August 26th was National Dog Day. As much of a dog-lover as I am, I am surprised I let it slip past me! But I know that some of you might not have known about it either.
So I’m proclaiming Friday, August 29th, to be Belated National Dog Day. If you didn’t know about it, or just let it completely escape your mind, celebrate it Friday instead. And while I think every day with your pooch should be celebrated like it’s National Dog Day, this will give you an excuse to go the extra mile.
Here are some suggestions on how to show Fido your appreciation:
- Take them for an extra long walk and talk to them sweet the whole time! Even better, if you live in a mountainous region, take them for a hike.
- Give them a real treat, like Frosty Paws by Nestle. It’s ice cream for dogs! This definitely shouldn’t be a regular occurrence, but National Dog Day (or Belated National Dog Day) is the perfect exception.
- Set up a big play date with all of your dog’s friends. Let them run around in your yard or a dog park all together.
- If they love the water, take them for a swim! Throw a ball in the water and play catch with them.
- Just talk to them all day. You know that tone of voice you use that makes them happy. Use that to just narrate your day to them, or repeatedly tell them how good they’re being. They’ll love it!
Does your dog bark incessantly, jump on house guests and just get too excitable? Apparently, there is a new a way to fix this… pig perfume!
Yes, this is for real. It is called “Boar Mate” or “Stop That” and was formulated by John McGlone, a scientist from Texas Tech. His dog, Toto, barked non-stop, but stopped once sprayed with this pig perfume.
Discovery.com reports that “The key ingredient is androstenone, a steroid and pheromone produced by male pigs and released in their saliva and fat.” Dogs, for some reason, have a natural “stop” reaction in response to the spraying of the perfume. The article doesn’t get into the science of why, but when tested, it was found that dogs halted all bad behavior upon being sprayed with the perfume. The experiment involved other liquids as well to take out the factor of the dogs just reacting to being sprayed with something.
Is pig perfume the new training tool of the future? Just be careful if you use it on your dog and happen to own female pigs, because androstenone acts as a little love potion, too!
Recently, Ann King, a reporter from Colorado, published an article on some timeless training tips. I found them quite wise, so I’ll summarize her tips for you here!
- Be patient – Behavioral changes can take time. Work through them slowly. “Build up” to rewards.
- Be consistent – Once decided on a disciplinary action, such as not allowing your dog in the kitchen while you’re eating dinner, repeat it every night. Consistency helps dogs relax and grasp the idea better.
- Give cues and commands – Get your dog used to commands by naming them when they do them naturally, like saying “sit” when he sits.
- Think of English as foreign – Dogs don’t understand English, therefore, long-winded statements are confusing. Stick to simple one-word commands.
- Ignore bad, reward good – Ignoring bad behaviors, like jumping, will help them go away. Rewarding good behaviors, like sitting quietly, will let dogs know it’s a good thing.
- Know your dog – Cater to their interests! If they’re a social dog, take them to the dog park. If kids make them nervous, try to keep them from them.
These tips are a great base for your training, and are easy to make specific to your situation!
Typically, animal lovers feel comforted by the thought of an animal shelter. It is where stray animals can be adopted out and where lost dogs can be taken care of until reunited with their owners. At least, that’s what supposed to happen. Veronica Covatch of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, claims her dog is being purposefully kept from her.
Covatch’s five-year-old Sheltie, Piper, got away from her friend’s yard in Columbus, Ohio. Piper was picked up by animal control, and though she had a microchip that proves Covatch to be her owner, she was turned over to Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue in Columbus in April.
The rescue group and its director, Penny Sanderback, have refused to give Piper back to Covatch though she has been trying since April. They claim that they rightfully own her and that they are accepting applications from people who wish to adopt her.
Though Covatch officially filed a complaint with Franklin Country Municipal Court and the rescue was ordered to return the dog to Covatch by a judge, the director posted a $10,000 bond in response in order to keep Piper. The group’s attorney claims that they don’t have enough proof Covatch is the owner, and that once a shelter turns a dog over to them, it is legally theirs.
It is scary to think that a group so devoted to animal welfare would refuse to reunite Piper with her mom. Let’s hope, after this goes further through the courts, that she can finally go home!
This scary happening is a warning to keep your dogs vaccinated. A string of a canine parvovirus has started to spread – fast – in Lowell, Massachusetts. It is a highly contagious disease that can cause intense defecation and vomiting in dogs that catch it. It can easily be passed to healthy dogs who come into contact with the vomit or feces of infected dogs.
