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Collar Warnings, Foxtails

I have some awful news. A dog that took puppy class with me this spring passed away last week. Her harness caught on the exercise pen that she was kept in when her owners were gone for a bit, and she strangled.

The family emailed me because they wanted to prevent other dogs from danger. They asked me to be sure to tell people that it was a Shih Tzu – not the kind of dog one might expect to leap acrobatically into the air and get stuck on something high up.

I had heard rumors of this problem, and put my dogs into breakaway collars, but having never actually known a dog that had this happen, I thought it was very rare and got rid of the collars.

Looking into it, it seems it’s common enough to warrant warning you: 91% of vets say they have had 1-5 dogs in their practice who have strangled in the last year. I have just ordered several KeepSafe breakaway collars, which bust open if the dogs tangle in something but can be clipped to work like a regular collar when on leash. You can get them at the training center starting next week, or you can order them on our online dog store.

If you do get a breakaway collar, or have your dog go collarless in the home, it’s *especially* important to microchip your dog.

Love them every day, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Life is too short for dogs, even if we do everything right.

FOXTAILS – Danger!

Foxtails are a plant seed that land on your dog’s fur and then keep burrowing in, given the chance. I’ve had clients whose dogs and cats have had them in eyeballs, paws, and skin. They are known to go deeper, too, into the animal’s body, winding up in hearts and lungs. The dog parks are full of them and they are traveling now due to the hot weather drying up the plants. I spent yesterday removing as many as I could from the front of the training center.
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Newsletter July 2007

I have quite a few new bits of info for everybody and finally decided to make an online version of the newsletter. Here we go…. 🙂

  • Please Give Feedback
    • We now have an online class evaluation form.  Please take a moment to give us feedback on the quality of your experience at Ahimsa.
  • Advanced Puppy is a Success!
    • We’ve had several Advanced Puppy classes and I continue to be amazed at how well they go.  They’re almost entirely off leash.  Depending on the class and the time of day, we’ll either work indoors or fence off the nearby parking lot and use that as a training space.  At the end of my last class, we had the students all lined up in sit-stays about 4 feet apart, while another student dog weaved in and out of them in heel position.  That last part was on leash, but wow! Click here for more info on this off-leash adolescent manners class. I’ve justed switched the Monday night one starting next week to All Sizes, so there’s room available in this popular class.
  • Continue reading Newsletter July 2007