From the President
March ended with our spring AKC Obedience Trial that was well attended and executed. I would like to thank Maureen Kelly, Sally Pointdexter and all of volunteers who worked so hard to make the trial a huge success. The volunteers that stepped up to help with stewarding were Scott Malone; Joyce Campbell, Ray and Sammy Sevens, Jack Kennett, Linda Reis; LaVon and Teresa Ruedy, Sara Jane Jednacz, Bruce Nixon, Judy Mabry, Mariann Duca, James Barlow, Charles and Dianne Ree, Jill Perry and Laura Spicklemier. If I have forgot anyone please let me know and I will make sure you get a public apology.
Besides our obedience trial the AKC National Agility Trials were held. I heard through the grapevine that it went very well and that TDTC provide great support in making it a great success. An AKC representative personally told me that they liked the facilities and the workers so much they would be returning to Tulsa in the future.
Beside rain and floods, April did turn out to be a quite month with each of us settling down to our different routines. However, May will host two events. The first will be our General Meeting on May 9th . Please plan on attending; the last two programs were outstanding. If you missed the demonstration put on by Carl Small of the Tulsa Police and his drug dog then you missed a very interesting program. Thank you, Steve Malone for bringing us such varied programs.
The second is our Spring AKC Agility Trials. They will be held on May 23rd -25th at the Fairgrounds. Lots of volunteers will be needed. Please volunteer because with out your help our trials cannot be a success.
On June 21st and 22nd our UKC Obedience Trials will be held. THIS IS A REMINDER AND A REQUEST. For each AKC and UKC events held at our building your crate(s) need to be removed if you are not participating. Theses events required the additional room for the participants and if you don’t remove them then someone else has to do additional work. I am looking for other suggestions on how to handle the crates that are not removed. Please contact me with any suggestions and/or concerns. I cannot promise that I can solve all of your concerns, but they will be addressed to the best of my ability.
Have you recently become a Member of TDTC? Do you know what membership entails? For $50 – single or $75 – family you can become an associate member. As an associate member you get your classes at a discount; this wonderful newsletter and you are also encouraged to volunteer with club activities and attend regular meetings which are held the 2nd Friday of each odd number month (January, March, May, July, September, November). When you attend the meetings be sure you sign the attendance sheet. Once you have attended 3 meetings, you are eligible to become a regular member. As a regular member you are a voting member. You can get a key to the building and be an elected officer. Please do you part GET INVOLVED!
If you missed the last two meetings you missed a couple of great programs. In January Dean Calderon came and gave a wonderful Schutzhund demonstration. March, Carl Small from the Tulsa Police department brought his bomb dog for a very informative talk and demonstration. Following are pictures of what you missed if you didn’t make the meeting.
Editor’s note: Although these pictures appear to be showing an attack dog they are not. We learned at this meeting there is a whole lot more to Schutzhund training than attack. Dean Calderon is a world-renowned Schutzhund trainer that lives in Sand Springs, our neck of the woods.
For more information go to his website www.deancalderon.com/
Sara Jane Memory Book
Do you have a story, tale or picture you can share about Sara Jane Jednacz?
Would you like to give her a special card or picture? If so please send them to Ann Morrison ASAP. I am compiling a scrapbook for Sara Jane and need all the input I can get. Email your story to ann.Morrison@hilti.com
The History Of Modern Dog Training (continued)
By Adam C. Stone
Mindset Three – The Annalist
At the time of this writing, people who fall into this mindset also fall into the most popular form of modern day dog training. This mindset sidesteps the truth that dogs are, in fact, pack animals and as such have a clear system of educating each other.
Mindset three immerses us in the world of academia. Believed to have been started by Dr. Ian Dunbar, and then later clarified by Jean Donaldson, Pamela Reid, and Karen Prior, this mindset does not have us simply look at dogs as dogs, rather, it includes dogs in a larger picture, calls them ‘animals’, and leads us towards a deeper understanding of ‘animal learning’.
