Spokesdog's Canine Couch

A journey about dogs and their people by Diane Rich

Seattle Humane Offers Safety Tips for Seafair

July 29th, 2015 at 7:30 am by Diane Rich
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hr bar red
 The Blue Angels roaring in our skies at Seafair this week may be captivating for humans, but the loud roar of jet engines can be hard on our companion animals. With a little planning, you can keep your pets calm and safe at home.The squadron will take to the skies Thursday and Friday for practice flights. They’ll also be performing at the Boeing Air Show Saturday and Sunday at Genesee Park on Lake Washington.

Blue Angels Flight Schedule:

• Thursday: 9:45 a.m. – noon; 1:15 – 2:40 p.m. (Practice)
• Friday, July 31: 11:50 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. (Practice)
• Saturday, Aug. 1: 11:50 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. (Full show)
• Sunday, Aug. 2: 11:50 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. (Full show)

Keep your furry family members safely indoors in an enclosed room, preferably one without windows. The biggest risk is that pets will get loose and become lost. Even if a pet is secured inside, the sound of the Blue Angels flying overhead can cause them to panic. Your companion animals should be microchipped and they should be wearing an identification tag on their collar. If you have moved, make sure that the microchip company has your current address and phone number. If you are expecting guests, keep your pets in a room that is off-limits to guests, with plenty of fresh water.

Surround your pets with their favorite toys and other familiar objects to create a calming environment. Play soothing music and keep the room as quiet as possible by closing doors, windows, and blinds.

Seattle Humane offers $20 microchipping (includes national registration) for pets of income-restricted guardians. Appointments are available on a drop-in basis 7 days a week from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. For more information call (425) 641-0080 or visit the microchipping page on our website at seattlehumane.org.

Speaking Woof,
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 is located in Bellevue, at 13212 SE Eastgate Way. For directions and more information, visit www.seattlehumane.org or call (425) 641-0080.

Pet Estate Planning: Six Things You Need to Do To Protect Your Pet

July 22nd, 2015 at 9:03 am by Diane Rich
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Guest blog By Stuart Furman, Esq.

photo fun cemetary shoot

Our pets are often as much a beloved part of the family as are our children, yet they are all too often the forgotten loved ones when it comes to estate planning. With our nation’s senior population expected to double from 2012 to 2050, that means hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of pets are at risk.

Should we, or our loved one, need to be moved into a care facility, or worse, pass on, there should be a plan in place that has the pet’s and owner’s best interests in mind. In an owner’s’ sudden absence, animals can show signs of anxiety that may be mistaken for aggression, sadly resulting in being sent to an animal shelter or worse, put down. This would likely be devastating to the senior and not what they would want for their beloved pet.

Although you can’t replace the senior’s own voice, touch, how he/she plays with the pet, or just how he or she spends time walking the dog. The best that can be done is to have all of the alternatives well established in case the pet must be separated from its trusted friend.

A pet estate plan should include the following:

1. The Pet’s medications and health history must be clearly articulated.

Like humans, pets often take medications.  Is there a medication list? Dosages identified? Times of administering the medications listed? Veterinarian identified? Emergency hospital identified?  If the senior is incapacitated, these items cannot be communicated.

2. Alternative living locations must be identified.

If the senior needs to go to the hospital for a short stay, where will the pet live on a temporary basis?  Is there a boarding home that has already been selected?  Is there a friend or relative to be the caretaker for the pet until the senior returns?

If there is a catastrophic event with the senior, where he or she passes away or must move to a facility where pets are not allowed, where will the pet reside on a permanent basis?  Has the pet been previously introduced to this person?  Has the person consented in advance?  Are there funds to support the pet identified in the senior’s estate plan?  If the worst happens, is there a “no-kill” shelter identified that will take the pet?

3. Pet’s attributes must be identified.

Tragically there are many animals that are needlessly killed or destroyed by others due to the pet not being understood.  Dogs in particular can be possessive and territorial.  They sense stress and tragedy and react as you would expect.  Understanding the characteristics is important to protect the animal from needless harm since they cannot communicate on their own.  Their character must be articulated and should include aggressive tendencies, if any, their territorial nature, their habits, bowel habits, whether they are crate-trained, and other characteristics that may affect how the pet is treated by third parties under stressful conditions.
4. Pet records must be identified and accessible.

There is no “Pet-Veterinarian Privilege” but if the location of records and contact information is not available, then caring for the pet can be more difficult.  Has the pet been inoculated?  Are they current?  Where are the records located?  It is not uncommon for a pet to have had more than one Vet over its lifetime. The records may be scattered among several Veterinarian offices.  Where are the records location?  Is there a chip implant? What is the company name, code and password to communicate with the chip company?

