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Training older dogs keeps the mind young

The other day I was in the office supply store and found my heart racing. I looked at the pens and pencils, the notebooks and back packs that line the aisles this time of year, and all I could think about was how great it would be to go back to school. This is not […]
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Teaching a shy dog to have more confidence

Q: We have had our dog Schageh for about three years now, and he is still fearful, even of us. He was in the shelter system for about a year before we got him. He is more confident when the other dogs in the house are near us, but doesn’t like to be by people […]
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Prepare pet for baby's arrival

At the shelter the other day, a young couple was waiting to adopt a Labrador retriever puppy. The puppy was bouncing around and the couple was smothering him with attention. I was distraught over this possible adoption. The woman was pregnant and only a few weeks from having a baby. I guessed she was adopting […]
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How to handle your dog's leash aggression

Dear Cathy: I have a 3-year-old terrier mix that loves to go for walks. She is usually friendly with other dogs, but not when she is on a leash. When she meets a dog face-to-face on a leash, there is usually some ugly growling exchanged. Her ears go back and her hackles go up. How […]
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"Resident dogs" are usually the biters

In a sensational world, headlines about dog bites and canine aggression tend to focus on certain breeds rather than the circumstances that create these behaviors. If you really want to understand canine behavior, then you need to know there are two types of dogs living in the United State, according to the National Canine Research […]
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Take the jump out of your dog

The other day while teaching a pets and babies class for new parents-to-be, I asked the group what their biggest concern was about their pets and babies interacting. On this day, the concerns were almost unanimous: Everyone who had dogs was concerned about their dog’s jumping behavior. Rambunctious pooches jump because they are excited and […]
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Dogs don't always listen? Here's why

Letters about “stubborn dogs” that don’t seem to listen flood my e-mail. Margie G. says, “Whenever we go for walks, I say my dog’s name, but she doesn’t turn her head to look at me.” Gina says she must ask her dog to “sit” several times before her dog will even think about complying. “What […]
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Why do dogs like squeaky things?

Does your dog go crazy every time you bring home a squeaky toy. Does he grab it and shake his head back and forth as if he is trying to kill it. After the squeaker stops working, does he drops the toy and never touch it again. Well, once upon a time, when dogs hunted […]
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Can dogs watch TV?

A reader says her mom’s dog Jack watches TV. “He actually follows objects as they move across the screen and loves animal shows and sports shows that my dad turns on,” she says. “Is this really possible?”  Many people say their dogs watch TV and it seems they really are following some of the action on […]
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Dogs as smart as two to three year olds

When it comes to intelligence, the latest researchs shows dogs are apparently as smart as two to three year old kids. They can comprehend about 165 words, learn signals, and can even count up to about 5, according to Stanley Coren, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia and author of ” How Dogs […]
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Top ten wild animals that most commonly attack pets

Wild animals can and do attack our pets, leaving lacerations, bite wounds, puncture, and soft tissue trauma — and a trip to the pet emergency room for you. Snakebites, which are the most commonly reported injuries, may require anti-venom whereas scorpion stings may cause allergic reactions requiring antihistamines. Treatment may vary depending on the severity of the attack and […]
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Unsafe levels of fluoride found in dog food

The Environmental Working Group recently commissioned an independent study and discovered that eight national brands of dog food, marketed to puppies and adults, had unsafe levels of fluoride. In fact, the fluoride was 1.6 to 2.5 times higher than what the EPA has deemed a safe amount in human drinking water. Why is excessive fluoride a problem for […]
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Report sheds light on pit bull attacks

DogsBite.org, a national dog bite victims’ group, released their 2008 report on pit bulls shot for public safety reasons. The 20-page report documents 373 incidences in which U.S. law enforcement officers and citizens were forced to shoot a dangerous pit bull to prevent an attack or to stop an ongoing attack. The report tracked 12 […]
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Pick up after your pet; President Bush does

Former President George W. Bush appeared at a reception for high school seniors in New Mexico recently and talked about life outside the Oval Office, which including walking his dog, Barney.  “There I was, former president of the United States of America, with a plastic bag on my hand,” he said. “Life is returning back to normal.” […]
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Why do dogs hump?

One day, while giving a tour to some middle school students of the shelter, two dogs began humping.  The kids giggled and pointed, whispering under their breath to each other that the dogs were having sex. Certainly, that would seem to be the case, except the dogs were both females. Here was the perfect opportunity […]
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Rescue Waggin' gives pets a guaranteed second chance

Meet Ernie. He is the 25,000th dog to take a life-saving ride on a PetSmart Charities® Rescue Waggin’® vehicle. The Rescue Waggin’ program, which celebrated its 5th anniversary this month, is a unique shelter transport program operated by PetSmart Charities, a nonprofit organization, that moves adoptable dogs from shelters with very high pet populations to shelters elsewhere […]
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Scientists study what dogs are thinking

