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World’s smallest deer species born at N.Y. zoo

In this May 27, 2015 photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society, a southern pudu fawn walks in its enclosure at the Queens Zoo in New York. The male southern pudu fawn, the world's smallest deer species, was born May 12 at the Queens Zoo. Southern pudus tend to be around a foot tall at the shoulder. When they're born, they're only 6 inches high, and weigh less than a pound.  Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society/AP

© Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society/AP In this May 27, 2015 photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society, a southern pudu fawn walks in its enclosure at the Queens Zoo in New York.

AP – NEW YORK — A tiny deer is generating a giant dose of cuteness in New York City.

The Wildlife Conservation Society sent out a baby announcement Monday. It’s a boy!

The southern pudu (POO’-doo) fawn — the world’s smallest deer species — was born May 12 at the Queens Zoo.

The fawn is still nursing but soon will be munching on leaves, grain, kale, carrots and hay.

The white spots on his soft brown fur will disappear as he grows up.

In his case, though, "growing up" won’t be much of a vertical process.

Southern pudus tend to be around a foot tall at the shoulder.

When they’re born, they’re only 6 inches high — and weigh less than a pound.

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June 9, 2015 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal Cuteness, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Success Stories, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , | 1 Comment

Groundhog Day 2013

Early spring? The groundhog says…

Alex Wong / Getty Images

By Scott Stump, MSN TODAY Animal Tracks contributor

Let the spring fever commence!

Punxsutawney Phil crawled out early Saturday morning and did not see his shadow, signaling it will be an early spring.

"Spring, bring it on," said TODAY’s Erica Hill.

"The groundhog has proved me wrong once again," said TODAY’s Dylan Dreyer, who guessed the Phil would see his shadow. "He messes me up."

Anthony Quintano / NBC News

This year is the 127th Groundhog Day celebration, which is held at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Coming into this year, Phil had seen his shadow 100 times and had not seen it only 16 times since 1886, according to Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle. There are no records for the missing 10 years. The 15 members of the inner circle, clad in tophats and tuxedos, decide in advance whether to announce Phil has seen his shadow or not, even though the groundhog does the symbolic duty.

In Punxsutawney, which is about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, the groundhog annual makes his prediction on a hill known as Gobbler’s Knob. The event annually attracts more than 15,000 people and brought as many as 30,000 in the wake of the 1993 release of the Bill Murray classic movie "Groundhog Day,” according to the Inner Circle. There also are updates on Twitter and Facebook.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

According to local reports, about 35,000 people gathered to watch Phil’s annual forecast.

The celebration dates to the early Christians in Europe, particularly the Germans, who were some of the earliest settlers of Pennsylvania and believed the groundhog’s intelligence was such that if the sun came out on Feb. 2 it would be smart enough to go back underground for another six weeks of winter. The first written observance of the tradition came in 1886 after it had earlier been conducted privately in wooded areas outside town.

Slideshow: Punxsutawney Phil, the weather-prognosticating groundhog

David Maxwell / EPA

Groundhog Day 2013: Staten Island Chuck predicts early spring for New York City

NY Daily News: Chuck did not see his shadow when he came out of his burrow at the Staten Island Zoo this morning

Staten Island Chuck did not see his shadow, as City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn, was on hand for the February 2nd ritual, with other city officials at the Staten Island Zoo for the annual Groundhog festivities.  Quinn wore special gloves made of Kevlar, made special for the Mayor who could not attend, after being bit last year.  (Joe Marino for New York Daily News)

Joe Marino/for New York Daily News – Staten Island Chuck did not see his shadow this year.

The city is due for an early spring according to Staten Island Chuck, who did not see his shadow – or old rival Mayor Bloomberg – Saturday morning.

The local groundhog did not spot his shadow when he crawled out of his home in the Staten Island Zoo, which mirrored the prediction of his more acclaimed brethren, Punxsutawney Phil.

GROUNDHOG3N_2_WEB

Joe Marino/for New York Daily News -  City Council Speaker Christine Quinn wore special gloves made of Kevlar for 2013’s Groundhog Day festivities. The gloves made specially for the Mayor, who could not attend after being bitten last year.

Bloomberg was a noticeable no-show for the event. He famously was bitten by the rodent in 2009 and has repeatedly made his hatred of Chuck a running joke in the following years.

A mayoral spokesman noted that this was the fifth time out of his 12 years in office that Bloomberg did not attend the Groundhog Day event. No reason for his absence was provided.

