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Bluff City Bark April/ May 2014


Featured Rescue Sunny Meadows Safe Haven for Pets Bluff City Bark Magazine

Meet Jeff Fioranelli and His Four legged sous chefs

Contents 32.

Features 16. DIY First Aid Preparation

Dog Training Advice

12. Our Favorite Dog Parks

22. Southern Toxic Plants to

Cover 10. Meet Teddy and Sam Fioranelli


8. Local Pet 6. Memphians and Products 4. Welcome Letter Their Pets 24. Featured Rescue 19. Kitten Season 26. Adoptable Pets 31. Ask a Vet 30. Recipes 36. Events Bluff City Bark Magazine

On our site

See Other Articles on Our Site

Bluff City Bark

Signs of Heat Stroke in Your Pet (April 2014) Bluff City Directory (April 2014) More Coming Soon!


Katey McCabe

Contributing Writers Tiffany Warmbroad Brian McCabe

For a list of pet sitter, rescues, shelters, and much more, visit for our directory of local pet places.

DON’T MISS OUT Never miss an issue and support all the rescues in the Bluff City. Subscribe today for only $19.99 for a full year. (6 issues) 15% of all sales go directly to the featured rescue each issue. Subscribe Here

Bluff City Bark is very excited to be Memphis, TN’s first pet magazine. We are very dedicated to publishing helpful and educational information to our community. We welcome submissions from writers and photographers anytime. Please email to bluffcitybark@ with questions and creative ideas for articles.

Bluff City Bark Magazine

Copywriter Elise Starling


SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe online at bluffcitybark. com. Annual subscription cost: $19.99. Single issue cost: $4.99. Bluff City Bark is published 6 times a year. 15% of all subscription sales go directly to the rescue featured in that issue. SUBMIT YOUR EVENT Do you have a pet related event coming up? Email us at and submit your event. We want to share any pet related event in the Bluff City area.

My Letter

Thank You and Welcome to the first issue of Bluff City Bark!

Bluff City Bark is a pet magazine from Memphis pet lovers to Memphis pet lovers. We want to promote healthy animal care, animal rescues, animal welfare, and much much more. This magazine is very much a labor of love. I have been in animal rescue for the last 8 years and decided to merge two loves together and create an educational, yet fun creation for my Memphis community. I believe in my animal loving community and that is what pushes me forward in creating this magazine. I extend my most sincere thanks to everyone in my life who has helped and pushed me to create Bluff City Bark. It will not be an easy road, but with my pet community behind me and BCB I know this will be a great thing for Memphis! I am very proud to dedicate this issue to my gentle and beloved Gabriel. He was the first dog that I feel in love with at the rescue I worked. He was used as a bait dog and had many scares inside and out. Gabriel was a pit bull who broke my heart when I first laid eyes on him. In the 5 years I was in his life, he never wagged his tail, he never looked me in the eye, and he never once curled up in my lap. He was scared of people touching him or being in his space. I made it my goal for him to feel free again and not be scared. Every day I would work my way into his kennel inch by inch talking about my life. I figured if I shared he would too.

Bluff City Bark Magazine

After years of doing this, one day he came close enough to smell my face! Any gesture from him was all I needed to know I was getting somewhere. With his last few years, Gabriel began to have issues and needed surgery on his hips. After his surgery, we found him a great foster home in which to recuperate. After only a few short months, his foster mom called to tell me that he wagged his tail! I was in tears and knew that he was finally happy! I will never forget how much I learned from him. Sometimes it can take one person to change a dogs life, but in many cases it takes a community. Without his foster mother and siblings, Gabriel may have never wagged his tail, he may have never know the joy of a happy warm home. Without the love of the rescue he would have never been saved and without the love of one silly girl, he would have never have gotten the attention he deserved.

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I will never forget my sweet Gabriel. He was a special dog and I hope he felt the same about me.

