In this second of a two-part series, Kate and Don interview dog trainer and author Linda Case about her book Dog Smart: Evidence-based Training with The Science Dog. In the last episode, we focused on foundational material covered in the book. This week we get into the nitty-gritty of dog training and talk about:
The benefits of working with a professional dog training instructor.
Qualities to look for in a dog training instructor and what to avoid.
Why it is so important to teach students how a dog learns and the most important things we can teach them on this topic.
What is clicker training and why it is so useful when training a dog?
The power of using food as a reward when training a dog.
How we help students address undesirable behaviors, they experience with their dogs.
The four most valuable behaviors we teach our students to train their dogs.
If you want to learn about your dog and how to live together happily, you will want to listen to this show and read Linda’s book.
Steve’s Real Food of Salt Lake City, Utah voluntarily recalls one lot of Turducken Recipe, one lot of Quest Emu, and one lot of Quest Beef due to possible Salmonella and L. Mono Contamination.
Green Acres Kennel Shop sells Steve’s Real Food for Pets but has NOT sold or stocked any of the reported SKU’s or Lot Numbers.
This recall is being initiated after the firm was notified by the Washington Department of Agriculture when a sample was collected and tested positive for Salmonella and/or L. mono. Steve’s Real Food for Pets did conduct their own test which resulted in a negative result for both Salmonella and L. mono. However, because of their commitment to overall safety and quality, Steve’s Real Food is conducting a voluntary recall of this product.
Consumers should also follow the safe handling tips published on the Steve’s Real Food packaging, when disposing of the affected product.
No pet or human illnesses from this product have been reported to date.
Salmonella and L. mono can affect animals eating the products, and there is a risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products. Symptoms of infection in people include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
Pets with Salmonella and/or L. mono infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected, but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
The affected products were nationally distributed and are identified with the following UPC codes and the “Best by” date located on the front of the bag.
Best By Date
Steve’s Real Food Turducken Recipe/5#
Quest Emu Diet/2#
Quest Beef Diet/2#
This recall is being made with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Consumers are encouraged to check the lot code and best buy date of any 5lb frozen Turducken, 2lb Quest Emu or 2lb Quest Beef. Any product with the noted lot code and best buy date should be returned to the specialty retailer where product was purchased for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Steve’s Real Food at 888-526-1900, Monday – Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm MTN.
Vital Essentials has just sent us an email to inform us that they have initiated a voluntary precautionary recall of two limited batches of Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Toppers™” and “Vital Essentials® Frozen Beef Chub Entrée for Dogs” Pet Food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. They state “The potentially affected products can be identified by comparing the following lot numbers: “Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Toppers™” with “Lot #13815, Best By 6/4/19 & Best By 6/20/19” and “Vital Essentials Frozen Beef Chub Entrée for Dogs, 5 lb.” with “Lot #13816, Best By 12/27/18”.”
The company reports that the issue was discovered when product from a single batch was tested by the FDA for the presence of Salmonella. No other Vital Essentials products are subject to this voluntary recall.
Carnivore Meat Company, the manufacturer of Vital Essentials, has implemented new test and hold measures to bolster their efforts in delivering a consistent supply of dependable, ultra-premium food and treats for pets all across the world.
In the event you have any questions, please contact the Carnivore Meat Company at 920-370-6542.
I continue to feed Vital Essentials product to my dog because I have complete confidence in the company. I have had the opportunity to tour the facility where Vital Essentials is made and remain impressed with the processes they use to handle the meat to prevent contamination. If the FDA put as much emphasis on checking the meat at the supermarket as they do on the frozen pet food companies, we would be hearing about many more recalls.
Dog parks can be an excellent place for your dog to run, romp, and socialize.
They can provide an outlet for much needed mental stimulation and physical exercise, especially if you do not have a fenced yard where your dog can do this at home. However, as I will explain in this article, dog parks can also be the site of great tragedy. I cannot emphasize enough, the need for caution before you take your dog to the dog park.
What Do the Experts Say About Dog Parks?
In a March 14, 2018 blog post by Nancy Kerns, the editor of The Whole Dog Journal, Dog Parks Are Dangerous! , Kerns describes what she calls “…a completely avoidable dog park fatality.” The news report by KCRA-3 in Sacramento shows video of Honey at the dog park the day before she was killed and describes what happened. The dogs who killed Honey in this incident are dangerous dogs and should never have been allowed off-leash outside of a fenced yard at their home again, much less be allowed at a dog park, yet what will prevent that from happening?
