Thursday, February 21, 2013
Some Fun Facts..... 1. It takes 63 days for puppies to be born from the time of mating. 2. Puppies are born both deaf and blind.Their eyes begin to open between 10 and 14 days.They begin to hear soon after but it takes a while longer before they have complete sight and hearing. 3. Puppies begin getting their puppy teeth when they are about three weeks old.They're very sharp! 4. Puppies begin getting their adult teeth between four and seven months.They're very likely to chew on things during this period. 5. Dogs are thought to have descended from wolves in southeast Asia at least 14,000 years ago. 6. Some of the oldest breeds of dogs are the Afghan Hound, the Chow Chow, the Lhasa Apso, the Pekingese, the Shar Pei, the Shih Tzu, the Tibetan Terrier, the Saluki, the Basenji, the Akita Inu, the Shiba Inu, the Samoyed, the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Malamute. 7. Most dogs have a double coat of hair -- an undercoat that provides insulation and an outer coat of guard hair. 8. There are no completely hypoallergenic dogs.All dogs have at least some hair that can attract dander and allergens.Some dogs and breeds attract less than others. 9. There are currently 74.8 million pet dogs in the United States.Some 44.8 million U.S. households own a dog. 10. Seventy-eight (78) percent of the owned dogs in the United States are spayed or neutered. 11. According to the AKC the most popular names for dogs are Lady and Bear. 12. The American Kennel Club recognizes 161 dog breeds in the United States.The FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale), recognizes over 400 breeds throughout the world. 13. The Irish Wolfhound is the tallest breed of dog. At a minimum, males should be 31 inches tall at the shoulder and 120 pounds.Females should be 28 inches tall at the shoulder and 90 pounds. 14. The heaviest dog is usually considered to be the Mastiff or the Saint Bernard.A healthy Mastiff or Saint Bernard -- not an overweight dog -- will typically weigh 180-200 pounds. 15. Larger breed dogs can be harder to handle because some do not even fit through an average dog door. 16. The world's fastest dog is probably the Greyhound.They can reach speeds of 45 miles per hour.However, Whippet fans claim that their dogs are faster over short distances, able to zig and zag better.Saluki afficionados claim that their dogs are better open-field hunters.All three breeds are extremely fast. 17. Contrary to popular belief, the Poodle did not originate in France.It was originally a German breed used for hunting, water retrieving and even herding.You can see the breed's similarity to other curly-coated herding breeds such as the Puli.Poodle coats will curl and even cord if allowed to grow out. 18. At one time the Collie was considered a vicious breed of dog, perhaps because the Scots who kept the dogs were considered a vicious people.It wasn't until Queen Victoria became a fan of the breed in the 19th century that Collies became popular with the public. 19. The Labrador Retriever has been the most popular breed of dog in the United States since 1990.The Lab is also the most popular dog breed in Great Britain. 20. Sighthounds, or gazehounds, are hounds that hunt by sighting their prey.They include the Afghan Hound, the Borzoi, the Greyhound, the Irish Wolfhound, the Italian Greyhound, the Salukia, the Scottish Deerhound and the Whippet.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Did Cesar Millan Have to Hang the Husky? By Marc Bekoff, Ph.D. on April 21, 2012 - 6:24am Because of what I do, I'm always getting emails about the latest information on animal cognition and animal emotions and also on animal abuse. I usually receive reports or videos of abuse in research laboratories, zoos, circuses, and rodeos or on factory farms but from time to time people ask me questions about dog training. Last year I received a video showing Cesar Millan (aka the "dog whisperer") hanging a husky who was ill-behaved. This treatment of a sentient being named Shadow sickened me and I soon discovered that many others also were horrified by this so-called "training" session. (For further discussion please see Mark Derr's Pack of Lies.) When I speak with dog trainers I mention this video and by and large most people agree that putting a noose around a dog's neck and yanking them off the ground and suspending them in air is unnecessarily cruel and abusive and that they would be really upset if this were done to their dog. So too would I. However, recently I was told by a few people that it was just fine to string up a dog who needed to be disciplined. I then asked them if they would do this to a child or another human being and they emphatically said "No, of course not." Well, then, why allow it to be done to a dog? It's also useful to ask if they would let someone do it to them before they did it or allowed it to be done to their or another dog? If not, why not? This is what a dog expert wrote to me about the stringing up of Shadow. "First, it looks to me like, Millan provokes and prolongs the attacks in order to string the dog up in such a way that he puts pressure on the carotid artery. Second, when he pins it with his hand, he definitely seems to put pressure on the carotid artery as well. If these observations are true, it's no wonder the dog is subdued. Makes me wonder whether that knuckle pinch also is aimed at the carotid?" If you have the courage to watch the video, you'll see that Shadow wasn't "merely" lifted off the ground. Indeed, Shadow was put in his place and this degree of trauma likely will have a long term effect as does any other abuse to which an individual is exposed, intentional (as in this case) or unintentional. We know that dogs and other animals suffer from long-term depression and PTSD after being traumatized and training techniques that cause trauma shouldn't be sanctioned and should be strongly opposed. I'm writing about Shadow because there simply has to be limits as to what is permissible when trying to get dogs to behave in acceptable ways. Stringing up dogs or other animals goes well beyond what I would accept and if I saw someone doing this, I'd call the police immediately. I imagine most people would do the same. If one thinks a dog deserves this sort of treatment then it would be useful to know why this is so and discuss how non-abusive techniques can be used instead of those that harm and