Thursday, June 28, 2007

My dog Dutch

As many of you know, Adrian and I train for French Ring a few times per week. We decided to attend to trial in Utah last weekend. Unfortunately my dog "Dutch" was injured the day before the trial and could not compete. It took me a week to figure out exactly how my dog was injured. Now that I feel I know what happened I'd like to share it on this blog in hopes that maybe other dog owners will prevent it from happening when they see signs of it.
First of all, the night before we left I participated in one last training session with Adrian and other club members. My dog was doing a protection exercise when his right front paw pad started bleeding everywhere like he cut it on glass. We all assumed that the dog did step on a sharp object in the grass and cut the pad. Upon closer inspection I noticed that a good portion of two pads was entirely ripped off! This of course was very upsetting and puzzling at the same time. It was not a cut like you would find from a sharp object. I took him home and soak his foot in hydrogen peroxide and crated him.
For the next few days (including trial day) my dog had great difficulty with simple walking. I basically crated him for a week and gave a percautionary dose of antibiotics. Within five days he was much better and upon close inspection of the pads I noticed that the other feet had pieces of dead loose pad falling off. It was at this time that I realized what really had happened.
I don't think the injury happened during the training session. The injury occurred in my backyard when I let him out to pee and stretch for a couple of hours.
A couple of months ago I installed artificial grass in my backyard because my dog has a compulsive desire to pace in big figure eights in the backyard. This behavior destroyed my grass regardless of how much I would nurture it. I finally broke down and spent the money to get this really clean looking bullet-proof grass installed that also doesn't require watering. Well, the grass really is strong. dogs can't dig holes in it, it's easy to clean and it looks pretty good for plastic. The down side to this grass was noticed early on. It gets REALLY hot in the mid-day sun. I mean TOO hot for dogs to walk on! Your probably thinking "put up shade idiot!" of course I put up shade! I covered half of the yard with awesome sunshade material that people use over gardens and also put up a 12 X 12 easy up fo dogs to lounge under to sip Margaritas and take lazy naps.
The one thing that I forgot to factor in was that my dog is NUTS! There is about a hundred square feet of sun-filled plastic grass exposed through out the day. This exposed grass is part of my dogs figure eight race track area. So for a couple of hours my dog ran around the yard refusing to just settle in the shade and got what I percieve to be carpet burns on his paws. He actually had blood blisters that popped during the training session where I though the accident first occurred. My dogs feet are much better now just one week later.
I own a Belgian Malinios. He is a HIGH maintenance dog. I love him but he needs a lot of exercise and he must be crated for his own safety at times. I take him out every day for exercise in addition to his strenuous training for French Ring Sport. He is very hard, very driven, capable of great damage and very delicate at the same time. He is a high performance animal.
My message to you this summer is "BE AWARE OF YOUR DOGS FEET" The pavement is hot and they are barefoot out there. I have since purchased a "Pad Toughener" product on the "DOBBS" hunting dog website. There are also booties available for working dogs that go jogging with you, etc.. One company is "MuttLuks". If your just starting to jog with your dog break his pads in slow on the pavement. They will toughen naturally but if you rush it they won't want to go on that jog anymore because it will be associated with pain. That's it for now. Happy training and enjoy your four-legged friends!

Friday, June 8, 2007

California Bill for Mandatory Spay/Neuter passed.....

For those who haven't heard, the California bill for mandatory spay/
neuter passed the house. Now it goes to the state senate. It would
be a terrible precedent for this bill to become law, guys. As
Virginia could just as easily be next. And for all of us who show we
have to keep our dogs intact. Besides, there are all kinds of health
risks to pets when spayed/neutered early.

If you feel strongly that the government should stay out of our
decisions about spaying/neutering our pets, and you're tired of
legislation about dogs being crammed down our throats against our
collective opposition, here are two ways to contact the state
senators in California. This battle may be in another state, but it
is our fight too, as dog fanciers.

here is the link to senators names in CA

here are the e-mails....

it would help to print out the first link...then compare to the second
not all senators have an e-mail address

Friday, June 1, 2007

New Training Location!

As some of you already know Beyond The Leash has moved to the Roger Barkley Community Center in beautiful downtown La Canada, California. The address and directions are on our website
I'm sure that we will all enjoy this new location. There is plenty of off street parking (this was a previous problem) and we have MUCH more room for dog training. There is limited access to two atheletic fields as well as an enclosed outdoor training area for puppy classes and one on one private dog training.
For those of you that are coming for the first time, when approaching the community center building from the parking lot we are in the left corner office. I will make some type of signage to help get you to the right room. It's not really that tough. PLEASE keep your dogs on a short leash when coming to train or for a free evaluation. There are childrens' programs at this location and nobody wants to scare or upset any children or adults for that matter with an unruly jumping crazy pup or worse. Simply air on the side of caution and assume that other people are afraid of your dog even though you know he's a big lovable Teddy Bear underneath all the aggression...ha...ha. I would also like to ask that you curb your dog in a respectful way. Bring poop bags with you, pick up after your dog and take him away from the building to go pee before you bring him in. Most dogs need to take a pee break after a ten minute car ride. Even if it's just to let everyone know he's been there.