This Adoptable Bachelor Is Ready To Hand Out His Final Rose

Even if you don’t watch The Bachelor, surely you have heard something about how the show works over the last 18 years. The reality dating competition series selects one “Bachelor” or “Bachelorette” to date several people over the next few weeks in order to find their true love. Berrien County Animal Control in Benton Harbor, Michigan cleverly figured out a way to appeal to Bachelor fans and help a great dog get adopted.

“The Bachelor: Doggy Edition” began at the end of February. The hopeful Bachelor? An adorable Pit mix named Apollo. The staff and volunteers at Berrien County Animal Control served as potential matches for him. They posed for rose ceremony photographs with him. The rose was a chew toy.

@BerrienCountyAnimalControl/Facebook

For the Doggy Edition, none of the staff or volunteers would receive Apollo’s final rose. Ultimately that will go to his potential adopter.

“In a shocking twist, our hopeful Bachelor Apollo didn’t find his one true love amongst our staff and volunteers. Could you be Apollo’s hero? Are you willing to be his one and only, to help him grow and learn, and to love him through everything?”

@BerrienCountyAnimalControl/Facebook

Juicy Episodes From The Bachelor: Doggy Edition

This brilliant campaign went beyond just Bachelor-themed photos. The staff created juicy drama-filled episodes, just like you’d see on the show. These stories creatively explained Apollo’s home requirements and personality quirks.

“However this pairing was too good to be true—Apollo felt betrayed when he discovered Barb’s first love (her dog named Sturgis) was still in her life… and in her bed no less! Apollo shares his partner with no one! Better luck next time Barb!”

@BerrienCountyAnimalControl/Facebook

These funny captions seem much less daunting than the background-free reasons for some of Apollo’s needs. For example, he prefers to be the only dog in a home and doesn’t get along with cats. It can be discouraging to see a list of can’t and won’t’s, and this fun framing lightens that up.

“Apollo enjoys the company of both men and women so we thought a change of human might be the perfect fit. Well, what seemed like a perfect attraction turned sour when he realized Jim expects to be waited on. Apollo is an independent boy and waits for no man!”

@BerrienCountyAnimalControl/Facebook

The staff’s commitment to Apollo really makes this whole thing though. No one wants to see an adoptable dog stuck in a shelter. But not everyone would dress up in costumes and pretend to be publicly rejected!

Apollo still needs to give his rose out to somebody. Maybe you could be his one true love! That would certainly make for a great finale! Apply to “audition” for this guy’s love here.

H/T: Cesar’s Way
Featured Image: @BerrienCountyAnimalControl/Facebook

The post This Adoptable Bachelor Is Ready To Hand Out His Final Rose appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

Porn-Sniffing K9’s? Growing Demand for Electronic-Storage Detection Dogs

Humans have trained dogs to use their amazing noses to identify all kinds of things – explosives, illegal drugs, bedbugs, cancer, even ancient burial sites. But did you know that dogs can help police sniff out evidence against child pornographers?

It’s true! In 2015, after a lengthy investigation, the home of Subway franchise spokesman Jared Fogle was raided by FBI agents with the help of a black Labrador Retriever named Bear. At Fogle’s home, Bear indicated three finds by sitting in front of their locations, then pointing with his nose to each scent source. One of Bear’s finds was an incriminating thumb drive missed by human searchers containing evidence that helped send Fogle to jail.

For the record, electronic-storage detection dogs (ESD K9s) have no knowledge of the content stored on the devices they seek. They are often called porn-sniffing dogs because those who treasure illicit images usually save them on electronic-storage devices that are small and easy to hide. 

A RELATIVELY NEW DOG JOB

In 2011 Jack Hubball, Ph.D., a chemist at the Connecticut Scientific Sciences Forensic Laboratory, discovered that electronic storage devices carry unique scents in their circuit board components, such as triphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO), which dogs can detect. Armed with that chemical key, Connecticut State Police began training Thoreau and Selma, dogs who were too active to complete their training at Guiding Eyes for the Blind in New York. 

The officers started with large amounts of the chemical and gradually reduced its quantity, placing devices containing the odor in different boxes and eventually in different rooms. After five weeks of odor detection training and six weeks of training with his new handler, Thoreau, a yellow Lab, was given to the Rhode Island State Police. On his first official search, he discovered a thumb drive containing child pornography in a tin box inside a cabinet. 

Selma, a black Lab, worked with the Connecticut State Police Computer Crimes Unit, where she uncovered devices in recycling bins, vents, and radiators while working on child pornography, homicide, parolee compliance, and computer hacking cases. 

With those successes, an entirely new type of law-enforcement career for dogs was established.