intimidate. Many people who work with domestic and wild animals are using and continually developing training techniques based on positive reinforcement (see also) and so too should everyone who works with our best friends. Training must factor in the capacity for an individual to suffer and experience deep and enduring pain. As Mark Derr notes, "Properly treating aggression, phobias, anxiety and fears from the start can literally save time and money. Mr. Millan’s quick fix might make for good television and might even produce lasting results in some cases. But it flies in the face of what professional animal behaviorists — either trained and certified veterinarians or ethologists — have learned about normal and abnormal behavior in dogs." Quick-fix training techniques based on severe intimidation and various forms of psychological and physical abuse need to be removed from training protocols and our objections to these methods need to be louder than mere whispers behind closed doors. Shadow's saga, his very sad story, forces us to think about who we are, who they (other animals) are, and how we must treat them. Dogs expect us to treat them with dignity and respect, and when they become challenging and try our patience, we must never ever forget that they are sentient beings who thoroughly depend on our goodwill. It's a dirty double-cross to intentionally abuse them and commit them to a life of fear. It's a betrayal of their trust that we will always have their best interests in mind. It also demeans us. The hearts of our companion animals, like our own hearts, are fragile, so we must be gentle with them. Let's openly and graciously thank them for who they are, for their unfiltered love, and embrace their lessons in passion, compassion, empathy, devotion, respect, spirituality, and love. Surely, we will never have any regrets by doing so, and much pure joy will come our way as we clear the path for deep and rich reciprocal relationships based on immutable trust with our companions and all other beings. Elliot Katz, founder of In Defense of Animals, suggests we drop the word "training" and start using the word "teaching." Training often becomes synonymous with "breaking." Training should not mean breaking their fragile hearts.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Featured Articles Fall 2012 for Happy Valley Animals We know dogs communicate with barks, whines, and other sounds. However, dogs use non-verbal communication more often, and a common form is “calming signals.” These signals help dogs maintain a healthy social connection to one another, diffuse stress or aggression, and avoid conflict. Dogs and puppies also use calming signals to communicate with people, including when they feel threatened or want to calm you down. For example, when you find a housebreaking accident and get upset, even though your puppy may not understand what he’s done wrong, he’ll “act guilty.” He’s not really guilty—using calming signals to show he intends no harm. Try to lesson the stress of the the moment. The common calming signals follow. Licking This signal is used often. The quick little lick on the nose is easier to see if you watch the dog from the front. It’s best seen if you can sit in peace and observe. Once you’ve learned to see the lick, you’ll also be able to see it while walking the dog. Sometimes it´s very quick—the tip of the tongue barely visible. But other dogs see, understand, and respond to it. Any signal is always returned with another. Most dogs turn away or show a turning of the head. The dog may turn its head slightly, turn the head completely to the side, or turn themelves completely around, their back and tail facing whoever the dog is calming. These are some signals you see most of the time in dogs. Play Bow This is a very common and well-known calming signal: going down with front legs in a bowing position. It can be an invitation to play if the dog is moving legs from side to side in a playful manner. Just as often, the dog is standing still while bowing and is using the signal to calm someone down. These signals often have double meanings and may be used in many different ways. Often the invitation to play is a calming signal in itself, because the dog is making a potentially dangerous situation less tense through diversion. Sniffing the Ground This is a frequently used signal; in groups of puppies you’ll see it a lot. You’ll see it when you and your dog are out walking and someone is approaching;, in places with a lot going on; in noisy places; or when the dog sees an unknown, intimidating object. Sniffing may be anything from moving the nose swiftly down toward the ground and back up again to sticking the nose to the ground and sniffing persistently for several minutes. Walking Slowly High speed will be seen as threatening to many dogs, and they might want to go in to try and stop the one who is running. This is partly a hunting behavior and is triggered by the sight of a running human or dog. If the one running is coming straight at the dog, it involves a threat and a defense mechanism sets in. Freezing This is what we call it when the dog is statue still while standing, sitting or laying down and remaining in that position. Sometimes they will divert their eyes to avoid eye contact as well. Sitting Down/Lifting One Paw Not seen as often, are dogs lifting their paw as a calming signal, but on a few occasions, it’s clearly been used to calm another dog. Sneezing You’ll see a dog sneeze persistently when nervous, super -excited, or encountering a stressful situation. Not as common. Sitting Down And even stronger signal is to sit down with the back turned towards someone. This also has a very calming effect. It’s often seen when one dog wants to calm another who is approaching too quickly. Dogs may also sit down with their backs turned against the owner when he or she sounds too strict or angry. Meet on a Curve Dogs should naturally meet each other on a curve, or approaching on the side, rather than meeting head on. It’s important to allow your dog to meet on a curve, on or off your leash. This allows for the greeting to be polite. HOW YOU CAN USE CALMING SIGNALS Another ideal time to use calming signals is when you are meeting a dog you don’t know. If a dog acts fearfully towards you, or is showing signs of stress, you can settle the dog by offering the same calming signals that dogs use for each other. First, slow down. Turning your head away and averting your gaze is an easy first signal to make. If the dog is still stressed, you can turn your entire body to the side, or even turn your back on the dog. If you act like you’re ignoring the dog, you’ll be showing calming signals, and the dog with be more likely to approach you. There is also the “walk through,” which is simply walking between two facing dogs or people. When two people or dogs face each other, it is perceived by another dog to be aggressive.. To maintain peace, the third dog will walk through. It’s often thought when dogs react with a walk through with humans, it’s based on jealousy of humans showing affection. What’s actually happening is that when humans face each other, say in a hug, it’s perceived to be possible aggression, and the dog feels a walk though is warranted.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
