Spokesdog's Canine Couch
A journey about dogs and their people by Diane Rich
Seattle Humane celebrates with 50 percent off adoption fees for adult pets
Shelter pets are the best! We’re celebrating National Adopt-A-Shelter-Pet Day April 30th with 50 percent off the adoption fee for every pet 1 year and up at Seattle Humane. That includes any cat, dog, or critter in our care. Visit Seattle Humane in Bellevue this Saturday to find your new best friend for half the normal adoption fee. Good news – we’re open until 8 p.m. on Saturdays!
Get a sneak peek at just some of the hundreds of pets who will be available for adoption!
Cats & Kittens
Dogs & Puppies
Go to: seattlehumane.org for more information
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
Club Producing Video Content From Dog Events
Across the US To Promote the Sport
New York – The Westminster Kennel Club is producing video content from a select number of US dog events throughout the year to promote the sport online and on cable television. This is one of several initiatives the club is developing to educate the public, promote dog sports and responsible dog ownership.
A Westminster production team will visit dog shows and trials in several regions of the country to videotape members of the sport as they travel on the “Road to Westminster”. The edited news clip content will include interviews with exhibitors, club officials and general show footage with an emphasis on educating the public about dog sports and the people involved in them.
The content will cover a variety of topics from the sports of conformation, junior showmanship, agility and obedience. The topics within each sport will range from basic education, such as Agility 101, to interviews with a Best in Show winning dog’s breeder to how to start in Junior Showmanship.
The show calendar and programming content was developed with the club’s media partner, Dog News: The Digest of American Dogs who will be supporting the effort through their online and print publications. The inaugural event for this initiative will be May 7, 2016 at the Bucks County Kennel Club show in Erwinna, PA.
The content produced throughout the year will appear on the Fox Sports news cable program and online through the Westminster and Fox Sports’ websites and social media accounts. Additionally, live coverage of “Road to Westminster” dog events will be streamed through Westminster’s exclusive channel on Waggle, a new platform for pet owners and animal lovers from Broadway Video Ventures. Broadway Video Ventures is the digital media arm of Broadway Video, the company behind SNL, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Portlandia.
Westminster Kennel Club President Mr. Seán W. McCarthy, sees the club as leading the charge in promoting the sport, “We have a great story to tell. The people involved in our sport are dedicated, passionate people who love their dogs. It’s our responsibility to promote our sport, its people and dogs through the media outlets we have access to.”
The Westminster production team will consist of the club’s Director of Communications, Gail Miller Bisher with the assistance of Katherine Wright.
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
About The Westminster Kennel Club – The Westminster Kennel Club is America’s oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs. Established in 1877, Westminster’s influence has been felt for more than a century through its famous all-breed, benched dog show held every year at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Today, America’s dog show has expanded into Westminster Week which includes the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster and the Masters Obedience Championship at Westminster, both held at Piers 92/94. More than 3,000 dogs from the US and abroad makes Westminster Week like no other.
Westminster. There’s only one.
Visit us at: www.westminsterkennelclub.org or follow @WKCDOGS.
Just Say No to These Cute Baby Pets for Easter
Every Easter, adorable baby rabbits, chicks and ducklings are given as gifts. Sadly, many are often abandoned
or admitted to shelters when the holiday is over. This Easter, you have a chance to make an important contribution
to your children’s education by teaching them that adding a pet to the family is a big responsibility.
Rabbits make wonderful household pets. They’re affectionate, playful, social, and can even learn tricks!
Bunny care fits into most work schedules as they are most active in the mornings and evenings and sleep
through the day and night. Bunnies require a responsible owner who will provide them with a special diet,
indoor care and a 10-year commitment. In return for your love and care, you’ll be rewarded with a bounty of bunny love!
In addition to cute critters, Easter is a time for beautiful decor, delicious foods, and family and friends to
share them with. With a few helpful tips from Seattle Humane, you can include your furry family members
in your planning and still be sure that your pets stay safe and enjoy this holiday, too!