Kerns is not alone in her cautious approach to dog parks. In April of 2013, Dr. Karen London’s article Culture of Dog Parks appeared in The Bark, where she wrote: “It’s hard to deny the cliché that dog parks create both the best of times and the worst of times.“
In the January 2018 issue of The Whole Dog Journal, professional dog trainer and author, Pat Miller, outlined the pros and cons of dog parks in an article of the same name. Miller notes “As dog parks have become more common (and, indeed, as dog ownership has been on the rise in the past decade) they have somehow morphed from being something that local dog owners band together and fight to build, to places where few really knowledgeable owners care to take their dogs. It seems everyone has a horror story to tell about “that day at the dog park,” featuring overstimulated dogs running amok, dogs practicing bully behaviors, dog fights, and even dog deaths.” [Emphasis added]
I love dogs and like nothing better than helping people and their dogs have the best life possible. I do not believe anyone intentionally puts their dog in harm’s way. However, in today’s fast-paced life where we often seem to jump from one task to the next with little forethought, we can put our dogs at risk. There are many things to consider before you take your dog to the dog park. As I discuss the pros and cons of dog parks, I will provide you with suggestions on what you can do to make sure that if you choose to take your dog to a dog park, it is a pleasurable experience for all.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before the 1st Trip to A Dog Park
Assessing Your Dog
How long have you had your dog? If you have just rescued a dog, congratulations and thank you for providing a home to a dog in need! However, you need to understand that going through the rescue process can be pretty traumatic, and as a result, you may not know your dog’s true nature for several days or even weeks. To ensure your dogs transition from rescue to companion goes as smoothly as possible, take some time to get to know your new friend. Build an incredible bond before you tackle an adventure, with significant risks, like the dog park. The same holds true for starting a training class, and yes you should complete a training class with EVERY dog in your family; however, not all rescues will be ready to start a class immediately, as I learned with my rescue dog Muppy.
However, if you have a puppy, you need to recognize that a critical learning period for a puppy starts at eight weeks of age and ends by sixteen weeks of age. You will want to start them in a class during this timeframe or at least be working with a reward-based, fear-free trainer at this time.
How old is your dog?
Puppies – For health reasons alone I would NEVER bring a puppy to a dog park until they are fully vaccinated. Remember, unlike a reputable puppy headstart class or daycare, no one is verifying that dogs visiting the dog park are current on all recommended vaccinations and are free of worms fleas, and other parasites.
Puppies first learn about interacting with other dogs and how and how not to play from littermates, mom, and hopefully from other appropriate older dogs. A singleton puppy, or puppies that are removed from mom too soon, may miss out on many essential learning opportunities and may not be appropriate for the dog park. If you adopt a puppy that falls into this category, I recommend working with a reward-based, force-free trainer without delay.
While it is essential for a puppy to have opportunities to play and interact with other dogs, especially during the 8 to 16 week socialization period, it is vital that you plan and control those playtimes to ensure a positive outcome. That means you need to know the people and the other puppy that will be playing with your pup.
The best playmates for a puppy are those of the same approximate age and size that also enjoy the same type of play. Some puppies like to chase while others like to be chased. Some want to body slam, while others prefer to wrestle. Puppies with mismatched play styles may not have a good time.
I also advise my puppy headstart students to avoid letting their pup play with “teenage” dogs between 12 months and 36 months of age unless they know those dogs very well. Doing so is not all that different from sending a five-year-old child out with a group of teenagers. Yes, a young puppy may happily interact by playing with canine teenagers, but they may also learn to play too rough and in a manner that will not be appreciated by pups in their age group.
Lastly, the best play opportunities for a new puppy is with one other puppy at a time. By limiting a playgroup to two puppies, you avoid the possibility of a group of pups bullying one puppy. Two dogs are also much easier to supervise than several puppies. Yes, daycare’s will have more dogs playing at once; however, any reputable daycare staff will have several hours of training on behavior and group play before being asked to supervise a group of dogs. Even then a trustworthy daycare will limit the size of playgroups to no more than five to eight dogs per supervising pet care technician.
Senior Dogs – An older dogs view of enjoyable play may be very different from the type of play preferred by puppies or adolescent dogs. Many older dogs prefer just wandering, sniffing, and exploring their surroundings. They avoid interactions with younger, overly enthused dogs that often play too rough. If your senior dog is in this category, the dog park may not be a good choice. An older dog can wander and enjoy themselves on a long line many places where they do not need to concern themselves with rowdy dogs.
Has your new puppy or dog been examined by your veterinarian? – Before taking a dog to the dog park, you need to take them to your veterinarian for their first wellness exam, even if the shelter or breeder just had the dog at their veterinarian. Your veterinarian will make sure that your dog gets all of the necessary vaccines or titer tests before they are exposed to the world. Your veterinarian will also discuss flea and parasite preventatives. This is important because no one is verifying that other dogs at the dog park have been vaccinated and are free of parasites. You do not want to take your dog to the dog park and have them bring home any unwanted and potentially harmful parasites, bacteria or viruses.
