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rec.pets.dogs: Assorted Topics [Part 2/2] FAQ

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Archive-name: dogs-faq/misc/part2
Last-modified: 18 Apr 1900

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                           Assorted Topics (Part II)

   Cindy Tittle Moore,
   Copyright 1995.
Table of Contents

     * Owner Allergies.
     * Pet Doors.
     * Pet Insurance.
     * Pet Sitting and Kennel Services.
          + Pet Sitting
          + Kennels
     * Photographing Black Dogs
     * Record Keeping.
          + Breeders
          + Titles
          + Working dogs
          + Your personal enjoyment
     * Removing Odors and Stains.
          + Removing uring
          + Skunks
          + Saliva
     * Separation Anxiety.
     * Travel and International Travel.
          + Car
          + Travelling by plane
          + International Travel
          + Quarantines
          + Shipping
     * Vicious Dogs
     * Waste Composting
     * Wolves and Wolf Hybrids
          + Wolves
          + Wolf-Hybrids
Owner Allergies.

   You can go to an allergy specialist and get shots to help you with
   specific allergies. This can be expensive, but worth it, especially if
   you have other allergies as well. They'll test you for the things
   you're allergic to, and then give you periodic shots to help you
   develop an appropriate immunity to them (you should be aware that the
   shots do not always work). Be sure to find an allergy specialist
   familiar with dog allergies: there are far too many doctors out there
   that will simply say "Get rid of your pets." Other approaches may be
   used as well: cortisone nasal sprays, eye drops, etc. Air filters
   often help, as well as reducing the amount of wall-to-wall carpeting,
   if possible. Find someone who will work with your particular problem.
   Different breeds may work for different people who have allergy
   problems. It depends on exactly what it is about dogs that causes the
   problem. Some people are allergic to the hair, but others are allergic
   to the dander. Still others are not specifically allergic to dogs, but
   are allergic to things like dust and the dogs provide an *additional*
   irritant that is sufficent when combined with other allergens to
   provoke a reaction. In yet other cases, people are allergic to a dog
   licking them. You must find out which is true for your case.
   Some people do well with Basenjis and Miniature Pincers and other dogs
   with little or no coat. Others do well with poodles and schnauzers and
   airedales who have a different type of coat. A lot of people do well
   with Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos who, while very hairy, are supposed to
   have hair much more like human hair.
   This is VERY important: every dog lover with allergy problems needs to
   spend some time with different breeds to find the one that doesn't
   aggravate the problem.
   In many cases, bathing the dog frequently, cleaning the bedding,
   vacumming and closing off your bedroom will help alleviate allergy
   problems. There is also a spray available that you put on the dog that
   is supposed to reduce the amount of allergens they shed called
   Allerpet/D Most pet stores carry the stuff, and the bottle has an 800
   number you can call for more information.
Pet Doors.

   Some points:
     * Get one that at least has magnetic strips to hold the door shut.
       In colder climates, you might want to consider a "double door",
       i.e, the outer door must close before the inner one opens. This
       would cut down on the drafts.
     * Size is deceptive. Dogs don't really need as much space as you
       might think to get in and out.
     * Installation is usually very easy. Some models fit into patio
       doors and are removable. Make sure the one you get is lockable or
       blockable. If the door is hollow-core, it is trickier, because
       then you have to insert a frame in the door for the pet door to
       attach to.
     * The wall between your garage and house is considered a 'fire wall'
       and you're not supposed to cut any holes in it. In particular, it
       could make fire insurance claims tricky. And if you sell the
       house, you will have to fix the hole first.
     * Install the door in such a place as to make it impossible for
       someone to push something through it to open a door or window,
       even if they can't crawl through themselves. Ideally, you should
       have some way of locking or disabling the door for times when you
       are gone, say on vacation.
   Johnson pet doors are frequently recommended. RC Steele stocks them.
   Another source is America's Pet Door Store (1-800-826-2871).
   There exist electronic pet doors that are activated by a special
   collar. Most of these are for cats, but there are models for dogs up
   to 110lbs. These help keep unwanted animals from entering your house.
   These are, of course, somewhat expensive.
   Some dogs need coaxing to use the door. Prop the door open and offer a
   treat from the other side. Don't try and push your dog through.
Pet Insurance.

   Pet insurance plans are typically accident policies, although some
   also cover routine medical expenses such as worming and shots (or even
   grooming) -- the latter are generally a better deal.
   Between the deductibles and allowances, you may not get very much back
   on an actual claim. In several years of rec.pets.dogs, no reader has
   come back with a favorable story on claim processing.
Pet Sitting and Kennel Services.

