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May 2019

  /    /  May

It’s time to look for your next Service Dog. What traits should you look for? What's important? What doesn't matter? There is a sea of misinformation that a Service Dog handler must sort through while picking a Service Dog puppy or candidate. Cut through the chaos and learn what what to look for while selecting a potential partner.

Cancer Detection Dogs recently gained the spotlight for their ability to accurately smell cancer in breath, blood, or other tissue samples. These unique medical detection dogs undergo specialized training to alert their handler to the presence of cancerous cells. While this branch of scent work is relatively new, using dogs to detect, locate, or verify scents has been done for thousands of years. What is BioScentDX? BioScentDX, a company specializing in using canines for cancer screening, presented the results of their recent cancer detection research and studies at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting held during the April 2019 Experimental Biology symposium. Dogs, BioScentDX says, can be trained to detect cancer from scent samples with 97% accuracy. Heather Junqueira, the lead researcher and study director at BioScentDX, says dogs offer a low-cost, minimally invasive way to screen high volumes of patients. Quicker, cheaper methods of detection allow for earlier discovery of cancer, which allows for treatment to begin during the early stages of the disease. "This work is very exciting because it paves the way for further research along two paths, both of which could lead to new cancer-detection tools," said Junqueira. "One is using canine scent detection as a screening method for cancers, and the other would be to determine the biologic compounds the dogs detect and then design cancer-screening tests based on those compounds." Dogs' Brains Specialize in Processing Scents The canine brain prioritizes scent over the other senses. Furthermore, it dedicates a whopping 40% of sensory function to processing scents and smells. This allows dogs to reliably identify and catalog millions of smells. When a trained detection dog encounters a target odor, they alert their handler so appropriate action can be taken. For some detection dogs, the target odor is drugs, explosives, or the scent of a missing person. For others, like the cancer detection dogs at BioScentDX, the target odor is cancer. There are several breeds of dogs capable of locating and identifying scent diluted to parts per trillion. Beagles, Labradors, and German Shepherds rank high among them. "Parts per trillion" looks like a single spritz of perfume in a stadium or a half teaspoon of sugar tossed into an Olympic sized swimming pool. Another way to look at parts per trillion is with time -- it's the equivalent of 1 second out of 32,000 years. BioScentDX exclusively uses Beagles for their cancer screening programs but other researchers have ran

Brace and Mobility Support Dogs are a type of Service Dog trained to provide their disabled handler with assistance moving from place to place. This invaluable service is matched only by these dogs’ ability to also help with other chores and tasks, like opening doors or retrieving dropped items. Due to the unique nature of their work, though, Brace and Mobility Support Dogs have special needs. Read on to learn more!

Properly-trained Service Dogs can provide an incredible breadth benefits to disabled individuals. From mobility assistance and independence, assisting with everyday tasks, summoning help when needed, alerting to night terrors and more. There's a lot of focus on Golden Retrievers, Bichon Frisés and German Shepherds, but purebreds aren't the only types of dogs that can be trained to become excellent Service Dogs.  Some organizations are helping homeless dogs get a second chance as Service Dogs.

Naming a Service Dog can be highly personal. Many people choose names that carry meaning for them. Others choose names from a TV show or book that they particularly enjoy. Still others research names extensively and choose names from another language or culture that convey something they want to always keep in mind. Here's a list of 100 unique name ideas for Service Dogs! Attribute Service Dog Names Aart, Dutch - "powerful as an eagle" Abelino, Germanic / Old English - "bird" - good for a light, lithe Service Dog Adelmar, Germanic - "of noble strength" - good for a Brace Dog Adelrik, Germanic - "powerful and strong" Adira, Hebrew - "strong" Aegius, Greek - "protector" Alba - "white" Aikin, Old English - "like an oak tree" - good for a strong, powerful Service Dog Blaze - good for a dog with a white stripe on their face Cyan - good for a dog with blue eyes Dakota, unknown - "friendly companion" Drojo, Old Saxon - "ghost, phantom" - good for a white or silver Service Dog Hagan, Old English - "strong warrior" Hazel - good for a dog with brown/green eyes Jade - good for a dog with green eyes Jedrek - "strong, manly" Jett - good for a very darkly colored dog Kieran, Gaelic - "little dark one" Lenna, Old German - "lion's strength" Mazaran, French - "dark blue" - good for a dog with richly blue eyes Remo - "the strong one" Roux, French - "red, russet" - pronounced "Roo" Saffron - golden-brown color Sienna - rich brown color Takeo, Japanese - "strong as bamboo" Xanthe - yellow - good for a yellow Labrador Meaningful Service Dog Names Aapeli, Finnish - "breathing" - good for someone who needs a constant reminder to just breathe Ace, Latin - "the best one" Agni, Sanskrit - "from the fire" - good for someone seeking growth or a new way of life Aurora, Latin - "dawn" - good for signifying new beginnings Beacon, Old English - "signal light" - good for an alert dog Eos - Greek goddess of dawn Genesis - beginnings Huchon, Gaelic - "heart, mind, spirit" Imanu, unknown African origin - "spiritual guide" Jodo, Indonesian - "buddy, friend, mate" Jomei, Japanese - "spread light" Kaibigan, Filipino - "friend" Katlego, unknown African origin - "achieving" Kiran, Sanskrit - "beam of light" Maika'i, Hawaiian, "calm" Nura, Arabic - "blazing light" Oralee, Hebrew - "my light" Paena, Hawaiian - "partner" Tadeo, Aramaic - "gift" - good for a Service Dog who will give the gift of independence Valerian - herb known for its calming effects Zen, Japanese Service Dog Names From Books, Movies, TV Akasha / Akki - Vampire Chronicles Albus - Harry

