"The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog."

How to train your dog?

Training-A-Puppy“Obedience Training is among the best actions you can take for your dog or yourself” and puppy, said Greg Smith canine consulting.
Obedience coaching doesn't solve all conduct problems, but it may be the foundation for solving about any problem just. Training opens up a relative line of conversation between you as well as your dog. Effective communication is essential to instruct your pet about what she actually is wanted by you to do. You can train her anything from 'remain' (don't bolt out the entranceway) to 'sit' (don't leap up on the site visitors) to 'off' (don't chew the furniture).
Dogs are social creatures and without proper coaching, they shall behave like animals. They shall soil your home, destroy your belongings, bark excessively, dig holes in your backyard, fight other canines and bite you. Nearly all behavior issues are perfectly regular canine activities that happen at the incorrect time or location or are fond of the wrong point. For example, your dog will eliminate on the carpet of outside instead; your dog will bark forever long rather than just when a stranger will be prowling around outside; or your dog will chew furniture rather than his own toys. The main element to preventing or dealing with behavior problems is understanding how to teach your dog to redirect his organic behavior to outlets which are suitable in the domestic establishing.
Obedience training can be an easy way to establish the social hierarchy also. Whenever your dog obeys a straightforward request of 'come right here, sit,' she actually is showing compliance and regard for you. It is NOT essential to set up yourself as best dog or innovator of the pack through the use of extreme measures like the so-known as alpha rollover. IT IS POSSIBLE TO teach your pet her subordinate part by teaching her showing submission for you in a paw increase (shake fingers), roll over or hands lick (provide a kiss). Most canines love performing these methods (obedience instructions) for you personally which furthermore pleasantly acknowledge that you will be in charge.
Obedience training ought to be fun and rewarding for you personally and your dog. It could enrich your partnership and make living more enjoyable together. A well-trained canine is more confident and may more securely be allowed a larger amount of independence than an untrained one. A tuned dog shall come when called.
Some social people debate whether you'll be able to train puppies, and other people ask whether it's possible to teach a vintage dog new tricks. The solution to both questions can be an unequivocal YES. Whatever the age group of one's dog, the proper time to now begin training is right! The most important amount of time in your dog's existence is at this time. Your dog's conduct is constantly changing. Today won't necessarily remain this way forever a dog that's well-behaved. New problems can develop always. Existing problems can usually get worse.
Enroll in an area dog obedience training course to understand the basics. Then most training and teaching can and really should be done in your house. It is advisable to begin trained in an area that's familiar to your pet and with minimal quantity of distractions as you possibly can. When you sense both you as well as your dog are experienced at several obedience instructions, then take these instructions to different areas. Introducing distractions might seem like again starting all over, but it's worth your time and effort. In reality, who cares if your pet will sit remain when nobody is around? What you need is really a dog who'll sit-stay when company reaches the hinged door. Who cares if your pet heels beautifully is likely to back yard? But you have to start there in the event that you eventually want your dog who'll heel beautifully when strolling down Union Street.
If you want your pet to be obedient in your vehicle, guess where you must practice? In the event that you suddenly want your pet to down-stay when you are trying to shift over 3 lanes to create an exit, then you've got to find time to exercise those obedience instructions in the automobile long before you will need them. Don't drive and exercise simultaneously. Practice while the motor car is parked or while another person is driving.
Keep the obedience workout sessions sweet and short. It is boring and boring to routine tedious and lengthy workout sessions. Instead, integrate coaching into your day to day routine. Make obedience coaching fascinating and meaningful to your pet. If Pup insists on pursuing you from space to room when you are getting prepared for the day, insist he have something to accomplish too then.
"Heel" from the bed room to the toilet. "Down-stay" as long as you're brushing your tooth. "Heel" from the toilet to your kitchen. "Sit-remain" while grinding the coffees. "Go discover the ball" when you get dressed. Right now "go obtain the leash" so that you can get a walk. "Sit" once the doorway is opened, "sit" once again when the doorway is shut. And so on. Make sure that obedience coaching infiltrates your dog's favourite activities and your dog's favorite actions infiltrates coaching. Your dog's favorite actions should become training, in order that training gets the dog's favorite activity.

Watch Human-Chain Rescue Dog

Amongst the tragic and brutal news of recent days, it is heartening to see acts of kindness and bravery. Helping animals in need sometimes brings out the best in people, whether it is a Sikh man in India using his turban to save a drowning dog or this group of passers-by who worked together to form a human chain to rescue a dog in distress in Kazakhstan. Small events, big hearts—happy endings.

