Tag: big dogs
The Labrador retriever has once again been proclaimed America’s most popular dog.
It’s a title — designated by the American Kennel Club, based on its registration statistics — that the breed has held for 22 years.
While labs maintain their grip on first place — at least when black, yellow and chocolate are combined — golden retrievers are climbing the ranks, having moved up from fourth to third.
Elsewhere in the top 10 breed list, the German shepherd maintained No. 2 position, the beagle slipped from third to fourth , and the Yorkshire terrier – third most popular two years ago — dropped to sixth place. Rottweilers, boxers and poodles all made the top 10.
Taken together, the statistics seem to indicate a growing appreciation for big dogs, said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson.
“Bigger breeds are making their move,” she said. ”The popularity of the pint-sized, portable pooch just gave way to a litter of larger breeds in the top 10. These predictable, durable, steady breeds, like Labs and goldens, are great with kids and offer the whole family more dog to love.”
The Lab’s 22-year reign as top dog ties that of the poodle, which was America’s most popular dog from 1960 to 1982.
The AKC says registration statistics also show mastiff-type breeds are becoming more popular, with the mastiff, bullmastiff, cane corso and Neapolitan mastiff all climbing over the last ten years. During that same period the bull terrier jumped from 79 to 51.
(Photo: John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 31st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animals, beagle, big dogs, black, breed, breeds, chocolate, dogs, german shepherd, golden retriever, labrador retriever, large, list, pets, popularity, top ten, trends, yellow, yorkshire terriers
Big dog owners — by which I mean the owners of big dogs — are all too familiar with the comments people come up with when encountering their extra large pets.
“That’s a big dog” is probably the most common, not to mention the most obvious. (Hint: We already know that.)
Then there’s, “You could ride that thing.”
And, of course, “Who’s walking who?”
“How much does he weigh?” they invariably ask. “How much does he eat?”
Often, too, they will ask, “Is he friendly?” Usually he will have made that clear himself before I get the answer out.
Then there are the those who show a little extra imagination: “What’s he a mix of – retriever and Buick?”
Repeated DNA tests have shown no Buick in his blood, just four breeds that — if you must know — you can use our search function to find out.
This post deals only with his size — and provides photographic proof that, yes, he is bigger than a car.
True, it’s a Smart Car, and true, he’s in the foreground. Maybe it’s not as incontrovertible as DNA evidence. But there it is, right before your eyes.
And as for the owner of that little car, allow me to ask, “How much does it weigh? How much gas does it eat? Can you ride that thing?
“And is it friendly?”
We’ve got an ASPCA, and a HSUS, but what we need is an ADLU.
The American Doggie Liberties Union — if it existed — would fight all forms of doggie discrimination, both subtle forms and blatant ones, like this:
A Long Island dog park is charging visitors to its “big dog” play area up to $13 per visit on summer weekends, while visitors to the “small dog” play area pay nothing.
At West Hills, in Suffolk County, the fee is charged those who visit between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
“I feel sorry for them,” small-dog owner Michael Price is quoted as saying in this piece by NBC in New York. “But I am here in the small-dog park and very happy about that.”
Dana Richter was not. “I am unemployed,” Richter said. “I just can’t keep dropping money around every corner. Yet my dog needs exercise.”
Some big-dog owners, like Lisa LaMorte of Huntington Station, have written county lawmakers, asking for a reduction in the fee. But with Suffolk County facing budget problems, she may be out of luck.
According to Suffolk County officials, the higher fee for big dogs wasn’t intended as a penalty. It’s a result of the “big dog” park being located in an area with parking and other amenities. “The fee structure that exists precedes the establishment of the dog park,” said county spokesperson Vanessa Baird-Streeter.
Baird-Streeter said anyone wishing to bring their big dogs to the park will not incur a fee Monday through Friday and prior to 8 a.m. and after 4 p.m. on weekends.
But big dog owners lamented scaling back their visits. “This is the best dog park on Long Island,” said Laura Lerner, as she held her retriever Maki. “I come here every day …”
The big dog park is designated for dogs over 25 pounds.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, big dog discrimination, big dogs, charge, discrimination, dog park, dog parks, doggie discrimination, dogs, fees, large dogs, limits, long island, new york, pets, small dogs, suffolk county, weight, west hills
Oreo, a 4-year-old, 140-pound harlequin, had collapsed.
