The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : August 2014 The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : August 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

Washington, DC - Urgent! Emergency Medical Fund Donations Are Needed for Seriously Injured Animals at The Washington Humane Society

The Washington Humane Society (WHS) has a number of seriously injured animals requiring advanced care. We are regularly depleting the resources available in our emergency medical fund.

Please consider making a donation to SOPHIE'S FUND now.

This fund enables the WHS to provide animals with urgent, specialized medical care. Sophie's Fund saves lives every day.

Louie is a nine-pound, eight-week-old puppy who was struck first by a truck, and then by a car on Saturday night. He was brought to WHS and immediately transported to our partners at Friendship Hospital for Animals to receive emergency care.  He sustained a large laceration to his chest, lost and fractured a number of teeth, had extensive bruising of his lungs, and suffered a broken jaw.  The hospital stabilized Louie, treated his chest trauma, began pain management, and closed his jaw with a medical tape muzzle. The protective muzzle must remain on for at least four weeks to allow his fractured bones to heal on their own. During this time, he will be hand-fed mashed puppy food through a syringe. Louie will be re-examined in a month to determine if surgical intervention is necessary. Louie is now in the home of a specialized WHS medical foster family where we are hopeful he will recover fully from his many injuries.

Can you help animals like Louie NOW?  Please donate to Sophie's Fund.

An approximately two-year-old female cat, Zoey was surrendered to WHS because her owner could no longer care for her. Zoey arrived with severe infections and corneal ulcers in both eyes, was suffering ocular pain, and had lost her sight in both eyes. Upon examination, our medical team diagnosed Zoey with eyelid agenesis, an uncommon birth defect found mostly in cats. Her eyes were not protected by eyelids and were constantly subjected to dust and hair. Additionally, the defect prevented her eyes from being properly hydrated and they were likely irritated, aggravated, and inflamed her entire life. Our veterinarian team successfully removed her damaged eyes, and no long term complications are expected. Zoey had already learned to find her way around tactically and will now be pain free. She is currently recovering with a specialized WHS foster family and will be available for adoption soon.

Can you help animals like Zoey NOW? Please donate to Sophie's Fund.

Bamboo is a four-week-old puppy who was surrendered to WHS after an alleged accident in which a large speaker fell on her head. Her owner said her family could not afford veterinary care. It was clear from visual inspection upon her arrival at WHS that Bamboo’s head was damaged, and she was rushed to Friendship Hospital for Animals. Radiographs revealed that Bamboo had a sinus fracture, with air build-up in her skull. She was stabilized, put on a catheter, placed under close observation because of abnormal neurological symptoms, and monitored for seizures. While she has some weakness in her rear legs, possibly due to a spinal injury, she does feel them and has motor function, so we remain cautiously optimistic. Bamboo spent a few days at the hospital and is now being fostered by the WHS Medical Director who can closely observe her progress and determine her best regime for recovery.

Can you help animals like Bamboo NOW? Please donate to Sophie's Fund.

All of our injured animals deserve the love, care, and hope that Louie, Zoey, and Bamboo are receiving.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Panda May Have Faked Pregnancy for More Buns, Bamboo

A giant panda slated to be the star of the first-ever live broadcast of the birth of panda cubs has lost the role -- after it was discovered the bear is not pregnant after all, Chinese state media reported.

Not only was it a phantom pregnancy, but zookeepers suspect the panda, Ai Hin, may have been faking it to improve her quality of life, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding told Xinhua on Monday.

Ai Hin, age 6, had shown signs of pregnancy, including a change in appetite, moving less and an increase in progestational hormone in July, according to Xinhua.

But after almost two months, she began acting normally again, zookeepers said.

Experts say pandas sometimes carry on the behaviors associated with early pregnancy after noticing that they get preferential treatment, the news agency reported.

"After showing prenatal signs, the 'mothers-to-be' are moved into single rooms with air conditioning and around-the-clock care," Wu Kongju, an expert at the Chengdu base, is quoted as saying.