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Sweet Slayer

Slayer was attacked by two large dogs in a moments notice, and he didn’t make it. We buried him earlier this morning. 

He was the first person to ever teach me about unconditional love. He would cry if we went in the bathroom and shut the door. He had to be with us no matter what. This dog would hug us. He would lean his two front paws on our shoulders, rub his face against ours, and genuinely embrace us. There’s no denying it for me - dogs are human. They can shut down just like humans do in the face of torture or become as sweet and loving as their owner.  

He was a cuddle bug. Mornings we would wake to Slay biting my hair, his soft fur tickling my forehead. If we didn't arise at a time of his liking, he would climb under the covers and jokingly bite our toes! He would come get me when newborn Lars made a peep after we brought him home from the hospital. 

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Summer Activities

Adjustments because of the heat

A client just called me to request that we change our appointment this week to early in the morning to beat the record heat expected over the next few days. We have to be mindful of preventing this dog from overheating because one piece of our behavior modification work each week involves having him play fetch with strangers. The goal is to teach him to feel happy when he sees a stranger by associating strangers with the opportunity to play his favorite game. Right now, he still finds unfamiliar people scary, but thanks to many fetch games, his circle of familiar people has grown. There are now quite a few of us who he greets with happy anticipation, knowing that our presence means that a fetch game is in his immediate future.

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Royness: The Love and Healing of a Dog

Roy

On September 1, 2001, I peered into Afghanistan from the very small corridor that touches the Chinese border. Working for a student travel company, this trip along the Chinese portion of the ancient Silk Road had reached its westernmost point.   Tomorrow we would retrace our path back eastward to Beijing, to board our plane back to the States on September 11. Life was following its trajectory to extreme and far flung adventure. I had been out of the country on various assignments for nearly two months – time to come home.

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Sniffing and Emotions

Differential use of the left and right nostril

The common wisdom that dogs can smell fear doesn’t give dogs full credit to the nuances of their ability to sense emotion through their noses. A recent study titled “The dog nose “KNOWS” fear: Asymmetric nostril use during sniffing at canine and human emotional stimuli” examined dogs’ tendencies to sniff various substances with the right or the left nostril. Exploring this side bias may seem like looking at random details, but the side of the nose used to sniff something tells us a lot about the dog’s emotional reaction to the odor. The use of one side of the body indicates a differential use of one side of the brain or the other, which is a clue to the dog’s emotions.

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Injured on the Trail

Carrying dogs no easy task

I saw Lucy at the running store that her guardians own, bandaged up and limping a bit. She was also enjoying the sympathy of customers and friends, especially if that sympathy came with a side of treats. While chasing a squirrel, Lucy had run into a piece of old barbed wire that had sliced her leg pretty badly.

Following a visit to the emergency veterinarian, treatment involving stitches, bandages, antibiotics and painkillers, and a substantial transfer of funds from the guardians to the vet, Lucy is on the mend. She won’t be running for the next little while, but will instead be on a strict regimen of rest and sleep. She certainly will not be left home alone with the other two dogs in the household to play and damage her bandages or healing leg, which is why she was at work.

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Bhutan’s Innovative Spay-Neuter Solution Hits the Airwaves

Twig Mowatt (left) talks with one of the local vets with dogs that have just been netted.
Bark’s long-time contributing editor Twig Mowatt has been covering humane efforts both here and abroad for nearly two decades. She recently had the chance to visit Bhutan, the country with the enviable “Gross National Happiness Index” to cover a story for us about how the Bhutanese are tackling their stray dog population. Twig just got back from this amazing trip and was approached by PRI’s “The World” (Public Radio International) for an interview with Marco Werman that aired yesterday. We are so proud of her (this was her first radio interview) and thrilled that the Humane Society International received this invaluable promotion. We hope that other countries are inspired by Bhutan’s innovative national effort in spaying and neutering. 
 
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Comical Dog Moments

Watch just for laughs

This video of “Dog Fails” by FailArmy is filled with moments that show dogs being just like us at our worst—a little uncoordinated, confused or just plain silly. It even shows dogs acting unlike dogs by loving the vacuum cleaner or disliking meat. There are a few clips included that are a little scary either because of the risk of injury or because a dog seems scared. The rest are pure entertainment.

Can you describe an all-time favorite goofy moment featuring your own dog?

