Spokesdog's Canine Couch

A journey about dogs and their people by Diane Rich

Flyball

October 28th, 2014 at 11:18 am by Diane Rich
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A Dog Sport That May Just Be Right For Your Ball Crazy Athlete

flyball shiba hurdle Seattle flydog FB
Courtesy of Seattle Flydogs

VAROOOOOOM
Hold on to your kibble as this is one exciting dog sport.  Flyball is for the dog with speed and play drive which in this case includes a ball and desire to get that ball from a spring loaded box, fetch it back to the handler while running a straight away over 100 total feet down and back.  But wait, there’s more which will be covered in this blog.

Confession
Truthfully, I was not really that excited about this sport until recently when I worked with one particular client early this summer with a fetch obsessed, super fast dog that presented many challenging behaviors necessitating rehabilitation. My job was to help the owners modify their handling skills and channel their dog’s tireless energy and problematic behavior into something more positive.  I thought about flyball for this dog and discussed the sport with my clients. After the first phase of our training program was completed,  I promised the owners that I would look into the sport as a possible outlet for their young dog.  During our last session, just for fun I set up a mini mock flyball course in the client’s back yard to test my theory and the dog took to it immediately.

Someone I knew participated in a local flyball club so contacted this dog sport enthusiast to facilitate the introduction and she connected me with her club president and club trainer for an interview.  I made a request to observe a class and was given the opportunity to do so in September. The opportunity to view the sport and training style gave me some first hand information for the clients I mentioned but many other clients as well.  I also thought the topic could serve as an interesting blog for my readers rather than just writing up a generic blog on flyball.

Meet Seattle Flydogs
flyball club name 10-14 seattleflydogs
c Diane Rich 2014
From what the club calls Mighty Dogs to Super Dogs this club welcomes all breeds, all sized dogs and all types of pet parents interested in this warp speed k9 sport.  Tammy Foss is the club owner and operations director and Barbara Reisinger is the club’s training manager. One of the things Barbara mentioned to me is they wanted this club to be more than a serious competition club and their goal was to attract members who enjoy getting together outside of practice, trials and demonstrations.
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c Diane Rich 2014

NAFA
I checked out the North American Flyball Association’s website @  http://www.flyball.org  for the back story and information on this growing sport.  Here is information from their site:

The North American Flyball Association, Inc. (NAFA®) was established in 1984, and is recognized as the world’s leading authority on flyball and the sport’s top sanctioning organization. Flyball got its start in the late 1960′s and early 1970′s, when a group of dog trainers in Southern California created scent discrimination hurdle racing, then put a guy at the end to throw tennis balls to the dogs when they finished the jump line. It didn’t take long for the group to decide to build some sort of tennis ball-launching apparatus, and the first flyball box was born.   After a few small tournaments were held in conjunction with dog shows, the first ever flyball tournament was held in 1983.

Flyball is basically a relay race and match two teams of four dogs each, racing side-by-side over a 51 foot long course. Each dog must run down the jumps, trigger a flyball box which releases the ball, retrieve the ball, and return over the jumps. The next dog is released to run the course but can’t cross the start/finish line until the previous dog has returned over all 4 jumps and reached the start/finish line. The first team to have all 4 dogs finish the course without error wins the heat.  Jump height is determined by the smallest dog on the team and this dog, called the “height dog”, is measured at the withers.

With the onset of the Electronic Judging System (EJS), which uses lights and infrared timing sensors, competitors were suddenly able to track their starts, passes, finishes, and individual dogs’ times to the thousandth of a second. Many teams run all 4 dogs through the course in less than 20 seconds. The NAFA World Record is now 14.768.
NAFA tournaments are divided into divisions so that teams compete against other teams of equal abilities. All dogs including mixed breeds are eligible to compete and earn titles in NAFA sanctioned tournaments. Titles are earned via a point system based on the time it takes a dog’s team to complete each heat race.

