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What Dog Toys Are The Best For Labs?

What Dog Toys Are The Best For Labs?

If you’ve ever been around Labrador Retrievers, you know they’re a happy, boisterous, and friendly breed. You cannot be in a bad mood around a Lab! Within thirty seconds of hanging out with these pooches, you’ll be laughing and petting them.

As a sporting breed, Labs have never seen a pond they didn’t want to swim in or a field they didn’t want to run in. To paraphrase Maverick from Top Gun – they definitely have a need for speed! With that in mind, here are some toys that will keep you and your Lab happy for hours:

source url Best Balls Ever

BarkBox Best Balls Ever Dog Toys

Labs, the retrievers that they are, love a good game of fetch. Which is why this 4-pack of tennis balls – dubbed the “ click Best Balls Ever” – might be the best starter toy for your Labrador. They’re squeaky, fuzzy, super bouncy, and throwing them in your back yard (or at the dog park) is the perfect way to both entertain and exercise your pup! ($10.) Shuck N’ Chuck Durable Corn Cob

BarkBox Shuck N Chuck Corn Cob Dog Toy

Labs love a little give-and-take, so pick up the “ Shuck N’ Chuck Durable Corn Cob” to test their toy-chomping and tugging skills. Made of durable rubber, this chew toy has a ballistic nylon rope attached it, and there are pockets for treats! ($14.)

Drop The Mic

BarkBox dog toy drop the mic

If your Lab is the life of the party, snag the “Drop the Mic.” Inside the microphone is a spiky ball they’ll love to crunch on. Pull out the ball and you can play catch, too! ($10.)

Sonny The Rolly Ghost Ball

Lab with BarkBox Sonny Ghost Rolly Ball Dog Toy

Nom, nom, nom! Dogs that love to chew and chase will dig the “Sonny the Rolly Ghost Ball.” A rubber ball can be found inside a flexible rubber ball, which makes wonderful noises when tossed or bounced. Plus, you can make this toy even more interesting by stuffing a treat or two into the hidden compartment. ($14.)

Dog Hide n’ Slide Puzzle

BarkBox hide-n-slide puzzle

Labradors are smart dogs. So keep your Lab’s mind (and their body) busy with the “Dog Hide n’ Slide Puzzle.” Hide treats in the dips and watch your dog figure out how to open the slides and snag that treat like the little geniuses they are. ($25.)

Venus Fly Tug

BarkBox Venus Fly Tug Dog Toy

The treat dispensing “Venus Fly Tug” is perfect for rough and tumble tugs. The nylon rope allows you to whip and twirl Venus all over the place! ($10.)

Turkey Day Football

BarkBox Turkey Day Football Dog Toy

For football fans, you’ll love the Turkey Day Football.” It’s a turkey! No, it’s a football! No, it’s a plush toy! No, wait, it’s all three! Go long and toss it! For extra added fun, there’s a squeaker inside, so don’t be surprised if it gets torn to shreds. Maybe pick up two while you’re at it? ($10.)

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What Is Hip Dysplasia In Dogs?

What Is Hip Dysplasia In Dogs?

Hip dysplasia is an unfortunate condition that commonly affects large-breed dogs, though small breeds can experience it as well. Simply put, hip dysplasia is what happens when the ball and socket of the hip joint don’t work together smoothly, leading to deterioration over time. With the joint deterioration, affected dogs often end up incapacitated without the proper function of their hips.

What Causes Hip Dysplasia?

Doberman Mix with Hip Dysplasia

While genetics play a large part in a dog getting hip dysplasia, it is also caused by a general deformity in the joint and an improper diet. The deformity of either the ball or the socket can lead to them not working well together and causing deterioration.

As far as diet is concerned, overfeeding a pup that’s already susceptible to hip dysplasia is a recipe for disaster and can make them more prone to issues. Overweight dogs are at risk of developing the condition, so make sure to keep your dog’s food intake in check. Does that mean you can’t give your dog a delicious treat every once in a while? Of course not! But as with everything, they should only eat treats in moderation.

(And maybe also when they’ve been an especially good boy or girl.)

What Are The Symptoms Of Hip Dysplasia?

