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When is a good time for spaying or neutering your dog?

Ideal Timing for Spaying or Neutering of These Breeds

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to health risks and the age at which a dog is neutered or spayed. Risks are highly dependent on breed, and for some, age at desexing doesn’t matter. This study puts the brakes on automatic early-age desexing and suggests a better alternative.

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5 Subtle Signs Your Dog Dislikes Children

If your dog feels uncomfortable with newcomers, especially children, don’t expect to see the obvious signs right away, like growling, snarling or snapping. To head off an unfortunate encounter, watch for these subtle signs indicating stress may be building in your pet.

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Live Near Water? Be Aware of This Deadly Fungus

Most dogs who become infected with this soil and rotting wood fungus live within a quarter mile of a river bank, lake or swamp. This unfortunate yellow Lab went swimming just once before becoming ill, only to die eight days later from the fungus. Know what to watch if symptoms appear.

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The Only Sure Way to Know if Your Pet Is Immune to Disease

Did you know that vaccinations don’t always provide adequate protection against disease? There’s only one way to know for sure if your pet has the immunity he needs, but many conventional veterinarians push back vehemently against the practice. Fortunately, this may be changing.

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‘Green’ up Your Indoor Space With Pet-Friendly Plants

As the days grow shorter and cooler, it’s not too soon to start planning and creating your own indoor oasis of lush greenery. Just be sure to choose wisely – many popular houseplants aren’t safe for cats and dogs. Check out these seven pet-friendly tropical plants that thrive indoors.

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Raising a puppy for a guide dog school

I do not endorse any of the schools mentioned below, however, the information is good regardless of my opinion of their acceptance of applicants.

Raise a puppy to be a guide dog. By LAUREN KATIMS.

Imagine blindfolding yourself and letting your dog lead you down the stairs, out of your house or apartment, around the block and back home. Sounds risky, right? My Chiweenie and I would never make it past my front door without an injury.

Guide dogs get extensive training for five to nine months, depending on the organization, to succeed with these tasks. Their guidance helps visually impaired or blind people go to work, navigate busy airports, avoid traffic and many other unexpected obstacles. How do these dogs get accustomed to so many different scenarios?

Most of this work is done before the official guide dog training even starts.

At 7 to 8 weeks old, the puppy lives with a foster family, just like yours or mine, called a puppy raiser, which has the job of raising the dog to be socially adaptable, well-mannered and calm in various situations.

“We rely pretty heavily on our puppy raisers to get the dogs off to a strong start,” says Kerry Lemerise, program manager of puppy raising at Guiding Eyes for the Blind, based in New York, which has 39 regional centers along the East Coast.

Once the puppy turns 14 to 16 months, he graduates and goes into the guide dog training program before being paired with his new life partner. No experience is required to be a puppy raiser-the guide dog organizations provide all the guidance and training necessary. All you need is the time, patience and understanding that you’ll eventually say goodbye when your dog graduates.

Here, two organizations that train guide dogs for people with vision loss, talk about the puppy raisers’ responsibilities and how they help change lives for hundreds of visually impaired people each year.

Socializing the puppy.

Each organization wants a wide range of puppy raisers, from singles to large families to homes with other pets, because that represents the diversity of the clients who will be matched with the service dogs after graduation. “We want every type of home imaginable,” says Eric Gardell, supervisor of the puppy raiser department at Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Fidelco breeds their own German Shepherd Dogs, which are known for loyalty and intelligence.

Families are encouraged to expose the dog to as many situations as possible -the very same experiences the dog will be required to handle as a guide dog. This includes taking them through airport security, up and down stairs, to busy restaurants, work and through grocery stores. The goal is to raise a dog who is unfazed by cats, children, traffic or tempting buffet tables. “The puppy raisers are invaluable,” Eric says. “They are making a dog that someone else can live with.

Training weekly.

