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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Why Dogs Should be Supervised While Outdoors

A few people have asked me why its so important to supervise their dog outdoors even though they have a fully fenced in back yard? I can not stress enough how important this is. Firstly as we all know Boxers, are not outdoor dogs. They should be living indoors with their family where it is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Boxers thrive on being with their people and being a part of the family. They require exercise other than being in their backyard. They should still be going for long walks to exert this high level of energy that they all have.

Dogs love being outdoors. And who can blame them? On a nice sunny day, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the air is fresh and clean. However, there is lots of mischief that our Boxers can get into. They can dig, tear up the garden, get into garbage, find holes in our fence to squeeze through and get loose or even jump a fence! We all know that Boxers can clear a 6 foot fence with no problem. That is one of the facts about having an athletic breed.

One sunny day last year, Matt & I were in the backyard with Leia. A cat had come into our back bushes and Leia automatically darted for it. We did not see the cat but Leia was hot on her trail in the trees behind our house. We could hear the commotion and went to investigate. Almost seconds the cat jumped the fence into the other yard and Leia decided to run through the fence to chase after it (ok she didn't jump the fence but ran clear through it!). The cat took off and Leia was out of the yard! Luckily Matt jumped the fence just as quick and in time to see Leia taking off for a very busy street. If Matt didn't call her back she would have continued to chase the cat and probably would have gotten hit by a car. This all happened within a matter of seconds. I thought our fence was secure. We then had a Leia sized hole in our back fence. Little did I know that our Leia is a little Bull in a China shop!

OK so now your fence is secured and you know nothing can happen. But do you have total control of what comes into your yard?

We didn't find out that Luke is allergic to bees and wasps, until one summer we were visiting my parents in Calgary. We were playing fetch with Luke in the backyard. I ran to get the ball, as Luke has me trained very well to fetch the ball when he doesn't feel like it! Luke was sniffing something underneath the stairs when I came back and he was rubbing his head in an odd way. I looked on his face and didn't see anything and then looked under the stairs to see a wasps nest. I didn't think he got stung but then about an hour later his head was swollen like a balloon and he could barely breathe. I had called the vet and they asked me to bring him in. They had given him an Epi Pen for dogs to help calm the reaction. If we weren't with him it could have been fatal.

My neighbour had a lab puppy. Both of them worked full time jobs so they trained the dog to use a doggy door. It was great for them. They raved about it and how wonderful it was that they didn't have to have a dog walker or worry about her having to go potty while they were at work. She was a great dog. So well trained and never ever got into any trouble. They had her for a year. Then one day they came home after work to find the dog laying in the backyard and not breathing. There were chocolate wrappers laying around the fence. Some school kids thought that the nice doggy would have liked some chocolate so they fed it to her through the fence. The kids didn't know that chocolate is poison for dogs and didn't know they were doing any harm. Unfortunately the owners did not arrive home in time and it was too late to save her.

These kids meant no harm to the dog. But some kids and even adults like to tease dogs through the fence and torment them mentally. Some dogs become severely aggressive and become very scared and confused. If this happens on a regular basis it would create some very unwanted behaviours in your dog. We have had dogs come to the rescue who were so terribly teased that they developed aggression towards people even their owners!

Now these, are just a few examples of what can happen. These are all things we can not control. These things shouldn't have happened but they did. I think that its important we are aware of what can happen to our beloved family member. I know none of us would ever want to put our dogs in danger. So why not just take a cup of coffee or a magazine into the yard and hang out with your pooch? I'm sure your dog would appreciate the company and it would definitely give you peace of mind.


Friday, February 26, 2010

A Pet's Ten Commandments

My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.
Give me time to understand what you want of me
Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.
Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.
Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.
On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Meet Dee Dee

Our newest foster DeeDee is not even a year old and has lost probably 80% of her fur to mange. This is not contagious but very itchy and painful for our sweet girl. This could have been fairly easily treated before it got to this condition. She is now so itchy she scratches till her skin bleeds. Keep our baby girl your thoughts for a speedy recovery and a fabulous family to come along and take her home!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cami update

"Here are some pictures of Cami, she has settled in so well and loves these kids. Good thing too since there are 5 kids in the family!"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Dog to Resident Dog Introductions

New Dog to Resident Dog Integration

You have decided to add another dog to your family. One very basic question is “Does your resident dog wants another dog in the home?” If they are social and get along with others then two dogs can be endless fun and they keep each other company when you are not home.

