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Vol. 9 Issue 4 - Late Summer 2017

Unleashed Delmarva

Complimentary

Rip Current Education For You & Your Dog

It’s Not the Leashes... The Latest on the Canine Influenza Outbreak

Your Smart

Pup

Fun on the Water


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contents Vol. 9 Issue 4 Late Summer 2017

Delmarva Unleashed Publisher Sandy Phillips

6 Bark of the Town 12 The Pretenders 14 Fun on the Water 16 Rip Current Education 20 The Latest on the Canine Influenza Outbreak 30 It’s Not the Leashes, It’s the Owners! 32 Doggie Socials

Editor Grammerly Creative Director Farin Lewis creative@grandlivingmag.com Contributing Writers Amanda Abresch Polly Elliott John Maniatty, V.M.D. Brandon Phillips Jaclyn Wolinski, D.M.V. Sales Heather Cherrix Howard Hastings

Advertising Info: (410)726-7334

On the Cover:

Willow of Willards, MD. Proudly owned by Stephanie Valdivia Delmarva Unleashed is published six times a year; Winter, Spring, Early Summer, Late Summer, Fall, and Holiday. It is circulated throughout Maryland’s Lower Shore, Mid Shore and onto Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The magazine can also be found throughout Delaware and is published by Grand Living Magazine, LLC. Delmarva Unleashed is protected under trademark registration. No portion in whole or part may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Copyright 2017©, Grand Living Magazine, LLC. All rights reserved. Content in Delmarva Unleashed is intended to provide information only and is in no way meant to treat or diagnose. Always consult with a specialty professional to address your own personal needs. The company makes every effort to ensure that all information presented is correct, however, we do not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information, and reliance on information provided, is solely at your own risk.

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Delmarva Unleashed Late Summer 2017


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Bark of the Town The First Dogs According to the book De Canibus: Dog and Hound in Antiquity, by Merlen, all dogs can be traced back 40 million years ago to a weasel-like animal called the Miacis which dwelled in trees and dens. The Miacis later evolved into the Tomarctus, a direct forbear of the genus Canis, which includes the wolf and jackal as well as the dog.

Dirty Bowl? According to foodsafety.gov, you should wash your pets food bowl daily, either in the dishwasher or by hand, and let air dry before the next feeding. This is particularly true if your dog is fed any type of wet food. The dishwasher is best if they eat an ancestral diet. Don’t forget the water bowl. It should be cleaned at lest every other day; daily if your dog is a little sloppy and drops food particles in the water. Take care to only use detergents you would use for your own dish washing and be sure to rinse them clean. Soap left in your dog’s bowl can cause an upset stomach and most dogs will find it unpleasant to drink.

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Delmarva Unleashed Late Summer 2017


Have a Dog That Loves to Hang Out of the Window? Letting your dog ride in the car with it’s head out the window is risky business. Imagine the extensive injuries which can occur if you were to have an accident. Even a low-speed crash can propel your dog out the window, resulting in serious injury or even death. Your dogs eyes and ears are at a great risk from flying debris. Anything that can hit your windshield, could hit your dog in the face. Dogs riding in the beds of pick-ups are at an even greater risk, not only

from flying debris, but from a fall even in the bed itself, while the vehicle is in motion. It is also true that there are often other objects in the bed, traveling with the dog, that can easily become a projectile, further increasing the risk that your dog will be injured during the ride. Dogs seem to be drawn to the window and the fresh air, however, it’s best for them to enjoy the air conditioner with you, avoiding airborne road hazards.

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New health services in Longneck, DE Dr. April Reid announces the Grand Opening of Peninsula Veterinary Services, a premium quality, full-service boutique animal clinic. When many people need to take their pet to an animal hospital or clinic, they would like personal, caring treatment. Something that's not always available at large facilities. In the Millsboro, (Longneck area) convenient to Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, Dr. April Reid is answering the call. The new animal hospital is committed to comfortable, customer and pet focused service coupled with the latest advances in pet medical technology and treatments. Dr. Reid who is originally from New York, says, “I came to Delaware, in 2015, with the dream of opening a 8