STANDOUT DETECTIVE DOG

Bear, the dog who helped make the case against Jared Fogle, started life as a pet dog in a family who loved him – but who couldn’t prevent him from jumping on counter tops and eating everything he could reach. When he was 2 years old (the age at which many out-of-control dogs are surrendered to shelters), his owners offered him to Todd Jordan, an Indiana firefighter who trained dogs for arson investigations.

Today, Bear lives and works with his Seattle Police Department Detective partner.

Instead of training Bear to detect fire accelerants, though, Jordan chose to help friends on the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, who were frustrated at not being able to find thumb drives and microSD cards when searching the homes of child pornographers. Inspired by the electronic-storage device detection dogs Thoreau and Selma, Jordan focused on developing Bear’s ability to detect tiny digital storage devices – th ekind that might be hidden in wall cracks, clothing, ceiling tiles, radios, closets, books, boxes, furniture, dirty laundry, or garbage.

Most search and rescue (SAR) dogs are rewarded with toys that satisfy their prey drive, but food was Bear’s favorite reward, and he was highly motivated. Jordan started training Bear in his own garage, hiding USB drives for Bear to find, and eventually began working with task force agents. Soon Bear and Jordan began accompanying detectives on warrant searches, where Bear found thumb drives missed by human searchers.

A few months after Bear’s successful search at Fogle’s home, he helped police gather evidence that led to the arrest of Marvin Sharp, a USA Gymnastics coach charged with possessing child pornography; Bear found microSD cards hidden inside Sharp’s gun safe. 

In 2015, Seattle Police Department Detective Ian Polhemus, an eight-year member of the ICAC task force, went to Indiana to learn how to work with ESD K9s. Jordan matched Detective Polhemus with Bear, and not long after, sent Bear to live and work with Polhemus in Seattle. The new partners began sniffing out electronic evidence of crimes almost immediately. In one case, investigators completed their search of a suspect’s home and then Polhemus brought in Bear for another search. In just a few minutes, Bear located five devices, some of which contained child exploitation material, that the initial search team had missed.

Bear trains every day, Detective Polhemus explained in a 2018 KIRO Seattle radio interview. “Because he’s a food-reward dog, he’s highly motivated. So what that means is the only time he eats is when he’s working,” says Polhemus. Bear is fed three cups of food throughout the day, whether he’s working on a case or practicing.

“I’ve got three training boxes with holes in them and only one of them has a device in it that he should indicate on,” Polhemus says. “When he gets to the box that has a device in it, Bear is a passive indicator, which means he’ll sit. I’ll give him a supplemental command and then he’ll shove his nose in the hole and his tail will wag and he’ll sit there and hold his nose in the hole until I reward him with food.” 

GROWING DEMAND

Illinois State Attorney Michael Nerheim became interested in ESD K9s when he learned about Bear’s success. “We were seeing a trend here where child pornographers, rather than downloading evidence onto a computer, would download evidence onto a removable device and then hide that device in their house,” he told the Chicago Tribune in 2018. 

Subsequently, today, there are at least two ESDs trained by Todd Jordan working in Illinois. These dogs, named Browser and Cache, now work for the Lake and Will County attorney’s offices, respectively. Child exploitation cases are their main tasks, but the dogs can help with any crime that involves computers or computer records.

“Browser has assisted on dozens of search warrants,” says his handler, Carol Gudbrandsen, a cybercrimes analyst. “He routinely performs searches in the jails and has been performing sweeps with the Lake County Probation Department when they do home visits on their sex offenders. Browser and I also do presentations in the schools in Lake County, speaking on internet safety and cyberbullying to students, staff, and parents. When I bring Browser into these situations, he instantly grabs the attention of our audience, and our presentations have become even more effective.”

JOB REQUIREMENTS

To date, Todd Jordan has trained 30 ESDs and nearly two dozen accelerant-detection dogs at his business, Jordan Detection K9. Jordan adapts his training methods for dogs who are ball- or toy-driven, but his primary focus is passive-response (indicating by sitting quietly), food-reward training. 

“Our canines are hand-picked, based on their willingness to please and their willingness to work,” he explains at his company’s website, electronicdetectionk9.com. “Most are second-career dogs. We also work closely with several Labrador rescues in order to give good dogs a chance at a fulfilling life. 

“We select dogs with high energy and hunt drives. Many of the dogs have failed guide-dog or service-dog school because they may chase after small animals or bark at other animals or other people while working. Although those are instances where a canine would not be good for a person with special needs, they are still great for what we do.”

TRAINING METHODS

Some trainers of law-enforcement dogs use only toys and play as training reinforcers, and worry that using food for rewards opens the way for an abuse of the system, so to speak: that someone could use food to distract a law-enforcement sniffing dog. The human partners of dogs like Thoreau, Selma, Bear, Browser, and Cache beg to differ.

