NUTRITION • ALTERNATIVE HEALTH CARE • TRAINING AND BEHAVIOR • AND MORE
Volume 2 • Issue 3 • May/June 2011
the link to behavior issues
for dogs without boundaries
AYURVEDA FOR ANIMALS
Pet Health from an Ancient Eastern Perspective
A Natural Approach to Managing Canine Arthritis
Chicago’s Trusted Source for Natural Pet Food & Supplies
atural Pet Supplies
At Nate’s we carry only the best all natural food and treats for your canine and feline friends. We strive
to give every customer that one-on-one service you would expect from your neighborhood all-natural pet
store. We believe that feeding your dog naturally isn’t a gimmick, it’s a lifestyle.
We Carry Only the Best All Natural Food and Treats Available
• Fromm • Orijen • Acana • Honest Kitchen
• Lotus • Zukes • Stella & Chewy’s • Halo
• Evangers • Bravo • Primal • Natures Variety
• Nate’s carries a large selection of USA made rawhides, bones and bully sticks
• We also have a full line of frozen, freeze dried and dehydrated raw food
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Rudyard Kipling once said “Buy a pup and your money will buy love unflinching that cannot lie.”
I think one of the reasons we are drawn to dogs is that they are completely and utterly honest. Dogs
are incapable of deceit and that is one of the many reasons why I like to surround myself with dogs,
and why I try to be more like them in that regard. Because Dogs Naturally celebrates the dog, it
is important to me that, like dogs, the magazine is always honest and tells the truth - but with a
There are people and corporations who try to take advantage of our love for our dogs and it seems
that dog ownership is becoming more and more complicated. It is our goal to make caring for your
dog as simple and natural as possible and we will help you find honesty in a world full of deceit. We
envision Dogs Naturally as more than a magazine: it is a movement. It brings caring dog owners
together with experts who are not swayed by the large pharmaceutical companies, and advertisers
who promote alternative and natural products in place of manufactured pharmaceuticals. You can
trust us to always be truthful in the subjects we cover because you and your dog deserve the truth.
We are not here to support big business: we are here to support you.
The May issue celebrates puppies! Spring is the time to think about all things fresh and new and
what is more exciting than a new puppy or dog? Denise Theobald will teach you to use massage
on your puppies while Pamela Johnson will help you and your puppy get off to a smooth start with
easy, everyday training. Catherine O’Driscoll will help you decide how to vaccinate your puppy;
if at all. Pat Jordan will also outline some nasty consequences to vaccines you might not have
considered - and homeopathic solutions that might keep your dog happier and healthier. On the
nutrition front, Lucy Postins will talk about dietary considerations for puppies. Deva Khalsa will
also talk about environmental dangers for our dogs and how they can cause cancer. You can also
learn a little more about Bach Flowers and herbs. We also have a new column: Ask The Trainer.
You can ask your training questions and Pat Miller will give you her expert reply. We also offer
Ask The Vet, featuring Dr. Gerald Wessner. If you do not have access to a good, positive trainer or
holistic vet, consider submitting your questions to these two great columns. We are here to help.
Speaking of fresh and new, if you are new to holistic care, don’t be afraid. Dogs Naturally is a
community and you will find support not only in our pages, but on our website, blog, newsletter
and Facebook page. We are working hard to make holistic care more accessible for you. If you
feel overwhelmed or intimidated, send me a note with your concerns and we will do everything
possible to make you feel at home. A reader once commented that after reading our magazine,
she felt like she was a horrible dog owner because she fed kibble and vaccinated every three years.
Dogs Naturally is not here to judge our readers or their decisions. We are here to guide our readers
and help them on their journey to a more natural lifestyle. Everybody must progress within their
own level of comfort and you should never
feel guilty about trying to do the best you can
for your dog. What you think is best is likely
different than what you thought a couple of
years ago and a few years from now, you may
think completely different thoughts. This
only means that you are trying and learning
and that’s the best that any of us can do. If
Dogs Naturally helps you along the path, then
we are thrilled. We can’t think of a better use
of our time and efforts.
4 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
DR. TEJINDER SODHI did his ECFVG certification
with the American Veterinary Association
and opened his own clinic in Lynnwood,
Washington, The Animal Wellness Center. Dr.
Sodhi is president of the first ever chapter of
Holistic Veterinarians in the state of Washington.
Dr. Sodhi is one of three physician brothers
who created Ayush Herbs in 1988, offering
formulas for people and pets.
PAMELA JOHNSON’s passion is using positive
reinforcement and clicker training to train
tricks for canine freestyle and agility, and to
solve dog behavior problems.
Pamela’s family consists of a Husky Mix (Isabelle),
Two Border Collies (Bandit & Twix),
Cat (Sabrina) and husband (Marxsen). Pamela
competes with her dogs in agility and canine
freestyle; but enjoys every waking moment
with her dogs.
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
LUCY POSTINS is a companion animal nutritionist
and founder of The Honest Kitchen,
a natural pet food company in San Diego, CA.
Lucy is guardian to Willow and Taro, two Rhodesian
Ridgebacks and Indian, a mischievous
rescued Coonhound. In addition to the dogs,
she also cares for two young daughters, a former
racehorse, an elderly pony and a husband.
DR. DEVA KHALSA began her holistically
oriented veterinary practice over 25 years
ago, incorporating homeopathy, acupuncture,
Chinese Herbs, nutritional advice, and allergyelimination
techniques into her approach. Dr.
Khalsa loves sharing her knowledge with the
Dr. Khalsa is a Fellow and Professor of the
British Institute of Homeopathy. She has lectured
both nationally and internationally.
PAT MILLER is a Certified Dog and Horse
Behavior Consultant and Certified Professional
Dog Trainer. She offers classes, behavior
modification services, training clinics and
academies for trainers at her 80 acre Peaceable
Paws training facility in Fairplay, Maryland,
and presents seminars worldwide. She has authored
“The Power of Positive Dog Training”
and other popular training books.
ELLEN KOHN is an Interspecies Communicator,
Healing Touch for Animals Certified
Practitioner (HTACP), Reiki Master-Teacher,
Meridian Practitioner and Spiritual Counselor.
She frequently uses Bach Flower and Alaskan
Gem essences for her clients. She is also a certified
aromatherapist and uses crystal energy
for her healing work. She is the founder of
The Kohn Foundation, a Colorado non-profit
which helps children and animals on Grand
Bahama Island, The Bahamas.
for dogs without boundaries
Volume 2 Issue 3
FEATURES COLUMNS COVER
If your dog suffers from back pain, there
is hope with natural methods. The volunteers
at Dodgerslist discuss how they
can help you consider the options available
for your dog.
24 EPITAPH TO RUFF
A celebration of a long life lived naturally.
The trials and tribulations of a
spunky rescue dog, aptly named Ruff.
by: Anne Venus
26 THE CONCEPT OF DOMINANCE
Part two of this article explores the effectiveness
of common training techniques
and what they really teach your dog.
by: Barry Eaton
28 BACH FLOWER MAGIC
An in-depth summary of these useful
flower essences and their symptom pictures.
This guide will start you on your
way to finding flower essences to help
your dog achieve optimal health and
by: Ellen Kohn
30 PUPPY MASSAGE:
THE ART OF ATTACHMENT
Learn how to massage your puppy. Not
only will it help him physically, it will
help him to accept handling, learn self
control and bite inhibition.
by: Denise Theobald, LMT, CCMT
34 PUPPY TRAINING GAMES
Games and fun for you and your puppy.
Some cool ways to teach your puppy
by: Pamela Johnson
Dogs Naturally is published six times per year by Intuition Publishing.
Principle office: 5065 10th Line RR2, New Tecumseth, Ontario Canada L0G 1A0
4 EDITOR’S MESSAGE
8 ASK THE VET
with Dr. Gerald Wessner
9 THE APOTHECARY
10 SHOW & TELL
KC Scottish Terriers
19 TEN MINUTE TRAINER
Training Tips for Puppies
36 NUTRITION WITH LUCY
Feeding Guidelines for Puppies
38 ASK THE TRAINER
with Pat Miller
39 I NEED THAT
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40 ACROSS THE POND
Protecting your Puppy from Disease
42 SECRET GARDEN
Holistic Products and Services
46 LIVING AND TRAINING
IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN
VACCINES AND BEHAVIOR?
How much of an impact can vaccines
and vaccine additives have on
your dog’s behavior?
by: Patricia Jordan DVM and
AYURVEDA FOR ANIMALS
Looking at Pet Health from an Ancient
by: Tejinder Sodhi DVM
How to identify and eliminate common
environmental toxins that can
increase the risk of cancer in your
by: Deva Khalsa DVM
A NATURAL APPROACH TO
Solutions to reduce pain and inflammation,
slow down degeneration,
improve and maintain joint
function, supply nutrition to the
joints, increase range of motion and
prevent muscle loss associated with
by: Julie Mayer DVM
6 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
Owner: Alice Kugelman, CT
Photo by Vic Neumann
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
Please note that not all questions can be answered.
Ask the Vet is not a replacement for veterinary care.
Email your questions to Dr. Wessner:
I feed my dog Primal raw frozen nuggets and
I give him Enzyme Pro Plus by Great Life
I’m wondering if this is enough for him. He
is two years old and he is a Lhasa-poo male
and he weighs 14 lbs, very happy, very active,
stools are firm and small. I would like
I checked out the Primal brand on the web
and was pleasantly surprised as to the quality
listed on the ingredient list. The manufacturer
is doing a great job manufacturing
this diet, so I would feel very confident my
pet was getting all the ingredients that should
make him healthy-no wonder he is very happy,
active and has good firm stools.
As usual, I like to avoid over-vaccination, use
homeopathics, herbs and nutrition to maintain
health and treat any disease and make
sure your pet gets exercise daily. Filtered
water is also a must: I prefer reverse osmosis
filtered water with 1/4 tsp. of evaporated sea
salt added per gallon of water to mineralize
the water and give an alkaline reaction in the
body. As to the question of enzymes, they
are usually added when an animal has a hard
time digesting his food. Your pet apparently
doesn’t as you mentioned the stools were firm
and small, indicating he is doing a great job
I have heard recently that there is a resistant
strain of heartworm coming out of Mississippi
and Louisiana. With that information,
I was also told that only Advantage
Multi would kill all filaria even of the resistant
strain. Is this factual? I do not know
whether to keep my four dogs on Sentinel or
to switch to Advantage Multi. I am in South
Carolina but dogs travel with their humans
and we have quite a long mosquito season on
the coast. Any thoughts on this as to what
is the best heartworm and flea preventative?
Thanks so much, Nancy Peeples
There is some talk about a resistant strain of
heartworms in the upper Mississippi region.
Holistically speaking, I prefer to advise my
clients to maintain a healthy immune system
in their pets by reducing or eliminating all
vaccines, feeding a species appropriate diet,
making time for adequate exercise and using
homeopathics, herbs and nutrition to maintain
good health or treat any disease. There
is a heartworm nosode available and it has
been very effective as a heartworm preventative
over the last 15 years. Along with a good
immune system, it should be effective against
the new resistant strain. We must also consider,
just like antibiotic overuse has caused
resistant bacteria to form, that resistant heartworm
may have finally adapted to decades of
drug/chemical use. My choice is to feed the
immune system, use the heartworm nosode
and keep the pet indoors during heavy mosquito
I have recently adopted a sweet rescue dog
who is a Chihuahua/Terrier mix and he
has the worst breath! His dental care had
been completed but just in case, we had him
looked again by our own vet to be sure that
he didn’t have an abscessed tooth or some
other oral infection, but everything was fine
and the vet had no idea what caused his halitosis.
He is happy and healthy in every other
way. I have noticed though that occasionally
he will ‘burp’ and I am wondering if there
may be a problem with his digestive system
and if so, is this something which I should
be concerned about? He really does have the
worst breath ever and is lucky he is so darn
cute! :) Thanks, Terri Cunningham
Bad breath can really be a perplexing problem.
First, I always check the pet for vaccinosis
and also inquire and educate people on
the over-vaccination protocols that allopathic
vets perform. Next, observation of the pet
is necessary to find out if he is licking his/
her butt. Anal gland smell is atrocious and
there is the chance that the pet is having obstructed
anal glands. I have found that if the
anal glands are a problem, we need to find the
right homeopathic for the problem and also
soaking the anal area with an Epsom salt solution
can be very soothing and helpful. If
none of the above apply, then I check to see
if both kidney and liver are functioning well
and may prescribe homeopathics and nutritional
supplements specific to the toxicity.
Lastly, I might start adding a liquid probiotic
or prebiotic to the mouth (this works well on
tartar and may reduce or eliminate dental issues)
to increase the friendly bacteria in the
mouth (probiotics in the food do not work
for dental cleaning). If nothing here works,
please call a holistic vet who is willing to work
on this problem with a similar protocol.
My 14 year old Labrador recently passed
away. We have three other dogs. The Shepherd
seems to be taking the loss the hardest.
She’s become very quiet and doesn’t want to
play. Is there anything I can do to help her
through the grieving process? - Mary Mac-
There are two homeopathics I think about
when an animal is grieving. The first is Ignatia
30C and the second is Phosphoric Acid
30C, both being given once daily for three to
five days. I can usually tell which one the animal
needs by kinesiology but if you don’t have
this luxury, start with the first and wait a week
or two and then try the second. The homeopathic
helps the pet or person go through the
grieving process. DNM
Dr. Gerald Wessner graduated from the University
of Pennsylvania and spent two years
in the U.S. Army as the Assistant Post Veterinarian.
After the army, he worked in private
practice at several race tracks and opened a
small animal practice in Pennsylvania. In
the late 70’s, Dr. Wessner started learning and
practicing acupuncture and in the late 80’s,
he started an exclusive acupuncture practice.
From 90-95 he was the State Veterinarian at
Tampa Bay Race Track in Tampa, FL and in
1995 started an exclusive homeopathic practice.
Shortly afterward, he moved the practice
to Summerfield, FL and continues to practice
there. The practice consists of both clinic hours
and phone consultations.
8 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
Nux vomica is an important digestive remedy and no homeopathic kit
should be without this useful polycrest.
Nux vomica mother tincture is made from the berries of the Poison
Nut tree, found in the East Indies and Northern Australia. The main
constituent of these berries is strychnine, which is very poisonous.
The Nux vomica type is hyperactive, easily stimulated, temperamental,
and is over-indulged with food, drugs or toxins, leading to a stressed
immune system. Much like a person with a hangover from over-indulgence,
dogs who might need Nux vomica tend to be irritable because
they don’t feel well. They are also sensitive to light, noise and/
Nux vomica can be effective with both acute and more chronic conditions.
Acute cases will often be seen in dogs who get into garbage
or foul food and become sick. These dogs develop diarrhea and will
strain during bowel movements although stools will be small. There
may also be vomiting or, more often, retching and the dog will often
feel better after doing so. Overall, the dog will look to have food poisoning,
and often enough, he will. Nux vomica can also be indicated
for ‘morning sickness’ in pregnant dogs.
For acute cases, Nux vomica can be a quick and effective way to stop
the diarrhea and vomiting and moderate potencies (such as 30C), can
be given every half hour or so, until improvement is seen.
In more chronic cases, the Nux vomica dog will show similar symp-
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Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
toms. He may have chronic digestive issues and may be sensitive to
diet changes. Quite often, these dogs have received a fair number of
allopathic drugs in their lives and Nux vomica can be used to help the
body rid itself of some of the baggage. In chronic cases, Nux vomica
can also be indicated for constipation and bloat, as well as cystitis.
The modalities for Nux vomica are better with rest and fasting. Symptoms
will also be better in wet, damp weather and in darkness.
Just like a hangover, Nux vomica dogs will often feel their worst in the
morning. The symptoms will also be worse with mental exertion or
stress, over-eating (particularly rich or cold food), touch, noise, dry
weather and cold air.
Complementary remedies include Sulphur and Sepia. In acute cases,
Arsenicum album may be considered instead if the stools are watery
and there is thirst and dehydration.
Dosing for Nux vomica is often more effective in the evening.
Nux vomica is truly one of the more useful polycrests. Not only is it
good to have on hand for when dogs get into the garbage, it can help
owners who over-indulge too! DNM
KC Scottish Terriers
Q Tell us about your first Scottish Terrier
A Years ago, when I was living in New Jersey, I had a wonderful veterinarian
and friend, Dr. Christopher Shea. He and his wife invited us
over for dinner. When I arrived at their home, I was very taken with
their dog - a little, full-of-herself, black Scottish Terrier appropriately
named Tazmania. While I was there, she stood and watched me, obviously
sizing me up, postured as only a Scottie can, and then finally
came over and sat down next to me. I guess I passed the Scottie test - I
was hooked. The personality, attitude, intelligence and complete confidence
she radiated told me that this was the breed for me.
Several years later, a co-worker discovered a Scottish Terrier breeder in
our area. She bought two pups from the breeder and the next day, I
went to see the pups and got my first Scottish Terrier. I named her Taz
in honor of the little Scottie that got me interested in the breed. That
was in 1993. Taz was a black brindle and cute as a button. Scottish Terriers
come in many colors: black, black brindle, gray brindle and, my
Q Why did you become an NR breeder?
A With Taz, I did everything right: or so I thought. I was so proud
of myself; I fed the best kibble and vaccinated. I made sure I followed
all the conventional rules of good husbandry. And for the first several
months everything seemed to be fine. Then, when Taz was only eight
months old, my husband, Chuck, carried her in from the back yard –
she was having a seizure, one of many to come. I immediately took
her to the vet, and then another and another. For four years, I literally
went from vet to vet trying to find an answer, but the only answer I got
was “it’s a seizure disorder” – no cause, no cure.
I was able to provide some minor relief during her seizures using Bach
Rescue Remedy, but for the most part, we simply had to ride it out.
Then one day, in early 1997, I was again leaving a vet clinic after yet
another appointment, when an older woman overheard my conversation
with the vet tech about Taz. On my way out, the woman informed
me that the problem was that I was feeding the dog crap and that’s
why she was having seizures. She sparked my interest and I began
researching different diets. That was my first step into Natural Rearing.
After changing from commercial pet foods to a natural diet, Taz
went from 20 minute seizures every day, to about ten minute seizures
once a week. As the years went by, and I traded more and more conventional
practices for natural ones, her seizures lessened even further
until soon she had only a couple a year.