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Hiking with the Help of a Pup

A guide dog helps his partner complete grueling thru-hikes.
Recently I was hiking on the Appalachian Trail and was reminded of an amazing human-canine team. Ten years ago, Trevor Thomas lost his eyesight and moved into a small room in his parent's basement. Being an avid mountain biker and snowboarder, Trevor had a hard time adjusting to his new life. He could no longer hold a job or even do simple tasks like tell time. Soon Trevor fell into a deep depression that he calls "being on death row in a self-imposed prison."

Then his life was turned around by long distance hiking and his seeing eye dog, Tennille. Trevor began in 2008 with a solo thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. He figured, if he could walk from Georgia to Maine, he could do anything. Since then Trevor has walked more than 20,000 miles on some of the country's loneliest and toughest long-distance trails.

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Physical Therapy Helps Paralyzed Dog Recover

Golden Retriever Rocky 3 was hit by a car and sustained a major spinal cord injury, that virtually paralyzed him. Watch how Karen Atlas, MPT, CCRT and her team at HydroPaws in Santa Barbara performed amazing rehabilitation physical therapy on him. Karen also serves as the president of the California Association of Animal Physical Therapists. This is a coalition of animal physical rehabilitation professionals (licensed physical therapists with advanced training/certification in animal rehabilitation) who seek to play a leading role in defining appropriate legislative/regulatory language in California; similar to those states (such as Colorado, Nevada, and Nebraska) who have already successfully regulated this area of animal care.

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David Duchovny’s “Lick My Face” Challenge to Aid Zero-Kill Effort

Today, actor David Duchovny (The X-Files, Aquarius) launches the “Lick My Face” campaign to support the nonprofit organization, Target Zero. In a new online video, Duchovny’s rescue canine, Brick, devours the actor in licks—whereby for every lick, Duchovny offers to donate at least one dollar to the zero-kill cause (to boost the lick count, peanut butter is applied). Duchovny challenges all of his social media followers, as well as fellow celebrities, ex-wife Tea Leoni and X-Files co-star, Gillian Anderson, to do the same. It’s a playful take on the hugely successive viral Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon that benefitted ALS a few summers ago.

 

 

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Weiner-Dog Spoiler Alert!

Todd Solondz’s new film is titled Weiner-Dog and is classified as a comedy. The director has a unique brand of filmmaking—he’s known for creating off-beat, dark character studies that stretch the boundaries of satire and humor. Many critics champion his work (Welcome to the Dollhouse, Storytelling) while others find them cruel and over-the-top downbeat. It’s not for nothing that he’s been called the “King of Feel-Bad Cinema.” Still, his films are serious and thought-provoking, grappling with life’s most difficult issues—alienation, human frailty, mortality. I was interested to see what he would do with a film centered around a dog.

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How Does Your Dog Relate to Other Animals?

Friends Across Species

Dogs and people are truly the best of friends, but that doesn’t mean that dogs can’t be buddies with other animals, too. Though dogs and cats are often considered natural enemies, countless households have a dog and a cat who very close. They play together, sleep together and generally prefer to be near one another.

Less common, but still far from rare, are the dogs who have strong social connections to other species. I have one client whose dog loves to head upstairs in their apartment complex to hang out with the neighbor’s rabbit. A friend of mine has a ferret who plays daily with her dog until they are both exhausted.

Dogs and pot-bellied pigs can be great chums, and countless canines love spending time with their horse pals. There are plenty of dogs whose friends include sheep and goats.

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Seven Summer Tips for You and Your Dog.

Seven ways to carpe the summer diem.

Sure, you could sit around inside with your dog, sweating and complaining about the heat. But why do that when there are so many ways to take advantage of the season’s longer days and warmer weather?

  1. Make your dog a warm-weather flop spot. Look for a shady area in your yard, dig a shallow pit sized to fit your pup, line it with a thin layer of concrete and before the concrete dries, poke holes in it for drainage. Once the concrete has set, fill the pit with playground sand, dampen it and let the fun begin.

  2. Plan a toxin-free and dog-friendly landscape. No snail bait, no cocoa mulch, no lethal plants (check out the ASPCA site for a list of ones to avoid), no chemical fertilizers, no fungicides, no herbicides, no pesticides. Ideal landscaping/hardscaping material doesn’t get too hot, is easy on the paws and— in a perfect world—doesn’t track into the house on fuzzy feet; pea gravel and pavers fill the bill.

