Archive for the ‘OFF TOPIC’ Category

Lure coursing, the most popular event for the sighthound breeds, entails an open field competition. This competition attempts to create a simulation of a hare’s zigzag path to evade a pursuing hound. The hare’s path is generated by a continuous-loop line through a series of pulleys simulating a non-uniform set of turns. Instead of a live bunny, a set of white bags or plastic strips attached to the line attract the hound’s attention.

A typical lure course is between 600 and 1000 yards (548 to 914 meters) long. In Europe the course length can be over 1000 meters, and may incorporate some obstacles or jumps. The course must have a minimum number of turns in order to simulate prey (the jack-rabbit or hare) changing direction in a chase.

Competition is usually limited to dogs of purebred sighthound breeds and principally run in braces only of the same breed.

However, in February 2011 The American Kennel Club launched a new event – the Coursing Ability Test (CAT) which is open to all registered dogs at least 12 months of age. The purpose of this test is to provide all dogs and their owners an enjoyable, healthy activity in which they can participate.

The course shall be basically rectangular in shape with turns no more acute than 90 degrees. The total length of the course shall be no less than 600 yards and should be as close to 600 yards as is possible. The lure will consist of plastic strips. Depending of the size and type of dog, the dog will run either the full course or a 300 yard course.
Safety is of utmost importance. Many of the dogs running the Coursing Ability Test will not possess the agility of a sight hound and this must be a consideration in the design of a course.

For dogs shorter than 12 inches at the withers and / or brachycephalic (“flat-faced”) dogs the distance is 300 yards. A dog must complete this course in less than 1 ½ minutes. For all other dogs the distance is 600 yards and the dog must complete this course in less than 2 minutes. If there is a question which course a dog should run, the judge will decide.

The Coursing Ability Test is a non-competitive pass / fail event. Dogs run singularly. To pass dogs are required to complete their course with enthusiasm and without interruption within the maximum amount of time for the course length.

The AKC awards the following suffix titles:
CA – Coursing Ability: Three qualifying scores in the Coursing Ability Test from 2 different judges at 3 different tests. A dog must complete the course with enthusiasm and without interruption within a stated maximum amount of time.
CAA – Coursing Ability Advanced: Ten qualifying scores in the Coursing Ability Test.
CAX – Coursing Ability Excellent: Twenty five qualifying scores in the Coursing Ability Test.
CAX2 – Coursing Ability Excellent 2: Fifty qualifying scores in the Coursing Ability Test.
A higher numbered title will be awarded for every additional twenty five passes.

Coursing Corgis
On Saturday, 26 February 2011 Janet Suber’s Spencer (Caduceus Spencer Batrille CD HT GN RAE3 OAP NJP CA) and Scout (Am. Grand Ch. Cardiridge Jean Louise Finch HT RN CA) became the first Cardigans to earn AKC’s new Coursing Ability (CA) title. And the next day Janet was told that Scout was also the first Grand Champion of all breeds to earn the title. Janet who lives in Chattanooga, TN, says that it was a great experience and that the sighthound people were super in helping out all of the newbies.
Mocking Bird Cardigans

Spencer and Scout (in front)

Veni Harlan, breeder of Borzois from Baton Rouge, LA, also has a Cardigan, AmCh. Cornerstone’s Mardi Gras, HT, CGC. Back in 2003 when lure coursing was for sighthounds only, Veni reported that when Mardi was about 5 months old, she brought her along with one of her Borzois to a practice and quickly realized that Mardi was keen on that lure. She wanted it every bit as much as those fanatical whippets. When finally, someone yelled, “let the corgi run!” she slipped her and off she went. The course was straight and about a block long and Mardi stayed right on the lure (shreaded plastic) all the way there and back while everyone clapped and cheered her to the finish. The “coursing cardi,” was so popular, she was asked to be the “official” course tester for the upcoming Louisiana KC Coursing Trial!
Farfield Borzois

Mardi, the coursing cardi

Also in 2003, Sue Hallock reported that her 2½ year old Cardi Louie got the chance to try lure coursing and he LOVED it! What he lacked in speed he more than made up for in enthusiasm. Sue belongs to a medieval living history organization that occasionally does hound coursing. When she was at an event where they were doing it, Louie was frantic to get the lure so Sue decided to give it a try. The course was about the size of 1/3-1/2 a football field and had 3 turns. Afterwards his tongue was hanging out but he was completely focused on the lure and never lost interest or track of the lure at any point.

