Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Dog adopts baby monkey

Dog adopts baby monkey
A dog in Bangladesh has adopted a baby monkey - and she is nursing it back to health by letting it suckle on her.

A dog in Bangladesh has adopted a baby monkey - and she lets it suckle on her.

Mintu the pooch has become a local celebrity in her small village after she took the monkey in and started nursing it back to health to the astonishment of onlookers.

The dog's owner Mr Reza explained: "The little monkey would have had little or no chance of survival after a number of angry villagers grabbed it from a troop of monkeys which had invaded a rice paddy.
I hate to think what would have happened to it if it hadn't escaped and made its way to my house where it moved in with Mintu's puppies.
"The monkeys caused a great deal of damage and when the villagers chased them off they caught the baby, which wasn't in the best of health.

"I hate to think what would have happened to it if it hadn't escaped and made its way to my house where it moved in with Mintu's puppies."

Article by Female First

Family dog stolen five years ago returns on the 37 bus

A family's dog which was stolen five years ago from outside their home has come home on a number 37 bus.

Pat Oates, Tony Wellington and 9 year old Grandson Tay Wellington with their dog T-Bone Photo: CATERS 

Pat Oates, 48, took a call saying her Staffordshire bull terrier had been found safe and well riding the Birmingham City Centre to Solihull route.
Mrs Oates and her three children had all but given up any hope of ever seeing their red Staffordshire bull terrier, T-Bone, after he was taken from their drive in September 2006 during a powercut.
They feared he had been stolen to order by gangs looking to use the good-natured dog as a weapon.
But after the 12-year-old dog was dumped after he developed a cyst, he got onto the No. 37 bus undetected.
It was only when the bus driver spotted him in his rear view mirror that he was taken to a bus depot, before being checked over by a local vet.
After his micro-chip was scanned, staff were able to reunite T-Bone with his owners.
Mrs Oates, a mother-of-three, from Solihull, West Midlands, said she wasn't surprised that T-Bone was found on a bus as he loves to travel.
Mrs Oates, who works as a cleaner, added: "He always loved going on car journeys and would come along with us on long journeys all the time.
"He could sit gazing out of the window all day long."
The family now have to pay expensive veterinary bills after T-Bone was badly neglected by the thieves who stole him.
He has developed a large, painful cyst on his leg as well as severe hearing problems.
Leigh Fisher, from 608 Vets where T-Bone was first taken, said: "This case highlights the importance of getting your dog microchipped.”

Article by 

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

How to Determine a Dog's Age in Human Years

Determine a Dog's Age in Human Years

It has always been commonly believed that each year of a dog's life is equivalent to seven in human years. However, this isn't exactly accurate, since a one-year-old dog can give birth, whereas a seven-year-old child cannot. And how would you explain the world's oldest living dog on record making it to 29? (That would be 203 in human years!) Then, of course, there's your 11-year-old dog that sure seems frisky for 77. That is why veterinarians have determined that 77 is the "new 60" and have come up with a more accurate way to calculate a dog's age in human years. The following steps will show you how.



Things You'll Need

  • A calculator (depending on how good at math you are)
    • 1
      If a dog is a year old, that is the equivalent of 15 in human years (not seven as we always thought).
    • 2
      When a dog reaches the age of two, he is already approximately 24 in human years (not 14 as commonly believed). But not to worry, read on.
    • 3
      Add four years to every year after age two. For example, a three-year-old dog is equivalent to 28 in human years; a four-year-old is 32, a five-year-old, 36, a six-year-old, 40--and so on.
    • 4
      Take the dog's size into consideration, since smaller dogs generally have longer life spans than larger dogs, with toy breeds tending to live the longest and giant breeds, the shortest. For example, according to the above method, a six-year-old dog is considered 40 in human years, when in fact a larger dog may actually be closer to 42. However, veterinarians consider this a good general chart to follow for all dogs.

Tips & Warnings

  • The average canine life span is about 12 years, but varies by breed.
  • Most dogs are considered seniors when they reach the age of seven, however it's generally a year or two older for toy or smaller breeds and a year or two younger when a giant breed becomes a senior.
  • A border collie in Britain lived to be 27 on a vegan diet, although there is no conclusive evidence that a vegan diet will make a dog live longer.