NAFA sanctions over 300 tournaments a year across North America.

flyball learning the box 10-14
Class #1 included teaching the dog to go over the last hurdle placed in front of the box, fetch the ball and bring the ball back over the hurdle to the handler.
c Diane Rich 2014

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Class #4  Prior to the actual training classes, the experienced dogs practice their skills. This Border Collie
demonstrates what Flyball enthusiasts term  a “swimmers turn” to hit the box, get the ball and push off.
I understand this method is now used to reduce injury from super speed and tight turns.  c Diane Rich 2014

Does Your Furry Fetch Fanatic Have What It Takes To Be A Flyball Dog
1. Does your dog love to retrieve. If your dog only enjoys getting the ball but is not interested in bringing it back there are trainers who may be able to help facilitate the human definition of fetch
2. Is your dog relatively friendly to other dogs and people
3. Is your dog ok around a lot of noise, and I mean a LOT of noise as many of  the k9 competitors are so excited
the barking is off the charts. Maybe your dog will be part of the noisy choir. This noise includes quite a bit of
cheering from human members of the team. Most of the  events are held indoors so the noise from all the
barking can hit a decibel that may rival the 12th man at a Seahawks game.
4. Is your dog healthy enough to run full out including making it over hurdles.  I saw a flyball demo on Youtube of a 3 legged dog competing and the dog ran so fast you don’t even  notice the missing leg.
5. Is your dog fit and trim enough to be part of this sport
6. Unlike agility where a handler needs to run the course with their dog, in  flyball a handler will run during training and possibly practice to motivate the dog to go out and come back but once the dog learns the handler’s talent is a release and catch.

Club Locator
NAFA offers a club locator on their website. http://www.flyball.org/getstarted/index.html.
For those pet parents in WA. the site lists 7 clubs in our state.  You may want to observe training practice and meet club members to make sure you are a good fit for any particular club.

If my dog Chase developed an interest in the game of fetch I would participate in this sport in a lightening fast heartbeat. I highly recommend you check into this sport.

I want to thank Tammy, Barbara and the club members who spoke with me about the sport. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing and hearing their dogs in action.

Speaking Woof,
Diane
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
www.spokesdog.com
askdiane@spokesdog.com
www.twitter.com/spokesdog

Spokesdog’s Book Review; Chaser

October 27th, 2014 at 12:11 pm by Diane Rich
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Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand  Words  by John W. Pilley
with Hilary Hinzmann

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c Diane Rich 2014     Chase and one of his best friends

I was familiar with John W. Pilley’s work with Chaser through the media prior to receiving a request to review the book so was looking forward to a good read.

There are professional trainers and dog parents who enjoy teaching dogs more than the general sit, stay, come, down and give me your paw but Pilley takes his dog’s brain to a whole other impressive level.  When I work with clients who are thirsty to learn more than foundation obedience behaviors I am all in to help unlock the genius lurking within the potential and smarts of all canines, not just Border Collies, a breed known for amazing problem solving abilities.  John W. Pilley has reset the bar with Chaser.

Who is John W. Pilley
Pilley is an emeritus professor of psychology at Wofford College and has been working with Chaser since 2004.  The author proudly has his work published in the journals Behavioral Processes and Learning and Motivation.  When retired psychology professor Pilley first got his new Border Collie puppy, Chaser he wanted to explore the boundaries of language learning and communication between humans and dogs.  Pilley states he does not look at Chaser as a research subject but as a beloved family member.

Pilley wrote,  “Chaser learned the proper noun names of 1022 objects over a period of 3 years and could distinguish the meanings of proper noun names and commands.  She could also learn a new word by exclusion, how to infer the relationship between a name she had never heard before and an object she had never seen before.  These abilities are usually seen in children, as they acquire language as toddlers.”

The author included black and white photos of Chaser, Rico a Border Collie who also gained fame as a k9 genius learning more than 200 words and preceded Philly’s research with Chaser.  Rico was studied by animal psychologist  Juliane Kamisnski  at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany among other photos.