particular kind of pet hospital. Peninsula Veterinary Services is that dream come to life. From the services we offer to the design of the hospital itself, something which has always intrigued me, since part of my background is in Art History and Aesthetics; we are doing our best to exceed even the highest of expectations.” According to the animal hospital, traditional services are offered: including annual wellness exams, general surgery, dentistry, vaccinations, and digital radiography. Other diverse services and nutritional counseling are also available, along with a convenient in-house pharmacy. Dr. Reid is a 1999 graduate of Ross School of Veterinary Medicine, and has over 15 years experience in veterinary medicine; she has been focusing on small animal medicine for four years. In addition to owning and operating Peninsula Veterinary Services, she is currently pursuing an MBA at the University of Delaware, continuing a quest to provide quality. Past feedback for her services has been remarkably positive across the board. Michelle S., from Brooklyn, recently said, “When it comes to our family pets we demand kind and caring service at the vet. Dr. April Reid is remarkable in all areas, and we've never had a bad experience with her. Five stars and fully recommended!” For more information be sure to visit peninsulaveterinaryservices.com.

Delmarva Unleashed Late Summer 2017


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Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) A hidden killer in cats by John Maniatty V.M.D.

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ardiac disease is a scary problem in all species. In cats is can be quite enigmatic. As veterinarians, we can hear a murmur and it may mean significant heart disease or can be benign. Studies suggest 30% of cats with heart murmurs have no significant heart disease. (1)While cats with no murmurs may have significant heart disease and show no symptoms, how can this be? Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the result of abnormal protein production of the cardiac muscle cells. Due to the inability to contract and relax properly, it causes damage to the heart muscle. This leads to thickening of the muscle and narrowing of the left ventricular chamber. The decrease in size leads to increased pressure when filling due to limited space, causing a backflow of blood into the left atrium and results in elevated pressure. The muscles that help open and close the mitral valve, papillary muscles, also become 10

enlarged and do not work effectively. The leaking valve allows backflow of blood into the left atrium, and a murmur can be heard. This also can lead to increased pressure, which leads to enlargement of the left atrium (1). In some cats as this progresses, it leads to, decrease blood flow and increase blood pressure in the lungs. Think of it as trying to squeeze 1 cup water from a water balloon into a solid plastic bag that holds only ½ cup water. Some water has to remain in the 1-cup water balloon. More water is being added to what is already there and causes the swelling. The balloon is the left atrium, and this blood pooling can lead to clot formation and eventually a portion of this clot can be sent into the left ventricle then out to the body. Cats that have this can suddenly die or become acutely paralyzed. Also with the backup of blood into the left atrium and lungs, we can get fluid accumulating in the lungs, and chest cavity. These are the worse case scenarios.

Delmarva Unleashed Late Summer 2017


that if is >100pmol/L points to stretch and damage to the heart muscle. This further supports damage to the heart muscle cardiac disease. Based on this an echocardiogram, referral to a cardiologist, is recommended. This test is also recommended for prescreening for cats that have a new murmur that has arisen. As stated before 30% of cats with murmurs may have no clinical heart disease this will help determine if your cat is part of that 30%. Also prescreening before surgery is important since moderate, and some early severe cases can present with no clinical sign. Having lost a patient at six months of age under anesthesia to this disease with no clinical sign or murmur was devastating. Treatment is based on clinical degree of illness. In minor to mild cases no treatment is necessary, just monitoring to be sure it does not progress. In severe cases diuretics; furosemide, spironolactone; used to remove fluid from lungs and chest cavity, ACE inhibitors; enalapril, benazepril, pimobendan; dilate blood vessels and help heart contractility making it easier to pump blood, Atenolol a Beta Blocker that helps lower heart rate and dilates blood vessels, can be used at your Veterinarians discretion. (1)

