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Subject: rec.pets.dogs: Assorted Topics [Part 2/2] FAQ

This article was archived around: 21 May 2006 04:22:02 GMT

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Archive-name: dogs-faq/misc/part2 URL: http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/misc.02.html Last-modified: 18 Apr 1900
======= There are many FAQ's available for this group. For a complete listing of these, get the "Complete List of RPD FAQs". This article is posted bimonthly in rec.pets.dogs, and is available via anonymous ftp to rtfm.mit.edu under pub/usenet/news.answers/dogs-faq/faq-list, via the Web at http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/lists/faq-list.html, or via email by sending your message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with send usenet/news.answers/dogs-faq/faq-list in the body of the message. This article is Copyright 1997 by the Author(s) listed below. It may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without alteration provided that this copyright notice is not removed. It may NOT reside at another website (use links, please) other than the URL listed above without the permission of the Author(s). This article may not be sold for profit nor incorporated in other documents without he Author(s)'s permission and is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty. ========== Assorted Topics (Part II) Author Cindy Tittle Moore, cindy@k9web.com Copyright 1995. Table of Contents * Owner Allergies. * Pet Doors. * Pet Insurance. * Pet Sitting and Kennel Services. + Pet Sitting + Kennels * Photographing Black Dogs * Record Keeping. + Breeders + Titles + Working dogs + Your personal enjoyment * Removing Odors and Stains. + Removing uring + Skunks + Saliva * Separation Anxiety. * Travel and International Travel. + Car + Travelling by plane + International Travel + Quarantines + Shipping * Vicious Dogs * Waste Composting * Wolves and Wolf Hybrids + Wolves + Wolf-Hybrids _________________________________________________________________ Owner Allergies. You can go to an allergy specialist and get shots to help you with specific allergies. This can be expensive, but worth it, especially if you have other allergies as well. They'll test you for the things you're allergic to, and then give you periodic shots to help you develop an appropriate immunity to them (you should be aware that the shots do not always work). Be sure to find an allergy specialist familiar with dog allergies: there are far too many doctors out there that will simply say "Get rid of your pets." Other approaches may be used as well: cortisone nasal sprays, eye drops, etc. Air filters often help, as well as reducing the amount of wall-to-wall carpeting, if possible. Find someone who will work with your particular problem. Different breeds may work for different people who have allergy problems. It depends on exactly what it is about dogs that causes the problem. Some people are allergic to the hair, but others are allergic to the dander. Still others are not specifically allergic to dogs, but are allergic to things like dust and the dogs provide an *additional* irritant that is sufficent when combined with other allergens to provoke a reaction. In yet other cases, people are allergic to a dog licking them. You must find out which is true for your case. Some people do well with Basenjis and Miniature Pincers and other dogs with little or no coat. Others do well with poodles and schnauzers and airedales who have a different type of coat. A lot of people do well with Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos who, while very hairy, are supposed to have hair much more like human hair. This is VERY important: every dog lover with allergy problems needs to spend some time with different breeds to find the one that doesn't aggravate the problem. In many cases, bathing the dog frequently, cleaning the bedding, vacumming and closing off your bedroom will help alleviate allergy problems. There is also a spray available that you put on the dog that is supposed to reduce the amount of allergens they shed called Allerpet/D Most pet stores carry the stuff, and the bottle has an 800 number you can call for more information. _________________________________________________________________ Pet Doors. Some points: * Get one that at least has magnetic strips to hold the door shut. In colder climates, you might want to consider a "double door", i.e, the outer door must close before the inner one opens. This would cut down on the drafts. * Size is deceptive. Dogs don't really need as much space as you might think to get in and out. * Installation is usually very easy. Some models fit into patio doors and are removable. Make sure the one you get is lockable or blockable. If the door is hollow-core, it is trickier, because then you have to insert a frame in the door for the pet door to attach to. * The wall between your garage and house is considered a 'fire wall' and you're not supposed to cut any holes in it. In particular, it could make fire insurance claims tricky. And if you sell the house, you will have to fix the hole first. * Install the door in such a place as to make it impossible for someone to push something through it to open a door or window, even if they can't crawl through themselves. Ideally, you should have some way of locking or disabling the door for times when you are gone, say on vacation. Johnson pet doors are frequently recommended. RC Steele stocks them. Another source is America's Pet Door Store (1-800-826-2871). There exist electronic pet doors that are activated by a special collar. Most of these are for cats, but there are models for dogs up to 110lbs. These help keep unwanted animals from entering your house. These are, of course, somewhat expensive. Some dogs need coaxing to use the door. Prop the door open and offer a treat from the other side. Don't try and push your dog through. _________________________________________________________________ Pet Insurance. Pet insurance plans are typically accident policies, although some also cover routine medical expenses such as worming and shots (or even grooming) -- the latter are generally a better deal. Between the deductibles and allowances, you may not get very much back on an actual claim. In several years of rec.pets.dogs, no reader has come back with a favorable story on claim processing. _________________________________________________________________ Pet Sitting and Kennel Services. Pet Sitting In some cases, you can find friends or neighbors willing to take care of your pets while you are gone. But another option is a professional pet sitting service. Look for ones that are licensed and bonded, and have an excellent set of references. Talk to several people who have used their services to see if they will meet your needs. Check with the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. Members must sign a code of ethics and can be removed if there are complaints. They can give you a list of pet sitters in your area. You can reach them at 1200 G Street, N.W., Suite 760, Washington, D.C. 20005. Their brochure includes their code of ethics, and includes a list of what to look for in a reputable pet sitter; see list below. Another one is Pet Sitters International. It was founded by the original founder of the now defunct NAPS, Patti Moran. The address and phone number of PSI is: Pet Sitters International 418 East King St. King, NC 27021 (910) 983-9222 Ask the company if they're bonded or insured. See if they'll send someone more than once a day. Ask for references from previous and current customers. Some will bring the paper and mail in and help make the place look "occupied;" that's a plus. Check the potential sitter for the following: 1. Does the pet sitter furnish written literature describing services and stating fees? 2. Does the pet sitter visit the home beforehand to meet with the client and pet to obtain detailed information? 