Hurdles in Life and Research
Pilley ran into some hurdles early on which included negative reviews of his research with peer reviewers in the attempt to get his study published.   Frustrated by this setback, Pilley wrote “it is difficult for a research finding to win scientific acceptance when it deviates from the ruling paradigm in a field.  His statement resonated with me as I recall hitting roadblocks 20 years ago when thinking outside the box and tried to introduce a different approach to dog training. My style and programs that were shared in part by a few trainers around the country were not the norm at that time. Within the past 10 plus years some of those methods and programs have become more of the industry standard.  Herding sheep is one thing, following them because that is the norm is something else.

After reading the negative reviews, Pilley at 80 years old was discouraged but with family support, a heartwarming relationship with Chaser and some suggestions from peer reviewers, he made some suggested tweaks and Behavioral Processes accepted Pilley’s paper.   From that point forward Chaser’s accomplishments became something of interest to the media which is how many of us learned of Philley and his Border Collie.

Hopefully this book will inspire dog parents to realize their dog’s mind can respond to so much more than basic obedience. My thought is that John W. Philley write his next book on the training techniques he used with Chaser which may help pet parents learn how to build their dog’s vocabulary.  I would recommend Pilley’s first chapter  include a tutorial on patience.

Hillary Hinzmann is a freelance editor and writer based in New York City

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

Speaking Woof,
Diane
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
www.spokesdog.com
askdiane@spokesdog.com
www.twitter.com/spokesdog

The Big Boo

October 21st, 2014 at 7:59 am by Diane Rich
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10 Halloween Safety Tips for Dogs

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c Diane Rich 2014

1. Trick or Treat
Halloween candy attracts both humans and dogs.  Most owners know that chocolate, especially dark or baker’s chocolate is unsafe for dogs, but so is almost everything else that you will find in a trick-or-treat bag.  Xylitol an artificial sweetener has been found to be toxic to pets. Raisons may be given out in mini boxes or included in cookies and are known to cause a serious health condition in dogs.  Candy wrappers or a lollipop stick can be ingested by a curious canine and cause a choking hazard.

halloween trick or treat balloon 10-13
c Diane Rich 2014

2. Home Alone
This is not a time to have your dog outside unattended.  Dogs can be teased, tormented, or stolen. Your dog is safer indoors during this holiday.

3. Creatures of the Night
You may enjoy doling out candy for the trick or treaters in your neighborhood but many dogs see strangers at the door dressed in costume as scary or as threats and behave accordingly.

4. See Ya
An open door may be an invitation for your dog to bolt.  Best to confine the dog in a safe zone during this time.

5. Party Time!
If you are entertaining and think your dog will not do well with the festivities, make sure the dog is either supervised, boarded elsewhere or confined away from all the excitement and scary costumes.  Remind guests not to share human food with your dog and to keep alcoholic drinks away from pets. If your dog is large enough to be a counter surfer or you parent a smaller opportunist eyeballing food on a cocktail table confine the dog away from the goodies and give the pooch their own hollow toy filled with appropriate doggie treats.  Do remember to check on the dog and offer your pet several potty breaks throughout the evening.
halloween astro pumpkin 10-14
c Diane Rich 2014

6. Holiday Decorations
Halloween decorations arouse a dog’s curiosity so make sure electrical cords are taped down, lit candles or other potentially dangerous items are not accessible to a dog that may jump up to investigate or be knocked over by a happy tail.

7. Doggie Costumes
Doggie costumes have grown into a multi-million dollar business. If you want to dress your dog up in costume you may want to have a dress rehearsal before the party or treat or treating. The costume should be comfortable for the dog, not impair vision or be too long to trip the dog. Keep in mind certain costumes may make the dog too warm so keep an eye on the dog if he or she will be suited up for the holiday. I would recommend if you take the dog trick or treating, buy a lit or reflective collar and leash so the dog can be seen by drivers.

