Spokesdog's Canine Couch

A journey about dogs and their people by Diane Rich

Getting to the Bottom of Poop

May 27th, 2014 at 4:11 pm by Diane Rich
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 Is It Too Soft, Is It Too Hard, or Is It Just Right?
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c Diane Rich 2014

A couple months ago while researching a specific canine disease I stumbled across an incredibly informative website on my topic of interest and decided to click through some of the links. One of the links led me to a Vet Clinic’s website that featured a fecal scoring system from Nestle’ Purina that I wanted to share with my readers for reference.

fecal chart
Image referenced from; http://www.foothillpethospital.com/pet_info-fecalscoring.html
http://www.purinaveterinarydiets.com/getresource.axd?category=content&id=904

Dr. Oz
Dr. Oz broke the ice years ago on his popular TV show discussing the hush hush topic of human poop and went into detail as to what human poo should look like.  Dr. Oz recommended that each member of his audience, along with all his viewers play detective when looking into the toilet bowl at their own poop and based on the information and references from that show can do a layman’s health check.  America’s Doctor told his audience that poop offers valuable information with regard to the health of a human and in the case of my blog, canine poop can offer some clues as to the health of the family dog.

A Picture is Worth- Well, You Know the rest
Should you enter into a discussion about your dog’s poo with your Vet,  your description of it may be different than what the Vet is visualizing.  So, before one of my recent Vet visits with Chase I had printed out the chart to bring with me so I could point to the photos depicting his poo. Different day-different poo so several of the reference photos were spot on.

Look at It
Those pet parents who must walk the family dog daily for potty time are more apt to notice any changes in the dog’s stool than owners with dogs that poop in the back yard.  Dog poop deposited in the back yard may go unattended for days, or longer so a pet parent may not notice if there is a problem.

Top Ten Poop Pointers
1. Color
Note the color of your dog’s poop. The poop should be a chocolate brown.  The food your dog consumes which includes treats and digestible chews can affect the color of your dog’s poo.  If your dog destroys toys you may note pieces of the toy or other consumed objects in the stool.

2. Shape and Consistency
When you scoop or bag up the dog’s poo note if it seems rock hard. It will be obvious if it is runny. Poop should be shaped like a log, not segmented in small pieces. It should be firm but not hard.

3. Size Matters
The quantity of poop should be consistent with the size of the dog and amount the dog eats.  Volume of stool is something to note be it too little or too much.

4. Poke Around
Ok, this one is not motivating to do. Find a stick or some disposable object for this task. If you see what appears as mucous, or pieces of some substance, or what appears to be little grains of rice or wiggly things which could indicate parasites always a good idea to take a stool sample to the Vet.

5. Stinky Poop
Commercial diets and raw diets produce a variance in odor.  Foul odor can be caused from the diet, an imbalance of bacteria in the digestive tract or a medical condition.

6. Fecal test
If you note something is off with your dog’s poo, you may want to have your Vet run fecal test on your dog to check for worms and parasites, especially if your dog frequents dog parks or daycare.  In addition, if you note the stool has some red streaking in it,  is tarry looking or resembles numbers 4-7 on the fecal chart take your dog to the Vet.

7. Problem Poopers
If your pet is straining when she tries to poop or can’t seem to get into a comfy position to poo or goes for days without pooping take your dog to the Vet. Constipation is not healthy and could be symptomatic of the wrong diet, a dehydrated dog or could be due to a blockage or obstruction so a Vet visit is your best bet.

8. Be Proactive
Bottom line is don’t be shy and check your dog’s poo frequently.

9. Leftovers
A good rule of thumb is after you scoop the poop there should not be any residue on the ground.

10. What is Normal?
All dogs have loose stool on occasion although some dogs seem to have it more than others.  With the advice of your Vet as to your dog’s normal you can monitor the consistency, color and quantity for any deviation.

I would recommend that all Vets have this chart available as a visual reference for clients.

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

Humans and Their Pet Dogs; Shared Cancers, Shared Hope

May 22nd, 2014 at 10:49 am by Diane Rich
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Dr. Matthew Breen’s Research

Featured at 2014 ACVIM Forum, June 4-7 Nashville, Tennessee
Matthew Breen speaker ACVIM
Photo credit: Wendy Savage, North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine

(Denver, Colo.) In human medicine a gold standard of diagnosis and prognosis for numerous cancers has involved cytogenetic (linking the study of genetic inheritance with the study of cell structure) assessment of the tumor cells.

