How To Teach Your Dog to Hunt for Truffles

How To Teach Your Dog to Hunt for Truffles

Let’s think about, its taste and the flavor! Truffle can be described as, a soft, sweet that gives a chocolate mix taste with typically a rum flavor and covered with cocoa. Isn’t a delicious description? Truffles are composed of a well-revered delicacy, although they look much similar to the knobby potatoes. Indeed, experts in the food or chefs, find its flavor that easily trumps along with its appearance, especially when it is added some variety of soups, sauces and for some variety of entrees as well. In fact, these astonishing truffles are so prized for their earthy like savory taste that they cost as much as $ 2,000. But, some of the rare varieties even price at over ten times that amount. If considered, an Italian Piedmont truffle, it can cost in the neighbourhood till $30,000.

Where Truffles Grow in the World


A truffle is an underground fungus with strong-smelling agents that resembles rough-skinned and an irregular potato like in shape. It grows chiefly in broadleaved woodland, particularly in calcareous soils. While most of the truffles are mainly harvested in Italy and France, today they are also found in other wooded areas in the U.S., Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Western Australia. Widely considered a well-to-do for culinary delicacy the black truffle from France is much famous for its distinctive taste and tang, besides the Italian white truffle that you can easily find. To maintain and find this integrity of the delicacy, trained dogs or pigs are used to scent out the fungus from the ground.

In the U.S., in some areas of the state of Oregon, it is a well-known source for truffles. Truffles here, can worth as much as $150 per pound. In this area, the truffles grow below-ground among the Douglas firs. Apart from this, the place – Texas is also known as the home to truffles. And you can find the Tuber texensis, is the choice of truffle in the Lone Star State.

How Truffles are used in Cooking

truffles - dish

Truffles are used in French, Italian, Middle Eastern, Greek, and Spanish dishes, where they are grated or scraped into soups, sauces and also onto entrees that is served before the food. The chefs, the masters of food, add it while preparing chicken, omelettes, fish, soufflés, and rice. In addition, it is used in pasta dishes with the rich aromatic shavings.

Notably the Black and white varieties of truffles are a rich source of amino acids and protein. That also makes the dishes a favourite indulgence among the well-heeled vegetarians. Furthermore, the non-fattening delicacy contains a huge source of iron and is a significant fiber source and carbs too.

To enjoy a truffle in the complete form, the best option is to eat it uncooked immediately after it is harvested. This is so, because the flavor and the essence subsides quickly, similar to the savoring of tuber-type mushroom.

If you choose a white truffle, make sure that it is never be cooked, because the heat will cause them to lose their taste quickly. Also, you can lightly sauté slices the black truffles and insert them into your meats.

Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Tears in Dogs: Treating the Injury

A Common Leg Injury in Dogs

Cranial Cruciate Ligament

Leg injuries in dogs are one of the most commonly experienced problems. Among this, the frequent injury is a cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tear which is much similar to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury that occur in humans. The cranial cruciate ligament (otherwise, the anterior cruciate ligament) is one among the several ligaments in the knee that becomes the easy victim.

Where the Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) is Located?

Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Location

These ligaments are present in the knee that connect the femur which is the thigh bone to the tibia. The 3 main functions that CCL has, is to prevent cranial displacement, to prevent Hyperextension that occur in the knee, and to prevent the internal rotation of the tibia. In dogs, it is located in the knee joint of their back leg. When these ligaments rupture, instability in the joint occurs or lameness is the typical result of CCL. In case if this problem is left untreated or unnoticed, the injury can lead to joint degeneration or even worse, for further injury to other connective tissues.

The knee joint supported with four articular ligaments and are made up of the lateral and medial collateral ligaments of the stifle. The CCL itself affixes to the large bone in the thigh (that is, the femur), and covers the stifle joint before it gets connected to the tibia. These bones, tibia and fibula are located in the lower leg of the two larger bones.

The meniscus is a cartilage which is present in between the tibia and femur whose primary function is to move by absorbing the impact created, such as jumping or running. Any complaints regarding the torn cartilage, it represents this fibrous band of meniscus in humans.

