The Daily Bark:
Pleas From the Pound and Other Happenings
Volume 5, Issue 4, October 23, 2013
Inside: Useful Commands Pit Bull Myths Available Dogs Toxins to your Dog
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Upcoming Events Pet-Friendly Housing Contact Info
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Teaching Your Dog Useful Commands and Tricks By Lauren Teske
As a dog owner, at some point you probably marveled at the obedience displayed by dogs on TV. Most of us have said, “I wish my dog could do that” or “My dog just isn’t smart enough to learn those commands.” While having a dog that can sneeze on command or fetch you a soda from the fridge is dazzling, having your dog perform basic, useful commands can be just as impressive. A few years ago, I got my first dog, a Great Dane named Echo. At 2 months old, she weighed about 40 pounds and the top of her head reached my knee. I knew that if I wanted to survive Great Dane ownership, I would have to do major training. I enrolled Echo in puppy kindergarten, which can be very important for socialization. “Sit,” “stay” and “lay down” are the basic commands many owners think of when they attend dog obedience classes, but there are many more commands that can help control a dog, especially larger dogs. “Leave it” was the first “trick” I taught Echo in addition to the traditional commands. When your dog is as big as a small horse,
there is no safe height at which you can store food. Anything on the table or countertop is fair game. With “leave it,” I was able to stop “counter surfing” immediately from across the room.
Echo knows basic commands such as “off,” which Lauren easily taught her.
“Off” is another command that has helped me reclaim my spot on the couch or in bed. Not to be mistaken for “down,” in which a dog lays down, “off” commands the dog to get off of whatever it is they are on. Great Danes are notorious couch potatoes, and Echo, like many dogs, is allowed to relax pretty much anywhere she wishes. Echo has no problem parking her 120 pound self wherever she pleases, and it doesn’t take much effort for her to stay rooted
to her spot. I have watched the epic battle between friends and family as they attempt to move the 120 pound girl from the couch. I simply say “off” and she hops off without complaint. Many dog owners elect to not kennel their dog in puppyhood, but I believe it to be an important part in setting boundaries. Kenneling a dog is often viewed as “cruel,” but in my experience most dogs treat their kennel as a safe zone when they become overstimulated or frightened. While Echo sleeps in my bed with me, she is kenneled when I am away or when she is eating. When guests or even the pizza delivery man arrives, it can be extremely chaotic for her to be barking and jumping at the door. Pizza deliverymen have been scared out of my doorway by Echo’s large black figure surging toward them in what appears to be hostility. To avoid traumatizing guests, or the pizza guy, I instruct Echo to “kennel.” When the pizza man has left or the guest is settled in, I let her know it’s OK to come out and she is able to greet guests calmly. Continued on page 2
Continued from page 1 I am not an experienced trainer and have only attempted to “train” two dogs, but by doing some research and using basic psychology, I have been able to claim some control over my dog. Having a well-mannered dog can also, in some situations, save your dog’s life. “Leave it,” for example, can keep your dog from ingesting toxic items that may be within reach. If you are interested in teaching your dog commands that may not be covered in a regular obedience class, consult a trainer. With information provided by an experienced trainer and one-on-one work with your dog, you can teach commands that are both useful in everyday situations and impressive to guests.
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The Daily Bark: Volume 5, Issue 4, Oct. 23, 2013
Debunking Popular Pit Bull Myths By Antinea Ascione
So you’ve met the cutest dog. You looked at her, she looked back at you and you felt that instantaneous pet connection. Those expressive puppy eyes tugged at your heartstrings and you are sorely tempted to take her home. Your concern, however, is that this seemingly innocent dog is a pit bull. Or part pit bull. And you’ve heard too many negative stories about that breed of dog to want to take a chance. Well, you may have bought into the media hype about the breed, and there are a few things you should learn before making a decision.
of so-called “pit bulls” are just mixed-breed dogs that may or may not have American Pit Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire blood. The term is used loosely. Pit Bulls are Naturally Vicious This is a misconception that definitely influences the typical reaction to a pit bull. There are a number of reasons, however, why it is absurd to assume such a characteristic is natural for any dog. As mentioned, the term pit bull is used to refer to a variety of dogs. By saying pit bulls are vicious, one could be attributing such a characteristics to a couple, or mixture, of breeds.