GROUNDHOG3N_5_WEB

Joe Marino/for New York Daily News -  Staten Island Chuck coming out of his home at the Staten Island zoo.

His Hizzoner’s role was filled by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who can have many more up-close-and-personal encounters with Chuck if she is successful in her own mayoral bid. Quinn also led the ceremony in 2008.

Bloomberg has largely backed Quinn but has not offered an official endorsement. It was not clear if the Groundhog’s Day ceremony was intended to be an official passing of the torch – or, passing of heavy-duty work gloves – from Bloomberg to Quinn.

GROUNDHOG3N_3_WEB

Joe Marino/for New York Daily News  -  Crowds gathered on Feb. 2, 2013 at the Staten Island Zoo to await Staten Island Chuck’s prediction of how soon spring will come.

The Speaker led the cheers when Chuck delivered his forecast soon after sunrise.

A similar, though grander, spectacle also took place about 315 miles to the west when Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his home in Gobbler’s Knob before thousands of people chanting his name.

He "consulted" with tophat-wearing local leaders before decreeing that an early spring was on the horizon.

Those tired of the bone-chilling temperatures that have blanketed the Northeast should hope that his predictive powers have grown more accurate. Last year, he declared that six more weeks of winter were ahead – yet the stretch between January and July 2012 was the warmest on record, according to the National Weather Service.

The Groundhog Day ceremony has exploded in popularity since the release of the movie by the same name, Groundhog Day, which starred Bill Murray and came out 20 years ago this week.  It is a great movie to own and make part of your yearly Groundhog Day tradition: Groundhog Day (15th Anniversary Special Edition) [Blu-ray]

jlemire@nydailynews.com

Hollywood Beach (Florida) Groundhog Day event

February 3, 2013 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Holidays With Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pets Displaced by Sandy Find Temporary Home

The ASPCA Emergency Boarding Facility has been up and running in Brooklyn since Saturday November 17! Our dedicated staff and volunteers are currently caring for about 150 animals and providing relief to Sandy victims who need temporary housing for their pets.

St Bernard Resuced After Hurricane Sandy

Check out photos of the operation in our Facebook album.

This week, we received pets at locations near the hardest hit areas, including the Rockaways and Coney Island on Monday and Tuesday and Staten Island and Red Hook later in the week. The facility has also welcomed pets who were being housed at evacuation centers or a Sean Casey Animal Rescue facility, as well as animals dropped off directly by their families.

Made possible in part thanks to a $500,000 grant from Rachael Ray, this free service was created in response to the many pet parents who asked for a place to board animals until they found new homes. With the help of volunteers from the ASPCA Adoption Center, Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and elsewhere, we’re aiming to give hundreds of families a chance to rebuild their lives without having to say goodbye to their beloved furry family members.

Watch this blog for updates.

If you or someone you know was affected by Sandy and would like to use our free boarding service, please read this post for details.

If you would like to donate to our Disaster Relief Fund, you can do so here.

Rachael Ray donates $500,000, food to Sandy pets

Rachal Ray donated $500.000 to help animals affected by hurricane Sandy and 4 tons of Nutritious food for them.

Related:

Breezy Point Queens in Ruins – 15-Days After Hurricane Sandy

Horrors of FEMA disaster relief

If You Have to Evacuate to a Shelter, Many in New York and New Jersey Will Allow You to Bring Your Pets

Pets Being Left Behind to Starve by Their Families

November 24, 2012 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Outreach for Pets, Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , | Leave a comment

If You Have to Evacuate to a Shelter, Many in New York and New Jersey Will Allow You to Bring Your Pets

obama-hurricane-Sandy

Photo  Credit:  The Blaze

BabblePets (Photo Credit: iStockphoto): New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg has just announced mandatory evacuations in low-lying areas of the city. There are 65 shelters ready throughout the city, and pets will be welcome. Remember, if you’re not safe in your home, neither is your pet, and you shouldn’t leave Fido and Fluffy behind.

In other areas, however, separate pet shelters are opening up.

iStock 000002529801XSmall 200x300 Hurricane Sandy: If You Have to Evacuate to a Shelter, Can Your Pet Come With You?In New York City, 65 schools will be transformed into shelters, says the Wall Street Journal, and pets will be allowed.

In Long Island, specific pet shelters have been set up in cooperation with the SPCA, says Newsday.

