Category Archives: Dog News

Glowing Dogs Cloned in South Korea

On this one, I have one thing to say….  Wow!

I’m a little overwhelmed by the idea is all.

Scientists in South Korea have claimed to have cloned the worlds first “glowing” dogs.  A litter of Beagle puppies, dubbed “Ruppies”, a combination of the word ruby and puppies, were engineered to glow red under ultraviolet light.  The puppies parts where the skin is normally more thin, appears red at all times, regardless of the light conditions.

Read the entire story at

Yep.  Just what the world needs….  scary glowing puppies.  If nothing else, I truly hope the genes introduced into their DNA do not compromise their health or ability to live normal functioning lives.


The First Dog to be a PWD!

The Obama family have decided on a Portuguese Water Dog as the “First” Dog.  This is good news.  Previously the family had been cited as being undecided between a “doodle” and a Porty.  Many dog enthusiasts are breathing a sigh of relief, as designer mutts simply don’t need the extra attention of a doodle in the White House.

Asked about the time frame that the public can expect this new family member to appear, Michelle responded by relaying a cute back-and-forth between herself and Sasha (7 y/o):

“So Sasha says, ‘April 1st.’ I said, ‘April.’ She says, ‘April 1st.’ Got to do it after spring break. You can’t get a new dog and then go away for a week.”

Well said Mrs. Obama, and good on you for sticking to your guns.

So there you have it.  The new First Dog, a PWD, can be expected in April – AFTER spring break.


Original Story at

Aggression Begets Aggression

A new study proves something that dog professionals have known for years:  people who attempt to dominate, are more likely to to elicit aggressive behaviors from their dogs.  While this isn’t exactly “news” to those of us who’re involved in the art of training positively, it will definitely rate as news to some.  And in either case is worth noting.

If You’re Aggressive, Your Dog Will Be Too, Says Veterinary Study

ScienceDaily (Feb. 18, 2009) — In a new, year-long University of Pennsylvania survey of dog owners who use confrontational or aversive methods to train aggressive pets, veterinary researchers have found that most of these animals will continue to be aggressive unless training techniques are modified

The full story can be found here:

Michael Vick’s Dogs – The Road to Recovery

This is the kind of dog news that makes me so happy there are advocates for the American Pit Bull Terrier. The wonderful dogs in this story wouldn’t have had a chance without them. There were so very many people working to have them all put to sleep, believing they’d never be rehabilitated… yet here they are. Ready to try again, to love someone fully and completely as only a dog can.

As a trainer and behavior expert, I can’t say enough good things about the American Pit Bull Terrier – and this article really has nailed it on the head. A fabulous read.


There are the perky, high-energy sorts like Lucas, all wagging tails and let’s-go-play vivaciousness. There are the runners like Curly, who never saw a fence line or dirt trail they couldn’t wear down. And there are the divas like Georgia, who go on publicity junkets and stay at the Beverly Hilton, wearing rhinestone-studded collars and hot pink tank tops that say “Biscuits are a girl’s best friend.” They could be your dog, your neighbor’s, even one of those you see in a magazine being doted on by a celebrity owner. These, though, are Michael Vick’s dogs. Fourteen months after some experts left them for dead – in fact, said they should die – they are alive and thriving at the Best Friends Animal Society in the rocky red hills of Utah, rewriting the book about what pit bulls really are and what they can be….”

Read the full article at:

Teen Works to Make Debarking Illegal

A fifteen year old boy is working to have a bill passed that would make surgical debarking illegal. I know debarking is one of those hot button topics for many, but I have to admit, I see this as a good thing. I see debarked dogs at the shows all season long, and often there is reason behind their attempts to vocalize… It’s up to their families to find that reason and work with the dog. While a difficult nuisance behavior to deal with, recreational barking can be trained away from. It takes a lot of dedication, and watchfulness, but it can be done. And if the sound of a dog vocalizing is a mind-numbing pain for some, perhaps they should consider that before adding a dog (especially of a breed known for being highly “talkative”) to the family.