“I had prior canine handling experience with ball- and toy-driven dogs, and had no experience with food-driven canines,” says Special Agent Owen Peña at the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General. “Todd made a believer out of me for the advantages of using a food-driven canine for this type of work and breaking me of my old toy/ball-driven habits. With the canine being food-driven, I feel there is a better bond and connection that I and my family have with our canine, Joey. Now Joey is part of my family and he just happens to have a job.” 

Special Agent Joey, of the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General, is another alumnus of Jordan Detection K9’s.

Like other electronic-storage detection dogs, Joey works with just one handler, food is an integral part of his daily practice, and he is well fed in the process. Because the dogs eat only when they find a device, their handlers run trainings every day to keep their skills sharp.

Do they actually offer false indications just so they can steal food? In 2016 Special Agent Jeffrey Calandra of the FBI’s Newark, N.J., Field Office started working with Iris, a black Lab, in cases involving organized crime, drug gangs, and cybercrimes including child pornography. In one search, FBI agents were confident that there was nothing left to find in a room with a desk, but Iris alerted to something in its top drawer. Calandra opened the drawer and didn’t see any evidence. When he said, “Show me,” Iris pushed her nose onto a pad of sticky notes. 

Calandra assumed that Iris was faking her response so she could steal food, but when he pulled her away from the desk drawer, she pulled back. This time she picked up the pad of sticky notes with her mouth and flipped it over, causing a microSD card to fall out.

“She was correct and I was wrong,” said Calandra. “Either the individual was concealing it, or it got stuck in the pad and you just couldn’t see it. That’s why the dogs are so good.” False positives are not usually a problem, he added, explaining that he’s more concerned about the dog missing something, though he says that hasn’t happened yet.

IMPRESSIVE FUN

At the Connecticut State Police Forensic Laboratory, Jack Hubbell hopes to identify the lowest detectable scent levels of TPPO, measuring not only part-per-million levels but part-per-billion levels. The dogs’ noses are that impressive, he says, and they consistently out-perform any odor-detecting devices invented by humans. 

As far as the dogs are concerned, finding evidence that helps police and the ICAC task force is a series of fun games and all in a day’s work. 

The post Porn-Sniffing K9’s? Growing Demand for Electronic-Storage Detection Dogs appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

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Robotic Dogs Lift The Spirits of Dementia Patients That Can’t Care For Actual Pets

robotic pets cover

We all know that having a dog in our lives is one of the most fulfilling relationships we can ever have. It’s no doubt that animal companionship can heal the heart of just about anything, but what about those who can benefit from their love but are physically unable to care for them?

Serendipity Fine Tea and Delicacies in Salado, Texas is on a mission to raise money for their local memory care facilities to offer them a furry friend they wouldn’t be able to have otherwise. We’ve all seen the comfort that a therapy dog can bring to the patients of a memory care home. Animals can lift the spirits of even the saddest of souls, but due to the struggles that a dementia patient faces, they are unable to care for them long term.

robotic pets
Screenshot Via kcentv.com

Simple tasks such as remembering to feed your dog, taking them outside to use the restroom, and other daily tasks are just not possible for those suffering from dementia. Luckily, Joy For All has found a way to offer patients the companionship of a furry friend without all the responsibility of a real-life pet.

“Joy For All Companion Pets are designed to bring comfort, companionship, and fun to elder loved ones. Our interactive cats and pup are all about an ease-of-care and convenience that pairs with technology for the best possible experience.” – Joy For All

These robotic pups recreate some of the best moments of dog ownership. They respond to sound and touch, bark and greet their humans, and even have a lifelike coat that helps dementia patients feel as if they really have a furry companion at their side at all hours.

JoyForAll/FB

The owner of Serendipity Fine Tea and Delicacies, Mary Kelch, first found out about Joy For All when she was scrolling through Facebook and saw an ad for the interactive robotic pets. When she realized that these could greatly enrich the lives of dementia patients, she knew she had to do something for the memory care facilities in her area.

Kelch is on a mission to raise as many funds as possible to hopefully donate multiple robotic pups to the Temple VA Medical Center and their patients. Each robotic dog costs $130 while the robotic cats cost $110, so these costs can quickly add up once you factor in purchasing a robotic pet for each patient.

If you would like to contribute to Mary Welch’s cause, you can reach out to her directly here. We are so thankful for caring hearts like Mary that offer a wonderful solution to the struggles that so many dementia patients face.

H/T: kcentv.com
Image Source: JoyForAll/FB

The post Robotic Dogs Lift The Spirits of Dementia Patients That Can’t Care For Actual Pets appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

Best Brush for Border Collie in 2020 and How to Brush Them Right

Your Border Collie needs you to help them stay clean and healthy.

But how do you make sure you’re doing everything they need and have all the right gear? You want to start with a brush.

Of course, you don’t want just any brush. You want the best brush for Border Collie’s and that is exactly what we’re going to talk about here.

