Kiana

Not too much has been going on here with all the social limitations due to COVID-19. We go for long walks at least every other day with the dogs, alternating days with Rogue and Canyon because Kiana gets too excited when we walk all four dogs together, but otherwise we’re staying home.

Huib still needs to work, so it’s always a bit stressful when he leaves. I just never know if he’s going to bring something home. So far his long-term care home is doing really well. They had one staff member with a positive test a few weeks ago, but so far no residents or other staff members have come down with it. This is really something to celebrate, as many homes in Ontario have lost high numbers of residents, but of course, the news only talks about the bad things that happen.

Since I don’t have a lot to talk about, I thought I would take some time to formally introduce everyone to Kiana.

Kiana’s registered name with the Canadian Kennel Club is, REBELFIRE’s Force of Nature. I chose this registered name because Arizona is a wild girl, so I thought her daughter would be similar. So far Kiana is really living up to her name. In Persian, Kiana, means earth, wind fire, so this fits well with force of nature.

In September, a week before turning eight months of age, Kiana earned her WC or working dog certificate. To earn this title, a dog must successfully retrieve two ducks on land and then two in the water. She wasn’t quite ready to hand me the birds, so Huib ran her at the test, so he could catch them before they fell. We also tried to earn her JH or junior hunter title, but she was only able to obtain one pass. Kiana has learned that once she hands the duck to us twice in the water, then the game is over. Instead of doing this, she has decided to play. While wanting to strangle her, we were also laughing on the inside, because she was tossing the duck in the air and then pouncing on it as it fell back into the water. She had quite a good time. I hope to have her finish this title in the fall.

In November Kiana tried to earn her TD or tracking dog title. Unfortunately, she got distracted by a smell and turned the wrong direction. Hopefully we can try again in the fall.

Kiana is one of the smartest dogs we’ve had the opportunity to raise. She loves to learn, but isn’t overly food motivated. Food is an easy thing to use in training, but I kind of like that Kiana isn’t a huge fan. I’m hoping it will mean she isn’t as easily distracted when someone tries to offer her food when we are out.

Kiana’s favourite things to play are tug, fetch and brain games. She loves when we put treats into cardboard boxes and then have her figure out how to get them out. Her usual choice is to shred the box and then spread it all over the kitchen. Kiana loves walks and can be a bit of a puller when she’s excited, so usually for the first two kilometres of a walk, she’s pulling.

Kiana is in training to be Rogue’s successor. Rogue turned nine in April, so I’m hoping to retire her shortly after her tenth birthday. Kiana is doing well with her training. So far we are focusing on obedience and manners. In July we will start working on guide tasks. I want her growth plates to fuse before I ask her to put pressure on her shoulders. I know she loves jumping and running, which can be hard on the joints, but at least I’m not encouraging the behaviour.

As long as Kiana passes all of her health clearances when she is two years of age, we hope to breed her in the future.

I can’t think of anything else to say about Kiana. It has been so cool to raise a puppy from the moment it’s born.

If nothing else is happening, I’ll talk about another one of the crew when I write again. Stay safe everyone!!!

Can Negative Experiences Influence How a Dog Sleeps?

I was skimming Twitter and found this article.

The study examined the sleep patterns of dogs after being exposed to a positive or negative experience. The researchers found that the dogs who were subjected to a positive experience, took longer to fall asleep, but slept better.

I thought the study findings were really interesting. When my dogs have had a busy day, especially one that has been stressful, they seem to dream a lot more. They’ll bark, run and even whimper in their sleep. I have noticed that my service dogs do the most active dreaming, compared to my pets.

In the News: The Sentient Debate

According to the National Post, the members of Quebec’s National Assembly are “currently debating a bill which proposes animals be seen as sentient beings, rather than property.”

The bill in Quebec is not the first of its kind, there are a number of groups in Canada and the United States that are trying to make society accept the fact that animals feel pain and have the ability to think.

This article provides a very good look at some of the animal rights issues that are being considered in various countries, including Canada.

One thing I learned from the article is that there is an Animal Law Working Group, based out of a firm in Ottawa. The spokesperson for that group stated that there has been an increase in the number of Canadian dog and cat owners trying to sue for damages when their pet is injured or killed while at the vet.

This is definitely a debate I will be keeping a close eye on.

