Shared Blog Post – Dogs That Should Avoid Going to a Dog Park from Dr. Karen Becker

In this post from May 10th, 2019, veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker discusses dog parks and why they are not appropriate for all dog dogs. < Click to read Dr. Becker’s post >

For additional information on dog parks, you may wish to read these articles on my blog.

Before You Visit the Dog Park –

Going to the Dog Park – Is It A Good Idea for You and Your Dog?

Podcast – Podcast – Going to the Dog Park – Is It A Good Idea for You and Your Dog?

Shared Blog Post – The Controllers & The Controlled: Why I Don’t Do CGC Testing by Rain Jordan

In December of 2018 Rain Jordan, CBCC-KA, KPA CTP, a professional dog trainer published an article on her blog ( ) entitled The Controllers & The Controlled: Why I Don’t Do CGC Testing. I do not recall when I first read the post, but when I did, I was very impressed as I felt Rain brought up some excellent points for consideration. I have also had had concerns about the Canine Good Citizen test over the years as has Kate, Green Acres’ Operations Manager and my co-host on The Woof Meow Show. Kate and I recently addressed Rain’s article on the show on April 13th. You can listen to that show at this link Click to Listen to Podcast.

Rain heard our discussion on the show and informed me that her original post in December received quite a reaction and that she felt necessary to respond in a second post on January 5th of 2019. I read her response and told her I thought it was brilliant. Rain, thank you for speaking out for dogs.

You can find links to both of Rain’s post below; I encourage you to read both.

The Controllers & The Controlled: Why I Don’t Do CGC Testing

CGC Essay Addendum: For Dog Lovers & Their Dogs, Please Pay Careful Attention


Shared Blog Post – Food Transitioning versus Food Rotating: What is the Difference?

I have been rotating what I feed my pets for years, and at Green Acres Kennel Shop we have been recommending dietary rotation to clients at least since 2012 when our Operations Manager Kate wrote about her experience rotating diets in our newsletter that May ( FMI ).

On April 12th of this year, veterinarian Jean Dodds of Hemopet and NutriScan published an article on her blog on the same topic. The following are some of the key quotes from Dr. Dodds’ article.

Like humans, dogs should be eating a variety of nutritious foods, and not living on just one specific formula.”

No one dietary formula, no matter how “complete and balanced” it is, can meet all of an animal’s nutritional needs over an extended period.

“There is no one “perfect” food or perfect food combination that provides everything a human or animal needs to create optimum health over long periods.”

“Rotating protein sources not only ensures your pet will benefit from a varied amino acid and nutrient profile, it also reduces the risk he will form an intolerance to any specific animal protein source over time.”

You can read Dr. Dodds entire post, and I encourage you to do so, at

Shared Blog Post – FDA Updates on Heart Disease in Dogs – Hemopet – Dr. Jean Dodds

On July 23rd I first updated you on a report by the FDA discussing a potential connection between grain-free pet foods and canine heart disease. Today while attending a webinar presented by Dr. Jean Dodds I learned of new information on this topic release by the FDA. This information indicates that “Based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.”

In her analysis of this new information from the FDA, Dr. Dodds notes “The framing of a possible connection between grain-free diets and DCM in dogs was premature and set off alarm bells across the veterinary and dog world communities.” I encourage you to read her complete blog article at

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog

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Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MS

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – WDJ Blog Post – < >

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – < >

Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – < >

Shared Blog Post – Midstate (PA) woman says kennel used shock collar on her dog

< Updated – 1APR19 >

< A short link to this page – >

This story from WHTM ABC 27 in Harrisburg, PA dated March 27th, 2019, interviews Stephanie Hastings who left her dog Becker in the care of a boarding kennel in Pennsylvania. Becker came home from the kennel acting withdrawn and, “… he looked broken when he came back.” “She took her dog Becker to a veterinarian who concluded the injuries were related to a shock collar or shocking incident.”

< Click to view >

He had marks on his neck that looked like burn marks of what I initially thought were bite marks, but it turned out to be shock collar burns on his neck and he didn’t go in with them,” said Hastings.”

Hastings later learned that it is legal in Pennsylvania for a boarding kennel to use a shock collar on a dog. Stephanie Hastings is now on a mission to strengthen animal cruelty laws in Pennsylvania.

I’m sharing this report because this same thing could happen in Maine as there is nothing in Maine state law to prevent this type of abuse. When you board your dog, please verify that your kennel would NEVER use or recommend shock collars or any aversive for any reason. I suggest that you ask the same of your trainer, groomer, daycare, veterinarian and basically any pet care facility including shelters, humane societies and rescue groups.

