Monday, August 19

Service Puppies Stolen In Highland Park!

The last place you expect your dogs or puppies to be in danger is at the vets office.  But in Highland Park this past week, that was where the crime was committed.  I am sure the thieves were counting on the fact that people are more relaxed at the vets office and do things like put their pups in the car then return to the office to pay.  Especially when there are 6 rambunctious puppies!  Though this story has a somewhat happy ending, I hope it makes us all a little more vigilant and cautious, no where is safe, especially from puppy thieves!  The full story from Dogster is below as well as how you can help find the last two puppies.
Last week, a hearing-impaired woman breeding service dogs for the disabled was in the parking lot Highland Park animal hospital. She had just put her six American Bulldog puppies in the car -- the offspring of her own service dog Kyliee -- and she ran back in to pay her bill. That's when two men snuck up to the car and made off with the dogs. 
"All kinds of horrible thoughts kept coming to my mind," Ryan Fingerle told "They are innocent and helpless little beings." A security cam caught the men stealing the dogs in the parking lot, but they are still at large. 
(Security footage of the men stealing the pups.)
Fingerle contacted the authorities and tried to comfort her service dog Kyliee, who "moped" around the house looking for her pups.
"Of course, grief was the first thing I felt, overwhelming grief," Fingerle said. "Without their mother's milk, they have very little immunity and cannot fight off any illness or injuries."
Fortunately, Kyliee was back on mothering duty soon enough. On Aug. 10, Fingerle got a call that three of the six pups had been found -- someone had seen an unidentified person throwing them over a fence. They turned out to be Zorro, Xena, and Red Shadow.
"When I first got the call, I was terrified that the puppies would not be the right ones. I was so afraid of getting my hopes up," she said. "But when I saw them, I just ran forward crying and blubbering, and just wanted to hold them and never let go."
Then, a few days later, a skinny Hercules, with his ribs showing, turned up in a cardboard box in Huntington Park.
“I’m so happy to have them back,” Fingerle told KTLA. “I just want to say thank you, thank you, everyone, for your help.”
The last two dogs, Trident and Davy Jones, are still missing. Police ask that anyone with information to contact the Los Angeles Police Department at 323-344-5757. Those who wished to remain anonymous were asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
"Thank you to the community for their help in recovering the four puppies," Fingerle said.
"Kyliee, the mother of the puppies, is very happy and is now in a calm state of mind."

Please, Please, if you have any idea about this, come forward and give the information.  For all of you living in the Highland Park/ Huntington Park area, keep your eyes peeled for two pups that look like the ones above.  They are young and need to be returned to their mom.

Monday, August 12

San Diego Airport Gives Fido A Bathroom!

As an increasing number of people fly with their pets, it is important that they have a place to relieve themselves.  Now, many airports have pet relief areas, but so far they are outside and most require you to go back through security.  San Diego has come up with a solution for that, they now have a doggie potty indoors with the Men, Women and Family bathrooms.  The full story from Dogster is below.

San Diego might have trouble electing an appropriate person to be mayor, but the city scores high marks in giving traveling dogs a nice place to conduct business. San Diego airport has the nation's first fully enclosed indoor dog bathroom, according to U-T San Diego
Located in Terminal 2 West between Gates 46 and 47, the 75-square-foot "Pet Relief" airport comfort station is a wonder. It includes fake grass, two deodorizers, a hand-washing station, and complimentary baggies. It also has a fire hydrant, giving dogs a place to aim. Just as important: Maintenance workers clean it twice a day. 
"It's with our other restrooms, men's, women's, family, and animals," airport spokeswoman Katie Jones told the Los Angeles Times
The facility opened in April as part of the of the airport's $1 billion expansion of Terminal 2 and has flown under the radar until the story took hold last week. 
"I've received calls from NPR, Reddit, Huffington Post," said Jones. "A national game show made it a question. We've really gotten a lot of attention, and it's been very positive." 
Interestingly, the airport already has four other pet relief areas, but these are all outdoors, outside of the security areas. The new one is notable for being inside security, so you don't have to deal with the line again. It's also notable because the fire hydrant is just too much. 
Jones told the Times that the pet restroom fulfills a Department of Transportation requirement for airports to provide an area for service animals to relieve themselves. The San Diego airport opened it to all dogs, however. 
Other airports do have indoor pet relief areas, but this one appears to be the only one that's fully enclosed, just like a regular bathroom.