In the meantime, I got my first wheaten Scottish Terrier, Shellby. And
later on, I acquired Erin, a male stud from another breeder. I had decided
I wanted to breed Scotties and took them both to the vet to
Naturally reared champions inside and outside the ring.
be checked out for breeding. I had always been on the fence about
vaccines and did not bring the dogs to the vet for vaccines. The vet
and I got into a heated discussion about vaccinating. I did not have
the knowledge in those days that I do now, so I caved and allowed
him to vaccinate both dogs. Within three months, Erin had his first
seizure and was diagnosed with Insulinoma, a rare pancreatic cancer
that leads to low blood sugar and high insulin production. Erin died
14 months after his vaccinations, and Shellby’s health began spiraling
downward. In addition to thyroid disease, her overall health and vitality
steadily declined over the next several years until she ultimately
died of renal failure at the young age of ten.
Taz, Shellby and Erin had just a few too many things in common; they
were all fed chemically-laden commercial dog foods, they were all
vaccinated and they all began exhibiting illness or cancer shortly after
And so I began my own research into vaccines and other chemical preventions
and treatments. I wanted to know what they were made of,
what the adverse side effects were, how and why they were administered,
and, most of all, what alternatives there were. I began reading
articles about cancer in the breed and learned that the Scottish Terrier
was especially susceptible to cancer and that 49% of Scotties were dy-
Brigid and Sam
10 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
ing before the age of eight from a variety of cancers. I read studies
about the higher incidence of bladder cancer due to lawn chemicals
and fertilizers. It was then that I decided that the best way to improve
the breed was to change the way they were bred and raised.
So, I decided to do it the way nature intended. I started my own kennel,
called KC Scottish Terriers (after Kathleen and my husband Charles),
and began my search for a sire and dam to start naturally rearing Scotties.
I wanted a “clean” sire and dam, but knew that I would have
to find them through a conventional breeder or breeders who would
agree to sell me the dogs without vaccinating them. I found two longtime
breeders who would honor my wishes and also bred excellent
Scotties. And so began KC Scottish Terriers!
Q How did you start a Natural Rearing breeding program?
A Sam and Darby became my foundation bitch and stud, but I had
read enough about inherited vaccinosis and other issues with conventionally
bred dogs to know that I would need to radically change
the way these dogs lived and reproduced. My first order of business
was to hire a homeopath in order to get them as physically healthy
as possible. So, I hired a well-known, exceptionally gifted homeopath
to get the dogs into as a close to perfect condition as I could. For the
next two years, I learned how to care for dogs using totally natural
methods. I continued to feed a species appropriate diet. Although we
did not use chemicals around our property, I now began using totally
natural household cleaners and became increasingly diligent in reading
labels on products. I turned to natural immune support and natural
means for eliminating parasites.
Q Tell us more about Scottish Terriers – do they make good pets –
what is their job?
A Scottish Terriers make great pets, but require a certain environment
with a special kind of owner. They have to be allowed the time
and room to run and be dogs. They are bred to be diggers and if you
can’t accept that, then you are going to have a problem.
They are an extraordinarily intelligent breed and they have an interesting
and keen sense of fairness about life in general. They think about
things and you can see them processing information. They will do
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
what is reasonable - no more and no less. They excel in activities in
which they have a defined job and a challenge, like earth dog trials,
agility and other sports. They are determined and focused and they
never cease to amaze and entertain me.
Q Tell us about your involvement in helping others with Natural Rearing
A As part of my research over the years, I joined several forums on
health issues in dogs and began to learn about natural animal husbandry.
As I got deeper and deeper into Natural Rearing and met
more like-minded people, I found areas of learning that were short on
good practical information. Several people asked me to start a Natural
Rearing group for breeders and pet owners who wanted the complete
package and that led me to begin the Yahoo group AuNaturelK9s. We
began the website aunaturelk9s.com a short time later.
The group is a place for committed, like-minded folks to gather and
discuss every aspect of Natural Rearing. The website provides information
on Natural Rearing (raw feeding, vaccines, holistic health care,
etc.), as well as spotlighting NR breeders, NR success stories, and resources
for further learning. We have an NR breeder directory that is
free for our breeders to advertise their kennels and we have an available
stud dog page and a page for new litters.
Later, we realized that there were many folks out there who were just
learning different aspects of NR and needed help starting their journey.
And so, we created the Yahoo group RawK9s to help beginners
learn about raw feeding their dogs.
I felt that people might need more individualized help, so we began a
very successful mentoring program where people new to raw feeding
are paired with a long term raw feeder to give them one on one advice
and support. Many of the members of AuNaturelK9s (breeders and
pet owners) who have been NR for decades have volunteered their
time for this great cause. In addition, I mentor several people off-list
who have dogs with health issues, particularly those with Scottish Terriers.
Q What are your plans for the future?
A Hopefully to bring in another litter or two – but I won’t do that
until I have confirmed Natural Rearing owners waiting for the puppies.
One of my goals would be to mentor a young person who wants to
naturally rear Scottish Terriers. As far as I know, I am the only fully
NR Scottish Terrier breeder – obviously we need more if we want the
breed to improve. Natural Rearing, to be successful, requires us to
have several generations of dogs who are bred and raised following
these protocols. It will not happen in just one generation. So if you are
out there reading this, I’m waiting.
Q What is your advice for new breeders?
A Natural Rearing is not accepted with open arms by the vast majority
- even though it is older than time itself. Natural Rearing is not a
magic bullet; it will not fix a line in the first generation although the
progeny will certainly be more vital and healthy. It can take up to five
generations to clear a line of inherited problems from chemical damage.
Happily, there are many Natural Rearing breeders out there who
are more than willing to mentor. Find a breeder in your chosen breed
to have as a mentor. You have to believe in what you are doing with all
that you are - you cannot waver. Always keep this one thought in your
mind at all times – It’s not about us, it’s about the dogs. DNM
Oliver was the kind of dog you could instantly
fall in love with. He was a mediumsized
mixture of, well, a lot of breeds, but the
end result was a brown-spotted dog with an
angelic little face that no human could resist.
On the outside, he appeared to be the kind of
dog that would happily grab life by the horns;
on the inside however, he was tortured and
Oliver started his life with humans when he
and his litter mates were picked up as strays.
What his experiences with humans were prior
to his rescue is largely unknown, although he
likely did not have much opportunity for socialization
because the puppies were all fairly
skittish around people. Oliver and his siblings
were given a home, a veterinary consult, and in
a very short time, he was neutered, vaccinated,
treated for parasites and adopted by a doting
woman who immediately hung the moon on
the little dog.
Sadly, Oliver’s story does not end there. It soon
became apparent that Oliver carried some
heavy baggage from his time on the streets
is there a link between
VACCINES and BEHAVIOR?
and in the shelter. He was sound sensitive, aggressive
toward humans and aggressive toward
other dogs. In fact, Oliver reacted quickly and
aggressively to anything that appeared out of
order in his very limited little world. Oliver did
not believe in due notice; unlike most dogs, he
did not give any warnings before he chose to go
on the offensive, and he soon met any uncomfortable
situation with a deftly delivered bite.
By the time Oliver had found his way into a
Growly Dog class, he had accumulated quite
the extensive resume of people and dogs he had
bitten. Oliver was one frightened and paranoid
little dog who chose not to run away, but to bite
first and ask questions later.
Despite his owner’s enthusiasm and compliance,
Oliver floundered in Growly Dog class.
He defied the laws of learning and continued
to bite both strangers and the people who loved
him. He was becoming a danger not only to the
people and dogs around him, but to himself;
Oliver was stressed and it was only a matter
of time before both his health and his attitude
were compromised. After exhausting every av-
by: Patricia Jordan DVM and Dana Scott
enue of training, Oliver’s owner made the
grim decision that the best way to help Oliver
would be to end his short and tragic life. Oliver
was scheduled to be euthanized.
Oliver was taken to a Homeopathic vet for what
his owner thought would be his last car ride.
Once they arrived, the vet began asking questions
about Oliver, such as what he was fearful
of, when he was fearful, and what unique
quirks defined his personality and day-to-day
life. To his owner’s shock, the vet then asked
if she would give Oliver one more chance. She
cautiously agreed and prayed that she was not
getting her hopes up, only to have them dashed
again. Oliver was diagnosed with rabies vaccinosis
and sent home with homeopathic remedies.
Three weeks later, Oliver became the dog he
was meant to be, inside and out. He was much
less sensitive to noises and sudden movement,
he sought out human and dog interactions and
his bite incidence went down to virtually zero.
Oliver was well again.
12 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
What makes Oliver’s story unique is not that he suffered such mental
anguish; what makes it unique is the fast and definitive end to his suffering.
It might seem that stories like Oliver’s are rare and sadly, the happy
endings are indeed rare because too few dogs with behavior problems
are treated at the root of the problem. Too many vets and pet owners
fail to connect the dots between vaccinations and behavior, especially
as the onset of symptoms can be insidious - even though the damage
At first glance, it might be a stretch to think that vaccination can cause
changes in behavior. It has long been believed that the immune system
and brain were worlds apart, effectively separated by what is known as
the blood-brain barrier. The cells that make up the walls of blood vessels
called capillaries are woven together more tightly in the brain than
elsewhere in the body, preventing proteins and cells from entering the
brain. Scientists believed that this barrier effectively protected the brain
from blood-born toxins, viruses and bacteria. Now, though, it is becoming
clear that antibodies, molecules and even immune cells often
get through, sometimes with radical effects. In fact, immune cells do not
even need to reach the brain to influence it.
“It used to be thought that the immune system and the nervous system
were worlds apart,” says John Bienenstock of McMaster University in
Hamilton, Canada. Now it seems the immune system, and infections
that stimulate it, can influence our moods, memory and ability to learn.
Some strange behaviors, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, may be
triggered by infections, and the immune system may even shape basic
“It used to be thought that the immune
system and the nervous system
were worlds apart,” says John
Bienenstock of McMaster University in
Hamilton, Canada. Now it seems the
immune system, and infections that
stimulate it, can influence our moods,
memory and ability to learn. Some
strange behaviors, such as obsessive
compulsive disorder, may be triggered
by infections, and the immune system
may even shape basic personalities.”
Every vaccine has two components: the actual virus that you’re seeking
to elicit an immune response to, such as Parvovirus, and an immune
adjuvant, which enhances the immune response and is typically made
from a variety of highly toxic compounds including aluminum, MSG,
and mercury. Adjuvants are added to boost the immune system, or to
make it react as intensely as possible for as long as possible.
Dr. Russell Blaylock MD warns: “Studies have shown that these adjuvants,
from a single vaccine, can cause immune over-activation for as
long as two years. This means that the brain microglia remain active
as well, continuously pouring out destructive chemicals. In fact, one
study found that a single injection of an immune activating substance
could cause brain immune over-activation for over a year. This is very
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
Aluminum is capable of not only traveling directly to the brain and accumulating
there, but it increases the permeability of the blood-brain
barrier. Aluminum presents a serious bio-security breach, acting as a
Trojan Horse and allowing the viruses, mercury and antigens to freely
enter the central nervous system.
Aluminum can also have a direct influence on the brain. In humans,
Alzheimer’s disease is strongly related to aluminum. In these patients,
the brain is shrunken with a loss of neurons. Postmortem examination
also shows bundles of material tied up in the nerves called plaques and
the greater the number of plaques, the greater the degree of dementia.
Chemical analysis shows an aluminum core at the root of each plaque.
Despite its widespread use in vaccines, aluminum has been known to
be neurotoxic to animals since 1885. It has recently been shown to produce
a degeneration of nervous tissue in cats and rabbits that resembles
the plaques found in human patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Although we perceive dementia to be a normal part of the aging process,
it is not. Research at UC Davis in California suggests as many as
39 percent of aging dogs have at least one sign of dementia. The affected
dogs were found to have the same plaques seen in Alzheimer’s patients.
Leading immunologist Hugh Fudenberg MD, says that humans who received
five flu vaccinations between 1970 and 1980 are ten times more
likely to get Alzheimer’s Disease than those who had only one or two
shots. Fudenberg attributes this to aluminum and mercury, which almost
every flu vaccine contains. The gradual accumulation of aluminum
and mercury in the brain leads to cognitive dysfunction.
Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative which is nearly 50% mercury
by weight. Thimerosal was first introduced in vaccines by Eli Lilly
in the 1930’s. Thimerosal is a very inflammatory neurotoxin and genetic
mutator and Pittman Moore Animal Pharmaceutical Company warned
against its safety “even in dog serum” to Eli Lilly Company in 1935. Pittman
Moore found that over 50% of vaccinated dogs suffered inflammatory
reactions to Thimerosal.
These safety issues were raised in Congressional testimony several times
and the correspondence from Pittman Moore to Eli Lilly is a part of
Congressional Hearings testimony on the dangers of mercury in vaccines.
Despite this, Thimerosal is still used as a preservative in a staggering
number of vaccinations for both humans and dogs.
In a 2008 study, Macaques were given the recommended infant vaccines
and researchers measured their development, cognition and social
behavior. Compared to the unvaccinated control group, the vaccinated
Macaques showed significant neuro-developmental deficits and aberrant
social and non-social behaviors, mimicking the abnormalities of
autism (Pediatric Vaccines Influence Primate Behavior, and Amygdala
Growth and Opioid Ligand Binding Friday, May 16, 2008: IMFAR ).
The causal connection between Thimerosal and the brain pathology associated
with autism was also found in a 2009 study (A Mitochondrial
Dysfunction, Impaired Oxidative-Reduction Activity, Degeneration,
and Death in Human Neuronal and Fetal Cells Induced by Low-Level
Exposure to Thimerosal and Other Metal Compound). The Thimerosal
caused cellular toxicity and both studies showed significant mitochondrial
dysfunction, reduced cellular oxidative-reduction activity, cell degeneration,
and cell death. It is likely no coincidence that one child in
six in the U.S. is learning disabled and one out of every hundred suffers
Most dogs undergo a much more extensive vaccine schedule than children
and it is largely unknown how many suffer from the same learning
and developmental disabilities because there is no reporting system in
place. Even with a satisfactory reporting system for vaccine reactions,
few vets and fewer dog owners would view behavior issues as a vaccineinduced
In addition to being a direct neurotoxicant, Thimerosal may also be an
immunotoxicant, leaving the immune system vulnerable to dangerous
microbes and other external influences. In 2006, a team of cell biologists
at UC Davis published a study connecting Thimerosal with disruptions
in antigen-presenting cells known as dendritic cells, obtained
from mice. Dendritic cells play pivotal roles in overcoming viral and
bacterial invaders by coordinating the immune system’s overall combat
response. One dendritic cell can activate as many as 300 white blood
cells (which help find and kill external agents that attack the immune
system), making them the most effective immune system activators.
The sensitizing effect of Thimerosal is well documented in human studies,
showing an ability to create systemic autoimmunity and to accelerate
or aggravate spontaneously occurring autoimmune conditions. In
1999, the U.S. Public Health Service and American Academy of Pediatrics
jointly called for the removal of Thimerosal from U.S. vaccines
“as soon as possible.” Since 2001, Thimerosal has been replaced by the
much less toxic compounds, like 2-phenoxyethanol (2-PE) in human
vaccines but is sill found in virtually all animal vaccines.
People who are chronically ill often get depressed; depressed people are
prone to a variety of medical illnesses; and pro-inflammatory cytokines
can alter mood and promote illness. Vaccination stimulates the release
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of cytokines and other inflammatory prostaglandins. In the brain, these
substances increase cortisol production.
In a study published in the journal Hormones and Behavior, researchers
at Concordia University and the Centre for Research in Human
Development studied “the relationship between cortisol levels in young
people with problematic behavior such as aggression or depression, and
the length of time since the onset of these behaviors,” explains Paula
Ruttle, lead author and PhD candidate at Concordia’s Department of
Psychology. “Cortisol levels were abnormally high around the time
problem behaviors began”.
A 2008 study revealed that vaccinated animals exhibited progressively
severe chronic active inflammation, whereas unexposed animals did
not (Microarray Analysis of GI Tissue in a Macaque Model of the Effects
of Infant Vaccination Saturday, May 17, 2008 IMFAR). Although
cytokines are too large to pass freely through the blood-brain barrier,
recent studies have shown that they can enter through naturally occurring
leaky regions and via specialised channels. They can also affect
nerves that transmit signals into the brain. There is growing evidence
that cytokines associated with inflammation can cause depression.
Dr. Jean Dodds has identified a definite link between modified live vaccines
and hypothyroidism in dogs (and hyperthyroidism in cats), and
estimates that 80% of hypothyroidism is autoimmune in nature. Typical
clinical signs of hypothyroidism include unprovoked aggression toward
other animals and/or people, sudden onset of a seizure disorder in
adulthood, disorientation, moodiness, erratic temperament, periods of
hyperactivity, stunted attention span, depression, fearfulness and phobias,
anxiety, submissiveness, passivity, compulsiveness, and irritability.
A similar association between hypothyroidism and behavior has been
well documented in humans.
Interestingly, most behavioral problems in dogs develop in adolescence
– the age group that is the most heavily and frequently vaccinated.
Catherine O’Driscoll’s Canine Health Concensus found that 70% of vaccinated
dogs developed a reason to go to the vet within three months of
vaccination. The rate of physical or behavioral damage from vaccines
appears to be considerable.
VACCINOSIS AND MIASM
To most people, the term vaccinosis elicits visions of sudden and severe
reactions in their dogs including seizures, skin eruptions or encephalitis.
For homeopaths, vaccinosis can have a very different meaning and
a very different presentation. To homeopaths, vaccinosis is a form of
In Hahnemann’s words, the true natural chronic diseases are those that
arise from a chronic Miasm, which when left to themselves or improperly
treated, go on to increase, growing worse and tormenting the patient
to the end of his life. A Sycotic Miasm is a hypersensitive response,
such as tumors and allergies, to something that happened in the dog or
Dr. Richard Pitcairn explains vaccinosis as follows: “...vaccinosis is the
establishment of, instead of the acute natural disease, a chronic condition
which now has the time to develop a multitude of manifestations
not ordinarily seen. Another way of saying this is that the process of
laboratory modification of a viral disease to make a vaccination strain is
the conversion of the disease from acute to chronic. The virus has been
14 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
changed so that its natural tendency to arouse a strong response is gone.
Instead it can be introduced into the body in a form that does not elicit
much of a reaction. The result is the establishment of a chronic disease
that has never been seen before in clinical practice.”
Canine Distemper in the acute form can result in epileptic seizures and
encephalitis, meaning that dogs vaccinated for Distemper may have a
more chronic form of seizure-related aggression. Lyme Disease also has
the ability to rewire the brain and affect personality, so vaccination for
this disease may also result in chronic neurologic and behaviour issues.
