Modern Dog Spring 2021

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Dog Lovers’ Dream Jobs, Second Acts, and Life Changing Journeys

The lifestyle magazine for modern dogs and their companions SPRING 2021

Smart Dog?

67 Favourite +

Of Our

Dog Products

How to challenge your clever pup

Puppy ls a Essentie! Guid


Your Road Trip Inspiration!

✔ Must-Haves ✔ Training Advice ✔ Food & Exercise

Why We Love Dogs (Hint: It's genetic!)

Giveaways Galore! Cancer Fighting Supplements


Puppy Joint Care How-To

Dog Gear, Tested & Approved! DISPLAY UNTIL JUNE '21



Tips From A Professional Pet Photographer

Find Your Breed Match! Is the Pomeranian, Bloodhound or German Spitz for you?


VOL 20

NO 1



Why We Love Dogs It’s genetic: new research shows our love (or distaste) for dogs is encoded in our DNA. BY STANLEY COREN


Huskies, Happiness, and a Return to Health A cross-country road trip dreamt up in a hospital bed, actualized. BY SONIA JONES


Supplements For Dogs Fighting Cancer Vet recommended supplements to complement cancer therapies and help dogs fighting cancer. BY TRACEY TONG


What’s It Like to be a Professional Animal Photographer? A day in the life of professional pet photographer Jason Krygier-Baum. BY ROSE FROSEK


Land of the Strays Paradise found: a dog sanctuary in the mountains of Costa Rica is home to 2,000 free-roaming second chance dogs.


The New Kids on the Block Get to know two newly recognized breeds. BY YAUNNA SOMMERSBY


Commonly Confused Breeds: The Pomeranian vs. The German Spitz Can you tell the difference between these lively, fox-faced, gloriously coated breeds?




The Bloodhound World-class sweetheart and scent-tracker extraordinaire. BY KELLY CALDWELL


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The Dog Gear Look Book Your at-a-glance guide to the best stuff for your dog.


Puppy Essentials Guide We’ve rounded up our favourite puppy products, Modern Dog tested and approved!


Healthy Paws Solutions for everything from joint pain to allergies and irritated ears.


Smarty Paws: Living With a Canine Einstein Signs you have a smart dog on your hands, and how to challenge your clever pup. BY TEOTI ANDERSON





Bloat: The ‘Time Bomb’ All Dog Owners Should Know About

72 DOG LIFE 22

We’re Giving It Away! We’ve got months of cool dog stuff up for grabs, from supplements for optimal health to a custom portrait, and winners every week! Turn to page 22 to see what we’re giving away.


Tomorrow There Will Be Sunshine This SNL staffer turned dog-trainer has a knack for seeing the bright side, whether of dirty socks or a global pandemic.

REGULAR FEATURES 6 Editor’s Letter 8 Contributors 10 Stuff We Love 12 The Scoop 20 Smile! Photo Contest 86 Marketplace


ON THE COVER Nine-week-old Golden Retriever Abigail, photographed by Jason Krygier-Baum. Visit to learn more about the Golden Retriever. Cover insets from top to bottom: Cindy Hughes, Sarah Daloise, and Jason Krygier-Baum

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What To Do If Your Puppy Keeps Biting Is your puppy auditioning for Baby Shark, The Movie? Here’s what to do. BY NICOLE WILDE


How Much Exercise Is Right For Your Puppy? Depends on the breed, size, and age of your pup! BY YAUNNA SOMMERSBY


Connie’s Book Club Relax with a good dog and a good book. Editor-in-Chief Connie Wilson’s selection of spring reads.


Last Lick: Tiny Dog Stories Miniature, reader submitted dog stories of no more than 100 words.


Lawn Chemicals Linked To Two Cancers; Would You Clone Your Dog?; Give Your Dog a Little Lift



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Birthday Boy


pring is upon us, and I'm sure you'll agree, that this season of renewal has never been more welcome. Though the pandemic stretches into its second year, there’s hope of renewed normalcy around the corner. In the meantime, we’re focussing on love, gratitude, and the endless inspiration our four-legged friends provide. With most travel plans cancelled over the past 12 months, many of us are itching to get back out there. Dream up your own road trip after reading Sonia Jones’ account of how health challenges spurred her to make her “one day” bucket-list cross-country journey with three Huskies (!) a reality. Then dial up the wanderlust a notch with “Land of The Strays,” an incredible profile on a Costa Rican tropical mountain-side animal refuge that is home to over 2,000 stray dogs. Have a smart dog on your hands? Turn to page 28 for how to assess your dog’s intelligence and ways to challenge your clever pup. As usual, we dig into wellness, sharing supplements to help dogs fighting cancer. And on page 88 we share miniature, reader submitted “Tiny Dog Stories” of no more than 100 words. (Submit your own for a chance to be published!)

A Heart Dog is Forever I just read your amazingly touching piece on losing your animal soul mate and the grief we go through over this huge and deeply felt loss. Seems the time I chose to read this issue was perfect…I just lost my 14-and-a-half-year-old, Lucy, a few weeks ago and am suffering the loss of her terribly. I just wanted to thank you so much for the article. It totally validated a lot of how I am feeling.—Cheri H.

If you’re one of the many who have adopted a dog during the pandemic, we have all the intel a new puppy-guardian needs, from our tested and approved Puppy Essentials Guide (p 64) to expert behaviour advice. Three months of giveaways (p 22), cute dogs galore, tips from a professional animal photographer, and staff favourite finds round out the mix. So, dig in. We hope you enjoy it! With love,

Smart Dogs Read Modern Dog magazine! Connie Wilson, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

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Bluebear looking wise and handsome perusing the winter issue. Submitted by @mittsformutts


It's my boy's 10th birthday and he's pictured here with our favourite magazine!—Fawn Frazer


VOL 20

NO 1


Dan Giannopoulos is

Modern Dog Inc. Editor-in-Chief

Connie Wilson Editor & Creative Director

Jennifer Nosek Design & Production

Hayley Schmidt Sales & Marketing

Linda Helme, Amanda Dalla Zanna Comptroller

Cecilia de Roca Chan, CPA, CGA


a British photographer whose work explores the lives of individuals (Including dogs!) and communities existing on the outer edges of contemporary society, whether by their own volition or due to social, political, and environmental forces beyond their control. His work has been published and exhibited widely and has been recognised by numerous international awards and grants. Turn to page 68 for his stunning photos of a tropical mountain dog-rescue sanctuary in Costa Rica that is home to over 2000 free-roaming stray dogs.

Accounting Services & Subscription Services

Vicki Szivos Marketing & Sales Coordinator

Georgia Riddle-Olsen Audience Development Coordinator

Yaunna Sommersby Subscriptions & Office Assistant

Becky Belzile

Writer Mary-Jo Dionne’s work has appeared in The Toronto Star, Huffington Post, and Modern Dog magazine (of course!). Her office mates, Sarah, Margaret, and Oscar, all have four-legs. Mary-Jo was recently recognized with a Governor General’s Sovereign Medal in philanthropy, which all started from channeling resources to animals in need. She sat down (over Zoom, obviously) with Saturday Night Live set-designer-turned-dog-trainer, Ken MacLeod who, in just 45-minutes, fast became her newest pal. Turn to page 44 to read Mary-Jo’s inspiring profile on Ken’s follow-your-dreams second act as a dog trainer.

Advertising inquiries call (866) 734-3131 In Canada: MODERN DOG (ISSN 1703-812X) Volume 20, Issue 1. Published quarterly by Modern Dog Inc. at Suite 101–2930 Arbutus St, Vancouver, BC Canada V6J 3Y9 POSTMASTER: send address changes to Modern Dog, Suite 101–2930 Arbutus St, Vancouver, BC Canada V6J 3Y9 In USA: MODERN DOG (ISSN 1703-812X) Volume 20, Issue 1. Published quarterly by Modern Dog Inc. at 142 Churchill Drive, Newington, CT 06111-4003. Periodicals postage paid at Hartford, CT and additional offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Modern Dog, PO Box 310402, Newington, CT 06131-0402. PHONE

(604) 734-3031 OR TOLL FREE (866) 734-3031

The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, images, photographs or other materials. By accepting and publishing advertising the publisher in no way recommends, guarantees or endorses the quality of services or products within those advertisements. Copyright 2021 by Modern Dog Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means, electronic or mechanical, including the Internet or photocopying without the written permission of the Publisher. Modern Dog and its logotype are the trademarks of Modern Dog Inc. Modern Dog is published four times a year. One-year subscription prices: Canada $18CAD, U.S.A. $18USD, foreign $45USD. Subscription orders and customer service inquiries should be sent to Modern Dog Subscription Services, Suite 101–2930 Arbutus St, Vancouver, BC Canada V6J 3Y9

PRINTED IN CANADA Publications Mail Agreement Number 40743013 We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada. Nous reconnaissons l'appui financier du gouvernement du Canada.


to on the street as “where’s your dog sled?”, is a blogger and YouTuber from Vancouver, BC. She and her husband, Dustin, play the role of sidekicks to three precocious toddler-Huskies. In 2016, they drove 22,000 km across Canada (and back) in a Mazda 3 hatchback with all three dogs, a journey they dubbed Huskies in the Hatch. Now home, they can often be found roaming the local mountains in search of peace, quiet and… who are we kidding? They’re Huskies. Read Sonia’s account of their lifechanging adventure on page 38.


(604) 734-3131 OR TOLL FREE (866) 734-3131


Sonia Jones, often referred

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GET YOURSELF A SUBSCRIPTION! Give us a call at 1-800-417-6289 or subscribe online at

Stuff We Love

Modern Dog staffers’ picks of the litter! 1 Canine wellness made easy! The My Pet Defense subscription box makes taking care of your pup a cinch with flea and tick protection, enzymatic dental support, and healthy soft chews delivered to your door every month.—Amanda (subscriptions starting at $25, 2 Help your dog floss! Yummy Combs dog treats work like dental floss as your dog chews. Made with high-quality proteins and ingredients, they’re delicious too.—Becky ($20, 3 Formulated to provide immune, digestive, and integumentary system support for dogs fighting cancer, the three-part Canine Biologics Integrated Nutrition System features human-grade food, a proprietary supplement blend, and wild caught salmon oil—just mix together and serve.—Cecilia (from $176, 4 If your dog overheats or gets cold easily, this is a gamechanger! The bArctic Light Therapy Dog Shirt from Coolvio creates a microclimate that keeps your dog warm in cold temperatures and cool in hot temperatures. Genius! —Yaunna (from $70, 5 Dog Vacations by Carolyn West Meyer combines all of my favourite things: dogs, travel, and humour into one funny, inspiring book! This first book in the series follows Carolyn, Kel, and their rescue dogs B.B. and Bea and their adventures as they embark on four road trips across the United States. —Georgia ($12, 6 Tex’s Smoke’N’Chews premium large Ham Bone is a pawfect boredom buster for aggressive chewers. Made with BPA-free materials, this chew toy is a safe alternative to real smoked and nylon bones and keeps pups happily entertained.—Vicki ($14, 7 Dog hair everywhere? Fur-Zoff is a durable, eco-friendly pet hair remover and helps my human Linda keep fur off her clothes, the car seats, and furniture.—Charlie the Chocolate Lab ($13, 8 The DoggoRamp lets your dog join you on the couch or bed safely and without the risk of injury. I love that this ramp is adjustable, can fold flat, and features an anti-slip surface so your pup can safely access their favourite spaces.—Linda (from $289, 9 Peace of mind? Priceless. Unexpected accidents and illnesses happen. Nationwide Pet Insurance offers medical protection and wellness coverage, giving you peace of mind that unanticipated vet bills won’t break the bank. —Connie (Plans starting at $35 a month, 10 Upset stomach? Diarrhea? If your dog or cat has a “sensitive” gastrointestinal system or constipation, Imagilin’s MitoMax, a patented, plantbased probiotic, can help—just take a look at the testimonials!—Jennifer ($42 sale price, 11 Enthusiastic paws up for Chicken Soup Pets’ Beef and Brown Rice dry dog food. The recipe includes real protein, antioxidants, and superfoods to promote health, along with prebiotics to support healthy digestion.—Cecilia (from $13, 12 A custom portrait of your dog is an incredible gift to yourself or a loved one. Send Julie Ann Caldwell of JAC Portraits photos of your pup and she'll create an incredible custom pen-and-ink portrait.—Hayley ($200,



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Lindsay Hamrick, the director of shelter outreach and policy engagement at the Humane Society of the United States, recently told MarketWatch. “There are so many animals that are waiting for homes in shelters, so to be able to see one of them in the White House surrounded by tons of people, and having a really awesome life, sends a message that you can show up at your local shelter and find a healthy, happy dog to take home.” Dogs and the presidency go hand in paw, appearing together at the White House since the 1700s with few exceptions. Former President Donald Trump was the first occupant of the White House not to have a dog in over 100 years—since William McKinley was president, in 1897. In this deeply bipartisan moment, a return of dogs to the White House is one thing most people are able to celebrate. “Dogs remind you to live in the present,” Biden told The Union Leader in a story on political pets earlier this year. “They love unconditionally and they savor every moment with you. When I’m with Champ and Major, I get to live in the ‘now’ for a moment with them, enjoy the simple act of throwing a ball around or taking a walk.”



fter a four-year hiatus, dogs once again call the White House home. The First Dogs Champ and Major Biden, the German Shepherds of President Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden, have reportedly settled in nicely. "Major loved running around on the South Lawn," reported The first lady's office following the FDOTUS’s first days in the White House. Major was adopted two years ago from the Delaware Humane Association when the pup was ten months old. The Bidens fostered Major for eight months before making it official. He is the first shelter dog to live in the White House. Champ joined the Biden family in 2008. He’s no stranger to the grounds, having lived at One Observatory Circle, the Vice President residence, when Biden served as VP under the Obama Administration. Shelters are also hopeful that having a rescue dog in the White House will bring a boost to adoptions. “This representation is not just normalizing adoptions, but celebrating it, because the public can see this is a really beautiful shepherd who is joining the White House,”



