Meet Rory

Meet Rory

Rory is a two and a half year old pit bull mix who was adopted from Save-a-Bull Rescue and couldn’t be happier to be featured in our 2018 calendar.

Rory loves treats, chasing bunnies/squirrels, fetch, “chuck it” launcher, and playtime with his BFF Sampson. He’s a goofy, sweet boy and always smiles and wiggles his butt when mommy comes home!

Rory is owned by Gina Dudley

Rory was photographed by Tangerine House of Design as part of our annual Save-a-Bull calendar fundraiser and contest. Watch for next year’s contest details coming later this year, or purchase your 2018 calendar here – on sale while supplies last!

Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping Beauties

If you’re a dog parent, you know they love to sleep. But why do they sleep so much, and are they really dreaming when you see their paws twitch in their sleep? Keep reading to discover the answers to these questions and more.

How much do dogs sleep?

On average, dogs spend 12 to 14 hours per day sleeping. Your dog’s particular sleep needs may vary around that range, depending on his age, size, breed, activity level, and overall health:

  • Larger breeds tend to sleep more than smaller breeds.
  • Working dogs with activity-filled days sleep less, while those who lead sedentary lives will sleep more.
  • Puppies can spend up to 20 hours sleeping a day. Growing and learning how to be a dog takes a lot of energy!
  • As dogs age into their senior years, they spend more time sleeping since they tire more easily.

Wild dogs and wolves may sleep even more than domesticated dogs. They have to hunt for their food, which expends more energy. When food is scarce, they need to conserve their energy. An expedient way to do that is by sleeping.

Do dogs experience the same sleep cycles as humans?

Like humans and other mammals, dogs progress through different stages of sleep. Also like us, dogs experience REM sleep.

The main difference between dog sleep and human sleep is how much time they spend in the different stages, as well as a dog’s tendency to sleep in bursts throughout the day. Dogs tend to experience sleep-wake cycles of 16 minutes asleep, 5 minutes awake – quite the contrast with our typical sleep-wake cycle of 7 to 9 hours asleep, 15 to 17 hours awake.

When dogs fall asleep, they enter deep sleep. Their breathing and heart rate slow while their blood pressure drops. About 10 minutes in, they enter REM sleep and dream like humans. You can often identify this stage because their eyes roll under their eyelids, and they may start twitching in their sleep as they dream of chasing after squirrels.

Since dogs are always on the alert to protect their pack from intruders, they’re able to wake more easily. It’s common for them to wake up before completing a full sleep-wake cycle, from deep to REM sleep. As a result, scientists estimate they need to sleep more often overall in order to get their sufficient amount of REM.

What does a day in the life of a dog look like?

The typical dog spends half of his day asleep, and nearly a third of his day just lying around. The rest of his day is reserved for playing, using the restroom, and begging for treats.

Dogs are flexible sleepers. They have no problem adjusting their sleep schedule to their owner’s needs. If you work a 9 to 5 job, your dog may adapt to spend more of the daytime sleeping, so he can be awake and available to play with you when you get home at night. Working dogs like police or service dogs have more energy, and can stay awake for longer stretches of time performing their important duties.

Dogs don’t sleep as deeply as we do. That’s why they can wake up immediately if necessary and bound out of bed to raise the alarm for an intruder or gobble up the kibble as you pour it.

When is my dog sleeping too much?

If you note drastic changes in the amount of time your dog spends sleeping, or he seems excessively lethargic, it could be indicative of a larger problem. Lethargy is a common symptom of diabetes, parvovirus, Lyme disease, depression, and hypothyroidism in dogs.

If a major upset occurs in the life of your dog, such as the death of a loved one or a big move, he may sleep more or less than usual. This is a normal reaction, as dogs find comfort in routine and a major change affects their emotional wellbeing, but keep an eye out if their sleep doesn’t return to normal within a reasonable amount of time.

Some dogs with shorter noses are also at risk for sleep apnea, which can make your dog more tired during the day due to experiencing less restful sleep.

What are the common dog sleep positions?

