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20 Canine communication
Are you understanding all your pet is
trying to say?
24 Best-behaved dog checklist
We get the lowdown on the things
your pooch should be able to do.
28 Tug-o-war
Simple steps to stop your dog from
pulling on the leash.
30 Barking mad
Is your dog’s barking driving your
neighbours up the wall? Find out why
he’s doing it and how you can help
make this behaviour stop.
32 Ch-ch-ch-changes
From moving to bringing home
a new family member, we look at
techniques you can implement to
help Fido cope.
36 Trick or treat
Your dog does good so you give him
a treat, right? DOGSLife looks at what
to do if your canine isn’t as food-
motivated as others.
40 Training product guide
The latest and greatest dog training
behaviour products we love using.
6 www.dogslife.com.au
42 Scratch that itch
Fleas are a big problem for many dog
owners, so how can you stop them?
We find out more.
44 Something in the air
Is your dog scratching with the
change in season? It could be a
skin allergy.
48 Cancer cure progression
The word can strike fear into many
dog owners’ hearts. Now there’s an
exciting update when it comes to
treatment for our canine friends.
52 Best of 2018
We uncover some of the products
dog owners have been loving so far
this year.
56 Dog on a budget
It’s no secret: owning a dog can be an
expensive business! We look at some
of the costs you can expect and find
out more about when to save and
when to splurge.
59 How to choose a pup
Are you looking to bring a new furry
addition into your family this year?
Check out these tips on choosing a
new pup.
60 DIY grooming
Get your pooch looking sharp
this season with our DIY guide
to grooming.
64 How to avoid council fines
No one wants a fine because of the
behaviour of their pet. DOGSLife
looks at ways you can prevent this 78 Canine therapy BREED FEATURES
from happening. The best form of therapy comes from 98 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
a dog. We meet ‘Dogtor’ Nelson, a 102 St. Bernard
PET TALES Labrador helping patients with PTSD, 106 Bloodhound
68 A good doggy guest ASD and many other illnesses. 108 Rhodesian Ridgeback
Going on the road with your pet? 82 Rescue Rangers 110 Abyssinian
We look at the essential traits of We speak to Forever Friends Animal 112 Dartmoor
a good doggy guest (and doggy Rescue and learn more about the
guest owner). fabulous work they do to help pets REGULAR FEATURES
72 Dogs with jobs in need. 8 Editor’s letter
We meet some fascinating canines 84 My pet tale 10 News
who play a bigger role than being just Read about Nicole’s journey of trust 15 Book club
beloved family members. and love with her beautiful Bully. 16 Over to you
76 Dealing with grief 18 Boneanza giveaways
The loss of a pet can be tough. Find 88 Ask the experts
out how to cope when your furry 97 Breed features
friend moves on. 114 Hot products
www.dogslife.com.au 7
From the editor EDITOR Lauren McKellar

SUB-EDITOR Michelle Segal

DESIGNER Kate Podger
CONTRIBUTORS Tim Falk, Melanie Hearse,
Kristie Bradfield, Danielle Lyonne, Dr Michael
Archinal, Dr Kersti Seksel, Dr Renee O’Duhring,
Peta Clarke, Caroline Zambrano, Carrol Baker,
Nadia Crighton, Laura Greaves, Danielle
Chenery, Katie Cincotta, Tania Connolly, Mel
Hearse, Sophia Auld, Kerry Martin
INTERNS Jessica Harlow, Amanda Smuin
Rob Jordan (02) 9887 0359
Adrienne Kotz 0419 012 013

i DOGSLife readers, also excited to share with you some CHAIRMAN/CEO Prema Perera
Welcome to one of my information on two of our favourite PUBLISHER Janice Williams
all-time favourite issues of non-dog breeds. Yes, for the first time CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
DOGSLife — the behaviour our breed feature section will not Vicky Mahadeva
and training special! As a dog owner, I only feature articles on diferent dog ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Emma Perera
spend so much of my time wondering breeds but also a cat and a horse. This FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION MANAGER
what my dogs are thinking and what I is because while we know you are dog James Perera
can do to understand Berry and Danger lovers, many of you also have a special CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kate Podger
better, so this issue is right up my place in your heart for other animals CIRCULATION BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
alley — especially the feature on canine and welcome them as a part of your MANAGER Mark McTaggart
communication on page 20. Make sure family. We hope these features help any EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION MANAGER
you check it out to help strengthen your potential cat or horse owners find the Anastasia Casey
bond with your pet. right breed. MARKETING & ACQUISITIONS MANAGER
We also look at two of the most So sit back, relax and enjoy the Chelsea Peters
common dog behaviour problems: a latest issue of DOGSLife. Give Fido a
pet that pulls on the lead and a dog that hug from me! DOGSLife issue 149 is published by Universal Magazines, Unit 5, 6-8
Byfield Street, North Ryde NSW 2113. Phone: (02) 9805 0399, Fax: (02)
barks. Find out some simple techniques 9805 0714. Melbourne office: Suite 4, Level 1, 150 Albert Road, South
Melbourne Vic 3025. Phone: (03) 9694 6444, Fax: (03) 9699 7890. Printed
you can use to try to stop these issues by KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd, Singapore. Retail distribution: Gordon and
Gotch. NZ Distributor: Gordon and Gotch New Zealand. UK Distributor:
for good. However, it’s worth noting that KLM Partnership, Phone: +44 019 9244 7544. Singapore & Malaysia
Distributor: Carkit (F.E.) Pte Ltd, 1 Charlton Lane, #01-02, Singapore
there are rarely quick-fix solutions. When 539631, Phone: +65 6282 1960, Fax: +65 6382 3021, Website: www.carkitfe.
com. This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose
it comes to trying to change your dog’s of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the
Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without
behaviour, it’s important to be patient written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the publishers.
The publishers believe all the information supplied in this book to be
and consistent — and to accept that it correct at the time of printing. They are not, however, in a position to
make a guarantee to this effect and accept no liability in the event of any
may take many weeks before you see information proving inaccurate. Prices, addresses and phone numbers
were, after investigation and to the best of our knowledge and belief, up
solid results. It’s also worth seeing a vet to date at the time of printing, but the shifting sands of time may change
them in some cases. It is not possible for the publishers to ensure that
or behaviour expert first to rule out any advertisements which appear in this publication comply with the Trade
Practices Act, 1974. The responsibility must therefore be on the person,
potential underlying cause for your pet’s company or advertising agency submitting the advertisements for
Photo: Animax Photography

publication. While every endeavour has been made to ensure complete

behaviour, and of course to never ever accuracy, the publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors
or omissions.
punish your dog for “bad” behaviour. *Recommended retail price
ISSN 1329-3583
As well as our behaviour and training Copyright © Universal Magazines MMXVIII
ACN 003 026 944
features, we have many other fabulous umco.com.au
Please recycle or pass on this magazine.
reads for pet owners this issue. From
DIY grooming tips to an update on
cancer cures and some info on seasonal
allergies, we’ve got you covered. We’re
8 www.dogslife.com.au
Addressing canine
anxiety with Nutritional

For a happy
and healthy pet
High levels of L-Tryptophan:
A Natural mood regulator

B group vitamins to maintain

normal nervous function

Tasty kangaroo
based chew

A pain for pets

Colder temperatures sadly mark the Cats are also afected by arthritis, with
beginning of arthritis and joint pain for approximately 20 per cent of cats
many of our beloved furry friends, and with developing the disease. Obese animals
the weather being unpredictable at the are also more prone to developing the
best of times, we can’t guarantee that the condition, as well as those that have
worst of it is behind us. As a pet owner, it is poor nutrition. Dogs sufering from
important to keep an eye on your favourite Cushing’s disease and diabetes are also
animals and know how to spot the signs more susceptible to arthritis. In addition,
of joint pain. Save your pet from any cold- dogs that have experienced injury or
weather blues this year by reading up on trauma, including problems such as elbow
what you can do to help put a stop to your dysplasia and hip dysplasia, are more likely
pet’s aches and pains. to develop osteoarthritis.
What is joint pain? Joint pain warning signs:
The general term used, arthritis, means - Hesitation in performing physical activities
inflammation of the joint. There are three - Becoming irritable and depressed
main forms of arthritis: septic arthritis, - Dificulty performing general physical
rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. movements
Septic arthritis is caused by an infection - Varying degrees of lameness
and rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a - Greatly reduced overall mobility
malfunction in the immune system. The - Sleeping more often than usual keep an eye out for these when shopping.
most common form of arthritis in pets, - Dificulty in sitting or standing Supplements like the RSPCA’s Joint Health
however, is osteoarthritis, which is a Simple ways you can help Tablets help maintain joint health, too.
degenerative “wear and tear” injury that You can ease your pet’s joint pain by Finally, you should encourage your
Photo: tntgraphics/BigStock.com

develops over time. Other joint-related making sure she is kept warm at all times. dog to get exercise in moderation.
pain can come from knee ligament injuries, Cold or damp weather conditions can make Definitely do not let her exert herself,
canine hip dysplasia, dislocated knee caps symptoms much worse. Provide a warm but getting her moving a little can help
and elbow dysplasia. bed and blanket for her and if needed, improve the condition.
The causes of joint pain purchase a dog coat to ensure she is cosy Joint pain in pets can be managed with
Osteoarthritis is a very common problem at all times. the regular use of a joint supplement,
in animals. It is the most common type You should also keep your pet’s nutrition but in severe cases you may need
of skeletal disease afecting dogs and up to scratch. There are foods on the your veterinarian to prescribe anti-
is mainly developed as they get older. market that promote healthy bones, so inflammatory drugs.
10 www.dogslife.com.au
Anxious So what can we do to help dogs
that may be experiencing anxiety?
system and can support the conversion of
tryptophan into serotonin. Giving
pooch? Just like people, anxiety in animals is
best approached in a holistic manner.
Complete Calm to your dog can increase
levels of serotonin in its brain, therefore
Did you know that one in four dogs PAW by Blackmores recommends decreasing the frequency of stress-related
demonstrate general fearfulness working closely with your vet to develop behaviours and anxiety signals. Complete
toward unfamiliar people and new a treatment and management plan for Calm is available as a tasty kangaroo-
situations? Anxiety can arise due to your pet. based chew and is designed for long-term
environmental changes such as moving A typical plan may include use. Expect to see results after a minimum
house, previous fear-inducing experiences environmental modifications, specific of one month’s use.
such as having one’s tail stuck in a car training techniques and targeted PAW Complete Calm is excellent for
door, genetics, and abnormal brain supplementation. Some pets may also rescue dogs adjusting to new homes,
responses to what should be a non-fearful require short- or long-term anti-anxiety as an adjunct to other behavioural
situation. Some of the common signs medications; however, these are often interventions such as training techniques,
which may suggest your pooch is feeling reserved for more challenging cases. for generalised anxiety, and as part of the
anxious include barking and whining, The PAW Complete Calm supplement preparation for stressful events such as
soiling in the house, pacing, lip licking, contains tryptophan, which is a serotonin fireworks and storm season.
yawning or hiding away. Behaving in or “happy hormone” precursor. It also For more information, visit
an aggressive manner can also reflect contains B vitamins which are essential for blackmores.com.au/paw-by-
internal fear and worry. the maintenance of a healthy nervous blackmores
www.dogslife.com.au 11
New season: new career
Spring has sprung, and with this change perfect career choice for someone who
in season can come that desire for a is passionate about animals and helping
greater transition in your life. If you have them live better lives.
itchy feet, perhaps it’s time to change This course will help you understand
your career to something that focuses more about the merits of diferent
more on helping our furry friends food products available as well as their
by completing a course such as the nutritional quality and digestibility,
Companion Pets Natural Health Diploma, allowing you to be more objective when
run by the National College of Traditional professionally prescribing a complete diet.
Medicine. This two-and-a-half-year part- You will also gain knowledge of
time study course provides students herbal medicine, including when it
with a strong knowledge of nutrition, is best used and all the safety and
herbal medicine, and the manufacturing eficiency information you need to know

Photo: Jamie Street

and dispensing of herbal medicine before suggesting it to a patient. You’ll
specific to dogs and cats. It will leave even learn how to convert raw plants
you in a position to professionally ofer into medicines! Sound like your ideal
advice when it comes to companion career change? Visit nctm.com.au for
animal diets and herbal medicines — the more information.

Jet-setting canines
with friends or family. He is part of our
family and he goes where we go! We
Photo: tobkatrina/BigStock.com

wouldn’t have moved here if we couldn’t

have brought him,” says Kirsty from their
Fiji home. “It was a big move, especially
for Maverick. We had to ensure we would
be living under the right circumstances
and had the resources to ofer him a
comfortable life in his new home. It
was the deciding factor in our move; if
Maverick couldn’t come we wouldn’t
have moved.”
Understandably, some people feel
anxious when they consider the logistics
of moving overseas with their pet.
However, as Jetpets’ managing director
Sandy Matheson says, there are things
they can do to help you feel more secure.
“Most people are concerned about the
experience in the plane and we reassure
A dog is for life — and that’s something are choosing to do so with their pet. In them that what we feel and hear in the
Photo: nd3000/BigStock.com

some lovely pet owners take very 2017 alone, Jetpets helped relocate 10,000 cabin of the plane is very similar to what
seriously. The number of people relocating pets internationally, a substantial increase their pet will experience,” Sandy says.
overseas with their pets permanently is on the company’s 2016 figures. “We also let them know the captain is
on the rise, and we’re delighted to hear David and Kirsty Rose from Sydney are informed when pets are travelling and the
that these fur-families are staying together two such expatriates. They left Sydney in temperature is set to a comfortable level.”
despite the change in circumstances. March this year to work in Fiji, taking their For more information on travelling
Whether a move is necessary for work Aussie Shepherd, Maverick, with them. abroad with your pet, visit
or a leisure choice, more and more people “It was never an option to leave Maverick jetpets.com.au
12 www.dogslife.com.au
Dog-tastic competition
As well as our usual Boneanza

ith spring finally here, our dogs are playing outside
more than ever. That’s why we love the Dirty Dog
giveaways on page 18, we have an Doormat. This versatile mat can be used as a
extra-special competition for dog mat in houses, vehicles, pet
washing areas, crates and under food and
lovers this issue. water areas, making the job of cleaning up
after your pet that much easier.
Using advanced microfibre technology,
terms and
the Dirty Dog Doormat instantly soaks up
water, slobber, mud and dirt, keeping your
visit page 18.
floor and car clean. Thanks to a high ratio
of grams per square metre, the density
of this mat is second to none, allowing maximum
absorbency when compared to competing products. In fact, this
mat can absorb dirt and water up to 15 times its weight. And,
when it is thoroughly soaked and ready for a clean, you can
simply pop it in the washing machine and enjoy the fact that it
dries 10 times faster than ordinary doormats!
Of course, it’s not all about us, and the people at Dirty Dog
Doormat know this. This product is soft on your pooch’s paws, with
a plush and velvety surface that Fido will love padding around on.
It has a super-grip non-slip backing to help keep it in place.
The Dirty Dog Doormat comes in grey, brown, red and pacific
blue colours. It’s also available as a cat litter mat to help keep litter
areas clean.
For more information, visit bowhouse.com.au

Does this sound like the perfect prize for your pet? We’d
love to help you get your hands on one! Thanks to the
kind people at Bowhouse, we have five medium Dirty Dog
Doormats to give away, so enter now for your chance to
win. To enter, simply visit dogslife.com.au and head to the
Boneanza giveaways page. There you’ll need to click on the
Dirty Dog Doormat competition and tell us in 25 words or
less why you and your pet would love to win this prize.

www.dogslife.com.au 13
LapDogs hit the track
for Adelaide 500

he Royal Society for the Blind
got into the spirit of the Adelaide
500 with its recent LapDogs
event. Dogs and their families
had the chance to take a leisurely walk
around the Supercar track, followed
by a pit stop for some family-friendly
fun. Prizes were awarded for the best-
dressed pooch and the best owner/
dog look-a-likes. While km/h around the
track were sedate, the smiles per hour
were world class! All proceeds from the
LapDogs event supported the RSB Guide
and Assistance Dog program. For more
information, visit rsb.org.au

and chill?
A recent survey by Netflix has shown
that most Australians (a whopping 59
per cent) watch Netflix with their pets.
This comes as no surprise to us here
at DOGSLife — what better partner to
binge-watch your favourite series with
Is massage the answer? than your furry friend? They don’t hog
the remote, they won’t interrupt you
When you’re not feeling your best, you therapist Sue Winn from Winning Touch during the good bits, and you won’t
know how much a massage can help. K9 Massage says. Sue is a mobile therapist, have to share your chocolate with them
Remedial canine massage has been proven meaning she can come to you in the — in fact, you definitely shouldn’t!
to have many benefits for dogs, too. If your comfort of your home so your dog enjoys In addition to this, they can provide
dog has slowed down, become lame, has the maximum benefits of the massage comfort during particularly sad or
arthritis, is elderly or is recovering from an therapy without leaving his familiar emotional scenes, and make a great
injury or surgery, this could be a fabulous environment. Alternatively, for those who debrief pal when the show has ended,
way for you to ofer extra comfort and prefer it, you can visit her in her studio in St with 25 per cent of survey respondents
increased mobility to your pet. Ives, Sydney. saying they have talked to their pet
“Massage warms up and helps cool For more information on Sue about the show or movie they were
down muscles, and removes the build-up and her services, visit watching. Sounds like the perfect night
of toxins,” professional canine massage winningtouchk9massage.com in to us!
14 www.dogslife.com.au
Grab a cuppa and enrich your world with
our top picks from the DOGSLife bookshelf.


Author: Dr Melissa Starling and
Professor Paul McGreevy
Publisher: Murdoch Books
RRP: $35
Available: Now, from all good
It’s the one thing we all want to know
how to do better, right? Making our dogs
happy is so important, and that’s why we
were delighted to receive a review copy of
this book that focuses on doing just that.
Making Dogs Happy is a really
interesting read for those who want to
understand their pet better. It looks at the way our dogs communicate with
us and the signals and signs they ofer, as well as how easily these can be
misinterpreted. Written in easy-to-understand terms, this book is perfect for
the everyday dog owner — you don’t need a degree to understand and put
these practices into place, unlike some other dog behaviour books.
Complete with photographs to help display diferent dog behaviours and
advice from two industry experts, Making Dogs Happy is a great resource for
TRAVELLING WITH PETS ON any dog owner who wants to do right by their pet.
Author: Carla Francis
Publisher: Woodslane Press
Available: Now, from all good bookstores Author/illustrator: Lucy Cousins
Are you planning a holiday and want to take Publisher: Walker Books
your dog or cat with you? Before hitting the RRP: $16.99
road, make sure you grab a copy of Travelling Available: Now, from all good bookstores
with Pets on Australia’s East Coast, the ultimate We were so excited to see this picture book land on our desk for review. I Am
guide for holidaymakers. Little Fish! A Finger Puppet Book is a fabulous first reading experience for
This guide has been updated since the young children everywhere. We love Lucy’s simple and bright illustrations that
third edition and now contains many more showcase Little Fish swimming in the sea with his fishy friends! A colourful
accommodation options for those looking finger puppet and peek-a-boo holes on every page complete the experience
for places to stay. It also has some of the and ensure this book can
features we loved in past editions (the local be enjoyed time and time
dog-friendly attractions being one), as well as again. Your little one will
recommendations for dog-friendly cafes, bars love Little Fish because
and vineyards — some even have doggy menus! of the new voice and
With maps and a beach guide also included, movements you can give
Travelling with Pets on Australia’s East Coast him every time.
is the ultimate travel resource for cat and dog I Am Little Fish! A Finger
owners who are looking to get away with their Puppet Book is a worthwhile
furry friend. acquisition for your toddler.

www.dogslife.com.au 15
Over to you
Become a DOGSLife Facebook fan and follow us on Twitter to have your
say on the hottest canine topics. Simply search for DOGSLife magazine.



dogs here at
the moment. Two are
fosters. Three are deaf. One
has hydrocephalus. All are
happy! There are also three
cats, two budgies, one guinea
pig and a partridge in a pear
tree … ha ha! No, but there
is also a school of fish.”
Sonja Coombes

dog Hurley with
my two baby
“I adopted Coco, a Niki Gye
two-year-old Spoodle,
in December 2017. Our
13-year-old Spoodle Monty
passed away in May 2017 and “I have
adopting Coco helped our a Papillon
hearts heal by filling them named Percy.
with love.” Sue Que He will be two
in August.”

16 www.dogslife.com.au
have three
very bonded black
have two
Labradors: Chompy,
India and George. They
play, sleep and eat together
and bring joy to my life as
well as each others’ with
the occasional bit of
mischief.” Linda

“I have
two dogs — a “Roman
Wirehaired Jack and Pepe-
Russell called Daisy and a roni live with two
Greyhound called Cleo, two cats, three bunnies,
cats called Layla and Ginger, an aviary of birds,
and two guinea pigs an axolotl and
called Patch and Pearl.” tropical fish.” Pie
Rachael Shute Sampson

pooches: Rosie,
12, and Finn,
five.” Sue

poodle and
two cats.”

www.dogslife.com.au 17
has three large
Starmark Pro
Training Dog
Zones to give


Train your dog the professional way with the Starmark Pro
Training Dog Zone. This product ofers dogs a comfortable EVERYONE’S
and breathable bed space that they will recognise as their own A WINNER
“zone”, whether in the house, backyard, park or outdoors. Every entrant in the Starmark
The Dog Zone is the ideal tool for zone training. The frame Pro Training Dog Zone giveaway will
is sturdy and can be assembled/flat-packed without any tools receive 25 per cent of the purchase
required. The durable material is weather- and scratch-resistant. of any product from the Starmark
The Dog Zone comes complete with a training guide and a Pro range. Receive your coupon from the
Training Clicker. The ballistic nylon cover is machine washable, Boredom Busters team then visit
so keeping it in good condition will be a breeze. For more boredombusters.net.au to find
information, visit boredombusters.net.au your next Boredom Buster
Win one of three large Starmark Pro Training Dog Zones, or ultimate Starmark
valued at $129 each. To enter, email boredombusters@vcaworld. solution.
com with a photo of your dog and a 25-word description on
what your dog currently does when bored.

has one RSB
gift pack to RSB GIFT PACK
give away. The Royal Society for the Blind has come up with
a fabulous gift basket to give away to one lucky
DOGSLife reader who registers to receive their
free RSB PuppySchool videos. Containing two
plush puppy toys, a paw print cap, tea towels, a
dog rope toy, reusable cofee cup and more, the
RSB Gift Basket is valued at around $100.
Once registered with RSB PuppySchool, you’ll
receive a free video every month from expert RSB
trainers showing you how they train and look after
their dogs. Throughout the series, you will also
receive information from special qualified vets and
health experts. To enter, make sure you register
for the free RSB PuppySchool videos at rsg.org.
au/rsb-puppy-school and then fill in the usual
competition entry form on our website.
18 www.dogslife.com.au
has three
copies of
Travelling With
Pets to give DOGSLife
Hitting the road with your pet has 4CYTE Canine
never been easier thanks to Travelling with bonus foils to
Pets, the ultimate guide for those looking to take give away.
their cat or dog on holiday with them. This fourth
edition is completely revised and updated to include 4CYTE DOGS
thousands of pet-friendly places all along the east Could your dog use a little extra spring in his step? 4CYTE Dogs is a
coast, from Port Douglas to Port Fairy, Sydney and premium daily joint supplement used to protect and repair damaged
everywhere in between. As well as accommodation joints, and to actively maintain joint health long-term. It’s easy to
recommendations, the guide highlights dog-friendly add to your dog’s diet and is a great supplement for dogs pre- or
cafes, bars, vineyards and beaches to help your dog post-operative joint surgery, athletic or working dogs, large-breed
make the most of their time out and about with you. dogs who may be prone to osteo-arthritis and ageing dogs. For more
For more information, visit woodslane.com.au information, visit interpath.global


1. Entry into the competition implies full acceptance of all conditions of entry, including the instructions
on how to enter.
2. Entry is open to all residents of Australia and New Zealand. Employees and immediate families of the
WIN! promoter, associated companies and agencies associated with this promotion are ineligible to enter.
3. Entries close with last mail and email on November 29, 2018, unless stated otherwise. The entries will
To win, enter online at dogslife. be judged by the DOGSLife editorial team and the winner(s) will be selected on December 13, 2018. The
winners will be notified by mail, email or telephone.
com.au and tell us in 25 words 4. Write the competition name on the front of the envelope and send to DOGS Life magazine, Locked Bag
154, North Ryde NSW 1670 or enter via our online portal.
or less why you and your pooch 5. Prize(s) will be delivered to winners within four (4) weeks of notification of winning. Prize(s) are not
transferable or redeemable for cash.
would love to win one of these 6. The prize must be collected within one (1) calendar year from the date a winner is chosen. If the prize is
not claimed within this time, the competition is deemed invalid and the prize will be forfeited.
prizes — along with your name, 7. Prizes are subject to availability, not transferable or exchangeable and cannot be taken as cash. Any
change in value of the prize(s) is not the responsibility of the promoter.
address and telephone number 8. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Prizes will be awarded on the
basis of merit. Chance plays no part in determining the winners.
— or mail your entry to Boneanza 9. All entries become the property of the promoter. The entries may be entered into a database for future
promotional, marketing and publicity purposes, unless otherwise stated by the entrants. If you do not
Giveaways/DOGSLife, Locked Bag wish to be entered into this database, please indicate this on your envelope. This will not exclude you
from entry to the competition. Please see privacy note below for further information.
154, North Ryde NSW 1670. Entries 10. No responsibility is accepted for lost, misdirected or delayed mail.
11. If you do not wish to receive information about similar publications/services from Universal Media
close November 29, 2018. Please Co or carefully vetted third parties, please write either of the following statements on your envelope,
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www.dogslife.com.au 19
We all love our dogs. If only
reaching out to them mentally
was as simple as it is physically.

