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and wanting to get a puppy? JF: I have a very highly trained protection dog who is social and nice, that also does her work. I also have a two year old and brought home a baby, and the lesson isn’t about if the dog is tough in the work. The dogs that don’t do well with kids are not whether they are or not bite-trained, it is about the ones that aren’t stable, the ones that are nervous or skittish. Babies and toddlers step and pull dogs, drop things and make strange noises, so if you have a nervous dog, you just shouldn’t leave them alone together. You may pay attention to something else, so don’t take the risk with nervous dogs or even badass dogs. If have a loving dog, with the best personality, you know they will be cool and you can generally walk off without thinking about it. If you have a baby and want to bring home a dog – think about it. If you have a newborn, you probably don’t need puppies to add to the mix. What they do in the first six months is basically how they are, so if already taking care of a child, that is a lot of work. I know a couple that had twins and went and got two puppies and don’t know how they did it. If you have to, then pick a breed that is size appropriate then and long-term and one that is the most stable. Dogs that are biting kids most of the time are reacting because they are scared rather than aggressive, there are rare stories otherwise. So the reactive, nervous dogs are off the general list, but especially around kids. AM: There are so many different food choices out there for owners to consider? What’s the real deal on what to get and what to stay away from as just an expensive marketing trap? JF: Today, dogs have been humanized to a fault. There is every type of food on the market, a lot is marketing. Do we really need organic dog food that costs $200 a bag, probably won’t get them to live longer and healthier. We don’t need to pay $10 with horrible ingredients either. First, the dog has to like it. Also, look to see if

they look good and if they are fit, have a shinny coat and good weight and muscle tone. Different dogs require different foods, find a quality food and stay away from cheaper food. Peas and carrots sound unrealistic for a dog, they wouldn’t look for that. What is grain-free? I have a great relationship with Royal Canin, they have different foods for different needs and think they do the best job. At one time, we were doing several hundred police dogs a year. You don’t want to see ground yellow corn, that’s often a first ingredient of cheap food. Seeing a quality protein first, like chicken, turkey, salmon, or beef is good and you also want to see the least amount of ingredients as better off. If three ingredients is all it takes, that’s doing good. Another factor to consider, is the dog a 1 year or 5 or 12 year old, as needs and sensitivities change. It is good to take a quality dog food that the dog likes and can see them doing well with it, then look at if a lot is going in and going out with the bathroom, either it isn’t a good food or not working with the dog. @CobraCanine

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