The Return of Dogs to the White House


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things are subject to change, but plans for the show are still moving forward. “The biggest challenge of planning the show during the winter of 2020 is the ever-changing local and state guidelines surrounding the pandemic and the uncertainty of what June 2021 will look like,” Gail explains. “If spectators are not allowed at the show, then our fun, educational benching area, where spectators can pet the dogs and speak with the owners, will not take place in 2021.” But while the WKC team has faced planning challenges, there have also been some unexpected benefits of holding the show at this historic outdoor venue. “The major benefit to our 2021 location is the expansive grounds that will allow us to have a safe, socially distanced dog show on Lyndhurst’s 67-acre estate,” says Gail. “Hosting an outdoor event will have a different energy than being at Madison Square Garden, but the club will create an equally beautiful show and vibe for its exhibitors and television audience.” —Yaunna Sommersby



he Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is the most historic dog-sporting event in the world. It has taken place every year since May 1877. Throughout its 145 year history, Westminster has always been held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It is the venue’s longest standing tenant. The 2021 Westminster Dog Show, however, has some notable changes in store. For the first time in its history, the show will be held at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, NY, and broadcast (live on the FOX network) June 12 and 13, instead of earlier in the year. As attendees and avid living-room watchers are aware, the show normally takes place in February; the 2020 show

took place as usual, right before the global pandemic hit and changed how we currently hold events. As of right now, the WKC is planning to return to Madison Square Garden for their 2022 show. We spoke to Gail Miller Bisher, Westminster’s Director of Communications, to get an inside look at what has gone into planning the 2021 show and what Westminster fans should expect this year. First off, there will be four newly recognized breeds competing at Westminster for the first time: the Dogo Argentino, the Barbet, the Belgian Laekenois, and the Biewer Terrier (page 16) will all be making their debut. Behind the scenes safety, of course, is the top concern. “Our first priority for 2021 was to find an outdoor venue with ample space to safely hold the dog show,” says Gail. “For our show at Lyndhurst, the club’s safety protocols will be elevated to a new level based on local and state health guidelines and beyond.” As with everything the world has been experiencing over the past year,


Westminster 2021: THE SHOW MUST GO ON


, ionate affect and alert, nt ge intelli

smart, devoted, and amusing

Belgian Laekenois

The New Kids on the Block Meet two newly recognized breeds, the Belgian Laekenois and the Biewer Terrier!


new kid has officially joined the Herding group! The Belgian Laekenois is the latest breed to join the herding dogs. If you’ve never heard of this breed, you’re not alone. Many are familiar with the more famous Belgian Malinois, Belgian Tervuren, and Belgian Sheepdog; however, the fourth of the Belgian herding breeds, the Belgian Laekenois, isn’t as well known. All four Belgian breeds are all highly trainable as herding dogs, and, due to their intelligent and loyal natures, can frequently be found doing police, search and rescue, and therapy dog work. The American Kennel Club granted the Laekenois (pronounced lak-in-wah) full AKC recognition and competition eligibility in 2020, so expect to see the breed in the ring. (Interestingly, in Belgium, all four breeds are categorized as a single breed, the Belgian Shepherd.) The Laekenois are known for their curly, wire-haired coat that varies from fawn to mahogany in colour. Originating in the Belgian town of Laeken, they are the rarest of the four breeds; sadly their numbers dropped after serving as messenger dogs in both World Wars. The Laekenois is so rare, in fact, it is estimated there are only about 1,000 in the world!

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Biewer Terrier As with most herding breeds, they were bred to protect the flocks and the fields throughout their farmer’s property and are versatile, athletic, hardworking dogs. While they are intelligent and trainable, they are not for everyone, as they need a regular routine of exercise, training, play, and overall engagement. However, the rewards are many: they are loyal and affectionate with those closest to them and intent on pleasing their families. Say hello to the newest terrier and toy breed! The Biewer (pronounced Beaver) Terrier is the newest member of the Toy Group to be recognized by the American Kennel Club. This little terrier has traits that stem from the Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, Havanese, and Bichon Frise. The Biewer Terrier originated in Germany in the 1980s and was first known as “the black and white Yorkshire Terrier” and later the Biewer Yorkshire. In 2007, Mars Veterinary geneticists studied the genes from 10 Biewer Terriers and, as a result, the Biewer became the first breed in history to be recognized as a purebred due to a genetic study. It is now the AKC’s 197th recognized breed. Yet to this day, the Biewer Terrier has not been officially recognized by the German Kennel Club and may be the only AKC-recognized breed currently unrecognized by its country and Kennel Club of origin. Biewers are known for their loyalty, happy-go-lucky attitude, and large personalities. Their naturally long and silky tri-colour coats range in texture from cotton to silk and require daily grooming maintenance unless kept in a shorter puppy cut, which only requires weekly brushing and regular trimming. This athletic and versatile little breed may only weigh four to eight pounds when fully grown, but they are hearty, energetic, and trainable, able to go on hikes and long walks, and compete in a wide range of dog sports outside of the Conformation ring. These elegant, charming dogs exist to love and be loved and will delight and entertain with their child-like personality. —Yaunna Sommersby


meet mr.breakfast!


Exercise your funny bone. Create a caption for this cartoon and submit your entry at The most comic captions will be published in the next issue.


Rescued from a dog-fighting ring, this lovable lug finds a forever home—and learns to surf!


he cards were definitely stacked against Mr. Breakfast, who was rescued from a dog fighting ring in San Diego, CA, and was almost completely deaf due to the close cropping of his ears and subsequent infections. With a couple failed adoptions behind him, no one could have guessed this fierce-looking, unwanted dog would turn out to be a sweetheart with a passion for surfing. Mr. B’s life changed when he found a forever home with Liz Nowell. Not trained to be a pet, he came with behavioural issues, but Liz, having worked with deaf dogs before, was up for the challenge. With Liz, Mr. B learned sign language and developed an affinity for surfing, an activity that bolstered his confidence and strengthened their bond. The duo has fond memories of hanging ten at dog surf camp. Having a deaf dog comes with unique challenges, mainly the need for a lot of patience. “It’s easy to get frustrated when he looks away from me and misses a sign, or when he gets into something and I have to get up, stop what I’m doing to tap him and redirect his attention,” Liz said on Instagram. Otherwise, she says having a deaf dog is not much different than having a hearing dog that just doesn’t listen. Most of all, she stresses patience and professional training. Though his look might be a little intimidating, Mr. Breakfast is a softie at heart. He grumbles like an old man and makes “happy hippo noises” while enjoying scritches. Strangers comment on his happy-go-lucky nature. And he loves food— especially breakfast. Thanks to Liz, Mr. Breakfast finally found the love he deserves, as well as over 33k adoring followers on Instagram.—Becky Belzile

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"I won 'Best in Snow' at Westminster." Submitted by Larry Gajsiewicz RUNNER-UP CAPTIONS "These are hands Stan, HANDS." Submitted by Samantha Juhan

"For my first trick I’m going to turn the lower half of the snowman yellow." Submitted by Joseph A. Dewan

"Well, I was just chasing after a can see what happened!" Submitted by Janet Cvitkovic

"Pee on me again and see what happens." Submitted by Sonya Morgan

! E L I SM

Modern Dog’s Photo Contest Winners!

franco Dachshund





rocky Chow Chow


axel Boxer


German Shepherd

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Star Beagle

brutus Basset Hound


Golden Retriever


Golden/Bluetick Coonhound


German Shepherd

Snooffy Mix

Blue Pit Bull

Elliot Copain Yorkie mix


Golden Retriever

French Bulldog


Biewer Terrier


Miniature Dachshund


English/American Staffordshire Bull Terrier

eywa & Dagon Chihuahua

snoopy Marron

German Shepard Chow mix


Border Collie

English Golden Retriever

oscar Maltese


Catahoula Mix

Think your dog ought To be in Modern Dog?


American Pit Bull Terrier


English Bulldog

Upload your dog’s photo at photocontest. Not only will he or she be entered to be our Dog of the Week, but a selection of the photos entered will appear on these pages!


We’re giving it away! Enter to win fabulous giveaways each and every week in March, April and May. Go to to enter! Lucky readers will win every week.



Win 1 of 5 one-year subscriptions to Modern Dog magazine, chock full of helpful articles, heartwarming stories, and so many cute dog photos!



Win 1 of 2 ramps from DoggoRamps! Choose from their couch ramp, small bed ramp, or large bed ramp in any five colours!










Win 1 of 2 Outdoor Pet Pack-Kits from Paws 4 Life! Be prepared in the event of an emergency situation with this pet first-aid care pack filled with the essentials needed to keep your dog safe.

Win 1 of 25 Vetality Brush Free Oral Gel Dental Kits for Dogs! Promote healthy oral care while fighting bad breath and keeping your pup’s smile bright.

Win 1 of 10 Coat Leash Adapters from sotaHound! Simply attach to your dog’s jacket to use the jacket like a harness!

Win 1 of 3 prize duos from PURICA! Keep your pup happy and healthy with a bottle each of their Pet Recovery Chewables and Pet Curcumin+.



Win 1 of 3 pet portraits from Dane Youkers Fine Art! Show your love for your pet—past or present—with a unique, custom digital 11 x 14 painting.

Win a Pet Resort Kennel with Sunbrella Canopy Cover from Lucky Dog! Shade your furry friend from the sun with this easy-to-install, water resistant, stylish kennel.

Win 1 of 2 prize packs from NOW Pets! Help your pup reach their optimal health with their selection of NASC approved supplements.

Win 1 of 3 prize packs from IMAGILIN! Keep your pup happy and healthy with a selection of their probiotic supplements.

Win a Cool Season Lawn Care Program from Natural Alternative! Nourish your lawn with this natural, organic lawn care product that’s safer for pups!

Win 1 of 3 prize packs from Walkabout Harnesses! It includes a Double Knee Brace + Chest Halter and a Buddy Belt car seatbelt.

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Beginning March 1, 2021 at 12:01 AM (PST) through May 31, 2021 at 11:59 PM (PST), enter each day at Each week’s giveaway ends at 11:59 PM (PST). Each week, the specified number of winners for that week’s giveaway will win the prize featured in the giveaway calendar (ARV: $200). Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Contest is open to legal Canadian and US residents 18 and older as of date of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law. Giveaway subject to complete official rules available at

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s y a w a e v i G t a Gre

Commonly Confused Breeds

The Pomeranian VS The German Spitz Can you tell the difference between these lively, fox-faced, gloriously coated breeds?


nquisitive, bold, and lively, the diminutive Pomeranian packs a lot of personality into a small package. Despite weighing just three to seven pounds, the Pomeranian possesses the attitude of a much bigger dog. The Pom has legion of fans—it’s one of the most popular toy breeds, and with good reason. Alert, intelligent, and long-lived (12 to 16 years), the Pom is a favourite of royals and regular folk alike, charmed by the breed’s winning personality, smile, and stunning coat. That profuse double coat comes in almost two dozen colours, though orange or red are most common. Pomeranians excel at tricks, are easily trained, and even make good watchdogs. Their exercise requirements are relatively easy to meet and they’re a great choice for many families so long as the kids are old enough to respect this breed’s small size. A hallmark of the Pomeranian is its foxy expression, which is shared by the German Spitz, an incredibly devoted and attentive breed that, like the Pom, also boasts liveliness and longevity (13 - 15 years) amongst its attributes. The big difference here is the size, with the Spitz topping the scales at 24 to 26 pounds. Like the Pom, the German Spitz boasts a glorious mane-like coat. He’s also easy to train, though more distrustful of strangers, making the German Spitz an excellent home watchdog. This smart breed can be noisy and can have an independent streak but gets along well with people and other dogs when well trained and socialized.

EXPLORE MORE BREEDS For more breed profiles, go to


Your at-a-glance guide to the best stuff for your dog


Rainy Days Slicker, from $14;

Blue Camo Recovery Suit, from $30;

Puffer Vest, from $41;

Harbour Slicker, from $70;

Frida Laminated Cotton Dog Harness, from $48;

Heirloom Leash, from $40;


Mighty Dog Harness, from $25;

Leash Adapter for Dog Jackets or Coats, from $22;


Sailor Dog Collar, from $12.50;

Oat Dot Eco-Bandana, from $24;

Padded Leather Dog Collar, from $35;

Tuscan Collar, from $34;


Soul Mate Dog 15 oz. Nose Print Necklace, from $277; Ceramic Mug, from $15;

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Tote Bag, from $55;

Sterling Silver Australian Shepherd Pendant, from $129;


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Smarty Paws: Living with a Canine Einstein Signs you have a smart dog on your hands, and how to challenge your clever pup By Teoti Anderson | Illustration by Michelle Simpson


ave you ever met a dog so smart it was a little scary? Many years ago, I was vacuuming under my dining room table when a flash of pink caught the corner of my eye. Tucked behind one of the table legs was a sticky pyramid of stacked Benadryl tablets. I had been giving the pills to my Shetland Sheepdog, Merlin, for an allergy issue. He had apparently been depositing his medication out of sight for about a week, in a neat little hot pink pile. No wonder his allergies weren’t getting any better! I knew I was in trouble early on, when Merlin climbed over a baby gate at eight weeks of age. He was one of the smartest dogs I have ever known. Throughout his life, he challenged me to stay a step ahead of him. Scientists debate levels of intelligence in animals all the time. In her wonderful book, Alex and Me, Dr. Irene Pepperberg describes a 30-year journey with her African Grey parrot, Alex, proving he was more than a “bird brain.” Every time she would demonstrate that Alex could think and solve problems, scientists would lay another challenge in her path. She and Alex knocked down many barriers. Dr. Pepperberg proved that a bird could add, was capable of thought and intention, and understood concepts like bigger, smaller, and none. One of the challenges in defining intelligence in animals is that we use human standards to craft the definition. If you apply a human’s perspective to this definition, can it really apply to different species? What’s smart for a chimpanzee versus smart for a panda? Without common languages, it’s also hard to measure intelligence in other species. Do our tests actually assess a dolphin’s intelligence, or does the dolphin really think the tests are silly and indulges us out of amusement? For now, let’s keep it simple. “Intelligence” is defined as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. Using this definition, you’ve surely known dogs who were brilliant, and some who couldn’t find their way out of an open exercise pen. Here are some indicators you may have a smart pup on your hands.

