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Lure Coursing

February 10, 2012

Courteous Canine has started a new program – Lure Coursing

“Lure coursing is a humane sport that makes use of a lure—usually a plastic bag, that is pulled by a motor around a course of pulleys. ”

From the site of Lure Coursing Fanatics

“Lure Coursing is a performance event developed in the early 70’s by Lyle Gillette and other California sighthound fanciers who hunted jackrabbits in the open field, which risked the harm caused by barbed wire fencing. They invented lure coursing as a safer, more controlled sport for sighthounds that would recreate the physical requirements of open field coursing, allowing them to continue testing the functional abilities of their sighthounds. The hounds chase plastic bags on a course laid out to simulate escaping game.”

However now it is for all types of dogs.

Here is a video

Subaru Dog Commercials

February 4, 2012

These are some great commercials featuring dogs. I can imagine it was an interesting training situation.




“Selecting The Top Dry Dog Foods for Your Dog” – Whole Dog Journal

February 1, 2012

The Whole Dog Journal is out with its annual article on “Selecting The Top Dry Dog Foods for Your Dog

Some excerpts:

Now take a good long look at your dog. Is she the quintessential “picture of health”? Lean, fit, mentally sharp, with a glossy coat, clear eyes, and a reasonably pleasant odor? Are her poops medium-firm, neither rock hard nor gloppy piles of goop? If not – if she’s fat or too-thin, her coat is a smelly, greasy, or patchy mess, and she’s prone to itching, sores, incessant self-grooming, weepy eyes, endless farting, constipation or diarrhea, you need to choose a new food! All of these are unhealthy conditions that will improve with a better diet.”

“Dogs, like us, are individuals; what works for your overweight Labrador will not be appropriate for my high-energy hunting dog. Your dog may have an allergy or be unable to tolerate a certain ingredient or even several ingredients. The point is, you shouldn’t buy just any good food; your purchase should be customized to your individual dog’s needs.”

“You may have been told that it’s bad to switch foods, or you may have had a bad experience when your dog ate something different and unauthorized (by you) and erupted in gas or diarrhea. With most dogs, the more you change foods, the more robust and capable their digestion becomes. When fed a limited diet, the breadth of their production of digestive enzymes and the variety of the bacteria in their guts are reduced. You can speed the adjustment by adding digestive enzymes, probiotic, and prebiotic supplements, to help the gut recolonize itself with digestion-aiding agents.

A related article is “Hallmarks of Quality Dog Food (What to Look For)

What you want is:

*Lots of animal protein at the top of the ingredients list.
*An animal protein meal in a supporting role when a fresh meat is first on the ingredient list.
*Whole vegetables, fruits, and grains.
*A “best by” date that’s at least six months away.

What you don’t want are:

*Meat by-products or poultry by-products.
*A “generic” fat source
*Added sweeteners.
*Artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives (i.e., BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin)

Another related article is “Words Matter When Reading Dry Dog Food Labels – But Not All The Time

“Dog food manufacturers are supposed to list specific names for each ingredient in their formulations. Each food, vitamin, mineral, or other chemical (preservative, color, flavor, binder, etc.) that has been approved for use in a dog food is supposed to be listed in a certain way on the product’s ingredient list.”

“However, we’ve noticed that some companies get a little liberal with their ingredient lists; they add a few enticing adjectives to make their ingredients sound even better than (perhaps) they are.

Red Delicious Apples = apples,
Sun-Dried Alfalfa Meal = alfalfa meal
Whole Ground Brown Rice = brown rice.

Of course, the adjectives listed above make no difference to your dog at all. The embellishments are there to appeal to you, the consumer.”

“A few other adjectives do actually possess some legal significance:”

Finally “No” Power – Interpreting a Dry Dog Food Product Label

“The problem with each of these “no” statements is that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with any of those ingredients. In some of the latter cases, the pet food maker is not actually denigrating those ingredients; its trying to help the consumer identify products that contain less-common ingredients. However, the “no” approach plants a seed of doubt in the minds of many consumers. “Wait; why are potatoes bad?”

