US Search Dog Teams Arrive in Japan

The devastation is hard to process. The photos and video footage from the quake-and-tsunami-ravaged northeast coast of Japan seem too horrific to be real. Some 10,000 people may have lost their lives as a result of the disasters.

And some may still be alive beneath the rubble. But how to find them before it’s too late? Man’s best friend to the rescue…

Yesterday six canine disaster search teams trained by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation arrived in Japan on another lifesaving mission. These heroic teams have been deployed to disasters around the world, helping find life in the midst of devastation and death.

These teams are extraordinary. The rescue dogs were all rescues themselves. They know how to scope out signs of life and hope better than any human, thanks at least in part to their incredible senses and the tremendous training provided by the foundation. There are currently 74 SDF-trained teams around the US.

The six teams that arrived in Japan yesterday were making their way to Ofunato City at last update. Once there, the dogs will get to work with their handlers.

“All rescue personnel will be awaiting a ‘Bark Alert’ from the dogs, letting them know there is someone in need of rescue. Everything the teams have learned during their intensive training will be put to use in saving lives,” says Janet Reineck, of the Search Dog Foundation. You can click here to see photos of the six teams.

We hope they can steer clear of any possible radiation leaks, and that soon there will be a whole lot of barking going on.

If you’d like to keep up with their efforts there foundation has a web page dedicated to updates. Or follow them on Twitter. You can also make a donation to this excellent organization on the same page. Or check them out on Facebook.

If you’d like other ways to help Japan’s human or animal victims, here are some suggestions:

The Japanese Red Cross Society is trying to get aid to the scene as quickly as possible. Yes, this is for the human victims, but if humans are alive, their pets will have someone to come home to. (The Google Crisis Response page that hosts this donation effort also features message boards, warning and alarm announcements, shelter information, and much more. Looking at it gives you kind of an inside idea of what’s going on there. There’s even a button to click if you are looking for someone, or have information on someone.)

How To Deal with Dog Biting Problems

Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend and rightfully so, since they do have a unique way of bringing joy and laughter into anybody’s home. Some dog breeds even look so cute that one can hardly resist cuddling and playing with them. But, when you have to deal with dog biting problems as you most probably would while raising a puppy, your dog can definitely seem a lot less cute and cuddly.

In order to successfully deal with dog biting problems, you will have to dig deep and get to the root of the problem. Find out exactly why your dog is biting so that you will know what particular situation you should address directly. The best way to get to the root cause of the problem is to observe your dog. Watch how he reacts to different individuals (including children) and situations as well as to other animals. Many dog owners who find themselves having to contend with dog biting problems often feel overwhelmed and end up getting rid of the dog. What you should do instead is get rid of the reason for the biting. It’s only logical that the dog will stop biting when he no longer has any reason to do so.

Patience and confidence are the key factors for successfully dealing with dog biting problems. Understandably, this problem can be very frustrating for a dog owner, especially since it may pose a danger to other people and even the owner himself. But, no matter how frustrating it is, the problem CAN be solved and that is what you need to keep in mind.

When your children get sick, you know that it is because of a virus. Therefore, you eliminate the virus in order to relieve the sickness. In the same way, dog biting problems are merely results arising from some other factor. By identifying and addressing that factor with patience and confidence, you can effectively eliminating the biting problems. Patience is especially needed when you are still trying to identify what the root cause is. It is also important for you to keep the communication lines between you and your dog open when you are dealing with dog biting problems. Make sure that you do not allow your dog to have his own way during this period. The very moment you see signs of your dog attempting to bite, immediately give a command to correct the action. Be sure to give a command which you know your dog will understand.

Do not expect your dog to immediately obey your command. In fact, it may be safe to say that you can expect your dog to DISOBEY you at this point. You should therefore be firm and consistent in giving the correction. Let the dog know that no matter what happens, you are standing your ground and biting is not allowed. Dealing with dog biting problems can truly be a stressful experience, but you will feel a lot better once you have overcome it and you might even develop a closer bond with your dog in the process.

