing up dogs, but keep a light tone.

After all, Layla's clothing should not play a pivotal role in your relationship with Sally. That she loves a dog speaks volumes about her ability to love you. Just don't let her dress you in colorful knits.

Q. Precious, my terrier mix, seems to be bouncing off the walls during these holidays. She's barking more than usual and she seems clingier, following me from room to room. The other night, we had guests and she nipped at one of the visiting children when he tried to pet her. I had to punish her and lock her away while the company was here. What's going on?

A. Our dear pets pick up the vibes around their home. If you're stressed, so are they. Precious is undoubtedly reacting to the excitement and mayhem around her. She's not used to the invasion of guests, to the disruption of her schedule, and people reaching down to pet her.

Are you walking her enough and tiring her out? Make sure she's getting exercise as well as plenty of quiet time away from the maddening crowd. Put her bed in back of a closet (leave the door ajar so she can enter and exit with ease) so she has a quiet place to hide out.

Pet perplexed? Write askdoglady@gmail.com.

Meet 'Giant George'
the 7ft-long Blue Great Dane
Who Could Be the World's Tallest Dog
By Mail Foreign Service - DailyMail.co.uk

Standing at nearly 43 inches tall from paw to shoulder and weighing a staggering 245lbs could this be the world's new tallest dog?

George, a four-year-old blue great dane, looks more like a miniature horse than a dog.

'Giant George' and owner Dave Nasser share a couch together: The four-year-old blue great dane, weighs a staggering 245lbs and measures almost 43ins at the shoulder

The gentle giant, who measures 7ft 3ins from nose to tail, could be a prime contender to take the title from the former record holder, Gibson, a harlequin Great Dane who passed away from cancer last August.

Now George's owners, David and Christine Nasser, are awaiting confirmation from Guinness World Records to see if he has achieved the lofty heights.

'He's 42.625 inches at the shoulder,' said David. 'He's very very unique.'
According to David, George consumes 110lbs of food every month, and sleeps alone in his own Queen Size Bed.

David and Christine raised George from when he was 7 weeks old, but never expected him to grow so big.

Magnificent: George measures more than 7ft from nose to tail and tucks away 110lbs of food every month

With size comes problems: The giant great dane barely fits in the back of his owner's SUV

The couple eventually had to move their aptly named dog out of their king sized bed, when he grew too large for the three of them to share the same sheets.
Dr. William Wallace of the Buena Pet Clinic in Tucson, who witnessed the documentation necessary for the Guinness record, said: 'In my 45 years of experience working with giant breed dogs, without question, George is the tallest dog I have ever seen.'

David is currently rushing to get that necessary documentation into Guinness as other dog owners are coming forth claiming the record.

As they wait for the results to come through, George is busy occupying himself with his new found stardom and even has a Facebook fan page and Twitter accounts for his adorning fans.

It appears as though the sky's the limit for this mammoth hound.

Paws for thought: George's giant feet dwarf his owner Dave Nassar's hand. Last August the world's tallest dog, Gibson, a harlequin Great Dane, passed away from cancer

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Biggest Pet Stories of 2009
Mirror Biggest Human Stories
of the Year
Submitted by K9 Magazine News Editor

2009’s biggest news stories had uncanny parallels between humans and the pets we care for in record numbers. This trend reflects the integral role that pets continue to play in our daily lives.

PurinaCare® Pet Health Insurance has compiled a list of the top news stories of 2009 and how they relate to issues of pet health and wellness. Consider these close connections between pets and their owners “In The News” this year:

1. Tough Decisions in a Tough Economy (but some refuse to skimp on pets)

The economic turmoil of 2009 affected people in all areas of their daily lives. This financial hardship caused a ripple effect on pets. The term “economic euthanasia” became part of the national vocabulary as some pet owners chose to make the agonizing decision to put their pets down because they could not afford veterinary care. Others chose to surrender or simply abandon their pets due to financial hardship.

While financial hardship and reduced consumer spending continued to impact our pets and our economy, those fortunate enough to still be employed simply refused to spend less on pets. The overall pet care segment continues to be one of the few bright spots in the down economy.

2. Flu Season Affects Humans and Pets

This year the nation’s flu season escalated to a potential pandemic health concern due to the H1N1 virus or “Swine Flu”. The Centers for Disease Control reported that almost 47 million people became infected with the virus resulting in 9,000 deaths. On a smaller scale, the flu also affected our pets. In November, the H1N1 virus found its way into the feline population in three states (as well as five confirmed cases in domesticated ferrets and other domesticated animals). The H3N8 or “Dog Flu” has also surfaced in several dogs across the U.S. Fortunately, treatment options are readily available for both H1N1 and the Dog Flu, and there is a vaccine for the Dog Flu as well. As with any illness in humans or animals, pet owners need to watch for symptoms and seek the appropriate veterinary advice and medical treatments.

3. Political Change Breeds Puppy Star

After President Barack Obama and his family became the newest residents of the White House, America’s First Family soon welcomed Bo the Portuguese Water Dog, who’s been stealing the spotlight since his first appearance in April. Bo’s incredible popularity as the new “First Dog” created amazing interest and generated valuable discussion on how families and individuals need to match the appropriate breed of pet to their environment and lifestyle.

4. Debate Raged on Human Health Insurance while Pet Health Insurance Grows

One of the most striking parallels of the year between humans and animals is the discussion about health insurance. While the future of the human health care system has been debated, there is growing interest in the value and preventive protection of pet health insurance. Pet owners are expected to spend 8.5% more or $12 billion dollars on veterinary care in 2009 (up $1 billion from 2008), due to veterinary advancements like MRIs, cat scans, and complex surgeries for pets. Pet owners are discovering pet health insurance helps them provide the best to their pets without letting their wallet dictate the care.