1. He has a good memory. Your dog chased a squirrel up a specific tree in the park and every time he goes past that tree, he checks to see if the squirrel is still there. Ok, so your dog doesn’t understand that squirrel could be in a different county by now, but he remembers the same tree. 

The Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds These breeds top the canine intelligence charts, according to Dr. Stanley Coren, author of The Intelligence of Dogs. These bright breeds tend to learn a new command in less than five exposures and obey at least 95 percent of the time.

1. Border Collie 2. Poodle 3. German Shepherd 4. Golden Retriever 5. Doberman Pinscher 6. Shetland Sheepdog 7. Labrador Retriever 8. Papillon 9. Rottweiler 10. Australian Cattle Dog



The Slow Learner Are you worried that your dog may not be smart? Before you point fingers, make sure you’re being a good teacher. Sometimes, the problem isn’t the student!

Are you teaching the meaning of cues? Just saying “Fido, Come!” doesn’t mean your dog knows what that is. Saying, “Sit! Sit! Sit!” a hundred times doesn’t teach your dog to sit. You need to first show him what the words mean.

Are you consistent with your cues? If you say, “Get down!” to tell your dog to get off the counter and “Down” to tell your dog to lie down, how does he know which “Down” you mean? Do you say “Sit” but your partner says, “Sit Down”? Do you tell your dog to “Come” to walk with you, and then get mad when he doesn’t run to you from across the yard when you call him with “Come!”? One cue can’t have multiple meanings. It’s too confusing for a dog.

Do you have realistic expectations? You’ve trained your dog to come to you when he’s in the backyard. You take him to the dog park, and he acts like he’s never heard the word before. Is he stubborn? Is he stupid? Neither. You haven’t completed his training. Your backyard does not have the distractions of a dog park. You skipped ahead to an advanced behaviour without building a solid foundation. If you’re having trouble training your dog, consult a reward-based trainer who uses the science of learning to get your canine student on track. A good trainer will also be training you!

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2. He learns new things quickly. It doesn’t take him many repetitions to learn new behaviours. For example, you taught him to shake his paw in minutes, and he understood housetraining fast.

3. He is a problem solver. Some people say that dogs can’t solve problems. I’ve never understood this, because I’ve witnessed dogs problem-solving too many times: the dog who figures out how to get the giant stick through the small gate opening; the dog who learns how to push furniture up against the counter so he can jump up and get crackers out of the cabinet; the escape artist who figures out how to unlock his kennel door. When Merlin wanted a bone that was in the possession of my other Sheltie, Sundance, he would stare at her intently for a few minutes. Then, he would rush to the front door and bark furiously. She quickly abandoned the bone and ran to join him, barking at the door. As soon as she got there, Merlin would dash back and steal her bone. Problem solved! Sundance fell for this every time, so she might be an example of a dog that wasn’t as intellectually gifted as her brother. Whether you call this manipulation or problem solving, it’s clever. It requires thought process to achieve a goal.

I’m Bored! Smart dogs can be a joy to train. If you are not up to training your dog, however, you might be in for a rocky ride. Smart dogs get bored easily, and they’re going to find ways to amuse themselves. It’s far better if YOU help them make those choices. Otherwise, you might see behavioural issues you don’t like, such as destructive chewing, vocalization (whining, barking, or howling), fence fighting (running up and down a fence line obsessively) or digging. If you have a smart dog, it’s important that you not only exercise his body, but also exercise his brain.

How to Challenge Your Smart Dog. Here are some ideas on how to keep your brilliant pup on his toes. Make him work for his meals. Inhaling a bowl of food is no challenge. Feed his meals out of food-dispensing puzzle toys. It will slow his consumption down and he’ll need to figure out how to access the food for a fun brain teaser. Train him! Teach him good family manners, such as Sit, Down, Place, Wait, and Heel. Teach him tricks. Start with simple behaviours, such as Spin or Roll Over. Gradually work up to advanced behaviours, such as directed retrievals or putting his toys away in a box. Teach him to follow his nose with scent work. You can do this for fun or get competitive and earn titles. Try a dog sport, such as Rally or Agility. It’s something you two can learn together. There were definitely times when I got frustrated at my Merlin’s intelligence, especially the day he learned to escape double gates and open a door blocking him from the kitchen. He then jumped up on a chair to gain access to a freshly baked cake cooling on the table. I had only been gone minutes but returned to a cake that had nibble marks all around the edges. Merlin’s brain kept me on my toes, but life with him was never boring. 


Why We Love Dogs It’s genetic: new research shows our love (or distaste) for dogs is encoded in our DNA By Stanley Coren

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have a friend, Barbara, who has been involved with dogs—as a breeder and a competitor in conformation and dog obedience trials—all of her life. Her parents were also very much involved in dog breeding and competition, and her daughter, Cindy, too, is active in the dog world. Compare this to my colleague, Paul, who has never had a dog, nor has ever had any desire to have one. Paul's parents also never had a dog. His son, Derek, who is now married and in his mid-twenties, also does not have a dog and has no wish for one in the future. As a psychologist I have always been interested in which factors determine certain patterns of behaviour, especially when those patterns seem to be passed on to subsequent generations in the same family. When it comes to positive or negative feelings toward dogs and dog ownership, I had always presumed that this was determined partly by cultural influences and partly by personal history. When examining cultural influence, we see that certain religions (such as Islam) have sects which teach that dogs are unclean and for them the idea of a dog as a pet is abhorrent; other religions (such as Zoroastrianism) maintain that the dog is an especially benevolent and virtuous creature which must be lovingly taken care of. Then we have personal history and its influence on our affection for dogs, which has been demonstrated by research showing that exposure to dogs during childhood is associated with more positive attitudes towards dogs and an increased likelihood of dog ownership in adulthood. A group of scientists, however, wondered if there was a third possible factor— what if our love (or distaste) for dogs is genetically encoded in our DNA? A team of Swedish researchers headed by Tove Fall, a Professor of Molecular Epidemiology at the Department of Medical Sciences and the Science for Life Laboratory at Uppsala University, was aware of data which showed that certain personality characteristics were more common in dog owners than in cat owners or those without pets. For example, dog owners tended to be more extroverted and generally more sociable and agreeable. Since there is already a lot of evidence which shows there are genetic influences on these and other personality characteristics, a natural next step was to wonder if there might be a genetic factor that plays a role in determining whether a person will be attracted to dogs. This research group had some incredibly useful tools which allowed them to study this question. First they had access to the Swedish Twin Registry which was founded in the late 1950s and contains information on all twins born in Sweden. Secondly, information on Swedish dog ownership has been available since January 1, 2001 when two dog registries were established, one at the Swedish Board of Agriculture and the other at the Swedish Kennel Club. Furthermore, there is a legal requirement that all dogs in Sweden must be registered. The reason why the twin registry was so important is because the most powerful way to determine if a particular factor is influenced by genetics is to use twins. There are two types of twins, identical and fraternal. Identical twins arise when a single fertilized egg splits to form two separate zygotes. The magic of this for scientists is that these two individuals, since they come from the same sperm and egg cell, have an identical genetic makeup—the same sex and appearance, as well as every other genetically determined characteristic. Contrast identical twins to fraternal twins. Fraternal twins come about when two egg cells are released at the same time and these are fertilized by two different sperm cells. Once again we have two individuals growing in the same womb, however in this case they share only the same amount of genetic material that any pair of brothers or sisters might. 


“Dog owners tended to be more extroverted and generally more sociable and agreeable than cat owners or those without pets.” They might not look the same, and might not even be the same sex. Regardless of whether we are dealing with identical or fraternal twins, both types of twins usually have very similar personal histories since they almost always grow up in the same family and share the same environment, culture, and parenting influences. Now the trick is to compare the similarities in the behaviours between the members of each type of twin pair. If we find greater similarities between the members of identical twin pairs (with their matching genetic makeup), than between members of fraternal twin pairs (who only share about half of their genes), this would confirm that we are looking at something which has a genetic component. These Swedish researchers looked at 35,035 pairs of twins, and recorded whether they were identical or fraternal and then determined whether each of the twins had gone on to become dog owners. If there is a genetic factor then the concordance rate should be higher for the identical twins. Concordance would be shown when both twins owned dogs, or both twins did not own dogs; a lack of concordance would be shown when one twin owned a dog and the other did not. An analysis of their results showed that identical twins had

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higher concordance rates (meaning a similar preference for dogs) than did fraternal twins, indicating that genetics is playing a role in the love for or lack of affection for dogs. Statistical analysis allowed the researchers to estimate just how much of an influence genetics played— and it was not slight. The inherited component influencing whether we are genetically impelled to own a dog or not is 57 percent for females and 51 percent for males. In other words, approximately half of the desire we feel to have a dog—or not—is influenced by our DNA. The other half is influenced by environmental factors, such as our personal histories or culture. Though it may seem revelatory that our attitudes toward a specific animal species could have a genetic component, there are other examples. Among humans there is an overwhelmingly negative and fearful response to spiders and snakes, which is clearly genetically determined. While this kind of twin study can't tell us exactly which genes are involved, it does demonstrate for the first time that genetics and environment play about equal roles in determining our affection for dogs and our desire to own one. The lead author Tove Fall commented, “We were surprised to

see that a person's genetic makeup appears to be a significant influence in whether they own a dog.” She then went on to suggest that some genetically determined personality factors (such as agreeableness or introversion versus extroversion) might underlie this. These are the kinds of results that can set a scientific mind off on rounds of speculation. For me it raised question as to whether, in the dim past, there was some genetic mutation in the evolution of our ancestral Homo sapiens that caused many of us to love dogs while Neanderthals lacked these genes. Most genes that are passed on in a species are those that aid in its survival (like our fear of snakes). Since Neanderthals are now extinct and Homo sapiens thrive, could it be the case that our affection for dogs is important enough for our survival as a species to be encoded in our DNA? Just speculation of course… 


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“Dog medicine for the soul.” These 38 poems by Jane Marla Robbins are intimate, funny, moving, insightful and inspiring. The perfect gift for every dog lover. Available at

Christy Studios custom watercolour pet portraits capture the essence of your pup with bright, vibrant colours. Work directly with the artist to create your pups heirloom painting. Keep your dog engaged and exercised with PULLERs from Cooltugs. Tug, fetch, swim—the toy that does it all! Available in a set of 2 and sizes to suit all dogs.

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Huskies, Happiness, & a Return to Health A cross-country road trip dreamt up in a hospital bed, actualized By Sonia Jones


hen I was seven years old, I hosted my own travel show. There’s video evidence of it somewhere, on a VHS tape, in a box, securely hidden in my mom’s house. If you were to locate it, a VCR, and the patience to suffer through 80s graphics, you’d see me walk into frame and smile—so confidently, SO self-assuredly you’d think I was possessed by Ryan Seacrest—and announce: “Welcome to our indoor, outdoor fun. You’d better grab some popcorn because it’s going to be <exaggerated> VERY, VERY funny.” The rest of the home video follows me from “exotic” location to location as I show off my bunnies, zoom down the street at “lightning speed” on my bike, and perform—at great lengths—my (very basic) piano skills. I’m cringing now just thinking about it. But even as I do, I can feel a smile creep at the corners of my lips. Everything is so much simpler when you’re a child. You imagine going on these amazing adventures and bringing your best friends—your treasured toys and pets—with you. It’s all so simple and pure and straightforward. And you just know, you KNOW, that when you’re older you’ll live them out. You promise yourself you’ll make waaaaayyy better decisions than the stuffy adults around you and turn your dreams into reality. But then slowly over time, without ever really meaning to, you become those adults and all the trials and tribulations your parents faced now become yours. You start saying that dreaded phrase, “one day….,” and it takes something monumental to bring you back to those larger than life ideas you’d once been so connected to, so intent on living out. Which is where our story begins: October 7, 2015 in the emergency room of my local hospital.

