Freeway Is Shut Down To Save Runaway Rescue Dog

It was supposed to just be a normal drop-off day for the Community Animal Welfare Society (CAWS). They transported 68 dogs away from kill shelters to the VCA All Pet Animal Hospital in Taylorsville, Utah.

Many of the dogs were excited to meet their foster parents at this location, but one dog in particular didn’t seem so sure. As soon as she had the chance, she took off running.

At first, the staff with CAWS struggled to get the dog out of her kennel. She was very scared and not ready to trust humans just yet. So she ran as far away from them as she could.

“Once she started running, she was dead set on getting out of here,” said Sara Buyers with CAWS.

Buyers was among a group of 15 people that chased after the runaway Chihuahua mix. They followed her through the parking lot and behind buildings, but they couldn’t seem to catch up. Before they knew it, the little dog was running on the I-215 ramp toward the freeway.

Image: @CAWS.ORG/Facebook

Loose on the Freeway

Utah Highway Patrol received lots of concerned calls at the sight of a dog on the freeway. The road was icy in some areas, so it was extra dangerous for the poor little pup. 

The troopers realized that in order to save this dog, they needed to close the freeway. They did a slowdown, which is where they weave their way in front of the traffic. Once the road was clear, Sergeant Mary Kaye Lucas drove the wrong way down the road to reach the dog.

The dog was found cornered near a sound wall, but it was clear that she was too terrified to trust the troopers. Lucas knew she could save the dog though. She just had to gain her trust.

Image: Screenshot, ksl.com

“Poor dog. I think she was exhausted and scared by the time we got to her,” Lucas said.

Lucas approached the dog with two simple items: a blanket and a leash. She carefully put the leash on the dog to ensure that she couldn’t run off again. Then, Lucas scooped her up in the blanket for comfort. To her surprise, the dog relaxed almost right away.

The CAWS staff members were so relieved to see that the runaway dog was safe and sound. They couldn’t believe that the highway patrol had gone to such lengths to save her. They truly went above and beyond.

Now, this dog is looking for her forever home. Buyers mentioned that she thinks her name should either be Freeway or Bolt due to her crazy adventure. If you’re interested in adopting this adventurous pup, please contact CAWS.

Image: @CAWS.ORG/Facebook

H/T: ksl.com

 Featured Image: Screenshot, ksl.com

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Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences

In November, I went to a seminar about dog behavior and training and, for the first time in my life, brought a dog so I could participate in a “working dog” spot (take a turn having the instructor teach us something). The experience entailed two full days in the car and five nights in a hotel. 

I have previously taken 4-year-old Woody for long road trips, camping trips, and to stay at friends’ houses. But he’s never stayed at a hotel before, and it presented him with a few new experiences. By and large, he was terrific: He was never tempted to pee on anything, he didn’t chew anything up or eat out of the trash, and he was happy to meet people who greeted him and calm about walking past people who didn’t. The most challenging thing for him at the hotel was hearing people walk down the hall past our room at night and not growling or barking; he seemed to be anxious about the strangers he could hear and smell but not see.  

To make sure my large, block-headed dog felt as relaxed and happy as possible about the whole experience – so that he looked obviously friendly – I had a treat pouch with me at all times, so I could mark and reinforce all of his good behavior. I also looked for spots in the hotel where we could get a little distance from the things that made him nervous and deliver enough treats to help change how he regarded the stimuli. At one point, for example, I wedged our hotel room door open, so he could see people walk by the open door; every time we heard a person coming or saw people walk by, I started delivering treats; when the people were out of view (or earshot), the treats stopped. After only a few passersby, he was looking to me eagerly when he heard or saw someone.

Anyway, I was thinking about the work I did with Woody when I was recently at an airport for holiday travel. I stepped out of a long line for coffee because I was actually afraid of a dog who was accompanying a man in line in front of me – a big, muscular, intact male dog with “fighting cropped” ears and wearing a choke chain. The dog looked uneasy and overstimulated (tightly tucked tail, panting, ears pinned back) and his owner was not only oblivious to the dog’s discomfort, he also was completely distracted with his coffee order and seemed unconcerned about the apprehensive looks that people near him were casting at him and his anxious dog. In my opinion, subjecting an unhabituated dog to such stress is not fair to your fellow travellers – and certainly not fair to the dog.

