Spokesdog's Canine Couch
A journey about dogs and their people by Diane Rich
A pup will usually blindly trust a human who provides food, warmth and love. That trust can change based on the dog’s perception of its people and environment. You may observe the family dog looking at you a little suspiciously, maybe even cowering upon your approach or tries to run from you escaping under or behind furniture. Trust can be undermined when humans behave in a threatening manner or demand and expect behavior that is unrealistic for the dog’s skill level or experience. An example could be calling the dog, the dog does not respond quickly enough and when she finally does come over the human yells at or physically corrects the dog. Another example could if be the dog has an accident in the house and the owner grabs the dog and sticks the dog’s face in the pee or poo yelling at the dog or possibly smacking it. After these scenarios, kiss the trust goodbye.
Is The Temperament Evaluation Correct?
A dog may be evaluated as shy, standoffish or unaffectionate when it possibly just does not trust a family member. If a dog has been abused or isolated the dog may present one or more behaviors under the umbrella of distrust until someone chooses to take the time to prove to the dog they can be trusted. Just because a dog performs tricks and obedience for a treat does not mean the dog totally trusts a family member.
One of the many great gifts dogs bring to our lives due to thousands of years of living with humans is their ability and in most cases desire to trust us, forgive us and give us chances to get it right. Once trust is earned and maintained, a dog will reward his or her person with what pet parents crave from the furry family member, unconditional love
Since The Beginning
I had a radio show about pets on Seattle’s KVI and my sign off was; “connect with your pet in a positive way by earning their trust and respect.” This is just one training philosophy I practice and have felt important to teach my clients since I began working with dogs and their people over 25 years ago. A dog’s trust for any family member doesn’t come with the sales receipt or a dog treat.
10 Interactions That Can Undermine A Dog’s Trust In A Family Member
1. Teasing the dog
2. Inconsistency such as allowing canine behaviors some of the time then correcting the dog for those same behaviors at other times
3. Tricking the dog by throwing a cookie into the crate then closing that door or trying to leave the house and throwing a cookie into a hallway or room, backing out of the house for a quick exit so the dog doesn’t bolt out the door
4. Pulling your leashed dog over to strangers or other dogs to “say hi.” Or holding the dog so that strangers can pet the dog
5. Playing rough with the dog and then reprimanding it for responding in like kind
6. Misunderstanding canine communication and correcting a dog for trying to let you know it is scared
or concerned around some stimuli
7. Misunderstanding dog behavior believing all behaviors stem from the dog trying to dominant a family member
then implementing physical punishment or screaming at the dog to prove you are the boss
8. Taking a young dog, nervous dog, anti-social dog to a dog park or day- care to “socialize” it
9. Trying to make the dog return all the love you provide to fulfill your emotional void
10. Expecting more from the family dog than it is either trained to do or ready to do
Trust is powerful and a must to build the foundation for the human-canine relationship.
“Cruelty to animals is a serious and abhorrent crime and is not tolerated in our community.”
|The Seattle Humane Society has issued a response to the elevator surveillance video which displays Centerplate CEO Desmond Hague kicking and aggressively pulling his dog.
“The Seattle Humane Society is gravely concerned about the welfare of Desmond Hague’s dog. Kicking a pet in the stomach and yanking it off the ground by a leash is animal cruelty, and we support the prosecution of animal abuse cases whenever and wherever they occur,” said David Loewe, CEO of the Seattle Humane Society. “From the behavior captured on video, it is clear that Hague is unsuited to raise a pet. Our furry companions are part of our family, part of our daily lives and deserve both respect and love. Cruelty to animals is a serious and abhorrent crime and is not tolerated in our community.”
When it comes to animal welfare, your voice is needed! If you suspect that an animal is being neglected or abused, please contact your local animal control agency. Animal control agencies are the only organizations empowered to investigate and enforce animal cruelty or abuse cases. Information provided to your local animal control agency is confidential. A list of local animal control agencies can be found on our website at seattlehumane.org/services/emergencies/cruelty.
At PEDIGREE®, we care about all dogs and their safety and well-being is extremely important to us, and to our mission – to make a Better World for Pets. For that reason, we have initiated a voluntary recall of 22 bags of PEDIGREE® Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food due to the possible presence of a foreign material. The affected bags were sold in Dollar General stores in four states and, while the small metal fragments are not embedded in the food itself, it may present a risk of injury if consumed. We are working with Dollar General to ensure that the recalled product is no longer sold and is removed from inventory.
At Mars Petcare, we take our responsibility to pets and their owners seriously. We sincerely apologize for this situation and encourage you to reach out to us at 1-800-305-5206 from 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. CST if you have questions.