Does your dog have a favorite sleeping position? Dogs tend to sleep in one of three positions, and they have a reason why for each.

  • On their side with four legs stretched out: This is a comfortable position for your dog when he’s feeling very relaxed. It also exposes some of his belly to the air which can help him cool down.
  • On their back with all four paws in the air: When a dog is in this position, he’s at his most vulnerable. It’s the toughest for him to get up from and it exposes his neck and belly. If you catch him in this position, you know that he feels safe and secure. It’s also a good way for him to cool down since his belly is exposed.
  • Curled in a ball: This is the least comfortable position for a dog to sleep in, as it requires them to use their muscles to stay curled up. However, it is the easiest for them to spring up upon waking, making it a defensive position. Dogs who have been abused or are unsure of their environment often sleep in this position. However, sometimes dogs sleep curled up simply to keep warm.

Your dog may sleep in any of these positions with their back to you, or another human or animal member of the pack. In dog packs, dogs sleep close to each other for comfort and safety, so consider this a high honor. Your dog views you as part of the pack!

How can I help my dog get better sleep?

Follow these tips to give your pup more restful shuteye.
1. Give your dog plenty of exercise and playtime during the day to stimulate his mind and tire him out by bedtime.
2. Feed your dog well. Some pet foods contain fewer nutrients than others, which can lower your dog’s energy during the day.
3. Don’t miss your vet check-ups. These regular appointments are a good way to identify any health conditions early on.
4. Give your dog a comfortable place to sleep.
• If you choose to share your bed with your dog, like nearly half of dog owners do, make sure you get a mattress that’s big enough for everyone to fit, and offers excellent motion isolation so you’re not woken up by them moving around. Memory foam and latex mattresses are good options for pet owners.
• If you prefer your dog sleeps in a kennel or dog bed, make it cozy like a den would be in the wild. Give them a blanket or even a dirty old t-shirt that smells like you to provide comfort. There are various dog beds available to suit your dog’s favorite sleep positions – big ones made for stretching out vs. small nesting beds for those who like to curl up.

All of this is true, and as dog parents we’ve seen it first hand – every day. We asked Save-a-Bull adopters to share photos of their dogs showing off their best sleeping skills and here’s a little of what we got! Enjoy:

Article source www.tuck.com

Female/Female Dog Households

Female/Female Dog Households

The conversation comes up all the time, and it’s been a topic of discussion again recently: “Should you, or should you not, have two female dogs in the same household?” We hear plenty of stories about two females that get along great together – and that’s amazing, but it’s not typical. There are countless research studies that show females have a higher rate of aggression toward other females than they do toward males, or than males have toward other males. And we have to give creed to all this information. Here are just a few snipits of this type of research:

“There is a higher incidence of aggressive behavior between dogs of the same sex. Two males or two females will often view each other as rivals, even if they appear to get along most of the time. This is a fact for every breed.”
Source: http://www.pbrc.net/

“When two dogs of the same sex live in a household together, they are required to decide which one will be the top dog and which one will be the bottom dog. The ‘decision making’ can become nasty and even violent. The ultimate pecking order can have an undesirable effect on both of the dog’s personalities—one of the dogs can become dominant to an unhealthy degree and the other can be pushed so far into submission that it’s not good for him. In this common scenario, the top dog becomes tyrannical and the bottom dog lives a nerve-wracking life of perpetual submission. This is an unyieldingly stressful set of circumstances for the entire household.”
Source: https://www.canidae.com/blog/2012/02/does-gender-matter-when-adopting-second/

“Generally, I like male/female pairings in a two-dog household, then male/male pairings, with female/female pairings at the bottom of the list. That is not to say you can’t see successful duos with all of these combos, but I think most behavior consultants would agree that the worst cases of interdog aggression are usually between females, and when these dogs live in the same home, managing the situation can be a nightmare for the owners — and is tough on the dogs, too. Generally, a second dog of the opposite sex is a good idea for most families.”
Source: http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/5-things-to-consider-second-dog

