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Good Dog: Activities & Sports
Leaping Dachshund in Commercial
Dog reminds us that athleticism is not size specific

I can never get enough of dog commercials, and this one with a Dachshund as an enthusiastic fetcher is lots of fun. The Journey song, “Don’t Stop Believin’” is a great soundtrack for the optimism and teamwork that contribute to this dog’s successful catch. The dog’s leap at about 18 seconds is the best part.

Sometimes small dogs or those with short legs are denied the opportunities to be their true canine selves just because they don’t fit someone’s image of a dog who loves to play or be highly physical in other ways. Luckily, that attitude is not as prevalent as it once was. All you have to do to see how far we’ve come is to attend an agility class and notice the diversity of forms participating.

This commercial, besides being entertaining, is a great reminder that most dogs have an inner athlete. There is likely some sport or playful activity that gives each dog joy and should be celebrated.

News: Editors
California Is the First State to Ban Retail Sales of Puppy Mill Pets

California became the first state to ban the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits from pet stores. This law, introduced in February by Assemblyperson Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach), was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Friday, Oct. 13 and celebrated by animal protection organizations and animal lovers throughout the nation.

California Assembly Bill 485 amends the state’s Food and Agricultural Code and Health and Safety Code relating to public health. Beginning on January 1, 2019, pet store operators will be prohibited from selling any live dog, cat or rabbit in a pet store unless the animal was obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animal’s shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group. Pet stores will be required to maintain records that document the source of each animal it sells for at least one year, and to post on the cage or enclosure of each animal, a sign that lists the name of the entity from which each animal was obtained. Public animal control agencies and shelters will be authorized to periodically review those records. Pet store operators who violate the bill’s provisions will be subject to a civil penalty of $500.

When O’Donnell introduced the bill he explained that the bill’s main intent “is to promote adoption.” And noted that he already saved a couple of puppies. “Two members of my family, a German Shepherd and a Shih Tzu, were adopted from shelters and rescue groups.” It was his belief that the law in prohibiting stores from selling puppies from puppy/kitten mills and encouraging them to only sell pets obtained from shelters and rescue groups, would also promote partnerships advocating for the adoption of homeless pets.

Best Friends for Animals , noted in their press release, that California, as a state, now joins more than 230 cities, towns and counties across that country that have passed pet store ordinances to take a stand against allowing cruelly-bred animals to be sold in their communities. Those animals are generally kept in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water or socialization. AB 485 should help break the supply chain so that “mill” operations are unable to profit from their abusive practices.

Chris DeRose, president and founder of Last Chance for Animals (LCA), one of a large coalition of humane organizations supporting this bill’s passage, noted that, “the California legislature’s passage of Assembly Bill 485 is a landmark victory and one that we have championed for decades. We are elated that our home state is leading the way on this important issue. Requiring pet stores to sell only rescue and shelter animals is a bold venture— but one that will help rehome some of the six million unwanted animals that enter shelters each year.”

Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, President of the San Francisco SPCA, said that “Right here in California, each year we have thousands of animals who are in need of new homes. By signing this important legislation, Governor Brown can help stop pet mill cruelty, while giving rescued animals the second chance they deserve.”

Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA added that, “This landmark law breaks the puppy mill supply chain that pushes puppies into California pet stores and has allowed unscrupulous breeders to profit from abusive practices. We thank the California legislature and Governor Brown for sending the clear message that industries supporting animal cruelty will not be tolerated in our society.”

The opponents to the bill was spearheaded by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and variety of industry trade organizations, like Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), breeders and retailer groups. They put up a concerted campaign claiming that this bill would “block all of California’s pet lovers from having access to professional, licensed, and ethical breeders,” as was promulgated by Sheila Goffe, vice president of government relations for the AKC. Obviously this bill does no such thing, it only covers the sale of animals at pet stores, and does not in any way affect responsible breeders from selling their dogs face-to-face to the public. As long as puppy mills can sell their puppies with AKC-sanctioned papers—that provide financial incentives to that organization—the AKC will stand behind them and take on anyone who opposes puppy mills. Some breeders had posted petitions on change.org that used “fake news” arguments and scare tactics such as that this bill “would requires pet stores to sell unwanted strays, not only from Mexico, but some from more distant countries like Egypt and Korea, where dreaded diseases and parasites are commonplace.”