By Melissa Maroff, eHow Contributor
How to Determine a Dog's Age in Human Years

Monday, 26 December 2011

Barking mad? British taxi driver paid to pick up pet dog - from Madrid

Stock photo: PA

Us English folk are well-known for being dog-lovers, but one British pooch might be more pampered than the rest.

British taxi driver has been commissioned to pick up a lady's dog - all the way to Madrid and back.

John Jupp said he was called by the owner of the dog who lives in Knightsbridge, London, and was offered a fare for a round-trip to the Spanish capital

According to the Metro, he told the London Evening Standard: 'As she had previously been a good customer, I said yes. She then asked me to give her a price to pick the dog up and bring it to her house in Knightsbridge, so I asked her for the address. Her reply was truly a moment I will not forget – Madrid.'

Mr Jupp is keeping tight-lipped about exactly how much he charged to do the job, but he revealed that he took a 16-hour drive to Calais from Madrid, where he came across a problem because the do's vet certificate had expired by six hours.

But, after a fee of £100 was paid, the taxi man and his dog were allowed to continue their journey to Knightsbridge.

That's one much-loved mutt.

Article by Ruth Doherty, for AOL

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Mushing beneath the Northern Lights

Huskies. Arctic Circle. Wilderness. Aurora Borealis. All words and phrases evocative of mystery and adventure at the end of the world. And they’re all there waiting for you when you go dog sledding in Swedish Lapland.

SWEDEN is a wonderful destination for dog sledding, and Swedish Lapland, in the far north of the country deep within the Arctic Circle, offers some of the country’s most spectacular scenery and a wide variety of ways to experience the thrill of driving your own dogsled.

From the vast lowland landscape of deep forests, frozen lakes and rivers to the majestic mountain regions; from the magic of a display of the Northern Lights in the night sky to the joy of working closely with your own team of huskies, the reasons to go dog sledding in Swedish Lapland are many and varied!

Giving a Husky hug

For dog lovers with a taste for adventure, dog sledding is an obvious holiday choice. Contrary to many people’s expectations, the dogs are extremely friendly and thrive on human contact and attention. There is nothing a sled dog likes better than a hug at the end of a day on the trail! The dogs typically used for mushing in Swedish Lapland are Siberian Huskies. Their strength, energy and their thick coats make them ideal for dog sledding in a region where typical winter temperatures can be anything from just a few degrees below zero to -30 degrees C or less.

It’s normal to feel a little uncertain at the start, but you will always be given full instruction from your guide in harnessing your team and managing the sled before departure. Even the most hesitant novice musher will normally be surprised how quickly they gain confidence and after a short time you should be justly proud of your new mushing skills and be able to really relax into and enjoy the adventure. The first time you try to harness your dogs you will probably end up in a real tangle, but it’ll soon become second nature.

Man’s best friend

A dogsled tour is a very “hands-on” experience – in addition to driving your own sled, everyone gets involved in the care of the dogs and the various duties around the cabins. A typical day on a multi-day dogsled tour begins with making a fire in the cabin, heating water for the dogs, then going out to feed the dogs and clear their toilet waste. Four dogs to a team and a maximum of six participants per tour (plus guide) makes 28 huskies, so this part can take some time!

Then you have breakfast, pack everything together, clean out the cabin, load the sleds and take to the trail. During the day, you will stop to have lunch outdoors along the way. When you reach your destination for the day, you will put the dogs on a long wire for the night – while you are tucked up in bed, the dogs will be sleeping outside, but don’t worry, their thick fur is ideally suited to withstand the worst of the Arctic winter. In bad weather, it may be necessary dig a wall of snow for the dogs to protect them from the wind and depending on facilities and your accommodation, you may also need to melt water for the dogs to drink. After feeding and seeing to your team, it’s time to relax and enjoy your evening – reflecting on the day’s adventures with your fellow mushers, preparing and cooking dinner together and maybe even taking a sauna to soothe those tired muscles!

The distance covered in a day’s mushing will depend on a number of factors such as snow consistency and the nature of the terrain, but typical distances are around 20-50km.

Land of the endless nights

Winter in Swedish Lapland comes early and stays late, with the season for dog sledding beginning around mid-November and extending until late April. The later part of the winter season in March and April, known as “Spring Winter” by the indigenous Sami people, is the period when conditions become suitable for dog sledding up in the Lapland mountains.