3. Does the sitter arrive on time? 4. Does the sitter get along with your pet? Does the sitter exhibit confidence and ease with your pets? 5. Is the pet sitter courteous, interested, and well informed? 6. Does the sitter have written references? 7. Is the sitter willing to give you names and numbers of former clients for references? 8. Does the pet sitter have a service contract which spells out services the pet sitter will provide and fees for doing so? 9. Are the company and/or sitter in good standing with the Better Business Bureau? 10. Does the pet sitter have regular office hours or return customer inquiries promptly? 11. Is the sitter recommended by someone you trust - either your vet, trainer, dog show buddies, etc? 12. Does the pet sitter have a veterinarian on call for emergency services? 13. What contingency plan for pet care does the pet sitter have in the event of inclement weather or personal illness? 14. Does the company have a training program for their sitters? 15. How does the pet sitting service recruit and screen applicants? Are there any prerequisites for employment? 16. Does the pet sitter or pet sitting service telephone to determine if the client has returned home as scheduled or require that the client notify the company or pet sitter of their arrival home? 17. Does the pet sitter or company provide a rating form for customer feedback and evaluation of pet sitting services? 18. Does the pet sitting service have an established system for handling customer complaints? 19. When does the sitter get paid? Before or after you come back? A deposit up front and the rest later? Try to find word of mouth recommendations. You might try calling several vets in your area to see if they have any recommendations. Check with the local SPCA and with Better Business Bureau for any specific complaints lodged with a particular business. Kennels Look around for a good one. Experiences can be good or awful depending on the kennel. One resource: The American Boarding Kennel Association (ABKA) is based in Colorado Springs. You can use this organization to help you choose a kennel. If you write to them (or call them), they will send you a small packet of information. One part is a booklet on how to choose a kennel, and another part is a list of all ABKA accredited kennels around the country. An ABKA kennel is supposed to meet a minimum set of criterion that is spelled out in their literature. The things they suggest you look for and questions to ask involve a lot of common sense stuff, but there are good suggestions you might not think of. 4575 Galley Rd., Suite 400A Colorado Springs, CO 80915 719-591-1113 _________________________________________________________________ Photographing Black Dogs Information compiled by Ruth Ginzberg, lightly edited by moi. Many people with black dogs have trouble getting a good photo of the dog. Some of the characterizations of how the photos turn out: "large black blob", "no, large black blob with pink tongue sticking out of it", "large black blob with eyes" (you get the idea). If you want a few QUICK HINTS on how to address this problem, here they are, as summarized well by Dennis Swanson: 1. set the camera to underexpose by two stops from what it recommends, if possible 2. whether this is possible or not, tell the photofinisher to forget the background and print your dog black but with detail in the fur 3. for photos to be scrutinized by possible clients, have them done by a professional If you want more detailed information, keep reading. :-) Andy Kane has some advice about selecting a photo finisher: With 10 years of experience there is one answer to your question about black dogs being too dark and magenta(pink). Take your negatives to a local film processor, one that prints in lab, and wait for the results. If you get the same result ask them to please reprint your negative at -1 magenta and -2 denisty from where they have it right now. I do this work for a living. What normally happens is with the new scanners in print processors the total area of the negative is scanned and averaged for color and denisty. Therefore a black dog will print a little dark and if the background is grass (green) the the scanner will tend to over compensate and give you an dog with a little magenta tink(pink). The same holds true for the other problem print of a portrait of a person wearing a red shirt, in this case the flesh tones result a little cyan (blue,geen) the opposite of the red shirt. I see this black dog case everyday and I hope that I correct for it everytime but even good processors can miss and will be more than happy to redo your print at no charge to you. You can not get this kind of service from drug store or mail service processing labs. Good luck Ty Monson sympathizes with our difficulties, noting that photographing black animals is not a problem only for we amateurs: Seriously, photographing black dogs, cats, cattle, llamas, etc. is difficult. The difficulty is compounded by shooting color negatives and relying on Qualex (or other popularly-priced photo finisher) to produce the prints.[see above for advice] Assuming that a person is taking snapshots for the family album, I can recommend setting your pet against a dark background as a starting point. When the main subject and background are both dark, the printer will lighten the print. You will get more detailed features on the dog in the photo this way, but your dog will look lighter colored than s/he actually is. Jimmy Tung explained why this happens: First assuming that you're using negative film, and just some basics for everybody: The camera doesn't see a black dog. It sees an average object which must be kinda average grey (18% if you like) in color. So the meter will tell you something which will overexpose the pic, giving you a grey dog, as well as washing out the background. In the original post, the dogs were described as big black blobs with pink tongues, etc. If the photofinisher looks at the negative described above, he'll say "gee, these people would rather have a good looking background", so they start tweaking the density and color balance until you end up with all of the other colors OK, and a black dog, except now your black dog is too black, and it looks featureless. Marc Clarke expanded on this, explaining that: The problem probably comes from the fact that Through The Lense (TTL) camera meters try to render whatever reflective surface they are pointed at as an 18% gray. If you point a TTL camera's meter at a white house (or dog), the meter will indicate the amount of exposure you need to make the side of the white house appear as 18% gray. If you point the TTL camera's meter at a black dog, the meter will indicate the exposure you need to make the black dog appear as an 18% gray dog. TTL meters are really good at telling you what exposure to use for 18% gray things. TTL meters are lousy at directly