Parrot Training

Having a well behaved, enjoyable pet parrot requires proper training and companionship.

Statistics show that there are about sixteen million pet birds in the United States.  A few million of these are pet parrots. The most popular pets in the US and Canada are cats, then dogs, then fish, and then birds.

Amazons, Cockatoos, Macaws, Budgerigars (better known as budgies), lovebirds, conures, and African Greys are parrots that are often kept as pets. These are just some of the three hundred and seventy two breeds of parrots found around the world. The hot climates of Australia and New Zealand,  South and Central America, and Africa are  the natural territories  where many parrot species originate.

The most common parrot color is green with a sampling of other pastel colors. Several species are multi-colored such as Macaws. Some Macaws are blue and yellow while the Scarlet Macaw is bright red with yellow and blue. The rainbow Lorikeet has several colors as the name suggests.

The clawed feet of parrots aid them in gripping and climbing and grasping food like nuts that they can break open with their vey powerful bills.

Some of the favorite food of parrots include fruits, nuts, seeds and insects.

People have been taming, training and having parrots for pets for thousands of years. Hieroglyphics found in Egypt indicate that ancient Egyptians had pet birds, perhaps parrots. The Greeks and Romans certainly had pet parrots. The fact that they can talk, their exotic colors and sociable natures have made them prized pets.

Before buying a parrot you should study up on the characteristics of the different breeds to learn which type may be best suitable for you. Parrots for the most part require lots of training and companionship.

The intelligent African Grey can easily learn to talk. But they crave attention and stimulating activities. If denied this the African Grey is prone to stress.

Other parrots breeds that are excellent talkers and very smart are the Macaws and the Amazons.  In order to be happy and healthy, their owners should provide them with activities and parrot training to keep them active. Otherwise they may turn assertive and destructive.

Cockatoos, like the other large parrots previously mentioned, are sociable, active parrots that demand lots of time from their owners. Without this interaction, cockatoos can become neurotic. Some of them can talk, but all possess a very loud shrill cry.

Parakeets make great pet parrots, so great that of all the types of pet parrots they are the most popular. Parakeets, AKA budgies, are easy going little gems that are much less challenging to care for than the bigger parrot species. The males are capable of speaking, and all are personable and very entertaining.

Another relatively easy to care for pet parrot is the cockatiel. These are small members of the cockatoo family and are much less demanding and more laid-back than the big cockatoos. Like the budgie, the males make the better talkers.

As has been emphasized, all pet parrots need proper parrot training and attention. There are several training books and training DVDs with lots of great tips. With time and patience you will form a loving bond with your well-adjusted pet parrot.

How To Leash Train Your Dog

Training your dog with a leash sounds pretty easy. All you have to do is put the leash on the dog, isn’t it? That’s what non pet owners think. There is more to walking a dog on a leash than just that.

The effort is so worthwhile though. Even if you have a big yard where your dog will be able to get as much exercise as she wants, you will sometimes want to be able to walk her on the street. Vacations, visits to the vet’s office and other excursions all mean taking the dog into situations where a leash is very useful.

If your pet has never been collared, let him get used to it before attempting to attach a leash on it. It is important to get something that is the right size, with some flexibility so that it will still fit the dog as she grows.

At first you may need to watch the dog while she is wearing the collar. If it is uncomfortable she will try to get it off. Something might catch and she could put herself at harm.

You should let your dog play with the leash the first time you attach it to the collar. Lessons don’t have to start immediately. You can put on the leash inside the house and just let the dog drag it around. This enables your dog to get used to it and play with it. Again you will need to watch the puppy to check that the leash does not get caught up in anything.

You have to talk to your dog while you teach him anything. You can start the lesson by walking her on the leash inside the house or in the yard.

Your dog will pull on the leash if there’s something interesting to look at or smell. You should try to balance out the control over your dog and her freedom. The leash should not be used to pull your dog, nor should it be used by your dog to pull you.

How will you be in control then? The answer is to use your voice along with gentle movements or flicks of the leash to recall the dog to you. If you want her to go to a certain direction, say her name a number of times to get her attention.