Canine communication
Tim Falk discovers the things your dog wants to tell you
but doesn’t know how to.

hat do you think your dog is one of their most endearing traits. the language so it can be interpreted
would say if she could talk But it can also be confusing and at correctly,” explains Chiara Perri from
to you? Would she discuss times frustrating as we struggle to Point Cook Dog Training. “Dogs use
world events, gossip make sense of what it is our canine body language primarily, but it is also
about people you both know, or maybe companions want and need. important to look at behaviour as a
just use her new-found vocal skills to The good news is that, while dogs whole as this is all part of them trying to
request more tummy rubs? may not be able to talk, they can tell us something.”
In some ways, the fact that our furry communicate with us in many ways. From dog owners to those working
friends don’t have the gift of the gab “What humans need to do is learn in the pet industry, for example
20 www.dogslife.com.au

It is generally quite easy to

recognise when your dog is happy.

vets and groomers, developing an says dogs are constant communicators I’M SCARED/ANXIOUS
understanding of canine body language and use hundreds of stress or calming How can you tell if your dog is
is crucial. By learning to recognise even signals when uncomfortable to try to uncomfortable, frightened, overly
the most basic body language signs, calm themselves and also defuse scary stressed or simply not coping with a
Photos: salejandro/BigStock.com, DenisNata/BigStock.com,

you can avoid putting your dog in situations. “Dogs will not escalate to situation? “The most common stress
uncomfortable situations which could biting unless they are unhealthy or signals a dog will demonstrate when
mexitographer/BigStock.com, ZayatsSV/BigStock.com

result in anxiety or even a bite. in pain,” she says. They will always scared and uncomfortable is simply
“On the flip side of that, we often try to communicate with the less looking away, averting eye contact
also see dogs with high arousal or serious signals before escalating and turning his head away from the
impulse-control issues and, again, if up the ladder of aggression. When scary object. A simple look away is the
the body language is correctly it comes to communicating with our simplest and most common form of
understood, it is easy to intervene dogs, unfortunately it is us humans ‘flight’. Other signals include lip licking,
nice and early to settle the dog, rather that let the team down — we simply yawning and panting out of context,”
than wind it up further or label it as do not know how to read their form Carly says.
‘naughty’. Learning to read the early of communication.” The dog may have her ears flat
signs means you can make necessary So how can you work out what your against her head and may express her
changes that can help the dog rather dog is trying to tell you? Let’s take a discomfort through a low, grumbling
than hinder it,” Chiara says. closer look at five of the most common bark or a growl. Looking at the rest of
Carly Bowden, animal training canine communications and how to your dog’s body, you may notice stif
instructor from RSPCA Queensland, understand them. body language, a tail carried low or
www.dogslife.com.au 21

A bored dog is usually behaviours and escape behaviours — an

easy to spot — just follow increase in these could indicate boredom
the trail of destruction! with no proper outlets,” Carly says.
In fact, many of the behaviours us
humans are quick to label as “naughty”
are caused by a dog with a whole lot
of physical and mental energy and no
acceptable way to expend it, or by a dog
that simply wants to spend some quality
time with his owner. “Signs are often
barking, destructive behaviour, stealing
stuf to get attention, nipping to get
attention, and jumping to get attention,”
Chiara says.

Some dogs are very good at hiding when
they’re in pain, perhaps as part of some
natural survival instinct, and will adopt a
stoic approach even in the face of severe
discomfort. As an owner, it’s important
that you’re able to tell when your pet isn’t
feeling his best, so watch for any changes
in behaviour and body language that
could indicate a deeper problem.
Limping on a sore leg and vocalisation
when certain areas of the body are
touched are obvious examples, but
“Behaviours that manifest from boredom are sometimes the clues can be subtler. For
example, if your dog is reluctant to get
things such as barking, destructive behaviours moving and has trouble climbing stairs,
and escape behaviours — an increase in these these could be signs of arthritis pain.
A loss of appetite could indicate
could indicate boredom with no proper outlets,” pain due to any number of conditions,
Carly says. while excessive panting for no apparent
reason, particularly if accompanied by
tucked between the legs, and hair rising wobbly bottom, tail flapping away with trembling, is another key warning sign. A
on the back of the neck. butt movement, soft body and good dog in pain may also become grouchy or
Other signs can vary depending on eye contact.” more aggressive, while others may avoid
the dog and the situation he finds himself Look for relaxed muscles, relaxed contact or even become overly clingy
in. For example, some dogs may back posture and a body that is best described and needy.
away, others will rush forward. Some may as loose. The key thing you need to remember
stare intensely, others may look away. is to know what’s normal for your dog, as
The key is to familiarise yourself with I’M BORED this will ensure you’re quick to pick up on
your dog’s warning signs to know when Most pet owners will know that a any changes.
you need to remove him from a situation bored dog can get up to all kinds of
as soon as possible. mischief and destructive behaviour, I WANT TO PLAY
like redecorating your lounge room Unlike cats, most dogs love good old-
I’M HAPPY or indulging in a spot of landscape fashioned play time with you. However,
When a dog is happy, Chiara says it gardening. It’s probably no surprise, then, do you know how to pick up the clues
exudes that happiness from every part of that determining whether your dog is that indicate your pooch is feeling
its body. As a devoted dog lover, chances bored or not is more about behaviour playful? These can difer depending on
are you’re pretty familiar with the signs than it is about body language. the dog, as some are far less subtle than
of a pooch that is simply loving life. “A bored dog will sometimes show others when telling you they’re ready
Chiara points to some of the body some attention-seeking behaviours to play.
language cues that can indicate a to get the attention of its humans. Carly explains that a playful dog will
happy state of mind: “Tongue lolling Behaviours that manifest from boredom use her body language to solicit play
out of mouth, smiling face, smiling eyes, are things such as barking, destructive and attention from people and also
22 www.dogslife.com.au
Some dogs will make
it very clear when they
want to play.

from other dogs. So what should you KNOWING THE feel that it needs to move to the next
look for? “Lots of play bows and soft, WARNING SIGNS option, which might be growling.
wiggly body language to encourage Understanding your pet’s body Meanwhile, yawning is often noticed
an interaction,” Carly says. “Generally, language cues is a crucial part of being when a dog is in an overwhelming
a playful dog will exhibit a whole-body a responsible dog owner, but some environment. “Some believe the yawn
wag and her bottom and tail will move signs are even more important to pick to be a way of relaxing tense jaw
dramatically from side to side.” up on than others. In particular, Chiara muscles and others believe it is again a
Of course, sometimes you won’t stresses just how vital it is to recognise warning to alert that the dog is stressed.
Photos: salejandro/BigStock.com, DenisNata/BigStock.com,

need to watch your pet’s body language the initial signs of discomfort, such as Either way, if your dog is yawning
too closely to know he’s up for a game. licking of the lips and yawning, and to excessively, it is wise to pay attention
mexitographer/BigStock.com, ZayatsSV/BigStock.com

Some pooches may paw at or lick recognise them in the correct context. to what is going on around you at the
their owner’s arm, tug at them, and “This is not to be confused with licking time,” Chiara continues.
even try to initiate “chasey” games. the mouth because of a big tasty treat, To fully understand your dog, you
“Owners need to remember a dog will or a yawn because it is bed time. The two need to look beyond basic cues like tail
do whatever it takes to get engaged, so signs are often out of context,” she says. wagging or growling, as both of these
if the owner reinforces inappropriate If a dog is unhappy about someone behaviours can be easily misinterpreted.
behaviour, the dog will continue to or something approaching it, it will Dogs can display aggression while still
do this. For example, if the dog barks automatically flick its tongue at the wagging their tails and they can growl
because it wants the owner to play or trigger as a signal for it to back of. If this during play. Always looks for the earliest
even toss a ball, if the owner follows is interpreted correctly and the dog’s signs and intervene as soon as possible.
this through, they are reinforcing the personal space isn’t encroached upon “Dogs talk to us every day, hoping
barking. We need to ensure we teach any further, the dog calms down. But if we can understand their language,”
good manners and reinforce them the tongue flick is ignored or the dog is Chiara says. “We just have to start
accordingly,” Chiara explains. forced further into the situation, it may learning theirs.” DL
www.dogslife.com.au 23
Things your dog “should”
be able to do
All dogs benefit from training. Melanie Hearse talks to
Sarah Wahjudi, lead trainer at Positive Pups, about the importance
of basic skills your dog should know.

Every dog should be able to respond to, which will also assist with
to come when called. training later down the track. You’ll need
to teach your dog to understand and
respond to her name, that “come” and
“here” mean she need to come to you,
and she should also understand the words
“no” and “yes” and respond appropriately
and promptly.
Why does it matter? Understanding
commands — and more importantly,
responding to them quickly — is a big part
of being able to keep your dog safe. For
example, if he bolts out the door and won’t
return, he could be hit by a car, get lost or
get involved in a dog fight. It’s also a big
contributor to your pooch’s happiness;
poor behaviour is a common reason
dogs are abandoned or surrendered, so
teaching him how to behave appropriately
and avoid destructive or displeasing
habits will help him develop a positive
relationship with the family.


Once you’ve mastered the right attitude

hile there are dogs and some basic language, it’s time to
that can master the COMMANDS AND build up your dog’s “beginner” skills.
intricacies of expert-level DEVELOPING A Sarah says sit and drop are first on the
agility skills, there are RELATIONSHIP list. “Many folks think ‘stay’ is a basic,
others that will be happy settling for the Before you get stuck into the basic but it actually takes a lot of training
bare basics. These skills are not just for commands, it’s important to lay the and should not be the first thing you
puppies either; they are the behaviours foundations that help your dog trust attempt,” Sarah says.
dogs need to be able to call upon and respect you, Sarah says. “It’s By one year of age, a well-trained dog
throughout their lives to stay safe and important to teach a new dog to be calm, should have added “stay” to his repertoire
happy, and as an owner you’ll be a big attentive, and to want to be around you,” and be able to toilet in the right place (this
part of reinforcing them each day. she emphasises. includes letting you know if he needs to be
So which skills should dogs learn and At this stage, there are some basic let outside). Sarah says your pooch should
why are these important? words your pooch needs to learn how also be able to walk on a lead without
24 www.dogslife.com.au

pulling, and come back promptly when The “sit” command is

called if running of the leash. “All of these one of the most basic.
skills are achievable with just 15 minutes
training a day,” she adds.
Wondering what’s possible with
consistent daily training and an
enthusiastic learner? Sarah says she’s
trained assistance pups that have
achieved all of the above by only six
months of age, and added fetching for
their owner, registering distress, using
doorbells, walking between their trainer’s
legs, walking at the heel, extended stays
and more.
She says unlike basic behaviours that
relate to safety and happiness, more
advanced skills depend on what you want
the dog to learn, how your dog is going
to be living, and how much time you’re
able to put into training. “Personally, I like
teaching toilet on command. It never fails
to impress people and ensures your dog
will always be welcome at friends’ places,”
Sarah says.

The sort of training that is right for you
and your dog will depend on three main
things: time, money and skills. If you have
a lot of time, Sarah suggests YouTube
can be a fantastic resource with plenty
of starting tips from great channels
and trainers — just be sure to carefully
vet their skills and experience before
Photos: Life on White/BigStock.com, everydoghasastory/BigStock.com, Yulia/BigStock.com

following their advice.

If you’ve got the budget and are having
some dificulties when training Fido, one-
on-one personal training will give you
great results as the training program can
be tailored to your dog’s temperament.
You can even find a trainer who trains and
exercises the dog while you’re at work,
says Sarah.
If, on the other hand, you already have
the skills — for example, you’ve owned and
trained a few dogs over the years — then
it won’t take you long to train second time
around and you’ll only really need expert
advice if you’re not having success. As
we know, all dogs difer, so what worked
for your last fur baby may not necessarily
work with a diferent pooch.

www.dogslife.com.au 25

Some dogs can master

more advanced tricks,
such as bringing you
various household items.

PUPPY CLASSES that you formulate a plan, including what

Given the importance of teaching your rewards your pet enjoys, what tricks you’d ONLINE TRAINING

Photos: Life on White/BigStock.com, everydoghasastory/BigStock.com, Yulia/BigStock.com

puppy how to behave and socialise, like her to learn, and how you plan to EXPERTS
combining the two is a popular choice teach them. Looking for inspo online?
for many. This can be done by signing up For example, how are you going to let Here are some great YouTube
for puppy classes, which are run through your dog know what you want her to do? dog training classes to help plan
most vet centres. “For all newcomers to Will you use words, gestures or both? The your approach (just type the
dog training, I do recommend joining RSPCA recommends oodles of patience names into the search bar):
at least one group in the early days. It’s (and realistic expectations), and ensuring The NSW RSPCA YouTube
important for your puppy’s socialisation. you have all the tools you need ahead of training channel
You can also learn from other owners time. Pets learn in the moment, so if you The Victoria Stilwell
and the troubles they face and your pup plan to ofer a favourite treat when your Academy
will learn to pay attention in a busy and pooch does as you ask, ensure you have Zak George’s Dog Training
distracting place,” advises Sarah. some with you during training. Revolution
It also has benefits for those who Regarding training sessions, making Gwen Bailey for Pedigree UK
are time-poor or lack motivation. “I’ve set times for training is recommended It’s really important to seek
seen many an owner start out with great to ensure it happens, while choosing a outside help if you’re having
intentions for DIY training, only to discover quiet spot, free from distractions, is also a trouble — the more bad habits
they never find the time,” she says. good idea. As you get started, physically are ingrained, the harder they’ll
show the dog what you would like him be to fix. So if you’re struggling
ENCOURAGING SUCCESS to do and use a combination of treats with behavioural issues or
Animals learn through consequences, and praise as he displays the behaviour, training, talk to your vet sooner
and the RSPCA recommends the use of ignoring him when he doesn’t. Repetition rather than later. They can
rewarding good behaviour and ignoring, is also important; in the early days of recommend a quality local class
rather than punishing, unwanted habits. training, what a dog can do one day will be or trainer.
Before you get started, it’s suggested forgotten by the next, so keep it up. DL
26 www.dogslife.com.au
The Allwormer you can trust

Did you know, of pets treated with an Allwormer,

only 11.8% of dogs and 5.5% of cats
are wormed correctly?1

Why not make it easier for you and tastier for pets?
Put the treat in treatment with a single, highly palatable tablet
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Shaping the future of animal health

1. Matos, M, Alho, A, Owen, S, Nunes, T, de Cardalho, L, 2015, “Parasite control practices and public perception of parasitic diseases: A survey
of dog and cat owners”, Preventative Veterinary Medicine, Issue 122, 174 – 180.
A dog that pulls on its lead
can make walk time very
unenjoyable indeed.

Leash pulling can make dog walking a nightmare.
Carrol Baker finds out how you can train Fido to
overcome this issue.

28 www.dogslife.com.au


1 Position your dog on one
side of you. This is usually the
left, but some people prefer
the right.
2 Walk along a fence or wall.
Every time the dog starts to
pull in front, gently move into
the dog and block it with your
body so it can’t get past you.

e’ve all seen it: a 3 When your dog begins to
mischievous mutt that pulls walk alongside you without TECHNIQUE
and tugs on his lead. It’s pulling, mark that behaviour Put a pole or long stake in the ground
uncomfortable to have your by using a word like “yes” and place a 10m line around it. Walk
arm stretched and pulled, and without and reward the dog with a around outside the circle with the dog
suficient control of your dog it can treat it likes. tethered to the line. Reward the dog
potentially place both of you in danger. 4 Keep the training sessions when it is walking quietly beside you in
Some people think a dog pulls on short and in a quiet space in a circle.
the lead because he wants to be top your backyard so your dog
dog, but according to dog trainer Steve gets it right before you step MASTERCLASS
Austin, the reason is far less complex. outside where there will be Get the dog to sit beside you and take
“The dog learns that pulling is the best more distractions. of as you say “heel”. As soon as the dog
way to get him where he wants to go 5 Be patient and don’t rush is next to you, reward it. Steve says the
because when they pull, we follow the process. “I always say to correct marker point for the dog is where
them,” he says. my students, ‘Small steps of the dog’s shoulder blade meets his body,
A dog is keen to explore the world success are better than giant and it should be opposite your left leg.
outside the confines of his yard, and a leaps of failure’,” says Steve. “Every time the dog is positioned there,
human’s ambling pace often isn’t fast reward it,” he says. “Before long your
enough for a dog that just wants to romp dog knows the best place to be is next
and run with carefree abandon. So dogs you would wear a watch on your wrist to the boss!”
need to be taught how to walk properly — fitted correctly so the collar won’t slip
on lead. of,” Steve advises. CLEVER REWARDS
A dog that is overexcited about the When training your dog not to pull “When teaching your dog something
prospect of going for a walk may be more on the lead, consistency is key. “You also new, feed it all its food for the day during
likely to pull on a lead, so if your dog is need a reward-based program so you can training,” says Steve. “It learns ‘this is how
full of boundless energy, it can be a good use positive reinforcement for the right I’m going to get my dinner for the next
idea to tire her out a little with a game of behaviour,” Steve adds. few nights’ and will be more motivated to
fetch or similar before leaving the house. If your dog sees key indicators that it do what you are asking.”
Ideally, when walking with your dog is about to go for a walk — picking up the
on lead, the should be loose and your dog’s lead or putting on your runners, for TROUBLESHOOTING
dog should be walking along comfortably example — he may get over-excited. Wait Regardless of a dog’s age, Steve
beside you. A 2m-long lead is best as until he has calmed down before clipping recommends training it just as you would
you can also use it for other training on the lead. a puppy — with patience, consistency
applications, while Steve also says that and a reward when he gets it right. For
holding the lead in your left hand is best. CIRCLE TECHNIQUE a stubborn dog, find a reward that will
Photo: HalfPoint/BigStock.com

“Your knuckles should be forward and Do very quick left circles, pivoting on override the stubbornness, such as
your right hand placed through the loop your left leg so you go around in a tight the dog’s favourite treat. “If your dog’s
of the lead for safety, with the lead across circle every time the dog pulls in front favourite treat is cooked chicken, feed
your body.” of you. “Every time the dog pulls, do him that for the next few days as you
The fit of your dog’s collar is also another couple of quick left circles with train him,” says Steve. “That will turn a lot
very important. “The collar can be your the lead in front of you,” says Steve. of stubborn dogs into ‘please feed me’
choice but whatever you pick, it must be “Use the left-circle technique when there dogs because they learn ‘I’ve got to earn
a comfortable fit for the dog, much like is no fence.” my food instead of getting it for free’.” DL
www.dogslife.com.au 29

Barking mad
Is your dog’s bark driving you up the wall? Carrol Baker finds
out why dogs bark and how to fix this problem behaviour.

id you know that humans he asks. “Find the trigger and you can to relax and calm him. The dog will
make around 500 diferent desensitise the dog to it.” eventually think, ‘Okay, you leaving is
sounds and there are more fine, I have a treat to eat’.”
than 7000 spoken languages? BEATING BOREDOM Note: If a dog continually barks if you
That’s a lot of diferent ways to Take your dog for a walk before you aren’t around, it may have a separation
communicate using sound. leave for the day — your pooch will burn anxiety issue. If so, speak with your vet
Dogs have just four: growling, howling, of some energy and be more content or dog training professional.
whining and of course barking. Dogs to rest and snooze. While you’re away,
bark for many reasons: they’re excited, to enrichment toys with treats can help, or
warn of intruders, or because something you could hide treats around the yard.
has captured the dog’s interest. Basil says being banished to the CASE STUDY: THE
Basil Theofanides, president of the backyard can also lead to boredom and BARKING BORDER
Australian Association of Professional problem barking. “Dogs are gregarious COLLIE PUPPY
Dog Trainers Inc, says some breeds, like animals. They don’t need to be with you An energetic Border Collie pup
guarding dogs or terrier breeds, are 24/7, but they do need some quality called Ollie continually harassed
also more prone to barking. “Barking time with you,” he says. and barked at the other dog in
for dogs is innate; they’re doing what the family, a 13-year-old senior
comes naturally,” he says. “You don’t START OFF ON Corgi-cross called Minion, as he
want a dog to stop barking, just to bark THE RIGHT PAW wanted to play. We adopted a
at the right times.” Correcting a barking isue takes work. holistic approach. Daily walks for
It’s when a dog barks excessively To stop a habit developing, don’t leave 20 minutes, going to the park and
or inappropriately that it’s classed as a puppy on its own for long periods meeting other dogs, dog training,
exhibiting problem barking behaviour. or you may find you end up with a and doggy daycare once or twice
While the sound of your puppy’s joyful problem. “Socialisation is key,” says a week, as well as frozen treats to
“yip, yip” might be music to your ears, Basil. “Get your dog used to trafic, chew when we weren’t home.
excessive barking is just plain annoying people and other noises so it will be less We also taught Ollie to go to his
— especially if the dog is belting out a suspicious of them and of course less mat and stay when he was harassing
tune late at night. likely to bark.” the older dog. He was given a treat
So why do our canine companions and told to stay on his bed until
bark excessively? Basil says often TURNING “PLEASE DON’T given the release command. If Ollie
it’s because their emotional needs LEAVE ME” INTO “SEE YA tried to get of the mat, he was
aren’t being met. “Usually the dog is LATER, DUDE” reprimanded with “no” and ofered a
feeling bored, lonely, or it’s trying to If your dog barks as you leave, he reward to lure him back to his bed.
get attention,” he says. To help with probably sees you pick up the keys and Timing is important. As soon as
problem barking, Basil says obedience thinks, ‘Oh no, they’re leaving me!’ says Ollie tried to step of, he was verbally
training is key. “It provides the dog with Basil. “Do all those actions: pick up the reprimanded. This was done two to
mental stimulation. Daily walks are also keys or put on your shoes, but don’t three times a day for five minutes,
important so the dog can see and smell leave — and practise that a few times,” building up to 10 minutes, then 20
other things outside the confines of its he suggests. and 30 minutes a day for several
own backyard.” “The next step is to walk out the weeks. Now we can take the bed
If barking is a problem, Basil suggests door, but come back right away and anywhere in the apartment and Ollie
tracking down the triggers. “Is the dog give your dog something tasty to chew will always go to it. And the senior
barking because the owner has left, or on. Chewing releases serotonin, which pet is happy too.
when people walk past the property?” regulates a dog’s mood and helps
30 www.dogslife.com.au
Dogs can bark when you leave
the house if they haven’t been
properly exercised mentally
and physically.

DOGS THAT BARK and introduce the dog to the neighbour the word “quiet”. Use a secondary
AT OTHER DOGS OR in a neutral environment. “If the dog reinforcer like the word “yes” or a
Photo: fongleon356/BigStock.com

NEIGHBOURS and the neighbour become friends, clicker. When he stops barking, say
Sight barriers, such as fences or the neighbour is now part of the pack,” “yes” or click, reward the dog, and say
planting trees, are an option. “These says Basil. the word “quiet”. Over time your dog
can be hit and miss,” says Basil. “If your will stop barking if you say “quiet”. You
dog is barking at the dog next door, he TEACHING A NO-BARK can also teach your dog to bark on
can smell the other dog even if he can’t COMMAND command if you say the word “speak”
see him.” If your dog barks, ofer a treat. When and ofer treats.
If dogs bark at neighbours, be he stops barking to snif the treat, If all else fails, behavioural training is
proactive. Ask your neighbour to help praise him and start introducing the best way to stop barking. DL
www.dogslife.com.au 31
Settling your dog into a new routine
From introducing a new baby to moving to a new house, our pets face the
same life-altering changes as we do. Kylie Baracz discovers how you can ease
your dog into a new routine.

A change in the number of family members

can take some getting used to for your pet. HOW TO HELP YOUR

ogs become family members relief for them,” says Laura. “Any change It’s important to create a positive
for many years, with some to this can afect their mental health and environment for your pet no
reaching up to 20 years of age. behaviour. Moving to a new house, bringing matter what the situation. Laura
It’s no surprise, then, that they home a baby or a new animal are changes has some suggestions on how to
face the same life changes and stages that our pets are unable to understand if we ease them into the new routine:
we go through. Like us, our pets rely on don’t help them a little along the way.” When a baby cries, your dog
routine, and these life events can be a may get a treat.
dificult transition for them to adapt to. Dog PROVIDING A SAFE SPACE When a new puppy comes
behaviourist Laura Vissaritis says it’s hard, To ease our pets into a new routine, Laura home, your dog gets to come
but we can help. suggests owners provide consistent inside first.
“If you think from our pets’ perspective, access to a safe place in the house which When you move to a new
this world is unpredictable and they have is only for the pet. It should be inside house, their new safe area is
very little control over it. So a life that has if possible and where they choose to showered with yummy treats.
patterns and expectations can be a great sleep. This way it can remain as the place
32 www.dogslife.com.au

Ensuring your dog always has a

safe space to sleep and retreat to
will help in times of change.

they feel comfortable and will provide a be well behaved inside the house. Many “Whenever we walked him around the
Photos: Hannamariah/BigStock.com, akvals/BigStock.com, Madrabothair/BigStock.com

positive experience during the change. of these nuisance behaviours stem from neighbourhood, he would get excited and
“Ensure your pet’s routine remains as some form of worry or discomfort, so whimper when he saw other dogs. We
it was and that any changes are positive,” allowing dogs to be with the family can weren’t sure if it was because he missed
says Laura. “Always try to think from their often alleviate this.” being with them or if it reminded him of
perspective and understand that you where he used to live,” says Michael.
have the power to create either a positive CASE STUDY: GEORGE To provide an easy transition, George’s
association or a very negative one, FINDS HIS FOREVER HOME owners kept his old crate for a place he
depending on the experience you provide George, a little Cairn x Fox Terrier, found could escape into if he felt scared or
for your pet.” his new home with owners Michael and unsure. They also took some time training
Margaret after his elderly owner could him to sit and stop jumping up on people.
FACING DIFFICULTIES no longer take care of him. Now into “The hardest part was to get him to use
Sometimes your dog will still struggle his senior years, and although still very the doggy door,” says Michael. “It took him
to adapt to a new situation, even after sprightly, it took him some time to adjust quite a few weeks to master it and, even
helping him through the transition. Laura to a new way of life. now, he’s still a little unsure.”
suggests getting in touch with your vet or “George came to us with no real Other problems they found were that
an animal behaviourist if this occurs. training,” says Michael. “Despite his size, he took a while to eat food out of a bowl,
“Always seek advice if your dog is he can jump up quite high and he doesn’t had a few accidents in the house, and was
unable to adapt for more than one month. yet know how to sit on cue.” initially more comfortable outside. “He had
It is important to recognise the little signs Before little George found his new a few accidents inside the house over the
before they become more dificult to forever home, he stayed in a foster home first few days,” says Michael. “We would let
manage,” says Laura. “Often allowing your with other dogs. So when he arrived in him outside often to make sure he went
dog inside is a wonderful quick fix and I his new owners’ quiet townhouse, it was until he mastered the doggy door. Now he
believe all dogs can be trained easily to in stark contrast to what he was used to. just goes outside when he wants to.”
www.dogslife.com.au 33

Not all dogs may take kindly

to new, younger pups being
brought into the household.

