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DogsAndTheMob

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  1. Comparison of raw, dry, and fresh cooked

    Thanks Kayla - that’s good to know. Here’s another article on the study, with a somewhat different interpretation: https://aces.illinois.edu/news/fresh-and-raw-diets-dogs-may-have-health-benefits-study-says It’s interesting to note that the study was sponsored by the manufacturers of three of the four foods, including the raw food, which appears to have been pulled from the market. I’m also intrigued to see that kale is the second ingredient. Kale reportedly has low digestibility for humans and ruminants, so I’m not sure how digestible it would be for dogs.
  2. Comparison of raw, dry, and fresh cooked

    I’m not an advocate of raw feeding, but I’m sceptical about the interpretation of this study. I’ve taken the time to read the abstract (although I’m not prepared to pay to read the full research study, sorry), and I’ve looked at the ingredients lists and fat/protein/carbs ratios for the dry food and the raw food. The compositions of these foods are very different, and there is no evidence to indicate that the differences found are due to the different processing methods rather than differences in composition. Also, the sample size is very small (8 dogs; 7 days of activity monitoring per food; 5 days of faecal output monitoring per food; 1 day of blood sampling per food) and the range of measures might indicate a “fishing expedition” - to put it simply, if you measure enough things, you are likely to find statistical differences, purely by chance.
  3. Breeding for colour

    I think the news report is misleading. The research report published in Canine Genetics and Epidemiology indicates that the longevity of 139 non-chocolate labs was compared with that of 34 chocolate labs. This is vastly different from a study of 33,000 dogs, or even the 2,074 dogs for whom “disorder and mortality data” was extracted! https://cgejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40575-018-0064-x
  4. A breeder told me I should split up my dogs

    I wouldn’t be concerned, unless the breeder observed the dogs and specifically identified something problematic in body language or behaviour. Over her 13 year life, my husky lived with border collies, German shepherds and a miniature poodle, without any problems. She also visited my mother and played happily with her German Shepherd and border collies. I didn’t usually leave more than two dogs together unattended, and we separated the miniature poodle from the larger dogs when we went out, but that’s my usual practice, not something I did because I had concerns.
  5. Safety is a consideration for the purchaser as well. Many years ago, I went to an isolated property to look at a pony for my daughter, and was unnerved by the seller’s reaction when I said I wouldn’t buy the pony. I drove away, and the seller followed me at speed to the property’s front gate. Now, I’d be wary about meeting a seller anywhere, unless I had good reason to believe they were genuine.
  6. Playpens and Crates for First Puppy

    There may be times throughout Molly’s life when it’s not safe for her to have free run of the house and yard - if tradesmen are working there, for example, so one option would be to invest in a large outdoor run and kennel, which would serve as a safe place for Molly in the future. Another option would be to buy a baby-gate, and use it to to shut off a safe room such as the bathroom or laundry. The latter is not my preferred option in terms of toilet/house training, but she may be okay for a couple of hours if she’s toiletted just before you leave her, and you’re prepared to clean up any accidents without recriminations. I’ve never used indoor toiletting products for my dogs, but that may be worth considering. Whatever safe place you select for Molly, make a big effort to ensure that she’s accustomed to relaxing in there, and select some toys and food dispensers to entertain her. Yes, puppies will push play-pens around, and I’ve also had one jump up and get a paw caught between the tops of two panels. Luckily, I was in the next room and extricated her before any harm was done.
  7. Escape artist