You know your pet best so you can anticipate how they will react to holiday visitors. Make a space available
in a quiet room, away from commotion, and provide classical music, a soft bed, water, food and toys. Adding
a piece of your clothing to the bed can provide comfort.
The foods we enjoy cooking and eating can be a problem for your pet. Rich, spicy or fatty food
can cause problems ranging from stomach upset to severe pancreatitis. Make sure they have healthy
treats and reduce their food at mealtime accordingly. Additionally, don’t leave candy out.
Chocolate can be fatal to animals, especially cats and small dogs.
This common Easter basket filler is tempting for our pets, particularly cats. When ingested, Easter
grass can cause irritation or obstruction of your pet’s intestines. These digestive problems can result
in a decrease in energy level and appetite, vomiting and diarrhea and could require several days in the vet hospital.
Although these flowers are beautiful and festive, they are poisonous plants if ingested by our pets.
Common symptoms are vomiting, lethargy and loss of appetite. If you suspect your pet has eaten a lily,
seek veterinary care. Instead of chancing a trip to the vet, try faux lilies for the same look, but without the risk!
Pets are curious by nature and their noses are much more sensitive than a human’s nose – they can’t
resist all of the delicious smells. Keep a close watch on your pet to ensure a safe holiday for everyone.
Most chicks, ducks and bunnies are no longer the cute novelty they once were
before the Easter holiday. Many Easter pets are dumped at a shelter or even worse dumped at a park or
by the side of a road. Should you be unable to say no to your children who are begging for one of these animals
before the holiday think about adoption. I may add, should you currently have a dog or cat, your
resident best buddy may not be so welcoming to the new prey animals you bring into your home.
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
ABOUT Seattle Humane
Founded in 1897, Seattle Humane proudly promotes the human-animal bond by saving and serving pets in need.
We provide adoption services 7 days a week, plus pet workshops and training, a pet food bank, a low-fee spay/neuter
surgery program, humane teen club, a visiting pets program and more. Seattle Humane located in Bellevue,
at 13212 SE Eastgate Way. For directions and more information, visit Visit seattlehumane.org to see our adoptable
pets and learn how to be a responsible pet owner or call (425) 641-0080.
March 12-13, 2016
There’s something for everyone at the city’s biggest dog event of the year.
Earlier this month the American Kennel Club announced that for the 25th consecutive year the family friendly Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in America, according to its 2015 registration statistics.
Once again, the Lab is the most-entered breed in the Seattle Kennel Club Dog Shows March 12-13 at CenturyLink Field Event Center, with 41 competitors, followed in the Top 10 by the Great Dane 30, Papillon and Havanese 28 each, Australian Shepherd 25, Doberman Pinscher and Rhodesian Ridgeback 25 each, Golden Retriever 24 and Newfoundland and Vizsla 23 each.
Seattle’s most popular dog event has 1,371 entries representing 169 breeds on March 12 and 1,333 entries with 164 breeds the following day.
As usual, the shows have everything for every member of the family. In addition to the standard conformation offering, there will be junior showmanship, obedience, agility and rally.
Add to that the popular Meet the Breeds feature, where members of the public can get up close and personal with a wide array of breeds throughout both days and discuss breed maintenance, temperament and exercise requirements of each with the experts.
But the public’s opportunity for breed interaction and discussion with breeders doesn’t end there. Fifty-six breed booths will be manned with personnel to answer your questions. And, of course, the featured breeds will be there to interact with.
If you’re a dog-show newcomer and have questions as to what you’re about see, you will want to take a guided tour led by a Seattle Kennel Club member from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. both days. These high-demand tours are limited to six guests each and perennially book solid. New for 2016 are online advance reservations for $3 per person to guarantee your spot and preferred time. http://seattledogshow.org/product/2016-show-tour-advance-reservation/ Further availability will be on a first-come, first-served basis at the club table at the front doors.
Action-packed demonstration events will feature Olympic Disc Dogs, Emerald City K-9 Freestyle Dancers, R2Agility, Ewe-Topia Herddog Training and others.