If your new friend has not been spayed or neutered yet, this is also when your veterinarian will discuss the pros and cons of neutering and the appropriate time for doing so. Spaying and neutering is not a black and white topic as it once was. You may want to get more than one opinion about whether you should spay or neuter, and when you should do so. Do not let a breeder or veterinarian dictate what you decide. When it comes to dog parks, understand that an unspayed female should not be at a dog park or daycare at any point during her heat cycle, and unneutered males may not always play appropriately. Many boarding and daycare facilities will require that dogs be spayed/neutered by six months of age if they participate in group play.
How well was your dog socialized between three and sixteen weeks of age? Puppies have a critical socialization period between three and sixteen weeks of age. If you have a rescue dog, it is unlikely you will know how your dog was socialized, and it is a pretty safe bet that they had little or no socialization. That means that it is very likely that they will be cautious and possibly fearful of anything or anyone that they have not experienced previously. I would NOT recommend taking a dog to the dog park as a way of making up for a lack of socialization during the critical period. Also, recognize that socialization is about much more than introducing your dog to a couple of other dogs. Dogs vary widely in appearance and behavior, so it is essential that your dog have positive experiences with dogs of a wide variety of shapes, sizes, ages, colors and play styles. While remedial socialization is possible, it must be planned and controlled, and one must proceed slowly. Under socialized or inappropriately socialized dogs are not a good candidate to go to the dog park until they are no longer anxious in novel situations. Habituating your dog to novel stimuli may take several weeks of effort on your part. A reward-based, force-free trainer can help you plan a socialization program for your dog and can help make sure that you minimize any mistakes.
Is your dog anxious, fearful, reactive, or aggressive towards dogs or people? If, yes, do NOT take your dog to the dog park. There are many reasons your dog may behave in this manner. Taking them to the dog park is unlikely to change your dog’s behavior and in fact, has a high probability of making this behavior worse because the dog park will be filled with the things that cause your dog to react; people and other dogs. It also puts other people and dogs at risk of a severe
How well trained is your dog? To keep your dog, yourself, and others at the dog park safe, you have a responsibility to maintain control over your dog at all times and in all situations. Minimally, your dog should have a reliable sit, recall, an attention/look behavior, and a leave-it Your dog should reliably respond to these cues in your home and in the presence of other dogs and people in novel environments. If you and your dog have not become proficient at these behaviors, or if your dog is distracted by other dogs, enroll yourself and your dog in a reward-based training program that does not use aversives. You will be ready for the dog park once your dog responds reliably to behavioral cues in the presence of other dogs and people.
The sit behavior is useful for getting your dog under control, helping the
dog to learn to control their impulses and a way you can prevent them from jumping on other people and dogs at the dog park.
A reliable recall behavior will allow you to get your dog to return to you instead of joining a dogfight or may prevent them from mobbing the new dog entering the park.
A well-trained leave-it can work in much the same fashion.
After you have accomplished teaching these behaviors, then take your dog to the dog park.
Why are you taking your dog to the dog park? Not every dog needs to go to
the dog park or for that matter doggie daycare. One of the new myths being perpetuated by some is the idea that you are a bad dog parent unless you take your dog to daycare or the dog park several days per week. The fact is, not all dogs will benefit from or enjoy dog parks or doggie daycare. We rescued our Cairn Terrier Dulcie when she was about five years old. We let her settle in our home, and a few weeks later I sent her to daycare. I owned the daycare, it was easy, and I thought she would enjoy socializing with other dogs. Within a couple of days, my staff was telling me “Dulcie hates daycare. She has no interest in the other dogs and wants them to stay far away.” That ended Dulcie’s daycare adventure and also let me know that Dulcie would have hated a dog park.
If your dog loves a rousing game of fetch, it is entirely possible that they will not enjoy other dogs chasing after their “ball.” There are many places to play fetch other than the dog park.
If your dog only needs a place to sniff or roll in the grass, fence in your yard or if that is not an option, put your dog on a long line (a 15 to 20-foot leash) and let them explore your yard or non-dog parks where dogs are allowed.
Daycare and dog parks are for well-socialized dogs that already enjoy the company of other dogs and people.
Neither the dog park nor daycare is an appropriate venue for the remedial socialization of a dog that is anxious or reactive to other dogs or people.
