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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Biking with Dogs
Get some exercise with your pup in tow
As gas prices continue to rise, many more people are discovering the joys of riding a bike. It's a green form of transportation and great exercise. So it's only natural that people would want to include their dogs on rides. This Sunday, New York City's Direct Action Environmental Organization Time's Up! is hosting their fourth annual Doggie Pedal Parade in Manhattan's Washington Square Park....
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Summer School Gone to the Dogs
Learn new skills in the coming months
Next month, my puppy, Remy, and I are headed up to Susan Garrett's Say Yes! Dog Training for two camps, Advances in Dog Training and Critical Elements for Sport and Life (formerly know as Puppy Camp). I can't wait to spend four full days dedicated to honing my dog training skills and working with Remy. This summer, use some of your vacation days to learn more about dog-related topics, sharpen...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
K9 Massage Growing in Popularity
More and more pups benefit from massage therapy
Last year my Sheltie, Nemo, and I were running an agility course and he uncharacteristically ran around the last few jumps. He wasn't limping or showing any pain, but I knew he wasn't himself. So I brought him over to the massage therapist who had a stand set up alongside the other show vendors. I had never gotten a massage for Nemo before, so I was skeptical if it was really going to do...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Sniffing Out Endangered Species
Dogs trained to find elusive flowers and butterflies
Earlier this year I wrote about dogs trained to find animal droppings for environmental research. More and more canines are being used to help scientists study endangered species and habitat loss. The role of the dog in this type of research is incredible. The preservation of two species in Oregon can thank a Belgian Sheepdog named Rogue and his highly sensitive nose. Rogue is trained to seek...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dog Involved in Bin Laden Mission
A trained canine assisted the Navy Seals last Sunday
The U.S. Navy Seals and the elite Team Six have gotten a lot of attention lately for their heroic efforts in the Osama Bin Laden mission. However, I just found out that a special canine was also among the 79 commandos that day. The explosive-sniffing dog was strapped to one of the Navy Seals and descended from the helicopters with the rest of the team. As it turns out, these trained pups,...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Crumple Zones and Car Safety
Keeping dogs safe in the car can be problematic
Like many others, my dogs ride in the back of my SUV, secure in their crates. I've always been under the impression that my pups were safe in their plastic kennels, although after being rear ended, I wondered if the cargo area of my car wasn't the best place for the dogs. I've since moved one crate to the back seat, but unless I buy a bigger car, I don't have the option of moving all my dogs...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
The Restorative Effect of Sugar
Study looks at sugar, self-control and performance
We ask a lot of our dogs. We ask them to resist food on the counter, to stay inside when the front door is open and to be quiet when dogs are barking next door. With my new puppy, I’ve been thinking a lot about self-control, which is the foundation for everything from household manners to agility skills. In humans, research has shown that there’s a relationship between the brain’s glucose supply...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Preparing for an Emergency
Are your pets ready for the worst?
All of the recent natural disasters has me thinking about preparing for emergencies, including making a plan for the dogs. April also happens to be Pet First Aid Awareness Month, so it's the perfect time to put together a first aid kit and emergency supplies. Here are some tips I came across when I started thinking about my emergency plan. Think Ahead Put an "Animals Inside" sticker on your...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Proposed Ban on Dogs
An Iranian bill threatens to make pets illegal
Can you imagine a world without dogs? I can't, but dog lovers in Iran are faced with this very dilemma. The Iranian government has long considered pet dogs to be an un-Islamic vice. In the past, it was not unheard of for police to confiscate dogs being walked down the street and for the government to lecture Iranians on diseases spread by canines. Eventually the crackdowns were relaxed and...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Helping Thunder Phobic Dogs
Tips for comforting your pup during a storm
As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers.  And in my neck of the woods, we’ve certainly been getting a lot of rain and, unfortunately, thunderstorms. My first dog, Nemo, has never been afraid of thunder. Being a Sheltie, he’ll sometimes bark at the loud noises, but he isn’t fearful. His breeder played sound tapes when he was a puppy, which I think helped. I’m also fortunate that my new...

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