Shasta Dogs Blog
In reviewing 2015, the Shasta Dogs team is amazed at all the people and dogs who have joined us in active & responsible dog ownership! It's been a time of dear friendships, lots of learning, and excitement for the year to come.
We have more resources and contacts than ever for creating opportunities to train and enjoy dogs! As this year comes to a close, make a New Year resolution to get involved in your community through your beloved dog.
If you need a bit of inspiration, just look at the opportunities!
Lure coursing is a great outlet for a dog's natural hunting instincts. We will be continuing this fun, high-speed activity for fit, adult dogs.
Sheep herding clinics with Patti Wells were a blast. Herding is scheduled to resume in April, after lambing season.
Shasta Dogs is now associated with Barn Hunt Association LLC. We look forward to growing this delightful sport in Northern California
Puppy Social & Obedience Training
Among the participants of our Fall series, several have gone on to Search & Rescue, CGC certificates, and Rally!
New training clinics and classes are planned for 2016. Watch the newsletter or calendar!
January: SHASTA DOGS "COME!' CLINIC
The Shasta Dogs beginning agility workshop, taught by Diane Ostrem and Jennifer Phillips, was very popular! We hope to soon offer "Agility Basics" in a more permanent location.
So many other highlights from this year!
- Hundreds of school kids learned about dog sports and training at Shasta Dogs demos.
- The very successful "Stay & Come Trials" will be returning to Love Your Pet Expo at the Shasta District Fairgrounds next year!
- Shasta Dogs' team ranked in the Top 10 nationwide for Morris Animal Foundation's "Unite to Fight Pet Cancer" fundraiser.
- We had a successful fundraising yard sale with many contributions!
- Since its beginning, Shasta Dogs has hosted over 100 free training walks on Redding-area trails.
- Second appearance at the Redding Lighted Christmas Parade
Because our memberships are Jan-Dec, now is the ideal time to sign up
for Shasta Dogs' 2016 season! You'll get our team t-shirt, decal,
special email notifications, and discounts on ALL Shasta Dogs' events!
You'll be investing in improving our future events and spreading
responsible dog-ownership to Northern California! Ready to plug in?
Email Shasta Dogs for more info on membership!
A fun contest to test your dog's training!
Located at Hawes' Ranch, just south of Redding on Dersch Rd, during the Love Your Pet Expo and Super Adoption Event on April 18th!!
Entry fee is $5, prize values are scaled according to
Level difficulty, with values of $5-75. Signup at Shasta Dogs booth
day of event. Main trials will be held at 11:45 and 2:45.
Prize will be awarded according to highest level achieved. One
prize per handler, per day. Handler is allowed two (2) attempts
per level to pass the trial. Prize will be awarded according to
highest level achieved.
RULES FOR “COME” TRIAL
This event will test contestant's training of the "come" command!
Dog may be left in a “sit” or “down” position or held by an assistant behind starting line. If the dog is left in “stay”, it may not change positions until owner calls.
Owner will stand within the Marked Area (MA) and may call and gesture to dog. Stepping out of MA ends trial.
No food or toys on trial field.
Dog must wear a flat collar or body harness only.
Owner must touch dog's collar or tab (less than 1' in length) before 10 second time limit at all levels.
LEVEL 1: Distance of 15 feet.
LEVEL 2: Distance of 30 feet.
LEVEL 3: Distance of 30 feet, 1 plate of food and 1 tennis ball in path. Eating or carrying food/toys ends trial.
LEVEL 4: Distance of 40 feet, 3 plates of food (various), 2 tennis balls, and 1 other toy. Eating or carrying food/toys ends trial.
LEVEL 5: Distance of 60 feet, 3 plates of food (various), 2 tennis balls, and 1 other toy, AND moving lure crosses between dog and owner after dog is released. Eating or carrying food/toys/lure ends trial. Following lure into "freeway zone" ends trial.
*Exact distances & distractions may be adjusted on day of trial based on site conditions.
RULES FOR “STAY” TRIAL
This event will test contestant's training of the "stay" command.
Dog may be left in "sit" or “down” within a Marked Area (MA). Dog will be tethered to a ground stake attached to a secure flat collar or body harness by a leash no more than 6' long. No other extra collars or equipment on dog.
Dog may change position from sit, down, stand. No part of the dog except tail may cross the MA.
Owner will stand and move as directed by judge.
Owner may speak to the dog throughout the trial, except at Level 5. Food and toys not allowed on trial field.
Trial concludes when owner re-enters MA with dog.
LEVEL 1: Owner will leave dog in MA and go to a point 10 feet from the MA. They may return immediately to their dog.