And Sue added: “Since herding behavior is a modification of a dog’s prey drive, I would think a strong herding instinct would go along with a great desire to chase fast moving things. I would think that most herding dogs would be pretty good coursers (although not matching the speed of the sight hounds). So don’t let those stubby legs fool you. Cardis are natural coursers!”

But Cardigans are not the only ones interested in coursing, there are also some very keen Pembrokes.

Kathleen Mallery from Parma, Idaho writes in February 2011:
“When the Idaho Lure Coursing Club was active, they always offered demo and full courses that we could all run. I ran the Pems every time it was available and found my dogs were quite talented.
I’ll never forget the year our dear Ribbon (Am/Can Ch. Castell Blue Ribbon Special PHC ran for the first time. The course then was just a straight line. Ribbon chased down the lure, shook it “to death” then brought it all the way back to me. People were in awe! At first, when she took off, they laughed because our command was “kill”! Ribbon had a game we played with her by that name so she related and took off like a flash! After that you could hear the “oh, Wow!’s in the audience.”
Castell Pembroke Corgis

Years later, when she was 12, Ribbon ran a full course and never stopped.


Ribbon on her 15th birthday

Peggy Newman from Salt Lake City, Utah used to take her homebred Pembroke bitch Solo (Taflar Scott’s Sweet Solo) to some practices with her whippet Gambler. As Solo did well there, Peggy took her to some trials put on by the club she was involved with and ran her after the trial. Solo would run about half the course, sometimes a little more than half (which is what is needed for the JC title.) A full course is 600-700 or so yards total.

Solo – Photo: Leaping Lizards Photography

Solo was the unofficial mascot for the Utah Sighthound Club for several years and had her own fan club. Soon exhibitors and judges would ask Peggy if she was going to run her corgi and so she did after the trial. The judges told Peggy that Solo was as “keen” on the lure as the sighthounds and had great “follow” and several would gladly have awarded her the legs needed for the JC (Junior Courser) title, but the AKC does not award it to any dogs but sighthounds. This was also before the Idaho club started to offer CAT (Coursing Ability Test) titles.
The only time Solo ever had trouble following the lure was when the grass was a foot over her head. And after that trial the grass was cut down as the basenjis had trouble too!

Coursing Corgi on YouTube

If you would like to test your dog, go to http://www.akc.org/events/performance/ and click on “Coursing Ability Tests” to find one near you.



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Halloween can be a frightening time for family dogs. Each Halloween, veterinarians nationwide see pet injuries that could have been avoided. Here are some ways we can protect pets:

Wendt Worth Corgis Males

Wendt Worth Corgis Males

* Walk your dog before trick-or-treaters start their visits. Keep a firm grip on the leash; many dogs are frightened by people in costumes.

* Find a secure place in your home to keep your dogs, especially if you’re giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. Many dogs get loose when the door opens, and the presence of little (and big) costumed people often scares animals, increasing the chance dogs will run away or get hit by cars.

* Make sure your dog is wearing an up-to-date I.D. tag.

* Place a dog gate in front of your front door to block access in case someone accidentally lets your pet out of the place where he’s confined. Many dogs will run after trick-or-treaters.

* If your dog has any aggressive tendencies, fear of loud noises, or a habit of excessive barking, place him in a quiet room as far away from your front door as possible at least a half-hour before trick-or-treaters arrive.