In Loving Memory of Gabriel

Memphians and Their Pets

Lauren Camp and Penelope. Adopted in 2007

Ashley Akin-Brantley and Ripley. Adopted in 2006 Katelyn Buford and Max Adopted from MAS Dec 2013

Tiffany Warmbroad and Maddox adopted in 2008. Maddox loves taking up the whole bed and snoring all night. Bluff City Bark Magazine

Kim Edwards and Bailey. Adopted 2014 from Sunny Meadows Rescue

Memphians and Their Pets

Cooper and her owners Jordan and Michelle Netzel. Adopted from MAS

Anna and her owners Jessica and Christopher Prest. Rescued from Target parking lot Bluff City Bark Magazine

Hailey and her momma/rescuer, Sheila. Hailey was rescued from under a trailer and was on her way to a breeder, but her momma stepped in and saved her and the others from any suffering.

Remi and her owner Jasmine love to hang out at Overton Bark Park. Remi was a shelter rescue and loves every moment with her momma!

Bow Wow Sheets Bow Wow Sheets are fitted sheets that cover your old worn out dog bed with designed fabric. They have great designs to pick from and a percentage of sales go to a local animal rescue that you can pick through. ($35)

One Smart Pet Food Company Located in our Bluff City, they offer treats for dogs and cats. If you can’t make it out to Hollywood Pet Feed, Grace Animal Hospital, the Downtown Farmers Market, OR Miss Cordelia’s they offer DELIVERY!!

Hollywood Feed Dog Beds

After opening in 2012, Memphis-based Hollywood Feed launched the first of several private label product lines, with a dog bed line. The beds are made is Tupelo, MS, but shipped to all 21 locations all over the south. ($59 and $149, depending on size)

Bluff City Bark Magazine

Pet Holidays




National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. This event is an effort by the American Red Cross to draw attention to the need to know specialized pet first aid Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month (ASCPA) National Pet Month. (through May 5) April 13-19th Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week April 10th National Pet Day. From the Animal Miracle Network, this day honors our furry friends April 18th Pet Owners Independence Day April 14th National Pet ID Week


National Pet Month Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Sponsored by Pet Cancer Awareness and the Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research (Also see November events) Chip Your Pet Month May 4-10, 2014: Dog Bite Prevention Week. This event by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) along with the United States Post Office (USPS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) focuses attention on preventing dog bites May 5-11, 2014: American Humane’s Be Kind to Animals Week. This week long event has been celebrated since 1915 Bluff City Bark Magazine

Cover Story

Meet Jeff Fioranelli and His Four Legged Sous Chefs

Bluff City Bark Magazine

I met up with Jeff Fioranelli, owner of Buckley’s Fine Filet Grill and

Buckley’s Lunch Box, at the Cancer Survivor Park with his buddies: Teddy and Sam. Jeff not only serves some of the finest lunch and dinner East Memphis has to offer, but he is also one of the kindest people you will ever meet. It only makes sense that he chose to adopt rescues over breed dogs. These two lucky pups are the star of the show in Jeff’s life. He adores these two, and loves what they bring to his life. Teddy is a 4 year old silk terrier who has all the spunk. He may look up to his older brother Sam, but Teddy is the alpha dog. Teddy was a rescue that a friend of Jeff helped save. Sam is a 12 year old mix. He is truly a gentle boy. Sam loves his best friend Teddy and tolerates all his excitement for life. They do everything together. You wouldn’t believe it by the way Sam looks or acts, but he has sarcoma cancer. Currently going through treatment, Sam is doing great and feeling like a spry pup these days. Jeff feels that all pets deserve unconditional love. Teddy and Sam give him so much fulfillment and joy everyday, that it is not a surprise you can find that same warming love in his cooking. It is great rescue stories like these that make us at Bluff City Bark proud to be a part of this community. Thank you, Jeff!

Bluff City Bark Magazine

Not everyone in the Bluff City is aware of the local dog parks that are available to our four legged friends. We have compiled a list of our favorite parks and a few details about each just for you!