Although George was used to being an

outside dog, he took quickly to his new KEEPING KIDS
bed in the house. He even became used AND PETS SAFE
to being inside and wouldn’t let Michael Kidsafe NSW has some important tips Allow the pet to approach mum
Photos: Hannamariah/BigStock.com, akvals/BigStock.com,
or Margaret leave him outside when they when it comes to introducing pets to and baby in a safe manner but
were out. “Even though he was happy babies and children. never force it.
outside in the beginning, he quickly Install barriers to create pet-free ALWAYS supervise your child
warmed up to us and the comfort of inside. and child-free zones. around your pet, and never leave
Now he has free rein of the house, including Ensure your pet knows the basics them in a room together without
the doggy door when we leave so he can — sit, stay and drop. adult supervision.
feel comfortable and safe,” says Michael. Allow your pet to smell baby Never allow a child to touch a pet
Adopting an older dog was an clothes and creams, and then that is sleeping, eating, injured or
adjustment for George’s new owners too. reward them with positive playing with their toys.

It had been a year since they had a pet to reinforcement. Minimise the risk of diseases by
look after. “He’s very diferent to the dog we Always watch your pet and practising good hygiene, such as
had in the past, so it was an adjustment for respond to their body language. If washing your child’s hands after
us too,” says Michael. “It may have taken they are looking unsure, remove touching pets.
some time to make him at home, and it’s them from the situation and try For more information, visit
still an ongoing process, but he’s definitely another time. kidsafensw.org
grown accustomed to my lap.” DL
34 www.dogslife.com.au
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Some dogs are more food-
motivated than others.

To treat or not to treat?

Is a tasty treat always the best training reward? Tim Falk reports.

owadays, a reward-based behaviour or action gets us more of it, tin of tennis balls hidden deep in the
approach forms the basis of we are more likely to continue with the cupboards. He is never without a tennis
training for many dogs. When same behaviour. The same can be said ball, even in bed, and he carries two
the dog does something good, for our four-legged friends.” tennis balls around in his long snout.”
they get a reward — and that reward But what if your dog isn’t food Lynda Buckley encountered a
usually takes the form of a tasty treat. motivated? Take Harry, the seven-year- similar scenario with her seven-year-
“Rewards work because positive old Swiss Shepherd, for example. A old German Shepherd, Romeo, except
reinforcement works — the psychology loyal, lovable and playful pet, Harry that Romeo’s favourite plaything is a
behind it is the same psychology that simply loves being around his people. trafic cone. Lynda describes Romeo as
impacts us as humans,” explains Sarah He’s also obsessed with tennis balls. very play-reward driven, and when he
Wahjudi, head trainer at Melbourne’s “Harry has favoured tennis balls first saw his trafic cone it was love at
Positive Pups. “At its most basic, a over everything since he was a puppy,” first sight.
reward is something that you enjoy explains his owner, Carlie Wacker. “He is a chewer and toys don’t last
or want and if repeating a certain “He can snif out a fresh (unopened) long with him. He picked up a cone at a
36 www.dogslife.com.au

Some dogs prefer

physical afection as
confirmation they have
performed a desirable

trafic works site and hasn’t put it down medical condition where certain treats
since.” Lynda explains. “They are built may be harmful, or are they like Romeo REWARD VS
to last and he also loves the orange and Harry and simply prioritise other PUNISHMENT
bollards. I encourage these toys as rewards over food? “While it may take a little longer to
Photos: huettenhoelscher/BigStock.com, Satura/BigStock.com, Lynda Buckley,

without them he will try to take down If your pooch isn’t food obsessed, gain a desired behaviour, reward-
trees and carry branches.” it’s absolutely okay to use something based training provides long-term
For dogs like Romeo and Harry else as a training reward. “Some dogs reinforcement and also a desire to
who aren’t as food-focused as other prefer human contact and a pat will complete a requested behaviour,”
canines, is a treat still the best reward? work as a reward, while some love to explains RSPCA NSW training
According to RSPCA NSW training play and a toss of a ball is all that is oficer Tazzi Shepherd. “This is in
oficer Tazzi Shepherd, the choice of needed. You know your dog best — stark contrast to methods that use
whether to use food or some other type think about what they love and you punishment; while these typically
of reward all depends on the dog. can use that to help reinforce a desired gain the desired behaviour
“Some dogs are highly food behaviour,” Tazzi suggests. quickly, they cause your dog to
motivated while others prefer a pat or perform the behaviour out of fear
a toy, and with some dogs you need A DIFFERENT REWARD and can also cause fear-based
to find the highest-value treat to help If you want an example of a dog trained responses, such as aggression,
with training — some like liver treats using something other than food as a from your dog.”
or kibble, while others like chicken,” reward, look no further than Harry the
says Tazzi. tennis ball-obsessed Swiss Shepherd.
The biggest benefit of treats is that “He is not a food-driven dog. I’ve tried the right behaviours didn’t take too
they allow for an instant reward when treats but it’s much less efective,” much hard work. “Given his obsession,
delivered correctly. However, you need says Carlie. it’s not often he is without one,” Carlie
to consider whether treats are right for And because Harry is so focused on says, “but when he is without one I can
your dog. For example, do they have a tennis balls, training him to perform command him to do anything if the
www.dogslife.com.au 37

The right reward for your pet
depends on the animal and on the
type of training you are trying to
do. However, for food-oriented
dogs, using treats as a reward has
several benefits.
“Treats are useful in a lot of cases
because they are discreet, quick
and easy to deploy,” says Sarah.
“Provided you have factored in the
number of treats to your dog’s diet
and you’ve found something healthy
and sustainable, treats are a great
option. But they aren’t always the
best option.”

ofering the treat that is going to get

through to them in their current state.”


If food treats are the best reward
for your pet, how do you go about
using them in your training? Tazzi
says the key is to ensure the treat
is delivered as soon as the desired
behaviour is performed.
“This is really important. Clicker
training or the use of a bridge is really
handy here. If you give your dog a treat
before their bottom hits the ground,
they will associate the treat with
hovering rather than sitting correctly.

Photos: huettenhoelscher/BigStock.com, Satura/BigStock.com, Lynda Buckley,

Romeo’s ultimate reward is to Once you have the timing down pat, you
play with a traffic cone. then reward each time the behaviour is
performed on cue,” she says.
As soon as your dog is performing
“Appropriate training is all about the behaviour on cue every time, you
reading the dog’s body language and can start phasing out the treats, giving
them occasionally and every so often
offering the treat that is going to get ofering your dog what Tazzi calls a
through to them in their current state.” “jackpot”. “This is more treats then
normal or a higher-value treat such as
says Sarah. cooked chicken. This will ensure your
dog wants to continue performing the
reward is a ball. I can completely control training challenging. I find that anxious behaviour because they’re hoping to
behaviour by turning his attention to dogs are more likely to respond to get that jackpot,” she says.
the ball.” play in situations where they are a bit Finally, remember the importance
Sarah also has a non-treat training worked up so they can use some of of keeping training sessions short and
success story. “My current dog was that energy, or others want hugs and sweet to prevent boredom setting in for
not driven by treats at all when we first praise if they need to be calmed down,” your pooch. As Sarah says, “Keep them
got her and some dogs are naturally she explains. short, keep them fun and try to make
anxious, which will mean they don’t “Appropriate training is all about it a game. Enjoy your time and the dog
want to eat when they are finding the reading the dog’s body language and will too.” DL
38 www.dogslife.com.au
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Training product guide

Here are some of our favourite training tools to ensure that your special pet
receives the mental and physical enrichment it needs.
Ensure your dog knows when it’s performing the desired
behaviour with the Starmark Pro Training Deluxe Clicker.
Used and loved by the many professional trainers at
the Starmark Academy, this product is conveniently
pocket-sized and comes with a flexible hand strap to
ensure it’s ready and easy to use when needed. Made
from stainless steel, this clicker won’t rust and will have a
lifespan that lasts as long as your pet.
For more information, visit boredombusters.net.au


Every trainer needs a reward for their pet that is TRAINING
tempting but doesn’t endanger their health. That’s VIDEOS
why we love ZiwiPeak’s Lamb Treats. These complete Want some more tips on keeping your
and balanced treats are made from fresh meat, bone dog mentally engaged? Expert trainer
and seafood, with no added nasties or by-products. and canine conservationist Steve Austin
Gently air-dried for superior nutrition, ZiwiPeak’s has created a series of videos using products
Lamb Treats are a great product to have on hand from the Boredom Busters range. Scan the
when you’re looking to motivate you dog below QR code to check them out now.
For more information, visit bowhouse.com.au

Keep your dog mentally and physically engaged
with the Treat-Dispensing Football from Starmark.
This ball can hold a variety of treats that your dog
will love trying to retrieve, helping to eliminate
destructive boredom behaviour.
The Treat-Dispensing Football makes
a crunchy sound (a nice alternative to the
traditional squeaker) and rolls, bounces and even
floats in water.
The Treat-Dispensing Football is available
now from Starmark. For more information, visit
40 www.dogslife.com.au
If you’re going to teach your dog to walk
correctly, you’ll need to be able to take your
tools with you — think treats and a clicker,
as well as your keys and the odd bit of
spare change for a cofee on the way home
(after all that hard work, you deserve it!).
What better bag to keep them in than the
Cloud7 Walking Bag? This stylish travel and
treat bag is made from water-repellent, recycled,
organic cotton fabric, with genuine leather handles
and solid-brass details. Best of all, the magnetically
closing treat pouch is easy to access when you need
a reward quick smart.
For more information, visit lavishtails.com.au

Exercise your pet’s mind with the Treat
Dispensing Bob-a-Lot from Starmark.
Available in small and large sizes, this
durable Boredom Buster wobbles on its
weighted base when your dog nudges it to
try to release the treats you place inside.
With two adjustable treat-dispensing
points and the capacity to hold up
to three cups of treats or food, this
product is one your pet will love.
CHEW BALL Like all solutions in the Starmark
Keep your dog busy with the Chew Ball, range, this dispenser was created
available now from Starmark. Created and by trainers, tested by trainers and
used by expert trainers, this product is perfect is loved by trainers, so you know it
for the more aggressive chewers out there. will be perfect for your pet.
Play fetch with this great product and get For more information, visit
your pet moving, or fill it with kibble for boredombusters.net.au
treat-dispensing engagement. Either way,
your dog will certainly be exercised physically
and mentally.
Available in three sizes, the Chew Ball is
another great product from Starmark. For more
information, visit boredombusters.net.au


A leash is a handy tool for both walking and training. Many stretch for those pooches who pull a little when walking. Coming
dogs associate this item with going to “work” — and what better in a range of fabulous colourful designs, the Marley (pictured)
way to do it than with the DOOG neoprene leash? This range of would have to be one of our favourites. For more information,
leashes is lightweight and super soft, with the perfect amount of visit doog.com.au
www.dogslife.com.au 41

Fleas can irritate

your dog and cause
potentially harmful

Scratch that itch

Spring is here, and for many dog owners that means one thing: fleas!
Carrol Baker looks at some of the best new treatments and finds
out how you can protect your hound and home.

leas are the most common parasite that problem, you’ll often see itching, scratching, biting,
afects canines and they’re also one of the and losing hair in the area above their tail,” she says.
most preventable. Fleas will either jump If you can’t spot fleas hightailing it when you go
or crawl onto your dog, and once they’ve searching for them on your dog, you may be able
latched on they can make your dog’s life a misery. to see what they leave behind — flea dirt — which
Dr Paula Parker, president of the Australian is really flee poop and some of your dog’s blood.
Veterinary Association, says you may find fleas all Other signs of a flea infestation can be patches of
over a dog but they prefer to set up home around redness, or your dog’s gums may appear white due
the base of the dog’s tail. “If your dog has a flea to anaemia.
42 www.dogslife.com.au
All dogs are equally at risk of fleas, but
some are more prone to the potential
allergic reaction, according to Dr Paula.
“This relates to how competent their
protective skin barrier is. Traditionally,
small white flufy dogs such as Maltese,
smaller crossbred dogs and also
Stafordshire Bull Terriers may be more
afected,” she says.
Generally, however, a bigger issue in
the potential risk profile is where the dog
lives. “Along the eastern seaboard and
south-east Queensland can generally be
hot spots for fleas,” says Dr Paula.

Warm weather can fast-track their
development from eggs to larvae and
pupae within a matter of a few weeks, Excessive scratching is
as opposed to a few months. Dr Paula one of the most obvious
explains that this is because fleas go indicators that your dog
through a dormant stage in cooler is sufering from fleas.
weather. “They emerge out of that stage
with heat and movement, which is why
they’re more prevalent when it’s warmer.” weather. “That way we’re preventing There are also oral
But just because you don’t see them any secondary complications and we
about in the cooler months does not aren’t letting the fleas build up in the products that can be
mean they aren’t there, cautions Dr environment,” she says. a tablet or a chew. “A
Paula. “They build up in numbers and There are several ways to prevent
then you have an explosion of them in fleas. Spot-on treatments ofer protection lot of these products
spring and summer,” she says. and are usually a monthly application. treat other things like
If you see a few fleas and pick them There are also oral products that can be a
of your dog, it doesn’t mean that you’ve tablet or a chew. “A lot of these products intestinal worms and
found them all. Before long, their buddies treat other things like intestinal worms ticks as well,” says Dr
will be running amok on your pet. This is and ticks as well,” says Dr Paula.
because fleas are prolific egg layers; they Next-generation flea collars may also Paula.
can lay up to 50 eggs a day for around 50 be of benefit. Dr Paula suggests those
days. A single female flea can produce up that are new to the market and available
to 2000 eggs! through your vet. “The safety profile flea prevention. “The flea that you see on
Photo: MirasWonderland/BigStock.com, Sushytska/BigStock.com

Not only can fleas make your pet of the collars has improved. Newer dogs is actually a cat flea, and cats can
uncomfortable, if left untreated a flea ones don’t smell and they may have carry a higher flea burden without being
infestation can potentially lead to serious better eficacy than the older products,” visibly itchy,” she says.
health issues. “Dogs can contract blood- she says. “You might have a flea problem in
borne diseases, particularly Bartonella. Chat to your vet to find out the best the house and treat the dog with flea
Fleas can also transmit flea tapeworm, product for your dog, as there are control, but not treat your cat because it
and in some dogs fleas can trigger complete prevention programs for all isn’t itchy. But it’s actually the cat that’s
an allergic reaction which can lead to external and internal canine parasites. perpetuating the flea problem in the
dermatitis and a secondary bacterial environment,” she explains.
infection,” she says. RECURRING FLEA Dr Paula says vacuuming the floors
PROBLEM? may help a little. “It gives that bit of heat
PREVENTION MATTERS Did you know that 95 per cent of the flea and movement and encourages those
By far the best way to protect your population is in the dog’s environment? dormant stages to emerge,” she says.
pet is through safe and efective flea This could be areas outside and inside “The other thing that can help is to pay
prevention treatments. According to the home, and also on other family pets. attention to areas of the yard that contain
Dr Paula, the treatments need to be Dr Paula says it’s important that all of the bare dirt; fleas love those, so fence of
applied all year round, not just in warmer pets in the household are treated with those areas.” DL
www.dogslife.com.au 43
An itching dog is
a sign of an allergy.

There’s something
in the air
Is your dog scratching? It might be a seasonal allergy. Kylie Baracz finds
out more about the signs, symptoms and treatment of atopic dermatitis.

pring is here and the flowers are environment,” explains Dr Leigh Davidson be looking out for when it comes to
out. While it’s lovely to see them from Your Vet Online. “An allergen for one environmental allergies? Dr Leigh
bloom after a long winter, this animal may not be a problem for another says there are a few diferent common
also means an increase in pollen animal, and reactions can be diferent.” symptoms. “Afected dogs may sufer
in the air and those dreaded allergies. Dogs can be afected by three major itchy, red and inflamed skin, and some
A whole range of triggers can cause allergies: flea allergies, food allergies and may be rubbing and licking certain areas
allergies and they are not exclusive to environmental allergies, also known as more,” she says. “They may be rubbing
humans; your dog can be afected by atopic dermatitis. The latter can be caused so much the hair falls out. Some pets may
them too. “An allergy occurs when a by a reaction to grass, weeds, tree pollens, have weepy eyes and nose, and some
dog’s immune system overreacts to mould or dust mites. may get sore ears.”
a substance, called an allergen, in the So what symptoms should we All dog breeds are susceptible to
44 www.dogslife.com.au

Some dogs can sufer from

a sensitivity to grass.

an allergy, but certain breeds, such as advised if the pet’s history and clinical
Terriers, Retrievers, Dalmatians, Shar exam are unclear. ALLERGY FAST FACTS
Peis and Bulldogs, seem to be more Around 20 per cent of dogs in
Photos: archangel80889/BigStock.com, michaelheim/BigStock.com, Kylie Baracz

predisposed, according to Dr Leigh. Australia sufer from an allergy

THE ITCH? Allergies cannot be cured, but
HOW IS AN When it comes to seasonal allergies, they can be managed
ENVIRONMENTAL there isn’t one standard treatment There are three main types of
ALLERGY DIAGNOSED? for every pooch; however, Dr Leigh allergies that afect dogs: flea
If you think your pet has allergy recommends a few things owners can do allergy dermatitis, food allergy
symptoms, it’s important to first see to reduce the symptoms. and environmental allergy or
your vet. It can sometimes be dificult to “Try to avoid grass or weeds by atopic dermatitis
pinpoint whether a dog’s symptoms are exercising your pet on concrete Around 10 per cent of dogs
related to an allergy or not. pathways. You could also wipe your dog in Australia sufer from atopic
“Diagnosis is based on taking an with a damp cloth after being exposed to dermatitis
excellent history of your dog and ruling any grass or weeds,” she advises. “If your The first signs of an allergy
out other causes of itchy skin,” says Dr dog is scratching, use socks, old T-shirts usually appear when a dog is
Leigh. “The majority of the time a dog’s or an e-collar so your dog can’t lick and between six months and three
history is enough. However, sometimes mutilate himself.” years old
it is worthwhile performing allergy Other treatments include giving your
testing to determine exactly which dog omega-3 oil or applying anti-itch
allergens are involved.” creams to the areas where your poor CAN ENVIRONMENTAL
Your vet may also examine the pooch has flare-ups. It is always best ALLERGIES BE
distribution of your dog’s lesions, if they to seek veterinary attention so that PREVENTED?
have any, and pruritis (severe itching medications can be prescribed to stop Dogs can be exposed to these allergens
of the skin). Skin scrapings may also be the itch. either by coming into direct contact
www.dogslife.com.au 45

to the animal’s environmental sensitivity,”

says Dr Leigh. “Either way, they must be
treated. If allergies are left untreated/
unmanaged, they can cause continued
discomfort for your pet and it becomes
a welfare issue. Trauma to the skin from
constant biting and scratching can create
wounds that can become a secondary
infection needing more extensive
veterinary treatment.”
It’s important that owners consult their
vet regularly as some of the medications
used to treat allergy can themselves
cause health issues, such as the long-term
use of steroids.


When my husband and I adopted Franklin,
a two-month-old Stafy mix, from Animal
Welfare League NSW, we were elated to
bring him home. The first few months
were bliss (except for when he ate a
mushroom, but that’s a story for another
time!), until we started noticing he was
scratching his belly a lot with his back legs.
Thinking he had fleas, we made sure to
keep up to date with his treatments, but
this didn’t seem to stop him scratching.
It wasn’t until we saw he was losing fur
Kylie’s Stafy cross sufered from in places that we decided to visit the vet.
a grass and pollen allergy. It was initially thought to be mange, which
is caused by Demodex or Scabies mites,
but none of the treatments for this skin
“Allergies can be COMMON ALLERGENIC

Photos: archangel80889/BigStock.com, michaelheim/BigStock.com, Kylie Baracz

PLANTS disease seemed to work. It took numerous
managed but are rarely Couch grass Wandering visits and multiple vets until we found the
Ragweed Jew cause — a grass and pollen allergy.
cured. For pets that Birch trees Moses in the As he was still a puppy, the first
suffer from chronic Pine Oak trees cradle treatment we were given was to
Kikuyu grass desensitise him against the allergy. This
allergies, treatments may worked for some time, until he started
include changes in diet, refusing the injections. We then started
Try to avoid contact with grasses and him on a treatment of cyclosporine tablets,
symptomatic medical any weeds or pollens that will stick to fur and luckily this worked really well. His hair
therapy, and/or allergy and paw pads; grew back and he didn’t sufer from itchy
Speak to your vet about desensitisation skin anymore.
vaccines specific to the injections or “vaccinations” against these Now, three years since Franklin’s
animal’s environmental allergens, especially in younger pups; diagnosis, we only need to give him his
Use the treatments mentioned above, treatment seasonally, when there is a
sensitivity,” says Dr Leigh. such as wiping and anti-itch creams, to high pollen count, so he doesn’t chew
limit itching immediately. on his paws.
with them or by inhaling them from “Allergies can be managed but are I would suggest that if you’re worried
the air. According to Dr Leigh, there are rarely cured. For pets that sufer from about why your dog is scratching, it is
three ways you can potentially prevent chronic allergies, treatments may include definitely worth a visit to the vet. It can
allergies occurring, especially as we head changes in diet, symptomatic medical take some time to find out what the cause
into spring: therapy, and/or allergy vaccines specific is but it’s worth it for peace of mind. DL
46 www.dogslife.com.au
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Finding out your pet has cancer
can be heartbreaking.

Cancer cure progression

Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality in canines. But thanks
to more awareness, early diagnosis and advances in treatments, cancer
no longer has to be a death sentence. Caroline Zambrano reports.

ancer is a scary word for many Oncology Consultants (VOC) in New “Lymphoma is the most common
people and hearing their South Wales. cancer in dogs and occurs in the white
beloved pet has this deadly Clinical trials in veterinary oncology blood cells of the immune system.
disease can be devastating. But are also growing in scope and importance Symptoms can include tumours, lethargy,
a cancer diagnosis isn’t a death sentence as researchers evaluate new therapies weight loss and loss of appetite,” Dr
anymore thanks to advances in canine aimed at improving the outcome and Angela says. “The key to a good prognosis
cancer treatments. quality of life for companion animals, with canine lymphoma is early diagnosis
“Approximately one in four dogs will as well as human patients with the and this particular form of cancer is very
develop cancer in their lifetime, but disease. Over the past couple of years, Dr rapidly progressive, so it’s important to
thanks to more pet cancer awareness, Angela and her team at VOC have been act quickly.”
improved preventative care and early evaluating a drug called monepantel Monepantel is a potent small molecule
diagnosis, we are better able to fight (MPL) in dogs that have been newly drug that has been shown to modulate
canine cancer,” says veterinary oncologist diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma and the mTOR pathway, which plays a pivotal
Dr Angela Frimberger from Veterinary have not started any treatment. role in driving many cancers. Four dogs
48 www.dogslife.com.au

have already been treated for lymphoma

with MPL under the Compassionate
Use Program and the results have been
very promising. “So far, we have shown
that MPL is safe, and three out of three
dogs with B-cell lymphoma have had
stabilisation of disease on the drug
without significant side efects,” Dr
Angela says.
Monepantel is licensed to PharmAust,
a clinical-stage company developing
targeted cancer therapeutics for both
humans and animals. The company is also
funding the Compassionate Use Program.
The MPL treatment initially involved
a relatively large number of capsules, so
dogs that are dificult to orally medicate
weren’t good candidates. But PharmAust
has been working on reformulating the
drug to make it better tasting and easier
to administer to dogs in the full trials, Dr Aslan has started treatment via the
Angela explains. MPL program with promising results.