5. The pet’s diet and other food must be clearly identified.

What is the regular food, feeding times, amounts?  Many pets have digestion issues if food is changed which can be very messy.  Are allergies identified?
6. Pet provisions must be drafted into the senior’s estate plan in case of death.

The people that will take the pet must be identified in the estate plan.  Funding for the ongoing care needs to be clearly articulated.

After watching thousands of families struggle through the eldercare process, I wrote a book and accompanying guide, including a chapter just on pets, that takes out all the guesswork for families starting their eldercare journey by packing all the necessary information into one place.  Whether you go it alone or use an estate-planning attorney, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of planning ahead.

Speaking Woof,
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC


Stuart Furman, Esq., is an elder law attorney of 34 years. He is President of the Southern California Legal Center, Inc. and author of The ElderCare Ready Book (2015) and The ElderCare Ready Pack (2015).  For further information, please visit www.eldercareready.com.

Spokesdog’s Book Review” Dr. Jack’s Dog Facts

July 8th, 2015 at 9:48 am by Diane Rich
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A Guide to Common Canine Ailments, By John Bloxham, D.V.M.

c Diane Rich 2015

By the age of 12, Dr. John Bloxham knew he wanted to be a Veterinarian and
that young boy grew up to be just that, a Vet.  Looking back over 50 years of Veterinary
service,  Dr. Jack decided to write a guide for pet parents covering common
canine ailments.  This passionate Vet cuts to the chase in a no nonsense approach
breaking down his topics from the dog’s nose to the dog’s toes.

Dr. Jack states “if you take your dog to 10 different Vets you
would end up with 5 or 6 different opinions.”
He goes on to say, “there are no absolutes in diagnosing
and treating illnesses.”

Case and point, one of this Vet’s topics briefly covered Lipomas.
Any lump or bump on your pet should be checked out by your Vet
and most of the time lipomas are benign fatty tumors. Many breeds,
like my breed, Dobermans are prone to lipomas and my dog’s Vet believes in
letting them alone unless they are impacting the dog’s comfort or pose
a health risk. Dr. Bloxham believes in removing lipomas if they get bigger than a quarter.

The author offers an uncomplicated, easy to understand explanation of a variety
of health conditions along with options for treatment. Dr. Bloxham is a very matter of fact
author, compassionate about animals and their people and does not sugar coat his opinions
about canine care. It is a style of communication I look for when selecting my dog’s Veterinarian.
I recommend this book.


For more information, please visit http://www.drjacksdogfacts.com
“Dr. Jack’s Dog Facts: A Guide to Common Canine Ailments”

Retail price: $13.95

About the Author
Dr. Jack (John) Bloxham has practiced veterinary medicine for over fifty
years since his graduation from Auburn University. Having practiced both with
large animals and small, he has enjoyed having fostered wonderful relationships with
his four legged patients and their owners. Dr. Jack has been appreciated as an excellent
diagnostician and a skilled surgeon by his patients and technicians whom
have been fortunate enough to have worked with him. It has been estimated that
Dr. Jack has had many thousands of patients through the years!

Speaking Woof,
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC

Is Doggie Daycare Right For Your Dog

July 7th, 2015 at 7:36 am by Diane Rich
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Pros and Cons of Doggie Daycare

bentley puppy class 7-11
 Diane Rich 2015

Pet Parents want the best for the family pooch and some parents may be concerned about
leaving the dog home alone all day. Help may be just around the corner.
Enter, doggie daycare.

Annual Pet Expeditures On the Rise
The doggie daycare business has continued a strong growth
pattern in most major cities over the past decade. Statistics from
The American Pet Products Association estimate total pet expenditures,
which includes daycare will reach over 60 billion dollars in 2015.

Catching the Scent of Investors and Others
What used to be a single operator daycare business has caught the scent of investors
and the doggie daycare business concept has hit the franchise market.
In addition,  this demand for daycare was strong enough for a big box
pet store to add a Pet Hotel for boarding and daycare services.

Some breeders have jumped on the money train as well and offer boarding
and daycare exclusively to their puppy and adult dog customers.
The main “pro” for this opportunity is as long as the dogs are not just
warehoused and numbers don’t exceed proper supervision, the breeder has
a vested interest in the dogs under their care.  Many breeders offer grooming as
well which adds to their bottom line.

Some commercial boarding facilities that once only warehoused hundreds of
dogs in separate dog runs charging customers extra for short daily dog
walks have expanded their real estate to include fenced play yards for daycare services.

It doesn’t stop there, some Veterinarians and groomers created or expanded
space to offer daycare. This service adds to their revenue stream.

$ to $$$$
Prices vary for daycare based on zip code and services provided.
Expect to pay anywhere from about $15 to $100 a day.

The Search Begins
The usual process to locate a daycare facility is getting referrals through
a friend, the dog’s Vet or trainer. If a referral isn’t available one can just google
doggie daycare plug in a zip code, read reviews and make a selection.