Overton Bark – Possibly one of my favorites in Memphis. This park is a play on words, housed obviously in Overton Park. Overton Bark also has designated areas for small and large dogs. Also provided are water fountains and an obstacle course. Dogs ARE permitted to roam offleash at Overton Bark.

Bluff City Bark Magazine

The Barking Lot Dog Park- Located between Jefferson and Adams downtown. This park is great for downtowner dogs to get a chance to stretch their legs and sniff some friendly smells.

Shelby Farms – If you enjoy a more natural park, then Shelby Farms is for you. They have a large off-leash area that includes three ponds and wide open spaces. Shelby Farms is only open during daylight hours, and the human to off-leash dog ratio stands at 1:1. Forgey Park – You didn’t think the folks in Germantown Memphis Dog Park –

wouldn’t have a dog park, did you? Located at 1695

of Education building at 2599

both fenced in. The City of Germantown has restricted

Memphis Dog Park was opened Riverdale Road, it is equipped with trails, a lake, and in 2010 and sits behind the Board offers two separate areas for large and small dogs, Avery Ave. This park is city-run with two fenced in areas, one for dogs over 25 pounds and

access and charges a yearly fee for use of the park. If you fancy somewhat more of a private feel, then this park is for you. Obviously, Germantown residents get

one for smaller breeds. Although priority, but if you aren’t a resident there is still a shot. Contact the City of Germantown for more information. there is no water service at the park, they do provide waste bags, which thankfully, are biodegradable.

seholds 20% of hou ogs have two d

31% of household s have two cats

Bluff City Bark Magazine

Bluff City Bark Magazine

Kroger Fundraiser

If you shop at Kroger and have a Kroger Shopping Card, you can participate and help raise funds for Sunny Meadows Rescue. If we all use the cards and register, we can raise a substantial amount Please encourage your friends and family to register their cards as well. The more people who register, the more money we can raise. You will not lose any of your points by registering.

If you have any questions, please email us at Bluff City Bark Magazine


NOT JUST FOR HUMANS Unexpected circumstances occur each day worldwide that leave us human folk with a skinned knee, busted lip, or other minor injury. When we were small children, we could almost guarantee that our mother would be right behind us with our family’s trusty first aid kit after that big fall down the driveway. No trip to the ER for this kid, right mom?! Years later, I’m sure most of us keep our very own first aid kit in our house; most likely in the same place our mothers’ kept theirs. Below, I’ve listed what I keep in my Doggie First Aid Kit and in my Pet ‘Go-Bag’ in case of emergency. These are only to serve as a guide. If you feel at all uncomfortable or unsure of the level of severity of your pet’s injury, please seek medical attention from your veterinarian.

Pet ‘Go-Bag’: •

Phone numbers of your Veterinarian, nearest

Emergency clinic, and Poison Control •

Paperwork for your pet to include up to date

vaccination records, any additional medical info, and a current photo of your pet (We have photo ID’s and birth certificates, our pets should have as close to the same for identification purposes) •

Leash – a leash is a MUST have in your ‘Go-Bag’!

Spare ID tag for your pet

Bluff City Bark Magazine

April is American Red Cross’s National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. Visit their website for more helpful tips on Pet First Aid. Keep your home safe for your family and pets by knowing signs of distress and common signs of illness.

Photography: Serena Faber Nelson

Other Items to include: • Pillowcase (if your pet is of the feline variety, these work great to confine them for any minor treatment) • Nail Clippers • Styptic Powder (stops bleeding related to short nail cuts and other minor cuts) • Antibiotic Ointment (Neosporin works just as well as some of the more expensive “pet specific” brands. Just be sure that for more extensive cuts/abrasions, you see your vet.) • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) ONLY when approved by a veterinarian with specific dosage information.

CPR for pets is very important to know. Click here to see how you can save your pet with CPR. Bluff City Bark Magazine

This list, of course, does not include any specific medications your pet may require (diabetic dogs, etc). Those should also be included in case of emergency. Just as you would with a normal first aid kit, it is imperative to check your kit regularly for expired items and replace them as needed. Stay safe, our furry friends!