ASLAN THE DOBERMANN “The reality of life is that things can go out
The MPL program involved two
consultations at the Animal Referral of one’s control in a flash. I had to surrender
Hospital (ARH) in Sydney with two
weeks of capsules at home. Owners
to the fact that once there is a diagnosis,
transported their dogs to and from there is no turning back,” says Geeta.
the hospital for both consults, some
travelling from interstate. of dogs when she was a child, especially smile he greets me with, especially when
Dr Sonya Yu, the oncology resident big breeds like Aslan. During the Australia I come home from work in the evening,”
at the ARH who handled the MPL cases, Day weekend in 2009, her husband she says. “Aslan’s very protective nature
says the options available for treating and Roshan surprised Geeta with a visit to towards the family has always given me
managing veterinary patients with cancer a Dobermann breeder. Aslan was the that sense of security.”
have progressed enormously in recent remaining puppy in the litter and it was When the Menons learned about
years. “The oncology team at the Animal pretty much love at first sight, Geeta the Compassionate Use Program, they
Referral Hospital are honoured to be a recalls. “Aslan has always been a very decided to start the treatment in the hope
part of any research that may lead to loving dog who simply just wants to be that Aslan could beat lymphoma or extend
life-extending treatments for animals. If around the family. And it is his loving his lifespan. “We believe participating in
they happen to be well tolerated, with a nature that has made me conquer my fear the program may go some way to helping
Photos: chalabala/BigStock.com, PharmAust, Rachael Jefrey

relatively low toxicity profile, then all the of dogs so easily,” Geeta says. vets and animal oncologists one day find
better,” she says. When her parents met Aslan, their a treatment regime that will extend the
One of the canine cancer patients first reaction was to reject the idea of lifespan of dogs such as Aslan or, in the
that came to the specialist hospital for having a dog instead of grandchildren! best case, cure them,” says Geeta. After
treatment was Aslan, an eight-year-old But it wasn’t long before they, too, fell in completing two weeks of treatment with
Dobermann adored by his family for his love with Aslan. “They treat Aslan like a MPL, Aslan’s prognosis was promising.
afectionate nature and love of children. grandchild,” says Geeta, adding that he “We expect dogs with this stage
“When Aslan was diagnosed in early gets spoiled with treats from his own of remission to respond well to
November, 2017, I felt helpless,” says doggy treat box when he visits. “Aslan has chemotherapy; Aslan should achieve a
Aslan’s owner Geeta Menon, who lives in also been my first baby. In many ways, he remission and stay in remission for a long
Sydney. “The reality of life is that things prepared me for what was in store when time,” says Dr Sonya. “The fact that he was
can go out of one’s control in a flash. I had we had our kids.” well at the time of diagnosis and that the
to surrender to the fact that once there is Aslan became Geeta’s “best buddy”, lymphoma had only been afecting his
a diagnosis, there is no turning back. Every snuggling up with her during winter in lymph nodes, rather than infiltrating other
day is closer to the end.” their blankets on the couch watching organs, is also very helpful and bodes well
It’s hard to believe Geeta was scared television together. “I love to see the big for him.”
www.dogslife.com.au 49

Buddy was diagnosed with

lymphoma and is now showing 10 COMMON SIGNS
promising results thanks to the OF CANCER IN DOGS
MPL program. 1 Abnormal swellings that
persist or continue to grow
2 Sores that do not heal
3 Weight loss
4 Loss of appetite
5 Bleeding or discharge from
any body opening
6 Ofensive odour
7 Dificulty eating or swallowing
8 Hesitation to exercise or loss
of stamina
9 Persistent lameness
or stifness
10 Dificulty breathing, urinating
or defecating
These signs could also relate to a
variety of other illnesses. If your
pet shows any of these symptoms,
speak to a veterinarian immediately.
Source: American Veterinary
Medical Association

“PharmAust’s long-term strategy is

to develop MPL to treat cancers in both
dogs and humans,” he says. “A ‘Phase I’
trial in human cancer patients at the Royal
Adelaide Hospital showed that cancer
markers in patients are significantly
suppressed. Treatments that work
BUDDY THE ROTTWEILER drug treatment and is in remission from efectively in canines are recognised as
Another lymphoma patient with a great his lymphoma. “The aim for Buddy is being highly predictive of the way drugs
prognosis was Buddy, a seven-year-old to maintain quality of life for as long as behave in human clinical trials. Trials
Rottweiler. His owners, Rachael and David possible, free from pain and illness and undertaken using MPL in dogs will inform
Jefrey, brought him from Canberra to enjoying the same daily enthusiasm for his and accelerate parallel eforts to develop
the ARH in Sydney for treatment. “Buddy family, doggy friends and everyone who MPL as a human cancer therapy.”
loves people and dogs. He’s sweet, patient, has the pleasure of meeting him,” says Dr Dr Angela reminds dog owners to
tolerant and adores constant pats,” says Amanda-Lee. regularly inspect their pet for any lumps
Rachael. “He is obsessed with playing ball! Rachael says Buddy is now a much or bumps, and pay attention to sudden
He often goes outside at night to collect happier dog. “You wouldn’t know he had changes in appearance and behaviour. “I
Photos: chalabala/BigStock.com, PharmAust, Rachael Jefrey
his ball and bring it in to sleep with him.” cancer if you met him! He still enjoys always recommend keeping pet insurance
Buddy was diagnosed with lymphoma going to the Greencross clinic and loves all so that if you do need to make any major
in September last year at Greencross Vets the attention the vets and staf give him,” treatment decisions, you can focus solely
Animal Medical Centre in Canberra, where she says. on your pet’s best interest rather than
he has been a patient since puppyhood, having to worry about costs. And if you
and he was referred on to Dr Angela for MULTI-INSTITUTIONAL are concerned about anything, contact
the MPL treatment. “We wanted to give CANINE CANCER TRIAL your veterinarian for an assessment,”
Buddy a better opportunity at a healthy, TO BEGIN she urges. DL
longer life, knowing he could stop the The Compassionate Use Program was a
program at any point if we thought his prelude to a multi-institutional MPL trial
lymphoma was progressing and he wasn’t to start this year. Monepantel is already For more information about the
responding,” explains Rachael. approved for veterinary use for a diferent multi-institutional MPL drug trial
Buddy’s veterinarian, Dr Amanda-Lee indication and species, and PharmAust or to enrol, please contact
Charman, at Greencross Vets Animal is now aiming to repurpose the drug as a Dr Angela on drfrimberger.
Medical Centre, says Buddy responded safe and efective cancer treatment, says monepantel@gmail.com
very well to the chemotherapy post MPL Richard Hopkins, CEO of PharmAust.
50 www.dogslife.com.au
Best of 2018
Here are some of the products that
have helped make life with dogs
better for us in 2018.


Is this product going to change your life as
a pet owner? No. Will it make it significantly
cuter? Yes. We love the new range of
colourful bandanas from The Foggy Dog.
Made from 100-per-cent cotton, these
bandanas are soft, stylish and come in a
range of super-fun designs, finished of with
a signature Foggy Dog wooden tag. For
more information, visit styledog.com.au


Walk your dog in style with a
quality leash like this one from
Tommy & Bella. Made from
genuine leather, this leash
comes in a variety of two-tone
colour schemes that will ensure WOOF LUXE COPPER DOG BOWL
you and Fido are the most Why shouldn’t your pooch dine in style? We love the look of
stylish couple on the block. the Woof Luxe copper dog bowl from Bendo. Not only is it
For more information, visit simple and stylish in design, but the stainless-steel bowl is
tommybella.com removable, making it easy to clean. This product is perfect
for medium- to large-sized canines and helps prevent
straining to the neck, hips, shoulders and joints, as your dog
does not have to bend as far to access his food. For more
information, visit bendo.com.au
Keep your pooch’s treats SEE SCOUT SLEEP BRASS
on hand in style with the DOG COLLAR
Tommy & Bella treat bag. Your dog will be strutting in style with
Made using genuine leather, these stunning brass hardware dog
this gorgeous product is big collars from See Scout Sleep. We love
enough to also fit your credit the unique red and cream pattern on
card and keys — perfect for the collar made from hemp webbing, a
those on-the-go emergencies. material that ensures the collar will hold its
For more information, visit shape and resist stretching, unlike some
tommybella.com other products on the market. For more
information, visit styledog.com.au
52 www.dogslife.com.au


Winter may be over but that’s no It’s a question we’ve all
reason to stop our dogs looking good wondered many times
at bed time! We love these canine before: what does my pet do
pyjamas from Hamish McBeth. Made while I’m at work? Now you
from a super-soft fleece, they have can have the answer thanks
a simple one-piece pull-on design to the Petcube Play Wi-Fi
so you can get your dog into them Pet Camera. This handy camera allows you to watch
with ease. Hamish McBeth dog and interact with your pet wherever you may be, and
pyjamas come in a range of colours, comes with the added benefit of two-way audio — you
but our favourite has to be the can talk to and hear your pet too! There’s also a built-in
tartan — who could resist this classic laser toy that you can control or set to auto, adding
look? For more information, visit extra play fun for your furry friend. The Petcube
hamishmcbeth.com Play Wi-Fi Pet Camera is compatible with iPhone and
Android devices, and is available now from Petbarn.
For more information, visit petbarn.com.au
Whether you’re worried your dog may bolt
through the door as you bring in the groceries
or you’re looking for a way to tether your pet
while giving her a bath, Pet Parking provides
an invaluable solution to problems many dog
owners face. This innovative device allows you to
easily tether a pet on a leash, leaving you hands-
free. Simply install the device by drilling three
holes into your chosen tether point and voila!
You are ready to go. For more information, visit


Come on, admit it, there’ve been times when
your dog hasn’t been the good, good boy he
usually is! For those occasions when stress gets
the better of you, why not squish it out with the
Pug stress ball from Gyrofish? It’s cute, squishy and
incredibly satisfying. For more information, visit


Being able to check in on your pet while you’re out and about is Get your dog sleeping in style with the new Cloud7
a very good thing, but being able to feed him is even better! The dog bed. Made from a blend of recycled hemp and
Petcube Bites Wi-Fi Pet Camera does both these things and more. organic cotton, this product is soft yet durable,
You can watch Fido in 1080p HD video, streamed straight to your making it a great choice for dogs looking to grab
device, and even fling your dog a treat for being such a good, good some shut-eye during the warmer weather. The cover
boy, all using your phone. The Petcube Bites Pet Camera is available is, of course, removable and machine-washable and
now from Petbarn. For more information, visit petbarn.com.au comes in a sophisticated brown with rosé edging. For
more information, visit lavishtails.com.au
www.dogslife.com.au 53


Who said a kennel couldn’t be cool? We love The
Dog Room, designed with simplified living in
mind. This product takes inspiration from a child’s
typical line-drawn representation of a home,
combined with minimalist architectural build
principles to create a product your dog will love
— and you will too. The Dog Room is made from a
custom aluminium frame and a series of plywood
panels, and comes with a bamboo charcoal foam.
Mattresses come in olive green, pink musk or koala
grey. For more information, visit madebypen.com


Keep your dog and cat looking good with the Self-
Cleaning Slicker Brush from Rufus & Coco. This award-
winning grooming tool has an easy-to-use push-
button slide to help lift fur from the brush for easy
cleaning, and a charcoal-infused head to help prevent
bacteria growth. And the best part? Thanks to bristles
designed to massage, your pet will love it! For more
information, visit rufusandcoco.com.au


The very idea of clipping your pet’s nails can be
daunting at the best of times. Thanks to Rufus &
Coco, it doesn’t have to be. Their Safety Nail Clippers
& File ofer a worry-free way to keep your pet’s paws
looking good. The Safety Nail Clippers & File have a
safety guide to prevent you from putting your dog’s
toe too far through the clipper and over-clipping, and
the handy nail file lets you smooth rough edges away
for the paw-fect doggy manicure experience. For
more information, visit rufusandcoco.com.au

Does your pooch get a little DOG RUBBER
stressed from time to time? CHEW TOY
Why not try Dog Anxiety from Your dog will be salivating
Là Essence. This natural blend to get his jaws on this! The
of essential oils can help your Pawever Pets Dog Rubber
pooch relax and alleviate anxiety Chew Toy is made from safe,
and stress. Either difuse the oil non-toxic material, making
in your home or apply it directly it a great toy for those dogs
to your dog’s coat. For more who just love to play. Better
information, visit escentialoils. yet, it’s super tough, making
com.au or visit the Là Essence it a good choice for those
team in person at the Brisbane strong chewers. For more
Dog Lover’s Show on November 3 information, visit kogan.com
and 4 (dogloversshow.com.au).

54 www.dogslife.com.au

Sweet Sorbet
Embroidered Quilt
Crafty Little
Luna Doll

Dresden Plate

Free Pattern!
Choose your pattern
and enter the code

at checkout
Apron Strings

Expires 6/11/18
Spring Breeze
Sunrise Joy Quilt Pinwheel Quilt

Dachshund Autograph
Dog Softie

Too Flashy
for Foxy Softie

Budgeting for your pet
ensures you’re less likely
to end up out of pocket.

Doggy dollars
When it comes to owning a dog, sometimes your expenses

Photos: scorpp/BigStock.com, tan4ikk/BigStock.com, Willee Cole/BigStock.com

can be greater than you’d anticipated. Peter Clarke looks at
what to consider when financially planning for life with a dog.


hances are that when you first
decided to purchase a dog, Going to the vet is a non-negotiable part Another non-negotiable expense when it
the only dollar figure on your of owning a dog. Your dog needs to be comes to caring for your pet is food. The
mind was related to how much vaccinated to protect it against disease range in price when it comes to what you
you’d have to pay for that little bundle of and illness that could result in serious spend on your pooch’s diet is quite large,
cuteness you had your heart set on. A few sickness or even death. However, all vets with brands ranging from high end through
years down the track and reality has set in: are not created equal. You may find a price to supermarket discounts.
Photo: photopotam/BigStock.com

vet bills, food, toys, parasite protection … variation between several in your area, Some dogs require special diets; think
it all adds up rather quickly and can make so shop around to find the best price for animals that may have an intolerance to
for an unpleasant surprise if you’re not a standard consultation. It is important a certain type of food or require extra
prepared for it. to note, though, that just like prices may supplements to help with skin or joint
Too many people surrender pets and vary, so may quality and experience, and conditions. In these instances, DOGSLife
finances are one of the reasons this occurs. a talented and caring vet is worth every recommends investing extra to ensure
So how can you cut costs when budgeting penny. Price is an important consideration, you’re giving your pet the best it can have,
for life with a pet? but quality of care should trump that and potentially saving yourself money on
every time. veterinary bills down the track.
56 www.dogslife.com.au
Veterinary expenses
are a necessary part
of life as a dog owner.

If, however, your dog is healthy and recommends going for a plastic bowl; while If this sounds like you, a leash might be an
doesn’t have any known conditions, it’s your dog may be the most careful pooch area where you can save money. Keep it
important to get the best-quality dog food in the world, accidents can happen and indoors to prevent rusting and any other
you can aford. Pick a brand that’s backed ceramic can break quite easily, costing you damage the elements might cause.
by veterinary science and one that has money and potentially injuring your pet. If you have a dog that is a little more
meat listed as the primary ingredient. Stainless steel is also a good option, but if stubborn when you’re out and about,
If you are changing your dog food to a left in the sun it can result in a hot surface ensure you have a leash that is super
diferent brand, always do it gradually by that could harm your pet. strong, super durable and super hard to
decreasing your current dog’s food by 10 break free from. There is also a variety of
per cent and replacing that portion with TOYS AND ACCESSORIES
the new kibble or meat. Slowly increase the These may seem frivolous, but toys and
new food ratio over time to make sure your accessories are a big part of any dog’s life APPROXIMATE COST
dog doesn’t sufer an upset stomach from and can add up financially over time. A OF TOP CLAIMS
the change. Keep an eye on your dog’s skin, good-quality collar is a must-have. If your Gastric dilation: $1500–$8500
coat and toileting habits in the days that dog does not have a clear and easy-to- Elbow dysplasia: $1200–$4500
follow to ensure your pet is feeling good read identification tag, it will be harder for Peritonitis: $1000–$7000
about this dietary diference, and if you people to return him to you should he ever Cataract: $1000–$8000
notice any inconsistencies contact your escape. Having said that, you can generally Intervertebral disc: $1000–
vet immediately. get a collar and tag without it costing an $10,000
Of course, with food comes food and arm and a leg, and having your contact Cruciate ligament: $1000–$7000
water bowls. These can be relatively details engraved on a tag can be done at Gallbladder: $1000–$10,000
inexpensive and this is one area where you any engraving place. This is definitely one Adenocarcinoma pulmonary
can save money with regular maintenance. to shop around for as they will vary in price. (lung): $1000–$5000
Wash your dog’s food and water bowls When it comes to a leash, you can aford Envenomation: $1000–$4000
daily to help keep them in good condition to be more lenient if you have a well-trained Foreign body: $1000–$12,000
and increase their lifespan. DOGSLife dog that doesn’t pull and that walks to heel.
www.dogslife.com.au 57
DOGSLife recommends
getting the very best pet food
you can aford.
diferent collars and accessories to help you
walk your pet that will cost money but may
save your mental health in the long run.
When it comes to toys, you definitely
get what you pay for. “Higher-quality toys
generally cost a bit more but they should
last longer,” says Dr Kate Mornement,
animal behaviour expert from Pets
Behaving Badly. “More complex toys,
such as puzzle toys or activity feeders,
typically cost more because they are more
expensive to make. If cost is a factor, there
are lots of video tutorials online to teach
you how to make your own toys for your
pet. You can also source toys from your
local op shop.”
Keep an eye on the condition of your
pet’s toys, especially if you have a heavy
chewer. “Toys should be replaced when
they no longer function as they should or
when they pose a health risk to your pet.
For example, your dog may have chewed a
hole in its squeaky toy and could be at risk
of swallowing the square inside. Some pets
are very light chewers and their toys may
never need replacing,” says Dr Kate.


SETTING A CANINE BUDGET Of course, no matter how hard you try,
When it comes to financial planning for your pet, set up an annual checklist you can’t always plan for every situation.
of things you’ll need. Use a template similar to the one below to help keep track That’s why DOGSLife recommends pet
of spending needs for your pet. Make sure you have a row for those unexpected insurance to help manage the financial
miscellaneous expenses that can crop up — you don’t want to be caught in the fallout of any unexpected illness or injury
lurch when Fido knocks down a post from your fence and you need an — and unexpected illness or injury certainly
emergency builder to keep your pet safe. can happen.

Photos: scorpp/BigStock.com, tan4ikk/BigStock.com, Willee Cole/BigStock.com

“You can claim up to 80 per cent
Expense $$ of eligible vet costs with adequate pet
insurance,” says Nadia Crighton from Pet
Food Insurance Australia. “This means on a high-
Veterinary end procedure such as a complex fracture
or foreign body ingestion treatment, you
Flea prevention
could be reimbursed as much as $10,000
Worming prevention on a vet bill of $12,500.”
Tick prevention For a small sum per week, you could save
yourself a large out-of-pocket cost or avoid
Collars/leashes having to make a very dificult decision. “For
Doggy waste bags many pet owners, having pet insurance is
the diference between saving their pet or
sadly saying goodbye,” adds Nadia. “Most
Insurance loving pet people simply do not understand
Bedding the cost of vet care until they are hit with
a massive bill to save their animal. Having
Grooming (brushes, shampoos, professional washes etc) pet insurance takes the financial strain out
Miscellaneous of illness and injury, allowing customers to
do what they do best: love their pet in their
biggest time of need.” DL
58 www.dogslife.com.au

choose a pup
When it comes to choosing the right pup for you or your family,
here are some things to keep in mind.


eciding to become a puppy owner
can be a big decision. Whether Are you a bit of a couch potato or are you Your pet’s grooming could take a lot of
you’re opting for a purebred or the sort of person who wants to get up time. If you don’t enjoy sitting and brushing
a beautiful mixed breed from a and run 5km every morning? The level of your dog on a regular basis, a breed such
shelter, the choice is bound to be dificult activity you have and expect to have for as the Pomeranian may not be for you.
and checking your emotion at the door isn’t the next 10 to 20 years is important when Perhaps a more wash-and-wear animal
always easy. Here is the DOGSLife guide choosing a dog. You want an animal that would be better suited, like a Stafordshire
to staying focused when choosing your will fit in with your lifestyle to ensure you Bull Terrier.
forever pooch. both get the best out of each other.
Looking for a dog to cuddle up with on the
couch in the evening? Not all dogs will fit
into that lifestyle. Similarly, if you’re after
a canine companion for those super-long
morning walks, a tiny canine with shorter
legs may not be able to join you due to
potential exhaustion.

Temperament is perhaps the most
important thing to consider when choosing
your pet. Ask your breeder or shelter care
attendant about the personality of the dog
and the traits that are known in that breed.
It also pays to keep in mind what your dog
was originally bred for; a working dog,
for example, will require lots of physical
and mental stimulation to keep it happy,
whereas a breed from the toy group will
likely require a little less.

Finally, keep in mind the size of your
When choosing a pup, it can be hard to take your heart family when choosing a puppy. Are you
Photo: photopotam/BigStock.com

out of the equation and consider the practicalities. likely to have a newborn within the next 10
to 20 years? If so, are you sure you have
enough room in your life for a baby and
Of course, the person who can best advise you on whether the pup with the a dog? Do you have young children who
cutie-pie looks is the best choice for you is someone who sees the pup every day. may be knocked around by a larger breed?
Go to see the pup and discuss some of the care points mentioned above with the Are you likely to be moving from a larger
breeder or shelter care worker. After all, a dog is for life. You want to make sure property to a smaller one? All these things
you get the very best for both you and your four-legged friend. should be considered before purchasing
your new pet. DL
www.dogslife.com.au 59
Shorter-coated breeds
need to be bathed less
often than their longer-
haired counterparts.


for DIY dog grooming

Photos: cynoclub/BigStock.com, Sonsedskaya/BigStock.com, Yastremska/BigStock.com
Danielle Chenery talks to groomers and vets about DIY dog grooming
and how to keep your pooch’s coat in tip-top shape.

s a general rule, it’s pet parents is to brush your dog once a week for every “Don’t show the hose without having
that are keen on keeping their centimetre of hair. So if your dog’s hair is the dog on a leash first. You always hear
dogs clean and odour-free. 1cm long then brush once a week, 2cm long the saying ‘as soon as the hose is on, she
Our four-legged friends would then twice a week and so on.” bolted’,” she says. Veterinarian Dr Andy
quite happily strut around emitting their Dr Joanne Sillince, managing director of Pieris agrees preparation makes the job
unique “odour de dog” if we’d let them. Pets Australia, recommends undertaking easier, and recommends starting by being
But smell and home hygiene aside, it’s basic training before you start grooming clear on your dog’s breed requirements.
important to keep your dog’s coat in your dog. “I’m a vet and it took me nearly a “Long-coated Border Collies and Golden
a well-maintained condition to avoid year to learn how to properly de-matt and Retrievers will need a thorough brush
infections and skin complications that maintain a dog’s coat,” she says out at least twice weekly, while shorter-
can occur from matted fur. Lee Amiti, who has been a professional coated breeds such as Stafies will require
Lara Shannon from Pooches at Play says dog groomer for 19 years, says less-intensive brushing and more regular
regular brushing is vital. “The rule of thumb preparation is key when grooming a dog. baths,” she says.
60 www.dogslife.com.au

The words “bath time” can

instil fear in some pooches.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE stains developing. “Only use products

Pet expert Anneke van den Broek, specifically made for pets as human WHAT TOOLS DO YOU
founder of pet care brand Rufus & Coco, products may be dangerous to your pet,” NEED FOR YOUR DOG’S
says buying dog-specific wash products says Petbarn grooming manager Janelle BREED?
is important. “Human shampoo and Austin. If the staining is a rust colour or Dr Joanne Sillince ofers the
conditioner tends to be too harsh on persists, ask your vet for advice as it can following guide:
dogs. They have thinner skin and their be a sign of a more serious health issue. For “oodles”: a slicker brush and
pH balance is diferent. A dog’s skin has a If you’ve decided to give clipping a go, medium-toothed comb; acid-
pH of around 7.5, whereas human skin is invest in clippers designed to handle your based wipes for sticky mouths;
around 5.5,” she points out. dog’s coat type; a weak clipper will not cut nail clippers; eyewash; a quality
Lee’s essential tools include a scrubbing the hair and will likely cause a lot of stress ear cleaner; and round-ended,
glove, slicker brush, towel, cotton balls in the process. Take it slowly and gently, short, sharp scissors (can be
and tops to get to the hard-to-get areas understanding it may take a few goes until used for cutting out mats,
when cleaning ears, as well as shampoo you both get it right. cleaning around anus etc)
and conditioner. “The key to a long-lasting For short-coated breeds: a
wash is to dry the dog immediately when HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU rubber grooming glove or
possible. It is recommended to blow-dry CLEAN YOUR DOG? curry comb and the rest as
them if you can. It will eliminate the wet The experts agree over-washing your per the above
doggy odour,” she says. pooch is not recommended, and the For long-coated breeds: a pin
Dr Andy recommends a non-slip mat if general consensus is to only wash them brush, slicker brush and medium-
you are using the laundry sink or bath to as often as needed, and no more than toothed comb, plus all the rest as
wash your dog in. “Dogs can easily injure fortnightly. “So many people over-bathe per the above
themselves on a slippery surface and it their dogs. Dogs should be bathed when For double-coated breeds: a
adds to their anxiousness if they are losing dirty or smelly,” says Dr Joanne. “Many slicker brush, medium-toothed
grip while trying to bathe,” she says. dogs have a semi-self-cleaning coat, comb and pin brush for the
A good tear-stain remover or wipes which means they can roll in mud, get feathering behind the legs, plus
can be used daily as a treatment and all caked up and then look great the an undercoat rake for summer
a preventative to get rid of the dust, following day. Others (like my Poodle) shedding and all of the above
dirt and gunk that contribute to brown don’t and need bathing more regularly.”
www.dogslife.com.au 61

Always dry your dog

thoroughly after a bath to
prevent potential irritation and
slow the build-up of dirt.


Dr Joanne Sillince provides the
following dog washing tips:
Do not submerge your dog.
Use only tepid water unless the
dog has problems (for example,
dogs with hormone diseases
sometimes need the water a
little warmer).
Use a shampoo recommended
by your groomer. The shampoo
you use will depend entirely on
how dirty your dog is and his
coat type.
Do not use oatmeal shampoos
unless specifically recommended

Photos: cynoclub/BigStock.com, Sonsedskaya/BigStock.com, Yastremska/BigStock.com

by your groomer. Oatmeal
shampoos are “soothing” but
oatmeal is also an allergen,
and this can cause or worsen
skin rashes if the dog becomes
allergic to the oatmeal over time.
Try not to use yellow-coloured ENCOURAGING Fairina Cheng, pet parent to Brooklyn,
shampoos on white dogs — some RELUCTANT POOCHES a three-year-old Jack Russell cross,
of the supermarket brands can It is important not to force your pooch into mastered DIY home grooming in
make the coat look dingy. the grooming process as this can make the response to Brooklyn’s anxiety. “When
Rinse well. The most common problem worse, advises Lara. “It is a matter I first got our clippers, I got Brooklyn
problem is not rinsing well of creating a positive experience, so take used to them by turning them on and
enough, leaving irritating tiny steps to get your dog to do what you placing them near him so he could get
residues. The coat and skin want,” she continues. “If getting the dog used to the noise. The next day I patted
should “squeak” if it’s clean and into water is the issue, you could start with and pretend-groomed him with them
rinsed properly, including under running the water and when the dog looks while they were unplugged and turned
the armpits, groin, vagina/anal at it, mark it with ‘yes’ and reward him if he of for a few minutes. It didn’t take him
area, behind the ears, around the is sitting or looking at it calmly. You might long to realise that they weren’t going
mouth and base of tail. then stop the water and do it again. You to hurt him; in fact, they meant lots of
Only condition lightly and, again, could then put the dog a little closer, or get encouragement and treats! Take one tiny
rinse well. Leaving residue will a flannel or cup of water and slowly dip his step, see how your pup reacts and go
attract more dirt, make the dog paw in the water. When that is done, mark slowly from there. Now Brooklyn almost
look dingy and can irritate skin. it with a ‘yes’ and reward if he doesn’t pull falls asleep in my arms each time I groom
away or react badly.” him,” says Fairina. DL
62 www.dogslife.com.au
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Heart Foundation
Walking group today.