Like you, I had always dreamed about travelling with my dogs, and by my early 30s, my “one day…” had evolved into a full-blown vision. Not that I would actually ACT on it. No, no, I had that sucker neatly tucked into the back of my mind for special occasions (like avoiding adulting by daydreaming). But I had it all planned out: “one day” I wanted to take my dogs across North America from one ocean to the other. Over picture perfect mountains, across endless fields of wheat, around crystal clear lakes, all bookended by the oceans we’d swim in. We’d lie out under the stars, the dogs surrounding us, and it would be.... Beep… beep… beep…. We’re in a hospital, right? Connected to machines at two a.m. Or did you forget? Which seems like a terrible time to be thinking about “one days,” but let me assure you, when everything is stripped away and you’re faced with a life-altering illness, it’s the ONLY thing you think about. And as your “one days...” start to slip away, you panic: “What if I never get to ______? Why didn’t I ______? Omg, what have I done?” And as I spent the next five months largely in bed with an undiagnosed neurological condition, at times unable to speak or walk, I started to plan our trip. Which sounds INSANE now. I had no idea if I was going to be better enough to go, but as my husband Dustin tried his best to hold our lives together, I spent day after day alone in bed with my three best friends, my Huskies Eve, Ice, and Montana, dreaming about the adventures we’d have together as soon as I was well. So, I did what any (not so) sane person would do…. I started Googling pet-friendly accommodations, driving routes across Canada, and tried to figure out how to pack 



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“When everything is stripped away and you’re faced with a lifealtering illness, it’s the ONLY thing you think about.” And as we hit the East coast, where we camped on the bluffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, I remember this one distinct moment where the girls were running along a miles-long beach and splashing in the water, and I just dropped to my knees and cried in pure joy. It was the most surreal feeling to know you were living a dream, to be so acutely aware of it while trying to wrap yourself in it and drink it all in. This was it. This was everything I’d dreamed about in bed. This was everything my childhood self had wished for us as adults. There were SO many pictureperfect moments. But equally important were the stories behind them. There was the trip staple: me taking a million pictures with the dogs looking in opposite directions while Dustin impatiently screeched at me to hurry up. Let me tell you, it is NOT easy to get three Huskies looking the same way… ever. And even the not-so-perfect moments—the chaos. The camping misadventures in the snow we hadn’t planned for. The nights spent soaking wet in the 


months-worth of food and gear into a Mazda 3 hatchback. I remember thinking: this is just an exercise in self-preservation; we can’t afford this; there’s no way in hell anyone is going to let us bring three Huskies into an Airbnb, let alone a hotel; the weather across Canada is a logistical nightmare—if we leave too early we’ll freeze and if we leave too late, the dogs will roast in the summer. Is this even feasible? There were just so many questions: how many hours a day would the dogs tolerate in the car? Would the dogs stay in a tent without eating it? Can dogs even go on ferries? But, with my dogs as an anchor, their endless joy a portal back into the magic conjured up by my childhood self, it all started to come together. And on April 27, 2016, six months after my first hospital visit (most of which were spent entirely in bed) we were on the road, headed to the far west coast of Canada to camp on the beach in Tofino, BC and swim in the Pacific Ocean. Three Huskies, two humans, and one dirty white hatchback—a rolling adventure we dubbed, Huskies in the Hatch. In just under three months we drove across Canada’s 10 provinces (and back), over snowcapped mountains in Alberta, around impossibly turquoise lakes, and through the grasslands of Saskatchewan. We went on miniadventures with the dogs, had epic dance parties to our “if-I-hear-thissong-one-more-time…” playlist in the car, and hunkered down and ordered room service under warm fuzzy blankets when it rained.



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pouring rain miles away from civilization with no option but to sleep sitting up in the car. Our ginger Husky, Montana, needing emergency surgery; me accidentally kicking out our windshield in a torrential downpour an hour before we were supposed to board a ferry. Even the trips’ unofficial end in Quebec—where I ended up back in the hospital and the whole trip turned into a recovery mission to get me home. I wouldn’t trade any of it for all of the money in the world. They say to never meet your idols, because they won’t live up to the hype, but let me tell you, that trip, those memories… I can’t even type through the tears. They’re what kept me going for the next three years in bed. They’re what got me through my convalescence and back to my life, to the mountains with my dogs. It’s like childhood me knew I needed this adventure to get through the hardest period of my life and help me unlock a skillset that’s so often lost somewhere during adolescence—the ability to live in the moment, to adventure. People always ask: would you go back? Would you do it all over again? The trip, all those years, even though it encompasses illness? Yes. One million times yes, as I found my way back to myself. Sometimes when we get in the car to drive to the store, I get the itch to keep going with the dogs and drive up to Alaska or down the Oregon coast. And I want to suggest something to you, or maybe not you, but the little boy or girl inside of you that’s screaming for that big adventure: It doesn’t need to include a life changing illness. Don’t wait that long. Don’t make life FORCE you down the path you’re meant to go on. Go willingly before then. Go back to that little boy or little girl, sitting in their cardboard box airplane, the one sitting with their dog, or their toy dog—the adventure companion that holds the key to their hopes and dreams—and find that wonder again. Our story is a journey of Huskies, happiness, and, ultimately, a return to health. I can’t wait to read yours. 


Join Sonia's pack on YouTube, IG or FB @huskiesinthehatch

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Tomorrow There Will Be Sunshine This SNL staffer turned dog-trainer has a knack for seeing the bright side, whether of dirty socks or a global pandemic | By Mary-Jo Dionne


ith the exception of a couple stopovers at Newark Airport, I’ve not spent significant time in New Jersey. Despite this, there’s one thing I know about those who call the Garden State home: they love their Bruce Springsteen. And who could blame them? This is the guy who, while staying rooted on the Jersey Shore, manages to give wings to the American Dream. No small task in a year like the one we’ve just endured. So, when I meet with Ken MacLeod, a Hoboken-based Saturday Night Live set-designer turned dog-trainer (we’ll get into all that, I promise) over Zoom, I’m enchanted by the way Springsteen’s influence effortlessly weaves a thread in our conversation. There’s a sense that the music has been a guiding constant in the chapters of a life. And I get that. Over the past year as our collective vernacular has grown to include concepts like “social distancing,” “quarantine,” and “self-isolation,” Springsteen’s anthem “Land of Hope and Dreams”, for example, provides an anchor in the storm. A reminder that we’re not alone: “You’ll need a good companion now. For this part of the ride. Leave behind your sorrows. Let this day be the last. Tomorrow there’ll be sunshine. And all this darkness past.” For nearly thirty years, Ken has been a force behind those intricate film and television sets we viewer-types take for granted—as if they manifest from the ether only moments before a director calls: “Action!” From his work as a sketch-up artist on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to his work on the SNL film crew unit, Ken’s contributions make up a sizeable chunk of our shared pop culture psyche. But during the shift into COVID-spawned lockdown, Ken was able to pull focus from his fast-paced TV career to allow for a more meaningful emergence of his other passion: Working with

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dogs. The man who has dedicated much of his professional life to a production schedule that can only be described as nuts was able to take the proverbial look in the mirror. Who he saw staring back was someone more ready to commit to the wellbeing of canine companions and their human counterparts. Because where some see the glass half-empty, Ken sees it half-full. A pandemic? Yes. An opportunity to be open to the full realization of something new? Absolutely. Given that many people were adopting dogs during this time (place resounding “yay!” here), and there was a drastic increase in need for resources for first-time dog-guardians, Ken prepared to let My Positive Pup—the platform that allows him to “train people to train their dogs”—take on a life of its own. Sure enough, his once-small dog-training service exploded into a buzzing enterprise overnight. But as with any “overnight” success, there is the necessary build-up. As a boy, Ken’s parents weren’t pettypes, so his yearnings for a fuzzy friend would wait. When, 15 years ago, he met his wife, SNL set decorator Kim Kachougian and her beloved sidekick, a Parson Russell Terrier called Mac, it was game over. “I found my best friend,” he laughs. “And I’m not talking about my wife.” Meeting Mac was about more than just establishing a new vibe with a four-legged dude. “It changed my whole existence,” Ken says. “The connection I had with this dog was just unbelievable.” Mac ended up being in a few commercials—one of the perks of having parents in the biz, I suspect—and Ken found himself doing some training. “Nothing formal,” he says. “But we had this whole ‘communication’ thing.” When Mac died three years ago, Ken admits: “It destroyed us.” (Been there. Done that. Have t-shirt.) 

The couple knew they would adopt again one day, and five months later they met their new pal. Originally intended to serve as a therapy dog, it became apparent the fearful new puppy needed to undergo a bit of confidence-building. When it came to bestowing a moniker, they settled on Scooter, taken from the apt intro line of Springsteen’s Tenth Avenue Freeze Out: “Teardrops on the city. Bad Scooter searching for his groove. Seems like the whole world’s walking pretty. And you can’t find the room to move.” From there, Ken became determined to help Scooter find “his groove”. Enter: The not-to-be-taken-lightly decision to embark on the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy certification, designed to teach force-free training and, as stated on the organization’s site: “build a community of positive reinforcement trainers.” The approach resonated. And while working with dogs isn’t exactly the same as working with a tightly knit film crew, Ken recognizes the parallels—because bringing out the best in others isn’t a responsibility he takes lightly. Tellingly, when we discuss his proudest film-industry accomplishments, he doesn’t namedrop experiences working with A-list celebrities. Rather, he is thoughtful and simply says: “My crew,” a well-oiled machine of approximately a dozen colleagues who have evolved into an efficient entity. Ken recognizes they didn’t achieve this by harping on one another’s flaws. “Criticism was never going to get us anywhere,” he explains. Pan to My Positive Pup, and you’ll find the same philosophy in action. “With Scooter, I think we just counted our 12-millionth click-and-treat the other day,” he laughs. “Reward the behaviour you want to see.” For example, when he noticed Scooter’s propensity for running off with his socks—you know, the ones innocently left on the floor the night before—rather than berate him for potentially perceived “bad” behaviour, Ken seized it as a teachable moment, and ultimately Scooter learned four commands. “Now when the UPS guy comes and the packages are small,” Ken says, “Scooter will ‘take,’ ‘bring,’ ‘trade,’ and ‘drop’.” And it all started with dirty socks. Our conversation is occasionally interrupted by a playful Aussie Shepherd in search of snuggles. This is Jersey—named for Springsteen’s Jersey Girl, thank you very much—and, according to Ken, her presence is nothing short of a miracle. “We didn’t think it would ever be possible to get a second dog. But seeing Scooter transform from fearful to now having a baby sister? He’s totally fine now.” Admittedly, given a career like Ken’s—one that has spanned three decades working with the biggest names in the industry—he’s known his share of success. But it’s the recent compliment from a My Positive Pup client that most touches him. “Before you,” the woman told Ken, “my dog was just living. Now, he’s living engaged.” Taking a page from his own book, Ken too is living life engaged. After all, he didn’t just have an idea (“Oh, I’d like to work with dogs and their people!”). He made it happen. The chasm between identifying a desire and bringing it to fruition is a gap too vast for many to bridge. I ask him outright for inspiration we can pass along to those who may be looking to take a leap into the unknown. “Listen to more Springsteen,” he tells me. “Faith will be rewarded.” There it is— lyrical insight plucked from Land of Hope and Dreams. A few days after our chat, I tune in to watch the magic of Ken’s TV world unfold on that weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live. Whether you believe in synchronicity or coincidence, the guest host is—you guessed it—Bruce Springsteen. I am reminded yet again: whether it’s a dog in need of extra guidance, a pandemic on the verge of getting kicked to the curb, or an idea whose time has come, tomorrow there will be sunshine. 

THE FOLLOW Follow Ken, Kim, Scooter, Jersey, and My Positive Pup on Instagram at: @MyPositivePup

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Buhner (at right) and his two puppy clones

Would You Clone Your Dog?

Lawn Chemicals Linked To Two Cancers Ditch the pesticides in favour of a natural approach!

A gorgeous green lawn is irresistible, particularly to pets. But is it harming your dog? A study by the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Purdue University compared environmental exposure histories of two groups of 83 Scottish Terriers and found that the dogs exposed to lawns treated with common garden and lawn pesticides and herbicides were seven times more likely to develop bladder cancer. Exposure to lawn pesticides also raised the risk of canine malignant lymphoma (CML) by as much as 70 percent, found a six-year study at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Dogs over 50 pounds in homes where pesticides and herbicides were professionally applied, or in homes where owners used chemical lawn care products to kill insects were at the greatest risk. Luckily, you can still have your green lawn while protecting your pup and the environment. Organic lawn care service providers like NaturaLawn create lush lawns without the toxic chemicals. NaturaLawn’s lawn care programs protect you and your pets against harmful pesticides and chemicals while also combating weeds and pests. Organic methods add natural nutrients to the soil and help develop healthy root systems naturally. They also solve common lawn issues like brown patches, surface-feeding insects, weeds, and lackluster growth with natural products, so you can feel comfortable watching your kids and pets play.

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“Many people come to us to genetically preserve their loved pet’s DNA to give them some peace and hope,” says Melain Rodriguez, ViaGen Pet's client service manager and owner of Benji, a cloned cat. “That way their pet’s DNA is stored, giving them the option of cloning their pet down the line.” ViaGen Pets & Equine started preserving the DNA of cows, pigs, and livestock 18 years ago, before successfully cloning dogs and cats in 2015. They are currently the only company in the United States to clone dogs, cats, and horses. For those potentially interested in cloning their pet, the first step is simple: your vet will take a small skin sample from your dog’s stomach area and send it to ViaGen. Viagen uses this sample to grow millions of cells, which are stored in liquid nitrogen until you are ready to start the cloning process. This step costs $1600 and there is an annual storage fee of $150. The actual cloning, however, will set you back $50,000 for a dog (or $35,000 for a cat). But for some pet owners who can’t bear the thought of being without their beloved companion, the expense is worth it. "I talked to my husband about it and we both decided that we didn't want to live without a part of Buhner," says ViaGen client Amy Vangemert. "I couldn't be happier. It's the best decision I have ever made... I never could have imagined my love for Buhner could live on in the lives of his clones. Thank you ViaGen for making dreams come true.”

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Ocu-GLO Soft Chews for Dogs and Cats are a blend of powerful antioxidants that complement traditional therapy. Formulated to protect vital cells in the eye at the DNA and protein levels from oxidative damage, this formula includes Grapeseed Extract, Lutein and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. It also includes Astaxanthin for enhanced antioxidant support!

Does your dog enjoy ham bones? Tex’s Smoke’N’Chews’ hickory smoked dog chew toys provide a natural ham bone alternative. They offer a line of hickory smoked chew toys to achieve the same shape, smell, and texture of a "real" bone by utilizing strong durable and safe TPR material for aggressive chewers.



BLOAT: The ‘Time Bomb’ ALL Dog Owners Should Know About Watch for these signs and act fast! By Michelle Morton


t’s described as a ‘time bomb’ for dogs. Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), also known as bloat, is a painful and immediately life threatening condition caused when a dog’s stomach twists, leaving the entrance and exit to the organ blocked. Bloat can be fatal for your beloved pet if the disease is not treated in time or prevented, says Dr. Adrian Walton, lead veterinarian and owner of Dewdney Animal Hospital.

Breeds Predisposed to Bloat:  GREAT DANE 


 WEIMARANER Large, deep-chested breeds are statistically more prone to GDV. This list includes Standard Poodles, Basset Hounds, Irish and Gordon Setters, Old English Sheepdogs, and Doberman Pinschers, though any dog, including small breeds like the Dachshund, can develop bloat.