"They also receive more buns, fruits and bamboo, so some clever pandas have used this to their advantage to improve their quality of life."

The birth of Ai Hin's supposed cub and its progress in its early days, from its first cries to acquiring its distinctive black-and-white fur, were due to be broadcast online to panda lovers in China and worldwide.

Giant pandas are notoriously reluctant to breed in captivity and pseudo-pregnancies are common.

The female is fertile for no more than three days a year, and the time span for a pregnancy is from 80 to 200 days, according to the Chengdu base. Scientists will closely monitor behavioral and physiological signs, but it's often a guessing game.

Even if a pregnancy proves genuine, baby pandas have very low survival rates. According to the Chengdu base, only a third to a half of pandas born in Chinese captivity manage to survive past infancy.

There was good news last month, though, when a panda gave birth to a healthy set of triplets in China's Chimelong Safari Park in the southern city of Guangzhou. The cubs are thought to be the only living panda triplets in the world.

Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland thinks its panda, Tian Tian, could be the next to produce a cub, based on the latest scientific tests, but there are no guarantees.

"It is very likely that we will not know 100% if Tian Tian is pregnant until she gives birth," Iain Valentine, Director of giant pandas for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said earlier this month.

As few as 1,600 giant pandas survive in the mountain forests of central China, according to the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo in Washington. More than 300 pandas live in zoos and breeding centers around the world, most of them in China.

This picture taken on July 17, 2014 shows giant panda Ai Hin sitting in its enclosure at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan's province. Hopes that tiny panda paws would be seen in the world's first live-broadcast cub delivery were dashed on August 26, 2014 when Chinese experts suggested the mother may have been focusing more on extra bun rations than giving birth. (Photo: STR AFP/Getty Images))

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National Dog Day Turns Into Military Canine Lovefest on Twitter

Veterans and U.S. service members shared pictures of the canines they encountered while deployed.

Perhaps you’ve heard that today is National Dog Day. According to the website devoted to the occasion, it was founded in 2004 to honor dogs for “their endearing patience, unquestioning loyalty, for their work protecting our streets, homes and families.”

The holiday sparked the hash tag #NationalDogDay, in which Twitter users posted photographs of their favorite dogs. And that quickly turned to veterans and U.S. service members sharing pictures of military working dogs and other canines they encountered while deployed.

Consider this first one, from Thomas Gibbons-Neff:
Click on image to enlarge.

 photo Militarycelebratesnationaldogday-1_zps5f3862ea.jpg

The Pentagon’s official account also got in on the act:
Click on image to enlarge.

 photo Militarycelebratesnationaldogday-2_zps78f332b0.jpg

So did the Air Force and the Marines:

                     Click on images to enlarge.

 photo Militarycelebratesnationaldogday-3_zps25841464.jpg       photo Militarycelebratesnationaldogday-4_zps43410145.jpg

Here are a few examples of dogs at work:
                                             Click on images to enlarge.

 photo Militarycelebratesnationaldogday-5_zpsbf42ab33.jpg       photo Militarycelebratesnationaldogday-6_zps98af8c6e.jpg       photo Militarycelebratesnationaldogday-7_zps7962dbd1.jpg       photo Militarycelebratesnationaldogday-11_zps57846426.jpg

And some examples of military service dogs getting love:

                                                 Click on images to enlarge.

 photo Militarycelebratesnationaldogday-8_zps577d6162.jpg       photo Militarycelebratesnationaldogday-9_zps2dcf4f60.jpg       photo Militarycelebratesnationaldogday-10_zpsb7c43a95.jpg      

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Monday, August 25, 2014

An 88-year-old Hamden, Connecticut Woman Who Opened Her Sliding Door to Let in Her Cat Was Attacked by a Raccoon

An 88-year-old Hamden woman who opened her sliding door to let in her cat was attacked when the animal she was petting turned out to be a raccoon.

The woman had opened the door of her Brinsmade Road home at 11 p.m. Sunday after hearing a sound to let in her cat, but unbeknownst to her, a raccoon followed her cat inside, police said.

