Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dock Diving Dogs

A new craze.

Dock diving is growing in popularity.

DockDogs, the sport's ruling organization, sponsors events in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Competitions are divided into three categories:

Classic dock diving is known as the original Big Air long jump and requires the dog to run a 40-foot dock covered in safe footing material and dive out as far as possible. The distance is digitally measured where the dog's rump hits the water.

The Extreme Vertical requires the dog to vault into a high jump to snatch a target-toy hanging from an extended rod.

The Speed Retrieve requires the dog to swim a 40-foot-long pool and retrieve an object. The fastest garb wins.

For consistency and safety, rules state docks must be 8 feet wide and rest 2 feet about the minimum 4-foot deep water's surface in an area free from underwater obstructions and boat traffic. For landlocked locations, special pools are assembled to allow completions and demonstrations.

This video gives you and idea of the sport.

Notice the Golden Retriever has a different way to do it.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Dog Eating With Chop Sticks

How are you at eating with chop sticks?

I found this video quite amusing and thought it worth sharing.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Prison Dog Program

In Washington in 1981 Sister Pauline Quinn help start the first prison dog program in the nation. The prisoners help train shelter dogs for adoption and service.

Sister Pauline Quinn had a very difficult life as a youngster until she developed a relationship with a dog. That is when her life changed dramatically.

Her original prison dog program, at Washington State Correction Center for Women, now trains 60 dogs a year, and many of them get advanced training to become Service Dogs and Seizure-Alert Dogs, changing the lives of those who need assistance. Equally important, the prison says that in the past three years 100 percent of the inmates in the program who have been release have found jobs.

Now there are prison dog programs all over the world. Stopping recidivism, ending the cycle, is one of the programs main goals.

Learn more about Pathways to Hope, see available dogs, and find out how you can help through this link.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Swimming Lessons For Dogs

Not all dogs naturally take to the water. Some breeds such as Bulldogs, Dachshunds, and Basset Hounds need help propelling themselves through water.

A growing number of aquatic centers nationwide now give dog swimming lessons. Swimming, of course, helps arthritic dogs regain mobility, helps keep dogs in shape, and also loose weight. The facilities are designed with a dog's safety in mind, complete with slip resistant decking to wide pool steps for easy exit and entry. They do not even use eye-stinging chlorine, instead is a high-tech filtration system. The water is kept warm for puppies and older, arthritic dogs.

In northern California your dog will find a pool with jets at The Swimming Dog; outside Chicago the Carriage Hills Kennels opened a new indoor dog pool, and near Baltimore the Canine Fitness Center has two large dog pools.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What To Bring To The Kennel

If you kennel your dog, what should you bring?

It is always a good idea to bring your dog's own food to the kennel. Abrupt changes in food commonly lead to diarrhea in many animals, especially when they are in a more stressful environment (i.e. away from home). In dogs that tend to get diarrhea when stressed, a high fiber diet while boarding may help. If your dog is on a special diet or has special dietary needs, make sure the kennel is aware of this, and that they follow your specific instructions.

If your dog has a special bed or favorite toy, ask if you can bring them with your pet. Familiar items from home will make your pet feel more comfortable while you are away.

The kennel should have several contact numbers available so, if needed, the appropriate people can be contacted in the event of an emergency. First, provide the number (if possible) where you can be reached while you are away. If you are unavailable, a friend or relative's number should be accessible. This person should be able to make any emergency decisions if needed. Discuss your wishes with this person prior to your leaving. The kennel should also have your veterinarian's number in case there are medical problems. This is even more important if there are any on going medical problems with your pet.

If your dog typically receives medications at home, they should be continued while boarding. Bring the medications with you to the kennel, and make sure the kennel is aware of the specific problem being treated.

If you do not feel that kenneling is appropriate for your pet, you may want to consider hiring a pet sitter. These animal loving people will come to your home to care for your pet. Some may even spend the night.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kennels and Requirements

Will you kennel your dog this summer?