Top 10 Animal Stories of the Decade

It’s incredibly challenging to pick just ten animal stories that made the most impact over an entire decade, but here’s my selection. Please share any others that you feel made an impact that didn’t make my list!

White Nose Syndrome devastates bats

A strange killer came out of nowhere and has had catastrophic effects on many bat species in the northeast United States. Cavers first observed bats with white noses in New York in 2006, and scientists have since documented hundreds of thousands of dead bats in caves during their winter hibernation. Every year it has spread to new caves and additional states. In 2009, scientists identified a Geomyces fungus as the “white” on the bats’ noses and wings which most likely is an exotic species. So far scientists have found no bats with immunity, and WNS is expected to continue spreading, though research on solutions has begun in earnest.

Animal cloning

Advances in science resulted in several new mammals cloned during the past decade – including Tetra the rhesus monkey in 2000, Copycat the cat in 2001, a horse named Prometea in 2003, and Snuppy the dog in 2005. Scientists also worked at – and intensely debated – cloning endangered animals as a way to recover imperiled species and possibly even extinct ones. The San Diego Zoo has a Frozen Zoo which keeps tissue of the world’s most imperiled species.

Lost worlds of animals discovered

It’s not all bad news out there. Though many wild animal populations have declined, scientific expeditions to relatively untrammeled places like Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, the Himalayas and Asia’s Mekong Delta have revealed “lost worlds” of never before documented species and incredible biodiversity. Scientists have named many new species in the past decade, as well, which just goes to show how much biodiversity we stand to lose by not protecting the world’s remaining natural habitats.

Global warming effects on wildlife

The image of polar bears starving and drowning from shrinking polar ice has become the mental picture associated with global warming, but many other species around the globe have been affected by climate change. The timing of animal migrations has changed in some species, habitat has diminished or 'moved' due to changing microclimates and the world's oceans have started turning more acidic. Although known about in scientific circles for decades before this one, global warming finally came into broader public acceptance this decade in large part due to efforts Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth, but also brought to life through 2005's breakaway success March of the Penguins.

Did we or did we not rediscover the ivory-billed woodpecker?

When the news broke of the possible rediscovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis) it was the wildlife story of all stories. A forestry student had made a promising observation in 1999 prompting a comprehensive survey through the hardwood swamps of Louisiana, Arkansas and Florida over the past decade. Scientists recorded a rapping sound similar to the woodpecker’s double knock in 2002, and a team from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology published a paper in Science in 2005 based on multiple observations of a male in Arkansas. But robotic cameras in the region have never recorded any ivory-bills, neither DNA nor nests have been located. The “rediscovery” remains steeped in controversy but it did allow conservation groups to buy up large tracts of wilderness that would preserve the birds’ habitat, as well as many other species.

Global amphibian declines

Scientists first identified the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd)– suspected in killing frogs and other amphibians in 1998, but the past decade saw both major advances in scientific understanding of the fungus including how it kills frogs. The deade also witnessed severe declines in many amphibian species. The fungus is thought to have spread from African clawed frogs – a common pet – to native amphibians after people flush their dead, or living, pets down the toilet or release them outside. The fungus thrives in moist, cool environments so amphibians in montane rainforests have been more heavily affected than desert or dry, temperate species.

Virgin birth in sharks

It all started in 2001, when aquarium personnel saw a bonnethead shark pup in the Omaha Zoo – a shock since no male bonnethead was in the tank, and all the females had been captured as juveniles. Geneticists soon confirmed the pup had no father. Not long after, a blacktip shark at the Virginia aquarium was found with a pup in her belly. Once again geneticists confirmed virgin birth. Unusual in vertebrates, the phenomenon has since been confirmed in white-spotted bamboo sharks and suspected in a whitetip reef shark. This strange method of reproduction, never observed in sharks prior to this decade, won’t save them though. Research published in the past few years has shown dramatic global declines in most shark species over the past 25 years, including long-term declines in reef sharks and great whites - which cascades through the marine ecosystem - with an increase in the brutal and wasteful practice of shark finning.

Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring

Interest in this story peaked in April 2007 when star NFL quarterback Michael Vick was investigated for involvement in a vicious dogfighting ring. In dogfights where the “loser” doesn’t get killed, the owners typically kill it themselves using electrocution, drowning or hanging. Vick participated and also financed an illegal dogfighting ring. His pled guilty and was sent to federal prison for nearly 2 years. The story this brought this brutal and secretive practice front and center in the public’s awareness. Released from prison in May 2009, Vick now works with the Humane Society to teach about why animal cruelty is wrong.

Contagious cancer devastates Tasmanian devils

In the early part of this decade, Tasmanian devils, started dying in mass, their faces deformed by grotesque tumors that caused them to starve. It took scientists a few years to conclusively determine the cause, and this decade has shown great progress in scientific understanding, but during that time the charismatic marsupial carnivore went from being very common to seriously endangered. Conservation biologists believe the Tasmanian devil faces the very real possibility of extinction in the wild in the next decade, so they started “Project Ark” to save as much genetic diversity as possible. while still working frantically to identify details of the disease. Scientists have determined that it's only three known contagious cancers in the world.

Puppy mills

Court cases, video and news reports showing putrid living conditions for dogs and their pups brought this topic squarely into the public awareness over the past few years. In puppy mills, dogs live in small wire cages, with little to no veterinary care, no natural social interaction with humans or other dogs – except to breed or pup. Breeding dogs are bred for year after year just for the sake of making puppies to stock the store windows of pet stores, and then are euthanized. Animal Planet has exposed some puppy mills on Animal Cops. A better way? Adopt one of many pets in a local shelter that needs a loving home.

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