Perhaps the most incriminating vaccine is Rabies. According to Dr. Pitcairn,
the chronic form of Rabies includes a restless nature, mistrust of
strangers, aggression, aloofness, fear of being left alone, tendency to escape
confinement and roam, tendency to hysteria when restrained, selfmutilation,
excessive tendency to bark, destructive behavior, seizures,
increased sexual desire and sexual aggression. Chronic Rabies carries
quite a long laundry list of increasingly common behavioral issues.
The good news is, by avoiding vaccination, you can avoid the Miasm.
The bad news is, Miasm is somewhat ‘genetic’ in nature, meaning that
your dog can carry the toxic baggage from his parents, grandparents,
or even great-grandparents. This could explain why some breeds are
more susceptible to auto-immune disorders and to vaccine-induced
behavior issues. In Vaccinosis and Its Cure by Thuja with Remarks on
Homeoprophylaxis, J. Compton Burnett, M.D observes that people who
are most susceptible to contracting the disease being vaccinated against
are more likely to die when they do come in contact with it. In other
words, rather than protecting some individuals as planned, vaccination
actually makes them more susceptible. The vaccination, having created
a chronic disease ahead of time, can predispose the patient to a more
serious natural illness which combines with the established vaccinosis.
There are homeopathic solutions available for dogs suffering from vaccine-induced
illness and behavior issues. Dr. Richard Pitcairn states:
“Thuja is the most important remedy to be used for that state induced
by vaccination. Other remedies noted to have this correspondence are
Sulphur, Mezereum, Malandrinum, Sarsaparilla, Carcinosin, and Silicea
“Malandrinum and Carcinosin are interesting remedies because both
are nosodes — the former from horses with “grease heel” and the latter
from a cancerous discharge from a human being. Thuja, Mezereum,
and Sarsaparilla are vegetable remedies — Thuja from the Arbor vitae
tree, Mezereum is known as Spurge olive, and Sarsaparilla is an herbal
medicine. Sulphur, the element and Silicea, which is silicon dioxide or
quartz, are mineral remedies. Thus we have representations from all the
major remedy classes.
“It gradually dawned on me that the underlying problem in some of my
difficult cases was a state of illness that had been induced by vaccination.
So, rather than simply use a totality of symptoms to choose my
prescription, I found it more effective to emphasize the rubric “Vaccination,
effects of ” almost to the exclusion of other remedies. In this way, I
was able to make progress in some very frustrating clinical situations.”
It is important to note that, although useful, homeopathic remedies will
not reliably erase all symptoms of vaccine damage. Given the inherent
dangers in vaccines, the best approach is to avoid them altogether – and
when this is not possible, to vaccinate as minimally and intelligently as
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
possible. Before vaccinating your dog, you must realistically weigh the
risks of vaccinating as opposed to not vaccinating. Vaccination may
reduce your dog’s risk of acute disease, but will increase his risk of not
only behavior issues, but chronic auto-immune diseases including cancer
Thankfully for Oliver, his story ended happily with the introduction of
the proper homeopathic remedy. For every happy outcome, there are
countless dogs who suffer the stress and anxiety associated with vaccine
damage. We often see the symptoms on the skin or in the bowels and, as
difficult as it is for some people to view these issues as vaccine-induced,
it is ten times more difficult for them to see their dog’s behavior issues
Behavior issues have become so predominant in dogs that we just view
them as normal dog behavior; just the same as we view hot spots or digestive
upsets as natural occurrences. It is important to recognize that
a truly healthy dog is healthy inside and out and that includes his body,
mind and soul. If you suspect your dog has a vaccine-induced behavior
issue, have him treated by a qualified classical homeopath. Remember
that even if he has not been vaccinated, he could be carrying the burden
of the mistakes made on his ancestors in the form of a miasm. In the
hands of a good homeopath, there is no longer any need for dogs like
Oliver to suffer without hope. DNM
Patricia Monahan Jordan is a graduate of the North Carolina College
of Veterinary Medicine. She practiced conventional veterinary medicine
for twenty years and founded six different veterinary facilities in North
Carolina. Dr. Jordan has traced the paths of immunopathology to vaccine
administration and uncovered the cycle of disease and the endless cycle of
disease management that results from vaccine administration. Dr. Jordan
can be reached at www.dr-jordan.com.
AYURVEDA FOR ANIMALS
Looking at Pet Health from an Ancient Eastern Perspective
by: Dr. Tejinder Sodhi
India’s Ayurveda, meaning “science of life,” (from the Sanskrit veda for
“science” and ayur for “life”) is perhaps the oldest system of holistic
medicine, originating in 6,000 BC.
Though human westerners have increasingly looked to the healthy wisdom
that Ayurveda offers, few are aware that their animals and pets
can benefit just as much from the alternative, natural supplements and
lifestyle practices as they can.
As mentioned in ancient Ayurvedic texts, early veterinary medicine focused
on animal welfare, treatment therapies, management and surgery.
Sali Hotra was the first to be credited as an animal healer and wrote
Ayurveda Materia Medica in veterinary medicine.
Ayurvedic herbs and modality have been in use for thousands of years
with safety and efficiency proving its track record. Though most Ayurvedic
products are based on body energetics, to the western mind, it
should be clear that most Ayurvedic herbs are well researched with basic
and clinical research. Combinations of herbal products balance the energetics
of other herbs leading to a balanced product.
What’s Your Pet’s Body Type (Prakriti)?
If you own a dog, you may be accustomed to referring to it as large, medium
or small. But in Ayurveda, body types are more complex than that.
Body typing is a unique concept in Ayurvedic medicine, based on the
five elements theory. Determining your pet’s body type allows you to
learn how to create balance in their mind, body and spirit, thereby allowing
your pet to achieve and maintain optimal health. Moreover,
when your pets are functioning at optimal levels, they benefit not only
themselves, but also the world around them. Your pets affect the people
and places around them in a positive way. Indeed, your pets’ well-being
has a great effect on everything and everyone they come across.
In individuals and pets, the five elements manifest as the Tridosha. Dosha
means “protective,” or, when out of balance, “disease-producing.”
The Tridosha are the three humors, or metabolic forces that make up the
mind and body. They are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Vata = Ether + Air
Pitta = Fire + Water
Kapha = Water + Earth
At the time of fertilization, permutations of Vata, Pitta and Kapha determine
the constitution of any living being. These three metabolic forces
control all biological, psychological, and physiopathological functions
of the body, mind, and consciousness and have subtle properties. These
forces determine personality traits, and physiological structure, with the
influence of gender and other important factors such as diet, lifestyle,
behavior, emotions, seasons, and so on.
The unique individual constitution produces natural urges and individual
tastes in food, flavor and temperature. The doshas govern the
maintenance and destruction of bodily tissue and the elimination of
waste products. They are also responsible for psychological phenomena,
including emotions of fear, anger, and greed as well as the highest order
of emotions: understanding, compassion, and love.
Functions of the Tridosha
A balance of the dosha is necessary for optimal health. The doshas increase
by similar properties and are diminished by the opposite ones.
For example, Vata is dry, light, and cold; so any food, medicine, or behavior
that increases these qualities will increase Vata within the body.
Conversely, oily, heavy, or hot factors will decrease Vata.
Together, the doshas govern all metabolic activities; anabolism (Kapha),
catabolism (Vata), and metabolism (Pitta). There can be up to ten different
constitutions, depending upon the permutation and combination
of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The combination of the three humors remains
unchanged throughout a pet’s lifetime but can respond to environmental
changes such as diet and lifestyle, thereby providing the opportunity
for the pet to maintain health or compromise it.
16 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
Ten Dosha Combinations
Vata is considered the leader of the three Ayurvedic Principles in the
body. Vata governs all movement in the mind and body. It controls
blood flow, elimination of wastes, breathing and the movement of
thoughts across the mind. It’s very important to keep Vata in good balance.
The related elements are Air and Ether.
Common characteristics of pets who have a predominantly Vata constitution:
• Mental quickness
• Highly intelligent
• Quick to learn and grasp new knowledge, but also quick to forget
• Slenderness; lightest of the three body types
• Runs and walks quickly
• Tendency toward cold paws, discomfort in cold climates
• Excitable, lively, fun personality
• Changeable moods
• Irregular daily routine
• Variable appetite and digestive efficiency
• High energy in short bursts; tendency to tire easily and to overexert
• Full of joy and enthusiasm when in balance
• Respond to stress with fear, worry, and anxiety, especially when
out of balance
• Tendency to act on impulse
• Often distracted easily
• Generally have dry skin and dry fur
• Typical health problems include hypertension, earaches, anxiety,
irregular heart rhythms, muscle spasms, lower back pain, constipation,
abdominal gas, diarrhea, nervous stomach and arthritis. Most
neurological disorders are related to Vata imbalance.
Pets of Vata constitution are generally physically slender and smallframed.
Their chests are flat with their veins and muscle tendons visible.
The skin is cool, rough, dry and cracked. Vata pets generally are either
taller or shorter than average, with thin frames that reveal prominent
joints and bone-ends because of small muscle development. The eyes
may be sunken, small, dry, and active. The nails are rough and brittle.
The shape of the nose is bent and in some cases turned-up.
Physiologically, the appetite and digestion are variable. The production
of urine is scanty and the feces are dry, hard, and small in quantity. Their
sleep may be disturbed and they will sleep less than the other types.
Their paws are often cold.
Psychologically, they are characterized by short memories but quick
mental understanding. They will understand something immediately,
but will soon forget it. They sometimes lack determination, tend toward
mental instability, and are sensitive to tolerance, confidence, or boldness.
Vata pets are nervous, fearful at times, and afflicted by much anxiety.
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
Pitta is a force created by the dynamic interplay of water and fire. These
forces represent transformation. Pitta governs digestion, absorption,
assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature, the luster of the
eyes, intelligence, and understanding. Psychologically, Pitta arouses anger
and jealousy. The small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, fat,
eyes, and skin are the seats of Pitta.
Common characteristics of pets who have a predominantly Pitta body
• Medium physique, strong, well-built
• Sharp mind, good powers of concentration
• Assertive, self-confident; aggressive, demanding, pushy when out
• Competitive, enjoy challenge
• Strong digestion, strong appetite; get irritated if they have to miss
or wait for a meal
• Like to be in command
• When under stress, Pittas become irritated and angry
• Uncomfortable in sun or hot weather; heat makes them very tired
• People may find them stubborn or pushy
• Generally good leadership ability, usually acts as leader of the pack
• Subject to mood swings, impatience, and anger
• Typical physical problems include rashes or inflammations of the
skin, acne, boils, skin cancer, ulcers, heartburn, acid stomach, hot
sensations in the stomach or intestines, insomnia, bloodshot or
burning eyes and other vision problems, anemia, jaundice.
These pets are of medium build, are slender, and their body frame may
be delicate. They show a medium prominence of veins and muscle tendons.
The bones are not as prominent as in the Vata pet. Muscle development
The fur is soft and warm. The eyeballs will be of medium prominence.
The claws are softer. The shape of the nose is sharp. Physiologically, these
pets have a strong metabolism, good digestion and resulting strong appetites.
The animal of Pitta constitution usually takes large quantities of
food and liquid. Their sleep is of medium duration but uninterrupted.
They produce a large volume of urine. The body temperature may run
slightly high, and their paws will tend to be warm. Pitta pets do not
tolerate sunlight or heat well.
Psychologically, Pitta pets have good powers of comprehension; they are
very intelligent and sharp. They have emotional tendencies toward hate,
anger, and jealousy.
Kapha is the conceptual equilibrium of water and earth. Kapha is both
structure and lubrication. One can visualize the Kapha force as the
stirring force that keeps the water and the earth from separating. This
dosha maintains body resistance. Water is the main constituent of Kapha,
and this bodily water is responsible physiologically for biological
strength and natural tissue resistance in the body. Kapha lubricates the
joints; provides moisture to the skin; helps to heal wounds; fills the spaces
in the body; gives biological strength, vigor, and stability; supports
memory retention; gives energy to the heart and lungs, and maintains
Kapha is present in the chest, throat, head, sinuses, nose, mouth, stomach,
joints, cytoplasm, plasma, and in the liquid secretions of the body,
such as mucus. Psychologically, Kapha is responsible for the emotions
of attachment and greed. It is also expressed in tendencies toward calmness,
forgiveness, and love. The chest is the seat of Kapha.
Common characteristics of pets who have a predominantly Kapha constitution:
• Easygoing, relaxed, slow-paced
• Affectionate and loving, forgiving, compassionate, non-judgmental
nature, stable and reliable; faithful
• Physically strong with a sturdy, heavier build
• Have the most energy of all constitutions, but it is steady and enduring,
• Slow moving and graceful
• Slower to learn, but never forgets; outstanding long-term memory
• Soft fur; tendency to have large “soft” eyes and are soft tempered
• Tend toward being overweight; may suffer from sluggish digestion
• More self-sufficient, need less outward stimulation than do the
other types; have a mild, gentle, and essentially undemanding approach
• Excellent health, strong resistance to disease
• Calm, strive to maintain peace in their surroundings
• Not easily upset and can be a point of stability for others
• Tend to be possessive
• Don’t like cold, damp weather
• Physical problems include colds and congestion, respiratory problems
including asthma and wheezing, hay fever, allergies, and atherosclerosis
Pets of Kapha constitution have well-developed bodies. There is, however,
a strong tendency for these individuals to carry excess weight. Their
chests are expanded and broad. The veins and tendons of Kapha pets are
not obvious because of their thick skin and their muscle development is
good. The bones are not prominent.
The fur is soft, lustrous, and oily, and skin texture is cold and pale. The
fur is thick, dark, soft, and wavy. The eyes are dense, large, and attractive.
Physiologically, Kapha pets have regular appetites. Due to slow digestion,
they tend to consume less food. Stools are soft and may be pale
in color, evacuation is slow. Sleep is sound and prolonged. There is a
strong vital capacity evidenced by good stamina, and Kapha pets are
generally healthy, happy and peaceful.
Psychologically, they tend to be tolerant, calm, forgiving, and loving:
however, they also exhibit traits of greed, attachment and possessiveness.
Their comprehension is slow but definite: once they understand
something, that knowledge is retained.
Other body types are a combination and permutation of the dosha present
in them. Life is considered a sacred path in Ayurveda; a ceaseless
interaction between the internal Tridosha, environment and the external
environment, or the sum of cosmic forces. To counterbalance external
change, a pet lover may create a balance for their pet in the internal
forces by altering his or her diet, lifestyle, and behavior.
Diet by Dosha
In Ayurveda, food is medicine and medicine is food, and it is important
to consider the right ingredients, proportions, freshness and seasonality,
promoting balance with foods that counter or diminish the excess
dosha. If you choose to change your pets’ diets, please do so in increments,
taking about three weeks to switch them over to a more wholesome
In addition to the pet’s dosha, keep in consideration whether the animal
is a larger or smaller breed, active or a couch potato. Below are a
few specific food recommendations based on either vata, pitta or kapha
Vata (e.g. Greyhound dog) - Vata dogs run cool and dry and should
avoid beans, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, and potatoes. Feed them
warming foods such as beef, along with washed and pureed carrots and
squashes although they can be quickly blanched then pureed for enhanced
Avoid ghee as it is hard for animals to digest and can lead to pancreatitis.
(Use fish oil instead.) For pets experiencing digestive issues, they can
be fed the Ayurvedic dish “kitcheree” made with white basmati rice and
mung beans. Spices can include black pepper, cumin and coriander,
with a slight bit of hing for Vata dogs.
Pitta (e.g. Pitbull) – As Pitta dogs tend to run warm, avoid foods that
provoke warmth. They do well with cooling foods including meats such
as duck, and chicken breasts; dairy products such as cottage cheese, and
even tofu. Fresh pureed veggies such as leafy greens are beneficial as
Kapha (e.g. overweight Golden Retriever) - For the heavy-set Kapha
pet, the diet should contain more wholesome foods such as fresh veggies.
Avoid starch, grains and fat, and additives such as molasses and
corn syrup. Veggies should include carrots, squash and pumpkin and
should always be washed, raw and pureed.
The most common herbs and spices for pets include turmeric, cumin
and coriander powders for balancing digestion. Try dried or fresh ginger
for Vata pets, cumin and coriander for Pitta, and turmeric for Kapha.
Take care not to be overindulge, as a 60 lb. dog only needs 1/8 of a
teaspoon of any given herb.
For hyperactive dogs, ashwagandha has a calming effect (also a wonderful
herb for humans!) These types of dogs also need to keep active.
Some types of dogs are considered working dogs by breed (i.e. cattle
dogs) and need to have a “job” that keeps them involved and moving.
Just remember most Ayurvedic principles that can apply to humans also
apply to your pets. Provide them with an environment and nutrition
that balances their doshas and they are sure to become a harmonious
member of your family, contributing their unique gifts that express their
dosha in its most beneficial form. DNM
Dr. Tejinder Sodhi graduated from the College of Veterinary Science in
Punjab, India in 1983. Dr. Sodhi came to the United States in 1985, where
he did his ECFVG certification with the American Veterinary Association
and opened his own clinic in Lynnwood, Washington, The Animal Wellness
Center with clients coming to him from throughout Washington State
and even from the East coast of the United States and Canada. In 1996,
Dr. Sodhi opened his second location in Bellevue, WA. Dr. Sodhi is also
president of the first ever chapter of Holistic Veterinarians in the state of
Washington. As president, he works to promote Holistic care in the field.
Dr. Sodhi is one of three physician brothers who created Ayush Herbs in
1988, offering formulas for people and pets. Ayush products are designed
in mind to support body systems and promote optimal health and performance.
Ayush pet products meet or exceed stringent requirements and
has been supported by holistic practitioners all over the United States,
Canada, and India.
18 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
Reward all good behaviors that you would like repeated.
Be consistent and have patience.
Clicker Training: Get into a clicker training class right away and
learn as much as you can about this magical way to train dogs.
Use a positive interrupter to teach your puppy to stop what he is doing
and look at you. I use a kissy noise that is paired and conditioned with
food or toys.
Plan play dates.
Provide mental stimulation by allowing your pup to sniff, explore, and
learn about the world he lives in.
Train your puppy to do tricks! Tricks are not only fun to train, but can
also help strengthen muscles and aid in flexibility.