  Pet Sitting
   In some cases, you can find friends or neighbors willing to take care
   of your pets while you are gone. But another option is a professional
   pet sitting service. Look for ones that are licensed and bonded, and
   have an excellent set of references. Talk to several people who have
   used their services to see if they will meet your needs.
   Check with the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.
   Members must sign a code of ethics and can be removed if there are
   complaints. They can give you a list of pet sitters in your area. You
   can reach them at 1200 G Street, N.W., Suite 760, Washington, D.C.
   20005. Their brochure includes their code of ethics, and includes a
   list of what to look for in a reputable pet sitter; see list below.
   Another one is Pet Sitters International. It was founded by the
   original founder of the now defunct NAPS, Patti Moran. The address and
   phone number of PSI is:
     Pet Sitters International
     418 East King St.
     King, NC 27021
     (910) 983-9222
   Ask the company if they're bonded or insured. See if they'll send
   someone more than once a day. Ask for references from previous and
   current customers. Some will bring the paper and mail in and help make
   the place look "occupied;" that's a plus.
   Check the potential sitter for the following:
    1. Does the pet sitter furnish written literature describing services
       and stating fees?
    2. Does the pet sitter visit the home beforehand to meet with the
       client and pet to obtain detailed information?
    3. Does the sitter arrive on time?
    4. Does the sitter get along with your pet? Does the sitter exhibit
       confidence and ease with your pets?
    5. Is the pet sitter courteous, interested, and well informed?
    6. Does the sitter have written references?
    7. Is the sitter willing to give you names and numbers of former
       clients for references?
    8. Does the pet sitter have a service contract which spells out
       services the pet sitter will provide and fees for doing so?
    9. Are the company and/or sitter in good standing with the Better
       Business Bureau?
   10. Does the pet sitter have regular office hours or return customer
       inquiries promptly?
   11. Is the sitter recommended by someone you trust - either your vet,
       trainer, dog show buddies, etc?
   12. Does the pet sitter have a veterinarian on call for emergency
   13. What contingency plan for pet care does the pet sitter have in the
       event of inclement weather or personal illness?
   14. Does the company have a training program for their sitters?
   15. How does the pet sitting service recruit and screen applicants?
       Are there any prerequisites for employment?
   16. Does the pet sitter or pet sitting service telephone to determine
       if the client has returned home as scheduled or require that the
       client notify the company or pet sitter of their arrival home?
   17. Does the pet sitter or company provide a rating form for customer
       feedback and evaluation of pet sitting services?
   18. Does the pet sitting service have an established system for
       handling customer complaints?
   19. When does the sitter get paid? Before or after you come back? A
       deposit up front and the rest later?
   Try to find word of mouth recommendations. You might try calling
   several vets in your area to see if they have any recommendations.
   Check with the local SPCA and with Better Business Bureau for any
   specific complaints lodged with a particular business.
   Look around for a good one. Experiences can be good or awful depending
   on the kennel.
   One resource: The American Boarding Kennel Association (ABKA) is based
   in Colorado Springs. You can use this organization to help you choose
   a kennel. If you write to them (or call them), they will send you a
   small packet of information. One part is a booklet on how to choose a
   kennel, and another part is a list of all ABKA accredited kennels
   around the country.
   An ABKA kennel is supposed to meet a minimum set of criterion that is
   spelled out in their literature. The things they suggest you look for
   and questions to ask involve a lot of common sense stuff, but there
   are good suggestions you might not think of.
     4575 Galley Rd., Suite 400A
     Colorado Springs, CO 80915
Photographing Black Dogs

