For “Mammal Monday”:
Top 10 DO’s and DON’Ts for Teaching Your Puppy Good Playtime Manners
“Many owners of new puppies make a number of mistakes as they attempt to raise a well-behaved dog. One of those mistakes is in not understanding the proper way to interact with a puppy so she learns good playtime manners for a lifetime.
DON'T: Continue playing with an aggressive puppy.
Stop playing immediately if your puppy is being aggressive with you personally. If he's hurt you with his teeth or claws, say a word like "Ouch!" loudly to let him know you don't approve of the behavior.
DO: Distract an aggressively behaving pup with a toy.
Any toy will do (except a toy that actually brings out his aggressiveness).
DO: Use a harmless spray of water or loud noise to disrupt bad behavior.
Remember — the idea is to simply halt the behavior, not create a fear response.
DO: Use a leash and/or head halter to control behavior.
This can be done during supervised play either indoors or out. Remember to use gentle pressure during corrections to avoid causing injury to your puppy's neck.
DON'T: Act aggressively yourself. Don't try to manage your puppy's aggressive behavior by acting aggressively yourself. It's never appropriate or productive to hit or shake a puppy, or grab his muzzle. If your pup won't stop the undesirable behavior despite your best efforts, put him in his crate or another area of the house with a toy until he settles down.
DO: Engage in retrieving games.
A game of fetch doesn't have to be strenuous or time consuming for you, and your puppy will tire out within a few minutes. If retrieving doesn't come naturally to your dog, incorporate treats into the game to reward her for returning the ball or Frisbee to you each time it's thrown.
DO: Keep your puppy mentally stimulated.
- A rubber treat-release toy, a puzzle toy, group activities like K9 nose work and other similar pursuits will exercise your dog's mind and keep boredom at bay.
DON'T: Play on the floor.
Being down on her level puts you in a vulnerable spot and can overexcite your pup, making her more apt to mouth you, pounce on you, or scratch you.
DO: Incorporate basic obedience training into playtime. Have her sit and stay as part of your interaction with her. Make sure treats are used to reward a particular behavior and aren't given "just because." Only engage with your puppy when she's following your lead. If she tries to take over, ignore her for a few seconds. Take care not to reward any behavior you don't wish to encourage.
DON'T: Mimic your puppy's behavior
In other words, don't play with your dog as another dog would. Dogs play rough, and your pup could unintentionally hurt you. As a general rule, it's not a good idea to wrestle or get physical with your dog. You might inadvertently encourage aggressive behavior, and in addition, it's best to remain in a leadership role whenever you interact with her.” From: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/01/25/dos-and-donts-raising-dogs.aspx
The Critical Importance of Socializing Your Puppy
“Did you know behavior problems are the number one cause of relinquishment of dogs to shelters?
Another very disturbing statistic: over half the dogs entering shelters in the U.S. will be euthanized.
It’s a well-known fact that puppy classes help prevent behavior problems and increase the likelihood a dog will become a great pet and lifelong companion.
Given the reason most dogs are turned in to shelters and the success of early socialization in preventing behavior problems, it seems obvious the risks associated with an un-socialized dog are much greater than the minimal risk of disease transmission during puppy classes.
Your puppy, just like your child if you have one, can’t grow into a healthy adult without your help and leadership. I often tell my clients, “Good puppies aren’t born, they’re made.”
You wouldn’t dream of confining your child to your house and yard all her life, or decide to begin parenting your child at 18 years of age, when they have developed concerning behaviors or habits. Yet that is the situation many puppies grow up in – with owners who later don’t understand how their cute little puppy turned into such a destructive or disobedient or aggressive animal.
Dogs are social creatures. Your pup needs interaction -- with you, other people and other animals, beginning very early in life.
Companionship is necessary for your puppy’s emotional well-being. Involve your puppy with your family, as well as friends and new faces, right from the start. If you’re crate training your pup, move the crate or playpen into a room where your family spends time together.