Provide a variety of chew bones, stuffed Kongs, and acceptable things
Crate-train - this can really be beneficial for potty training, traveling,
staying in hotels, overnight stays at the vet if needed, and will help your
puppy feel comfortable and safe.
Provide your puppy with a high quality diet.
Manage unwanted behaviors and prevent them from becoming an issue
from the very beginning.
Teach your puppy to enjoy being handled (ears, paws, nails, tail, teeth,
brush, and bath).
Put together a first aid kit.
Use a chest clipping harness for walking to prevent damage to your
Build a positive, trusting relationship with your puppy.
Allow your puppy to have a choice and reward him for the right ones.
Supervise your puppy at all times and use your crate or play pen when
you can’t be right there with your puppy.
Set your puppy up to succeed by teaching him what you do want him to
do, rather than punishing him for what you don’t want him to do.
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
10 Minute Trainer
Training Tips for New Dogs and Puppies
If you have a new addition to your family, it is best to start out on the right paw. This is a handy list
of things to consider as you teach your new family member the ropes.
Get angry with your puppy. He does not understand what is expected
of him yet. Do not blame him if you do not train him.
Use force, intimidation or physical (hitting, pushing, yanking) or verbal
punishments (yelling, screaming). This will only damage your relationship
with your dog and cause your dog unwanted or unnecessary stress.
Use punishment-based training methods (shock collars, prong collars,
choke chains, corrections). Aggression begets aggression. If you would
not train a child or other animal with these methods, why would you
train your dog using them?
Call your puppy to you to give him medication, to bring him inside
from having a great time outside, to give a bath, or to do anything he
hates. Keep the recall cue associated with only positive and great things.
Just go and get your puppy if you have to give him his medication, etc.
Chain up your puppy or keep him outside. Dogs deserve to be inside
and with their human family. Dogs love to be close to their humans.
Train your puppy how to behave inside your house.
Allow your puppy to practice unwanted behaviors. Instead, interrupt
unwanted behaviors, manage unwanted behaviors, and reward when he
does do the right behavior so that he will repeat it.
Leave your puppy unsupervised! A puppy running around the house
unsupervised is like a baby running around without a diaper and getting
into everything. Protect your puppy and keep him safe!
Allow other dogs to bully or play too rough with your puppy. Stick up
for your puppy and take care of him. Too much rough play can result in
injuries to your puppy.
If you keep the above list in mind when your bring new puppy or dog
home, the transition will be very smooth for both of you. Even if you are
not expecting a new addition, start applying this list to your dog today
and he will soon be both happier and better behaved. DNM
Pamela Johnson B.S., M.A., CPDT-KA has a background in education
and she is a natural teacher of all things. Pamela’s family consists of a
Husky Mix (Isabelle), Two Border Collies (Bandit & Twix), Cat (Sabrina)
and husband (Marxsen). She is known for posting free dog training videos
on YouTube under the channel ‘pamelamarxsen’, in the hopes that people
around the World will see that positive reinforcement training is a magical
way to train and that it works! Pamela is also the owner of Pam’s Dog
Helping dogs with Intervertebral Disc Disease
Many people relate their pet’s back
problems to experiences with
their own painful backs. In most
cases, with pain medication and
some rest, the pain is gone in a few
days. Dogs’ backs are built differently
than peoples and they might
not bounce back from back pain
so easily. With that difference, a
huge potential for serious damage
to the spinal cord can occur if
the very first signs of a disc disease
problem go unnoticed and the dog
is not immediately crated and provided
prompt veterinary care, so it
is best to treat back pain seriously.
Just eight years ago, if a dog was
diagnosed with Intervertebral
Disc Disease (IVDD), owners often
were only given the choice of
surgery, if available, or putting
the dog to sleep. This is exactly
what happened to the owners of a
young dachshund named Dodger.
In Dodger’s case, surgery was not
an option and he was euthanized.
When Linda Stowe learned the
heartbreaking news that Dodger
was never even given the opportunity
to heal and return to happy
days with his family, she vowed to
do something to educate dog owners
about disc disease and the options
Neither Dodger’s owners, nor the
veterinarians treating Dodger,
knew about conservative treatment
for IVDD, which is medical
management through limited
movement and medicine. A high
percentage of people never need
surgery to recover from back pain
and it can be the same with dogs.
Today, more and more vets are
The body can do most of the healing work itself naturally
seeing that dogs with IVDD, even
Dachshunds, can heal with rest
Not all dogs are healthy enough to
withstand surgery and, for some
owners, surgery is just not an option
financially. Educated owners
and veterinarians who know there
are two treatments for IVDD will
know that it is not a death sentence.
Even the most severely affected
can still heal and go on to
lead a good quality of life, in the
same happy, fun, and loving way
as always. Wheelchairs allow dogs
to enjoy all the aerobic activities
they previously enjoyed prior to
In 2002, Linda Stowe founded
a website and email list. Today,
Dodgerslist is a central place to
share information with dog owners
about treatment options for
IVDD. Information, culled from
the foremost veterinarians with
success in treating IVDD, is made
available to the public via the website.
The email group, also called
Dodgerslist, provides emotional
support for owners to cope with
the disease, plus at-home care information
to make sure each dog
has the very best opportunity to
Some of the more successful conservative
treatment modalities for
IVD include laser light therapy
and acupuncture. They both control
pain and stimulate nerve regeneration
and tissue healing. Acupuncture
achieves these effects
via placement of very thin needles
into the soft tissue to activate
nerve endings and collagen fibers.
Laser light therapy promotes
higher metabolism at the cellular
level. While nerve regeneration
Acupuncture can be started at any time. It can not only relieve pain and provide
relaxation but also stimulates nerves to heal. (Photographer: Cris Lewis)
EMERGENCY SIGNS OF IVDD:
Not wanting to eat. Tight/
Yelping when moving or
Reluctance to use stairs, jump,
or go for a walk.
Head held high or nose to the
Shaking, shivering, or trembling.
Legs weak: wobbly or nails
scuffing the floor, paws knuckle.
As the spinal cord receives increased
damage from the disc,
neurological functions diminish.
This dog knuckles his paw. He can
no longer place his foot in the correct
position. The next function to
be lost will be complete paralysis
of the legs if the dog is not crated
right away and prompt vet help is
(Photographer: Paula Milner)
20 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
takes place, laser light therapy can
safely stimulate muscles that are
without nerve function.
Without understanding all of the
treatment options, many dog owners
lose all hope that their dogs
will walk again and euthanize their
pets unnecessarily based on their
own interpretation of how a dog
perceives ambulation. It is important
to note that dogs are not embarrassed
or depressed by paralysis.
They do live happy, normal and
fulfilling lives with the assistance
of a wheelchair until such time as
neurologic function might return.
Today, Dodgerslist consists of over
3500 members including Dachshund
lovers, breeders, veterinarians,
and owners of other breeds
with IVDD. Dodgerslist Disc Disease
DVD features a medical segment
by Dr. Mark Lawson DVM of
Alpine Animal Hospital and provides
strategies for living with and
caring for an IVDD dog. Groups
and veterinary hospitals use this
DVD for educational purposes for
clients, members, and staff. More
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
information is available at Dodgerslist.com.
Dodgerslist is an all-volunteer organization
of five moderators who
offer strong professional talents
and contribute to writing, website
development, and the design of
educational materials including
a quarterly newsletter. Each has
years of personal experience with
IVDD plus a big heart and the
patience to help panicked owners.
The moderators are Sharon
Duncan, Cris Lewis, Paula Milner,
Stephanie Neighbour, and Lisa
IVDD success stories are numerous
and varied. Hope exists for
every dog to return to a good quality
of life, no matter what physical
degree of recovery the dog is able
to achieve. Self education about
IVDD plays a powerful role and
with the support of Dodgerslist,
owners can learn the tools to help
their dogs recover from IVDD.
One in five Dachshunds are born with IVDD. Vets and owners are
often unsuspecting until the first sign of this degenerative disease
shows itself, typically between the age of three to seven. These lifestyle
tips may help prolong the time until the first symptoms of
IVDD appears or perhaps prevent it altogether.
Eliminate stairs or jumping in your home. Make your home backfriendly
with baby gates to block off stairs. Construct a simple plywood
ramp covered with a non-slip surface. Place ramps so your
dog can access couches and your bed. While it is certainly easier to
train a puppy to use a ramp, it is also possible to teach older dogs
Train your dog to feel comfortable in his own personal den. Wire
crates are just one of the many restriction options used when a dog
has a back problem. Get ahead of the game by making sure your
dog feels like a crate is a good thing - his special place to go to take a
nap or chew on a bone. Doing so will make crate rest go much more
smoothly for your dog and for you.
Collars should only be used to hold dog tags. Whenever a leash
needs to be used, attach it to a harness. Harnesses distribute the
pulling stress onto the strong part of the chest rather than the weak
neck and spine.
Teach your children and friends how to pick up a Dachshund to protect
its back. Use both hands and support both ends of the dog and
keep the back horizontal to the ground. Picking up a dog under the
armpits like a baby supports only one end and causes stress on the
Wheelchairs allow dogs to enjoy all the aerobic activities they previously enjoyed
prior to injury. (Photographer: Stephanie Neighbour)
For loving dog owners, cancer is the most
feared disease. In the United States, cancer is
the primary cause of death in dogs over two
years of age. That’s truly significant. Unless
the mass is bulging out noticeably from the
skin, most cancer grows invisibly, inside the
body. Most of the time, routine blood tests are
normal. That’s why it’s called the silent killer.
The potential for cancer begins when carcinogens
damage and alter the DNA in a cell. The
damaged DNA sits and waits, like a seed on the
ground waiting for water, until the conditions
that promote the creation of a cancerous cell
are just right. When a cancerous cell starts
to divide, your dog has a built-in mechanism
to destroy the cell and force it to self-destruct.
The tumor-suppressor gene p53 monitors the
biochemical signals in cells that indicate DNA
mutation and division is in progress. The p53
gene instructs the cell to either halt the growth
cycle or self-destruct. Exposure to toxins and
viruses (and in some cases, genetic predisposition),
can damage the p53 gene, limiting
its ability to protect the body from cancerous
Once cancer gets a toehold, each type has its
own special behavior. Some excrete substances
that help them hide from the immune system
while others encapsulate themselves and become
what could be considered as something
akin to an individual life form. Some forms
are very aggressive while others grow slowly.
The type of cancer your dog has should determine
the treatment protocol you choose. I’ll
be going over this in detail in a future article.
With every passing decade, the number and
concentration of carcinogens our dogs are
exposed to escalates. Nowadays, exposure to
toxins and carcinogens is unavoidable. While
it’s impossible to avoid every carcinogen, we
can certainly work to decrease our pets’ exposure
to these toxins.
by: Deva Khalsa DVM
It’s important to learn about what’s in the environment
and how we can avoid carcinogens.
One way is to simply not buy and use carcinogenic
products on our dogs. Dr. Dobozy of the
Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s)
pesticide division states that one of the laboratory
effects of fipronil in Frontline is thyroid
cancer and altered thyroid hormones. While
the company creates the impression that their
product does not migrate into the body, radiolabeled
fibronil was found in several organs
and in the fat of tested dogs and was also excreted
in their urine and feces.
Bio Spot Flea and Tick Control, Defend Exspot
Treatment and Zodiac FleaTrol Spot On all
contain one or both of the active ingredients
Permethrin and/or Pyriproxyfen. Permethrin
has been implicated as a carcinogenic insecticide
causing lung cancer and liver tumors in
laboratory animals. Exposure to a carcinogen
typically occurs many years before the cancer
appears. Often times it never escalates into a
cancerous growth. Imagine how potent the
carcinogens are that create cancer within several
months in a laboratory setting.
I mention the above commonly used products
in relation to cancer. This does not mean that
the numerous products I am not mentioning
are safe - unfortunately. According to the
Center for Public Integrity, who collected information
through the Freedom of Information
Act, the pyrethrins (naturally occurring
compounds from the chrysanthemum plant)
and pyrethroids (the synthetic counterpart)
caused double the fatalities (1,600) from 2002
to 2007 than the non-pyrethroid compounds.
To reduce our dogs’ risk of cancer, the first
thing we can do is find a good natural product
to repel those pesky fleas and ticks, and minimize
or eliminate the use of these toxic insecticides.
We can then expand our horizons to
lawn chemicals, weed killers, herbicides and
cleaning agents. Take it upon yourself to research
dryer sheets and room deodorizers on
the web and you will discover their cancer
causing ingredients. I think you’ll be very surprised.
If I went into all the carcinogens that
we expose ourselves and our dogs to on a daily
basis, this would be a very long and depressing
But there’s more. A growing body of research
is implicating early spaying and neutering in
increasing cancer rates. In a 2002 study, it was
established that there was an increased risk of
osteosarcoma in both male and female Rottweilers
sterilized before the age of one year.
In another study, it was shown that the risk of
bone cancer in sterilized large purebred dogs
was twice that of dogs that were not neutered.
Apart from cancer, research indicates that the
removal of the sex organs in both male and
female dogs at an early age can cause growth
plates to remain open. Additionally, a study
at Cornell showed that both male and female
dogs neutered at an early age were more prone
to hip dysplasia.
Some good news: there’s now a
test that can check cancer markers
in dogs. Onco Pet Diagnostic
Service for Cancer in the Canine
has launched a new test that can
detect the presence of cancer with
approximately 90% sensitivity and
95% specificity. That’s impressive.
According to the company, it’s
not costly and it’s accurate. Many
veterinarians are using these tests
already or are participating in the
22 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
Owners of female dogs are advised to spay
their pups before the first heat in order to
avoid mammary cancer. In my 30 years of
practice I have never seen one of my patients
who follows holistic care get mammary cancer
although I did get many cases of mammary
cancer as their first visit. Additionally, I have
never clinically found neutering to lower the
risk of prostate cancer in male dogs. The College
of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State
University did a small study in which they
stated the same. Urinary incontinence, hypothyroidism
and a host of behavior problems
have also been associated with early neutering.
While some cancers are caused by carcinogens,
others are caused by viruses. It has long
been known that the Feline Vaccine Associated
Sarcoma is a malignant tumor, associated with
the FeLV vaccine and Rabies vaccine injections,
occurring at the site of injection. Veterinary
students are now being taught to inject
these vaccines into a cat or kitten’s hind leg, so
the leg can be amputated if a tumor appears.
When your dog gets vaccinated, you are getting
much more than you pay for. Both killed
and live viruses that cause diseases in other
species often contaminate the vaccine broth,
which leads into the following true story. Parvovirus
was an unknown disease until about
1980. Then it broke out at the same time in
Japan, England and the United States. The
Feline Panleukopenia Virus had been a con-
The Honest Kitchen was founded
in the kitchen of a San Diego
beach cottage in 2002, out of
frustration with a lack of healthy
pet food options. With an honest
mission of creating wholesome
pet foods, they’ve bridged the
gap between highly processed
kibble, and homemade foods,
with a unique diet that has touched
the lives of thousands of pets.
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
taminant within the canine combo vaccine for
some time. In 1980 it jumped species, changing
and infecting dogs with the new disease
called Parvovirus. In fact, during the initial
outbreak, veterinarians were using the Feline
Panleukopenia Vaccine to protect dogs from
the new disease. It would be just as easy for
viruses that cause cancer in cats to, once again,
jump species and create cancer in dogs. Who
knows, perhaps this is happening already.
Some of the steps you might want to take to
help reduce the risk of cancer in your dogs are:
1. Reduce the use of flea and tick products
and find natural substitutes like Ticked
2. Maintain your lawn and grounds with
minimal or non-toxic herbicides, insecticides
3. Learn more about the detergents, fabric
softeners, soaps and cleansers that you
use and begin to use products that do
not contain carcinogens.
4. If you must alter your dog, don’t spay
or neuter too young. I would recommend
waiting until a year or a year and
a half of age.
5. Eliminate or minimize vaccinations as
much as possible. Vaccine titers from
a blood sample are readily available if
you want to make sure your pup has
The Honest Kitchen’s foods
are dehydrated to remove the
water from fresh, raw ingredients.
the power of whole foods
and makes a really healthy,
compact product that’s lightweight,
and free of artificial
preservatives. Simply add the
water back when you’re ready
to serve each meal.
Fortunately for our dogs, these precautions are
not so difficult to carry out. But these steps
only decrease the carcinogens that you have
control over: you can never eliminate every
environmental carcinogen your dog might be
exposed to. This is why it is important to learn
more about the nutritional ‘tricks of the trade’
for preventing cancer. What ingredients in
dog foods should you avoid? What foods effectively
help prevent cancer? How do these
special foods accomplish this?
Foods to avoid and foods that help prevent
cancer will be the subject of the next article.
Since beginning her holistically oriented veterinary
practice over 25 years ago, Dr. Khalsa has
been incorporating homeopathy, acupuncture,
Chinese Herbs, nutritional advice, allergy-elimination
techniques such as N.A.E.T and also
J.M.T. into her approach. Today her work is a
blend of sophisticated holistic techniques and
traditional veterinary medicine designed to best
enhance the natural strengths and attributes
of her patient. Dr. Khalsa coauthored ‘Healing
Your Horse: Alternative Therapies’ (Howell
Book House, 1993), and most recently authored
‘Dr. Khalsa’s Natural Dog’ (Kennel Club Books,
2009), a book best described as a ‘holistic bible’
for dog owners. Dr. Khalsa is a Fellow and Professor
of the British Institute of Homeopathy. She
has lectured both nationally and internationally.
For free samples and information call: 1.866.437.9729,
email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on Facebook at,
Epitaph to Ruff
by: Anne Venus
Ruff was born under a lucky star. He had a difficult start but that soon
changed. He was a Border/Lakeland Terrier; a cross often bred for cruel
pastimes such as badger baiting. He belonged to a family with ten Terriers
and a Lurcher, and they were all sadly neglected. Luckily for him and
for me, his owners were reported for their neglect and he arrived in our
home through the kindness of dog rescue.
By the time Ruff came to live with our family, he was almost two years
old and he arrived with some well ingrained habits which mainly involved
terrorizing dogs, cats, and anything else unfortunate enough to
get in his way. As we brought him home, my companion, who was holding
on to this mad little monster, inadvertently gave him his name – “a
right little ruffian you’ve got here” she said – and the name stuck. Ruffian,
or Ruff for short.