telling you what exposure to use for black or white things. Ty suggests some ways you can try to get around this problem: Oh, but you DID want the dog to look BLACK? Black is the (relative) absence of light. The trick is to get enough gloss (luster, glare) off the animal's fur to define shape, without washing-out the blackness. Two things a snapshooter can do is photograph your pet 1/4 side lighted from a window (overcast day) or set a piece of white poster board next to the animal (out of the camera's field of view.) A white wall may work, too. ... Be inventive. Look! The camera lens sees what your eye sees. If the lighting doesn't model your pet's form, the film won't record it. Oh, yes. Your black-petted friends will probably need to abandon the camera's built-in flash. A flash with a head that can be rotated for bounce flash can be made to work. It will take some experimenting, though. ...and Tom Wagner added: If you are taking flash photos, that is another problem for automatics. My personal advice is do not take flash photos of pets. Use a high speed film and whatever available light you have. Because pets have better night vision you will get a lot of "Red Eyed Shots." Jimmy also mentions the importance of lighting: Check your lighting, and make sure that details of the dog's coat, eyes, etc. are large and visible. That is, assuming you don't have off-camera flash equipment, position lamps and camera so that light is reflected off the glossy coat. That way, the dog doesn't look flat without the other visual cues our mind supplies, but the camera doesn't. Ellen McSorley's husband, Jonathan, who has experience photographing dogs, evidently with better equipment than many of us have, notes that even different breeds of black dogs offer different problems: ... Labs have glossier fur than Newfs. You've still got to have lots of light, so flash or spot metering is a must. I think ideally I'd go for off-axis flash, or a diffuser, or maybe a flash umbrella, something to give lots of light but not from a bright point source which is going to reflect straight back into the camera. That might make it look like the dog has Mylar (reflective plastic) bits in its coat (although that would be an interesting effect, and direct flash works on the Newfs because their coats aren't so glossy). Jimmy also mentions that: Some films are specifically color balanced for skin tones or bright colors or deep rich blacks and browns. I don't have a recommendation off the top of my head which would be appropriate. You might find that Fuji Reala might be well suited, but then again, Kodak Gold II might be just as good at a fraction of the cost. Ask your local photo supply store. and Stephen Samuel reminds us that: ... if you have a black dog and a white human in a picture with the same lighting, AT LEAST ONE OF THEM is going to end up looking poorly lit. Creative lighting is required. [A classic suggestion is to put the human in the shade and the dog in the sun.] BUT, no matter what you do with the lighting or the processing, it seems from what many people say that eventually you are going to have to deal with the fact that the automatic grey scale metering is thrown off by a black (or white) dog who makes up the largest part of the photo. Tom Davis (who says his dogs are Golden, to match his carpet) offers a suggestion for those with very automatic cameras: I'd guess that if a black dog fills a significant amount of the frame, it will wind up over-exposed by quite a bit, so if your camera has exposure compensation, you can set it to under-expose to compensate. Some cameras are totally automatic, so you're just out of luck. If you don't have exposure compensation, you can sometimes lie to the camera about the film speed. To make it under-expose, tell it you've got faster film. For samoyeds and great pyrenees, do the opposite. Well, at least for clean ones. But for those ready to grapple with light metering, Marc Clarke suggests: There are several different ways to get around this. First, meter something that is actually 18% gray in the same light that falls on the black dog. This gray card gives your meter something that actually is 18% gray. The black dog will show up as black (not gray). These gray cards are available in any photography store, usually in the book rack. Second, use an incident light meter. These meters read the light that is falling onto the subject rather than the light reflecting off the subject. They indicate the same exposure as a TTL camera's reflectance meter reading the light reflected off an 18% gray card. You can fake a gray card by using your TTL cameras meter and metering the light falling onto your open hand, then opening up one more stop. A hand (in fact, nearly all Caucasian skin) is about 1 stop brighter than an 18% gray card. But Brian Segal points out that: Your reflective meter will indeed want to show the dog as 18% grey if you simply rely on that reading. If you want about 5 stops of exposure latitude, then meter the dog's fur and stop down 1.5 to 2.0 stops. If you stop right down to dense black there will be no detail of the fur. An incident reading will work more or less, but you really want a precise reading of the fur itself as it has its own reflective properties. Dave Miller kind of summed it all up with: UNDEREXPOSE BY TWO STOPS. That's it. Doesn't matter what camera you use. All a camera is is a light tight box to hold film. [...] The meters (for the most part) all work the same way and try to give you an 18% grey which is about 2 stops brighter than most black dogs. If the dog is brightly lit, then it might be only 1 to 1.5 stops darker... Well, there you have it. Finally, Ty Monson gives the following (blunt, but probably correct) advice in response to a question about stud services or breeders who are photographing their dogs for the benefit of prospective clients: Breeders ought to have a skilled photographer produce the photos for showing prospective clients. No business is represented well with amateurish snapshots. Many thanks to the nice folks from rec.photo who offered their expertise to us sentimental dog lovers, who never can seem to have too many photos of our pets -- even when they do just look like large black blobs with tongues! _________________________________________________________________ Record Keeping. Breeders You should not rely on AKC to keep all your records straight. Breeders MUST keep official records on their dogs. There are numerous fines listed in the back of the Gazette for failure to maintain proper records. If you don't have your own record book, you should start one. If you are cited, you may have to start all over again with new dogs. That means that all the dogs you breed lose their AKC registrations. The AKC screws up a lot of things. That's why it is so important that breeders keep good files for their own breed club's use. Breeders need to keep records in a book about their breeding dogs. This includes the dog's registered name, number, sex, color, markings, date of birth, and OFA, CERF etc. Every time that dog is bred (either male or female) the date, the name of the other dog, the number of the other dog, and the number of the owner of the other dog goes into it. When the puppies are born, the number of puppies, sexes, colors, markings, date of birth and litter number is added. The breeder's name(s) is also included. On the litter registration form, the information is