Dog Agility Training

Dog agility is a competitive dog sport that takes place within an obstacle course. Dogs are trained to make jumps, travel through tunnels, and navigate various walkways – all in a specific order. Each step of the way, the dogs are directed by their owners. Agility is an excellent form of exercise and mental stimulation, making it ideal for high energy dogs like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds. However, just about any dog can participate in agility. The intensity and difficulty of the course can be altered to accommodate dogs with health complications or special needs. Teamwork between dog and human is the cornerstone of this sport. Learn more about agility training equipment. It could be a great activity for you and your dog.

This article is courtesy of a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Doors, Bark Collars and Dog Training Shock Collars, Pet Supplies.

Irish Setter

The Irish Setter is a native of Ireland and is believed to have been developed in the 1700s from several other breeds: Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Terrier, English Setter, Spaniel, Pointer, and Gordon Setter. Early on, the Irish Setter was typically white and red, but the solid red color became favored during the 1800s. Today, the Irish Red and White Setter is a separate breed. The name “setter” comes from the posture the dogs used to take while birding – they would crouch low to the ground, or “set.”

The Irish Setter first arrived in the US near the end of the 19th century. The breed was registered by the AKC in 1878.


60-70 pounds


Rich chestnut red or mahogany

Health Problems:

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus
  • Ear Infections (Otitis Externa)

About the Breed:

The Irish Setter is a sleek, noble and athletic dog breed that excels at hunting and other dog sports. This agile hunter is also fun-loving, affectionate and sometimes mischievous. The Irish Setter is happiest when near people and does best with active owners.The silky, shiny coat of the The Irish Setter is somewhat long and requires routine grooming. A thorough brushing should be done several times a week to prevent tangles and mats. Because of their long, floppy ears, Irish Setters are especially prone to ear issues, so close attention should be placed on keeping the ears clean and dry.

The Irish Setter is a playful and active dog that enjoys all kinds of activity. It is essential that the Irish Setter is given plenty of exercise, preferably several times daily. This breed loves to run. The Irish Setter’s energy level is also well-managed with proper training. This intelligent breed should respond well to many forms of training.

The Irish Setter is a loyal and friendly dog that can get along very well with children, though older kids are best for this active dog. The breed’s playful, upbeat personality adds to its versatility, making the Irish Setter a wonderful companion for all kinds of active families or individuals.

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Get Active with Your Dog

Spring is coming but it just can’t get here soon enough! Your dog is probably aching to get outside and burn off some energy, and he wants you there with him. Participating in dog sports is a wonderful way to get active and connected with your dog. While many require agreeable weather, other dog sports and activities can be enjoyed indoors. Agility can go either way.

Got a great story about your dog’s accomplishments? We would love it if you would share your story.

This article is courtesy of a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Supplies including  Pet Doors, Bark Collars and Dog Training Shock Collars.

New Canine Cancer Studies Announced — Dogs Needed

This announcement comes from the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan:

The Van Andel Research Institute, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is pleased to share that we have received a “Grand Opportunities” (GO) grant from the National Institutes of Health. This is enabling the Institute to expand its canine cancer studies, which started with a project investigating hemangiosarcoma in Clumber spaniels 18 months ago, into a much broader research program.

We are launching a new center of excellence in canine genetics and genomics. The first and most important program is the Canine Hereditary Cancer Consortium (CHCC), which is headed by Drs. Jeff Trent (TGen), Nick Duesbery (Van Andel Research Institute), and Paul Meltzer (National Cancer Institute/NIH). The program is an unprecedented alliance of scientists, veterinarians and physicians.

Drs. Duesbery and Froman are intensely focused on recruiting canine cancer patients for the study through a variety of clinical outreach programs. Samples from canine patients will not only allow the researchers to identify genes responsible for breed-specific susceptibilities (such as hemangiosarcoma in Clumber spaniels and osteosarcoma in Greyhounds), but also to translate these discoveries into new and more precise diagnostics and therapeutics for both canine and human cancer patients. The ultimate goal is to take personalized medicine for dogs to unscaled heights!

The CHCC has been developed to investigate five initial cancers in dogs, which also affect people. The first five cancers we’ll be researching are:

  • Hemangiosarcoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Malignant histiocytosis
  • Melanoma (oral and digital)

In order to move forward, we need your help. The Institute will be studying only naturally occurring tumors, so we need the assistance of owners with dogs who develop any of the above types of cancer. We are requesting fresh (NOT in formalin) tumor samples when the dog has surgery, a biopsy, or is euthanized. We also need 3 mls of blood in an EDTA (purple top) tube. If a tumor sample is not immediately available (a dog who has had surgery, for example), a blood sample is still useful.