Thanks to a sweet rescue dog named Huckleberry~ the concept of Bow Wow Sheets was born.

Did you know that $5 from each Bow Wow Sheet goes to support animal rescues like us? During purchase choose Sunny Meadows as your charity!

impossible to clean? Well, put a soft, fresh, clean 100% cotton Bow Wow Sheet on it ~and~ POOF! A very attractive designer fabric dog bed… If it gets soiled just pop it in the washer and dryer…there are no Believe me, your dog will love it! Proudly made in America, keeping Americans working, and helping shelter cats and dogs keep their tummies full… Win Win? We thought so too!

Bluff City Bark Magazine

by: Tiffany Warmbroad

Although the Mid-South has had one of the more bipolar

winters we’ve seen in awhile, Spring is definitely on it’s way. For many people spring brings ideas of beautiful flowers, outdoor activities, and promises of fantastic patio weather! For our rescues and shelters, Spring means Kitten Season will soon be in full force.

Bluff City Bark Magazine

Kitten Season; yes it is a real thing. Almost a sort of epidemic that sweeps

the streets of the Mid-South at the beginning of each Spring season. The result is thousands of uncared for furry felines that put a strain financially on many rescue groups and shelters. We here at Bluff City Bark are STRONG advocates of spay and neuter services. By spaying or neutering your pets, you eliminate their risk for reproduction and complications thereafter as well as promote a healthy lifestyle for surrounding animals. Unaltered animals don’t have the option to participate in abstinence or “safe sex” methods because they are just that; animals. Their animalistic nature and instincts only serve one common goal: reproduction. Before you think, “Oh, well I just got my kitten and they’re too young to get pregnant.” Wrong. Cats can become pregnant as early as four months old! Crazy right? And cats’ gestation period is roughly around two months. This means there is a potential for two to three litters PER pregnant female PER year!! So as soon as you bring Snowball home, take a trip to the vet. You’ll be glad you did. Bluff City Bark Magazine

While we realize we can’t very well “save them all”, our purpose is to help

educate the public on ways to help. Obviously, spay and neutering your own pets is the most important step, but keep in mind those that are less fortunate and do not have a home to call their own. Help those that help the community! During Kitten Season, help your local shelters and rescues. They all see an influx of cats and kittens being brought in, and while donations may be steady for some, the sheer volume of animals will always outweigh the resources. Donate food, supplies, money, and time. You would be surprised how much further a $10 donation can go in the hands of a rescue. Forego that triple espresso once a week and help multiple animals all at once? Sign me up!!

Rescues & Shelters That Have Cats for Adoption

Read here for information on TNR (trap and release) programs in the mid-south.

Bartlett Animal Shelter Collierville Animal Shelter Memphis Animal Shelter Germantown Animal Shelter House of Mew Sunny Meadows Rescue Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County Mewtopia

Bluff City Bark Magazine


ummer is here and so are the beautiful plants and flowers we love so much.

But not so fast! Did you know that there are many common plants and flowers growing in our own yards that can be harmful to our pet pals? According to the ASPCA, there are close to four hundred toxic plants for cats. The entire list can be found on the ASPCA website found here, but we have compiled a quick reference of some of the most common plants for our community. Many of these toxic plants listed below are also toxic to cats. Cross check our “Toxic Plants for Cats” list next issue if you have a canine and feline friendly household. These plants may have detrimental effects on our pets and if you even suspect ingestion, contact your veterinarian or poison control.

• Perennial Pea – Contains Aminoproprionitrite. May cause weakness, lethargy, pacing, head pressing, tremors, seizures and possibly death.

Bluff City Bark Magazine

• Peony – Contains Paeonol. May cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression

• Hosta – Common shade plant. Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression if tasted.

