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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Relief While Traveling
D.C. airports unveil high-tech pet potty areas
If you’re headed by air to Washington D.C. with your crew, now your pups have a special place to stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. Dulles and Reagan National Airports have recently opened “pet relief areas” in accordance with a federal ruling requiring potty areas for service dogs (though these spaces are open to all dogs, regardless of service status). Dulles already made Jaunted’s Five...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Training Goals on the Web
Using social media for a push
As someone who works in professional development, I always tell people that in order to reach your goals, you have to hold yourself accountable. This looks different for every person and committing can be as simple as writing your goal down on paper. Goal setting is also important when it comes to our dogs because it motivates us to carve out time to train and develop our relationships with our...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Ribbon Recycling
Donate your old show ribbons to a good cause
My dog sport friends often tell me that they don’t take the ribbons they’ve won because they end up stuffed into old shoe boxes at home.  When I first started competing in agility and rally with my first dog, Nemo, I couldn’t believe that people had so many ribbons that they wouldn’t take them! Each of the prized ribbons Nemo and I earned meant so much to me, a representation of our hard work and...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Treibball
Dogs herd balls in a new sport from Germany
I've always wanted to try herding with my Shelties, but it’s not easy to find sheep in the New York City area! Nemo is also a little impulsive, so his interaction with a sheep or duck seems like a big wild card to me. I guess I’m a little worried he’d pounce on a duck or get run over by a sheep, though admittedly I know nothing about herding. This week, I discovered a sport that could let us try...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Testing Hips
The standard OFA test may underestimate the risk of hip dysplasia
When we were ready to add a Sheltie to our family, I made sure prospective breeders met a long check list of requirements from socialization to genetic testing. Since Shelties are prone to hip dysplasia, I only considered breeders who screened the parents’ hips. The standard screening model is the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals test, or more commonly known as the OFA. So I was shocked to find...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Finding Cell Phones
Dogs sniff out smuggled goods in prison
Dogs have been trained to detect cancer, bed bugs, and even illegal DVDs. There really is no limit to how our pups can help us. Now canines are being trained to search prisons for smuggled cell phones. Prisons ban cell phones because inmates can use them to plot escape plans, harass victims or document security procedures. Jail officials have always searched prison cells for phones, but they’ve...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Canine Lifeguards
Italian pups train to rescue humans in troubled waters
After vacationing abroad recently, I’ve been jealous of the abundance of parks and beaches in Europe that allow dogs.  But in Italy, not all of the beach dogs are just lounging in the sun all day, some are also helping to keep the ocean safe. These working pups are graduates of the Italian School of Water Rescue Dogs in Civitavecchia. Currently 300 dogs have been certified through the three-year...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Mapping the Gut
New research seeks to understand the stomach
My dog, Nemo, is an expert at getting into the garbage and eating treasures off the street.  Fortunately, to date,  Nemo’s dietary habits have been fairly innocuous, but eating bad food can easily lead to more serious conditions, like gastrointestinal infections. Until now identifying canine gastrointestinal disease was difficult because scientists could only culture a small percentage of the...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Baseball Breed Ban
Petco Park event bans German Shepherds and other breeds
As a dog lover and a baseball fan, I always look forward to the New York Mets’ Bark in the Park every summer. At the annual event, canine fans are invited to CitiField to watch the game alongside their humans. “Dog days” have become popular promotions at baseball stadiums around the country and, as you can imagine, the Padres’ Petco Park is one of them. Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dogs as Children
Having kids changes the way we see our pets
Does having kids change the way we see our pets? A new study presented at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting this month found that people with human offspring are less likely to consider their pets children. The research conducted by a professor at Indiana University South Bend found that even people who used to think of their pets as kids often re-evaluate the relationship...

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