As dog owners, we want our dogs to have good manners: no excited jumping on neighbors or barking at passing dogs, no digging holes in the backyard and no chewing on shoes. But for service dogs, obedience skills are necessary for a successful partnership. “Our clients have higher needs for good house manners,” says Kerry, from Guiding Eyes. “You might think it’s OK if your dog picks up a shoe and moves it, but for our clients, that could mean being late to work.

Each family is required to bring their puppies to a weekly training class, and eventually every other week, where obedience skills like nice leash manners, proper vet and groomer etiquette, walking under different leveled underpasses, distraction avoidance and basic commands are taught.

Guiding Eyes breeds Labrador Retrievers because of their trainability, flexibility in different situations, and comfortability around people, Kerry says.

Graduating.

Ken Bernhard, a lawyer in Connecticut, is currently fostering his seventh German Shepherd Dog puppy, Gypsy, through Fidelco. He became so inspired by his experience raising his first puppy in 1989, he succeeded in getting a law passed to allow dogs in training to go into public places, and also now serves as the organization’s chairman of the board.

The hardest part is saying goodbye, he admits, but even so, “there isn’t a person who would say it wasn’t the most rewarding and interesting experience. For this reason, many puppy raisers come back time and time again. Both organizations have families on their 20th puppy.

“Initially (people) come to us because they love dogs,” says Kerry, who estimates about 70 percent of puppy raisers return at least a second time. “Then they meet our graduates, and it becomes this really powerful experience.

 

More people walking dogs, not as happy

People are walking their dogs more during coronavirus but enjoying it less – The Washington Post

By  Karin Brulliard August 13, 2020 at 4:16 p.m. EDT

Sir Drew, an 8-year-old Airedale, passes dozens of other dogs on his daily walks near the shores of Lake Michigan. Normally the pets might exchange a friendly

sniff, but these days, his owner says, “we just pull back and he gets a firm ‘no.’ ”

Jasper, a 3-year-old goldendoodle, doesn’t hit the beach in Portland, Maine, as often as he used to and hardly ever visits dog parks, his owner explains,

“because they aren’t sanitized, and there’s no way to control who comes.”

Just as the novel

coronavirus

pandemic has upended our daily lives, it has also changed those of our pets, many of which are getting a lot more attention and a lot more walks. But

for many dogs and their owners, those walks have also changed: They are imbued with new anxieties, altered routines and carefully modified routes.

Where once there might have been sociable butt-sniffs between canines, now there are sometimes awkward interactions between strangers who don’t share the

same protocols on social distancing for dogs. Passersby are offering fewer caresses, and dog owners are more often turning down other people’s requests

to pet for fear of unfamiliar hands depositing the virus on fur. Leashes are helping keep people six feet apart, but more of them on the sidewalks present

new entangling hazards.

And then there are the masks obscuring humans’ faces, which some dogs aren’t huge fans of. Jasper doesn’t seem to mind them much, but he “feels defensive,”

said his owner, Jennifer Baldwin, 46, a recruiter for a consulting firm in Portland. “But I think he just senses people are on guard.”

Questions about how to navigate dog-walking in a pandemic have become familiar to veterinarians, who are advising clients based on science that is still

evolving, said Douglas Kratt, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

A

small number of pet dogs

living with coronavirus patients, including

one German shepherd

in the United States, have had confirmed infections. That has led scientists to conclude that human-to-dog transmission is possible, but there is an “extremely

low likelihood of that happening,” Kratt said. Research on those dogs and

others intentionally infected

in laboratory experiments suggests dogs are not very susceptible to the virus, show mild to no symptoms and don’t transmit it to other dogs. There’s also

no evidence of dogs spreading it to humans.

Because

relatively little research

has been done on infections and transmission in animals, experts say pet owners should stay cautious — including while walking the dog. The big idea: Dogs

should socially distance, too. If you’re not having contact with others outside your household, neither should your dog.

“My dog doesn’t see other people and doesn’t see other animals,” said J. Scott Weese, a veterinarian who studies infectious disease at the University of

Guelph in Ontario. “If I don’t let him go interact with someone, he doesn’t become a vector.”