8. Cats
Although this is a dog blog, I would add to keep the family cat indoors also.  Especially your black cat.

9. Smile for the Camera
In case your dog does bolt out the front door, runs out the open garage door or escapes through an open gate it is always best to have a current photo of your dog already available to post which should include profile and close up head shot. Make sure your dog is wearing a collar or harness and ID tag with current phone numbers. If you have  microchipped your dog make sure you have registered that chip with the proper company.
perch halloween abby H.D. 10-14
c Diane Rich 2014

10. Have Fun!!!!  It’s Halloween…..

Wishing you and your pet a fun, safe Halloween

Speaking Woof,
Diane
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
www.spokesdog.com
askdiane@spokesdog.com
www.twitter.com/spokesdog

Spokesdog’s Book Review: War Dogs

October 13th, 2014 at 10:36 am by Diane Rich
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Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love by Rebecca Frankel

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c Diane Rich 2014

War Dogs is much more than just another book on military dogs.  Frankel’s compelling and skilled story-telling will
captivate the reader from page one as you are drawn into the life of these dogs and the relationship that develops
between canine and 
handler.   The author will take you on an enjoyable and factual journey of our military dogs from WWII to the present.  If you enjoy history and dogs then I promise you will enjoy this book.

Straight away, Frankel shares a couple facts from the US National Archives and Records Administration; “ WWII was the first war in which the military brought dogs in for service. Over 10,000 dogs served during WWII and most were donated by civilians who offered their pets for service.”
  The author’s research uncovered more interesting history on dogs such as ancient Egyptians used canines to carry messages and the Corinthians used dogs to guard their seashore in 400 B.C.   The dogs were so successful for our military that Frankel learned there was a $20,000 bounty on the head of any military dog in Vietnam due to the canine talent of thwarting ambush attacks. As was in the news, in May of 2011, Cairo, a dog trained with the Navy Seals helped take down Osama bin Laden.

Wilson Rawls opens the introduction of Frankel’s book with a great statement about dogs;   He writes, “ You can read every day where a dog saved the life of a drowning child, or lay down his life for his master. Some people call this loyalty, I don’t. I may be wrong, but I call it love.”   I totally agree with Rawls’ statement.

Military dogs are an invaluable resource for our troops.  I am however conflicted on the ethics of using dogs in war.  In WWII, Korea and Vietnam almost all dogs were left behind.  The military is now bringing war dogs home and many live out their lives with their handler or are adopted out.  These loyal dogs have also presented similar PTSD conditions as some military personnel upon returning to city life and many do not adjust well in retirement.  The dog and their handler in Frankel’s must read book give each other comfort while on active duty and help each other heal after deployment.

I highly recommend this book to my readers.

About the Author
Rebecca Frankel is senior editor, Special Projects at Foreign Policy Magazine. Her regular Friday column “Rebecca’s War Dog of the Week” has been featured on The Best Defense since January 2010. Her photo essay “War Dog,” is one of the most-viewed pieces in ForeignPolicy.com’s history.  She has appeared as a commentator on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and MSNBC among others. In 2011, she was named one of 12 women in foreign policy to follow on Twitter by the Daily Muse.

Published by Palgrave Macmillan®
Amazon Kindle $11.04 and Hardcover $15.29

Speaking Woof,
Diane
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
www.spokesdog.com
askdiane@spokesdog.com
www.twitter.com/spokesdog

 

 


Spokesdog’s Product Review; Northwest Naturals

October 7th, 2014 at 12:23 pm by Diane Rich
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Dog Food

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c Diane Rich 2014

Normally I do not review dog foods but was asked to try a Northwest Naturals product and after a brief hesitation, I said yes.  I am not endorsing this food or any dog food but do have a short list of dog foods I recommend privately to my clients and friends who request a recommendation.  I do suggest to my readers and clients to feed the best dog food you can afford that works for your particular dog.  Dog foods are not created equal and formulas and sourcing of ingredients from any particular dog food company may change over the years.

Back story and Disclaimer:
  A vendor who has a booth at a dog show I attend every year gave me a Northwest Naturals product to try.  She put me in touch with her dog food rep and I set up a phone interview. After the interview the rep sent me several varieties of Northwest Naturals to try at no cost to me.  I am not a canine nutritionist, just a pet lover and interested consumer in the billion dollar pet food industry. I have researched canine nutrition along with the overwhelming options of dog foods for about 10 years.  I am not receiving any compensation to review this food.