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“Dogs weighing ov er 100 pounds h approximate ave ly a 20% risk of deve loping bloat during their lifetime.”

Dogs can get bloat if they are active after eating a large meal, explains Dr. Walton. This is because food sits at the base of their stomach, and when the dog walks, lies down, or rolls over, the momentum can be strong enough to flip the stomach 360 degrees, effectively twisting the organ and causing trapped gas to build up inside. “The stomach gets bigger,” Dr. Walton explains, and as “the blood supply is already damaged, it’s not able to pump blood to the stomach, and eventually the tissue of the stomach dies because there’s no blood flow— and so you can even fix the dog, and three days later, you have to go back in because the stomach is starting to rot.” Dr. Walton says there are signs that can help you determine if your dog is suffering from bloat. These signs include the stomach getting larger, your dog pacing and/or trying to vomit but nothing coming out, and tapping the side of your dog’s stomach with your finger—“If it is filled with gas, you will hear almost like a steel drum sound,” Dr. Walton says. This is most apparent when tapping on the left side just below the last rib. “This is not something to play around with,” the vet warns. “If you see your dog’s abdomen distending, you have to go see an emergency vet—this is not something to wait until the morning.

The sooner you get your dog to see a vet the likelihood of your dog surviving—it goes up dramatically.” Bloat can happen to any breed of dog and at any age, but Dr. Walton said he’s seen more cases in the Great Dane and Standard Poodle. Dog owner Linda Larocque has experienced bloat with both of her Boxers—14 years ago with her late Boxer, Brandie, and again with her nineyear-old Boxer, Lucy, in 2019. Brandie’s stomach bloated twice. “We didn’t even recognize the signs,” 

BODY & SOUL Most commonly occurs two to three hours after eating a large meal. recalls Linda. “She just wasn’t eating properly, she was whining, she couldn’t get comfortable… by the morning time she couldn’t even stand up.” That’s when Linda says she and her husband raced their dog to the vet, where Brandie had to undergo surgery. The surgery saved Brandie, but there was a lot of damage done internally. Two years later, Brandie got bloat again, “and there was absolutely nothing they could do for her. It was pretty tough,” Linda says. When she recognized similar signs of bloat with Lucy years later, she sprang into action. “I touched her tummy and she was literally shaking, it was rock hard, and I knew immediately,” Linda says. She rushed her dog to the emergency vet. Linda got Lucy to the vet in time, where the Boxer had surgery, which included relieving the gas from the stomach. No oxygen was lost from Lucy’s vital organs “because we got her in so quickly that they saved her,” Linda says. “Most times, it’s a death sentence for dogs.” To prevent bloat, Dr. Walton recommends speaking with your veterinarian when your dog is a puppy. “We can tack the stomach to the wall when we’re going in to spay them or

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neuter them. It’s an extra surgery but, you know, it decreases the risk, and on some of these breeds, it’s common enough that it’s justifiable.” “The main thing that I tell owners is this idea…of letting a dog free feed is a disaster waiting to happen,” says Dr. Walton. “Dogs will gorge themselves, and that just increases the risk.” “Just small meals throughout the day, two or three feedings—especially if your dog is one of those at-risk breeds— is essential,” he advises. Calling bloat a “time bomb,” the vet says if you do not recognize the signs of GDV in your pet in time, “the dog is dead. It literally is one of those things where you have a short window of a few hours to recognize what’s going on and take your dog to your veterinarian or the emergency clinic.” “This is one thing that I think I cannot stress enough,” says Dr. Walton. “Yes, emergency clinics are expensive, but the cost to fix a dog that has just bloated a few hours ago versus a dog that has somehow survived the night and is brought into your vet first thing in the morning is dramatically more challenging,” adding it will include several more visits to the vet, “but the most likely situation is you go to bed— and you wake up to a dead dog.” 


Food Puzzles & Slow Feeders Food puzzles and slow feeders diminish the chance of bloat by slowing down how fast your dog eats. They also provide terrific brain work for dogs.

Two to try:

NovaFlex Nova Ball from $7.50,

Pineapple Happy Bowl from $10,


PROBLEM SOLVERS Ingenious solutions to common dog-life problems


Simplify your outings with gear from TinyHorse, Canadian-made products for professional dog walkers. Their versatile leash solutions come in a variety of lengths and materials and are perfect for multi-dog homes, too.


PROBLEM: GROOMING WOES SOLUTION: #1 ranked, multiaward winning, HandsOn Gloves are the revolutionary all-in-one shedding/bathing/grooming gloves. Animal preferred for the loving HandsOn massage. HandsOn is changing the way we bathe, deshed, and groom all our animals. Forever.

SOLUTION: The PawPad Waterpoof Cover for Dogs/Cats is perfect for use on beds, comforters, couches, rugs, cars, etc. Control and contain fur, dirty paws, bladder leaks, and more! It’s lightweight, absorbent, and machine washable.

PROBLEM: PET HAIR EVERYWHERE SOLUTION: You thought you’d tried everything—and you still have a pet hair problem. Fur-Zoff removes pet hair quickly and effectively, saving you time and money.


PROBLEM: BORED DOG SOLUTION: P.L.A.Y.’s Wobble Ball combines playtime and mental stimulation to create the ultimate enrichment toy! Save 15% off this interactive, treat-dispensing and dishwasher safe toy with code WOBBLE.

SOLUTION: Wash your pet, don’t get wet with Wondurdog quality dog wash kits. Featuring a patent shower brush with splash shield and on/off switch. Shower, sink, outdoor, and new tub spout versions available. No mess, no stress!


Supplements For Dogs Fighting Cancer By Tracey Tong


he word in itself incites fear, but when the vet utters “cancer” in relation to your dog, it can be heart stopping. Unfortunately, many dog parents will hear them in their pet’s lifetimes. “It is estimated that one in four dogs will develop cancer, so it is very common,” says Dr. Danny Joffe, DVM, DABVP, emeritus at VCA Canada in Calgary, AB. “In dogs over 10 years of age, 50 percent of dogs will develop cancer, but it is important to note that some of these cancers are benign or are very manageable.” Surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation are common approaches for dogs who need treatment. But for various reasons, they’re not a fit for everyone and every dog. Whether you’re taking a palliative approach to your dog’s cancer or looking for a

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complementary therapy, supplements are worth exploring with your vet. Dr. Cindy Kneebone, DVM, of the East York Animal Clinic and Holistic Centre is a veterinarian who also holds diplomas in homeopathy, Chinese herbal medicine, and veterinary acupuncture. She has had patients with long remissions— greater than five years for three types of cancers—without the use of chemotherapy. “In my experience, the best outcomes involve a combination of conventional and alternative medicine,” says Dr. Katherine Kramer, DVM, DABVP, and medical director of the VCA-Canada Vancouver Animal Wellness Hospital. “There are numerous supplements that can help boost the immune system and help ameliorate the side effects

of conventional cancer therapy. If conventional medicine is not an option, then natural supplements can often be used as palliative therapy. “Most of my practice consists of geriatric patients, which unfortunately means a large number of cancer cases,” she says. She often recommends supplements to complement the path of action taken by pet parents, and she sees results. “A majority of my cancer patients typically exceed their expected life span, sometimes by only a few months but sometimes by a year or more,” she says. Supplements can also help with the side effects of chemotherapy. “Dogs typically do better with chemotherapy than humans but side effects are still common,” she says. Supplements can help with that, she

says, but you need to talk to your vet, “Like anything, supplements can have side effects and interact with medications, especially chemotherapy agents,” she says. “It is extremely important to discuss these supplements with your veterinarian before giving them to your pet. Ideally, anti-cancer supplements should be started before a patient develops cancer.” She also notes that “the topic of supplements can be controversial since many natural supplements have not been thoroughly studied in dogs and there is not a lot of regulation or quality control in some products.” Dr. Joffe agrees that while supplements can complement cancer therapies, on their own, they do not supress the cancer. “They can help a pet deal with side effects of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery,” he says. “That is, these products can be adjunct therapy.” That’s what Denise Tupman of Terrace, B.C. was thinking. In February 2019, her eight-year-old Border Collie, Rook, had blood in his urine and was diagnosed with prostate cancer. “My vet gave him 10 months at most and I just couldn’t believe that he was sick when, other than the bleeding, he seemed fine,” says Denise. “I was devastated with the diagnosis.” He was put on Piroxicam as a chemotherapy and Zentonil for liver support. Wanting to do more, Denise has given him chaga since the diagnosis after receiving recommendations from many people. Chaga mushroom, a type of fungus that grows mainly on the bark of birch trees in cold climates including northern Canada and Alaska, happens to be harvested and processed just 45 minutes from where Denise lives, in Kitimat, B.C. “There’s lots in the woods around here,” she says. “From what I have read, there are lots of antioxidants in chaga,” continues Denise, who buys it in liquid form. “It’s also supposed to be a stimulant for the immune system. It is marketed for people, but there is so much anecdotal info on use for dogs that they end up selling a lot to people with dogs. I give Rook a dose (one tablespoon in his food in the morning) and then give myself a dose too.”

Supplements for Dogs With Cancer  Omega 3 essential fatty acids Omega-3 fatty acids serve as natural anti-inflammatories in cells. There is evidence in human cancer patients that these fatty acids can reduce postoperative infections and acute radiation side effects, as well as being able to kill cancer directly and reduce the proliferation of cancer cells. “Multiple studies highlight the benefits of omega 3s for not only cancer, but many inflammatory diseases,” says Dr. Kramer. “It is important to look for a quality product and introduce it gradually since high doses can cause diarrhea.”

 Medicinal Mushrooms

(including chaga, reishi, shiitake and turkey tail) “Mushrooms contain immune polysaccharides (also known as beta glucans) that have anti-tumor effects and prevent the spread of cancer by stimulating the immune system,” says Dr. Kramer. Chaga is said to help with aging and inflammation; shiitake, with lowering cholesterol, heart health, blood pressure and circulation; turkey tail, with immune support, cancer prevention and antioxidants; reishi, with regulating the immune system, fighting cancer and helping with sleep, anxiety, and depression; and cordyceps, with energy and muscle recovery. Try this: I’m-Yunity medicinal mushroom supplement is clinically tested and proven to stabilize white blood cell counts. It effectively delivers the polysaccharopeptide (PSP) from Mycelia, improving energy levels and appetite. (from $95, 


 Ashwagandha “An Ayurvedic herb also

known as Indian ginseng, ashwagandha has been studied in mice and was found to have anti-cancer properties and can decrease neurodegeneration, inflammation, adrenal stress, and anxiety,” says Dr. Kramer. Withaferin, a bioactive compound in ashwagandha, is thought to promote the death of tumor cells and may be effective against several types of cancer.

 Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM)

There are several formulas that may benefit dogs with cancer, says Dr. Kramer. “Common cancer preparations are Hoxsey formula, Stasis breaker, HSA formula, and Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang. Herbal formulas typically contain multiple herbs and have complex mechanisms of action. Recommendations for a specific formula is tailored to the individual patient. Combining herbs with other aspects of TCVM (acupuncture, massage, food therapy) can be quite effective,” she says.

 Turmeric “A member of the ginger family,

turmeric has been used for ages due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions,” says Dr. Kramer. Curcumin, the principal compound in turmeric, has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth in vitro by many mechanisms, as well as relieving pain and inflammation, such as that caused by osteoarthritis. It is also used for hay fever, depression, high cholesterol, liver disease, and itching. Janet Cvitkovic of Ambridge, PA, made her Golden Retriever, Honey—who was diagnosed with lymphoma in March 2020—turmeric golden paste (turmeric, coconut oil, water and fresh ground pepper, frozen into cubes). Janet’s vets felt it helped with Honey’s stomach health, bones, and joints.

 Green tea extract Green tea contains

polyphenols, which are strong antioxidants, and “antioxidants prevent DNA damage which can lead to cancer,” says Dr. Kramer. “It has been shown to inhibit certain tumor types in lab animals.” Studies have also shown green tea extract to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, prevent disease, and keep skin and liver healthy.

 Lactoferrin “An iron-binding protein found in

colostrum, lactoferrin is being researched as a promising agent in cancer prevention and treatment,” says Dr. Kramer. “It also has antibacterial and antiviral properties.” Lactoferrin is also used to treat diarrhea, inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus, anemia, common colds, sepsis, and other conditions.

 CBD A hemp-derived cannabinoid, CBD has become very popular for its health benefits for humans and dogs.

“CBD can be very helpful in relieving pain and nausea and stimulating appetite in most dogs,” says Dr. Kramer. “This can be very beneficial for providing not only palliative care but relieving the side effects of chemotherapy. There is also a large body of evidence that suggests CBD and many of the other chemicals in cannabis have specific anti-cancer effects. There are several very exciting studies underway looking at the effects of CBD on specific dog cancers.”

 Milk thistle Milk thistle has been found to have

strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, says Dr. Kramer. “Typically used in dogs with liver disease, milk thistle aids with cellular repair and regeneration and detoxification,” she says. Milk thistle can be helpful for dogs undergoing chemotherapy as some chemotherapeutic agents also can be directly hepatotoxic. Many dogs will experience elevations in liver enzymes during chemo, with a smaller number developing liver failure. Studies have shown milk thistle to reduce liver enzyme elevations and allow patients to receive chemotherapy on schedule.

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Although veterinary cannabinoid medicine has come a long way, and while CBD is legal in both the U.S. and Canada, veterinarians in Canada and the U.S. are not allowed to recommend, prescribe or dispense cannabis or CBD products. “However, veterinarians can engage in harm reduction education and advise on how to find regulated CBD products and how to use them safely,” says Dr. Kramer. “A majority of my geriatric and cancer patients receive a CBD supplement.” 


How CBD Can Help CBD can help mitigate the symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy side effects, including pain, nausea, anorexia, and anxiety. If your dog is receiving chemo, check with your vet first for potential drug reactions.