From my observations and experiences living with the ruled by paws gang, I can definitely tell you that animals can think and feel pain.

Maybe these are very silly examples, but:

Just think of the times you’ve accidentally stepped on a tail, or for guide dog handlers, the times your dog stopped you from becoming street meat.

Here at the ruled by paws house, it is accepted that everyone is a thinker, so it is up to the humans to try and stay one step ahead in the thinking game from the canines.

In the News: Using the Canine Nose

In the United Kingdom, Tui, a flat-coated retriever is being trained to search for harvest mice.

Researchers are hoping Tui will be able to help them better estimate their numbers because it is believed that their population is on the decline.

You can read more about Tui and the reason for her mission here.

In ruled by paws news…

Rogue and I had an excellent tracking practice this morning, so this article was a great one to share.

We ran a CKC regulation length track in just over 8 minutes without difficulty.

We need to practice corners a bit more and work on Rogue’s article indication, but those are very minor problems.

I think I will break out the clicker and work on teaching Rogue to come “touch” me and then return to the article.

The countdown is on, 46 days until our tracking test.

In The News: Owner-Training Service Dogs

This article isn’t perfect, but the journalist has made a very good effort at increasing public awareness of owner-trained service dogs.

As everyone who has been reading this blog for a while knows, I am raising and training Rogue to be my guide dog. She is the first guide I have ever trained myself, but she is my fourth guide dog.

Some people have the option of hiring a professional trainer or to attend weekly classes, but some do not. I do not attend classes or have a professional trainer to help me with Rogue’s training, but with the help of friends I have made online, who have trained several of their own guides, I have been able to prepare Rogue to take over from Cessna.

I hope more journalists take the time to interview other owner-trainers, so that the public will understand that just because a service dog isn’t from a program doesn’t mean it is a ‘fake’.

In The News: Origin of Popular Canine Cancer Found

In just over a month, it will be a year since we lost our golden princess to an aggressive case of Leukaemia.

Even though this isn’t the same type of cancer Aspen had, I still thought of her when I read the following:

Recently, scientists discovered the point of origin for a common canine cancer. According to researchers, this highly contagious cancer in dogs has been traced to an ancient Malamute type dog.

A Canine Transmissible Venereal tumour is passed from one dog to another through sex, licking or even touching one another.

CTV is common in street dogs throughout the developing world, but has not yet entered countries such as Canada or the United States.

Geneticist, Elizabeth Murchison, and her team have learned that the cancer is a living fossil and the tumours contain the DNA of a single ancient dog who lived 11,000 years ago.

Pretty darn neat, eh?

If you would like to learn more about CTV, please check out these two articles on Pet MD and Live Science.

In The News: Follow The Leader

Apparently it’s possible to identify the social ranking and personality traits of dogs.

In a recent study done by Dr. Mate Nagy of the Department of zoology at Oxford University, 6 dogs and their owners went on fourteen group walks that lasted between 30 and 40 minutes. The dogs wore harnesses that had GPS to monitor their movements.

The study found that it is not possible to determine the leader after a single walk, but after a number of walks the leader becomes clear.

Researchers feel that the information from this study may be able to help search and rescue groups decide upon which dogs will work best together, among other uses.

In the News: Canine Distemper In India

Last year the blog sort of moved away from being primarily dog related and I’m not sure if it’s related, but our readership has also seemed to suffer, so this year I’m going to make a conscious effort to try and limit the number of non-dog related posts that appear here.

I’m going to try something out though, let me know what you think.

I’m going to start sharing links to stories I find in the news that are somehow dog related.

Canine Distemper is killing India’s endangered tigers.

According to an article in the India Times, the virus has been found in the blood of several dead tigers at the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Patna Zoo and in many areas of west Bengal and Darjeeling.

The Canine Distemper Virus affects the respiratory and nervous systems while also causing havoc in other parts of the body. Most of the time death is not caused by the virus, but results from secondary infections. The virus breaks down the immune system of an affected animal, so they’re unable to fight off the attack.

Scientists and researchers feel that the virus is being spread through direct contact, as well as through the consumption of infected dogs. they believe that the spread of the virus could be stopped by the vaccination of local dogs, so are looking into plans for a large-scale vaccination program.

For even more information on the situation check out this link.