After zeroing in on a facility an owner makes a call or fills out an online form listed on
the company website. The next step is usually an invitation to bring the dog to that facility for an evaluation.

Ruh Roh; the Behavioral Evaluation
If you have chosen a daycare and they do not require an application, proof
of vaccinations or titer results and require an on- site behavioral evaluation find another daycare.
This on-site evaluation also gives the owner the opportunity to tour the facility.
If you are not allowed to tour the facility, that should be another red flag.

The canine evaluation is based on that employee or business owner’s ability to properly
evaluate the newcomer. Some business owners use their own dogs or specific
dogs to test out the newbie’s social skills. The challenge with this approach
is there are usually different dogs on different days and who knows if all will
get along.

In addition, an owner’s nerves may be on edge for this audition hoping for approval
which can also affect results.  If your dog is approved, you can breathe
a sigh of relief, sign a contract and choose daycare days.

The Business Side
As with dog trainers, daycare operators just need a business license, not
expertise in dog behavior to open a daycare. Most daycare providers learn
on the job, which means learning on your dog.

Every daycare owner adheres to their own specific philosophy as to what
constitutes appropriate k-9 social skills. More importantly each facility
owner implements their own techniques as to how to manage a pack of dogs,
which includes how they will discipline unruly dogs, how they deal with excessive barking
and how they break up scuffles. Most customers believe the business owner and staff know what
they are doing and do not ask questions as they do not want to make waves.

Doggie daycare, like any business is bottom line driven and unfortunately dogs may be
approved that have no business or benefit being in that environment. To
maximize revenue the number of dogs accepted may increase under
the more tails the better philosophy.

The Pressure to Socialize the Family Dog
Daycare or dog parks in my opinion, should not be used to socialize dogs.
Dogs should already be socialized under the watchful eye and guidance of the pet
parent before they enter these environments.
oscar robbinswood shibas poodle 11-10
c Diane Rich 2015

Small play groups organized by someone knowledgeable in canine behavior,
or just choosing one or two appropriate, dog friendly canine buddies can be
a good way to begin and maintain your dog’s social skills.

Is Day Care Glamorous?
Day care seems like a glamorous business being around wonderful dogs all day.
Many dog lovers romanticize this business thinking of dogs romping
and playing all day. This scenario does happen but there is more to it. Daycare
employees are playground directors, play buddies, cuddle buddies,
referees, pooper-scoopers, dishwashers, janitors and disciplinarians.  If it were all fun and games
the attrition rate of daycare employees working in commercial businesses would not be so high.

The Pros and Cons
1. Socialization Benefits
If the dog has some social skills or is a social butterfly then with proper
supervision, daycare can be a wonderful environment if those skills are kept in check.
Keep in mind the population of dogs may change daily and some dogs only do well with
familiar buddies but not so much with new faces. Some dogs prefer the company
of humans to that of their own species and prefer to hang with the humans.

2. My Puppy Comes Home Tired So I’m Happy
I hear this statement frequently from clients. What the average dog owner may
not know is that the daycare environment is very stimulating, too stimulating
in some cases for some temperaments and can cause increased arousal with some dogs
around other dogs. So, the exhaustion a pet owner observes from their dog at the
end of the day could be more from stress than from romps with furry friends.

3. Exercise
Busy work schedules may impact the owner’s ability or even motivation to
exercise the family pooch and it is left up to the daycare to provide that opportunity.
Some dogs are not interested in romping with other dogs and are much happier
with a structured activity like a hike.  Some small daycare providers offer
this type of outlet.

oscar hike chase shiva cassie 7-12
c Diane Rich 2015

4. Behavioral Changes
My clientele includes many dogs that may have had positive experiences
at daycare as a pup but as some of these dogs matured, behavioral problems developed such as:

  1. The previously social dog  has become overly excited or overly aroused around other dogs
  2. Dogs that were great or tolerant around other dogs have become guarded and defensive if other dogs invade their personal space. Some breeds are just more sensitive to another dog invading personal space.  Some dogs are not savvy reading other dog’s cues to back off or are just pushy trying to instigate play or some other interaction. And some dogs that cannot or just do not read cut off signals from another dog continue to be obnoxious pestering a dog to engage. In this case neither dog has a good time or if the pushy dog continues it can escalate into both dogs having a seriously bad time.
  3. Puppy owners are told daycare will help their shy dog gain confidence and those owners now are living with a dog that avoids other dogs, is shut down around other dogs or reactive towards other dogs. I work with many dogs that were shy around other dogs, attended daycare and with no escape at daycare became defensively aggressive around other dogs to keep other dogs at a distance. Sad and preventable.
  4. Dogs that were pushy around other dogs were been banned from daycare
    as they became quite skilled at being a bully.
  5. Dogs that loved people with no prior issues of being approached by people developed hand shyness and now back off from any approach
  6. Dogs with no prior issue around high value items developed resource guarding behavior

resource guard aya bowl 7-14
c Diane Rich 2015

What Can Happen Behind the Scenes Out of Web Cam Range
Many providers offer exceptional service to their clients. However this is not
always the case. About 15 years ago, a client who bought a local daycare
business hired me as a consultant. I was asked to conduct a workshop
where I met all the “wranglers” and discussed dog behavior, pack dynamics
and management, how to read dog behavior, how to be proactive to prevent a problem,
strategies to address the problem, and how to evaluate new dogs.