Within the past few years scientists have demonstrated that characteristic cytogenetic changes associated with human cancers are shared in corresponding canine cancers. Researchers are now exploring the broader use of cytogenetics in veterinary oncology as a means to advance clinical management and treatment options for cancers affecting pet dogs.

To pursue this first required the development of key reagents and tools specific for use with canine specimens, says Dr. Matthew Breen, a North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine professor of genomics.

Dr. Breen’s  Bio:
Dr. Matthew Breen graduated with honors in Genetics from the University of Liverpool, U.K. in 1987. He completed his PhD, working on cytogenetics of the Equidae in 1990. Dr. Breen was employed as a Post Doctoral research scientist in Molecular Genetics at the U.K. Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he was responsible for developing improved fluorescence in situ hybridization techniques as part of the Human Genome Mapping Project. Dr. Breen then spent four years working for the Australian Thoroughbred industry, based at the University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia. In 1996 Dr. Breen returned to the U.K. where his laboratory developed molecular cytogenetics reagents, resources and techniques for application to canine and equine genome mapping, comparative cytogenetics and cancer cancer studies. In 1998 Dr. Breen was awarded membership of the Institute of Biology and the title of Chartered Biologist.

In 2002 Dr. Breen relocated his laboratory to NCSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine as part of their Genomics initiative. His research interests continue to focus on genomics, genome mapping and the comparative aspects of canine cancer

Breen will address the 2014 ACVIM Forum attendees Wednesday, June 4 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville with presentations titled, “Genomics & Genetics in Veterinary Medicine: An Overview” and “Cancer in the Domestic Dog: A Genome With Two Tales,” detailing the latest advances in the field.

Breen’s laboratory has developed an extensive cytogenetics “toolbox” designed to provide the necessary means to identify key cytogenetic signatures in numerous canine cancers.
As a result of these efforts, several cytogenetic assays have been developed that will allow veterinary scientists to:

(1)    Accurately predict the duration of first remission in canine lymphoma patients treated with doxorubicin (an anthracycline used widely in cancer lymphoma treatment)-based therapy. Canine lymphoma affects an estimated 300,000 dogs per year.

(2)    Diagnose the presence of a transitional cell carcinoma/urogenital carcinoma using a urine sample. TCC affects an estimated 50,000 dogs per year and to date accurate diagnosis has required an invasive biopsy of the mass, generally in the bladder.

(3)    Identify a signature that allows for accurate differentiation of lymphoma from histocytic neoplasms (tumors). In some cases, discrimination of the two cancers poses a challenge and this is overcome with the new assay.

All of these are being developed in a format that will provide a report within 48 to 72 hours, facilitating more informed treatment and better clinical management.

Breen’s group has also demonstrated that the cytogenetic changes observed in several canine cancers are shared with the corresponding cancers in humans. This allows the team to now consider the dog as a means to accelerate advances in our understanding of cancers in both species.

“By considering the canine and human genomes in such a comparative context,” he says, “we have identified that the genomic complexity of cancers may be less than human studies alone have suggested.

“By working with human cancer researchers the data developed from assessment of canine cancer samples is being transferred to the human patient with some intriguing findings that will ultimately provide greater depth of understanding and potentially improved patient care for human cancer patients.”
For example, by analyzing a particular form of brain cancer affecting humans and dogs, Breen and colleagues have reduced the number of genes of potential interest from over 500 to fewer than 10.
Breen is working with dog owners and breeders to identify and reduce defective genes from our pet populations while collaborating with other scientists seeking clues to human cancer. “Within the canine genome,” he says, “we are starting to find the answers we have been looking for in our own genome for over a half century. The domestic dog’s genome is providing clues to helping us unlock some of nature’s most intriguing puzzles about cancer.”

Media Note: Accredited members of the media may attend the 2014 ACVIM Forum at no charge. However, you are required to register with the ACVIM. For media registration, please fill out a registration form or contact Laurie Nelson at Laurie@ACVIM.org or 303.231.9933.