Do you have a basic understanding of dog behavior? Many of the myths about dogs, such as; dominance and being “alpha,” and the need to use aversives to exert dominance are not only false but are counterproductive to the training, management, and care of a dog. They can easily cause a dog to become unsuitable for interactions at the dog park. If you need help in understanding what is fact and what is myth about canine behavior, seek out a professional rewarded-based, fear-free dog trainer. Do NOT rely on the internet which is where many of the erroneous information about dog behavior is routinely circulated.
Do you understand the subtlety of body language used by dogs? Dog’s use their body to communicate with other dogs as well as us. A dog may give many signals before they react, giving us an opportunity to help them before things get out of hand. You need to be able to recognize your dog’s calls for help. A professional force-free and pain-free dog trainer can teach you how to interpret what your dog is trying to tell you.
How well do you understand dog play behavior? Most dogs love to play, and it is an essential part of their ongoing development. However, no dog will play if they are thirsty, hungry, tired, in pain or fearful. Dogs need to feel both physically and emotionally safe before they will play. A dog that is new to you, especially a rescue, is unlikely to feel safe in your home immediately, much less at a dog park filled with strangers. Until you have established a bond of trust with your dog, you are better off avoiding the dog park. When you do decide to visit the dog park, be ready to leave if your dog is not having a good time.
Play has no other aim but itself, it is all about fun. Normal dog play includes bits and pieces of aggressive, predatory, and sexual behavior in a non-threatening context. Once a dog is playing it usually is all about play. Keep the dog park for play and other places for training. A visit to the dog park can be a high-value reward after a brief training session.
Play is ALWAYS voluntary. First of all, it is NOT play if any of the participants are not interested in playing. When a dog initiates play, it is normal to respect others dog when they tell them “not now.” Not all dogs do well at this. When my dog Tikken was a puppy, she was not good at listening to older dogs who asked that she back off.
Play is self-rewarding. Just like some people get a “runners high” and others get addicted to gambling, chocolate, nicotine, and narcotics some dogs can get addicted to playing, which is not a good thing. The same thing that happens in the brain of a runner or drug addict can happen in the brain of a dog. Fetch, which is predatory behavior, is self-rewarding, and with some dogs can become a compulsive behavior. Our dog Dulcie was a ball addict. When people did not “give Dulcie “a tennis ball fix,” she became cranky and chronically stressed. Chronic stress can cause numerous emotional, mental and physical health issues. Dogs can also get addicted to the dog park, so remember, visit in moderation. I discourage daily visits to the dog park.
Play is not the same as reality. While play is very real, it is a variation on normal behaviors such as aggression, predation, and sex. That is why dogs will typically signal play via a play bow. The play bow means that what the dog does following the play bow and is NOT aggression or predation. Be aware that the play bow can also be used as a calming signal to increase distance. A play bow requesting play will be very dynamic with fluid and quick lateral motions. A play bow in slow motion is a way of saying “take it down a notch.”
Play is flexible and variable. Dogs will find a variety of ways to play. If it is with an object, play might constitute mouthing it, tossing it around, or pushing it with their nose. If it is play with another dog they might wrestle, chase, lie down and chew next to each other, then do some more chasing. Play is variable to keep it fun.
Play includes role reversals; there are no winners. Appropriate play between two dogs should be balanced. Dog A chases Dog B; then Dog B. chases Dog A, etc.. Dog B is on top when wrestling than Dog A gets their turn on top. If play is one-sided, it is no longer play.
Play includes self-handicapping. Older and larger dogs will often self-handicap when playing with smaller and younger dogs. We used to have an English Mastiff daycare with us, and she was one of the best dogs at getting puppies to play because she was so gentle and good at self-handicapping.
How reliable are your dogs sit, leave it, and recall behaviors? You have a
responsibility to be able to control your dog when they are out in public. Lack of training becomes even more critical at a dog park. If your dog cannot reliably perform a; SIT, LEAVE IT, or RECALL in the presence of other dogs, they are not a good candidate to take to the dog park. A professional, reward-based, force-free trainer can help you teach your dog these behaviors.
Do you know how to break-up a dogfight? If you are at all worried about your dog getting into a fight, do not go to the dog park. If you scout out the dog park before you bring your dog there, you should minimize the chances of a fight if the dog park passes my recommended tests. Dr. Sophia Yin has written an excellent article on breaking up a dog fight which you can access by clicking the link found above.
For Your First Visit – Leave Your Dog At Home
I recommend that you visit the dog park without your dog until you can first assess the physical facility and the parks culture. Visit the dog park without your dog on a day and at a time when you are likely to visit, looking for the following:
Assessing the Dog Park
Does the park have a double-gated entrance? – A double-gated entrance is a basic safety feature for a dog park. By opening only one gate at a time, it is possible to limit the possibility of dogs escaping. If there is no double gate, find another dog park
Is there a separate area for smaller dogs? – There is a huge difference in mass between a 4lb Yorkie and a 250lb English Mastiff. Even with no malicious intent, a larger dog can seriously injure a small dog during play. If you have a small dog, 30lb and less, you need a separate area at the dog park. Moreover, just because your little dog thinks they are a big dog, is no reason to allow them to play in the big dog area.