    These are some of the ideas I’ve found effective: A large run (approx 20 metres by 5 metres) made from 1.8 metre chain wire and 2.4 metre star pickets, with an electric wire on the inside. When we moved to the country, I had no experience building fences, but my teenage children and I were able to build that run for a few hundred dollars and it lasted 15 years. Most of the time my dogs are inside with us, but the run was a safe place for the my German Shepherd and Husky when nobody was home. More recently, I’ve used pool fencing around the verandah. When I purchased a puppy a couple of years ago, I took a panel out of the pool fencing and installed a commercial run half on the cement and half on the grass, where the puppy would be safe when we weren’t home. When I was helping a relative whose dogs were digging under her fence, I loosely fastened star pickets to the bottom of the fence, parallel to the ground, so that their edges bumped against the dogs’ noses when they tried to squeeze under the fence. I have used star pickets in the same way to keep goats in their paddocks, and as an alternative way to stop goats squeezing under fences (for long fence lines) I have used heavy fire-fighting hose (10cm diameter). I spend a lot of time recall training my young dogs, walking them on a long leash and calling them back to me for treats. This was so effective at conditioning my husky’s recall that, on one occasion, when a flock of birds burst from the long grass just in front of her, I called her and she turned to me out of habit before she could set off in pursuit. ( I learnt my lesson, however, and I was more careful about keeping her on leash after that.) Huskies are notoriously unreliable off-lead, but I didn’t want my husky to miss out on companionship or exercise, so I’d take her with me when I was working around the farm, but I’d walk her on a long cord and tether her when I needed both hands for a task - taking care that she couldn’t get tangled or hang herself by jumping a fence. A caution about electric fencing: If it is installed, be wary about leaving it switched off. One of my dogs was injured when the wire of an electric fence tangled around her leg. If the fence had been switched on, she would have avoided it. I would also worry about installing it on the outside of the main fence, in case the dog pushed under the main fence, touched the electric fence and was trapped there, getting shocked.
  8. After all this time I can’t remember how long it was - between six and twelve months, I think. With Sammy, the precipitating factor was when she wore her hind claws down to the quick; Back then, GSD sized booties weren’t available. She still had some hindquarters mobility and enjoyed bark on command and shell games in lieu of more active training, and the DM wasn’t causing her pain, but I worried that the damage to her claws would hurt. Missy had lost most of her hindquarter strength but was still very strong in her forequarters when I gave her her wings; we helped her walk using a towel under her stomach to support her. For her, the precipitating factor was when a passer-by leant over the fence and persisted in talking to my other dog even though I asked her to go away. Missy dragged herself down the path and the passer-by reported us to the RSPCA. Thank goodness I was able to demonstrate that we’d been actively canvassing vets for treatment. However, I felt that I could no longer protect Missy from harm.
  9. I had two GSDs with DM a few decades ago. The disease wasn’t well understood then, and there wasn’t much available even for therapy or support. I considered acupuncture for one dog but the vet/acupuncturist didn’t think it would help. Surprisingly, my happy-go-lucky Sammy didn’t cope well and became very frightened of falling, whereas Missy - an introverted dog - adapted well and taught herself to seek support from walls and fences. I even found her, on one occasion, propped against the clothes hoist while she showed her young apprentice how to dig holes in the lawn. The fact that your dog has developed a technique for getting through the doggy door seems like a good sign - confidence and adaptation is so important, I think. Have you considered a mobility cart? I found an overseas vendor’s website with a lot of information on carts for dogs with DM, but I don’t know if there’s anything available in Australia.
  10. Veterinary records/notes retention

    I’m sorry for your loss, Sharon. I do know what you’re going through, as I’ve lost two dogs in the last decade when vets failed to take my concerns seriously. If it’s any consolation, Egg may have received better care than the notes indicate. Clinicians caring for people not infrequently fail to record the care they provide, despite warnings that “if it’s not documented it didn’t happen”. I doubt if busy vets and vet nurses would be any better at documentation. Have you considered your options for ongoing routine and emergency vet care? In my experience, finding accessible after-hours veterinary care can be a struggle, and something that needs to be considered before an emergency occurs. In the last few years, I’ve alternated vets for routine checks and vaccinations, because I’m not happy with the closest after hours emergency vet, but sometimes any vet is better than none. I’ve also lost a dog to snake-bite on route to a more distant specialty after-hours vet practice.
  11. Aggression towards other puppies.

    Be careful about the off-lead play sessions. That doesn’t sound like a pleasant experience for the poodle puppy, to say the least; experiences like that can cause ongoing anxieties.. It’s also very bad for Nugget to have the opportunity to rehearse problem behaviours. I’d seek out a reputable behaviourist or trainer specialising in that sort of problem.
  12. Help!

    I’m so sorry for your loss. i think dominance is often a simplistic explanation for complex emotional and behavioural reactions and doubly so in your situation, where the dogs and you have endured so much change so quickly. Milly may be particularly affected because of her age and developmental stage. I’d advise consulting a behaviourist who can explain what’s happening and - more importantly! - how to deal with the problem. In the interim, try to anticipate triggers and intervene before trouble occurs. You already know that mealtimes are a trigger, so it would help to separate the dogs into different rooms for their meals, and keep them there until they’ve calmed down. Anything that causes excitement - including rough play - can act as a trigger. As you can’t control this in your absence, could you separate Milly into a run while you’re out? Having three dogs together unsupervised can be risky, as a two-on-one fight can inflict a great deal of harm.
  13. Types of dogs for 6ry old with autism.

    Markable are ANKC breeders of curly coated retrievers, who breed dogs for use as assistance dogs. They say they have two adult dogs available for placement as assistance dogs. I don’t know if it was one of their dogs, but I recently saw a curly coated retriever working as an assistance dog for a young adult with a disability. It was in a very crowded supermarket and the dog seemed to be very “grounding” for the young woman. The dog didn’t look entirely comfortable with the crowds - who could blame it? - but coped well and gave the young woman something to focus on while her father got the groceries.
  14. Darwin's dog identification survey!

    I can’t find kelpies on the drop-down menu!
  15. Baladi - the dog getting over its bad image “The Baladi dog breed is so prolific in Egypt that they are often found as strays while people prefer to buy more expensive pooches. But things are changing as their character, street-smarts and loyalty have been giving them a fan following.”
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