A couple of the young wranglers told me how experienced they were around dogs and stated they were
not really interested in the information. One employee told me in private almost bragging about
what he did to “naughty” dogs outside the view of the web cams. I was stunned by what he told me,
defined his behavior as dog abuse, and reported this to the business owner who seemed to turn a
deaf ear to this news.  I was saddened by the business owner’s lack of follow through and the
only thing I could do at that point was refer clients elsewhere for daycare.

Picking a Daycare
1. What is the ratio for handlers to dogs? Rule of thumb is 1 person for every 10-12 dog
2.What techniques are used for discipline breaking up squabbles or excessive barking?
The current methods seem to be using a squirt bottle filled with either plain water
or water and vinegar to diffuse an issue. Some dogs are given time-outs and confined
in a crate or a dog run throughout the day. Other physical, old school methods
are used at some facilities.
3. Is the facility clean? Your nose knows. Being overpowered by strong disinfectant isn’t healthy for dogs either.
4. If it is an indoor facility where to the dogs potty? Many dogs just potty on the floor
5. What is the emergency plan should a dog get hurt or evacuation plan if there is a disaster?
6. Are dogs supervised at all times?
7. What vaccinations or health checks are required?
8. Do they alert you should there be an outbreak of kennel cough, flu, parvo, giardia or other parasite infestation?
9. Are dogs thrown together in a large group or separated based on size, age or play style?
10. Does the facility provide shelter from the elements, offer heat in the winter and keep dogs cool in the summer?
11. Are dogs allowed some peace, nap-time, chill-time away from the pack?
12. Is the play yard or indoor area escape proof ?
13. Is access by the public allowed to tour the facility supervised?
14. Is staff trained on dog behavior? This is a tough one for dog parents as most owners
do not really know what questions to ask and are at the mercy of the employee’s experience.

Bottom Line
A well run daycare can provide a wonderful opportunity to offer the family dog social time and
an outlet for energetic dogs or young pups to blow off steam. However as a dog hits adolescence
and matures into adult-hood, social behavior may change and in some cases take a turn for the worse
in that environment. Some dogs prefer the company of humans rather than other dogs, some dogs
prefer a few dog buddies rather than a large group, some prefer more organized activities and some
dogs are either too shy or too pushy to be in a daycare environment.

Alternatives for consideration could include hiring an experienced dog walker
or looking to friends or co-workers with social dogs for playtime.  Seattle is home to many
large corporations and small businesses that allow employees to bring dogs to work.
Love that.

Speaking Woof,
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC

Keeping Pets Safe in Hot Weather

June 25th, 2015 at 9:06 am by Diane Rich
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Seattle Humane Offers Pet Safety Tips for Fun in the Sun


With temperatures soaring into the 90′s, Seattle Humane reminds pet owners
to keep their furry friends safe from the heat.
Do not leave your pet in your vehicle.

Even at 70 degrees, the interior of a car can rise to 160 degrees in less than five minutes.
Parking in the shade with the windows cracked is also dangerous.

Your pet’s foot pads contain sweat glands that help keep him cool, and the feet are
particularly vulnerable to hot surfaces. Sidewalks, pavement, sand, and especially black
asphalt can reach blistering temperatures in direct sunlight and cause nasty burns on your pet’s feet.

Signs of burned foot pads include:

• Limping or refusing to walk
• Foot pads appearing darker in color than usual
• Raw, red or blistered foot pads
• Licking or chewing on the feet

Take preventative measures and protect your pet’s feet by walking your pet earlier
in the day before the sun heats things up. You can also walk on grassy paths or shady areas.
Water play is refreshing but take steps to keep your pet safe! Tender foot pads softened from
prolonged water exposure can burn more easily. Dog owners should take extra
care to protect dogs’ feet from hot surfaces after water play.

pool photo witth andy
c Diane Rich 2015

A dog’s normal body temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees. Dogs can withstand
a body temperature of 107 to 108 degrees for only a very short period of time before
suffering brain damage — or even death.

Remember that if your buddy has a shorter nose, like a Persian cat, a Pug or a Bulldog,
he or she is more susceptible to heatstroke than breeds with longer noses. If you suspect
your pet has become overheated, seek veterinary care immediately.