I interviewed Patti Salliday, the National Sales and Marketing Manager for Northwest Naturals.  Patti was incredibly knowledgeable about this product, the company, and has been involved with other dog food companies as well.  She is an avid competitor in a variety of dog sports and long time breeder of Australian Cattle Dogs and Pugs.  I thoroughly enjoyed the interview.

Patti shared the history about this family owned business stating they are a company dedicated to the health of our pets. This industry standard philosophy is the mantra across the board in the world of pet food catering to the pet parent who wants to feel they are giving their pet the best food on the market. Competition is fierce and pet food companies spend millions of dollars developing and testing formulas in their product line along with marketing and advertising to motivate you to part with your money and gain your loyalty.  Based on Patti’s overview of the company, it seems that Northwest Naturals does take the mantra to heart.

What sets this Oregon based company apart from the majority of its competition is that their pet food is made in their human USDA-inspected facility and a USDA inspector is on site for all production.” Patty told me the patriarch of this family business is a physicist and at over 90 years young goes to work every day.

The manufacturer states that they use the same ingredients they sell to restaurants and grocery stores. Not only do they state their meat is all human quality but the fruits and vegetables are also human grade and locally sourced in Oregon.  Patti told me company has been using the same farmers for years.  She also stated that their salmon is wild caught in Alaska.  In addition, Patti also shared with me the names of some of the farms they use and we discussed the ingredients in their products.

I am a label reader and did not read any statement on the food bags about using human grade ingredients. So, I asked Patti about it and she told me packaging regulations will not allow it without going through FDA approval
and that the company “uses raw ground bone which does not qualify as a human consumable ingredient.”

One ingredient that caught my attention was garlic and we discussed the controversy and my concern about garlic. Patti responded stating that the amount of garlic is minimal and to date there have been no reported medical problems relating to this ingredient.  If you have researched garlic it is has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.

The product includes inulin which is a fiber and said to be a pre-biotic.

From the website; “Northwest Naturals raw food diets are produced in Portland, Oregon using only USDA inspected raw materials and are 100% Grain Free. Northwest Naturals foods were developed by a team with more than 15 years of experience in raw natural pet-food manufacturing, and backed by a 53 year-old meat processing company. Northwest Naturals Inc. uses fresh ground bone for an organic calcium source and a unique flash freezing process to preserve the integrity of the nutrients. Available in bars and nuggets, Northwest Naturals is convenient and easy to use.”

Also from the company website; “All of Northwest Naturals diets are strictly controlled and produced in a USDA inspected facility, using USDA inspected and passed proteins. Our diets are rich in protein, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins and minerals to you keep your pet healthy, happy and full of energy. All ingredients are carefully blended, rapidly frozen at -30 degrees and packaged to preserve the high quality of Northwest Naturals chosen ingredients. Northwest  Naturals is the only raw frozen pet food that is produced in our own facility from start to finish. Our product is manufactured under the highest quality and safety standards in the human meat manufacturing industry.”

Chase, my Doberman Pinscher is the dog food taste tester although he is not too picky and will eat what I put in his bowl.  The vendor suggested that if I use the product as a total meal I count out the pieces based on his body weight and I did not wish to count nuggets so am topping off his kibble with the freeze dried product at the moment.  Chase sampled the freeze dried chicken and loves it. The company offers single source options in addition to formulas that combine beef and bison and chicken and salmon.

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c Diane Rich 2014

Northwest naturals is a company that manufactures raw frozen pet food, freeze dried pet food, raw meaty bones and frozen treats. For those pet parents who want to feed their pet a raw meal but do not want to mess or hassle making or buying raw ingredients for the family pet, the convenience of the freeze dried nuggets may be an option to consider.

The only negative I found with the freeze dried nuggets is they break down and what you may get in the bottom of the bag is crumbs but Chase just licks the crumbs right out of the bowl so is a non-issue in his case. I understand the product is made to easily crumble to sprinkle over your dog’s food as a supplement.