Anytime during the season is a good time to go, and each part of the Arctic winter has its own special atmosphere. The darkest (and usually coldest) period between November and February offers the unique atmosphere of the deep midwinter, with the long hours of darkness giving very good chances to see a display of the magicalAurora. By March, the longer hours of daylight and normally milder temperatures allow you to experience the best of both worlds – the stark beauty of the snow covered mountains and the warming spring sun on your face!

Mush, mush, mush

A dog sledding holiday is suitable for a very wide range of travellers. While people of any age choose to take part, dog sledding can be a challenging activity – you will need to assist your dogsled team at times by jogging or “scooting” behind the sled for short periods, especially on uphill sections or in heavy snow conditions. But, a general good level of fitness, love of the outdoor life and a willingness to work closely with your team is more important than strength.

Mushing is a unique adventure. The friendliness and energy of the dogs, the joy of working closely with your team and getting to know their individual personalities, the beauty of the winter landscape and the excitement and challenge of driving your own sled all might just add up to a tempting combination for your next winter holiday!

Nature Travels, the UK specialists for outdoor experiences in Sweden, offer a wide range of dog sledding tours in Swedish Lapland. For more info, visit

Article by Bob Carter for 
Mushing beneath the Northern Lights

Piglet and boxer dog strike up unlikely friendship at Norfolk animal sanctuary

Piglet and boxer dog strike up unlikely friendship at Norfolk animal sanctuary.  

It looks like a scene from the hit movie Babe – a pig and a dog rolling around like the best of friends.

Piggy and Puggy who are great friends and are a YouTube sensation after their playfully antics have been uploaded onto the web. Photo by Simon Finlay

But for two rescue animals who have found comfort in each other, it is a real-life fairytale ending that has garnered them a cult following.

The friendship between Tabitha the piglet and Susie the boxer dog has made them a YouTube sensation, with almost 90,000 hits in just over a week.

Susie, a five-year-old ex-breeding dog was rescued from a West Wales puppy farm and Tabitha was found abandoned near Norwich at just five weeks old.

The pair now live at the Hillside Animal Sanctuary at Frettenham near Norwich.

The rapid success of the video of them playing, titled “Piggy” and “Puggy”, set to the Monkees’ I’m a believer, has come as a happy surprise to staff at the sanctuary.

Wendy Valentine, the founder of Hillside, said the pair are inseparable and they eat, sleep and play together.
“It is really a wonderful relationship to witness – it seems they are absolutely besotted with each other.
“Five-week-old Tabitha was a new born when she was found close to death by the side of a road in Norfolk when she was just a couple of days old. She still had her umbilical cord attached. She was found shivering and alone by a woman on a country lane on the outskirts of Norwich. She brought her in under her jumper and I took her home to put under a heat lamp.

“They just took an instant shine to each other."

“I think at first Susie wanted to mother Tabitha, but as she’s grown older they seem to be the very best of friends."

“They are always together and don’t like being separated, even curling up to sleep with each other and eating next to each other."

“Susie is very gentle with her – it’s almost like she instinctively knows she’s just a baby.”

“Sometimes they race around, rolling on their backs playing, and you can’t help but smile.”

Mrs Valentine said the online interest in the couple was “amazing” and hoped it would raise awareness of the work that animal sanctuaries like hers do.

“We just hope that, especially at this time of year, this kind of film will remind people about the many millions of animals suffering every day in the intensive factory farming industry.

“Thankfully, Tabitha will never know about that kind of life as she will live here at Hillside for the rest of her days.”

“Tabitha is growing so fast though we’re just worried that in a few weeks she might end up squashing Susie by accident,” she said.

“We’ve never known anything like this before for two such different animals to have become so close.”

People can sponsor rescue dog Susie by signing up to Hillside’s Adopt an animal scheme.