Visit walking.heartfoundation.org.au
Proudly supported by
or call 1300 36 27 87.
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Program sponsor will love you!
Dogs can escape from your property,
leading to fines from the council.


avoid council fines

Worried your dog’s bad behaviour will cause you to cop a fine from the council?
Kylie Baracz discovers how you can get your pooch back in the good books.

any of us have experienced by trained dog behaviourists, many understanding of what responsible pet
the cheeky, sometimes councils will not accept it and if ownership is,” she says. “Owning a dog
misguided behaviour of repeated, owners can end up with a doesn’t just involve feeding and picking
our dogs. Some pooches hefty fine. up after them on walks. It involves
may have barked incessantly while So how can this be avoided? Dog a lifelong commitment, and this is
we were out, while others may have behaviourist Laura Vissaritis says it all something that can come as a surprise
taken themselves for a walk, jumping or comes down to respecting the rules and to many.”
digging under the fence to escape. being a responsible pet owner. “If I had Laura believes that current council
While this is commonly seen as a wish list, I would want dog owners to regulations don’t actually prevent or
boredom, anxiety or fearful behaviour complete a course that challenged their stop nuisance dog behaviour from
64 www.dogslife.com.au

Nuisance barking can

lead to an investigation of
your pet by the council.

occurring. If anything, she thinks they

can lead to dogs being surrendered
Dogs try to escape
as owners become stressed and
Photos: janroz/BigStock.com, Tanya69/BigStock.com, graphicphoto/BigStock.com,

for many diferent

overwhelmed with the situation. reasons, including
“I can understand why there needs loneliness and
to be regulations, but at the same time boredom.
I feel regulations would be relaxed if
there was a consistent responsibility
across dog ownership,” she says.
“Unfortunately, the regulations don’t
otsphoto/BigStock.com, 4 PM Production/BigStock.com

prevent many dogs from escaping

and getting injured or lost, nor does it
necessarily curb the issue of barking.
Sadly, many dogs are surrendered
because of this reason. Many of these
‘nuisance’ behaviours are generally a
reflection of a dog’s emotional state and
could be managed, if not prevented.”

If you’ve had complaints about your
dog’s nuisance behaviour from either
a neighbour or the council, what
should you do? Laura recommends
www.dogslife.com.au 65

Make sure your dog has mental and physical

exercise to help prevent problem behaviour
that could result in a complaint to your council.


Laura Vissaritis says dogs will do
this for one or a combination of
the following:
locating a sexual mate
Dogs are never consciously
speaking with your neighbours first. dog’s lifestyle. Make changes to give spiteful or intentionally menacing.
“If you know and feel comfortable with your dog what it needs. If you don’t take Their unwanted behaviours are
your neighbours, get in touch with action and don’t provide your dog with a a reflection of how they are
them and discuss possible reasons for happy and safe environment, it will most feeling emotionally.
your dog’s behaviour. There may be a likely continue to bark or escape and

Photos: janroz/BigStock.com, Tanya69/BigStock.com, graphicphoto/BigStock.com,

simple explanation for the relentless that means it can eventually be taken
escaping, such as a female dog being from your care. This is obviously a very alone for a few hours each day — dogs
on heat. Having your dog desexed will distressing outcome and something that are social beings and depend on our
show responsibility for your pet’s safety can easily be prevented,” she says. companionship. However, if you do need
and wellbeing, plus it will prevent any to leave the house, create a safe place
unwanted pregnancies,” she says. PREVENTING NUISANCE for your canine (preferably inside) and
“You can also contact your local dog BEHAVIOUR ensure he has plenty of food and games
obedience club and ask for help. Your To prevent your dog from getting to explore.” otsphoto/BigStock.com, 4 PM Production/BigStock.com
dog could be behaving destructively into trouble in the first place, Laura Laura also recommends dog owners
because of either an illness or recommends thinking from your dog’s complete a set of training sessions.
underlying anxiety and frustration. perspective. “You need to ensure your “I would expect all dog owners
Ensure the club does not practise harsh dog is desexed for a start. Then you to participate in training sessions
punishment strategies and that it is need to provide suficient mental and before and during their time as dog
well respected in the community.” It is physical exercise each day. This means owners and that they also embark on
also worth engaging in a vet check-up your dog not only expends physical socialisation skills education — helping
regularly to ensure your dog is healthy energy until it is exhausted, but also their dog learn how to cope with new
and that incessant barking isn’t a mental energy,” she says. environments, especially when around
symptom of pain and discomfort. “Problem-solving activities such dogs,” she says.
If you have received a fine from the as finding food, playing games and Make sure to visit your local council’s
council, do not get angry at your dog, cooperating with you really help to website or headquarters to find out
Laura emphasises. “Don’t get upset with make your dog feel fulfilled. Try to more information on council regulations
your dog. It is just a reflection of your set your dog up to accept it must be and responsible dog ownership. DL
66 www.dogslife.com.au
Having your dog desexed can
reduce issues you may face
with your local council.

PROBLEM POOCHES AND continuously. The house was rented with complaint about a Labrador (which we
PESKY NEIGHBOURS a ‘no pet’ stipulation,” says Renae. “We don’t own) and two small dogs that bark
Renae is a full-time mum with two senior have always had dogs since we moved in excessively. I never got a follow-up after
Miniature Poodles and a Border Collie. and we have never had complaints until this, however, and there was no warning
She never had any problems with her these troublesome renters arrived. All our or fine.”
dogs, which occasionally barked at neighbours are dog lovers/owners and Overall, the situation with the
passers-by, until her new neighbours when I approached every neighbour after neighbours and the council made Renae
moved in. the renters complained about our dogs, feel violated, nervous and very upset, to
“My poodles are 12 and 10 years of not one of them ever had a complaint or the point where she ended up installing
age and my Border Collie is eight. The were disturbed or ofended by our dogs.” security cameras and microphones
eldest Poodle is totally blind and the other After receiving a letter from the outdoors. “I was scared my dogs would be
Poodle doesn’t leave her side,” Renae says. council about the complaint, which was poisoned or come into harm’s way. I was
“The dogs are in the house most of the then followed up with a random visit very unsettled during the whole ordeal,”
time but have access to outdoors if they by the council, Renae was obviously she says.
wish. If someone walks past our house distressed. “When the council came out Luckily for Renae, she was able to avoid
with a dog it will get my dogs barking, but they explained to me that it takes more a fine from the council and the renters
not out of control.” than one complaint to take any action, but eventually moved out. The new ones
When Renae’s neighbours of 16 years they had to follow it up. After I explained have been supportive and have made no
sold their house and moved out, the house the neighbourhood situation and the complaints. “The council clearly had to act
next door was rented out to a couple arrangements for my dogs, they were on a complaint and follow it up, so they
with cats. “The first lot of renters were cat happy to leave it,” says Renae. “However, did their job,” recalls Renae. “However,
owners who were not responsible, so we some six months later, I received a random they should have given the previous
had two cats on our property — on our phone call one evening ‘allegedly’ from neighbours some rules about responsible
roof, on the fence, tormenting the dogs the council telling me there was another cat ownership and what was expected.”

www.dogslife.com.au 67

A good doggy guest

Going on the road with your pooch? Kerry Martin of Puppy Tales has
compiled 10 doggy tips for holidaying with your best friend


o you hate doggy privately, leaving a mess for another
discrimination? Do you feel The rules are there to help ensure visitor to step in. We’ve had to clean
frustrated when a campsite the safety, comfort and enjoyment of up after other doggy guests who’ve
doesn’t accept dogs? Does all guests. On our road trip, it’s been visited our site — not something
it upset you that you can’t book into eye-opening just how often the rules anyone enjoys.
the caravan park located right on around dog stays are broken — even
the beachfront because your dog is simple things such as keeping a dog on 3: PREPARE AND BE
travelling with you? lead when and where required. SELF-SUFFICIENT
We’re on a year-long road trip I know your dog is lovely/friendly/ Be self-suficient and take everything
around Australia with our dogs Keiko old/small/would not hurt a fly, but it your dog needs to be an exemplary
and Summer. We’re constantly on the only takes a moment of excitement for guest. This includes blankets (for
lookout for dog-friendly spots to stay them to dash up to a child/moving car/ covering furniture), cleaning supplies
and have experienced some amazing another dog with the potential for an (in case of accidents) and towels (for
places and properties that welcomed unpleasant encounter … or worse. wet paws). It may even include a gate,
us. However, this also means we’re well An unleashed dog also has the fencing or crate to contain your dog
aware of the number of places that potential to wander of and poop within an area or if your hound is
won’t allow dogs. Disappointingly, it’s
the poor behaviour of previous guests
that can often be the reason behind
such doggy discrimination.
To try to prevent this, those of us
who travel with our dogs need to
set a good example so that better
opportunities open up for our best
buddies. We need to be better doggy
guests. To this end, I’ve put together
some simple rules we should be
following when holidaying with
our dogs.


Avoid any potential misunderstanding
by contacting the host ahead of your
arrival. Ensure dogs are welcome.
Furthermore, check out what is and
isn’t provided, such as dog-secure
areas, and what’s permitted (dogs
on furniture?). Read any information
or booking terms provided so you’re
comfortable with how you and your
Make sure you take your dog’s favourite
dog will need to behave while there,
blanket or bedding to help them feel safe,
and so that you can plan what you secure and warm.
need to take.
68 www.dogslife.com.au
Check the rules before you go — is your dog
allowed on the furniture?

inclined to chew. Both our dogs shed, to chew on something he shouldn’t as 7: RESPECT OTHER
so for longer stays we travel with a a distraction. GUESTS
hand-held stick vacuum. This allows us Unbelievable as it may seem, not
to remove any trace of dog hair before 5: ANTICIPATE DOGGY everyone loves dogs like we do. Some
departing, because not everyone is a HAZARDS guests may be frightened of them, or
fan of white fluf on their pants. This goes both ways. Look for things even sufer allergic reactions to them.
your dog might knock with a waggy Some dogs don’t react well to other
4: ENSURE YOUR DOG IS tail or damage by chewing, as well as strange dogs visiting. There may also
IN GOOD HEALTH hazards that could injure your dog, be wildlife or livestock which could be
On a long-haul flight, have you ever such as heater elements, or escape injured (or injure your dog) if scared by
been seated next to someone with a routes such as a hole in a fence. a wandering pooch. Ensure your dog is
terrible cough? Nobody likes being Protecting the host’s property is under control at all times.
in close contact with someone who’s often as simple as placing a vase on Obviously, barking is a big no-no.
obviously infectious, and likewise a higher shelf or rolling up a rug. And It’s irritating to those trying to enjoy
your dog shouldn’t be unwell or itchy being aware of possible escape routes the serenity, so teach your dog the
and scratchy. Make sure your canine means averting a potential disaster. “quiet” command before embarking
companions are in good health and are on holiday.
properly and regularly treated against 6: TOILET TRAIN AND
Photos: Kerry Martin, Puppy Tales

parasites such as fleas. POOP PATROL 8: DON’T LEAVE DOGS

Also make sure to look after your It’s obvious, but make sure your pooch UNATTENDED
dog’s need for exercise and mental doesn’t soil where he shouldn’t. If It’s often not permitted to leave dogs
stimulation even though you’re necessary, take a crate so that you can unattended at campsites or in other
relaxing on vacation. A bored dog control your dog’s movements (as well accommodation. Even if leaving your
will often make his own fun (aka as make him feel safe and secure). dog alone is allowed, it’s not a good
mischief), so it’s even more important Always take more poop bags than idea to do so. First, this is for the dog’s
to ensure the dog gets plenty of walks you can possibly imagine using — and own safety. Imagine leaving a dog in a
so he’s pleasantly tired and less likely use them. Enough said on that one! caravan on a blisteringly hot summer
www.dogslife.com.au 69

Travelling with a pet can be great fun.

your own property and you won’t go

wrong. Clean up after your dog, which
includes poop, vomit and even chewed
sticks. Take pride in being a good
canine ambassador and aim to leave
the property as clean as you possibly
can (maybe even cleaner than when
you arrived!).


Okay, accidents do happen. We
were mortified when a dog we were
travelling with chewed a rug in the
bedroom. We contacted the owner and
ofered to pay for any damages. The
incident was easily and fairly resolved
and the owner greatly appreciated
being informed.
Don’t ever be tempted to make a
quick getaway without fessing up when
Never leave your dog something goes wrong. Of course,
unattended at a campsite. prevention is always the best policy, so
supervise your dog when on holiday.
Which brings us to our last point ...
day, happy in the knowledge that the only disturb the peace but also create a
air-con is on. All it takes is a power cut real nuisance. LET’S BE GOOD
Photos: Kerry Martin, Puppy Tales

and then heat exhaustion becomes a AMBASSADORS

very real possibility. There is also a big 9: CARE FOR THE Going on vacation with your dog is
risk to a tethered dog left outside from PROPERTY AS IF IT’S one of life’s great pleasures. Be a good
predatory wild animals that will find YOUR OWN guest and, if everyone does the same,
your pooch easy pickings! Would digging up the lawn be there will be more opportunities for us
Second, in caravan parks and acceptable at your house? Then it’s all in the future. We’ve often been told
campsites, the nearest neighbours are not acceptable when you’re staying that good doggy guests are often more
often a whole lot closer than you think. on someone else’s property. Take the welcome than some children guests, so
This can trigger barking, which will not same level of care as you would with let’s all aim for that! DL
70 www.dogslife.com.au

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No preservatives. No additives. No salt.
Servicing Australia Wide
Dogs with jobs
Tim Falk meets some very special dogs
with some very important jobs.
Two-year-old Schnoodle Children can read to Ralph and
Ralph is a therapy dog. do their homework with him.

ogs are our constant loving, adventurous and playful, keen to are considered to be an accredited
companions, bringing love, chase a ball, play hide and seek, or go therapy team, which means he joins
joy and a whole lot more for a swim. Although he is almost three, me during individual or group sessions
into our lives every day. But he still has the energy and enthusiasm for any number of reasons. He helps
some canines are more than just pets; of a puppy but is absolutely happy to children and adolescents with their
they also have important occupations, chill out for hours on end, in the sun if mood, communication, emotional
heading of to work each day in a he can.” self-regulation and boundary-setting.
variety of industries and roles right With qualities like these, Ralph Ralph can stay still for a long time
across Australia. certainly sounds like he’d make a so children can read to him, do their
These are the dogs with jobs. Let’s wonderful pet. But his sweet, caring homework alongside him, or practise
take a look at what it takes to become temperament is also just what this mindfulness. I also allow children to
a working canine as we meet a therapy lovable pooch needs to excel in his role practise commands or tricks with Ralph,
dog, a canine real estate agent, and then as a therapy dog. Penny is a mental a process that can be quite frustrating
investigate the hard work and training health clinician and runs Melbourne- but a powerful learning tool for listening,
involved in becoming an assistance dog. based Capacity Therapeutic Services persistence and leadership.”
(capacitykids.com.au). Earlier this During the six-day training program,
RALPH, THERAPY DOG year, she and Ralph completed Penny discovered just how eager Ralph
Two-year-old Schnoodle Ralph just the Foundation Animal-Assisted is to please and do the right thing. This
loves being around people. “He wants Intervention and Therapy Dog came in handy as Ralph learnt the skills
to be in the same room as you, no Certification with the Lead the Way necessary to become an animal-assisted
matter what you are doing,” says Penny Institute, and Ralph has been working by therapy dog.
Gibson of her fur-baby. “He is smart, Penny’s side ever since. “The training course has a large
caring and empathic. He is able to read “As a child and family counsellor, focus on teaching obedience, good
your mood and respond in a way that I am able to include Ralph in my manners and responsiveness under any
is comforting. He is also incredibly fun- therapeutic work,” Penny explains. “We condition and distraction. The training
72 www.dogslife.com.au
method is taught by The Alpha Canine then started asking where Tifany was there, my cat will be fine’ — so it is not
Group and uses tone of voice, rather at the open homes, so now she comes just dog lovers she’s a hit with.”
than food, to shape the behaviour you to most open homes, too. Sellers have Four years after her first foray into
want,” Penny says. “Once basic skills also requested that Tifany comes to my the real estate industry, Tifany’s career
were taught, Ralph had to listen to my listing presentations now, which she is is showing no signs of slowing down.
command each and every time, even if doing, so she gets to see the properties “Tifany gives the photos life; having a
he was tempted to do otherwise. This is beforehand, too. Tifany is like my listing living thing in them makes them come
important for therapy dogs as they need partner,” Tracey adds. alive and it gives buyers something
to behave consistently and predictably Tracey’s RE/MAX real estate business else to look at rather than the boring
in any environment and around people is known as The Pink Team (www. property shots that they see with every
of all ages.” thepinkteam.com.au), and a portion other property,” Tracey says. “I looked
If you’re reading this and thinking of the commission Tracey receives at it from the buyer’s perspective and
your dog would make a perfect therapy on every property she sells goes to I have had a lot of feedback that we
dog like Ralph, the good news is the Cancer Council of Queensland. Of have made someone’s day or they
that dogs of all shapes and sizes can course, this pink theme gives Tifany couldn’t stop laughing at my photos.
become accredited. “Of course, there plenty of opportunity to get creative The response has been fantastic and
are particular dogs that have a natural with her wardrobe choices. everyone loves Tifany and her big
temperament suited to working with “We also dress Tifany up depending brown eyes.”
people, but all dogs, no matter their on the type of property we are selling.
breed, background or training, can give For example, if it is a renovator we have ASSISTANCE DOGS
it a go,” Penny says. pink tools, a pink paintbrush etc. I am Assistance dogs are some of the most
trying to find a small pink hard hat. If it remarkably talented creatures you
TIFFANY, DOG MODEL/ is a high-end property then we dress her will ever meet. These clever canines
REAL ESTATE AGENT like a princess in her castle,” Tracey says. are trained to perform a huge range of
Dogs can perform any number of Although Tifany’s career path was tasks for people living with disabilities,
amazing tasks, including everything completely unexpected and unplanned, providing freedom, independence and a
from snifing out cancer to acting as her training and preparation for the long list of other benefits.
guide dogs for the vision impaired. role began at a young age. “I have done Training an assistance dog takes
But did you know that dogs can also lots of training with her at Urban Dog up to two years and costs a whopping
sell real estate? Training since she was about 10 weeks $35,000, and puppies actually begin
Well, seven-year-old Shih Tzu/ old, so she does tricks as well,” Tracey their training from the moment they
Cavalier-cross Tifany certainly can. This explains. “Tifany has a couple of dogs snuggle into the arms of their volunteer
outgoing and super-friendly pooch loves who are her close friends — Apollo and puppy educator at eight weeks old.
nothing more than meeting other dogs Indie. She goes to Apollo’s place nearly Puppy educators play a crucial role in
and people, and she’s quickly making a every week for a day as a play date. turning playful pups into assistance
name for herself as one very efective When she was a puppy we used to mind dogs, donating their home and their
sales dog. a friend’s dogs, Rex and Sam, for months time to help raise well-behaved dogs.
Tracey Ashley, Tifany’s owner, sells at a time, so Tifany has grown up with It’s the puppy educator’s job to
residential real estate in Brisbane’s other dogs around her house and is expose the growing puppy to as many
south-east. After going through a very tolerant.”
marriage separation four years ago As you can see from
Ralph helps Penny’s patients with their
and encountering significant dificulty the samples of her work, mood, communication, emotional self-
finding pet-friendly properties for Tifany looks like she regulation and boundary-setting.
herself and Tifany, Tracey had a light was born for this unique
bulb moment: “Wouldn’t it be good job. Unsurprisingly, the
to have Tifany in my photos to show response to this cute
buyers that a property is pet-friendly canine from Brisbane home
without them having to ask or write it in buyers and sellers has been
the description?” huge. “When people talk
Photos: Capacity Therapeutic Services

From that one small idea, Tifany’s to me they say, ‘Oh, you
dog-modelling career quickly grew. are the one with that cute
“Initially we started using her only in dog’,” Tracey says. “Tifany
the outside photos,” Tracey explains. also has a 100 per cent
“Then it progressed to some inside list-to-sell ratio, which is
photos, then to every photo and now making all my sellers want
nearly every property owner asks for her at their property as she
her. Tifany stars in all the photos and is like a good-luck charm.
online she is usually in the heading and Even cat people have said,
write-up about the property. Buyers ‘Well, if your dog can be

www.dogslife.com.au 73

diferent sights, sounds and smells as lid, the location of

possible. Puppies are also taken through which is gradually
a series of basic commands such as sit, raised until the actual
stay, watch, down, wait and fetch, and target is a pedestrian
lots of work on the lead. With the help button. The same
of regular puppy training classes run by cue word, in this case
Assistance Dogs Australia staf, puppy ‘switch’, is employed
educators make sure the puppy in their throughout all stages
care grows up healthy, happy and eager of the training.”
to learn. A crucial part of
Assistance Dogs Australia works this advanced training
closely with reputable Labrador and is taking the dogs on
Golden Retriever breeders around the field trips to nearby
country to hand select each puppy communities where
into its program. According to puppy they can apply their
educator supervisor Fran Diogo, pups “classroom” learning
will ideally possess: in real-life community Ralph and Penny are an
accredited therapy team.
A calm, confident demeanour in all settings. For example,
environments and situations they are they can jump up to
presented with press the pedestrian Putting items in and taking them out
An eagerness to work with a handler button at the trafic lights or pay a of fridges and washing machines
(more people-oriented than interested cashier in a shop. Handing over a wallet in a shop if a
in the environment, other people and “Upon completion of their training, wheelchair-bound client cannot
other dogs) these dogs are matched and placed In other words, assistance dogs are
Great cue response and ability with somebody on our waiting list nothing short of incredible. If you ever
to control its impulses with minimal completely free of charge. We continue want a demonstration of the remarkable
human handling to support each client for the remaining things our canine companions are
After 12 to 18 months with their puppy eight to 10 years of the dog’s working capable of achieving, look no further. DL
educator, the pups return to Sydney for life, with the dog’s welfare also
the next stage of their training. “Our remaining paramount in the continuing
expert trainers responsible for advanced quality of its working life,” Jane says.
training work out of the National Throughout those eight to 10 years ASSISTANCE DOGS
Training School in Waterfall, NSW, but as a working assistance dog, these AUSTRALIA
also take our Super Pups to train in amazing animals perform a vast array Web: assistancedogs.org.au
the local community and further afield of essential tasks for their handler. Facebook: facebook.com/
depending on the occasion, for example However, the duties each dog carries assistancedogsaustralia
a visit to a school, event, corporate out varies depending on the owner and Instagram: assistance_dogs_
ofice or TV studio,” says Assistance whether they sufer from a physical australia
Dogs Australia PR and communications disability, post-traumatic stress disorder,
oficer Jane McKie. autism or dementia. You can help by:
But it’s at the National Training School Assistance dogs can increase Sponsoring a puppy through
where things are taken to the next level. confidence levels and therefore various means (individual,
“Here our qualified instructors build independence and wellbeing, reduce corporate, workplace giving,
on the puppy’s basic skills to add more anxiety and loneliness in the individual, regular giving)
complex commands, such as learning to and provide a feeling of strength and Becoming a puppy educator
open and close doors, press pedestrian support. Not only can they help their — “We are urgently in need of
buttons, unload washing machines owner participate more in the outside people for this role,” Jane says.
and pick up dropped items — all in a world, but they can also pre-empt panic Hosting fundraising events,
Photos: Capacity Therapeutic Services

responsive, willing manner by verbal attacks and even improve cognitive especially around Dogtober
cue,” Jane says. “Our trainers begin with function and memory. (Assistance Dogs Australia
an early version of what the skill will Then there’s the practical day-to- awareness month)
eventually become. An example would day stuf to help those with physical Participating in challenge/
be training a dog to press the button at a disabilities, including: sponsored events
pedestrian crossing. We would begin by Retrieving remotes, phones, wallets, Attending annual graduations in
placing a replica button on the ground keys, crutches (and many other things) Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and
and luring the dog to step onto it using Opening and closing doors and Sydney for recently placed client/
a food treat. This target would then be drawers, including fridges and dog teams.
replaced by a shape, perhaps a circular washing machines
74 www.dogslife.com.au

Loss and love

The hardest part of owning a pet is saying goodbye.
Sophia Auld talks about how to cope with grieving when
your four-legged friend passes on.