If you have a large-breed dog, you need to be aware of the symptoms to look for in the development of hip dysplasia so you can inform your vet immediately. Look for things like:

  • Weakness in the hind end
  • Difficulty with getting up off the floor, jumping, and climbing stairs
  • Generally decreased activity
  • Pain and stiffness

What Dog Breeds Are Affected By Hip Dysplasia?

English Bulldog with BarkBox toy hip dysplasia

Large dog breeds are most commonly affected by hip dysplasia. The condition is hereditary with the large breeds such as Great Danes, St. Bernards, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Bulldogs, and German Shepherds.

Small dogs are far less commonly affected by hip dysplasia, but small-breed dogs that are overweight could end up developing it, so make sure you’re watching your dog’s diet and keeping an eye out for any problems, like a weakness in the hind legs.

When Will Hip Dysplasia Start To Affect My Dog?

Hip Dysplasia can set in as early as puppyhood. Because it results from the joint not working correctly, it can begin for your dog early on and grow worse over their lifetime. It’s more commonly diagnosed when a dog is a few years old, but some dogs won’t exhibit noticeable symptoms until later in life.

How Is Hip Dysplasia In Dogs Treated?

Golden Retriever Breed With Hip Dysplasia

There are a variety of ways your dog might be treated for hip dysplasia, based on age and severity. They include:

  • A simple diet, which will decrease the pressure on the joint
  • Anti-inflammatory medication to ease the pain
  • Physical therapy to improve the activity on the joint
  • Moderate exercise to keep the joint moving, like swimming
  • And of course, if nothing else is working, there are surgery options: one where the pelvic bone is cut, one where the ball of the joint is removed to manage pain, and a total hip replacement

What Products Help Treat My Dog’s Hip Dysplasia?

BarkBox Glucosamine Supplement for Dogs With Hip Dysplasia

BARK Glucosamine Supplement For Hips And Joints: It’s veterinarian-formulated, made with all natural ingredients (glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid), and comes in the form of 150 soft chews. Basically, it looks and tastes just like delicious treats, and it could really help your dog with their hip and joint issues. ($32.99.)

BarkBox Bed For Dogs With Hip Dysplasia

BARK Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed: This bed is made from both high quality memory foam and gel that helps relieve body aches and joint pain for your dog. (Starts at $35.99.)

BarkBox CBD Oil

Bark CBD Extract: This holistic remedy is made from MCT, organic coconuts, and co2 extracted high CBD hemp oil, and it’s been known to help with all forms of anxiety – but also arthritis, nausea, inflammation, and other physical or emotional pain. It contains no THC (<0.1%) and will not make your pup feel “buzzy” or “high.” ($69.30.)

Bark Chicken CBD Treats

Bark CBD Chicken Biscuits: These handcrafted treats are made with premium, human-grade ingredients including  full-spectrum CBD hemp oil and are available for both small and large dogs. They’re a holistic, natural product for anxiety, arthritis, nausea, inflammation, and other physical or emotional pain. They contain no THC (<0.1%) and will not make your pup feel “buzzy” or “high.” (Starting at $24.30 for 4 oz. jar of 25 treats.)

(NOTE: It typically takes more than a single dose of CBD – and sometimes up to two weeks’ worth – to see results.)

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Why Does My Dog Lick Me?

Why Does My Dog Lick Me?

We all know that delightful, slobbery sensation of a smooch from dog. Do you ever wonder, as you’re wiping that sticky slobber off your face (or leg, or arm…), just why your dog is such an amorous kisser? Well, your pup’s tongue is just one of the many ways they have of communicating with us, picking up sensory info, and getting something they want. Let’s take a look at what they’re thinking!

Overall, here are 7 of the most common reasons your dog licks you!

    Licking has a positive, nurturing association to your dog because they learned it from their mama.
    You’ve encourage licking through positive reinforcement and encouragement.
    It might be a gesture of submission
    Licking releases endorphins which means dog gets a feeling of comfort and pleasure from the action
    Your dog might be trying to get your attention so you’ll play!
    You might have salt on your skin
    They like ya!