Luckily for California, the legislators saw beyond those specious arguments and enacted a law that has two straightforward goals: to cut down on financial support of large-scale breeding facilities and to promote the adoption of homeless pets. That definitely is something to cheer about!

Good Dog: Behavior & Training
How Would Karen Handle This?
I love it when clients ask and answer this question

It’s a great joy to me when a client tells me, “So I just thought, ‘How would Karen handle this?’” and I heartily agree with the way they answered this question. Not only am I excited to hear that a critical training moment went well, but I’m thrilled to realize that the person is thinking like a trainer.

Here are some examples of situations in which clients have reported that they did what they thought I would have done. . . and they were right!

Shadow grabbed her wallet off the counter. My client knelt down cheerfully at a distance and she came over and willingly traded it for a toy.

Bono bolted through the door and the person remained composed enough to call him to come in happy voice, then ran in the opposite direction (away from the dog). Once Bono reached him, he reinforced that beautiful recall with a stuffed Kong pulled from the freezer.

Riley did something adorable—crossing his paws while lying down—and his guardian thought to click and treat to capture that behavior.

Willow resisted getting into the car, so the man made it easier for her by putting a blanket that she loves inside the car and by getting into the car first as an additional way to make it more appealing.

Benford was at risk of being taken by surprise by another dog on a walk. His guardian noticed that dog first thanks to his constant vigilance. He avoided the situation entirely and protected his dog by heading the other way and hiding behind a car until the other dog had passed by.

I often advise my clients about strategies for responding to unexpected situations, including being prepared, but in the moment, they still have to make decisions in real time and then carry out the plan. I love it when it works out for dogs and people alike!

Dog's Life: DIY
Treats Please: A DIY Strawberry Halloween Costume for You and Your Dog

With Halloween just around the corner, you may have been thinking about creative costume ideas for both you and your dog. Why not try out these sweet DIY strawberry costumes from Shari’s Berries for a matching look that you can make all on your own?

Your heart will melt when you see your pup all decked out in comfy red felt and ready for a walk around the neighborhood. The best part about these tutorials is that they are simple to make, easy to customize for different sized dogs and don’t have any parts that will drag, get in your dog’s eyes or cause a hazard.

So, get your sewing machine and get ready to make an unforgettable ensemble for everyone in the family!

The great thing about this pattern is that it’s easy to adapt to dogs of all shapes and sizes and is a great starting point if you’re trying to make your dog a costume.

Materials
  • Red thread
  • Green thread
  • Red felt
  • Bright green felt or fleece
  • Black felt or fleece
  • 3/8 inch elastic
  • Velcro™
  • Sewing machine
  • Hot glue gun
  • Fabric scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Pins
Pattern

Length: Measure your dog’s length from neck to tail. Multiply this by two. This will be the length of your fabric.

Width: Measure the distance around your dog’s widest point (typically their stomach). Divide the distance around their widest point by two and add four inches. This will be the width of the fabric.

Place the costume on your dog and mark where excess fabric should be cut. Cut the excess fabric off the bottom and top, tapering the costume into a strawberry shape.

Directions

 

Step 1: Cut head opening.

Measure the distance around the dog’s head or neck (whichever is larger). Find the circumference by dividing this distance by 3.14, then add one inch to this measurement to make sure it fits over the dog’s head. You will use this number to determine how large the head opening needs to be. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise. On the closed end, mark the length of the circumference with tailor’s chalk in the center of the fabric. Cut a semicircle from the two anchor points.