SPECIAL

It is estimated that in general, about 15% of all cats have HCM and of all cats with heart disease, it is 60%. In the Maine Coon and Ragdoll breeds, genetic markers have been found. In the Main Coon, it is estimated 30-40 % have the A31P mutation. This was done through breeder testing. In the Ragdoll, it is the R820W mutation. (1) Mutation of these genes causes mutation in the production of myosin binding protein C, and this causes trouble with contraction and relaxation of the muscle. (2) In the majority of cats it is minor or mild and they, stay subclinical never showing symptoms. While with others it can cause symptoms of CHF. Cats with severe forms of HCM present with elevated heart rates, shallow; rapid, and labored open mouth breathing. Heart murmurs may or may not be heard. Some murmurs will be heard when stressed and go away when calm. Cats that have thrown emboli will have paralysis of one limb that has no pulse; pads are white, and cold due to lack of blood flow. When this occurs, it is usually a poor prognosis. (2) Due to poor blood perfusion and elevated heart rate the heart muscle itself becomes oxygen deprived and can lead to worsening heart disease and myocardial infarct (heart attack). When presented with this the first few steps are to stabilize the cat with oxygen, do radiographs if stable. With the radiographs we are checking for Left side heart enlargement- specifically left atrial bulge, fluid accumulation in lungs or chest cavity. Also once stable we can draw blood to do a ProBNP snap test in house. ProBNP is a heart biomarker

1 Kittleson, Mark D., DVM, Ph.D., DACVI (Cardiology), and Geri Lake-Baker, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology). "Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy." Veterinary Information Network-Associate Database. Veterinary Information Network, 05 Dec. 2004. Web. 02 July 2017. 2 "College of Veterinary Medicine - Cornell University." Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) in Cats. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, 2014. Web. 02 July 2017. <http://vet.cornell.edu/hospital/Services/Companion/Cardiology/conditions/HCM.cfm>.

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The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pretendersâ&#x20AC;?

by Sandy Phillips

R

ecently I had a conversation with a gentleman that was telling me about a brand of dog food he had newly discovered and that it had to be "top quality" as it was just as expensive as Orijen, (an expensive brand that is of superior quality). I recognized the brand he was excited about immediately, and it is a very inferior brand. Does this mean pet parents are becoming conditioned to equate price with quality? If that is true, then unscrupulous pet food manufacturers have once again found a way to make huge profits while our dogs pay the price. The poor dog food producers who have the integrity and the quality ingredients won't survive unless we pet parents continue to read the labels and make informed choices for our dogs. 12

Expensive does not mean quality! Granted quality dog food does cost more, and the money you will save on vet bills, in the long run, will outweigh the cost over the lifetime of the dog. Ultimately your dog will live a much better life overall. That doesn't mean you feed good dog food and skip medical care, that's still a vital part of good pet parenting. No matter the brand, read the label carefully. Named meat, of some kind, should be the first ingredient. No "by-product" like chicken by-product, chicken meal, etc. It should just say "chicken." There are now a wide variety of proteins offered, including beef, venison, wild boar, rabbit, duck, salmon, and others. Those words should stand alone, "venison."

Delmarva Unleashed Late Summer 2017


Fruits and vegetables are gaining New European foods are coming to wide support as vital components in market in the U.S., and many backed our dog's diets, look for new items, with decades of research. These are like chickpeas, blueberries, spinach definitely worth a closer look, and and others. Supplements like kelp and should be finding their way to the spirulina are rich in antioxidants and Mid-Atlantic by summer's end. have a wealth of health benefits. You I think the new product "Wisdom" will find ingredients like these in many is worth a closer look. As opposed to superior foods. being baked like a kibble, it's totally If you're looking at a list of ingre"air dried." Delmarva Unleashed was dients and feel overwhelmed by the privy to samples, and the DU Dogs lengthy list, it's probably not a good loved it. It has a great deal of visual choice. While you may be looking at appeal to humans, as you can cleara list of "premix" vitamins, that are ly see the dried fruits, veggies and added to make the food "balanced," protein. There is certainly a level of getting those vitamins and minerals confidence to be had when you can from actual foods is a better option. identify what you see in your dog's Many of those vitamins in a premix bowl, and it matches the label. are synthetic, and their bioavailability Whatever you choose for your has yet to be proven. Rule of thumb, dog, please take the time to make an the shorter the list, the greater the informed choice. Expensive does not likely hood of a quality diet. Another always mean quality! trick to rely on; if you can pronounce everything on the ingredient label, it's probably a good choice as long as your not reading "by-product," or "meal." Continued research has long questioned the high temperatures at which kibble is baked; that it's destroying nutrients in the foods. New European research is being conducted on the formation of possible carcinogens when kibble is dried at extreme temperatures. Based on current research some manufacturers are changing baking methods, some are drying at lower temperatures, others offering freeze dried or dehydrated foods. The brand Stella & Chewy now has a kibble that is wrapped in raw freeze dried. They say that it offers the convenience of kibble with the benefits of freeze dried raw; a new concept that may have merit. Delmarva Unleashed Late Summer 2017 13