How large is the dog park and where is it located? – Ideally, a dog park will be several acres in size. Sadly, dog parks are often low priorities for many municipalities and are typically too small. Ten dogs in some dog parks at the same time may be too many. Dog parks are often located on the outskirts of town or in a less than desirable neighborhood, so think about your safety as well. My favorite dog park is Bruce Pit in Ottawa, Ontario. I had the opportunity to tour Bruce Pitt with my friend Carolyn Clark and Turid Rugaas, the author of Calming Signals. The park is enormous with varied terrain for the dogs to explore. It is possible to for your dog and a canine buddy to interact there without encountering a horde of frenetic fur balls.
Is the fencing in good repair so that a dog cannot hurt themselves or escape? – I own a kennel with lots of fencing and can tell you unequivocally it requires constant maintenance, especially after a Maine winter. Sadly, the dog park is often the last on the priority list for many municipal park departments. If the fencing is in disrepair, find another dog park.
Is the grass mowed on a regular basis and are the weeds under control? Like it or not, ticks are now part of our lives in Maine. Ticks love long grass. Recognize that if the grass at the dog park, both inside the fence and along the outside border of the fence, is not mowed on a regular basis, you may be exposing your dog and yourself to ticks and the many diseases they carry.
Is the park equipped to handle dog feces? – Any dog park needs to have; a dispenser for bags you can use to dispose of your dog’s poop and a closed container to be used for the disposal of filled poop bags and other trash. If the trash can is full, it is not getting emptied often enough. Dog feces will attract rodents, which in turn can spread parasites throughout the park. Walk around the park and observe if it is clear of feces. If not, this sadly suggests those using the park are not being good stewards and that you will want to find another dog park.
Assessing the Dog Park’s Culture
Are people focused and monitoring their dogs? Dogs at play need to be supervised, and you cannot be wrapped up in conversations with other people or engrossed in a cell phone and still be responsibly monitoring your dog. The best dog parks will not have places for people to sit. If people are not supervising their dogs, you want to pick a different time, day, or dog park.
How many dogs are present and is there one person for each dog? Dog Walkers and Pet Sitters sometimes bring groups of dogs that they are caring for to dog parks because they do not have their own People with multiple dogs may also bring more than one dog to the dog park. I believe that there should be one responsible adult human per every dog at the dog park.
How do the dogs in the park greet newcomers? Are they under control? When entering a dog park, a person and their dog are often swarmed by other dogs at the park. While the dogs charging to greet your dog may not have any malicious intent, your dog may not see it that way. If other people at the dog park are acting responsibly, they will call their dog to them and keep it under control so that you and your dog can enter the dog park in peace.
Are any of the dogs at the park bullying other dogs? If another dog is behaving pushy towards your dog, your dog will probably find the dog park a less than enjoyable experience. The dog that is being the bully is learning that type of behavior is okay, which means they are more likely to practice it more often. The dog park needs to be a bully-free zone.
Are any of the dogs wearing shock, choke, or prong collars?Aversives (choke collars, prong collars, shock collars, and more) have no place in the training or management of any dog and are likely to cause fear and aggression; neither trait makes for a good dog park dog. Both the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) recommend that aversives should never be used.
So Let’s Go to the Park!
If you believe you and your dog are ready for the dog park and have found a park that meets your criteria for safety, then by all means go. Listed below are items I suggest you take with you whenever you visit a dog park with your dog.
Things to Bring When You Go to the Dog Park
An extra leash
Water and a bowl
A first aid kit
A cell phone pre-programmed with the number of the closest vet, but keep it in the car
Your insurance information and a pen and paper to record information
Things to Leave at Home or in the Car When You go to the Dog Park
Your cell phone
Your iPad or any type of electronic tablet
Anything that will distract you from supervising your dog
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Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( greenacreskennel.com ) in Bangor. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). He produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show heard on The Pulse AM620 WZON and streamed at http://www.wzonradio.com/ every Saturday at 9 AM. A list of upcoming shows and podcasts of past shows can be found at www.woofmeowshow.com. Don also writes about pets at his blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com. He is committed to pet care and pet training that is free of pain, force, and fear. The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.
The information you will need when you learn of a recall includes:
The specific brand name and formula of the food being recalled. (g., Yummy Pet Adult formula)
The size of the package being recalled (g. 3.2lbs bag). In some cases only a specific size package may be recalled, other times it may be multiple package types.