Dogs that are at a Greater Risk for Injury


The larger and overweight canines are more often and susceptible to a CCL tear and its effects are much more severe. While an injury occurs in all breeds irrespective of the sizes and weights of dogs, the most often is observed in such large breeds like:

* The Bulldog

* The Chow

* The Golden retriever

* The German shepherd

* The Labrador retriever

* The Rottweiler

* The Saint Bernard

Ruptures Related to Age

Apart from the size and weight, there are injuries that occur with respect to the age. Mostly, these CCL ruptures occur in dogs aged from five to seven years old, and are merely results in the degeneration of stifle joint. In younger dogs under four years of age, injury as the reason for ligament tear is very common. As a conclusion, the large and younger dogs are more likely to sustain injuries than the smaller canine breeds.

How an Injury Can Develop

At the time, when the ligament gets twisted due to some sudden activities, an acute rupture or injury can occur. This causes the tissue to over-rotate or extend to reach a hypertension level. Sudden activities may involve the usual habits such as, a run. In the case of older animals, the weakened tissues itself can cause the joints to become unstable that would result in a partial tear later. If this is left as such then it would subsequently lead to some larger injury.

The risk of a CCL tear is, therefore, greater in older dogs, or in the dog’s characteristics like larger size or overweight. So, measures should be taken immediately to correct the poor condition before it gets worse.

Caring for a Yorkshire terrier: Facts You Should Know

An Introduction to the Yorkie – A Little Bit about Its History

Yorkshire terrier

The renowned Yorkshire terrier is also known as Yorkie. It is the third most famous dog breed in the United States. At first they originated from the Yorkshire of England. During Victorian times, these little dogs worked in mines and cotton factories as ratters in order to control the problematic rats in great numbers. Furthermore they are very skilled in hunting small animals that live in burrows and dens, hence they became very popular and eventually they left those lifeless environments nowadays and finally moved to our homes growing up into society.

Due to its small structure and cute appearance the royal and upper class society of England begun to adopt the breed as a fashion statement. They liked to carry it everywhere in their arms or in their handbags showing off as it was believed it was a style quotient those days. Hence they were called lap dogs.

But Yorkies of today are very tiny than the Victorian dogs. People from America started adopting them and took them to their homes from England due its popularity, this is how they started to move in to America. And finally the American kennel club officially recognized the Yorkshire terrier in 1885.

A Few Stats about the Yorkie

The height of Yorkies height is measured between 6-9 inches at the shoulder and average weight of about 4-6 pounds. Yorkies haves silky and shiny coat that vary in different captivating colour combinations such as black and gold, blue and gold, blue and tan, black and tan etc. Some may have parti-colours; which means ‘different colours’ which makes them very attractive and unique.

Tips on Caring for a Yorkie

Here we list out some information to take care your cute, little, lovable Yorkies.

Foods that should not be given to a Yorkie

Yorkie Food

Studies and evidences shows that, some commercially available dog-foods are not good for dogs as we think. Hence home cooked foods are much better than the dog-foods that are available in the market. Basically you should have good knowledge on canine foods. Some of the foods for humans may cause serious ill-effects to canine.

Onion, garlic, chocolate, grapes, raisins, seeds, green potatoes, most bones, broccoli, yeast dough, coffee, greens, spoiled foods, corn, soy, raw eggs, raw fishes, nutmeg, avocado, highly fatty foods are the food items could cause potential health hazards for dogs. Even for Yorkies.

Yorkies have small and delicate digestive system, so giving them small meals in periodical intervals would be preferable. You can even offer them home cooked chicken, fish, lamb, beef, sweet potatoes with some rice and also boiled eggs are comfortable for their delicate stomach. Providing wet food along with dry foods of nutritional value is recommended.