Ruff was a territorial fiend. He could climb a fence to see off any unwelcome
dog. He learned to use cat doors so he could chase cats through
them. He would stay out all night if he could, barking at badgers, and if
he saw a fox there was no holding him. Bikes and motor bikes existed
only to be chased. He became known as the local ‘terrierist’, and to this
day I’m amazed he lived as long as he did; eventually dying at almost
18 and having crammed every canine experience into his long life. Not
a day was wasted and Ruff didn’t know what fear was. He would tackle
anything, even the sound of thunder, which he hated.
In his entire life, Ruff had only one bad accident. He was run over by a
car – and he wasn’t even chasing it. The main damage was a broken jaw
which had to be wired up. Even then, with a painful wired jaw, he bit
a favorite enemy, causing far more pain to himself than his opponent.
I think you’ve possibly now got the measure of Ruff. I learned so much
from that dog and as he gradually calmed down, he became such a loving,
faithful animal who followed me everywhere. I miss him greatly.
You may wonder how we managed to train, if train is the word, a dog
that arrived with so much baggage. Ruff, in fact, taught me how to manage
him – with balls and squeaky toys. He used to carry two balls in his
mouth, and I always carried a couple of spares, and it was the balls that
kept his attention away from other naughtier pursuits. He spent his life
inventing new ball games. Without the magic balls we would never have
been so successful at managing his behavior.
But really I’m supposed to be telling you about Ruff ’s homeopathic experiences.
Without homeopathy and a very good homeopathic vet, Ruff
may not have had such a wonderful life.
His first experience with homeopathic remedies was at the age of about
five; he developed a skin irritation which became very severe. He was
scratching and biting until he was raw. There was no flea infestation or
obvious signs of the causes of the irritation. Our first stop was a local vet
who was very helpful, but after steroid injections to control the symptoms,
additional problems started to occur, culminating in a large bald
patch spreading from his neck down his back.
At this stage, Ruff was referred to the Animal Hospital in Bristol. The
specialist vets there were also unable to arrive at a conclusion. Ruff
was thusly dressed in pajamas at night to stop the biting – just like a
child with eczema. In a casual conversation with another dog owner,
the name Chris Day was mentioned. He was recommended as being
someone who could possibly deal with the problem. Chris Day is a homeopathic
vet, and at that time I had no experience with homeopathic
remedies. That was all about to change.
Our first visit to Chris was memorable. It was so entirely different from
visiting a conventional vet. If you have visited a homeopath, you will
know that a considerable amount of time is spent on enquiring about
your background, lifestyle, emotional state and diet. Well, it’s the same
with dogs. Everything you can tell the vet about these subjects helps
determine the physical and mental state of the dog. While I was waxing
eloquent on my dog, Ruff was wandering around the surgery. From his
behavior, Chris could see if he was an inquisitive dog, whether agile or
lethargic, nervous or brave, friendly or antagonistic, or just indifferent.
It was also a way of determining the relationship of the dog with its
I’m pleased to say Ruff ended the session jumping onto my knee which
suggested we were good friends. The conclusions of the session were
that Ruff was a generally healthy dog, but that his skin problems were
probably caused by the wrong diet and the bald patch was probably a
result of the steroid injections. He was prescribed Sulphur and Lachesis.
Sulphur is a remedy generally used for skin conditions in a ‘hot’ dog
– a dog that tends to seek cool places rather than cuddling up to radiators
and lying in front of the fire. Lachesis, made from the venom of
the South American Bushmaster snake, in case you didn’t know, is used
to treat dogs with inflammations and ‘hot spots’. I was told to cut out
conventional dog foods, some of which can contain very poor quality
ingredients, and replace his meals with meat, vegetables and rice.
Well, the effects were amazing. In less than a week, the itching had virtually
disappeared, and within a month the bald patch had grown over.
Ruff ’s skin remained sensitive throughout his life but if there was the
slightest sign of itching we immediately resorted to the Sulphur pills
24 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
which generally sorted out the problem. Ever since Ruff ’s experience and
rapid resolution, I have suggested change of diet to many dog owners
who have itchy dogs.
In the first consultation, Chris also identified another possible cause of
Ruff ’s problems: the annual vaccination. He advised replacing it with a
homeopathic nosode which is designed to give the same protection without
the possible side effects. I was also given the same advice for Ruff ’s
companion, Cassie, who suffers with a heart murmur which could have
been made worse by the vaccination. The only problem was, most dog
boarding facilities do not accept a dog without proof of vaccination and
will not take the nosode as an alternative.
Ruff continued to be rather prone to allergies. A flea on Ruff could set up
a chain reaction of skin problems, which at various times in his life, were
treated with Calc.Carb., Psorinum/Graphitis, and Morgan Bach, but the
fall-back remedy was usually Sulphur. And living in the country, dogs can
be exposed to mange – a horrible infestation caught from foxes. Ruff ’s
episode of mange was an absolute nightmare. You can only imagine what
the untreated foxes are suffering.
When Cassie arrived, Ruff was already nearly ten and settling down to
be a grumpy old man. I thought, mistakenly as it happens, that he may
become more sociable with another dog around. How wrong could I have
been? Ruff hated Cassie right from the start, and Cassie, being a much
larger dog (Great Dane/ Lab) was having none of it and would sit on Ruff
to shut him up. So, back we went to the vet for an ‘anger’ remedy. He was
given Lachesis for his aggression and also Arsenicum album for his restlessness.
He did calm down and the two of them reached an accommodation,
but never became particularly close. Ruff was his own little person,
and didn’t need other doggie companions.
Ruff, during his long life, used a number of homeopathic remedies for
different problems. He hated thunder and fireworks, which is the case
with many dogs. The magic remedy for Ruff was always Gelsenium which
worked like a charm.
At various times during his life Ruff suffered from small injuries – sprains,
strains, cuts and bruises – the usual for a free-range country dog – and
he was given Rhus tox for paw sprain, Arnica for bruising, Bryonia for
back strain, Hyper/cal lotion for cuts and wounds and various remedies
for his heart as he grew older. I could go on, but once you become used
to administering homeopathic remedies and see how effective they can
be, both for physical and mental trauma, your dog can become quite a
When Ruff did finally die, his companion, Cassie, was very down even
though he hadn’t exactly been the love of her life. Where a dog is pining,
Ignatia works well. Ignatia is also recommended for homesickness, for
an abandoned dog and for a dog that may have suffered ill-treatment.
Ruff had a long and, I think, very happy life, helped along during the difficult
stages with an array of homeopathic remedies and tinctures. The
first-aid box is packed with dozens of remedies, but there are still hundreds
we haven’t yet tried. A dear friend wrote this final epitaph to the
wonderful Ruff – “May he be at one with the wind and all the lost balls.
Guardian of the wayward and guide to the seekers. His bark lives forever.”
Ruff 1992-2010 DNM
Anne Venus is a Financial Economist who lives in Wiltshire. Apart from her
elderly mother, who lives with her, she cares for two rescue dogs, one rescue
cat, three rescue chickens, four bantams and Big Dave the cockerel.
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
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The Concept of
by: Barry Eaton Dip. CAPBT
Last time, I wrote about how a typical wild wolf pack would behave compared to a captive pack. I also questioned whether the behavior of a captive
wolf pack should be imposed on our domestic dogs, as is so often the case. I finally questioned why the term dominance, as in raising status, is still
used - bearing in mind the psychological harm it can do to a dog - and whether dogs do actually try to raise their status in a dog/owner relationship.
Many owners believe that they need to be dominant over their dog to prevent him from trying to raise his status; and to do this by imposing harsh
rules based, incorrectly, on how wolves behave. Even if dogs are genetically disposed to form packs, which primarily they are not, why would a dog
consider himself as part of a pack with humans?
When a dog is aggressive toward his owner, he is frequently said to be
dominant and is trying to raise his status within the family pack. This
assumption is wrong. Dogs do not have a dominance characteristic
trait. In other words they are not born to be dominant or to be pack
leaders. Neither do they have a characteristic trait of dominance that
determines the relationship between two dogs or a dog and his owner.
One needs to look at the social relationship between dog and owner to
find any cause of the aggression.
Very often, a dog has become fearful of his owner, possibly due to mistreatment,
whether inadvertent or intentional. If a dog is fearful, he
has only three coping strategies: appeasement, avoidance and aggression.
When the first two don’t work (dog owners often ignore or miss
appeasement signals), the last course of action is to snap at the owner.
The owner will usually withdraw his hand even momentarily - but in
that moment, as far as the dog is concerned, the aggression strategy has
worked and therefore the dog’s action has been reinforced. If this scenario
continues on a regular basis, the dog will become more confident
and his aggression will increase. But the dog has become aggressive
through learned aggression, not because he is being dominant.
The term dominance is a construct: it’s a theory only because nobody
really knows what is going on in a dog’s mind. Unless someone can scientifically
prove what is going on, it will always remain a theory. Regardless,
many scientists and canine authorities have defined dominance in
canine terms as resource guarding. Resource guarding is the ability to
maintain and regulate resources. A resource can be anything the dog
views as a trophy or reward. In a multi-dog household, owners may see
this in their dogs most days. A Terrier for example, may dominate a
Labrador when it comes to chasing and ‘killing’ a squeaky toy by not
allowing the Labrador access to the toy. On the other hand, when the
owner is handing out food treats, the Labrador may dominate the Terrier
by physically pushing him out of the way as he’s more of a chowhound
than the Terrier. So on those particular occasions, one could argue
that one dog is dominant over the other when in possession of the
resource. At any other time when resources are not an issue, neither dog
is dominant over the other.
Problems arise when a dog guards a resource from his owner. If a dog
is allowed unrestricted access to a resource and then the owner tries
to take it away, the dog may guard it. Typically, we see this when a dog
guards his food at meal times or shows aggressive behavior when the
owner tries to remove him from the sofa. Both these problems are totally
preventable of course, but when it gets to the stage where a dog
demonstrates this resource guarding, it is often misinterpreted as a dog
trying to raise his status over the owner. Sadly, some trainers, behaviorists
or owners will choose to follow ill-conceived ideas from books,
DVDs or TV programs and impose pack rules that have supposedly
come from how wolves behave. Let’s have a look at some of these pack
rules and see why they don’t make sense.
EAT SOMETHING BEFORE FEEDING THE DOG
This rule is based on the misconception that the alpha wolf always eats
first, so the owner has to eat something before feeding the dog to reinforce
his alpha status. If we consider what actually happens in a free wolf
pack, this rule is flawed. The size of a wolf pack can vary so if there is a
small pack and they have killed a large prey, all pack members, regardless
of rank, will feed together. If there are pups in the pack, they would
be fed first. Therefore it’s not so much a question of dominance or being
the alpha, it’s more of a question of resources and survival of the young.
Why would a dog understand the significance of us eating first? He
won’t! Training domestic dogs these days has now, thankfully, moved
away from ‘dominating the dog’ methods and on to positive, motivating
methods like the clicker or lure and reward method. Both of these methods
use food as rewards when the dog is right. We now have a situation
where an instructor and the owner have a bag full of treats for the dog.
During the course of the training period, the dog may get to eat all the
treats and the owner and instructor eat nothing. Are we making our dog
dominant because we are giving him all the food treats and we don’t eat
anything? Absolutely not!
DO NOT ALLOW THE DOG ON THE FURNITURE
By letting our dog share our bed, chair or sofa, we are supposedly elevating
him to the same status as us. Rubbish! Allowing a dog on the sofa is
fine if you train him to come up when requested and to get down when
asked. A potential problem may be when the dog has unrestricted access
to a sofa which could result in a resource guarding problem. The dog
may perceive the owner’s bed, chair or sofa as a comfortable place to
sleep and, if allowed unrestricted access to these resources, he may start
to guard them if access is suddenly denied. Wolves will find somewhere
that’s comfortable to sleep but in doing so, they are not trying to raise
their status; and neither are our dogs.
DOGS THAT PULL ON THE LEAD ARE DOMINANT
The reasoning behind this rule is based on the misconception that the
alpha leads the way and dictates where the pack goes. The alpha may decide
on the route to take but does not always lead the way. Pack behavior
can be influenced by youthful exuberance which might result in other
wolves leading and sometimes surging ahead. Wolves often follow river
beds, game trails, and old roads. When doing so, it is obvious where
the pack is headed for certain stretches, so any wolf may forge ahead
26 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
Contrary to the reasoning behind this rule, the alpha wolf does not always
lead first; so to say our dog is pulling on the lead because he’s dominant
is totally misleading. Dogs pull on the lead because they haven’t
been trained not to. It’s as simple as that. A typical scenario is a dog
being walked to the park, and in his excitement, he pulls on the lead, in
hopes of getting there quicker. On the way home when the dog is tired,
he walks nicely on a loose lead. Is the dog being dominant on the way to
the park and subservient on the way home?
DO NOT WALK AROUND OR STEP OVER THE DOG
Supposedly, the alpha wolf will make a subordinate move if he is in the
way. However, with an established social structure, a subordinate will
voluntarily move when a higher-ranking wolf enters the social space
of the subordinate. The social structure has already been established,
so if moving out of the way of a high ranking wolf maintains the social
structure, then so be it.
If one of my dogs has found a patch of sunlight to lie down in which
happens to be in the middle of the room, I’m quite happy to walk
around her. In doing so, I’m not giving off signals of subservience to
her and I doubt very much that she perceives that I am. Occasionally,
I may need her to move, in which case I say “excuse me” because I’m
polite and that’s what I’ve trained her to respond to. I’m not exerting
dominance over her when I make such a request. Rather, when I ask her
to do something and she responds, it’s because she’s been trained and
for no other reason.
NEVER LET YOUR DOG THROUGH A DOORWAY FIRST
As canine-to-canine communication is different from canine-to-human
communication, do you think a dog would understand why it’s not allowed
through a doorway before his owner? As in the rule above, when
young wolves forge ahead, they are not going to stop at a narrow opening
just to let the alpha go first. Young wolves are also curious and will
venture into new places without necessarily waiting for the alpha to
go first. The one occasion I do agree with an owner going through the
doorway first is when taking the dog for a walk. It’s not very nice to have
your dog pulling you through the front door in his excitement to get to
the park. But allowing you to go first is a question of good manners and
safety based on training, not showing who is being dominant.
NEVER LET YOUR DOG WIN GAMES OF TUG
The origin being that wolves would tug at a piece of meat or a bone and
the stronger, dominant wolf would win. For a pack of wolves, food can
be hard to come by and the tug of war for the piece of meat may mean
the difference between life and death to one of them. But tugging on a
large piece of meat can also be a co-operative behavior. Each wolf pulls
on the end of the meat and it pulls apart, with both getting something
to eat. But this wouldn’t apply to our puppy or older dog where meals
are provided two, three, or four times a day, plus food treats. Would a
tug toy have the same value as a piece of meat, or would he just see it as
a game? Dogs can play tug with each other and with their owners with
no resulting animosity although the risk may be that the dog might perceive
the tug toy as a trophy.
Play is important for learning, influencing behavior and forming a bond
between dog and owner, even if it is playing tug. There is nothing wrong
with playing tug with your dog and even letting him win sometimes,
providing you have taught the dog some etiquette like responding to the
NEVER LET YOUR DOG INITIATE THE BEGINNING OR
END OF A GAME
This supposedly means that the alpha wolf starts all games and initiates
all attention. In fact, any highly motivated wolf can affect the activity of
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
its pack mates, such as play. It follows, surely, that if a highly motivated
wolf can initiate a game, so too can a highly motivated wolf initiate some
form of attention. So why not let a dog plop a ball in your lap or come
up for attention? It’s up to you whether you play with him or give him
attention but why stop him from asking?
PUT YOUR DOG IN A DOWN POSITION
Supposedly, the lower the wolf ’s physical position, the more subordinate
he is, so an owner has to get the dog in a down position to show
him he’s subordinate to the owner. Being submissive is not something
you can train a dog to do like you can a sit. A submissive behavior is
innate; it’s one of the wolf ’s and dog’s hard-wired strategies when faced
with something threatening. Dog owners should be able to recognise
submissive behavior and respond appropriately to it.
These are just some of the pack rules that we have been told to inflict
on our dogs. They don’t apply to wolves so why would they apply to
dogs? Yet we’ve put all this baggage on our dogs and chances are they
haven’t a clue what we are doing or why we act the way we do. How on
earth can anybody think that a dog is trying to dominate his owners by
eating first, going through doorways first, enjoying the comfort of furniture,
playing games of tug-of-war, or eagerly pulling on lead? Dogs are
straightforward and they live in the here and now. A behavioral problem
will not be resolved by using a cure-all like pack rules. The specific problem
needs to be treated with a specific behavior modification program.
It may take time, but there is no magic formula or quick-fix – even by
using pack rules. DNM
Barry Eaton lives in the UK where he is an Affiliate of the Centre of Applied
Pet Ethology (COAPE) and is a Member of the CAPBT (www.capbt.
org). He has a Diploma in Companion Animal Behavior and Training
and an Advanced Cert. in ‘Introduction to Ethology’. He is an experienced
dog trainer and specializes in training dogs that are deaf and has written
a book, ‘Hear, Hear’ which provides help on how to train dogs that are
born deaf. Barry has acted as consultant for Usborne Publishing on three
of their books about dogs and contributed to the UK Association of Pet
Dog Trainers, ‘Teach Yourself Dog Training’. Barry’s book ‘Dominance in
Dogs: Fact or Fiction?’ is available at www.dogwise.com.
Bach Flower Magic
by: Ellen Kohn
Bach Flower essences were created in the 1930’s by Dr. Edward Bach,
an English physician who was fascinated by the connection between
emotions and physical health. He believed that negative emotions
cause disturbances in the invisible, soul body, which would then
manifest in the physical body. If these clues were not taken seriously,
physical disease would follow. What happened to the physical body
was correlated to a patient’s mentality in addition to their spiritual and
Using nature as his guide, Dr. Bach left London and went to the country,
where he spent the rest of his life experimenting with plants and
their ability to restore health. He established seven categories for his
remedies: power, intellectual knowledge, love, balance, service, wisdom,
and spiritual perfection. Addressing the yin-yang, the dark-light
and the negative-positive in our lives, the essences have a wide range
of applications for people and their pets. They are extremely useful for
behavioral problems in our dogs, such as aggressiveness, separation
anxiety, uncertainty, disinterest, loneliness, over-sensitivity, despondency
and over-concern, among others.
Preparation of the flower essences requires great care and delicacy.
Fresh flowers are placed in clean spring water and placed in bright
sunshine until the blooms fade, from two to seven hours. When the
blossoms are removed, the water that remains is energetically charged
with the floral essence, which is placed into stock bottles with a small
amount of brandy as a preservative.