You can also ask your pet care professional if they are a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and comply with the PPG Guiding Principles which explicitly prohibit the use of pain, force, or fear in the care, confinement, and training of pets. The PPG is the only USA based organization of pet care professionals that have policies in place that require compliance with their guiding principles.  When I am asked to recommend another pet care professional, the first thing I look for is one that is a member of the PPG. < Click to Find A PPG Member >

The PPG and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) both have policies in place that state aversives (alpha rolls, beating, cattle prods, choke collars, dominance downs, electronic shock collars, lunge whips prong (pinch) collars, shock collars, anything aversive) should NEVER be used with pets.

You can watch and read the report by Logan Wilson at < >

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog

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Say No To Shock! – A list of Scientific Articles, Laws and Regulations, Mass Media Articles, Blog Posts, and Articles on Websites, Podcasts, Position Statements, and Website and Social Media Pages that address the abusive use of electric shock in the training, care, management, and containment of pets. –

The Unintended Consequences of Shock Collars –

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show

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 The Woof Meow Show: The Pet Professional Guild and the Shock-Free Coalition with Niki Tudge

The Woof Meow Show: The Unintended Consequences of Shock Collars


Web Sites and Social Media Pages

The Shock-Free Coalition

The Shock-Free Coalition on Facebook –

The Shock-Free Coalition/Maine Chapter

The Shock-Free Coalition/Maine Chapter on Facebook

Shared Facebook Post – Cats, Carriers & Transport

Below you will find another great poster from our friends at Mighty Dog Graphics.

This poster also offers sound advice when taking your cat to the boarding facility, or anytime you transport your cat. Please do not assume that you will NEVER need to transport your cat anywhere. It will happen. Click on the image to download it as a poster.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog

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Cat Behavior – Make Your Life Easier – Get Your Cat to Love Their Carrier

SHARED POST – Family Paws Parent Education – Being Dog Aware – ALWAYS!

This educational post from my friends at Family Paws Parent Education on their Facebook page Dog And Baby Connection illustrates the importance of ALWAYS being aware of a dogs body language and how quickly it can change as the dog get stressed as the child gets closer.

Changes in proximity are absolutely fascinating. So often, the dog is relaxed or engaged in something and comfortable with your baby hanging around nearby, but everything can change when that gap is closed. We always say “Invites decrease bites” for good reason! Inviting a dog to approach you is very different from having the child approach the dog or close that gap. Notice the changes in this dog’s body language as the little boy approaches his mom. And how common is this scenario? It happens All. The. Time. Dog hanging out with trusted adult, child approaches adult. It’s up to us as Dog Aware adults to recognize these changes in the dog and make adjustments to the situation as needed to ensure the safety and comfortability of all.”


Shared Blog Post – the dodo – Cesar, When You Hit A Dog You Pay The Price

< a short link to this post – >

If you found this post because you have a dog that is guarding their food or is doing any type of resource guarding or other form of aggression, I strongly encourage you to seek professional help from a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant ( click to find a CDBC near you ), a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, CAAB ( click to find a CAAB near you ), or a Veterinarian that is Board Certified in Veterinary Behavior, DACVB ( click to find a DACVB near you ). Resource guarding or any type of aggression by a dog has the potential to result in a dog bite. If you are concerned that your dog has a high probability of biting you need to address this immediately. A dog that bites can be very dangerous < click to read about dangerous dogs >. As you will see in the following video provoking the dog or threatening them or trying to be “dominant” is only likely to make matters worse.

There is a segment in the documentary film Dogs, Cats and Scapegoats < click to view > that shows the Dog Whisperer, Cesar Milan, punching a yellow Labrador Retriever in the neck, allegedly to teach her not to guard her food. I am sharing this blog post and video because it is an excellent tool for learning more about canine body language when a dog is feeling threatened.

In a November 2014 blog post from the dodo, Marc Bekoff, professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society, discusses this episode, Showdown with Holly, and a slow-motion version of the show entitled Show Down with Holly in Slow Motion – A dissection of canine body language. The latter adds commentary that points out the body language used by Holly to indicate that she was feeling threatened. It also illustrates the additional visual signals Holly uses in an attempt to de-escalate the confrontation. Milan was either unaware of these signals and their importance (I didn’t see that coming!) or simply chose to ignore them. Milan is bitten when he moves the same hand he used to punch Holly near her face. < click to view > NOTE: You will need to click on “Uncover Video.”

