Saturday, February 27, 2010

Top Dog Breeds of 2009

This year the AKC celebrates its 126th anniversary and for the 19th year in a row, the Labrador retriever is once again America's favorite purebred dog, according to registration numbers tallied by the American Kennel Club. The AKC released the figures and, as in past years, the Labrador far outstrips the other dogs in the top 10.

In 2008, for the first time the bulldog made it into the top ten list since 1935 and has continued to increase and jumped up to 7th place this year.

Another big change this year is that the German Shepherd Dog came in at #2 knocking the Yorkshire Terrier down one notch to #2 dog. The is the first time the German Shephered has ranked #2 in over 30 years.

Last year, all breeds in the top 10 were the same as the prior year. Changes in this ranking include that the Bulldog increased from #8 to #7 bumping the Dachshund down one notch as well as the German Shepherd Dog jump from #3 to #2.

Over the past several years, the top 10 list has been relatively stable. The biggest changes are that three years ago, in 2005, one new breed joined the top 10 list and one got bumped off. The Miniature Schnauzer came in at #10 displacing the Chihuahua into the #11 position. In 2007, the Miniature Schnauzer was dropped from the top 10 list. And in 2008, the Bulldog jumped on the top 10 list.

The Top 10 Breeds of 2009 are:

1. Labrador retrievers
2. German shepherds
3. Yorkshire terriers
4. Golden retrievers
5. Beagles
6. Boxers
7. Bulldog
8. Dachshunds
9. Poodles
10. Shih Tzus

Dog Eating With His Hands

Have you seen this video of a dog eating "Doggie Style"? This is funny! Someone was very creative.

You've just gotta love those Labs, don't you?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dog Friendly SUV

Recently I learned about a new SUV designed for dogs.

For example, it has a built in dog crate, a fan to keep your dog cool, rubber mat with dog bones (easy to clean), and it even has a built in dog drinking cup. Also, it has a ramp to allow your dog easy access in and out of the vehicle. It has some really neat features.

The Honda Element lineup expands for the 2010 model year with an all-new "Dog Friendly™" pet accommodation system designed to improve safety, comfort and convenience for dogs and their owners alike.

Major components include:

1. A soft-sided cargo area car kennel made from seat belt-grade netting
2. A cushioned pet bed in the cargo area with an elevated platform
3. A 12V DC rear ventilation fan
4. Second-row seat covers with a dog pattern design (matches the bed fabric)
5. An extendable ramp (stores under the pet bed platform)
6. All-season rubber floor mats with a toy bone pattern;
7. A spill-resistant water bowl; and
8. Dog Friendly exterior emblems (driver's side and rear).
9. The ramp stores underneath the bed platform and can be conveniently accessed when the rear tailgate is down.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

First Habit of a Successful Dog Owner

Take a close look at the behavior of any successful pack leader (dog owner), and you see it mirrored in the behavior of successful people from all walks of life.

The FIRST HABIT of a successful dog owner

Scientists now know that animals are not in tune just with other animals—they have an uncanny ability to read the energy of the earth as well. We have all heard anecdotes about a dog who predicts earthquakes, a cat who “smells” an impending tornado, or a captive elephant who breaks through his fence and heads for higher ground hours before his human companions learn that a tsunami is headed straight for the village they all inhabit.

One of the most important things to remember is that all the animals around you—especially the ones with whom you share your home—are reading and interpreting your energy whenever they’re in your presence. When you talk to them, you can use any combination of words that pop into your head, but the energy you’re projecting cannot and does not lie. You can scream and shriek till your face is blue when your dog jumps onto your new sofa, but be aware that, in losing your cool, you’re also losing your dog’s respect.

Because dogs often perceive loud vocalizing by excited, overly emotional humans as a sign of instability, your dog will either be frightened by your tantrum or, worse, completely un-affected by it. What he won’t do is respond the way you want him to. Humans respond to unstable leaders; dogs do not. With your dog, you want to project what Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, calls calm-assertive energy at all times. It means that you are relaxed but always confident that you are in control.

Calm-assertive personalities are the leaders in the animal world. (Think about the way the mother of a litter of newborn pups conducts herself.) And though they are few and far between in the human kingdom, they’re always easy to spot. They’re the ones who are powerful, confident, inspiring, and successful. For example, Oprah Winfrey exudes calm-assertive energy. She is consistently relaxed, curious, and even-tempered, but she is also always undeniably in charge. Her personal magnetism is impossible to deny, and it has made her not only one of the world’s most powerful women but also one of the richest.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Heimlich Maneuver For Dogs

What should you do if your dog is choking?

