Monthly Archives: March 2019

New Strain of Canine Distemper Virus Arrives in North America

Photo by Fancycrave.com from Pexels

A young dog imported from South Korea into Western Canada last fall brought along a dangerous hitchhiker: the Asia-1 strain of canine distemper virus (CDV), which had never before been reported in North America.

Scientists at Cornell’s Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) identified the virus in samples from the dog, which they suspect was part of a shipment of animals rescued from a Korean meat market by an animal welfare organization. Dogs that are already immunized against CDV likely are not at risk from the Asian strain. But if the virus comes into contact with wildlife, it may take a serious toll on wild carnivore populations.

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What To Do About Canine Flu: Canine Influenza Type A H3N2 & H3N8

As you probably know, there is currently an outbreak of Dog Flu in the South Bay and more recently, a number of cases have cropped up in other areas around the Bay. All dog owners, including myself, are understandably concerned about what they can do to reduce the likelihood that their dogs will be infected. However, there is no need to panic. Although Canine Influenza, or dog flu, is extremely infectious, it usually causes only mild symptoms for a few days to a couple of weeks and the dogs normally make a full recovery despite treatment. Yes, complications from the flu can occasionally be…

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Betty White Interview at 96

Betty and Ponty

Betty White recently celebrated her 96th birthday. Privately, she’ll tell you that she’s glad she became an actress because she loves her work, but also because it’s given her a platform to advocate for animals. And, boy, does she adore animals, and she been advocated for animals – both wildlife and pets for about as many years as she’s been around.  I’ve interviewed her at least six or seven times, and while she at this time is not available for interviews – I thought I’d share this conversation with Betty from 2013.

Betty White is the energizer bunny. “It’s so silly, she says the 91-year old beloved actress by telephone. “I’m just an old broad who’s been around the block. People can’t get rid of me, it’s ridiculous.”

Thing is who would ever want to “get rid” of White. TV producers continue to seek out White because America can’t get enough of her. For her 90th, President Barack Obama read a “love letter” to the performer who began her career when television began 65 years ago.

No TV careers has been as celebrated or as durable. It’s not easy to maintain a career in show for one decade let alone six. Is it a matter of talent – as the expression goes – the cream rises to the top?

“No, not true,” the cream goes to the hips,” says White without missing a beat.

White has the sitcom midas touch, from “Life with Elizabeth” (in the 1950’s) to “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” to “The Golden Girls.” Today, she’s on TVland’s “Hot in Cleveland” co-starring Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendy Mallick and fellow MTM show alum Georgia Engle, who played Georgette on the MTM Show.

White and Engle reunite with Valerie Harper (recently diagnosed with a terminal cancer), Mary Tyler Moore and Cloris Leachman (“Rhoda,” “Mary,” and “Phyllis”) on upcoming episode of “Hot in Cleveland.”

“Wonderful, isn’t it?” cheers White. “I love those girls,” she adds.

Still among all the myriad of TV appearances, one of White’s favorites was a short-lived series in 1971 which she co-starred celebrities and their pets, called “The Pet Set.” Folks like Bob Crane (“Hogan’s Heroes”) or Merv Griffin showed up with their pets. White recalls one show featured a water buffalo, not a celebrity pet exactly, but from the Los Angeles Zoo (where White has been involved for over 50 years), and her association with the Morris Animal Foundation goes back about as many years.

Check in Google images, and you can find White posing cheerfully with everything from a chimpanzee to a giraffe. However, her favorite might be a surprise. Aside from a dog or cat, if she could “come back to earth” as any animal – she chooses, a moose. “I know, everyone laughs, but I’m not joking,” she says.

Moose are known for their nasty tempers, charging first and asking questions later, which doesn’t sound like the amiable Betty White America loves. “Well, you haven’t caught me on my bad days,” she says.

But she most of all she wants to talk about cats these days.

“It drives me crazy when I hear people say what they do about cats; oh, that cats are so independent they don’t care or that they are conniving. I know instantly these people have never had a cat,” she says. “They see cats from a distance, they don’t really know cats.”

She continues, “Cats can be so devoted. They think cats don’t love you like a dog loves you. That’s not true.” She pauses and adds. “My last cat was a beautiful Himalayan, he found me, just appearing one day. I thought I’d keep Mr. Bob (as in ‘Bob-Cat’) for a few days until I found the owners. Well, Mr. Bob wound up staying with me for 11 years. He was such a people-oriented guy. As my knees bent down to sit down, he was on my lap.”