In Connecticut, rules vary by town as to whether pets are allowed. Note that some town shelters will require you to show proof of the animal’s registration and current vaccination record. For a breakdown by town, see NBC Connecticut’s website.

In New Jersey, not all shelters are pet-friendly. Some in Atlantic County are pet-friendly, some are not. In Cape May County, an animal shelter opened in Lower Township at noon today. Animal sheltering trailers will be set up at two other locations in the county.

If the shelters near you are not pet-friendly, try calling your veterinarian’s office, local kennels, and animal rescue centers to see if they have any kennel availability. If you’re heading to a hotel or motel, you can search for pet-friendly accommodations here.

Whether you’re bringing your pet with you to a shelter, a friend’s home, or a hotel, be prepared. Owners should bring their pets’ carriers and crates; and pet owners should bring with them any supplies that may be needed. For an excellent, comprehensive list of supplies to take with you, see Danielle Sullivan’s post, What to Put in Your Pet’s Emergency Disaster Pack.

The Suffolk SPCA, on Long Island, has two locations that allow owners to stay in the same shelter as their animals open and functioning. One is at Suffolk Community College Eastern Campus, located on Riverhead Speonk Road in Riverhead, and the other is the Brentwood Recreational Center at 99 Third Avenue in Brentwood. These shelters operate on a first come, first serve basis and can fit approximately 250 people and their pets in each. Animals allowed in the shelters are dogs, cats and birds.

Video:  STORM PROTECTION FOR PETS HURRICANE SANDY PET Protection Tips

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October 30, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

NYC: Haunted hounds: The annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade

Nearly 500 canines and their owners donned elaborate costumes Saturday for the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade.

There was a doggie Don Draper, a pooch Princess Beatrice, and a bulldog runaway bride, among other adorable pups.

A corgy dressed as a NYC MTA bus was named top dog but wasn’t there to receive the prize.

Look below for some Howl-o-ween fun.

Timothy A. Clary / AFP – Getty Images

A dog dressed as Hurricane Irene.

Timothy A. Clary / AFP – Getty Images

A dog dressed as Don Draper from the television series "Mad Men."

Timothy A. Clary / AFP – Getty Images

Tank the English Bullodog as the "Runaway Bride."

Timothy A. Clary / AFP – Getty Images

Summer Strand and "Princess Beatrice" attend the 21st annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade in New York on Oct. 22, 2011.

Timothy A. Clary / AFP – Getty Images

Karen Biehl and Eli are dressed as peacocks.

Timothy A. Clary / AFP – Getty Images

A dog is dressed as a pin cushion.

Timothy A. Clary / AFP – Getty Images

A dog dressed as a dragon.

Timothy A. Clary / AFP – Getty Images

A dog in costume as a New York City bus.

Timothy A. Clary / AFP – Getty Images

Gina and Scott Keatley with Buttercup as Popeye and Olive.

Timothy A. Clary / AFP – Getty Images

May I help you?

Timothy A. Clary / AFP – Getty Images

Sarah Polgee and Kiki.

What do Princess Beatrice, Don Draper and Hurricane Irene have in common?

They are just a few of the many doggies in costumes that showed up for the 21st Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade in New York City on Oct. 22. 

Hundreds of dogs marched in the parade, with proceeds benefiting the Tompkins Square Park Dog Run Association


First Place: "Best In Show", Harry the corgi dressed as an M23 bus and his owner Ben, dressed as the bus stop, won "Best in Show" at the 21st Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Day Parade on Saturday, Oct 22nd, 2011


First Place: "Best Dog & Owner Combo", "Doggie Moms" Reality TV star Karen Biehl and her chihuahua Eli win First Place: "Best Dog and Owner Combo" as the Peacock


First Place: "Spirit of the East Village", Meteor and Fifi-Gigi on their surfboard take First Prize: "Spirit of the East Village" as "Gidget Goes to Tompkins

First Place:  Non-Costume Costume, The ‘Avatar’ dog



500 dogs and 3,000 spectators gather at the run for the start of the competition October 22, 2011

Thank you to all our sponsors who helped make this year’s event such a success:

Evermore Pet Food
Jack Spade
Stella & Chewy’s
Unleashed Grooming Spa
Plus a big thanks to our many other prize donors:
Paws & Relax Pet Hotel & Daycare
Petopia
The Barkin Bin
Bide-A-Wee
Winne Au Photography
Verso Restaurant
Goodbeer Beer Hall
Whisker’s Holistic Pet Store
The Rabbit Club Bar
Kate’s Joint
Shaina Fishman Pet Photography
Global Dog Designs
Desnuda Restaurant
Cienfuegos Restaurant
Barnyard Cheese Shop
Brix NYC Fine Wines
Blink Fitness
Lunasa Bar & Grill

h/t to Animal Tracks and the HuffPo

Related:

Creative Pet Halloween Costumes

Common Foods That Are Harmful or Even Fatal to Dogs

October 30, 2011 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Holidays With Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Pet Events, pet fun, Pets | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Was That a ‘Sea Monster’ Living Beneath the Brooklyn Bridge?

monster

Over the last few weeks, conspiracy theorists have been in their glory. Likewise, the blogosphere and local (NYC) news outlets have been abuzz. Why, you ask? Because an enormously large and grotesque mystery creature washed ashore near NYC’s Brooklyn Bridge last week.

The beast, affectionately referred to as the “East River Monster,” was seven feet in length and, according to witness accounts, quite ugly. Gawker dramatically described the enigma as follows:

It had the scales of a fish, body of a serpent, head of a pit bull, and was the size of a large alligator.

Quite a looker, no?

While New Yorkers were enjoying the mystery and cooking up all sorts of hilarious tales, experts were preparing to slash any and all sci-fi dreams. Within days of the discovery, marine biologists offered up a reasonable explanation, thus dispelling the rumors and calming the firestorm of excitement. According to biologists, the mystery creature was actually a gigantic decaying fish (called a sturgeon). FOX News has more:

“We could tell it was an Atlantic sturgeon right away,” Kim Durham, a rescue program director and biologist for the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation in Riverhead, N.Y., told Life’s Little Mysteries.

“They have bony plates all over their bodies. There’s no mistaking a sturgeon,” she said.

A not-so-mysterious looking sturgeon (above).

So, the hoopla was all for nothing. This scenario is oddly reminiscent of another NYC monster tale — the Montauk Mystery — an even creepier story that was characterized by an even more decrepit-looking animal. Luckily, there’s no legitimate mega-monster threat (for the time being, that is). Still, the speculation was fun while it lasted.

Source:  the Blaze

May 28, 2011 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories, Wild Animals | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

California Chihuahuas Find New Homes in NYC

Cute Chihuahua

ASPCA Welcomes California Chihuahuas to the Big Apple

On March 1, the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan welcomed 12 Chihuahuas from California who were in search of new homes. The doggie dozen came from the City of San Francisco Animal Care & Control, and their in-cabin transportation was donated by Virgin Airlines. After some post-travel rest and relaxation, most of the tiny pups were made available for adoption on March 10. That day, more than half of the dogs—Pinky, Freckles, Ivana, Nicky, Rice, Robin and Gidget—packed their bags for the last time and made their way to their new forever homes. Over the weekend, Albus and Batman were also adopted.

In recent years, California shelters have seen a dramatic increase in Chihuahua intakes—this toy breed now makes up nearly one-third of the state’s shelter dog population. While demand for Chihuahuas has declined in much of the Golden State, their popularity in New York City is as high as ever.

"We are glad to be given this opportunity to help New Yorkers get the small dogs they want, and at the same time help find loving homes for San Francisco’s homeless animals," said Gail Buchwald, ASPCA Senior Vice President.

This month’s transfer isn’t the first time the ASPCA has opened our doors to homeless animals from the West Coast. In January 2010, we welcomed 15 dogs to our Manhattan headquarters in the first-ever Operation Chihuahua. The ASPCA supports the transfer of homeless pets from overcrowded shelters across the country as long as certain safeguards and restrictions are observed.

For more information about the ASPCA’s position on animal transport for adoption, please visit us at ASPCA.org.

March 16, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Chihuahua, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , | Leave a comment

Abducted cat’s trek from S.F. to N.Y. a Mystery

Mike Kepka / The Chronicle  –  Jennifer Lu holds Jack Daniels at San Francisco’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

IMAGES

Jennifer Lu holds Jack Daniels at San Francisco's Society...Suzanne Hollis, a client care manager at Maddie's Pet Ado... View Larger Images

(08-10) 18:04 PDT San Francisco — If Jack Daniels could talk, he could probably explain everything.

But alas, Jack can only meow. So it remains a mystery as to how the nearly blind black cat, abducted from the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals a year ago, ended up on the streets of Harlem last week.