Special demonstrations this year will include national celebrity Amy, a pig, an introduction to lure coursing with puppies, featuring the Cascade Coursing Club; a University Canine Learning Academy interactive demo that serves as an introduction to clicker training.
New breeds competing at the Seattle Kennel Club shows this year include the Berger Picard (5), American Hairless Terrier (5) and Miniature American Shepherd (1).
Add to these more than 40 vendors who will be selling a wide assortment of canine products and you have another can’t-miss event for the entire family.
Show hours each day are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is adults $14, children under 4 free, children 4-14 $7 and seniors over 62 $12. Only dogs entered in the show events will be admitted on the premises.
Show information will be updated regularly in coming weeks on the show’s web site, http://seattledogshow.org.
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
The Man Behind the Voice
Canine enthusiasts recognize the familiar voice of David Frei
as that dog guy, that dog expert who is the co-host for
the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club dog show.
For 26 years that voice has pronounced breeds like
the Xcholoitzcuintli (Show-low-eats-queen-tlee) with
ease while most of us would trip over our own tongue.
David loves talking dogs, is passionate about the
dog show world and has a heartfelt addiction to volunteering
his time and the love of his seasoned, registered therapy
dogs at the Ronald McDonald house and the
VA Medical Center in New York. His canine partners
include Grace, a Brittany and Angel, a Cavalier King
photo: Betsy Dallas
Behind the voice is years of experience in the show ring
as David is a handler, breeder and in 1991 became a judge.
He is licensed now for Afghan Hounds, Cavalier King Charles
Spaniels and the Brittany. David has traveled the world
showing or judging dogs.
David recently announced that 2016, his 27th year would
be his last as the co-host for the WKC at Madison Square
Garden. That announcement did not fare very well with
his world-wide fan base. Why, because for 26 years he
warmly invited the TV viewer into the show ring offering
snippets of facts on the dogs, handlers, and judges who
earned the privilege to be a part of this experience.
In addition to commentary about the entries every year,
Frei shares a little history with viewers about previous
winners who once graced the Garden with primped
paws and poise. The family dog that may be sharing
the couch with their human during the telecast may be
our best friend but this co-host has a gift of making
dog people feel he too, is their best friend.
Looking back a couple decades to around 1990, David was
no-where near Madison Square Garden. He said
he was minding his own business living in Woodinville, WA.
and owned a couple of sports bars in the Seattle area.
David told me that one-day, Chet Collier, the show
chairman and long time President of Westminster
contacted him. Collier, who died in 2007, is remembered
as the man who made Westminster into the world’s
most famous dog show. As David puts it, Chet found David,
when David was living in the woods in Woodinville, called
him and flew him out to Boston in 1990 for an interview
and audition. I was intrigued to learn how Collier
set up the audition. Collier pulled a tape of a recent
dog show featuring a Hound group and the two men
role-played as co-hosts and commentators for that
dog show and, David was hired.
David said that Chet believed in him and became his first
mentor. He warmly states that he feels Chet on his
shoulder every year when he is doing the commentary.
David commuted from Woodinville to New York from
1990 to 2002 to co-host Westminster. That commute got
old and he moved to N.Y in 2002. He pokes fun at himself
stating he must be hard to work with as he has had 9 partners
in 27 years. He worked with Bud Collins for a year and from
1994 to 2002 worked with the great Joe Garagiola who is
going to be 90 this year. Another partner for 3 of those
years was Lester Holt, the news reporter and current anchor
of NBC’s nightly news. Another partner and current member
of the Westminster team is Mary Carrillo. David spoke
very highly of Mary and told me he enjoys working
Taking another step back in time to 2004,
David, while at Westminster founded the
non-profit dog therapy charity, Angel on a Leash.
This organization has since become an independent
501c3 charity creating and administering therapy
dog programs around the country. David proudly is
its President and is an active volunteer.