by Polly Elliott

F

Fun on the Water

or many of us that live near the beach, teaching our kids to swim is just part of raising a family, but have you ever thought about your dog's water skills? Last year, Maryland had over 21 boating-related fatalities. While there are no reliable records for boating dogs, they do fall overboard, unnoticed by family or crew and are never seen again. Dogs also disappear in the surf. The song "Shannon" by Henry Gross, in 1976, was written about the passing of Beach Boy Carl Wilson's Irish Setter of the same name; lost in the rip. While taking the fur kids to the beach is fun, it does come with pet parent responsibility. Even if you have a "water dog," such as a Golden Retriever, Labrador, or Chesapeake with webbed toes, they should still be acclimated to water, 14

stroke by stroke, just like a kid. Pushing a dog overboard, thinking they all instinctively know how to "doggie paddle," is wrong, and can make a dog fearful of water. While swimming is more challenging for brachycephalic breeds like Boston Terriers, Boxers, Bulldogs, Pekingese and Shih Tzus, it doesn't mean these dogs don't enjoy getting their feet wet. You just need to be there, with your head in the game, and enjoy the water with them. For these dogs, a life vest is a must! If you're near the Shoreline, have your dog in a properly fitted life jacket, enter the water at their own pace. Many will take right to the water, but you never know what their response will be. Adopted dogs may come with "fear of water" baggage that will require you to instill some confidence

Delmarva Unleashed Late Summer 2017


before that first plunge. Just another reason to invest in a life jacket to help build that feeling of security. Always, supervise your dog in the water. If you're along the Ocean shore, be sure to keep your dog away from any rip currents or forming rips. Dogs can drown in them just like humans, and it would be just as tragic. Be mindful of jellyfish or other sea life that may pose a threat. If your dog is running on the shoreline where surf fishing is permitted, but aware of the lines so they are not playing near fish hooks that could get caught in their paws or legs. When it's time to head home, be sure you have the right supplies for your dog to leave the beach with a minimal mess for you. Bottled water is not only a must for drinking on the beach; it's excellent for washing off paws. Be sure to towel dry your dog for the ride home, and at the very least, rinse the coat well when you get home. Salt water can dry out the skin and coat, resulting in an itchy dog. If your water fun was in the Bay, a marshy smelling dog is not pleasant to cuddle with, and that small can be caused by bacteria, be sure to get the dog shampoo! If your dog's first swimming lesson occurs at a pool, have them don the life vest and start on the steps, just like with a human child, and let them get their feet wet. If you're in the water with them, be prepared for those dog paddling feet to come straight toward you if they are adept to the water. If they have a buddy or pack member that is already a good swimmer, be sure to have them close by for emotional support and to set and example. Many dogs will find it's easy to swim once another dog shows them how.

In a pool, make sure your dog learns to exit the steps and not the ladder. Most just need a reminder for where they are located and quickly learn how to exit properly. Dogs in pools often enjoy floating on inflatables. While nails can be a puncture concern, there are a wide variety of pool toys made just for your pup and you can both relax on the water. If the pool is in your backyard, it's best to set strict rules about when your dog is allowed to enter the water; i.e.,...only when you or another family member are present. If your pool is gated, it's easy, if not spend some time training your dog for his own safety. Running dogs can slip just like human kids and break a leg or bang their head. Be sure your dog understands the parameters of his back yard pool. Lastly, be sure your water fun includes plenty of clear water for proper hydration. Dogs that drink salt or pool water can become sick resulting in an unplanned trip to the pet ER that will dampen the fun.