Cancer Diets In addition to medical treatments and supplements, a dog diagnosed with cancer would benefit from a tailored, vet-approved diet. It is always best to feed real food and use food as a source of antioxidants, says Dr. Kneebone. “Home cooked is best for chemotherapy dogs. The goal is for high quality minimally denatured highly bioavailable protein to keep the muscles and to have co-factors for the detoxification enzyme systems, with soluble and insoluble fiber to feed a patient’s microflora and fruits and vegetables for the antioxidants,” she says. “If the patient can maintain or gain weight, you might win the battle against cancer. Cancer burns up more caloric ATP than it gives back to the body which leads to cancer cachexia.” Simply – the best diet is always going to be the one the pet will eat, says Dr. Kneebone. “Even if they'll only eat a high-processed diet, there are still things one can do to boost the quality of the antioxidants for the pet.”

Fish Oil Meets CBD

Self-Care For Pet Parents

The Next Level Premier Infused CBD Fish oil from Iceland Pure is a unique blend of Sardine Anchovy oil, Shark Liver oil, and CBD oil formulated to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and help lubricate joints. ($82,

It’s important for the pet parent not to neglect him or herself in all of this. “When faced with a cancer diagnosis for your pet, its important to take care of yourself. If you’re not cared for, you can’t make the right decisions for your pet. “Don't ever think that it was something you did wrong,” says Dr. Kneebone. “We are all faced with the same pollution, the same nutrient-depleted and pesticide-filled food, the same chemical toxins, the same EMF radiation, the same emotional issues,” she says. “One must get over the shock of the diagnosis and the fear of the family pet’s mortality. Our loved one doesn't always know they are so ill, and our anxiety upsets them too. If cancer is suspected, get it confirmed. Not all cancers are malignant and not all that looks like cancer actually is.” Dr. Kneebone recently had a patient, a large breed dog, that had an X-ray for a limp. The radiograph showed an aggressive pattern highly suggestive of bone cancer. “The client asked for my opinion. I didn't think the radiograph was classical in appearance so I advised a bone biopsy,” she says. “Turned out to be an aggressive arthritic lesion. The dog had a surgery and is alive and recovering. So, I always advise a biopsy be performed to confirm the diagnosis.” Secondly, get your support network together for your emotional support and your financial support, as diagnostics and treatments come at a high cost, says Dr. Kneebone. “You want positive people with you all the way.” That’s the way Denise sees it. These days, Rook is doing well, with no noticeable decline in his health or stamina, Denise reports. “I’m thankful he has shown no signs of slowing down and his latest bloodwork looks very good,” says Denise. The vet says he can’t feel the tumour—he was very surprised! My vet is pleased to hear he is getting chaga too—he says it certainly can’t hurt to try everything.” 

Immune Booster

HempImmunity chews from HempVet contain broadspectrum, non-GMO hemp complex with naturally occurring CBD in combination with a proprietary, vet developed Immunopeptide that contains colostrum extract to support the immune system and liver and kidney function. ($40,

Hybrid Treatment Formulated specifically to help treat cancer and tumours, the Health Drops 30/6 from Healthier Pet are a hybrid treatment that contains both 99.2% pure CBD isolate and Delta-8 THC. This Health Canada lab tested formulation is mixed with cold-pressed organic hemp seed oil and fish oil for added benefits. ($140,

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Cancer Supplements: Talk to Your Vet! Dr. Kneebone has two notes of caution for pet owners who are looking at supplements for their pets. Supplements can be difficult to administer due to taste, can be costly and may not be produced by best manufacturing standards, she says. “Some herbals can be toxic and others shouldn't be used with chemotherapy. Cheaper products can be more harmful than beneficial… I don't want people to go out, purchase and use without guidance by someone who knows how they are detoxified, how they interact with each other and how they affect chemotherapeutics.”


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What’s It Like to be a Professional Animal Photographer? A day in the life of professional pet photographer Jason Krygier-Baum | By Rose Frosek


oronto-based professional animal photographer Jason Krygier-Baum has made it, as they say. “I get that bounce in my step when I’m going down the pet food aisle and I see my images,” says Jason, whose clients include Royale Tissue, Canadian Tire, Purina, and Pedigree. “Every time I book a large commercial job, I get a sense of what I’m doing is resonating with a large audience.” But just how does one become a professional pet photographer? “I always loved art and always had an interest in animals, growing up in a household nicknamed ‘the zoo,’ he laughs. He studied ecology and animal behaviour at university and got interested in photography. But it wasn’t until his health forced him to take a break that he found his calling. “I was working at a studio that shot catalogue,” he shares, “and I had a mental health crisis and had to stop working to focus on my recovery. I decided to try some things on my own: photos of my own dogs, mini session at a doggie daycare…I was exploring ideas and had some freedom as I wasn’t tied down—I had a full stop and restart. Covid is allowing people some of the same.” After he recovered, the positive reception his animal photography received pushed him forward. “Now I combine my knowledge and understanding of animal behaviour with my pursuit of creativity in my animal photography business,” he says. It’s not all just talent, he’s quick to note. “I think that a really big part of it is having confidence in your work and having confidence to charge people what you think you’re worth to make this a viable business,” Jason offers as advice to would-be professional pet photographers. “Knowing the expenses involved in a business and what you’re able to pull in so you’re able to move your passion/hobby into something that’s a money-making venture [is essential]. It doesn’t just naturally progress—you need to have a plan in place.” For those with the right skillset for the job, the rewards are many, says Jason, whose goal is eliciting an emotional reaction from the viewer, be it delight and laughter, or soulful connection. Though commercial gigs are gratifying and creatively challenging, it’s the private commissions that really resonate with him. “Seeing the joy my artwork brings to my clients, particularly if their dog is older, sick or recently passed away is the best part of the job. Getting those messages, maybe years later, maybe after the animal has passed on, about how memorable the art is, the day was—that’s what inspires me.” 


Sessions start at about $1200 and include the photoshoot and a ready to hang wall piece.


A Day In The Life

6:45 AM

10:30 PM

Wake up, usually with a cat on my chest, a dog down by my feet, and hopefully to the smell of a fresh latte prepared by my partner, Angus.

Get ready for bed.

7:00 AM

Evening walk or backyard hangout with friends.

8:00 PM

Meditate and workout.

8:00 AM Another latte and mango lassi, give sardines as a treat for my cats, check up on my 200 + house plants

7:00 PM Make a plan for the next day.

6:00 PM

9:00 AM

Make dinner—often a vegetarian stir-fry or homemade pizza.

Review the day’s plan, check up on email and other messages, start working on client tasks (editing photos, sending proofs to clients, laying out albums, opening and inspecting artwork, etc.)

5:00 PM

12:00 PM

Plan out some social media content and marketing efforts.

2:30 PM

Lunch of cottage cheese salad with nacho chips.

Photo shoot in the studio.

1:00 PM

2:00 PM

Dog-walk time!

Get the studio ready for a client.

What skill set does the job require? “It requires a balance between photography skills, animal behaviour knowledge, and entrepreneurial skills, problem-solving, patience, and perseverance. Without the entrepreneurial skills, you don't have a photography business but rather a hobby. Entrepreneur: self-directed, passionate, business oriented. Photography: patience, creative eye, quick on your toes.” 

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We’ve rounded up our favourite puppy products, Modern Dog tested and approved! We’ve saved you the research by sharing our favourite new puppy picks for everything from beds to food, collars, toys and more, all tested and approved by the Modern Dog team and their pups, so you can get back to more important things, like snuggling your new puppy.


You are what you eat

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Best Bed Every pup needs a

cozy, comfortable spot to rest! We love the Scoop Diamondback bed from Bowsers Pet Products, featuring an uber-comfy tufted cushion and machine-washable zippered cover for easy cleaning. (from $105,

Pearly Whites Do yourself and your pup a favour and get a dental health program under way early. The OxyFresh Pet Dental Kit includes their Pet Dental Water Additive, Pet Dental Gel Toothpaste, and three gentle finger toothbrushes to help you keep your puppy’s teeth healthy and fresh. ($12,

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Primal Pronto Raw Frozen food combines organic, grass-fed, ethically raised protein with organic produce for a complete raw diet that is seriously effortless—just scoop and serve; it thaws in minutes. Take a look at the ingredients: Duck, Duck Necks, Duck Wings, Organic Kale, Duck Gizzards, Duck Hearts, Organic Carrots, Organic Squash, Duck Livers, Organic Broccoli, Organic Apples, Blueberries, Cranberries, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Montmorillonite Clay, Organic Parsley, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Salmon Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Quinoa Sprout Powder, Dried Organic Kelp, Alfalfa, Vitamin E Supplement. It’s all good stuff. (from $30,


Puppyhood Captured Capture the all too fleeting adorableness of puppyhood with a portrait of your new pup. Dane Youkers' gorgeous personalized digital paintings are printed as Giclee Fine Art Reproductions and made with museum-grade materials. (from $75,



uh oh!


A Greener HouseTraining Routine The new Earth Friendly pee pads from Wizsmart have replaced fossil fuel plastic with bioplastic made from sugarcane for a more sustainable solution that's still ultra-absorbent, leak-proof, and controls odours. Patented tabs keep the pad in place. (from $25,


Dig It! Keep your puppy busy, engage her brain, and

provide an outlet for digging and hunting instincts with the iDig from iFetch. It’s suitable for pups of all sizes and adaptable to various difficulty levels. Simply load it with treats or toys and let your pup dig away! ($80,


Hot Dogs All Dressed Hot Dogs All Dressed makes some of the nicest collars and leashes in the game. Choose from their leather, vegan leather, or Hydra (designed for water) options and then personalize with their vast array of adorable collar adornments, from cupcakes to skulls. (from $30,


Play Time! Keeping your puppy busy and engaged means less boredom and less destruction around the house! Playtime will be out of this world with the Zippy Burrow Aliens in UFO toy from ZippyPaws. This interactive stuffy has three squeaky aliens to pull out of their UFO for endless fun. ($14,



9 10


A Better Poop Bag We love

that the Zero Plastic Poop Bags from Lucky Dog are made from organic plant matter and compost within three to six months, leaving no harmful plastics or micro-plastics behind! Plus, they’re strong and easy to open. (from $15,

Walkies & Car Rides Keep your puppy safe and comfortable on walks and in the car with the Clickit Sport harness from SleepyPod! This neoprene-padded safetytested and certified harness fits dogs from 18 to 90 pounds and is designed to work with the rear seatbelt to secure your pup, no additional straps or accessories needed. (from $75,

12 13

Mani Pedi Getting puppies used to having

Puppy Proof It’s a good thing they’re cute because

puppies sure know how to make a mess! Protect your couch, bed or car seat from accidents, dirty paws, fur, and drool with the PawPad protective cover. A must-have! (from $80,

their nails done at a young age makes life way easier. The cordless, whisper quiet Nail Grinder from Andis makes the task a breeze and eliminates the risk of cutting the quick. (from $46,

Puppy Kisses Made with just nine natural ingredients like chicken, bone charcoal, and parsley, Cloud Star’s Wag More Bark Less dental biscuits reward very good pups while freshening breath. ($7,  More Top Puppy Picks: Find our complete list of puppy essentials at

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STRAYS Paradise Found: a dog sanctuary in the mountains of Costa Rica is home to 2,000 free-roaming second-chance dogs | By Katie Nanton


eep in the fertile mountains near Heredia in Costa Rica, about an hour outside of San José, lies a 350-acre farm and sanctuary known as Territorio de Zaguates. Frequent rainfall feeds the lush green rolling hills and crystal-clear streams. The landowners allow for the natural trees and landscape to grow in, a wild contrast to the many nearby farms that clear-cut for cattle ranching. Animals do run through the fields of this farm, but they are not of the livestock variety—they are dogs. Over 2,000 of them. Owner Lya Battle inherited the farm from her father—it was originally owned by her grandfather, who selected his

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property based on its picturesque view. She simply did not know what to do with it before opening up the Territorio de Zaguates dog sanctuary and shelter about a decade ago. Today, she runs the operation along with her husband, Alvaro Saumet, and five full-time caretakers looking after more than 2,000 dogs. “Imagine this,” Lya says, setting the scene over the phone from Costa Rica. “Each day, we open the dog enclosures and let the dogs roam free. We take them for a four-kilometre walk up and down pastures, they run through rivers, roll in the grass, chase birds… It is pretty similar to paradise. Especially because it is full of dogs.” Despite being a lifelong animal lover, Lya spent her early years unaware of just how bad the stray situation was in San José. That changed when she moved to a suburban neighbourhood with her husband almost 15 years ago, and she encountered many more strays—as well as one particularly beautiful dog with an eye problem. “Imagine a handsome Husky, but with two shades of yellow, and probably mixed with a Shar Pei because he had these little triangular-shaped ears,” she recalls. Lya was smitten; she took the stray to a vet to get his eyes fixed, expecting to find an owner for him after the fact. “That was the first time I



F O U N D E R S ' P H OTO PAO L A B O N I L L A F O N G ( I G : P P U N TO. P H OTO )


The dogs rest before making their way back down to the main farm area for feeding time.