• Hibiscus – This is a common plant in many gardens because of the their look. This plant may cause vomiting, diarrhea and nausea

• Periwinkle – Contains Vinca Alkaloids. May cause vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, depression, tremors, seizures, coma, and death. • Morning Glory– Seeds and leaves can cause gastrointestinal upset, tremors, diarrhea and anorexia. • Tulip – These are common spring time plants, but the bulbs contain Tulipalin A and B which may cause vomiting, depression.

(901) 388-9550 4318 Stage Rd Memphis, TN 38128

other toxic plants Baby’s Breath Carnations Gladiola Hosta

Lavce Ferm Gardenia Gernium Wisteria

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Lillies Lemons Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)

Featured Rescue

Sunny Meadows is a non profit no-kill animal rescue located

in East Memphis. They are one of the largest no kill rescue facilities in the mid-south. Sunny Meadows has been rescuing, rehabilitating, and re-homing thousands of homeless pets for the past 12 years. The start of Sunny Meadows happened in 2001 when a sweet lady rescued a few pups and had no were to take them, but the shelter. She boarded them until she could find a safe place for them to go until adopted. Shortly after, Sunny Meadows was founded. Today they have over 200 dogs and cats waiting for their forever homes. Some have been there for over 11 years! This non-profit goes to no end to make sure every pet in their care gets any medical treatment neccasry as well as all the love their staff and volunteers can give. Their dedicated staff works very hard to care for these pets and often considers them their own. When a pet gets adopted, many times a staff member will follow their whole journey into a new home; like an open adoption.

Bluff City Bark Magazine

Featured Rescue

Meet Jeddy

Jeddy was rescued in June 2013. After his owner passed away, he was given to a family that had him tied up outside with no shelter, a short chain, and an injured eye. Jeddy was saved from that home and brought to Sunny Meadows for immediate treatment for his eye. Sadly, the old injury was so severe that the eye had to be removed. However, that has not stopped this sweet boy from tackling day to day activities such as enjoying his toys, enjoying a day in the sun, and taking “love naps” with Beth Walker, a staff member of Sunny Meadows since 2008, calls them. Jeddy is very loving and affectionate. This sweet thing has not let his past get the best of him. He struts along with many others there and enjoys the love that each staff member and volunteer has to give. Don’t let the breed stop this handsome boy live his life out in a rescue. He has as much love to give as a any other fun loving dog. If interested in adopting, please visit for steps to adopt. Age: 4 Years Bluff City Bark Magazine

Featured Rescue


Breed: Hound Mix Age: 1 Yr 11 months Time at Rescue: 1 year 4 months

Beamer was found as a stray in Memphis, TN. He was rescued by a good Samartian and brought to Sunny Meadows. What a happy guy Beamer is! He never meets a stranger and stares deep into your eyes with his paws crossed wondering why he is still in the shelter.

This boy was an owner surrender, and we cannot figure out why anyone would give this precious boy up! He LOVES people and can hardly wait to get lots of head and belly rubs. He’s so very handsome, too! Beamer is neutered, current on vaccines, and heartworm negative. Sunny Meadows

Open every Saturday 1-4 to the public to view adoptable pets. Bluff City Bark Magazine

Featured Rescue


Breed: Lab/Mastiff Mix Age: 3 Years 8 months Time at Rescue: 1 Year 9 months

Goliath was rescued with his pal Polo from the Memphis Animal Shelter. He and his dachshund buddy were picked up together as strays. Kind of like a Homeward Bound story. This sweet boy wants nothing more than a cool couch in the hot summers and a warm couch in the winter. If he had to wish for more he said he would wish for a huge never ending bone, nothing more. Always the caring dog, Goliath would find it heavenly to sleep at the foot of the bed of a young child or laying on the couch watching a game. He has a laid back personality with the love to give a large or small family.

Bluff City Bark Magazine

Featured Rescue


Breed: Cocker Spaniel Age: 7 Years 10 months Time at Rescue: 5 months

Patches was an owner surrender to Sunny Meadows. This very loving boy just wants to curl up in your lap and kiss your face. He has been in a home with kids and has decided that he would like his next family to be a home that is a little less rambunctious. (no young children) He knows commands like sit and down and is ready to learn more. Patches is a great dog and it is sad to see senior dogs in rescues and not in a home. He would make any home with older children or a retired couple a great pet.