Tuesday morning, Jack Daniels’ journeys brought him back to San Francisco, courtesy of JetBlue and a cat-loving book designer from Brooklyn named LeeAnn Falciani.

“He’s this superstar cat,” said Falciani, who took a week off work to escort Jack Daniels from New York’s animal shelter to San Francisco’s SPCA. “He’s wonderful. I’m actually kind of sad right now to say goodbye.”

Jack Daniels’ saga began in May 2009, when San Francisco animal control officers brought him and his brother, Jim Beam, to the SPCA for adoption. Jack Daniels was suffering from scarred corneas because of a viral infection, a common condition among kittens, SPCA veterinarian and interim co-president Jennifer Scarlett said.

With his milky gray eyes, Jack Daniels relied heavily on his brother, who acted as a sort of seeing-eye cat, Scarlett said. SPCA staff intended for the brothers to be adopted together.

But a week after the pair were put up for adoption, Jack Daniels vanished from his enclosure. Someone had catnapped him.

“How or why that happened, I can’t say,” said SPCA spokeswoman Jennifer Lu. “But we had the police involved, volunteers looking for him. We were very worried.”

Jack Daniels seemed lost forever. Jim Beam meanwhile, was adopted by a nice San Francisco family, Lu said.

But on Aug. 4, New York City animal control officers spied a nearly blind, apparently homeless, black cat ambling along 110th Street, and they brought him to the city’s nearby animal shelter. Staff scanned his microchip and contacted the registered owner: the San Francisco SPCA.

“That shelter is so busy. To think that someone took the time to track us down … I’m actually very moved by it,” Scarlett said. “When you think of all the horrible things that happen in the world, it’s such a beautiful thing to see so many people come together for a little black cat.”

The next hurdle was how to return him to San Francisco. An SPCA volunteer e-mailed Dr. Jennifer Gabriele, a veterinarian who formerly worked for the San Francisco SPCA but has since relocated to New York, asking if she knew anyone who was flying to San Francisco and could transport Jack Daniels.

Enter Falciani, who happened to be on the phone with Gabriele, her cats’ vet, when Gabriele received the e-mail.

“She told me the story, and I said, ‘Sure, I can go,’ ” Falciani said.

So Falciani took time off work to bail Jack Daniels out of New York’s animal shelter and took him in a cat carrier by subway to her home in Brooklyn. After two nights there, he spent the weekend at Gabriele’s vet clinic, then, with Falciani as an escort, hopped a free JetBlue flight to SFO.

“He’s in great shape. He likes to snuggle and make muffins (knead his paws),” Scarlett said. “Whoever had him obviously kept him indoors. He’s very affectionate and friendly.”

It’s possible Jack Daniels has an owner in New York who’s looking for him now, Scarlett said. But unless someone comes forward, Jack Daniels will go up for adoption – again – at the San Francisco SPCA within a day or two.

Falciani, meanwhile, is enjoying three free nights in San Francisco, courtesy of Kimpton Hotels.

“It made me sad to say goodbye to Jack Daniels. You get attached very quickly,” she said. “Although it’s great to be in San Francisco, this will fly by, as most fun things do.”

E-mail Carolyn Jones at carolynjones@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page C – 4 of the San Francisco Chronicle

The Incredible Journey – Book

Homeward Bound – The Incredible Journey – Movie

August 16, 2010 Posted by | animal behavior, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Success Stories, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scottish Terrier Wins Westminster Dog Show

A Scottish Terrier named Sadie has beaten over 2,500 dogs to the coveted “Best in Show” award at the 2010 Westminster dog show.

Scottish Terrier Wins Westminster Dog Show

Another sold-out crowd at Madison Square Gardens has Madison Square Gardens watched more than 2,500 dogs and 3 new breeds compete for honors in one of the world’s most prestigious dog shows. At 11 p.m. last night Sadie, a Scottish Terrier from Eagle, Idaho became the 8th Scottie to win “Best in Show”. Sadie, also known as Ch Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot, was also in the final last year and this win is her 112th Best in Show award. The other group winners competing in the final were a Puli, a Whippet, a white Toy Poodle, a French bulldog, a Brittany Spaniel and a Doberman Pinscher.

The Westminster Kennel Club’s Annual All Breed Dog Show is probably second only to the United Kingdom’s Crufts show as a measure of canine success. Last year’s show was celebrated by senior citizens everywhere, with the 10-year-old Sussex Spaniel called Stump winning “Best in Show” – that’s 2 years older than the previous oldest winner. What was even more remarkable was that Stump had retired 2 years earlier after winning the Sporting group but failing to win “Best in Show”. In 2008, the show was won for the first time ever by a Beagle named Uno.