“Same-sex dogs are more likely to fight. Two males (or two females) are much more likely to fight than a male and a female. This is true of every breed, not just pit bulls, because two dogs of the same sex are likely to see each other as rivals.”
Source: http://www.bullymax.com

“The first thing that might be surprising to most people is that female dogs are more often involved in fights than are males. [In a recent study] only 32 percent of aggressive incidents involved conflict between two males, while in the remaining 68 percent, females were active participants. This is consistent with previous research which showed that when females get into an aggressive situation, injuries are apt to be more severe and the fights tend to be longer and more furious.”
Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201404/aggression-between-dogs-in-the-same-household

To sum up, Save-a-Bull’s position is this: dog aggression is a behavior found in every breed, but because of their breed history, pit bulls might be less tolerant of other dogs. Add to this the research showing female dogs are less tolerant of other females and it can create a recipe for disaster. As pit bull advocates and owners, it is our responsibility to understand our dogs and to put them in a position to succeed. It is because of this that we will not place a female dog into a home with another female dog.

“Let’s not blame the dogs for a trait bred into them by the evilness of man. Let’s understand them instead, so we can provide responsible ownership and give them a chance to show the world why they are so deserving of our love.
~ Unknown

Fall in Love with Mr. February, Bo

Fall in Love with Mr. February, Bo

This handsome hunk is four year old pit mix Bo. He was adopted from Rochester Animal Control by Adrianne and Jacob and is the light of their lives. Bo loves his toys, especially his Kong balls as you can tell from his photos. He also loves playing fetch, even if he doesn’t give the ball back 100% of the time.

Recently, Bo got a new sister when Adrianne and Jacob adopted from Save-a-Bull. Her name is Zelda (fka Bridget). Although Bo was a tad bit hesitant of his new sister at first, they soon grew to love each other and are now the best of buds!

Bo was photographed by Tangerine House of Design as part of our annual Save-a-Bull calendar fundraiser and contest. Watch for next year’s contest details coming later this year, or purchase your 2018 calendar here.

Meet Dawn Stolee

Meet Dawn Stolee

Q: How do you volunteer your time specifically with Save-a-Bull?
I foster puppies. One day I hope to successfully fail and keep one (or 17…?!)

Q: How long have you been with Save-a-Bull?
I started following Save-a-Bull around at adoption events for a bit, but just started fostering puppies in September.

Q: How did you learn about Save-a-Bull and what made you decide to volunteer?
I happened upon some Save-a-Bull folks at a table at some random event. I had gotten a pit bull earlier that year and wasn’t aware of all the judgement and hatred surrounding pit bulls. So many people from family to strangers felt compelled to “voice their concerns” about pits. People even let me know that they thought all pits–which would include mine, sitting sweetly at my side–should die. Save-a-Bull had info about pit bulls, and I appreciated it being succinct and something I could show to people.

Fast forward a year or so and my friend and I wanted to go see puppies. So we went to a Save-a-Bull adoption event. And then a couple more. Somebody talked about fostering, and specifically about fostering puppies. We moved to a place where we could foster, and now I’m four puppies in and I love it.

Q: What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a volunteer so far?
Getting to see and be a part of the development and growth of puppies. And getting to help them explore the world and try new things. Like it hadn’t occurred to me before that they have to both learn how–and then get the courage to try–to go up and down stairs! Or discover that they like to lick things. Or try to figure out what snow is. It’s so cool to see them experience the world for the first time.

Q: Do you have any dogs of your own?
Naomi Girlfriend, the aforementioned pit bull. She has changed my life in so many ways, one of which has been an urge to champion pitties. She is the best dog ever. She definitely isn’t for everyone, but she is the best dog ever for me. I feel like she is a matching puzzle piece to me. Having the foster puppies coming in and out is awesome. And, I’m so thankful that Naomi Girlfriend is the one that doesn’t ever go.

Q: What do you do for work? For fun?
Investing in “at-risk” youth. Dog training. Photography. I’m a homebody so I love a night with dogs and a movie. Write. Build stuff. My interests are kinda random.