Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Animal ownership is a big responsibility, which fortunately can be made easier with a few very important people in your life. Besides your Breeder and Obedience Trainer your Veterinarian will play a huge role in the health and well being of your new companion. Finding a skilled Veterinarian that you can communicate with and establishing a good working relationship is essential for maintaining your special friend in optimal health.

Once you have found such a veterinarian treasure and respect them. Do not price shop or complain about the cost of caring for your pet. Your vet has gone to great length to develop his knowledge and to provide an establishment filled with skilled and caring people. Medical care is not the place to save a buck or two or heaven forbid delay payment, your pet may be the one to pay the ultimate price in the end.

Maintain regular visits and keep your pet up-to-date on his vaccinations and medications. Don’t just use them for emergency care. Having the vet know your pet when in good health can help speed the diagnoses and ease treatment when in poor health. Regular check ups also helps establish a good working relationship between all involved. Many Vet clinics will allow you to come in and weigh your pet, this is a perfect oppertunity to make visiting the vet a positive experience.

Be on time for your appointment and make sure your pet is clean and well groomed. Let them know if he has any issues that might place the vet and staff at risk.

Since the dog cannot tell us what is wrong veterinary medicine relies on us, the owners to be able to verbalize the signs and symptoms we have observed in order to pin down diagnostic possibilities.

Be knowledgeable about your pet! Regular grooming allows you to check for lumps and bumps that might be hidden under his coat. Make sure to keep track of your dog’s regular routine so that you recognize anything out of the ordinary. Know when and how much he eats. Know what his regular bowel movement is like and how frequently he has one. Know the colour of his urine. Monitor his behavior and know what is usual and unusual. Be aware of things that might cause future problems both in his actions and in his enviroment.

Be clear and concise in your descriptions. Try to keep emotions at bay and do not rely on memory. State all your concerns and be prepared to answer any questions in detail. If you don't understand something or disagree with treatment discuss it openly, fairly and honestly.

If you know your pet and your vet knows his business, together you'll work as an awesome team!

Last be sure to go that extra mile for your vet clinic! Donate those extra towels, leashes, dog crates etc that you no longer use. Don’t forget the staff! Bringing them in Timmies coffee & timbits. This can go a long way to building good relationships and having them go that extra mile for you on that VERY RARE occasion when you really need them to.

Rabies Regulation in Ontario

The Health Protection and Promotion Act R.R.O. 1990, REGULATION 567
Amended to O. Reg. 360/01 STATES.........

That "a dog 3 months of age or over must be vaccinated against rabies, and then revaccinate (i.e. given a booster) BY THE DATE SPECIFIED in the certificate of immunization that is issued for the dog."

and that........
"Every owner or person having the care and custody of an animal that is
required to be immunized against rabies under section 1 or subsection 2 (1)
shall ensure that the animal is re-immunized against rabies by the date
specified in the certificate of immunization issued with respect to the
animal. O. Reg. 320/94, s. 1.)"

An English and French version of regulation 567 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act can be found at.

An excellent article was printed about Rabies mis-information some Vets were acting on in The Guardian (CGRAS newsletter) Issue #24 , Fall/Winter 2000-2001 and the resulting clarification after a small group of people took action in
Toronto. A copy of this can be found on...

An excellent in depth fact sheet on Rabies....

If your vet is using a vaccine labeled 3 year then you are entitled to have certification saying so. It is your choice to vaccinated annually or triennially as long as the correct vaccine is used. If your request to have an accurate vaccination certificate is refused you can take action by contacting The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association.
OVMA contact information:
245 Commercial Street
Milton, Ontario, L9T 2J3
tel: (905) 875-0756
fax: (905) 875-0958
e-mail: info@ovma.org

Monday, May 14, 2007


ATTENTION TRAINING: This game is a great way to encourage eye contact and attention from your dog. You only need lots of very small tasty treats. With the dog sitting or standing in front of you show the dog the treat then move it about a foot away from you and off to the side. The dog will most likely continue to look at the treat you’re holding. Just wait, eventually the dog will look away from the treat and in your direction. At this time immediately say YES! and quickly give the treat. Dogs soon learn to focus up at you not the treat. Once the dog starts looking up in the direction of your face it is time to up the ante! First insist they make solid eye contact (keep your expression soft) then increase the duration until the dog can look at you for a good solid time period.