Dr Ian Dunbar was perhaps the first accredited, highly educated, PhD, to adopt a position as a common dog trainer. He was like a glowing ball of yellow entering a room of blue. Until his arrival, dog and puppy training was very much a skilled trade that one expert handed down to another. To this day there is not a single school or government body that educates or regulates professional dog trainers. Although Dr. Dunbar does not have a PhD in dog training, since there is no such degree, his presence in a profession where most experts were tradesmen created an overwhelming ‘awe’ effect.
The History Of Annalist Dog Trainers
The plight of most people who are not formally educated is that they often stand in awe of people who have been to university. This is a flaw which is illustrated in an entertaining manner by the case of the Loch Ness Monster. “Cryptozoologist”, is a term used to define people who study animals that have not yet been discovered. They study Bigfoot, Moth Men and other legendary creatures such as The Lock Ness Monster. The modern legend of “Nessie”, The Lock Ness Monster, began in 1934 with Dr. Robert Kenneth Wilson, a London physician, who allegedly photographed a plesiosaur-like beast with a long neck emerging out of the murky waters. However, in 1994, more than 50 years after the legendary Dr. Wilson photo was taken, the truth emerged.
The photo was not taken by a doctor at all; rather, it was taken by a film maker, Ian Wetherell, who simply asked Dr. Wilson to say he took the photo because it was known that a doctor would give the photo “stature and integrity”. Wetherell was right. By simply saying that a doctor took the photograph of a lake monster, few people, laymen and academics alike, questioned the credibility of the photograph, and consequently a legend was born. Today, millions of people know about and believe that the Lock Ness monster is real as the direct result of a doctor taking credit for a photograph he never took. The monster seen in the photo was really a submersible toy submarine with a fake monster head attached.
In the case of dogs, for those of us who have carefully researched the history of modern puppy and dog training, we can see that the pet training industry has its own “Nessie”.
In 1988, “Dogs In Canada” magazine, as well as most other nationally recognized magazine and book publishers, promoted a consistent dog training theme: Do not use treats to train your dog. From as early as 1956, dog trainers such as Frederick Jones and Charles Eisenmann (trainer of the littlest hobo), warned people not to use food to bribe their pets. This same warning was issued throughout the seventies, and later in the eighties, by such respected trainers as The Monks of New Skete and David Dikeman. Then, suddenly, Ian Dunbar appeared and changed the face of dog training. He created a whole new mindset and generated a system of self-promotion that would change the way modern people live with their dogs.
The Dunbar Effect
For as long as I can remember people have been giving their dogs treats, and even as far back as 1933 we can see The Little Rascals handing their dog “Pete” treats under the table. However, it was not until the 1980s that Dr. Ian Dunbar used treat rewards as an extremely effective dog training tool. Make no mistake. Dr. Ian Dunbar is an academic Juggernaut. We researched his credentials and were given this bio: “Ian Dunbar PhD, BVetMed, MRCVS, CPDT is a veterinarian, animal behaviorist, dog trainer, and writer. He received his veterinary degree and a Special Honours degree in Physiology & Biochemistry from the Royal Veterinary College (London University), and a doctorate in animal behavior from the Psychology Department at the University of California in Berkeley, where he spent ten years researching the development of hierarchical social behavior and aggression in domestic dogs. For seven years Dr. Dunbar ran a behavior clinic specifically for biting dogs. Dr. Dunbar is a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the California Veterinary Medical Association, the Sierra Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (which he founded).” Dr. Dunbar appeared as an impeccable example of what dog trainers could be, and won the attention of most young trainers, usually young women, who looked up at Dunbar with big dreams and starry eyes. However, beyond his academic achievements, Dr. Dunbar was one of the first dog trainers to promote genuine kindness. He gave dog owners the opportunity to indulge their need to spoil dogs with treats and toys, and transformed the simple act of giving a dog a treat into an educational curriculum.