Factoring in the Time and Expense of Owning a Yorkie Pup

Buying a Yorkie – Usually the Yorkie is an expensive breed, as it belongs to the toy group. Depending upon from where you are buying; whether from an animal shelter, or a rescue home or from a reputable breeders, the price could range anywhere from $50 – $1000. Some may even charge high, say $10,000.The reason for this varying prices includes the pup’s shots, training, possible neutering and so on.

Grooming – You have to brush your Yorkie’s hair every day in order to avoid matting and knots. Their nails are needed to be trimmed and the coat can be trimmed once in a month.

Food – Feeding your Yorkie doesn’t cost as much as other dogs do, as they consume in little amounts unlike the large breeds. So feed your Yorkie with nutritional food in little amounts.

Veterinary Care – Vaccinations, neutering, spaying and other treatments are required depending upon the dog’s health and sex of the dog. Female dogs are more expensive in terms of medical conditions.

Besides the Heat, Yorkies May Pant if they are anxious or suffering from any Illness

Like all other dogs, Yorkie’s sweat glands are located in its paw pads and around the nose. When the dog becomes warm or overheated it usually pants to cool down the system.

But sometimes they can exhibit more panting due to various health issues like circulatory or respiratory problems or suffering from seizures or may be feeling anxious.

Training Your Yorkie

Yorkie Training

Yorkie ranked 27th in obeying their master’s commands. Many researches proved that small sized dogs are able to recognise various commands easily, from their masters. Training a Yorkie puppy is not as difficult as other dogs do. Hence you can guide them easily, to follow some commands and instructions such as; stay, come, sit, and lie down, for the sake of avoiding behavioural issues.

It would take time and patience to make them understand. The habit of rewarding his favourite food as a treat can fetch you good response. Petting and caressing them frequently creates a positive effect from them.

Shih Tzu: Breed Standards as prescribed by the American Kennel Club

Shih Tzu Breed Standards

The American Kennel Club has a good track record when it comes to preserving breed standards. For the Shih Tzu, the official breed standard that has been approved by the American Shih Tzu club draws on the first such written standard for the breed as put forward by the Peking Kennel club in 1983.

As such, the AKC has come to describe the Shih Tzu as an energetic and alert toy dog that is strongly built and has a long double coat. That apart, the Shih Tzu has also been earmarked as a “head breed” owing to as many as ten faults that has originates in its head.

Mentioned below is the breed standard for the Shih Tzu as prescribed by the AKC.

Size and weight: Shih Tzu typically measure 9 to 10 inches from the withers, and won’t be less than 8 inches or more than 11 inches. As for its weight, a mature Shih Tzu tips the scale at 9 – 16 pounds in the ideal scenario.

Head: It is broad and round which in perspective of the entire body is neither too large or too small. However, one of the faults with the head is that it is narrow with close-set eyes.

Skull: doomed.

Expression: It is pretty, friendly and inviting, which goes well with the overall looks of the dog.

Ears: The ears are large and start from slightly underneath the crown of the skull. The long hairs make the ear appear larger than it already is.

Nose: broad and wide.

Proportion: Length when measured from withers and tail root is slightly larger than its height at the withers.

Eyes: large round dark eyes that are slightly protruding and look straight in the front.

Muzzle: short, square and unwrinkled that is never downturned.

Bite: jaw is broad and white while the bite is undershot.

Shoulders: those fit nicely in the body and are described as ‘well-angulated, well laid-back, and well laid-in.’

Temperament: happy go lucky type that loves being in close proximity with its owner. It is friendly, loyal, and loves going outdoors.

Shih Tzu: Grooming

Shih Tzu grooming

It can be fun grooming your little Shih Tzu pup. However, it might not be the same the other way round. And it is also here that things can get a bit tricky. Proper grooming is as important for a Shih Tzu as say, a regular healthy diet. That said; trying to impose the same on the pup can have just the opposite effect.

The best approach can be to deal with the situation firmly, but in the gentlest manner. You have to be patient and wait till the pup feels relaxed while you go about combing and brushing its thick fur coat, clipping its nail, cleaning its eyes and ears and so on. Over time, the pup will begin liking it and will look forward to the time your spend grooming it.