Bluff City Bark Magazine

Sunny Meadows Wish List Foster Homes Canned Dog/Cat Food Dog/Cat Treats Bath towels Sheets Blankets Non-Slip bath mats (rubber backing) Kiddie pools Soccer balls, basketballs, footballs (matters not if denoted or punctured) Heavy duty, durable dog toys and/or squeaky toys (used is one) Dog Carriers and/or Crates (all sizes) Copy Paper Bleach Odor Ban Dish Soap Click Here to Dishwasher Soap View More of This Hand Soap Wish List

15% of sales from this issue will go directly to Sunny Meadows and for medical care of their 200 dogs and cats. Bluff City Bark Magazine


Nanner Cups 4 cups plain yogurt 2 tablespoons peanut butter 3 bananas, ripe, peeled & mashed

Dogacream 3 ripe banannas 32 oz plain yogurt 1 cup of plain peanut butter

Blend, pour into ice cube trays or cupcake holders and freeze

Blend, pour into ice cube tray and freeze

Fruity Pops 1 Quart fruit juice 1 banana, mashed 1/2 cup yogurt Mix ingredients together thoroughly, and then freeze. This can be eaten by people too.

Pup Patties 1 1/2 c oat flour 1 1/2 c brown rice flour 1/2 c ground beef (cooked) 1/2 c shedded cheddar cheese 1 egg 1 tsp parsley 1/2 c water Preheat oven 350. Cook beef and drain grease. Grind beef in a food processor or blender. Combine all ingredients, but add water slowly. Mix until a dough forms. Roll out and use a cookie cutter to cut into fun shapes. Bake for 22-27 mins. Let cool and let your pet enjoy!

Fruity Yogurt Treats 2 mashed kiwis or a jar of fruit baby food 8 oz. strawberry (or any other flavor) yogurt (organic) Mix together, freeze in ice cube tray. Serve. Plus: these don’t damage gums and teeth like ice does!

Bluff City Bark Magazine

Bacon “Bark” Sticks Makes 24 1 egg 1 ¼ cups goat’s milk (dairy milk is okay as well) 1 tablespoon honey 4 tablespoons bacon fat ¼ cup bacon, crumbled 2 3/4 – 3 cups Oat Flour 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. In a large bowl whisk together the egg, milk, honey, bacon fat, and bacon. 3. Stir the flour in, ½ cup at a time until full incorporated. 4. Knead the dough until fully combined. 5. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface into a 4” by 12” rectangle. 6. Using a pizza cutter, cut out 4” by ½” sticks until all the dough has been used. 7. Line the sticks on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. 8. Cool completely before serving. 9. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Ask a Vet

Ask A Vet

With Dr. Kahn from Greene Animal Hospital


I have a short haired white dog, should I put sunscreen on him/her before going on walks and playtime outside? It is definitely a good idea to put sunscreen on light colored (or hairless!) dogs and cats. Sunburn and skin cancer can occur in dogs and cats. Make sure to use a sunscreen that is meant for pets, as some ingredients in human sunscreen can be toxic to animals.


Do pets have different blood types than humans? Yes, humans have blood types A, B, AB and O that can be either positive or negative. Dogs actually have 9 blood groups DEA 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. These can also be either positive or negative. It is interesting to note that in dogs, first time blood transfusions are unlikely to cause reactions even if the blood types do not match. However, if your dog has ever have a blood transfusion before, you need to let your veterinarian know as any future blood transfusion must be done with matched blood. Cat blood types are A, B and AB. Cats must be blood typed before transfusion. If a cat with B blood gets A blood, it can kill them.


Can I brush my dog’s teeth with human toothpaste? No. Human toothpaste contains fluoride that should not be ingested by pets. I do recommend brushing your pet’s teeth daily with an animal specific toothpaste. One brand is C.E.T.