Signs of heat stroke include:

  • Heavy panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Increased body temperature
  • Dehydration
  • Reddened gums or tongue
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Vomiting & diarrhea
  • Lethargy

At home consider your pet’s housing. If they are kept outdoors, make sure they have plenty of
shade and fresh water at all times. If it’s hot out, consider hosing down the dog before work,
at lunch or whenever you can to provide extra cooling.

If you suspect that your pet has suffered from a heat stroke, seek veterinary attention immediately.
Use cool water, not ice water, to cool your pet (very cold water will cause constriction of
the blood vessels and impede cooling). If your animal “appears” cooled, do not assume
everything is fine. Internal organs such as liver, kidneys, brain, etc., are affected by elevated body temperatures and
blood tests and veterinary examination are needed to assess this.

Enjoy the hot weather, but if you are driving, leave your best friend at home
if you can’t take him in with you at every stop!

Speaking Woof,
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC

ABOUT Seattle Humane
Founded in 1897 to bring people and pets together, Seattle Humane 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. Seattle Humane is located in Bellevue, at 13212 SE Eastgate Way. For directions and more information, visit www.seattlehumane.org or call (425) 641-0080.

Your Furry Friend May Fear The 4th

June 9th, 2015 at 8:48 am by Diane Rich
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Safety Tips

c Diane Rich 2015

The Fourth of July is a fun holiday for humans, not so much for our
pets unless the family pooch scores some of the BBQ. Illegal fireworks
set off by a neighbor may a rattle the nerves of both the pet parent
and family dog. Senior dogs who may have had little to no reaction to the
kabooms in the past may be more sensitive to the sound and vibration of fireworks.

A dog’s fearful response to the festivities could include any or all of the following:
refusing food, hiding in a closet or under the bed, or under something,
pacing, shivering and panting.

shiva under my desk 2-12
c Diane Rich 2015
Unfortunately the pets that are forced to live outdoors or kept outdoors when owners leave
the house may try to escape by climbing over fences or digging under a fence to get out. Pets have
been known to chew through drywall or scratch mercilessly at a door or window to seek refuge elsewhere.

Safety Suggestions

  1. The local parade and festivities may be too much for some pets so it is usually best to leave them at home
  2. High temps or high humidity is too hot for most pets so please do NOT leave your poor pet in the car
    while you attend festivities or stop in at a restaurant.
  3. Secure the doggie door while you are away and make sure your
    pet does her business before you leave
  4.  Make sure your pet has plenty of water.
  5. If you must leave your pet outdoors or with access to the outdoors make sure gates are secure. Double check.
  6. The tried and true method leaving the TV on along with fans may help reduce noise from fireworks.
    Secure cords.
  7. Think about confining your pet to one cool room
  8. If the party is at your house make sure the pets cannot access alcohol or food that is
    toxic to pets. Have the pet poison control number handy which is 855 764 7661. For more
    info go to: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com. There is a per incident
    fee of $49.00.  A small price to pay for a 24/7 service and which may help save your pet’s life.
  9. Take two photos of your pet, a close up and a profile to have on hand should your pet escape
    out the door with guests coming and going. You may need to post Lost Pet
    photos. The 5th of July is a busy time at shelters with frightened dogs who successfully escaped
    the home or yard so please be proactive and keep your pet secure and safe at home.
  10. Make sure your pet wears some sort of ID with a current cell number. A pet license if required
    by your municipality will also help reunite a lost pet with the right family.
    Note: I do get concerned about tags catching on a fence or some object so you may want to
    invest in tag holders that not only stop the jiggling noise but may prevent the tags from getting caught
    up on anything.  If you have not registered your pet’s microchip, now is the time to do it.
  11. If you are worried about your pet’s nerves you can talk with your
    Vet about getting a mild sedative. Please ask your Vet for options as some sedatives
    may just keep the dog sedated but has little benefit with re: to the fear. Here is a link
    to a great post about sedatives by Dr. Jason Nicholas/The Preventive Vet
    Should you lean towards alternative methods there are diffusers, anxiety garments,
    flower essences that may also take the edge off your pet’s anxiety.
    Wishing you and your pets a fun and safe holiday.
    Speaking Woof,
    Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC



The Dog Who Saved Summer

May 30th, 2015 at 4:33 pm by Diane Rich
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Movie review

Chase enjoyed the movie

A yellow Lab named Zeus was a police dog and then lived with the Bannister family.
Zeus (voice over by Mario Lopez) created a little mayhem at a back yard summer party
at the Bannisters’ and due to the destruction at this important event not to mention
the embarrassment, the family decided he needed to go to obedience school.