On-site Press Room
Location: Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Hours:
Wednesday June 4, 2:00–5:00 pm
Thursday June 5, 8:00 am–5:00 pm
Friday June 6, 12:00–5:00 pm
Saturday June 7, 8:00 am–12:00 pm 

About the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM)

The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of animals and people through education, training and certification of specialists in veterinary internal medicine, discovery and dissemination of new medical knowledge, and increasing public awareness of advances in veterinary medical care.

The ACVIM hosts the ACVIM Forum, an annual continuing education meeting where cutting-edge information, technology and research abstracts are showcased for the veterinary community. More than 3,000 veterinary specialists, veterinarians, technicians and students attend.

The ACVIM is the certifying organization for veterinary specialists in cardiology, large animal internal medicine, neurology, oncology and small animal internal medicine.

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

Is Your Dog Friendly?

May 16th, 2014 at 12:47 pm by Diane Rich
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Does Your Dog Bite?

GSDFraseryawn
c Diane Rich 2014

The first question in the subject line of this blog  is usually directed towards owners of either small dogs, or dogs with fluffy fur. The second question is usually asked of people with German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, Boxers or Dobermans.

This is National Bite Prevention Week and although tips to prevent a bite are plentiful on websites, print media or TV, those tips do not seem to reduce the number of bites people experience on a yearly basis.  In fact the number of bites is on the increase.  I am not surprised.

Here are some stats from the CDC (Center for Disease Control)
1. Nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year

2. One in five dog bites, about 850,000 bites result in injuries serious enough to require medical attention. Half of these are children

3. In 2012, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs

4. The CDC goes on to state that children between the ages of 5-9 years of age are more likely
than adults to receive medical attention for a dog bite

5. Male adults are more likely to be bitten than female adults

6. As the number of dogs in the home increases, so does the incidences of dogs bites. Adults with two or more dogs in the household are five times more likely to be bitten than those living without dogs at home

Stats from the American Humane Association

1. Approximately 92% of fatal dog attacks involved male dogs, 94% of which were not neutered

2. Approximately 25% of fatal dog attacks involved chained dogs

3. Approximately 71% of bites occur to the extremities (arms, legs, hands, feet)

4. Approximately two-thirds of bites occurred on or near the victim’s property, and most victims knew the dog

5. The insurance industry pays more than $489 million in dog-bite claims each year

6. Approximately 24% of human deaths involved unrestrained dogs off of their owners’ property

7. Approximately 58% of human deaths involved unrestrained dogs on their owners’ property4

Although there are no guarantees here are some tips to help prevent a dog bite:

  1. Spay or neuter your dog.  This is not a magic bullet but can help take the edge off
  2. Never, EVER leave an infant or young child alone with a dog

keenan fraser by car 9-3-09
c Diane Rich 2014

3. Teach children to not approach an unfamiliar dog.  That doesn’t mean make the child afraid of dogs. Your child will model your behavior so if you ask permission to pet a dog and do so properly your child may emulate you
lab cloud pet t session dennys 5-14
c Diane Rich 2014

4. Know your dog and prepare your dog to properly greet guests and if possible prepare your guests for proper meet and greets with your dog.  Even if your dog is friendly people should not be given carte blanche with the family pet.

Example: When I lived L.A. I was at a party with friends. One person was playing fetch with the family dog and also enjoyed petting the dog throughout the evening.  She thought they became best buddies. When this person was about to leave she went in to hug this dog goodbye and the dog bit her on top of her head.  The injury required stitches.

5. Dogs that are fearful, nervous or skittish also need to work with a seasoned professional behavior expert as these dogs if backed into a corner may respond defensively

6. Do not Approach any dog that is tethered in someone’s yard.  Or even if tethered outside a storefront

7. Although difficult if you are afraid, do not run from a dog or scream. Remaining motionless is recommended but if a dog is intent on biting, that posture, or rolling up on the ground does not always work

8. If you need to be on the ground, roll up in a ball and protect your face and neck

9. Although dog lovers like to stick their face in the face of an unfamiliar dog or go in for a hug, dogs don’t look at that act of love as intended by the human and many feel encroached upon and restrained.  This applies to guests wanting to hug the family dog.

10. Avoid direct eye contact with an unfamiliar dog

And, lastly dogs should not be forced to or expected to just “take it” from a child crawling on them, invading their space on the dog bed, pulling their ears or tail or swatting them.  Kids should not be allowed to tease a dog or be next to a dog when that dog is eating.