reprinted to get the individual registration forms. When the puppies are placed in a home, the new owner's name, address and phone number go into the proper places. (You can order these books from the AKC -- they are called "Dog Ownership and Breeding Record" books and they cost about $5 -- but they have enough pages for many dogs.) Titles For titles and points, keep a small bound notebook (so that the question never comes up whether pages have been added or removed) to record the judge's name, the number of dogs in the classes, the number of points, the date, the show, and the club sponsoring the show. Record obedience trials the same way. You may want to have a folder in which to keep all ribbons and copies of certificates and pedigrees along with a few pictures of the dog. You just need to have a record of your own -- like your check book -- to make sure someone doesn't goof up. Two records are better than one! Working dogs Dogs that work: e.g., Search and Rescue dogs, Police dogs, Disaster dogs, any that work in potentially liable situations or do work that may be challenged in court should have an ongoing record of their training and of actual cases. Note date and time, individuals involved in the training, the purpose of the training, how the training session was set up, how the dog did, and where it needs to improve. For an actual case, note all the specifics involved: who you talked to, where you got the scent article or other applicable information from, who was found/rescued/attacked, etc. If you can, go back and take pictures of the trail followed or other useful sites. Keep training and actual case records separate. If, for example, an SAR dog's identification of a felon comes into question, that record may prove the difference as to whether the evidence is ruled admissible or not. In contrast to the above for titles, keep training and case records in a loose-leaf binding, so that only the record pertinent to the case need be forwarded to the lawyers. Your personal enjoyment Anyone training a dog may find it useful and interesting to keep a log of their dog's progress in training. In particular, it might help you uncover patterns unique to your dog, or suggest other ways to approach training. _________________________________________________________________ Removing Odors and Stains. There's a web site about removing stains from carpet that's worth checking: http://www.carpet-rug.com/stains.html. Removing urine For fresh urine: clean the spot with any good carpet shampoo (Spot Shot is one). Then soak it with plain old club soda, leave it for about ten minutes and blot it up. If the urine has soaked the pad and the floor below that, it will be difficult to remove the odor regardless of what you use. To find spots if you're not sure where they are, get a UV lamp that has the filter built in (to eliminate any remnant visible light). Urine fluoresces in "black light." You can get them at hardware stores. There are also UV lamps in hobby stores and places that cater to spelunkers and rockhounds, but they're more expensive. The UV source is safe as long as you use the longwave lamp and not the shortwave lamp used for tanning. Enzymatic products Products that remove odors: Nature's Miracle (carpet, has 800 number on bottle); Simple Solution (carpet and other items); Outright! (carpet, 214-438-0397); Resolve (carpet, perhaps other items); Odor Mute (originally for deskunking dogs, has other applications, leaves white residue, works on concrete, 507-642-8529). Odor Abolish, by Endosome Biologicals, may also be useful. These products use enzymes to break down the odor causing compounds in urine and feces, and are quite effective. From: dwm@pruxl.att.com {Doug Monroe) When using enzymatic products, it is important to use freshly diluted enzymes, let it soak in as deeply as the urine has penetrated, and *keep the area warm and wet for 24 hours*. Chemical reactions, including enzymatic reactions, go faster at higher temperatures. Unfortunately, most enzymatic reactions don't do well much over 102F (38-39C)-- so not TOO hot. Try covering the area with towels soaked in plain water after applying the enzyme, then a shower curtain or other plastic over that to make sure the area stays moist. The enzymes in laundry products are reportedly the same as those in the expensive odor-killing products, but they cost less than 1/3 as much. They work just as well. Biz is one product. You'll find it in your grocery laundry section with the pre-soak laundry stuff. Remember, you have to SOAK the area and then cover it to keep it from drying out. The smelly area must be WET with the enzyme for 24 hours or more. Launderable items On launderable items: put in the washing machine with a cup of vinegar and no detergent, then wash again as usual. Concrete If you have concrete (eg, in the basement) into which urine has been soaked, this can be difficult to remove, as unsealed concrete is very porous. You will have to neutralize the urine and then seal the concrete properly. A specialty cleaning service is probably the best way to properly neutralize the urine in the concrete. Vinegars and other cleaners may help, but only temporarily. Odor Mute is reputed to work on concrete. Improving the ventilation may also help. In extreme cases, pouring another 1/4-1/2 inch layer of concrete over the original concrete will solve the problem. Hardwood floors Hardwood floors that have been stained with urine can be difficult to clean. First treat with an enzyme-based product such as Nature's Miracle to remove the odor. You can find wood bleaches and stains at your hardware store: you may want to consult with one of the employees on what is available. You will need to remove any varnish or polyurethane from the area, sand it down a bit, bleach and/or stain it, and then apply the protective coat. There are also professional companies you can consult. In severely stained cases, you may have to replace the wood. Yard For your yard, gypsum is supposed to help lawns cope with urine. This is found in Jerry Baker's Plants are Still Like People. Skunks Some dogs just seem to like to tangle with skunks. Others only encounter one once or twice in their lives. Either way, there are some techniques for dealing with a skunked dog. The important thing is to get the skunk oil off a quickly as possible and don't let the dog spread the oil around. Also, the skunk smell seems to be easier to get rid of the sooner the dog is washed. To get rid of the smell - try vinegar diluted with water. Douches work (they contain vinegar), but the perfumes may irritate some dogs' skin. Massengill in particular is often highly recommended. Soap the skunked areas, then apply the vinegar - let it sit a little while, and then soap again. Don't get the vinegar in the dog's eyes. Try also: diluted lemon juice and a dishwashing detergent (Dawn is generally recommended) to cut the grease. There is a product available called SKUNK OFF. If your dog's been thoroughly sprayed, don't expect to get all the smell out with a bath but what smell is left will go away faster. A formula from Mr. Krebaum that is supposed to work very well is: 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide 1/4 cup baking soda 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap Mix the three ingredients together and use immediately. The chemical reaction lasts only a limited time. Rinse your pet well with water, and don't let the