José Soto, a local caretaker, sits with the dogs during a rest break on their daily walk. thought of holding on to a dog until someone wanted him, which ended up being his entire life, because nobody ever did.” Naming the dog Oso (Bear in Spanish), the golden-hued canine marked the beginning of a life’s mission that has grown far beyond what Lya ever anticipated. “I realized there are a lot of dogs out there who don’t have a home, and there simply wasn’t an option for them,” she says. “They are either risking their lives on the street, or they are waiting for their due date [to be euthanized] in a shelter. That’s it. And that became a haunting feeling for me.” One by one, she added to her count of rescues, but when the tally reached over 100, moving them to the farm was the natural next step despite some naysayers who didn’t

Territorio de Zaguates dog sanctuary founders Lya Battle and husband Alvaro Saumet. believe large packs of dogs could coexist in harmony. Quite the opposite, Lya’s rag-tag clan of strays was happy to live as a herd, and she noticed behaviourally how the new dogs were taught by the old guard. (It also helps that all the dogs are spayed and neutered.) At Territorio de Zaguates, each dog is a member of the greater family, and each dog is given its own name. A large part of Lya’s operation is adopting them out to welcoming homes, not only in Central America, but to the United States and Canada, too. Prospective families are carefully screened in advance, but even then, the dogs can be returned to the farm if there are any issues. “I always tell people, ‘There is no expiry date on this adoption.’ We won’t even ask questions,” says Lya. “If you can’t

have them anymore, for whatever reason, bring them back.” While it is sad to see a dog returned, there is deep reassurance for Lya knowing that they are safe. About 15 years ago, adopting dogs was virtually unheard of in Costa Rica; Lya explains how there is still so much education that needs to take place—not only about adoption, but caring properly for pets in general “People always want puppies, too, so we have to educate them on adopting adults,” she adds. These days, new dogs generally join the sanctuary as a result of tips that they receive about abandoned dogs. While adoption numbers move faster than they used to, they could always be quicker. Running the operation not only takes a lot of heart, but a lot of funding. Lya and her husband do 


not make a profit from the shelter and work separate jobs in order to keep it afloat. (Four days a week, she works as an educational consultant; Friday is dedicated to running around on the farm.) Donations help, too. The sanctuary has a robust online presence and donation platform and the local vets who allow the organization to keep running tabs.

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The weekly dog food bill—they go through 20 sacks of kibbles daily, each weighing 30 kilograms—is also incredibly high. But for Lya, it is all worth it: “I never really intended to do this. I just realized that the existing reality was not something I was comfortable with, and I tried something different because it was the least I could do. And I’m still trying.” Trying is an apt descriptor for other reasons, too. Of the daily challenges Lya and Alvaro face, the biggest of them all is working through the hoops of government regulation, at all levels. “Our government is not going to help a dog on the street. We don’t even have municipal pounds,” Battle says. “But then the government wants us to build our shelter their way? Keeping all the dogs in cages, for example? No. This is my property. So, they’ve tried to come up with as many challenges and problems that they can put in our way.” Although she says they have been demonized because they are doing something

different, Lya, true to her last name, keeps fighting. For her, it is better than the alternative. “It has almost become like a tug of war for us and the government, which we usually end up winning every time because, really, how can you deny that what we are doing is working? It’s working.” The proof, for her, is in the happiness of the dogs, living in the verdant hills with kind caretakers and enough food, free from stress and trauma. “I sometimes tell people ‘I have a farm full of walking deads’— that is, dogs that would have been euthanized but are there because they had a chance.” Even though some of the sanctuary’s inhabitants are on their last legs—are elderly, or have cancer, for example—they will at least will leave this earth from a loving environment. One dog, named Abuelo (which means Grandfather in Spanish) came at the age of 12 after his owner passed away. Not only did he live to be age 21 at the shelter, but after a video of his birthday party

L E FT I N SE T P H OTO D I A N A M É N D E Z A R I A S ( I G : D I M E A R I A S )

Volunteer José Rojas shares a quiet moment with his beloved dog Franco, who suffers from narcolepsy, as rain clouds begin to roll in during the late morning.


The dogs roam free... they run through rivers, roll in the grass, chase birds… It is pretty similar to paradise. Especially because it is full of dogs.

F O U N D E R S ' P H OTO PAO L A B O N I L L A F O N G ( I G : P P U N TO. P H OTO )


2,000 Free-roaming stray dogs call this Costa Rican dog sanctuary home.

was shared on the shelter’s social media account, he got adopted. Still alive and living with his new family, he is now almost 24 years old. Today, Abuelo lives like a prince in a large house with multiple doggy beds and a pool he likes to lay beside. “These are the stories that keep me going,” says Lya. “Nothing is more fulfilling than that, nothing can take up more of my heart than that.” With visitors to the sanctuary suspended first due to construction, then due to Covid-19, the educational group walks with visitors have been put on hold, although there are hopes to start them up again in the new year. “That was our way of teaching 300 people in a weekend about how to care for dogs,” she says, “and getting a whole bunch of dogs adopted in the process.” Still, Lya remains hopeful, and the land of the strays, as many call the farm, remains vibrant. “I think only Costa Ricans call their mutts zaguates,” says Lya referencing their name, explaining that the word is taken from the Bri-bri language of Costa Rica’s Indigenous people from Talamanca. “When I gave our farm its name, people questioned it, but you know what I said to them? ‘There is absolutely no shame in being a dog who doesn’t have a breed. A zaguate is a survivor. A zaguate does not come from the prettiest dog made to mate with the other prettiest dog. No, it is a survivor with a survivor. If there is anything like a superhero, and a warrior, it is a zaguate. It is a dog that made it, against all odds.” 

Founder Lya Battle hugs one of the sanctuary dogs.

The dogs run excitedly across a hilltop just behind the main farm under the watch of Alex, a caretaker at the farm

What To Do If Your Puppy Keeps Biting By Nicole Wilde


here are a lot of questions around puppy biting, from what’s normal—and not!—to how to get your puppy to stop biting. So let’s jump right in!

What’s considered normal when it comes to puppy biting behavior? First, it is important to understand that it is normal for puppies to mouth, nip, and bite. This should not be confused with truly aggressive biting, which is not often seen in very young puppies (although it can happen). Normal puppy biting takes the form of nipping at fingers, feet, the dragging hems of pants, robes, or other clothing, and even at hair or faces if the pup can reach them. If there is another dog in the home, the puppy will very likely nip at the other dog to gain attention or to solicit play. Puppies have no manners!

Okay, so nipping is normal, but it hurts! How can I get my puppy to stop biting? You need to help your pup develop bite inhibition. Bite inhibition means controlling the amount of force in a nip or bite. During the time puppies are still with their littermates,

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they wrestle and play using their mouths, paws, and bodies. When one pup bites down too hard on another, the bitten pup will yelp. That teaches the biter how much pressure is acceptable and that, along with losing valuable mother’s milk if they bite down too hard on mom’s teat, is the start of how puppies learn bite inhibition. It is also the reason singleton puppies and those taken from their litters too early do not normally start out with good bite inhibition. Regardless of your pup’s early experience, you can help. You could try letting out a high-pitched yelp like a young pup would at the moment of the nip, which should result in your pup backing away with a look on his face that says, I’m so sorry! I didn’t realize that would hurt! Then ignore your pup for five seconds or so. If ignoring results in more nipping, leave the area altogether. If you yelp/ignore for only the hardest bites at first and then start doing it for incrementally softer bites, your pup will learn how much pressure is acceptable, and will begin to control the pressure of his jaws. But one caveat: although the technique works well with many puppies, with some (terriers come to mind) it could make them even more excited, leading to more intense nipping. With these dogs, a sharp, deep, “Eh-eh!” may work better in place of the yelp. 


When should I start working with my puppy to control her biting? Begin as soon as you bring your puppy home, and continue the lessons as long as is needed. I’ve found that by the time pups reach ten or twelve weeks, most are little land sharks so you’ll likely want to start by this age for sure! How long it takes to teach bite inhibition varies with individual pups and requires consistency on your part. In general, it’s best to have bite inhibition accomplished by the age of five or six months, when the puppy enters adolescence.

Does Your Pup Bite For Attention? Try This Instead! Give your pup an alternative way to get your attention, such as licking. It’s simple to teach. Smear a bit of (xylitolfree) peanut butter on the back of your hand. Make a fist and position the hand where your pup can easily reach it, and say in a happy voice, “Kisses!” Your pup will start licking the peanut butter. After a few licks, while there is still peanut butter left, put the hand behind your back, give the verbal cue, and present the hand again. Do a few repetitions, and practice often. Very soon, your pup will learn what “Kisses!” means. (You can also reinforce it by saying “Kisses!” any time he happens to lick you on his own.) Then, when your pup nips, instead of having to ignore him, give a sharp, “Eh-eh!” followed immediately by a high-pitched, happy “Kisses!” Your pup should switch from nipping to licking and will hopefully learn that licking is a much nicer way to get your attention. Be proactive by giving your puppy something to chew on during the times you know he’s likely to want your attention, such as during television time or when you are working at the computer. Since dogs are crepuscular like wolves are, meaning they’re most active at dawn and dusk (when wolves would be hunting), you may find that proactively giving your puppy something to chew on during those times will save you from being on the receiving end of a flurry of energy-induced biting. Lastly, be sure to pay attention to your puppy during times when he’s not biting, so he learns that behaviours like laying there looking adorable earn him lots of valuable attention!

Is it normal for puppies to bite when playing? Absolutely! Puppies are very mouthy when they play with other dogs. If you have or know anyone who has a welladjusted adult female dog who is good with puppies, let your pup play with her. The adult dog will let your puppy be obnoxious to a point and will then put the pup in his place. Lesson learned! The way you play with your puppy is also very important. First, no wrestling! In my experience, little boys (and some not so little boys!) are the ones who love to wrestle with puppies and tend to find teeth on skin to be acceptable. The problem is, the puppy is learning it’s okay to put teeth on people during play. Instead, keep something between you and your pup such as a stuffed animal or tug toy. During play, if your pup’s teeth touch your skin, at that exact moment, say, “Too bad!” followed by immediately taking your toy and leaving. The “Too bad!” serves as a verbal marker to let your pup know the exact second of his transgression, which is followed by the consequence of the game ending. If you are consistent, your puppy should learn that teeth on skin results in losing a valued resource, and the behaviour should stop.

What about biting for attention? There are certain attention-seeking behaviours that, when ignored, will eventually stop. Biting, however, is not one that should be ignored. Who wants to be a patient pin cushion? Consider this: when your pup bites in order to get your attention, does he get it? Do you start playing with him or petting him? If so, you are reinforcing the behaviour and it is more likely to happen again. Instead, especially if your pup is in puppy hyperdrive mode, do this: at the moment of the attention-seeking nip, give a verbal, “Eh-eh!” followed by asking for a few sits, downs, or recalls. Then give him an acceptable chew item. Otherwise, if you give a chew item immediately when your pup nips, he learns that nipping results in earning a reward. 

With truly aggressive behaviour, the pup may growl outside of the context of play, display a hard stare, or even commit multiple bites without backing off. If you’re unsure as to whether your pup’s biting is normal puppy behaviour or actual aggression, consult a professional trainer. If you can take a video ahead of time to show the trainer, even better!

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The Bloodhound World-class sweetheart and scent-tracker extraordinaire By Kelly Caldwell


here’s no mistaking the Bloodhound. That trademark long face, those soul-piercing eyes, and the endless wrinkles and folds of his skin! This is a truly substantial dog who strikes a unique and dignified pose. He’s the most renowned scent-tracker in the world. What’s his story? The Bloodhound is more popular in America than anywhere else in the world, both in “real life” as well as in books and movies, but he actually originated in medieval Europe. In the 7th century, French monk and passionate hunter Francoise Hubert dedicated his life to breeding hunting dogs capable of tracking even the coldest of scent trails—dogs who could find their quarry when all others had given up. Over the years, a variety of dogs were introduced into the breeding lines, many of which

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had been brought back from far-away travels by Crusaders. On hunts during the medieval period, Bloodhounds were kept on leash. Their role was to follow the scent of large prey—typically a boar or deer. Once they caught the scent, pack hounds would complete the chase. The Bloodhound remained leashed and was not part of the kill, though legend has it he was always given a special reward from the carcass of the animal. His critical but limited role in hunting undoubtedly explains, at least partly, his gentle nature. A world-class hunter he is; a killer he is not. For many centuries, the Bloodhound flourished in France and England. Almost exclusively owned by royals and members of the nobility, Bloodhounds were cherished by the likes of William the Conqueror and Elizabeth I.

Friendly & patient Good with kids & fellow mammals Craves companionship Smart but notoriously stubborn Energetic & athletic Large-sized As was the case with so many breeds, the French Revolution had a devastating impact on the Bloodhound population. Members of the aristocracy left their homes and fled for their lives; dogs were often casualties amid the chaos. The once-great hunts were no

Neat-freaks will have to contend with the realities of dog drool, because the Bloodhound is an accomplished slobber-slinger.

more and the Bloodhound’s numbers in France dwindled nearly to the point of extinction. The breed was still prized in England, however, and the Bloodhound continued to be used for hunting there. In fact, by the 16th century, the Bloodhound had also become recognized for playing a valuable role in law enforcement, tracking down fugitives. In the Victorian era, the breed flourished. With the advent of the dog show came a whole new reason for people to take interest in the breed. Queen Victoria was a fan and first entered one of her Bloodhounds in a dog show in 1869. At the same time, the role of the dog was shifting. Dogs weren’t strictly working animals or companions for wealthy elites. They were becoming loving companions for everyday folks. It wasn’t long before the Bloodhound made his way to America. The Bloodhound was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1886 and was first entered at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1888. Fanciers took an immediate interest, and many dedicated considerable time and interest into furthering the breed’s type and temperament. The American Bloodhound Club was founded in 1952. Back in the UK, fox hunting had gained popularity, and the Bloodhound’s numbers declined as a result. (With greater ease in finding the fox and a faster style of hunt, the

Bloodhound was used less frequently.) Later on, the Second World War had a devastating impact on England’s dogs and the Bloodhound was no exception. Fortunately, after the War, some of the finest Bloodhounds from America were exported back to their original homeland as part of an effort to introduce healthy breeding stock and revitalize the Bloodhound population there. Today’s Bloodhound is a large dog. The AKC accepts the breed at heights ranging from 23 to 25 inches and 25 to 27 inches, with greater height preferred. Weights range from 80 to 100 pounds for females; 90 to 110 pounds for males—and a wellproportioned dog is desired. The AKC accepts coat colours in black and tan, liver and tan, and red. A small amount of white is accepted on the chest, feet, and tip of the tail. On the matter of scenting ability, the Bloodhound has no equal. His sense of smell is so keen that he’s able to pick up even the coldest of scents over great distances and many days. This coupled with great power and stamina, plus a “never give up” mindset make him quite literally the ideal tracker. For these reasons, the Bloodhound is used today around the world by law enforcement agencies in their pursuit of criminals, missing people, and objects they are trained to detect. The Bloodhound is a beautiful dog, but he’s not the right choice for everyone. For starters, he’s very large

Most Popular Dogs in the U.S. According to the most recent AKC registration statistics [1]

Labrador Retriever German Shepherd Dog [3] Golden Retriever [4] French Bulldog [5] Bulldog [6] Poodle [7] Beagle [8] Rottweiler [9] German Shorthaired Pointer [10] Pembroke Welsh Corgi [51] The Bloodhound [2]

and, while he’s easygoing and patient with kids, one swat of his tail could easily knock a toddler down. He’s not suited for apartment living. This dog needs room to roam. Neat-freaks will have to contend with the realities of dog drool, because the Bloodhound is an accomplished slobber-slinger. The name of the game is to have rags and wipes strategically placed throughout your home for use as needed. It’s very manageable, but if you want a pristine house, it’s something to consider, because there is no such thing as a slobber-free Bloodhound. As for his odour, like many of his scent-hound cousins he’s got a rather oily, earthy, musty scent that comes 


Size: Large. Strong and well-proportioned, heights range from 23 to 27 inches and weights from 80 to 110 pounds. Activity level: Above Average. This active breed could get by with one long walk a day, but he’d prefer more. His strong instinct to work makes him a great fit for canine sports, most notably Tracking. Grooming: Weekly brushing will suffice but he does shed seasonally. Daily attention to cleaning his skin folds and learning to care for his ears is important. Heritage: The Bloodhound was developed in medieval France to assist pack hunting of deer and boar. Today, his keen sense of smell is also used to assist law enforcement in search and rescue. For more information on Bloodhound Rescue in the United States, visit In Canada, visit

If you like the Bloodhound, you might also consider the...