Step 2: Try on and pin where darts should be added.

Try the costume on your dog. To avoid the fabric sticking out at the shoulders, you can add darts at the shoulders. Fold where the darts should be added and pin.

Step 3: Pin where the Velcro™ should be added.

Hold the top and bottom pieces together at the sides and pin where you’d like them to be connected with Velcro™. We used two pieces on each side, but you can use more for extra stability or use one long piece that runs the length of the side.

Step 4: Remove costume and sew darts.

Right sides facing in, sew an angled line downwards based on how much fabric you pinned. This will keep the fabric from bunching at the shoulders.

Step 5: Sew on Velcro™.

Sew Velcro™ where the pins are placed. We used the boy side on the top piece of the costume and sewed it to the wrong side (side facing the dog). We used the girl side on the bottom piece of the costume and sewed it to the side facing away from the dog.

Step 6: Add leaves and seeds.

Cut leaves out of green fabric and seeds out of black fabric. Sew or glue onto the costume.

Once you’ve made your strawberry costume, it’s time to craft the headpiece to tie it all together! Add green leaves and a stem to either elastic or a headband to complete your strawberry outfit. For instructions on the DIY Strawberry Headband go here. Plus get instructions on how to make a strawberry costume for a toddlers and adults too.

Reposted with permission from berries.com.

News: Guest Posts
Smiling Dog: Lily

Dog's name and age: Lily, 6 years old

Share similar personalities? 
Lily is confident and outgoing. I am  shy and reserved. We complement each other.

What are Lily's favorite tricks?

Go Night Night: Lily will lie down on her side and stretch her legs out until I say, "Wake Up" then she hops up with a big smile.

Hop Sit: From a down position, Lily will hop about two feet in the air and land in a sit. It’s super cute!

Good Dog: Studies & Research
Canine Science Conference 2017
It was three heavenly days of dog talks!

This past weekend was the first ever North American Canine Science Conference. It was open to people from all over the world studying any aspect of any canine species. A similar event called the Canine Science Forum has been happening every other year in Europe since 2008, and this gathering was modeled after it. The goal was to maintain the high scientific standards and keep the friendly atmosphere, and both goals were met. Although there were a number of talks about wolves, foxes and dingoes, the majority of the presentations were about our best friends, the domestic dog.

The range of topics was extraordinary with talks on evolution and domestication, behavioral genetics, play behavior, the social relationship between humans and dogs, stress, problem behavior in shelter dogs, detection dogs, food preferences, guide dogs, therapy dogs, hormones, clicker training, behavioral evaluations in shelters, helping extremely fearful dogs, attachment styles in dogs, hearing and vision impaired dogs, dogs’ problem solving abilities, and the social effects of synchronized behavior between people and dogs.

The biggest problem while attending the conference was deciding which talk to attend when there were concurrent sessions. The good news is that I never made a bad choice—perhaps it was not possible to do so. Like all 130 attendees, I spent the weekend reveling in the knowledge that was all around us, and in the knowledge that there are now so many people actively engaged in scientific research about canines that a conference such as this is possible. The word on the street is that many Europeans doubted that this conference would be possible much less a success because they were under the impression that there was not enough interest or research on this side of the pond for it to work.

The conference organizers hope to host another Canine Science Conference in two years. It’s a new and fantastic development that the amount of research in this area is substantial enough for an entire conference to focus on it.

News: Guest Posts
Smiling Dogs: Bear and Moose

Dog's name and age? Bear and Moose, 8 years old

Can you tell us how you named your dogs?

Bear's name is self-explanatory, but she also harvests the qualities of a bear: powerful, yet sensitive and intelligent. And Moose, well if you give a moose a muffin...he'll ask for some jam to go with.