Corn, wheat, and soy have been historically overused in low-quality pet foods, in lieu of better-quality ingredients. But that doesn’t mean that the presence of any corn, wheat, or soy in a food is cause for immediate dismissal. Each contains nutrients that can be of some value when the ingredient is used in moderation in a food that is bursting with higher quality ingredients. I don’t want to see any of them in the top five or so ingredients in a food – but the appearance of one of them in an otherwise compelling food does not cause me to drop it in horror.”

A list of  all the dry dogs foods reviewed can be found via paid subscription at  Whole Dog Journal’s 2012 Dry Dog Food Review

Dominance Myths and Dog Training Realities

January 30, 2012

Invariably when people talk about dogs and dog behavior  the false concept of dominance comes up.

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers has a good web page on “Dominance Myths and Dog Training Realities

From the article: “As dog trainers and behavior counselors, we are often told by our dog owner clients that their dog is “dominant” because he or she did a particular behavior. In order to provide more insight into why dogs do the things they do, and why it is not “dominance” that leads to these behaviors, we’ve included a sampling of some of the most common ones below.”

Some myths they bust:

  1. Your dog barks at you  to tell you he’s in charge.
  2. Your dog urinates in the house to show you that she owns the “territory” and not you.
  3. Your dog believes he is in control of the kitchen and is trying to eat before you.
  4. Dogs jump up on people to assert their height and rank over you.
  5. Dogs pull on leash so they can get out in front of you and be in charge of you and the walk.
  6. Dogs push you out of the way and run through a doorway ahead of you to show you they’re in charge.
  7. Dogs who think they are boss will ignore you when you call them because they know they don’t have to obey.
  8. Dogs mount other dogs or people to show that they are dominant.
  9. Dogs get on the furniture and/or beds to show that they rule the household.

Again these are all myths and are not true.

Mutt Tunes – Sleep Dog Lullaby (Dogsong) and Dog Song2

April 2, 2010

This week’s Mutt Tunes are by the Be Good Tanyas. Sleep Dog Lullaby (Dogsong)  from their 2001 album Blue Horse  and Dogsong 2 from their 2003 album China Town.  The Be Good Tanyas are three women musicians from Vancouver, BC, playing folk/blues/country/bluegrass music.

Sleep Dog Lullaby (Dogsong)

Dogsong (aka Sleep Dog Lullaby…


written by Samantha Parton


All the dogs are haunted
And the snow melts on the grass
You were what I wanted
But the fever could not last

In the day, I am dreaming
In the night, I am cold
While the stars are up there singing
All the dogs are growing old

No regrets, they’re out the window
Frozen on the silver pane
Gone like winter, let the wind blow
Let the dogs howl at the rain

In the day, I am dreaming
In the night, I am cold
While the stars are up there singing
All the dogs are growing old

Oh the cats are in the alley
And the rats are on the wire
Time is breathless as a blossom
And it’s bursting with desire

And the dogs they wander freely
Through the streets of long gone dreams
Drift like ghosts down the backroads
All the way to New Orleans

In the day, I am dreaming
In the night, I am cold
While the stars are up there singing
All the dogs are growing old

Dog Song 2

Dogsong 2 – The Be Good Tanyas

cover by Chris Garvi

written by Samantha Parton

Out in the trees, dirt on our knees
We laid him down forever
And on that hill there it was still
As in the ever after

He lays his rest we knew it best
To lay him down so gently
And now he sleeps where moss does creep
And no more is he with me

The birds did cry, and so did i
To think of life so lonely
And in their song, I heard it long
What sadness, and what beauty

Your friend is gone, but you live on
In life you loved him fully.
But now little streams and forests dream,
And All is made more holy.

Every Friday, Mutt Tunes showcases songs with or about dogs. Email your suggestions

Mutt Watch – Week of 3-29-10

March 29, 2010


New York Times

Chilewich Creates Mats for Dogs


Sandy Chilewich, a Manhattan designer who makes place mats, floor mats and bags from woven vinyl, now makes mats for pets too.