She continues, “Our pets are constantly telling us things, with a purr, a bark, a tail-wag, a smile, a paw in our lap,” she says. “We’re not always so good at paying attention to them, but they’re sure good at paying attention to us. We should talk to our pets, too! What else can we do? We don’t have a tail to wag. I’d like to talk to Robert Redford, but otherwise dogs and cats are more interesting – I think – than many people.”

Instead of counting sheep or puppies, White says, “I sometimes put myself to sleep going back to the beginning, thinking about how that first relationship between dogs and people happened; I think it’s fascinating.”

Will she slow down? “From what?” she asks. “I just keep going as long as my health holds out, you won’t be getting rid of me anytime soon.” And that’s just the way America wants it.

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What To Do About Canine Flu: Canine Influenza Type A H3N2 & H3N8

As you probably know, there is currently an outbreak of Dog Flu in the South Bay and more recently, a number of cases have cropped up in other areas around the Bay. All dog owners, including myself, are understandably concerned about what they can do to reduce the likelihood that their dogs will be infected. However, there is no need to panic. Although Canine Influenza, or dog flu, is extremely infectious, it usually causes only mild symptoms for a few days to a couple of weeks and the dogs normally make a full recovery despite treatment. Yes, complications from the flu can occasionally be…

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Self-Control – The Reason You Aren’t Getting Real-Life Results (You aren’t using Real-Life Pulse!)

Close your eyes and think for one moment what is the one thing that you absolutely love to do? No-one has to pay you for it, no-one needs to ask you to do it….it lights you up, makes you feel alive, excites you…. and if you could do it right now you would do it without question…you love it THAT much?

For me that has to be something involving speed acceleration and adventure….. Like a roller coaster ride, a ride on a motorcycle, taking off on an aeroplane……. Whilst these things aren’t necessarily what excite everyone, these things I love, it’s part of my personality and I inherently enjoy doing adventurous things.

I don’t need any incentive to do any of these things, they make me feel alive, excited…. I just want to do it again and again and again…..woooo hooooo!

Now, put yourself into the shoes, or the paws of your dog, and ask the same question….?

What is the one thing that you absolutely love to do…… no one needs to ‘pay’ you for it, no one needs to ask you to do it, it lights you up, makes you feel alive, excites you, and if you could do it right now you would do it without question?  You just love it THAT much……

Now, every dog is different and every dog has a different things they truly LOVE….

  • Chase
  • Fetch
  • Carry
  • Tug
  • Hold
  • Shake
  • Grab
  • Herd
  • Dissect
  • Bark
  • Howl
  • Run
  • Swim
  • Catch…….the list goes on

They find one or more of their loves inherently enjoyable….to the exclusion of everything else.

When your dog is faced with that thing they inherently love and the desire to engage in that activity is overwhelming…..but it’s not the right time or place for you.

You’ve probably been told to compete with that thing by making yourself more exciting to be with. Maybe you’ve been advised to reward your dog with something they love, a toy, a treat…. and that will lead you to success.  In some ways it will….but only up to a point and for REAL LIFE super exciting distractions, it often fails.

WHY IS FAILURE SO COMMON? Because there’s a piece of the puzzle missing!

We just released a free video dog training series on exactly this and how you can get it with 3-Minute games – hit the link: https://nbn.absolute-dogs.com/3-minute-gamechanger-impulse-control

THE MISSING PIECE OF THE REAL-LIFE PUZZLE

What happens to your dog when they see the thing they love so much….Do they

  • Stop listening to you?
  • Go Deaf?
  • Runs towards the thing they love?
  • Fail to respond to your commands?
  • Fail to even notice you?
  • Become frantic?

Sound familiar…..?

All these things do actually happen and it’s not necessarily disobedience, it can more often be the inability to think in arousal.

Very real physiological changes can happen: hearing shuts down, tunnel vision, laser focus on the distraction…..to the exclusion of everything else around.

To achieve IMPULSE CONTROL, first you need a PULSE (create real desire for something) and when you have that real desire, ask for a simple behaviour…..can they do it?

Can they respond to your words in the face of high arousal?

If not, then you can guarantee your dog won’t recall from that squirrel, that passing jogger, that super interesting scent in the woods.

The more they get the opportunity to engage in the activity they love, the more likely they are to keep doing it.

The more they get chance to rehearse, the stronger and stronger the behaviour becomes.

So HOW do we teach our dogs to think in high arousal?

We teach our dogs the concept of self control or impulse control and we can do that through the power of games.

Let us introduce you  to one of our favourites….The Whip Game. You can watch us play it here: https://nbn.absolute-dogs.com/3-minute-gamechanger-impulse-control

Everyone loves the Whip Game – it’s so much fun and it is super high value. Possibly one of the most exciting games you could play with your dog and for sure if you have a chaser this is the game to play!

For this game all you will need is a horse lunge

whip and a fluffy toy attachment. Most dogs naturally love the whip, but if they don’t then don’t worry – you can easily develop this and we show this in the webclass: https://nbn.absolute-dogs.com/3-minute-gamechanger-impulse-control

It’s also a super way of exercising a dog with limited space or time, this game has many many endless purposes and creates that real-life self-control that will allow you to recall your dog from other dogs, critters or things they might be worried about!

Be sure to keep your sessions short, warm your dog up beforehand and cool them down afterwards.

There are 3 main stages to the game….

Step 1….Build Desire

Let them chase and win win win!

Step 2…..Flip for Control

Flip the toy and when your dog chooses to stop….

Step 3….Release to play!

….release to chase again.*

Boom!  You’re reinforcing the CHOICE to stop with the opportunity to ‘chase’….(replace ‘chase’ with any word from the list of things they love above)

(*Build on these steps first before stepping things up a gear asking for a behaviour while the chase is on to truly super charge your dogs ability to get success.)

This is HUGE!

Why is this so pivotal in the way you think about training for real life?

For a choice to be possible, your dog needs to be able to think in high arousal (when life gets exciting!)…you can’t achieve that if you never PRACTICE being able to ever think and do when life get super exciting.

In real life this is….

  • being able to sit when your dog wants to say hello to that passer by….
  • this is your dog recalling to you when a football is kicked at the park….
  • this is your dog being able to hear you say ‘middle’ when they see a dog they might normally react to….the list goes on

We are covering all of this and more in our latest free video training series for dogs that might struggle to focus, control themselves or react to things in the environment. Hit the link, we’ll see you on the other side: https://nbn.absolute-dogs.com/3-minute-gamechanger-impulse-control.

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The Changing Role & Responsibility of Rescues & Shelters

There may have been a time when colleges just had to be charged with instructing students reading, writing and arithmetic. However, as society affects schools become accountable for education which used to be offered in the home, or represents a new field of study. Once I was in high school we had a selection of […]
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Change a Dog’s Life…and Yours Too!?

After the consultation, she thought profoundly about our conversation. She thought it would be intriguing to find out what skills her new rescue dog owned. Could he have a particular gift of healing and calming? Could he be meant for much more than simply being her pet? Could he have a unique gift that she should nurture? So, she figured what the heck. Let’s give it a try. She enrolled him into a classes and certificate programs.
A client of mine rescued a dog in a local county shelter. The puppy was cute and scruffy tan terrier mix. Sort of similar to the famed movie star dog Benji. My client had gone to the county shelter hoping to find the ideal pet company for her and her family. She didn’t have any particular breed in mind and has been hoping to feel a relationship with a few of the dogs. The dog hadn’t come from some distinct pure-bred pedigree. He was potty trained, friendly, and a little mischievous and always curious about exploring everything and everybody around him. As in many cases with dogs who are adopted from an animal refuge, very little else was known about his or her background. Depending on the connection she had with the puppy, she determined it would be well worth a chance bring him home and see if he fits in with the family.
He excelled in each course and passed each test with flying colors. He’s now licensed and has logged countless hours of service work. He is in high demand and has become a local star.

Both of these see nursing homes, hospitals, children’s reading programs and numerous other amenities where he could offer healing, pleasure and love to everyone around him. Nearly every day they hop in the family vehicle and mind to some other destination. They both enjoy the volunteer job and earn great pleasure and purpose in supporting others. Not only has the scruffy rescue dog’s life changed but, his human companion’s lifestyle has shifted also. We all have a goal, even our furry companions.
She also educated a short appointment with me to discuss her newest family and get my opinion. As we listened to her new furry companion, I could tell they were hitting it off nicely. It had been obvious to me that the dog was gentle, warm and loved people. He’d hear her every phrase and stayed close by her side. I might feel this puppy had a very relaxing existence about him made you feel good just to be around him. I said to my client that her new furry friend had a really calming and healing nature about him. I suggested to her that he would be a great therapy dog for the elderly and for kids. She had been thrilled, but stunned to hear this. She believed that she simply had a sweet puppy which seemed to enjoy her. She had no indication he was intended for a higher purpose of assisting others.

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