Border Collie’s Coats

Black and white Border Collies family are laying on grass

If you’ve had your border collie for any length of time you know they shed. A lot. But the reason for that is because they’re meant to be hard workers and outdoors all day. In order to protect them from the heat of the sun and the cold of the winter, they have double coats.

Double coats mean there’s a thicker coat over the top, known as the outer coat, and another underneath which is referred to as the undercoat. But the truth is, that’s not the only think you need to know about their coats. That part is true of all border collie’s but you want to know what you can about your specific dog as well. That means you need to know whether they have a rough coat or a smooth coat. This is something that varies from one dog to the next.

Rough Coats – Rough coats mean that your dog has longer hair than dogs with a smooth coat. It can vary in actual length however. It also has more feathering down their chest, stomach and the underside of their legs. Some of these are very thick and some are thinner.

Smooth Coats – Smooth coats mean that your dog has shorter hair and they generally don’t have any of the feathering. This is the more dominant style, so it’s more likely to have this trait in your dog. Fortunately, this is the easier coat for you to look after as well. But while smooth coat is generally cleaner, smooth coat collies shedding is as common as in rough coat collies .

What Kind of Brush is Best for a Border Collie?

When it comes to choosing a quality brush you want to look at all of the factors. That means looking at the brush itself and also looking at your dog so you know what their needs are. What are you trying to achieve at that particular moment?

BV Dog Brush and Cat Brush

Best Brush for Rough Coat Border Collie:



BV Dog Brush and Cat Brush

Pro Quality Self Cleaning Slicker Brush

Best Brush for Smooth Coat Border Collie:



Pro Quality Self Cleaning Slicker Brush

FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool

Best Brush for Shedding Border Collie:



FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool

Brush for the Rough Coat Border Collie

If your dog has a rough coat then you want a brush that will get through that thick fur and keep them as smooth as possible. Because rough coats can be medium to long in length and they have all of that feathering a 2 sided brush is generally the way to go. One that offers bristle and pin options gives you the ability to groom your dog more regularly and get a good look for them.

Brush for Smooth Coat Border Collie

Smooth coats mean shorter fur and this is generally going to be more coarse but you’re not likely to see a lot of the feathering. This can actually make it easier for you to care for this type of fur. You’ll be able to use a simple slicker brush to get through the fur because you don’t have to worry about getting through so many layers.

Undercoat Rake for Border Collie

All Border Collies coat are double coats, with a coarser outer coat and soft undercoat. The undercoat of your border collie can get overwhelmed with loose fur, which can cause matting. If you use an undercoat rake it gets down into that soft undercoat and helps to remove the loose fur. This reduces matting and also removes a lot of the dirt and debris that can get stuck up under the outer coat. That makes sure your dog feels more comfortable without those particles rubbing against their body.

Brush for Shedding Border Collie

Border Collie’s shed quite a bit, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. Rather, you can use a de-shedding brush to help you remove some of that excess fur. This will reduce matting and works especially ell during the normal shedding seasons. You’ll be able to help your dog look and feel better and keep all that fur off your furniture.

Comb for the Border Collie

Sometimes a brush doesn’t really get the job done. When that’s the case you’re going to want a fine-tooth comb. These are great for getting stray hairs and they can really finish off the look of your dog’s fur. In fact, a comb is what generally gives Border Collie’s that shiny, smooth look, keeping their coat as flat as possible whether they have a rough or smooth coat.

Best Brush for Rough Coat Border Collie


BV Dog Brush and Cat Brush
Via Amazon.com

BV Dog Brush and Cat Brush

This brush is actually safe for you to use for your cats or dogs, so you don’t have to worry about getting another one for different animals. It’s designed to work on different coat types and breeds as well, so you’re getting everything in one. You’ll have an ergonomic handle that’s easy to hold no matter which side you’re using and the fact that it’s double-sided means you can take care of anything at all.

The bristle side of the brush is designed for tangles and loose hair, also getting rid of dirt and debris. The pin side gets even deeper into the undercoat to make sure you’re getting rid of even more of the potential problems that could be uncomfortable or cause irritation.

Best Brush for Smooth Coat Border Collie


Pro Quality Self Cleaning Slicker Brush
Via Amazon.com

Pro Quality Self Cleaning Slicker Brush

Great for dogs and cats alike, this is a great brush for dogs that have a smooth coat because it really does get all the way through that coarse fur. It’s able to get rid of mats and tangles that can happen when the hair is thick and it also makes sure your dog is comfortable while you’re brushing them. The design of this brush has pins to make sure it gets in deep but it still doesn’t scratch or irritate your dogs skin while you’re doing it.

Available in different sizes and colors to work for any dog you have in your home, this brush also has an ergonomic handle that’s comfortable for you to hold as long as you need to. When you’re ready to clean the brush you can just press a button and the pins retract so it’s easy to wipe off the fur.

