April 24, 2012

Quiet Down You Animal: Incessant Barking Banned

Filed under: dogs — Tags: , — Dr. Amber Reed @ 8:56 am

“Sir, do you know how long, and how loud you were barking?”

“Woof!”

“That’s the problem right there, Sir.”

Hawaii County has taken action against a new breed of criminals that has overrun the calm audible Archipelago with a new breed of social disruption: dogs barking to excess. A new law that some view as “draconian” and infringing on rights enables police officers to fine dog owners several hundred dollars in the event that “barks, bays, cries, or howls” continue for ten minutes interrupted, or for twenty minutes out of thirty intermittently.

Despite these objections, some residents view this legislation as the only way to deal with the near-constant assault on their ear drums. Some residents point out that they need to sleep with fans next to the heads just to drown out the barking in an attempt to fall asleep at night. Despite what you might expect from such a heating scenario, the residents in question are not cool such an arrangement.

Hawaii enables dogs that fall outside of the law to get professional help as part of a plea deal so as to allow dog owners to retain their canines.

Carl Oguss, who runs the East Hawaii Dog Psychology Centre, explains that excessive dog barking is the result of boredom of the part of the animal. He urges pet owners to take their dogs for walks and to engage in play dates with other dogs so as to curb this behavior.

“You have to focus on the cause as well as how to correct the symptoms,” he said of incessant barkers.

Carl Oguss is a self-professed ‘dog whisperer’ and teaches Hawaii County pet owners on how to communicate with their pets in this fashion.

While there are seemingly plenty of arguments present to support a world where the police do not patrol the streets for animal sounds, it should be noted that this law shows spots of compassion for the instinctual nature of canines, and the eventuality that situations will arise to provoke such innate responses—for example, the law allows dogs to bark over the allotted time limit if their owner is being physically attacked.

Hawaii (in particular Honolulu) describes a particular nightmare with noisy dogs, but they are not alone in their legislative actions. California has also imposed similar constraints on dog barking, with a few towns having set time limits on how long is too long.

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February 17, 2012

First Dog, Bo Obama

Filed under: dogs — Dr. Amber Reed @ 2:44 pm
Source: www.whitehouse.gov
'First Dog,' Bo

The Obama’s male Portuguese Water Dog, Bo, has been colloquially referred to as the “First Dog,” and after six months of intense anticipation Bo is finally arrived, and now starting to get comfortable at the White House.

Bo’s arrival was not without a hefty degree of scrutiny and criticism, however. You see, Bo was a gift from the Kennedy family, and so is not technically adopted from an animal shelter. This has some animal rights activists upset because the Presidential dog represent more than just a family having a dog; that aside, the Obamas seemed to indicate that they would adopt from an a shelter, and then they did not.

Cesar Milan, esteemed dog expert, has argued on behalf of the Obama’s, citing Bo as a ‘rescue dog,’ or a dog that is on its second home. This quelled the cries of the critics somewhat. The Obamas have also made statements acknowledging the need for them to reconsider a second dog.

Bo was bred by Julie Parker of Erie County, Pennsylvania, and is one of the nine littermates of the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s Portie named Cappy (Amigo’s Captain Courageous.) In fact, the litter as a whole was named “Hope and Change” in honor of Obama’s victory.

Bo is quite the dog. Manuel Roig-Franzia, of the The Washington Post, was granted exclusive initial access to Bo for the print media. She described the puppy: “Bo’s a handsome little guy. Well suited for formal occasions at the White House, he’s got tuxedo-black fur, with a white chest, white paws and a rakish white goatee.”

Here are some things that you might not have known about Bo:

His first living arrangement didn’t work out — Bo was originally intended to keep the company of an older female, but instead he ended up giving her a headache by trying to nurse on her. Oops. Bo didn’t figure out that not every bigger dog is its mother.

He comes from a sturdy stock — Bo’s mother, Penny, is an especially “pushy,” alpha-type dog, even in the presence of the actual male alpha father. Bo’s grown up around some tough cookies.