LEVEL 2: Owner will leave dog in MA and go to a point 15 feet from the MA. They must stay at the point for five seconds before returning to their dog.
LEVEL 3: Owner will leave dog in MA and go to a point 15 feet from the MA. They must stay at the point for five seconds before returning to their dog. Meanwhile, helper(s) will toss up to 3 food items outside of MA, within 24” of MA boundary, to the front of the dog.
LEVEL 4: Owner will leave dog in MA and go to a point 30 feet from the MA. They must stay at the point for ten seconds before returning to their dog. Meanwhile, helper will toss up to 3 food items outside of MA, within 24” of MA boundary, to the front of the dog; a second helper will toss a tennis ball no closer than 10' from the MA.
LEVEL 5: Owner will leave dog in MA and go to a point out of sight of their dog. They must stay at the point for 1 minute before returning to their dog. Meanwhile, helper will toss up to 3 food items outside of MA, within 24” of MA boundary, to the front of the dog; a second helper will toss a tennis ball no closer than 10' from the MA.
*Exact distances & distractions may be adjusted on day of trial
based on site conditions.
I just watched a sweet little video featuring frolicking pit bulls that made the statement
"Responsible ownership can prevent any aggressive tendencies"
Well, no, actually it cannot........
A lower threshold ("tendency") for aggressive behavior is NOT all based on how a dog is treated or trained. It's also part of an animal's DNA.
Predators need both offensive (hunting/killing/taking) and defensive (reacting to a threat or challenge) aggression. Aggression is a normal and natural survival..... READ MORE
There is a great deal of misunderstanding and agitation recently about illegitimate "service" dogs entering North State businesses.
"services" that dogs can perform are multiplying, and not all of these
uses are obvious. Diabetic alert, PTSD, autism, and seizure-alert dogs
may accompany a person who looks perfectly "healthy". Also, lab, golden
retriever, and German shepherd dogs are no longer the only breeds used
for service. READ MORE
Activity produces extra heat within our bodies. Every cell is like a tiny engine, roaring away. The more you gun those little engines, the more heat you need to "give away" to the environment. Otherwise, you'll get burned by your own motor.
There are 4 ways warm-blooded creatures shed heat. One is by simply radiating heat to the environment. It's...
Provided you like the dog you have, you probably want it to live a long, full life in good health. You can't make them live forever, but here are some life-shortening risks that you CAN control.
1. Inferior DietYou saw that one coming, didn't you? Low-quality and even outright toxic ingredients in commercial dog foods and treats will erode your dog's health. It might seem like cheap food is a bargain.... READ MORE
Do you wish you could share the joy your dog brings to you with others?
Both Redding and Chico have growing opportunities to certify and work as a therapy dog team. You and your dog can be trained, equipped, and insured by an organization specializing in therapy dogs. Dogs for this work must be very stable, almost fearless, and stranger-friendly. CGC or equivalent temperament testing is usually required, as well as training to accustom the dog to crowds of people, wheelchairs, crutches, hugs, loud noises, stairs, and elevators.Working therapy dogs are not medical service or emotional supp... READ MORE
Our inspiration for this article is the 2014 Westminster Dog Show's
"Best in Breed" Labrador retriever. Her fat-rolls jiggle splendidly when
she plumply trots. She is unable to maintain a jog for more than a few
yards without panting from the effort.
"But that dog looks pretty normal," you exclaim. "I see Labs like that everywhere I go!"That's no surprise, since it's estimated that over half of American dogs are overweight. Fat is the new "normal". I have completely surprised people when I gently mention that their dog is overweight. One friend said he h... READ MORE
National Mutt Day is December 2! Its a great excuse to celebrate the marvelous genetic diversity of dogs.
Generally speaking, a mutt is the offspring of two dogs which do not relate to the same breed, as defined by a registry or standard. Breed registries are a fairly new invention, with the American Kennel Club being formed in 1884 and the United Kennel Club in 1898. Europe has breed registries as well from the 1800s.These registries were created to formalize attempts to produce or maintain certain characteristics in a breed, such as color, coat, size, and temperament. Selective breeding enhances features like short noses in toy breeds, gameness or hunting ability in terriers, and herding instinct and agility in shepherds. One has a reasonable hope of ac... READ MORE
A friend with several children related to me how they had gotten a
Retriever. Before long, the dog jumped up on the 5-year-old, knocked her
to the ground, and scratched her face with a
claw. The dog did this repeatedly, wantonly, even when the girl would
begin crying, even after being clearly told "no". The dog
was quickly returned to the shelter. He was clearly not a good dog and probably
not a real
Golden Retriever, because it's common knowledge that READ MORE
November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month! It's a great time to 1. give
our senior pets a loving pat on the head, 2. tell someone why older dogs
are a great pet to adopt.