* Consider crating your pet, which can make him feel more secure and reduce chances of accidental escapes. Provide chew toys, a favorite blanket, a piece of clothing with your scent on it, or whatever comforts the animal. Play soft music or a recording of soothing sounds.

* If you want to have your dog near the door to greet visitors, keep him on leash. Pets can become very stressed by holiday activities and unwelcome interruptions in routine. A nervous dog might feel threatened and growl, lunge or bite.

* Keep dogs indoors. It’s a bad idea to leave dogs out in the yard; in addition to the parade of holiday celebrants frightening and agitating them, there have been reports of taunting, poisonings and pet thefts. Plus they’re likely to bark and howl at the constant flow of treat or treaters.

* As for cats, as the ASPCA and other organizations advise, keep cats indoors at all times.

* Do not leave dogs in cars.

* Keep dogs out of the candy bowl. Dispose of candy wrappers before your pets get to them, since the wrappers can cause choking or intestinal obstruction. Make sure the dogs can’t get into the trash. Note: Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause nerve damage and even death in dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated it is — and the smaller the lethal dose.

* Explain to everyone in your home (including kids) how dangerous treats are to pets. Take young childrenUs candy supply and put it somewhere out of reach of pets. Caution children about leaving candy wrappers on the floor.

* Make sure pets can’t reach candles, jack-o-lanterns, decorations or ornaments.

* Halloween costumes can annoy animals and pose safety and health hazards…so think twice before dressing up the dog. Make sure the dog can breathe, see and hear, and that the costume is flame retardant. Remove any small or dangling accessories that could be chewed and swallowed. Avoid rubber bands, which can cut off the animal’s circulation or, if accidentally left on, can burrow and cut into the animal’s skin.

* If the animal is very high-strung, consult your vet about tranquilizing for the night.

* When walking dogs during or after Halloween, watch carefully for what they might pick up and choke on. Bits of candy and wrappers abound on sidewalks and streets after holidays.

* If you notice these symptoms of chocolate poisoning, go to your vet or an emergency vet right away because your pet’s life may be in danger:

Wendt Worth Haunted Kennel

Wendt Worth Haunted Kennel

Excessive drooling
Excessive urination
Pupil dilation
Rapid heartbeat
Vomiting and diarrhea
Muscle tremors and seizures

If Your Dog Eats Chocolate:

First Aid Kit and Guidance:
Keep a pet First Aid Kit in your home and car. Take the one you keep in your car with you on trips with your pet. This webpage lists items to include:

CPR and Mouth-to-Snout Resuscitation:
Print these life-saving brochures to have on hand!

When traveling, you can find a nearby veterinarian using AAHA’s Animal Hospital Locator:


For more Dog Tips and other information about pet
care, adoption and the work PAW does, visit our
website at:  www.paw-rescue.org

Partnership for Animal Welfare
P.O. Box 1074, Greenbelt, MD 20768

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17:09 21 July 2011  

MacGregor Campbell, consultant X-Ray Video Reveals How  A Dog Moves

From Great Danes to dachshunds, dogs can have radically different body types. But now X-ray video is revealing striking similarities between the way different breeds move (see video above).

Martin Fischer and colleagues at Jena University in Germany used high-speed X-ray cameras to film hundreds of dogs representing 32 different breeds. Then they compared the footage with 3D motion-capture data to create a precise profile of how each breed walks, trots, and runs.

The team found that during most movements, a dog’s shoulder joints stay still. Their forelimbs rotate around the shoulder blade which is connected to the rest of the skeleton by muscles. Thanks to the X-ray view, they also found that the shoulder blade and forearm move in sync, as do the thigh and foot. Therefore if the shoulder blade is parallel to the ground, the forearm is too.

ScienceDaily (May 31, 2011) — Zoologists of Jena University have presented the results of an extensive study worldwide concerning the motion of dogs and offered new insights into their course of movement.