   Information compiled by Ruth Ginzberg, lightly edited by moi.
   Many people with black dogs have trouble getting a good photo of the
   dog. Some of the characterizations of how the photos turn out: "large
   black blob", "no, large black blob with pink tongue sticking out of
   it", "large black blob with eyes" (you get the idea).
   If you want a few QUICK HINTS on how to address this problem, here
   they are, as summarized well by Dennis Swanson:
    1. set the camera to underexpose by two stops from what it
       recommends, if possible
    2. whether this is possible or not, tell the photofinisher to forget
       the background and print your dog black but with detail in the fur
    3. for photos to be scrutinized by possible clients, have them done
       by a professional
   If you want more detailed information, keep reading. :-)
   Andy Kane has some advice about selecting a photo finisher:
     With 10 years of experience there is one answer to your question
     about black dogs being too dark and magenta(pink). Take your
     negatives to a local film processor, one that prints in lab, and
     wait for the results. If you get the same result ask them to please
     reprint your negative at -1 magenta and -2 denisty from where they
     have it right now. I do this work for a living. What normally
     happens is with the new scanners in print processors the total area
     of the negative is scanned and averaged for color and denisty.
     Therefore a black dog will print a little dark and if the
     background is grass (green) the the scanner will tend to over
     compensate and give you an dog with a little magenta tink(pink).
     The same holds true for the other problem print of a portrait of a
     person wearing a red shirt, in this case the flesh tones result a
     little cyan (blue,geen) the opposite of the red shirt. I see this
     black dog case everyday and I hope that I correct for it everytime
     but even good processors can miss and will be more than happy to
     redo your print at no charge to you. You can not get this kind of
     service from drug store or mail service processing labs. Good luck
   Ty Monson sympathizes with our difficulties, noting that photographing
   black animals is not a problem only for we amateurs:
     Seriously, photographing black dogs, cats, cattle, llamas, etc. is
     difficult. The difficulty is compounded by shooting color negatives
     and relying on Qualex (or other popularly-priced photo finisher) to
     produce the prints.[see above for advice] Assuming that a person is
     taking snapshots for the family album, I can recommend setting your
     pet against a dark background as a starting point. When the main
     subject and background are both dark, the printer will lighten the
   You will get more detailed features on the dog in the photo this way,
   but your dog will look lighter colored than s/he actually is. Jimmy
   Tung explained why this happens:
     First assuming that you're using negative film, and just some
     basics for everybody: The camera doesn't see a black dog. It sees
     an average object which must be kinda average grey (18% if you
     like) in color. So the meter will tell you something which will
     overexpose the pic, giving you a grey dog, as well as washing out
     the background. In the original post, the dogs were described as
     big black blobs with pink tongues, etc. If the photofinisher looks
     at the negative described above, he'll say "gee, these people would
     rather have a good looking background", so they start tweaking the
     density and color balance until you end up with all of the other
     colors OK, and a black dog, except now your black dog is too black,
     and it looks featureless.
   Marc Clarke expanded on this, explaining that:
     The problem probably comes from the fact that Through The Lense
     (TTL) camera meters try to render whatever reflective surface they
     are pointed at as an 18% gray. If you point a TTL camera's meter at
     a white house (or dog), the meter will indicate the amount of
     exposure you need to make the side of the white house appear as 18%
     gray. If you point the TTL camera's meter at a black dog, the meter
     will indicate the exposure you need to make the black dog appear as
     an 18% gray dog. TTL meters are really good at telling you what
     exposure to use for 18% gray things. TTL meters are lousy at
     directly telling you what exposure to use for black or white
   Ty suggests some ways you can try to get around this problem:
     Oh, but you DID want the dog to look BLACK? Black is the (relative)
     absence of light. The trick is to get enough gloss (luster, glare)
     off the animal's fur to define shape, without washing-out the
     blackness. Two things a snapshooter can do is photograph your pet
     1/4 side lighted from a window (overcast day) or set a piece of
     white poster board next to the animal (out of the camera's field of
     view.) A white wall may work, too. ... Be inventive. Look! The
     camera lens sees what your eye sees. If the lighting doesn't model
     your pet's form, the film won't record it.
     Oh, yes. Your black-petted friends will probably need to abandon
     the camera's built-in flash. A flash with a head that can be
     rotated for bounce flash can be made to work. It will take some
     experimenting, though.
   ...and Tom Wagner added:
     If you are taking flash photos, that is another problem for
     automatics. My personal advice is do not take flash photos of pets.
     Use a high speed film and whatever available light you have.
     Because pets have better night vision you will get a lot of "Red
     Eyed Shots."
   Jimmy also mentions the importance of lighting:
     Check your lighting, and make sure that details of the dog's coat,
     eyes, etc. are large and visible. That is, assuming you don't have
     off-camera flash equipment, position lamps and camera so that light
     is reflected off the glossy coat. That way, the dog doesn't look
     flat without the other visual cues our mind supplies, but the
     camera doesn't.
   Ellen McSorley's husband, Jonathan, who has experience photographing
   dogs, evidently with better equipment than many of us have, notes that
   even different breeds of black dogs offer different problems:
     ... Labs have glossier fur than Newfs. You've still got to have
     lots of light, so flash or spot metering is a must. I think ideally
     I'd go for off-axis flash, or a diffuser, or maybe a flash
     umbrella, something to give lots of light but not from a bright
     point source which is going to reflect straight back into the
     camera. That might make it look like the dog has Mylar (reflective
     plastic) bits in its coat (although that would be an interesting
     effect, and direct flash works on the Newfs because their coats
     aren't so glossy).
   Jimmy also mentions that:
     Some films are specifically color balanced for skin tones or bright
     colors or deep rich blacks and browns. I don't have a
     recommendation off the top of my head which would be appropriate.
     You might find that Fuji Reala might be well suited, but then
     again, Kodak Gold II might be just as good at a fraction of the
     cost. Ask your local photo supply store.
   and Stephen Samuel reminds us that:
     ... if you have a black dog and a white human in a picture with the
     same lighting, AT LEAST ONE OF THEM is going to end up looking
     poorly lit. Creative lighting is required. [A classic suggestion is
     to put the human in the shade and the dog in the sun.]
   BUT, no matter what you do with the lighting or the processing, it
   seems from what many people say that eventually you are going to have
   to deal with the fact that the automatic grey scale metering is thrown
   off by a black (or white) dog who makes up the largest part of the
   Tom Davis (who says his dogs are Golden, to match his carpet) offers a
   suggestion for those with very automatic cameras:
     I'd guess that if a black dog fills a significant amount of the
     frame, it will wind up over-exposed by quite a bit, so if your
     camera has exposure compensation, you can set it to under-expose to
     compensate. Some cameras are totally automatic, so you're just out
     of luck. If you don't have exposure compensation, you can sometimes
     lie to the camera about the film speed. To make it under-expose,
     tell it you've got faster film.
     For samoyeds and great pyrenees, do the opposite. Well, at least
     for clean ones.
   But for those ready to grapple with light metering, Marc Clarke
     There are several different ways to get around this. First, meter
     something that is actually 18% gray in the same light that falls on
     the black dog. This gray card gives your meter something that
     actually is 18% gray. The black dog will show up as black (not
     gray). These gray cards are available in any photography store,
     usually in the book rack. Second, use an incident light meter.
     These meters read the light that is falling onto the subject rather
     than the light reflecting off the subject. They indicate the same
     exposure as a TTL camera's reflectance meter reading the light
     reflected off an 18% gray card. You can fake a gray card by using
     your TTL cameras meter and metering the light falling onto your
     open hand, then opening up one more stop. A hand (in fact, nearly
     all Caucasian skin) is about 1 stop brighter than an 18% gray card.
   But Brian Segal points out that:
     Your reflective meter will indeed want to show the dog as 18% grey
     if you simply rely on that reading. If you want about 5 stops of
     exposure latitude, then meter the dog's fur and stop down 1.5 to
     2.0 stops. If you stop right down to dense black there will be no
     detail of the fur.
     An incident reading will work more or less, but you really want a
     precise reading of the fur itself as it has its own reflective
   Dave Miller kind of summed it all up with:
     UNDEREXPOSE BY TWO STOPS. That's it. Doesn't matter what camera you
     use. All a camera is is a light tight box to hold film.
     The meters (for the most part) all work the same way and try to
     give you an 18% grey which is about 2 stops brighter than most
     black dogs. If the dog is brightly lit, then it might be only 1 to
     1.5 stops darker...
   Well, there you have it.
   Finally, Ty Monson gives the following (blunt, but probably correct)
   advice in response to a question about stud services or breeders who
   are photographing their dogs for the benefit of prospective clients:
     Breeders ought to have a skilled photographer produce the photos
     for showing prospective clients. No business is represented well
     with amateurish snapshots.
   Many thanks to the nice folks from who offered their
   expertise to us sentimental dog lovers, who never can seem to have too
   many photos of our pets -- even when they do just look like large
   black blobs with tongues!
Record Keeping.

   You should not rely on AKC to keep all your records straight. Breeders
   MUST keep official records on their dogs. There are numerous fines
   listed in the back of the Gazette for failure to maintain proper
   records. If you don't have your own record book, you should start one.
   If you are cited, you may have to start all over again with new dogs.
   That means that all the dogs you breed lose their AKC registrations.
   The AKC screws up a lot of things. That's why it is so important that
   breeders keep good files for their own breed club's use.
   Breeders need to keep records in a book about their breeding dogs.
   This includes the dog's registered name, number, sex, color, markings,
   date of birth, and OFA, CERF etc. Every time that dog is bred (either
   male or female) the date, the name of the other dog, the number of the
   other dog, and the number of the owner of the other dog goes into it.
   When the puppies are born, the number of puppies, sexes, colors,
   markings, date of birth and litter number is added. The breeder's
   name(s) is also included. On the litter registration form, the
   information is reprinted to get the individual registration forms.
   When the puppies are placed in a home, the new owner's name, address
   and phone number go into the proper places. (You can order these books
   from the AKC -- they are called "Dog Ownership and Breeding Record"
   books and they cost about $5 -- but they have enough pages for many
   For titles and points, keep a small bound notebook (so that the
   question never comes up whether pages have been added or removed) to
   record the judge's name, the number of dogs in the classes, the number
   of points, the date, the show, and the club sponsoring the show.
   Record obedience trials the same way. You may want to have a folder in
   which to keep all ribbons and copies of certificates and pedigrees
   along with a few pictures of the dog. You just need to have a record
   of your own -- like your check book -- to make sure someone doesn't
   goof up. Two records are better than one!
  Working dogs
   Dogs that work: e.g., Search and Rescue dogs, Police dogs, Disaster
   dogs, any that work in potentially liable situations or do work that
   may be challenged in court should have an ongoing record of their
   training and of actual cases. Note date and time, individuals involved
   in the training, the purpose of the training, how the training session
   was set up, how the dog did, and where it needs to improve. For an
   actual case, note all the specifics involved: who you talked to, where
   you got the scent article or other applicable information from, who
   was found/rescued/attacked, etc. If you can, go back and take pictures
   of the trail followed or other useful sites. Keep training and actual
   case records separate.
   If, for example, an SAR dog's identification of a felon comes into
   question, that record may prove the difference as to whether the
   evidence is ruled admissible or not. In contrast to the above for
   titles, keep training and case records in a loose-leaf binding, so
   that only the record pertinent to the case need be forwarded to the
  Your personal enjoyment
   Anyone training a dog may find it useful and interesting to keep a log
   of their dog's progress in training. In particular, it might help you
   uncover patterns unique to your dog, or suggest other ways to approach
Removing Odors and Stains.