Taking the same walk every day is often the best way to go. You do not have to do this forever, but just while the dog is becoming accustomed to the leash. Once she learns how it’s done, you’ll be met with less and less resistance. You’ll have an easier time walking your dog on a leash if you teach her to come to you whenever you call her.

Training your dog with a leash sounds pretty easy. All you have to do is put the leash on the dog, isn’t it? That’s what non pet owners think. There is more to walking a dog on a leash than just that.
The effort is so worthwhile though. Even if you have a big yard where your dog will be able to get as much exercise as she wants, you will sometimes want to be able to walk her on the street. Vacations, visits to the vet’s office and other excursions all mean taking the dog into situations where a leash is very useful.
If your pet has never been collared, let him get used to it before attempting to attach a leash on it. It is important to get something that is the right size, with some flexibility so that it will still fit the dog as she grows.
At first you may need to watch the dog while she is wearing the collar. If it is uncomfortable she will try to get it off. Something might catch and she could put herself at harm.
You should let your dog play with the leash the first time you attach it to the collar. Lessons don’t have to start immediately. You can put on the leash inside the house and just let the dog drag it around. This enables your dog to get used to it and play with it. Again you will need to watch the puppy to check that the leash does not get caught up in anything.
You have to talk to your dog while you teach him anything. You can start the lesson by walking her on the leash inside the house or in the yard.
Your dog will pull on the leash if there’s something interesting to look at or smell. You should try to balance out the control over your dog and her freedom. The leash should not be used to pull your dog, nor should it be used by your dog to pull you.
How will you be in control then? The answer is to use your voice along with gentle movements or flicks of the leash to recall the dog to you. If you want her to go to a certain direction, say her name a number of times to get her attention.
Taking the same walk every day is often the best way to go. You do not have to do this forever, but just while the dog is becoming accustomed to the leash. Once she learns how it’s done, you’ll be met with less and less resistance. You’ll have an easier time walking your dog on a leash if you teach her to come to you whenever you call her.

Three Rules For House Training Your Puppy

‘I need help house training my puppy’ is a familiar cry that anybody who trains dogs hears all of the time. This dog training issue can also be the most common one. A dog owner might not care so much about having a dog that comes when it is called, but every new owner wants a puppy that is house trained – and fast!
In order for the dog not to be upset and make a minimum mess in the house, there are certain principles that’s important to follow so your dog can be potty trained quickly and easily. Below are the 3 rules you can follow in order to house train your puppy.
You need love and patience: Like babies, puppies need lots of patience and love when they’re starting to learn their way around the world. When a puppy first comes into your home it is likely to be a traumatic time for him, even if you are very affectionate with him.
Don’t forget he’s been taken away from his mother and siblings and placed into the care of people he never met. He also had something he has never known before: a long car journey. To him, his food is also new and unfamiliar. Your house may be colder, warmer, noisier, quieter or smell different than he is used to.
He’s likely to suffer from a little stress when he first arrives. Dogs, like humans, tend to suffer from digestive disorders when they are stressed. You need to remember this and be patient with him through training.
You need to set a schedule: House training your puppy in the fastest way means setting a firm schedule. When it comes to feeding time, it needs to be consistent from day to day. When you feed your dog in the morning and evening, it should be the same time everyday and afterwards take him outside to go potty.
This is not always easy if you do not follow a regular schedule yourself, for example, if you are used to getting up a lot later on weekends. But while you are house training a puppy it is vital. Dog would need psychological and physical boundaries and schedules. Your puppy will be house trained much faster if his digestive system has a schedule to follow.
Do not punish: If a puppy has a potty accident in the house, there’s no use punishing it or being angry. Your puppy will only be scared and confused if they’re punished for something as natural as going potty.
Instead, remind him in a loving way that the place for going potty is outside. It will reward the unwanted behavior if you take him outside right after the accident. What you can do is take him out after he eats and be pleased when he does his business outside.
Of course, be sure to make going outside a fun and happy time so that he associates going potty outside with happiness.