On the off chance that you just can't get enough dogs and the holidays, you have to check out Christmas present time at Sugar Bush Farm's agility barn. Kathy is a good friend and treasurer of New England Border Collie Rescue, where I have volunteered for the last 8 years or so.
After viewing the movie, you will understand why we dedicated this years rescue calendar to Kathy and her husband Craig.
Spur a Buxton puppy mill pup in his new home
photo A Carlson
Click here to read the follow up story concerning the court case against Chicago's Ami Moore who was brought to trial for abusing dogs by strapping eclectic collars to not only the necks of dogs training with her, but to their genitals as well.
While she was acquitted, it was due to lack of evidence of the specific location of the collars on the dogs, and to the actual degree of the shocks.
This again serves as a warning that dog training is not a regulated industry.
I stress again that if someone is doing something to your dog that makes you uncomfortable, take your dog and go! Do not let it continue.
I never have and never will use shock collars and I even cringe when asked to help out dogs that are contained with electric fences. There was a time when I passed on all jobs having to do with electric containment, but now I will take jobs working with dogs who are having extreme behavior issues due to an electric fence. These can range from biting the mail man, to cowering in fear and being afraid to walk in their own yard. I will not help owners acclimate their dogs to a new fence. I have seen and know too much.
Personally I think the shift to a regulated industry is just around the corner. Many of us have seen the writing on the wall and have gone through national certification process. Admittedly the CPDT at the end of my name, is not the answer to the age old of question of abuse and other trainers using abusive methods certainly could acquire national certification as I did.
I clearly remember way back in the olden days when I applied to apprentice with a local trainer at a doggie day in Massachusetts. I had been doing group classes for several years and wanted to learn more about behavior cases. The job paid well and included being able to observe all private sessions and teaching on my own in short time.
During the second half of my interview, I was allowed to observe a training session. A young puppy entered with a typical stressed out puppy family complaining of the usual---nipping and jumping. The "trainer" (term used loosely) did just about everything I would never do. Even as a newbie, I knew much better. Her solution for nipping was spray a horrid lemon based CLEANING chemical in the pups mouth that got in his EYES! That pup could have gone BLIND and been POISONED! For jumping she kicked the pups hind legs out from under him making him crash to the floor. This "method" could have crippled this puppy for life as his growth plates were still developing. Not to mention this act could have lead to other behavior issues. It turned out, even way back then I had much more experience training than what turned out to be the day care owner's daughter.
I gave her a piece of my mind when the family left, and then called the MSPCA. Know what they told me? Dog training is an unregulated industry and these were accepted practices because there was no set standard of one way to do things. They begged me to file a report to have on file in case they got lots of other reports and told me they really couldn't do anything about it.
All I can say once again and much louder this time -
About the photo-
Warning extreme sarcasm alert-
Spur says-"hey! strap those electric collars on. Don't forget my nether region! Oh please, please, please spray me with toxic chemicals. Make sure you get my eyes. Oh, please please kick me and make me fall over.
Do it again! Do it again"!
Every month our local doggie rag just keeps getting better and better. Last month's article on the pitfalls of pain medications was too important to miss. Have it sent right to your door--never miss another issue!
While you are there buying your subscriptions, be sure to check out the 4 pages of dog license plates here,and add your own if you havn't already.
Finney reminds humans to keep the darn slippery deck stairs shoveled and to please use a pet friendly ice melter. He says the snow is deep enough to loose a little dog, and that is one of the reasons he is glad he has long legs. That and the fact that he has no problem using the... ahem....facilities in the deep snow. Finney advises shoveling out potty spots for smaller dogs and puppies.
Charlee tells us that the snow will last through the night mixing with ice which should make for ideal snow ball catching. She predicts a no school announcement Monday morning which in turn will lead to more outdoor play and the chance of extreme snow ball throwage thus will be greatly increased.
Kuma says that she wishes her Dad's plane gets in safely, but that she really couldn't care less about his canceled flight, airport delays, or slick roads. She is quite content playing in the snow and chilling with her BFF Sadie.
Sadie has issued a snowball between the toes alert for all dogs but especially for retriever types with webbed feet. The snow ball between the toes alert will be in effect until at least 5 PM tomorrow, but maybe until spring. She really doesn't know how those things work, and advises humans to keep a close watch on their dog's feet.
this just in-
Kuma has issued a possible "snow sticking to the coat of some breeds alert" and advises owners of dogs with certain coat types to get towels and their camera ready.