George Bannister takes Zeus to an obedience school run by tough guy, Vernon
played by Martin Kove of the original Karate Kid.  You may recall Kove had a Karate
School in that movie and his philosophy for his students was win, at all costs.
Kove spoofed a little of that character for this role as the obedience school instructor
as he wanted his own dog, Apollo a former Marine k-9 to win a competition.
Kove did not want his dog to be out-shined by the other dog students.

The janitor, a delightful character played by James Hong ends up
befriending Zeus when Zeus ran down to the basement to get away from
obedience room. Zeus bonded quickly with the janitor who employs his own
unique training methods to help the crafty k-9 win the competition.

Enter a few amateur burglars (Dean Cain, Patrick Muldoon and Joey Coco Diaz)
who are given light slapstick roles at times plotting to steal a diamond
that for some reason was in the basement of the dog training school.  The diamond
was protected by red sensor beams and these bumbling burglars had to break
through walls and maneuver over the sensors to snag the diamond.

Although Apollo and Zeus were competitors for a trophy during this
intense competition, they join forces to foil the diamond heist.

The Dog who Saved Summer is suitable for the whole family.
For the young dog lovers in your family, this movie will prove

The movie arrives on DVD and On Demand June 2.


Mario Lopez

Dean Cain

Gary Valentine

Elisa Donovan

Patrick Muldoon

Joey “Coco” Diaz

Martin Kove

Francesca Capaldi

Cole Jensen

William Zabka ( Voice)
Disclosure: I was asked to review this movie and the DVD was sent to me for this review.

Speaking Woof,
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC

Product Review: Wiggleless

May 28th, 2015 at 9:29 am by Diane Rich
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The Back Story

The product and directions

Lisa Luckenbach who at one time lived in Kirkland, WA and attended Seattle U., is
the founder and designer of Wiggleless ® a back brace designed specifically for dogs.
Lisa, who now resides in California is a yoga instructor and dog lover, and
was looking for something to ease the persistent back problems of her Doxys,
June and Henry. Lisa’s dogs were diagnosed with IVDD (intervertebral disc disease)

I was contacted to review this product and after I determined that the large size
should work for Chase who is my very patient product model, the Wiggleless ® was
shipped out along with an extension strip to ensure the product would fit a breed with a deep chest. I was impressed by the packaging and learned that the product is made in the U.S.A. in the garment district downtown Los Angeles.

Extension strip and directions

From Lisa’s website:

Innovative design helps curtail injury without restricting activity. WiggleLess® is
designed to help stabilize the spine and prevent injury in dogs without restricting their
activity. When used as directed, the vet recommended and fully patented wrap aids in
supporting the back, curtails twisting and relieves stress.   Adjustable and easy to use,
the brace comes in seven sizes based on a dog’s specific girth and back measurements.

The product features:

  • Durable, Lightweight, Breathable Construction
  • Built-in Boning For Firm Support
  • Metal “O” Ring For Leash Attachment
  • Adjustable, Easy To Use
  • Each Size Has Its Own Pattern And Specifications
  • Double Mesh For Stability And Durability
  • Refined Cuts Under Front Legs And Around Torso For Unisex Fit
  • Size Medium And Large Come In Regular And Long Sizes
  • Additional Boning On Medium And Large Sizes

The Doberman, Greyhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback and other dogs with a large chest and tuck up behind the rib cage may be problematic to fit. I found that to be the case with Chase.

Included with the product are directions to be used as a guide to properly fit the garment on the dog.  Lisa designed this product to be very user friendly with regard to putting it on a dog.

She chose to use high quality Velcro to secure the brace in place and high quality material for the brace itself.  The Velcro on this product offers some of the strongest gripping power I have seen to date on a dog product.  When you need to either manipulate the brace for proper fit or take the garment off the dog, the velcro will make a loud ripping sound that may make some dogs nervous.  It is unavoidable as the motion needed to take off the garment via the velcro will be like ripping off a band-aid.  The dog may need to be slowly acclimated to the sound of that velcro.

The other challenge some customers may experience, which can be comical is that the Velcro is a magnet and will grab your clothing and also grab on to the brace itself. The velcro is also a magnet for just about anything else so Lisa sent velcro covers which are additional strips of velcro to cover the exposed velcro on the garment.

After putting the brace on my model, Chase I had some questions for Lisa and
requested a phone interview. Lisa graciously made herself available for the phone call and was happy to answer my questions.

My first question was about a loop of material with an attached O-ring that no
matter how I maneuvered the brace fell off to Chase’s side.  You can see the O-ring
on the red striping in the photo above. When I asked Lisa about that extra material and O-ring she mentioned it could be snipped off.   I suggested to Lisa that she might want to add these tips to her instructions.