Best in Show Westminster winner, Uno is clearly one of
David’s favorites. Just mention this Beagle who
won the coveted title in 2008 and David’s eyes light up
with genuine affection. Uno, is also a therapy dog
and puts smiles on the faces of everyone he visits while
David is on the other end of his leash. Uno is also a frequent
guest at the Frei doghouse in New York.
From 1990 to 2016 the Westminster Kennel club
has hosted 71,098 entries from 142 breeds and
varieties to 199 breeds and varieties today. In doing
the math that is an increase of 57 breeds and
varieties during David’s 27 years as co-host.
This year will be NBC’s last year producing Westminster
and the show will be going to Fox Sports1 in 2017.
David wants his fans to know he will continue co-hosting
the National Dog Show sponsored by Purina with
John O’Hurley. The National Dog Show, always a
hit with dog enthusiasts captures the attention of
25 million viewers. David will also be a consultant for
Carson International’s Incredible Dog Challenge that
produces dog events from around the country.
Carson International is headquartered in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Frei will be with NBC as a consultant working on other projects.
I asked David what he would like his fans to
remember about his 27 years at Westminster.
He thought about the question for a few moments
and responded that he hopes the viewers
had a good time and encourages dog owners to
celebrate the dog in their lives. He also emphasized
during our interview, as he does during the Westminster
telecast the importance of responsible dog ownership.
David said, my daily quote is “I thank my dogs every
day for letting me be on the other end of their leashes.”
I wrapped up our interview asking David what breed
would best describe him. His answer was quick, the
Cavalier or Brittany as they are breeds that like people
and like to be around people. This answer makes sense
as David enjoys being around people especially dog people.
In closing, David added that dogs bring us together
and are icebreakers. Thank you, David Frei, America’s
dog guy for bringing dog lovers together and being
part of our lives during your 27 years at Westminster.
I would like to also thank David for sharing the photos
for this story. For more info on the 501c3 please
go to: angelonaleash.org
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
INTRODUCTION OF THE NEW BREEDS WILL BE FOLLOWED BY
A DEMONSTRATION BY AGILITY COMPETITORS
THURSDAY, JANUARY 21, 2016 AT 11:00AM SHARP
WHERE: Madison Square Garden – Chase Square (Box Office Lobby – 32nd Street and 7th Avenue)
WHAT: In celebration of the 140th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, come meet the
seven new breeds that are eligible to compete for the very first time. Also appearing are four
Masters Agility Championship competitors demonstrating their talents and the American Kennel Club
will have an exhibitor from their popular AKC Meet the Breeds® event which is part of the
Westminster Kennel Club and American Kennel Club Meet and Compete presented by
Purina Pro Plan® event on Saturday, February 13 at Piers 92/94.
The seven new breeds that will be onsite competing this year are:
The Westminster Kennel Club is America’s oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs.
Established in 1877, Westminster’s influence has been felt for more than a century through its famous all breed,
benched dog show held every year at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The show is America’s second longest
continuously held sporting event, behind only the Kentucky Derby. For additional information, log on to
Tickets available through Ticketmaster Charge By Phone (1-866-858-0008) and all Ticketmaster Outlets.
Tickets are will also be available in person at MSG Box Office and by visiting thegarden.com/WKCDogShow.
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
When Family Members Disagree about Training
Dog training is just that, teaching a dog behaviors which may be categorized under manners, tricks or
obedience. No matter the category dog training should include people training. Training techniques may
vary from trainer to trainer and can also vary between members of the household.
Everyone living with the dog is certainly entitled to an opinion with regard to an approach to training
but those opinions can grow legs. In over 25 years in this wonderful business working with dogs
and their people I have witnessed first hand or heard from a family member when
those opposing opinions accelerate into heated battles at home.
A family member who has trained a dog or two in the past or been through a
training class or who has researched training online may dig their heels in with regard to training methods.
In these cases the need for a family member to be in control and the need to be “right” can supersede
the needs of the puppy or new adult dog. In these situations when I walk into a client’s home the tension is palpable.
It is NOT fun to be drafted as a referee but I do my best to try to help smooth the waters and unify
all family member’s efforts for the benefit of the new dog.