Still can't believe how many of you don't about I can has cheezeburger.com.
Me and the kids are nursing a major addiction.
Here are a few of our favorites.
moar funny pictures
moar funny pictures
moar funny pictures
moar funny pictures
12 Groomers sought for a new Animal Planet Tv show/contest.
DOG STYLISTS COMPETE to become the “TOP GROOMER” and…WIN $50,000.00 CASH GRAND PRIZE!
(Also a weekly stipend for all contestants)
CASTING 12 COMPETITIVE DOG STYLISTS WHO HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO WIN!
ARE YOUR DOGGIE STYLING SKILLS BETTER THAN OTHERS & YOU KNOW IT?
DO YOU HAVE THAT CREATIVE FLARE WITH A PERSONALITY TO MATCH YOUR SKILLS?
I'm nursing a colorful bruise on my inner upper arm, where Finney, my 1 1/2 year old Smooth Collie nipped me hard, right after a wild karaoke induced romp in the living room. My two daughters and I had been singing (if you could call it that), dancing and rocking out to the Oxygen Channel Karaoke On Demand. Charlee loves to dance with us, and she was busting some serious moves. We got Sadie all hyped up and all the excitement must have put Finney into herding dog overload.
When Joan Jett's I love Rock and Roll ended, no sooner had I sat down on the couch than I felt a sharp nip on my arm. I screeched, pushed him away, and yelled at him to get out of the room. He got out all right---got out and stayed out.
How I wish I hadn't yelled at him!
Mr. Sensitive Collie Man relegated himself to a crate. It took several hours to get my Finney back and I am not yet sure of the lasting impression I made on the dog by overreacting to his over the top play. Even the power of cheese was no match for the trust I broke. He spent hours "hang dogging" just out my reach, looking all withdrawn and depressed.
Recently the discussion of hard and soft temperaments has been coming up in my group classes. I happen to have prime examples of both types living in my house. Charlee is the hard dog, and Finney is a classic example of a very soft dog. Make that mushy. For those of you that don't know, soft dogs are wonderful. They are super sensitive, and intuitive. They are usually a dream to teach to walk well on a loose leash and make super sweet pets. But the flip side may be a dog that is so sensitive, they may overreact to life's little challenges, and really be crushed by as much as a raised voice, or even a sharp look. Soft dogs may even get upset when you are upset for reasons that have nothing to do with the dog.
Generally soft dogs are very pressure sensitive and do not do well with any sort of corrections, but thrive with positive motivational training. Soft dogs have been know to shut down when asked to perform complex tasks. Collies fell out of favor as competition dogs many years ago because they didn't do well with harsh physical correction (aversive) training, but the breed is becoming more and more popular as they thrive with positive only training methods.
One of the challenges of living with the herding breeds, is that may nip when they get over stimulated. This is a big reason that many herding breeds do not do well in households with children. In Finn's case, there was nothing malicious about what he did. He had a momentary lapse into being the dog he was bred to be. If nipping continues I will view it more seriously, but for now I view it all as my fault. I should have managed him better, and most of all I should have tempered my anger. It is easy to get angry at dogs when they cross what we humans perceive as "the line." I can tell you now it doesn't do humans or dogs any good. No good at all.
If I had reacted exactly the same way with Charlee, she would have offered a dog apology with appeasement behaviors and then we would have made up within seconds. It is challenging for me to live with and train two dogs on complete opposite ends of the temperament spectrum, but Finn has taught me a lesson this weekend that I shall never forgot. Finney is back to being my buddy and I am back to treating him with kid gloves.
For now I am going to try to cut myself some slack.
To err is human, to forgive canine.
Doesn't he look sad with his Yoda ears on?
Read more on soft and hard dogs next month when A Dog's Life moves to the new pet section on MaineToday.com
It is that time of year again. Head over to Office Max and Go Elf Yourself.
After you are done Elfing yourself, please send your link to the comment section for all of use to see.
It is easy.
Just go to www.elfyourself.com, upload picture(s), and call the toll free phone number to personalize your message.
New from last year, the ability to have up to 4 dancing elves.
Yak Trax - No slip grips for your shoes.
Perfect gift for anyone who walks a dog in the winter. I LOVE mine and wished I had paid 5 bucks more for the ones featured above, that fasten across the top and can't be lost as easy as my slip on ones.
Yak Trax fit any shoe and are very easy to put on and off.
I have given these as gifts too many times to count.
Season's Greetings to all.
In case you missed this when I posted it in July.