Monthly Archives: July 2009

CANIDAE and The Pongo Fund Help Portland’s Homeless

Two years ago Larry Chusid of Portland, Oregon saw some homeless men together with their dogs. Larry had just lost his dog, Pongo, and decided to donate some food and supplies to these men so they could take care of their pets. Since then, Larry’s efforts have evolved into a complete charitable organization (non-profit status pending) dedicated to helping Portland’s homeless and low-income people feed quality food to their pets.
Our own Jon Tingle, Sales Manager for CANIDAE in the Pacific Northwest, met with Larry recently to discuss how CANIDAE could help. “Larry called me one day and explained he was looking for some food and why. We met for a cup of coffee, and I put faith in his heart. We love helping him.”
When Larry was asked what others can do to help, he replied, “Buy a bag of CANIDAE, because without them none of this would be possible!”
The Oregonian newspaper sent a reporter out to interview Larry and Jon while Larry distributed free food to those in need. For the complete article please visit The Oregonian website.
Visit The Pongo Fund website for donation information.

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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Breed Profile: Labrador Retriever

By Ruthie Bently

Labrador Retrievers are a special breed, as anyone that has owned one or been involved with one can tell you. I didn’t grow up with a Lab, but one of my favorite books was “The Dog In My Life” by Kurt Unkelbach. It was about a young lady named Cary and her dog Thumper of Walden, and the adventures they had on and off the dog show circuit. Another of my favorite books was “The Incredible Journey” about a Labrador, a Bull Terrier and a Siamese cat and the journey they undertake when their owner leaves them with a friend for safekeeping.

The Labrador Retriever is a member of the Sporting Group and was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1917. Their outgoing personality and versatility makes them ideal as either a family pet or a sporting dog. They excel in tracking, agility, obedience and service work. It is because of their trainability that they are used for rescue work as well as guide dogs. The height for a male should be between 22-1/2 inches to 24-1/2 inches at the shoulder, and his weight should be between 65 to 80 pounds. A female’s height should be between 21-1/2 inches to 23-1/2 inches and her weight should be between 55 and 70 pounds. There are three colors that are acceptable for showing: yellow, black and chocolate. Additionally, in Britain a Labrador needs to have a working certificate or it cannot become a bench show champion.

The Labrador actually originated in Newfoundland not Labrador. The original Labrador breed died out in Newfoundland, due to a heavy dog tax and the restrictions on importing the breed into England. The original Labrador breed traces its history back to a dog known as the St. John’s Water Dog, which came from a cross between small water dogs and Newfoundlands. The Duke of Malmesbury was the one credited with naming the breed, after he admitted that he had always called his dogs Labradors. Accurate pedigrees of the Labradors of today can be traced back as far as 1878, to two dogs “Peter of Faskally” and “Flappe.”

Labradors were used by fishermen in Newfoundland to help pull in nets and catch escaping fish that got away from the fishing lines. A Labrador Retriever has a dense short coat that is weather resistant. Their tail is known as an “otter” tail and they should have eyes that are friendly and “kind.” They should have a good temperament and be intelligent, and since they are primarily bred as a working gun dog, their soundness and structure are very important. Because they are a “working” dog, Labs need a job so they do not get bored. I used to tell my customers that a Labrador needed the equivalent of a five mile walk every day. If you choose a Lab make sure you have the time to spend with them so they get the exercise or workout they need. They are also a dog that uses their mouth, and they tend to chew more than some of other breeds.

My personal experience with Labrador Retrievers is that they are very intelligent, loving, family oriented dogs. My brother-in-law has a lab mix, though she looks more like a Lab to me than the other half. Her name is Wings, and she gets into all sorts of things; she has even followed my boyfriend Steve home from my brother-in-law’s house and will sit in our yard at night guarding it from what she perceives as danger. Once you own a Lab, they will own you. They really want to please and in turn, they wiggle their way into your heart.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

CANIDAE is Now on Facebook – Join Us!

By Linda Cole

Facebook is a social networking site that helps users connect with family, friends and like-minded people who want a place where they can share their stories and photos with one another.

CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods is excited to announce the creation of their own Facebook page for people just like you – people who love animals as much as they do. If you don’t have a Facebook page yet, go to and sign in. Create your profile, send invitations to family and friends, play games and send out interesting challenges to others to ponder and enjoy. Have fun with quizzes that test your brain power or find out which dog species you are most like. Facebook has something for everyone and new friends to meet and interact with.