Best Undercoat Rake for Border Collie


RUBOLD Dematting Tool for Shedding and Removing Mats
Via Amazon.com

RUBOLD Dematting Tool for Shedding and Removing Mats

This is the ideal brush for getting rid of the mats that can occur in the undercoat of your dog or cat. Unfortunately, those mats can get pretty engrained in their fur and if you’re not brushing through to the undercoat you can actually miss them entirely. This brush has precision teeth that are designed to get deep into the coat and make sure to pull out all of the tangles that could turn into mats and the mats themselves, but it doesn’t irritate the skin or hurt your dog in the process.

You’ll get a two sided comb that has wider spaced teeth or more narrow ones so you can get into even more stubborn clumps and mats. It’s also complete with a 100% guarantee so you can try it out and if you’re not happy with it you can return it.

Best Brush for Shedding Border Collie


FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool
Via Amazon.com

FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool

This tool is available in different sizes and for different types of fur but for your Border Collie, a medium-long hair model is great to get deep into the coat. It may not look like it can get in far, but it’s going to work all the way through the topcoat. It doesn’t get into the skin, however and it doesn’t hurt the upper layers either. It can get rid of loose hair to make sure it’s not getting all over your house. Plus, that cuts down on the risk of matting in your dogs fur.

When you’re done brushing you can just press the button and the bristles will retract, making it easier for you to clear away the fur. The ergonomic handle makes it easy to hold and the whole thing comes with a guarantee that it’s going to work or you get your money back.

Best Comb for Border Collie


Dog Comb for Tangles and Knots
Via Amazon.com

Dog Comb for Tangles and Knots

When it comes to getting rid of tangles and knots sometimes the best thing you can use is a comb. This comb has steel teeth with some closer together and some further apart. That way you can get into any of the knots your dog has. There’s also a comfortable handle that’s designed to never slip, so you can get deeper into the fur. On top of that you’ll have a lifetime guarantee that says it’s high quality and built to last for as long as you need it.

You’ll get a book along with the comb that walks you through the process of properly grooming your pet. Even more, you’ll have a tool that is gentle on your pets, both their skin and their fur. It’s designed to work for dogs and cats so it’s more versatile than other tools.

How Often Should You Brush Your Border Collie?

Grooming of Border Collie with grooming tools

When it comes to grooming your Border Collie you should actually be doing it relatively frequently. You don’t necessarily have to go to a professional to get it done, but you should be brushing them at least 2 or 3 times per week to get rid of dirt, debris and loose fur. Both types of coats for your collie have a level of denseness and they are quite weather-resistant. That doesn’t mean you can just leave them alone, however.

You’ll want to groom your dog a couple times a week with a dog brush to make sure you get everything out and cut down on tangles and such. Once you get into the shedding season, which happens seasonally, you’ll want to brush them each day. This gets rid of the extra loose hair, which means less chance of matts and also less chance of all that fur winding up throughout your home.

Conclusion

If you have a Border Collie you want to make sure you’re taking care of them as well as possible. You want them to be comfortable and happy and you absolutely want to make sure they’re clean and healthy. With the right brush to fit their needs you’re going to have a much better chance at that. You’re definitely going to be able to improve the whole experience of having them in your home while you’re at it. All you need is the right brush and you’ll be doing your Border Collie the best possible favor.

The post Best Brush for Border Collie in 2020 and How to Brush Them Right appeared first on Hello Cute Pup.

Dog Food Manufacturers

Many of you are already aware that some pet food companies own and operate their own manufacturing facilities and some of them do not. You may have already learned that some brands of pet foods are made in several different manufacturing plants in different parts of the country. Some of you are familiar with the interchangeable terms co-manufacturer, co-packer, and contract manufacturer, which refer to a company that makes products for a number of other companies.

(Funny fact: Some of us know a ton about these pet food production facilities, and absolutely nothing about the ownership or management of the manufacturing sites where our own food is produced. Take from that what you will.)

We’re often asked: Which of these situations is better? Is a pet food made in a plant that is owned and operated by the same company whose name is on the label better than products made by a co-packer?

The answer, like so many things having to do with pet food, is not so cut and dry; there are definite advantages and disadvantages of either situation. While it’s interesting (and sometimes advantageous) to know where a particular product is made, we wouldn’t base our selection of a product based solely on the information – unless we were aware that a product was made at a facility that had been cited for a number of health violations. In that case, we wouldn’t care who owned or operated the facility; we’d just avoid any products that originated there.

HISTORY

When WDJ was first published in 1998, it was virtually impossible to find out anything about pet food manufacturing sites. It took years of asking companies to share information about their production facilities before we made any inroads. The approach that finally levered this information out of a few makers of high-end dog foods? “You say you have nothing to hide and that your manufacturing facilities are the best – so, prove it!”