Amanda Abresch

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Rip Current Education For You & Your Dog by Brandon Phillips


Growing up at the beach, of course lots of people took their dogs to the beach, just as they do today. One day a beautiful dog disappeared into the Ocean in Dewey, in what many thought was a rip current. For those of you with dogs that enjoy the Ocean be aware that they are just as much at risk as their humans in getting caught in a Rip. It’s our job to assess the Ocean’s status to be sure they don’t fall victim as this dog did. Unfortunately we can’t teach them to swim parallel to shore. —Sandy

Where and Why Rip Currents Form

C

oastal scientists have been investigating rip currents for more than 75 years. This research has been conducted through field observations, measurements, laboratory measurements, wave tank experiments, computer and numerical modeling. The mechanics of rip current development are complex and involve interactions between waves and currents, waves and water levels, waves and the shape of the near shore bottom (bathymetry), as well as wave-wave interaction. Rip currents can occur along any coastline that has breaking waves. Scientific investigations of wave and current interactions along the coast have shown that rip currents are likely present on most beaches every day as a component of the complex pattern of near shore circulation. As waves travel from deep to shallow water, they eventually break near the shoreline. As waves break, they generate currents that flow in both the offshore (away from the coast) and the alongshore directions. Currents flowing away from the coast are called rip currents. Along all coastlines, near shore circulation cells may develop when waves break strongly in some locations and weakly in others. These

weaker and stronger wave breaking patterns are most often seen on beaches with a sand bar and channel system in the near shore zone. A rip current forms as the narrow, fast-moving section of water travels in an offshore direction. Rip currents can also result from a wave's natural variability or when a current traveling along the shoreline encounters a structure such as a groin or jetty and is forced offshore. Rip current strength and speed varies. This variability makes rip currents especially dangerous to uninformed beach goers. Rapid fluctuations or pulses in wave groups can quickly generate rip currents with velocities measured up to eight feet per second.

Waves, Currents and Water Level Variations As waves break along a shoreline or over a sandbar, an increase in water level occurs. This increase in water level is known as “set-up.” The increase in water level is especially evident as waves break over a sandbar, resulting in an increased set-up of water on the landward side of the bar. Thus, waves breaking over a sandbar can result in mass transport of water

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Rip Current- notice the difference in the breakers?

between the bar and the shoreline. There is usually a difference in set-up (water heights) between the bar, where the waves are breaking strongly, and the channel between bars, where little or no wave breaking occurs. One of the ways this water returns seaward is through rip currents, which flow seaward against the incoming waves. This seaward flow of water typically occurs through a break in the sandbar, where water is channelized into a narrow current. Protecting your family, including your furry family members is critical. The following are suggestions that may help protect everyone.

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1. Never swim at an unguarded beach. (The unfortunate situation here is that most often dogs are not permitted on guarded beaches in our area. The next best thing is to never swim alone.) 2. If you encounter a rip current, STAY CALM! Try not to panic, and focus on floating by lying on your back and treading water. Remember itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easier to float than to remain perpendicular to the surf. 3. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fight the current. If necessary, ride it out. Keep in mind that the strength of the rip will eventually dissipate. 4. Swim parallel or at an angle to shore. 5. If a lifeguard is visible, wave your arms and yell for help!

Delmarva Unleashed Late Summer 2017


Spotting a Rip Current

Rip currents are sometimes difficult to spot. However, with the aid of some basic information and a little practice, even a lay person can learn how to identify and avoid being caught in a Rip. Some of the rip current indicators include: • Choppy or “excited” water that is located in a channel • Debris moving away from the beach • Discolored or murky water allowing for the identification of a distinct channel that terminates off shore. If you observe a person caught in a rip current: • Look for a lifeguard to get help.

If there is no life guard on duty, call 911. Look for a flotation device such as a raft, boogie board or even a cooler. Wade no more than knee deep in the water and toss the flotation device to the victim. Throw the object in front of the swimmer. Don’t toss it behind or to the side. The moving current will take it to the person if tossed in front of them.

Because rescuing your dog will be difficult, the best protection is prevention. Have your pup wear a well fitted life vest. Also, be sure to scan the water frequently for the potential of a rip to be forming and move the family to another area or call it a day while everyone is safe. — Safety guidelines provided by NOAA.