ail May signalled for Lola, her tail-wagging delight. As Gail says, “There don’t end. You go on grieving for the rest
now-deaf Alsatian Kelpie cross, was a hollow sadness that followed me for of your life. You just get less sad and you
to lie down on the Persian rug a really long time … I’d think I’d hear her learn to cope with it a bit more.”
in the lounge. Working hard to feet on the wooden boards, and I’d look up
maintain a “stif upper lip”, she watched and realise she was gone. It was awful and COPING WITH GRIEF
as the vet shaved Lola’s leg and gave strange and emotional and heartbreaking There are things you can do to help cope
her the injection. The minutes waiting in a way I hadn’t expected.” with grief. Jill and Dr Annie agree that
for 12-year-old Lola’s heart to stop were The intensity of your grief may depend giving yourself permission to grieve is
agonising, even though Gail knew the on the relationship you had with your dog. key to moving forward. “We’re a bit of a
right time had come. “For some people, the love they have for grief-denying and death-denying society,”
Afterwards, she was devastated, but an animal might be one of the few times says Jill. She recommends ignoring the
also confused. “My dad had had cancer in their lives where they’ve felt loved and social and cultural pressure to “get over
for a really long time, and when he finally been able to love,” Dr Annie says. “I had it”. Instead, “acknowledge that your dog
died, I was happy that he was out of pain,” a woman once whose dog developed was an integral part of your family and an
the 58-year-old management consultant cancer, and she had to put it down. Her integral part of your life. When they die you
explains. “Then when our dog died, I was grief was profound. Not only did this are going to feel sad, and so you should.”
really sad. I thought how bizarre is that animal represent a loving experience for Jane advises against feeling silly for
— that I could be happy for a human at her, and there was no other love in her life, being sad. “We know dogs aren’t humans,
peace but not for my dog.” but also she had to choose to kill him … it but it’s a diferent type of grief,” she says.
While losing a beloved dog is always took her a long time to recover.” “And if you have a dog that you’re really
sad, Gail’s reaction illustrates how grieving The choice to euthanise your dog can connected to, it really can feel as powerful
is diferent in every situation. Counselling add another layer to the grief experience. as losing a family member.”
psychologist Jill Crookes explains: “Grief For Gail, who believes strongly in Talking about your feelings is vital, Jill
is an individual process — as individual euthanasia, it was still traumatic to go says. While it won’t take your sadness
as each person and as individual as the through with it. “Emotionally, it became away, having someone who is willing to
relationship you have with your dog.” very challenging — having that power in just sit with you is an enormous help. Gail
Grief is a normal reaction to loss, Jill our hands and not knowing when was the had a work friend who bought her hot
says, and can include sorrow, anger and right time to exercise that power.” chocolate and ofered to talk. “I felt — in
tears. There may also be guilt, especially if Grief can be equally as intense when this awful situation — as lucky as I could
you feel that you have contributed to the your dog dies of natural causes. Jane have been to have friends to help me
death of your pet — for example, if you left Speechley, a 41-year-old who works with through it,” she says. “My husband was
a gate open and your dog escaped and animals, had suspicions something was really understanding. We talked together
was run over. wrong when her rescue greyhound every day about how we missed her.”
Physical reactions to grief include loss stumbled on a morning walk. Reassured If talking is hard, you can write about
of appetite and — because grieving lowers because the vet had given 13-year-old Buk your feelings. You might like to post
our immune response — susceptibility to the all-clear two days earlier, she went to a memorial on the internet, put some
illness and flare-ups of conditions like hay work. “When I came home, the first thing pictures of your dog around the house,
fever and asthma. I noticed was that he didn’t come running or use one as a screensaver. Rituals are
Feelings associated with grief will to the door,” she says. “I knew immediately another option for expressing yourself.
fluctuate, especially as things in your daily something was wrong, and I found him This might include having your pet buried
routine remind you of your dog, says lying dead in his bed.” She was devastated or cremated. Some people like to keep
Dr Annie Cantwell-Bartl, a psychologist and “sobbed for hours”. their dog’s ashes.
specialising in grief. Certain times will Nor is grief something for which you And don’t worry about those people
be hard, like missing your daily walks, or can find “closure”, Jill says. “Emotional who say things like, “What’s the big deal?
your dog greeting you after work with responses to love and love lost — they It was only a dog.” Both psychologists
76 www.dogslife.com.au
Our pets are important
members of the family.

say some people will never understand. Counselling psychologist Jill Crookes
Spend time with those who do, and who
can provide the support you need. Dr explains: “Grief is an individual process
Annie also advises taking care of yourself. — as individual as each person and
For Jane, this meant taking a long drive
through beautiful countryside. “This as individual as the relationship you have
helped me clear my head and feel at with your dog.”
peace,” she says.
While grieving takes a variety of forms, for the dog’s death, Jill explains. They devastating has happened — like part of
there is a point when it can become might also worry about other loved ones yourself has gone. Then you might need
unhealthy. Dr Annie says that if you dying. While it’s tempting to shield them some help.”
feel stuck or frozen with grief, totally from hard realities, honesty is best. “If Getting another dog straight away is
overwhelmed, depressed or unable to you lie to children you’ll be found out not usually the best answer, either. “The
move on with life, then it’s wise to seek eventually,” she says. “Then the children new dog will have its own personality and
help from a professional specialising in feel betrayed and there’s a loss of trust in its own way of responding,” Dr Annie says.
grief. Dr Annie explains that unhealthy the relationship.” “If you do it too early, you just move into
grief reactions usually stem from Seniors are another group who can be comparisons with the old animal and you
experiences in early childhood. For deeply afected. “For older people who are mightn’t bond in the same way.”
families with children who lose a dog, often lonely and live alone, the dog fills an It might be many months before
modelling healthy reactions will help enormous emotional need for them,” Jill you’re ready for a new fur baby in your
children work through their feelings, Jill says. “When they die, it’s almost like their life, but that’s okay. The important thing
advises. Let them know that you are sad partner has died.” to remember is there is no right or wrong
and that it’s okay to cry. Dr Annie says situations like this can answer, and no fixed or perfect timeframe
Because they think egocentrically, move a person from grief territory into — it’s all as unique and special as the
young children might blame themselves trauma. “It can feel like … something relationship you have with your pet. DL
www.dogslife.com.au 77
Canine therapy
Caroline Zambrano discovers the mood-boosting power
of dogs with the wonderful work of “Dogtor” Nelson.

Dr Paul Spencer and Nelson

make an excellent therapy team.

elson is no ordinary psychologist. adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
This “young man” is a remarkable and depression.
therapist with an uncanny ability to instil Dr Paul says having a “therapy buddy” in
confidence or calm in anyone simply by the consulting room with clients has been so
being present. What makes Nelson so unique is successful that clients call the practice to make
that he has four legs, a wagging tail and plenty of sure Nelson is in before attending. He ofers
fur to share! support to people from all walks of life, such
“Dogtor” Nelson is a two-year-old Labrador that as war veterans, ex-police oficers and people
works as a professional therapy dog at Newcastle traumatised by their life experiences.
Psychology and Health Clinic in Lambton, NSW. “He’s particularly astute to when we’re doing
He belongs to practice owner and psychologist ‘narrative exposure therapy’ to a traumatic event,”
Dr Paul Spencer, who mainly treats children and says Dr Paul. “People can get quite emotional and
78 www.dogslife.com.au
Nelson is now joined by Barney,
communicate. I become an observer,
a therapy dog in training. watching a young child or adult with
ASD engaging with the dog.”
Dr Paul also does home visits with
Nelson for patients with a traumatic
brain injury or agoraphobia, a type of
anxiety disorder where you fear and
avoid places or situations that might
cause you to panic and make you feel
trapped, helpless or embarrassed, and
means you cannot leave your house.
“Nelson is so nonchalant when I
bring him into people’s homes,” says
Dr Paul. “We come in, he’ll sit and drop,
I’ll step away of the lead and he’ll
stay there until it’s time to leave. He’s
a big, black, confident canine; he can
handle anything. Our practice manager
describes Nelson as having ‘that
worldliness, that sophistication’. Nelson
teaches me so much about myself,
about human stupidity and human
“Nelson is so nonchalant when I bring him into assumptions that are invalid.”

people’s homes,” says Dr Paul. “We come in, he’ll WHAT MAKES A GOOD
sit and drop, I’ll step away off the lead and he’ll THERAPY DOG?
Dr Paul did a lot of research before
stay there until it’s time to leave. He’s a big, black, acquiring the right puppy for the job.
confident canine.” After all, not every dog is genetically
and temperamentally suitable to work
Nelson brings them back into confident and not drift back into as a therapy dog.
the present moment quickly. His the past.” He eventually found Pauline Gill,
presence is passive. I say, ‘Nelson is Nelson is also wonderful with a registered breeder with Dogs NSW,
looking at you.’ They start patting children with autism spectrum the controlling body of purebred,
the dog and their stress hormones disorder (ASD). “One of the areas of pedigree dog breeding and exhibiting
go down. When the client is in trauma, ASD in adults is interpersonal and in New South Wales. Pauline
the dog allows them to explore the social communication delay,” Dr Paul specialises in breeding service dogs
traumatic memories but also be explains. “The dog allows the client to and has supplied to NSW Police, Guide
Dogs and Assistance Dogs Australia,
Having a dog in the therapy as well as individuals with multiple
session can encourage people disability needs.
to stay in the present while Armed with a diploma in Community
recounting traumatic events Welfare and years of experience as a
Photos courtesy of Dr Paul Nelson, Alicia Jones on Unsplash

from their past.

nurse, Pauline has also worked with
people with disabilities, adult survivors
of child abuse, and drug and alcohol
addicts for the past 25 years. She
said breeding a professional therapy
dog relies on “nature” and “nurture”.
“Pups need to be from physically and
mentally sound parents, hence the
need for selective breeding,” Pauline
says. “The temperament of the pups
must be rock solid — reliable and
predictable. How they are raised and
what stimuli they are exposed to under
12 weeks conditions them for success.”
A therapy dog needs to have good
focus and the ability to watch the
www.dogslife.com.au 79

to be present with their feelings by

gazing on a dog that gazes back. By
stroking a dog, the person can feel and
share in real time, without having to
Nelson is so popular
that many clients call
re-tell a story for someone’s records,”
to make sure he will she says.
be present before
turning up for a HELPING PEOPLE BUILD
session with Dr Paul.
Sadly, many service men and women
return from training or war zones with
physical and mental illnesses and
injuries, and need support to build a
positive future.
One of Dr Paul’s patients is Jim
(pseudonym), a war veteran exposed
to trauma in the Middle East and
receiving treatment for PTSD and
depression. Jim bonded with Nelson
and he always booked appointments
on the days that Nelson was in the
clinic, says Dr Paul.
“Jim would commence sessions
with Nelson lying beside him and then
begin rigorously patting Nelson, which
showed he had a genuine interest in
and afection towards the therapy
dog,” he says.
“Jim’s interaction with Nelson also
showed the dog’s presence reduced
his stress levels and supported him to
stay in the present while recounting
his past trauma experiences.”
Nelson’s presence and his
unconditional attention helped Jim
to see through his own states of
confusion and challenges. “There were
Nelson has also helped to make a positive times when Jim was happy to walk and
difference for Alex, a 16-year-old with high- talk, and experience having Nelson
— a faithful companion — with us, as
functioning autism who is dealing with anxiety well as reflect and examine current
and strong negative emotions of anger and or past issues of distress and concern
for him,” Dr Paul says. “Jim’s PTSD and
aggression. Alex’s family has animals, including depression symptoms will likely reduce
a pet dog, so he is very familiar and confident in severity as a result of the therapy
provided and Nelson’s presence,
around animals. which enhances many aspects of this
intervention with Jim.” Jim has also
handler or patient as directed, be play an important role in mental health been considering seeking his own
intelligent (able to problem solve) and treatment. “Dogs do not care if you assistance dog.
be engaging. Because of their gentle are the prime minister of the country Nelson has also helped to make a
and accepting nature, dogs can calm or homeless. If you are their friend positive diference for Alex, a 16-year-
anxious people, she adds. “A therapy and are kind to them, they return the old with high-functioning autism who
dog must be one that can draw the kindness tenfold to you. They will sit is dealing with anxiety and strong
owner out from their shell. Dogs live with you at your darkest times and negative emotions of anger and
in the moment and they encourage stand beside you when you are at your aggression. Alex’s family has animals,
people to do the same,” she says. best. In the therapy situation, their including a pet dog, so he is very
Pauline believes therapy dogs can calmness and gentleness allow people familiar and confident around animals.
80 www.dogslife.com.au
The love and
understanding of a
dog can help humans
through times of
incredible stress.

Alex receives therapy on a with Nelson in positive ways, including Barney to join the team. Also one of
fortnightly basis at his non-mainstream learning how to be responsible for him Pauline’s puppies, Barney has got a
school, which has been very accepting while on a lead and walking him during lot of “therapy dog” training hours to
Photos courtesy of Dr Paul Nelson, Alicia Jones on Unsplash

and tolerant of Nelson. In fact, the recess break. “He is encouraged to complete before starting the job, but
principal was so impressed with reflect on Nelson’s obedient behaviour he’s got a good start by modelling
Nelson’s positive influence on the and observe the times when Nelson Nelson’s “walk, sit and drop” habits in
students that they’re planning to is not fully cooperative, and then help response to the commands.
undertake training with their own him problem solve why this may be “Barney and Nelson are very happy
school therapy dog. happening. Alex is being guided to together and there have never been
“Nelson’s presence in sessions with be responsible for Nelson and show disputes or harsh ‘words’ between
Alex has a very direct and observable leadership with him, which is what them, even when they steal each
calming influence,” Dr Paul says. Nelson is trained to do,” says Dr Paul. other’s bones!” Dr Paul says.
“During times when Alex is patting He aims for three goals with the
Nelson and we are in the session WELCOME BARNEY: dogs: to come when called, to stay
room, Alex is calm and readily opens ANOTHER THERAPY DOG when required and to have good
up about his life and his challenges, Nelson works in the clinic rooms two manners. “Barney is not there yet,
especially around his intrusive and days a week and it can be tiring for but I am certain he will make a great
anxious thoughts.” him, so Dr Paul is now training a five- addition to the clinic in the future,”
Alex is also encouraged to engage month-old chocolate Labrador named Dr Paul adds. DL
www.dogslife.com.au 81

Giving a dog a second chance at

life is one of the best gifts you can
give — for you and the dog.

Rescue rangers
This issue, we spoke to Saskia Adams, president
and co-founder of Forever Friends Animal Rescue.

OGSLife: When did you DL: What makes your group unique? to horses and goldfish. When we find
first become involved with SA: Our mission is to rescue animals an animal on death row that needs to
Forever Friends Animal from death row and find them loving be saved urgently, FFAR places it in
Rescue? forever homes. FFAR is unique because emergency accommodation with one
Saskia Adams: I co-founded Forever it is a fully volunteer-run charity that of our dedicated foster carers who
Friends Animal Rescue (FFAR) in 2011 receives no government funding. We are all volunteers and will look after
Photos: Sebastian Avila, Gani Photography

with the help of a few of my animal- rely solely on donations from kind- the animal until FFAR can find it a
loving friends. Now our volunteer hearted people. We are one of the loving forever home. The animal also
numbers reach over 700! These largest animal rescue organisations receives all the veterinary care it needs,
people help in a number of diferent in Australia and will assist any animal whatever the cost.
ways, including fostering animals, in need, from elderly dogs needing DL:Tell us about just one of the re-
transporting them to and from vets, surgery to orphaned kittens needing homings that have touched your heart.
fundraising, assessing behaviour prior bottle-feeding around the clock. Just SA: One dog I had to fight tooth and
to adoption, donating food and toys this week we rescued a couple of nail to rescue was a Heeler mix named
and, of course, taking on volunteer lambs found wandering in the city! Rosie. The shelter planned to kill her for
committee positions to help raise FFAR has saved more than 6000 lives apparently being aggressive. Like most
awareness in the community. since we began, from dogs and cats dogs in the pound, she was simply
82 www.dogslife.com.au
FFAR has been in
operation since 2011.
“Our mission is to
rescue animals from
death row and find
them loving forever
homes,” says Saskia.

terrified — not aggressive at all — and

after we won the fight to save her life
and she came into our care, she settled
beautifully into her foster home. She
has such a lovely temperament her
carers eventually decided to adopt her.
She is now a devoted canine sister to a
toddler and a newborn baby!
DL: What makes your rescue dogs
so special?
SA: FFAR believes all rescue dogs are
special because it’s rarely the dog’s
fault that it finds itself in a shelter or
pound. It would be fantastic if FFAR
didn’t need to exist and all animals
were in loving, safe homes. We
encourage people to consider giving
the pet shop or breeder a miss next
time they wish to add to their family.
Let’s empty Australian pounds and
shelters first — open your heart and
home to a rescue dog! There is no



better feeling than saving a life.
DL: If there was one thing you wish
more people knew about these dogs, it This group has rescued more
would be that ... than 6000 animals since its
SA: The vast majority of rescue dogs inception thanks to a team of
are not “broken” or riddled with more than 700 volunteers.

behavioural problems. Every homeless

dog should be given a second chance
at life. I have seen so many animals in
pounds that are terrified and act purely
out of fear. Once they are out of the
pound situation and in a safe home,
the majority of them settle quickly and
with the help of loving humans, go on
to live healthy and happy lives. A lot
of our adopters say their rescue dog
rescued them as much as the other
way around. DL

For more information on Forever

Friends Animal Rescue, visit

www.dogslife.com.au 83

Nicole and Ryder make

a great team.

Trust is a four-letter word

For reader Nicole Kovalcik, when it came to earning
the trust of her beautiful Bully, Ryder, trust really was
a four-letter word — spelt love.

hen I first brought
Ryder home, it was an
adjustment. He was
abused, near death
when he was found, then rescued,
and he lived in a crate at a shelter for
three years. Ryder’s a Bully and I was
concerned about the reputation of
this breed. I educated myself. I believe
it’s not the breed but the owner that
dictates a dog’s behaviour.
Photos: Nicole Kovalcik

Ryder was a big boy, brought into

new surroundings, and the slightest
movement of my hand would spook Ryder is a beautiful
him. That was hard to watch and took dog who has become a
months for him to get over. part of Nicole’s family.
I was very calm with Ryder. I never
84 www.dogslife.com.au
raised my voice and the first word I taught
him was “safe”. I let him lie across my lap,
pet him slowly and told him, “you’re safe”. I
wanted him to trust me. Soon he was rolling
over onto his back, his head in my lap, and all
he wanted was belly rubs.
We established routines. I took him to our
front door, put on my hip-bag, grabbed his
leash and made him sit. I put his collar on,
gave him a kiss on his nose, slipped into my
flip-flops and out we’d go. Nearly three years
ABOVE Nicole had to earn Ryder’s trust but now he trusts her implicitly.
on, he knows the drill and will even grab my BELOW The trust between Nicole and Ryder runs both ways.
hip-bag out of the basket for me.
We built a strong bond but it took baby
steps. Once he was with me for a few weeks
and trusted me, I started introducing him to
neighbours. In the beginning, he wouldn’t
let them touch him. Now when we walk and
he sees our neighbour “Uncle Earl”, I can
drop Ryder’s leash and he’ll run into Earl’s
arms, where he gets lots of pets and gives
lots of kisses. Of course, I don’t do that with
most people, but there are a handful who we
trust and they trust us as well. It has to be
reciprocal or it just won’t work.
I know Ryder’s strength and what he’s
capable of, even though he doesn’t realise
how strong he is. It took time to feel
comfortable putting my face close to his.
I eased into it with kisses on his belly and
chest. Then I kissed the top of his head. Now
I grab him, kiss his nose and all over his face
Trust isn’t born in a day. I worked hard
and know he will not hurt me. When Ryder to get to where we are and it was a lot for
tries to eat a piece of mulch, I’ll go elbow-
deep into his mouth without batting an
Ryder to reciprocate, although he trusted
eyelash. Even when we play, Ryder knows I’m me sooner than I did him.
not his daddy and he’s gentle. He does these
sweet little nibbles with his teeth and if he True love.
gets rough, I say “gentle” and he’s back to
little nibbles.
Trust isn’t born in a day. I worked hard to
get to where we are and it was a lot for Ryder
to reciprocate, although he trusted me sooner
than I did him. It pains me to say that, but he’s
a dog and anything can happen. I don’t think
he would ever turn on us but we can’t rule it
out. Looking in his eyes, he’s a good boy, he
loves me and would never intentionally hurt
me. Now I can touch him wherever I want, kiss
him all over and when my face is close to his,
even when his mouth is wide open, I’m not
afraid. I trust him with my life. Ryder trusts
me with his. It’s a bond I’ve never had before
and one I will cherish forever. DL
www.dogslife.com.au 85
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Stafordshire Bull Terriers can be prone

to small cysts between the toes.

LIMPING CONCERNS treatments depending on the specific elbow arthritis. This typically gets
Q: Dear DOGSLife, cause. You say that she tends to better when joints are warmed up.
My Staffy has started limping, “warm” out of the limp, which is an It is a dificult thing for you to check
raising her front right paw. It important piece of information. This properly at home, but easy for your
doesn’t happen all the time — just means that simple issues such as vet. They may want to X-ray the leg and
early in the mornings, when it’s a grass seeds, toenail injuries, muscle foot to be sure.
little colder and we’re first starting strains, cut pads etc are less likely — Stafies do have some specific breed
on her walk. Is this something they tend to get worse with exercise issues that it’s good to be aware of.
I should get investigated early, or don’t change in severity. Small cysts can form between the toes,
or should I wait for her annual Raising the paw that you write but if they are the problem it doesn’t
check-up in a few months? It’s been about, however, does not necessarily go away with exercise. If this is the
happening for about a week. mean the issue is located in the foot. case, it sounds like the issue can wait
Chelsea, via email Dogs can hold the paw up for any until your annual check-up with your
reason that causes discomfort in the vet. They will check out all the joints
Dr Michael Archinal says: Hi leg. But as she is tending to get better and feet to ensure she is back to her
Chelsea, there are many potential with use, and that it starts on cold normal self soon and recommend a
causes for the foot issue you mention mornings, I would be more concerned program to have her running around in
and because of this, just as many about the potential for early wrist or no time.
88 www.dogslife.com.au

Dr Michael Archinal
‘Dr Ark’ has been a vet for 25 years and runs three busy
practices with more than 50 staf. For more than a decade,
he has appeared regularly on Channel Nine’s Mornings
and has been on ABC radio talkback for 15 years. He
is passionate about the human–animal bond and gets
invited to lecture around the world. He has also written a
Photos: kramar69/BigStock.com, smileyjoanne/BigStock.com, vizland/BigStock.com, pfotenweltfoto/BigStock.com, YakobchukOlena/BigStock.com, Zanna Pesnina/BigStock.com

successful book on the subject. He has been married for

24 years and has three boys and many pets with attitude.

Peta has trained animals professionally for 20 years.
While her current focus is her lifelong love of working
with dogs, she also has a long history training exotic
animals for zoos and the film industry. Having studied
psychology, Peta is a self-labelled nerd when it comes
to the science behind training and is a regular lecturer
for various canine associations and dog training clubs.
Currently, Peta works as a consultant to zoos, vets and
dog owners worldwide, helping better the lives of animals
in human care.

Dr Kersti is a registered veterinary specialist in
behavioural medicine. She is the director of behavioural
Peta Clarke
medicine at the Sydney Animal Behaviour Service as
well as the Animal Referral Hospital (Sydney) and the
Melbourne Veterinary Specialist Centre. She is a regular
Dr Kersti Seksel presenter on ABC radio and other media outlets, and
speaks nationally and internationally on a regular basis.

Dr Natalie is a holistic veterinarian from the Sunshine
Coast and works as part of the team at The Natural
Vets. She graduated with honours from the University
of Queensland’s veterinary school in 2011. She had
already started becoming familiar with alternative
modalities such as acupuncture and Chinese herbs
for her and her pets’ own health during her studies.
Dr Natalie then started her first job in Inverell, where
she was able to incorporate some complementary
modalities working under a vet who practised
Dr Natalie Noble acupuncture and advocated raw food diets.
Dr Natalie gained excellent surgical experience
from the high case load of emergency patients,
ranging from caesarians to leg amputations, while
working rurally. She was also able to incorporate
essential oils, Chinese herbs and western herbs into
the clinic’s treatment toolkit. Dr Natalie has completed
a number of workshops and courses on nutrition,
acupuncture, Chinese herbs, essential oils and animal
massage. She is passionate about essential oils in
particular and has recently been developing a range
for pets at The Natural Vets.

www.dogslife.com.au 89

Fleas can be very

difficult to get rid of.
control as well — washing any bedding
Eddie sleeps on, vacuuming regularly and
bathing him too. Within three months (as
long as you are not bringing new fleas in
from other animals in the house) the fleas
should be controlled.

Q: Hi Dr Kersti,
I have a seven-month-old Whippet
puppy called Luna. She is mostly
well behaved, but she has absolutely
no road sense. She is always
walking across the road to see
our neighbour’s dog and pays no
attention to cars. I’m really worried
that she will get hit. We try to keep her
out of our front yard, but sometimes
the door is left open and she walks
off to cross the road. We have tried a
lot of positive reinforcement but she
just won’t listen. How can we stop her
doing this?