Posted in the Norwich Evening News

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Pet Friendly Hertfordshire with Kate Lawler

Welcome to the next instalment of our pet friendly travel feature with the lovely Kate Lawler and her two dogs, Baxter and Kevin. Over the next few issues we will be taking Kate, Baxter and Kevin on a tour of different pet friendly hotels and areas across the UK. This issue we travel to the Hertfordshire/Essex border.
Meet Kate…
My first pet friendly review was a beach-front boutique hotel in Brighton and this month, it’s a completely different experience.
If historic buildings, beautiful gardens and classically ‘British’ breaks take your fancy then you’ll want to visit Down Hall Country House Hotel. It’s around 45 minutes from Central London in Hatfield Heath, on the Hertfordshire and Essex border. It’s also ideally near London Stansted Airport. Down Hall is one of the AA’s leading pet friendly hotels and it’s easy to see why. My boyfriend Adam, and our Border Terrier – Baxter, and I are staying for 2 days and 1 night. Kevin our other dog is boarding with friends at their home, recovering after an operation.

The three of us arrive at around midday. The grandeur, elegance and character of Down Hall are instantly recognisable upon arrival. After a slow drive down a wide gravelly private road, admiring the stunning gardens, we pull up outside the most gorgeous victorian country house. It’s very impressive. I almost feel like I’m at Buckingham Palace! Baxter jumps out of the car, sniffs around and stretches his legs after a two and a half hour drive from Birmingham…..
We are greeted by two extremely friendly members of staff at reception. Unfortunately Baxter decides to pee on the carpet as we’re checking in. It’s not just a little pee either. A very embarrassing start to the weekend but the staff were absolutely fine about it, to the point that they found it funny (luckily!).
It’s quite a long walk to our room, recognising instantly what a big hotel Down Hall is. As we pass the restaurant, the smell of delicious food being cooked is extremely inviting. Our room is lovely, spacious, comfortable, and very classic in design. Pet owners you’ll love the pooch welcome pack if you enjoy spoiling your beloved four legged friend. Waiting for Baxter was a dog bowl, with treats, a chewbone, a welcome card with do’s and don’ts on, wrapped in a big bow. Nice touch.
What I love the most is that our room has french doors that open with views to a beautifully landscaped garden. As a dog owner, this makes life incredibly easy as we can let Baxter out to do his business without having to walk all the way through the hotel and exit through reception. Once the doors were open and Baxter was taking advantage of the enormous well-maintained gardens, running free, sniffing the ground, going to the toilet and sprinting back for a Down Hall doggy treat. We notice the hotel has put other dog owners on the ground floor, in the double rooms that also have the doors leading out to the garden. Very thoughtful, thumbs up to Down Hall.

After a long walk in the beautiful grounds, my boyfriend and I took advantage of the Cream Tea served in a historic lounge in front of a roaring log fire. This is my ideal afternoon, and because it’s a pet friendly hotel, Baxter was able to chill out with us which really makes a difference when you’re staying in a hotel. He got a lot of attention from others staying at the hotel and lapped it up as usual! We decided to have a siesta before heading out to a gorgeous country pub just a five minute drive from the hotel. It is called The White Horse Inn and served the most incredible steak and stout pie, mashed potatoes, vegetables and gravy, not forgetting a superb chocolate fudge cake with cream. Reasonably priced and a warm welcoming atmosphere inside.
It’s now time for bed, very early which is rare for us on a Saturday Night!
Sunday morning and we’ve had the most amazing night sleep. Extremely comfortable mattress and because of the black out curtains, we slept for longer than usual! Baxter finishes off his doggy treats provided by the hotel, has a little run around the garden, it’s a gorgeous day so we decide to take him for a long walk and find out that 110 acres of woodland, parkland and gardens surround the hotel. Perfect for dog walking! Before we take Baxter out we indulge in a hearty Full English Breakfast which is huge! Good coffee too.
On our 2 hour walk through the woodland, Baxter had the time of his life. Not only did he chase squirrels and meet other doggies but he came in to contact with 2 Alpacas!! They were amazing. Adam and I had never met Alpacas before either and a sign next to them said ‘Warning! The Alpacas may spit!’ We ignored the warning and got spat at which wasn’t very nice but we laughed about it afterwards! I think Baxter was a little scared of them after that.
We didn’t want to leave Down Hall it was a short but perfect break and as far as Pet Friendly Hotels go, it’s up there with the best. Whether you’re looking for a secluded romantic break or a gigantic lavish wedding, it’s a gorgeous venue, very impressive, and most importantly it’s PET FRIENDLY! :-) Being located to a major airport is handy, and only 45 minutes outside of central London an added bonus. With rooms starting at just £89 you cannot go wrong. Top marks for Down Hall Country House Hotel.