   There's a web site about removing stains from carpet that's worth
  Removing urine
   For fresh urine: clean the spot with any good carpet shampoo (Spot
   Shot is one). Then soak it with plain old club soda, leave it for
   about ten minutes and blot it up.
   If the urine has soaked the pad and the floor below that, it will be
   difficult to remove the odor regardless of what you use.
   To find spots if you're not sure where they are, get a UV lamp that
   has the filter built in (to eliminate any remnant visible light).
   Urine fluoresces in "black light." You can get them at hardware
   stores. There are also UV lamps in hobby stores and places that cater
   to spelunkers and rockhounds, but they're more expensive. The UV
   source is safe as long as you use the longwave lamp and not the
   shortwave lamp used for tanning.
    Enzymatic products
   Products that remove odors: Nature's Miracle (carpet, has 800 number
   on bottle); Simple Solution (carpet and other items); Outright!
   (carpet, 214-438-0397); Resolve (carpet, perhaps other items); Odor
   Mute (originally for deskunking dogs, has other applications, leaves
   white residue, works on concrete, 507-642-8529). Odor Abolish, by
   Endosome Biologicals, may also be useful. These products use enzymes
   to break down the odor causing compounds in urine and feces, and are
   quite effective. From: {Doug Monroe) When using
   enzymatic products, it is important to use freshly diluted enzymes,
   let it soak in as deeply as the urine has penetrated, and *keep the
   area warm and wet for 24 hours*. Chemical reactions, including
   enzymatic reactions, go faster at higher temperatures. Unfortunately,
   most enzymatic reactions don't do well much over 102F (38-39C)-- so
   not TOO hot. Try covering the area with towels soaked in plain water
   after applying the enzyme, then a shower curtain or other plastic over
   that to make sure the area stays moist. The enzymes in laundry
   products are reportedly the same as those in the expensive
   odor-killing products, but they cost less than 1/3 as much. They work
   just as well. Biz is one product. You'll find it in your grocery
   laundry section with the pre-soak laundry stuff. Remember, you have to
   SOAK the area and then cover it to keep it from drying out. The smelly
   area must be WET with the enzyme for 24 hours or more.
    Launderable items
   On launderable items: put in the washing machine with a cup of vinegar
   and no detergent, then wash again as usual.
   If you have concrete (eg, in the basement) into which urine has been
   soaked, this can be difficult to remove, as unsealed concrete is very
   porous. You will have to neutralize the urine and then seal the
   concrete properly. A specialty cleaning service is probably the best
   way to properly neutralize the urine in the concrete. Vinegars and
   other cleaners may help, but only temporarily. Odor Mute is reputed to
   work on concrete. Improving the ventilation may also help. In extreme
   cases, pouring another 1/4-1/2 inch layer of concrete over the
   original concrete will solve the problem.
    Hardwood floors
   Hardwood floors that have been stained with urine can be difficult to
   clean. First treat with an enzyme-based product such as Nature's
   Miracle to remove the odor. You can find wood bleaches and stains at
   your hardware store: you may want to consult with one of the employees
   on what is available. You will need to remove any varnish or
   polyurethane from the area, sand it down a bit, bleach and/or stain
   it, and then apply the protective coat. There are also professional
   companies you can consult. In severely stained cases, you may have to
   replace the wood.
   For your yard, gypsum is supposed to help lawns cope with urine. This
   is found in Jerry Baker's Plants are Still Like People.
   Some dogs just seem to like to tangle with skunks. Others only
   encounter one once or twice in their lives. Either way, there are some
   techniques for dealing with a skunked dog.
   The important thing is to get the skunk oil off a quickly as possible
   and don't let the dog spread the oil around. Also, the skunk smell
   seems to be easier to get rid of the sooner the dog is washed.
   To get rid of the smell - try vinegar diluted with water. Douches work
   (they contain vinegar), but the perfumes may irritate some dogs' skin.
   Massengill in particular is often highly recommended. Soap the skunked
   areas, then apply the vinegar - let it sit a little while, and then
   soap again. Don't get the vinegar in the dog's eyes. Try also: diluted
   lemon juice and a dishwashing detergent (Dawn is generally
   recommended) to cut the grease.
   There is a product available called SKUNK OFF.
   If your dog's been thoroughly sprayed, don't expect to get all the
   smell out with a bath but what smell is left will go away faster.
   A formula from Mr. Krebaum that is supposed to work very well is:
     1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
     1/4 cup baking soda
     1 teaspoon liquid dish soap
   Mix the three ingredients together and use immediately. The chemical
   reaction lasts only a limited time. Rinse your pet well with water,
   and don't let the solution soak for more than a few minutes. Make only
   as much as you need and do NOT store any excess, just drain it. The
   hydrogen peroxide involed reportedly does not affect the color of the
   dog's coat. The recipe above makes enough to handle a cat-sized pet,
   so adjust accordingly as needed.
   The watery, tasteless liquid mixture of salivary and oral mucous gland
   secretions that lubricates chewed food, moistens oral walls, and
   contains enzymes that function in the predigestion of starches.
   The enzymes are the potent operatives here that leave semi-permanent
   slime trails on clothes, ceilings, walls, and table tops, depending on
   your breed. Removal of high-powered slobber, especially from
   polyesters and blends, can be a problem. For washable fabrics, the
   cheapest pre-wash treatment is Accent meat tenderizer liberally
   sprinkled on the the slobber spots (wet the spots or whole garment
   before applying the Accent). Let it soak for a few minutes, then wash
   as usual with laundry detergent.
Separation Anxiety.