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Saving a Stray Dog

One doesn’t often get the chance to have a hand in saving the life of another individual but early yesterday morning I had the rare opportunity to experience exactly that. A few days before, I and my pal, Naomi, were out walking our dogs at the Albany Bulb when we spotted a stray dog. The Bulb is a very unusual park constructed as landfill in the bay with debris from a previous highway. For years it was regarded as semi-marginal land full of mammoth chunks of concrete spiked with rebar tentacles but it became the favorite haunt for homeless encampments and outsider artworks, and, oh yes, for dog people too.

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A swimming story

When we were looking for our house, we were in no hurry to move. It was a want, not a need, so we made a list of house wishes that were super specific. One of those wishes was a swimming pool. Our fabulous real estate agent pointed out that there were many neighborhoods that had […]

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Little Luxuries

What non-essential dog items do you love?

As I get older I value my comfort just a little more. I appreciate cup holders, soft cozy blankets, and chairs whose designers were inspired by the human body rather than thoughts of fitting 100 chairs in a storage closet. When it comes to dogs, little luxuries mean more to me, too. Just today I walked dogs with leashes that have soft padding in the handle, and I realized that these are the leashes for me. It’s a little thing, that extra padding, but I just love the feel of it my hand. Even with dogs who have lovely leash manners (but especially if they are still working on them) that extra cushion protects my hands from any harshness, and I love it!

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App Review: Dog Food Hazards

Quick access to list of foods our pups should avoid.

Although we're inundated with apps these days some information is worth carrying around with us for quick access. The newly released Dog: Food Hazards app (android, free) is a very simple app dedicated to one topic, as you might have guessed, hazardous foods dogs should avoid.

Featuring a simplified layout for quick navigation, one can refresh their knowledge of dangerous foods for dogs and get information on symptoms caused by each featured food type. As a bonus they’ve prominently placed access to ASPCA’s pet poison hotline so it is quickly accessible too.

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Georgia's Canine Hiking Challenge

The newly created Tails on Trails club encourages people and their pups to get outside.
Now that summer is quickly approaching, I've seen more dogs enjoying the outdoors.

Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites is hoping to encourage more people to hit the trails with their pups by creating Tails on Trails. The dog-walking club, which launches this weekend, features a seven-trail hiking challenge. To participate, a membership card can be purchased for $15 through one of the seven participating parks' visitor centers, or online. As people complete the hikes, they can get the card punched by park rangers to track their progress. Once all seven hikes are finished, the card can bed redeemed for a t-shirt and dog bandanna.

Georgia State Parks also offer dog friendly cottages for those who want to make it an overnight trip.

The seven trails on the Tails On Trails challenge are:

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Stress Busting Benefits of Airport Therapy Dogs

These working dogs calm harried travelers.
Glenda Woolf’s Barney, sporting a “Pet Me” vest, greets a traveler at CLT.
C.C., a LAX PUP volunteer greets a traveler. C.C., a Field Spaniel, is handled by Rick Pocrass.

Traffic on the way to the airport makes you late. Rushing, fearing you’ll miss your flight, you anxiously stand in endless check-in and security lines, annoyed at the delay. Your stress level increases with every passing minute. Finally clearing security, sitting to put your shoes back on, you notice something unusual across the room: an enormous harlequin Great Dane wearing a vest that says, “Pet me!” A smile breaks across your face and your blood pressure immediately drops. You say a quick hello to the dog and rub his soft ears, and the tension of the past hours melts away.

We’re used to seeing security dogs at airports, but those dogs are working— no petting allowed. The “pet me” dogs are a different story altogether, reflecting the industry’s growing understanding that helping passengers destress, especially during busy holiday flying seasons, has value. These dogs are all about being touched!

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Dogs Are on Our Side

We may think our dog wIll take a treat from any hand that offers it, but a new study by a team of Japanese researchers suggests that may not be the case. Primates engage in something called “social eavesdropping”— essentially, making judgments about others based on interactions that don’t directly affect their own interests. This study tested dogs’ ability to do the same by setting up situations in which the dogs’ owners asked for help in opening a box and were assisted (helper scenario), rejected (non-helper scenario), or ignored (control scenario) as the dogs looked on. After these interchanges, when the dogs were offered treats, they took them randomly from Helper and Control “strangers” but were biased against non-helpers.

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Did Dogs Arise on Opposite Sides of Eurasia?