Recently I received an email from a frustrated client stating
she knows it is not my job to be a couple’s counselor but wanted help to get
her boyfriend on board with training. She went on to state that after our first session,
her boyfriend was not following any of my suggestions or demonstrations so she decided
to read aloud the information from my handouts to drive her point home.
You can imagine the response from that approach.
I did not want to get into their power struggle so I responded to her plea by
suggesting to her that each owner just do the best they can.
At the next session I noticed the boyfriend was trying very hard but
looked like he was walking on eggshells. I tried to reassure him with compliments
for a job well done and am hopeful the girlfriend gave him some encouragement as well
and they decided to be a team rather than duke it out. I understand that it is not
easy in some circumstances with one family member is trying to manage the pup’s
training in one way and another family member seemingly sabotaging those efforts.
Maybe that family member just doesn’t care that their current interactions will
impact the dog’s behavior as that dog matures or even the dog’s safety.
Trainers like myself who offer private or one-on-one training get an up
close and personal peek into the family dynamics while class trainers
can retain a bit of a distance. When I teach classes I observe clients who put
on that public face and are cordial to their spouse or partner during the class.
There are class clients attending with a spouse or partner who choose to observe
but do not want to participate for fear of upsetting the person who will
share that car ride home.
Bottom line: It is my job to train the dog and interested family members.
I do my very best to make it a fun and positive experience for the humans and of course
the dog, then the responsibility for follow-through is 100% on the family.
It is not my job to referee or be a family counselor but do find myself in that position frequently.
However awkward, if I can make a difference with that extra task on my plate by
unifying the interested parties then it is worth it.
I am always hopeful those family members who are at odds with each other
will put the dog’s best interest before their own egos and the need
to be right and just DO right by the family dog.
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
The Top 10
1, I may beg for the food you are eating but I do not know what is best for me. I just want what you are eating or what smells good to me. I am counting on you to know what is best for me and how much to give me. I do not know what will make me sick. What I do know is how to manipulate you until you cave and give me food. I know you think I am finicky with my meals but really I am just holding out for all the treats you give me during the day which can fill me up. I want to be with you a long time so please make sure I have a balanced diet.
3. I hear my Vet telling you I am overweight and that 50% of pets in this country are overweight,
a nice way of calling us fat. I really, really want to be with you a long time so
let’s both watch our weight together this coming year
4. Let’s walk together everyday.
If I pull you when I am on that thing that seems to be pulling me or holding me from exploring or running, it is NOT that I am trying to dominate you, I want to explore and you tend to walk too slowly. Please teach me how to walk with you so we both have fun. Oh, I have heard about hiking and would like to give that a try with you.
I am a baby. Please do not take me to a dog park. I hear it is best for dogs
that are already socialized. It is a scary place with dogs in my face that won’t
give me space. I do not know how to defend myself yet but will have to learn
if I cannot count on you to protect me.
5. When I was a pup you taught me how to sit and a few other things that I don’t remember.
I am feeling a little lost and even nervous sometimes as I really don’t know what you want. I know you love me but I am happy when you teach me something so I can feel more confident and feel we can communicate with each other and not have you so angry with me for things I do not understand. I am NOT being dominant or stubborn because I am not listening to you. You have taught me not to listen to you
6. Your friends seem nice and I like some of them but I am hoping you teach your friends not to stick their face in my face or think I want them to pet my head. Do you like people touching your head? Please ask your friends to respect my personal space and let me get to smell them first when they come over. Letting your friends pick me up or hug me tells me you don’t care much about me
and I have to fend for myself.
7. I hear people saying how cute I am and they ask you if they can pet me. Great.
But, please ask them to wait for me to make the first move. I may be
uncomfortable with some strangers so if I do not make the first move
please please please do not just let them come up to me to touch me.
I really don’t like it and they do not seem to care. I want you to care and to protect me. I
am trying to let them know not to touch me but they do not seem to get it.
