Friday, January 23, 2009

Leo's Campaign Against Chaining Dogs.

It's me again, Leo.
I'm here to talk to folks about chaining dogs in their yards.When I was on my other owner's property I was told I was chained out or in a kennel outside. I don't remember much........I don't think I did much snuggling on the couch and watching TV with anyone. I don't have much recollection of a morning snuggle in bed with coffee and told how handsome I am and what a good job I do everyday at training and working.
I don't think I had a purpose but to wait....wait....wait,
wait for........ breathe, sleep and eat outside.

I longed for someone to just hold me and touch me.
I had no idea how much I would LOVE being kissed all over my big ole head... lots!

What I didn't like about this was that I was just there and not really in love with anyone, without purpose and a connection to a family/pack that I could share was empty but somehow stressful.
Even though this may be the more extreme case I think the same frame of mind can be created in a backyard dog in seemingly the most wonderful and beautiful homes in the world. Someone gets puppy, puppy is destructive, pees on the floor, cries at night and does not initially want to go in a crate. Personally I love my crate but I was given a chance to like it. The person decides they can't take it anymore and put the dog on a chain in the yard. Bye, bye life.
Tethering is ok for short periods and really should be supervised in my opinion. BUT while the folks are gone all day at work?????? Everyday???? NO!
The law here says 3 hours and that's IT! Abuse is not always about living on a property with a person who fights dogs, beats them or hurts them in some other way. It's also about just having nothing all day long. Neglect I think is what it's called. That's abuse too right?
When my folks are gone, I'm happy inside in my own safe area inside the house where I know that someone can't hurt me, steal me or anything else with my bone and my Kong. Then I have a fabulous much needed nap as dogs sleep a lot. Then poof, my people are back home already and life is good. If your dog is having to be outside because of behavior issues or any other reason get some help to see how you can help your dog be a family companion again. Bring your dogs inside. Keep them safe. If your dog is chained, he's left wide open to be stolen, hurt by another dog or animal that get's into the yard. He can become stressed permanently (I paced my people's floor for a while before I realized, hey, I can just lay down on the couch with my head on my owner's lap and be way more comfortable). Chained dogs can become dangerous too. What if a child wandered in the yard with a chained stressed out dog.....yikes! Be sure to exercise your dogs and spend time with them....I would think you would want to because they're part of your family right?
Not that all dogs have to be therapy dogs or have a therapy vest but I look so much better with a scarf and a therapy vest on than a chain!

How d'ya like me now?!!!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Puppies - Nature/Nurture ?

It’s been said recently the genetics don’t CAUSE behavior they just allow it to occur when the environment dictates it. It’s sort of funny to me when I hear some orgs say, “they’ve been bred to fight” while never mentioning what effect the environment might have or have had on the dog. It just can’t be ALL genetics nor do I thing it’s always ALL environment. I do know from experience however that with a good environment a dog has a much better chance than with a bad one. Therefore, we at Our Pack think it’s a bit of both - nature/nurture – that influence a dog’s behavior.

The thing that we have control over most is the environment that the dog will be in. Therefore, we try to provide the best and most positive environment to sort of “guide” those genetics in the right direction so to speak.

Lately we’ve seen lots of Pit Bull puppies turned into shelters. We were thinking it might be a good idea to get dogs started off on the right paw and get him/her out socializing and training right away while providing a positive and structured but fun environment for him/her to grow in. It seems to me that lots of Pit Bull puppies are out there right now only to come back around if they’re isn’t a proper environment for them to mature in.

The AKC now has a program called the AKC Puppy Star Program. Check it out. It’s a sort of a junior CGC program. The AKC has realized that many puppies don’t get a good start in life and this creates a problem. Not to leave genetics completely out of the picture but heck, at least we have control over the dog’s environment, so if you have a pup give him a good start , bond with him/her and get him out there in the world and let him know it’s a fabulous place.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More Positive Press

Animal Planet and Drs. Foster and Smith are helping to dispel the continued myths around Pit Bulls. Kudos to both of them!!,681253.shtml