It’s a lot of work to habituate your dog to new experiences, but it is a critical responsibility if you are going to subject other people to them; no one should have to be afraid of your dog in public. 

The post Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences

In November, I went to a seminar about dog behavior and training and, for the first time in my life, brought a dog so I could participate in a “working dog” spot (take a turn having the instructor teach us something). The experience entailed two full days in the car and five nights in a hotel. 

I have previously taken 4-year-old Woody for long road trips, camping trips, and to stay at friends’ houses. But he’s never stayed at a hotel before, and it presented him with a few new experiences. By and large, he was terrific: He was never tempted to pee on anything, he didn’t chew anything up or eat out of the trash, and he was happy to meet people who greeted him and calm about walking past people who didn’t. The most challenging thing for him at the hotel was hearing people walk down the hall past our room at night and not growling or barking; he seemed to be anxious about the strangers he could hear and smell but not see.  

To make sure my large, block-headed dog felt as relaxed and happy as possible about the whole experience – so that he looked obviously friendly – I had a treat pouch with me at all times, so I could mark and reinforce all of his good behavior. I also looked for spots in the hotel where we could get a little distance from the things that made him nervous and deliver enough treats to help change how he regarded the stimuli. At one point, for example, I wedged our hotel room door open, so he could see people walk by the open door; every time we heard a person coming or saw people walk by, I started delivering treats; when the people were out of view (or earshot), the treats stopped. After only a few passersby, he was looking to me eagerly when he heard or saw someone.

Anyway, I was thinking about the work I did with Woody when I was recently at an airport for holiday travel. I stepped out of a long line for coffee because I was actually afraid of a dog who was accompanying a man in line in front of me – a big, muscular, intact male dog with “fighting cropped” ears and wearing a choke chain. The dog looked uneasy and overstimulated (tightly tucked tail, panting, ears pinned back) and his owner was not only oblivious to the dog’s discomfort, he also was completely distracted with his coffee order and seemed unconcerned about the apprehensive looks that people near him were casting at him and his anxious dog. In my opinion, subjecting an unhabituated dog to such stress is not fair to your fellow travellers – and certainly not fair to the dog.

It’s a lot of work to habituate your dog to new experiences, but it is a critical responsibility if you are going to subject other people to them; no one should have to be afraid of your dog in public. 

The post Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

UPDATE: Lenny’s Legacy Created To Honor Lenny & Raise Funds For Other Dogs In Need

lennys legacy cover

We recently covered the unfortunate passing of a beautiful pup named Lenny that passed away just days after being rescued by Patrick Stewart and Sunny Ozell. After succumbing to a terrible case of pneumonia and the effects of lifelong neglect, Stewart and Ozell made the difficult choice to ease his pain as he peacefully passed away.

Lenny was a 10-year-old Pit Bull that found himself in the care of Wags And Walks Rescue after a lifetime of neglect. With thick scars on his elbows and fly strike scars covering his ears, it’s clear that Lenny was deprived of the wonderful life that he deserved. Luckily with the help of Wags and Walks Rescue, Patrick Stewart, and Sunny Ozell, Lenny was able to experience 48 hours of pure bliss.

lenny's legacy
SirPatStew/Instagram

Lenny spent 2 days in Stewart and Ozell’s home as a pampered foster pup. With no shortage of TLC or delicious treats, he was living the ultimate doggy dream. Though it seemed like Lenny had everything he needed to live out a wonderful life, he quickly became ill. What originally started as a case of kennel cough turned into a serious case of pneumonia.

Even with receiving critical veterinary care, Lenny was unable to win the battle against his illness. He passed in the loving arms of his foster parents.

