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July 2019

  /    /  July

Little dogs can do really big work! And Sealyham Terriers are definitely little dogs. Learn how little Therapy Dogs help veterans and children with special needs, Take for example Jasper. Jasper is a Sealyham Terrier and an Airport Therapy Dog. Tonight, he is snuggling up at an undisclosed location, on the bare floor, with military deployment troops – his head on the chest of a soldier. The young soldier puts his arm around Jasper, then falls back asleep. What is a Therapy Dog? Therapy Dogs do a valuable job by providing unconditional love, emotional support and an understanding, listening ear anywhere they’re needed. Many people are familiar with Therapy Dogs visiting hospitals, schools, universities group homes and libraries, but Therapy Dogs also provide a valuable service at funerals, disaster sites or anywhere else emotions, grief, and tension may run high. Therapy Dogs are typically well-trained, sweet-natured, friendly dogs who are, first and foremost, pets. Their family trains them and often has them certified via a therapy organization, and therapy dog teams are most often volunteers. Unlike Service Dogs which are specifically trained to help a disabled individual with tasks they have difficulty completing, Therapy Dogs do NOT have public access, with or without their handler, and they may only enter buildings (that don’t allow all pets to enter) with a direct invitation to the dog and handler or to the therapy dog organization. How Do You Train and Certify a Dog for Therapy? Because Therapy Dogs work with the public — including small children,disabled individuals, senior citizens and others with physical or cognitive limitations — on a very intimate level, many hospitals, nursing homes or other institutions request that any dog brought into their facility is trained, certified or registered with another group, even though it is not required by any federal or local laws. There are dozens of organizations which certify therapy dogs. If you would like your dog to also be recognized by the AKC, here is a list of places to contact. Airport Confidential Military Deployments The troops sleep in empty buildings and warehouses awaiting transport to their departure flights that take off from the Reno/Tahoe runway. Jasper has special security clearance along with his handler, Judy Mugrauer, to console the troops before takeoff. “We never know where they’re headed,” says Mugrauer, “we are not allowed to tell when or where we are meeting the troops, the confidentiality always reiterated before we arrive at the

Becoming a Service Dog takes a lot of hard work and dedication. With so many things to learn, it can be hard to know what to focus on! Help young Service Dogs in Training succeed by practicing these 3 skills every day. Foundational Obedience Foundation obedience lays the groundwork for future public access, task training, and advanced skills. Most trainers consider sit, down, stand, stay, leash walking, and recalls (come) to be basic obedience, but the definition varies widely. Some people include manners and other skills like targeting, place training, and husbandry. Definition aside, there's no doubt these skills matter. Young Service Dogs in training should practice positions (including sit, down, stand, heel, side, front, etc.), moving with their handler, and building duration on their behaviors every day. Eventually, as their abilities improve, they should work on distractions and adding distance, too. Keep in mind there's no need to practice everything every single day. In the beginning, an SDiT may only be working on one or two things. Practice those one or two things. Add more as the puppy is able to master the material. Impulse Control and Focus Service Dogs working in public deal with uncountable distractions -- motion, people, smells, new objects, other dogs, loud noises, etc. In order to succeed, Service Dogs require bomb-proof temperaments, focus, and impulse control. As such, young Service Dogs in Training should practice these skills every day. Training games like Susan Garrett's It's Yer Choice or Sue Ailsby's Zen offer lots of ways to practice these behaviors in the context of everyday life. Handlers should strive to reinforce handler focus and distraction proofing at every opportunity. Relaxing Lots of Service Dog work involves long periods of waiting, watching, and relaxing, especially while in public. The ability to relax calmly is a learned skill, not an innate characteristic. Young Service Dogs in Training should work on their ability to settle for long periods of time every day. Place training and tether training provide great opportunities for practicing this vital Service Dog skill.    

If your pup is chewing, scratching, and gnawing on their paws incessantly, you might begin to suspect they are suffering from a dog food allergy. Here are the best and most effective ways to tell if your dog has a food allergy and how to manage it. But dog food allergies are not as common as you might think. It’s far more likely that your dog’s discomfort is due to fleas, allergies to fleas, and environmental allergies (dust mites, pollen, grasses, mold, cleaning chemicals, perfumes in detergent or shampoo, etc), or another common culprit, food sensitivity (aka intolerance). They all share many of the same symptoms. In the case of a dog food allergy or sensitivity, your dog’s reaction is likely something that has developed over time. What may have been perfectly fine to eat a year ago may now cause a problem—one that’s important to identify. The long-term effects, if untreated, could lead to behavioral changes and reduced quality of life (due to prolonged discomfort), as well as worsening symptoms. So, familiarizing yourself with dog food allergy (and sensitivity) is the first step in solving the problem and keeping your pup healthy and happy. Knowing the difference between a dog food allergy and sensitivity These two food-related issues share many of the same symptoms, but most often dog food allergy symptoms appear swiftly and involve itchy skin or ear and skin infections due to the body’s natural inflammatory response. Less frequently, pups will have a gastrointestinal reaction causing vomiting or diarrhea. But some unlucky pups will have both skin and tummy issues related to their dog food allergy. If your pup suffers from dog food sensitivity (as opposed to an allergy), they’re much more likely to experience gastrointestinal issues (diarrhea, vomiting, gas, lack of appetite, and weight loss) due to an inability to process an ingredient properly. They may also have intermittent itchy skin or redness that seems to resolve only to return again. The causes behind a dog food allergy When your dog has an allergic reaction, it’s because their immune system has misidentified a protein in their dog food as an invader and mounted an attack. But it isn’t the food itself, rather the protein structure in it. And it’s not just meat; some veggies contain protein, so they’re not automatically safe. Topping the list of culprits are proteins most commonly found in dog food, like beef, chicken, eggs, and dairy. But an allergy to one meat protein

Everyone knows that Service Dogs are supposed to be calm, well trained dogs who work hard to help their human partners.

In America, the 4th of July is a day full of celebration. With cookouts, parades, sparklers, crowds, fireworks, noise, activity, events and chaos galore, Independence Day can be difficult not only for pets, but also for working K-9s, Service Dogs, and their handlers. Before joining a holiday celebration with your canine partner, here are some points to consider.