Posted by  

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Friday, 23 December 2011

Primary school children in Bromley took part in the Junior Citizenship Scheme

PRIMARY school children have been learning how to behave around dogs.

Around 450 pupils from eight different schools in Bromley took part in the Junior Citizenship Scheme at Malcolm Primary School, in Malcolm Road, Penge.

Bromley police joined forces with the London Fire Brigade, RNLI, TfL, parks services, UK Power Network, Tramlink and Battersea Cats and Dogs Home to help teach Year 6 students important safety lessons.

The Met's Junior Citizenship Scheme co-ordinator, Helen Andrews, said: "It's to really highlight some of the dangers the children might come across when they start the transition in to Year 7 and to make them aware of their responsibilities to act sensibly and responsibly."

Youngsters met Frank, a six-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, who was rescued and rehomed by Battersea Cats and Dogs Home.

They were told what signs to look out for when a dog is angry, playful and scared.

Education officer for the animal charity, Amy Watson, said: "It's something Battersea has been doing for a long time. It's a good idea to make sure people of all ages, especially children, know how to behave around dogs, not only for themselves but so dogs do not get scared."

She added: "What we are teaching applies to any dog breed. Any dog has the capacity to be aggressive if it's trained inappropriately."

Frank performed tricks for the pupils including rolling over, singing and weaving through his owner's legs.
Miss Watson said: "It illustrates the nature of staffies. They are so keen to please their owner. They want to be rewarded with affection and love."

She added: "We are hugely over run with staffies. We are desperate for people to give them a second chance.

"They are really good family pets. There's nothing to be scared of if they have been in the right hands."
At the end of the workshop students told News Shopper what they had learnt.

Molly Wise, 10, said: "I thought you should try and run away from a dog chasing you because they might be dangerous. But now I know you should stay calm and not get the dog excited."

Amber Lawrence, 11, said: "I learnt that even if the dog does look nice you shouldn't go up to it. You should ask the owner and your parents first."

Advice to youngsters from Battersea Cats and Dogs Home


- Be gentle and quiet around dogs
- If you know the owner ask them if you may pat their dog
- Roll you hand in to a fist and allow the dog to sniff you first
- Ask the owner where the dog likes to be stroked


- sneak up on a dog
- tease a dog
- stare a dog in the eye
- disturb a dog when it's sleeping or eating
- run away if you see a strange dog in the park
- assume that a dog will always want to play
- pat a dog that is on its own

If you are frightened by a dog

- stand still
- fold your arms across your chest
- look at the ground or the sky
- do not shout or scream or jump around lots - be boring

If you are pushed over by a dog

- curl up in to a ball and stay still
- be boring
- wait for an adult

Article by Kelly Smale
For this is Local London

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Architects tour greenest dogs home

Architects from across the Midlands visited the world’s “greenest” dog rescue centre recently. They were among a 60 strong delegation invited to tour the innovative Dogs Trust Shrewsbury complex built by Shropshire construction company McPhillips (Wellington) Ltd which opened in August 2011 and has been described by one local MP as “doggy heaven.”

The cutting edge £5.25 million eco-friendly re-development of the Canine Rehoming Centre for the Dogs Trust was sustainably designed and the scheme has been such a success that the company are currently building another Rehoming Centre for Dogs Trust in Loughborough with work running to schedule on the £7.1m project, due for completion in April 2012.

The architects and surveyors from Shropshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Sandwell and the Black Country were given a 40 minute exclusive tour of the centre at Roden, near Shrewsbury as part of a half day visit. They were joined by Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council members and representatives of the PDSA, RSPCA, Chester Zoo and Telford College. Students on a construction course at Shrewsbury College were later given a tour by McPhillips to show them a completed project.

They inspected the new “green technology” including Warmcell insulation from recycled paper, electricity generated from solar photovoltaic panels, a Biomass district heating plant and natural vegetation in the form of a green roof for added insulation. The landscaping and biodiversity of the site has been enhanced by the planting of native trees and the introduction of sustainable drainage and rainwater recycling.