Black and Tan Coonhound

Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound


Hanoverian Scenthound

For more breed profiles, go to

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Profile: The Bloodhound

and goes with weather and exercise and such. Most breed fanciers would say it’s just a trade-off for that unique and glorious coat and you get used to it. Those in search of a dog that offers home protection are barking up the wrong tree with this breed. He doesn’t have a fierce bone in his body. In fact, like most hounds, he is often aloof with strangers. When someone comes to the house, he may bark like crazy—or ignore them. Some Bloodhounds are very quiet to live with. The Bloodhound is a pack animal who craves the company of others. He’s happiest in a home where there are other dogs or cats, and he is not suited for outdoor living. He bonds closely with his people and wants to be near them. From the start, socialization and obedience training are important. Hounds are always going to give even the most advanced Obedience handler a run for their money, and the Bloodhound is no exception. In fact, some believe him to be the most stubborn of the whole group! Starting at the puppy stage, train, train, train. Of course, only use positive reinforcement methods. You cannot be harsh with this gentle soul (or any other dog), though you must be firm with him. To be sure, getting the Bloodhound to a well-mannered, well-trained state requires a commitment. If you don’t have the time, resources, or patience to invest in months of training, find another breed. He deserves a guardian who will take the time needed so he becomes the best dog he can be. There is a popular misconception that Bloodhounds are lazy. Not so. This is an active dog who was bred to run for hours on end. He requires daily exercise. Very long walks daily are a minimum and, once he reaches adulthood, he could be an excellent running companion. He’ll be happiest in a home where he has a large yard to roam about. With his strong tracking instincts, a fenced-in yard (ideally six feet or higher) is an absolute must. So is remaining on-leash at all times when out. Grooming the Bloodhound requires time and attention. His coat is loose and hangs down with many folds. He needs to be brushed once a week using a hand mitt and a damp cloth to clean all of the folds in his skin. As well, the Bloodhound's ears are prone to infection and require ongoing care. Your veterinarian can show you how to gently clean his ears with a safe cleaning solution once a week. That aside, the Bloodhound is a generally healthy dog, but like all purebreds, he may be prone to some genetic conditions. If he were a work of art—and, let’s face it, he really is— he’d be what we might call a study in contradictions. He’s immense, powerful, and hardworking, but he’s calm and sensitive, a sweet soul who craves both human and animal companionship. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more tender-hearted companion, so if you can meet his needs, you’ll be rewarded with a lifetime of love and devotion. 

Healthy PAWS Solutions for everything from joint pain to allergies and irritated ears.

URINARY TRACT HEALTH Help your dog maintain normal urinary tract function with Urinary Support Chewables from NOW Pets. Veterinary formulated, these chewables contain ingredients such as cranberry powder and red raspberry leaf to help reduce the formation of urinary crystals. ($27,

ALLERGIES + IMMUNE SUPPORT With a blend of Omega 3-6-9, quercetin, bovine colostrum, vitamins, and wild Alaskan salmon oil, Dermabliss Allergy & Immune Soft Chews from Vetnique Labs support a healthy immune system and maintain your dog’s histamine levels to reduce allergies. ($33,


PEARLY WHITES Made from natural and sustainably harvested sea kelp, ProDen PlaqueOff Powder from SwedenCare can simply be added to your dog's wet or dry food to help remove and reduce tartar and plaque. ($22,

STRONG JOINTS If your dog is suffering from joint pain, Purica Pet Curcumin+ is made with a potent antioxidant blend that helps support your dog’s immune system, relieves joint pain, and helps support healthy joints and flexibility. ($43,

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Keep your pup’s ears clean and free of irritants with the Vetericyn Plus Antimicrobial Ear Rinse! Non-toxic and safe for dogs, this ear rinse cleans discharge and buildup, removes pollutants, and reduces ear odour. ($15,

BRIGHT EYES Formulated with Grapeseed Extract, Lutein, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids, OcuGLO Soft Chews are designed to boost and support canine and feline eye health. A unique combination of 12 different antioxidants help protect vital eye cells and prevent damage. ($60,


How Much Exercise Is Right For Your Puppy? Depends on the breed, size, and age of your pup! By Yaunna Sommersby


eeping your energetic puppy active and engaged is important, but you need to be mindful of your puppy’s joints, says Dr. Felix Duerr, an Associate Professor in Small Animal Orthopedics and the head of the Orthopedic Medicine and Mobility Service at Colorado State University. A puppy’s joints can actually be quite fragile as the pup grows and the body changes, particularly if it’s a large breed or genetically predisposed to conditions like hip dysplasia.

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Puppies go through major growth spurts and changes in the early stages of their life. Just when these growth phases occur depends on the breed and size of the dog. “Small dogs have done most of their growing by eight months and larger dogs by 12 months,” says Dr. Duerr. “When they are growing is when a lot of things really make a huge difference.” Converse to what you might imagine, if your puppy is in the growth stage, your pup actually may not need as much exercise and

food as you think. Both overfeeding and over-exercising can cause joint damage. “What we should do for puppies is we shouldn’t do more activity than they would do when they selfregulate without any stimulus,” says Dr. Duerr. “It is a little different for every puppy, but I think a little bit less activity, more consistent activity, and having the same routine every day is better for their development.” Inactivity, however, can also be an issue. “You get joints that are not used to activity and then suddenly



they overdo it because their adrenaline goes all crazy and they don’t self-limit and you actually cause some damage to the joints,” explains Dr. Duerr. Thus, maintaining a consistent, balanced, and controlled exercise routine with your puppy is essential. Dogs who compete at the elite levels of agility start their training at a young age but start with gradual and ageappropriate training to avoid any potential injuries or chronic joint issues. The same rules should be applied for general play time and exercise at home. Nutrition should also be closely monitored. “Nutrition is important at any stage but particularly during that early stage, it is huge. Quality food is one thing, so (providing) that balanced diet, but also not overfeeding them,” says Dr. Duerr. “Probably one of the biggest mistakes that we see is people are feeding their puppies too much.” This is because overfeeding can lead to rapid growth or weight gain, which can lead to a higher incidence of orthopedic problems. Some pups need food specially formulated for large breed puppies, notes the AKC. These foods help prevent the excessive growth that can lead to skeletal disorders such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and other joint conditions by slowing down these breeds’ growth, allowing their joints to develop without putting too much strain on them. Being mindful of your puppy’s joint development helps prevent further problems down the line, as dogs that do develop joint conditions often end up with arthritis in the joints. “Once you have arthritis, you have to deal with the symptoms and we can mitigate them, but we can’t completely eliminate them,” says Dr. Duerr. “That is why it is so much better to prevent that from happening.”

Key points of advice for keeping your puppy’s joints healthy:

1. 2.

Engage your pup only in balanced and controlled exercise

Invest in the best quality food you can afford—nutrition is never so important as in your puppy’s growth stage


Monitor your puppy’s weight and food intake—do not overfeed. Your vet can provide feeding guidelines based on your pup’s age and weight.


Get an early diagnosis for problems such as hip dysplasia, signs of which include a swaying, “bunny hopping” gait, difficulty jumping, running, or climbing stairs, and grating in the joint during movement.


CONNIE’S BOOK CLUB You Lucky Dog by Julia London What would you do if your dog walker accidentally swapped your dog with another? In You Lucky Dog, Carly and Max end up thrown together after a fateful incident involving their respective Bassett Hounds, Baxter and Hazel. Carly realizes her quiet, reserved foster Baxter loves spending time with Hazel, but Carly isn’t so sure about Hazel's owner, Max—until they all start spending time together. You’ll fall for this fun oppositesattract romantic comedy.

Out of Hounds by Rita Mae Brown “Sister” Jane Arnold and her hounds are faced with a new string of mysteries in this exciting novel from New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown. When expensive paintings belonging to two prominent members of a foxhunting club go missing, leading to murder, Sister Jane must figure out whether they were targeted due to their fox hunting activities and sniff out whodunit. This clever cozy mystery will keep readers on their toes!

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella Fans of Sophie Kinsella definitely will not want to miss her latest, Love Your Life. Ava is a hopeless romantic and her Beagle, Harold is one of her best friends. Frustrated with the trials of online dating and trying to get over a recent breakup, she goes on a writing retreat in Italy to finish her novel. The catch—they cannot reveal their real identities during the retreat! Ava finds herself swept up in a love affair with Matt—until they have to return to reality. Will their love last in the real world?

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Editor-in-Chief Connie Wilson’s Spring selection of must-read books for dog lovers Django: A Small Dog with a Big Heart by Peter Comley

Living life as a safari guide-dog means Django the Jack Russell mix is no stranger to adventure. Whether facing off with African wildlife or trekking in the bush, Django learns how to use his keen senses as an early warning system for his humans, saving lives and winning the hearts of his companions. This enthralling story of life in the bush, related through this clever pup’s adventures and the colourful characters who cross his path, will entrance lovers of dogs and travel alike.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot James Herriot, one of the world’s most beloved veterinarians, gives readers a captivating and utterly charming look into the beginning of his career in rural Yorkshire and his vast experiences with animals and their humans. Filled with inspiring, heartwarming, and harrowing stories, animal lovers will find themselves endlessly charmed by experiencing the world through Herriot’s eyes.

Oliver by Steven J. Carino and Alex Tresniowski This incredible, heartwarming, and harrowing true story shows what one man went through after his dog Oliver was stolen from his car. The unexpected help he receives in his search illuminates the power of kindness and friendship, leading to a moving reunion with his best furry friend. Available in adult and young reader versions.


Must-haves for you & your dog

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Dog love in short form: miniature, readersubmitted dog stories of no more than 100 words.

Turn Down Service

Grace on Four Legs

Our 13-year-old Maltese, Sophie, realized that every night I take a shower and then get in bed. For more years than we can remember, each night while I’m in the shower, Sophie turns down the bed comforter to the end of the bed so I can get in. She’s only 12 pounds; this is a lot of work. Sophie has never missed an evening.—Maryjane Rocker

He sits hunched over in his wheelchair A steel rod where his leg used to be His razor face puffs on a cigarette butt Outside the door of a matchbox motel room

Family Mantra My husband named him Gunter, not after Gunter Grass, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist, but a Springfield, MA bakery. He was the runt of a litter of eight Pug/ sumo wrestlers. His stout, fawn-colored siblings had tightly curled tails and furrowed brows that seemed to ask the perpetual question, “What?” Gunter weighed one pound. He was black, his eyes turned outward, and his tail stuck out like half a parenthesis. Once Gunter snapped at his veterinarian, who said, “Pugs, they don’t like to be messed with.” This has become our family’s mantra when things don’t make sense in the human world. —Carole Lambert

Seemingly unapproachable Until the white dog appears Tail twitching Anticipating A new friend to be made His countenance softens "Come here puppy" She approaches Ears and tail at half-mast Caring nothing of his appearance Or demeanor He talks to her like a precious child

I’ve Never Seen This Day Before (To my Lily-pad) I’ve never seen this day before You didn’t greet me at the door The sun came up, the day went on The birds in the trees sang their songs The news was told, traffic went by No one but me wondered why

And she becomes just that.

I’ve never seen this day before

—Tim McHenry

The world should stop, I swore For this day was missing someone

A Masterpiece Pooka came from a farm in Chaparral. Dad and I almost snatched one of the lively pups bouncing around us when the owner presented Pooka, sporting Brillo pad hair, a possum tail, beady eyes, and tiny ears. I secretly wondered if she was all dog. I blurted, “Just what I want!” The lady, caught off guard, responded, “She is?” Relieved, she handed me the pup. Dad laughed, shaking his head while I embraced Pooka. She developed a luxurious coat, a pleasure to touch. Her ears blossomed. Her eyes became loving orbs. Her tail plumed into a masterpiece. Pooka became glorious.—Joyce Whiteside

Someone very special, you see But no one even noticed No one other than me This day was missing someone As I myself am too The someone that is missing Is none other than you —Callie Rickard.

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