A Tragic Turn:
By the early 1990s Dr. Dunbar’s training methods had been widely accepted by dog trainers around the world. And like most things wonderful, mass consumption watered down his original brilliance and generated a nation of inexperienced trainers who simply used food as a bribe to control dogs. Trying to fashion themselves in the image of Dr. Dunbar, thousands of dog trainers attempted to earn their back yard PhDs. After attending one or two Dunbar workshops, trainers with little or no real world dog experience started teaching puppy kindergarten classes. Unlike Dunbar himself, who used a rich blend of food treats and genuine leadership, his followers often adopted only the most obvious of his characteristics and twisted the art of food lure training into the crude act of animal bribery. Millions of dog owners across the country learned to simply dangle bits of food in front of their pets’ faces. In turn, millions of dogs never fully developed a desire to please their people. The sight of a dog working in a robot-like fashion for food rewards became the norm. Millions of dogs in dog training classes across the country could be seen following their owner’s hands up and down, left to right. The presence of these food motivated robot dogs became so prevalent that dog trainers simply forgot what dog training was like before the advent of food lure training.
A dog is truly man’s best friend.
If you don’t believe it, just try this experiment….
Put your dog and your wife in the trunk of the car for an hour.
When you open the trunk, who is really happy to see you ?
Mindset Four – The Supporter
Mindset four brings us up close and personal with the newest and perhaps most experimental form of modern dog and puppy training available today. This mindset has its practitioners adopting a more family, relationship oriented, almost spiritual form of dog and puppy training.
Unlike the Annalist point of view in which scientific research guides the collective mind, dog training Supporters have a great deal of faith in the spiritual energy of dogs and are concerned with creating canine inner peace. Here we find such respected trainers (animal communicators), as Linda Tellington-Jones, inventor of T-Touch, Rachael Resk, and Penelope Smith. All three women are reported to have an uncanny spiritual connection with animals.
Supporters like to support and are deeply offended by training methods that cause dogs to feel badly about themselves. They believe that dogs can talk, and that serious dog problems often result from a dog’s ‘words’ going unheard.
Supporters often focus on training methods that help dogs relax, reduce anxiety and minimize communication boundaries. Supporters stand firmly on the side of our pets and are commonly involved with canine rescue. In many ways, Supportive dog trainers are like Annalists, except that Supporters do not need popular science to uphold their views since they strongly believe that modern science is unable to explain everything all the time.
Rev. Nedda Wittels, M.A., M.S., writes about his ability to communicate with animals saying, “For most of my adult life I thought I was just pretending that I could have conversations with animals. It was something I did as a game or did without thinking. That was because I was sufficiently programmed as a child to accept the idea that the communications I was experiencing telepathically were ‘just your imagination, my dear.’ After reading Animal Talk, by Penelope Smith, I came to the startling realization that I had been rejecting what my heart knew was true: I could communicate with animals and they could communicate with me.”
Penelope Smith writes on her website that, “I have communicated with and counseled thousands of animals and their people during consultations (in person or by telephone) to assist them toward a more ideal relationship. We have successfully worked together to resolve misunderstandings, behavior problems, and the psychosomatic aspects of illnesses or injuries that do not respond well to veterinary care.”
Understanding that our dogs have spiritual lives forces us to view them less like animals and more like spiritual persons that are not unlike ourselves. Moreover, a deep understanding of canine spirituality also affords us the opportunity to grasp many concepts that traditional trainers (Controllers), and academic trainers (Annalists), never consider. For example, while it may be fantastic to believe that people can communicate with dogs and puppies, it is even more fantastic to realize that dogs also possess the ability to communicate with us telepathically!
For those who claim to possess the ability to talk with dogs, the conversations they have with our pets often reveal many insights into the way our dogs think. Controllers and Annalists alike often believe that dogs are incapable of feeling guilt.
Guilt is widely regarded by dog behavior experts to be a ‘human only’ feeling. However, most animal communicators will readily tell you that during their conversations with dogs, dogs often express feelings of guilt for things they have done in the past. If this is true, then most modern training methods, which base much of their teaching on the premise that dogs only live in the moment and cannot think about the past or future, are severely limiting the potential of our dogs by failing to understand the depths, insights and intelligence of the canine mind.
What Group Do You Belong To?