The SKU number for the product(s)
The manufacturer’s lot number, used to identify the date and time the food was manufactured.
The “Best by” or expiration date.
What to do with the product you have remaining.
When Green Acres Kennel Shop learns of a pet food recall we first determine if any of our clients have purchased the product. If a client has provided us with contact information, we call or email them if they have purchased the recalled product. We then post a recall notice on our blog at www.words-woofs.meows.com and on the Green Acres Kennel Shop Facebook page to alert others who may have purchased the recalled product from someplace other than our store. If you subscribe to our blog, you will be emailed these notices automatically. If you like and follow the Green Acres Kennel Shop Facebook page and set Following to “See First,” any recall notice we post there should automatically appear in your Facebook newsfeed. I say “should” because we all know Facebook is constantly changing. You can also retrieve information on pet food recalls from the FDA’s website at https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/.
Once you have the above information, you can determine what to do next. As long as you have kept the original bag/can/container/package which the food came in, you can compare the product SKU, lot number, and best by date to determine if you have a product that has been recalled. We recommend that you always keep the container the food came in until you have used all of the food. At Green Acres, we can tell you what SKU you purchased and when you purchased it, but we do not have access to lot numbers and best by dates.
If your specific pet food is not affected by the recall, you do not need to do anything.
If your specific pet food is affected by the recall, contact the retailer where you purchased the product, and they can provide you with instructions on how to proceed. At Green Acres, we will offer you a full refund on products that have been recalled, provided the product was purchased at Green Acres, and that you have the original packaging.
If you do not have the original packaging and therefore cannot determine if the food you have has been recalled, it will be safest to dispose of the food.
Redbarn Pet Products voluntarily recalls all lots of bully sticks manufactured with raw material from a single supplier because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. The recall is limited to products distributed March 2017 through February 2018. This supplier’s raw material was used to produce the Redbarn, Chewy Louie, Dentley’s and Good Lovin’ brand products listed below with best-buy dates ending in BC. In total, 24 SKUs are affected. No illnesses, injuries or complaints have been reported to date.
If you have products on the list below, it is recommended that you stop using them and that you return them to the place they were purchased for a full refund.
This recall has been expanded from the original notice of 9FEB18.
While Green Acres had not sold any of the products in the initial notice, we have sold some of the Redbarn Bully Sticks at Green Acres listed in the expanded notice. If you have them, please return them for a full refund.
Family-owned Redbarn takes the safety of our products, pets, and customers as a number one concern. Redbarn employs an extensive Quality Assurance team that run over 400 safety tests on their products every week. All products are tested multiple times, for bacteria like Salmonella, coliforms, and enteros. A product is declared safe to ship only after it tests negatively for these bacteria and other pathogens. As company President Jeff Sutherland explained, “In expanding this voluntary recall, in conjunction with the FDA, we are standing by our core values of quality and integrity. After further investigation, we have decided to recall all products that were produced from raw materials sourced from this supplier to ensure we fully captured all potentially affected product and keep our customers safe.”
Consumers with questions may contact the company via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-800-775-3849, M-F, 8am-5pm PST.
Steve’s Real Food is voluntarily recalling one lot (Lot E178) of 5lb Raw Frozen Dog Food Turkey Canine Recipe due to the possibility it may be contaminated with Salmonella. The recall was initiated after the Steve’s was notified by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture that a retail sample was collected and tested positive for Salmonella. No pet or consumer illnesses from this product have been reported to date.
While Green Acres Kennel Shop sells Steve’s Real Food for Pets products, we have not sold this particular SKU during the timeframe noted below. If we had, we would contact our clients by phone or email.
Because of their commitment to overall safety and quality, Steve’s Real Food is conducting a voluntary recall of this product. Consumers should also follow the safe handling tips published on the Steve’s Real Food packaging when disposing of the affected product. The potentially affected lot of 5lb. frozen turkey nuggets were distributed to retail pet food stores in states of CA, CO, CT, IA, KS, FL, MD, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, NJ, NV, NY, OR, PA, TX, UT, VA, and WA. Fifty-two cases of this product was distributed between 6/27/17 – 7/15/17.
The affected product was sold frozen in 5lb bags. Those bags affected by this recall are identified with the following UPC codes and the “Best by” date located on the bag.
DogFoodAdvisor has reported that the J.M. Smucker Company is voluntarily withdrawing several canned dog food products because of a concern that these foods contain low levels of a euthanasia drug, pentobarbital. This begs the question, are euthanized animals being used as an ingredient in pet food, and if not, how does Smucker’s explain pentobarbital showing up in their food?