When it comes to studying animal behavior, dogs have rarely been on the top ten list. Not since Pavlov became interested in learning the secrets of a dog’s digestive responses have scientists given much attention to canines in the animal behavior arena. But today, Harvard scientists are wondering what dogs are thinking and using a series of […]
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100 people cited for chaining their dogs

In Macon, Georgia, 100 dog owners were cited for chaining their dogs outside. And I say hooray to the city for boldy enforcing its chained dog ordinance. Last year, Macon passed an ordinance outlawing the chaining of dogs and cats and gave pet owners sufficient time to build runs or fences to secure their pets. Pet owners may […]
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AKC releases most popular breeds for 2008 (and 1884)

The American Kennel Club’s top ten most popular breeds for 2008 shows the Labrador Retriever in the #1 spot for the 18th year in a row. There were twice as many Labs registered last year than any other breed making it a likely leader for many years to come. Docile and easy-going, it’s easy to see why people love […]
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"Hotel for Dogs" features former shelter pets

  In the movie “Hotel for Dogs,” many of the 35 plus dogs on the set, according to American Humane, were once former shelter dogs.  In fact, 75 to 80 percent of pets in film are discovered in animal shelters only to be adopted by cast or crew after the filming ends, they say. It seems only […]
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Obama family down to Labradoodle or Portuguese Water Dog

President-elect Obama announced this week that their family has narrowed down their dog choices to two possibilities – the Portuguese Water Dog and the Labradoodle. One is a curly-headed mop top, the other a relaxed version of a poodle. Both shed very little, which is what the Obama’s were looking for in a pet since […]
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Elephant and dog: two unlikely animals become BFF's

BFF — the text jargon meaning “best friends forever” — may not just be the mantra of young girlfriends, but the pledge of happy elephants too. According to a story on CBS Sunday Morning, elephants arriving at the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee seek out the special friendship of a single pachyderm at the sanctuary, a best friend they can spend most […]
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New Year's resolutions learned from dogs and cats

While everyone is pondering their New Year’s resolutions, I have decided to venture forth this year as if my dogs and cats were my closest advisors. Here’s what pets teach about the important things in life. There’s always time to stop and smell stuff. Sticking to your diet means eating only what’s on your plate, not the plate itself. Ice cubes can be good […]
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Training remedies for Marley-like pups

As an animal person who has spent 20 years helping people better understand their pets, the movie Marley and Me was a bit stressful. While everyone was giggling and laughing at Marley’s on-screen antics, I found myself clutching my seat and making mental notes of what they could do to get Marley under control. I […]
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10 tips for selecting the right dog – for you – at an animal shelter

You can see him through the cage door just begging for attention: cute little brown eyes, soft plushy ears, and a wagging tail, designed to pull on your heart strings. It’s so easy to lose your heart at an animal shelter. There are so many adorable animals vying for your attention that you may find yourself wanting to […]
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Treating dogs fairly, important to other dogs

The very first test on dogs to see how they perceived fairness was conducted and much like primates, the results, reported in the December 8, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that dogs had a real sense of what humans would call “fair play.” Researchers asked a dog to shake a paw. The dog would […]
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Tips on finding your lost dog or cat

Losing a pet is very stressful and a cause for anxiety. As you worry about your pet’s whereabouts and safety, you might not be thinking straight, so it can be helpful to have a handy “to do” list to make sure you cover all your bases. By following a few simple tips, you will stand a […]
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Top 10 most popular–and unusual–dog and cat names of 2008

When you can name your pet after anything from good fortune (Lucky) to food and drink (Muffin and Brandy), you would think that we would be much more original with the names we select for our pets. But, it turns out, that most people select the same names over and over again. When my sister […]
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Top 10 reasons people give for giving up their dogs

It’s a myth to think that most pets end up at shelters because they have behavior problems. The truth is, most pets are turned into shelters because of changes in people’s lives, which means there are lots of great pets at shelters — and lots of people who have trouble adjusting to change. Here’s a […]
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Poor economy hurts dogs and cats too

A poor economy means that more pets are ending up in animal shelters than ever before. Shelters all across the nation report rising populations, as people surrender their dogs and cats in record numbers. And, as people hold on tighter to their purse strings, shrinking donations are leaving animal shelters with fewer resources to care for this […]
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10 Steps to Starting a Dog Park

Looking for a place for your dog to run and play off-leash? If you don’t already have a dog park in your community, your dog may thank you for helping to get one started. Dog parks exist thanks to determined dog lovers working together to bring this dedicated play area to the community. If your […]
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The truth about cat people and dog people

Among the many burning questions that perplex our society today, none is more debated in low whispering voices than whether or not you are a dog or cat person.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Cat people claim to love the independent nature of their pets, while dog people go with the loyalty factor as a reason for their partiality. Cat people hold […]
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Cleaning tips for people with dogs and cats

Cleaning up after your pets has never been easier, thanks to the new pet cleaning products available today. You don’t have to settle for dark stains on the carpet, pet hair all over the house, or an obnoxious odor. In fact, many of today’s cleaning products can remove any trace “an accident” ever happened. It’s just […]
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