It can be like gentle persuasions to fall in line with lots of hugging and cuddling in between. The entire session can also be broken up into smaller goals and you can reward the pup after the completion of each step. Each Shih Tzu has a personality of its own and over time, it will react to your moves in its own way.

That said; there are also those that are always eager to be groomed and love being pampered and taken care of.

As for the tools needed for grooming Shih Tzu, well its nothing too elaborate. For instance, a plastic comb will be enough to untangle their hairs while dog clippers would be just as fine for trimming needs.

Meanwhile, Shih Tzu owners often opt to trim their hair short. This saves a lot of time and efforts that long hairs otherwise calls for. Long hairs that get into the pup’s eye can also be detrimental to the health of the eyes. So if you don’t like trimming the hair off, you can pull them back and pin it with a clip on the top of the head.

Any which way you do it, the thing of utmost importance is that there is no substitute to a thorough grooming of your Shih Tzu.

Shih Tzu: Origin and early history

Shih Tzu

The earliest known documented evidence of the existence of Shih Tzu dates back to AD 624 though the exact place of its origin, whether it is Tibet or China remains shrouded in mystery.

DNA studies have confirmed the existence of Shih Tzu in Tibet as far back as 800 BC and forms part of 14 ancient breeds known to have originated from the region. It is believed the Shih Tzu was actually developed by the Tibetan monks to be offered to the Chinese emperors as the royal temple dog.

There is also much evidence that point to Shih Tzu having originated from Tibet. For instance, the pair of Shih Tzu that the Vizur king presented to the Chinese court during the Tang Dynasty is believed to have come from Fu Lin. Then there also are records of a pair of the Shih Tzu having been brought to the Chinese Court from Tibet during the mid-17th century. The dogs were later bred in Peking, also known as the Forbidden City.

Then there is the other school of thought that claims the Shih Tzu was introduced in China during the Manchu period. Not surprisingly, the breed became popular with the Chinese royalty. In fact, its name comes from the Chinese term for ‘Lion King; owing to its close similarity with the Chinese Guardian Lions.

Shih Tzu also had a specialised role to play during the times of the Manchu and Ming dynasties, that of bed warmers and were placed at the feet of the kings and other royal citizen to keep their feet warm during cold nights.

However, it was during the times of the Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi that the Shih Tzu came to be accorded a sacred status. Tzu Hsi used to be the ruler of China from 1861 to 1908.

Fortunately, the breed standard now evident can be attributed to the selective and high standard of breeding that were followed in the Pekingese, Pugs, and Shih Tzu kennels.

The Shih Tzu also became quite popular in 1935 when it was presented as the Lhasa lion dog. In England, people confused Shih Tzu with the Lhasa Apso owing to both looking quite similar. Hence they thought it best to differentiate between the two by placing them in different classes. Meanwhile in the US, the Shih Tzu went on to be recognized as toy dogs by the American Kennel Club.

Shih Tzu: Little in size but with a lot of personality

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are cute little dogs that you will love to have in your house. In fact, no true dog lover will lament owning a Shih Tzu and that’s not just about the dog’s adorable looks. For who won’t like to have a chirpy four legged little thing in the house that is always up to something?

What’s more, Shih Tzus also love human companion which makes them the perfect family dog. That they are highly trainable is also another solid reason to have them around. They love to be pampered, and to be kept busy. They love being taken out for walks or play fetching.

Then the Shih Tzus are known to be particularly good to kids as well. However, it is always safe to make the dogs socialized with the kids before introducing it to them. That apart, it is never recommended to keep the kids in the company of the dog for prolonged periods.

Shih Tzu also has a distinct personality of its own and carries itself with a lot of weight, which quite belies its diminutive proportions. They also pack in a lot of force in their bites and have a strong body as well.

In fact, Shih Tzus present a contrast of sorts. With cute looks and tiny proportions, no wonder it has come to be classified as a toy dog in the US. That said, it also is a bundle of energy and loves to be busy.

