It may make your dog look like he’s a mix of punk rocker and porcupine, but otherwise we won’t poke too much fun at this protective vest, aimed at keeping dogs — especially smaller ones — safe from coyotes and other predators.
It was designed and is being marketed by a San Diego couple that lost their dog to a coyote. They started the business last year.
“Our goal is to help prevent others from experiencing the heartbreak we suffered when our beloved Buffy was killed,” Paul and Pam Mott say on the website for the Coyote Vest.
The basic vest goes for $70. It is made of Kevlar and has a spiked collar area.
For another $20, you can get additional hard plastic spikes running down the sides of the vest. For another $20 you can get the attachable nylon, quill-like “whiskers,” designed to poke the face and eyes of any attacking predator.
And for $60 more, you can add on the “CoyoteZapper,” allowing you to use a remote device to send an electrical jolt to any creature that might be trying to run off with your small dog in its mouth.
“The CoyoteZapper utilizes a dog training collar capable of delivering a painful shock. But instead of shocking your dog in the neck, it shocks the coyote in the mouth,” the website says.
While marketed as coyote protection, the website points out that the vest, and zapper strips, can also protect your dog from dog park bullies — or even another larger dog at home that may not be treating the smaller one with proper respect.
“…Zapper Strips are attached to either side of the CoyoteVest in such a way that it is practically impossible for a larger dog to pick up your small dog without his mouth touching both of them at the same time. If you push the button on the remote to activate the shock module the voltage will be directed though the Zapper Strips directly into the mouth of the attacker. The shock is harmless, but painful enough to make the attacker let go.”
We’ve never been fans of zapping dogs with electricity, for whatever purpose, and using them as conductors thereof is a little problematic, too — though we’ll admit to briefly wondering whether similar protective wear might be effective in keeping school bullies at bay. (In reality, the outfit would likely only lead to more teasing.)
Effective as the Coyote Vest might be in saving a small dog from a coyote or hawk, we’re not sure — for similar reasons — whether the protective vest, or at least its attachments, belong in a dog park. It could end up drawing attention from curious dogs, including a few who might mistake your little one for a chew toy.
The Motts say the fully equipped vests do draw attention, at least from humans.
When they took their dogs Cody, Scooter and Sparky (yes, Sparky!) to the 2015 Carmel Poodle Day Parade dressed in their vests “everybody thought they were the most adorable ‘punk rock’ costumes created just for fun. They really are a lot cooler looking than we expected.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 2nd, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, armor, attacks, california, coyote, coyote vest, coyotes, coyotevest, dog, dogs, kevlar, pets, porcupine, predators, protection, protective, quills, safety, small dogs, spikes, vest, wildlife
Last week we scoffed at the whole Internet debate over dog pants — mainly over the idea that they should be debated at all, but also over the gone-viral graphic that showed a dog wearing pants that covered all four legs.
We should have done more research.
If there’s one thing we should have learned in eight years of dog-blogging, it’s that if there is any conceivable product for dogs that can be marketed to dog owners, no matter how ridiculous, it’s probably on the market.
Not that we’re calling these four-legged pants ridiculous.
Muddy Mutts allow a dog to walk or run through mud puddles without getting his legs or underside splattered
They go for $65 for extra extra small sizes, up to $95 for extra large.
They are held in place by suspender-like straps that loop over the dog’s back.
And, as for the issue that is at the forefront of most people’s minds when they consider dogs wearing pants, these do not cover up those areas that need to remain uncovered.
“Muddy Mutts are designed to allow both male and female dogs to do their ‘business,’” the website says.
Muddy Mutts were designed by a professional dog groomer in rural Ontario, Canada, who was looking for a way to keep dogs from getting so muddy when they go for walks.
They’ve undergone a couple of redesigns since first hitting the market in 2013.
So, not to reignite the whole dog pants debate or anything, but I’ve got to admit these four-legged pants make more sense than two-legged pants on a dog, which after all are doing only half the job — assuming the job is to protect the dog or keep him dry.
If your purpose for putting pants on a dog is only to make him look more human, our position remains the same:
Find a new hobby.
(Photos from Muddy Mutts; graphic from Facebook)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 5th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, canada, clothing, debate, dog, dogs, facebook, four legs, how should dogs wear pants, internet, meme, muddy mutts, ontario, pants, pets, protection, rain gear, two legs
Take a vulnerable colony of tiny penguins, throw in some villainous foxes intent on killing them all, and top it off with a heroic dog who comes to the rescue, and you’ve got a plot line that might make Walt Disney himself jump out of his grave (or freezer if you believe that tall tale).