Now that you have an understanding of the four basic mindsets that govern most dog trainers, ask yourself? What mindset do you feel most comfortable with? This is perhaps one of the most important dog or puppy training questions you may ever be asked. And it is also a question that will only serve you when you answer honestly. Your dog will respond best to a dog training method that suits your own belief systems. If you truly believe that dogs can communicate telepathically, seek out a teaching style that will assist you to tap into your dog’s secret, spiritual world. If your faith is found in a scientific journal and you feel more comfortable with training methods that can be substantiated with scientific data, then you may be well served with clicker training, an Ian Dunbar approach. Or perhaps you don’t have time for complicated puppy training methods and you simply want to establish fast control of a wayward dog. If this sounds like you, perhaps the Kohler Method is your best choice.
In the end, the best training methods are those that have withstood the test of time and have proven to be effective, decade after decade, with millions of dogs. Although less experienced dog and puppy trainers will vehemently argue that some training methods are inferior, and that they have stumbled on what is best for you and your dog, the truth is that all of the training methods talked about on this page have achieved great success, and were founded by people who possessed a genuine fondness for our canine friends.
In summary, dog-training methods fall into four distinct groups.
Those who adhere to the basic rules of punishment, these people have a no nonsense attitude and believe that dogs are dogs and should be treated as such.
These people believe that dogs are pack animals with a special canine culture of their own. The naturalist dog or puppy trainer teaches people how to act like dogs. In doing so the goal is to transform people into good leaders for their pets.
The Annalist is the academic. In this group we find trainers who do not altogether believe that dogs are pack animals, rather, the Annalist turns to science to catalog animal behavior. These trainers often use complicated scientific language to justify their training methods and they regularly use food lures to ‘shape’ animal behavior.
In this group we find people who believe that dogs are spiritual beings that are able to communicate telepathically with their owners.
Written By Adam C. Stone
If you have any questions about this article, or wish to point out any historical corrections, please contact Puppywishes.com. We will forward your inquires to Adam C. Stone. Thank you.
Leslie Johnson submitted this article
If a dog were the teacher you would learn things like
- When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
- Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
- Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
- Take naps.
- Stretch before rising.
- Run, romp, and play daily.
- Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
- Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
- On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
- On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
- When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
- Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
- Be loyal.
- Never pretend to be something you’re not.
- If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
- When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
Submitted by Marillyn
Enjoy your day.
Meet the Board
I’m Mike DeLorey, your 2008 Training Director. I started training our Lab, Shadow in 1997 with a puppy class taught by Mary Green. After that I didn’t do a thing with our dogs until January 2000. That’s when I got into training.
Shadow was the first dog in training. He has a CD and CGC. He could do all the Open exercises except the dumbbell. A retriever who doesn’t like to retrieve. So that was the end of his obedience career except for the occasional appearance in the Veterans class. Hunter, our yellow Lab was next. She excelled in the Novice class and earned her CD/U-CD in 3 tries each with placements. She has her CDX/UCDX, RA, NA, U-AG-1/2. She is “trained” in Utility but hasn’t Q’d so far. Buddy, our Border Collie rescue started training in 2001. He has his CD, RN and is working on his RA title. A cataract and retinal damage has sidelined his agility career.
Our latest addition is Bright, a black female Lab. She is currently in Novice 2 and should make her debut in the ring this summer or fall. I started apprenticing to be an Instructor in 2002. I am qualified to teach
Beginners and Novice 1. I have worked in Leads and Collars decided to get more involved with the club, so I put my name in the hat for Training Director. So here I am. It’s been interesting so far.
If any club member has any suggestions to help improve the training, please contact me. I’m open to all suggestions.
Have you recently become a Member of TDTC? Do you know what membership entails? For $50 – single or $75 – family you can become an associate member. As an associate member you get your classes at a discount; this wonderful newsletter and you are also encouraged to volunteer with club activities and attend regular meetings which are held the 2nd Friday of each odd number month (January, March, May, July, September, November). When you attend the meetings be sure you sign the attendance sheet. Once you have attended 3
meetings, you are eligible to become a regular member. As a regular member you are a voting member. You can get a key to the building and be an elected officer. Please do you part GET INVOLVED!
I would like to acknowledge the following people for volunteering to setup and cleanup after the AKC Obedience Trial.