ATLANTA, GA -- 01/15/09 -- Regretfully, breeds like the American Pit Bull Terrier, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman and even the ever loved and faithful St. Bernard are all classified as aggressive.
The very qualities that make these dogs outstanding companion dogs -- intelligence, loyalty, courage and trainability is how Michael Vick and 20,000-40,000 others abuse their strength and power in the multibillion-dollar dog fighting industry. "There is absolutely no true concept of sport in inflicting pain on those who only know how to love unconditionally," said Wanda Goldberg, host of "Faithful Friends" on Animal Planet. "Be a voice for those without, abuse stops here, it stops now."
The "Faithful Friends" television show, together with Host Wanda Goldberg and Dr. Marty Smith of Doctors Foster and Smith Pet Supplies take on this controversial topic this Saturday on Animal Planet at 9:00 am. The show reminds pet parents that it is who is at the end of the leash that makes the difference in the dog's life, not the dog's breeding.
At the turn of the 20th Century, the American Pit Bull Terrier was the #1 family dog in the United States and Petey, a Pit Bull Terrier, was the de facto "babysitter" of the kids on the "Our Gang" TV show. Today, they achieve the fourth highest passing rate of all 122 breeds tested with an 82.5% that took a temperament test vs. 77% of all breeds on average. But, it is the owners at the end of the leash that turned a lover into a fighter. In the US, dog-fighting is considered a felony in every state except Wyoming and Idaho.
"Don't tell me that there are mean, vicious breeds, I won't listen to it," stated Dr. Marty Smith, who added, "today, most every one of the Michael Vick dogs are living enjoyable and productive lives due to compassionate new owners who have dedicated their time and energy to rehabilitate these loving dogs." As Michael Vick prepares to be released to a halfway house on January 20th, 52 of his 53 dogs live in loving homes throughout America. And Leo, one of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick's Bad Newz Kennels, after spending five weeks being trained and rehabbed by California trainer Marthina McClay, is now a therapy dog at the Camino Infusion Center, where he brings comfort to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The first episode of 2009 "Misunderstood Friends" on Animal Planet airs this Saturday at 9:00 am, and it takes on this controversial issue of breeds that are considered vicious by insurance companies and consumers in general. "This was one of the most positive shows I have seen in over 40 years of working with this breed," says Joe Burford, the President and Director of the Salt Lake Pit Bull Terrier Association.
Chuck, a dog deemed un-adoptable from the Bad Newz Kennels, is featured on the "Faithful Friends" television show this Saturday with its new owner, Warren Anderson, together with Joan Salmon the Executive Director/Founder of the Georgia SPCA. During the show, Joan and Warren discuss the dog-fighting world, the patience needed for rehabilitation and the unconditional love that is now received by owners of once considered unacceptable dogs.
"This week viewers of the Misunderstood episode will see why dogs like Chuck won a Medal of Honor in World War I," stated Tony Loiacono, Creator & Executive Producer of "Faithful Friends." "Unconditional love is often not found in our world, but through man's best friend it is a regular occurrence when a true friend is on both ends of the leash."
About Doctors Foster and Smith:
Doctors Foster and Smith, a privately owned company, is the #1 catalog and online seller of pet supplies and pharmaceuticals in the industry. Doctors Foster and Smith is known for empowering pet owners by providing extensive veterinarian-supported advice, proprietary information and quality pet products, serving millions of pet owners from coast to coast via their extensive website and publications, and the television series "Faithful Friends presented by Drs. Foster and Smith Pet Supplies" on Animal Planet as produced by Heads & Tails, Inc. Dr. Race Foster and Dr. Marty Smith have become the nation's foremost authorities on pet wellness, pet care and pet-owner education, earning an unmatched reputation for the scope of their veterinary expertise on dogs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles, pond life, small animals and equine. For more information, visit:
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CONTACT:Christy Wilson
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Friday, January 9, 2009

Pit Bulls; Puppies, Cuddling, Training and Just stuff

It's been a quiet week, I guess we are all getting over the holidays, but we have two events coming next week. We have our event at Chevy's on Almaden in San Jose next Thursday,

and then we'll be at the Grand Opening of Doggieville in Mountain View next Saturday Afternoon

You'll have to go to the website to check out the details, but we'd love to see you stop by for either or both events.
We've been looking at some dogs to bring into our program, so keep all paws crossed that we will find some gems.

Thanks to everyone who keeps coming to our Sunday Training Classes, we all have such a great time and we hope everyone enjoys it just as much as we do.
Here's Anna showing how she has them under control

Well, OK, Not so much but now look at how well she gets them lining up!

and of course here is Miss Tink (Anna's furbaby) who is tuckered out from all that trainingAnd then unrelated to anything here's a cute cuddly picture that just make me smile

Happy 2009 to all of our wonderful friends and families who put up with all of our silliness!
Mary and the rest of the Our Pack Gang!