If your dog is scheduled for surgery, please contact VARI ahead of time so we can FedEx a tumor collection kit to your veterinarian. You can contact the CHCC at 616.234.5569. You may also email Dr. Froman at Consent forms and more information for veterinarians can be accessed and downloaded from our website, In addition, we are collecting DNA samples from a wide variety of healthy, purebred dogs, for use as controls. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Nature’s Variety Expands Recall of Raw Frozen Chicken Diets

This just in from Nature’s Variety:

Nature’s Variety has expanded its voluntary recall of Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diets for dogs and cats to include the “Best If Used By” dates of 10/29/10 and 11/9/10 because these products may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The recall includes the following products with a “Best If Used By” date of 10/29/10 or 11/9/10:

• UPC#7 69949 60131 9 – Chicken Formula 0.75 lb trial sized medallions
• UPC#7 69949 60130 2 – Chicken Formula 3 lb medallions
• UPC#7 69949 60120 3 – Chicken Formula 6 lb patties
• UPC#7 69949 60121 0 – Chicken Formula 2 lb single chubs

In an abundance of caution, Nature’s Variety has also chosen to expand this voluntary recall to include all Chicken Formula and Organic Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diets for dogs and cats with any “Best If Used By” date on or before 2/5/11. Nature’s Variety has elected to clear the market of raw frozen chicken diets as it implements a state-of-the-art new food safety process called High Pressure Pasteurization for use on all Nature’s Variety Raw Frozen Diets.

The products included in the expanded recall are any Chicken Formula or Organic Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diet with a “Best If Used By” date on or before 2/5/11, including:

• UPC#7 69949 60131 9 – Chicken Formula 0.75 lb trial sized medallions
• UPC#7 69949 60130 2 – Chicken Formula 3 lb medallions
• UPC#7 69949 60120 3 – Chicken Formula 6 lb patties
• UPC#7 69949 60121 0 – Chicken Formula 2 lb single chubs
• UPC#7 69949 50121 3 – Chicken Formula 12 lb case of chubs
• UPC#7 69949 60137 1 – Organic Chicken Formula 3 lb medallions
• UPC#7 69949 60127 2 – Organic Chicken Formula 6 lb patties

The “Best If Used By” date is located on the back of the package above the safe handling instructions. The affected product was distributed through retail stores and internet sales in the United States and Canada.

No other Raw Frozen Diets are involved in this expansion other than chicken, and no other Nature’s Variety products are involved.

Nature’s Variety now uses High Pressure Pasteurization on their Raw Frozen Diets as a unique process to kill pathogenic bacteria through high-pressure, water-based technology. Having incorporated this state-of-the-art technology on a portion of their raw product offerings in late 2009, Nature’s Variety was able to confidently implement the process universally on all Raw Frozen Diets after the 2/11/10 recall in order to enhance food safety. Nature’s Variety also utilizes a test and hold protocol to ensure that all High Pressure Pasteurized Raw Frozen Diets test negative for harmful bacteria before being released for sale.

“Nature’s Variety believes replacing all raw frozen chicken products on the market with new raw frozen chicken products that use High Pressure Pasteurization is an important and responsible step in order to reinforce consumer confidence and trust,” stated Reed Howlett, CEO of Nature’s Variety. “By recalling all raw frozen chicken products with ‘Best If Used By’ dates on or before 2/5/11, we can provide our pet parents with new raw frozen chicken products that have been processed through High Pressure Pasteurization. Adopting High Pressure Pasteurization is an important step to ensure that our products meet the strictest quality and food safety standards.”

Howlett stated, “Our commitment to consumers in the future is the same as it’s been in the past – to offer Raw Frozen Diets made from the highest quality ingredients, made in our own plant in the Midwest, by people who care deeply about pet nutrition, health, and happiness.”

If you are a consumer and have purchased one of these products, please return the unopened product to your retailer for a full refund or replacement. If your package has been opened, please dispose of the raw food in a safe manner by securing it in a covered trash receptacle. Then, bring your receipt (or the empty package in a sealed bag) to your local retailer for a full refund or replacement.

Consumers with additional questions can call the Nature’s Variety dedicated Customer Care line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-374-3142. For additional resources about High Pressure Pasteurization or other Nature’s Variety food safety protocols, visit

(You can read the full text of the Nature’s Variety alert here.)