Only 15 pound bags of PEDIGREE® Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food sold at 12 Dollar General stores in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana with the production code shown below are included in this voluntary recall.
Each product will have the lot code 432C1KKM03 printed on the back of the bag near the UPC and a Best Before date of 8/5/15. No other PEDIGREE® products are affected, including any other variety of dry dog food, wet dog food or dog treats.
Took a run out to Redmond this morning to catch some of the fun at this all breed dog show. It was a smaller
venue than in years past but still a lovely event. You can still make it out there as it ends at 6p.m. today.
c Diane Rich 2014
The dogs were gorgeous, the sun was shining in the beautiful NW, Marymoore Park is an amazing place and my favorite vendor was there so bought Chase a new, hopefully indestructable toy.
c Diane Rich 2014
I will be reviewing this toy on a future blog. Stay tuned.
WSU College of Veterinary Medicine Partners with Seattle Humane Society
Meet Crystal Sunlight, Andrew Rocco from Washington State University and Jennie Kuyper from Iowa State who are 4th year Vet students at the SHS in Bellevue, WA. www.seattlehumane.org.
I was invited to interview these students who are part of a new program between
Seattle Humane Society in Bellevue, WA and WSU in Pullman. This collaboration
between the two agencies began in May of 2013 with 2 students and
provides an enhancement to the education of the Vet students.
Information gathered from the Seattle Humane website; ”SHS shelters more than 6000
pets per year and performs more spay and neuter surgeries than any other agency in the region.”
And, from the WSU website; “The WSU College of Veterinary Medicine is one of the nation’s
top veterinary schools with scientists studying animal and human disease. WSU also has
one of the best-equipped veterinary teaching hospitals in the country.” http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/
One statement on their site captured my attention and it read, ”a Veterinarian is more than a profession.” Based on speaking with these students I can see this philosophy to be true.
The beautiful state of Washington is home to a pet loving population with big hearts and
strong community support for animals in need. The Seattle Humane Society benefits by
that support and continues to expand its services. This partnership between SHS and WSU provides a learning experience for students in a real world environment helping shelter animals and is a win win win for the college, SHS and for the community.
During their elective two- week rotation at the SHS Bellevue campus, the students
work closely under the mentorship and supervision of SHS’s Veterinarians. They
will have the opportunity to hone their skills participating in spay and neuter surgeries,
routine exams, vaccinations and other procedures as part of their clinical training.
Brad Crauer, DVM was the chief medical officer during this interview. I requested the
opportunity to observe a procedure and was given permission to observe Dr. Crauer finishing
up a spay while student Andrew was front and center learning the fine art of this final step of a spay.
Sparing my squeamish readers a description of the specifics of that fine art of closing the incision
suffice it to say Dr. Crauer is a master. The Vets and now the students get plenty of practice
doing spays and neuters at Seattle Humane.
Dr. Crauer’s last day at SHS was the day of this interview and after many years serving
SHS he resigned. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him after interviewing the students.
The new chief medical officer is Merriss Waters, DVM.
WSU has approximately 99 students in their 4th year and out of those students who fill out a
request application for this new program at SHS, fifty are selected via a lottery process. The
pilot program began in 2013 with only 2 students and currently there are 3 students per rotation
participating in the program.
The program is set up on 2 week rotations year round. The students come to the Bellevue campus
and begin their rotation on a Tuesday and work through that Saturday. The students get Sunday
and Monday off then complete their rotation the following week.
The program is currently funded by donations and money is being raised to create an
endowment for future students. More about the fundraising efforts for this program
on another blog.
Christina Cotterill, the Assistant Director of Development and External Relations invited
me to join the students for lunch and have the opportunity to interview them.
I agree with WSU’s philosophy that the practice of Veterinary medicine is more
than an animal business, it is also a people business so I wanted to know from these students if
there is a course that focuses on the dynamics of dealing with the pet owner. Jennie, from Iowa
State Veterinary College responded enthusiastically to this question and told me how important it
will be to her to connect with the client and not just focus on treating the patient which in Veterinary
practice is the animal. Jennie went on to tell me about an elective course geared towards teaching
students how to work with the pet owner. Jennie continued to explain that this course sets up
role playing opportunities to hone the skills of the Vet student to help them deal
with the variety of personalities they will encounter with clients along with the emotions
people may present when in the exam room.
We talked about various topics and all the students honestly and openly answered my questions
from why they chose to get into veterinary medicine, to electives, to student loans to continuing their education to specialize in the variety of interesting fields that will require additional schooling past their 4 years. No takers on specializing at this point due to time and the expense.