A few companies finally decided they had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Most of the companies that disclosed information about their manufacturing sites, or went so far as to invite us to tour those facilities, were relatively new to the market – and all of them were competing in the most expensive strata of products that are variously called natural, holistic, and/or super-premium.

When the word got out that we had toured a number of dog-food plants and didn’t print any photos secretly taken with a camera hidden in our coat buttons or publish detailed accounts of our visits, we received more invitations. To date, we’ve toured more than a dozen dry dog-food plants, three canned-food facilities, two human-food plants that manufacture truly – legally! – human-grade dehydrated diets for dogs, and a handful of raw-food and freeze-dried dog-food manufacturing plants. About half of the facilities we’ve seen were co-packers.

VALUE OF AWARENESS

Our conclusion about “which is better, self-made, or co-packed?” after seeing all these manufacturing facilities? It depends! The largest self-owned and self-managed facilities tend to have the best quality control and consistent products; they also tend to use less-expensive ingredients and highly conventional formulas. Some of the nicest-looking and -smelling ingredients we’ve seen have been getting cooked up at co-packing facilities – some of which were small, old, and not nearly as clean as the bigger plants we’ve seen. 

As so many things having to do with pet food are concerned, it’s incumbent on you to find out what sort of manufacturing facility makes your dog’s food – call the company and ask! – and to take responsibility for your choice. (It’s informative even if the company won’t say where its products are made, if you get our drift.) At the very least, if you know where your dog’s food is made, and a recall of that brand is announced, you will be a step ahead in knowing whether or not you should stop feeding the food. 

The post Dog Food Manufacturers appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

Coronavirus and Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

Covid-19 & Dogs: FAQs
covid19 corona virus and dogs

What do we know? What should we be doing? As the pandemic develops, here’s the current scoop on dog-related issues. And no, your dog doesn’t need a mask. Seriously.

Until recently, most of us were probably not that tuned into what a virus was, or did. Now, the pandemic kicked off by Covid-19, a novel coronavirus, is forcing us to pay much closer attention.

We get the same good advice from every source: Wash your hands often and thoroughly. Avoid touching your face. Keep your distance. Stay away from those who are sick. If you’re sick, self-quarantine. But where are dogs—our companions and comfort in hard (and boring) times—in this program?

Porn-Sniffing K9’s? Growing Demand for Electronic-Storage Detection Dogs

Humans have trained dogs to use their amazing noses to identify all kinds of things – explosives, illegal drugs, bedbugs, cancer, even ancient burial sites. But did you know that dogs can help police sniff out evidence against child pornographers?

It’s true! In 2015, after a lengthy investigation, the home of Subway franchise spokesman Jared Fogle was raided by FBI agents with the help of a black Labrador Retriever named Bear. At Fogle’s home, Bear indicated three finds by sitting in front of their locations, then pointing with his nose to each scent source. One of Bear’s finds was an incriminating thumb drive missed by human searchers containing evidence that helped send Fogle to jail.

For the record, electronic-storage detection dogs (ESD K9s) have no knowledge of the content stored on the devices they seek. They are often called porn-sniffing dogs because those who treasure illicit images usually save them on electronic-storage devices that are small and easy to hide. 

A RELATIVELY NEW DOG JOB

In 2011 Jack Hubball, Ph.D., a chemist at the Connecticut Scientific Sciences Forensic Laboratory, discovered that electronic storage devices carry unique scents in their circuit board components, such as triphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO), which dogs can detect. Armed with that chemical key, Connecticut State Police began training Thoreau and Selma, dogs who were too active to complete their training at Guiding Eyes for the Blind in New York. 

The officers started with large amounts of the chemical and gradually reduced its quantity, placing devices containing the odor in different boxes and eventually in different rooms. After five weeks of odor detection training and six weeks of training with his new handler, Thoreau, a yellow Lab, was given to the Rhode Island State Police. On his first official search, he discovered a thumb drive containing child pornography in a tin box inside a cabinet. 

Selma, a black Lab, worked with the Connecticut State Police Computer Crimes Unit, where she uncovered devices in recycling bins, vents, and radiators while working on child pornography, homicide, parolee compliance, and computer hacking cases. 

With those successes, an entirely new type of law-enforcement career for dogs was established.

STANDOUT DETECTIVE DOG

Bear, the dog who helped make the case against Jared Fogle, started life as a pet dog in a family who loved him – but who couldn’t prevent him from jumping on counter tops and eating everything he could reach. When he was 2 years old (the age at which many out-of-control dogs are surrendered to shelters), his owners offered him to Todd Jordan, an Indiana firefighter who trained dogs for arson investigations.

Today, Bear lives and works with his Seattle Police Department Detective partner.