solution soak for more than a few minutes. Make only as much as you need and do NOT store any excess, just drain it. The hydrogen peroxide involed reportedly does not affect the color of the dog's coat. The recipe above makes enough to handle a cat-sized pet, so adjust accordingly as needed. Saliva The watery, tasteless liquid mixture of salivary and oral mucous gland secretions that lubricates chewed food, moistens oral walls, and contains enzymes that function in the predigestion of starches. The enzymes are the potent operatives here that leave semi-permanent slime trails on clothes, ceilings, walls, and table tops, depending on your breed. Removal of high-powered slobber, especially from polyesters and blends, can be a problem. For washable fabrics, the cheapest pre-wash treatment is Accent meat tenderizer liberally sprinkled on the the slobber spots (wet the spots or whole garment before applying the Accent). Let it soak for a few minutes, then wash as usual with laundry detergent. _________________________________________________________________ Separation Anxiety. Some dogs may cry and whine when you leave. Most get over it in time. You can minimize it by not making a big deal of leaving; say good-bye, give him a treat, and walk out. You can probably condition your dog to accept it better by leaving for short errands and coming back soon, possibly over the weekend when you don't have to work. Go ahead and crate the dog while you're gone (provided it's been crate-trained, of course). A crate can help your dog feel more secure in its own personal space where it can't get into trouble. _________________________________________________________________ Travel and International Travel. You can often take your dog with you when you travel, either domestic travel or even international travel. There are some helpful books out there that list which hotels, motels, etc. accept dogs. These include Touring with Towser, Quaker foods, publisher. Editions put out every other year. Write to 585 Hawthorne Court, Galesburg IL 61401 with a check or money order for $3 made out to Quaker Professional Services. 64 page directory. Pets Allowed. A directory of places to stay nation (USA) wide. $10 from Modern Systems Computing, 9 Greenmeadow Dr. #FD, N. Billerica, MA 01862-1921. Pets R Permitted. A directory of places to stay nation (USA wide. $11 from PO Box-3930-I, Torrance, CA 90510-3930. Take Your Pet USA: A Guide of Accommodations for Pets and Their Owners. Artco Publishing, 1990, 446 pages, ISBN 0-9626885-0-9, $9.95. It lists the address, phone number, any pet restrictions, if there's an exercise area for pets, if pet can be left unattended in room, local attractions, lodging rates and a few local vet offices. Travelling with Your Pet. Described as "a cross-Canada directory of hotels and motels that welcome pets," it's also full of helpful tips on what to do when travelling with a pet. The guide is updated annually. The price is $6.95 (CND) plus tax. Write to: Travelling with Your Pet 43 Railside Road Don Mills Ontario, Canada M3A 3L9. You can call them (from Canada) at 416-441-3228 or send them a fax at 416-441-3212. The web site http://www.travelweb.com/ allows you to specify search criteria including whether pets are allowed. _________________________________________________________________ By the way: BE SURE TO CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG! Especially when travelling -- many hotels begin to refuse dogs after continually finding dog feces all over their lawns, etc afterwards. Get a pooper-scooper or a plain plastic bag and clean up after your pooch! Those following you afterwards will thank you. _________________________________________________________________ Car Most dogs love travelling in the car. Some are fearful, others are prone to carsickness. Any dog travelling in a car should be restrained in some manner, both for its safety and yours. Dogs can travel in carriers, probably the best option. There are available barriers which can keep your dog in the back seat (this works especially well with station wagon type of cars). There are restraining leashes available. Riding in the back of a truck is just asking for trouble, as the dog will almost always be killed if it is thrown from the truck in even a minor accident. There are also restraining leashes for dogs in open pick-up truck beds. Some states have laws against dogs riding in the back of a pick-up. Car sickness, fear Try just sitting in the back seat and just talking and playing with your dog, assure it over a few of these sitting-in sessions that there is nothing to be afraid of. Then do a couple of slow trips, just around the block, no more. Then to the local park or beach, so your dog starts to get the idea that car trips lead to "fun" places too. Finally, try slowing down some more for those corners since side to side movements in a car are the most common cause of motion sickness. Opening a window or turning on the car fan may help some dogs. Do not sympathize with the dog or try to soothe it. While car-sickness isn't quite the same as being afraid of riding in the car, it could conceivably be brought on by such a fear. If that is the case, doing anything that the pup can possibly interpret as praise can be counterproductive. It will teach it that this fear is the desired behavior. If the car sickness if brought on by such fear and it is, inadavertantly, taught that the fear is desired behavior, the car sickness will continue. Travelling by plane For (US) $1, the American Dog Owners Association, 1654 Columbia Turnpike, Castleton, NY 12033, publishes a booklet, Update: Airline Transportation, about air travel with your pet. More than worth the cost. The May/June, 1990 issue of Golden Retriever News (published by the Golden Retriever Club of America) had an article on airline transportation of dogs. Many of the comments should be common sense -- such as having the proper crates and bedding, choosing non-stop flights where possible, allowing plenty of check-in time, etc. The article goes on to say that the ratings are based on serious problems reported between July 1988 and July 1989, and that air travel is generally safe for animals, with a mortality rate of less than one tenth of one percent. One pet is allowed in each cabin. Thus, if there is one First Class, one Business class and one Tourist class cabin, three pets are allowed. This can be modified if the pets are house mates - two people who are traveling with their two pets, then the pets can be in the same cabin. A cabin is a section that can be closed off from view from the other sections either with a door or a curtain. As for specific airlines: USAir has one of the best reputations in shipping animals. They routinely check up on the animals, and ask the owners to call a specific number after each landing the plane makes to contact an individual who can check on the animals. Continental has the worst reputation, having had several dogs die in their planes. A particularly horrible incident in the summer of 1991 involved five samoyeds, three of whom died of heat prostration despite the pleas of the passengers and owners, who could hear the dogs barking in the cargo area. Other airlines have varying reputations. In general a direct flight is safest. There is a pamphlet from Northwest Airlines called "Priority Pet." It explains Northwest's methods of pet transport --- it was encouraging to see an airline