Further research indicates that this was a duplicate of an announcement from earlier in the year. My apologies, however, when it comes to recalls of product that could may our pets ill, I will always error on the side of safety. – Don
Blue Buffalo has voluntarily recalled one lot of BLUE Wilderness® Rocky Mountain Recipe™ Red Meat Dinner Wet Food For Adult Dogs as the product has the potential to contain elevated levels of naturally- occurring beef thyroid hormones. According to the recall notice from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “Dogs ingesting high levels of beef thyroid hormones may exhibit symptoms such as increased thirst and urination, weight loss, increased heart rate and restlessness. These symptoms may resolve when the use of the impacted food is discontinued. However, with prolonged consumption these symptoms may increase in severity and may include vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid or difficulty breathing. Should these symptoms occur, contact your veterinarian immediately.”
UPC CODE: 840243101153, Best Buy Date: June 7, 2019 (found on the bottom of the can)
We do not spend lots of time discussing recall in our Puppy Headstart class; there simply is not enough time in the four weeks we have. However, it is a critical behavior, and one most new puppy parents want to start teaching their puppy. A puppy usually stays pretty close to its new family the first few weeks, making it is easy to get a false sense of security, believing that your puppy has already mastered the recall behavior and will instantly come back to you in any situation. Based on twenty five plus years as a professional dog trainer, I can tell you that this is extremely unlikely.
It is not my intention to scare you but to be honest with you. Your puppy will reach a point where they will be confident and ready to leave your side without warning. This urge to bolt often happens between twelve and sixteen weeks of age, roughly equivalent to humans becoming teenagers. The recall that you thought was perfect will no longer work. That is why I recommend that dogs be secured in fenced areas when they are off leash. I have had too many phone calls from students telling me that they wished they would have followed my advice because their puppy bolted into the road in front of a car and was seriously injured or killed.
Below I describe how you can start building a reliable recall with a game called puppy ping pong. This is something that you can start doing immediately. However, pleased understand that having a recall that can save your dog’s life takes lots of practice. In my experience, very few dogs are at that point before they are twelve to eighteen months of age. Some dogs, despite working with incredible trainers, never reach the point where they can be safe off leash in non-fenced areas.
OBJECTIVE: To teach your dog to enthusiastically and immediately come to you in any circumstance, when given a single visual or verbal cue. Teaching your dog the Attention/Look cue and Collar Control and Restraint first will make teaching recall easier.
I believe “Come” is the most crucial cue your puppy/dog needs to know. It means, “Come to me happily without any hesitation or wandering.” It is a behavior which may save your dog’s life. It can take many months of training and thousands of repetitions before you will have a dog that reliably comes every time you ask for the behavior. Even if you think your three-month-old puppy knows to come when called, do not be surprised as this changes when the dog becomes older and begins to explore the world. This is often when a puppy takes off and gets killed when they are hit by a car. In my 25+ years training dogs, I heard that story far too often, so if it scares you, I am sorry, but if it keeps you from making that mistake, I have accomplished my goal.
Remember, often when your dog to instantaneously stop what they are doing and return to you, they are engaged in something extremely enticing such as eating a tasty piece of deer poop or chasing a squirrel. To be successful, you need to have a significant history of offering the dog something equally and preferably better than the object that has your dog’s attention. Training a reliable recall takes time, patience, and many repetitions.
NEVER scold or punish your dog after he has come to you, even if it seems like he took forever. Unless you are excited, happy, and pleased that your dog had returned to your presence and allowed you to catch me, your dog will think even longer before coming the next time. Your recall cue MUST be the most positive word that your dog hears and should never be associated with anything negative. (Remember, think like a dog. Coming to you must always be safe and rewarding from your dog’s point of view. For example, asking your dog to come when they are playing outside and then putting him in his kennel or calling your dog to you and then trimming their nails will be NOT be considered to be rewarding for most dogs. Call them in, give them a treat, play with them for a little bit, then put your dog in their kennel, or trim their nails.
ALWAYS reward and praise your dog for coming to you, even if you did not ask them to come. Remember, the best reward for most dogs is going to be a high-value treat, something with is mostly meat. Expecting your dog to be excited about getting a dog biscuit would be like you offering me a box of soda crackers for helping you move to which I would respond; “I’m sorry I’m busy all weekend.”
While training the recall, do NOT use the verbal cue you intend to use for the recall; most people choose the word “Come,” unless you are 100% sure that your dog will come to you. Most people start using verbal cues before the dog is ready. Some dogs have heard the word “come” so many times while doing everything but running towards you that to them, it means “continue doing what you are doing.” Until your dog has been trained reliably to a recall cue, go and get your dog when required and reward him for being “captured.”