I am hopeful we see a decline in dog bites this year.

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

 

 

 

Seattle Humane Broke Records at the 2014 Tuxes and Tails Gala

May 12th, 2014 at 9:50 am by Diane Rich
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More Than 1.3 Million Dollars Raised at this Popular Fundraiser

Shelter to grow their Community Outreach Programs to save more lives

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I absolutely love Seattle Humane Society.  I love how it is run, I love the fact that the volunteers always seem to have a smile on their faces, I love the care given each and every pet that finds its way to this shelter, I love the Maxmobile and I love the support the community gives this amazing organization.Nearly 1000 guests enjoyed SHS’s 25th annual Tuxes and Tails fundraiser in Bellevue recently which is a testament to SHS.Local media and former Super Sonics Slick Watts and Gus Williams, showed their support by walking the runway with Seattle Humane’s adoptable shelter pets.

“We’re proud to host Tuxes & Tails – a spectacular event for a great cause,” said CEO David Loewe, “but we could not do it without our charitable sponsors, hundreds of supporters who procure and donate auction items, our dedicated staff and volunteers who ensure that the night goes off without a hitch, and our guests who give so generously to the animals.”The special “Fund-A-Need” project was the highlight of the live auction and raised more than $570,000 for Seattle Humane to expand its Community Outreach Programs. These live-saving services provide critical pet food and vet services to thousands of pets belonging to low-income seniors, cancer patients and people disabled by HIV/AIDS. This Fund-A-Need ensures that thousands of people in our community will not be forced to give up their pets when they need them most.

If you couldn’t make it to Tuxes & Tails this year, it’s not too late to make a difference! You can still make a donation to the Seattle Humane Society at tuxesandtails.org. To make a donation to the Fund-A-Need to expand our Community Outreach Programs, go to tuxesandtails.org or call (425) 373-5382.

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

 

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Baby Steps When Working With The Shy Or Timid Dog

May 5th, 2014 at 5:39 pm by Diane Rich
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From My Files

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Baby steps       c Diane Rich 2014

Caller:  I recently adopted a dog from  SaveaLife (made up name) Dog Rescue. She doesn’t wag her tail, in fact her tail is usually tucked.  She seems to be scared of everything, won’t look at me and is not bonding with my family. She doesn’t even play with her toys.  Sometimes she won’t eat and just stays on her dog bed. We have only had her a month and I am thinking of taking her back to the shelter but my kids want to keep her and I don’t know what to do.

Caller:  My family adopted a dog over the weekend and he follows me from room to room and if he is not near me he whines constantly or barks.  I can’t live like this as I can’t take him everywhere I go.  I live in an apartment and have already had one complaint. He is 3 or 4 years old and he is also having accidents in the house even though we take him out all the time.  We like this dog but if he continues to pee in the house and upset my neighbors we can’t keep him.

Caller:  We found our dog on line and adopted him.   We wanted a lap dog but he wants to be on our lap all the time or he gets anxious. If someone comes near me when he is on my lap he growls at them.   If he is on the floor and any of us make a sudden movement even a small movement he runs away and barks. He sometimes growls at people.   I was sweeping my floors the other day and when he saw the broom he cowered so we think he was abused. He is also afraid of men but is warming up to my husband.

Caller:  I just adopted my dog a week ago. She is 3 months old.  She loves people but is afraid of other dogs and I want her to be social. When I have her on leash and make her sit and have other dogs approach her she wants to hide behind me.  I don’t like it.

Acclimating to a New Environment
From the Dog’s POV (point of view)
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c Diane Rich 2014

Everything is New
Whether you rescue a dog from a shelter or rescue group or buy a dog or puppy from a breeder from that dog’s perspective you are new, your environment is new, the neighborhood is new, a collar and leash could be new, your kids and their friends are new, being the only dog is new or being part of a different pack is new.  Your intention to give a dog a home is wonderful does not always make the transition for a timid or shy dog an easy one or a quick one.