In honor of OctoIt is also important to ber being National understand that dogs Pit Bull AwareGilda, a pit bull terrier, have personalities as ness month, we available for adoption. diverse as we do. Alwill take a look at though breeds are often a few of the most characterized by certain behaviors, common pit bull stereotypes. each dog’s personality can vary significantly. While physical traits Pit Bulls are a “Special Breed” are passed down genetically from The term “pit bull” does not typiparents to litter, personalities are cally refer to any single breed of individual. If a pit bull is vicious, dog and can be used to describe this should be viewed as a characa wide variety of dogs. A more teristic specific to the dog in quesaccurate definition of the term tion and not the breed, as varied as “pit bull” is a dog that is one of it is. two breeds: the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) or the American Many people opposed to pit bulls Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff). being kept as pets claim that pits Oftentimes, people place Bull fail temperament testing more than Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriany other dog. Lindsay Stordahl, a ers and American Bulldogs in this dog blogger, walker and pet sitter, category due to the similarity in head shapes and strong body types. says that this is not at all true. “The However, they are distinct from the American Pit Bull Terrier passes temperament testing 81.7 percent APBT and the AmStaff. A number
The Daily Bark: Volume 5, Issue 4, Oct. 23, 2013 of the time,” she explained. “To put this in perspective, Beagles only pass 78.7 percent of the time and Golden Retrievers 81.1 percent. The APBT scores just above the Golden Retriever and just below the Labrador Retriever.” The National Canine Research Council (NCRC) supports this view. As clearly stated on the website, “There is no scientific evidence that one kind of dog is more likely to injure a human being than another kind of dog.” Stordahl also said that there are a number of factors that come into play to determine a dog’s overall temperament/personality. “How the dog is raised is one factor,” she said. “In addition, one should consider genetics, the dog’s early relationship with its mother and littermates, the amount of training and exercise it receives, health and so much more. Sometimes it is assumed that an owner can raise a dog to be nasty. An owner can treat a dog poorly and the dog could still be very sweet and gentle. Or an owner could raise a dog with a lot of love, structure and socialization and the dog may still want to fight with other dogs. Notice I’m using the term ‘dog’ because this is the case with all dogs, not just pit bulls.” Pit Bulls are Unpredictable, Especially Around Children This is a particularly popular stereotype, especially among persons trying to convince the public that pit bulls do not make good pets. Experts say that there is no truth to this; the dogs are as predictable or unpredictable as any other. Pit bulls are strong, well-built dogs and a rather exuberant one may knock a young child over. However,
strength and exuberance are traits any parents with young children should consider when adopting a pet. Not all dogs are suitable for families with young children, and parents should take care to teach both children and dogs how to interact with each other. While many dogs are great with children, a parent ahould never leave their child unsupervised with any animal. A recent story on TaterTot, a pit bull that was rescued not too long before it was about to be euthanized, reveals his loving and caring nature. Reports say that while TaterTot was being fostered, he sensed that something was wrong with the family’s 4-year-old son, Peyton. TaterTot kept sniffing around the boy, barking and running between his parents. Peyton’s mother checked on her son and realized he was barely breathing. After rushing to the hospital, it was discovered that Peyton had been experiencing a severe drop in blood sugar and TaterTot helped the boy get necessary treatment in time. The family is convinced that TaterTot saved their son’s life, and the pit bull now has a permanent home.
Available Dogs Ruckus
Ruckus is an adult Border Collie/Lab mix looking for his forever home. He is such a wellbehaved dog and does not get into trouble when he’s left alone. No counter surfing, no chewing furniture, no accidents…just pure happiness on his face when you return. Ruckus is content to sleep in his own bed. He is very quiet and dainty when he moves around the house. Ruckus has no problem with cats and is also very good around other dogs. He likes walks but doesn’t require a ton of exercise. He’s a great dog!
Lola is a 3-year-old Pit Bull mix looking for an active home, perhaps with some other doggies! She loves playing fetch, is very Pit Bulls Have Locking Jaws sweet and loves to snuggle. She No. Dogs do not have the ability plays well with her foster home’s to “lock” their jaws when fighting lab and is gentle with their small another animal. Not even pit bulls dog. She’s fairly quiet, corrects eas(whether the APBT, AmStaff or any ily and kennels well at night. She other mix). This nonsensical rumor can get excited in public places, but must have emerged from someone is working on her manners. Is she who successfully mixed an alligathe gal for you? tor with a dog, or dreamed he did. In fact, in discussing dog bites the These, and many other dogs, are NCRC also states, “No type of dog available for adoption with 4 Luv inflicts a type of injury exclusive to of Dog Rescue. Please fill out an it. Claims to the contrary have no adoption application today. merit.”