Here are the requirements of most kennels

1. All dogs that are to be boarded should be healthy and free of contagious diseases. If your dog has a medical problem that is stable or currently under treatment, let the kennel know prior to boarding to make sure they are comfortable boarding your dog.

2. A kennel may require a health certificate from your veterinarian and proof of your dog's most recent vaccinations.

3. If your dog has fleas or other external or internal parasites, he or she should be treated prior to arrival or on admission to the kennel.

4. Certain kennels have very specific requirements regarding vaccinations. Do not assume that your dog has had all of the vaccinations required without checking with the kennel first. For example, some veterinarians are not routinely vaccinating each year for DHLPP (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus). This may be the veterinarian's general policy, or for specific health reasons of the individual animal. Other times, only one part of the DHLPP might be given. There is no generally accepted rule regarding vaccinations in dogs. In all cases, check with the kennel so that any discrepancies can be addressed prior to boarding. Sometimes, a letter from your veterinarian will be all that is required. Other times, additional vaccines may need to be given.

5. A kennel cough (bordetella) vaccination is a common vaccine required by kennels that may not be routinely given by your veterinarian. It is a vaccine that offers protection from bordetella bronchiseptica, a contagious infection that causes upper respiratory signs (mainly coughing) in dogs. The vaccine is given either subcutaneous or intranasally (via the nose). It is usually administered yearly, but some kennels may additionally require it shortly before boarding.

6. As a general rule, most kennels require DHLPP and kennel cough vaccinations to be given yearly, and rabies vaccines administered according to individual state law.

Next blog will give you some ideas of what to bring to the kennel

Monday, May 23, 2011

How to Pick a Kennel

Traveling this summer?

If you must kennel your dog, kennels can range from the barebones to the ultra-fancy. What is most important is the general safety and the friendliness and competence of the staff.

What to Look For in a Kennel:

1. The first thing you should do is visit the kennel before you board. Most kennels welcome these visits, and it gives you a chance to see their facilities and ask specific questions. Your questions should be answered to your satisfaction, so that you will feel comfortable leaving your pet when you are away.

2. The kennel should be clean inside and out. Proper sanitation is one of the most important aspects of preventing the spread of contagious diseases. The cages and runs should look and smell clean. Animals that are currently boarding should be clean and appear well cared for. Look at the outdoor area where the dogs are walked. Waste material should be routinely removed, leaving the area relatively free of fecal material.

3. Getting a certain amount of exercise is important for each animal, but how much and how often depends on the individual dog's need and the ability of the kennel to offer these services. Discuss this with the kennel. Find out how often dogs are walked, or if they are allowed to run free in an enclosed area. Some kennels will give dogs extra walks or exercise time, but often at an additional charge. Still, the added activity may be well worth it for the active dog.

4. Indoors, the boarding facility should have adequate cage and run sizes, with larger cages for bigger dogs. Natural light from windows is great, but if not available, indoor lighting should adequate. The air should circulate well and not smell stagnant. Proper ventilation will significantly decrease the risk of disease transmission.

5. Find out how many animals are routinely boarded at a single time and the number of staff taking care of the animals. More people and fewer animals may mean more attention for the individual animals.

7. Some kennels have associations with specific veterinarians either on the premises or working nearby. Find out how sudden illness is addressed. The kennel's veterinarian may be the one contacted for treatment, or it might be your regular veterinarian. If you have a specific preference, discuss this with the kennel owner.

8. If your dog is on medication that is given several times a day, make sure that the kennel personnel are able to administer it appropriately. Some kennels may not be able to give medication as often as your pet requires.

9. Some boarding facilities offer an added benefit of grooming services. Consider having your dog groomed the day he or she is scheduled to go home. It is always nice for your dog to come back from the kennel smelling clean, fresh and newly groomed.

Next blog will focus on the requirements of a kennel.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

New Travel Trend

Travelers can be provided with dogs for companionship while staying at certain hotels. It is one way to meet people and also to be alone without being lonely.