The Back-Story
A puppy or dog that is bold, curious and confident usually makes the transition to a new family and new home quickly but for the dog that has limited to negative social experiences, is the product of poor breeding and handling and presents nervous, skittish, shy behavior the acclimation process is going to take more time.  Sometimes the back-story on your new addition is clear and other times it can be a little murky

An Analogy
If you watched the fabulous movie,  Shawshank Redemption you may recall the part where inmate Brooks, the old timer who after 50 years of incarceration was finally paroled to a world he no longer knew or understood. His voice-over took the audience on his journey of  trying to “make it on the outside” as it was unfamiliar, overwhelming and frightening on a 24 hour basis. He couldn’t cope so he killed himself.  Then, towards the end of the movie the storyline beautifully took us on another journey with another inmate, Red who was played by the talented Morgan Freeman. He was finally paroled after serving most of his life in prison and met with the same challenges as he too was terrified of this new, unfamiliar life. However, the writer gave Red a goal which was to find a hidden box buried by his best friend Andy, played by Tim Robbins who escaped Shawshank. That goal was the ticket to help Red cope.
It is up to us, as the dog’s new family to patiently help a new dog, especially a timid and skittish new addition to cope with their new life.

 Obedience Classes
Many owners who have not parented a dog with behavior such as anxiousness, noise phobias, issues around movement may be told or believe a training class will help the dog work through these problem behaviors.  Unfortunately, that is usually not the case and these owners soon realize after completing their class, the behaviors not only didn’t go away but became more pronounced.

You are the Critical Component for Success to be Realized
Your goals for your new addition must be in place from day one.  Understanding what the dog needs and learning proper strategies to help the dog fulfill those needs should in the end help you realize those goals.

A Dog’s POV
1. I don’t understand this new place. It smells different and unfamiliar. All these people keep touching me and getting in my face. It’s scary.

2. I don’t know where anything is, where do I sleep, where can I hide.  Why are they putting this thing around my neck and dragging me outside. The noises outside are scary.

3. Why are these little humans hugging me so much.  I just want to get away.  I am trying to tell them I am uncomfortable but they don’t listen. I may have to growl at them.

4. I sense your tone of voice as unsure. How can I trust you if you are unsure?  When I am scared you hug me and you are not allowing me to get away from your sounds. I feel trapped.  But, when I am nervous you pet me so I guess being nervous is how I am supposed to be.  I am confused.  I don’t have a lot of experience with people. I don’t trust anyone yet.

5. I hear so many noises and can’t tell where they are coming from or what they are or if they will hurt me. The dogs outside, at the house next door sound upset and I don’t want to go outside as they may get me.

6. The outside is busy and noisy.  Maybe I can run away.

7. I try to go potty outside like I did at my other place,  but it is too noisy here and you keep talking to me. I prefer to potty where it is quiet so will wait until I get back inside.

8. You don’t really know me and I don’t really know you.  Maybe we can trust each other with time.

9. All this space inside your home is scary.  Glad I have places to hide.

10. I wish you understood me.  I don’t want to be like this, nervous all the time. Help me.

Hiring a Behavior Specialist
If your dog is nervous or shy, consider scheduling a training session with an experienced behavior specialist to come to your home within that first week.   After the dog’s confidence improves then a small training class may work.

Dog Parks
dog park corgi scared hiding under bench
c Diane Rich 2014
Lastly, I would not takehim to a dog park at this time until he is bonded with you, has some training and you can predict his social skills.  Dog parks are not the proper environment for a dog to learn social skills and could be incredibly overwhelming for your nervous dog.

Play Dates
Consider contacting your friends who have dogs with impeccable social skills for some play-dates or find a doggie daycare that serves a small number of dogs. You may be able to find a small class for socialization but even a small class can be overwhelming for some dogs.

The Reward
 I love working with shy and nervous dogs and their new family.  Being a part of the transformation process is quite rewarding.

Please be patient, good luck and don’t give up!
Diane
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
www.spokesdog.com
askdiane@spokesdog.com
www.twitter.com/spokesdog

Camp Korey Family Weekend

April 26th, 2014 at 6:54 pm by Diane Rich
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This Weekend Camp Served Children with Autism

Camp Korey hosts family weekends during the off-season and offers support and recreation for those affected by childhood medical conditions which includes not just the individual child, but the entire family. During family weekends campers, siblings, parents and caregivers have the opportunity to bond with other families and take a break.  As with all programs at Camp Korey, family camp is 100% free of charge for all participants.

It is always a heartfelt experience to visit with the kids at Camp Korey during summer camp and other events.  I wanted to share with my readers some of the love between the kids and our amazing therapy pets.  Some of our therapy teams have been visiting the kids at Camp Korey since the very beginning or close to it and a few teams are brand new additions to our pack this season.  Not all of our teams were able to make it this weekend.