Contrary to what many people believe, puppies need a great deal of time and attention in order to ensure they mature into dogs who are beloved members of the family.
Timing is Everything
The most important time to socialize a puppy is during her first three months of life. For most people, that means starting the process on puppy’s very first day home.
The first three months of your dog’s life are when sociability outweighs fear, and her brain is most inclined to accept new experiences. What your pup encounters during this critical time will shape her character, temperament and behavior for the rest of her life. If your puppy isn’t socialized during her first three months, it can increase the risk of behavior problems later in life, such as fear, avoidance and aggression. These problems can be excruciatingly difficult to fix in an older animal.
The last thing you hope for when you bring home your adorable little bundle of love and energy is that she’ll end up an ill-behaved and unmanageable adult dog, banished to your backyard or the nearest animal shelter. That’s why it is so incredibly important to properly socialize your pup before she reaches the age of 14-16 weeks.” More at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/01/20/critical-importance-of-socializing-your-puppy.aspx
Hunt for the Tiger Slayers
“WCS conservationists have found that the same gangs that smuggle weapons and drugs are poaching the last remaining tigers to the edge of existence. But as organized crime steps up its game in wildlife trade, WCS is fighting back, working to monitor wildlife and train more park rangers.”
Standing Up in the Face of Disaster
“Over two years ago, the communities I grew up in experienced the largest and costliest inland oil spill in U.S. history. On July 25th, 2010, a pipeline owned by Canadian tar sands giant Enbridge Energy, burst–dumping more than 1 million gallons of raw tar sands crude into the Kalamazoo River system, sickening community members along the river and impacting untold numbers of fish and wildlife.
The pipeline that burst during the Enbridge tar sands oil spill in Michigan - July 2010
The Enbridge oil spill gave me a first-hand look into just how dangerous it is to transport raw tar sands oil, and how difficult it is to clean up when it spills. Unfortunately, federal laws governing pipelines are inadequate in several respects, and states have not passed their own laws to fill in the gaps. Enbridge knew of safety problems with the pipeline years before the disaster and because of weak regulations and poor response plans, this spill went unreported for 17 hours.”
Toxic Chicken Jerky Pet Treats Pulled from Store Shelves!
“First, the good news. Nestle Purina PetCare and Del Monte have voluntarily recalled their chicken jerky pet treats imported from China. The brands removed from store shelves are Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats, along with Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats.
Now for the not-so-good news. The reason for the recall is a potential issue of unapproved antibiotic contamination supposedly unrelated to the problem with these very same treats that has resulted in thousands of sick, and hundreds of dead pets.
Interestingly, it was the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) that found the antibiotic residue in the treats. They used a new, highly sensitive test to analyze the products in response to growing consumer concerns.
So for now, the chicken jerky treats that may have been sickening or killing pets since 2007 are no longer on store shelves. Let's hope if they do reappear, they will be safe for your pets.” More at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/02/01/toxic-chicken-jerky-pet-treats.aspx
On This Day:
Washington unanimously elected by Electoral College to first and second terms, Feb 4, 1789:
“On this day in 1789, George Washington becomes the first and only president to be unanimously elected by the Electoral College. He repeated this notable feat on the same day in 1792.
The peculiarities of early American voting procedure meant that although Washington won unanimous election, he still had a runner-up, John Adams, who served as vice president during both of Washington's terms. Electors in what is now called the Electoral College named two choices for president. They each cast two ballots without noting a distinction between their choice for president and vice president. Washington was chosen by all of the electors and therefore is considered to have been unanimously elected. Of those also named on the electors' ballots, Adams had the most votes and became vice president.
Although Washington's overwhelming popularity prevented problems in 1789 and 1792, this procedure caused great difficulty in the elections of 1796 and 1800. In 1796, Federalist supporters of John Adams cast only one of their two votes in an effort to ensure that Adams would win the presidency without giving votes to any of the other candidates. This led to a situation in which the Federalist Adams won the highest number of votes and became president, but Thomas Jefferson, the opposing Democratic-Republican candidate, came in second and therefore became his opponent's vice president.