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The latest Canine Influenza outbreak and vaccinations. From Jaclyn Wolinski, D.V.M., of the Animal Wellness Center of the Eastern Shore, a summary of the latest information and her recommendations:

T

he latest strain of canine influenza is H3N2 and was first seen in the Chicago area in 2015. There are documented cases in 30 states, including MD, but it does not currently appear to be an "imminent threat" in MD. It is transmitted through the air by coughing or barking infected dogs, but can also be passed around on contaminated objects (floors, cages, bowls, leashes, clothes, etc.). Clinical signs are very similar to kennel cough and treatment is mostly supportive. The risk of death is very low and usually associated with secondary complications like pneumonia or other disease affecting that individual animal. Vaccination is also similar to Bordetella (kennel cough). It is recommended for dogs at high risk. I believe this to be dogs that are frequently 20

traveling to shows out of state. The vaccine does not prevent infection, but reduces signs of disease. It does not prevent the dog from being a chronic carrier and does not prevent them from shedding the virus. This means that even if your dog receives the vaccine, you still have to be vigilant about the dogs you are coming in contact with. One of the biggest problems with the spread of this disease is the fact that dogs usually do not show clinical signs for 2-4 days, but can already be shedding the virus. Also, there are two documented strains of canine influenza that have vaccines available. The vaccine for the "old" H3N8 canine flu does not protect against the new H3N2 strain and vice versa. There is one bivalent vaccine available that provides some protection against both.

Delmarva Unleashed Late Summer 2017


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My current recommendation is much like my stance on human flu vaccines. I don't get a flu vaccine because I don't want to inject myself with something that may not be fully protective against something I may or may not come in contact with. For this reason, I currently will not be recommending the flu vaccine for the majority of my canine patients. I do understand that some dogs are at high risk and to try to minimize the spread of disease, it might be best

if they are vaccinated against the canine flu. If your are interested in having your dog vaccinated against both strains of canine influenza, please call your vet to confirm availability of the vaccine supply.

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Continued from pg 31 It’s Not the Leash, It’s the Owners! How can you ensure that you are using that retractable leash to the best of your and your dog's ability and maintaining a safe walk for all? Not to worry, I've got a few tips: •

Frequently practice the recall on leash. As in, every few minutes for part of your walk. This is a great way to practice the 'catch and release' recall: call your dog to you and when they get to you, give them lots of love and attention, play with their collar and let them "go play" and explore again. I LOVE the catch and release recall because it teaches your dog that you calling them doesn't always mean the fun is ending. The more your dog is used to coming when called, the less reliant you are on the leash to reel your dog in and the better your dog is with the recall, which is a really swell thing to be good with. Practice polite leash manners, no matter what type of leash you have. If you see another dog approaching, recall your dog and only allow greetings if it's ok (a verbal "ok" by person, and body language which is accepted by both dogs). Watch out for other pedestrians during walks, especially when on trails or sidewalks. It's no fun getting clotheslined by a leash, I've been there and still have the scars to prove it.

Apparently, some of the new retractable leashes have wrist straps so that if /when the leash gets pulled out of your hand, it's still attached to you. This can prevent the leash from chasing your dog around the block, which will save you both time and headache.

Use common sense, please. No matter what type of equipment you use, it should be checked before every walk (I check every dog entering every class and before going out on walks during private lessons). Harnesses and leashes can loosen over time, nylon or leather leashes can get ripped or stretched, and retractable leashes can crack and break open. Take the time to look it over as you put this equipment on your dog; it could save a life. Also, please, please DO NOT use a head halter or prong/choke collar with a retractable leash. The risk of damage to your dog’s spine is great if the dogs pulls to the end of the line too hard. Harnesses are my go to for walking in general.

A responsible leash user can have success with any leash!

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Your Smart

Pup

with Amanda Abresch B.S., ABCDT, APDT, CPDT-KA

With this issue Delmarva Unleashed will begin a Q & A column by professional dog trainer Amanda Abresch of Smart Pups. This will be a forum to get great dog tips regarding some of your dogs behavioral challenges. To have your question posed to the trainer, simply email us at creative@grandlivingmag.com. The number of questions responded to and printed in each issue are relative to space availability.