The first step is selecting the right dog as a new companion dog. The placement volunteers will assist you in making the right selection. With any new dog you bring into your home with and existing dog there are rules to follow for success.

1. Prepare your home in advance for the arrival of a new dog by removing any trigger items
 Removing all toys
 Remove food bowls
 Prepare adults and kids to not give affection at first.
2. When you arrive home take the dogs on a short walk to calm them from the car ride and to reinforce their bond. Walking is the best way to create a pack bond.
3. After the short walk, take the dogs into the back yard and with leashes on, let them roam free together. Do not hover or try to get them excited. Just let them sniff around the area and each other. Should there be a problem the leashes make it easy to separate them.
4. When it’s time to go into the house, the new dog should be on a leash for two reasons. First to prevent any accidents until you are certain they are housebroken. More importantly the new dog needs to learn their place in the pack and should not be allowed to start taking over from day one.
5. Having the new dog observe from a crate or on a leash is the best way for them to safely get used to the sights and sounds of their new home. You never want to give a new dog too much too soon. They are much happier and more relaxed if from the start they realize that you are in control.
6. Walk the dogs together as often as possible. In the outside world they begin to look to each other as trusted and respected pack members. Walking together is the best way to create a bonded pack.
7. Feed the dogs separately. You do not want food to create a situation that is a negative impact on the two dogs bonding. Feed one inside the other outside or whatever works best for your situation. This may not be forever but you must remove food triggers until you know the two dogs are a bonded pair.
8. Do not instigate or excite with toys at first as possession may trigger aggression. Again, this may not be forever but a level playing field is important in the beginning.
9. Do not shower either dog with affection as affection may be a trigger of possession. You can slowly integrate affection back into the picture with both dogs. Be aware of body language to avoid a jealous encounter.
10. Learn to be a calm assertive leader to your dog. Dogs that do not feel the need to control are happy, relaxed well adjusted dogs.
11. Above all give it time. Having another dog in the house is new for everyone. Sometimes it’s as if the new dog has been there forever and other times it take some leadership skills to settle them into a friendship.

REMEMBER to contact your WBBR volunteer if you need help. They are there to make the
adoption successful for everyone!

Spike Update - Adopted Feb 2010

Hi Kerri,
Just an update on Spike.
Spike has settled in his new home so well that it seems that he has been here forever. He is a great dog - very clean and polite. He sleeps alone in the family
> area overnight and is very quiet. I have been taking him out for the daily 3
km (approx.) walk in early afternoon when no other dogs are usually around. Spike is a very fast walker and I enjoy walking with him since I too get a descent exercise this way. I got a new muzzle that fits him so it does not rub against his
lower eyelids - the sore under his right eye is improving and, I expect, it may eventually disappear. Spike also has a new nylon merlot collar (that macho
spiked collar weighs a ton) and a waterproof coat for his walks in the rain.
Also, I sent in an online dog license application to the City of Vancouver and Spike should get his license shortly.
I don't expect to contact you again unless something happens to Spike which, I hope, will be at least a few years down the road.
Kindest regards,


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jax Update

Hi Kerri,
We love the little guy so much he definitely is a great match for us and we do NOT want to give him up. He is doing well and putting on weight. His blood work came back fine and he had a pH of 8 and crystals in his urine. We we told to give him cranberry pills to help control that. Let us know when a good time would be to go for that walk so you can see his progress. He is such a lovely boy!
PS I have attached a couple of pictures so you can see how he is doing and see he and Vince playing together.