With West Nile virus spreading across the U.S., many pet owners have shared concern about their pet’s risk of infection. Most West Nile virus infections have been identified in wild birds and horses. Although the virus can infect dogs and cats, the risk of illness is very low. West Nile virus is an arthropod-borne virus that causes encephalitis (swelling of the brain). The virus is transmitted by blood-feeding insects such as mosquitoes. West Nile virus is a rare disease that spreads through mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds. Mosquitoes become infected after feeding on birds that are carrying the virus. Infected mosquitoes may then transmit the virus to humans and other animals. The virus cannot be transmitted directly between animals or from animals to people. At risk The risk West Nile virus poses to pets is very small. Elderly and young dogs, and those with compromised immune systems could be at higher risk. Pets have been exposed, but they have not fallen ill in great numbers. Cases of infection causing disease in pets are very rare and likely only in immunocompromised animals. Cats may become ill with the virus, but dogs seem to be relatively resistant to developing clinical illness as a result of exposure to West Nile. Symptoms Symptoms of the virus in infected dogs are similar to signs exhibited by horses and include depression, decreased appetite, difficulty walking, tremors, abnormal head posture, circling and convulsions. It is very important to contact your veterinarian if your pet shows any of these signs. There is currently no vaccine available for dogs and cats. The best way to prevent your pet from contracting the virus is to reduce the risk of mosquito bites. Prevention Keep pets indoors during early morning and evening hours to reduce the risk of mosquito bites and possible exposure. Prevent your pet from coming into contact with dead birds or squirrels that may have been infected with the virus. Only use mosquito repellent that is approved for use in pets to prevent bites. Check the label to determine if the product is safe for pets, or ask your veterinarian for a recommendation. Many insect repellents that are designed for human use contain a chemical that can cause serious illness in pets. In the event that pesticides are sprayed in your area, make sure to keep pets indoors during spraying.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Last night at agility class, a vet, who is a fellow agility student was telling us about a case she had this week. The dog ate a child's teddy bear and was very sick. When she opened the dog up to remove what she thought was an intestinal obstruction she found a huge gelatin type mess inside and the dogs intestines were black and the tissue dead. The dog will die no surgery can fix him up there was no living intestine left from stomach to colon. This was not an obstruction. .... so she called the manufacturer of the Teddy Bear on a quest to find out what the gel was and what killed the dog. Turns out the stuffing in children's toys contains ingredients for flame retardants and mite control! It is designed to become a gel. It is highly toxic. Now you would think a child's toy would be safe because it is for children, but they don't expect a child to eat the stuffing of the toys... huummmm that seems a bit scary too. But we all know dogs demolish stuffed toys. So do not give or buy your dog any children's stuffed animals... some people get them at goodwill etc. The vet will be posting a warning and story and I will send any other facts as needed and as I learn more. Maybe some children's toys do not have this ingredient, but better to be safe then sorry. So meanwhile, make sure all your dog toys are for dogs. Please pass this on... it is a horrible death she described and one that can be avoided. From the Beauceron Club UK
Friday, June 22, 2012
Leading the Way is Proud to host Animal Communication Workshop led by Dawn Allen held on POSTPONDED! DATE. TBA. from 11:30-5:30 refreshments provided Space is limited, and filling fast! Register today at email@example.com Cost is $90 pre register/At the door $100 check, cash or credit card Learn to understand your animal friends on a deep emotional level. Discover new ways to enjoy and love your animals. This seminar will help you realize your natural ability to communicate telepathically with all creatures. You will learn how to better understand animal companions, gaining insight into their behavior, health, and happiness. The seminar includes specific exercises and meditations geared towards opening your senses and your heart. Participants bring photographs of their animals; and they are our teachers (along with live animals on-site). I highly recommend attending this workshop. Even if you are not confident with your telepathic propensity, you will gain closeness and understanding with your animals. Participants often report enthusiastic greetings from their animals when they return home after attending the workshop. The animals love the fact that you try to understand them!
Leading the Way offers doggie daycare and all types of training, including private, group classes and a residential training program. Behavior assessment and modification is done using ONLY positive methods focused on shaping behavior.
We have over 25 years of professional experience, dedicated to enhancing the relationship of both ends of the leash, through knowledge, compassion, and building long term relationships with our clients, both two and four legged.