Teen files bill to make vocal surgery illegal
Putting a bite into debarking
By Laurel J. Sweet

Needham High freshman Jordan Star doesn’t claim he can talk to the animals, but as the surprise driving force behind a bill to outlaw the surgical silencing of dogs and cats, the teen is doing a fine job speaking on their behalf.
“To take a voice away from an animal is morally wrong,” Star, 15, said of convenience devocalization, the removal of a pet’s vocal cords so Fido and Fluffy are seen, not heard.
Star tackled the topic after encountering a dog who’d been debarked, then abandoned.
“It was just horrible,” he said of the dog’s struggle to get his attention. “It was just like a hoarse, wheezy cough. In a shelter, all they are is a mutilated animal, which makes them harder to adopt.”
Under his proposed law, to which Democratic House Majority Whip Lida E. Harkins and Republican Sen. Scott P. Brown have signed on as sponsors, devocalization would be illegal in Massachusetts unless a veterinarian licensed in this state certified for a town clerk or, in Boston, the police commissioner, that the operation was a medical necessity.  Anyone breaking the law would face up to five years in state prison and a mental-health evaluation. If enacted, it will be known as Logan’s Law for a debarked Belgian sheepdog Gayle Fitzpatrick, founder of Friends of the Plymouth Pound, and her husband Tom adopted from Texas.
“The reaction of people whenever he was outside was, ‘Does your dog have laryngitis?’ I tried to explain he had no voice box and people were pretty horrified by that,” Fitzpatrick said. “We always said to him, ‘We hear you,’ because he tried so hard to bark.”
The MSPCA-Angell Animal Medical Center refuses to perform non-medical devocalization, saying, “The responsible owner is willing to socialize and train a pet that is vocalizing excessively.”
Vera Wilkinson of The Cooperative Dog is a Chestnut Hill certified trainer, who heads the dog division of the International Association of Behavior Consultants.
“You have to get to the root of the problem. If the dog is barking, the dog is barking for a reason,” Wilkinson said.  “There’s a lack of understanding between people and dogs that leads to conflict, and unfortunately the dog often pays the price.

Full story can be found at

The Worlds First COMMERCIALLY Cloned Canine

Well…  we all knew it would happen, it was just a matter of when.  When was November 18, 2008.  Today, Lancey (who arrived in the US on January 25th) is with his family – who paid to have him cloned from their previous canine companion.  The family said they chose to clone their original dog because he was the “most human” dog they’d ever shared their lives with.

As a behavior buff there’s a lot I could choose to say about their reasoning, but I always try to find something nice to say.  😉  So…  I’m glad the family is happy with their new puppy.

You can read the whole story here:

AKC – 125 Years of Purebred Dogs (popular dogs list)

I just received this press release from the American Kennel Club.  Yes, I’m Canadian, but it’s an interesting and relevant release.  If the CKC would issue one similar I’d happily share it too.  So, without further ado:

For the 18th consecutive year, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular purebred dog in America, according to 2008 registration statistics released today by the American Kennel Club® (AKC) But, while more than twice as many Labs were registered last year than any other breed making it a likely leader for many years to come, the Bulldog continues to amble its way up the list. The breed made news last year by returning to the AKC’s Top 10 for the first time in more than 70 years and now has jumped 6%, advancing two spots to land in 8th place.

“The playful Lab may still reign supreme, but the docile and adaptive nature of the Bulldog is gaining ground as a family favorite,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson.  “It’s no surprise to learn that this devoted family companion is still growing in popularity.”

2008 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.
1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. German Shepherd Dog
4. Golden Retriever
5. Beagle
6. Boxer
7. Dachshund
8. Bulldog
9. Poodle
10. Shih Tzu

Like the Bulldog, the popularity of breeds ebbs and flows over time.  The AKC is proud to be celebrating its 125th Anniversary during 2009. In 1884 at the time of the organization’s founding, AKC registered only nine breeds versus the 161 it recognizes today:

AKC Registered Breeds in 1884                                                    Rank in 2008
Pointer                                                                                                111
Chesapeake Bay Retriever                                                               48
English Setter                                                                                      86
Gordon Setter                                                                                      92
Irish Setter                                                                                            69
Clumber Spaniel                                                                               117
Cocker Spaniel*                                                                                  21
Irish Water Spaniel                                                                           144
Sussex Spaniel                                                                                 147

*In 1884 the English Cocker Spaniel and the Cocker Spaniel were registered as the same breed. They were separated in 1946. Today the English Cocker Spaniel is ranked 70th.