Frequently, puppies are brought into
young families for the express purpose of being the kids' pal and
teaching them responsibility and compassion. Ten years later, the kids leave for college and the dog is left without a
purpose. Dogs who find a new family at...READ MORE
TWO Halloween parties in Redding for Oct 26th
Being the manager of a Belgian Malinois and a border collie mix, "Fired
Up Frantic & Freaked Out" was right down my alley. Owners of
aggressive, reactive, enthusiastic, and/or hysterical dogs will
invariably tell you that their dogs have many wonderful features and
talents. Relaxing and letting things go is just not part of their...READ MORE
Lodi hosted the Bay Area Ring Club's French Ring Trial on Saturday.
There were lots of beautiful Germans, Belgians, and Dutchies, plus some
Cane Corsas, Dobermans, and a pit bull. The ringside bleachers were
cheerful, filled with spectators and young sport dogs... READ MORE
his morning a little white dog was running up westbound Highway 44.
She took the Sundial Bridge exit, ran around the Convention Center and eventually made it under the chainlink gate into the Rodeo Grounds. Multiple people stopped to call, whistle, and coax her. I got my friendly dog out to greet and try to lure her in but after a quick nose touch, she was on her way again.... READ MORE
According to the AKC, September is Responsible Dog Ownership Month!
So give yourself a big pat on the back because probably, every dog
owner believes they are a responsible (enough) owner.
But what is really “responsible” ownership? That's kind of what Shasta Dogs is all.... READ MORE
Chico hounds are elated that Splash Dogs is coming to the Butte County
Fair! Thursday through Sunday the traveling dock will host veterans and
new jumpers in practice and competitive jumps. These jumps typically
draw competitors from Nevada, the Bay Area, and the coast. This event is
also United Kennel Club sanctioned, meaning dogs who are UKC registered
can earn a dock-jumping title.... READ MORE
Are you considering a Pit Bull-type breed for your future dog? Maybe
seeing so many in the shelter and knowing these dogs are first to be euthanized makes you want to save one? Before
you leap into the world of bully dogs, there are things to take into
consideration. READ MORE
Shasta Dogs continues to expand and update the archives of Places to Go
With Dogs! The Shasta County destinations are filling in fast. Info on water-access, ticks, foxtails, leash/offleash, and other users is helpful when planning a trip with your dogs. Cooler mountain trails are great for summer!
Forcing their owners to exercise is probably the single most beneficial service modern American dogs perform. It's certainlyexpanded my horizons to find new places to take my indefatigable hounds. I even started mountain biking last winter, just to keep up with them!
Want to contribute? Send an e-mail or comment below about your favorite trail to take with dogs.
A canine temperament test measures emotional resilience and
adaptability. Several organizations provide a version of this kind of
test and there are a number of reasons why a dog owner would shell out
$20-50 for a temperament test. READ MORE
The following video illustrates what a cornered, anxious, and
ready-to-snap dog looks like. If a dog owner ever tells you "Oh, he's
fine, he loves kids" but you see
1. lip licking
2. looking & edging away
3. A dog positioned near FOOD of any kind
4. Muzzle-wrinkling show of teeth
5. Stiff, tense body
6. Air snaps or nipping at clothes
GET YOUR KID AWAY FROM THAT DOG. Every day, children are bitten by
familiar, "he's friendly!" dogs, after MANY unheeded warning signs
identical to those in this video. Anyone who says "It came out of the
blue, no warning" is, like the maker of this video, a poor student of
canine body language. WATCH VIDEO
A favorite for HOT evenings, Anderson River Park again hosted Shasta
Dogs' weekly Distraction Proofing walk. This particular Friday there
were an unusual number of herders! Two border collies, a border
collie/lab, two Australian Shepherds, four other shepherd or cattledog
types, a German..... READ MORE
Shasta Dogs thanks Brittany Nelms, PhD, of Lake County vector control for inspiration, information and photos! A practical article on dog heartworm lifecycle, prevention, safeguards, and low-cost resources is up at http://shastadogs.com/pages/heartworm
Once you know your enemy, you can build your defenses!
A few weeks ago, my Mom and I updated our annual fire-evacuation plans.
