Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

Microchip Guide Chart

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Using a “U-Turn” to Leave Trouble Behind

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

Excerpted from Feisty Fido by Patricia McConnell, Ph.D. and Karen London, Ph.D

A “U-Turn” is a great tool to have in your training repertoire. A U-Turn is exactly what it sounds like: You and your dog are walking forward, and on your cue, you both instantly turn 180 degrees and move in the opposite direction. Your dog turns because he knows your cue means: “Quick! We’re going to play the turn-around-really-fast-and-go-the-other-way game!” Your dog doesn’t turn because he hits the end of the leash. That would increase the tension and could elicit the very behavior you’re trying to avoid. He turns because he knows the game, hears the cue and almost without thinking, wheels away from trouble.

Like Watch, the action itself is simple, but it needs to be mastered to be truly useful. And like Watch, a U-Turn is another behavior that is incompatible with your dog barking, lunging or stiffening. A U-Turn differs from a Watch cue in that you use it when you know your dog will be too aroused to perform a Watch or has already barked or lunged at another dog. The goal of a U-Turn is to get you out of sticky situations, and if you and your dog master both the Watch and the U-Turn, you’ll be able to handle most of the situations that life can throw at you.

Cushings Disease – Dr. Jean Dodds

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Check out this information on Cushings Disease from Hemopet

 

Please download: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/65fe703d8ce705ddce0e30120/files/0415f5f8-d92b-46d7-9f0c-9ee4459f0af1/HHC_Talks_18_Cushing_s.pdf

8 Things Every Dog Owner Should Know When Their Pet Crosses The Rainbow Bridge

Sunday, January 21st, 2018
For WWW.LITTLETHINGS.COM by REBECCA ENDICOTT
artwork by Laura Caseley for Little Things

Unfortunately, it’s the nature of pet ownership to lose your beloved fluff ball. The average human will live eight decades, but a dog’s lifespan is much shorter.

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs live for an average of 10 to 13 years, depending on the breed.

That means that every human who welcomes a sweet pup into the family will have to eventually face the tricky proposition of losing a furry best friend.

There are lots of beautiful ways to memorialize your dog after he crosses the rainbow bridge, but that isn’t necessarily comforting in the days immediately before and after a pooch passes on.

In fact, it can be really hard to prepare for that moment.

That’s why we put together a list of important things all pooch-owners should know for the day their beloved dog dies.

#1: The Grief Will Hit Hard

#1: The Grief Will Hit Hard

You might be surprised by how hard you are hit by grief.

It’s easy to think that you will be able to cope with the death of your pet, but people often discover that they are just as devastated by the loss of their dog as they would be by any death.

Even though humans know intellectually that they’ll have to say goodbye to their beloved dogs eventually, it doesn’t make it any easier to face the reality.

#2: You Might Feel Guilty

#2: You Might Feel Guilty

Guilt is a totally normal emotion to experience as you’re processing your loss and grief, but people are sometimes taken aback by how strongly they blame themselves.

People worry that perhaps there was something more they could have done early, they worry that they made the wrong decision, or that they missed a sign that their pup was in pain or unwell.

These worries are totally normal, but try not to let them take you over. At some point, you have to trust that you did everything you could for your sweet pup, and he loved you for it.

#3: Your Vet Will Be More Of A Comfort Than You Expect

#3: Your Vet Will Be More Of A Comfort Than You Expect

During your dog’s lifetime, the veterinarian is just the person who gives your pup shots and diagnoses infections.

After you pup dies, the veterinarian might become your best friend for a while.

That’s because vets see this kind of loss every day, and they often know exactly how to support and comfort a grieving pet parent.

Vets can also help you with details like figuring out how to lay your dog to rest; many vets offer cremation services and memorial boxes.

#4: Grief Can Spike Unexpectedly

#4: Grief Can Spike Unexpectedly

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

After you lose your dog, you’ll probably spend a few days mourning before slowly starting to feel better.

When that happens, it’s easy to think that the worst of your grief is behind you, though that often isn’t the case.

Sometimes, grief will reemerge as fresh and painful as the day your dog died. Know that the grieving process is long and complex, and let it take its natural course.

#5: You Might Have To Make The Choice

#5: You Might Have To Make The Choice

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

For many dog owners, the most difficult part of losing their pet actually comes before the pet passes on.

Many owners find themselves in the painful position of choosing to end the dog’s life, and having him put to sleep.

When you adopt a dog, you have to be prepared for the possibility of making this choice.

If your dog is elderly, in pain, and unable to comprehend what’s happening, it might be your responsibility to help him avoid unnecessary pain and suffering.

#6: It’s Worth Asking For Paw Prints

#6: It's Worth Asking For Paw Prints

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

After your dog passes away, your vet will usually offer to help with the remains, often by cremation.

Before that happens, you might want to ask the vet to take your dog’s paw prints for you.

Many vets are happy to help you through your goodbye by giving you one last memento of your beloved pup.