   Some dogs may cry and whine when you leave. Most get over it in time.
   You can minimize it by not making a big deal of leaving; say good-bye,
   give him a treat, and walk out. You can probably condition your dog to
   accept it better by leaving for short errands and coming back soon,
   possibly over the weekend when you don't have to work.
   Go ahead and crate the dog while you're gone (provided it's been
   crate-trained, of course). A crate can help your dog feel more secure
   in its own personal space where it can't get into trouble.
Travel and International Travel.

   You can often take your dog with you when you travel, either domestic
   travel or even international travel. There are some helpful books out
   there that list which hotels, motels, etc. accept dogs. These include
   Touring with Towser, Quaker foods, publisher. Editions put out every
   other year. Write to 585 Hawthorne Court, Galesburg IL 61401 with a
   check or money order for $3 made out to Quaker Professional Services.
   64 page directory.
   Pets Allowed. A directory of places to stay nation (USA) wide. $10
   from Modern Systems Computing, 9 Greenmeadow Dr. #FD, N. Billerica, MA
   Pets R Permitted. A directory of places to stay nation (USA wide. $11
   from PO Box-3930-I, Torrance, CA 90510-3930.
   Take Your Pet USA: A Guide of Accommodations for Pets and Their
   Owners. Artco Publishing, 1990, 446 pages, ISBN 0-9626885-0-9, $9.95.
   It lists the address, phone number, any pet restrictions, if there's
   an exercise area for pets, if pet can be left unattended in room,
   local attractions, lodging rates and a few local vet offices.
   Travelling with Your Pet. Described as "a cross-Canada directory of
   hotels and motels that welcome pets," it's also full of helpful tips
   on what to do when travelling with a pet. The guide is updated
   annually. The price is $6.95 (CND) plus tax. Write to: Travelling with
   Your Pet 43 Railside Road Don Mills Ontario, Canada M3A 3L9. You can
   call them (from Canada) at 416-441-3228 or send them a fax at
   The web site allows you to specify search
   criteria including whether pets are allowed.
   By the way: BE SURE TO CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG! Especially when
   travelling -- many hotels begin to refuse dogs after continually
   finding dog feces all over their lawns, etc afterwards. Get a
   pooper-scooper or a plain plastic bag and clean up after your pooch!
   Those following you afterwards will thank you.
   Most dogs love travelling in the car. Some are fearful, others are
   prone to carsickness. Any dog travelling in a car should be restrained
   in some manner, both for its safety and yours. Dogs can travel in
   carriers, probably the best option. There are available barriers which
   can keep your dog in the back seat (this works especially well with
   station wagon type of cars). There are restraining leashes available.
   Riding in the back of a truck is just asking for trouble, as the dog
   will almost always be killed if it is thrown from the truck in even a
   minor accident. There are also restraining leashes for dogs in open
   pick-up truck beds. Some states have laws against dogs riding in the
   back of a pick-up.
    Car sickness, fear
   Try just sitting in the back seat and just talking and playing with
   your dog, assure it over a few of these sitting-in sessions that there
   is nothing to be afraid of. Then do a couple of slow trips, just
   around the block, no more. Then to the local park or beach, so your
   dog starts to get the idea that car trips lead to "fun" places too.
   Finally, try slowing down some more for those corners since side to
   side movements in a car are the most common cause of motion sickness.
   Opening a window or turning on the car fan may help some dogs.
   Do not sympathize with the dog or try to soothe it. While car-sickness
   isn't quite the same as being afraid of riding in the car, it could
   conceivably be brought on by such a fear. If that is the case, doing
   anything that the pup can possibly interpret as praise can be
   counterproductive. It will teach it that this fear is the desired
   behavior. If the car sickness if brought on by such fear and it is,
   inadavertantly, taught that the fear is desired behavior, the car
   sickness will continue.
  Travelling by plane
   For (US) $1, the American Dog Owners Association, 1654 Columbia
   Turnpike, Castleton, NY 12033, publishes a booklet, Update: Airline
   Transportation, about air travel with your pet. More than worth the
   The May/June, 1990 issue of Golden Retriever News (published by the
   Golden Retriever Club of America) had an article on airline
   transportation of dogs. Many of the comments should be common sense --
   such as having the proper crates and bedding, choosing non-stop
   flights where possible, allowing plenty of check-in time, etc. The
   article goes on to say that the ratings are based on serious problems
   reported between July 1988 and July 1989, and that air travel is
   generally safe for animals, with a mortality rate of less than one
   tenth of one percent.
   One pet is allowed in each cabin. Thus, if there is one First Class,
   one Business class and one Tourist class cabin, three pets are
   allowed. This can be modified if the pets are house mates - two people
   who are traveling with their two pets, then the pets can be in the
   same cabin. A cabin is a section that can be closed off from view from
   the other sections either with a door or a curtain.
   As for specific airlines: USAir has one of the best reputations in
   shipping animals. They routinely check up on the animals, and ask the
   owners to call a specific number after each landing the plane makes to
   contact an individual who can check on the animals. Continental has
   the worst reputation, having had several dogs die in their planes. A
   particularly horrible incident in the summer of 1991 involved five
   samoyeds, three of whom died of heat prostration despite the pleas of
   the passengers and owners, who could hear the dogs barking in the
   cargo area. Other airlines have varying reputations. In general a
   direct flight is safest.
   There is a pamphlet from Northwest Airlines called "Priority Pet." It
   explains Northwest's methods of pet transport --- it was encouraging
   to see an airline show explicit concern for this issue. Northwest asks
   owners to attach two bowls and a supply of food to the outside of the
   kennel in order that the animal may be fed and watered (presumably by
   Northwest personnel). The caveats and conditions are enlightening to
   Other references: The Conde' Nast Traveler (June 1992) has an article
   on pets and planes, including information on which carriers have been
   fined for violations of animal transportation laws.
   Tips when travelling by plane:
     * Buy flight insurance. It's not much if something actually happens
       to your dog, but stay away from airlines that won't insure their
       own transportation of animals! Cost is typically $20 for $5000
     * Some airlines are more highly recommended than others. Delta is
       frequently praised, Continental frequently condemned. Whichever
       airline you use, always arrange a direct flight.
     * Many airlines will sell you crates for extremely good prices. If
       you need a crate, buy one here.
     * Get all vaccinations up to date two weeks before the flight, and
       take the records with you if you're also going. Otherwise, add
       your vet's name and phone number to the information on the crate.
       Parvo boosters and "kennel cough" (bordetella) vaccinations are
       especially recommended.
     * Make reservations early. Most planes have room for three dogs or
       less per flight.
     * Write your name and phone number on the crate with a permanent
       marker. Attached paper is frequently gone by the time the crate
       arrives. Also write name and phone number of person to contact
       upon arrival on a piece of duct tape on the crate.
     * Solid plastic or metal crates are preferable to the wire crates.
       They keep more things out of the crate than the wire ones do. Make
       sure there is a rim around the edge that prevents adjacent boxes
       from covering up the air holes.
  International Travel
   Most states/provinces/regions require a health certificate and proof
   of rabies vaccination for pets crossing boundary lines. Most airlines
   will require this regardless of where you go within the country. Any
   dog that is travelling somewhere else should have a copy of its
   medical history, especially its vaccinations with it.
   Dogs may enter freely from the UK (and other countries with
   quarantines). Pets from countries where rabies is "well-controlled"
   (eg, U.S., Canada) can have quarantines as short as 30 days, as long
   as rabies titers are done at least 180 days ahead of time. Otherwise
   it depends on the area from which the dog has travelled. For example,
   dogs entering from rabies-free Singapore are not subject to the
   quarantine, however they must be fitted with the microchip detailing
   vaccination history and are required to undergo blood testing prior to
   and after entering Australia to be certain of their rabies free
   status. The same laws also now apply to New Zealand.
   A 6 month quarantine for all animals. Write to British Information
   Services for the necessary applications and paperwork: 845 Third
   Avenue, New York, NY 10022; Tel: (212) 752-5747 and Fax: (212)
   Sweden has a four month quarantine; Finland has a quarantine of 3 [?]
   months. Most European countries do not have a quarantine or only
   require proof of vaccinations.
   Because Hawaii is a rabies free state, there is a mandatory 30 day
   quarantine for dogs, cats, and other animals. If the animals meet all
   the requirements for the 30-day qarantine (which includes proof of
   vaccinations, permanent ID, blood tests and health records), then the
   owners will pay $210 per dog plus about $100 in fees for tests, etc.
   The 30 day quarantine has been in effect since May of 1997, down from
   a four month quarantine previously in effect. More detailed
   information and microchip order forms are available by mail from the
   Hawaii Agriculture Department's Division of Animal Industry: 99-941
   Halawa Valley Street, Aiea, HI 96701, (808) 483-7100, FAX (808)
   Due to a settlement of a class action lawsuit on behalf of those using
   guide dogs, it is expected that in the Sprint of 1998, guide dogs will
   be exempt from Hawaii's quarantine so long as they comply with certain
   vaccination, antibody, and microchip requirements.
    North America
   Canada requires up to date vaccinations, in particular the Rabies
   vaccination. You must have proof of vaccination with you when bringing
   the dog into the country, but other than that, there is no quarantine.
   Canada has a 4 month quarantine, except from the US, where rabies
   vaccination documentation is sufficient.
    South America
   No quarantines, but the animal must be up-to-date on vaccinations.
    Other Countries
   In most cases, quarantines are not required, but current vaccination
   records, recent health checks and so on are required. Always contact
   teh embassy of the country in question for accurate details. Calling
   the airlines can also help you get referred to the right party for
   asking questions.
   Some online information: France
   You may find yourself shipping a dog, for various reasons. Most people
   simply ship them as cargo on an airline. This works best when the
   flight is a non-stop, and neither the start- or end-point is at risk
   of too high or too low temperatures. There is at least one company
   that ships dogs. This is
     Pet Transfer
     (world wide door to door pet moving service)
     714-660-9390 (USA)
     [There may be an 800 , but I do not have it.]
Vicious Dogs