Setup on 3/28/08: Cathy Hall; Linda Reis; Nina Lynn; Moira Lawson; Jerry & Judy Mabry; Joyce Campbell; Jill Perry; Sara Jane Jednacz; Jack Kennett; Sheila Ryan; Susie Brown and Maureen Kelly
Cleanup on 3/29/08: Jennifer Simms; Charles & Dianne Ree; Glen Brewington; Jill Perry; Sara Jane Jednacz; Mike Delory; LaVon & Teresa Ruedy; and Maureen Kelly.
Without these people volunteering our club would not be able to put on activity such as this. Please accept my THANKS for jobs well done and I look forward to working with each of you again.
We had the CGC testing on Saturday, March 15 with 13 dogs passing the CGC test. The volunteers helping with this effort and enjoying the refreshments furnished by Moira Lawson were: Barbara Delozier, Nancy McLeod, Maureen Andrea, Jack Kennett, Beth Ann Jensen, Bill Stuckert, Bill & Judy Spense, Don Thayer, Sharon Howard, Sharon Van Voors, Jane Tyson, Warren Pagel, Sara Jane, Jewel Drinkwater, Judy Mabry, Tim Wyman, Moira Lawson and Jan Logan.
Evaluators, Edna Shade, Stephanie Carroll, Jerry Mabry, Gisella Klindera, and Sandy Wyman.
Tulsa Dog Training Club
Into to Herding Day
Hosted by Mid America
Presented by Linda Holloway from Ability Stockdogs
AKC/AHBA Herding Judge
WHEN: May 17th 2008 Saturday 10 Am—3PM Lunch available at the site
WHERE: AstonClan Herding Facility in Coweta Oklahoma
COST: $40.00 for the Clinic per person/dog team
mHIC Instinct Testing $35.00 for non members
mHIC Instinct Test $30.00 for Mid America members
CONTACT PERSON: Mindy Stevenson firstname.lastname@example.org (918)557-2349
Mid America is sponsoring a day full of herding information. There will be a short demonstration of a herding dog working, followed by a classroom type discussion about how to start, how to work on things at home and where to go to practice. Then your dog will be given a chance to be in the round pen or arena with some stock and the judge!
The judge will then talk about each individual dogs exposure to the stock and offer suggestions for future training.
Working spots are limited to 15 dogs.
If your dog shows a lot of interest you can also have him take the mHIC Herding Instinct Test following the clinic! You do not have to take the test. The mHIC Instinct Test will be open to as many dogs as you wish to bring and will follow the clinic.
Mid America members get a discount of five dollars per test!
Green Cards and Points
Have you gotten an email that mentioned “green card points”? Did you ask, “What is that?” You aren’t alone. Many people have replied back as to what this is for. Here is a simple explanation and the point table too:
If you are a regular member and have a key to the TDTC building you have to do a certain number of hours volunteering to keep your key. If the hours aren’t completed during the year your front door lock combination becomes deleted, making your key useless.
|Assistant Trial Secretary
Chief Ring Steward
|Leads & Collars (1 Session)||4|
|Attend General Meeting||1|
The following activities may earn points at the rate of one (1) point per two (2) hours worked, not to exceed a maximum of four (4) points per event:
- Service on any board-approved committees (i.e. Standing Rules, Judges Selection)
- Assisting with trials (i.e. Stewarding, Set up, Clean up)
- Assist with any approved TDTC function (i.e. Graduation, CGC test, Show-N-Go’s, TDTC parties, Repairs and Maintenance of facility, or equipment Paw Pals Visits)
Khan and Sandy Van De Verg entered both obedience and rally trials at the recent show in Grove. Khan got all 3 legs for his CD and even managed to place each time. We finished our rally novice title the same weekend (first leg earned at TDTC’s March trial) again managing to place each time. Many thanks to all of our TDTC instructors — official and otherwise — for starting us on our way. And special thanks to Gwen Grandell and Judy Spens for handholding and encouragement in Grove.