An international group of scientists proposes dual domestication from wolves.

Among the many hotly debated topics related to the appearance of dogs in the lives of humans is how often and where it first occurred. In their landmark 1997 paper on dog origins, Robert K. Wayne, Carles Vilá, and their colleagues made the case for multiple origins, but many other students of dog evolution, including Peter Savolainen, a co-author on that paper, have repeatedly and strongly argued for a single place of origin.

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Dogs Love Walks For Many Reasons

Do you have a runner, a sniffer or a greeter?

Being overjoyed about going for a walk is almost universal among the canine set. If you reach for that leash, lace up your shoes or do anything that suggests even the remote possibility that you are going for a walk, your dog is probably thrilled.

However, dogs are making use of the sacred walk time for different purposes. Though many dogs like everything about a walk, there are at least three categories of dogs, based on what they most love about their outings.

Some dogs are runners. What they want out of the walk is exercise, so they want to be moving, preferably as fast as possible. These are the dogs who need their daily (or twice daily or all day) activity. They often pull on the leash at first, but once they get into a rhythm, burned off some energy and released some endorphins, they settle down a bit. They still want to run or trot, but they are more flexible about whatever pace you choose.

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Last Minute Discovery Saves a Dogs Life

A visiting medical student helps diagnose a rare tick related disease.
Last month Joelle Meteney noticed her Sheltie, Ollie, was lethargic following a trip to the Umpqua River in Oregon. Their veterinarian ran a range of tests, but couldn't figure out what was wrong.

Joelle was puzzled because on one hand Ollie didn't seem sick. The ten year old pup still had a sparkle in his eye and was responsive. However, he couldn't really move. A week later, it got to the point where Ollie was almost completely paralyzed and unable to eat or go to the bathroom.

When veterinarians told the Meteneys that there was no sign of recovery, they decided to have Ollie euthanized at DoveLewis emergency animal hospital. That's when things took an interesting twist.

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Power of Dog

Never underestimate the power and influence of a dog
Billy Buddy with Marcia
A few years ago a friend suggested to my sister a nice walk down to Park Ave. Sure, my sister, Marcia, responded since it was a beautiful day in New York. On the way to the café, they passed a pet store and friend beckoned Marcia in for a look. They saw birds, cats, and other animals, and finally got back to the dog area. 
 
All the while, a little dog was loose in the store and kept following them around. Kind of a nuisance! Marcia kept tripping over the dog. They looked at all the dogs on display, with no intentions of getting one, and turned to leave. Here again was that darn little dog to step over. Marcia asked a store clerk what was wrong with this little guy. He’s told her that he was a Chihuahua but he is too big for the breed. Many have looked but rejected him for his size. They proceeded to the coffee shop. 
 
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Get Started On Doggy DIY

How to craft your dog a better life.

In this piece, we give you some fantastic ways to treat your dog by building them some really simple and engaging toys. Not only will you be giving your dog something he’ll love and cherish, you’ll also be keeping the cost down, which is another bonus!

These ideas include some really fun toys, a feeding station, a doggy puzzle to get your pooch thinking, an awesome washing station and a really easy to make dog house.

Doggy DIY
Doggy DIY" by PowerTool World.

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Drowning Dog Rescued

Sikh man uses his turban to save him

Breaking a religious taboo may upset many people, but occasionally, it results in near universal respect and praise. That’s true in the case of Sarwan Singh, a 28-year old Sikh man in Punjab, India. His heroic action and willingness to briefly violate an important rule of his religion allowed him to save a life. He removed his turban in public in order to use it as a rope to save a drowning dog from a canal.

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States Go All In To Boost Their Dog-Friendly Tourism Attractions

Putting Out the Welcome Mat

Farsighted people at many state tourism offices are turning dogward to promote the benefits of travel to their states. From Virginia to Nebraska, Arkansas to Oregon, states across the nation are catching on that dog lovers—who are inclined to include their dogs in their vacation plans—are a perfect target audience.

Better yet, it gives them good opportunities to promote their states’ own homegrown, dog-friendly businesses, from pet shops/boutiques and lodging, dining, hiking and recreational events to more out-of-the ordinary attractions —for example, Michigan’s ferry boat, the Isle Royal Queen IV, and Oregon’s dog-welcoming breweries.

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Book Review: What Is a Dog?