There are thirty-eight flower essences. Each single remedy has its own
energetic signature, and can be used alone or in a blend, depending on
the individual’s needs. A general summary of the essences with their
symptoms and usage is as follows:
FACE YOUR FEARS
Symptom Remedy Positive Effect
no known reason
Fear of known things
Afraid of losing control
Cherry Plum Composure
Peace of mind Red Chestnut Consolation
Terror Rock Rose Fearlessness
LIVE THE DAY
Symptom Remedy Positive Effect
Living in the past Honeysuckle Presence
Refuses to learn from
Chestnut Bud Insight
White Chestnut Tranquility
Feeling down for no
from a long strain
Resignation; apathy Wild Rose Enthusiasm
28 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
REACH OUT TO OTHERS
Symptom Remedy Positive Effect
Self-obsession; lonely Heather Be heard; satisfied
Impatient Impatiens Patience
Water Violet Connect
KNOW YOUR MIND
Symptom Remedy Positive Effect
Procrastination Hornbeam Resolve
Discouragement Gentian Encouragement
Defeatism Gorse Hope
Indecisive; vacillating Scleranthus Decisiveness
Lack of direction Wild Oat Direction
Self-doubt; look to Cerato Guidance
others for advice
FIND JOY AND HOPE
Symptom Remedy Positive Effect
Trauma or grief Star of Bethlehem Comfort
Resentment Willow Positivity
Overwhelmed by responsibility
Guilt or self-blame Pine Forgiveness
Despair Sweet Chestnut Consolation
Lack of Confidence Larch Confidence
Failure to rest; depletion
Self disgust; shame Crab Apple Self-acceptance;
In my healing practice, I make custom blends for human and animal
clients. Using my pendulum, I test each individual remedy, asking if it is
needed in the blend. Allowing the pendulum to guide me, it works with
the client’s higher self, or soul, and will direct me to the exact formula.
The blend may contain up to 7 different essences. I then create an affirmation
for the client which aligns with the energy of the blend.
RESCUE REMEDY: A MUST
Rescue Remedy is a blend of five flower essences: Cherry Plum, Clematis,
Impatiens, Rock Rose and Star of Bethlehem. It works immediately
on acute shock, trauma, or stress. It is a must for every medicine cabinet
and can be used to bring calm, focus and control to any emergency situation.
It is helpful when taking your pet to the vet, a visit to the dentist,
or any other unsettling experience. When making a blend, it is considered
a single remedy.
HOW TO USE
Herbal Bach flower essences are completely safe and do not have side
effects. Because they carry an energetic imprint from live plants, they
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
work on a vibrational level on the energy body. Thus, they are not medicine
in the traditional sense. From a safety standpoint, they are completely
different from essential oils, which are steam distilled plant oils
in very potent concentrates which must be used with extreme caution
for us and our pets.
The recommended dose for a single or blended remedy is 2 drops of
each essence directly on the tongue, into a glass of water (or bowl if
it is your pet) or even on the animal’s fur. Since the remedies are pure
vibrations, they only need to enter the energy field to be activated. They
can be used frequently, and in conjunction with homeopathy and conventional
Edward Bach was a visionary in his time because he understood that
disease can result from a conflict between the soul and mind. He said,
“it is the divinity within which heals us.” His amazing work has given
us a natural and safe way to help heal our emotions, leading to greater
happiness, peace of mind and balance in our lives. DNM
Ellen Kohn is an Interspecies Communicator, Healing Touch for Animals
Certified Practitioner (HTACP), Reiki Master-Teacher, Meridian Practitioner
and Spiritual Counselor. She frequently uses Bach Flower and
Alaskan Gem essences for her clients. She is also a certified aromatherapist
and uses crystal energy for her healing work. She is the founder of
The Kohn Foundation, a Colorado non-profit which helps children and
animals on Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas. Visit Ellen on the web:
The Art of Attachment
The reason I am writing this article on roughly
five hours of sleep is the same reason I woke
up with a smile on my face and jumped out of
bed to greet the chilly morning. These days, it’s
all about my puppy. About a month ago, my
partner and I became parents to a two month
old yellow Lab rescue named Lucy. As a canine
massage therapist, I understand how touch
and massage can be beneficial for a dog at any
age. Whether you brought your puppy home
at eight weeks or at a later stage in its develop-
ment, it is important to know how to take care
of your puppy at different life stages. Using
touch and massage is one tool that is gaining
A puppy’s life begins with touch. The canine
mother provides her puppies with nurturing
touch, comfort, safety, love and encouragement.
She does this by touch - whether she
is feeding, grooming, holding, or teaching
her pup. Once the pup is ready to leave mom
and join your family, it is up to you to foster
a loving, trusting and respectful relationship.
When you praise and pet your puppy,
you create a bond that is similar to the bond
she may remember with her mother. Communicating
through therapeutic touch creates
a deeper sense of trust and learning on a cellular
level. Over the years, research on touch
in the development of babies and infants has
demonstrated that, without physical contact
and touch, babies fail to develop physically,
have lower weight gain, lose the ability to learn
and experience delayed development across all
life phases. It only makes sense that engaging
in positive physical contact with our canine
children would have the same positive effects
it does in real children, and failing to engage
with them would have the same negative effects.
We love to cuddle our dogs and puppies and
clearly they love to be petted. But touch with
intent communicates more and creates a much
more powerful outcome. This is why massage
is so beneficial for puppies. Canine massage
carries all of the benefits of massage and also
has an impact on the development of puppies
through various life stages. Early on, if a puppy
is handled and touched with intent, then
she is learning that it is OK to be touched at
by Denise Theobald
any stage of her life. When she goes to the vet
or the groomer, she will be more likely to be at
peace with what happens there.
When you employ canine massage, your puppy
learns that it is OK to be touched, and at the
same time, you make an important connection
with your puppy. When the puppy is seven or
eight weeks old, touch can really enhance the
bond and relationship between a puppy and
her parent. Now is the time to socialize the
puppy with not only family but with strangers.
When the puppy is between eight to ten weeks,
new experiences must be non-fear producing.
Proper training and socialization should continue.
Fast physical development is occurring
at this time for large breed dogs and massage
is helpful for recovery as their activity level is
now in high gear. Sleep is imperative at this
time for proper growth and development as
well as recovery from activity. Touch by hundreds
of people, including children, should
occur during this time so the puppy will be
socialized and accepting of touch as an adult.
Assessment massage is also valuable at this
30 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
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time to find out how the puppy is feeling. Feeling
the skin, ears, paws, and anal area will give
information on the pup’s health.
When the puppy is 12 weeks and over, she has
more independence, wanderlust and curios-
Head to Paw Guide for massaging your puppy or dog
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
ity. This will be a period where the puppy will
teethe, bite and squirm. Practice touch and
massage techniques in small increments and
try to do it at a time when the puppy is tired
and will be more accepting. If the pup has
an agenda of her own during this time, it is a
perfect time to work with training and pairing
food or positive experiences with touch.
Gently massaging around the dog’s mouth and
gums will not only help with the teething, it
also helps with bite inhibition. Giving the pup
something to chew on such as a frozen wet rag
and or a Kong filled with frozen material will
not only feel good on the gums, but will divert
her biting to something more appropriate than
your hand while you are massaging her. This is
also a time of rapid growth, especially for large
breed puppies. Massage can reduce soreness
accompanying rapid growth by increasing circulation
to the tissue and stretching the fascial
network supporting the bones.
So exactly what type of massage techniques do
we use? Given the nature of puppies, which is
much like babies and infants, we must engage
in a way that doesn’t over-stimulate or push
away. Regardless of the age of the puppy or
dog, the following tips can be used to get the
puppy to stop, focus, and accept touch.
First, match the puppy’s energy level. A common
mistake we have is to try to grab the fast
moving puppy and restrain her. This will only
make her squirm and try to get away. Use
food as a peace maker. Lure the puppy to your
side and gently but quickly apply small circu-
lar motions on the puppy’s skin on the side of
her body. You may only get a few seconds in
at first, but as time goes on, the puppy will let
you continue. Then slow down your strokes
and apply more direct strokes. Rubbing firmly
into the neck seems to have a calming effect for
most dogs. Never hover over the puppy as this
will prompt her to move. Find a spot on her
body that the puppy likes: this is a spot that
you can keep going back to. Tire the puppy
out and make sure she has been fed a couple
of hours beforehand. An energetic, hungry
puppy does not equal a compliant participant.
The benefits of canine massage are endless.
Using massage to assess what is going on in
your pup’s body and getting her accustomed
to touch is already known. Most people don’t
realize that massage can also help the puppy
learn and focus, boost her immune system,
help in recovery from rapid growth and help
to decrease anxiety and stress. The bond that
is experienced with this type of communication
can’t be measured.
Starting to massage your puppy at such an early
age sets her up for a lifetime of trust, respect
and a heck of a lot of good feelings! DNM
Denise Theobald is a licensed and nationally
certified massage therapist. She has been in private
practice for over 22 years, 12 of those years
including canine clients. Denise has taught
canine massage classes for over 10 years and is
owner and director of Canine Massage Chicago.
1. Gently stroke the sides of the puppy’s mouth from the front back to the neck. If the puppy tries to bite, then put a toy or bone in her
mouth. With an in and out technique, gently rub the gums of the mouth with the tips of your fingers. This is great for bite inhibition and
desensitizes the pup for mouth handling.
2. Take your index finger and rub in between the eyes and on the forehead in a to and fro motion. Apply light circular friction to the top of
the head and around the base of the ears. From there, stroke the ears as if you where stroking a rose petal from the base to the tip of the
ear. This is very relaxing and most puppies will enjoy it.
3. With a longer more fluid movement, stroke the top of the head down the neck, shoulders and front leg. This stroke should be very light.
When coming back up the leg stop at the chest and massage the chest and inside of the armpit area. This area is also more receptive to
touch than the back side of the puppy.
4. Move back up to the neck and apply a kneading stroke on both sides of the neck. There is a lot of skin and dense muscle in this area and
even dogs that do not particularly like to be touched like this stroke.
5. With long fluid strokes, travel down the side of the back and down to the hip, being careful not to press down on the spine. Travel down
the back of the leg, applying light circular friction along the way.
6. Move to the underside of the pup and apply a gentle circular friction to the belly in a clockwise direction if you were facing the belly.
7. Travel back to the hip area and, with two hands or fingers, apply some compression on both sides of the upper leg. This is a great move
for reducing soreness in the legs from running and jumping.
8. Gently massage around the tail and gently compress the tail all the way from the base to the tip.
Integrate working on the paws whenever possible. Include general holding of various body parts so that the puppy gets used to static compression.
If the puppy is unwilling, then do little bits at a time and keep trying. Eventually the pup will settle and you can use massage as a settling
tool. Take deep breaths while working, speak softly and smile. You will feel just as good as your puppy does when you are finished.
Arthritis is inflammation of the joint. From the latin, ‘itis’ means inflammation
and ‘arthro’ means joint. There are many causes of arthritis,
such as autoimmune disease, trauma, overuse, infection, aging and
genetics. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of arthritis, resulting in
progressive deterioration of the articular cartilage and chronic, painful
inflammation of the joint. The chronic inflammation, in turn, causes an
abundance of destructive metabolites, enzymes and free radicals within
the joint fluid and cartilage. This build-up creates even more inflammation,
resulting in a vicious cycle of inflammation, pain and destruction.
The goals of treatment for osteoarthritis are to reduce pain and inflammation,
slow down degeneration, improve and maintain joint function,
improve nutrition to the joints, improve range of motion and prevent
muscle loss. Thankfully, there are numerous natural choices for arthritis
Arthritis can present differently in individual dogs. Some may be more
symptomatic in damp weather, some may prefer to lie on the affected
joints, some may be worse with activity and some may be better with
activity. It is important to know how each dog presents when choosing
the right foods and supplements because they also have their own
energetics and properties. For example, foods can move energy or slow
it down, move energy in different directions, be hot/warming, be cold/
cooling or neutral. Certain foods can also make the body more moist
Arthritis is considered a form of “stagnation” in Traditional Chinese
Medicine philosophy. This means that the energy is stuck in the joint
which will lead to heat and inflammation - and then pain. Foods that
A Natural Approach to
move the energy and break up the “stiff ” spots are shrimp, oats, alfalfa,
kelp, barley, vinegar, crab, wheat germ, almond, nori, and basil. There
are also certain foods that are anti-inflammatory in nature like apple,
banana, beans, beet, berries, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery,
cucumber, garlic, ginger, kale, mango, papaya, parsley, peach, pear,
pumpkin, radish, soybean, spinach, squash, sweet potato, turnip and alfalfa.
Bioflavonoids, (found in quercetin, grape seed extract, pine bark,
green tea, citrus fruits and veggies), are plant pigments that help reduce
inflammation and are also antioxidants. You want to avoid the nightshade
family which includes tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant:
these are inflammatory.
There are many supplements and products to help protect the joints and
the surrounding tissues. Most products contain ingredients to decrease
inflammation and improve the environment within the joints. Commonly
used supplements include Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Green-
Lipped Mussel, MSM, Calcium, Manganese, Magnesium, Zinc, Silicon,
Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid.
Other supplements to consider include Cetyl-meristoleate which is a
natural anti-inflammatory and pain killer. It is a component of the fat
of whales, beavers, bovines, mice and the African Kombo nut. The essential
fatty acid, Omega 3, is another important supplement that can
reduce inflammation. Omega 3 should be given every day in the form
of DHA and EPA pills, oils or by feeding fish.
Herbs, like food, can have energetic and even pharmacological properties.
Some common anti-inflammatory herbs are Ginger (it has been
shown that Ginger extract can inhibit or deactivate genes in our body
that encode the molecules involved in chronic inflammation), Mead-
by: Julie Mayer DVM Managing Arthritis
32 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
Physically treating the body is also a necessity for arthritis
management. Here are some physical modalities that are
Acupuncture can help relieve pain and inflammation and
tone the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Chiropractic will help keep the musculoskeletal system in
alignment and help decrease compensatory issues.
Aquatic therapy is the safest exercise because the buoyancy
of the water decreases concussive forces on the joints.
The resistance of the water increases muscle mass and
strength and improves range of motion of the joints. The
warm water will increase circulation and make the tissues
more relaxed and flexible.
Massage will increase blood flow, decrease muscle spasms,
improve flexibility and decrease pain.
Heat will help increase circulation to the area and improve
extensibility and thus range of motion.
Cold applied to the tissues, especially in the presence of
inflammation, will slow electrical flow to the brain and act
as a pain killer and also decrease inflammation and edema.
Exercise has its obvious benefits, especially for the overweight
pet. Many orthopedic issues can be curtailed just
by losing weight.
owsweet (acetylsalicylic acid), Turmeric, Bromelain, Boswelia, White
Willow Bark, Devil’s Claw, Comfrey, Chamomile, Yucca, and Yarrow.
Traditional Chinese Medicine herbal formulas are able to correct dampness
(cold or hot) in the body, move stagnation and phlegm, and warm
or cool the tissues. The following Chinese herbs can be beneficial for
arthritis. Morinda root is said to strengthen the entire skeletal system
and reinforce bone density: it is a top Chinese herb for strengthening
the joints. Mellettia clears damp, painful stagnation. Stagnation in
the joints eventually creates heat and inflammation and bamboo is used
to Clear Heat. Du huo is a traditional Chinese herb used to support
Mellitia in drying out dampness and alleviating pain. Cynomorium is
a superb tonic and is a key herb for joint pain. Eucommia strengthens
the bones and muscles and heals injured and weakened tissues.
Frankincense (Boswellia) is an excellent herb for reducing joint pain
and improving osteoarthritic conditions. Achyranthes is used to break
up stagnation, strengthen joints, and relieve lower back pain. Poria is a
fungus that grows on the roots of pine trees and is widely used in Chinese
herbalism to leach out dampness, drain phlegm, and move stagnation.
Myrrh breaks up stagnation and reduces swelling. Horny Goat
Weed (Epimedium) strengthens bones and joints and reduces numbness
in the extremities.
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
Homeopathic remedies are also effective for arthritis. Arnica is a general
pain killer. Aconitum napellus is used for pain and inflammation
that are worse with cold weather. Rhus toxicodendron is for stiffness
and lameness that are worse when one first gets up. Bryonia is best
if symptoms are worse after exertion. Calcarea phosphorica can help
reduce calcification and bone spurs. Ruta graveolens helps lameness and
stiffness which are worse with damp.
What could be more natural than exercising and moving the body and
getting the heart rate up? Climbing stairs, hills, weaving through cones,
walking over bars and objects, walking on air mattresses or pillows, balancing
on physioballs and rubber discs are not just for people – they
are great therapy for dogs too. There are a lot of rehabilitation centers
popping up all over the country where all ages of dogs can work out, lose
weight and improve their body condition. Physical therapy can be an
important addition to supplements, herbs and remedies.
There are many options you can offer your dog without the side effects
of drugs. Be sure to discuss these options with your dog’s health care
provider and make sure you are doing all you can to make him more
comfortable. Enjoy a safe and natural approach to improving your dog’s
health and quality of life - and increasing everyone’s longevity! DNM
Dr. Julie Mayer has been practicing veterinary medicine since 1991. She
has dedicated most of her career to holistic medicine and rehabilitation.
Dr. Mayer owned Integrative Pet Care and operated Therapet, two rehabilitation
and holistic centers in Illinois. Dr Mayer was named one of
“Chicago’s Best Vets” by Chicago Magazine and most recently received the
2010 Iams Eukanuba AARV Award for excellence in the field of Veterinary
Julie Mayer DVM CVA CVC CCRP
Holistic Healing Acupuncture
Herbs Mach Morsels
Sports Medicine Reiki
Flower Essences Seminars and Webinars
PUPPY training GAMES
by: Pamela Johnson
Puppies are sponges and will learn whether we teach them or not. It
helps to have a plan and know ahead of time what you do and do not
want your puppy to learn. Once you know what you want to teach your
puppy, use fun and rewarding games to show what you expect from
him. Training games teach the puppy that being with you is fun and
highly reinforcing. Your puppy can learn to be well-behaved through
the use of impulse control, confidence building, and attention games.
Who doesn’t like to play games? Games are fun for both puppies and
owners. Training games keep the participants (both humans and dogs),
engaged in the learning process. By making training enjoyable, the
bond between you and your puppy will be strengthened. Playing games
is a great way to spend quality time with your puppy.