When a person chokes, you do the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the object blocking the airway. What can you do for a dog? Well, it is the same thing. When a dog is choking, you can do a modification of the Heimlich maneuver. Here are some tips on how to do it. Hopefully, you will never have to use it, but it's best to be prepared because you never know when it will happen to your dog.

Take a minute now to learn how to do the step-by-step procedure for dogs. It is fairly easy.


1. After determining that your dog is choking, remove any item that may be constricting the neck. Examine inside the mouth and remove any foreign object you see. Do not blindly place your hand down your pet's throat and pull any object you feel. Dogs have small bones that support the base of their tongues. Owners probing the throat for a foreign object have mistaken these for chicken bones. Do not attempt to remove an object unless you can see and identify it. If your pet is small and you cannot easily remove the object, lift and suspend him with the head pointed down. For larger animals, lift the rear legs so the head is tilted down. This can help dislodge an item stuck in the throat. Another method is to administer a sharp blow between the shoulder blades using the palm of your hand. This can sometimes dislodge an object. If this does not work, a modified Heimlich maneuver can be attempted.

2. Grasp the animal around the waist so that the rear is nearest to you, similar to a bear hug.

3. Place a fist just behind the ribs.

4. Compress the abdomen several times (usually 3-5 times) with quick pushes.

5. Check the mouth to see if the foreign object has been removed.

This maneuver can be repeated one to two times, but if it is not successful on the first attempt, make arrangements to immediately take your pet to the nearest veterinary hospital. Even if you are successful in removing a foreign object, veterinary examination is recommended. Internal injury could have occurred that may not be apparent.

I hope this never happens to your dog, but if it does, I hope that this information will help save your dog.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Westminster Dog Show 2010

The 2010 Best In Show Trophy was awarded to "Ch Roundtown Mercedes Of Maryscot," a.k.a. "Sadie," a Scottish Terrier

Tuesday, February 16th was final night of the 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. There were 2,500 dogs representing 173 breeds entered Madison Square Garden in pursuit of Best In Show honors. The Irish Red and White Setter, Norwegian Buhund and Pyrenean Shepherd were the new breeds in the show.

At the Westminster dog show 2010, Scottish Terrier 'Sadie' took best in show. She's the eighth Scottie to win at Westminster.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ebony and the UPS Truck

My dog Ebony was first introduced to the UPS Truck by our neighbor's border collie, Emma, who thought the truck was an object to be chased. Ebony is part border collie and part black lab, so the two of them were seized with excitement to have the job of chasing the UPS Truck down the driveway. Unless I was home, they fulfilled their job.

Moving away, I was glad this job no longer fell to Ebony. She now resides behind an in-ground fence and does not have access to the driveway. Recently, the UPS Truck arrived and I found my dog sitting patiently, tail swishing the ground, next to the garage in anticipation of the truck. When the gentleman handed me my package, he also tossed Ebony a treat. He told me that she use to bark at the truck. Now, she eats out of his hand.

This morning as Ebony and I walked the Chehalis Western Trail in Olympia, Washington, the UPS Truck was traveling alongside the trail to an adjacent house. Ebony noticed! She went to the fence that separated the trail from the neighboring property and did her patient sit, tail wagging. As the UPS driver passed by Ebony on his way out, he stopped to give Ebony a treat!

Now I ask you, who is trained?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dogs As Football Players

Here is the doggy football line-up:


Safety – These guys are hard hitters, but they can also run very fast. - Dalmatian, Samoyed

Linebacker – Linebackers are big and fast, like a Mastiff, Bullmastif, Bull Dog, German Shepherd, Doberman, Rottweiler, St. Bernard, Newfoundland, Akita, Alaskan Malamutes, Airdeale Terriers, Weimaraners, Borzois and Giant Schnauzers.

Cornerback – These guys are fast, very athletic and can really jump. (It's their job to try to swat the ball away or intercept it when it's thrown.) – Australian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog, Siberian Husky, Rodesian Ridgeback,

Defensive End – These tough guys are big and fast because their job is "containment". Their job is to attack the passer or stop the runner. - Pit Bull, Labrador retriever, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Gordon Setter, Dogo Argentino

Tackle – Players at this position have to get by the players that are blocking them and rush the passer. They're big and strong. - Saint Bernard, Bernese Mountain Dog


Quarterback – This guy calls all the shots. He's fast. He can scramble. He's smart. He has to read what's going on and react quickly to pass, hand off the ball or run it himself. – Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever (some of them), German Shepherd, Collie,