Starting Out Great in ’08
The golden girls have started out 2008 with success!!! In March, we went to Companion Dog School’s UKC obedience trials on Sunday. Aubrie qualified in the second trial (after deciding not to anticipate the recall over the jump) and placed fourth. This was her first U-CD leg. My new golden puppy Layla picked up two consecutive legs in Novice B placing 2nd both times!!! She was just 11 months old! At TDTC’s trial at the end of March, Aubrie picked up her first RN leg and Layla picked up her first CD leg. Then in Grove, Aubrie earned a second RN leg with a score of 95 taking second place in Rally Novice B!!! We won’t talk about Layla’s mishap in the obedience ring, but for those of you who know, yes I did walk her beforehand. All that excited puppy energy just got the best of us!!
Emily Russell and the golden girls:
Jade’s Miss Aubrie CD “Aubrie”
Emilys Mme Layla Could Be Blue “Layla” aka Lay Lee Lu aka Twinkle Toes
Ramona Stanfield and Barbara Jeleski have been busy the last couple months with their four footed friends. Susie Stanfield achieved her 1st AKC Utility leg with a 182 in Grove, OK. Shadow Stanfield achieved his 7th RAE leg at TDTC in March and his 8th and 9th legs in Grove, OK in April. He also finished his AKC AJP title in Carthage at the Tri-State KC agility trials. He is working on his 4th UGRACH and his Teacup Superior Agility Dog Title Casey Jeleski finessed his Rally RAE title in Grove, OK and his Teacup Superior Agility Dog title in March and his Teacup Master Agility Games title in April. He also received his first 2 Double Q’s toward his AKC PAX title and now has 4 MXP legs and 2 MJP legs.
In Loving Memory
BG’s Baer von Niemandsland CD RN
February 1, 1996 – March 30, 2008
No matter how many dogs come into our lives, we often remember one special dog. Baer is my special dog. Baer, you were my “first” dog. You were not the first German shepherd dog Bill and I owned, but you were the first and only male. We drove to an isolated ranch in western Oklahoma and almost did not find your breeder. You were the first of the puppies to cheerfully greet us. The ten-week old puppy we brought home looked just like a furry little bear, so that had to be your name. Baer, you were the first dog I ever trained…and so my continuous relationship with TDTC began with your puppy class in 1996. Your daddy came to watch every class until he became too ill to do so.
Baer, you were the first dog I ever put a title on. It took us three tries to get your CGC (you hated having your feet and huge ears touched) and three years to achieve a CD. Last year, however, you allowed me to bring you out of retirement when I felt completely lost after Regen passed away… and you got a rally novice title in three straight trials. I wish we could have achieved a CDX together, but you hated to jump…even as a puppy, you never jumped up on a person…or over the fence.
Baer, you were the first dog to be truly part of our family. Everywhere we went, you also tagged along. We even bought a big truck to haul your big crate. After 1999, when I had to travel by myself, you made me feel safe…and not alone. You also helped me get through many lonely days.
Your breathing during the night gave me reassurance that everything was alright…even if you took up 75 % of a king-sized bed. Even when your old joints began getting stiff, every night you put forth the effort to make the running vault to your side of the bed. Baer, you were the first royal majesty of the house and the backyard. You taught each puppy sister to respectfully stay away from your volleyball and basketball, to always chase rabbits and squirrels, and to never, never jump the fence. In the summer, you made the swimming pool steps your throne. From your superior vantage point, you disdainfully watched Regen…and then Cali…foolishly dive into the pool. You devised your own pool game…involving your volleyball or basketball…that was more befitting the king of the house. I thank you, Baer, my” first” and special dog, for twelve wonderful years of loyalty, fun and companionship. I am blessed to have had you in my life.
Love, Mom (Gisella Klindera)
It is with sad news that Michael and Carol Minden announce the departure of their Bernese Mountain Dog, Champion Co Wings Smokehouse Bear Claw, CGC, CD. He passed on April 23rd of what was diagnosed as histiocytosis back in November. He was our first berner and the first we brought to TDTC to train over 10 years ago. He loved competing in obedience only to make people laugh and loved going to the annual Jenks school to see the kids.
