Sunday, 28 April 2013

Harnesses- What are the good for?

Absolutely Everything!

Hello folks,

After the release of our super-cheap yet durable Scruff MacDuff harnesses:
(£9.90- These beauties also come in red as well, by the way)

we got a lot of questions along the lines of- "are harnesses better than collars?" "will they improve my dog's behaviour?" and "why buy a harness in the first place?"

So in answer to your questions, we've compiled a list of the main benefits to a harness:

1) Safety.
Harnesses are a good buy, particularly if you dog pulls like a freight train. By distributing the weight more evenly across the dog's body, it means that strain is not put onto the dog's trachea or delicate spinal column but across the torso instead.

2) The Great Escape.
Harnesses are also good in there is a far smaller chance that your dog will pull himself free of the collar when excited. Particularly if collars come loose or wear with age, it can become possible for a dog to wriggle free. Get a harness and save yourself a search party.
In addition, some harnesses come with reflective strips so that cars (and you) can see your dog clearer at low light. We sell this pretty swanky harness at £18.00  that does just that:

3) Behaviour.
Whilst harnesses are not the miracle cure to bad behaviour that some dog whisperers claim, the increased control of the dog allows for easier training and better discipline.
For dogs that pull a lot, a forward facing clasp is recommended whilst for smaller dogs, the more traditional backward facing clasp is more appropriate.

4) In the Car.
It is now UK law for a dog to be restrained whilst in transit. Getting a harness means that you can easily strap your dog into the the seatbelt of a car and thus protect yourselves, the dog and other road users from unwanted accidents.
Unlike human seatbelts, strapping dogs into the car is not designed to prevent injury on impact. However, it will stop any unexpected seat-sharing or hysterics in the back seat.

We sell the Clix Car Safe Dog Harness at only £12.00

5) Breathing and Respiratory Problems.
As well as distributing the strain to the torso and away from the neck, a harness has the added benefit of not restricting the windpipe in dogs with breathing or respiratory problems, particularly small or short-nosed breeds.

6) Lifting.
If you buy harnesses with a handle attached, they can make it easier and more comfortable to lift your pet. If you spend a lot of time with your pet outdoors, for example hiking or on boats, it can make transporting your dog easier.
If your pet's hiking days are long behind him and he isn't so strong on his feet, a harness can make sure you can help him to his feet.

This high-quality Ruffwear harness has a handle towards the back of your dog's body to lift safely and comfortably:

So there you go. Why not take a look at our harness selection and see if one is right for your four-legged friend?

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Pug Craze- Why are they so popular?

You might have noticed that in recently,  Pugs seem to be EVERYWHERE. They're on T-shirts, mugs and in the hands of celebrity owners like Billy Joel, Kelly Brook and Dennis Quaid. This blog entry is dedicated to discovering exactly where the Pug came from and why exactly this cute mutt has become so popular.

Kelly Brook and her pug Rocky
Pug Apparel

A short History of the Pug

Pugs are an ancient breed dating back to the Han dynasty in imperial China. They were a dog of the wealthy, with the wrinkles on their face supposedly resembling the symbols of "Prince". The Pug was brought to Europe by the Dutch East India Trading Company and was popularised by the House of Orange in the 16th Century. In fact, in 1572, it was reported that a pug named Pompey saved the life of the Prince of Orange by barking to alert him to would-be assassins.

 Princess Ekaterina Dmitrievna Golitsyna in 1759 with her pampered Pug

By 1790, the Pug makes an appearance in French elite life, with Napoleon's first wife Josephine using her pug to carry messages to her betrothed from Les Carmes prison whilst her family were imprisoned there.
Across the pond in England, Queen Victoria had a fondness for Pugs, helping replace the King Charles Spaniel as the dog of choice amongst the rich and powerful. She bred her own Pugs, with Olga, Pedro, Fatima and Venus amongst her favourite pups.

Fast forward to the 90s, and pugs are everywhere in the media. Popular TV shows like Eastenders, the West Wing, Spin City and others. In film, who could forget Frank the pug in Men in Black or Percy in Disney's Pocahontus?Boybands like N-Sync and the Backstreet Boys were even doting on their Pugs in photo shoots and album covers. 

Frank, the unlikely star of Men in Black

In fact, the popularity of Pugs increased so much in the decade that in 1993, Pugs ranked 28th in most popular dog breeds in the United States. By 1999, they were the 16th most popular registered dog in the States.

What makes them such good pets?

The Pug is officially classed as a toy dog, with a wrinkly, flat face and curly tail. Pugs come in a variety of colours including black, fawn, apricot or silver fawn. Whilst small enough to fit comfortably in any home, the pug is often described as "much in little" with its personality and stature that of a much bigger dog. In fact, they are the largest of the Toy breeds and due to their tendency to gain weight easily, they can often weigh as much as 6kg.

Dennis Quaid pictured recently with his porky pug

They are definitely creatures of comfort. They overheat easily, can be quite stubborn and need regular grooming to keep their sensitive skin wrinkles healthy.

 But most of all, we think Pugs are so popular because they are funny. Their playful and mischievous temperament combined with their sticky-out tongue means that they are a big crown pleaser. With a round body and expressive faces, here at Scruff we think they're only going to get more popular in years to come....

If you'd like us to investigate your favourite breed, just pop a request on Facebook or Twitter!