Impulse Control Games
Self-control is essential for safety and promotes good behavior. Learning
impulse control teaches your puppy that he does not always get what
he wants. Any puppy or dog can learn self-control. Teaching a puppy to
control himself will help him transfer that learning to other situations.
It might take many repetitions and practice in various environments,
but the puppy will learn to generalize behaviors.
Go Wild and Freeze:
Invented by: September Morn, trainer/owner of “Dogs Love School”,
This is a great game for energetic dogs or puppies that jump up on people
when overexcited. This game encourages dogs to sit politely when
asked, even when wound up. Go Wild and Freeze becomes even more
fun when children are included as players in the game. It teaches kids a
positive way to play with puppies and how to manage behavior.
Step 1: Teach your puppy to sit for a treat by holding a cookie just above
his nose, then moving it toward the back of his head. As the puppy looks
upward for the treat, his rear will go to the floor in a sit. Click or praise
and give the treat.
Step 2: Teach the kids and other players how to get the dog to sit for
Step 3: Call “Go Wild!” and have everyone jump around, wiggle, wave
arms, and make happy sounds. After a few seconds, call “Freeze!” and
have everyone stop and stand tall. When the action stops, the player
closest to the dog asks him to sit and rewards with a treat. Then start
another round. Each time wait a little longer before calling “Freeze”. After
a few rounds, the puppy will automatically sit when the players stop
and stand tall.
Training Tip: You can use this game to practice other behaviors such as
down, stand, or even a stay.
Confidence Building Game
It is important to build your puppy’s confidence and teach him how to
be secure in the human world. The more experiences you can give your
puppy, the better. By teaching your puppy how to interact with his environment,
your puppy will be able to conquer anything that comes his way.
Check It Out
The Check It Out game encourages your puppy to explore his environment
without force or intimidation.
Step 1: Take an object that you know your puppy will like and tell him
to Check It Out: when he looks at it, click or praise and treat. When he
interacts with the item in any way, click or praise and treat.
Step 2: Take an object that your dog has not seen, but WILL NOT be
afraid of, and allow him to Check It Out”. Make sure you click or praise
and treat your puppy for interacting with the item.
Step 3: Take it on the road. Play the Check It Out game around anything
that could possibly be scary and turn that item into a fun opportunity
to learn about the world. Don’t forget to click or praise and give
treats for all appropriate interactions with items in the environment.
Training Tip: Start playing this game with things that are NOT scary
to your puppy. Build up a strong successful history of playing the game
before trying this with an item that your dog might be afraid of. Make
sure to only play this game in a safe secure environment, either on leash
34 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
or off leash. DO NOT play this game when meeting other dogs, people
or children as you can’t predict the behavior of other living beings. It is
extremely important to set your puppy up for success and for all interactions
to be positive.
Attention games teach your puppy that looking and listening to you
pays off. Being able to get your dog’s attention could possibly save his
life. If you want your puppy’s attention, you should be the producer of
all good things for your puppy.
The Name Game
This game will teach your puppy his name and helps build a positive
association with his name.
Step 1: Say they pup’s name and give him a piece of yummy food or play
a fun game of tug (if your puppy enjoys tug). Repeat step one about 10
times for now, but repeat as often as you can.
Step 2: Wait until your puppy is slightly distracted and say his name.
When he turns to look at you, click (for his head turning in your direction),
or praise, and give him a yummy treat. Remember, a reward
could be food, toys or anything he finds valuable. In this case, it is much
easier to use food. Next, move away from your puppy and say his name,
then click or praise and treat him for looking at you. Make sure you
reward close to your body to get your puppy used to being close to you.
You want him to hear his name and always turn and look at you. Repeat
a few times a day and do not forget to reward your puppy.
Training tips: Do not over-use your puppy’s name without giving him
a reward. I know you probably love his name, but refrain from saying
it to just say it. Only use his name when you really need his attention.
Otherwise, use nicknames or call him pup-pup. If you use his name a
lot and reward only a little, his name will lose its value and end up going
in one ear and out the other.
Make sure you use high value rewards; the good stuff like real meat and
cheese! Behavior is a result of its consequences, so the yummier the consequence,
the stronger the behavior. In a nutshell, don’t be stingy with
treats or play time!
Watch Me Game
This game will teach your puppy to give you attention without asking for
it. It is important to let the puppy choose to look at you. Why not just tell
the puppy what to do? If you constantly tell the dog or puppy what to
do, he will never learn on his own and will rely on your guidance to help
him throughout life. Dogs can think and learn for themselves. So, with
the Watch Me game, you are not going to say a word!
Step 1: Have your clicker and treats on you and get ready. Start by
sitting in a chair and wait for your puppy to look at you. The instant
that your puppy looks at you, click and toss him a treat on the ground
slightly away from you. This will get your puppy to move away, which
sets him up to look at you again. When he does look, click and toss
Step 2: Repeat step one, standing. Wait until the puppy voluntarily
looks at you, then click and toss a treat.
Step 3: Once your puppy is really good at watching you, move around
and challenge your puppy to find your eyes and, when he does, click
and toss a treat. Be creative and reward your puppy for watching you.
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
Training Tips: Start this game inside your house or somewhere with
low-level distractions. If the puppy is at the end of the leash, sniffing
around and he couldn’t care less about you, set him up for success by
shortening the leash and not allowing him as much space to move
around. Eventually he will get bored with his environment and look at
you; at that second you want to click and toss a treat. Set your dog up
to succeed by slowly adding distractions. If at any time you go to an
environment where your puppy just can’t seem to focus on you, go to an
easier location, create more distance between the puppy and the distractions
or go back later, after you’ve had more practice time.
If you do not want to use a clicker, you can say ‘Yes’ instead or simply
praise. A clicker however, is much more precise at marking the desired
behavior which means your puppy will learn the game faster.
A dog’s life is too short, so make your training time quality time.
Through focused playtime you will create the most amazing relationship
with your dog; a true friendship that you both will treasure for a
Pamela Johnson B.S., M.A., CPDT-KA has a background in education
and she is a natural teacher of all things. Her passion is using positive
reinforcement/clicker training to train tricks for canine freestyle, agility,
and to solve dog behavior problems. Pamela is the co-founder of the San
Diego Canine Freestylers.
Pamela’s family consists of a Husky Mix (Isabelle), Two Border Collies
(Bandit & Twix), Cat (Sabrina) and husband (Marxsen). Pamela competes
with her dogs in agility and canine freestyle; but enjoys every waking
moment with her dogs. She is known for posting free dog training videos
on YouTube under the channel ‘pamelamarxsen’, in the hopes that people
around the World will see that positive reinforcement training is a magical
way to train and that it works! Pamela is also the owner of Pam’s Dog
Welcoming a new puppy into your home is an
exciting time, and for many people, there is a
lot to learn. It can take a huge amount of dedication
to ensure that a puppy is raised to be
a healthy, polite adult dog. Along with choosing
a puppy from a responsible, ethical breeder
(or a shelter or reputable rescue organization),
there is a great deal you can do to promote
your new family member’s optimal long-term
It’s helpful at the outset to find a veterinarian
whose values and approach to health are in
line with your own. Your breeder may be able
to recommend a vet, or you can consult www.
ahvma.org, the web site for the American Holistic
Veterinary Medical Association – an excellent
resource on complimentary veterinary
care, with a list of member vets nationwide.
Of course, one of the keys to long-term health
and vitality for all living things is a wholesome,
healthy diet. Health and nutrition are inextricably
linked and starting your puppy off on the
right track with a high quality diet can set him
up for a lifetime of good health. Nutrition is
the cornerstone for total wellbeing, and while
some dogs do end up living to a ripe old age after
a lifetime of consuming bad quality grocery
brand food, the chances of good health and
longevity are vastly improved when nutrition
is better. We wouldn’t expect to achieve optimal
long term health on a diet of nothing but
fast food and we shouldn’t assume our dogs
Many low-grade commercial pet foods contain
a cocktail of chemical preservatives such
as BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin which can be
Nutrition with Lucy
by: Lucy Postins
About the column: There are many diverse opinions on what’s best to feed a dog. Debates
about raw versus cooked and grain versus no-grain (among other things) abound and all have
merit. My goal with this column is to provide an over-arching look at the basic principles of
nutrition for those just getting started with the move away from highly processed diets such as
kibble and cans to a fresher and more varied way of feeding. This column takes a ‘moderate’
approach to nutrition with an emphasis on treating each dog as an individual.
damaging to the liver and even carcinogenic.
These foods also contain fillers, by-products
and various poor quality ingredients, which
are essentially waste from other industries and
are unfit for human consumption – but end
up in pet food rendering plants as a means of
disposal because they cannot be utilized anywhere
else. Many of the major multi-national
conglomerates have pet foods within their
product portfolios and there is speculation
that this is, at least in part, a practical measure
which means that by-products from their other
businesses such as breakfast cereal, brewing
and dairy products can be efficiently utilized
without going to waste.
Because of the dramatic increase in allergies,
immune problems and disease following the
introduction of commercial pet foods many
years ago, lots of people have decided to begin
making their own puppy food. A well balanced
home-made diet can be an excellent source of
nutrition but can be time-consuming to prepare.
The meat you feed may be raw or cooked, depending
on your own beliefs and comfort level.
Your breeder or holistic vet may be able to
give you some guidance on this. Many people
prefer to lightly cook the meat for very young
pups and gradually phase in raw meat as they
get a little older.
Another option is to feed a commercially prepared
raw (or other minimally processed) type
of food, which is closer to a dog’s natural diet
and much richer in nutritional content. Less
processing means a higher proportion of the
vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients
are retained in the raw ingredients – and
fewer nutrients have to be added in the form
of a ‘premix’.
When you first bring a new puppy home, it’s
preferable to continue feeding him whatever
food the breeder (or rescue) was feeding previously.
Moving to a new home and leaving behind
litter mates and familiar surroundings is
actually quite disruptive for a puppy, and occasionally,
this anxiety alone can cause mild digestive
upset or a lessened appetite. Therefore,
it’s much better to wait for a couple of weeks
until your puppy is fully settled in, before attempting
to change the food if you don’t plan
to feed exactly what the breeder sent you home
with. This will prevent you from accidentally
ruling out a new diet because the pup appeared
not to like it, or because it seemed to cause gastrointestinal
upset that was actually related to
settling in to a new home.
As far as the nutritional content of a puppy’s
diet is concerned, it’s important to understand
how a growing pup’s needs differ from those of
an adult dog. Puppies require more calories to
support proper growth and development. Ideally,
most of those calories should come from
protein and fat. Puppies should not be overfed
to the point of gaining excess body weight.
They should be fed a sufficient amount to retain
a lean figure and maintain a visible ‘waist’
as they develop and mature.
For large and giant breed puppies, it’s particularly
important to not over-feed or provide too
many calories, especially during rapid growth
periods. This can cause the pup to grow too
fast, which may result in developmental bone
and joint problems in later life.
Puppies also have slightly different mineral
needs. Of particular interest are Calcium and
Phosphorus. Not only are the actual levels
important, but also the ratios of one to the
other. The diet should contain between 1:1
and 2:1 parts Calcium to Phosphorus. Excessive
amounts of Calcium should be avoided
in large and giant breed pups because of their
increased propensity to develop bone and joint
36 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
That being said, there is a tendency toward
excessive focus on percentages and milligrams
of particular nutrients in this country,
and this is frequently propagated by the
big-industry players who want to blind pet
owners with science and convince them that
they’re incapable of taking charge of their
own animals’ nutrition. They also vehemently
advise against mixing any sort of ‘people food’
with their commercial products for fear of
throwing off the delicate nutritional balance.
The reason? They want pet guardians to feed
as much of their product as possible. If you
supplement with your own ingredients, you’ll
likely feed less of their food, which means less
money in their pockets.
In contrast, many holistic veterinarians and
natural rearing breeders (as well as some
manufacturers of raw, niche and alternative
food formats), advocate dietary variety. It’s
not the end of the world if a dog consumes a
little more calcium one day and less the next;
or less protein for a day or two and then a
number of meat-rich meals thereafter. Most
humans don’t know how many milligrams
of phosphorus they consume in a given day
and it’s acceptable for dog nutrition to be approached
the same way; provided nutritional
balance is achieved over a period of time, and
there’s sufficient dietary variety to provide a
balanced, broad spectrum of nutrition over a
period of a week or two.
Puppies do need to eat more frequently than
adult dogs. Four meals a day are often neces-
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
sary for very young pups and even an eight-
week-old puppy will likely consume three
daily meals at least for the first few weeks in
his new home. It’s important to ensure your
schedule can accommodate this lunch time
meal for the first few weeks, or make alternative
arrangements if needed.
It’s important to remember that each puppy
is an individual and your pup may have quite
different needs (or appetite) from his litter
mates. Also, for larger breeds in particular
who can appear to have grown half an inch
after a simple afternoon nap, their requirements
may adjust from day to day. The key
is to allow your puppy to guide you. Keep a
close eye on his body weight and feed enough
to keep him lean but not ‘ribby’, and certainly
not too plump.
In addition to feeding a healthy diet, it is
important to try to feed only good quality,
natural treats to your puppy for rewards and
training. raw beef marrow bones (also called
soup bones) make an excellent treat between
meals. Your puppy will not actually eat these,
but gnaw on them in delight! These are available
from many supermarkets and will help
with teething and also keep adult dogs’ teeth
clean and sparkling white, as well as helping
to reduce the risk of periodontal disease.
The benefits of a good, wholesome, natural
diet are numerous. The consumption of a
minimally processed diet is commonly associated
with increased strength and vitality,
‘happy’ eyes and freedom from chronic skin
and health problems such as dry hair, excessive
scratching, ear infections and digestive
problems. A common sense approach to nutrition
and a nourishing, biologically appropriate
diet can set your puppy up for a lifetime
of great health. DNM
Lucy Postins is a companion animal nutritionist
and founder of The Honest Kitchen, a
natural pet food company in San Diego, CA.
Lucy is guardian to Willow and Taro, two Rhodesian
Ridgebacks and Indian, a mischievous
rescued Coonhound. In addition to the dogs,
she also cares for two young daughters, a former
racehorse, an elderly pony and a husband.
Offering Board Certification in
Animal Naturopathy for the
Professional Natural Animal
Health Practitioner and Consultant
Apply now for your
ASK the TRAINER
Please note that not all questions can be answered.
Email your questions to Pat Miller:
I am adopting a one year old Chow mix next
week and he seems to be pretty easy going. I
am concerned because I have two cats at home
and I want them to be able to coexist peacefully.
What can I do to help smooth the transition?
It’s important to do a gradual introduction,
especially if you don’t have information on
the dog’s past history with cats. Hopefully the
organization you’re adopting from did an assessment
procedure that included some sort
of introduction to cats, to determine if the dog
showed obvious signs of inappropriate catrelated
In any case, you can start by making sure your
cats have plenty of safety zones where the dog
can’t go. We have a baby gate across the stairway
so our cats can enjoy a dog-free upstairs
all day (the dogs do come up to go to bed at
night) and across the door to the room that
has their litter boxes and food dishes. We also
bought a large dollhouse at an auction that sits
in our dining room. The cats can use it as a refuge
to avoid canine harassment when they are
If your cats have been around dogs before, the
transition will go more smoothly - it’s just a
matter of them adapting to a new, hopefully
cat-appropriate dog. If the cats aren’t accustomed
to dogs, or if the dog is inappropriate
with cats, you obviously have a much bigger
challenge on your hands. Nothing is more
exciting to a cat-inappropriate dog than a cat
who bristles and runs away. It’s almost as fun to
harass one who stands and fights. And the risk
of injury to one or both species is high.
So - the dog comes into the house on leash,
with baby gates already in place. Observe his
behavior when he first spies the cats. If you see
a relaxed swishing tail and calm happy face,
you’re in luck - he knows and likes cats. All
you’ll need is a period of close supervision (a
couple of weeks) to be sure that doesn’t change,
and you’re good to go. If, however, you see any
sign of tension or arousal in the dog - ears
pricked hard forward, intense stare, high, fastwagging
tail, straining at the leash, vocalizing
- you’re in for a long haul.
The instant you see any tension - either with
the first introduction or later on, start feeding
your dog very high value treats (I like to use
chicken). The greater the tension, the more
important it is you use very high value meaty
foods - dry cookies won’t do the job. You’re
trying to convince your dog that cats make
chicken happen, so the first thought that enters
his brain when he sees a feline family member
is “chicken!” rather than “chase!” - and he
looks to you for treats rather than taking off
after the cat.
Also, the greater the tension, the more important
it is that his behavior is carefully managed
with a leash whenever the cats are around, so
he can’t go after them, get reinforced for his inappropriate
behavior and possibly injure or kill
a cat. When our Scottish Terrier decided a new
kitten we brought home might be prey (even
though we already had two cats in the home)
I worked with him on-leash with chicken for
several weeks, and we didn’t leave them home
alone together (they were closed in separate
rooms) for a good six months. Happily, they
became very good friends.
Every time someone opens the front door at our
house, our dog bolts through the doorway and
runs wild through the neighborhood. It’s irritating
the neighbors and scaring us to death - she’s
been hit by a car once already; fortunately she
wasn’t badly hurt. But I’m afraid she won’t be
so lucky next time. We’ve taken her to obedience
class but it hasn’t helped. Is there anything we
Scary indeed - hazards for dogs running out
doors and running amok in neighborhoods
are legion, including everything from being hit
by a car, as you’ve already experienced, to complaints
to Animal Control or worse, a neighbor
deciding to take matters into his own hands.
You must stop this behavior!
There are several things you can do. You can
teach your dog a good solid “Wait” cue, and
make sure everyone uses it when the door
opens. You can construct some sort of “airlock”
either inside the house or outside the
door. Inside, put up one or more baby gates to
make the entry around your door a dog-free
zone. Outside, ideally, put a fenced area (with
a self-closing gate) around the door so even if
she scoots out she’s still contained. If you can’t
manage a fence, an exercise pen outside the
door affixed to something solid might serve
the same purpose. You can also teach her an
emergency stop behavior.
Ultimately, a dog who will come when called
is your best solution for this, or any situation
where she might accidentally slip out of a
contained space (your car, for example, when
you’re away from home). One round of obedience
classes is rarely enough to help you instil
really solid good manners - especially the recall.
Many dog owners don’t realize how much
effort it takes to teach a really solid recall for
most dogs. One important point is that you
never scold your dog when you do catch up
with her or when she comes to you, no matter
how tired, worried, angry or frustrated you
are. That only teaches her to play keep-away
even more, to avoid punishment.
