June 2009

In Memory of Orca

Sunday, 28 June 2009
In the summer of 2001 I attended an intensive, six day course on canine and wolf behavior at Wolf Park in Battle Ground, IN. Taught by noted wolf ethologist, Dr. Erich Klinghammer, author and evolutionary biologist, Dr. Ray Coppinger, and author and dog trainer Terry Ryan, the course focused on the many behavioral similarities between the wolf and the family dog, and even more important, the  differences in their behavior. It remains one of the two best courses I have attended, not only for the knowledge gained but the many friendships made; both human and canine. Our course work consisted of observing and documenting wolf behavior in the early hours of the morning, followed by lectures the remainder of the day. The highlights were the opportunities we had to interact with the wolves in their enclosures. During those encounters I had the opportunity to meet Orca and before the week was over I would become one of his "adopted" parents. Wolf Park is a nonprofit education and research facility that studies wolf behavior and provides seminars and interpretive programs for people such as myself as well as local schools. Much of their funding comes from program like their Adopt-A-Wolf program. After a few days at Wolf Park I knew I wanted to do my small part to support their work, and after meeting Orca I knew I wanted to support Wolf Park by becoming one of his sponsors. I was captivated by all of the wolves I met at Wolf Park, but Orca had a special story. In 1997, just 3 and half years into his life, Orca became paralyzed from the waist down. His inspiration to keep going and to not be hindered by his disability was an inspiration to many. Thanks to his guardians at Wolf Park Orca lived a full life, quietly passing in his sleep on June 20th at the age of fifteen. For more information on Wolf Park and Orca, check these web links: http://www.wolfpark.org - http://www.wolfpark.org/memoriam_Orca.html - http://www.wolfpark.org/orca_update/index.html [caption id="attachment_377" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Don and Orca - JUN 2001"]Don and Orca - JUN 2001[/caption]

Woof Meow Show - All About Cats with Suzan Bell - Sunday, 8:30PM - WVOM 103.9FM & WVQM 101.3FM

Thursday, 25 June 2009
Tune into The Woof Meow Show on Sunday June 28th when Kate and I will be talking with Suzan Bell, Executive Director of the Bangor Humane Society. This show is all about cats and how you can find the perfect cat at the Bangor Humane Society. The Woof Meow Show is on every Sunday at 8:30PM on WVOM 103.9 and WVQM 101.3FM.

Veterinary Study Indicates Aggressive (dominance-based) Training Causes Dog Aggression

Tuesday, 23 June 2009
An article published on ScienceDaily on 18FEB09 entitled If You're Aggressive, Your Dog Will Be Too, Says Veterinary Study describes a study by veterinarians at the University of Pennsylvania. This study, published in Applied Animal Behavior Science demonstrated that when aggressive pets are trained with confrontational or aversive methods, they become more aggressive. Conversely the use of non-aversive or neutral training methods caused very few aggressive responses. You can read the complete ScienceDaily article at this link: http://tinyurl.com/cmwuln

Green Acres Schedules TDI Therapy Dog Test

Saturday, 20 June 2009
Therapy Dogs International evaluator Don Hanson has scheduled a Therapy Dog test for the afternoon of Saturday, July 25th at Green Acres Kennel Shop. There are a maximum of twelve slots available for this test and advanced registration is required. To register, stop by Green Acres Kennel Shop or call at 945-6841. There is no rain date for this test. TDI Therapy Dogs and their handlers, when invited, may visit hospitals, nursing homes and other places to provide people with the opportunity to interact with a furry goodwill ambassador. The simple act of stroking a dog can be very therapeutic and brings great joy to people who no longer have dogs. It should be noted that a TDI Therapy Dog is not a service or assistance dog and does not have the same rights to access as people with disabilities and their service/assistance animals. The TDI test will evaluate the dog and handler and how well they work together. The dog must be at least one year of age. There is no minimum age for handlers, but handlers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult on visitations and the registration form must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.
  • TDI will not register any dog that has bitten a human being.
  • TDI will not register potential applicants who have their dogs registered with any type of Therapy Dog related program or organization other than TDI.
  • TDI will not test or register deaf dogs.
  • TDI will not test or register dogs that are service or assistance dogs.
  • All dogs must be tested on a flat buckle collar or harness.
  • While the dog and handler team are evaluated during a formal test, they are also being observed by the evaluator the entire time they can be seen by the evaluator. The dog should be under the handler's control at this time as well.
  • During the test, handlers are responsible for their dogs' action. They should make sure that their dog is covered by their homeowners or other liability insurance prior to the test. TDI's insurance will not cover unregistered dogs.
  • Applicants who wish to visit with more than one dog at the same time must be tested by a TDI evaluator with the dogs together.
For more information on Therapy Dogs, click on the "Therapy Dog" at the Green Acres web site, www.greenacreskennel.com, visit www.tdi-dog.org or checkout the article "What Is A Therapy Dog" at http://tinyurl.com/bf6lzl

How Can I Subscribe?