American Kennel Club Cautions Owners:
Pet Theft on the Rise
Date of Article: April 08, 2008
Dog Owners and Breeders Advised to Keep Dogs Safe at Home and on the Road
Protect your dog with microchip identification, enrollment and 24-hour recovery service. Visit www.akccar.org to learn more. The American Kennel Club® is warning pet owners and breeders about an alarming rise in dog thefts in recent months. From parking lots to pet stores and even backyards, more dogs are disappearing. In the first three months of 2008, the AKC has tracked more than 30 thefts from news and customer reports, versus only ten for all twelve months of 2007.
Media reports have chronicled the escalation of these “dog-nappings” from all around the country. Incidents have included armed robbers entering a breeder’s home, tiny puppies being stuffed into purses at pet stores and most recently, purebred pets being snatched from cars in parking lots and even shelters.
“The value of pets in people’s lives has been on the rise for a long time and now we are seeing thieves trying to capitalize on this. Whether they seek to resell the dog, collect a ransom or breed the dogs and sell their offspring, thieves seem to be attuned to the increased financial and emotional value pets have in our lives,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “Losing a treasured family pet is devastating to the owner.”
“Criminals look for weaknesses and exploit them. They know pets can’t protect themselves, so that means owners need to be alert,” said Lt. John Kerwick, a law enforcement K-9 handler and the President of the U.S. Police Canine Association, Region 7. “Be wary of anyone who approaches you and asks too many questions about your dog or where you live. This is a red flag that they may be out to snatch your pet.”
Peterson added that “These ‘dog-nappers’ are misguided and naïve. They’re stealing living beings, not jewelry that can be pawned. Plus, it’s unlikely that they can sell the dogs for high prices without proper registration papers, and these inept criminals are not realistically going to collect a ransom. Caring for a dog — and especially breeding — is a time consuming endeavor that requires a lot of knowledge. Thieves will find themselves with a frightened and confused animal that needs a lot of care.”
The AKC offers the following advice to prevent your “best friend” from being a target of a crime:
Don’t let your dog off-leash — Keeping your dog close to you reduces the likelihood it will wander off and catch the attention of thieves. A Saint Bernard that had wandered away from his owner in Nebraska was snatched up right off the road.
Don’t leave your dog unattended in your yard — Dogs left outdoors when no one is home for long periods of time can be potential targets, especially if you live in a rural area and the fenced-in yard or dog runs are visible from the street.
Keep purchase price to yourself — If strangers approach you to admire your dog during walks, don’t answer questions about how much the dog cost or give details about where you live.
Breeders need to be aware of home visits by potential puppy buyers — Criminals posing as would be “puppy buyers” have visited breeder homes to snatch dogs, while other homes have been burglarized when the owner was away. From Yorkies in Los Angeles to Bulldogs in Connecticut, thieves have targeted young puppies of these highly coveted breeds.
On the Road
Never leave your dog in an unattended car, even if it’s locked — Even if you are gone for only a moment, an unlocked car is an invitation for trouble. Also leaving expensive items in the car such as a GPS unit or laptop will only invite thieves to break and possibly allow the dog to escape.
Don’t tie your dog outside a store — This popular practice among city dwelling dog owners can be a recipe for disaster. Reports have surfaced of such thefts in Manhattan. If you need to go shopping, patronize only dog friendly retailers or leave the dog at home.
Be vigilant when entering or leaving establishments or venues catering to dogs such as grooming salons, veterinarians, doggie day care or hotels — Be aware of your surroundings, such as slow moving vehicles, or people watching you and your dog. Carry pepper spray as a precaution and, if possible, don’t walk alone late at night or stay in a well-lit area.
Protect your dog with microchip identification — Collars and tags can be removed so make sure you have permanent ID with a microchip. Keep contact information current with your recovery service provider. Several pets have been recovered because of alert people scanning and discovering microchips. For more information and to enroll your pet in a 24 hour recovery service visit www.akccar.org.
If you suspect your dog has been stolen — Immediately call the police / animal control in the area your pet was last seen.
Have fliers with a recent photo ready to go if your dog goes missing — Keep a photo of your dog in your wallet or on an easily accessible web account so that you can distribute immediately if your pet goes missing.
Submitted By Marillyn Greenberg