An empty bench at the off-leash dog park at Kiwanis Park in St. Joseph, Mich. (Evan Cobb for The Washington Post) figure

An empty bench at the off-leash dog park at Kiwanis Park in St. Joseph, Mich. (Evan Cobb for The Washington Post)

An empty bench at the off-leash dog park at Kiwanis Park in St. Joseph, Mich. (Evan Cobb for The Washington Post) figure end

A small number of pet dogs living with coronavirus patients, including one German shepherd in the United States, have had confirmed infections. (Evan Cobb

for The Washington Post) figure

A small number of pet dogs living with coronavirus patients, including one German shepherd in the United States, have had confirmed infections. (Evan Cobb

for The Washington Post)

A small number of pet dogs living with coronavirus patients, including one German shepherd in the United States, have had confirmed infections. (Evan Cobb

for The Washington Post) figure end

That means crowded dog parks aren’t a good idea, Kratt said. It also means dog owners who have covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, or are

quarantining after exposure should isolate from their pooch to prevent potential transmission. If that’s impossible, he said, owners should be vigilant

about hand-washing, wear a mask around the pet and “don’t sit and nuzzle with the dog.”

Even with this guidance in mind, real-world walks can get tricky. Narrow sidewalks and trails can force those adhering to the six-foot rule onto the streets

or into thickets. And some dog-walkers are warier than others.

Baldwin said she has had “several” uncomfortable encounters while walking Jasper on the wooded trails she now favors for outings, especially in the less-crowded

early morning and dinnertime hours. In one instance, a woman walking her own dog “panicked” at more than 15 feet away, anxiously telling Baldwin that her

husband at home was immunocompromised.

“This woman asked if we would be sure to not let my dog touch her dog,” said Baldwin, who felt the reaction was a bit extreme, but understandable — her

own father is high-risk.

At the same time, Baldwin said she thinks Portland, where temporary virus-prevention measures include a ban on off-leash walking between 10 a.m. and 5

p.m., has overcorrected when it comes to dogs.

“There isn’t scientific evidence to suggest that dogs are spreading the virus, and dog owners probably have a stronger immune system when they’re able

to exercise their dogs freely without restrictions,” Baldwin said.

Dogs are known to researchers as “

social lubricants

” — animals that make it easier for strangers to strike up conversations — and all the staying home and increased neighborhood walking has led to new friendships,

some dog owners say. Yet worries about the virus have also stunted a key element of those interactions: petting.

Normally, Hoyt said, he might let Sir Drew visit with other pups, but these days, “we just pull back and he gets a firm ‘no.’ ” (Evan Cobb for The Washington

Post) figure

Normally, Hoyt said, he might let Sir Drew visit with other pups, but these days, “we just pull back and he gets a firm ‘no.’ ” (Evan Cobb for The Washington

Post)

Normally, Hoyt said, he might let Sir Drew visit with other pups, but these days, “we just pull back and he gets a firm ‘no.’ ” (Evan Cobb for The Washington

Post) figure end

Although the virus that causes covid-19 in humans

can live for hours to days

on surfaces, including cardboard and stainless steel, no one has tested its viability on the lush fur of a golden retriever, the smooth coat of a pit bull

mix or any other animal hair. Experts say it’s certainly possible that someone’s hand could deposit or pick up the virus via petting, though. More important,

they say, is that allowing caresses can bring people dangerously close together.

“Until we have a better handle on the disease itself and everything about it, I think that potentially opens up a risk factor that I’m not sure at this

point is warranted,” Kratt said.

That’s disappointing to Jamie Damato Migdal of Chicago, who was walking her chihuahua mix recently when she passed a mother with two small daughters.

“They looked at each other, and they looked back at their mom. I slowed down and I said, ‘Do you guys want to pet her?’ And both turned around and said

‘Mom, is it okay?’ And the mom said, ‘No, I’m sorry, we’re not petting dogs right now,’” Damato Migdal said. “It’s sad when that sort of basic interaction

is not safe or welcome.”

