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Archive for January 21st, 2009

Baltimore, a breed apart


How is Baltimore’s taste in dogs different from the rest of the country’s?

Going by AKC registration figures, released today, we’ve got a thing for smooshed in faces — the boxer, bulldog and pug all make our top ten list.

We’re most fond of big lugs — Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, German shepherds all make our top five. But we have a place in our heart for the little guy as well. The Yorkshire terrier is No.2 on both the national list and the Baltimore list. The Maltese and Chihuahua rank in our top ten, but not the nation’s.

We don’t give a shih-tzu a position in our top ten, unlike the national numbers, and we don’t seem as crazy as the rest of the nation when it comes to beagles and dachsunds.

Here, according to the AKC, are the top 10 registered breeds in Baltimore:

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Boxer
3. Golden Retriever
4. German Shepherd Dog 
5. Yorkshire Terrier
6. Bulldog 
6. Pugs (tie)
8. Poodle
9. Chihuahua
10. Maltese

The fastest riser on the Baltimore list is the bulldog, as was the case in the rest of the nation. The bulldog jumped from tenth to sixth most popular breed in Baltimore.

For a look at the AKC’s city by city rankings, click here.

AKC announces Top 10 dogs of 2008

Labrador Retrievers are still No. 1 in America, for the 18th straight year, but bulldogs are moving up fast, according to registration statistics released today by the American Kennel Club.

More than twice as many Labs were registered in 2008 than any other breed.

Also growing quickly in numbers is the bulldog, which made it to the AKC’s Top Ten list last year for the first time in 70 years. The new figures show it has advanced two more spots, to eighth place.

Here is the full list:

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. German Shepherd
4. Golden Retriever
5. Beagle
6. Boxer
7. Dachshund
8. Bulldog
9. Poodle
10. Shih Tzu

The AKC is celebrating its 125th Anniversary during 2009. In 1884, the year it was founded, the AKC registered only nine breeds, versus the 161 it recognizes today.

They were the Pointer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, English Setter, Gordon Setter, Irish Setter, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel and Sussex Spaniel.

These original breeds are all current members of the Sporting Group — dogs bred to help man find and retrieve game.

“I think the comparison of our original nine to the current top 10 illustrates the different needs that dogs fill today,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “In the 1880’s most breeds served a specific purpose or function. Today dogs still serve man and in even more diverse roles — from guide dog to bomb detection K-9 — but most of all, dogs are now companions that ground us to nature in a busy and increasingly technological world.”

How to save your dog’s life

As promised, here’s a quick lesson on doggie CPR — a four-minute investment of your time that, while we hope you never have to use it, might pay off someday.

In the video above, Elaine Acker, CEO of Pets America, demonstrates the proper technique for performing CPR on pets.

Here, in a nutshell, is the drill:

If your dog is not breathing, use a finger to clear any mucus or other objects from the mouth. Tilt the head back to straighten the airway passage. Hold the mouth shut with one hand, and place your mouth over the dog’s nose and mouth, making sure the seal is tight.

Blow into the nose while watching to see if the chest expands.

If the chest does not expand, check and clear the dog’s mouth again, and start the procedure over.

If the chest does expand, release your dog’s mouth, allowing it to exhale.

Repeat the breathing procedure once every five seconds until your dog is breathing normally.

If your dog is not breathing and has no detectable heartbeat, and no other forms of help are available, cardiac resuscitation can be attempted.

To do this, put your dog on its right side and place the heel of your hand on the ribcage just behind the elbow. Put your other hand on top of the first hand. Firmly press on the ribcage in quick, smooth movements three to four times, using both hands. The compression should last no longer than half a second. The smaller the dog the fewer inches of compression and less force are needed. At all times take care not to damage the ribcage.

Repeat this procedure a total of 10 times. Then, if your DOG is not breathing, perform mouth-to-snout resuscitation again, alternating between 10 chest compressions and one breath into the dog’s nose.

Thanks to Pets America for the information.

Guard dogs protect sheep, save cheetah

Guard dogs that protect sheep and goats on African farms from attacks by cheetahs and leopards are also helping out the cheetahs and leopards.

With their livestock safe from attack, farmers no longer feel the need to hunt or poison cheetahs and leopards, according to a BBC report.

Anatolian Kangal dogs are used in the program, started in Namibia and recently launched in Kenya.

“We have had amazing results,” Laurie Marker of the Cheetah Conservation Fund said.  “Since the dogs were imported, the cheetah population had increased by a third.” 

Anatolian Kangal dogs are extremely loyal and are ready to fight to the death. The puppies are given to farmers when they are just eight weeks old and grow up with the flocks of goats and sheep they are to guard in order to bond with them.

If a predator approaches, the dogs bark loudly and the flock gathers round them. For most predators, the barking alone is enough to keep them from approaching.

The Conservation Trust began importing the Kangal from Turkey in 1994 and since then has provided around 300 dogs to farmers.

Pro Bone O: Lawyering up at the SPCA

The  SPCA may defend dogs, but who defends the SPCA?

In the case of the Maryland SPCA in Baltimore, it’s Paul Day, Jennifer K. Squillario and other counsel at DLA Piper US LLP.

According to an article in the Maryland Daily Record, lawyers from that initial-peppered firm represent the SPCA pro bono.

“If we had to pay market rates to draft contracts … or just anything, we wouldn’t be able to afford it,” said Maya Richmond, director of operations and programs at the SPCA.

Most commonly, the attorneys get involved in cases where a pet’s ownership is in dispute.

In one case, the Daily Record reports, the attorneys worked to take down a Craigslist posting “that the SPCA had killed some huge number of cats in one day,” accompanied by a picture of a bucket of dead cats, Day said.

“There’s a really big, I don’t want to say fight, push for facilities to go no-kill,” he explained. Activists are out to “make the facilities that aren’t no-kill look as bad as possible.” The text of the posting was incorrect and the picture was not taken at the SPCA; it was a stock photo used in similar postings elsewhere on the Internet.