At the Bedford Hotel in San Francisco, for many years Bill Kimpton has been visiting every day with his Collie Chianti. It has prompted about 15 hotels in the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant chain to keep well-trained dogs on staff. The dogs (many are rescue dogs) live full-time with employees who bring them to work each day. The dogs welcome guests with their enthusiastic wag, help the concierge make suggestions for pet-friendly spots, host the complimentary evening wine hour, sniff our potential pet amenities and services, and make guest appearances. Other hotels known to have dogs on staff include the Fairmont and Ritz-Carlton.

The Aspen Animal Shelter has run a very popular rent-a-dog program where tourists pick a dog to take with them around town or on trails. This program is about 10 years old and is FREE. Sometimes the dog even gets adopted!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Second Chance

Beneful® brand dog food has announced its second Dream Dog Park Contest. Dog owners are invited to share ideas for the ultimate dog park for their community.

The contest challenges dog owners to dream big and get creative. What if you had $500,000 to spend to create the ultimate dream dog park, what would you do? It can be functional or just plain fun. The lucky Grand Prize Winner’s idea will help serve as inspiration for a half-million dollar makeover of a dog park for the whole community to enjoy.

Dog owners can enter the contest from now through June 21.

Watch this video with Jason Cameron to learn more.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cancer Sniffer

A specially trained black labrador retriever, Marine, has been trained to sniff out cancer with stunning accuracy.

The nine-year-old female successfully identified people with bowel cancer more than nine times out of 10 after being given samples of their breath or feces to sniff. The discovery suggests that chemical compounds associated with specific cancers circulate in the body, opening up the prospect of developing tests for a range of cancers that could be applied even in the early stages of the disease.

Marine was trained at the St Sugar Cancer Sniffing Dog Training Centre in Chiba, Japan. She began in 2003 as a water-rescue dog – trained to save people from drowning by dragging them to the shore – but in 2005 was switched to cancer detection. Over four years she learnt to distinguish the smell of a dozen different cancers including breast, stomach, prostate, bladder and skin cancer.

In a study published this year in the medical journal Gut, Marine completed 74 tests in which she was given five breath or stool samples from patients to smell. In each test, only one of the five samples placed in front of her was cancerous. When she smelled a cancer sample, she would sit, alerting her handler.

According to the study, when Marine was smelling breath samples, she was 95 percent as accurate as a colonoscopy in detecting cancer. With stool samples she correctly identified 98 percent of samples with cancer.

If the odor is identified, they say that it could lead to the development of new methods for early detection of colorectal cancer, the most common form.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pet Poison

Every so often I come across a video which I feel is important to pass along to all pet owners.

This is one.......

Handy phone number: Pet Poison Helpline 800-213-6680

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Dogs sure know how to sleep!

The amount of time spent napping varies from dog to dog and depends on the dog's age and personality. Counting little naps and longer snoozes, most dogs sleep about fourteen hours a day. Nobody is sure why dogs sleep so much. The amount of sleep that an animal needs depends upon its species.

The various breeds of dogs also seem to have different sleep requirements. Some very large breeds of dogs, like Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards, and mastiffs, often spend a great deal of their lives sleeping – perhaps up to sixteen or even eighteen hours.

Dogs sleep more than us, but they wake more frequently than we do. How much and when they sleep depends on the level of activity in their environment.

A dog living as a pet in the home is likely to sleep more than a dog that works for a living, such as a search and rescue dog or a dog working on a farm. Dogs are lucky – they are able to adjust their sleep pattern.

Dogs have the same sleep patterns as humans. When your dog first goes to sleep, he enters the slow wave or quiet phase of sleep. He lies still and is oblivious to his surroundings. After about ten minutes, your dog enters the rapid eye movement (REM) or active stage of sleep. He rolls his eyes under his closed lids, he may bark or whine, or may jerk his legs. Incidentally, adult dogs spend about 10 to 12 percent of their sleeping time in REM sleep. Puppies spend a much greater proportion of their sleep time in this type of sleep, no doubt compacting huge quantities of newly acquired data.