Thursday, 18 June 2009
1.      Go to the blog at www.greenacreskennel.com/blog. 2.      If you look at the upper right corner of the blog page you will see an image similar the one on the left below, minus the (blue) letter "A" and "B." 3.      If you use a news reader like RSS, click on the link next to the "A" and follow the prompts to subscribe to the Green Acres blog via the news reader of your choice (FeedDemon, RSSOwl, etc.). 4.      If you want posts to the blog automatically sent to your email address, click on the link next to the "B" and you will see a screen similar to the one on the right below. Enter your email address and the box at the bottom of that page.

5.      If you have questions or problems, drop me an email at donh@greenacreskennel.com.


Woof Meow Show - Punishment in Training is Unnecessary and Just Plain Wrong - Sunday, 8:30PM - WVOM 103.9FM & WVQM 101.3FM

Thursday, 18 June 2009
Tune into The Woof Meow Show on Sunday June 21st when we'll discuss  why punishment in dog training is unnecessary, counter-productive and just plain wrong. The Woof Meow Show is on every Sunday at 8:30PM on WVOM 103.9 and WVQM 101.3FM.

Green Acres Offers Additional Level 2 Orientation on Saturday July 18th

Tuesday, 16 June 2009
If you have completed or are currently enrolled in a Basic Manners class, our Level 2 Orientation is the next step to working with your dog through Green Acres training program. Our next Level 2 orientation will take place on Saturday, July 18th at 2:30PM. Level 2 Orientation: My Human Can Do That: Advanced Skills for Advanced Training This two-and-one-half hour introductory session is a prerequisite for any Green Acres Kennel Shop Level Two or Three training workshop. This interactive orientation focuses on helping you develop the training skills you will need to help your dog succeed at learning more advanced behaviors. Key topics covered include interpreting canine body language while training, improving the timing and precision with which you mark and reward behaviors, and increasing your awareness of your dog’s perception of the training process.

Science Daily Reports "Guilty Looking Dogs" Are All in the Eye of The Beholder

Friday, 12 June 2009
An article posted yesterday on sciencedaily.com, reports that a dog guardian's perception of their dog "looking guilty" is dependent on the guardian's behavior and does not indicate the dog "feeling guilty." The article is a summary of an article entitled Disambiguating the 'guilty look';: Salient prompts to a familiar dog behaviour appearing in Behavioural Processes. You can read the entire  sciencedaily.com article by clicking here.

Veterinarians Troubled by Merial (Frontline & HeartGard) Partnership with Cesar Millan

Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Merial, the drug company that manufacturers and markets Frontline® and Heartgard®, has announced a joint marketing campaign with controversial "dog whisperer" Cesar Millan which will involve cross-promoting Millan's equally controversial behavior video. Millan's domineering and punishment based dog training techniques have been resoundingly condemned by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB), the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB), the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians and many other dog behavior professionals, including Green Acres Kennel Shop,  as being excessively harsh, inhumane, unscientific, harmful and unnecessary (http://tinyurl.com/n7r234 and http://tinyurl.com/d5k3lo). The Executive Board of the AVSAB has written to Merial expressing their concern stating: At best, the show (The Dog Whisperer) is entertaining but misleading to pet owners. At worst, Mr. Millan's techniques and misinformation have contributed to increased aggression and anxiety or resulted in physical injury to the pet and/or pet owner. As practicing veterinarians, we all unfortunately have seen many cases of the latter. Merial claims to "enhance the health, well-being, and performance of animals." The use of Mr. Millan as part of an advertising campaign speaks otherwise. You can read the entire text of the AVSAB letter by clicking on the following link: http://tinyurl.com/m7zhs6. I have also written to Merial expressing my concern about their partnership with Mr. Millan and you may wish to do likewise. They can be contacted at: corporate.communications@merial.com or:

Merial Limited 3239 Satellite Blvd Duluth, GA 30096 Attn: Corporate Communications

Vets Make Recommendations on Selecting A Dog Trainer and Suggest Never Using Shock Collars

Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Green Acres Kennel Shop has been warning dog guardians about the danger of using electronic shock collars for training and confinement for many years (http://tiny.cc/ytHIP and http://tiny.cc/H4CnT). Veterinarians attending the North American Veterinary Conference Post Graduate Institute in Advanced Clinical Behavioral Medicine in Orlando have done the same as reported on goodnewsforpets.com, the blog of pet columnist Steve Dale. Dale's article (Vets on Behavior Proclaim, Never Use Shock Collar) quotes Dr. Karen Overall and Dr. Kersti Seksel, both board certified veterinary behaviorists. The veterinarians attending this conference also developed a list of recommendations for choosing a dog trainer. They encourage dog guardians to select a trainer who focuses on rewarding behavior and uses treats, head halters, harnesses, clickers, plain old buckle collars, and praise. They recommend dog guardians avoid any trainer that uses shock collars, choke collars, prong collars and that focuses on punishment and the need to dominate. You can read Dale's entire article at: http://www.goodnewsforpets.com/Articles.asp?ID=147#
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