Dr Kersti Seksel says: Hi Georgie,

unfortunately, there is no guarantee
that you can teach Luna never to cross
the road, especially when what is on the
other side is very appealing.
There are some things you can try.
You can always ask her to stop and sit at
the curb before you cross the street. You
can then work on teaching her to stay
FLEA INFESTATION and pupae in the environment. The pupa there and not cross unless you give her a
Q: Dear DOGSLife, can remain dormant for up to six months specific release cue such as “cross”. You
My dog Eddie gets fleas. We give him in the right conditions. This is why people can then practise asking her to sit and
tablets and wash him regularly, but a who move into a previously vacant house then step out onto the street yourself and
few days later he’ll get fleas again. Do can suddenly see an explosion of fleas as if she moves before your release cue, then
you have any suggestions on how to they have lain dormant and are stimulated take her back to the curb and ask her to sit
stop this problem? to hatch by the increase in movement and again. With lots of repetition and reward
Zoe, via email carbon dioxide levels that rise when we or she might learn she can only cross once
our pets are around. Hence, it is important she is given the cue “cross”.
Dr Michael Archinal says: Hi Zoe, the to use a form of prevention that hangs You can work on training an emergency
flea is the scourge of the canine world. around for a while. stop cue and work on telling her to sit/
To understand why you are continuing Fortunately, the old days of flea stop/freeze from a short distance from
to have a problem it is important to fully powders, collars and washes are gone. They you and build on that so she freezes on the
understand the flea lifecycle. This way are very weak forms of chemical treatment spot when you ask her to do so. You may
you can implement a better management and can also have harmful efects on your need a positive reinforcement trainer to
program. The outdoor environment is pet. Topical spot-on preparations have help you with this exercise. However, you
a constant reservoir of fleas and when been the mainstay treatment for a long would have to actually see her starting to
Eddie goes on a walk, plays at the beach time, however new oral chews have made cross the road and be careful to not ask
or even plays in the backyard, he is able treatment easy and enjoyable for both you her to “freeze” in front of a car.
to pick them up. Each female flea can lay and Eddie. The chew is tasty and kills over Apart from those training suggestions,
40–50 eggs per day and up to 10,000 99.9 per cent of fleas for an entire month the best solution would be to put a self-
in its life. Five per cent of a flea problem (as a bonus, it also kills paralysis ticks). closer on the door so it cannot stay open,
is cause by adult fleas on your pet. The Eddie will think he’s been given a treat! or add another door (fly screen) or baby
other 95 per cent is due to eggs, larvae It is important to look at environmental gate so she cannot get out. That would be
90 www.dogslife.com.au

Many dogs do not have road sense and

preventing them from accessing roads in the
first place is much better than teaching them
road-safe behaviours.
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the safest option for Luna. This follows the the dog. There is no prescribed minimum Every dog has a diferent exercise
same principles as putting child locks on or maximum amount as this will vary requirement, but all need some mental and
physical stimulation on a daily basis.
places we do not want children to access. with age, breed and health status just for
After all, prevention is better than cure. starters. The more exercise you provide,
Good luck. the fitter your dog can become, so enough
to satisfy his physical and mental needs is
IS TIRED GOOD? ideal; it doesn’t need to be excessive.
Q: Hi DOGSLife, Physical exercise can be provided by
I’ve heard that a tired dog is a well- a walk if your dog enjoys this, or it can be
behaved dog. Would you agree? How with games in the backyard. You can also
much exercise should I give my dog? I enrol in activities such as flyball, agility,
know you should walk once a day, but nosework, herding etc. It all depends
for how long? Is this the only activity on what your dog enjoys. All of these
I need to focus on? I have a four-year- activities may appeal to your Border Collie.
old Border Collie. Walks can be on-lead or of-lead in a
Cassie, via email leash-free dog park. However, your dog
should always be under your control, not
Dr Kersti Seksel says: Hi Cassie, this is running of wildly. If on-lead I believe the
a good question and as you’ve probably dog should not be walked at heel (that
guessed, there is no correct answer. It all is for the obedience ring) but should
depends on the dog. be allowed to snif and check out her
Unfortunately, not all tired dogs are surroundings. This then provides mental
happy dogs, let alone well behaved. But as well as physical stimulation. Walking on
mental and physical exercise are both very a loose lead and not pulling madly and zig-
important for dogs. How you provide the zagging everywhere makes it enjoyable
exercise is up to you, but it should always for you and your dog.
take into consideration what is best for People also often wonder if behavioural
www.dogslife.com.au 91

Moving house can be very stressful for a pet.

problems are a result of a lack of before the actual move is a wonderful help
exercise. While some issues can be due for them. I have known people to bring
to inadequate mental and physical home diferent plant cuttings from the new
exercise, many are due to neurochemical home for their cats as another example of
abnormalities in the brain which can’t be providing some olfactory information for
resolved with exercise and instead need the animals prior to moving. I think that’s
behavioural treatment. For some dogs a great idea if your cat is not lead-trained
with anxiety issues, such as global fear, and cannot get out to explore the new
walking can actually be detrimental to area with the dog.
their behavioural health, so always look at It’s also a good idea to get some
your dog’s emotional response. information about the animals around
Enjoy your time with your dog — your new home. Is there a dog next door?
however you decide to exercise. What is its behaviour like? If the dog is
manic and fence runs, for instance, I would
MOVING HOUSE be working out a strategy to deal with
Q: Dear Peta, this before I allow my dog out in the yard.
I have a Tabby cat and an American Are there regular cats roaming about?
Staffy and am moving house in Was there a cat or dog in the house prior
just over a month. How would you to you? There could be smells that you
recommend I introduce my pets to and I are not aware of which are very
their new home? stressful to your animals. If in doubt, a
Christine, via email good professional clean of the place that
focuses on the elimination of animal
Peta Clarke says: Hi Christine, smells would be very valuable.
congratulations on your new life chapter Before you move, make sure your pet
— a big change for your human, canine has identification with your up-to-date
and feline family members for sure. I love contact information. It’s also a great idea
that you are thinking about them and to have a visit to the new vet you will be
how best to make the move smooth and using and let them know when you are
stress-free for them. moving into the area in case someone
For the most part, animals seem to take goes missing.
fairly well to home moves. Where I have If it is possible, it would be great to
seen problems is when the animals are leave the animals somewhere familiar
of a more nervous disposition generally, with someone they know and trust while
especially when they are very used to a you are getting all your furniture in and
particular routine, such as always being arranged. The noise, stress and number
fed in the same place at the same time of of strangers (moving companies etc)
day, and always going on the same route will put the wind up even the sturdiest
for a walk. This consistency can really lock of dispositions and when we think about
an animal into one way of doing things, the connection our animals have with
so when that changes with a move, their us emotionally, it would be awesome to
whole world changes and can sometimes keep them away from the whirlwind of the something wonderful! And if they don’t
be too much for them all at once. actual moving day. feel quite confident to eat their favourite
Knowing this, I would be looking at the I would suggest moving them into the treats, it will indicate they aren’t feeling
lifestyle your animals have right now and new home once most of the furniture etc very settled. While some animals are very
if it is fairly rigid, begin making changes is in. Once the house is more or less set obvious in their body language, others can
gradually. If you can, it would be great to up with all the bits and pieces they know be more subtle, so ofering them treats
drive your dog to your new area — the so well, they can be brought in to explore and seeing if they eat them is a good idea
new park he may be going to when you their new abode. The more secure they to see where their nervous system is up to.
move, or even walking him around the feel coming into the new house for the Once you are in your new home,
street of your new suburb. Giving him a first time, the better they will deal with you can settle everyone back into their
good chance to take in all the smells to get the change. If the cat and dog get on normal routine gradually. The most
information about his new area before the well, I would take them on a tour of the important thing is thinking ahead (as you
actual move will allow him to have a feel home together, walking around, talking are doing) and also taking the lead from
of the familiar when you do relocate. Both to them about each room and letting your animals. Some will want to explore
dogs and cats use their sense of smell to them check it out. You might even want everything all at once and will need to do
take in important information about their to hide some treats before the tour so this to feel settled; others will just want to
environment, so having that exposure when they come into a new area, they find have a bit of a look and settle down with

92 www.dogslife.com.au
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you. Probably the most important thing mannered, although I’ve been too myself with everything from rats to tigers.
you can do is to be as relaxed as possible nervous to let him go recently after First, let’s define what is actually going
in their presence. So that first night, make this spate of bad behaviour. He’s six on in Jack’s brain. The word “reactivity” in
sure you put your feet up and watch some and this pattern started around a year this scenario refers to an autonomic set
relaxing telly or a movie. No doubt you ago (we didn’t change anything — it of behaviours that are triggered by Jack’s
will have earned it and it will help dog and seemed to be all him). Do you have autonomic nervous system, and are outside
puss settle in comfortably. Good luck with any advice for me? of his conscious control. People often refer
the move. Josh, via email to this type of response as the “flight or
fight” response. Interestingly enough, most
ON-LEAD REACTIVITY Peta Clarke says: Hi Josh, as an owner of the information our senses (hearing,
Q: Hi Peta, of several dogs over the years who have sight, smell etc) take in never makes it to
I have a Jack Russell Terrier named been reactive on lead, I know how dificult our conscious awareness but are filtered
Jack (I know, original name!). He is this can be. Luckily, though, I do have some through areas deep in the brain which
really reactive when on lead. If we see advice for you. It may sound a little daft at are involved in consistently processing
another dog, he’ll bark and lunge. If first. It seems a little of to most who hear our environment to keep us safe. Should
a truck passes us, he’ll do the same it, but I guarantee you it is scientifically something trigger an alert here, it may
thing. Off-lead he’s generally mild sound advice and has proven successful for only then be registered by our conscious
www.dogslife.com.au 93

awareness afterward. Those of us who have comfortable and relaxed in the presence learned “when Mum or Dad ofer me food
jumped at what we thought was a snake, of things that would normally terrify on a walk it means there is a monster close
only to find on further investigation that it them. It is a process known as counter- by”. These dogs learn that STEAK = DOG,
was just a stick, know exactly how it feels conditioning. This is a training procedure not DOG = STEAK. This seems a tiny thing,
to have the autonomic nervous system that is concerned with changing emotional but has a hugely diferent meaning to a
in the driver’s seat. We feel silly when the responses. If we change Jack’s emotional reactive dog. This is by far and away the
snake is a stick, but the brain’s mantra is response to other dogs (and indeed to main reason I see counter-conditioning
“better safe than sorry” and when the day anything), a change in behaviour will programs failing in pet dogs. Also, never
comes that it is a snake on the path, the fact follow. The hardest thing for you will be ask him to meet another dog on the lead.
that our autonomic nervous system is one letting go of the idea that you are going Never. There’s no need to and we know it
step ahead of us could be the diference to be rewarding Jack’s bad behaviour makes him uncomfortable.
between a fatal bite and a quick side step. because what we are going to do for a As you see the behaviour change and
Reactive behaviour is usually seen as little while is give Jack something he loves you see he can control his behaviour
defensive and aggressive in nature and every time he sees another dog … no more in the presence of another dog, you
is elicited by one or more specific stimuli matter what he does. can start to give him the food for good
in the animal’s environment (for Jack, I hear you. “But won’t that reinforce behaviour in the presence of the other
other dogs and trucks by the sound of it). his reactivity?” The answer is yes and no. dog. If you do this before he is ready, it will
In most cases, where an animal has the Actually, a better way to say it is that it be too hard — like asking calculus from
chance to escape a threatening situation, will change the reactivity. Because we are kindy kids. It’s just plain stupid and will
it will. Our modern life, however, usually saying to Jack, “Every time you see a dog, I undo all your good work.
prevents dogs from doing this. Attached will toss a nice bit of steak at you and it will Quite honestly, Josh, this is a
to a short lead, they have no ability to run, pop you on the head and you can eat it.” behaviour problem that you probably
so they have to ready themselves to fight. Jack’s brain (the deep, emotional bit) starts won’t get on top of without the guidance
And what’s the best way to actually avoid to change its expectations. It starts to say, of a professional trainer who really
a fight? Look and act bigger and scarier “That worries us … but just recently it has understands the conditioning process in
than your potential sparring partner. actually meant steak.” action. It is an incredible process to take
That’s very sensible when this moment This starts to send diferent signals an animal through — one of my favourites,
(for Jack’s autonomic nervous system) is down the line and you will start to see because at the end of the day you are
all about life or death. your dog’s behaviour change. We normally taking them from being stressed and
Okay, long introduction, but important. see the dog react and then look around, uncomfortable on a walk to feeling safe
Why? So we understand the reason for expecting to be donged on the head by a and happy. Good luck.
the advice I am going to give you now. tasty treat. The intensity of the reactivity
Most people understand the concept of often decreases and the dog can now look PUPPY HEALTH
reinforcing or rewarding behaviour that away from the other dog when before he PREREQUISITES
we want to see more of. It is a basic law could not. Q: Dear DOGSLife,
of learning — behaviour that is rewarded The good thing should be something We are hoping to get a new puppy
will grow. The thing is, when the he loves and never gets at any other time. later in the year and I was wondering
behaviour we are seeing is under the If the intensity of his reactivity to another if you had any advice on what to look
control of our autonomic nervous system dog is 9/10, then his intensity of wanting for health-wise. We are hoping to get a
and out of the realm of our conscious the thing you are going to use to change Border Collie.
awareness and thus control, this process his response needs to be 10/10. If every Laura, via email
actually becomes a secondary one. A time you saw an eastern brown snake and
good way of understanding it is that our you had a very ingrained snake phobia Dr Natalie Noble says: Dear Laura,
emotions always play a big part in how and I gave you $1, you probably would be how exciting to be planning on getting
we behave and when those emotions scared of snakes for the rest of your life. a new puppy. Naturally, we all want our
are very strong, our ability to think and But if I gave you $1000, I would probably fur-babies to be as healthy as they can be
reason is reduced almost completely. see a reduction in fear and an expectation when they arrive at their new home and
Our focus will totally be on what our of cash. there are many things to consider.
subconscious brain tells us is important, Start the process by walking past Start with selecting a breed that suits
so as trainers we need to somehow houses that have a barking dog in the your family and your home. Consider the
influence that part of the brain — the yard. It doesn’t matter if he can’t see the requirements of this breed and what it is
part that controls our emotions and our dog. If you see Jack start to stifen, his fur traditionally used for. Border Collies are
subconscious reactions. straighten down his back (piloerection), if traditionally bred to be working dogs.
Luckily, it is not that hard and doesn’t he starts to whine or starts to increase his They have the capacity to herd all day
even require a scalpel. It is a process speed, he is thinking of the monster dog. and are very intelligent. Even the perfect
that is carried out all over the world in Throw the food at him. puppy can turn into a “problem dog” if
zoos with dangerous animals every day Don’t use the food to prompt him to not they are not given the opportunity to
to create animals that are trained to feel react. Many dogs around the world have express their natural behaviours. In saying
94 www.dogslife.com.au
this, Border Collies are one of my favourite
breeds and my own dog is part Border
Collie and very calm.
At the Natural Vets we endorse
snifing as one of the most important
behaviours for your dog. Snifing walks in
a comfortable harness with a long lead is
like meditation for dogs. A stressed dog
can end up with many health issues. For
more information on this we have a lot of
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reading material available on our website,

You also need to consider the disease
traits that are common in this particular
breed. Border Collies are prone to hip
dysplasia, which is genetic and therefore
considered heritable. The upside to this
is that a good breeder will have their
breeding dogs hip scored and only breed
from the dogs considered not to have hip
dysplasia. Another common problem that
can afect Border Collie puppies is Collie
Eye Anomaly. This afects the development
When choosing a puppy, check if the breeder
of the retina and causes vision defects. It
does any health testing and make sure you
is recommended that breeders have their ask to meet your new pup’s parents before
breeding dogs genetically tested for this to taking your bundle of cuteness home.
avoid breeding it in their line. DNA testing
is now available to screen many diseases
in dogs, so I recommend you choose a clearly identified with a tag and microchip. go to your vet and have your dog’s ears
breeder who is passionate about selecting Go to animalsaustralia.org/issues/ thoroughly examined with an otoscope.
healthy dogs to breed from and uses the companion_animals.php for more info. If your local vet finds no abnormalities
above screening tests. with either your dog’s ears or health in
If possible, I also highly recommend HARD OF HEARING general, then you might want to consider
going to visit the breeder, seeing the Q: Dear DOGSLife, getting a hearing test done. This is
facilities for yourself and meeting I have an eight-year-old Bulldog who called a BAER test and is normally only
the parents of your future puppy. I think may be getting a little hard of done in specialist centres that carry the
Are they open and friendly? Do they hearing. Either that or she’s choosing necessary equipment. This is the only way
appear physically fit and healthy? If the to listen less to me when I ask her to properly diagnose deafness. However,
breeder doesn’t welcome your visit, to sit/stop/stay. Is this possible and your vet will also be able to assess this
then ask yourself why. Puppy farms are something to worry about for a dog somewhat subjectively. You can also try
unfortunately still operating in Australia of her age? What are the health assessing your dog’s hearing by making
and some pet shop puppies may have options here? progressively louder noises (such as
been obtained from puppy farms (even Tracey, via email clapping) outside of your dog’s visual
if they advise otherwise). The dogs that range and seeing if it responds by looking
come from these places are mentally, Dr Natalie Noble says: Hi Tracey, going at you or flicking its ear.
emotionally and socially damaged, and deaf at the age of eight does seem a little Another thing to consider is if there
this damage can afect them long-term. premature to me. I would be concerned are other health problems (not in the
Please do not support this industry. that there may be other health issues ears) that may be contributing to your
Finally, once you have your new puppy involved. These could be minor problems dog’s reluctance to respond to requests.
safely home, be sure to go to the vet within such as an ear infection that has led to the For example, if its hips or joints are sore,
the first few weeks for a health check. One rupture of the eardrum, or they could be it may be painful for the dog to sit or stay
last thing to remember: puppy adoption is more sinister such as cancer or a tumour. in a sit or down position, and this may be
widely available these days from a number Has your dog had any trauma or physical contributing to its reluctance to “perform”.
of rescue centres. Thousands of unwanted damage to the ears or head, such as Cognitive decline is also very common in
dogs are surrendered to shelters every being hit by a car? Or has it been on any older dogs and may be another reason
year across Australia, including many medication recently? Any of these things why it is forgetting things that used to
herding breeds. You can help by pledging may afect hearing. come easily. A full health check with your
to adopt a pet and making sure your pet is First, I would recommend that you regular vet is recommended. DL
www.dogslife.com.au 95
Over 11,700 dogs now have happy new homes

...but there are always more

We love dogs, that’s no
secret! But with so many of
our readers owning pets other
than our much-adored canines, we
thought we would include some
extra breed features on animals
outside the pooch spectrum
this issue. We hope
you enjoy.

• Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
• St. Bernard
• Rhodesian Ridgeback
• Bloodhound
• Abyssinian
• Dartmoor
Photo: ingret/BigStock.com

www.dogslife.com.au 97

Often referred to as the Royal Spaniel or the Comforter Spaniel, the Cavalier
King Charles Spaniel makes a regal companion. By Helen Frost.

The Cavvie is one of Australia’s

most popular dog breeds.

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Grooming: ★★★★★
Exercise: ★★★★★
Size: Small
Lifespan: 10–12 years

98 www.dogslife.com.au

direct descendant of the Regal by name and royal in
small Toy Spaniels seen in nature, this beautiful breed
many pictures from the 16th, comes in a variety of rich tones.
17th and 18th centuries, the
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a rich
heritage interwoven with royalty.
Toy Spaniels were deeply favoured
by the court ladies of the United
Kingdom and it has been reported that
King Charles II was often seen with his
Spaniels by his side. Blenheim Cavalier
King Charles Spaniels received their
name because they were bred in a
strain of red and white at the Blenheim
Palace by the Dukes of Marlborough.
Dogs were bred with a shorter face in
the years that followed to bring about
the shorter flat face of the Cavalier King
Charles Spaniel that we know today.
Regal by name and royal in nature,
this beautiful breed comes in a variety
of rich tones. The Blenheim Spaniel
features rich chestnut markings on
a pearly white background, with the
markings on the head equally divided to
provide an endearing mask efect that
leaves room for the “Blenheim spot”.
Black-and-white with tan markings
describes the Tricolour Cavalier, the
black-and-tan dog has a raven black
coat with tan markings, while the Ruby
Cavalier is a lovely rich red with no
markings at all.

FIVE FAST FACTS share the inside of your house. Some Cavaliers will bark to announce the arrival
Personality: Cavalier King Charles Cavaliers may have an ideal temperament of any visitors and bark at strangers,
Spaniels are very friendly dogs that are for showing, while others can have too but this is the extent of their watchdog
afectionate and always willing to please. much personality to behave as needed in capabilities. They are extremely friendly
With a happy disposition, similar to the ring. dogs and will play with anyone who will
many of the Spaniel breeds, the Cavalier Favourite activities: Being a toy dog, pay them attention.
loves to be included as one of the family. the Cavalier doesn’t require as much Hereditary diseases: The Cavalier
Happy to lie at home or easily pleased exercise as larger Spaniels. However, is generally a very active and healthy
with a run at the park, these friendly it can be a very active dog, depending breed. There are some known hereditary
dogs are more interested in being with on the owner. They are happy to diseases they are prone to, such as mitral
their owners than anything else. They accompany you on a walk and love to valve disease (MVD), slipping patella,
live for cuddles and are sweet in nature. play in the backyard. Despite their petite progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and,
Typically, the Cavalier lives without fear, size, they still need a good-sized yard to a small extent, hip dysplasia. Ethical
is gentle and, above all, afectionate. and regular walks for stimulation. For breeding practices can greatly reduce the
Suitability: Cavaliers are perfect for a owners interested in training activities, risk of these diseases. To try to prevent
family or for someone who is looking Cavaliers successfully compete in any problems, make sure you buy from
for a companion. Whatever the case, obedience and agility, and have achieved a recommended breeder and check
prospective owners must know they are titles in both of these areas. out the temperament of at least one of
buying a dog that expects their love and Watchdog qualities: As with most the parents. Ask to see the hip and eye
attention. A pleasure to own, the Cavalier Spaniels, they are not considered certificates of the parents and ask your
is a great asset to any home but it is an watchdogs and if it is this you are after, breeder to explain them if you don’t know
indoor dog, so you must be willing to you should choose a diferent breed. what you are looking for.

www.dogslife.com.au 99

CAVALIERS SUIT be left alone and unsupervised with ofers them food. Cavaliers can also be
EVERYONE any dog,” she says. a whole lot of fun and will enjoy any
Breeder Vicki Wyness adores her Known for their willingness to please activities that allow them to be with
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and their owners, Cavaliers can be fun dogs their owners and families. Many stories
highly recommends the breed. to train. Trish explains that due to their can be told about the cheeky and loving
“Cavaliers suit just about everyone, agility and eager nature, they can also personality of Cavaliers.
from the very young to the very old, be quite easy to train and respond Vicki has a disabled friend who was
the inactive to the very active. The to gentle, positive reinforcement of confined to a wheelchair. “He owned a
ideal is a family, as the breed adores appropriate behaviour and enjoy Blenheim Cavalier who adored him and
kids and has a nature that makes it an activities such as obedience and agility. often sat on his lap in the wheelchair,”
ideal family dog. They are playful but “I would advise anyone wishing she recalls. “One day, the Cavalier
gentle with children, and quite tough to train a Cavalier that they seek the accidentally knocked the gears of the
for small dogs so they can take the advice of a person experienced in the wheelchair and sent it into a spin, with
rough and tumble of children. They do training of small dogs, or join their local the poor owner clinging on for dear life.
not have a nasty bone in their body,” obedience club, where they will receive His children came to his rescue after
she says. the correct advice,” Trish says. laughing their heads of!”
Another admirer of the breed is Like all dogs, Cavaliers are
Trish Fernleigh of the Cavalier King TRAINING IS companions for life, and Vicki stresses
Charles Spaniel Club of Victoria, who RECOMMENDED that purchasing a puppy, or even an
agrees that Cavaliers make ideal family These dogs have little road sense, which older dog, should be a well-thought-out
pets. “Their gentle nature and excellent can be a common trait in Spaniels, so decision. “You must be prepared to own
temperament mean that, generally, it is vital they are well trained and kept a dog that loves you completely and
children are safe in their company. within a secure backyard for their own will want to share your whole life — and
However, small children should never safety. They will go to anyone who your bed, if possible,” she says. DL


Daily: This breed needs attention,
afection and to be included in
daily activities. Shade, a good-sized
backyard, fresh water and a well-
balanced diet are essential.
Weekly: Cavaliers require some
maintenance with regard to
grooming. Requiring a brush each
week, extra care needs to be taken in
the feathering as this area is prone to
knot. A well-balanced diet is crucial
in making sure your dog stays
FOR MORE healthy with a shiny coat.
INFORMATION Regular: They need a bath every
couple of weeks or once a month;
For more information on the
don’t overdo it, unless they are
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or
particularly dirty or have rolled
to contact a local breed club, visit
in something unsavoury. Use dog
your state canine council website
shampoo as they can have sensitive
via ankc.org.au New Zealand
skin, and rinse thoroughly. Never
readers can visit
leave the dog wet, especially in
nzkc.org.nz for
winter. Make sure your Cavalier is
wormed, vaccinated and regularly
checked for ticks. Vaccination
is annual and worming is done
monthly if using an all-in-one
product (for heartworm, intestinal
worms, fleas etc). Checking for ticks
should be done daily if living in a
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is active,
afectionate and absolutely fearless.
tick-prone area.

100 www.dogslife.com.au
This is the ultimate way to change the life of a greyhound in need. Welcoming a
hound into your home gives them love and stability; often for the very first time
in their lives.
Just like humans, greyhounds all have different personalities. Our foster and
adoption process ensures that we find the right greyhound for your family so it
involves a few steps:
• Fill in an application form
• We review your application and arrange a home visit
• We recommend hounds that will suit your lifestyle
• You choose a hound/s to meet
• Begin two-week ‘trial period’, before adoption is finalised
For dogs in foster care; Greyhound Rescue pays all necessary vet bills and will
supply muzzle, coat, collar and lead. Foster carers supply food and flea/ worm
treatment, and should be prepared to accommodate a dog for around 6 months.


To give a greyhound a new and happy life visit our website

Switzerland’s national dog, the St. Bernard, is just as happy
trekking through the snowy Alps as he is curling up on the couch
with his family. By Melinda McHugh.

The St. Bernard needs an owner

willing to share his life with him.

Photos: Life on White/BigStock.com, marilyna/BigStock.com, byrdyak/BigStock.com

Grooming: ★★★★★
Exercise: ★★★★★
Size: Large
Lifespan: Eight to nine years,
though they may live as long
as 13 years

102 www.dogslife.com.au

This dog requires daily exercise, as do most breeds.