How does a dog run? Until now even experts found it nearly impossible to answer this simple sounding question. “We simply didn’t know,” says Professor Dr. Martin S. Fischer from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany). A dog moves on four legs, in pacing, trotting or galloping. But so far, scientists could only guess at the exact motion sequence within the locomotor system. The reason being: “So far scientific studies were limited mostly to the movement of sick animals or to single aspects of locomotion,” says Fischer, Professor of Systematic Zoology and Evolutionary Biology. To change this, Fischer and his team started a comprehensive study about the locomotion of healthy dogs in 2006 and have now presented the results.

With enormous technical effort the scientists measured, documented and compared the motion sequences of 327 dogs from 32 different breeds. The dogs were filmed by two high speed cameras in different gaits from the front and from the side. “In addition we analysed the movements three-dimensionally,” Dr. Karin Lilje explains. For this, the zoologist glued reflecting markers on the skin of the animals and filmed their movements with infrared cameras. These sent out short flashes and registered their reflections. Up to 1.000 images per second went into these analyses. “As the reflections were being recorded from several cameras we could assess the position of the markers in the room from the data,” Dr. Lilje continues. Additionally, the movements of the dogs were recorded with a high speed X-ray video system. The University Institute for Systematic Zoology and Evolutionary Biology, which the Phyletisches Museum is also part of, owns one of the most modern and efficient systems of this type. “By combining these three methods data about the movement of dogs are available now in a precision so far unknown,” says Fischer.

Numerous displays and preparations of skeletons in today’s schoolbooks and museums show how patchy and in some aspects fundamentally incorrect the knowledge about the locomotor system was until now: The displays position the hip and shoulder joint of the animals on the same level. “However this implies that these two joints correlate with each other and that they are the centre of rotation in the movement — which is wrong as we could now prove with the help of our analyses,” Professor Fischer points out. According to this in the course of the evolution limbs with three — formerly two — segments each developed from the legs. “And so the shoulder blade is added to the forelegs as a segment close to the body while the middle foot of the hind leg is being rebuilt,” explains evolutionary biologist Fischer. Therefore it is not thigh and upper arm and lower leg and forearm that are correlated but the shoulder blade and the thigh, the upper arm and lower leg and forearm and middle foot. The centre of rotation of the front legs is the shoulder blade which is only connected to the skeleton through the musculature. The actual shoulder joint stays nearly immobile in the dogs’ process of movement.

CH Wendt Worths Beyond Boundaries Lark

CH Wendt Worths Beyond Boundaries Lark

“These findings will alter the academic teaching,” Professor Fischer is convinced. For this zoologists present comprehensive material with their scientific results: With the help of high definition X-ray and position data the scientists animated the course of motion into video sequences. Thus not only the dogs’ skeletons can be viewed from all sides, the corresponding patterns of musculature and activity can also be studied in detail according to the gait and the phase of the movement. “In contrast to previous animations our video sequences are based on exact measurements. With this we are setting new standards,” Fischer believes.

The Jena study provides another astonishing insight into the locomotion of dogs regarding the proportions of the front legs of the dog breeds examined. These were nearly identical in all dog breeds — although, according to Fischer “it is clear that the upper arm of a Schnauzer is shorter than that of a Great Dane.” Regarding the total length of a foreleg its length is always exactly 27 percent. Whereas the relative length of the shoulder blade varies between 24 and 34 percent. “The shoulder blade of short legged dogs is relatively long and that of greyhounds is relatively short. But the length of the upper arm always stays the same.”

CH Wendt Worths Meadowlark Lyric

CH Wendt Worths Meadowlark Lyric

Moreover the zoologists owe the discovery that the shoulder blade and forearm and the thigh and the middle foot are moving in matched motion — as if linked — to the X-ray view. “If the forearm is in a vertical position, then the shoulder blade will be in the same position,” the Jena scientist explains. In its motion sequence this principle of a ‘pantograph leg’ is highly dependent on the length of the segment in between. “And that is the upper arm that is exactly the same length in every dog.” From this can be concluded that all dogs run very similarly, no matter if they weigh two or eighty kilograms.