Living in a rural area, we know from experience that when the fire
department knocks on the door, there may be only minutes to throw our
highest-priority items in the car. I would encourage everyone--
especially those in wildfire areas-- to give a few minutes thought to an
evacuation plan. Here are some ideas for fire-safety READ MORE
I try not to pick favorites but here are a few reasons why MondioRing trials are more fun than AKC trials:
- “Stand next to Batman” is a legit judge's direction
- Heeling pattern goes through a carousel of huge, fluffy stuffed animals
- Men in padded suits firing pistol blanks while being chased by a dog
- Award plaque features 2-headed Cerberus dog
A great time was had at Haven Humane's Dogathon in Redding June 8th,
even though it was hotter than blazes. I put a rug in my dogs' crates
and kept dumping ice on it throughout the day. They stayed a lot perkier
than I did! Dock jumping was of course the popular event, letting the
dogs fly off into the cool blue yonder. In some cases the dogs were
swimming for numbered balls that corresponded to big prizes, a fun
contest that was greatly enjoyed by spectators and participants. The
Zippity Dog....READ MORE
This is a fun, silly read but there is something to be learned from it,
too. In each case, the trainer takes credit for the event based on his
or her method. A trainer or owner can get a dog to behave as desired by a
variety of means. The difference is in what side-effects the methods
have. IMHO, if a dog presents with confidence, cheerfulness, and
eagerness to cooperate with the handler, whatever method is being ....READ MORE
Early stress signals from my dog are something I never want to take for granted. Sometimes it's inconvenient to accommodate what looks like a really, really dumb phobia. But taking 60 seconds to remove a dog to a safer environment is not nearly as inconvenient as field dressing and filing paperwork on dog bite. With May 19-26 being National Dog Bite Prevention Week, check out the new article on Preventing Dog Bites. There's a cool video at the end showing a whole series of clear canine signals preceding a painful-looking bite on a very famous person!
In 1892, the Ruggles Brothers robbed the stagecoach on Middle Creek
Road, stealing $5,000 in gold coins. John and Charles Ruggles were soon
found, jailed, and lynched in the town of Shasta but the loot was never found.
Today you can walk that infamous route (newly graded and paved!),
speculate which gully the robbers sprang from, and ponder where the gold
might be hiding in the canyon below. The ....READ MORE
A HOT and beautiful Sunday at the pool! Lots of dogs made new personal
best this weekend and there were some newbies doing their first official
The location was new for Splash Dogs: the parking
lot of a small shopping center that is home to Happy Tails Barkery as
well as Paws for a Cause, the thrift store of ResQ Animal Coalition.
Between jumps I visited both of these establishments for my first time. I was pleasantly... READ MORE
Yep, it's a bit redneck, but if you grew up in the country there's
nothing like a night of watching dogs wrangling a bunch of cows up
and down an arena while a guy on a horse flaps his arms and yells.
Sometimes you cheer for the steers, sometimes for the dog, but either
way, you're watching a 3-way battle of wills and basic instincts on a
sophisticated playing field.
The goal in a stock dog trial is to maneuver the animals through... READ MORE
There was a dumpload of fresh snow on the north side of Mt Shasta for
the 2013 Siskiyou Sled Dog Races. We took a firepit and wood, lots of
snacks, and camp chairs. Got so comfy I didn't want to leave! Every
half-hour or so a race started or contestants returned and we moseyed
over to the starting line to watch the action. The mushers were from all
over the western states. There was even a truck-load of dogs on their
way to the Iditarod.
The energy at the starting line is palpable, with... READ MORE
It was the first time I had seen Salukis in person. Somehow I had caught wind of a
lure-coursing trial, held by the Saluki Club of Greater San Francisco, in Redding, CA. What an experience!
Salukis are rather 2-dimensional, like cardboard cut-outs of dogs: beautifully conformed in length and height but negligible in width. You don't see many Salukis out and about, probably because their owners are tired of people asking “Don't you ever feed that poor dog?!” In public they are grave, composed, showing little reaction to anything ....READ MORE
A Mondioring trial in Lake County-- Dr. Seuss theme! What's not to love about a genuine Who from Whoville wearing a bitesuit getting taken down in front of an artificial Christmas tree?! Great job on the props, Competitive Canine. Note the handsome murals that somebody put a LOT of time into!Leerburg-famous Michael Ellis was there, as well as some of his students. I believe his dog Shrike got a Mondio II title, despite having some difficulty deciding whether to guard the handler or escort the decoy away by the crotch.... READ MORE
A morning playing
“hide-and-seek” with Shasta County search dogs! This was my stakeout
huddled under a camo tarp. It was a bit chilly! Even with a good GPS, it
searcher-team a long time to grid a 50-acre square on foot. It was so
peaceful-- and I'd had to get up so early to get to Shingletown on
time-- I fell asleep for most of it. Woke up when I heard the dog
closing in!There's actually a science to how a scenting dog finds a....READ MORE