Monthly Archives: July 2012

Water on the Go

In this heat it’s really important to keep your four-legged companion hydrated.  Just as need to drink regularly so do our dogs, and this is especially important while on the go.  Carting water around and a bowl for your dog might be an issue.  I’ve tried portable bowls (which I do love…they just take forever to dry out) as well as other methods by which to keep my dogs hydrated.

There is no perfect solution.  The trick is finding something that is portable, easy to carry, will hold enough water, is easy to clean and is something that your dog can drink from.  There are a ton of products out there that do at least one of these, but finding a product to do all three is well…kinda like finding the holy grail.

Awhile back I purchased and used the Outward Hound portable water bowl.  I did love this set and if I could find it (seems to have gotten lost in the cross-country shuffle) I would continue to use it. 

Available on Outward Hound’s website or at Petsmart

It has a pouch for you put a water bottle and a foldable water bowl that fits into the pouch with the water bottle itself.  Very handy!  There are a few cons though.  The strap is extremely short and if you like to put things cross shoulder you can’t.  With a bottle of water it tends to get heavy and since the strap is short it will dig into your shoulders.  If you only go out occasionally this is great, but if you’re headed out frequently you might find the water bowl itself isn’t dry; its heavy nylon and takes awhile to dry.  This particular package comes with the smaller 24 oz bowl which I find can be a challenge for my 65lb Golden to drink from.  They do sell the bowls separately and you can purchase those up to a 72oz size; but with the larger size portability goes down.

Bigger bowl available in a variety of sizes; 24oz, 48oz and 72oz.

At the 2012 UKC premier another exhibitor shared an amazing potable water bottle for your dog.  Not only are they fashionable, easy to clean, portable but there is only one component to carry.  The H204k9 water bottle for dogs is a really nice addition to the world of products that can you keep your dog hydrated while on the go. 

Oracle drinks from the H204K9 water bottle.

The water bottles are made of stainless steel.  The “bowl” the dog drinks from (Oracle is enjoying some in the pic above) is made of plastic and is the cap for the bottle.  When you’re done, the cap/bowl is designed in such a way that you can easily pour the not drunk water back into the bottle and you screw the cap/bowl back on.  No wasted water! 

H204K9 Water bottle. Available in a variety of colors. 24.5oz size.

It really is an amazing system and fulfills almost all of my requirements for a great dog hydration system!  Where it falls flat is that my Golden has a hard time drinking from it.  He can get water, he just has trouble doing it.  However, it really is one of the best portable water bottles for dogs out there!  What I love about this system is that it’s really environmentally friendly!  You aren’t buying a plastic bottle and you can reuse it indefinitely.  It’s available in a 24.5oz size and the smaller 9.5oz size. 

h204K9 9.5oz water bottle.

So what do you use?  I’m always looking for great products to review and share.  Send your suggestions along!



Filed under Product Reviews

Deciding on a breed

I have to admit, I have a thing for rare breed dogs.  I think there is just something amazing about their look and uniqueness that I love.  At the 2012 UKC Premier that is held every year in Kalamazoo there was no shortage of rare breed dogs.  I almost ended up with a rare herding breed from France called a Berger Picard.  I think they are the most adorable dogs ever!  However, after meeting the breed at the UKC show I realized that this wasn’t a breed I could bring into my busy home with small children.  Someday I really want one but now is not the time.

Berger Picard

Berger Picard. Taken at the 2012 UKC Premier Dog Show in Kalamazoo, MI

After seeing the Pondegos, I wanted one of those.  I sent my husband a text and told him it was going to be our next breed.  I watched as they showed and snapped pic after pic after pic and sent to my husband.  I was sold!  After researching the breed and talking with breeders I came quickly to the realization that this also wasn’t a breed for me.  Pondegos are considered a “primitive hunting” dog.  They are used in Mexico on hunts and despite being a “domesticated” dog are still quite “wild” for a domesticated dog.  They require someone who knows dogs and you truly have to be pack alpha with them.  Again, not a great breed for a family with young children.


Pondengo Grande. Taken at UKC 2012 Premier Dog Show in Kalamazoo, MI.

There are plenty of dogs that look “cute” or like a dog you’d want to own, but you need to be extremely careful about what the breed is actually like.  What were they bred for?  What is their general temperament?  Will they fit your lifestyle?  Are there any special needs you should be aware of? 

As with any dog, not just a rare breed, make sure you do your homework make sure you talk to multiple breeders.  I cannot emphasis this enough.  Do not talk to just one breeder.  Many tend to be partial to their breed.  The more responsible ones will be extremely straight forward with you and tell you the good and the bad traits of the breed.  And do not let a breeder ever tell you that their particular breed doesn’t have a bad trait.  If a breeder says that to you, run, don’t walk from that breeder.

Case in point.  We have a Golden Retriever.  Now, I love the breed (which goes against my whole rare breed thing I have going) and I think they are fantastic dogs, especially for families.  My youngest daughter Braewyn will crawl all over him, she can sit on him, pull his fur and pretty much use him as a jungle gym if she wanted.  He’s a mellow, perfect dog for my family and kids.  However, Golden Retrievers are a needy breed.  They want to be touched.  They want to be in your face.  They need you to pat attention to them.  They are high energy and need a yard to run and plenty of exercise.  They are smart!  Oh, and let’s not forget the hair.  Dog hair everywhere.  If you get a Golden, don’t ever expect to eat something that hasn’t been seasoned in their hair.  They really are a great breed, but they aren’t perfect and they aren’t for everyone.

Now, back to my rare breed love.  I realized that when falling in love with a dog based on their looks and written description, you really need to dig so much deeper into the breed.  The Berger Picard for example is (to me anyways) an awesome looking dog.  They are absolutely adorable.  However, when I met one for the first time it could care less about me.  He didn’t want me to pet him and actively ignored me.  Huh…I thought that maybe it was just that one dog.  I then met about 6 of them, all hanging out together.  There was even puppies!  Surely puppies will want love and attention.  Nope.  Ignored.  Someone’s dog even growled at me as I approached her after permission to do so.  When I started talking to Berger owners they all absolutely loved their dogs.  As I talked with them though they all gave hints to what they were really like.  They were protective.  They were aloof.  They were single owner dogs.  Not something I wanted in a family dog. 

I got lucky.  I was smart enough to research the breed.  I still want a Berger Picard someday.  Now is just not the time.

So remember to do your research and not just Internet research or one phone call to a breeder.  Deciding on a breed needs to be an informed choice.

Now, I know many of you might be saying, “Don’t buy from a breeder.  Breeders are bad.  Rescue.”  And while I agree, we have many many dogs that need a home I also don’t feel that a rescue dog is the right choice for everyone, nor do I feel that purebreed dogs should get the constant negative wrap they do.  But that, dear readers is for another time…


Filed under Breeders, General

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Barkculture is back!

After quite an extended hiatus we are back and ready to continue to provide all kinds of amazing dog pictures, information, opinions and of course dog treat recipes!

We have all kinds of new information to share so please stay tuned!

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