She also mentioned that with smaller dogs, that O-ring fits between the shoulder blades and the handler can attach the leash via the clasp to that ring.  This can be viewed on Lisa’s website.  I wondered if a leash was attached to this O-ring if the material would be strong enough to hold a dog that pulled on the leash.

The Shiba Inu, my canine version of Vanna White, points to the O-ring

Lisa also stated in her handout and on the phone that a dart can easily be made in
the fabric to create a more snug fit and that dart would require someone putting in a few stitches. If you do not have a sewing machine this would necessitate taking the product to a seamstress or your dry cleaner to remedy this issue.  Due to Chase’s deep chest and tuck up, a dart would definitely need to be made for a proper fit..

Keep in mind some dogs do not like any clothing wrapped snuggly around their body so slowly acclimating a dog to this garment using treats or toys can help make the association a positive one. Chase is used to back packs and coats but was hesitant to move around while wearing this back brace.

The brace is made with breathable fabric but I would recommend an owner be cognizant of the weather and hot temps as the brace may be uncomfortable if the dog gets too warm.  I did not ask Lisa about the product once it gets wet so if you live in a rainy climate, you may want to take the brace off for outdoor potty breaks.

If you dog will stand still, the product is easy to put on, if not you may need to
recruit a buddy to calmly restrain the dog.

This innovative product may help offer the support your dog needs while
recovering from a back injury or as an aid for a medical condition.  I would
recommend consulting with your Veterinarian before use.

WiggleLess® back support for dogs sells for $64.95-$139.95 depending on size.

Order online at www.wiggleless.com.

Speaking Woof,
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC

Book Review; A Tail of Hope’s Faith

May 23rd, 2015 at 1:48 pm by Diane Rich
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Book Written By Diane Weinmann

c Diane Rich 2015

Animal communicator and healer Diane Weinmann helps pet owners see that death does not have
to be the end of what was a loving, earthly relationship. Diane has been an animal communicator for
13 years and has been an energy healer for 10 years.

Conventional medicine and traditional healing protocol can save a pet’s life and may provide
some relief from pain and discomfort. But, when these methods reach a limit many people in
desperation reach out to practitioners who may be able to provide alternative options to help an ailing
beloved family pet. The author believes that communication with pets in the physical world and pets
who have passed is possible and in Diane’s world her ability to communicate with animals is just another day.

Weinmann’s story about Hope takes the reader on a heartfelt journey of a pet parent’s love
for the family dog and what that dog communicated to Diane.  Most dog lovers who choose
to believe this communication exists can easily see themselves in this story, as we would do anything
to make sure our pet is happy, healthy and supported even through the tough times.

A Tail of Hope’s Faith is a true story and an enjoyable read. For those people who straddle
the fence with regard to science vs. theory with regard to the ability for humans to communicate with
animals through their spirit and thought process, this book may give the reader some insight on seeing
or at least feeling the light.

Diane is a Reiki master and educates the reader about Reiki energy healing, Bach Flower essences,
tuning forks, aromatherapy and healing with color.  Diane writes that Bach Flower essences are
recommended as a therapy to address the emotional state of a pet’s mind.

I am contacted frequently to review books covering this topic and have had all my dogs
read by animal communicators. Unfortunately, the readings from those particular practitioners were
inaccurate which made me question the communicator’s abilities. That being said I do believe that some
communicators have a special gift that defies science, and it seemed I was not been able to find them.

When the PR agent contacted me to review this book my response was I would do the review
but after a reading to help me authenticate the author.  I was hopeful this experience would
shed a positive light on the profession as my BS meter started to tingle due to what I had
encountered.  Diane does not do in personal readings of a pet.  She requests that a pet parent
email photos, a close up, along with a list of questions a pet parent would like answered. Diane
uses telepathy to read or communicate with the pet. I wanted to give this communicator a chance
to connect with Chase.

Diane Weinmann graciously agreed to a reading and I emailed the requested photos of Chase
sans specific questions. I understand the request for questions but did not email questions as
I felt that information would be a tip off to and I wanted to hear what Diane had to say
without any prompting.

I had never met nor knew of Diane but immediately felt comfortable with her during our phone
conversation and liked her immediately. It wasn’t just what she was telling me about Chase,
there was just something about her. She told me about Chase’s shakras, especially his root shakra,
vital organs, his emotions, how he felt about himself and how he felt about me and our relationship
and how he felt about his home.  I am not going to comment on the accuracy of the reading or any
insight the reading offered but did find it thoroughly enjoyable.

For the woo woo in you this heartfelt story will touch your soul.  If you are interested in
learning about alternative approaches to healing outside of or in addition to traditional
medicine this book may be a good start.

Speaking Woof,
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC



May 15th, 2015 at 7:04 am by Diane Rich
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c Diane Rich 2015


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 14, 2015 – Every year more than 4.5 million Americans, more than half of them children, are bitten by dogs.  As part of the National Dog Bite Prevention Week® (May 17-23, 2015)  American Humane Association, the nation’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting the welfare of animals and children, encourages adults to teach children how to avoid dog bites and learn the importance of pet owner responsibility.