If you have a working dog, such as a Service Dog, choosing the best pet insurance may help you avoid financial issues down the road. There's a saying: hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Everyone, you, your family, friends and even your pets will need medical care at some point. The same is true for your animal. Hope is Not a Strategy Pet insurance is designed to cover a range of issues depending on the level of coverage you take out. Working dogs, since they often lead a more active life, come in contact with more hazards both environmental and bacterial, some of which can prove serious. If this type of problem occurs, you could face a heartbreaking decision if you are unprepared and do not have pet insurance. Choosing the Right Coverage for Your Animal and Your Pocket The good news is that you can get pet insurance for a very reasonable cost these days and this could end up saving you a fortune in the long run as well as potentially enabling you to save your animal's life. If you want to find the best pet insurance for your needs, you need to take a range of factors into consideration, as this will make it far easier for you to make an informed choice. One of the things that most pet owners and dog handlers will look at is the cost of the coverage. Of course, you do need to take other factors into consideration as well when making your choice, but when it comes to cost, you can compare different prices and deals with ease online in order to save money. Some policies will only cover up to a certain amount for treatment, surgery, and various other issues. It is important to ensure you read the small print and that you are familiar with exactly what your animal is covered for before you make your decision. Finally, check on the reputation of the provider before you make your mind up, as you need to find one that offers a good level of service and a speedy, convenient claims process. You can find out more about this from the insurance website, but it is best to check out reviews from other pet owners who have used the same insurance company to get a better idea of what you can expect. By choosing the best pet insurance policy, you can ensure your animal is

Many people are surprised to learn there are over a dozen different specializations for Service Dogs. There are Diabetic Alert Dogs, Severe Allergy Alert dogs, Visual Assistance Dogs, Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, Wheelchair Assistance Dogs, Psychiatric Service Dogs, Brace/Mobility Support Dogs, Medical Alert Dogs, Seizure Assistance Dogs and more. What are all of these types of Service Dogs — and what do they do?

Before partnering with a Service Dog, there are several important points to consider. While thousands of individuals with a disability benefit greatly from partnering with a Service Dog, it’s not the solution for everyone. If you or a loved one is considering full-time Service Dog partnership, please ask yourself the following 5 questions before making a final decision.

Search and Rescue Dogs perform incredible feats. Using their nose, they help their human handlers pinpoint the lost and missing, regardless of environment. Most people think of disaster search dogs or wilderness search dogs when thinking of search and rescue dogs, but search dogs also work in water, as do rescue dogs. Many think of "search and rescue" as a single thing, but SAR dogs can be trained for searching, for rescuing, or for both. When it comes to water and aquatic environments, there's a distinct difference between searching and rescuing. In a nutshell, water search dogs sweep lakes, ponds, rivers, and the surrounding terrain for human scent. Most water search dogs serve as human remain detection K9s but some also work the scent of live humans in the water, like divers or free swimmers. In contrast, water rescue dogs help people who are in trouble in the water, like struggling swimmers or boaters who became trapped in a storm. They swim out to those people and via varying means, bring them back to their handler. The handler is usually part of a rescue team. Depending on the environment, the human team members often remain in a helicopter or sturdy boat while the dog performs the rescue. Search Dogs Find Human Scent Water Search Dogs are also known as Water Recovery Dogs or Water Recovery K9s. These specialized search and rescue dogs alert to human scent in the water. Typically, they're trained to alert to the scent of human remains. Water Search Dogs help police find victims of drowning or to locate other bodies in the water. After hurricanes or massive floods, Water Rescue Dogs assist rescue teams with locating those missing as a result of the disaster so their family can get closure. Water Search Dogs often start out as Human Remains Detection Dogs and then they add water to their environmental skill set. Human scent is human scent, but the dog has to learn that it can be under water. Most of these search and rescue dogs work from a boat. Sometimes, for smaller bodies of water, they'll search along the shoreline or under bridges. The same breeds that excel with land-based search and rescue often perform water searches, too. Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, and various herding breeds, like Border Collies, regularly cross train for water searches or recovery work. Rescue Dogs Help People in Distress In contrast to Water Search Dogs, Water Rescue

When it comes to Service Dog tasks, there is a lot of confusion over what constitutes a real, specifically trained task and which are only perceived tasks, fueled by emotion and wishful thinking. From Service Dog handlers to trainers to medical doctors to veterinarians alike, there is historically a lot of confusion surrounding this topic.