Wednesday, August 7

Sweet Purple Haze Pooch Parade Fun!

First and foremost, thank you to all the participants, vendors and helpers that made the Sweet Purple Haze Pooch Parade a huge success!  I really had a blast on Monday night leading this pooch parade.

We had a great turnout with a wonderful variety of dogs.  All the dogs were at a little different level in training as far as what commands they knew or were generalized with.  Also, we had a few with fear or aggression issues in different stages of management.  But all that being said, the dogs did wonderfully and had SO many distractions to deal with.  Not just the distractions I planned, but all the ones DTLA threw at us too.

The night started with a visit to Pussy & Pooch for a little treat/meal for the dogs.  Pussy & Pooch hit the ball out of the park once again.  Our meals had little splashes of purple and all the dogs thought they were yummy!  For the dogs that were a little too stimulated to eat, the fantastic staff treated us like royalty by feverishly packing up all of our meals in to-go boxes and allowing to get in and out on time.  Thank you Pussy & Pooch!!

From there we moved through the streets of DTLA.  We went up Spring Street and down Main.  Along the way we encountered many people, dogs and even had a fire truck pass by.   But those were just the distractions of the city.  I made the dogs practice their stays through bubbles being blown at them, pom-pom's being shook around them and their owners being crazy!  And they all did great. 

At the end, every dog got to show their purple strut as they walked the line in front of all the participants.  This was a favored moment for me.  As each dog and owner strutted down the middle of our line, every other participant cheers and rooted for the dog and shook their pom-pom's.  The feeling of community and pure enjoyment was certainly in the air.

After all that work, we sat down on the beautiful and dog friendly patio of Artisan House for some fantastic pizza, salad and wine!  The dogs relaxed and the humans chatted.  What a great night!


If you would like to join in on the next pooch parade, give us a bark!

Monday, August 5

The Power of Working Your Dog

With each training I do, I try to impress one major point of my training philosophy on my clients and that is the power of working your dog.  Having a life where they work for everything and nothing is free.  I see it time and time again how this one little tweak in how you interact with your dog can allow you to have a leg up on many other bad or annoying behaviors.

The issues I deal with range from very simple puppy training to complex aggression or fear cases.  No matter what the real issue is, the first thing that has to happen is to get the control out of your dog's paws!  When you control every aspect of your dogs life, they will stop trying to control everything.

Most of the time when I go into a home where the dog is "out of control", it is really a matter of the owner having no control rather than the dog being out of control.  Simple things like making your dog work for their food.  That could be bite by bite or a simple routine they do before the bowl goes in front of them.  Either way, they work for it, the food is not offered for free or just left on the floor for them to graze whenever they like.

Walking is another hot point.  You as the owner should decide where to turn, where to walk, when to stop and sniff and how fast or slow the pace.  Allowing your dog to stop and sniff every tree, post and trash can and set the pace and go where ever they like is not a structured walk.  Also, allowing your dog to rush up and meet every dog is a bad habit to set.  Every walk should be controlled by you, the only thing your dog should decide is when to go to the bathroom, but even then, you will decide where.

Greeting dogs is a privilege, not a right for a dog.  Also, not every dog needs or wants to meet every other dog.  Be careful!  If a dog is barking and lunging and they are a stranger to your dog, move on it will not be a good meeting.  If your dog is a very friendly, maybe overly friendly dog, teach them how to say hello politely, don't just allow them to rush into the face of another dog or jump all over them.  Remember, part of being an owner to a dog is teaching them right from wrong, including manners.

By applying the simple principle of working for everything, you will see a difference in how your dog reacts to you and their environment.  But this has to be a life choice, you cannot do this for a few weeks or months and expect the changes you would if this is your dog's life.  They want to work, so let them and get ready for a happier dog and a happier home.