One Last Nap Amid the Flowers


When the family dog dies, a garden fairyland loses its benevolent dignified (and tired) ruler.

New Finding Puts Origins of Dogs in Middle East


A discovery strengthens the link between the first animal to enter human society and the subsequent invention of agriculture about 10,000 years ago.

Los Angeles Times

Tennessee dog who chewed police car bumper is returned to family

Winston the dog has no problem with people. But he cannot stand police cars, specifically their bumpers. On March 14, while lying in wait for speeding

Times of Oman

AT&T sees big cash in small gizmos like dog collars

LAS VEGAS: With most Americans already toting cellphones, AT&T Inc now wants to target their dogs. A wireless dog collar set to hit the market this year is just one of a plethora of new devices the telephone company hopes will catch on with U.S. consumers.  The collar could send text messages or emails to the owner of a pet when it strays outside a certain area, or the device could allow continuous tracking of the pet.

Seattle Post Intelligencer

The Zen of Fido

At one yoga class in West Seattle, pooches and their owners are reaching a state of puppy Zen.  It’s called “doga” – the yoga class for dogs. The goal is to bring the soothing, spiritual benefits of yoga to our furry friends. Brenda Bryan just opened the studio in West Seattle about a month ago. “The dogs like it – they get stretched and massaged,” she says. “The people like it because they are spending quality time with their animal.”

Mutt Tunes – Old Shep

March 25, 2010

Get ready for a very tear jerking song.  Written by Red Foley, it has been covered by many people including Johhny Cash, Hank Snow, Walter Brennan, Elvis, and Kinky Friedman.

Old Shep – Elvis Presley


When I was a lad and old Shep was a pup
O’er hills and meadows we’d strayed
Just a boy and his dog we were both full of fun
We grew up together that way

I remember the time at the old swimming hole
When I would have drowned beyond doubt
Shep was right there to the rescue he came
He jumped in and helped pull me out

So the years sped along and at last he grew old
His eye sight was fast growing dim
Then one day the doctor looked at me and said
I can’t do no more for him Jim

With a hand that was trembling I picked up my gun
I aimed it at Shep’s faithful head
I just couldn’t do it I wanted to run
And I wished they’d shoot me instead

I went to his side and I sat on the ground
He laid his head on my knees
I stroke the best pal that a man ever found
I cried so I scaresly could see

Old Shepy he knew he was going to go
for he reached out and nipped at my hand
He looked up at me just as much as to say
We’re parting but you’ll understand

Now old Shep is gone where the good doggies go

And no more with old Shep will I roam
But if dogs have a heaven there’s one thing I know
Old Shep has a wonderful home

Old Shep – Johnny Cash
Old Shep – Walter Brennan

Spot Flea Treatments

March 22, 2010

Instead of  the  Mutt Watch this week, I will be focusing on the EPA news about  spot flea treatments.

From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

” Due to a significant increase in adverse incidents, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking a series of actions to increase the safety of spot-on pesticide products for flea and tick control for cats and dogs. Immediately, EPA will begin reviewing labels to determine which ones need stronger and clearer labeling statements. Next, EPA will develop more stringent testing and evaluation requirements for both existing and new products. EPA expects these steps will help prevent adverse reactions. In dogs and cats that can include skin effects, such as irritation, redness, or gastrointestinal problems that include vomiting or diarrhea, or effects to the nervous system, such as trembling, appearing depressed or seizures—from pet spot-on products (more)”

The Center for Public Integrity has in-depth information on the problem in several articles. “Last June Diane Bromenschenkel applied a flea-and-tick product to her English pointer, Wings, so the dog wouldn’t get ticks while hunting pheasant in the tall grasslands of western Idaho. Wings, a healthy five-year-old with a sleek white coat and a chocolate brown mask, enjoyed long walks in the woods, bacon treats, and burying things in the yard. But three months after the pesticide (Bio Spot Spot On Flea and Tick Control for Dogs – containing 45 percent solution of the active ingredient permethrin) was applied, the animal was dead (more)”

“. . . .At least 1,600 pet deaths related to spot on treatments with pyrethroids were reported to the EPA over the last five years, according to an analysis of EPA pesticide incident exposure data by the Center for Public Integrity. That is about double the number of reported fatalities tied to similar treatments without pyrethroids, such as Frontline and Advantage — although these products also have critics. . . .