Friedrich Schiller University Jena (2011, May 31). Insights into the motion of dogs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2011/05/110527080325.htm 

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A call for improving our etiquette with older dogs.
MIAH "Guardian to The Low Riders" RIP Jan. 10, 2011

MIAH "Guardian to The Low Riders" RIP Jan. 10, 2011

Like everyone else in a society loudly lamenting a decline in civility, I recognize there are new breaches of etiquette every minute. On any typical day, cell phones alone account for the rudeness factor going off the charts.

But I believe there is one type of impolite behavior among adult humans that goes pretty much unchecked. I’ve been guilty of it myself and slinked away feeling really stupid. It just isn’t something that makes it into the etiquette books and it apparently isn’t even worth Miss Manners’ fleeting consideration.

I am referring to the blunt, utterly uncensored and often just plain mean things people say to us about our dogs (by “us” I mean dog people). My close friend Pam has a 12-yearold German Shepherd who is visibly aging. So are the rest of us, human and canine, but to what person would you ever be so crude as to say the following: “Is that your mother? Wow, she looks awful. She can hardly move!” Yet this is the unsolicited blubbering my friend endures from strangers, all day long, about her old dog. I empathize because I’ve been through this three times, beginning with our family Beagle, Sam, who lived to be nearly 17, mostly out of spite.

MIAH "Guardian to The Low Riders" RIP Jan. 10, 2011

MIAH "Guardian to The Low Riders" RIP Jan. 10, 2011

“How old is he?” People would ask this unrelentingly about my now-departed Irish Setter, Amos. I didn’t mind telling them that he was 12 or 13. “Wow. They don’t live much longer than that, do they?” How tacky is this?

But it gets worse. When my big, hairy mutt, Louie (we called him our “Bavarian crotch-smeller”) was old and frail, someone once asked me, “Have you thought about putting him down?” First of all, that’s kind of like asking a woman in her 40s (this also happened to me), “Have you ever thought about having children?” “Gee, there’s an idea! Why didn’t I think of that?” When your dog is old and sick, the end is pretty much all you can think about. Your heart is breaking and you’re preparing yourself to come to that decision in a way that spares your dog unnecessary suffering while giving yourself time to feel as peaceful as possible about letting him go.

People assume they can say anything they like about a stranger’s dog. While they’d (I hope) refrain from saying, “Excuse me, but it looks like your husband is losing his hair,” when Louie was suffering from Cushing’s disease, strangers constantly took it upon themselves to point out his hair loss. “Do you know your dog is losing his hair?” And what can you do except mumble, um, yes, this is my dog, he’s part of my family, I’m nearly always with him, I bathe him, I brush him, he sleeps with us, and throughout most, if not all, of these activities, I am looking at him! And it’s always too late when you think of how you could’ve said, “Do you know you have a wart on your chin?”

Pam is at the point where she dreads walking her dog in public because she knows passersby will make insensitive comments she can’t bear to hear. Out in the world she is thoughtful and tender enough not to remind everyone she encounters that they are mortal. Like the rest of us, she can tell when a person’s on his or her last legs, but she keeps herself from saying, “Gee, you sure are slowing down” or asking the person’s daughter, “So how long do people in your family tend to live?” When approaching people like my friend, it helps to remind oneself that she knows her dog is old. She knows it every waking second of every day.

MIAH "Guardian to The Low Riders" RIP Jan. 10, 2011

MIAH "Guardian to The Low Riders" RIP Jan. 10, 2011

The last years and months we share with our geriatric dogs are among the most bittersweet times in dog lovers’ lives. We know, from the moment we choose these guys as puppies or meet their limpid stares at the animal shelter, that our hearts will be torn apart some day. What makes it so much worse is that the older they get, the sweeter they get, and when they reach absolute critical sweetness—you simply cannot love them any more than you already do—they grow completely exhausted and die. So a person patiently coaxing an old dog on his increasingly shrinking route is someone who could benefit from a little compassionate restraint. Like a simple hello for the owner, or a tender pat on the head for the doggie emeritus.