   Interestingly, up until World War II, Pit Bulls were looked upon with
   favor and patriotism. They were sturdy and loyal companions. WWI
   propoganda depicts the Pit Bull as manifesting American virtues. For
   example one poster showed a Pit Bull with other dogs representing
   their country of origin and the caption saying "Independent, but not
   afraid of any of them." At the same time, the Collie was considered an
   unreliable dog that would attack people without provocation.
   In many cases the reasons given for the "viciousness" of some breed
   are racist or classist and ludicrous to those who know dogs and follow
   the reports. The German Shepherd was vicious because of it's overly
   inbred purity (read German Uber-mench theory). In Germany the Doberman
   was vicious because it was impure (read tainted with non-Aryan dog
   genes, whatever they are...).
   What dog-knowers will tell you that human-aggressiveness and
   dog-aggressiveness are totally different, and that, for example, dogs
   bred to fight in fact had to be owner-safe in the most intense
   situations where an owner needed to break two fighters apart.
   Regarding attempts to ban certain breeds as "vicious," it should be
   noted that the fault is not with the dog or the breed of the dog.
   Unfortunately, certain breeds are perceived to be aggressive and
   vicious. People pick up these types of dogs and encourage them to be
   aggressive and vicious. The result is a badly-trained dog that has
   been taught to fear people. In addition, other people start breeding
   these dogs with poor temperament and the cycle continues. But it is
   important to remember that the viciousness comes with poor training
   and teasing of the dog and poor breeding practices. Thus, penalties
   should focus on individuals who display irresponsibility in the
   handling of their dog and on those breeders who breed with poor
   temperament, rather than on an entire breed.
   Hearn, Vicki. Bandit: The Dossier Of A Dangerous Dog.
Waste Composting