“It was so fast and we were so upset, that all I could think of was to tell her we have to call for help,” Randy Lakey told Fox 2 in St. Louis.
When an ambulance arrived, a paramedic, upon seeing the patient, threw her arms into the air and said “It’s a dog, are you kidding me?” Rose said. “Then she turned and walked away. Then she started yelling out to the policeman, ‘it’s just a dog.’”
Another paramedic administered oxygen to the dog, and, along with police, helped the Lakeys get Oreo into the car.
It was too late, though, and Oreo died by the time they reached the emergency animal clinic.
The next day the Lakeys were charged by police with filing a false report. They’re due to appear in municipal court in O’Fallon next month. At worst, they face a fine.
Rose says she originally told the 911 operator she was calling about a dog, but that she might have referred to Oreo as her daughter at some point.
(Note to emergency officials: Many dog owners feel that way abour their pets, and even refer to them that way. Also, they don’t appreciate phrases like “just a dog.”)
Oreo was once featured in a front page photo in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (above), marching in a pet parade while wearing a pink tutu.
The Lakeys have two grown daughters, and say they thought of Oreo as their third. They didn’t purposefully mislead authorities, they said.
Said Randy Lakey, “You know, it was not intentional. We didn’t mislead anybody. We just needed help. There’s nothing false about that,” Randy said.
(Photo of Oreo by Gabe Hartwig / St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 911, ambulance, animals, big dogs, call, dog, dogs, emergency, false report, filing a false report, great dane, health, help, just a dog, medical, missouri, ofallon, oreo, pets, pink, police, randy lakey, rose lakey, tutu, veterinary
When we hear about it, we like to pounce on big dog discrimination before it happens.
So let’s talk about Middletown, New York, where city officials think it would be a good idea to require all renters whose dogs tip the scales at more than 25 pounds to carry liability insurance.
This makes about as much sense as Wausau, Wisconsin’s two-dog limit, our topic Friday.
What fear-mongering, fact-ignoring, bandwagon-jumping city officials need to get through their heads, once and for all, is that it’s not the size of the dog, the breed of the dog, or even the number of dogs that cause dog problems — it’s the dog owner.
Be it “nuisance” or “danger” they are trying to protect us from, that’s who they need to be going after.
Not family’s like the Lecker’s in Wausau, who have four dogs, but bought a house not knowing the town limited households to two, and now face a choice between moving or ditching two dogs.
And not responsible dog-owning renters who, in the case of Middletown, might find themselves paying up to $300 a year to ensure any dog bigger than a breadbox.
Singling out breeds and setting arbitrary weight limits is doggie discrimination, pure and simple. (We’d argue the proposed Middletown law discriminates against renters as well.)
In Middletown, the Common Council is looking at a proposal that would require tenants to get at least $100,000 worth of liability insurance on dogs weighing over 25 pounds, according to the Times Herald-Record.
The proposed law is in response to a rising number of dog bites, city officials said. According to Mayor Joe DeStefano dog bites are covered under most homeowners’ policies, so the law would target only renters. The proposal doesn’t single out any breeds, but city officials have said they are concerned about the rising number of pit bulls in the city.
The city says there were 94 reported dog bites in Middletown over the past three years. Of them, 79 were from “large-breed” dogs, 37 of them from pit bulls or pit bull mixes. It also says two city employees have been attacked by pit bulls in recent months while on the job.
I wonder how many of those pit bulls were really pit bulls, as opposed to a convenient designation. I wonder, in the case of all those ”pit bull mixes,” why what else is in the mix isn’t mentioned. And I wonder, when it comes to those “large-breed” dogs doing the majority of the biting, if the city is referring to all dogs over 25 pounds.
But what I wonder most of all, since the requirement would do nothing to actually address the problem, is what purpose — beyond fattening up insurance companies — it would serve.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, big dogs, big dow owners, city, dangerous, discrimination, dogs, insurance, landlords, laws, liability, mandatory, middletown, new york, nuisance, pets, renters, required, requirement, tenants, wausau, wisconsin
But, being a big dog’s human, I’d have to agree with Joan Klucha, a British Columbia dog trainer: It’s not entirely right — emphasis on entirely — for big dogs, and their humans, to be held to a higher standard than small dogs.
Klucha, in a column for the North Shore News in Canada — one I’d guess she’s going to take some grief for, diplomatic though it is — points out that little dogs can get away with a lot more than big dogs can.
A case in point is poop, which is what she starts the discussion with, recalling a visit to a client who, once she saw the condition of her home, Klucha assumed wanted help with house training.
“Oh, we don’t care about that,” the client said. “They are little dogs. Their poop is so little we clean it up and it’s not a bother at all. It’s their barking; it’s driving us nuts.”
A little dog can jump up, drop a load, be yappy, be rambunctious, even attack, but it’s often not taken as seriously as when a big dog does those things. As Klucha notes:
“There is a general consensus among many people that the size of a dog determines its behaviour, meaning a small dog automatically means a good dog. Let me set the record straight: The size of a dog is never the issue that determines whether a dog is good or bad. It is always the owner.”
Klucha points to a recent case in Ontario in which a small dog bit a child and the dog’s owner argued her dog was too small to be vicious, and not a threat to anyone.
“If this was a large dog, the outrage over the incident would have demanded that the dog be euthanized,” Klucha says.
“When someone sees a small dog lunging, barking and snapping while pulling at the end of a leash, they chuckle to themselves or don’t give it much thought. If it was a large dog behaving like that, animal control would surely be called out to deal with the situation.
“Small dogs get away with many inappropriate behaviours simply because they are small … Large dogs live under a microscope and are scrutinized for every misdeed.”
When you have a big dog (and mine’s 130 pounds) you do have a heavy responsibility. But small dog owners have a responsibility, too, and while most live up to it, there are those — not you, of course — who think their precious little one can do no harm and let them get away with anything short of murder.
Where the double standard most offends me is when it’s in the form of rules – at motels, in apartment complexes or from other entities that set weight limits under the thinking that big dogs automatically cause bigger problems. That’s just wrong.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
I’m going to go pet a little dog now. His name is Bogey. That’s him in the picture. He lives a few doors down, and he’s very well behaved. I will try to make sure my dog Ace doesn’t pee on him again. Even though Bogey likes to walk under Ace — perhaps for the shade, perhaps for the view, perhaps for the sake of sniffing – he doesn’t deserve a surprise shower.
Being a big dog owner, making sure that doesn’t happen is my responsibility.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, behavior, big dogs, bogey, discipline, dogs, double standard, joan klucha, manners, obedience, pee, perceptions, pets, poop, rules, small dogs, standards, train, trainer, training
In the best of all possible worlds, I would have a poop valet.
On our walks around the neighborhood, he would follow a few steps behind Ace and me, keeping quiet, and waiting to spring into action when his services were required.
It is not picking up Ace’s poop that bothers me so much, it’s lugging the brown and bulging sack around for the rest of the walk.
The poop valet’s job would be to serve as a courier, running the bag back home to my personal garbage can — three four, five blocks away – before washing his hands, checking his pencil-thin mustache, straightening his red vest and returning to see if his services were further required, because double-doody walks, while not common, sometimes occur. (My poop valet, in my imagination, looks a lot like John Waters.)
I can’t bring myself to toss Ace’s poop in other people’s trash. That would be bad manners even if I had a tiny dog. With Ace, it would be no small deposit, taking up valuable refuse space that’s not mine, and adding a lingering scent to the recipient’s receptacle – no matter how tightly I’ve tied the bag – that is anything but lavender, pine or lemony fresh.
As I said, I can tolerate the scoopage, and the brief period of stinkiness as I tie the bag, but being new in the area – and wanting to make a positive impression upon returning to my native neighborhood – lugging an ever-present, generally full poop bag, I fear, works as a strike against me.
It seems, with everyone I have met on our walks, it has been while clutching in my hand a giant bag of poop.
It’s nothing to be ashamed of, I know. Far more shameful would be not picking it up. But still, I find myself feeling slightly embarrassed and less confident at these moments. It’s hard to have self esteem when your self is carrying a steaming bag of feces.
Normally, I would just avoid meeting people – but people are friendly here, and Ace insists upon making new acquaintances, especially if the person is a female. (And I swear I never trained or encouraged him to seek out and befriend females. He just does.)
Poop bag-toting was never a big issue for us in Baltimore, because most walks were to the park, and he would wait until there to do his business. There would always be a public trash can nearby, often overflowing with other bags of — to use the local nomenclature — dog shit.
Here in Winston-Salem, though, most of our walks are through residential areas, with no communal trash cans. Here, people don’t say shit so much. Or even poop. Or even waste. My mother, a local, gets mad when I write about the topic – even though it’s one a dog writer can’t avoid stepping in from time to time. For better or worse, people are more civil here, act more polite, follow silly but sweet old traditions and wear well-pressed clothing.
I probably should start ironing my shirts (or maybe the poop valet wouldn’t mind doing that, too).
Being a large dog (130 pounds), Ace’s output (though it was less when he was on a raw diet) is pretty massive. Picture four or five Hostess Twinkies, in a pile.
I generally use white plastic grocery store bags for the chore, they being free and abundant, if not quickly biodegradable and best for the environment. Being white, being big, being full, it’s impossible to carry them discretely.
Making matters worse, our normal walking route takes us past a restaurant on the way home, with outdoor dining. At first, I would cross the street so as not to offend diners, but they have a water bowl set out for dogs, and Ace is thirsty by then.
With a poop valet, I’d have none of these problems.
As I see it, I’d still scoop – for I am not above that. I’d still tie the bag in an attempt to keep foul odors from wafting out, for I don’t consider that beneath me, either. But then I’d snap my fingers to summon the poop valet and he’d rush to my side. I would hold out the bag. He would take it.
“Very good, sir,” he would say. Then he’d trot back to my house, holding the poop bag in front of him with a fully outstretched arm, to dispose of it before returning to take his place behind us. He’d also always carry extra bags, just in case we needed one.
With the poop valet’s assistance, unencumbered by a big translucent white bag of poop, I would cut a far more charming, more appealing figure.
With a poop valet, I would no longer find myself in this position: “Hi, I’m John, this is Ace, and this is Ace’s massive output of fecal matter – one of two loads he will likely dispense today. Would you care to get a drink sometime?”
Had I a poop valet, he could carry my social calendar as well, for I’m certain – once I stop toting poop through the neighborhood – I will make many friends who want to go out, especially if I’m wearing well-pressed shirts.
Without one, I fear becoming known as the guy who’s always walking through the neighborhood with a sack-o-you-know-what.
“Oh, Poop Bag Guy. Yeah, I’ve seen him. The one who’s always wearing a wrinkled shirt, right?”
“Yeah, that one. Have you ever seen him without poop?”
“Nope, he always has it by his side.”
Eventually people would start shouting at me from across the street: “Hey, Poop Bag Guy! Howyadoin?”
In the event some of you are taking this too seriously, let me point out that lugging his leavings is a small price to pay for having the world’s most fantastic dog. And that, though big dogs leave big droppings, the loads of joy they bring far outnumber them.
In the event you’re a company that just so happens to market a handsome, discrete, odor killing poop bag “caddy,” let me say I wish you success, but that to me bagging, re-bagging and de-bagging just seems like too much work, and that I’m not willing to pay money to avoid being embarrassed (though we’ll happily run your paid advertisement).
In the event you want to be my poop valet, feel free to stop by and pick up an application, but be aware I can’t pay for that, either. It would me more of an internship, really — interns being used to doing the sh … stuff … nobody else wants to do.
And, of course, you’d have to provide your own red vest.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 20th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, bag, bagging, baltimore, big dogs, caddy, clean up, courier, dog, dog walking, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, etiquette, feces, first impressions, garbage, home, impressions, john waters, large dogs, lawns, manners, neighborhood, pets, pick-up, poop, poop bag guy, poop valet, sack, scoop, self confidence, self esteem, shit, socializing, stinky, trash cans, travels with ace, walking dogs, waste, winston-salem
Being a Rottweiller-mastiff mix, he — as you’d expect — quickly surpassed the 100-pound mark, well over the weight limit imposed at the Florida apartment complex where his owner, Denise Wilkinson, lived.
She started searching for a new home for him, but, unable to find one by the landlord’s deadline, dropped him off at Pinellas County Animal Services, with plans to pick him back up when she found one.
On its website, the county said dogs are kept seven days there. In person, they told her 48 hours. In reality, they euthanized him before a day had passed.
When Wilkinson, a day after dropping him off, went to pick up her dog, she found out Sunny had been euthanized — within hours of being dropped off.
“He wasn’t sick; he wasn’t old. He still had a long life ahead of him,” Wilkinson told Tampa Bay Online.
Senior Animal Control Officer John Hohenstern said Sunny was aggressive and caused concerns about the safety of shelter workers. “It was determined that because of the aggression in the dog it was not an adoption candidate,” he said. “We couldn’t do anything with the dog.”
Hohenstern said that, despite the wording on the website, Wilkinson had initialed a paper stating she understood that the surrender was is unconditional: “Pinellas County Animal Services makes no promise, actual or implied, regarding holding time, treatment, adoption or disposition of this animal.” Hohenstern said the document initialed by Wilkinson superseded the website.
The county, Tampa Bay Online reports, has since changed the language on the website.
Hohenstern said with more animals being surrendered, possibly because of the economy, the animal control office encourages people to consider other options before dropping a dog there. “We try to … let them know this is kind of their last resort,” Hohenstern said. “They don’t want to do this.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 29th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animal control, animal services, animals, apartments, big dogs, denise wilkinson, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, florida, holding, landlords, limits, mastiff, pets, pinellas county, rentals, rescue, rottweiler, rules, shelter, size, sunny, surrender, weight limits
It has been more than a month since our extended road trip took us through Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish, where we reported on how cash-strapped fishing families were finding it hard to continue caring for their pets since the oil spill ruined their industry.
Now, we’re happy to report, more help has arrived, which could help stem the tide of people surrendering their dogs because they can no longer afford them.
Twenty tons of Kibbles ‘n Bits (for large dogs) – donated by Del Monte Foods and transported by Best Friends — was dropped off earlier this month.
Large dogs, you’ll recall, are numerous in the parish southeast of New Orleans because many residents used them to guard their properties while rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.
“The people who are coming in have big dogs,” says Beth Brewster, director of the St. Bernard Parish Animal Shelter. “They can’t afford to feed them.”
Brewster told Best Friends that many families picking up free dog food bring photos of their dogs with them, and share their dog’s story. “They have tears in their eyes. They’re very, very thankful,” she says. “It’s one less thing they have to worry about.”
The Louisiana SPCA has collaborated with Brewster and Best Friends, as a part of Best Friends’ First Home Forever Home campaign, and is setting up distribution sites, in St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Orleans and Jefferson parishes.
To get the food, residents fill out an application, present a commercial fishing license or proof that they work as charter boat operators or in another field affected by the spill.
“These families have not only lost their livelihoods, but also their way of life practically overnight. They shouldn’t have to face losing members of their families, too. It’s just too much to expect anybody to bear,” said Ellen Gilmore, campaign specialist for Best Friends’ First Home Forever Home.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aid, animal shelter, animals, assistance, best friends, beth brewster, big dogs, bits, bp, del monte, dog food, donation, economy, first home forever home, fishing, gulf, help, industry, katrina, kibble, louisiana, news, ohmidog!, oil, pets, spill, st. bernard parish
Locust Point Dog Park has announced designated hours for small, elderly or otherwise fragile dogs — 9 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. daily.
The new policy — now posted in signs at the park — will be self-policing, meaning that little dog people will have to ask the big dog people to leave in the event they are not following the rules.
The dog park committee also announced that Saturday’s “Pet Pictures with Santa” fundraiser — with City Councilman Ed Reisinger as Santa — raised $550 to help support the maintenance of the dog park. Baltimore City, though it helped build the park, does not pay for its maintenance. Clean-ups at the park take place on the second Saturday of each month, with the next one scheduled for Dec. 12 from 10:30 to noon. The dog park is closed during clean-ups, and volunteers are invited to pitch in.
If you missed getting your pet’s photo taken with Santa, there are more opportunities on the horizon. Canton Dog Park will be holding a similar fund-raising event on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 to noon.
Two more pet photos with Santa events are being held to raise money for BARCS Franky Fund for sick and injured animals. On Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 to noon at Federal Hill Park, and on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 to noon at Riverside Park.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: barcs, big dogs, canton dog park, christmas, clean up, dog parks, dogs, federal hill park, franky fund, fundraiser, large dogs, locust point, locust point dog park, maintenance, pets, photos, riverside park, santa, small dogs