show explicit concern for this issue. Northwest asks owners to attach two bowls and a supply of food to the outside of the kennel in order that the animal may be fed and watered (presumably by Northwest personnel). The caveats and conditions are enlightening to read. Other references: The Conde' Nast Traveler (June 1992) has an article on pets and planes, including information on which carriers have been fined for violations of animal transportation laws. Tips when travelling by plane: * Buy flight insurance. It's not much if something actually happens to your dog, but stay away from airlines that won't insure their own transportation of animals! Cost is typically $20 for $5000 coverage. * Some airlines are more highly recommended than others. Delta is frequently praised, Continental frequently condemned. Whichever airline you use, always arrange a direct flight. * Many airlines will sell you crates for extremely good prices. If you need a crate, buy one here. * Get all vaccinations up to date two weeks before the flight, and take the records with you if you're also going. Otherwise, add your vet's name and phone number to the information on the crate. Parvo boosters and "kennel cough" (bordetella) vaccinations are especially recommended. * Make reservations early. Most planes have room for three dogs or less per flight. * Write your name and phone number on the crate with a permanent marker. Attached paper is frequently gone by the time the crate arrives. Also write name and phone number of person to contact upon arrival on a piece of duct tape on the crate. * Solid plastic or metal crates are preferable to the wire crates. They keep more things out of the crate than the wire ones do. Make sure there is a rim around the edge that prevents adjacent boxes from covering up the air holes. International Travel Paperwork Most states/provinces/regions require a health certificate and proof of rabies vaccination for pets crossing boundary lines. Most airlines will require this regardless of where you go within the country. Any dog that is travelling somewhere else should have a copy of its medical history, especially its vaccinations with it. Quarantines Australia Dogs may enter freely from the UK (and other countries with quarantines). Pets from countries where rabies is "well-controlled" (eg, U.S., Canada) can have quarantines as short as 30 days, as long as rabies titers are done at least 180 days ahead of time. Otherwise it depends on the area from which the dog has travelled. For example, dogs entering from rabies-free Singapore are not subject to the quarantine, however they must be fitted with the microchip detailing vaccination history and are required to undergo blood testing prior to and after entering Australia to be certain of their rabies free status. The same laws also now apply to New Zealand. Britain A 6 month quarantine for all animals. Write to British Information Services for the necessary applications and paperwork: 845 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022; Tel: (212) 752-5747 and Fax: (212) 758-5395. Europe Sweden has a four month quarantine; Finland has a quarantine of 3 [?] months. Most European countries do not have a quarantine or only require proof of vaccinations. Hawaii Because Hawaii is a rabies free state, there is a mandatory 30 day quarantine for dogs, cats, and other animals. If the animals meet all the requirements for the 30-day qarantine (which includes proof of vaccinations, permanent ID, blood tests and health records), then the owners will pay $210 per dog plus about $100 in fees for tests, etc. The 30 day quarantine has been in effect since May of 1997, down from a four month quarantine previously in effect. More detailed information and microchip order forms are available by mail from the Hawaii Agriculture Department's Division of Animal Industry: 99-941 Halawa Valley Street, Aiea, HI 96701, (808) 483-7100, FAX (808) 483-7110. Due to a settlement of a class action lawsuit on behalf of those using guide dogs, it is expected that in the Sprint of 1998, guide dogs will be exempt from Hawaii's quarantine so long as they comply with certain vaccination, antibody, and microchip requirements. North America Canada requires up to date vaccinations, in particular the Rabies vaccination. You must have proof of vaccination with you when bringing the dog into the country, but other than that, there is no quarantine. Canada has a 4 month quarantine, except from the US, where rabies vaccination documentation is sufficient. South America No quarantines, but the animal must be up-to-date on vaccinations. Other Countries In most cases, quarantines are not required, but current vaccination records, recent health checks and so on are required. Always contact teh embassy of the country in question for accurate details. Calling the airlines can also help you get referred to the right party for asking questions. Some online information: France Shipping You may find yourself shipping a dog, for various reasons. Most people simply ship them as cargo on an airline. This works best when the flight is a non-stop, and neither the start- or end-point is at risk of too high or too low temperatures. There is at least one company that ships dogs. This is Pet Transfer (world wide door to door pet moving service) 714-660-9390 (USA) [There may be an 800 , but I do not have it.] _________________________________________________________________ Vicious Dogs Interestingly, up until World War II, Pit Bulls were looked upon with favor and patriotism. They were sturdy and loyal companions. WWI propoganda depicts the Pit Bull as manifesting American virtues. For example one poster showed a Pit Bull with other dogs representing their country of origin and the caption saying "Independent, but not afraid of any of them." At the same time, the Collie was considered an unreliable dog that would attack people without provocation. In many cases the reasons given for the "viciousness" of some breed are racist or classist and ludicrous to those who know dogs and follow the reports. The German Shepherd was vicious because of it's overly inbred purity (read German Uber-mench theory). In Germany the Doberman was vicious because it was impure (read tainted with non-Aryan dog genes, whatever they are...). What dog-knowers will tell you that human-aggressiveness and dog-aggressiveness are totally different, and that, for example, dogs bred to fight in fact had to be owner-safe in the most intense situations where an owner needed to break two fighters apart. Regarding attempts to ban certain breeds as "vicious," it should be noted that the fault is not with the dog or the breed of the dog. Unfortunately, certain breeds are perceived to be aggressive and vicious. People pick up these types of dogs and encourage them to be aggressive and vicious. The result is a badly-trained dog that has been taught to fear people. In addition, other people start breeding these dogs with poor temperament and the cycle continues. But it is important to remember that the viciousness comes with poor training and teasing of the dog and poor breeding practices. Thus, penalties should focus on individuals who display irresponsibility in the handling of their dog and on those breeders who breed with poor temperament, rather than on an entire breed. References: Hearn, Vicki. Bandit: The Dossier Of A Dangerous Dog. _________________________________________________________________ Waste Composting Are there sanitary and effective alternatives to shoveling feces from your backyard into your trashcan? Especially if you have multiple dogs? There are a number of products on the market, such as the "Doggy Dooly", "'Liminate", etc. Reported experiences vary widely. Some were satisfied, others could not get them to work. The basic premise is to set up a "composting pile" that, with added enzymes, will decompose into odorless liquid and gas wastes. Some are elaborate affairs that require you to dig a large pit lined with gravel and bury a container (with the lid at ground level) over the gravel that drains the decomposed and harmless waste into the soil below. Others are simplar plastic bucket affairs. Pros: * Feces don't sit in the garbage all week. * Don't need extra bags in cleaning stools up. Cons: * Composters rarely work in winters with below or near freezing temperatures. * Despite claims of "odorless waste products", the feces in there can smell quite badly until fully decomposed. * Rocks and sticks can interfere with digestion. * Usually the amount of enzyme to add is fussy: it won't work well with either too much or too little added. _________________________________________________________________ Wolves and Wolf Hybrids First, note that there is a group in the ALT hierarchy called alt.wolves. There, you can read firsthand experiences of hybrid owners, and discuss other issues involving wolves and hybrids in general. Second, a note on whether it's possible to tell wolves from dogs genetically: Research in the UCLA laboratory of Drs. Robert Wayne and Michael Roy has centered on the use of new technology to distinguish wolves and dogs from wolf-dog hybrids. In the past, the ability to identify hybrids was limited by the lack of known genetic markers. The new molecular tools that UCLA is using involves regions of DNA that are so variable, each individual has a unique DNA fingerprint. So far the UCLA lab has found 14 markers in dogs not found in gray wolves and 37 markers in gray wolves not found in dogs. The information allows the researchers to examine suspected wolf-dog hybrids for the presence of both wolf and dog markers, so that they can determine if an animal is pure wolf, pure dog, or some combination of the two. The UCLA team is currently in the process of analyzing their test by using it on a known series of wolves and hybrids in a blind study, where the origins of the lab samples are unknown at the time of testing. If the test proves reliable enough, the researchers plan to make this test available to others. Wolves Wolves are very different from canines, but they do share a common ancestry. Wolves can be fascinating to study -- and observation of wolves' social structure and behavior shed much insight into canine behavior. Resources and References: Wolf Park is an organization whose mission is to conduct behavioral research to obtain a better understanding of wolves in captivity and in the wild, to disseminate scientific information and improve captive animal management techniques, and to educate the general public to gain a compassionate and realistic understanding of wolves and ecology. Wolf Park is supported through memberships and donations. Benefits include free admission to the park for one year, Wolf Park News and Journal of Wolf Ethology, and discounts on books from the bookstore. Behavior seminars directed by Dr. Erich Klinghammer are offered. There is an Adopt-A-Wolf program as well. Note that they do not deal with wolf-hybrids: many people attempt to donate their WH's and they do not accept them. Their position is that wolf-hybrids are a bad idea and a detriment to wolves and the Park's mission. They will provide information about hybrids to those that ask. Address: Wolf Park, Battle Ground, IN 47920. Phone: (317) 567-2265. Steinhart, Peter. The Company Of Wolves, Knopf Books, 1996. Mech, L. David. The Wolf. University of Minnesota Press, 1970. 384 pgs Softcover. ISBN: 0-1866-1026-6. Complete description of the wolf, its behavior and ecology. David Mech is a renowned wolf expert, and this is an extremly informative and well written book. Lopez, Barry H. Of Wolves and Men. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1978. 308 pgs Softcover. ISBN: 0-684-16322-5. Description of wolves and their relationship with humans. Not really a technical discussion of wolves like the first reference. Crisler, Lois. Arctic Wild. New York, Harper. 1958. Mowat, Farley. Never Cry Wolf. Boston, Little, Brown. 1963. The Wolf Society of Great Britain produces the flyer "The Howler." Prospect House Charlton Kilmersdon. Bath. BA3 5TN Wolf-Hybrids ______________________________________________________________ FAQ author's note: I disclaim any responsibility in the event you get a wolf-hybrid. It is my personal recommendation that you not get one. What follows is for informational purposes only and is presented here only because it is a controversial topic that comes up every now and then on this group. I have attempted to make a fair presentation, and have included resources for further information. --Cindy Tittle Moore ______________________________________________________________ Anyone who is interested in getting a wolf-hybrid should obtain as much information about the animals before considering getting one. WH's are not casual pets and do not behave like dogs do. Most WH experts recommend that you spend some time around WH's to be sure of what you are getting into. Wolf Country and other places offer programs where people can help care for WH's and learn first hand about them. There are also seminars and organizations to help disseminate the information a WH owner needs. **DO NOT EVEN *CONSIDER* GETTING A WOLF-HYBRID BEFORE GETTING THIS INFORMATION AND EDUCATION!** What follows below is a thumbnail sketch of the sorts of problems with wolf-hybrids, along with resources for more complete information. Legality: Because of various state and federal laws regarding wildlife and endangered species, wolf-hybrids are simply illegal. As of 1991, they were illegal in ten states, and an additional nine required Fish & Game permits, especially if the hybrid was at least 75% wolf. A lot of states don't quite know what to do with hybrids and have thus included such terminology in defining hybrids as "wolf-like characteristics." Even when legal, they face much prejudice, and a WH that runs afoul of the law (by trespassing, biting, etc) is much more likely to be destroyed than a dog doing the same. In addition, such a WH will generate negative publicity for wolves. Reinforcing negative images of wolves in the public's mind and giving ammunition to the ranching industry to produce more anti-wolf propoganda directly hampers the wolf's reintroduction into the wild. Unfair as it is, the general public will think "wolf" when "wolf-hybrid" comes up, and the ranching industry has long had an interest in completely eliminating wolves and will use this prejudice. Behavior: Although there are exceptions, most WH's do NOT act like domesticated dogs, Jack London's romantic drivel notwithstanding. Dogs are the result of thousands of years of genetic selection for those attributes that are desired by man. The wolf, on the other hand, has been selected to be a survivor. Most suffer from a fear, or at least a nervousness, of being around people and are very timid until something happens to go against their instincts. The