“My dear friend sent me this quote: ‘Saving one animal wont change the world, but for that one animal the world will change forever.’ Patrick is shattered, but has already decided that we are going to start some kind of fund in Lenny’s name. There’s something deeply profound about the animal rescue space, and for us in particular, pit bull rescue. Patrick and I remain so, so committed to spreading the glorious Pit bull gospel.”

-Sunny Ozell on the day of Lenny’s passing

lenny's legacy
MadameOzell/Instagram

Lenny had an immense impact on Patrick Stewart and Sunny Ozell to the point of launching a beautiful campaign in Lenny’s honor. This Pit Bull advocating couple wants to change the world for senior dogs in the shelter system, and they need your help to do it!

To celebrate Giving Tuesday in 2019, Stewart and Ozell matched up to $10,000 of donations that were made to Wags and Walks Rescue in the first 24 hours. Lenny’s Legacy has already raised over $25,000 dollars for dogs in need and will undoubtedly continue to change the lives of many canines to come!

We are so grateful for dedicated animal advocates such as Patrick Stewart and Sunny Ozell, and can’t wait to watch the impact that Lenny’s Legacy will have on senior dogs to come! If you would like to contribute to Lenny’s Legacy, you can donate here.

 

Image Source: MadameOzell/Instagram & SirPatStew/Instagram

The post UPDATE: Lenny’s Legacy Created To Honor Lenny & Raise Funds For Other Dogs In Need appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences

In November, I went to a seminar about dog behavior and training and, for the first time in my life, brought a dog so I could participate in a “working dog” spot (take a turn having the instructor teach us something). The experience entailed two full days in the car and five nights in a hotel. 

I have previously taken 4-year-old Woody for long road trips, camping trips, and to stay at friends’ houses. But he’s never stayed at a hotel before, and it presented him with a few new experiences. By and large, he was terrific: He was never tempted to pee on anything, he didn’t chew anything up or eat out of the trash, and he was happy to meet people who greeted him and calm about walking past people who didn’t. The most challenging thing for him at the hotel was hearing people walk down the hall past our room at night and not growling or barking; he seemed to be anxious about the strangers he could hear and smell but not see.  

To make sure my large, block-headed dog felt as relaxed and happy as possible about the whole experience – so that he looked obviously friendly – I had a treat pouch with me at all times, so I could mark and reinforce all of his good behavior. I also looked for spots in the hotel where we could get a little distance from the things that made him nervous and deliver enough treats to help change how he regarded the stimuli. At one point, for example, I wedged our hotel room door open, so he could see people walk by the open door; every time we heard a person coming or saw people walk by, I started delivering treats; when the people were out of view (or earshot), the treats stopped. After only a few passersby, he was looking to me eagerly when he heard or saw someone.

Anyway, I was thinking about the work I did with Woody when I was recently at an airport for holiday travel. I stepped out of a long line for coffee because I was actually afraid of a dog who was accompanying a man in line in front of me – a big, muscular, intact male dog with “fighting cropped” ears and wearing a choke chain. The dog looked uneasy and overstimulated (tightly tucked tail, panting, ears pinned back) and his owner was not only oblivious to the dog’s discomfort, he also was completely distracted with his coffee order and seemed unconcerned about the apprehensive looks that people near him were casting at him and his anxious dog. In my opinion, subjecting an unhabituated dog to such stress is not fair to your fellow travellers – and certainly not fair to the dog.

It’s a lot of work to habituate your dog to new experiences, but it is a critical responsibility if you are going to subject other people to them; no one should have to be afraid of your dog in public. 

The post Do The Work To Keep Your Dog Comfortable During New Experiences appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

Mat Training Tips

Mat training – teaching your dog to go lie down on her mat on cue, and stay there – sounds pretty simple, and in fact, it is. Not only is it a simple behavior to teach, it’s incredibly useful for a variety of different training challenges. You can use it to teach your dog polite greetings, park her calmly in public or at your training class, increase her confidence in novel situations, send her to her mat in any room in the house, give yourself a break from attention-seeking behavior, defuse tension between two dogs, move her away from a guarded resource, and much more.