Even as you move on, having his paw prints is a lovely way to remember a loyal and beloved friend.

#7: If Possible, Be There

#7: If Possible, Be There

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

We don’t always have a choice in how our dogs pass on.

If it’s an accident or completely unexpected, you might not be with your dog at the end.

However, if you can choose to be with your dog, definitely do it, though it might be painful for you.

What’s important is that your dog will feel loved and unafraid with you by his side holding his paw.

#8: Remember, You Gave Your Pup The Best Life

#8: Remember, You Gave Your Pup The Best Life

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Eventually, as the weeks and months pass, you’ll find yourself healing. You’ll never stop loving and missing your dog, but you’ll know that your pup is in a better place now.

Most important of all, you will know that, while he was here with you, you gave him the best life ever.

He loved you to pieces, and we bet he wouldn’t have traded one second of the life the two of you had together.

 

 

Canine Body Language Danger Signs

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018
Web Only Article May 19, 2017

By Pat Miller, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA

The number of times a person has been bitten gives a big clue as to his capacity to read, understand, and respond properly to canine communications. Someone who has been bitten numerous times either doesn’t pay attention to what dogs say, or doesn’t respond appropriately.

Dogs almost always give clear signals – though the signs may be subtle – before they bite. A “bite without warning” is truly a rare occurrence. Most of the time the human just wasn’t listening, or didn’t have any education about what the dog was expressing. I have worked with dogs professionally for more than 40 years and, knock wood, experienced only a handful of bites, none of them serious.

I remember with crystal clarity an incident from when I was a humane officer for the Marin (California) Humane Society, responding to a complaint of a Rhodesian Ridgeback who was at large – and reportedly aggressive toward people. I pulled up in my animal control truck, got out, and started up the sidewalk toward the house. Suddenly I saw a brown blur out of the corner of my eye, and realized the Ridgeback was charging at me from behind the house. I froze in place.

She ran straight up to me and muzzle-punched me (hit me with her closed mouth). Although I had not received any in-depth training in understanding dog body language, I realized that this was a strong warning, and if I moved abruptly she would likely bite me. She stepped back a couple of feet, and I slowly backed up to my truck. Once there I was able to retrieve a control pole, gently noose her, load her into my truck and, unscathed, walk back to the house to talk to her owner. Phew!

The ability to read and react appropriately to dog body language can keep you safe with your own dog as well as others you may encounter. Here are four photos that present different levels of danger based on the dogs’ aggressive expressions.

dog hard stare

This mother dog is giving the photographer a direct stare – and her eyes look somewhat “hard.” Her stiff, forward-leaning posture and ears, and slightly pushed-forward lips, are warning you to stay back. She’s not aroused, just guarding her puppies. It would be wise to heed her warning.

dog aggressive posture

The next dog is also pushing her lips forward, in a slightly more threatening display. Her posture, tail, and ears are quite stiff, and her hair is standing up a little. She’s laser-focused on another dog, and not in a particularly friendly way. This dog hasn’t aggressed yet, but she’s starting to get aroused. We’d give her a wide berth.

dog aggression

Here are two dog body language lessons in one photo. The adult dog is making a fearsome face, drawing his lips back in an impressive snarl, and holding his ears and tail up and stiff. But notice that he’s not leaning at all forward, and his eyes are not super hard (though it’s difficult to see from this angle). He’s giving the puppy a stern warning to “Don’t come near me!” and the puppy reads this loud and clear. She’s responded with a classic puppy grovel: she’s lowered her body posture and leaned backward, and she’s holding her ears back and wagging her tail. She won’t look directly at the adult, but looks away with soft, squinty eyes. Note that she’s trying to appease the adult dog – she’s acknowledging his warning – but she isn’t terrified or afraid for her life.

untrained aggressive dog

This dog is dangerously conflicted. His lips are pushed forward hard, but his ears are pinned back; his eye contact is hard and direct but his tail is low. His posture looks like he’s leaning forward and back; he’s frightened and willing to come after you. This dog was being held following his (and another dog’s) attack on an elderly woman who was in her own yard. The dogs were untrained, unsocialized, and inadequately contained; both paid the ultimate price for their owner’s negligence and irresponsibility.

Primal Dog Food Recall – December 2017

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

Primal Dog Food Recall | December 2017

Fundamentals of Shaping Behavior

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

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Shape, Rattle and Roll – Fundamentals of Shaping Behaviors

Excerpted from Jane Killion’s book When Pigs Fly! Training Success with Impossible Dogs

In this chapter you are going to learn a fun and effective way to teach your dog new skills using a process called “shaping”. Shaping involves slicing the behavior you want your dog to do into tiny pieces, successively clicking and treating each “slice,” until you have built up the finished behavior you want to train.