Willow update BRLAs Libby

Hi Sheri, sorry I have not been in touch but life is busy. Just to let you know how Willow is doing. She is great, no real problems other than normal with a boxer. Our vet figures she is about a year now, when she arrived with us,her small front teeth were just coming in so they could tell more accurately how old she is. Plus she has gotten taller and sort of grown into her feet. She loves the snow and adjusted well with the help of Dozer. No problems with the cats or other dogs, so far. When I get some decent pics I will forward them to you. Bye for now, Lydia LaValley

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How to Properly Introduce Dogs to Cats

Dogs and Cats in Harmony

Most dogs can be taught to tolerate cats if their owners are willing to be patient and consistent. Some dogs take longer to train than others and the difference is usually due to the dog's level of "prey drive".
Nature designed canines to be predators — to chase and catch smaller animals for food. Although dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still act upon the instincts nature gave them. Through generations of selective breeding, people have
modified these instincts. By decreasing the effects of some and enhancing the effects of others, we've been able to develop a wide variety of different breeds of dogs, each meantto serve a different purpose or perform a certain function.
There are several effective ways to train a dog with a high prey drive to live peacefully with cats or other small pets. I prefer to teach these dogs that cats are off limits altogether and are not to be disturbed. Using a friend or family member to help you, set up several short daily training sessions.
1. With the dog wearing a training collar and leash, put him on a sit/stay beside you. Have your friend hold the cat on the other side of the room. Your dog will
probably be very curious and even excited at seeing the cat, but insist that he
remain in the sit/stay position. Praise your dog for sitting calmly.
2. Have your friend bring the cat a few steps closer. If your dog continues to stay
quietly at your side, wonderful! Praise him for it. If he tries to lunge at the cat,
though, give him a stern, fierce-sounding “NO! LEAVE IT!” along with a short,
sharp jerk on the lead and put him back in the sit-stay position. As soon as he is
sitting calmly again, praise him sincerely. Continue bringing the cat closer, a few
feet at a time, repeating the corrections as needed and making sure to praise the
dog when he sits quietly and ignores the cat. Have patience — depending on the
intensity of your dog, you might only be able to gain a few feet each session.
3. When your dog is able to sit calmly even when the cat is right next to him, you're
ready to proceed to the next step. Release the dog from his sit/stay and let him
walk around the room with the cat present. Leave his lead on so you can easily
catch him and give the necessary correction if he gives any sign of wanting to
chase the cat. Your supervision at this point is critical - to be effective, you must
be able to correct the dog each and every time he even thinks about going after the
cat. If he's allowed to chase he r, even once, he'll want to try it again and you'll
have to start your training over from the beginning.
Some dogs learn quickly, others may take weeks to become trustworthy around cats.
Until you're sure the dog will remember his training, don't leave the m together
You can also combine a dog crate/cat crate with the “LEAVE IT!”
command to help introduce cats and dogs. Sometimes the dog is crated
with the cat free in the room, at other times, the cat is crated while the dog
was free. The dog should be allowed to investigate the cat but not to
harass or bark at it.
By giving the dog extra attention and even special treats when the is in the
room, the dog soon learns that having the cat around means very good
things are going to happen to him!

Cat to Dog Introduction
Dogs and cats can learn to get along with one another in the same household. They may never relish each other's company, but they can learn to tolerate each other. Most low prey dogs and cats can learn to live with each other with a few simple rules.