It’s a bit of a wonder, then, that more humans don’t teach their dogs this simple behavior. If we’ve grabbed your attention and interest, read on to find out how you can teach your dog.

12 Steps to a “Place” Mat

A place mat is any portable rug, bed, or blanket that you can easily take with you anywhere you go with your dog, and that you will teach your dog to lie down on, on cue. The more comfortable the mat, the easier your training task will be – she will want to lie down on it. 

When teaching this behavior, it helps to use a brand-new bed, mat, or blanket. Make a big fuss over it; admire it with enthusiasm, until your dog feels compelled to check it out, too.

To train this behavior, it’s a good idea to start with a brand new rug, bed, or blanket – one your dog has never seen or used before. It’s not critical, but once she understands the exercise, she will recognize it as her special “go to your place” mat. Here’s how to train the behavior:

1. Hold your dog’s new mat and show great interest in it – examine it, exclaim over it, sniff it – until your dog shows interest in what you are doing.

2. Have a handy supply of medium-value treats and a supply of high-value treats ready. Be prepared to mark with a clicker or verbal marker. When your dog looks at, sniffs, or otherwise shows interest in the mat, use your marker (click! or “Yes!”) and place a medium-value treat on the mat for your dog.

“Shaping” encourages your dog to offer lots of different behaviors. You’re going to reinforce increasingly closer and closer approximations of the behavior you really want.

3. Continue to mark for any mat-related behaviors that your dog offers – except for grabbing it! – placing a medium-value treat on the mat each time you mark. 

4. If you have used shaping in your training before and your dog is shaping-savvy, she is likely to quickly start offering a variety of behaviors. If she offers any on-the-mat behaviors (let’s call them OTMBs for short), use your marker and put a medium-value treat on the mat. But if she offers to lie down on the mat, use your marker and give her a high-value treat on the mat. Any other offered OTMBs continue to get medium-value treats.

At first, use a marker (such as the click of a clicker or a verbal “Yes!”) when your dog interacts with the mat in any way; then quickly deliver a medium-value treat on the mat.

5. If your dog is not savvy about shaping, continue to mark any OTMBs, but occasionally, randomly use your “Down” cue to ask her to lay down on the mat. When she does, mark and give her a high-value treat.

6. After you have given her a cue, marked it, and given her a treat for a half-dozen or so Downs interspersed with her other offered behaviors, pause for several seconds; see if she chooses to offer you a down when she doesn’t get marked for any other behavior. If she does, mark and feed her several high-value treats. Jackpot! If she doesn’t, go back to marking any OTMBs, interspersing random downs. Deliver a medium-treat for other behaviors and a high-value treats for downs.

At first, Minnie offered sit after sit; this is a behavior that dogs often use as a polite “default” – something to do when they don’t know what else to do. She’s a little stuck.

7. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until your dog begins offering downs during your pauses. Your dog is learning that any on-the-mat behavior is rewardable, but downs get the better rewards. She should soon begin offering only downs on the mat, even though other behaviors will still be getting medium rewards.

8. Now give your dog a release cue, move a few steps away from the mat, and invite your dog to follow you. When she does, stand quietly and ignore her – no marking, treating or praising. Most dogs will return to the mat to prompt you for more marks and treats. If your dog steps on to the mat, start marking and treating, again, using medium-value treats for any behavior and high-value treats for downs. Do not hold out for downs! At this juncture, you are reinforcing her for returning to the mat. Downs are great if they happen, but remember to reward any OTMBs.

Minnie eagerly complies with a verbal cue for “down.” Click and high-value treat! After a few cued downs and more high-value treats, Minnie gets it: “down” pays better!

9. Repeat step 8 numerous times. Each time you give a release cue and step away from the mat, go a step or two farther away. You are teaching your dog to go to her mat from greater distances. By now she is likely returning to the mat and immediately lying down. If she is not, go back to occasionally, randomly holding out for downs. Remember, only the downs get high-value treats.