Some of the main your dog might be licking you all the time:

They learned it from Mom!

A mother licks her newborn puppies for grooming and cleaning. This nurturing use of licking makes it one of the earliest behaviors introduced to your dog… and one with a very positive association. “My mama licked me, so I lick you! It’s the ciiiiircle of liiiiiiife!”

They learned it from their other Mom!

If you’re like me, you kinda love it when your dog licks you. It’s a kiss from your fave! It’s totally understandable if you’ve rewarded your dog for licking you—with happy pets, and gleeful, sing-song words of encouragement. And so it makes sense that your dog has learned that licking you means that they get rewarded: more love, more attention. The power of positive reinforcement, folks!

It’s their way of bowing to you!

Your pup’s lick might be a gesture of submission. Lower-ranking pack pups lick higher-ranking pups, and you’re the top dog! It might even be a way of your dog asking for food. In the wild, puppies lick their mother’s mouths as a way of asking them for food and showing submission. Somewhere in your dog’s genes, they’ve kept the same instinct.

It’s all about that brain chemistry.

When a dog licks, it releases endorphins, the “feel good” hormone. Which means your dog gets a feeling of comfort and pleasure just from licking on you. Licking becomes a pleasant, soothing, stress-relieving experience for the pup. And who better to lick on than their favorite person?

They want to play.

Licking can be one of the ways a dog gets your attention. And if they’re playing or play-fighting with you, they may have learned—with good reason!—that it’s better to lick than to use their teeth.

They like your taste.

Honestly, your sweaty, salty skin tastes pretty good to dogs! Maybe that sounds gross, but hey, salt is awesome. Anybody who enjoys a bag of potato chips can kinda see where a dog is coming from, right?
Also, let’s be clear: you taste like their favorite person on earth. This zest for the comforting taste and smell of their personal M.V.P. is behind your dog’s notorious sock & underwear theft, too.

They just plum love you!

Dogs lick you just ‘cuz they like you! A pup doesn’t have as many ways to communicate as we do; they gotta use the tools available to them. And a wagging tail, a big smile, and a gentle tongue lappin’ are some of the ways they say, “you know what, Dad? You’re pretty cool.”

Those are just some of the reasons your dog might be licking you. If you suspect that your dog might be giving you *too* much attention, in a way that seems repetitive or weirdly automatic, you can ask your vet for guidance on if there’s something deeper going on. But keep in mind that licking is simply in your dog’s nature, and in most cases, it’s probably fine.

So, that’s what’s going on in your pup’s head when they’re giving you those kisses. Food for thought the next time you see ‘em puckering up!

Want to tell your pup you love them back in a way they’ll understand? Spoil them with a BarkBox! Every month BarkBox delivers 2 original toys, designed in-house, 2 full bags of all-natural treats, and a chew. Our treats are made in the USA and Canada, and our recipes never contain any wheat, soy, or corn. Because we want #BarkBoxDay to be incredible for pups AND their parents, every box is wrapped in a fun surprise theme that changes monthly. Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month. <-- This deal is worth up to $108 in value if you sign up for a 12-month subscription! :)

Dog GIfts

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Seasonal Beer Styles with Conner Trebour – BeerSmith Podcast #180

Seasonal Beer Styles with Conner Trebour – BeerSmith Podcast #180

This week Conner Trebour joins me to discuss making pumpkin beer for the Fall as well as holiday ale for the upcoming winter holidays.

Subscribe on iTunes to Audio version or Video version or on Google Play

Download the MP3 File – Right Click and Save As to download this mp3 file

Topics in This Week’s Episode (32:11)

  • Today my guest is Conner Trebour. Conner is CEO of Sensorshare LLC and maker of the BrewPerfect digital hydrometer. He is also an avid home brewer.
  • We start with a discussion of pumpkin beers beginning with what makes a great pumpkin beer.
  • Conner shares what kinds of pumpkins work best in pumpkin beer as the typical “Jack-O-Lantern” variety is not ideal for beer.
  • We discuss preparing fresh pumpkin as well as how to use canned pumpkin.
  • He explains some of the difficulties in brewing with pumpkin including its sticky/messy nature as well as how to contain the pulp.
  • Conner shares his thoughts on a base beer recipe to use for pumpkin ale as well as use of hops and malts.
  • We discuss spices that belong in a pumpkin beer and reflect the flavors of the season.
  • We next move on to holiday or Christmas ales which a strong ales that reflect the flavors of the holiday season.
  • He shares some of his favorite flavors to use as well as what to look for in a base recipe.
  • We discuss the use of seasonal fruits like cranberry.
  • Conner shares his thoughts on spices for a holiday ale.
  • We spend a few minutes at the end discussing his BrewPerfect business and some upcoming changes.