He was a presidential dog in training for weeks — Presidential dogs do not go through a simple series of “sit” and “stay” lessons; they are put through secret, intense training, in this case by the same dog trainer that the Kennedy’s used.

He has a talented older brother — Bo learned from the best. Everything that he learned early in life he learned from his big brother.

Bo will grow up to be big and lanky— Bo’s breeder says that because Bo was neutered quite early as a puppy, he will likely grow up to be nice and tall. He should fit in with the Obamas then, with Barack measuring in at just over 6′, and Michelle in a close second at 5’11”.

August 26, 2010

Dogs with Jobs

Filed under: dogs — Dr. Amber Reed @ 8:26 am

Dogs are known to work in various fields from therapy to the military; but one role that dogs particularly thrive in is service work.  There are a range of service positions that dogs fill, including protection, rescue, and assistance and this article will discuss the four main areas of service that dogs provide.

  • Assistance dogs are those dogs that are trained to help people with developmental or physical disabilities.  Assistance dogs help their owners live more independently and generally improve their quality of life.  While guide dogs for the blind are the most common example of assistance dogs, there are other areas where they can provide assistance.  Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Samoyed, and Collies are all examples of breeds used for assistance work.
  • Rescue dogs are used on search-and-rescue teams in a variety of situations.  From outdoor rescues, to working in disaster areas, dogs can sniff out survivors and help save lives.  Saint Bernards, Newfoundlands, and Portuguese Water Dogs make great rescue dogs because of their intelligence, strength, stamina, and skill.
  • Guard dogs are basically canine bodyguards.  Protection dogs must be smart, strong, devoted, and require extensive training to protect their owners and their homes.  These dogs are also usually a family pet so require an owner who is direct and confident, yet loving and calm.  Doberman Pinschers, Standard Schnauzers, and Boxers are common examples of protection dogs.
  • Sled dogs are larger dogs with strong legs and a hard working disposition.  They pull sleds over snow and ice so they must also be accustomed to colder weather.  These dogs are usually more comfortable in colder weather and breeds such as the Samoyed, Siberian Husky, and Alaskan Malamute are the most common sled dogs.

Dogs make great pets, but when trained properly, they can provide invaluable services to their owners and the community at large.

August 18, 2010

Keeping Your Dog Cool This Summer

Filed under: dogs — Tags: , , , , — Dr. Amber Reed @ 8:37 am

We’re down to the final weeks of August and summer has rapidly coming to an end. It is usually during these weeks that we see some of the hottest temperatures ever. To fully enjoy the amazing weather, it is important to keep both you and your pet safe.

Some precautions that pet owners can take include:

Don’t Overdo It With the Exercise

In really hot weather it is quite easy for your pet to suffer heat stroke, especially if the hot weather is accompanied by vigorous exercise. Your pet will enjoy running around for as long as you want it to. Has a dog ever wanted to stop playing fetch? As a pet owner you should take your dog out early in the morning or in the evening when it is cooler outside.

Keep Your Pet Hydrated

Becoming dehydrated can also lead to heat stroke. It is important to have a ready supply of water available to your dog at all times. Hosing your pet down every so often will also help them stay cool.

Frozen Treats!

Just as you probably enjoy drink milk shakes, smoothies or eating Popsicle and ice cream your dog to would enjoy some cold treats. Giving your pet some ice cubes to lick would be greatly appreciated by your dog. In addition, you can even add some flavors to the ice or add some food to it such as chicken. The treats would be tasty and cool!

Apply Sun Protection

Dogs need protection from UV lights. You can apply natural sunscreen that even humans use or buy pet sunscreen from the pet store.  Areas such as the ears, nose, and abdomen are very susceptible to the sun.

Do Not Leave Your Pet In the Car

This is one of the biggest no-no’s. A parked car on a hot day, regardless if the windows are open heats up very quickly. If you were to leave your pet in there even for a little while they would feel a great deal of discomfort and may even suffer from heat stroke.

I hope the tips helped and that you have a great summer!

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.