(University of Chicago Press)
What is A Dog? Book Review Raymond Coppinger (Author), Lorna Coppinger (Author)

To Raymond and Lorna Coppinger and their chief hagiographer at the New York Times, James Gorman, who wrote a fawning profile of the pair recently, the vast majority of the world’s 1-billion dogs all look alike because they have evolved to fill the ecological niche of village dump-diver or biological garbage disposal. Like all of Raymond Coppinger’s books, many of them co-authored, What Is a Dog? is a reductionist work of illogic that relies on simplistic scientific arguments and pre sent ism, manifest here in the assumption that the present circumstances of street dogs or village dogs have always been thus. The argument is grounded in Ray Coppinger’s belief that dogs cannot possibly have evolved from gray wolves because they look nothing like large northern wolves who feed on caribou, moose and other large animals. Were he to compare those 30-pound street dogs to the small desert wolf, he might find something different.

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Smiling Dogs: Chance & Trinity

The pit/boxer mix is named Chance and the pug is Trinity. Chance is a rescue from our local shelter. I'm sure you've heard this type of story before but he was running the streets in New Britain, CT and his leg was injured, had intestinal issues and now he is going to have his picture in a national magazine. My wife saw him on her way to work one day in the winter and tried to get him into her car but he was too scared. It took us a while but within a few days we were able to get him. He went from sleeping outside in the cold to sharing a queen size bed with my with out pug and my wife and I.

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Golden Tribute

For Quinn

She was their baby in the beginning.
Big, sweet, pale blond, Golden dog baby.
They walked her twice a day,
took her to the dog park beach.

She was calm, laid back,
easy going, even as a puppy.
Ben said he valued sweetness
over intelligence in a dog.

And then the human puppies were born.
She quickly became just a dog.

She didn’t seem to mind the missed walks.
She wore a little dog trail to her allotted
poop spot at the far edge
of the new fenced yard.

One of the grandfathers took her
on long, long walks down to the canal
whenever he visited.

The other grandfather brought her
to Brown County for country vacations
when her nuclear family traveled.

Grandmothers bought her new collars
and made sure to give her lots of pats
and scritches under her collar on visits.

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A Romp Through Dog-Friendly Materials

These stylish and durable flooring materials and fabrics let you give Fido the run of the house
Hello, Chewie!

World, meet Chewie. Chewie is my favorite chow chow–German shepherd mix in the world. But as much as I love my rescued best friend, having him around typically means constant shedding, some drooling and more than a few lost pillows. Sound familiar?

Having Chewie has forced me to consider how to make coexisting under the same roof more of a pleasant experience than a dreadful chore. And all it took was picking some clever materials for our townhome. Below is some advice I wish I’d had before committing to my long-term relationship with my dog. Let’s dig in.

 

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Dangerous Water Hemlock

Watch out this summer for a common, but deadly plant.
Now that summer is here, and everyone is hanging out by the water, I wanted to share information about a common, but extremely lethal, plant called the water hemlock. It's scary because it's found all over North America and can kill so quickly.

I recently read about a three year old Border Collie who died within one hour of ingesting the toxic plant. The pup was playing at Horsetooth Reservoir in Colorado when she chewed on water hemlock. Shortly after she lost all motor function and succumbed on the way to the veterinarian.

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Issue 86: Summer 2016

You will enjoy what we have in store for you in this summer issue. If, like me, you relish digging into the newest trove of fascinating dog books for your summertime reading, don’t miss our special book section, which highlights our best picks, along with excerpts from some of them. You’ll also see a new feature we call Bark Talks (something like TED talks), which zoom in on our favorite subject with Frans de Waal—just what is behind that unique bond we have with our dogs.

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Genetic Variation in Scenting Ability

Natural detection task is very revealing

We all know that Beagles have better noses than Whippets, right? This almost seems too obvious to point out, especially to anyone who has ever had a dog of either breed. However, the authors of a recent study claim to be the first to scientifically document a difference in olfactory abilities across groups of dogs.

The researchers compared scenting ability across four groups of canines: dog breeds that have been selected for scenting abilities, dog breeds that have not been selected for scenting abilities, short-nosed dogs and hand-reared wolves. The task asked of these animals was simple—find the raw meat in a container that is hidden underneath one of five pots. There were multiple tests that varied in difficulty based on the number of holes in the container’s lid.