The raccoon attacked her while she petted it, thinking it was her cat, and it bit her elbow, hand, forearm, lip and chin, police said.

"She's a tough old bird," said the victim's son, Malcolm McKernan. "She fought it off and was able to call on the phone. That's pretty remarkable."

Police said the raccoon charged at two officers when they arrived on scene. They were able to get it outside, where the animal was euthanized.

Hamden's Animal Control Division took the raccoon to the Connecticut Public Health Laboratory to be tested for rabies.

The victim was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital, and she was treated and released.
She received a round of rabies shots just in case, and McKernan said they should receive the test results within the next day or so.

The victim spoke to NBC Connecticut at her home Monday and said she was doing well.


The Oregon Supreme Court Rules a Sheriff's Deputy Acted Legally Entering Private Property Without a Warrant to Rescue a Starving Horse

Roseburg, Ore.  - The Oregon Supreme Court ruled that a sheriff's deputy acted legally four years ago when he entered private property without a warrant to rescue a starving horse in Douglas County.

The ruling issued last week affirmed decisions made by circuit and appeals courts.

Teresa Ann Dicke, 53, and Linda Diane Fessenden, 52, shared ownership of the horse named Grace. They argued that Deputy Lee Bartholomew violated the Oregon Constitution and Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution when he seized their property without a warrant and that he couldn't prove the horse was in imminent danger.

The appeals court ruled that Bartholomew had grounds under the emergency aid exception, which allows an officer to enter property without a warrant to prevent harm to someone. Bartholomew said he thought it would take between four to eight hours to obtain a warrant, and the horse might have fallen or died within that time.

Fessenden and Dicke appealed to the state Supreme Court, contending Grace was property and that the exception shouldn't apply to property.

The Supreme Court agreed the horse was property, but decided the exception applies in "circumstances that require swift action to prevent harm to persons or property."

In a written statement to the News-Review of Roseburg, Fessenden's attorney said the ruling disappointed her client.

The attorney, Elizabeth Daily, wrote that Fessenden is concerned that the opinion does not establish a narrow and workable rule that balances the societal interest in animal welfare with a person's constitutional right to privacy.

The newspaper reported that Dicke was sentenced to eight months in jail after a Douglas County jury found her guilty of first-degree animal neglect and first-degree animal abuse. Fessenden was found guilty of second-degree animal neglect and sentenced to 90 days in jail.

The emaciated horse gained attention through a Facebook page established following her 2010 rescue. Grace had more than 6,000 fans when she died in July 2011 from the lingering effects of starvation. She was 28.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Billy Joel Donates Concert Profits to Animal Shelter

Billy Joel donated all the profits from a New York concert to an animal shelter.

The 'Uptown Girl' hitmaker has been hailed a ''hero'' by Beth Stern - the wife of controversial U.S. DJ Howard Stern - after he gave the proceeds from his Madison Square Garden birthday show in May to help her with Bianca's Furry Friends, a facility at the North Shore Animal League America in the city that will provide a cage-free home for shelter cats and dogs.

She told Social Life magazine: ''Billy is my hero. Howard and I call him 'Saint Billy.' Because of his huge donation, we are on target to break ground next spring!''

Beth also revealed Billy, 65, and his girlfriend Alexis Roderick have adopted two rescue dogs.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

California Commuters Managed to Work Together to Create a Mobile Fence to Try to Corral a Dog Running Down the Highway

Downey, Calif. - California commuters joined forces in the pursuit of a runaway dog.

The dog was running down the highway during rush hour, but thanks to some fancy maneuvering, she was kept safe. Strangers risked their own lives during rush hour on the freeway.

"Just to save the dog, cause I didn't want her to get hurt," said Andie Valerio, who got out of her car to help the dog.

Traffic slowed as drivers managed to work together to create a mobile fence to try to corral the dog.

A motorcyclist then took the lead to herd the dog off the road, and Valerio stepped in.

"I turned on my hazards on and made sure she was going towards the shoulder," she said.

Other cares did the same, and Valerio got out of the car and pursued the dog up an embankment and headed towards home.