Bekoff has this to say about the video Show Down with Holly in Slow Motion – A dissection of canine body language:

“This short video is a wonderful example of dog body language. I think of it as a crash course in canid ethology — dog behavior 101. I highly recommend those people who want to see what happened to study this video very closely. I’ve watched countless hours of video of a wide variety of social encounters in various canids — members of the dog family — and I still learned a lot from this encounter. I watched it more than a dozen times and I’m sure I’ll go back to it.”

There are many lessons in this video about how dogs communicate what they’re feeling using all parts of their body and various vocalizations. There also are valuable lessons for the need to respect what a dog is telling us, what they want and what they need. Holly was very clear about her state of mind, what she was feeling, and what she needed.”

I encourage you to read Marc Bekoff’s entire blog post < click here >

At the conclusion of Show Down with Holly in Slow Motion – A dissection of canine body language you will find two links to more information. The first is an excellent article on resource guarding by Dr. Patricia McConnell, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and author < click to read >. The second is a blog post by Jim Crosby < click to read > which provides a written description with time codes of the Showdown with Holly as it originally appeared on TV < click to view >. It is also very educational for those wishing to learn more about canine body language.

It is important to note that training your dog will NOT typically resolve resource guarding issues — a dog that is behaving aggressively, whether due to fear or anger, is responding emotionally. Teaching your dog to sit, leave it, or any other behavior is all about teaching them to offer a specific behavior when given a particular cue. Training is unlikely to change a negative emotion and may make it worse. Emotional responses can be altered through behavior modification, and that is where a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, or a Veterinarian that is Board Certified in Veterinary Behavior, DACVB can help you.

As a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, CDBC I offer behavior consultations for clients with dogs with problem behaviors. You can learn more about those services at our website < click to read > and about my approach to these types of problems in this article from my blog; Help! My Dog is Aggressive, Reactive, Fearful, Anxious, etc. – What do I do? < click to read >.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog

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Dangerous Dogs! – What Shelters, Rescues, Prospective Adopters, and Owners Need to Know –

 Dominance: Reality or Myth –

Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Started Training Dogs – Gus, the Dominance Myth, An Alpha Roll, and a Damaged Relationship

What Should I Do When My Dog Does Not Let Me Take Something They Have Stolen and Snaps or Tries to Bite Me?

Help! My Dog is Aggressive, Reactive, Fearful, Anxious, etc. – What do I do?

Shared Blog Post – Dogs, Cats and Scapegoats: Messes We Make With Companions – A new film by Hugh Dorigo about the plight of millions of companion animals by Marc Bekoff in Psychology Today

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
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Podcast – The Woof Meow Show: The documentary film Dogs, Cats and Scapegoats with Producer and Director, Hugh Dorigo


Mine! – A Practical Guide To Resource Guarding In Dogs, Jean Donaldson, Dogwise Publishing, 2002

Other Articles On The Web

Cesar, When You Hit A Dog You Pay The Price – Marc Bekoff

The Other End of the Leash, Dr. Patricia McConnell – Resource Guarding: Treatment and Prevention  –

Canine Aggression Issues with Jim Crosby – Food Aggression and a Famous Trainer



Show Down with Holly in Slow Motion – A dissection of canine body language – NOTE: You will need to click on “Uncover Video.”

Showdown with Holly | Dog Whisperer


Resources for Finding Help From A Credentialed Expert in Canine Behavior

The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB)

The Animal Behavior Society (ABS) –

The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)

Shared Blog Post – What My Dog Taught Me About Consent

< Updated 15NOV19 >

< A short link for this page – >

This post by Jenny Efimova from The Happy Dog Blog discusses how the author, an advocate for trauma survivors of domestic and sexual violence learned that the same principals she used with people, “meeting them where they are” are every bit as important when working with her new dog. These two paragraph say it all, but please read the entire article.

The power imbalance in our relationship with our dogs is vast. We control every solitary aspect and resource in their lives. Conventional dog training reinforces this imbalance and encourages us to use power and control as the model of how we relate to our dogs. But just because things have always been this way, doesn’t mean they have to be.”

Just because I could have made Larkin do what I wanted him to, doesn’t mean I should have. Just because we can force someone into compliance, doesn’t make it right. Force, fear, and coercion are not values consistent with any healthy relationship, be it with our friends, family, significant others, children, or animals.”

Having read Efimova’s post on Thanksgiving Day, I must add that I am very thankful that more and more trainers are abandoning training based on pain, force, and fear all of the time. Thank you, Jenny, for sharing your wisdom and helping to spread the word.

You can read the entire article at

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog

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Accepting the Pet You Have