Its yearning for human companionship also makes them a good family dog. Apart from kids with whom the Shih Tzus seems to have a special liking, elders too love to cuddle and pamper them.

Shih Tzu: Grooming tips that you can follow at home

Shih Tzu

The cute little dogs that Shih Tzus are, they also need quite a bit of grooming for it to sport the looks that you’d like it to have. That again calls for a long term commitment considering that Shih Tzus live really long.

From trimming their hair to brushing their teeth, they need complete care for them to look really trim and tidy. That sure can be hectic though there is always the option to fall back on a professional groomer to get the job done.

But then again that would be an opportunity lost in being really close to one of your most trusted friends of the four legged type. Shih Tzus are a very social breed and love being in the company of their owners. Grooming them on your own will perhaps be the best way to reciprocate that feeling and show them you love them too. What’s more, grooming them is no rocket science and can be done just as well at home as any professional groomer out there.

Mentioned here are a few simple tips to help you get started.

1. Brushing teeth:

One of the most common health issues faced by Shih Tzus is with their teeth. And the easiest and most effective way to deal with that is to brush their teeth daily.

2. Combing:

Combing shih tzu

One other thing that you need to do every day to your Shih Tzu is comb their thick furry coat. This will prevent the hair from getting tangled while the fur coat will also get cleaned up in the process as well.

Shih Tzu: Grooming Essentials

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are a cute and adorable breed that you will love bringing one home. However, that also asks for bringing along a whole set of related paraphernalia to make the pup feel at home right from day one.

What also has to be kept in mind is that the pup is being separated from its doting mom, which is a cruel act in itself. You can make up for that by creating an environment that the pup will love being part of. And for that, you need to have in place the following items.

First things first. You will need two bowls to feed your pup. One is for water while the other bowl will have food. Also, the bowl should ideally be made of stainless steel which makes it the most durable. Bowls made of say, plastic, ceramic or glass are prone to get broken.

Also it is important the puppy is fed the same food it has been eating for the first few days before introducing a kibble type dry food in its routine.

A pet gate is also an essential item needed to mark out an area for your puppy to play to its heart’s content. However, care should be taken the area is clean and contains nothing that the pup can chew on or can cause harm to it.

Dogs also tend to sleep in a place that it believes is the safest. It is here that a crate comes in handy as a puppy crate can provide the pup with all that it longs for so that it can have good quality sleep. It is like earmarking an area for your puppy that it can call its own and is also the safest.

That said, some have different opinions on this and believe keeping the puppy confined in a crate is an inhuman act. Putting the puppy in the crate for the first time can also make it whine. It would seem as if the puppy is begging to be released from the crate. However, that is not the case and can feel relaxed and comfortable inside the crate so long as the puppy is sanguine you are near it.

Shih Tzu: Different Colors and Coat Types

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are known to be the most diverse breeds when it comes to their coat and pattern. Black and white happens to be the most common color that the Shih Tzus can be seen in though other colors such as white, black, gold, brown, red or blue can also be associated with the breed.

That said, it is the black and white color that retains its lustre throughout the life span of the Shih Tzu while other colors tend to fade a bit as the dog puts on age. Seasonal changes also have an effect on the coat color though over all, even with the fading tendency, the color would still be there till the end.

The coat is also darker in the new born Shih Tzu besides being soft and silky to touch as well. As they grow older, the color too begins to change though it is much less marked in the black and white ones. It retains the soft and silky feel though.

The coat attains its adult size by the time the Shih Tzu becomes 10 month old. This is also the time for the hair to be clipped if you’d like it that way.

The hairs also tend to matt easily in the growing stage which makes it extremely important to brush your Shih Tzu every day during this phase. It can last for around three weeks though it is always best to brush them daily to ensure they remain nice and flowing. As the dog grows old, brushing frequency can be reduced to once a week though it can vary with individuals.

Also, the longer and softer the hair is, more are the chances of those getting matted. Naturally, longer hairs will require more grooming time while shorter ones generally require less of brushing.