"She is super sweet. I was sitting with her the whole time and she just licked me and she was just sitting there on the floor, calm, she was really sweet," she said.

The dog had a collar but no tag. She was turned over to the local animal shelter, which will assist in locating the owner or someone to adopt her.

7News Boston WHDH-TV


Friday, August 22, 2014

Bao Bao Beats Smithsonian Competitors in #SIShowdown

Perhaps the biggest local Twitter battle in the last week is now officially over. Giant panda cub Bao Bao has emerged victorious in the Smithsonian Summer Showdown or #SIShowdown.

The Smithsonian National Zoo tweeted on Tuesday, "Bao Bao got an early B-day present; she's been crowned "most iconic at the @Smithsonian #SIShowdown. Thanks to everyone for voting!!"

who turns 1 year old on Saturday, beat out 24 contenders to be named the "most iconic in the Smithsonian." She swept the science category, and challenged the Star Spangled Banner Flag, the Landsdowne portrait of George Washington, and the Woody Guthrie song "This Land is Your Land" for the title.


Animal Lovers From Across the Lone Star State Adopted 2,256 Cats, Kittens, Dogs and Puppies on Saturday, August 16, the Largest Ever Pet Adoption Effort in North Texas

Animal lovers from across the Lone Star State adopted 2,256 cats, kittens, dogs and puppies—and even a few pocket pets—on Saturday, August 16, during “Empty the Shelter Day,” the largest ever pet adoption effort in North Texas, sponsored in part by the ASPCA.

Shelters large and small, municipal and non-profit—33 total—literally emptied their shelters during the one-day, fee-waived adoption event.

“It was a sight to see and the best day of my 18-year career,” said Corey Price, animal services manager for the City of Irving Animal Services, an open-admission shelter. “Veterans of the animal welfare community were left speechless, and shelter workers and volunteers shed tears as they walked past empty kennels and cages.”

It was Price who set the wheels in motion in June for the multiple-shelter collaboration when she and her staff began thinking beyond the smaller scale “Empty the Shelter” event they had hosted in previous years. They pitched the idea to broadcaster NBC5/Telemundo39, which immediately got on board, and began spreading the word.

Shelters signed on like wildfire. NBC5/Telemundo39 provided PSAs and promotional coverage; the ASPCA provided funds for other local advertising and grassroots efforts.

Ann Barnes, executive director of the Humane Society of North Texas, the oldest animal welfare agency in the region, placed more animals—339—than any other single agency, said the event was “all hands on deck” for her team and, despite the Texas heat and long lines, “the community support was overwhelming.”

At Dallas Animal Services, customers waited as long as three hours to adopt but were “patient and committed,” says Rebecca Poling, a board member of the Dallas Companion Animal Project, which supplied volunteers to DAS for the event. “It was not so much about adopting a pet for free as it was about saving lives. The event really gave people the chance to be a part of something.”

“People got the message,” adds Pam Burney, vice president of community initiatives for the ASPCA and who visited several participating shelters during the event. “What’s great is all the shelters did well—even small ones.”

That’s certainly true of North Richland Hills Animal Adoption & Rescue Center, which placed 39 pets during their event. “In 2013, for the entire month of August, we placed less than that—just 34,” says Chun Mezger, humane division supervisor for the City of North Richland Hills. “Our community really supported us.”

For Chun’s staff, the event was also tinged with sadness. “We just lost one of our own—Mary Beth Chastain, a humane officer—to cancer on Wednesday,” Mezger says. “But our team did an amazing job pulling together to honor Mary Beth by ‘knocking it out of the park’ on Saturday.”

In 2013, aggregate adoptions for the same 33 participating shelters, on the same August day, was just 266, according to Price. The final count for Empty the Shelter Day increased that number nearly ten-fold.

“For the first time ever, our two shelters were nearly empty,” says James Bias, president and CEO of the SPCA of Texas, where just three dogs remained at the organization’s Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center in Dallas and its Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney stood empty. “In one day, 163 animals found their forever homes—half as many as find homes in any given week.”