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c Diane Rich 2014
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c Diane Rich 2014
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c Diane Rich 2014
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c Diane Rich 2014
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c Diane Rich 2014
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c Diane Rich 2014

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

CELEBRATE NATIONAL ADOPT-A-SHELTER-PET DAY AT SEATTLE HUMANE!

April 25th, 2014 at 12:07 pm by Diane Rich
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Receive 50% the adoption fee for any pet April 25-30 at Seattle Humane

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 National Adopt-A-Shelter-Pet Day is April 30th but we’re celebrating all week long with 50% off the adoption fee for any pet in our care! Visit Seattle Humane April 25-30th and welcome a loving shelter pet into your heart and home for half off the normal fee.

The Seattle Humane Society has adoptable pets in all shapes and sizes and strives to match every person with the furry friend who is the best fit for their family. All dogs and cats are vaccinated, microchipped, health-checked and spay/neutered. Dogs are temperament-tested and most dog adoptions come with a six-week obedience training course. All dogs and cats 13 years of age and under will receive one month of free pet insurance.

See a selection of adoptable animals at seattlehumane.org and visit even more in person at 13212 SE Eastgate Way in Bellevue (near the junction of I-90 and I-405). Seattle Humane is from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sun.-Wed.

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Speaking Woof,
Diane
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
www.spokesdog.com
askdiane@spokesdog.com
www.twitter.com/spokesdog
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13212 SE Eastgate Way, Bellevue, WA 98005 | Main: (425) 641-0080 | Fax: (425) 747-2985 | seattlehumane.org

Hey Fido, Who Are You Under All That Fur?

April 25th, 2014 at 9:05 am by Diane Rich
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An Updated DNA Test for Dogs Can Help Tell the Tail

 tails witty oscar chase
c Diane Rich 2014

Mars Veterinary, a division of MARS® Incorporated states that “about half the dog population in the U.S. is mixed breed.”  This statistic rings true to me just based on my clientele, many of whom have jumped on the trendy mixed breed train over the past 5 plus years. I believe the biggest contributors to the trend are the puppy mills and back-yard breeders churning out more and more crosses to meet the mixed breed demand post Labradoodle creation and sensation.  All toll, the growing numbers make me think the mixed breed population will be well over 50% of the dog population very soon.

 Mars Veterinary created Wisdom Panel™Insights,  a do-it-yourself doggie test kit that a dog owner can use at home to begin the process of unlocking the mystery of their mixed breed’s ancestry.  The test kit contains the swab the owner uses to swipe the inside dog’s cheek to collect a sample. This means the dog must accept your hands in his or her mouth to obtain that sample.  This process for some owners may be a two person operation.

In the recent past, if an owner wanted to determine the ancestry of the family dog, it would necessitate a trip to the Vet who would take a blood sample from the dog to send to a lab for results.  The majority of friends or clients who out of curiosity wanted to learn more about their mixed breed dog’s ancestry from that DNA blood test were a bit perplexed with the results. When I looked at some of their results, I too, raised an eyebrow.

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c Diane Rich 2014

The Wisdom Panel™ Insights fact sheet states they can determine the ancestry of a mixed breed dog by testing for 200 breeds and varieties, the largest database on the market.

I had the pleasure this week to speak to Harrison Forbes, a dog trainer out of Nashville, Tennessee who is the spokesperson for this product and has been traveling coast to coast on what is called the “Swab-a Thon” tour.  Harrison and the Wisdom Panel™ team believe that the DNA information can help prospective owners of shelter dogs make informed choices when adopting a mixed breed dog.  The DNA information may provide insights into the general characteristics of the dog and if the dog is young can help determine the size the dog may be as an adult.

I asked Harrison and the marketing agent, who was also on the line during the interview if the shelter pays for the kit to enhance the adoption process and was told that the prospective adopter would foot the bill for the product.

Harrison will be at the Amazing Pet Expo in Seattle on April 26th.   The Wisdom Panel™ team partners up with a pre-selected shelter prior to coming to a particular city for their coast to coast tour and Harrison is on board to answer questions about this product.