pack instinct is very strong. They will only obey their owner if they feel he is the dominant dog in the pack, so obviously, he needs to know A LOT about wolfpacks to stay ahead of the game. Also, hybrids don't always automatically assume that the "master" will remain the master, resulting in testing the owner for dominance, which can take the forms of attacking or defensive fighting. Finally, while wolves are not normally aggressive towards humans, dogs can be. Pair up the wolf's natural timidity with a dog's aggressiveness, and you have a potential recipe for disaster in these hybrids. Predicting behavior: The percentage of wolf in the hybrid's background will not accurately predict its behavior. Beyond that, it is not possible to accurately assess a WH's actual percentage beyond a first generation cross as once one of the parents is a cross, you have no way of knowing which "dog" and which "wolf" genes the offspring will inherit from that parent. Some hybrids with low percentages are nervous and skittish, others with high percentages are more stable and reliable. Looking at the pup's parents may give some indication, but then it may not. A good deal will depend on how well socialized the animal is, that is, how much work its owner puts into it. Remember, WH's are NOT a breed, there is absolutely no consistency in their breeding. Not only does the percentage of wolf background vary, but the dogs used in the crosses also vary, although they are commonly Malamutes and Huskies. Also, since they are not bred for any particular purpose and there are a number of backyard breeders of WH's, this contributes to their uncertain temperament. Because WH are so much more work than average dogs, and because the *potential* is there for the WH to be more prone to what is deemed anti-social behavior in domesticated dogs, the problem is amplified. Finally, remember that many people consider a WH that is "high content" (that is, has a theoretically high percentage of wolf in its makeup) to be more desireable than a "low content" one. Because of this perception, many unethical WH breeders will overstate the percentages in their animals (estimates vary from as low as 50% to as high as 90% of WH's having their percentages overstated). Therefore, one person may think he has a high content WH and tell many people how easy the animal was to handle. The next person who gets a WH based on this type may well then get a higher content dog -- and a much larger problem than he ever dreamed of. Around people: WH's, as with any large or excitable animal, should NEVER be allowed access to small children, unless they are on a leash and strictly watched for signs of aggression. If a child trips and falls, or gets knocked down by the big furry "dog", or worse yet, teases the "dog", a mauling can easily result. Hybrids need to be watched around strangers because they may back bite. Not all WH's react this way, but a hybrid owner cannot afford to take any chances. Again, because of negative public perception, the hybrid will likely be destroyed as a result of such an incident, and its behavior only reinforce the WH's negative reputation. In addition, it will further damage the reputation of wolves, making reintroduction that much harder, and damage the reputation of the dogs the wolves are bred to, usually Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes. Training: Many respondents emphasized that WH's can be trained, but NOT TRUSTED without their owners nearby. Most obedience clubs will not even allow wolf hybrids in classes. Wolf Country, a breeder near Anchorage, strongly recommends potential owners work around the animals for at least a year in order to see if they can handle them and do want one. They require far more intensive and thorough socialization than do dogs dogs, and can differ in their response to discipline. The normal methods used on dogs may or may not work on a hybrid. Because of all this, you will need WH support groups of some form nearby to help you with potential training problems. Housing: YOU DO NOT (repeat NOT) PUT A HYBRID ON A CHAIN IN THE BACK YARD! You need to build an enclosure of at least 10000 square feet to allow it to explore. Also it must be fenced with at least 7' high and an overhang. Not only that, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to put a gate to your back yard to prevent children from wandering out there, because if you stick something into its area, it will try to pull it through, regardless of whether it is living or just a stick. Some of these animals are so strongly destructive that they can not be let in the house, and will destroy any house you make for them. Health: Most medicines for dogs do not work or are unapproved for use on hybrids and as a result hybrids may have a harder time getting over kennel cough, parvo, distemper, etc. In Indiana, for example, it is illegal to vaccinate a wild animal (including hybrids). In particular, there is NO vaccine that is approved for use on the hybrids and that includes rabies. They can be vaccinated but if they bite someone they are considered by law to be unvaccinated. This means if they bite someone, they must be destroyed, with the head sent to a laboratory to test for the presence of rabies. Breeders: Look at the Getting A Dog FAQ for an idea of what you want to find in a breeder of WH's. Suspending for the moment the question of whether or not crossing wolves and dogs is ethical in the first place, you want to find someone who 1. Is honest about the difficulties of owing a WH 2. Is willing to tell prospective owners if in their opinion they are not suited for handling WH's 3. Has done applicable health screenings on their WH's 4. Will talk with you at length about the temperaments of these animals, not sparing you the bad parts Stay away from anyone who 1. Can only say good things about WH's 2. Is willing to claim that they are all free of inherited diseases, free of temperament problems 3. That all WH's are alike 4. That the higher content the WH has of wolves the better, in all cases Resources: The Wolf Hybrid Times (WHT) is packed full of information: complete with many long series on topics such as nuitrition, containment, medical information, current legal status and issues, research, wolves in literature, photos and seasoned, practical advice from owners, breeders and scientists. Add to this commercial advertising specifically geared to wolf and wolf hybrid owners plus regular updates and activities from the various organizations. Subscription rate is $22.00 per year; please add $4.00 outside the U.S. Published bi-monthly. Address is: WHT, P.O. Box 1423, Gallup, NM 87305. The National Wolf Hybrid Association is dedicated to responsible care and understanding of the wolf hybrid. Membership fees are $25.00 yearly which includes a bi-monthly newsletter. Address: 1059 Porter Morris Road, Chapmansboro, TN 37035. Phone: (615) 746-3442. There are many web pages about wolves (most of them quite good). There are also many pages about wolf hybrids. Unfortunately, most of these are quite unrealistic or contain little information that is actually useful. One of the best pages in terms of information is the Wolf Hybrid Awareness Through Education (WHATE) pages at http://www.inetdesign.com/wolfdunn/whate.html _________________________________________________________________ Assorted Topics (Part II) FAQ Cindy Tittle Moore, cindy@k9web.com Hosted by K9 WEB