Wide Receiver – These dogs are speedy and they specialize in catching passes. They need to outrun the guys that are blocking them and get open for a pass. - Greyhound, Standard Poodle, Boxer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Whippet

Tackle – These big guys block both running and passing plays. - Saint Bernard, Bernese Mountain Dog,

Guard – These big tough guys are also blockers who really get the job done. - Pit Bull, Akita, Shar Pei, Chow-chow

Center – This guy snaps the ball to the quarterback, then blocks. -Komondorok , Old English Sheepdog

Tight End – These guys are a "hybrid" of sorts, kind of a mix between a blocker and a pass receiver. A good tight end has to be big and fast. - Pit Bull, Labrador retriever,

Running Back – fast and sneaky – Border Collie, Jack Russell, Greyhound,

Fullback – This guy does it all. He's a power runner, a blocker and a short receiver. This is the guy that who creates a path for the running back to break through and really run the ball. – Boxer, Belgian Sheepdog and Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Kicker / Punter – Kicker – This guy is a specialist with a very specific talent. He is the guy with the "leg". He's not as big, but he knows how to kick the ball accurately and for a great distance. - Jack Russell Terrier, Shetland Sheepdog, and bull terrier

Gunner – This guy is also very fast. He only plays during kick-offs and punts. It's his job to run down the field very fast to tackle the guy who catches the punt or the kick. That means he has to be very quick, but also strong. – American Staffordshire Terrier


Coach – He is a strategist who knows everything there is to know about the sport. He has played the game himself in the past, but now he runs the show. - Bulldog, Boston Terrier ,Irish Setter, Pointer

Cheerleader – All glitz and glam, these "babes" put on a show of their own while promoting team spirit. - Poodle, Bichon, Rat Terrier, Pomeranian, Yorkshire Terrier, Shih Tzu, Maltese, Pekingese, Lhasa Apso, Chinese Crested

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mutt-i-grees Curriculum

The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, made possible by the Millan Foundation, is a collaboration with North Shore Animal League and Yale University's "School of the 21st Century."

The curriculum is an innovative approach to humane education, and embraces learning within the context of the emerging area of emotional intelligence and social skills.

The Millan Foundation wishes to generate public and media attention on the plight of dogs and cats awaiting adoption in shelters and enhance the status and desirability of these animals, most of which are mixed breed "Mutt-i-grees."

Students will learn essential skills - such as caring for others, showing empathy and respect, building relationships and acting ethically and responsibly - and how those apply in their interactions with peers, adults and animals.

The first of the curriculum's four phases focuses on preschool and the primary grades and started in September, 2009. The largest gift to date by the Foundation is a $250,000 grant to North Shore Animal League America and Yale University's "School of the 21st Century" to launch the Mutt-i-grees® humane education curriculum.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Animal Groups Join Together To Save Lives

What do you do when you need to get 47 small rescue dogs from the west coast to the east coast in a single day? You call in the air support! The Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation joined forces with the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, Last Chance for Animals, Animal Advocates Alliance, and North Shore Animal League America to fly the animals from overcrowded shelters in Southern California where euthanasia is eminent to the North Shore Animal League's facilities in Port Washington, NY.

The trip began on Sunday, January 31st and took thirteen hours in a private plane provided by Cloud Nine Rescue from San Bernadino to New York, where they landed in the early hours of February 1st. The move is expected to yield positive adoption results on the east coast, where small dogs are enjoying increasing popularity. Once safely checked in at the NSAL's facility, each dog received complete professional medical care and screenings, behavior evaluations, spay/neuter procedures, and grooming. Once this process is completed, the dogs will be adopted into carefully screened homes.

Congratulations to the Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation, the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, Last Chance for Animals, Animal Advocates Alliance, and North Shore Animal League America on a job well done!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dogs Predict Storms?

A few clouds begin to gather overhead on what otherwise is a sunny day. You wonder whether that thunderstorm they had been predicting will actually arrive. Your dog already knows the answer, and he's getting frantic about it.

Dogs seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to predicting storms. Long before the skies darken and the rain falls, thunderstorm phobic dogs become agitated, fearful, and clingy. Before we know that a storm is on its way, our dogs may have felt it, heard it, or even smelled it.

How can they do this? And why aren't they doing the weather on the news?

Canines are more sensitive to drops in barometric pressure than humans. Barometric pressure is the pressure of the atmosphere. A drop in pressure means that conditions may be ripe for a storm to develop. A dog may learn to associate this pressure drop with the arrival of a storm.

Changes in the static electric field may trigger the same anticipation. Dogs may also pick up the subtle vibrations that precede a storm. A small rumble may be almost imperceptible to us, but not to a dog.