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c Diane Rich 2014

Ingredient glossary
http://cms.nw-naturals.net/raw/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=73:ingredient-glossary&catid=88&Itemid=512

I did ask Patti if there were any recalls to date which as concerned pet owners know have been rampant with many other pet food companies and I was told there have been no recalls.  I also asked if there had been any formula changes and Patti told me, no.  I asked about preservatives and shelf life and she went on to state that the preservative is the freezing process and the shelf life is 1 year.

Reading ingredients on any food product whether it is a human or animal product can give anyone a headache and understanding what it all means can intensify the headache. Suffice it to say that whatever ingredient is included in a pet food along with the listed percentages of that ingredient in the food is meaningless if your pet cannot digest the nutrients properly.  So, back to what I stated in my opening paragraph, it is best to find a pet food should you buy a commercial product that works for your particular dog meaning the ingredients can be properly digested and utilized by your pet.

I asked Patti if at some point I could tour the facility and I was surprised to hear a yes and will schedule this opportunity at some point when I am down in Oregon

Bottom Line: In the sea of dog food options at your local pet store the options of foods are marketed to the eye of the consumer. The photos on the packaging depict nature, happy dog faces or appetizing photos of real food so caveat emptor (buyer beware).  Regulations for the pet food industry is slowly, very slowly being tweaked due to pressure from consumer groups demanding truthful information about our pet products in an effort to hold the industry’s feet to fire to let the dog loving consumer know what is really in the pet food,  the quality of the listed ingredient, the total percentage of ingredients such as protein and the sourcing of any all parts of the product. There is push back of course from the well funded lobbyists trying to keep the consumer in the dark but hopefully there will be some progress made so pet lovers can feel more comfortable with what they choose to put in the food bowl.  After speaking with Patti and learning more about this company, I felt more comfortable about feeding this product to Chase.

Northwest Naturals, like all the premium pet foods is pricey especially if you parent a medium to large breed dog but as it is working for Chase I would recommend you try this product and would love to know what you think.

You can find the product line on Amazon. For more Information on Northwest Naturals and a store locator go to: http://cms.nw-naturals.net/raw/index.php

Speaking Woof,
Diane
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
www.spokesdog.com
askdiane@spokesdog.com
www.twitter.com/spokesdog

 

WALK FOR THE ANIMALS – A GREAT SUCCESS!

October 5th, 2014 at 2:23 pm by Diane Rich
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Animal lovers raise more than $132,000 for the Seattle Humane Society 

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Animal lovers and their pets gathered at Seattle Humane Society’s 12th annual Walk for the Animals at University Village’s FidoFEST on Sunday, Oct. 5 raising more than $132,000 for the animals! These life-saving funds will help Seattle Humane continue to provide food, shelter, and medical care to thousands of pets in need in our community. Donations can still be made at seattlehumane.org/walk.The top fundraiser in the youth age group was Sidney Backhus (pictured below) who raised $760 for the animals. The highest fundraising team was the Poodle Pacers raising $8,790. The top individual fundraiser was Jessie Douglas Miller raising an incredible $4,025 for the animals! After the Walk, the fun continued at FidoFEST – a celebration of all things dog that also benefited Seattle Humane.

Walk for the Animals was presented by Safeway and supported by Carter Subaru.

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Speaking Woof,
Diane
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
www.spokesdog.com
askdiane@spokesdog.com
www.twitter.com/spokesdog

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.
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13212 SE Eastgate Way, Bellevue, WA 98005 | Main: (425) 641-0080 | Fax: (425) 747-2985 | seattlehumane.org

Seattle Humane’s Walk For The Animals

September 28th, 2014 at 3:56 pm by Diane Rich
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1 WEEK UNTIL WALK FOR THE ANIMALS!
Register now to benefit the pets of Seattle Humane

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We’re only one week away from Seattle Humane’s Walk for the Animals at U Village’s FidoFEST on Oct. 5! Don’t miss this fun-filled opportunity to make a difference in the lives of pets in your community.Register now at seattlehumane.org/walk.
(Online registration ends at noon Saturday, Oct. 4. To register day-of, visit our registration booth at 9 a.m. The Walk begins at 10 a.m.)