The Daily Bark: Volume 5, Issue 4, Oct. 23, 2013
Terrible Toxins & Your Pet By Theresa Opatril Many of us are aware of some things that are toxic to our pets, such as the one we have all heard about—chocolate! But there are more things than you might realize that are toxic to your pet. According to the pet poison helpline, the top 10 poisons in pets are: 1. Medication--always keep your medicine in a safe spot 2. Pesticides 3. Antifreeze and other chemicals 4. Chocolate 5. Alcohol 6. Onions and garlic, which can cause anemia 7. Grapes or raisins, both of which can be fatal to your pet 8. Avocado, including avocado fruit and guacamole 9. Vitamins and minerals 10. Nsaids (Ibuprofen, Naproxen) Apples or apple seeds, apricots or cherry pits may also be harmful, as well as coffee grounds or coffee beans due to the caffeine. Xylitol, a sugar substitute, can have wonderful health benefits for humans, but can cause a rapid drop in your pet’s blood sugar. Xylitol can be found in many commercial
products, including gum, mouthwash, mints and other sweet products.
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Mushroom plants, tomato leaves and stems can also be bad news for your pet. Moldy foods can also be poisonous. Putting leftover foods away and stored properly will ensure your pet will not get into them. Typical reactions to poison are vomiting or diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, pale gums, swollen abdomen, muscle tremors, bloody and painful urination or defecation, and bleeding. If you suspect your pet has eaten something toxic, don’t wait to see symptoms. Get your pet in ASAP, or contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA. While some of these items are very toxic, some are minimally toxic. When in doubt, call for help. The Pet Poison helpline number is (800) 213-6680, or the local Red River Animal Emergency Clinic’s number is (701) 478-9299.
Upcoming Events Meet the Dogs: Saturday, October 26, from 1 to 3 p.m. at West Fargo PetSmart Pit Bull Walk and Social: Saturday, October 26, from 1 to 3 p.m. at 1523 23rd St. S., Moorhead Silent Auction & Gala: Saturday, November 2, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Hilton Garden Inn, Fargo Meet the Dogs/National Adoption Days: November 16 & 17, from 1 to 3 p.m. at West Fargo PetSmart Pucks and Paws with the Fargo Force: Wednesday, December 4, details TBA Meet the Dogs: Saturday, December 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. at West Fargo PetSmart
The Daily Bark: Volume 5, Issue 4, Oct. 23, 2013
Contact Information 4 Luv of Dog Rescue PO Box 9283 Fargo, ND 58106-9283 Phone: (701) 205-0190 Please understand that our phone is monitored by volunteers. If no one answers, leave us a message that includes: • Your name • Phone number • E-mail address • Why you are calling • The best time to reach you We will make every attempt to respond to your inquiry within 48 hours. Our preferred method of contact is e-mail. E-mail us at: email@example.com — general questions firstname.lastname@example.org — information on fostering email@example.com — to find out how you can help firstname.lastname@example.org — information on donations of money and/or supplies. Becoming a foster home is one of the most important things you can do to help our organization. Please consider becoming a foster today! Apply online at: www.4luvofdog.org
Renting for You and Your Four-Legged Friend By Heather Phillips
It may surprise you to learn that in the Fargo-Moorhead area, there are at least 30 rental companies that rent to tenants with dogs. That’s not even counting private renters! Renting with a pet usually requires a non-refundable deposit and that the animal be up to date on vaccinations. The deposit amount ranges, it can be several hundred dollars, but with a private owner you may be able to negotiate. there may be weight and breed restrictions, as well as limits on how many pets are allowed. Some of the properties in the F-M area that rent to dog owners are: Dogs under 20 pounds Windwood Estates (701) 235-3166 Cedar Park Blvd (701) 236-8721 Kae Properties (701) 552-1652 Dogs under 30 pounds JM Rentals (701) 293-0601 S.S. Holdings (701) 451-9113 Park West Gardens (701) 282-2118 Van Raden Prpts (218) 233-2731 Size limit varies or no restriction Valley Rental (701) 293-7368 Property Res. Grp (701) 356-7007 Baumbach Prpts (701) 541-1541
A full list is available on the rescue website at www.4luvofdog.org/wp/ info-resources. Then, there are service dogs. The use of service dogs is protected by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is a federal law that states the dog must be allowed to live in the home, even if the landlord has a no-pet policy. The ADA defines a service animal as “any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.” That means the ADA protects an animal that has been trained to perform tasks or work for an individual with a disability, such as guide dogs. However, animals whose only function is providing emotional support, comfort, therapy or companionship therapeutic benefits are not considered to be service animals. As a former landlord, I can tell you the best policy is to be upfront with your landlord. You’d be surprised at how far honest communication and perhaps a look into a furry friend’s eyes will get you in your negotiations. Good luck!
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