Category Archives: Dogs

10 years ago…

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

The Hurricane Katrina Memorial at Angel's Rest, Kanab, Utah

The Hurricane Katrina Memorial at Angel’s Rest, Kanab, Utah

 

Lest we forget….

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Proud Mum

It has been a great week for Izzy (and it’s only Wednesday!).

Over the weekend, she was my ‘demo dog’ at workshops to teach owners how to give their own dogs a relaxation massage.   Izzy is very comfortable on  my massage table and chose to remain there during the last half of the workshop rather than getting down on the floor…

Izzy relaxes on my massage table during my "Learn Dog Massage" workshop

Izzy relaxes on my massage table during my “Learn Dog Massage” workshop

And then on Monday night, she visited a local scout group so our local coordinator for Greyhounds as Pets could talk about the re-homing of retired greyhounds.  Izzy loves children, and soaked up all their love and affection.

Izzy at ScoutsIMG_0380

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m so proud!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

How dogs see with their noses

This post isn’t some reference to a scientific journal – it’s a YouTube video.

I hope you enjoy it and learn a little something about your dog’s gift of smell…

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Best dogs for apartment living

Did you know that the American Kennel Club has published a list of the best dogs for apartment living?

With cities growing and land prices escalating, most metropolitan areas around the globe are looking to establish neighborhoods characterized by apartments rather than single-family homes.  This move can create challenges for people wanting to ensure that dogs remain part of their lives.

Years ago for example, in New  Zealand, the main telecommunications company here used a Jack Russell Terrier named Spot in its commercials.  The breeding and demand for these dogs soared.  People thought that the dog, being small, would be good for the suburbs (let alone, apartments).  But terriers need wide-open spaces and are bred for hunting down prey like rabbits and ferrets.  The result:  lots of ill-behaved dogs and owners who were out of their depth.

I would say that this list is a starting point, many mixed-breed dogs can acclimate to apartment living with the right routine and devotion.  And small dog breeds need to be managed carefully around stairs – because a lifetime of walking up and down stairs puts a lot of strain on the back and shoulders….

The best dog breeds for apartment living are:

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Pug

The Pug

The Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu

The Bulldog

The Bulldog

The Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise

The French Bulldog

The French Bulldog

IMG_0265

The Greyhound

The Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested

The Havanese

The Havanese

The Maltese

The Maltese

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

The dog meat trade in China

China meat trade photo

Photo courtesy of Animals Asia

Back in June, there was a lot of media attention given to the Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China.  This is a festival to mark the summer solstice and traditionally dog meat is on the menu.

However, many people don’t understand that the killing of dogs for meat happens year-round and not just at festival time.  Animals Asia has investigated the trade of dog meat thoroughly.

Their four reports, which I have linked here, are sobering reading.  “At every stage (of a 4-year investigation), investigators found a trade riddled with crime and extreme cruelty, violating existing laws on food safety, while those involved in the industry were highly secretive and suspicious of outside interest in their work.”

This is a trade of organized crime and a total disregard for animal welfare.

The black market for dog and cat meat in China

Lies, illegality and stolen lives report

China’s rural dogs in crisis

Survey of public attitudes to dog and cat eating in China

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Unlikely Best Friends

I’m always a little surprised when, after I explain that one of my services is to help owners measure and fit dogs for mobility carts, that I get answers like “I’d never do that to a dog.”

Stories like this one, an ad sponsored by the Kleenex brand, show you why some dogs can do very well in a cart – and experience quality of life while also sharing unconditional love.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Dog bite prevention – we may be on the wrong track

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have shown that educating pet owners about canine body language may not be sufficient to preventing dog bites.  They’ve published their research in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour.

Dog bite photo

At a time when data suggests dog bite incidents are increasing, the team at Liverpool interviewed victims of dog attacks to gain further understanding into their perceptions of the experience.

They found that in some cases there was no interaction with the dog before the bite occurred and therefore no opportunity to assess behaviour.  There was a common tendency for victims to blame themselves for the attack, rather than the animal, or in cases where the dog was not known to them, they blamed the dog’s owner.

Warning signs

Even those who felt knowledgeable about dogs, perceived that a bite “would not happen to them”, and so despite the warning signs would continue acting in the same manner, suggesting that education on body language was ineffective as a preventative measure.

My comment:  This particular part of the research resonates with me.  I’ve seen dog trainers, working with client’s dogs, be super-confident despite the feedback that both the owners and myself would be giving them.  And then, they’d do things with the dog – such as reaching for their collar – which would instigate a snap. 

Working with dogs is a privilege, but we should also be humble enough to treat each dog as an individual…

“Preventing the situation from arising at all may not always be feasible. Reducing the damage caused when a dog does bite, through careful pet dog selection and training, is something we should aim for.”  says Dr Carri Westgarth, a dog behaviour expert at the University’s Institute of Infection and Global Health.

Raising awareness

The researchers highlight that there is not enough knowledge of how dog bites occur to know how to prevent them entirely. Raising awareness that ‘it could happen to you’ as often used in other campaigns such as drink-driving, will be required for successful dog bite prevention.

More work is also needed with dog breeders to supply dogs that are less likely to bite and that have inhibited bites that do less damage, moving away from a victim or owner ‘blame’ model to explain dog bite injury.

Source:  University of Liverpool media release