Join more than a thousand animal lovers for a 2-mile Walk for the Animals on the Burke-Gilman Trail. After the Walk, stay for FidoFEST -  a celebration of all things pet at U Village!EVENT DETAILS:

Seattle Humane Society’s Walk for the Animals

Sunday, Oct. 5 at University Village

9:00 a.m. On-Site Walk Registration Opens

10:00 a.m. Easy 2-mile Walk on the Burke-Gilman Trail

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Live music by The Moondoggies, a beer and wine garden hosted by Piatti Ristorante & Bar, Seattle Humane raffles, including a chance to win three Seahawks tickets, and then participate in fun dog contests!

For more information please contact events@seattlehumane.org or call 425-373-5388.

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Speaking Woof,
Diane
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
www.spokesdog.com
askdiane@spokesdog.com
www.twitter.com/spokesdog

therm.jpg
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.
Stationery_hr
13212 SE Eastgate Way, Bellevue, WA 98005 | Main: (425) 641-0080 | Fax: (425) 747-2985 | seattlehumane.org

Spokesdog’s Product Revew: Bionic ® Urban Stick

September 22nd, 2014 at 3:38 pm by Diane Rich
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Chew and Fetch Toy

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c Diane Rich 2014

I am always on the hunt for dog toys that can stand up to Chase, my personal power chewer and a toy
I feel comfortable to recommend to my clients for their power chewers.  One of my favorite vendors
always has a booth at the Sammamish Kennel Club dog show in Redmond, WA  and I look forward to
seeing the products they choose to carry.  This year I was introduced to a toy that the vendor thought
would stand up to my dog’s PSI (pounds per square inch) of power chomping.

This product can be used as a tug or chew toy and the open ends can be stuffed with cheese or peanut
butter.  No worries about the ick factor from forgotten food stuffs as it is dishwasher safe when it is time
to sanitize the toy.  The Urban Stick can be used as a fetch toy and was made to float.

I purchased the Bionic® Urban Stick, extra large made for dogs 60-90 lbs. On the front
of the packaging the company states is it designed for indestructibility. Guaranteed.  On the back of the
packaging the company states “while this product is extremely durable, no toy is indestructible in
all cases.  Supervise your pet’s use of this toy and remove if any damage becomes visible.”

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The x-tra large    c Diane Rich 2014

For those dog parents who want to know where a toy was made, this product is manufactured in China.
The toy offers a splinter free design with no sharp edges.  “Bionic Rubber® does not contain any harmful
phthalates, hormones, lead, cadmium, mercury, bispehnoal A, asbestos or latex and is made from
100% recyclable material. It is engineered and made by a proprietary process, invented to meet the
high energy play patterns of pets.”

The Bionic® Urban Stick comes in sizes from small at 9 inches to extra large at 13 inches and
ranges in price from $9.99 to $24.99.  Here is the company website with a store locator for purchase
http://www.bionicplay.com/index.html

Should your dog destroy the toy, the company will replace it free of charge, one time
within the first 30 days with proof of purchase.  I will not be holding them to their guarantee
as Chase unfortunately managed to chew off pieces within the first hour. But, he seemed to love
every minute of it and was clearly disappointed that I took it away from him along with all
the pieces on the floor.
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Chase chewed off these pieces within the first hour
c Diane Rich 2014

Bottom Line
I regretfully cannot recommend this toy should you parent a power chewer.  The toy could be
quite  appropriate  for a young pup as it comes in various shapes;  http://www.bionicplay.com/baby-products.html.   Supervision is recommended and checking the toy frequently for damage such as in the
photo above. If your dog loves to fetch and is not interested in chewing the toy, then this would be
a good toy to try.