* Musical Chairs: Proofing the "down, stay" or "sit, stay"command. We've all played this as kids only now we work as a team with our dogs. The chairs are set up either in a circle or two rows back to back with one less chair then the number of players. A minimum boundary 3 to 4 feet is established around the chairs. When the music starts or the instructor issues the heel command each team heels around the outside of the boundary. When the music stops the players issues the "down, stay" command to their dogs and runs for a chair. If their dog gets up they must once again go back and re-down their dog outside of the boundary area thereby giving another player the chance to steal their chair. Once all the chairs are taken and the dogs are still in a down the player left standing is disqualified and another chair is removed. The game continues until the last chair is occupied and the dog is in a dog has remained in the down position.

Variations on the game: The instructor randomly calls out either a "sit, stay", "down, stay" or "stand, stay" when the music stops.The disqualified player continues to heel and down their dog for practise but they must not take a chair when the music stops.

* Jumping: With your dog on leash, jump over a small flat board together saying "OVER" as you go. Gradually increase the height of the board but never higher then his elbows if under 6 months and never higher then his chest if under 1 year old. As he gets comfortable jumping over the board and is associating the word over with jumping, run towards the jump but stay back slightly point towards it so that the dog jumps before you. As he becomes comfortable jumping gradually stay back so that only he is jumping and you are just pointing and saying "Over". Repetitive jumping can be hard on a dogs joints so always keep the height appropriate to the age and size of the dog. Grassy surfaces are safest and never do this more then three times in a session. This will also help to keep the game fresh and fun.


With more and more breeds becoming at risk to Breed Banning it is more important now then ever for both Breeders and Pet Owners to be proactive in raising our puppies to become valued family members that are welcome both in the home and in society.

Playing Games with your pet is an excellent way to teach acceptable behaviour while providing an active lifestyle that stimulates both their mental and physical needs.

These rewarding indoor games come from "Talking Dog: Indoor Games" by Lisa Moore, in an article written for Modesto Bee.

* Find the food: Instead of placing meals in a food bowl, divide it up into small portions and hide handfuls of kibble around the room. Initially placing them in easy to find spots, like under a chair. As the dog's search skills improve, add challenge by hiding the food out of sight or expanding the treasure hunt to more than one room. Take it outside and let him find his food spread out in a small area of the grass

* Hide and seek: Begin by having a family member hold on to the dog, or leave him in a sit-stay while you go and hide in another room. Then call his name. Remain quiet as he approaches. When he's off the track, call again. The reward when he finds you should be praise and some animated, excited play. As the dog's finding skills improve, hide in other places to challenge his abilities.

* Hide and seek outside: Have one member of the family restrain the dog while another member hides somewhere in the house. Tell the dog to “Go search!” in an excited voice and then go with him to make sure he finds the hidden person. Big praise and rewards when the person is found. As soon as he understands the principles, use the same command while on a walk. Family members can be hidden behind a tree, bush, etc. This keeps the dogs mind busy and on the family and may be used to distract him from running off.

* Find the toy: Choose a favourite toy, then send your dog out of the room so you can hide it. Initially, remove other toys from the area, and "hide" the chosen toy in plain sight. Next, let the dog back into the room, and tell him to "Find your (name of toy)!" Tip: Give toys specific names. As he gets better at finding his toys, place them in more remote. Rotate several toys over a few weeks, calling each by name.

* Find the toy - advanced: The next challenge is to hide several toys, and direct him to find only the one you name. If you repeat excitedly "Find the elephant!" and he comes back with a tennis ball, do not reward him. Take it away, and redirect him toward the elephant's hidden location. Once he finds the correct toy, he earns lots of praise and a cookie. You can make it easier by using toys that you can load with food. For example, a beehive-shaped Kong; you can insert a swab of peanut butter, pieces of cheese or another treat he can smell to make finding by scent a lot easier.

* Pick the toy: Another variation is to place a pile of toys in plain sight. Each toy should have a specific name, and all toys must have been used individually first. Named toys go into this pile when you are sure your dog recognizes it by name. Send him to the pile with "Find your ----!" If he comes back from the pile with the wrong toy, say "Ah-ah" in a neutral tone. Keep repeating the "Find your ----!" and send him back to the pile. When he brings the right one, reward with praise and play.

* Round-robin recall: Each family member goes into a separate room of the house, with treats in hand. One at a time, each person calls the dog by name with repeated, enthusiastic "Come!" commands. When the dog comes to the right person, he is rewarded with treats and praise. When the person with the dog gives an "All done" signal, the next family member begins calling.