This tale is based on a true one, though — how the little penguins of Middle Island, off the coast of Australia, saw their population drop from more than 800 to less than five before a local farmer suggested a dog on the island could keep the foxes away.
It may be a feelgood movie now — and how could it not be given it features penguins (everybody’s favorite animal) and dogs (everybody’s favorite animal) — but the story, when first widely publicized, was a nightmarish one.
The penguins had already all but disappeared from Australia’s mainland by then. Once common along Australia’s southern coast, the flightless birds began diminishing in number after red foxes were imported for sport hunting in the 19th century.
Before long, the only surviving little penguins– once known as fairly penguins — were to be found on islands.
In the late 1990’s, tidal patterns and increasing sedimentation began to make small and uninhabited Middle Island accessible from the shore, and the foxes took advantage of the island’s easy prey — even when those seeking to preserve the penguins experimented with various solutions, including building shelters for the birds on the island.
The 2004 incident, labeled a “massacre” by the local press, led to some serious consideration of a solution that had been proposed by a local chicken farmer.
The farmer, who goes by the name Swampy Marsh, had offered to send one of his Maremma dogs to the island to protect the birds.
Named for the region northwest of Rome where they originated, the dogs were bred to live among livestock. While vigilant and territorial, they are generally amiable toward people they know and the animals they are trained to protect.
In 2006, the first Maremma, named Oddball, was sent to the island. Since then Middle Island’s penguin population has rebounded to 150, and not one has been lost to a fox, according to a New York Times article last month.
Oddball is retired now, and six other dogs have taken over patrolling the island, including the most recent two, Eudy and Tula.
The dogs operate in the penguin’s breeding season, usually from October to March, during which they spend five or six days a week on the island.
Even when the dogs are not there, their lingering scent of them is enough to keep the foxes away — even though the penguins have quite a scent of their own.
“Penguins don’t smell particularly nice,” Peter Abbott, manager of tourism services for the Warrnambool City Council, told the Times. “They look cute and cuddly, but they smell like dead fish.” The dogs are taught to defend the penguins as they commonly do with other kind of livestock.
Local groups managing the project recently raised more than $18,000 online to buy and train two new Maremma pups, and the new movie has given their efforts a boost.
The movie focuses on Oddball, portraying her as a mischievous sort who spent most of her time trying to stay one step ahead of the local dogcatcher. Then she is given a mission — protecting the penguins — redeeming herself and saving the colony.
The real Oddball is 14 now, and spends most of her time under Marsh’s house — not to avoid celebrity seekers, but because she likes it there.
“She comes out when she wants to,” Marsh said.
(Photos: Penguin photo from animalspot.net; Photo of Peter Abbott with Eudy and Tula on Middle Island by Rob Gunstone / Queensland Country Life)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 15th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, australia, dog, dogs, dogs and penguins, environment, fairy penguins, foxes, island, little penguins, maremma, middle island, oddball, penguins, predators, protection, species, swampy marsh, Warrnambool
A dog cemetery that goes back to Aztec times has been uncovered beneath an old apartment building in Mexico City.
Archaeologists announced the discovery Friday and said that — while the remains of dogs have been found in Aztec ruins before — this is the first time a group of dogs has been found buried together at one site.
The 12 dogs were buried around the same time in a small pit between 1350 a 1520 A.D., according to the Associated Press.
Aztecs believed dogs could guide human souls into a new life after death, and it was not uncommon for dogs to be buried under monuments under the thinking their spirits would provide protection.
The team of archaeologists determined when the dogs were buried through ceramics and other items found in nearby pits under the apartment building in the populous Mexico City borough of Aztacapozalco.
Archaeologist Rocio Morales Sanchez said digging deeper could help reveal why the dogs were buried there.
Experts with Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, or INAH, called the find “exceptional.”
Archaeologist Antonio Zamora, who works at the excavation site, said a biologist told the team the remains belonged to medium-sized dogs, likely Techichi dogs, a breed believed to be an ancestor of the Chihuahua, and Xoloitzcuintlis.
(Photo: Courtesy of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 17th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: apartment, archaeologists, archaeology, aztacapozalco, aztec, aztecs, breeds, building, burial ground, buried, canine, cemetery, chihuahua, discovery, dog, dogs, mexico, mexico city, protection, remains, ruins, science, souls, spirits, Techichi, together, Xoloitzcuintlis
For any family that has feared their dog might not adjust to a new human baby in the house, here’s a story that shows dog and babies can, and usually do, mix quite well — and that dogs might not be the biggest worry.
It was a 22-year-old babysitter who was abusing Finn, the seven-month-old son of a South Carolina couple.
It was the family dog, Killian, who helped catch her.
Benjamin and Hope Jordan moved to Charleston last year, and, after a background check, hired a babysitter to help care for their son.