The CANIDAE Facebook page is the perfect place to learn about proper pet care, CANIDAE product updates, and important information on their product line. It’s also a place to meet other pet owners who are as passionate about the care and well being of their pets as you are. You can even find and connect with other pet owners in your area.

The folks at CANIDAE would love to see photos of your pets and read your stories and comments. Feel free to post to their wall as much as you like. Please post any special videos, photos or links that help show how people have embraced responsible pet ownership.

Join the many fans who use the CANIDAE Facebook page for pet lovers, to read their ideas and share your stories about how we all can give our pets the best care possible. Learn how premium, all natural pet food from CANIDAE can help your pet live a long and healthy life.

Their Facebook page is the perfect place to communicate on a more personal level with CANIDAE. It gives you an opportunity to meet and interact with one of the most experienced and dedicated staff around – people like you and me who want to make sure our pets get what they need to stay healthy and happy.

Become a fan and follow Rocco the dog’s progress as he recovers from his life on the street, lost and hungry. Because of the generosity of a stranger, this little dog now has a new home and plenty of healthy food to help him along. The folks at CANIDAE are helping to care for Rocco by donating food to his adopted mom. You can visit their Facebook page for updates to this heartwarming story of the little dog who needed (and got) a helping hand.

You can also find updates and uplifting stories on how CANIDAE supports green energy in a new state-of- the-art plant in Oklahoma that has created badly needed jobs for Americans, and is environmentally friendly in its design.

Responsible pet ownership starts with love. Add in a dash of respect and a spoonful of kindness sprinkled with lots of attention for each of your pets. Come join the CANIDAE team today on Facebook to learn more about the joys and benefits you receive from your pet by being a responsible pet owner.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Getting Started in Dock Diving

Are you looking for a dog sport that your entire family, canine included, can enjoy? Dock diving may be just what you’re looking for! In this sport, dogs jump from a dock that is usually 40 feet long into a pool set up with distance markers that is also 40 feet long. Dogs run down the dock and into the pool to retrieve a toy that was tossed by the dog’s handler.

Both dogs and people can enjoy dock diving without a lengthy training regimen. Some teams – handler and dog – have become accomplished jumpers after just a few attempts at their first event. In dock diving, success is not measured by the distance jumped but by how much fun you and your dog had. Dogs have as much fun jumping 3 feet as they do jumping 23 feet.

Participants at these events are often asked by spectators how to get started in dock diving. First, you need a dog that is not afraid of the water. The more they love to swim the better. Your dog needs to be leash controlled in an unfamiliar environment and non-aggressive to other dogs at the event. Another important factor is “toy drive,” and the greater the drive in the dog, the easier it will be to overcome any hurdles they may encounter.

Remember, you are asking your dog to do something that most dogs are not familiar with – to run down an open dock and jump into a pool of clear water that is probably located somewhere the dog has never been before. The dock diving platform usually consists of a 6 foot high scaffolding/trailer dock that they must climb up stairs to access. It may be located in the parking lot of a sports store, or in the middle of your local state fair. It may be complete with spectators surrounding the sides of the pool and the hum of the upbeat music and pulsing voice of the announcer that stirs the crowd (and some teams) into excitement. Sounds intimidating, but most dogs overcome these distractions within minutes as they place their trust in their handler.

If you find yourself and your canine companion at a dock diving event without the benefit of practicing at a local lake or pool, there are a few things to remember. First always make it a positive experience with your dog. Remember, having fun with your dog is paramount, even if he does not jump. There will be many other handlers at the event that were once in your shoes, so use them as a tool to help you and your dog. They will be more than willing. At every step praise your dog and remember it’s his first time too so he will be just as nervous as you.

The next thing is often the hardest for handlers to do – leave your ego in the car. It is not important for a first time dog to jump a great distance. What is important is that the dog has a positive experience and they figure out what you want them to do. As you walk them up the stairs to the dock, remember to praise and assure them. They trust you. Familiarize them with the dock and lead them up and down the dock a couple of times. Confidence is building with every step and it is that confidence that will allow your dog to improve with every jump.

Take your dog to the pool end of the dock and let them take a look at the pool and its surroundings. Let the dog examine the two foot drop into the water. This is one of the biggest hurdles. Have your dog’s favorite toy (floatable & non-edible) ready and get your dog enthused about fetching it for you. Return to the edge of the dock and toss the toy 7-10 feet out onto the surface of the water. No closer as it becomes a downward dive when you want the dog to jump out. Too far and the dog realizes they cannot get that far, causing some dogs to try to run outside of the pool to get it.