My dog barks all the time, how do I lessen the barking? `

Barking is a behavior that is especially frustrating to us humans, but completely normal for our dogs. While dogs mainly use body language to communicate, they will use vocalizations for important things. All barking happens for a reason, at least initially. 24

Delmarva Unleashed Late Summer 2017


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There are five main types of barking: Excited/Play barking Fearful/Alarm barking Territorial barking Boredom barking Learned barking Most barking will start out as one of the first three and over time can become one of the last two. Just as people will develop OCD-type behaviors as a way of coping with stress, some dogs will bark as a stress response. This is because the barking itself is either working or it makes them feel better. Think about a dog who barks at the mailman; every day he barks, and the mailman walks away. This can be perceived by the dog as him protecting your home from the mailman because the mailman leaves every time. Even though there is no real connection, the barking and the mailman leaving appear to have a direct correlation. Every day, the barking that started as an alert or territorial bark is reinforced and strengthened, and the dog has a job keeping away scary mail carriers, UPS and FedEx. The first step with barking is to stop the habit; which is done by redirecting the dog before he is fully invested in barking. Next, we teach the dog an alternative behavior like finding their favorite toy and playing with it or running into another room to find their people to alert them to a potential threat (even if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a flock of geese). During the training process, it is also helpful to close curtains or blinds so your dog cannot continue the habit of barking when there is nobody home to redirect him. 26

In any case, you should probably contact a certified trainer to be sure there isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t anything else going on with your dog and to tailor a training plan for your pup!

My dog marks in the house, is it a potty training thing? Possibly. If your dog is suddenly having accidents in the house, first consider a trip to the veterinarian to rule out any medical problems. Once found to have a clean bill of health, we can typically assume that yes, this is a potty training thing; at least in the sense that you may have to potty train your dog again. The next thing we need to consider is how you react when your dog goes potty in the house. Please do not hit your dog or push their nose into it, as this will only teach your pup that you do strange things when there is poop or pee in the house. This can result in a dog who hides to go potty in the house, one who runs away from you, or a dog who will not go potty with you around, even in the yard. Dogs who pee in the house tend to do so because they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know better,

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don’t care, or because they have simply become accustomed to it. Let’s back up - dogs naturally do not want to poop and pee close to where they sleep and eat, for the same reasons you don’t want to eat or sleep next to your toilet unless you are desperate. Early on, this natural mechanism can be thwarted by the environment. Around 21 days of age, puppies start to open their eyes and move out of their den to potty on their own without mom’s assistance. If they are not allowed out of the den at this early time, potty training is very difficult as they learn that poop and pee happen next to or on their bed. If a puppy is for sale at a pet store where pee and poop are not cleaned up instantly (employees do need to multitask, after all), this pup grows accustomed to sleeping and eating next to it, especially if they are at the store for weeks or months. If your puppy is trained to use potty pads (sometimes necessary in winter and with very small breeds), they can begin to generalize this to all soft

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surfaces, including the oriental rug in your dining room. For potty training problems, the first step is to limit the accidents in the house and offer as many opportunities as possible to go potty outside (where he will be rewarded every time, outside, immediately after they go). Keeping a log of when and where pups eliminate, can help you to see the pattern in their potty habits and any favorite spots. With this knowledge, you can take your dog out when you know she needs to go and reward her for doing so. Next, be sure you are using an enzymatic cleaner when your dog does have an accident. Most carpet cleaners will have a nice smell that we perceive as clean, but to your dog, it just smells like pee/poop and that weird stuff you sprayed. Enzymatic cleaners remove the proteins and the smell so that dogs who mark the same spot should not keep doing it. In cases of dogs who pee to mark a spot marked by a previous pet, you may need to consider repainting or removing the carpet. Lastly, you need to monitor your dog until you know you can trust her to not pee or poop in the house. This means keeping your dog crated or gated if you are not directly supervising her and taking her out to potty as soon as she starts to sniff or circle. Yes, it will be tedious, and it may take longer than you want, but that’s the price you have to pay to keep the house clean sometimes! If your dog seems to be struggling with potty training, you should consult a certified trainer to do an assessment and make sure there are no other underlying issues.