Speaking Woof,
Diane
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
www.spokesdog.com
askdiane@spokesdog.com
www.twitter.com/spokesdog

Spokesdog’s Book Review: ASK ANNA: Advice for the Furry and Forlorn

September 20th, 2014 at 7:56 am by Diane Rich
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By Anna Koontz, author and Dean Koontz, editor
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Chase and Oscar c Diane Rich 2014

The answer was an immediate yes when I was asked to review this book as I am a HUGE fan
of Dean Koontz and have read most of his books.  Dean Koontz is one of the world’s
biggest selling authors with 14 number one New York Times hardcover best-selling novels.

I would like to introduce my readers to Anna Koontz. The newest (four legged) talent from the Koontz
family who has followed in her dog-daddy’s footsteps with her first advice book for
canines with plans to become the advice columnist for the canine world.  Dean Koontz writes,
“we have complied for you this book of Anna’s golden advice to other canines, with the hope
that it will help you understand your dogs better and will encourage you to stop being a ninny of
an owner, if in fact you are one.”

Dogs ask Anna questions and her canine-ess answers each question with just the right touch of
smart-ass.  My kind of dog!  Hey, Anna, Chase wanted me to let you know that if you ever wanted
to collaborate he would be honored.  He thinks you are quite pretty, oh and smart.

100% of what the author receives from the sale of this book will be donated to Canine
Companions for Independence, the nonprofit organization that trains service dogs for people
with disabilities.   From reading through this delightful book it appears Anna was a released
dog from CCI as she is a self professed birdaholic and due to that condition flunked out of the program.
However she did pass the bunny test.  She now is a beloved member of the Koontz family.

Beautiful photographs from cover to cover.
Publisher:  Center Street/Hachette Book Group (October 7, 2014)

Speaking Woof,
Diane
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
www.spokesdog.com
askdiane@spokesdog.com
www.twitter.com/spokesdog

Spokesdog’s Book Review: Really Important Stuff My Dog Has Taught Me

September 18th, 2014 at 11:18 am by Diane Rich
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By Cynthia L. Copeland

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c Diane Rich 2014

Copeland is the author of more than 25 books and knocked it out of the dog park with this
book.
  The beautiful photos of man and woman’s best friend paired with a collection of life
lessons are sure to resonate with the reader’s heart.


The lessons the author includes in this quick read can also serve as a friendly reminder that
although we may train the family dog to do tricks and tell us when they need to go out
to potty, if we really observe the family dog as to how they greet each day they can teach
us what is really important in life.  Granted they do not have a mortgage, bills, work
and other responsibilities but at the end of the day these lessons may help keep their
human a little bit more centered.

Copeland quotes Dr. Seuss, Maya Angelou, Steve Jobs and many others including a wonderful quote
attributed to George Eliot that rings true, “it’s never too late to be what you might have been.”  Enough said.

We are all so crazy busy that I highly recommend you turn off all gadgets and disconnect from
the world,
 pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, a glass of wine or favorite beverage, snuggle
with your dog and read this book.
  

Cynthia  Copeland’s book will warm one’s heart and hopefully motivate the reader
to
 paws, take a breath and review priorities of what is really important in life as all life
goes by way too fast.
   This book will make an excellent gift to any dog lover.

Copeland’s work has been featured on Good Morning America and selected for Oprah’s “O List.”
Workman Publishing $12.95

Speaking Woof,
Diane
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
www.spokesdog.com
askdiane@spokesdog.com
www.twitter.com/spokesdog

 

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About Diane Rich

I have been training dogs and their people for over 25 years. I work with pups from 7 weeks old to senior plus dogs and offer basic obedience to advanced off leash training both privately and group classes. Other services include behavior consultations to help both ends of the leash with everything from aggression, puppy/dog manners and public manners to separation anxiety. As a "real world" dog trainer, I take training out of the classroom or home when both the pet and family are ready, and take training to the street. I also offer pet therapy training classes preparing both the handler and dog for their therapy test and future service as a therapy team. I also coordinate several pet therapy programs in the Seattle area. My complete bio, description of services, class dates and on line class registration is listed on my website at www.spokesdog.com.

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