. . .The concentrations of pyrethroids in over-the-counter spot on pet treatments range from a 40 percent to an 85 percent solution, eight to 17 times stronger than the strongest pyrethroid product currently approved for use on humans . . .

. . .But for some pet advocates, the misapplication explanation misses the point. The Humane Society of the United States has heard this reasoning before, but still recommends pet owners avoid over-the-counter spot on products and only use treatments recommended by veterinarians, according to Stephanie Shain, the organization’s director of outreach. “With the number of complaints we get it seems like an extraordinarily high rate of problems,” she said. “Even if it is owner error much of the time, something is not working the way it should be. I think at the very least there need to be much stronger warnings on those products cautioning pet owners about the dangers involved with using them.” . . .

Other articles by the Center
Cautionary Tales Bad Reactions and Frantic Trips to the Vet
Pet Owners Find Little Comfort in Court Tough Cases, Modest Payments
Flea Poisons: The Danger to Humans EPA Believes Risks Are Acceptable; Others Aren’t so Sure

Dr’s Foster and Smith provided a web page with a “brief description of the various categories of active ingredients found in today’s flea and tick preventives.” They also have a Flea & Tick Products for Dogs Comparison Chart which provides a more detailed overview of products containing these ingredients.

Pyrethroids (permethrin, phenothrin, etofenprox, fenvalorate) – “Pyrethroids are synthetic relatives of natural pyrethrins. They are made in a laboratory and have a longer-lasting effect than pyrethrins. Examples of pyrethroids include permethrin (found in Bio Spot SPOT ON® for Dogs and K9 Advantix) and etofenprox (found in Bio Spot SPOT ON® for Cats). Pyrethroids are often used in the environment to kill and repel ticks, fleas, lice, and mosquitoes. Many pyrethroids cannot be used on cats, so be sure to check the label for safety. Etofenprox (Bio Spot SPOT ON® Cats) is a pyrethroid that is labeled safe to use on cats.

Fipronil – “Fipronil (found in Frontline and Frontline Plus) is the most commonly used ingredient in a relatively new group of synthetic insecticides called arylheterocycles. These compounds block the passage of chlorine through cells in the insect’s nervous system, causing paralysis. In Frontline and Frontline Plus, fipronil is mixed with an oil carrier, and collects in the sebaceous (oil) glands of the skin, then is slowly released. Because of this, it is water-resistant. Fipronil gives excellent protection against ticks, and adult fleas, but does not prevent flea eggs and larvae from developing. For protection against all stages of the flea life cycle, we recommend Frontline Plus, which contains fipronil plus the Insect Growth Regulator methoprene, described below.”

Others from their website: Insect Growth Regulators (methoprene, pyriproxyfen (Nylar™), fenoxycarb), Insect Development Inhibitors (lufenuron, diflubenzuron), Imidacloprid, Amitraz, Selamectin, Nitenpyram

SAFETY TIPS  for pet owners from the EPA:

Consult your veterinarian about the best way to to protect your pets from fleas and ticks and whether pesticides are even needed.

Use extra care before use on weak, aged, medicated, sick, pregnant, or nursing pets, or on pets that have previously shown signs of sensitivity to pesticide products.

If you use a spot-on product or any other pesticide on your pet, carefully read and follow the product label.

Use flea and tick control products only on the animal specified by the product label – for example, dog products for dogs only and cat products for cats only.
Follow any label prohibitions against use on weak, aged, medicated, sick, pregnant, or nursing pets, or on pets that have previously shown sensitivity to pesticide products. Apply only the amount indicated for the size of the animal being treated.