You may think your dog will sleep anywhere, but some dogs are very particular about where they sleep.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Does your dog love to play tug-of-war?

Why do dogs like to pull and tug on their toys?

Some behaviorists think that tug-of-war is a way for dogs to practice behaviors such as pulling meat from bones that were once useful to wild canines. Others have suggested tug-of-war games allow dogs to play without the normal pack rules; it is the canine version of "goofing off." Still others think that tug-of-war is simply a way for dogs to release energy and get exercise.

Dogs can play tug-of-war with almost anything. You can be creative and make a toy for your dog or find many tug-of-war toys to choose from at a pet store.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Canine Helpers

Not every dog is cut out to serve as a guide dog. These uniquely gifted dogs are the result of careful breeding and vigorous training. And, of course, thoughtful placement with the right owner ensures the best possible outcome for both the dog and owner.

Historically, German Shepherd Dogs were used as guide dogs because of their strong-bodies and willingness to perform tasks. Starting in the 1960's other breeds were incorporated into the guide dog training, including Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers.

Today, worldwide, the Lab is the most-used breed of dog for this work. Not only do they have a strong body and will, but also a calm, even-temper and the initiative.

Guide Dogs of America, founded in 1948, is one such organization that trains and breeds dogs to assist their owners. At 8 weeks of age the dogs go to foster homes and begin a program of early socialization, formative training, learning to be a house dog, and getting into normal public places. At 16 to 18 months they return to the school for their formal guide-dog training.

You can apply for a dog or make a donation by clicking on the above link.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Work and Play

Some dogs love to sniff out drugs, locate explosives, and dig for contraband. This type of work is their play for K-9 dogs.

Mark Rispoli, owner and president of Makor K-9 Training Center in Napa, California, trains and selects dogs for these purposes and more, including search and rescue, patrol work, and personal protection.

He says when choosing a dog to train, he looks for dogs with a high retrieve and play drive. They also must be confident and not skittish, and able to work well around loud sounds and people. But most important, they must love to hunt and investigate with a pure desire to find what they are looking for.

He usually selects herding and hunting dogs such as German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, retrievers, shepherds, and mixes of these type. He looks everywhere for just the right dog considering that only about one in 25 dogs makes the cut.

Since his dogs are sometimes used for life-threatening jobs, he is very selective in finding the right dog who meets the task with enthusiasm. The dog must be outgoing and think of his job as a game.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Nature's Perfect Chews

Each year across North America millions of male deer, elk and moose shed their antlers providing the perfect solution to your dog's chewing needs.

Using antlers for dogs to chew offers numerous advantages over other dog chews on the market today.

A dog's natural instinct is to search out and chew bones. Antler is bone, but unlike skeletal bones that primarily have a soft center, antler is solid bone making it virtually impossible for a dog to break. Antlers will not splinter or shred, therefore, last a long time.

Antlers are natural and rich in calcium and minerals to enhance your pet's overall health and well being.

All dogs enjoy chewing regardless of size or breed.

Next time your think about buying a bone for your dog, look for nature's perfect chew...an antler.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

"Bark For Your Park"

Would you like a dog park in your town?

Petsafe, a large manufacturer of dog products, has launched a national contest, "Bark For Your Park".

Winning U.S. city will be awarded $100,000 for a new dog park.

How it works:

1. Go to the website (above link) and nominate your city.
Tell how a dog park would impact your city in a positive way.

2. Tell all your friends, family members, community leaders, and everyone in your community to visit the website and log their support for the dog park.

3. Do all this before June 1st!

Petsafe will select 15 finalists and on July 13th they will post videos about each of the finalist communities.

THEN, between July 13th and August 3rd visit online, watch the videos, and vote for your favorite to win the dog park.

Winner will be announced August 5th

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sweet Photos......

A friend sent me some photos dubbed "the innocence of kids and their pets" because I have shared with her stories of my grandson and his golden retriever.

These are my favorites:

I hope they put a smile on your face!