Ten Dog Friendly Cities of Note

nigelchurchst

Dog Fancy, the world’s most widely read dog magazine, has named Provincetown, Mass., the winner of the 2010 DogTown USA competition, saluting it as America’s most dog-friendly city. This year’s contest, sponsored by WAHL® Clipper Corp., named the Top 40 dog-friendly cities across the U.S. in honor of Dog Fancy’s 40th anniversary celebration. The criteria …

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Are the Dog Whisperer’s methods safe?

The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, has built a media empire on his ability to tame and train the most incorrigible of canines. Millions watch his show on National Geographic each week to see the charismatic star teach hapless owners to cure barking, jumping, aggression and fear in dogs.

But could his forceful methods be ineffective, even dangerous? Some think so. There is a growing backlash against Mr. Millan from dog-behaviour experts and dog owners who fear that he could bring punitive training back in vogue, despite long-established evidence that positive, reward-based training works.

“It was a surprise to a lot of dog trainers to suddenly see this very old-style training, and to find that it caught on so quickly,” said Stanley Coren, psychology professor at the University of British Columbiamag and author of several books about dogs, including How Dogs Think: Understanding the Canine Mind and The Intelligence of Dogs.

There’s no denying that Mr. Millan and his techniques make great television. Every episode of The Dog Whisperer features Mr. Millan swooping into the home of someone with a misbehaving dog, camera crews in tow. He certainly seems to have a magic touch – a few firm “tsch!” sounds and leash tugs from Mr. Millan and the former devil-dogs trot placidly to his side, gazing angelically at their stunned owners. The real entertainment value of the show is watching Mr. Millan teach those owners how to become, in his words, “pack leader,” dominant over their own dogs.

“I rehabilitate dogs,” Mr. Millan says in the voice-over before every show. “I train humans.”

A Honk for Help

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24208656 640X480

Having read far too many sad stories about dogs suffering in hot vehicles this summer, it was hard not to smile at this find. This Pennsylvania dog decided to take matters into his own paws when accidentally locked in a hot car. Something tells me Max would make a great spokesman for summer PSA’s.

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Indiana Family Saved by Pit Bull

pit hero 4

pit hero 4

They’re calling it a “phenomenal act of heroism by a dog.” And that “dog” happens to be a pit bull.

While it seems pit bulls get a bad rep at times, one is being credited for saving the lives of his Bristol family members Thursday night. “It started here on the back porch, they said, underneath it. We have no idea how the fire started.”

When the fire began, Kemper Hunter, his girlfriend Sarah Laughlin and their three month old baby, Shelby, were asleep. They woke up to their pit bull “Thor” jumping persistently on the bed. Kemper Hunter says, “We kept pushing him away like, ‘Yeah, we’ll take you outside in a little bit. It’s 3 o’clock in the morning. We’re asleep.’ We kept pushing him away and then I pushed him one time to turn around and he hit me in the face with both paws and he nipped at me and I sat up, you know, my dogs never done that.”

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Fighting Mad

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JACKSON COUNTY MS — Competitions in which a dog holds a boar at bay for two minutes in a small arena have raised a ruckus in Jackson County.

Animal-rights people are afraid both the hog and the dog suffer. People who support events at Fort Bayou Ranch in Vancleave say it’s they who suffer, by being misunderstood and denied use of their land for a sport that’s sanctioned by state law. Dogs snarl, bare their teeth, snap and bark ferociously to manipulate the boar. The boars snort, butt and sometimes toss the dogs. The supporters say all that looks worse than it is, even though hog dogs often wear protective vests. Advocates say it’s a family event. Children got involved in contacting their county supervisors about it.

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