“For thousands of years, dogs have been our best friends, providing love, comfort and protection,” says Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. “In turn, we must be their best friends and protect all those around us – ourselves, our children, and our dogs – from the dangers and consequences of dog bites through good prevention strategies.”

“The majority of emergency room treatments for dog bites involve children,” says Dr. Kwane Stewart, chief veterinary officer at American Humane Association. “Studies have also shown that the greatest percentage of dog-bite fatalities occurred among children and unsupervised newborns.”

blog children dogs
 Diane Rich 2015

Dogs can bite for many reasons, including improper care and/or a lack of socialization.  All dogs, even well trained gentle dogs, are capable of biting however when provoked, especially when eating, sleeping or caring for puppies. Thus, even when a bite is superficial or classified as “provoked,” dogs may be abandoned or euthanized.
Therefore, it’s vitally important to keep both children and dogs safe by preventing dog bites wherever possible.

To reduce the number of injuries to people and the risk of relinquishment of dogs that bite, American Humane Association offers the following suggestions:

For Children:

  • Never approach an unknown dog or a dog that is alone without an owner, and always ask for permission before petting the dog.
  • Never approach an injured animal – find an adult who can get the help s/he needs
  • Never approach a dog that is eating, sleeping or nursing puppies.
  • Don’t poke, hit, pull, pinch or tease a dog.

For Dog Owners:

c Diane Rich 2015

  • Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, even if it is a family pet.
  • Interactions between children and dogs should always be monitored to ensure the safety of both your child and your dog.
  • Teach your children to treat the dog with respect and not to engage in rough or aggressive play.
  • Make sure your pet is socialized as a young puppy so it feels at ease around people and other animals.
  • Never put your dog in a position where s/he feels threatened.
  • Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep him/her healthy and to provide mental stimulation.
  • Use a leash in public to ensure you are able to control your dog.
  • Regular veterinary care is essential to maintain your dog’s health; a sick or injured dog is more likely to bite.
  • Be alert, if someone approaches you and your dog – caution them to wait before petting the dog, give your pet time to be comfortable with a stranger.

American Humane Association also offers a free online booklet available for families with children called “Pet Meets Baby,” providing valuable information on introducing a new child to a home with a pet – or a new pet into a home with a child:  http://www.americanhumane.org/interaction/programs/humane-education/pet-meets-baby.html.

Consider these statistics and tips provided by National Dog Bite Prevention Week® Coalition members:

The American Veterinary Medical Association says that after children, senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims. During National Dog Bite Prevention Week®, the AVMA highlights the most recent findings in the veterinary behavior field, introduces new educational programs for pet owners of all ages and joins with its coalition partners in urging public to respect and better understand a dog’s behavior and urge dog owner’s to provide a safe, happy environment for both people and dogs.

  • In 2013, State Farm paid nearly $115 million as a result of 3,500 dog-related injury claims. Over the past five years, the insurer has paid $528 million for claims resulting from accidents involving a dog.
  • Prevent The Bite did a survey of 710 children on 12 key things to do and not to do in various situations with dogs. Not a single child answered all twelve correctly.  Here are the top five results:
  1. If a dog is chasing you, should you try to run away?  Just 53% knew the answer was No.
  2. Are there only certain breeds (or types) of dogs that bite?  Only 47% knew the answer was No.
  3. Does an angry dog ever wag his tail?  33% knew the correct answer was Yes.
  4. Is a dog that is afraid as dangerous as an angry dog?  Only 27% knew the answer was Yes.
  5. Do dogs like to be kissed and hugged?  A dangerously low number, only 24%, were correct - NO!
  • The Insurance Information Institute says dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2014, costing in excess of $530 million.
  • According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons there was a 6 percent increase in reconstructive procedures to repair injuries from dog bites over the past year. American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery President Gregory R. D. Evans, MD, FACS says, “Prevention of these serious injuries is an important responsibility of dog owners as well as parents. Injuries to the face and hands can be disfiguring or disabling and require prompt, expert medical attention.”
  • The U.S. Postal Service reports that 5,767 postal employees were attacked by dogs in 2014 – up from 5,581 in 2013. Children, the elderly, and postal carriers are the most frequent victims of dog bites.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics says if you’re threatened by a dog, remain calm. Avoid eye contact. Stand still until the dog leaves or back away slowly. If you are knocked down, curl into a ball and protect your face with your hands. If a dog bites your child, clean small wounds with soap and water and seek medical attention for larger wounds. Contact the dog’s veterinarian to check vaccination recordsSpeaking Woof,
    Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC

About American Humane Association

American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.



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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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