College is not inexpensive so this brought me to my next question about tuition. Andrew and Crystal mentioned that tuition to attend the Veterinary College at WSU is about $24,000 per year for
in- state students and double that for out of state students. Jennie said tuition at Iowa state is $42,000 per year.
Think of that tuition and those student loans the next time you wince when you get a bill at your Vet if your Vet is just starting out and keep in mind the practice of Veterinary medicine is not usually a 9-5 job. I will keep this in mind also the next time I get my Vet’s bill. These students informed me that salaries for Veterinarians range from approximately $30,000 a year in rural areas to $65,000 a year during the first year. Salaries do vary city to city and clinic to clinic.
I ended the interview asking each student if they had decided where they wanted to practice after graduation. Two of the three students were still undecided.
I enjoyed talking with Krystal, Andrew , Jennie and Dr. Crauer and thank them for
their time. I wish them all the best of luck. I wanted to thank Christina for reaching out to me to do this interview and for responding to additional questions I had about the program.
This partnership between SHS and WSU is a winner. If these three students
represent the future of Veterinary medicine, I feel confident our pets are in good hands.
|Raise Life-Saving Funds For Shelter Pets At Seattle Humane Society|
When: Sat. Aug. 9th from 9a.m.-8p.m
Sun. Aug. 10th from 10a.m. -6p.m.
Location: 12534 120th Ave
Totem Lake Upper Mall next to Big 5
50% off on all food
Buy one bag at regular price and get second bag at half price.
Buy one case at regular price and buy a second case at half price.
Vendors representing many of the popular dog and cat foods will be on site to answer your questions.
10 Tips to Help Prevent Food Bowl Guarding Behavior
From My Files
I had a number of calls the past few months from owners experiencing challenges with their dog
around the food bowl ranging from a protective stance over the bowl to a full blown attack
if someone breeched the dog’s protected space. This behavior is commonly called resource guarding
or what some would call possessive aggression. Although an owner may call for help after the
dog’s behavior becomes extreme and dangerous the early signs of resource guarding will be
evident to the experienced eye of a behavior expert who can observe the dog’s body language.
What’s Mine is Mine
Resource guarding can be defined as the dog becoming aroused and presenting behavior to either
warn or physically stop the person or another animal from gaining access to the food bowl. Resource
guarding can include guarding or possessing a toy, the dog’s bed or even that dog’s person.
c Diane Rich 2014
The dog decides once the food bowl is put on the floor no one can come near that bowl. To
deter or discourage a person from coming too close one can observe the
dog’s body stiffen, eyes get hard, lips may be drawn back, a low growl may be heard and if pushed
the dog may lunge at or try to bite the intruder. If the dog is a pup or a toy breed, some owners
may find this behavior cute and even defend the dog should that dog bite them. Those owners
who don’t find the behavior amusing or who parent a dog that can inflict a more serious bite
may benefit by contacting an experienced trainer to stop the behavior before it gets worse.
What Not To Do
My clients have shared with me techniques they have read on line, viewed on YouTube or
were even told to do by a trainer to prevent the dog from guarding the food bowl.
Some of these techniques have come back to haunt them:
1. While the dog is eating continually pick up the food and put it down
2. Continually touch and pet the dog while it is eating
I would suggest you not implement these 2 strategies but do understand the theory behind these
outdated techniques. From my experience these strategies tend to annoy and can even frustrate a
dog and can actually create the behavior an owner is diligently trying to prevent.
These techniques can also exacerbate resource guarding behavior that is in the initial stages.
Teasing the dog by continually taking food away while the dog is eating, especially if the dog is
hungry can backfire. Continually petting the dog while it is eating can create some anxieties
around the food bowl.
What Are Your Expectations?
I believe in setting a dog up for success no matter what the training goal which to me means preventing
a problem in the first place. For my dogs, I expect that I can put my hand in my dog’s bowl without
incident. I also expect that I will be able to take away any toy or object from my dog’s mouth if I wish.
In either case during the training process, I will create a positive experience for the dog so the dog
doesn’t learn to feel threatened or develop the need to protect and guard the bowl or toys. I also
believe in teaching my dog a strong drop it response even if what is in his mouth is a high value item.
If my dog needs medication I expect to give my dog a pill without the need to wrap it in cheese or pill
pockets although there is nothing wrong with disguising medication in food to get the dog to take a pill.
I do understand many owners are not comfortable and even intimidated by touching the dog’s mouth.
Tips to help prevent food bowl guarding.
1. Squat down or stand by the dog’s bowl without hovering over the dog. By hand, give the dog
one kibble at a time up to about 6 pieces of kibble. Keep the pieces of coming. If you are offering
only moist food then time to get a little messy and allow the dog to lick a little bit from your hand.