You are welcome to bring your dog to the Amazing Pet Expo at the Seattle Center and have your dog tested at their booth or purchase a kit from a rep at the booth and perform the test yourself at home.  The cost for the swab at the event is $30.00.  If you purchase the kit at the event the cost is $50 and if you purchase the kit from the website the cost is $80.00. The kit includes the swab and a postage paid envelope for the sample to be sent to the laboratory in Oregon for processing.  Harrison told me the results are emailed to the consumer and can be downloaded via a PDF file within 3 weeks of the lab receiving the sample.

Harrison believes that once an owner learns the ancestry of the dog, a training program can be tailored to the dog’s innate characteristics.  Forbes went on to say that understanding the dog’s breed and breed mixes can also help an owner be proactive as to what health conditions are indigenous to a specific breed.  The Wisdom Panel team state that the results of their test can also help the dog owner tailor a nutrition and exercise program for the dog.

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c Diane Rich 2014
Is this dog a true Cavapoo?  The owner was told this pup is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle cross, or are other breeds lurking under her fur.

I asked Harrison about the accuracy of the test and he said they guarantee 90-93% accuracy.   However, when looking at the information on the Wisdom Panel Insights fact sheet it states “the accuracy is dependent on the quality and high levels of variations of the DNA collected by an owner from their dog so they are unable to provide a definite accuracy percentage at this time.” I asked Harrison how far back the DNA test would go and he responded 2 to 3 generations.

I could have easily talked dogs with Harrison beyond the topic for this interview and am happy I was asked to speak with him about this new DNA test.

I find any information about dogs from genetics to behavioral science and canine health to nutrition fascinating.   In the case of determining ancestry, I question if the results of a DNA test would truly make a difference for an owner considering the purchase or adoption of a mixed breed dog as most owners believe what they are told by the breeder who created the mixed breed or the opinion or guess of shelter staff or a Vet.   With regard to the ancestry determining training protocol,  the majority of owners opt for a training class where there is more of a cookie cutter approach to training so not sure the results of a DNA test would help that owner take a different training approach should behaviors be presented by the dog that would affirm the results of the test.  I would hope so,  but have found that dog owners generally implement training techniques based on what a particular trainer suggests in their group class.

For $80.00, if you are interested in learning more about your dog’s ancestry you may want to purchase this kit for the fun of it and if the results provide valuable information for you to be proactive for the dog’s health and well being, then go for it.

Due to the my natural curiosity of all things dog, if I had a mixed breed, I would most likely buy this kit to test my dog’s DNA,  but due to the skeptic in me would probably test again within the year under an alias to compare those results. Should you choose to do this doggie DNA test I would love to hear from you after you get the results.

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

Seattle Pet Expo

April 21st, 2014 at 2:23 pm by Diane Rich
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Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Bring your pet to the Seattle Pet Expo on Saturday!

Time:     10AM to 6PM
Where: Indoors at  Seattle Center

Free Admission! 

Discount Vaccinations, Pet Costume & Talent Contest, Awesome Animal Demonstrations, Mega Adoption Area, Great Pet Products, Free Nail Trims, Tons of Entertainment, & So Much More!

Meet Shorty & Hercules! Shorty Rossi, the “Pit Boss” is the official spokesperson for Amazing Pet
Expos!   Meet him and his sidekick, Hercules, at our event!

Here is a link that lists all the activities.  Fun for the whole family.
http://www.seattlepetexpo.com/component/content/article/2-uncategorised/15-entertainment-activities-schedule.html

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

Book Review; Puddle Pug

April 7th, 2014 at 9:55 am by Diane Rich
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By Kim Norman and Illustrated by Keika Yamaguchi
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c Diane Rich 2014
“Blue puddles, dew puddles, thick as turtle stew puddles. Percy the Pug loves puddles of all sorts
but every one he finds is lacking.

Percy the Pug searched high and low to find that perfect puddle and one day he spotted a mama
pig and her babies enjoying the best puddle he had ever seen.  Mama pig was not so happy to share
the family puddle with Percy until one day after a big storm one of the piglets went missing.

You will have to read the book to learn who saved the day and his just reward.

Norman’s book is a must have to read with or to children as a bed time story or for your daycare provider to read to children at nap time.  I also would recommend this book to be included at pet therapy programs where children read to dogs.
pet therapy reading to fraser
c Diane Rich 2014

Sterling Children’s Books, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. www.sterlingpublishing.com

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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