Innovative features have reduced energy consumption by 70 per cent over a traditional rehoming facility and the centre has achieved an A+ rating for energy efficiency under the UK Building Regulations.

“Passivhaus” principles were used in the construction to provided excellent thermal performance, insulation and airtightness, minimising heat waste, and as a result the centre requires very little artificial heating.

Project manager Carl Ayling spoke about the development and how rigorous testing of the air barrier membrane was carried out to ensure very low air permeability and prevent heat loss through air leakage. He praised the very successful close collaboration and working partnership with the designers, Peter Napier and Co.

The centre is carbon neutral and is self-sustainable in its energy requirements, using bio-fuels to provide heating and generating its own electricity through photovoltaic (solar) panels.

The new buildings have been certified as “Outstanding” under the flagship BREEAM accreditation, being one of only a handful of buildings in the UK achieving this top level classification.

Dogs Trust Shrewsbury has been designated as a “Demonstration Project” by Constructing Excellence as an exemplar of how a sustainable building should be built and to influence change in the construction industry. Jon DeSouza, Director of Constructing Excellence said “Dogs Trust Shrewsbury is a fantastic example of how integrated and collaborative working leads to better sustainability outcomes on projects.”

The centre has been constructed to give dogs a stress free environment while awaiting rehoming and has received a tail wagging approval rating from its new occupants who took up permanent residence in August.

The Dogs Trust home was completed in two phases over 12 months allowing the centre to remain open and operational. The first phase from June to December 2010 demolished six buildings and upgraded kennels to  temporarily accommodate the rehoming centre on the 14 acre site while the new 2,700sq metre centre was built in phase two and consists of a reception and rehoming building, intake kennels, training and behavioural centre and veterinary facilities.

Article from Green Building Press

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

How to Train a Labrador Retriever Puppy to Lie Down

Training your Labrador retriever puppy to lie down on command is one of the most useful lessons you can teach, and one that will serve both you and your puppy well as it becomes an adult. If you need your dog to settle down quietly after a boisterous playtime or if you want it to stay by your side for extended periods while you read, there is no more convenient command than "Lie down," and no better time for your dog to learn it than as a puppy.

 Moderately Easy
Use positive reinforcement to teach your Labrador retriever puppy to lie down on command


Things You'll Need

  • Bite-sized puppy treats
    • 1
      Exercise your Labrador retriever puppy well about half an hour before the training session. A vigorous playtime with you will help it burn off some of its excess energy.
    • 2
      Give your puppy the "sit" command, if it has learned it. If not, wait until it naturally goes into a sitting position--you can encourage this by passing a treat over the puppy's head, which should cause it to automatically lower its haunches.
    • 3
      Let the puppy sniff the treat when it is in the sitting position, then lower the treat slowly to the floor while saying the puppy's name followed by "Lie down." Use a voice that is firm and clear--but not stern or commanding--and avoid sounding hesitant or questioning. Enunciate the "N" strongly at the end of the word "down" in order to set the phrase apart from normal speech, and to distinguish it as a special command.
    • 4
      Watch your puppy as it follows the treat down to the floor. The second it is lying down, praise it, saying "Good lie down." Immediately give the treat.
    • 5
      Repeat "Lie down" if the puppy tries to lunge forward and grab the treat. Lower the treat to the floor so that it is between your puppy's paws, and slide it closer to it so that the most natural way for the puppy to get the treat is to be lying down.
    • 6
      Release your Labrador retriever puppy from the "lie down" command as soon as it has eaten the treat by saying "OK." Even though it was about to spring up anyway, giving the "OK" command helps the puppy associate the act of getting up with "OK." As your puppy gets better at obeying the "Lie down" command, you can have it remain on the floor for longer and longer periods--the beginning of learning the "stay" command.
    • 7
      Practice "lie down" for three to five minutes at least three times a day. Don't allow frustration or impatience to show in your voice, even if your puppy is slow to get the idea; that will only make him anxious. Keep a confident, upbeat attitude.

      Tips & Warnings

      • Resist the temptation to guide your puppy into the "Lie down" position with your hands. Puppies seem to learn better when they figure it out for themselves.

By Carol Sarao, eHow Contributor
How to Train a Labrador Retriever Puppy to Lie Down