But Damato Migdal, the CEO of a company that provides online education for people who work in pet services, said she knows the mother was sticking to best

practices. Her firm, FetchFind, offers a course for

professional dog-walkers

on handling a job that now involves what it calls “a very complicated dance” of masks, hand-scrubbing and distance.

It may be tempting to smooch the doggy client, but “stick with rubs and butt scratches,” the course advises. When crossing paths with another dog-walker,

step off and turn around, to avoid engaging and sharing airspace. Keep a short leash in crowded areas, it says, “so that your dog is effectively part of

your own mobile quarantine bubble.”

Coronavirus-era dog walks, of course, are not all about stress. For J.B. Hoyt, they’re a way to cope with pandemic worries. He’s logged at least 10,000

steps daily for more than 140 days straight with Sir Drew, the Airedale, by his side.

For several weeks, the pair did it alone. Then Hoyt, 67, discussed quarantine protocols with a friend who has a puppy. Both were comfortable with the other’s

standards, and they began walking together.

“We figured if we’re outdoors and six feet apart, then we’re fine,” said Hoyt, a retired executive who lives in St. Joseph, Mich.

After hitting 100 days, Hoyt said, he lost a bit of motivation. But Sir Drew kept him going. One recent day, with the temperature in the high 80s and the

air dripping with humidity, Hoyt wasn’t so sure about the walk. Then Sir Drew began skittering back and forth near the door, brimming with enthusiasm,

Hoyt said.

They took an extra-long walk that day.

“Despite the fact that he’s 8 years old, he can act like he’s 8 weeks old,” Hoyt said. “He just loves to go, and that just motivates me.”

 

Can dogs smell COVID 19

Dogs with a few days of training are capable of identifying people infected with the coronavirus, according to a study by a German veterinary university.

Eight dogs from Germany’s armed forces were trained for only a week and were able to accurately identify the virus with a 94% success rate, according to a pilot project led by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. Researchers challenged the dogs to sniff out COVID-19 in the saliva of more than 1,000 healthy and infected people.

“We think that this works because the metabolic processes in the body of a diseased patient are completely changed,” Maren von Koeckritz-Blickwede, a professor at the university, said in a YouTube video about the project. “We think that the dogs are able to detect a specific smell.”

Dogs, which have a sense of smell around 1,000 times more sensitive than humans, could be deployed to detect infections at places such as airports, border crossings and sporting events with the proper training, according to the researchers. The study was conducted jointly with the German armed forces, the Hannover Medical School and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

Von Koeckritz-Blickwede said that the next step will be to train dogs to differentiate Covid samples from other diseases like influenza.

 

 

Someone is not practicing social distancing

The other day as the dogs were running on the mountain trail my spotter mentioned that the dog that did not get along with other dogs especially Golden retrievers was not practicing social distancing as she played with him chasing him up and down the trail.  They would take turns chasing each other through the bush.  She was a blue healer who was very affectionate.  Also because she lives in an area 50 Kms south of here she it appears does not get many off leash runs where she can run full out.  Our Golden retriever who is in charge of exercising the day care dogs or borders was easily out running the blue healer on the trail.

Dog overheating?

12 Signs Your Dog Is Becoming Overheated

It doesn’t take much to trigger heatstroke, especially when temperatures rise quickly and your dog isn’t yet adapted to the heat. Simply a lack of drinking water, humid conditions, over

12 Signs Your Dog Is Becoming Overheated

It doesn’t take much to trigger heatstroke, especially when temperatures rise quickly and your dog isn’t yet adapted to the heat. Simply a lack of drinking water, humid conditions, overexertion and obesity can all play a role. Know the symptoms of overheating and the immediate actions to take.

Read More >>exertion and obesity can all play a role. Know the symptoms of overheating and the immediate actions to take.

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