“We’ve never seen room after room of empty kennels,” adds Barnes, whose organization was out of its 208 dogs by 4 p.m. and by day’s end had also placed 126 cats, two rabbits and three other small mammals. “It was a real morale booster.”

By 2:30 p.m., Dallas Animal Services was out of adoptable pets and began directing clients to its Lost and Found area where they could pre-adopt animals on stray hold if they went unclaimed. “I’d never seen it empty like this since the day we opened,” says Poling. “Pod after pod, row after row. It was almost eerie. But it was a great thing.”

Despite the myth that fee-waived adoptions don’t yield good homes for cats and dogs, Barnes says her team’s experience during “Empty the Shelter” de-bunked that theory. “Our adoption applications were perfect—just what we wanted for each animal,” she says. Adds the ASPCA’s Burney: “It’s only the fee that was waived, not the criteria. In fact, some adopters visited shelters on Friday and paid fees so they could be sure to get first pick.”

In the end, says Price, the best part was not only the support from the community, but how “participating shelters embraced and ran with the concept.”

“I’m really impressed with the North Texas animal welfare community,” she says. “This is just the beginning.”

Lines of soon-to-be-adopters began at 7 a.m. at the Humane Society of North Texas in Ft. Worth.

Staff at North Richland Hills Animal Adoption & Rescue Center rallied in memory of their co-worker Mary Beth Chastain who died of cancer four days earlier. The shelter placed 39 pets during the event—more adoptions than in the entire month of August 2013.

By 4 PM, HSNT had run out of dogs (Courtesy HSNT)

Hazel Russell of Watauga, Texas adopted Chloe, a Chihuahua, at the N. Richland Hills event. (Courtesy NRHAA&RC)


Beluga Whale In Aquarium Teases Kids In An Incredibly Human Way [Video]

A video showing a Beluga whale trying to scare kids visiting an aquarium is going viral as we file this story. The video captured by YouTube user Michelle Cotton shows two kids watching over the Beluga whales through the thick glass walls of the aquarium.

While everything looks normal for the first few seconds of the video, the really interesting part starts at the 46 second mark when one of the Beluga whales sticks his forehead to the glass- making the children laugh. A few seconds later, the whale is seen opening its mouth in a scary manner – in an attempt to mock the kids and scare them. It really does look quite scary as the whale sports a terrorizing look on its usually serene face.

The most incredible part comes at the 1:03 second mark where the Beluga Whale turns back and then scares the kids again – similar to what many humans would do. In fact, it is at that moment in the video that you would probably realize how intelligent these marine mammals are. Following this, the whale tilts its head as to curiously study the strange little creatures it sees through the glass. Enjoying the attention it is getting from the kid audience, the Beluga whale continues to do what it had been doing much to the joy of the kids before moving away.

Beluga Whales are related to dolphins and killer whales and like the aforementioned species, are known to be highly intelligent animals. Like dolphins, Beluga whales are also known to be friendly to humans. This has been once again demonstrated by folks from over at who have this year installed underwater cameras on the bow of a boat named Zodiac to study visiting Beluga whales – in real time in the Churchill river. Beluga whales are known to swim upstream in the river during this time of the year, says a report by CBC News Canada.

According to Charles Annenberg Weingarten, the founder of;

“They’re curious and they’re somewhat uninhibited in a way, and friendly, and so when they hear the boats they have a tendency to swing closer.”

Unfortunately, this also makes them susceptible to hunters. Around 1500 Beluga whales are killed each year in Northern America alone. The species is however not endangered.

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Are You Contributing to Your Dog's Bad Behavior?

Before you blame your dog for annoying behaviors such as excessive barking, unruliness on the leash or bolting in the other direction when you call her, first consider that there are reasons your dog behaves the way she does, and some of those reasons have to do with you and the other humans in her life.

You're not entirely responsible for how your canine acts. Factors like genetics, early environment and inadvertent learning through experiences outside of your control all contribute to her behavior, but human-related factors greatly impact a dog’s actions.