that your dog just wants to be friends, but your cat will allow just so much sniffing before she decides to high tail it out of there, and with Fido right on her feline heels. Dogs like to chase small creatures, that is part of their hunting instincts, so it is not that your dog is being bad, he is following his instincts and besides, he may just find it plain old fun. Keep your dog in a down/stay position whenever your cat is in the room. That way Fido is under control while Fluffy can gain some confidence around him. If you do not have verbal control over your dog, meaning you can stop Fido dead in his tracks when you tell him NO or OFF, then keep him on a leash in the house until you can learn to verbally control him. Just let your dog drag a six to ten foot leash around the house behind him so you can stop him easily. You can also use a squirt bottle set on a straight stream (bullet)to douse Fido in the face should he try to get on the case of Fluff. Praise your dog as soon as he stops chasing your cat. If you cannot get a handle on Fido's behavior, a good quality training class can put you back in control of Fido so Fluffy can enjoy her home too!
Do not allow your dog to chase ANY small animals, that will only undermine training Fido to leave your cat alone.
2. ALLOW YOUR CAT TO APPROACH YOUR DOG. By all means, allow Fluffy to walk
up and investigate your dog but watch carefully so Fido does not attempt to chase your cat. By allowing this to happen, your cat will gain trust in you and your dog, that nothing bad is going to happen to her. Fluffy will begin to realize that sharing a house with a dog (who is not allowed to approach her) isn't so bad at all!
3. ALLOW YOUR CAT TO HIDE IF SHE WANTS TO. Do not force a meeting between
the two. Allow Fluffy to investigate Fido on her own time, you just make sure Fido is not allowed to chase her at ANY time. Give her a quiet room to escape to with her food, out
of reach of Fido as well. It may take as long as eight to ten weeks before your cat will adjust to sharing her home with a canine pal.
that Fido is not going to terrorize your cat at any time, then do not leave them alone. Either put your cat in a room with the door closed (make sure your cat has her litterbox in there as well as some toys and water) or put your dog into confinement (such as a crate placed in your house).
Fluffy approach him or lets Fluffy walk by him without chasing her, PRAISE, PRAISE,
PRAISE such as saying in a happy voice “GOOODDD DOGGG! WHAT A GOOOOD
6. GIVE FIDO AN OUTLET FOR HIS CHASE BEHAVIOR. Teach Fido to chase a ball,
Frisbee, tetherball or squeaky toy rather than your cat. Regular exercise can help your dog remain calm around your cat.

Remember be consistent and make sure every person in the household is doing the same.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Junny's surgery update

Junny had his amputation surgery yesterday. The surgery ended up being far more complicated then expected. Junny's femur was fused to his hip socket requiring the bone to be cut away. On top of this the poor boy was a chryptorchid and our wonderful vet had to go routing around for his second testicle. I visited with Junny last night who was very excited to see me even in his sleepy state. He spent the night last night at the clinic.

Junny will spend one more night at the clinic after having some oozing from overactivity, yes even in his crate!

Next Trip to LA - Adopt a dog now

Hi Everyone,

As we are gearing up again for yet another trip to LA we are all getting excited about being able to bring back more dogs for adoptive homes. Our fearless volunteers, Shannon & Simon will be leaving this weekend to bring back beautiful Boxers for Canadian approved homes. If you have always wanted to adopt a Boxer now is the time! Submit your applications to

If you are not quite ready at this time to be a full time Boxer parent, you might want to consider fostering. Contact a volunteer today to find out more information!

Happy Olympics everyone! GO CANADA GO


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snoop Update


I was just thinking about you the other day. I am away with my boys this weekend, but I could do it next week some time. Let me know what you think. I attached a picture of the boys. You can tell they don't get along very well...


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Easy Ways to Help Establish Leadership With Your Dog

Hi Everyone!
It's so very important to establish leadership with your dog. Boxers are a very strong minded and often stubborn breed. If leadership is not provided to them they will often try and take over that role. All to often we hear people say they are their dogs leaders but then when push comes to shove it's proven quickly that the dog runs the house.

Does your dog bark at you because he wants to play, go for a walk, eat etc. If this is the case and you are giving in to this barking and full filling what he wants you are allowing him to take over a leadership role. Maybe your dog pushes your hand aside when they want to be pet? These all sound like innocent behaviours but it is actually your dog taking over a leadership role.

Some simple things you can do to help establish leadership with your dog:

At meal times have your dog work for his food. No dog in a wild pack can just run in and take it when they want. Everyone has a job and they have to be completed. Now I'm not saying send your dog out to hunt but do something as simple as make your dog sit. Place their dinner on the floor and have them hold it until you release them. Change this up because if you always make them sit and down before dinner you will have a dog who is running through the ritual routine without being asked.

Have your dog come to you if you, never go to the dog. If at walk time your dog runs to the door you catch up and leash them, then head across the room call your dog, leash them up and have them calmly approach the door.

Don't allow you dog to pull you down the road. Start your walk in a sit outside your home. The walks starts when you say it does and not when the dog drags you off your feet. Walks should be started in a controlled manner and the dog should only be allowed to forge off in front to sniff and smell when you agree the time is right.

For more information on being a strong leader there are many books and websites available.