Adoption Story:

After breaking my hand, I was going to be out of work for 2 weeks. I wanted a dog to bond with, keep me company, and go explore with so I went to the rescue during my down time. The shelter was filled with Chihuahuas... it was loud and chaotic! But I witnessed the sweetest, fluffiest dog, sitting quietly and patiently at the front of her cage. Bear. The calm in the chaos. I knew she was meant to be.

News: Guest Posts
Media-Based Dog Breed Choices
Pick the dog that’s right for you, not the dog that is popular right now!

The canine actors that people see in the media affect which dogs they choose to purchase or adopt. It’s been well documented that certain type of dogs become popular when they are featured in the movies or on TV. The most famous example is the mad rush for Dalmatians after the movie 101 Dalmatians came out, but it has happened with many breeds over the years.
 

All too often, the breed du jour is far too active or intense to suit many families. There are exceptions, both with families who are a good match for such dogs or with an individual dog who is not typical of the breed. However, choosing a dog based on what you see in the media, even if you do it subconsciously, can so often lead to trouble.

In a recent heartfelt, if slightly over-the-top, essay by Julia Hubbel, the writer begs readers not to rush out to get an Australian Cattle Dog just because the breed has been featured in a commercial with NFL star Aaron Rodgers.

(FYI, the dog in the commercial does not actually belong to Aaron Rodgers though he has two dogs named Frankie and Chance. Chance is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Frankie’s background is unknown. Both were adopted by Rodgers and his then-girlfriend, actress Olivia Munn, who is a strong proponent of “Adopt, don’t shop”.)

As a behaviorist and trainer, I have seen the trendy dog have an influence on many families, especially those with kids who beg for a certain breed after falling in love with one on screen. Sadly, the effects are rarely positive as choosing a dog because it looks like one who is a star is not the ideal way to choose the right dog for yourself and your family. It breaks my heart when I consult with a family in a tough spot with a dog who is not the best match for them, and they are in this predicament because of a canine actor. These families love their dogs but struggle to make the relationship work due to compatibility issues.

Right now, a lot of Huskies are being relinquished to shelters and rescues (or simply abandoned). Many blame the popularity of Game of Thrones, which features Huskies and similar canines on the show. Gorgeous animals they are, but that does not make them right for all of the people who now want one.

Have you seen an increase in certain types of dogs following their appearance in the media?

Dog's Life: Humane
Hurricane Irma: Helping Small Local Dog Rescue Groups
Highlands County, Florida Humane Society

Small rescue groups tend to be overlooked by larger rescue groups when it comes to disaster relief.  After the Florida Keys, Highlands County was hit the hardest by Hurricane Irma and declared a Disaster Zone. Our staff is exhausted, our dogs are traumatized, we just got water and air-conditioning but at least our little St. Francis statue is still standing!

We are working at full capacity (75 dogs and 50 cats) and cannot intake anymore animals. Our biggest wish is to get these dogs to forever homes.

When a dog enters the shelter, our challenge is to remind them that they are good dogs and did nothing wrong. The shock of Irma hurt, and without our regular volunteers it’s difficult to tend to their emotional needs. Our solution?  We have enlisted the puppies to work with the older dogs and they are doing an excellent job. Who can’t be cheered up by a wee one?

What we did not count on were the hoarders. Just last week we found a home with over a hundred cats. We did not expect the intakes from the flooded puppy mills hidden in the back roads. We are finding cages of dogs stuck in the mud. Some of these dogs had been purposely blinded so they could not run away.  We worked with the Sherriff’s Office to locate the people who runs these operations and can now shut them down.

We have also found dogs tied to fences and cars, their backs and legs broken from the storm.  Many people panicked could not take their animals with them and tied them up instead of letting them take their chances. 

We are performing emergency triage on many animals, working hard to rescue dogs in need and find forever homes for the pets in our shelter but we can’t do it alone.

How can you help?

1. We have created an Amazon Wishlist for Highlands Animal Control:  This will help all the shelters in the area. 

2. There is also a Go-Fund-Me that will be used to deliver food to local residents. 

News: Guest Posts
MY AUSTIN, TX
Dogs are welcome at a host of dining and drinking establishments throughout Austin, including Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden.