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The Hedgehog Effect

Barking is a hot topic, huh? A couple weeks ago, I wrote about The Magic Box, and I’m pleased to report it’s still working (mostly) well. The trick is catching Cooper before the frenzy starts, or else it’s a lost cause. Emmett, though… Since he can’t really hear the trill, and he doesn’t bark at […]

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The dogs (and cats) of Best Friends Animal Society

It’s easy to love a puppy. They’re fuzzy and silly. They’re clumsy. You can’t watch a puppy dash and trip and slip and skate across a room without smiling. They play, sleep, and eat with equal aplomb. And, of course, they have those round Buddha bellies you get to rub when they wriggle around on […]

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Love, Loss and the Gift of Old Dogs

Dillon abandoned dog
Patty the Pit bull
Tyra the Great Dane
Its been a rough few months around here with a great deal of loss. I remember in January and February sitting with the dogs one evening after work and knowing that 4 of them were likely not going to be around much longer. Three of the four were past ten with a variety of age related issues. Tyra was the youngest at only about 6 but Great Danes have one of the shortest lifespans of any breed and she suffered from wobblers disease and other serious issues common in the breed. 
 
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Off-Leash Recreation is Being Threatened

Lola at Crissy Field, GGNRA

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is proposing a roughly 90 percent reduction in its off-leash space. And we have only until May 25 to comment on this draconian proposal.

The GGNRA oversees more than 80,000 acres of the Northern California coastline, and of this, dogs have only been allowed on approximately 1 percent. Their proposed new Dog Management Plan will reduce that smidgen by 90 percent, which is a significant hit.

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Dogs and Senior Adults

Study shows the importance of the human canine bond.

Dog lovers well know the importance of the human canine bond, but continued studies in this area are important for providing data that supports pet friendly privileges and legislation.

Researchers at the University of Missouri recently completed a study that showed evidence for the association between dog walking and physical health in senior adults by analyzing data from the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration's Health and Retirement. The research included data about human-animal interactions, physical activity, frequency of doctor visits, and health outcomes.

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Teach Your Dog to Ride a Skateboard

Skateboarding must be taught step-by-step

Nobody has entered my house this week without being told, “Hey, come take a look at this!” I have then showed them this video of Bamboo the skateboarding dog.

Most of the viewers asked, “How do you train your dog to ride a skateboard?” Doing it step-by-step is the key to success, as it is with all training tasks. Here are the steps I would suggest for teaching a dog to ride a skateboard.

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Service Dogs Help Invictus Games Athletes

These pups support their people on and off the 'field.'
Invictus Games athletes take a break with their service dogs in the pool.

Earlier this month, the second Invictus Games began in Orlando, Florida, an international event where wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and veterans compete in various sports. The Games were created two years ago by Britain's Prince Harry and was named after the Latin word for “Unconquered, Undefeated.”

Many of the athletes can be seen at the Games with service dogs by their side, during practice, competitions, and medal ceremonies. They are as much a part of the event as their human counterparts.

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Mandatory Airport Potty Areas for Dogs

Transportation hubs add pet relief areas ahead of the August deadline.

Thanks to a federal regulation, all airports in the United States that service over 10,000 passengers per year will have a pet relief area in every terminal by this August. Many transportation hubs have added potty spaces in the last few years, but the looming deadline means many shiny new relief areas are popping up all over the country in 2016.

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Dogs in the Road

Modern Dangers

An adrenaline rush at the movies or on a roller coaster is fun, but not when the cause is seeing a dog dodging traffic. Yesterday, a dog raced across a busy road, right in front of our car, and then perilously close to oncoming traffic. He was running in a zigzag pattern and was clearly not experienced at crossing the street. I honked a few times, hoping to put all other drivers on alert so they could take evasive action to avoid this dog.

Fortunately, the dog made it safely across many lanes of traffic to the other side, but unfortunately, he immediately headed back across the road. There was more honking and braking, some skilled swerving and another blast of adrenaline all around. The dog survived his second crossing with help from a lot of drivers and a bit of luck thrown in. He was then in the grocery store parking that was the scene of his escape, where a woman grabbed his collar and held onto him.

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Putting Words in Dogs’ Mouths

Technology facilitates communication

What if dogs could talk? Specifically, what if service dogs and bomb-sniffing dogs could talk? Associate Professor Melody Moore Jackson at Georgia Tech, and a team that includes Professor Thad Starner, Research Scientist Clint Zeagler, and Jackson’s Border Collie Sky, are developing technology that allows dogs to say anything we give them the capability of saying. They’ve called their project FIDO, which is short for “Facilitating Interactions for Dogs with Occupations.”

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