Do not apply to kittens or puppies unless the product label specifically allows this treatment. Pay attention to the age restrictions for puppies and kittens on the label.

Monitor your pet for side effects or signs of sensitivity after applying the product, particularly when using the product on your pet for the first time. Do not apply spot-ons to pets known to be sensitive to pesticide products.

If your pet experiences an adverse reaction, immediately bathe the pet with mild soap and rinse with large amounts of water.

Keep the package with the product container (such as individual applicator tubes). Also keep the package after treatment in case adverse effects occur. You will want to have the instructions at hand, as well as contact information for the manufacturer.

Mutt Tunes – Dog Dreams

March 19, 2010

Dog Dreams as performed by The Story from the album Grace in Gravity 1992

Dog Dreams – The Story


Me and Rex took the car,
Ha, ha, stay home . . . stay.
We’re gonna run over
All the neighborhood cats,
‘Cause they tease us from
The other side of the fence.
We’re gonna go in the swamp
And you can’t hose us off.
Dog dreams, dog dreams,
Please don’t wake us up!

No bad dog, no stay,
No basement, no way,
No choke chain, no dry food,
No fetch game, no, no, no . . .

no sit, lie down, roll over, shame…shame on you.

Me and Rex took the car
ha, ha, stay home. Stay.
We’re gonna go through everyone’s garbage
And have the dinners we deserve.
We’re gonna find some great smelling bitches
and see if they meant what they said from the end of the leash.
Dog dreams, dog dreams, please don’t hose us off.


And…not my tickle spot.

Mutt Watch – Week of 3-14-10

March 15, 2010


USA Today / The Indianapolis Star

Dogs’ lives may offer answers

By Dan McFeely
Purdue University researcher David Waters hopes a bunch of old dogs will be able to teach scientists news tricks about aging and cancer. Waters has embarked on a 23-day trek across the country to meet face-to-snout with 15 of the oldest-living Rottweilers in the United States. Waters, head of the Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation at the Purdue Research Park, West Lafayette, Ind., has been leading a research team that studies aging and cancer in pet dogs. Over the past three years, the team has compiled a database of scientific data on 140 Rottweilers through breeders and fan clubs. Only 15 are still alive, prompting Waters to put together his “Old Grey Muzzle tour.”  “These dogs have lived 30% longer than average,” Waters said. “They have dodged cancer and we believe studying them can shed light on what it takes to live well (more)

St. Louis Today

FDA looks into complaints about dog treats made in Mo.

The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing concerns that a Missouri-produced pet treat has caused serious illness or death in dogs, a spokesman said Thursday.  The FDA is looking into complaints about Real Ham Bone for Dogs, sold throughout the U.S., an agency spokesman said. If warranted, he said, it will take appropriate action and notify the public. The product — a smoked pig femur sold as a dog treat or chew bone — is distributed under the Dynamic Pet Products label of Frick’s Quality Meats in Washington, Mo (more)

The Guardian

Hachiko: A Dog’s Tale

Philip French

Richard Gere is a musicologist in Lasse Hallström’s saccharine shaggy-dog story . . .There’s a statue in Edinburgh to Greyfriars Bobby, the Skye terrier who sat by his master’s grave for 14 years in the 1860s. His tale has been filmed, as has that of his Japanese equivalent, an Akita dog called Hachiko, whose years of waiting for his late master at Shibuya station in the 1930s is also commemorated by a bronze statue. For no very good reason Hachiko’s story has been re-created in an idyllic Rhode Island community, where a Japanese puppy turns up one day by accident and is adopted by commuting musicologist Richard Gere and his wife (more).


PC World

FujiFilm’s Latest Camera Aims at Dogs, Cats

Martyn Williams – ‎Mar 12, 2010‎

If you own a dog or a cat then there’s a good chance you’ve spent hours with a camera trying — and probably failing — to get a perfect picture of them. Now, technology is coming to the rescue.  FujiFilm’s Finepix Z700 features a face-detection function that can recognize canine and feline faces, and it can snap a picture automatically when they look towards the camera lens. . .

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