So far, there are 15 confirmed cases in the past two weeks. Unfortunately, all 15 dogs that were discovered to be infected died from the disease. Animal Control officer Darlene Wood said that it’s more than likely that there are more cases than they know of, and to be extremely cautious. American Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds are breeds that are more prone to infection, though all are at risk.
The virus can survive for months on dog bowls or even rocks, which is why it is difficult to contain. She recommends bringing your own dog bowl to any public dog parks you go to, and of course, get your dog vaccinated for parvovirus. Keep a close eye on your dogs, and always make sure to clean up after them. It may just save another pooch’s life.
Maya, with an adorable face and weighing in at just 25 pounds, doesn’t seem like an attack dog. But that’s just what she did when it came to defending her owner.
Early on the morning of June 17th, 2008, Angela Marcelino was opening the front door of her house when she was shoved inside by a man. He slammed her to the floor and yelled at her to “shut up”. When she tried to scream, he put a hand around her throat and tried to choke her. That’s when she saw a white streak run from across the room. Maya began attacking the man and eventually overcame him so that Marcelino could free herself and give him a powerful kick to the groin. Marcelino says she grabbed Maya’s collar and the man just walked out the door. He was later found and arrested.
Marcelino, who adopted Maya when she was just three months old, says it didn’t surprise her when Maya came to her rescue so quickly.
The Animal Miracle Foundation, who gave Maya the Hero Dog Award of 2008, says her heroic act is a “testament to the fact that the pit bull breed can be hero dogs just like any other breed.” is a testament to the fact that the pit bull breed can be hero dogs just like any other breed,”
The workers of Des Moines’ Parks and Recreation department might be my new favorite people.
There are five municipal pools in Des Moines, and it has been declared that all five will be open to dogs (and owners!) on their closing day, September 1st .
Four of the pools (Ashworth, Nahas, Northwest and Teachout) will be hosting “Doggy Dive Time” from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and one (Birdland) will be having it from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Owners, of course, must be by their dog’s side at all times.
Humans have to pay a regular admission fee plus an inexpensive four dollar fee for their furry friend.
It’s great to see Parks and Rec departments open up their hearts a little to fill all those dog hearts with a little joy.
Residents of Fort Greene, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, are taking a stand against careless owners who don’t bother picking up after their pooch.
In an attempt to promote being a responsible pet owner (and neighbor), residents who live on South Oxford Street in Fort Greene have begun taking pictures and videos of perpetrators of the squat and flee. They then post it online, alerting the internet world of just who isn’t taking care of their dog’s business. They call it the “Dog Walkers Hall of Shame.”
It’s a clever way to remind dog owners that it’s the law to clean up after your dog. It not only shows respect for you community, but for your dog! When you became their owner, you agreed to take care of them, and as unglamorous as it is, that includes scooping their poop.
I only hope my future children will be as cool as these kids. Brooke Martin, Claire Hackmann and Maddie O’Dell, three third graders from Arlington Heights, Illinois, got a bill passed that will raise fines for animal abuse perpetrators.
After reading a book about kids who rescued a dog from a puppy mill, the three third graders got inspired. They contacted their town’s representative, David Harris, about how to end puppy mill operations. They then worked hard by doing a school presentation and gathering signatures from fellow classmates. They went through every required route to get this bill passed – even testifying in front of the Illinois House Agriculture and Conservation Committee!
Because of their determination (and a little help from representatives David Harris and Pamela Althoff), House Bill 4410 passed both houses and was signed by Illinois governer Pat Quinn last Saturday. The law raises the fine for a first violation of the Animal Welfare Act from $200 to $500 and a second violation from $500 to $1,000. A third violation now results in a $2,500 fine plus probationary status, all effective immediately.
If eight-year-olds can make a real difference in the war against animal abuse, us adults certainly can!
The dog I had growing up was named Blue. She was an amazing dog by all means, but I can’t say she did anything close to what this Blue did!
In 2001, Blue’s 85-year-old owner, Ruth Gay, was taking the Australian Blue Heeler for a walk when she fell. Unable to get up, Blue stayed by her side, even when a large alligator came lumbering towards Ruth threatening to attack. Instead of running away, Blue barked and fought off the alligator until it retreated. He bit the animal and sustained several injuries in the attack that were later taken care of by a veterinarian. When Gay’s daughter and son-in-law arrived, he led them to where she had fallen.
What a brave (and strong) little guy!