This year’s show welcomed 3 new breeds to the 170 breeds of last year: The Irish Red and White Setter, the Norwegian Buhund and the Pyrenean Shepherd. Despite its name, the Irish Red and White Setter is a distinct breed, not just a different colored version of the Irish Setter, and has been known in Ireland since the 17th century. The history of the Norwegian Buhund extends back to the Vikings, and is used for herding livestock, guarding and hunting. The Pyrenean Shepherd is a herding breed that is important in farming communities in the High Pyrenees mountains in France.

by Daphne Reid – New York City, New York (Feb 17th, 2010)

Source: PetPeoplesPlace.com

Posted:  Just One More Pet

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pet Events, Pets | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Westminster Dog Show Expert Shares Training Secrets

The life of a puppy with a show dog future is slightly different than that of a pup with simpler aspirations.

For one thing, puppies in training are likely to spend some of their time with a professional dog handler, like Clint Livingston of Denver. Livingston has been training Westminster hopefuls for three decades. “We start them young, and the key is socialization,” he explains. “We make sure they’re around lots of people, with lots of hands on them so they get used to it.”

While non-show dogs don’t need to be as comfortable with the human touch as Westminster wannabes, they can nonetheless learn something from Westminster training and grooming standards. Below, Livingston shares his tips for helping your furry friend achieve best in its own show.

Training

What’s crucial to training a dog to do just about anything? Repetition, food motivation and compliments. “Dogs want to make people happy,” emphasizes Livingston. “Give them lots of praise when they do something right, and lots of verbal encouragement along the way. Positive reinforcement is the best training tool of all.”

Before they compete, show dogs must master these skills:

  • Stacking: A “stacked” dog is one that stands squarely and still. For most breeds, front legs are straight and under the shoulder blades. Rear legs are vertical from the hock (comparable to the human ankle) down. Paws face forward. To teach your dog to stack, place four bricks on the floor where you’d like your pet’s paws to go. With treats, help your dog practice standing in this position on the bricks before moving your pet to the floor to replicate the position.
  • Giving Ears: A dog that is “giving ears” has its ears perked up, its head held high and its eyes gleaming with confidence. To train your pet to put its best ear forward, hold a treat at a level where head and neck are drawn high. As your pet gets used to this position, pull the treat away quickly to keep your dog’s attention before allowing your pet to indulge.
  • Walking: If a model struts, a show dog trots, which means its right front leg and left back leg move in concert (followed by the movement of the left front leg and right back leg), showing off its physique to best advantage. Pacing is key to proper trotting. Take your pet’s leash in your left hand. Try different speeds to see which one allows your dog to trot comfortably.

Grooming

Pet Care Resources While grooming standards vary greatly by breed, all show dogs are brushed and bathed weekly. “Clean hair grows, and it also looks nice,” explains Livingston. To make bath time easy at home, try this:

  • Brush your furry friend first to remove loose hairs.
  • Lay out bathing supplies – such as a diluted commercial shampoo, a pitcher for rinsing and a towel for drying – in advance.
  • Put cotton in your dog’s ears to keep water out.
  • Always use warm water.

But the work doesn’t end there. If you want your pet to look like a show dog, add nail clipping, teeth brushing and ear cleaning to your weekly to-do list. For each, choose a time of day when your dog tends to be relaxed. Talk sweetly to your best friend throughout, and if it begins to resist you, finish up another day. But more specifically:

  • Invest in a nail clipper made just for dogs. Trim only the nail tips to avoid cutting into “the quick,” or the veins in your pet’s nails.
  • To brush your pet’s teeth, position your dog on an elevated surface like a table, hold its head firmly and its mouth open with one hand. Move the toothbrush in a circular motion, making sure to brush at the gum line.
  • Moisten a cotton ball with a commercial ear cleaner and swab the outer ear canal outward in order to remove dirt and wax.

Your pal doesn’t have to be a show dog to look and act like one. With Livingston’s guidelines, your dog can be like the puppies he trains in no time. “It’s great to watch them learn,” he says. “You watch their confidence grow by leaps and bounds”…

February 18, 2010 Posted by | animal behavior, Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Events, Pets | , , , , , , | Leave a comment