It is also possible for a dog to hear a storm. Dogs can hear at much higher and lower frequencies than we do. A dog can hear a low rumble that a person would miss. Another possibility is that dogs may smell storms coming. Dogs' noses are so sensitive that they can detect concentrations of chemicals in the low parts-per-million range. In fact, dogs' noses are said to be more sensitive than a mass spectrometer. Lightning ionizes air with the formation of ozone – which has a characteristic metallic smell. Perhaps dogs detect this odor, or some other odor associated with the storm.

Finally, a dog may learn to interpret darkened skies and cloud patterns with a storm. You may only learn of the storms imminent arrival through observation of your dog's behavior. For some dogs, thunderstorms are cataclysmic events. They are so frightened by the storm that they may bark, hide, urinate, or defecate, and some dogs become destructive, particularly when forced to endure a storm alone. Others may react to the sound, but may remain relatively calm. The more anxious the dog in thunderstorms, the more he may react before the storm actually arrives.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Science of Canine Emotions

Learn the science behind your dog's feelings.


Have you ever heard your dog's panting during play and thought it sounded like a chuckle? Turns out, you might be right! Researcher Patricia Simonet from Sierra Nevada College discovered that certain breathy, excited exhalations could be the canine version of laughter. Her team brought a parabolic microphone to a park and, from a distance, recorded the sounds that dogs made while playing. They discovered a special exhalation that was different from normal panting. Later, the team played the sound for other dogs who started to play after hearing the "laugh." They also discovered that it helped to calm shelter dogs who were under stress.


When you come home and find out your dog got into the trash again, you may find comfort in the fact that your dog "knows he is wrong" because he hides from you in shame. Unfortunately, canines don't make these kinds of rational connections. Instead, your dog is picking up on the change in your chemistry and body language and reacting to that. He knows you're upset, but he doesn't know why.


A researcher at the University of Vienna in Austria named Friederike Range discovered that dogs do have a sense of "fair play." Her team began with a group of dogs who already knew the command to "shake" and would give their paw whether they received a treat or not. However, if they saw that another dog received a piece of food for the behavior while they did not, they stopped! Dogs are not the only ones who are insulted when they aren't treated fairly. A similar experiment found that monkeys also become jealous if their peers were rewarded and they weren't. It is likely these behaviors resulted because both animals live in cooperative societies.


Dogs don't grieve in the same way that humans do, but they do experience sadness when a pack member passes away. If your family experiences a loss, your dog may react by displaying signs of distress: loss of appetite, fear, depression, sleeping too much or too little, and anxiety. In 1996, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals conducted a Companion Animal Mourning Project which found that 66% of dogs exhibited four or more behavioral changes after losing a pet companion. Give your pet time to cope with the loss. The study found that most dogs returned to normal after two weeks but some took as long as six months. You can help by maintaining their routine and going through your own grief. Your dog will have trouble moving on if you are unable to. If you are afraid these symptoms may be the result of illness, take your dog to the vet to make sure.


Anyone who has watched a dog play knows that our canine companions experience joy! The famous naturalist Charles Darwin noted that "under the expectation of any great pleasure, dogs bound and jump about in an extravagant manner, and bark for joy." Play helps animals to build social bonds, build trust, and learn to cooperate which can better their chances of survival. It also hones cognitive skills and helps in hunting and mating.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dogs Have Emotions

There's no doubt in my mind that dogs have emotions. They feel joy after a job well done. They feel sad when a pack member passes away. And they feel love for their family members – their pack.

However, it's important to remember that those emotions are different from our own. The feelings that dogs experience aren't connected to complex thoughts. They don't have ulterior motives or doubt. Their emotions are pure and honest. Your dog isn't lying to you when he communicates that he loves you.

The more you fulfill your dog's needs, the more this connection will develop between you. There's nothing better than coming home from a bad day and having your dog there to support you. No judgment. No questions. Just love!

But remember, how we feel affects our dogs. If you are upset after a long day of work, your dog won't understand why, but he will pick up on your energy and body language. He will interpret this as unbalanced energy, and if you don't have your leadership down pat, it can lead to behavior issues. Make sure you are fulfilling your dog's needs first.

Our dogs give us so much and ask so little. If we provide them with exercise, discipline, then affection, we can really appreciate man (or woman's) best friend and the love they have to offer.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dog Nest

With the nice weather we have been having here in Washington, I am beginning to focus on my landscaping project. I recently purchased a home that is in dire need of some yard work.

Do you know the difference between arbor chips and bark chips? I learned that arbor chips are the chippings from tree and branches without any kind of treatment. Bark chips come in large sizes and may be treated........with what, I am not sure? Arbor chips smell wonderful!