ALWAYS use a pleasant tone of voice when asking your dog to come. If you sound angry, your dog will perceive you as being a threat and not safe and is not going to want to come to you. Many times I hear people start with a very friendly “COME” and then when the dog does not move towards them, the person follows it up with a harsher sounding “COME.” Would that make you more likely to move towards someone who is now angry with you? When you go from happy to angry you have made two mistakes; you have not adequately trained your dog to come on the first cue, and you allowed yourself to become frustrated with your dog for your error, which decreases the probability of the desired behavior. Be enthusiastic and happy and use your voice to reflect that attitude. No deep booming voices, high-pitched squeals work much better (Guys, man-up, you can do this!) and do not keep repeating the same annoying and nagging phrase over and over (e.g., “Come Sparky, come on, come, Sparky, Sparky, come”).
ALWAYS use “dog-friendly” body language when asking your dog to come. Standing or kneeling with your arms open and outstretched and leaning back is very inviting for most dogs. Even the slightest lean forward by you can be seen as confrontational by your dog. Sometimes running a few steps towards your dog then immediately turning around and running away is all you need to do!
Even after your dog has been trained to respond to a verbal cue for recall, ALWAYS make sure you have your dog’s attention before telling them to come
Only say your verbal cue once and only after you have your dog’s attention. Saying it several times only teaches your dog that your request is optional, and the verbal cue you are using for recall becomes irrelevant.
If after training to your dog to 99% reliability and they do not come, go and get him, reward him with a treat! Moreover, praise him! If you yell at him, you have just taught him that “getting caught” results in punishment. Also, understand that you need to do some more training.
Do not overuse the cue “come.” Allow this word to remain meaningful. For example; do not use your recall cue when trying to get your dog closer to you while working on teaching heel/walking politely. If my dog is out in the backyard enjoying herself while rolling in the grass, I am going get off my lazy butt, go over to her, kneel and play with her, and get her to follow me inside. If we are honest with ourselves, we all know that we could use the extra steps in our daily routine and that the scenario I have outlined is not one where we need an instantaneous response.
Get your dog used to being handled by their collar when they come to you (see Collar Control & Restraint). Your dog’s collar is usually the only thing you will be able to use to restrain your dog. Dogs that are not given positive reinforcement for allowing us to handle them by their collars often become collar shy.
Do not always tell your dog to come after he has been placed on a stay. You do not want your dog to lose his stay position because he is anticipating your next cue.
What If My Dog Does Not Come When Called?
No matter how well you train your dog, there may be some times when your dog does not come. If this happens, there are two things you can do:
If the dog is running away
Throw your arms up, scream, and run away from your dog. Most of the time, the dog will come quickly after you. When your dog arrives, get control of him, praise him lavishly and give him a jackpot of treats. Use this experiences as a wake-up call and recognize you need to do more training.
If the dog is not coming to you
Crouch or lie down on the ground and start whispering to the ground as if you have just found something incredibly wonderful. Your dog will probably come over to investigate. When he does, gently place your hand on your dog’s collar, praise him lavishly and give him a handful of treats. Use this experiences as a wake-up call and recognize they you need to do more training.
Training Exercises to Build A Strong Recall
Start with two or more people at opposite ends of a long hall or room or with a group of people sitting in a circle. Each needs a clicker and some treats. We recommend you always use a high-value treat, such as some freeze-dried meat or cheese which you use exclusively for training the recall.
The first person crouches or kneels, leans back, and says the dog’s name.
NOTE: Dogs respond positively to reduced body posture, which is why we crouch or kneel. Do NOT bend over at the waist, as this as many dogs will feel threatened when you are in this position.
Get the dog’s attention by clapping your hands while enthusiastically making high-pitched squeaky noises, whatever is necessary to get your dog to come and investigate. If you need to, run up to the dog quickly, then quickly run backward, praising your dog as your dog comes towards you.
As the dog starts coming towards you, excitedly praise him l “Good Dog!” “Good Job!” Many people make the mistake of waiting to praise the dog until he has arrived. We want to reward the actual behavior of coming towards you.
When the dog is in front of you, put your fingers on the dog’s collar below their head (see Collar Control & Restraint) and click and treat with a high-value reward, such as noted above. It is imperative that you gently grasp the collar, so your dog associates this as being a good thing. The first few times he comes, praise him for a good 15 seconds, making a big deal about how wonderful he was to come to you.
Repeat the above steps, having the other person(s) call the dog.
When the dog starts to automatically return to the other person after the click and treat, you are ready to play this game in another location.
As the dog gets proficient at this, fade the hand clapping and noises.
When the dog is consistently coming, you are ready to play the next game, which we will teach you in Basic Manners.