Bluff City Bark Magazine


I have a neutered male and an unspayed female. Is there a reason I should spay her since I have the male neutered? Even if your dog or cat is neutered, it is possible that some other unneutered male could get her pregnant (getting in to the yard, etc.). If your pet is an intact female cat, you are likely to have Tom cats spraying urine around your house which is not a pleasant odor! Even if she does not end up pregnant, being intact can cause other medical issues. Breast cancer occurs in cats and dogs just like it does in people. It is generally hormone related, so if your pet is spayed before going in to heat for the first time, their risk of getting breast cancer is almost zero. Pyometra is another health risk. It is an infection of the uterus that is deadly if left untreated. Unfortunately, symptoms of pyometra can often be missed and animals can get so sick that they may die even with treatment.

If you have a question, funny or strange, email us at info@bluffcitybark. com and your question might be featured in our Ask a Vet section.

Training Advice From

Set Your Dog up For Success with Training

Whether you’ve just brought home a new dog or puppy, or you just want to help your existing dog behave “better,” training is one of the most important things you can do for your dog. Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County animal trainer Kelsi Skee shares some things to keep in mind and suggestions for working with your dog.

Pictured here is Bebe. Adopted from HSMSC

Written by: Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County Photography by: Phillip Van Zandt Photography

Bluff City Bark Magazine

Pictured here is Carley. Adopted from HSMSC

How Dogs Learn

Dogs learn by consequences. Every interaction you have with a dog has is teaching them something. If a behavior is rewarded, it will be repeated. If the behavior is punished, it will cease. However, when you punish a behavior you are only telling the dog what NOT to do, not what to do instead. The dog will learn he cannot do that one thing, but he may come up with an alternative behavior, which might just be another unwanted behavior. Punishing causes anxiety and fear and can also damage your bond with your dog by teaching him that you are unpredictable and someone to be avoided. By teaching your dog what you want him to do through reinforcement, you create a relationship based on trust. You can also predict that he will continue doing the behavior that is rewarded, rather than another behavior that doesn’t get rewarded. Just like us, dogs want to be paid a better reward for a harder job. You would be willing to complete a more difficult task if you were getting paid $500 than if you were getting paid $5. Know what your dog will work for and that his rewards are important to him. For many dogs this is food, but it can also be attention, toys, getting out of the door, etc. Every dog is an individual and has their own preferences and unique personalities. We must work with them so that they can reach their full potential, and in turn we will have a better relationship with them. Bluff City Bark Magazine

Click If You Want it to Stick

At HSMSC, we are big fans of clicker training. A clicker is a small device you can purchase very inexpensively at any pet store. When you press it, it makes an audible “click” noise. Most dogs learn new behaviors more quickly and more reliably when their trainer uses a clicker. But why? A click is an event marker, meaning it very clearly tells a dog that what they just did was GOOD! That’s because the first step of clicker training is introducing a connection between the dog hearing a click and getting a reward. A click is like a contract between the two of you that Pictured here is Nuke. Adopted from HSMSC you promise to give a treat once you have Once the dog has learned that click = treat, you can begin working on getting behaviors that you want. One easy way to incorporate clicker training is by “capturing.” This means if you see your dog sit, click and give him a treat. Every time you see him sit, click and treat. Once he will reliably sit, THEN introduce the word “sit,” and never repeat a command. That may teach your dog that he only needs to sit when you say, “sit, sit, sit, sit!” You can capture any desired behavior by clicking and treating. A few examples would be: being quiet, having all four feet on the floor, walking with a loose leash, and politely meeting people or other dogs. You can build on capturing by “shaping,” which is where you click and treat every time your dog gets closer to a wanted behavior. Think of it like a staircase, and every time you shape a behavior, you are climbing higher toward that wanted behavior at the top. For example, if you want him to pick up a toy off the floor and bring it to you, you click/treat for walking toward the toy, and next you might click/treat for touching the toy with his nose, next for picking it up, next for walking toward you with the toy in his mouth, and finally for bringing the toy to you! The key with capturing and shaping is patience! You must wait for your dog to figure it out with your help. Bluff City Bark Magazine