Personality: The St. Bernard is an
easygoing and placid breed. It is also
trustworthy, steady, intelligent and
courageous. It loves being with the
family and enjoys lounging around
watching TV with you.
Suitability: Saints are suitable for
anyone who has the time for and
enjoys giant breeds. This dog makes
a wonderful family pet but must be
supervised with young children as it
sometimes forgets its size.
Favourite activities: Being with
you! The Saint enjoys a daily walk
or run in the park but care must
be taken when it’s a young pup so
you don’t overdo it. The St. Bernard
enjoys being inside the house, so be
prepared to vacuum on a regular

n impressively muscular giant, its suitability to people,” Debbie says. basis. They are not suited to anyone
the St. Bernard is descended “Saints were not only rescue dogs but also who loves a spotless house as they
from alpine mastifs first brought companion, watch and farm dogs. Saints shed through the year.
to Switzerland with the passing were utilised in all aspects of farming work, Backyard requirements: A good-
Roman army. The Bernadine monks from cart pulling and family activities, and it is size backyard is needed as the St.
the Hospice Grand St. Bernard, situated these functions that we see carried on in Bernard is a giant breed and will
2400m above sea level in the Swiss Alps, the Saint of today.” happily play there with company. It
have used this breed since the 1660s for This is a true family dog that will bond does like to get out so a daily walk is
draught work and to find travellers lost and to the family but is particularly fond of a good idea. Your Saint would much
stranded on the mountains. children, where children have taken the rather be inside with its family than
Since that time the St. Bernard, as the time to devote themselves to the dog, says outside in the backyard by itself. As
breed has been known since 1865, has Debbie. “The Saint has quite a sense of the Saint is a giant breed, always
saved an estimated 2500 people. It is easy humour and a love for children,” she adds. remember to leave at least half an
to see why this trustworthy, loyal and Sometimes the Saint forgets his large size hour between meals and exercise.
intelligent dog has become so popular so young children should be supervised (as This is especially important for all
throughout the world. they should be around any dog). large and giant breeds.
Debbie Egglestone of the St. Bernard The Saint has an easygoing nature Hereditary diseases: Hip dysplasia
Club of Victoria and St. Bernard specialist but will defend his family and property is a concern in many breeds,
judge has been breeding these magnificent if the need arises. “By purpose, part including the St. Bernard; however,
dogs for more than 25 years. “Saints need of the characteristics of the Saint is as most breeders screen for this
a guardian who is kind, caring and has a a watchdog,” Debbie says. “But by no disease. Ectropion and entropion
joy for life,” says Debbie. “Someone who is means does this mean aggression. This is are sometimes issues for the Saint,
not overly bothered by housework as the simply to advise his owner that someone and epilepsy, cardiomyopathy and
Saint loves to be inside. Someone who is is encroaching and to vocalise until gastric torsion can be prevalent in
happy to have both a garden and a yard so the impending stranger has departed. some lines of breeding. Reputable
the Saint can have a separated area. Also, The Saint will immediately give up that breeders will discuss and advise on
you cannot be selfish with your time as the responsibility to the owner once the Saint these issues.
Saint loves to share it. You must have a big is comfortable that no threat is imposed
heart to match that of the Saint’s.” or that the owner is comfortable about the
intrusion. Saints are well known for not used to achieve the desired results. “As a
A BIG HEART taking any noticeable action, but quietly giant breed, the Saint’s reaction/response
The St. Bernard has a love for people and placing themselves between their owner time is not as fast as many agility breeds,
enjoys being included in family activities. and the perceived threat or danger.” however they are still easy to train and
He is not suited to someone who doesn’t very receptive and responsive to friendly
enjoy spending time with their dog and will PLENTY OF PRAISE and direct training methods when given
become destructive if left in the backyard The Saint, with his eager-to-please attitude, ongoing praise and encouragement,”
to amuse himself. is easy to train, but positive reinforcement Debbie explains. “Their desire to please
“The St. Bernard is well known for methods and plenty of praise must be is the main reason Saints become so
www.dogslife.com.au 103

responsive and some have succeeded prepared to vacuum the house on a regular CARE OF THE BREED
well in both endurance and agility in basis and perform regular grooming as Daily: The Saint enjoys a daily walk
some states, though they are not as fast Saints shed their coat throughout the year. or a play in the backyard. A balanced
as many breeds.” “There are two diferent coat types diet is essential, as well as fresh
Being such a large dog the Saint does — the long-coat (rough) and short-coat water. The breed also enjoys a daily
require daily exercise, but care must be (smooth),” Debbie says. “Each will shed brush when shedding.
taken in puppyhood and exercise should be coat throughout a normal 12-month Weekly: A weekly brush is
limited for the first 15 months. “Particularly period, with bitches also losing coat necessary to keep the coat matt-free,
up to the age of approximately 12 to 15 throughout their seasonal changes, but the long-coated Saint may need
months, the St. Bernard puppy should possibly more so than other dogs. The a brush more often.
be restricted in exercise as it needs time long-coat Saint requires regular grooming Monthly: Heartworm and flea
to develop muscle and ligament tissue with a slicker brush and comb to ensure treatments, ear cleaning and nail
— although bone development is fairly matting does not occur, particularly in the trimming are all essential.
rapid right through this period,” Debbie longer coat area of the feathering in the Regular: A bath when necessary.
says. “Correct care of the Saint puppy rump and behind the ears.” Gastrointestinal worming and
and juvenile allows for exercise tolerance Debbie recommends a weekly brush vaccinations.
of bone development, but with limited for all coat types. “The short coat is
pressure/fatigue on underdeveloped relatively easily maintained and is quicker
areas. After that time, Saints can have to groom, with less density and no coat type or sex. “Reputable breeders
their exercise increased and are tolerant matting, and easier in wet times as a towel should be able to ofer full support, breed
of considerable exercise, providing it is usually dries of the dog fairly quickly,” knowledge and background advice to the
gradually increased.” she says. “Either way, grooming is usually prospective buyer, as well as ofer some
an enjoyable experience for both dog and guarantee of the quality of the puppy and
YOUR NEW FRIEND owner if conducted regularly and started terms of sale,” Debbie says. “All puppies
If you don’t mind sharing your house with at an early age.” should be wormed, vaccinated and even
such a large dog and watching television According to breeders, it is often microchipped before release for sale. Most
from the corner of the couch (the dog will necessary to place your name on a waiting reputable breeders are only too happy to
take up the rest), the St. Bernard may be the list to obtain a St. Bernard puppy, especially ofer ongoing support for the term of your
breed for you. However, guardians must be if there is a preference for a specific Saint’s life.” DL

The Saint has an easy-going

nature but will defend
his family and property if

For more information on the
St. Bernard or to contact a local
breed club, visit your state canine
council website via ankc.org.
au New Zealand readers
can visit nzkc.org.nz for

104 www.dogslife.com.au
The best cure for the winter blues
Happiness comes in all breeds and sizes.
Find your new best friend at adoptapet.com.au

Originally used as a scent hound in Belgium,
the Bloodhound of today makes a wonderful and affectionate
companion. By Lauren Nethercote.

This loyal dog will

make you laugh with
its clumsy antics.

Photo: vizland/BigStock.com, Anna Yakimova/BigStock.com

Grooming: Weekly rubdown
with glove; eyes and ears
checked daily
Exercise: Medium (they require
daily exercise)
Size: Large
Lifespan: 6–10 years

106 www.dogslife.com.au

The Bloodhound is a

ating back more than 1000 gentle and loving pet.
years, the Bloodhound is one
of the oldest hound breeds. It’s
believed the monks of St. Hubert
in Belgium perfected the breed, which was
later taken by Normans to England and
then to the United States.
Believed to be descended from the
old St. Hubert and Talbot hounds, the
Bloodhound’s name was derived from the
expression “blooded hound”, meaning a
hound of pure breeding.
Today, all Bloodhounds are black and
tan, liver and tan or red. The Bloodhound
thrives on trailing rather than killing, and
has been used to trail animals, criminals
and lost people. In the US, their testimony
is taken as evidence in a court of law and
they are used extensively by local law- quite protective of their home and owner’s makes its own decisions,” Sue explains. “At
enforcement agencies and the Federal vehicle, and would put a lot of possible the same time, they are incredibly sensitive
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for search and burglars of by their size and very deep dogs. They need firm, fair and consistent
rescue, trailing criminals and identification bark, she adds. — but also gentle — handling. It really is a
in police line-ups. This breed loves human companionship unique breed.”
and thrives on attention. The Bloodhound
AFFECTIONATE AND LOYAL does not adapt well to solitary life in a GROOMING AND GENETICS
The Bloodhound is known to be extremely backyard and would prefer to be inside The Bloodhound is known as a “wash
afectionate, gentle and loyal. Just ask Sue with the family. It requires an average-size ’n wear” type of dog, with its smooth,
Pederick, who has been involved in their yard that is fully fenced, as well as a daily short-haired coat only requiring a wash
breeding and showing since 1989. walk. Breeders recommend restricting every now and then. A weekly rubdown
“The Bloodhound is one of the most exercise to short walks for the first nine to with a glove will help shed any dead hair.
loving, loyal dogs and will make you laugh 12 months of a Bloodhound’s life to let its However, eyes and ears should be checked
with its clumsy antics,” Sue says. Ideally, large bones form. on a daily basis and cleaned if necessary,
the perfect person to own a Bloodhound “Because of the Bloodhound’s Sue says.
should be fairly active and patient, says headstrong nature and love of using its The Bloodhound is generally a robust
Sue, with time and energy to give the nose, it is most important to keep it in a and healthy breed but can sufer from
hound exercise, firmness and afection. You fully enclosed area at all times, as well as bloat, hip and elbow dysplasia, cancer,
should also not mind too much when the on a leash while out walking,” Sue advises. entropion and ectropion — although
afectionate creature leans on you or puts “Once Bloodhounds get on the scent of a responsible breeders test for all these
its noble head on your knee, leaving behind trail, you can yell until you’re blue in the conditions and breed only from stock
a monstrous snail trail of slime,” she says. face and they will not take any notice of they believe will return good results. Most
These trustworthy dogs get along you. To have a loose Bloodhound is to end breeders take time to study the bloodlines
wonderfully with other animals and up with a dead Bloodhound.” with the intention to eventually breed these
children. “The Bloodhound is a particularly The Bloodhound is very intelligent problems out of their lines. DL
social breed and can live in harmony with and always eager to please, but can be
other dogs, people or animals. It is most stubborn at times. “Some would say
important to establish rules early and to training is a challenge, but with consistency
stick to them,” Sue says. and perseverance it can be done,” Sue says. FOR MORE
It really depends on the amount of time
ALERT AND CONFIDENT and efort the owner puts in. With positive For more information on the
This breed makes a great watchdog but reinforcement and a special food reward, Bloodhound or to contact a
can be a little lazy at times. “It depends on basic instructions, such as sitting for meals local breed club, visit your state
whether it suits them. If they are awake and or walking nicely on a lead, will be learned canine council website via ankc.
around, they always alert me to a visitor quite quickly, she adds. org.au New Zealand readers
or something that’s not quite right. But “Bloodhounds can seem willful, can visit nzkc.org.nz for
if they are asleep, forget it; they couldn’t stubborn and very disobedient until the information.
hear anything over their snoring,” Sue owner realises this breed has retained the
laughs. However, some hounds can get true hound characteristics of hunters and
www.dogslife.com.au 107

Strong and handsome, this gentle giant has a captivating
and beautiful nature and was once used for hunting big game
in Africa. By Helen Frost.

The Rhodesian
Ridgeback craves a lot
of attention and needs
BREED ample daily exercise.

Grooming: ★★★★★
Exercise: ★★★★★
Size: Large
Lifespan: 10–12 years, although
they can live up to 14


Daily: Exercise and mental haped like a blade, a line of hair Ridgeback’s origin. It is thought that
stimulation is vital, as is a well- runs in reverse along the back of when the Dutch, German and Huguenot
Photo: ncn18/BigStock.com, ominga/BigStock.com

balanced meal, shade and plenty of this breed. The widest area sits on people immigrated to South Africa in
water. If you don’t provide shade or the shoulders and the point of the the 16th and 17th centuries, they took
a way into your home, Ridgebacks “blade” is directed towards the tail. This with them Danes, Mastifs, Greyhounds,
have been known to dig ditches to is the distinctive marking that gives this Bloodhounds and Terriers.
keep themselves cool. breed its name, the Rhodesian Ridgeback. The native Hottentots had a hunting
Weekly: They don’t require constant Part of the hound group, this strong dog that was half wild, with a ridge on
grooming but they will enjoy a brush and muscular breed is large, with a short its back formed by the hair growing
each week and a fortnightly bath, tan-coloured coat ideally suited to South forwards rather than backwards.
coupled with a good diet to keep Africa, where it was renowned for its Interbreeding between the wild dogs
their coat nice and shiny. hunting skills. With their grand stature owned by the native Hottentots and the
Monthly: You need to make sure and lovely nature, these animals are breeds brought to Africa by the settlers
your dog is wormed, vaccinated and intensely captivating. resulted in a dog that established the
regularly checked for ticks. As with most breeds, there are some foundation stock for the Ridgeback so
mixed theories about the Rhodesian many of us know and love today.
108 www.dogslife.com.au

This breed of dog is

FIVE FAST FACTS strong and muscular.
Personality: Everyone who knows or
owns a Rhodesian Ridgeback will agree
it is a very personable breed. Intelligent,
with a playful sense of humour, these
dogs love the outdoors but also enjoy
quiet time inside. As young pups they are
extremely energetic, but as they mature
you will find them asleep in their beds
more often than not. Beware — their
happy disposition means a wagging tail,
which can often clear the surface of any
low cofee table!
Suitability: The Ridgeback needs
someone who is able to give it a lot of
attention and ample daily exercise. The
breed is known to roam if it craves a walk
or mental stimulation, otherwise it can
take its boredom out on your yard and
playfully readjust your plants.
Favourite activities: These dogs require
training, otherwise they will train you.
They’re quick learners and find repetition
boring. To keep them interested, try lure
coursing and agility. Very good house
dogs, they love being indoors with their
family and like nothing better than
relaxing in front of the fire on a cold winter
day. Ridgebacks love to swim and will join
you in the pool for a quick dip.
Watchdog qualities: Generally
very good watchdogs, Ridgebacks
have been bred to alert their owners to
intruders and can be quite foreboding
size-wise. Ridgebacks tend to bark only
when there is something worthwhile to
bark at, unless they have formed a bad HUNTING ABILITIES hunt in a pack and keep a lion at bay for
habit out of boredom. They are very With a list of duties, the hounds needed the hunter — and live to see another day.
athletic and can clear high fences, so to be able to flush game, pull down a One other dog with a similar type of
make sure you have a high and strong wounded buck and guard the farm. ridge was found on the island of Phu
fence to keep your dog in. Short hair was needed to prevent ticks, Quoc in the Gulf of Thailand. Whether
Hereditary diseases: Hip and elbow and back then it was ideal if the dogs they first appeared in two parts of the
dysplasia can occur, while ridgelessness could go a whole day and night without world, or originated in Africa and were
is a genetic fault resulting in a pup water and survive under the dramatic then taken to Asia, is still unclear. DL
being born without its trademark ridge. African temperatures.
Dermoid sinus, a condition where the skin These dogs were bred and raised
is not completely closed over the dog’s for their amazing hunting abilities,
spine, can also occur. When dormant, and while they are quite fast, their true FOR MORE
this condition won’t afect the dog, skill is endurance. Their large, well-
but unfortunately the sinuses or cysts padded feet allowed them to run all For more information on the
usually become inflamed and infected, day across the African terrain without Rhodesian Ridgeback or to
and the surgery to correct the problem becoming sore. contact a local breed club, visit
is expensive, painful and frequently In 1877, Reverend Charles Helm took your state canine council website
unsuccessful. Ask to see the parents’ two Ridgebacks to Rhodesia, where the via ankc.org.au New Zealand
Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals big-game hunters on horseback found readers can visit nzkc.org.
certifications to make sure they have been they were perfect for the sport of hunting nz for information.
checked for these problems. lions. Rhodesian Ridgebacks were found
to be the only breed of dog that could
www.dogslife.com.au 109

It’s one of the world’s most ancient cat breeds and has been
admired for centuries. Kristie Bradfield discovers why
the Abyssinian is so enchanting.

The Abyssinian has a

slender yet muscular body.

Photo: Animax Photography

110 www.dogslife.com.au

provide the familiar sleek, elegant look. an Aby, means you will never have to
AT A GLANCE Its ears are large, wide set and pricked, do anything by yourself ever again,”
Grooming: ★★★★★ giving the impression of alertness. says Michael. While Abyssinians are
Its expressive, almond-shaped eyes adaptable, it’s a good idea to give them
Size: Medium a companion if they will be spending
are wide set and brilliant, and can be
Weight: 3kg–4.4kg amber, green or yellow in colour. Its extended periods of time alone.
body is firm, slender yet muscular. It Abys are also known as the cat
Lifespan: Abyssinians are
has long, lithe legs with small, oval feet for people who prefer dogs because
long-lived, reaching an average
that give the appearance the cat is they are very dog-like in nature. “They
of 13–15 years
standing on tiptoes. bond extremely well with people
Traditional coat colours of the and are exceptionally easy to train,”
breed are tawny (ruddy), cinnamon says Michael. “They are genuinely

t’s not hard to see why people fall (sorrel), blue and fawn. There are also good with both adults and children,
in love with Abyssinians. Whether silver varieties, which are black silver, and have been known to develop
it’s the striking wild cat-like sorrel silver, blue silver and fawn silver. strong friendships with other animals,
appearance, vivacious nature or Abyssinians have a lustrous short, including dogs and horses.”
protective companionship, this cat is ticked coat that many believe gives the The Abyssinian is generally a very
the complete feline package with fans breed a wild look. healthy breed, but there are a few
all over the world. Because of their short coat, health issues that may occur more
The exact origin of the Abyssinian Abyssinians need very little grooming; with this feline than others. These
is shrouded in myth and mystery, a brush once a week with a soft- include renal amyloidosis, which can
which many believe add to the cat’s bristled brush keeps them looking lead to kidney failure; patella luxation,
appeal. One of the most popular beautiful. Their active lifestyle means which is the dislocation of the kneecap;
claims is that an Abyssinian was taken that weight management is usually not and degenerative eye disease. There
back to England by a British soldier a factor. is also a hereditary condition called
returning from Abyssinia (now known pyruvate kinase deficiency that can
as Ethiopia) in 1868. Others believe the THE FUN NEVER STOPS afect enzymes responsible for energy
Abyssinian is a direct descendant of Abyssinians are in constant motion. metabolism in red blood cells. Cats
the original domesticated cat depicted They want to be where the action is can be tested for this condition. As
in ancient Egyptian artefacts. More and they thrive in environments that with all felines, periodontal disease is a
recently, however, genetic evidence keep them busy. For this reason, it’s possibility, so it’s important to maintain
indicates the breed is more likely essential to give them plenty of toys to good teeth and gums.
to have originated from the humid play with. These needn’t be expensive. When you bring an Abyssinian
jungles of south-east Asia, particularly If they can chase it, catch it, pounce on home, prepare for life to get a whole lot
along the Indian Ocean coast. it or wrestle with it, they’ll be happy. more interesting. This beautiful breed
Michael says it’s very important to is playful and afectionate, and loves
A TRUE STUNNER keep Abyssinians occupied and happy. nothing more than being the centre
Michael Shawn, an Abyssinian breeder “It’s unwise to ignore the attention of attention. It’s little wonder this fun,
from Queensland, knows only too well requirements of an Aby,” he warns. friendly feline has been a favourite
the allure of this captivating cat. His “They will find some way of punishing for centuries. DL
first experience up close and personal you for your inattention regardless of
with the breed was love at first sight. when, where or what time of the day or
“I was at a cat show in Perth many night it is.”
years ago and simply fell in love with Abys are innate climbers and will
the beauty of the Abyssinian,” recalls seek out the highest possible vantage DID YOU
Michael. His wife, Sue, fell just as hard. point to use as their resting spot and
Our Abyssinian experts Michael
“Sue had long-hairs as pets, then observation perch. Tall cat trees
and Sue Shawn run the Osiris (V)
decided that she wanted to show and situated close to windows are
and Chat d’Or Abyssinians cattery in
selected the Aby for its outlandish perfect, but in the absence of these,
Queensland. It is the home of Australia’s
personality and stunning beauty,” he they’ll climb whatever furniture or
most highly awarded Abyssinian, Fast
says. “They should be pictured in the fixings are available to get as high
Talker. The kittens Michael and Sue raise
dictionary beside the word ‘stunning’ as possible.
end up in homes all over the world,
because that word describes each and This breed is highly interactive;
including Hawaii, Singapore and
every quality of an Aby.” they seek out opportunities to be
mainland United States.
Physically, the Abyssinian is a close to their owners. “They are
medium-sized cat. Its wedge-shaped constant companions and owning one,
head features soft contours that or more correctly being owned by
www.dogslife.com.au 111

Strong yet gentle, the Dartmoor truly is a delightful
pet for pony lovers. By Carrol Baker.

The Dartmoor is a lovely,

gentle pony for a young rider.

Photo: Rich84/BigStock.com, shpak/BigStock.com

112 www.dogslife.com.au

The Dartmoor has a very

AT A GLANCE easy-going nature.
Grooming: ★★★★★
Height: 12.2 hands maximum
Weight: From 125kg to 160kg
Longevity: 25 years

his noble pony is strong in
stature and gentle in nature,
making it an ideal first pony for
children to ride. It’s also just the
right size for children to easily saddle up,
groom and ride.
With an easy-going nature, the
Dartmoor doesn’t spook easily. It’s also
an intelligent and intuitive breed that has
proven to be a good all-rounder. little fellow and was a bit of a character,” them like lollies if they need them. If they
she recalls. “We couldn’t leave the door don’t, they’ll ignore them,” she says.
A LONG-LIVED BREED open — one day he wandered in and The Dartmoor is resilient and strong,
The Dartmoor once roamed wild watched TV with my son!” and usually very healthy. Marie’s
and free in the rugged highlands of suggestion to avoid any potential issues
Dartmoor in south-west England, which A PRETTY PONY is to buy from a registered breeder who
is, of course, where its name came from. The most popular colours for a Dartmoor has a good cross section of bloodlines.
Over the years, the breed was influenced are black, light bay and dark bay. They’re
by many others including the Arabian, a handsome, muscular breed with sturdy IT’S SHOWTIME
Polo and Hackney. legs and thick manes and tails, a smallish If you plan on showing your Dartmoor,
Some historians claim that in 1541, head and a medium-length body. During preparing your pony can be a little
Henry VIII outlawed “nags of small the cooler months, their manes and diferent to other breeds. “The Dartmoor
stature” and the breed was almost wiped tails grow quite lush and they shed their is a native breed, so when showing it you
out. World War II also saw numbers winter coats in the summer months. don’t plait; it must be shown in a natural
decline as the region where the ponies As well as being an ideal riding state. They can be scrubbed up, but you
roamed became a training ground pony, Marie says the Dartmoor is quite don’t clip them or paint their hooves,”
for soldiers. But the Dartmoor breed versatile. “From jumping to harness to says Marie.
survived and lived to tell its tale. hacks, you name it, they are well suited
to lots of diferent disciplines,” she says. YOUR FIRST PONY
SMART AND SASSY Before you get your pony, it’s important
Though small in stature, the Dartmoor AT HOME WITH YOUR to familiarise yourself around ponies. As
is big in personality. Marie Bannan from DARTMOOR well as getting some riding lessons, Marie
Marankie Farm Dartmoor Pony Stud Make sure your Dartmoor has access to recommends learning about grooming
says the Dartmoor is a truly special clean water and feed, and keep worming a pony.
breed of pony. “One is never enough,” and vet checks up to date. “A lot of kids are in love with the idea
she enthuses. Perhaps that’s one of the Your pony will need a securely fenced of getting their first pony, but with that
reasons Marie started breeding them paddock that’s a few acres in size, access comes responsibility for the health and
more than 20 years ago. to natural shelter, and a stable. The safety of the pony as well as the little
“I like their general stockiness, their Dartmoor doesn’t have a big appetite, rider,” Marie explains. “Find a friend who
presence, temperament and their height,” probably due to its origins in the rugged has a pony and ask to help groom the
she explains. “I always rode stockhorses plains of England, so overfeeding is not pony,” she suggests. “Learning to groom
and was getting a bit tired of bigger a good idea as it could be detrimental to a pony teaches kids how to behave
horses standing on my foot, accidentally the animal’s health. If you have plenty of naturally around a pony — grooming
or otherwise, and as you get older the quality pasture grass, you’ll only need to teaches you how to talk to a pony, how to
ground gets harder when you come of.” supplement with the occasional grassy halter it, tie it up correctly, to walk around
One of Marie’s first Dartmoors was pasture mix bales. Marie also suggests a pony safely, how to do its mane and tail,
called Bozo and he still has a special molasses and mineral lick blocks from how to give it a biscuit of hay, and how to
place in her heart. “He was a huggable time to time. “Mine will get in and eat pick up a pony’s feet.” DL
www.dogslife.com.au 113
Here are the products the DOGSLife team loves this issue.

WeatherBeeta Therapy-Tec
WeatherBeeta Therapy-Tec is designed to boost blood
circulation and ease muscle strain and soreness, speed
recovery and enhance relaxation. This is the perfect
choice for active dogs pre- or post-exercise to help
them warm up and down (reducing lactic acid build-up),
relieve pain associated with arthritis, or simply to keep
your companion warm and comfortable. The warm,
breathable fleece outer fabric wicks away moisture
and is a great choice for dogs that prefer a lightweight
warmth option.
WeatherBeeta Therapy-Tec has a RRP of $44.99. For
more information, visit weatherbeetadog.com.au

Endogard to catching worms

Protecting your from your pets,
pet against worms with a zoonotic
is part of being a worm burden
responsible pet showing clinical
owner. That’s why signs ranging from
we love Endogard, mild skin irritations
the simple chew to life-threatening
solution for dogs and complications.
cats. It protects dogs Endogard is
against roundworm, efective against
hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm, and cats against all species of intestinal worms, so it protects the entire
roundworm, hookworm and tapeworm. family. It is highly palatable and available in a range of
Worming your dog and cat also ensures your sizes to make dosing easy. For more information, visit
family stays safe. Young children can be susceptible virbac.com.au

WeatherBeeta Windbreaker
420 dog coat
The WeatherBeeta Windbreaker is the perfect
coat for your dog no matter what the weather
holds. This shower-proof coat with a strong
420-denier outer shell features soft boa fleece
lining for warmth.
The WeatherBeeta Windbreaker 420
dog coat has an RRP of $44.99. For more
information, visit weatherbeetadog.com.au

114 www.dogslife.com.au
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