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Assuming your dog is well fed, and at a healthy weight, this problem can be resolved most quickly by using a slow feed bowl or a food dispensing feeder that your dog rolls around with her nose and or paws. These make the food harder to get to so she physically cannot get it into her mouth as quickly. You could also break up your dog's meals into smaller portions: if he gets one cup of food at dinner, break it up into four portions, so your dog gets less food at a time and therefore eats more slowly. With dogs who eat their food quickly, there can be underlying reasons why. When there is a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;whyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; it never hurts to try and resolve the problem. Often, eating quickly is a habit developed early on by a puppy who is smaller than others in the litter or one who has had to work hard for their food at some point in life (like a dog who has spent some time as a stray). Other times, a puppy just eats fast because he is hungry due to his incredible metabolism. Lastly, some dogs eat fast, and we never understand why. The good news is that using a slow feed bowl and working on exercises to teach impulse control and more calm behavior can help no matter what. If a slow feed bowl or breaking up meals is not working for your dog, you should contact a certified trainer who can help!

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It’s Not the Leashes, It’s the Owners! by Amanda Abresch B.S., ABCDT, APDT, CPDT-KA So, retractable leashes... To tell you the truth, I advise against them. Personally, I'm not a fan. I have only had a few good encounters with them, and they are not allowed in my group classes. When a client pulls out the retractable leash so we can go on a walk to see their dog's excessive pulling, the first question I ask is if they have a regular, non-retractable leash.

• •

They have a bunch of downsides to retractable leashes: •

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They teach dogs that pulling is a perfectly fine activity that pays off - if a dog pulls, they get up to 20 feet of leash!

Delmarva Unleashed Late Summer 2017

Painful rope burns for you, if you get caught in them. I know this from personal experience - it freak-in' hurts and burns and this can happen when it's not even your dog or your leash. You have little to no control over of the dog. Seriously, your dog has 20 feet to roam and play and explore with you at the other end. As long as they aren't attacking anyone, a lot of people let them do this at will and only reel their dog in when there is already a problem at hand.


Safety - or the lack thereof. I have seen way too many people walking their dog on a retractable leash; the person on the sidewalk and the dog in the street, 8-15 feet away from them! I sure hope these dogs have a solid recall for when a car comes zooming down the street, so they don't both go flying into the air. If your dog pulls hard (which is easy because of all the extra momentum they have already) and the leash gets out of your hands, the plastic holder will chase your dog. I have had this happen. Many moons ago, when I was young, and these leashes were all new and fancy, I was walking my aunt's dogs (my first mistake was walking multiple dogs with these things). One of the dogs pulled, and of course, I dropped the retractable leash. Not only did I have a dog running away to see something he wanted, but I also had him running faster and looking behind him to see what was following him! Let's just say I was late to work that day, but I didn't need my afternoon run.

Now that I have told you how I really feel about them, I want to tell you a secret - They aren't all that bad. I don't know why I'm telling you this because I really want your dog on a regular leash, but I guess that if you are completely set on a retractable leash, I want to make sure you can succeed with it. One of my rules with training is to make it as easy as possible for the human to succeed first. If I harass them about equipment and tell them they have done every-

thing wrong, I'm not building a good relationship with that person. Without a good relationship with that person, I can't help them or their dog. If I can't help them or their dog, I can't make a living doing this, and I have to find another job. I really don't want to get a different job- I love the one I have. Since I love my job, I have learned to be (absolutely no pun intended) flexible with pet parents. For that reason, I have been able to see the potential good in these retractable leashes. •

They are a great opportunity to practice recall on a long leash without the worry of getting tangled up in it (or picking up stray sticks along the way). They are helpful for older dogs who have vision or hearing problems - the comfort of feeling that tension from the leash can help them to feel more at ease in the big, scary world. It can allow scared dogs the opportunity to escape from scary things that their owner may not see right away, allowing them to understand they have control of a situation and start to build confidence. By walking back and forth between owner and the end of the leash, the dog can get twice (or more) the exercise as they would otherwise. The added distance and walking back and forth allows the dog ample opportunity to sniff and explore the environment. This makes the walk more enriching and fun for the dog. If they have more fun and get some mental stimulation, the dog is bound to fare better in training and life with people in general.

Continued pg. 23


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