Thanks to Conner Trebour for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our discussion forum to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our BeerSmith Radio online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

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What Are The Dogs That Bark The Least?

What Are The Dogs That Bark The Least?

Dog Breeds Who Bark the Least

If you’ve got a baby on the way, apartment hunting, or don’t like dogs that are in love with their own voice, we’ve got you covered. There are dogs who bark the least. There are dogs that yodel (Basenji), dogs that use sign language (Kooikerhondje) and dogs that snort instead.

    1. Basenjis
    2. English Bulldogs
    3. French Bulldogs
    4. Great Danes
    5. Bernese Mountain Dogs
    6. Kooikerhondjes


1. Basenjis

The Basenji originated in Africa, and its name means “Barkless Dog.” At 17 inches high, they’re perfect for apartment life. Owners report that, this very intelligent, independent graceful dog makes whining and yodeling-type noises when communicating.

2. English Bulldogs

Another small dog breed that doesn’t bark (or shed, yay!) is the Bulldog. Their comical face, and sturdy compact body makes them look, ahem, “ruff,” ahem, but they’re sweet-natured, bright, and slightly stubborn dogs. Bulldogs tend to put on weight, so walks are important to them. In warmer months, keep them busy indoors, as their pushed-in noses can cause breathing issues when it’s warm outside. They love lounging on couches, almost as much as the French Bulldog. Barking is a rarity for them.

3. French Bulldogs

Baby French Bulldog

These tiny dogs are so hawt, there’s waiting lists for pups. Perhaps its their cute bat-like ears, or that they’re a small breed dog that doesn’t bark or shed (much). They love to be cuddled and don’t need a lot of exercise. Here’s some Frenchie trivia, they’re not from France, they originated from Nottingham, England. Frenchies may snort, fart a lot (sorry!), and make silly noises, but they rarely if ever bark.

4. Great Danes

Fell in love with Scooby-Doo? Guess what, Great Danes rarely bark. They occasionally “Woof!” GDs communicate more with head gestures and tail wags. These very tall (up to 32 inches) dogs are elegant; have huge liquid eyes that see into your soul. GDS are gentle and placid in nature. They adapt well to apartment living. Just make sure you’ve got an extra-large pet bed in the living room and the bedroom. They’d rather loll around on something fluffy and cushioned then the floor.

5. Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dog holding an acorn toy

Nicknamed “Bernie,“ the Bernese Mountain Dog is a member of the “dogs who bark the least” group. Black with rust colored eyebrows and a white bib, these dogs are super affectionate and gentle with children. While they love everyone, be prepared for them to pick one hooman as their person. Bred for farm work, this Swiss breed only barks when there’s something important happening—barking would upset livestock.

6. Kooikerhondjes

The Kooikerhondje or Dutch Decoy Dog breed dates to the 1500s. You can see the feathered beauties in Rembrandt’s paintings. This is a frighteningly smart breed; so smart, if they had thumbs, human would be in trouble. Kooikers are hunters; they helped captured ducks in marshes. Weaving in and out of duck decoy blinds, their feathered curvy tail would make the ducks curious, they’d follow them, and eventually, the ducks were someone’s dinner. They rarely bark; if they want your attention, the 25-pound dog will smack you on the leg with their paw.

But keep in mind…

Remember, every dog is an individual so even though breed can be a good starting point, positive training is the best way to ensure good behavior! For tips on dog training like how to stop your dog barking, check it out here. And if your type of dog is the kind who really won’t shut up, well, we can also give you a list of those too. ?

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