10. When your dog is consistent about quickly returning and lying down on the mat each time, you can start adding duration for the down-on-mat behavior. Increase the amount of time in small increments – just a few seconds at a time. 

If at any time your dog gets off the mat before you give your release cue, pick up the mat and ignore her for a minute, then place the mat down and try again. If she gets up several times in a row, you have increased duration too quickly – go back to a shorter duration and work your way up again. (For tips on increasing the duration of the “stay” behavior, see “Stay Happy,” WDJ November 2012.)

11. When your dog will go to her mat and lie quietly on it for an extended period of time, you can add your cue. Use whatever cue you like – perhaps just the word “Place!” Practice sending her to her “Place” from increasingly longer distances, and eventually from anywhere in the house.

Now, move farther from the mat and invite your dog to follow you. Then stand quietly and give no cues. Mark and reward your dog if she returns to the mat; don’t hold out for a down.

12. Finally, you need to add distractions and generalize the behavior. Practice sending your dog to her mat in the face of kindergarten-level distractions – jump once, jump twice, clap your hands…. Gradually work up to college level, where you can send her to her mat even with kids running through the house or while food is being prepared in the kitchen. 

Eventually, if you keep practicing, she should be able to go to her mat on cue at the Ph.D. level – when the doorbell rings, visitors enter, or during any other exciting situation.

Depending on your dog and her level of training, you might accomplish your mat training project in just a few sessions. If your dog is still working on basic good manners or has difficulty with impulse control, it could take longer. In any case, it’s well worth the effort. 

What’s your place?

You can see that there are lots of valuable applications for this simple behavior. I’m willing to bet that many of you WDJ readers have already found good uses for mat training. We’d love to see yours on our Facebook page, and maybe we’ll even print a few in a future issue. Ready, set, place! 

The post Mat Training Tips appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

Beware the Poisoned Mat

In dog training, we most frequently hear the term “poisoned” attached to the word “cue,” meaning a cue for a particular behavior has taken a negative association, either because the cue has become associated with deliberate punishment or because the cue was given at the same time as some unfortunate unexpected aversive event.

The cue for “come when called” frequently becomes poisoned when someone is foolish enough to punish their dog (for running away, as the most common example)  after the dog finally comes back, or calling him and then doing something he doesn’t like, like giving him medication or crating him. The dog thinks bad things happen when he responds to the “Come” cue and is less likely to come the next time he is called. 

A dog’s name can also be poisoned if his human makes the mistake of saying, “No, no, Rocky!! Bad dog, Rocky!” 

An example of an “unfortunate aversive event” might be that your dog just happens to touch his nose to your horse’s pasture electric fence at the same time you give the “sit” cue, so your “sit” cue becomes poisoned. Your dog now thinks “Sit!” means he is about to get shocked.

Objects also can become poisoned when they are associated with an aversive event. Something your dog previously loved, such as his mat, can become aversive if it is repeatedly associated with something that he finds mildly to moderately stressful, such as frequent trips to the veterinary clinic, or even nail clipping or medical treatment procedures at home. 

Once you have mat-trained your dog, recognize and protect the value of his positive association with his mat. Make sure that for every time you use it to help him with a mildly to moderately stressful situation that you follow it with many happy and fun “Place” repetitions. And don’t even try to use it for things that are extremely stressful for him – it won’t help, and you will likely poison the mat and lose your very valuable training and management tool. 

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17 Dachshunds Pose For Adorable Christmas Photo

Getting one dog to look nicely at the camera can be a difficult task, especially if they’re dressed in a cute outfit. It’s hard to imagine getting multiple dogs to pose at the same time. But taking dog photos is no problem for 20-year-old Liam Beach. His family has 17 Dachshunds in their home, and Beach was determined to get a Christmas photo with all of them. Sure enough, Beach proved that the perfect Christmas photo really does exist!

Beach has taken plenty of photos of his many dogs before, but this one topped them all. Not only are all the dogs sitting still in adorable Christmas outfits, but they’re all looking at the camera! How could so many little dogs have that much patience?