When the dog nicely takes the food from you, calmly and quietly say “good” or “yes.”
2. Next drop a couple pieces of kibble in the bowl or spoon off some wet food.
After the dog eats those pieces drop a couple more pieces or offer another spoonful of moist food.
3. Next, place a small portion, 1/3 of the dogs total meal directly into the dog’s bowl, allowing the dog to
eat it all.
4. When the pup is almost finished with that first portion, deliver another small portion of food
5. After the pup completes that second portion of food, place the 3rd and last portion of the food in the bowl
and walk off
6. No need to chat with the dog and again try not to hover over the dog.
7. During this process, you can also pet the dog calmly down its back once. Too much touching
while a dog is eating can make the dog uneasy, so one nice pet down the back with a quiet “good Fido”
8. Keep this process calm and don’t startle the dog. When delivering the portions into the bowl, you can
calmly and quietly say something like, “here is more food” or whatever you want to say.
9. The dog can be taught to wait for a cue to begin eating but if this cue is used and the dog is taught
to wait for an OK or another release word, I would recommend using a quiet, calm voice for both the
wait and release rather than an on your mark, get set and go approach to meal consumption. I
would recommend teaching the dog that your hand in or around the bowl is a safe experience, then once
that is accomplished, you can teach the dog to “wait” for a release should that be a goal.
10. Rather than free feed the pup or leave food out while implenting this training, schedule the meals.
If the pup is young, 2 or 3 meals a day is recommended so the dog is not ravenous when it is meal time
These suggestions are meant to help prevent the dog from developing resource guarding behavior
around the food bowl and should be implemented periodically throughout the dog’s life for maintenance.
Do You Have a Dog That Guards the Food Bowl?
If your dog is already presenting resource guarding it is time to consult with a behavior
expert experienced with resource guarding who will come to your home to evaluate your
dog and your family and offer professional help. Some owners will just bite the bullet, put
food down and walk away which is the path of least resistance and may be the safest option.
Should there be young children at home, it is imperative the dog and child are supervised
so no interaction takes place during meals.
|With temperatures soaring into the 80′s, the Seattle Humane Society reminds pet owners to keep their furry friends safe from the heat. Do not leave your pet in your vehicle. Even at 70 degrees, the interior of a car can rise to 160 degrees in less than five minutes. Parking in the shade with the windows cracked is also dangerous.Your pet’s foot pads contain sweat glands that help keep him cool, and the feet are particulalry vulnerable to hot surfaces. Sidewalks, pavements, sand, and especially black asphalt can reach blistering temperatures in direct sunlight and cause nasty burns on your pet’s feet.Signs of burned foot pads include:• Limping or refusing to walk
• Foot pads appearing darker in color than usual
• Raw, red or blistered foot pads
• Licking or chewing on the feet
Take preventative measures and protect your pet’s feet by walking your pet earlier in the day before the sun heats things up. You can also walk on grassy paths or shady areas. Water play is refreshing but take steps to keep your pet safe! Tender foot pads softened from prolonged water exposure can burn more easily. Dog owners should take extra care to protect dogs’ feet from hot surfaces after water play.
A dog’s normal body temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees. Dogs can withstand a body temperature of 107 to 108 degrees for only a very short period of time before suffering brain damage — or even death.
Remember that if your buddy has a shorter nose, like a Persian cat, a Pug or a Bulldog, he or she is more susceptible to heatstroke than breeds with longer noses. If you suspect your pet has become overheated, seek veterinary care immediately.
Signs of heat stroke include:
• Body temperatures of 104-110F degrees
At home consider your pet’s housing. If they are kept outdoors, make sure they have plenty of shade and fresh water at all times. If it’s hot out, consider hosing down the dog before work, at lunch or whenever you can to provide extra cooling.
If you suspect that your pet has suffered from a heat stroke, seek veterinary attention immediately. Use cool water, not ice water, to cool your pet (very cold water will cause constriction of the blood vessels and impede cooling). If your animal “appears” cooled, do not assume everything is fine. Internal organs such as liver, kidneys, brain, etc., are affected by elevated body temperatures and blood tests and veterinary examination are needed to assess this.
Enjoy the hot weather, but if you are driving, leave your best friend at home if you can’t take him in with you at every stop!
|About the Seattle Humane Society
Seattle Humane Society has been awarded the coveted 4-star rating by Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator for the fifth consecutive year! Founded in 1897 to bring people and pets together, Seattle Humane Society provides incredible companion animals for adoption 7 days a week, pet workshops and training, a pet food bank, a low-fee spay/neuter surgery program, humane teen club, a visiting pets program and more.