Here is how shaping works. Imagine you are looking at a frame-by-frame motion picture of your dog picking up a tennis ball. What would the first frame be? Probably turning his eyes towards the ball. Then maybe a direct stare at the ball. Then lowering his head towards the ball. Then about six more frames where his head gets progressively lower and lower. Then touching his nose to the ball, then opening his mouth, then putting his mouth around the ball, then closing his mouth around the ball, then lifting his head for about six more frames. Each of these “frames” is called an approximation – a little step towards the finished behavior or picking up a ball. If you want to teach your dog to pick up a ball by shaping it, you progressively click and treat all of the “approximations” that I have described above in this way:

  1. The first step is the dog turning his eyes towards the ball. After you have clicked and treated that glance toward the ball couple of times, your dog will start offering it. By “offering it”, I mean he will deliberately glance towards the ball in an attempt to make the clicker go off.
  2. Once your dog is firmly and deliberately offering the glance towards the ball, you can hold out and not click it. Your dog will keep trying the glance, and then, when he sees that it is not paying off, he will offer “improvements” on that behavior, like a bit of a head turn in that direction. Voila! You have frame number two, the head turn, which you can start click and treating.
  3. Again, once your dog is firmly and deliberately offering the head turn, hold out for any tiny lowering of his head. Click and treat that a few times, and then, when you are sure he is offering a bit of a head bob, hold out for a bigger head bob. Again, when reinforcements are not forthcoming, your dog will offer different “improvements” on the head bob, which will eventually included lowering his head toward the ball more than he had before. You continue this way, reinforcing and then holding out for more through the rest of the “frames” of the “movie” of your dog picking up the ball.

For more advice on training impossible (and not-so-impossible) dogs, purchase Jane Killion’s When Pigs Fly! Training Success with Impossible Dogs from Whole Dog Journal.

Dr. Jean Dodds – Dog Vaccine Protocol

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

The following vaccine protocol is offered for those dogs where minimal vaccinations are advisable or desirable. The schedule is one I recommend and should not be interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It’s a matter of professional judgment and choice.


9 – 10 weeks of age

Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
e.g. Merck Nobivac (Intervet Progard) Puppy DPV

14 – 15 weeks of age
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV

18 weeks of age
Parvovirus only, MLV
Note: New research states that last puppy parvovirus vaccine should be at 18 weeks old.

20 weeks or older, if allowable by law
Rabies – give 3-4 weeks apart from other vaccines
Mercury-free (thimerosol-free, TF)

1 year old
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
This is an optional booster or titer. If the client intends not to booster after this optional booster or intends to retest titers in another three years, this optional booster at puberty is wise.

1 year old
Rabies – give 3-4 weeks apart from other vaccines
3-year product if allowable by law; mercury-free (TF)

Perform vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus every three years thereafter, or more often, if desired. Vaccinate for rabies virus according to the law, except where circumstances indicate that a written waiver needs to be obtained from the primary care veterinarian. In that case, a rabies antibody titer can also be performed to accompany the waiver request. Visit The Rabies Challenge Fund for more information.

W. Jean Dodds, DVM
Hemopet / NutriScan
11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843

DARWIN’S PET FOOD RECALL

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

Darwin’s Natural Pet Products of Tukwila, Washington, has notified its customers that it is recalling 2 lots of its Natural Selections raw dog food products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

To learn which products are affected, please visit the following link:Darwin’s Dog Food Recall of December 2017

Please be sure to share the news of this alert with other pet owners.

Mike Sagman, Editor
The Dog Food Advisor

P.S. Not already on our dog food recall notification list yet? Sign up to get critical dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. There’s no cost for this service.

Training Tip from the Whole Dog Journal

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

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Slow Down Your Tasmanian Devil

You contemplate taking your dog for a walk with mixed emotions. You love the idea of going for a companionable stroll through the neighborhood together, but when you pick up his leash he becomes the Tasmanian Devil.

Here are suggestions for turning this potential disaster into the enjoyable outing you dream of. Exercise first. Spend 15-20 minutes tossing a ball for your dog in the backyard, or providing intense mental exercise with a heavy duty shaping session. You’ll take the edge off his excitement, reduce his energy level, and make leashing-up and walking more relaxed and enjoyable for both of you.

Pick up his leash throughout the day. He gets amped up when you touch his leash because it always means the two of you are going for a walk. If you pick up his leash numerous times throughout the day, sometimes draping it over your neck and wearing it for a while, sometimes carrying it from room to room, sometimes picking it up and putting it back down, the leash will no longer be a reliable predictor of walks, and he won’t have any reason to get all excited about it.

Use negative punishment. Not a bonk on the head. It means setting up the situation so that doing the behavior you don’t want causes a good thing to go away. If, when you pick up the leash, he goes bonkers (the behavior you don’t want), say “Oops!” in a cheerful tone of voice (what’s known as a “no reward marker,” it simply tells him no reward is forthcoming), set the leash down, and walk away. When he settles down, pick the leash up again. You’re teaching him that getting excited makes the opportunity for a walk go away; staying calm makes walks happen.

For more information on how to reform a puller into a more pleasant walking companion, purchase Whole Dog Journal’s ebook Walking Your Dog.