Whether we realize it, our dogs are learning every moment. Learning to behave occurs mostly outside of structured training sessions. Canines at all ages and stages can learn new behaviors through training, but most behaviors are shaped in regular, everyday moments. Even canines who have not had a single training session have been trained — albeit inadvertently — by people through day-to-day interactions and experiences. Human-directed factors, like a canine’s daily environment and routine, work together to either set up a dog for success or make her more likely to display undesirable behavior.

There are numerous things people do to stress out their dogs, usually without even realizing it. Beyond that, how you interact with your dog and the training you provide either work for you and your canine or against you.

Here are the top three human behaviors that exacerbate a lack of manners and hinder desired change.

Human behavior 1:  Focusing on eliminating behavior rather than rewarding what you want

Punishment-based interactions tend to be harmful to your relationship with your dog and ineffectual for breaking unwanted habits. Punishment is rarely done right. It’s usually doled out too late and is too broad for the animal to pinpoint what she did wrong. Dogs also become accustomed to the punishment — such as a spray from a bottle or jerk on a leash — so it must increase in frequency or intensity over time to have any effect. In addition, it risks the dog making negative associations with the punisher and objects or people they are punished around. With punishment, a behavior may be temporarily stifled, but without the dog learning what to do instead. The behavior will typically come back or be replaced with another, equally irksome behavior.

Rubbing a dog’s nose in an accident she had in the home only makes the dog averse to humans; it teaches the dog nothing. The dog does not associate the punishment with the behavior or she might learn that voiding in general is bad. The dog may become conflicted around people, whom she sees as unpredictable, and start to hide from them when she goes to the bathroom, making the habit of going in the house harder to break. She doesn't learn to do her business outdoors instead. Punishment tends to escalate negative emotions such as fear and frustration, which contribute to unwanted problems. Thus, when the emotional state is turned more negative, the unwanted behavior, while temporarily inhibited, can escalate.

Punishment has been shown to increase aggression and conflict-related behaviors in dogs. When a dog is punished for growling or barking, she can no longer give a warning signal to show she is uncomfortable . That means the dog remains highly aroused, agitated or fearful, but rather than using her innate warnings, like snarling, a dog may escalate faster into aggression and even a bite.

Parents and grandparents be warned: Children often emulate the actions of adults, even if warned not to. That means that a child will model a parent’s yelling, scolding or physical intimidation of a dog. When a child copies the punishment techniques he witnesses, there is a good chance the dog will react with aggression toward him.

Instead of punishing your dog, use reward-based training with the entire family. It takes refocusing your mind on the good and what you desire to have happen, and rewarding your dog for those behaviors. Rewards can include treats, toys, praise and a favorite activity. Train your dog to do what you want, or reward the desired behavior she already does, while also limiting her ability to make an unwanted choice or get too upset to handle the situation. Allow your dog only into situations she can handle, and in those situations, show your canine what you want and reward her for doing it. Also, look at replacement strategies for channeling natural behavior in dogs. For example, if you have a problem chewer, offer acceptable chewing alternatives such as a stuffed Kong.

Human behavior 2: Lack of consistency and clear expectations

Canines need consistent guidance from the people in their lives regarding the behavior and manners that are expected of them. It’s unfair for the dog to have the rules change from person to person. If something is OK with one person and not another, it becomes very confusing to the dog. For instance, if the man of the house is allowed to hand-wrestle with a dog, but the dog cannot put teeth on other members of the family or play roughly with them, there is trouble to be had. The dog is likely, through practice and reward in the one scenario, to act the same way in others. The more predictable a dog’s life is, with clear boundaries and rewards only for certain behaviors, the better behaved the dog will be.

By the same token, the entire family and those who interact with the dog need to be on the same page with how the dog is treated and trained. The cues or commands for the dog need to be the same among all the people in the home. The dog also needs consistent consequences for her behavior, like a reward for listening. Otherwise, the positive behavior loses strength. In addition, the management of unwanted behaviors, like pulling on the leash and jumping up, need to remain unrewarded by all people by never allowing the dog to move forward on the leash while pulling or never greeting the dog when she's jumping. If the behavior is rewarded by even one person in the dog’s life, the dog will be resistant to change. The infrequent reward increases persistence in the dog.