Remember when you took your first dive in a swimming pool? You did not do it from the 20 meter board but rather from the side of the pool. Take your dog 5-10 feet back on the dock allowing the dog to maintain eyesight with the toy. Encourage your dog to retrieve their toy then take them off lead and let them go, all the time encouraging and praising. First time dogs will usually take a couple of strides, hesitate, then jump. If the dog jumps you are on your way!

Don’t be afraid of getting wet; give them an affectionate hug as they exit the pool, praising them on what an outstanding job they just did. Do this immediately – don’t wait until you get out of the staging area. If the dog does not jump, reset the dog and try again while keeping the positive reinforcement flowing. If he stops the second time, go to the edge of the dock and encourage him from there. If you feel your dog is not going to jump, allow them to go down the exit ramp into the pool and swim out to retrieve the toy. This helps ensure a positive experience for the dog.

Remember, you must take small steps before you take larger ones. With your help and encouragement your dog will build confidence and you will both succeed. Again, the unwritten law for all dock diving participants is “keep it fun.”

By Dan Jacobs of Team Missy
Sponsored by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Fear of Cats: Ailurophobia Symptoms, Causes and Cures

By Julia Williams

It’s been said that when it comes to cats, people either love them or hate them. But there is actually a third feeling many people have for felines: they fear them. The clinical name for Fear of Cats is Ailurophobia. Although it’s difficult for most cat lovers to understand why anyone would be afraid of cats, Ailurophobia is very real, and can be a genuine problem for people who suffer from it.

A phobia is defined as an extreme, irrational and persistent fear of a particular object, activity or situation. Phobias are considered to be a type of anxiety disorder, wherein exposure to the feared stimulus can cause sweating, shaking, heart palpitations, loss of breath, dry mouth, the inability to think or speak clearly, and even a full blown panic attack. Ailurophobia then, is not simply a strong dislike of cats; it’s an intense feeling of fear at the sight of one – even if it’s just on TV.

Sometimes, just the thought of coming into contact with a cat is enough to get an Ailurophobics heart racing. They may understand intellectually that a cat poses no real danger to them, but it doesn’t change their involuntary reaction. Ailurophobics may fear physical contact with a cat, such as bites and scratches, or they might fear the perceived supernatural nature of cats. Ailurophobics often associate cats with black magic, witchcraft, sadism and evil–especially black cats, thanks to Halloween legends, superstitions and countless literary works.

What Causes Ailurophobia?

Like all fears and phobias, Ailurophobia is a protective mechanism created by the unconscious mind. Quite often, the phobic individual can’t even tell you exactly what they fear about cats, or where their fear might have originated. Sometimes all they know is that they’ve been afraid of cats for as long as they can remember.

They might have had a frightening experience with a cat as a baby or young child, but have forgotten it. Toddlers often aren’t taught how to properly pick up cats and may also prod, poke or pet them roughly. This could result in children getting scratched, bitten, and emotionally traumatized. Ailurophobia could also be caused by seeing someone else have a negative experience with a cat. Further, parents can sometimes transfer their own fear of cats on to their children.

Treatments for Ailurophobia

With professional help, the fear of cats can usually be overcome. Of course, for any phobia treatment plan to succeed, the person must first have a desire to overcome the fear. Ailurophobics often avoid seeking treatment because they’re embarrassed about fearing an animal that is generally regarded as cute, cuddly and harmless. It doesn’t help matters if they get teased after confessing their fear of cats to people who don’t understand phobias.

There are many different treatments for Ailurophobia. Like other phobias, Ailurophobia responds well to cognitive-behavior therapy (a form of psychotherapy which stipulates that the way we think about things affects how we feel emotionally). Cognitive therapy focuses on problem solving and present thinking rather than on past experiences, and often includes a desensitization component.

The Ailurophobic individual is taught to use relaxation and visualization techniques when experiencing anxiety about cats. Gradual exposure to cats is introduced in a systematic, structured way while the person concentrates on remaining calm. This might include looking at photos of cats, watching videos about cats, seeing a cat through a window, and eventually, being in the same room with a cat or kitten.