Ignore Unwanted Behavior For behaviors that are unwanted, such as jumping, excessive barking, or “mouthing,” the best thing to do is to ignore the behavior. Dogs do these behaviors to get your attention. And remember, dogs do what works! If you touch, push, or pet a jumping dog, you are actually rewarding that behavior. You are telling them that jumping WORKS to get what they want from you, so they will continue to repeat the behavior. Even telling your dog to get down, or be quiet, is a reward or reinforcement of their behavior. When the dog jumps, turn your back until all four paws are on the ground. Reward when all four paws are on the ground. Remember that negative attention is still attention, and that is something most dogs REALLY want. The key in ignoring unwanted behavior is consistency. If two out of three times you ignore your dog when he jumps, but that one time, you pet him, he will continue to jump in the hopes that he’ll hit the jackpot by jumping again soon. It’s like people at a casino on the penny slots: Sure, we lose 9 out of 10 times, but that ONE win keeps us coming back! Another good way to prevent unwanted behavior is to preemptively ask for a wanted behavior. When your jumpy dog is walking toward you, ask him to sit. You distracted him from the unwanted behavior he was probably about to display. Positive reinforcement is the key to all of these tips. Whatever behavior you reinforce your dog for, that is what he will do. Have fun helping your dog learn what works!

Bluff City Bark Magazine

Upcoming Events



36-Hour Mega Adoptionaton

Mid-Southerns looking to adopt a dog or cat need look no further than the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County during our 36-Hour Mega Adoptathon. They have partnered up with other rescues and shelters to have a many choices as possible. Adoption fees reduced for this 36-hour event. Free to the public. Location: HSMSC


12th Doggin’ It 5K

The Doggin’ It 5K will be hosted by the Southern Festival of Dogs organizers. Location : Overton Park 9AM

12th Join DeSoto Animal Rescue Society for their first big fundraiser of the year at beautiful Bonne Terre in Nesbit, MS. You’ll save lives and have a great evening in the process. Buy your tickets in advance here.

Luna Nova and Friends presents House of Mews Benefit Concert Sunday, April 6, 3:00 p.m. Balmoral Presbyterian Church 6413 Quince Road $20 suggested donation Free admission for children More information here Bluff City Bark Magazine

Upcoming Events


12th Join SOS (Save Our Shelter) Memphis for an educational forum that deals with the prevention of animal cruelty in our community. Scheduled speakers will include Cindy Sanders and Jackie Johns from Community Action for Animals, Sherry Rout from the ASPCA Southern Region, and Shelby County Judge Larry Potter. This event is free but seating is limited so arrive early. Click here for more info



23rd Bark After Dark Bike Ride & Glow Bash Participants get the rare opportunity to take a night ride through Shelby Farms on specially lit-up trails by bike. You can enjoy the ride and/or bash. Location: Shelby Farms Register here

Have a pet event that you would like to bark about? Email with information and we will add to our events page.


Shelby Farms Park will host Dog-A-Roo in The Outback, the 100+ acre multi-use area that is home to multiple lakes, forests, and meadows. Dog-A-Roo aims to celebrate our four-legged friends by inviting patrons and pups alike to the Shelby Farms Park Outback for a barking good Location: Shelby Farms

Bluff City Bark Magazine

Thank you for supporting Bluff City Bark and your local animal rescues and shelters. June/July Issue will feature: • • • • • •

Heat Stroke Cool Treats Reasons to Adopt Feline urinary obstruction Hiking at Shelby Farms Fleas in Memphis

JuneNational Zoo and Aquarium Month Pet Appreciation Week June 1-7 JulyNational Mutt Day July 31

Visit our site for more articles and a directory of Memphis area groomers, sitter, and more. Bluff City Bark Magazine

Bluff City Bark April/May 2014  
Bluff City Bark April/May 2014  

Bluff City Bark April/ May 2014