In 1800, the system led to a tie between the Democratic-Republican candidates for president and vice president, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. This sent the vote to the House of Representatives, where Federalists voted for Burr instead of Jefferson, whom they despised. As a result, the Congressional vote ended in a tie 35 times before the Federalists decided to hand in blank ballots and concede the White House to Jefferson.
In 1804, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution ended this particular form of electoral chaos by stipulating that separate votes be cast for president and vice president.”
PLO is founded, Feb 4, 1969:
“With Yasir Arafat as its leader, the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded on February 4, 1969. By 1974 when he addressed the United Nations, Arafat had made significant strides towards establishing new respectability for the PLO's campaign for a Palestinian homeland. But gaining legitimacy hinged on cooling down terrorism, and Arafat found it increasingly difficult to reconcile the moderate and extremist segments of Palestinian politics.”
I drove down to Conroe to do my first volunteer stint at the new SPCA Cat Habitat at Petco. I got the key and binder from the manager, and found the habitat very frustrating and badly designed.
The habitat is right there in the window of the store, amongst all the other items in the store. Two cats have the run of the top floor, and the other four cats had the bottom storey.
The litter boxes are in the middle which is a walk-thru for the cats, with a storage shelf above it. Or each side of the habitat can be made into separate quarters.
But to get to the supplies, you had to unlock areas in the middle, where the cats could get out. There was a toy that one could use to wiggle through the holes in the Plexiglas in each storey to hopefully corral those cats into one area, then you had to unlock a door and reach in to slide a panel closed. Yeah, right! When the doors are unlocked, there is nothing to stop a cat from pushing it open, so I was locking and unlocking doors constantly. I could just see cats getting loose and running all over Petco.
I was supposed to give them their morning canned meal, but when I did feel safe about unlocking each one of the four storage doors, the canned food wasn’t there. I called Kenya, and she said she would be there in the afternoon for an orientation, so she would feed them.
Disgusted, I drove home and thought of a way to make the habitat a lot safer. If the storage doors were cut at shelf level, and two more locks installed, one could get to the supplies without letting any cats out.
After lunch, I thought I had better go back there and see how Kenya does it. But I stopped at Petsmart on the way to look at their cat habitat. It is built-in, and has a little room behind the habitat so they can even let the cats out while they tend to them. A very costly habitat, probably installed when the store was built, a lot later than Petco.
So at our habitat, Kenya just unlocks the doors and kind of hand-blocks the cats to get the supplies that she needs. Oh, Boy! My Miss Priss better get adopted before she has to have a stint in the habitat, as she would dart out before you could say “Jack”, let alone “Robinson”!
The afternoon shift 3.00–5.00pm cleans everything with bleach, even wipes down the outside of the habitat, as we found kid’s sticky finger prints on it.
I had taken a carrier with me, as I thought those four kittens on the bottom level looked cramped, and I hoped that Kenya would let me bring one or two of them home to keep Miss Priss company. There were too many tabbies there, anyway. Then they could have the run of my Grooming Room and Middle Room. She let me bring Arlo, I had chosen him, as he was playfully biting my fingers, and I thought he would be a good match for Miss Priss.
“Meet Arlo. He and his siblings were left in a taped up box at Petco during the night. They are all doing well and are ready to go to their new homes.” http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/24856612
Ray happened to come out of his house as I was driving up, and when I told him I had a new cat, he came to see it, and helped me set up a big wire cage in the Middle Room. We locked Arlo up in it, so that he and Miss Priss could get acquainted. It is a mistake to introduce two animals until they have got used to each other’s smells.
Later, I locked Miss Priss up in her cage, a rare occasion, and let Arlo wander around for a while to get used to the place until bedtime, then locked him up again, and let her loose.
This morning, I have both cages open, but Arlo is just hiding from exuberant Miss Priss in his condo bed. Miss Priss is on the top dangling her paws in front of him, saying “ Come Out and Play”. I hope he does that today.