   Are there sanitary and effective alternatives to shoveling feces from
   your backyard into your trashcan? Especially if you have multiple
   There are a number of products on the market, such as the "Doggy
   Dooly", "'Liminate", etc. Reported experiences vary widely. Some were
   satisfied, others could not get them to work.
   The basic premise is to set up a "composting pile" that, with added
   enzymes, will decompose into odorless liquid and gas wastes. Some are
   elaborate affairs that require you to dig a large pit lined with
   gravel and bury a container (with the lid at ground level) over the
   gravel that drains the decomposed and harmless waste into the soil
   below. Others are simplar plastic bucket affairs.
     * Feces don't sit in the garbage all week.
     * Don't need extra bags in cleaning stools up.
     * Composters rarely work in winters with below or near freezing
     * Despite claims of "odorless waste products", the feces in there
       can smell quite badly until fully decomposed.
     * Rocks and sticks can interfere with digestion.
     * Usually the amount of enzyme to add is fussy: it won't work well
       with either too much or too little added.
Wolves and Wolf Hybrids

   First, note that there is a group in the ALT hierarchy called
   alt.wolves. There, you can read firsthand experiences of hybrid
   owners, and discuss other issues involving wolves and hybrids in
   Second, a note on whether it's possible to tell wolves from dogs
   Research in the UCLA laboratory of Drs. Robert Wayne and Michael Roy
   has centered on the use of new technology to distinguish wolves and
   dogs from wolf-dog hybrids. In the past, the ability to identify
   hybrids was limited by the lack of known genetic markers. The new
   molecular tools that UCLA is using involves regions of DNA that are so
   variable, each individual has a unique DNA fingerprint.
   So far the UCLA lab has found 14 markers in dogs not found in gray
   wolves and 37 markers in gray wolves not found in dogs. The
   information allows the researchers to examine suspected wolf-dog
   hybrids for the presence of both wolf and dog markers, so that they
   can determine if an animal is pure wolf, pure dog, or some combination
   of the two.
   The UCLA team is currently in the process of analyzing their test by
   using it on a known series of wolves and hybrids in a blind study,
   where the origins of the lab samples are unknown at the time of
   testing. If the test proves reliable enough, the researchers plan to
   make this test available to others.
   Wolves are very different from canines, but they do share a common
   ancestry. Wolves can be fascinating to study -- and observation of
   wolves' social structure and behavior shed much insight into canine
   Resources and References:
   Wolf Park is an organization whose mission is to conduct behavioral
   research to obtain a better understanding of wolves in captivity and
   in the wild, to disseminate scientific information and improve captive
   animal management techniques, and to educate the general public to
   gain a compassionate and realistic understanding of wolves and
   ecology. Wolf Park is supported through memberships and donations.
   Benefits include free admission to the park for one year, Wolf Park
   News and Journal of Wolf Ethology, and discounts on books from the
   bookstore. Behavior seminars directed by Dr. Erich Klinghammer are
   offered. There is an Adopt-A-Wolf program as well. Note that they do
   not deal with wolf-hybrids: many people attempt to donate their WH's
   and they do not accept them. Their position is that wolf-hybrids are a
   bad idea and a detriment to wolves and the Park's mission. They will
   provide information about hybrids to those that ask.
   Address: Wolf Park, Battle Ground, IN 47920. Phone: (317) 567-2265.
   Steinhart, Peter. The Company Of Wolves, Knopf Books, 1996.
   Mech, L. David. The Wolf. University of Minnesota Press, 1970. 384 pgs
   Softcover. ISBN: 0-1866-1026-6.
     Complete description of the wolf, its behavior and ecology. David
     Mech is a renowned wolf expert, and this is an extremly informative
     and well written book.
   Lopez, Barry H. Of Wolves and Men. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1978. 308
   pgs Softcover. ISBN: 0-684-16322-5.
     Description of wolves and their relationship with humans. Not
     really a technical discussion of wolves like the first reference.
   Crisler, Lois. Arctic Wild. New York, Harper. 1958. Mowat, Farley.
   Never Cry Wolf. Boston, Little, Brown. 1963.
   The Wolf Society of Great Britain produces the flyer "The Howler."
   Prospect House
   Kilmersdon. Bath. BA3 5TN
     FAQ author's note:
     I disclaim any responsibility in the event you get a wolf-hybrid.
     It is my personal recommendation that you not get one. What follows
     is for informational purposes only and is presented here only
     because it is a controversial topic that comes up every now and
     then on this group. I have attempted to make a fair presentation,
     and have included resources for further information. --Cindy Tittle
   Anyone who is interested in getting a wolf-hybrid should obtain as
   much information about the animals before considering getting one.
   WH's are not casual pets and do not behave like dogs do. Most WH
   experts recommend that you spend some time around WH's to be sure of
   what you are getting into. Wolf Country and other places offer
   programs where people can help care for WH's and learn first hand
   about them. There are also seminars and organizations to help
   disseminate the information a WH owner needs. **DO NOT EVEN *CONSIDER*
   What follows below is a thumbnail sketch of the sorts of problems with
   wolf-hybrids, along with resources for more complete information.
   Legality: Because of various state and federal laws regarding wildlife
   and endangered species, wolf-hybrids are simply illegal. As of 1991,
   they were illegal in ten states, and an additional nine required Fish
   & Game permits, especially if the hybrid was at least 75% wolf. A lot
   of states don't quite know what to do with hybrids and have thus
   included such terminology in defining hybrids as "wolf-like
   characteristics." Even when legal, they face much prejudice, and a WH
   that runs afoul of the law (by trespassing, biting, etc) is much more
   likely to be destroyed than a dog doing the same.
   In addition, such a WH will generate negative publicity for wolves.
   Reinforcing negative images of wolves in the public's mind and giving
   ammunition to the ranching industry to produce more anti-wolf
   propoganda directly hampers the wolf's reintroduction into the wild.
   Unfair as it is, the general public will think "wolf" when
   "wolf-hybrid" comes up, and the ranching industry has long had an
   interest in completely eliminating wolves and will use this prejudice.
   Behavior: Although there are exceptions, most WH's do NOT act like
   domesticated dogs, Jack London's romantic drivel notwithstanding. Dogs
   are the result of thousands of years of genetic selection for those
   attributes that are desired by man. The wolf, on the other hand, has
   been selected to be a survivor. Most suffer from a fear, or at least a
   nervousness, of being around people and are very timid until something
   happens to go against their instincts. The pack instinct is very
   strong. They will only obey their owner if they feel he is the