I will have to snap or growl at them let them know not to touch me
8. That brings me to the subject of other dogs we see during our walks. I hear those pet parents
tell you their dog wants to say hi. I am reading the other dog differently than you and even the other people and am asking you, no begging you to say no sometime to these people and let me and the other dog relax first and investigate each other if we choose to. Do you want strangers to just come
up to you on the street and shake your hand or give you a hug? I know you don’t.
I do not have to say hi to every dog on the street, that is not socializing me,
that is telling me I am on my own and I can’t count on you to protect me.
9. I want to spend more time with you. You are gone all day, come home and
seem to prefer to sit and play games with some device on your lap rather
than having me on your lap. I love you and you are all I have.
10. Sometimes I am not feeling well and need to see my doctor. Please don’t wait until I am really
sick to take me to my Vet. If I am not eating or drinking water or no longer want to play please take me to the Vet. I really want to be healthy enough to be with you for a long, long time
I want to thank my readers for your continued support all these years. Your emails are
appreciated. I have covered many topics over the years on my blog but if there is a topic of interest you want me to write about let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing my readers a very happy and healthy New Year!
I am looking forward to another year with you!
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
This blog is a repost from 2014 with a few tweaks. Hope you enjoyed it.
By Tracey Stewart
Former Vet tech and lifetime animal advocate Tracey Stewart is on a mission.
Her mission is to change how we interact with animals and respect animals,
whether they share our home, live out horrific days at factory farms or suffer at
commercial breeding hellholes. Do Unto Animals is a friendly guide to
how animals live and how we can make their lives better.
Do Unto Animals took me by surprise as animal advocates lean towards preachy and shame.
Steward took another path. Although the message is clear, the charming approach taken by Stewart
was thoughtful, educational and entertaining. You can feel the genuine love Stewart has
for animals through her heartfelt narrative, and clever illustrations. This new author shares her heart
and passion throughout this book with stories, tips, and a taste of reality and is sure to attract a loyal following.
If you are looking for a book as a gift for an animal lover, look no further.
Do Unto Animals is it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, cover to cover.
The author is married to the former host of the Daily Show, Jon Stewart
with whom she is creating a sanctuary for at-risk animals.
Illustrations by Lisel Ashlock and published by Artisan Books.
Paperback with flaps $19.95, digital list price $15.95
Amazon Kindle $8.61 paperback $13.86
Easily 5 out of 5 woofs
Disclaimer: Chase and I received this book free of charge for a review
The bounty of rich, tempting foods at Thanksgiving can pose health hazards to our four-legged friends, making Thanksgiving a busy time for emergency veterinary clinics. Seattle Humane urges pet guardians to follow five common sense tips to keep pets healthy and happy during the holiday fun and festivities:
1. Keep the feast out of reach! Agile and creative dogs or cats can capture a special treat from the kitchen counter, trash or even the dining room table.
2. Resist offering your leftovers. Rich and fatty foods like dressing, pie, and gravy can lead to serious and painful pancreatitis.
3. No turkey bones! Turkey bones can cause very serious and sometimes fatal consequences for your pet.
4. Plan ahead for pets. Stop by a pet food store and purchase some new dog biscuits or cat treats and then reduce the amount of his regular meal to accommodate the treats he will be getting throughout the day. Remember, biscuits and treats are usually much higher in calories than regular pet food, so having him skip dinner may be a prudent choice if he has been snacking all day.
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
Seattle Humane, located in Bellevue at the junction of I-405 and I-90, is open the day after Thanksgiving from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fees are waived all day on black cats for “Black Cat Friday” (our version of Black Friday). View adoptable pets at www.seattlehumane.org.
ABOUT Seattle Humane
Founded in 1897, Seattle Humane proudly promotes the human-animal bond by saving and serving pets in need. We provide adoption services 7 days a week, plus pet workshops and training, a pet food bank, a low-fee spay/neuter surgery program, humane teen club, a visiting pets program and more. Seattle Humane located in Bellevue, at 13212 SE Eastgate Way. For directions and more information, visit www.seattlehumane.org or call (425) 641-0080.