Hypnotherapy is another form of treatment for Ailurophobia. Hypnotherapy helps to reprogram the subconscious thoughts that may be linked to the phobia. When the subconscious is reprogrammed, the phobia symptoms are often minimized.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the study of how individuals create their reality. From the NLP viewpoint, phobias are the result of faulty “programs” that a person has created. With NLP, these programs are revealed and “re-programmed” so that the phobia is minimized or eliminated. Energy Psychology is similar to acupuncture, except that no needles are used. Energy Psychology is emerging as a safe and effective and way to change phobic behaviors and thought patterns.

I am eternally grateful that I don’t have a fear of cats. After writing this, I’m ready to engage in some serious snuggling with my three feline friends, Annabelle, Rocky and Mickey.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

What Does a Dog Need?

By Ruthie Bently

According to noted dog trainer Tamar Geller, every dog has seven basic needs. It doesn’t matter if you have a Yorkie, a Chihuahua, an AmStaff or a Labrador retriever. Their needs are all the same. She goes on to define a need as something a dog cannot do without, and misbehavior can happen from only one of their seven needs being neglected. Sounds like several people I know.

A dog’s seven basic needs are: a sense of security, companionship, understanding the hierarchy, surprise/excitement, food and exercise, mental stimulation, and love and connection. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Dogs need to know that their human companion will be there to give them a toy, treat, hug or some love when they do what we want them to do. Just as we need structure and a certainty of how our lives are going to progress, so do our dogs.

Dogs are pack animals and need to be social; only in this way and by using cooperation with others can any canine (wild or domesticated) hope to survive. It doesn’t matter whether I am inside or outside the house with my dog, she won’t be too many feet from me. And if she walks away she will be back within a few minutes after she has gone potty or checked out something that she feels the need to investigate.

Dogs also need to know who the pack leader is. You need to be the alpha dog and make sure that your dog knows it as well. The alpha dog gets the best parts of the kill, the best sleeping spot. Everything comes to the alpha dog first, and your dog needs to know that is you. If this is not done, you could find yourself fighting with your dog for your rightful place in your own bed. It’s OK for your dog to sleep with you, they just have to know that it is by your invitation only, and it can be rescinded at any time.

Dogs need stimulation and change in their lives, so surprises and excitement will help keep your dog from getting bored. A surprise could be a trip in the car, a day at the beach, a walk or even a simple game of catch the ball. Skye loves to go for rides in my truck; she never knows when I am going to travel but she loves to go when I invite her. Ms. Geller suggests giving your dog at least one surprise a day. Put yourself in your dog’s shoes – wouldn’t you love a surprise every day from your significant other?

Every living creature needs food and water to survive. Exercise is a great way to let your dog blow off steam and get rid of excess energy that could be used in a more destructive manner if not dealt with. I can’t tell you how much destructive chewing I helped my customers cure, just by giving their dogs a different focus for their energy. I try to get Skye to exercise with me at least fifteen minutes every day. It may not sound like much, but it does her a world of good, even if I do have to call a halt in this summer weather to keep her from overheating.

The next item on the list of a dog’s seven needs is mental stimulation. Every time Skye is in the truck with me, her nose goes right to the air vents. It makes me wonder what exotic things she smells that I can’t even begin to decipher. I actually taught Nimber to fetch my “Gremlin” slippers (a huge pair of stuffed slippers with a “gremlin” head and big ears). I used to tell him to go get my “Mogwais” and he knew what I was talking about. I even made a game where I would hide them in different places (instead of my closet floor where they were kept). Nimber never chewed them up, but he had a blast trying to find out where I put them. Games help keep your dog stimulated and help keep them from getting bored. Teaching them words can help stimulate them as well. Like us, dogs are capable of learning until the day they pass on.

Last but not least is love and connection. Your dog needs to know he is loved and has a connection to you as the alpha member of your pack. I remember moving vehicles in the driveway where I used to live when I owned Nimber. I parked my car, got out and went into the garage. Nimber had jumped into my friend’s truck and when my friend started backing his truck down the driveway prior to parking it, Nimber almost went through the windshield to get out of the truck. He thought he was being taken away from me. We loved each other and were lucky enough to have a connection to each other as well. I would take him visiting with me and if I went into the bathroom, it was a sure bet I would trip over Nimber when I came out. Skye is the same way and I am blessed, though her devotion is sometimes a bit overwhelming.

By being willing to meet our dogs’ seven basic needs, we can have a wonderful life with a loving, fun companion for many years to come. I will see you soon – Skye and I are going outside and test out her new glow-in-the-dark ball.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.