After a few months, they began noticing that Killian behaved strangely when the babysitter arrived.
“We started to notice that our dog was very protective of our son when she would come in the door,” Jordan told Live 5 News. “He was very aggressive towards her and a few times we actually had to physically restrain our dog from going towards her.”
Based on that, the parents decided to leave an iPhone under the couch and record what was going on while they were at work.
When they listened to the audio recording that night, they heard cussing, slaps and crying.
“It started with cussing,” Jordan said. “Then you hear slap noises and his crying changes from a distress cry to a pain cry. I just wanted to reach through the audio tape, go back in time and just grab him up … To know that five months I had handed my child to a monster, not knowing what was going on in my house for that day…”
Charleston City Police arrested Alexis Khan a few weeks later. She pleaded guilty to assault and battery earlier this month in Charleston County Circuit Court and was sentenced to one to three years in prison.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, arrest, baby, babysitter, behavior, child, child abuse, conviction, dog, dogs, finn, killian, pets, protection, protective, south carolina
Paws4ever is holding its 8th annual Walk for Animal Protection next month.
The event raises funds for the guaranteed-adoption animal shelter and sanctuary, located on 50 acres in western Orange County, N.C.
Paws4ever is dedicated to improving the lives of cats and dogs through adoption, training and education.
The event starts at noon on Oct. 6, with the 2-mile walk scheduled to start at 2 p.m. It is held at Southern Village in Chapel Hill.
Other activities include live music, agility and flyball demonstrations, a blessing of the animals, over 20 vendor booths and performances by the Paws4ever Canine Drill Team.
Walkers pledge $30 and kids under 10 are free. Each walker receives a gift and all proceeds benefit the lifesaving work at Paws4ever.
Paws4ever’s Waggin Wagon, the only food truck for dogs will also be on site.
Here’s where you can pre-register.
The walk is hosted by Southern Village and sponsors include Animal Hospital of Carrboro, Auto Logic, Carrboro Plaza Veterinary Clinic, Chapel Hill Mobile Veterinary Housecalls, Copperline Books, East Coast Veterinary Imaging, Erickson Advisors, Falconbridge Animal Hospital, Hillsborough Veterinary Clinic, Lucky Dogs Daycare and Grooming, Phydeaux and Saratoga Grill.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cats, chapel hill, dog, dogs, event, fundraiser, north carolina, orange county, paws4ever, pets, protection, sanctuary, shelter, southern village, walk, walk for animal protection
This ad for Trifexis depicts a dog living in a bubble — albeit it one that’s outside and has plenty of tubes to run around in.
It serves to protect him from heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, flea infestations and all those other frightening hazards that exist in that place where dogs, for centuries, managed to survive:
What we find most interesting about it, though, are the disclaimers, which seem to have risen with doggie prescription drugs to the same level they have with human ones, where three-fourths of the advertisement are devoted to a listing of potential scary side effects, quickly recited in monotone, in hopes you — or your dog — won’t really hear them.
With Trifexis, it goes like this: “Treatment with fewer than three monthly doses after the last exposure to mosoquitoes may not provide complete heartworm prevention. The most common adverse reactions were vomiting, itching and lethargy. Serious adverse reactions have been reported following concomitant extra-label use of ivermectin with spinosad alone, one of the components of Trifexis.”
On top of the warnings recited, more appear in small print during the ad:
“To ensure parasite protection, observe your dog for one hour after administration.”
“If vomiting occurs within an hour of administration, give another full dose.”
“Puppies less than 14 weeks of age may experience a higher rate of vomiting.”
In their print ads, the makers of Trifexis additionally advise the drug be used with caution in breeding females, and in dogs with epilepsy. Its use in breeding males has not been evaluated. Print ads also list lethargy, depression, decreased appetite and diarrhea as possible side effects.
The chewable, beef-flavored tablets — administered once a month — are a combination of spinosad and milbemycin oxime, and they serve to prevent heartworm disease, kill fleas and prevent infestations and treat hookworm, roundworm and whipworm infections.
The tagline for the ad is “You don’t have to go to extremes to protect your dog from parasites.”
Apparently you do, though, if you’re selling prescription drugs — for canines or humans — to protect your ass from lawsuits.
To see all our “Woof in Advertising” posts, click here.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, appetite, bubble, canine, caution, chewable, depression, diarrhea, disclaimers, disease, dog, dogs, drugs, environment, fleas, health, heartworm, hookworm, human, infections, itching, lethargy, loss, mosquitoes, parasites, pets, prescription, prevention, protection, roundworm, safety, side effects, tablets, trifexis, tube, veterinarians, veterinary, vomiting, warning, whipworm