   dominant dog in the pack, so obviously, he needs to know A LOT about
   wolfpacks to stay ahead of the game. Also, hybrids don't always
   automatically assume that the "master" will remain the master,
   resulting in testing the owner for dominance, which can take the forms
   of attacking or defensive fighting.
   Finally, while wolves are not normally aggressive towards humans, dogs
   can be. Pair up the wolf's natural timidity with a dog's
   aggressiveness, and you have a potential recipe for disaster in these
   Predicting behavior: The percentage of wolf in the hybrid's background
   will not accurately predict its behavior. Beyond that, it is not
   possible to accurately assess a WH's actual percentage beyond a first
   generation cross as once one of the parents is a cross, you have no
   way of knowing which "dog" and which "wolf" genes the offspring will
   inherit from that parent. Some hybrids with low percentages are
   nervous and skittish, others with high percentages are more stable and
   reliable. Looking at the pup's parents may give some indication, but
   then it may not. A good deal will depend on how well socialized the
   animal is, that is, how much work its owner puts into it.
   Remember, WH's are NOT a breed, there is absolutely no consistency in
   their breeding. Not only does the percentage of wolf background vary,
   but the dogs used in the crosses also vary, although they are commonly
   Malamutes and Huskies. Also, since they are not bred for any
   particular purpose and there are a number of backyard breeders of
   WH's, this contributes to their uncertain temperament. Because WH are
   so much more work than average dogs, and because the *potential* is
   there for the WH to be more prone to what is deemed anti-social
   behavior in domesticated dogs, the problem is amplified.
   Finally, remember that many people consider a WH that is "high
   content" (that is, has a theoretically high percentage of wolf in its
   makeup) to be more desireable than a "low content" one. Because of
   this perception, many unethical WH breeders will overstate the
   percentages in their animals (estimates vary from as low as 50% to as
   high as 90% of WH's having their percentages overstated). Therefore,
   one person may think he has a high content WH and tell many people how
   easy the animal was to handle. The next person who gets a WH based on
   this type may well then get a higher content dog -- and a much larger
   problem than he ever dreamed of.
   Around people: WH's, as with any large or excitable animal, should
   NEVER be allowed access to small children, unless they are on a leash
   and strictly watched for signs of aggression. If a child trips and
   falls, or gets knocked down by the big furry "dog", or worse yet,
   teases the "dog", a mauling can easily result. Hybrids need to be
   watched around strangers because they may back bite. Not all WH's
   react this way, but a hybrid owner cannot afford to take any chances.
   Again, because of negative public perception, the hybrid will likely
   be destroyed as a result of such an incident, and its behavior only
   reinforce the WH's negative reputation. In addition, it will further
   damage the reputation of wolves, making reintroduction that much
   harder, and damage the reputation of the dogs the wolves are bred to,
   usually Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes.
   Training: Many respondents emphasized that WH's can be trained, but
   NOT TRUSTED without their owners nearby. Most obedience clubs will not
   even allow wolf hybrids in classes. Wolf Country, a breeder near
   Anchorage, strongly recommends potential owners work around the
   animals for at least a year in order to see if they can handle them
   and do want one. They require far more intensive and thorough
   socialization than do dogs dogs, and can differ in their response to
   discipline. The normal methods used on dogs may or may not work on a
   hybrid. Because of all this, you will need WH support groups of some
   form nearby to help you with potential training problems.
   YARD! You need to build an enclosure of at least 10000 square feet to
   allow it to explore. Also it must be fenced with at least 7' high and
   an overhang. Not only that, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to put a
   gate to your back yard to prevent children from wandering out there,
   because if you stick something into its area, it will try to pull it
   through, regardless of whether it is living or just a stick. Some of
   these animals are so strongly destructive that they can not be let in
   the house, and will destroy any house you make for them.
   Health: Most medicines for dogs do not work or are unapproved for use
   on hybrids and as a result hybrids may have a harder time getting over
   kennel cough, parvo, distemper, etc. In Indiana, for example, it is
   illegal to vaccinate a wild animal (including hybrids).
   In particular, there is NO vaccine that is approved for use on the
   hybrids and that includes rabies. They can be vaccinated but if they
   bite someone they are considered by law to be unvaccinated. This means
   if they bite someone, they must be destroyed, with the head sent to a
   laboratory to test for the presence of rabies.
   Breeders: Look at the Getting A Dog FAQ for an idea of what you want
   to find in a breeder of WH's. Suspending for the moment the question
   of whether or not crossing wolves and dogs is ethical in the first
   place, you want to find someone who
    1. Is honest about the difficulties of owing a WH
    2. Is willing to tell prospective owners if in their opinion they are
       not suited for handling WH's
    3. Has done applicable health screenings on their WH's
    4. Will talk with you at length about the temperaments of these
       animals, not sparing you the bad parts
   Stay away from anyone who
    1. Can only say good things about WH's
    2. Is willing to claim that they are all free of inherited diseases,
       free of temperament problems
    3. That all WH's are alike
    4. That the higher content the WH has of wolves the better, in all
   The Wolf Hybrid Times (WHT) is packed full of information: complete
   with many long series on topics such as nuitrition, containment,
   medical information, current legal status and issues, research, wolves
   in literature, photos and seasoned, practical advice from owners,
   breeders and scientists. Add to this commercial advertising
   specifically geared to wolf and wolf hybrid owners plus regular
   updates and activities from the various organizations. Subscription
   rate is $22.00 per year; please add $4.00 outside the U.S. Published
   bi-monthly. Address is: WHT, P.O. Box 1423, Gallup, NM 87305.
   The National Wolf Hybrid Association is dedicated to responsible care
   and understanding of the wolf hybrid. Membership fees are $25.00
   yearly which includes a bi-monthly newsletter. Address: 1059 Porter
   Morris Road, Chapmansboro, TN 37035. Phone: (615) 746-3442.
   There are many web pages about wolves (most of them quite good). There
   are also many pages about wolf hybrids. Unfortunately, most of these
   are quite unrealistic or contain little information that is actually
   useful. One of the best pages in terms of information is the Wolf
   Hybrid Awareness Through Education (WHATE) pages at
    Assorted Topics (Part II) FAQ
    Cindy Tittle Moore,
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