Instead of training Bear to detect fire accelerants, though, Jordan chose to help friends on the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, who were frustrated at not being able to find thumb drives and microSD cards when searching the homes of child pornographers. Inspired by the electronic-storage device detection dogs Thoreau and Selma, Jordan focused on developing Bear’s ability to detect tiny digital storage devices – th ekind that might be hidden in wall cracks, clothing, ceiling tiles, radios, closets, books, boxes, furniture, dirty laundry, or garbage.

Most search and rescue (SAR) dogs are rewarded with toys that satisfy their prey drive, but food was Bear’s favorite reward, and he was highly motivated. Jordan started training Bear in his own garage, hiding USB drives for Bear to find, and eventually began working with task force agents. Soon Bear and Jordan began accompanying detectives on warrant searches, where Bear found thumb drives missed by human searchers.

A few months after Bear’s successful search at Fogle’s home, he helped police gather evidence that led to the arrest of Marvin Sharp, a USA Gymnastics coach charged with possessing child pornography; Bear found microSD cards hidden inside Sharp’s gun safe. 

In 2015, Seattle Police Department Detective Ian Polhemus, an eight-year member of the ICAC task force, went to Indiana to learn how to work with ESD K9s. Jordan matched Detective Polhemus with Bear, and not long after, sent Bear to live and work with Polhemus in Seattle. The new partners began sniffing out electronic evidence of crimes almost immediately. In one case, investigators completed their search of a suspect’s home and then Polhemus brought in Bear for another search. In just a few minutes, Bear located five devices, some of which contained child exploitation material, that the initial search team had missed.

Bear trains every day, Detective Polhemus explained in a 2018 KIRO Seattle radio interview. “Because he’s a food-reward dog, he’s highly motivated. So what that means is the only time he eats is when he’s working,” says Polhemus. Bear is fed three cups of food throughout the day, whether he’s working on a case or practicing.

“I’ve got three training boxes with holes in them and only one of them has a device in it that he should indicate on,” Polhemus says. “When he gets to the box that has a device in it, Bear is a passive indicator, which means he’ll sit. I’ll give him a supplemental command and then he’ll shove his nose in the hole and his tail will wag and he’ll sit there and hold his nose in the hole until I reward him with food.” 

GROWING DEMAND

Illinois State Attorney Michael Nerheim became interested in ESD K9s when he learned about Bear’s success. “We were seeing a trend here where child pornographers, rather than downloading evidence onto a computer, would download evidence onto a removable device and then hide that device in their house,” he told the Chicago Tribune in 2018. 

Subsequently, today, there are at least two ESDs trained by Todd Jordan working in Illinois. These dogs, named Browser and Cache, now work for the Lake and Will County attorney’s offices, respectively. Child exploitation cases are their main tasks, but the dogs can help with any crime that involves computers or computer records.

“Browser has assisted on dozens of search warrants,” says his handler, Carol Gudbrandsen, a cybercrimes analyst. “He routinely performs searches in the jails and has been performing sweeps with the Lake County Probation Department when they do home visits on their sex offenders. Browser and I also do presentations in the schools in Lake County, speaking on internet safety and cyberbullying to students, staff, and parents. When I bring Browser into these situations, he instantly grabs the attention of our audience, and our presentations have become even more effective.”

JOB REQUIREMENTS

To date, Todd Jordan has trained 30 ESDs and nearly two dozen accelerant-detection dogs at his business, Jordan Detection K9. Jordan adapts his training methods for dogs who are ball- or toy-driven, but his primary focus is passive-response (indicating by sitting quietly), food-reward training. 

“Our canines are hand-picked, based on their willingness to please and their willingness to work,” he explains at his company’s website, electronicdetectionk9.com. “Most are second-career dogs. We also work closely with several Labrador rescues in order to give good dogs a chance at a fulfilling life. 

“We select dogs with high energy and hunt drives. Many of the dogs have failed guide-dog or service-dog school because they may chase after small animals or bark at other animals or other people while working. Although those are instances where a canine would not be good for a person with special needs, they are still great for what we do.”

TRAINING METHODS

Some trainers of law-enforcement dogs use only toys and play as training reinforcers, and worry that using food for rewards opens the way for an abuse of the system, so to speak: that someone could use food to distract a law-enforcement sniffing dog. The human partners of dogs like Thoreau, Selma, Bear, Browser, and Cache beg to differ.

“I had prior canine handling experience with ball- and toy-driven dogs, and had no experience with food-driven canines,” says Special Agent Owen Peña at the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General. “Todd made a believer out of me for the advantages of using a food-driven canine for this type of work and breaking me of my old toy/ball-driven habits. With the canine being food-driven, I feel there is a better bond and connection that I and my family have with our canine, Joey. Now Joey is part of my family and he just happens to have a job.” 

Special Agent Joey, of the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General, is another alumnus of Jordan Detection K9’s.