Training your dog is a lifetime endeavor. If you
don’t want to do more classes, look for a qualified
positive reinforcement-based trainer to
work with you one-on-one to teach the “Wait”
behavior, and help you train an emergency
stop and/or a rock-solid recall. It’s really worth
the effort, if you want your girl to live to a ripe
old age. DNM
Pat Miller is a Certified Dog and Horse Behavior
Consultant and Certified Professional Dog
Trainer. She offers classes, behavior modification
services, training clinics and academies for
trainers at her 80 acre Peaceable Paws training
facility in Fairplay, Maryland (US), and presents
seminars worldwide. She has authored
“The Power of Positive Dog Training,” “Positive
Perspectives,” “Positive Perspectives 2,” “Play
With Your Dog,” and “Do-Over Dogs.” Miller
shares her home with husband Paul, five dogs,
three cats, five horses, a donkey and a potbellied
pig. To learn more about Pat, visit: www.
38 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
Dogs Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
essentials for your dog
Tripett is 100% pure meat with no fillers, preservatives or artificial ingredients. The original formula is
made from pure, unbleached Green Beef Tripe. Tripett contains all the partially digested grasses in a cow’s
stomach and is rich in digestive enzymes, essential fatty acids and many other nutrients important to your
dog’s health. Also available in lamb and venison.
Find a retailer at: www.tripett.com
This all purpose, all natural, medicinal skin care product is
made from quality essential oils. Jake’s Remedy helps heal hot
spots, dry skin, bald spots, fungus, ring worm and promotes
Ingredients: Water, Apricot Kernel Oil, Essential Oils, Dispersa
(an all natural emulsifier containing vitamins C and E). Comes
in 8 ounce spray bottle ($14.95) and a 16 ounce refill bottle
($26.95). Available at Frogworks: www.ffrogworks.com
Finally, an earth-friendly fabric toy that can stand up
to the toughest dogs! The Eco-Fetcher is made from
hemp, the strongest Natural Fiber on Earth and is available
in three fetchable sizes: 5” ($8.99), 7” ($11.99) and
9” ($15.99). Available at Honest Pet Products:
A controversial new novel, entitled Finding Jack, (St Martin’s Press, New York, February 2011) offers a fictional
account of what a soldier endures after learning that the dog which served his platoon with such distinction
in Vietnam, has been classified as “surplus military equipment” by the U.S. Government at the end of
the conflict, and is ordered to be left behind. Although Finding Jack is a work of fiction, it is based on actual
events at the end of the Vietnam War and was written to highlight the little-known plight of the Vietnam War
Dogs. Available at Amazon: www.amazon.com
across the pond
with: Catherine O'Driscoll
PROTECTING YOUR PUPPY FROM DISEASE
People often ask my advice about the best time to vaccinate their puppies,
and which schedule they should adopt. However, I don’t vaccinate
- at all. I fully appreciate that my stance is a radical one, and that it
might be scary for the majority of dog lovers to fly with a puppy in their
arms without a vaccine safety net.
I also don’t believe in giving advice. You don’t need someone telling
you what to do. We’ve had veterinarians telling us to vaccinate our dogs
every year since the 1970’s, and look where that got us. Rather, you need
truthful information so you can make your own informed and loving
So, first off, I’m going to give you information to explain why not vaccinating
at all is a legitimate option. And secondly, I’m going to give
you some science so that, if you do decide to vaccinate, you can try to
minimize the risks.
THE VACCINE-FREE OPTION
People often say to me that they don’t vaccinate their dogs; before adding
… “just the puppy shots”. Forgive me, but if you give any vaccines
at all, then you vaccinate. Most of the time, the puppy-shots-only approach
gives permanent immunity to Distemper, Parvovirus and Hepatitis/Adenovirus,
with no apparent adverse effects. But then, people
wonder why their dog itches all the time, or is hand-shy, or develops an
immune-mediated disease such as cancer, Addison’s disease, or arthritis,
months or even years down the line. Very rarely do they link these
illnesses to the puppy shots they gave them.
Dr Jean W. Dodds tells us: “The onset of adverse reactions to conventional
vaccinations (or other inciting drugs, chemicals, or infectious
agents) can be an immediate hypersensitivity or anaphylactic reaction,
or can occur acutely (24-48 hours afterwards), or later on (10-45 days)
in a delayed type immune response often caused by immune-complex
formation. Typical signs of adverse immune reactions include fever,
stiffness, sore joints and abdominal tenderness, susceptibility to infections,
central and peripheral nervous system disorders or inflammation,
collapse with auto-agglutinated red blood cells and jaundice, or generalized
pinpoint hemorrhages or bruises. Liver enzymes may be markedly
elevated, and liver or kidney failure may accompany bone marrow
suppression. Furthermore, recent vaccination of genetically susceptible
breeds has been associated with transient seizures in puppies and adult
dogs, as well as a variety of autoimmune diseases including those affecting
the blood, endocrine organs, joints, skin and mucosa, central
nervous system, eyes, muscles, liver, kidneys, and bowel. It is postulated
that an underlying genetic predisposition to these conditions places
other litter mates and close relatives at increased risk. Vaccination of
pet and research dogs with polyvalent vaccines containing rabies virus
or rabies vaccine alone was recently shown to induce production of
antithyroglobulin autoantibodies, a provocative and important finding
with implications for the subsequent development of hypothyroidism
(Scott-Moncrieff et al, 2002).”
“The recently weaned young puppy or kitten entering a new environment
is at greater risk here, as its relatively immature immune system
can be temporarily or more permanently harmed. Consequences in later
life may be the increased susceptibility to chronic debilitating diseases.”
In lay terms, Dr Dodds is basically saying that when you vaccinate your
puppy or adult dog, it could result in an immediate life-threatening allergic
reaction, collapse or death; it could result in the dog suffering
from a serious infection. It could affect his nervous system, giving
rise to inflammation of the brain, behavioral changes, epilepsy, or fullblown
In the longer term, a variety of autoimmune diseases could come from
those one or two puppy shots. This might be constant itchiness, skin
problems, and allergies to the air your dog breathes, the food he eats,
and the environment he comes into physical contact with. The vaccine
could damage his liver, kidneys and heart, or his thyroid – maybe not
immediately, but silently and over time. More serious autoimmune diseases,
such as cancer and leukemia, may also develop, as well as autoimmune
hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia.
If you look further into the science, you’ll discover that vaccines can
cause dogs to attack their own DNA; their genetic blueprint. Vaccine
damage thus goes down the line. Holistic practitioners call this the vaccine
miasm. Your dog doesn’t even need to be vaccinated to suffer from
vaccine-induced disease – he’ll inherit it from his ancestors.
Since most dogs these days can be expected to die of cancer, and a high
proportion suffer from arthritis, allergies, epilepsy, and other immunemediated
and inflammatory diseases – all of which are vaccine-associated
– many of us have decided that the risks from a vaccine are far higher
than the risk of catching Distemper or Parvo.
Diet is the cornerstone of health, and the first line of defense against
viral and bacterial disease. So those of us who consciously choose not
40 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
to vaccinate throw out the processed pet food and give our dogs biologically
appropriate food. Something is working with this approach:
most will tell you that their raw-fed, non-vaccinated dogs live long and
healthy lives, rarely needing to see a vet.
Nature’s anti-viral and anti-bacterial solutions include Transfer Factor
(colostrum extract), vitamins D and A, olive leaf extract, grapefruit seed
extract, and garlic. There are more, including the homoeopathic nosodes
(small pills containing trace dilutions of the diseases you would
otherwise vaccinate against).
MINIMIZING THE VACCINE RISK
If you decide you must vaccinate to protect your friend, here are some
1. No vaccine is guaranteed. The interaction between the vaccine,
the environment, and the dog may mean that your dog remains
2. A very small percentage of dogs will never develop immunity, no
matter how often you vaccinate.
3. However, most dogs (98%+) will develop permanent immunity to
the core viral diseases (Distemper, Parvo, Adenovirus) from their
puppy shots. This means they are protected for life.
4. To be (almost) sure of protection, bodies such as the WSAVA recommend
a booster after the age of six months.
5. For political reasons, they add that dogs should be vaccinated no
more frequently than every three years, which many vets take as
permission to revaccinate every three years. Tri-annual vaccination
should be unnecessary (see point 3).
6. You can have your dog titer tested to see if there are circulating antibodies
to the core viral diseases. Dr Ronald D Schultz, the world’s
foremost expert, says that any antibodies at all, at whatever level,
would indicate that the dog is immune. Other experts put a level
on the number of antibodies needed.
7. A dog with circulating antibodies may still come down with the
diseases, depending upon his diet, immune system, and stress status.
Revaccination will not resolve these problems.
8. Different countries have different guidelines for when puppies
should be vaccinated and how often. In the UK, for example, the
general rule is that puppies are vaccinated only twice; in the US,
it’s three times.
Holistic Veterinarian • 15 years experience
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9. In North America, Rabies vaccination is mandatory – annually
or tri-annually, depending on where you are. I know many dog
guardians who keep their heads down and ignore this law, since it
is believed by the experts that once a dog is immune to viral disease,
he is immune for years or life.
10. Vaccines for Lyme, Leptospirosis, Coronavirus, Bordetella, and
Parainfluenza are also available. They are deemed ‘non-core’ by
the WSAVA. Many of the experts do not recommend them as they
come with serious adverse effects – and many of them aren’t very
11. It is important to not begin a vaccination program while maternal
antibodies are still active and present in the puppy from the
mother’s colostrum. The maternal antibodies identify the vaccines
as infectious organisms and destroy them before they can stimulate
an immune response, meaning your puppy gets all of the risk and
none of the benefit.
12. Doing a titer three weeks after vaccination can tell you if the maternal
antibodies have waned enough for the vaccine to work.
Dr Ronald Schultz, the hero behind worldwide veterinary vaccine
guideline amendments (which vets are slowly adopting amidst much
kicking and screaming), is on record as saying that you should only give
Distemper once at 10 weeks and Parvo once at 12 weeks, and then check
the blood for antibodies.
Good luck with your choices, and don’t forget that knowledge is power,
and that love is the mightiest power in the world. DNM
Catherine O’Driscoll has been running Canine Health Concern since
1994. In June this year, she spearheaded a campaign to forcefully persuade
the British government to put an end to the normal practice of annually
vaccinating dogs in the UK. To support this campaign, she has written a
369 page response to the UK’s licensing body, the Veterinary Medicines
Directorate. This report is available free by logging onto www.petvaccine.
weebly.com. It contains the science to explain why vaccines cause so many
diverse adverse effects in our dogs, and also explains why governments
around the world will not legislate to halt unnecessary vaccination. Catherine
also asks her fellow dog lovers to write to the British government to
lend their voices to the campaign. Contacts and template letters for you to
send are also carried on the site.
Gerald Wessner VMD
Dogs 33 Naturally Magazine | May/June 2011
March/April 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
Chamomile is an easy-to-grow herb, native to
Europe. This robust annual has naturalized
and can now be found throughout many parts
of the world. In North America, it is commonly
found in sunny areas from Canada to
the Northern States. Chamomile is a daisy-like
flower and blooms from May to October. The
flowers, stems and leaves are pleasant tasting
and can be used as a tea, dried, in a tincture,
One of the key uses for Chamomile is for
gastrointestinal ailments. Its anti-spasmodic
and anti-inflammatory properties make it an
excellent choice for diarrhea, indigestion and
gas. It is also a very gentle yet effective wormer
which makes it an excellent choice for puppies.
As a wormer, it can be used alone or, if more
strength is needed, combined with wormwood,
aspidium, garlic or black walnut. It is
important to note that even natural wormers
can create toxicity, so if chamomile is combined
with wormwood, aspidium or black walnut,
milk thistle seed should also be given to
protect the liver.
Chamomile is also useful to keep around for
puppies who are cutting their teeth. It is an
effective analgesic and will help with swollen
gums and toothaches. In older dogs or puppies
going through growing pains, its analgesic
and anti-inflammatory properties can make it
a useful herb for arthritis and swollen, tender
Chamomile might be best known for its sedative
properties. It can safely be used, even in
young animals, to alleviate anxiety, insomnia,
and even aggression. Animal tests have shown
that Chamomile can actually cause a reduction
in aggression. For dogs with motion sick-
ness, it can be used effectively to curb both the
anxiety and digestive upset that accompany car
Chamomile also contains anti-bacterial and
anti-fungal properties. Along with its anti-inflammatory
properties, this makes Chamomile
a good choice for sore, reddened ears and can
be applied topically or given as a dried herb or
Chamomile can also be applied topically as a
tea or salve to speed wound healing and even
retains its sedative properties when applied in
this manner. Chamomile can also be used to
soften the skin and coat and can also alleviate
the stress and itch of allergic skin. For this
reason, Chamomile is used in many cosmetic
Overall, Chamomile is an important herb to
keep in your cupboard. It is gentle enough for
puppies and alleviates many puppy ailments
including digestive upset, worms, growing
pains and teething pains.
Although it is a safe and widely used herb,
Chamomile should not be given to pregnant
females as it can increase the risk of abortion.
It should also not be given to animals on anticoagulants.
42 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
There’s an exciting event coming that you won’t want to miss. It’s the Nova Scotia Integrative Health
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Demonstrations - Acupuncture, homeopathy, nutrition and much more
Lecture Series - Veterinarians from Atlantic Canada and the US
Dartmouth Sportsplex and Holiday Inn
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Visit www.NSIHPE.com for further information or email NSIHPE@gmail.com
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44 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
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Bringing the world together - one animal at a time
“THIEF! THIEF! STOP THAT THIEF!”
I get the feeling that people who know us keep
their valuables under lock and key when Micah
and I walk by their set ups at shows. I
think they know that Micah is a quick and
efficient toy thief. I first realized the severity
of the problem when I was showing my yellow
lab Caleb at the All-Star Performance Dog
Championship. Micah came along for the ride
and, at the time, he was not even six months
old. It was then that I discovered that Micah
could spot any toy (but especially tug ropes),
within 50 feet with laser-like precision, and
quickly pilfer it without anybody noticing.
At home, the most vulnerable targets are my
slippers and my husband’s baseball caps - as
well as other unmentionable items. After
a successful robbery, Micah gleefully runs
around the house, rolling onto his back with
the forbidden item between his front paws,
playing with it.
This obsession has not improved with age either.
Just recently, I was warming him up at
an obedience trial when his ever-hopeful eyes
locked onto a rope left gleefully unattended in
somebody’s chair. I eyed the rope at the same
moment as Micah and we both dove for it at
the same time. Thankfully, I got there first,
preventing him from furthering his already
Micah also has the habit of sucking on things -
and tug ropes are also his favorite items to suck
on. It’s quite disgusting to be walking through
the house in my bare feet and step on a squishy,
freshly sucked-upon rope. At first, I was not
really concerned about his habit of sucking on
tug ropes, but one night changed all that.
My husband and I were sitting in our living
room watching TV with the boys all settled in.
Micah had begun to suck on a tug rope that
someone had given him as a present. It was a
lovely hand-made rope with a knot at one end
Living and Training with MICAH
The trials and tribulations of living with a naturally reared dog
by: Susan Jenkins
and a handle at the other. This night, Micah
was happily sucking at the knotted end when,
suddenly, he jumped up and was in a panic,
running through our living room. We noticed
at the same time that only the knotted end of
the rope was sticking out of his mouth. The
rest he had apparently swallowed. If you have
ever tried to catch a dog that is running around
in a panicked state, I pray you never find out
how difficult it can be. Lew and I finally got
hold of him and I was able to pull the rope out
of his mouth. It promptly went into the trash.
To this day, I am so grateful that we were home
with him or it could have had very tragic results.
That same night, all ropes that did not
have large ends on them went into the trash.
Soon afterward, I also began working on
breaking his sucking habit. He rarely sucks
on his ropes these days, and if I do catch him
sucking on one, I break his focus and hand
him one of his bones to chew on instead.
I have to watch Micah with toys too. Not long
after the tug rope incident, he was playing with
his Aussie girlfriend. They were playing with
a tennis ball with a squeaker inside, covered
with furry fabric. They had a grand time running
and playing keep-away. Micah would roll
on his back with the toy between his front feet
and she would take it from him and the chase
would then be on again.
During one of the play sessions, the toy mysteriously
disappeared. We looked and looked
for it but could not find it. We finally gave up
our search, figuring it would turn up sooner
or later. Early in the morning a couple of days
later, I could hear Micah starting to heave and
then he threw up. I went to check on him and
saw what looked like a pile of stool. I thought
“Great! He swallowed the toy and now we
have a blockage.” I got some toilet paper to
clean up the mess, only to discover that it was
the missing toy! I could not believe Micah had
swallowed it. Once again, we went through
the toy box and got rid of anything that was
small enough for him to swallow. Micah’s cov-
eted toy collection is really starting to shrink.
Maybe this is why he needs to steal more toys.
The most important thing Micah has stolen
is some of my time with Caleb. Caleb and I
have been training and competing for over
seven and a half years now. But, transition
is inevitable. My instructor contacted me recently
to ask what I had planned for the boys
for the next session of our class. She told me
she wanted to move Micah into Caleb’s class
slot because some of her other classes were
getting too big and she needed to move some
dogs around. The concern was that Micah
would begin to regress due to the lack of challenge
if he stayed in the class he had been in. I
knew the day would come that I would not be
in class with Caleb, but when she asked me if
I would consider it, I was crushed. Yes, I even
shed some tears. I just could not imagine not
being in class with Caleb.
A couple weeks before this, my instructor and
I were talking and I mentioned that I had already
begun to feel my heart of shifting more
to Micah but I could not just stop with Caleb.
Since we are still trying to get those final points
for his Obedience Trial Championship, she assured
me that I could come in early when I
needed to, so I could work on whatever I needed
to before a show. But these days, it is now
Micah and Mom, M&M, going to class-just the
two of us. Transition is difficult, but it is good,
too. I continue to look forward to training and
competing with Micah and continuing to develop
a bond as strong as the one that Caleb
and I share. DNM
Susan Jenkins has been training and competing
for almost 30 years, and presently owns Papp’s
Dog Services in Akron, Ohio. Susan is currently
working on her AKC Obedience Trial Championship
with her yellow Lab, Caleb, and has
started competing with her black Lab, Micah.
Her desire is to give people the tools they need
to have a well behaved member of the family
and to introduce more people into the sport of
46 May/June 2011 | Dogs Naturally Magazine
Pain Doesn’t Discriminate
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