I had a truck load of arbor chips dropped off at my house as I am spreading it around the fruit trees. This is my weed and grass control.

Ebony likes the arbor chips and has created a dog nest for herself.

I thought cats were notorious for finding the best spots to nap?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Doggy Disneyland"

"Doggy Disneyland", as it is locally dubbed, Marymoor Park is best known for its 40 acres of off leash dog park. This is where dogs can be dogs. Black Labs dogpaddle against Golden Retrievers to see who can get an old tennis ball thrown by an owner into the Sammamish Slough.

Saturday was one of those rare sunny winter days and I would dubbed Marymoor Park as "Doggy Zoo" because of all the people and dogs. We thought we could get there early and avoid the crowds, but not this beautiful day.

Ebony, Koda, Ginger, and Brinkley Ready to GO!

Marymoor Park

Friday, February 5, 2010

Attention Getting

Dogs do all sorts of things for attention. Barking is the most common thing they do for attention. They not only bark, but also whine, and they run around and do some very funny things!

What does YOUR dog do to get attention?

This is a funny video. It is about a dog that keeps getting treats and more treats. Do you know a dog like this? If you have a dog or know a dog that likes to beg, you are likely to relate!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dog's Sense of Smell

Imagine if each detail of our visual world were matched by a corresponding smell.

What would that be like?

Say for instance, each petal on a rose may be distinct, having been visited by insects leaving pollen footprints from faraway flowers. What is to us just a single stem actually holds a record of who held it, and when. A burst of chemicals marks where a leaf was torn. The flesh of the petals, plump with moisture compared to that of the leaf, holds a different odor besides. The fold of a leaf has a smell; so does a dewdrop on a thorn. And time is in those details; while we can see one of the petals drying and browning, the dog can smell this process of decay and aging. Imagine smelling every minute visual detail. That might be the experience of a rose to a dog.

The nose is also the fastest route by which information can get to the brain. While visual or auditory data goes through an intermediate staging ground on the way to the cortex, the highest level of processing, the receptors in the nose connect directly to nerves in specialized olfactory "bulbs" (so shaped). The olfactory bulbs of the dog brain make up about and eighth of its mass: proportionally greater than the size of our central visual processing center, the occipital lobes, in our brains. But dogs' specially keen sense of smell may also be due to an additional way they perceive odors: through the vomeronasal organ.

The vomeronasal organ, first discovered in reptiles, is a specialized sac above the mouth or in the nose covered with more receptor sites for molecules. The dog's vomeronasal organ sits above the roof (hard palate) of the mouth, along the floor of the nose (nasal septum). Unlike in other animals, the receptor sites are covered in cilia, tiny hairs encouraging molecules along. The vomeronasal organ is probably why a dog's nose is wet.

A hearty sniff not only brings molecules into the dog's nasal cavity; little molecular bits also stick onto the moist exterior tissue of the nose. Once there, they can dissolve and travel to the vomeronasal organ through interior ducts. In this way, dogs double their methods of smelling the world.

Excerpt from chapter four, Inside a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Sniff

The dog nose, in most breeds, is anything but subtle.

Dogs do not act on the world by handling objects or by eyeballing them, as people might, or by pointing and asking others to act on the object; instead they bravely stride right up to a new, unknown object, stretch their magnificent snouts within millimeters of it, and take a nice deep sniff.

As we see the world, the dog smells it. The dog's universe is a stratum of complex odors. The world of scents is at least as rich as the world of sight.

Few have looked closely at exactly what happens in a sniff. But recently some researchers have used a specialized photographic method that shows air flow in order to detect when, and how, dogs are sniffing.

The sniff begins with muscles in the nostrils straining to draw a current of air into them - this allows a large amount of any air-based odorant to enter the nose. At the same time, the air already in the nose has to be displaced. Again, the nostrils quiver slightly to push the present air deeper into the nose, or off through slits in the side of the nose and backward, out the nose and out of the way. In this way inhaled odors do not need to jostle with the air already in the nose for access to the lining of the nose. The photography also reveals that the slight wind generated by the exhale in fact helps to pull more of the new scent in, by creating a current of air over it.

Dogs naturally create tiny wind currents in exhalations that hurry the inhalations in. So for dogs, the sniff includes an exhaled component that helps the sniffer smell. Watch for a small put of dust rising up from the ground next time your dog investigates with his nose.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Exercise Dog

Yesterday I posted about exercise limits for dogs.

In early January, there is a blog called winter dog games.

How about this dog with her workout ball!

Watch Penny.