These original breeds are all current members of the Sporting Group — dogs bred to help man find and retrieve game. They all have innate instincts in the water, field and woods. While none of the original nine is anywhere near the AKC Top 10, the qualities that made them effective hunters — trainability and desire to please — make them ideal family dogs today.

“I think the comparison of our original nine to the current top 10 illustrates the different needs that dogs fill today,” said Peterson. “In the 1880’s most breeds served a specific purpose or function. Today dogs still serve man and in even more diverse roles — from guide dog to bomb detection K-9 – but most of all, dogs are now companions that ground us to nature in a busy and increasingly technological world.”

While time periods are indicators for the popularity of certain pets, so is geography. Each year, AKC looks at the most popular breeds in each of the 50 largest cities in the U.S.  Some highlights:
While the Bulldog continues to climb the national list, it’s really marking its territory in a number of western cities — Las Vegas, Long Beach, Los Angeles, and San Diego – where it comes in 2nd, right after the Lab.
Only Honolulu, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Portland, Raleigh, and Salt Lake City snubbed the Bulldog — opting for a wide variety of other breeds in their Top 10.
Detroit and Miami are the only cities that do not have the Labrador Retriever in the top spot, both favoring the German Shepherd Dog.
The Boxer is muscling its way to the top in a few cities, ranking second in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Des Moines, Louisville, Omaha and Kansas City. It’s 3rd in Atlanta, Cleveland, New Orleans, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and even Philadelphia — where like its boxing brethren “Rocky” it’s still a literal underdog, but if movie plots are any indication, perhaps not for long.
Californians seem to love the Miniature Pinscher (ranked 32nd nationally). It came in 6th (up from 15 last year) in San Diego and also ranked 8th in Sacramento.
The Vizsla is tied for 10th with the Shih Tzu in Chicago.  Ranked 44th nationally, the Vizsla has long been a favorite in the Windy City, having made the local top 10 list in 2007 and 2003.
Unusual breeds on local top ten lists including the Great Dane (10th in St. Louis), the Mastiff (10th in Indianapolis), the Brittany (10th in Minneapolis), the Belgian Malinois (8th in Kansas City) and the Siberian Husky (9th in Long Beach).

Some of the most notable recent trends in the past decade include:
The Bulldog (+69%) and four of its relatives are among the breeds that have increased most significantly over the last decade: Miniature Bull Terrier (+109%), Bull Terrier (+102%), Staffordshire Bull Terrier (+69%) and the Bullmastiff (+22%).
The French Bulldog (+467%), the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (+209%) and the Brussels Griffon (+73%) continue to be among the breeds with the largest increases, likely due to their popularity with urban dog owners who favor portable, apartment-sized dogs.
The Border Collie, often considered among the most intelligent and trainable breeds, and known for its mastery of the highly popular canine sport of agility, saw a significant increase (+50%).
Lesser known breeds that saw an increase include the Ibizan Hound (+74%), Norwich Terrier (+39%) and Bedlington Terrier (+28%).
Large dogs with notable increases are two Swiss breeds – the Bernese Mountain Dog (+78%) and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (+88%) – as well as the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (+117%), which hails from France.
Among breeds on the decline are the Lhasa Apso (-80%), Rottweiler (-76%), Schipperke (-75%) the Basset Hound (-66 %) and, despite its popularity in Sacramento and San Diego, the Miniature Pinscher (-75%).
Portuguese Water Dogs, in the news recently due to the Obama family’s interest in this mid-sized, hypoallergenic breed, is currently ranked 64th and has increased 44% in the past decade—especially appropriate considering Obama is our 44th president.
However another famous presidential pet – the American Foxhound (-75%) – is on the decline. George Washington is credited with developing the breed.

Dog lovers can see and learn more about all of their favorite breeds on Saturday, January 31, 2009 when the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship — where the country’s top dogs compete for $225,000 in prize money and the title of “National Champion” — airs on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel from 8-11 p.m. (ET/PT).  Highlights from the AKC Agility Invitational will air on Animal Planet on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT)