Sheltie Nation

Category Archive for ‘Product Spotlight’

Win a book! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Loving Our Dogs

6a00d8341c192953ef010534d21ac9970c-350wiWe all know we are crazy about our dogs and can't read enough about them.  Feed that need with Chicken Soup for the Soul: Loving Our Dogs by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen.  It features 101 of the best stories illustrating how dogs are good for the body an soul.  It is a fabulous collection of heartwarming, amusing, inspirational, and occasionally tearful stories about our best friends and faithful companions.

"Loving Our Dogs" is part of the "101 Best Stories" series and bundles the editor's favorite tales submitted in the 15-year history of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Divided into sections ranging from 'Bringing Out the Best in Us' to 'Support Dogs,' "Loving Our Dogs" offers real-life accounts of heroic pups who brought their owners back from the brink.  All are true tales of the humorous and life-altering impact dogs have on our lives. Get the tissues ready – many will make you laugh or cry. 

Since 1993, books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series have sold over 112 million copies, with titles translated in over 40 languages. In 2007, USA Today named Chicken Soup for the Soul one of the five most memorable and impactful books in the last quarter century. Fans of Chicken Soup for the Soul will be pleased to hear that they are currently working with TV networks on several upcoming shows and remain dedicated to life improvement, emotional support and inspiration.

Simon and Schuster has kindly given three copies of Loving Our Dogs to raffle to Sheltie Nation members.  Each winner will also receive a bonus Sheltie Nation decal! 

To enter to win: Just email me at sheltienationraffle@gmail.comand put "chicken soup" as the topic. (Contest is only open to those with a USA mailing address & ends Monday, October 20, 2008 at noon EST.)

Stay tuned…More awesome raffles to come!

UPDATE:  I've had some members from outside the US ask about entering & I don't want to exclude anyone! Shipping costs for the winners come out of my own pocket, so to anyone living overseas - If you want to enter…you can…I'd just need to ask for shipping costs (over the usual amount for USA shipping) if you won.

Congrats to Sue Nickelston, Michele Reecher & Bonnie Pemble on winning a copy of the book!

DogPause food dish – win one!

Like many Sheltie owners, I had preconceived ideas about how Shelties behave.  We Sheltie lovers can make sweeping generalizations about the breed & most often we would be right.  Shelties are smart.  Shelties love to bark.  Shelties love to herd.  Shelties gobble food…um, no.  Shelties have manners, right?

Well, there is always an exception to the rule of anything…and my little Toby is the dog that does it.  Our little “Hoover”, Toby is famous for gulping down his meal (which includes half chewed baby carrots) in seconds flat…with sometimes not so pleasant results.  Burping & vomiting up his meal almost as fast as he ate it.  Yuck!

I know it’s not healthy for him to inhale the food, but other than putting rocks in his bowl (like you do with horses who bolt their grain) I was at a loss what to do about it.

I was recently contacted by a company that makes a feeding bowl called DogPause.  They asked me if I would be interested in reviewing the product.  Apparently, it is the first dog bowl with integrated portion control.  Four sections divide food into manageable portions which forces the dog to pause in between each section.

The company says this bowl is sized for dogs between 15 and 100 pounds and most dog breeds ranging from Beagles to Rottweilers. Dogs just can’t get their entire face into the bowl, and as a result, eat more slowly.

But my little Toby is an undersized Sheltie with a long slender nose.  Would it work for him too?  Yep.  It did double the time it takes him to eat…from an average of 30 seconds to about 1 minute.  Is that enough time to stop the vomiting & burping?  Well, sorta.  He still doesn’t chew his kibble, but he has taken the time to chew his carrots.  I think he can get his snout deeper into the bowl than say a Golden can, but he does have to use his tongue to get the kibble at the bottom.

The DogPause dog bowl works to slow down the pace of eating and aid with portion control in the following ways:

  • Divides the bowl into 4 feeding zones.
  • Each feeding zone is 1/2 cup in capacity and designed to “block” the dog from putting his full snout into the bowl; this slows down eating pace as your dog needs to use his tongue for each bite.
  • After your dog finishes each zone, he must re-position himself for the next zone.
  • The bowl is designed to slide a little on the floor, further slowing down the dog as he needs to re-position for each bite.  For Toby, letting the bowl slide around on the floor was a good thing; it really helped extend his time eating.

The DogPause dogbowl is made of the high quality plastic. It is non-toxic, food grade, and dishwasher safe. It’s as safe as Tupperware® or Gladware®   My only wish was that it came in a stainless steel variation.

The DogPause bowl retails for $17.95,  or two for $29.95 plus free shipping.

The folks at DogPause have generously donated a bowl for Sheltie Nation to raffle off to one lucky “gobbler” Sheltie!  Just email and put DogPause in the subject line to enter!  Trevor, Toby & Tyler will be choosing a winner on 6/1, so enter today!  (Please only one entry per household.)


Opinion or fact? Dog Buffs

dogbuffsFinding good advice can be difficult, regardless of subject.  Since the advent of the internet, information is readily at our fingertips, but now the challenge can be determining if the information is opinion or fact.  An example of this quandary can be seen on the website, Dog Buffs, where they have a page dedicated to the topic of Nutro dog food.

At first glance, the page seems like a news article about the benefits of feeding Nutro.  But reading further into it, the author compares Nutro brands against each other and then to outside brands – then finally the author “ranks” them.  The article is posted anonymously, leaving the reader with no idea of the expertise level of the writer.

The site is a great place to start your nutrition or training research…but for in depth information and to answer the “why?” factor, you will have to search elsewhere.  For example, on the puppy foods page, the statement “dry puppy foods are generally healthier and more economical” might in fact be a true statement, but the article doesn’t justify the author’s position or tell the reader why they should trust their judgment.

Dog Buffs does contain a lot good tidbits of information on clicker training, puppy socialization and behavioral problems.  The website is clear, easy to navigate and an easy read.  But, it did leave us wanting for more.  We really would like to have seen clickable links to the products or websites referred to in their articles or reviews.  It can be quite a
pain to have to copy/paste into a new web browser to see what the
author is talking about.

Dog Buffs claims it wishes to be “the authoritative online encyclopedia for dogs and puppies”.  While the site has made a good start towards that goal, it needs to add a lot more content & provide the background on the authors before it can begin to fulfill that claim to it’s readers.  Dog Buffs has the right idea and their hearts are in the right place – wanting to give dog owners the best information.  The site just needs to do a better job convincing it’s readers who they are & why their information can be trusted.

We as dog lovers must not believe everything that is posted on the internet is accurate.  When researching information on your pet’s health, nutrition or training, it is best to do your homework.  Read as much as you can & from as many sources as possible on the topic and then consult a professional.  Your vet and respected professional trainers are your best source to determine if all the conclusions you have reached are based on fact or opinion.

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Sheltie Nation’s 20% Off Holiday Special!

Just in time for the holidays…Sheltie Nation is having a 20% off sale!

DecalfinalDo you realize there are only 20 shopping days until Christmas? Now is the best time to get a member decal for yourself or someone you love.  They make great stocking stuffers!

These decals are printed on high quality, all-weather
vinyl with UV resistant inks and laminated for extra protection to
provide years of beautiful, bold Sheltie color.  They are 4.5 inches
round on a 5 inch square backing.

For a limited time, they are just $4.00 each plus shipping! (No sales tax either!)

Click here to order the decal:

Shirt“But Sheltie Nation, I want a t-shirt, mug, & more… I want more Sheltie Nation gear!” OK then, Cafe Press is running some shipping specials, so visit the Sheltie Nation Cafepress store for other great gifts!

 Support This Site

Of course we owe a big thanks to our Sheltie Nation mascot artist, Diane Troese for the great logo Sheltie.  Please visit her website, Emprise Shelties, if you would like to see (& purchase) more great Sheltie art.  She has great t-shirts, tote bags & some new hand painted boxes.

Breeding Master

Breeding dogs is part art, part science.  A responsible breeder keeps meticulous, detailed records of every dog involved in their program; past and present.  But it can be easy to misplace information & loose track – especially if you are running a large, multi-dog operation.

The folks at Breeding Master have developed software to help dog breeders consolidate any and all information related to their dogs.  It might seem a little daunting to those of you accustom to paper files, but once you spend the time inputting the information, you will find that the software has some very handy features.

The software organizes & tracks individual dogs, tracks pairings & resulting offspring, kennels you network with, show results & points, awards & photos – even vaccination records.  It also has a section for “human” information, broken down into “breeders” and “owners”.  Wouldn’t it be nice to track all your puppy buyers and business contacts in one place?  Now it is quick & easy to find the phone number of the person who bought that potential show pup from you last year.  With a few clicks, their contact information is displayed & you don’t have to rummage through stacks of contracts.

The pedigree generator for an individual dog goes back 5 generations (which users might want to see increased).  But, the pedigree can also be easily printed – a nice thing to pass along to puppy buyers or other potential breeders.

The only thing we wish we saw was a back-up feature.  We don’t recommend relying on any computer or software as their only repository for their important information.  Computers & their parts sometimes break or, god forbid, a fire or flood takes out your home.  Backing up computer information is important & it would be helpful to capture the information files to disc for back-up storage elsewhere.

Breeding Master uses the Windows Office® platform & was super easy to install.  If you are familiar with Windows Office®, you will find using & navigating the software simple & intuitive.  Even better, Breeding Master encourages customers to submit software upgrade suggestions for future version releases – a nice touch.

Bonus: Breeding Master has a 30 day free trial.  But even so, it is very reasonably priced at $35.00 and upgrades are free.  Give Breeding Master a try…what do you have to loose?

Link: Breeding Master

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