Unfortunately, I’ve found people within the same home will use different styles of teaching: one with intimidation-based training and others with rewards. That is extremely confusing to the dog. Expectations, consequences and structure need to be as consistent as possible among everyone in the family.

Human behavior 3:  Expecting too much of your dog without doing your part to help her

Just as a child needs schooling from preschool to high school and college, dogs also need increasing levels of training and practice to be prepared for what is expected of them. A dog needs training that progressively gets her skilled enough, through practice, to handle higher-level expectations, like responding to "Come!" in high- distraction environments. A dog may respond when the situation is low-key and minimally distracting, but in a high-intensity situation, the dog is less likely to obey. Training needs to progress to the level of what the person requires. That means preparing the dog through success at easier levels and gradually training to a more demanding level.

Unfortunately, when a dog has practiced a behavior for a while, people often give up and feel they’ve tried it all. Many times, though, the owner just needs to change small variables. As a clicker trainer, I’ve encountered people who say they already tried the clicker and it didn’t work. When I delved into what they were doing, though, their mechanics of using the clicker and rewards were off. After they relearned how to use the clicker, the problem fixed itself. Even for complex behavior problems, working with a veterinary behaviorist or veterinarian in conjunction with a positive reinforcement trainer can turn a dog’s life around, but it takes time. If a dog has just learned “leave it” with food in the hand, for instance, she cannot be expected to leave unattended chicken on the kitchen counter without further training.

Most of all, be patient with your dog. It can take nine to 12 weeks — or longer — to break a habit, even with consistent work. It’s not a quick fix, but through clear boundaries and expectations, your canine will be on her way to good behavior, largely through your dedicated guidance.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

10 Adorable Dogs Taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

From a dachshund in a shower cap to a cavapoo in a raincoat

You might be at least a little sick of seeing people dump water over their heads everywhere you turn on the Internet, even if the hugely viral phenomenon is raising insane amounts of money for a worthy cause.

But the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has now taken a cutesy turn. Here, we present some of the best canine contributions to the ever-growing collection of icy videos.

The dachshund that’s totally prepared with a cute little shower cap:

The pug that would rather just donate the damn money and have you leave it alone:

The big guy named Jet that’s pretty chill about things:

The puppy named Buttons that’s all, “can you not?”:

The corgi that actually seems excited to complete the challenge:

This chill chihuahua named Jack:

The little dude named Phineas Ernest Sander that’s rocking a fly raincoat:
Click here to see his video:

The little cutie named Tinkerbelle that chills in protective rain gear while her human sings for some reason:


The dog named Boomer that realizes the challenge isn’t so bad after all:

The courageous pooch that uses an actual bucket:

Honorable mention: this cutie named Lucky that almost completed the challenge:


Stop Puppy Mills - It Starts With YOU - Pleas Sign the Pledge!

Help stop this cycle of cruelty simply by choosing to adopt your next pet from a shelter or rescue.

Sponsored by: Humane Society of the United States

Pet stores that care about puppies don't sell them. That's because the majority of pet stores that sell puppies carry dogs from cruel and inhumane puppy mills. Puppy mills are like dog-making factories with the mother dogs spending their entire lives in cramped cages or kennels with little or no personal attention or quality of life. When the mother and father dogs can no longer breed, they are discarded or killed. Consumers who purchase puppies from pet stores or over the Internet without seeing a breeder's home firsthand are often unknowingly supporting this cruel industry.

Help stop this cycle of cruelty simply by choosing to adopt your next pet from a shelter or rescue, or by only purchasing a dog from a responsible breeder who will show you where your puppy was born and raised. And that's not all—you can do even more by refusing to buy pet supplies from any store or website that sells puppies. Where you spend your dollars makes a difference. Make a statement when you shop!

To make your pledge, click here: I Pledge

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