Set in the green and rolling Texas hill country, Austin is known for its eclectic cultural events—think Austin City Limits and SXSW—Lady Bird Johnson’s bluebonnets in the spring and the bats of the Congress Avenue Bridge. It’s also a pretty dog-crazy place, as noted by Beth Bellanti Pander of Austin’s own Tito’s Handmade Vodka, where she’s the company’s Program Manager of Vodka for Dog People. Here are some of her hot spots …


Boating on Lady Bird Lake.

PLAY

Ahh … the water, the trees, the squirrel sightings: Red Bud Isle and Emma Long Metropolitan Park’s Turkey Creek Trail are great places for a leash-free dog to unwind. Dogs can go also off-leash at Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park, 293 acres of trails (which, FYI, they share with cyclists), hills and creeks. For a more contained experience in the central city, give Norwood Dog Park a try; it’s fully fenced and has a large, shaded main section and a separate area for small dogs. For time on the water rather than in it, stop by Zilker Park Boat Rental, where your dog’s welcome to join you in a canoe (bring his life jacket, as the rental company doesn’t provide them for dogs). Finally, if you and the pooch are in the mood for a movie, look into Austin’s “Movies in the Park” series, which runs through November in parks across the city; the pup will need a leash, but you’ll both enjoy being entertained under the beautiful Austin night sky.


Doxie races at the annual Dogtoberfest.

AUTUMN EVENTS

During the upcoming Austin City Limits Music Festival held at Zilker Park, Tito’s Handmade Vodka is partnering with the nonprofit Emancipet to make veterinary care accessible to all pet owners. Throughout this weekend and next (Oct. 6–8, 10–13), festival attendees will have the opportunity to give back by taking and sharing photos in front of a special mural which will prompt donations (up to $10,000) from Tito’s to Emancipet.

Then on October 21, the 10th Annual Dogtoberfest celebration-fundraiser will be held. It will feature a 1K walk and an outdoor event that includes a costume contest, dog demonstrations and silent auction—all raising money for local dog rescue organizations.

Also on that day, the 4th Annual Dog Beard and Moustache Competition will be presented at The Mohawk, benefitting The Schrodi Memorial Training Fund which helps owners who can't afford top-dollar training be able to train and keep their dogs.

Barkitecture 2017, the custom doghouse design show, is set for Nov. 4. The fundraiser is hosted by Animal Lovers of Austin, and showcases the creations of city’s brightest architects, interior designers and builders.

STAY

Consider taking the HomeAway route; at press time, the online booking site had 157 pet-friendly listings in Austin—which, coincidentally, is its home base.


Fetching along Turkey Creek Trail.

EAT/DRINK

Dog-friendly eateries are thick on the ground in Austin. Jo’s Coffee not only welcomes dogs, it also sponsors the annual Lyndon Lambert Easter Memorial & Pet Parade. Perla’s serves some of Austin’s tastiest seafood, which can be indulged in on the patio in the company of your dog. Likewise, Mozart’s Coffee Roasters has patio seating (in this case, fronting Lake Austin) as well as—you guessed it—fine coffee drinks and a decadent selection of desserts. Three venues go the extra mile when it comes to kicking back with canines. Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden not only provides a leash-free area, it also makes a sausage just for dogs. At Dog House Drinkery, dogs are welcome to congregate with their people in the bar area or run off some energy in one of the Drinkery’s fenced OLAs. Wet your whistle under a shady tree at the Yard Bar’s off-leash dog park while your dog goes nuts on the agility course; the bar’s full-meal menu includes two “Dog Food” entries: Bones and Co sliders and house-made ice cream.

Beth notes that on Amplify Austin day, Tito’s Handmade Vodka does its part to raise money for local charities by creating a special cocktail served at participating watering holes.

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