Buster, Daisy, Ziggy, Wallie, Zac, Bonnie, Saffie, Duke, Diamond, Ruby, Kizzy, Sammy, Kansy, Kiki, Lottie, Benji, and Dudley are all very well behaved. Getting them ready for this adorable picture only took a total of 45 minutes.

Image: Liam Beach Facebook

Taking the Christmas Photo

Even though Beach had taken photos of his pups before, this was his greatest challenge yet. Once he dressed them up in their outfits, they all got excited. Many of them assumed they were going for a walk, so they didn’t want to sit still. 

Beach had to calm down all 17 of the dogs before he could get them to sit on the stairs. However, once they were in their places, many of them grew sleepy. He had to work hard to keep them awake to look at the camera.

He used a squeaky ball and some treats to get them all to look at him. The 45 long minutes were worth it because he finally captured the cutest photo ever.

Image: Liam Beach Facebook

A Series of Adorable Pictures

This isn’t the first time Beach has taken a photo like this. Over the summer, his friend challenged him to get a photo of all the Dachshunds on the stairs. For that photo, the dogs happily cooperated. 

That stair photo only took Beach less than 10 minutes to take. The dogs might not be dressed up, but they are all sitting still and looking at the camera. At the time, he only had 16 Dachshunds. Since then, Kansy joined the family as the 17th Dachshund. The family just can’t get enough of this adorable breed!

Before that challenge, Beach also took a photo of all the Dachshunds lined up on the couch. Again, they are all looking directly at the camera. Beach must truly be some kind of dog whisperer.

Photos of the Dachshunds have been shared all over social media. Now that everyone knows about his photogenic dogs, how will Beach be able to top this photo next year?

Image: Liam Beach Facebook

H/T: people.com

Featured Image: Liam Beach Facebook

The post 17 Dachshunds Pose For Adorable Christmas Photo appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

Heroic Bystander Saves The Life Of Dog Who Was Run Over

Timing is absolutely crucial in the event a dog survives getting hit or run over by a car. Injured dogs are left completely vulnerable to further injury, totally exposed in the street. A lifesaver in New York had this in mind when he ran into the street to save an injured dog from a worse fate.

The Robledo family was having their car serviced at Honda of New Rochelle. Fortunately for them, general manager James Gallagher worked that day. He was the one who saw the Robledos’ 3-year-old Shih Tzu Charlie get run over by a car on Main Street. Cindy Robledo described her horror to ABC7.

“I was terrified. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe what just happened to my dog… He’s not just a dog. He is a kid. A human being.”

Gallagher sprung into action instantly, worried about more oncoming cars.

“My biggest concern of course was the dog getting hit again. I heard it whimpering, so I was like, alright the dog’s alive. That’s when I knew time was of the essence.”

Having gotten to Charlie in time, Gallagher offered to drive the injured dog and his family to the vet. Cindy Robledo considered his intervention a godsend.

“It’s just really shocking. He’s an angel. He’s an angel that just came and rescued my dog.”

They already suffered some financial setbacks this year (including losing their home,) so the Robledos were devastated to learn how expensive Charlie’s treatment would be. The Robledos visited 2 clinics the day of the accident and at the end of the day the poor pup needed emergency surgery. They simply couldn’t afford it.

James Gallagher via GoFundMe

Gallagher, who had already done so much for Charlie, offered to cover the vet bill. The Robledo family vowed to pay him back, but he refused their offers. All he wants is for them to pay it forward when they’re comfortable enough to do so.

“I know what it’s like to not have the finances to be able to take care of a situation. And I wasn’t gonna let a dog die because of money. Absolutely not.”

He also set up a GoFundMe to help cover any other expenses for the family. Charlie is recovering now, but he suffered neurological and spinal damage. At the time of this post, we’re still waiting to know whether he’ll be able to walk again.

Bill Michael via GoFundMe

Sending all my well wishes to Charlie and his family during his recovery. We really need more James Gallaghers.

H/T: ABC7
Featured Image: Bill Michael via GoFundMe

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