Original article found by clicking here

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The rumors had been circulating for weeks about Sutter, the corgi that Gov. Jerry Brown has been watching for his sister Kathleen Brown. This afternoon on the east steps of the state Capitol, Brown’s wife Anne Gust Brown put the rumors to rest: Sutter is officially the “first dog.”

Gust Brown, Brown strategist Steve Glazer and a fair share of the Sacramento press corps analyzed the news in great detail with Sutter, who rolled on the lawn and sniffed well-wishers. At about the same time, the governor’s press office announced via e-mail a statewide hiring freeze, which went unremarked on during Sutter’s event.

Glazer has been tweeting about Sutter for weeks, and someone (presumably not the dog himself) has been tweeting under the handle SutterBrown since early-January. Sutter had belonged to Kathleen Brown, who relocated to Chicago to take a different position with investment firm Goldman Sachs.

Gust Brown said she and the governor settled the first dog issue on Valentine’s Day. It marks the first time since at least before Brown’s first two terms, from 1975-1983, that a governor has announced a first pet of any kind.

“He finds all the extra food lying on the floor in the office,” Gust Brown said about Sutter’s privileges as first dog. “He barks at anyone, he gives snuggles, he warms up the Republicans. As you see, Sen. (Bob) Dutton’s very fond of him.”

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The Pet Loss Support Hotline
(517-432-2696) is a non-profit program provided by the College of  Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University http://cvm.msu.edu/.  Established in 1994, students are trained in conjunction with a professional grief counselor to provide a nonjudgmental outlet for people to express their feelings and concerns. The hotline is staffed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 6:30pm-9:30pm. However, callers can leave a message during off-times and someone will call them back during the hotline hours.




If you prefer the anonymity and/or convenience of the Internet, there are many sites available to help you with your grief.  Message boards, chat rooms, personal stories and poems are just the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few helpful links:

* Pet Loss Grief Support Website http://petloss.com/ : Includes a 24-hour chat room, message boards, a Monday night candle ceremony, and a lot of additional resources.
* Best Friends Network
http://network.bestfriends.org/groups/phs/default.aspx : A social networking site that offers support through forums, blogs, articles, as well as a Monday night candle ceremony.
* Lightening Strike Pet Loss Support http://www.lightning-strike.com/ : Includes a pet loss forum and chat room, as well as a listing of additional resources.

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Thursday November 18, 2010

I’ve been asking myself if it’s really true that dog saliva has antibacterial properties and, if so, why aren’t the components of the saliva being used to make new drugs? Apparently I’m not the only person to ask that. If you look online you see all kinds of forums where someone is wondering the same thing. The question has been the topic of science fair experiments and even the occasional study in more sophisticated research labs. In 1975, Heddle and Rowley found that secretory immunoglobin A (IgA) antibodies, found in dog saliva, had limited antibacteria properties, particularly against the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, that could be used to fight infection in living mice. In 1990, a team from the University of Davis, California reported, in an article in Physiology and Behavior, that limited antibacterial properties in dog saliva, against E. coli and Streptococcus canis, and theorized that mother dogs could prevent infection in their pups by licking the mammary and genital areas. However, a search of the current literature using PubMed actually reveals more reports of infection and illness after letting dogs lick wounds, than any evidence of benefiting from the practice.

By Theresa Phillips, About.com Guide


Hart and Powell. 1990. Antibacterial properties of saliva: Role in maternal periparturient grooming and in licking wounds. Physiology and Behavior, 48(3):383-386. doi:10.1016/0031-9384(90)90332-X.

Heddle and Rowley, 1975. Dog immunoglobins. II. The antibacterial properties of dog IgA, IgM and IgG antibodies to Vibrio Cholerae. Immunology 29(1):197-208.

Biotechnology “Firsts”: First Antibiotic

Restriction Enzymes: A bacterial defense mechanism

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