Like other electronic-storage detection dogs, Joey works with just one handler, food is an integral part of his daily practice, and he is well fed in the process. Because the dogs eat only when they find a device, their handlers run trainings every day to keep their skills sharp.

Do they actually offer false indications just so they can steal food? In 2016 Special Agent Jeffrey Calandra of the FBI’s Newark, N.J., Field Office started working with Iris, a black Lab, in cases involving organized crime, drug gangs, and cybercrimes including child pornography. In one search, FBI agents were confident that there was nothing left to find in a room with a desk, but Iris alerted to something in its top drawer. Calandra opened the drawer and didn’t see any evidence. When he said, “Show me,” Iris pushed her nose onto a pad of sticky notes. 

Calandra assumed that Iris was faking her response so she could steal food, but when he pulled her away from the desk drawer, she pulled back. This time she picked up the pad of sticky notes with her mouth and flipped it over, causing a microSD card to fall out.

“She was correct and I was wrong,” said Calandra. “Either the individual was concealing it, or it got stuck in the pad and you just couldn’t see it. That’s why the dogs are so good.” False positives are not usually a problem, he added, explaining that he’s more concerned about the dog missing something, though he says that hasn’t happened yet.

IMPRESSIVE FUN

At the Connecticut State Police Forensic Laboratory, Jack Hubbell hopes to identify the lowest detectable scent levels of TPPO, measuring not only part-per-million levels but part-per-billion levels. The dogs’ noses are that impressive, he says, and they consistently out-perform any odor-detecting devices invented by humans. 

As far as the dogs are concerned, finding evidence that helps police and the ICAC task force is a series of fun games and all in a day’s work. 

The post Porn-Sniffing K9’s? Growing Demand for Electronic-Storage Detection Dogs appeared first on Whole Dog Journal.

Boxer Throws A Fit When Comedian Imitates Him

Dogs do silly things all the time that we just can’t explain. They love to follow us around and do funny things to get our attention, but they often don’t like it when the tables are turned. In a hilarious video, one particular dog is completely fed up with his human friend’s shenanigans.

Oscar Filho, a Brazilian comedian, has a blast imitating his friend’s Boxer, Mel. However, Mel wants nothing to do with Filho’s strange actions. In fact, Mel throws a fit every time Filho mocks him, and the entire scene was caught on video.

The video starts off with Filho standing beside Mel on all fours. Right away, Mel huffs and tries to shove his way beneath Filho’s arm. However, the poor pup doesn’t expect the human to copy him!

Image: Screenshot, Oscar Filho YouTube

When Mel makes a pouty face, so does Filho. When Mel tries to lick him, Filho tries to lick him back. All of it is just too much for Mel to handle, so he starts throwing an adorable fit.

Eventually, Mel starts barking, trying to command Filho to stop this ridiculous act. But Filho doesn’t stop even for a second. He doesn’t break out of character for the entire 2-minute video. While his acting skills are impressive, Mel is anything but amused.

Even Filho’s silly facial expressions perfectly match Mel’s. Dogs are used to humans doing unusual things, but they never expect their humans to act just like them! Mel has no idea what to do in this troubling situation.

Image: Screenshot, Oscar Filho YouTube

Finally, toward the end of the video, the person recording decides that Mel deserves a reward for dealing with this. So, they hand him a treat, but of course, Filho wants the treat just as bad as Mel! As Mel reaches for the treat, Filho also reaches for it almost in sync. 

Luckily, Mel is more persistent. As soon as the treat is in his mouth, he snatches it away and eats it before anyone can stop him. However, Filho responds with the saddest dog face ever. That’s his cue to leave, so he sulks out of the room. Mel is finally free from this silly situation.

Filho’s imitations are hilarious, and it’s impressive how closely a human can mimic a dog’s actions. However, Mel just can’t seem to see the humor in this situation. After all, there’s only room for one Mel, and he doesn’t want a comedian trying to take his place! Hopefully, sweet Mel will gain a better sense of humor as he gets older, but for now, he’ll just continue being dramatic.

Watch the Hilarious Video Here:

H/T: rover.com
Featured Image: Screenshot, Oscar Filho YouTube

The post Boxer Throws A Fit When Comedian Imitates Him appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

How to Effectively Clean Your Home for Coronavirus

Mild, dog-friendly cleaning solutions are not sufficient
cleaning coronavirus and dogs

Cleaning high-traffic surfaces around your home is just one preventive measure recommended in helping prevent the spread of the coronavirus, thus we want to remind people the most effective cleaning tools for this important practice. In the past, The Bark has recommended using a mixture of vinegar and water for common household cleaning tasks—but this dog-friendly approach is NOT powerful enough to disinfect against the coronavirus. Instead, experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental Protection Agency offer the following recommendations for disinfecting against this virus.