The November News letter is finally here! University Canine Learning Academy has been busy at work and we can't believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner and the rains are here! Keep yourselves safe and dry, and please remember, we are fast approaching the time of year when Giardia is most prevalent. Standing water is not your friend. Please see our October newsletter for more information.

Looking for a fun night out? This Friday November 20th, 6 - 9pm will be the UCLA Dogs Autumn Art Festival! Check out the details.

We're sure everyone heard about the alleged dog attacks that reportedly took place in late September at Magnuson Dog Park - For the whole story, read here! Written and submitted by Stormi King, CCS, UCLA Dogs' most recent addition.

From the Dog Training Files...
Sit Pretty - Teach Fifi to Sit Up for Supper!
Linda McVay CCS

Goal: Your dog lifts her front paws off the floor but keeps her rump down. The classic Disney begging pose.

Ask Rover to sit, place a piece of bait over her head luring her nose up, then click and reward. Repeat a few times to get your dog comfortable with this new behavior. Okay, now it's time to pull the bait away from her nose just a little, but keep the bait directly in front of her nose. Too far over her head and she'll start to tip over. Your dog has never had to balance on her haunches before and it may take a while, so be patient. Any movement of the front paws lifting off the floor... click and reward. Repeat a few times before you begin moving the bait a little higher. Take baby steps and be sure you click when your pup's rump is firmly grounded or you may have a “pop up” dog and not a “sit pretty” dog!

Perhaps your dog won't lift her feet off the ground. Have you moved too fast? Is your dog in any pain? She may be reluctant to lift her feet off the ground because it puts pressure on her hips and causes discomfort. If you suspect this is the case, stop and check with your vet before tying this behavior again.
If your dog is hand-shy she may be nervous about hands moving over the top of her head. So begin this trick by placing your hand with a piece of bait in it a little further away from her and any movement toward your hand is clicked and rewarded. When she is actively excited about seeing your hand appear near her head you can begin to slowly move it up and over. There can be no rushing through this process with a hand-shy pup; it will only slow you down and cause your dog undue stress. This is about fun and camaraderie.

Maybe your dog can only hold it for a second or two. Great, you're well on your way to hamming it up at parties! But it takes a little while for your pup to learn to balance herself and it also takes some time for the muscles to get strong enough around her middle section.

How can you resist when he asks so nicely?



What could this little guy's trainer to to improve his Sit Pretty?

Woof News!

University Canine Learning Academy is proud to announce two recent graduates of dogTEC's Dog Walker's Academy, held in San Francisco: our own Linda McVay and Andrea Stone! Veronica Boutelle, owner of dogTEC and one of the main instructors at "DWA", was formerly the Director of Behavior and Training at the SF/SPCA, home of the renowned Dog Trainer's Academy. "The Academy" was headed up by dog training greats such as Dr. Jean Donaldson and Janis Bradley. It is a great learning experience to work with Veronica, and her body language expert, Kim Moeller CTC.

While there, in addition to going through this comprehensive workshop, Andrea and Linda were certified in Pet CPR and First Aid. Now your dogs are safer than before at UCLA Dogs!

Autumn Art Festival
Friday November 20th
6pm to 9pm

You are invited to UCLA Dogs' first Autumn Art Festival! This event is for humans only (sorry pups!) but promises to be fun for all. There will be several artists displaying their work, including some of our talented alumni! Natasha Lewandrowski, mixed media artist; Bethany Woodward, charcoals; Jamie Pflughoeft, photographer will be among the talented artists to be shown. There will be some refreshments, and some of the work may even be available for purchase or commission.

Also in attendance will be Nicole of Immortal Dog. Some of her fantastic wares will be available at her display in the studio. We'd also like to congratulate her on her recent and highly successful Yappy Hour! Way to go, Nicole!

Local Hoax Brings Up an Important Issue
Stormi King CCS

As many dog owners are aware by now, there were recently signs hung at Magnuson Dog Park about an alleged fatal attack that occurred in the park. KOMO-4 news then ran a leading 6 o'clock story on these signs, interviewing a friend of the alleged owner of the victimized dog, who told the news what she had heard.
Through talking with direct sources, including local veterinarians, witnesses who were at the park that day, Seattle Animal Control, and the vet tech who KOMO originally interviewed, it has been proven that these alleged attacks are false. Via information gathered from the owner's friends, family, and the rescue from which she adopted her dogs, it appears her dog was in fact killed by a vehicle due to owner negligence and was not even at the dog park on that day. There were also rumors that two huskies were attacked and injured by the same mystery dogs a week later. These claims were also proved false. Although these attacks turned out to be a hoax, the concerns surrounding this story bring up an important issue of which all dog owners should be aware: safety at the dog park.

If you do frequent a dog park, be aware that they are a use-at-your-own-risk convenience, in which there are many different dogs with different socialization histories and many different owners who have varying opinions about appropriate play. Always keep an eye on your dog. Be aware with whom your dog is playing and what their body language is telling you. Just like people, dogs can get annoyed with their playmates from time to time. Often when they say, “Hey knock it off!” we humans tend to interpret it as an aggressive act. If play gets too rough, separate the dogs and allow for a few moments of cool off time. If another dog is bullying yours, try moving to a different part of the dog park or leaving the park all together. It’s much better to cut play time short than leave things to chance if you are uncomfortable.

Although we’d like to think it’s so, not all dogs who go to the dog park are properly vaccinated or in good health. Being sure your dog is up-to-date on his vaccinations can greatly reduce the chances of his catching something harmful. Keep a close eye on your dog and what he or she picks up off the ground. Standing water can often build up bacteria, so if hoses are available be sure to refresh the water dish before allowing your dog to drink from it. Most dog parks have rules posted regarding age, health, collars, behavior, and sometimes even size of the dog. These rules are in place to ensure the safety of you, your dog and everyone else at the park. Follow them!

Most importantly, always be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye on your dog and the other dogs around you. If you see a scuffle break out in which injuries occur, call Animal Control and let them know what you have witnessed. Give as much detail as you can. If there are other witnesses, exchange contact information with them and the owner(s) of the injured dog(s). If anyone has a camera (most cell phones today do) take photos of any injuries incurred by any dog or human victims.

We all want our local parks to be safe for everyone. Irresponsible behavior, be it a dog or human, is not to be tolerated. Never be afraid to report anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Seattle Animal Control can be reached at (206)386.7387, and press 7 to speak to the dispatch officer.

If you happen to own a dog that could be mistaken for a “bully breed” (the definition of “Pit Bull” is very loose in many jurisdictions) that attends the dog park, be aware that there have been two reported incidents of innocent bully breed look-alike dogs that have been kicked by fellow park goers as a result of this alleged story. Breed of dog is not always as easy to recognize as one might think, so extra caution should be taken by all owners in this regard. Here’s a little quiz to illustrate. Can you identify the pit bull out of photos below?

What do we have in common?
It may not be what you think.

Guess what: Not a single one of the dogs pictured is an American Pit Bull Terrier or a mix thereof. In fact, only one even contains a “molosser” breed dog in his pedigree. It’s easy to see how any one of them could be mistaken as a Pit, though, right? So help keep your dog and those of your fellow park goers safe by focusing on the behavior of dogs in play, rather than their heritage.

Dog parks can be fantastic places for your dog to play with his doggy friends and get some of that endless energy out as long as you are proactive about the safety ofyou and your dog.

Picture 1: Australian Shepherd/Lab cross  Picture 2: Shar Pei/Lab   Picture 3: Vizsla/Rottweiler


Do you have a "real life" dog training story or recent success you'd like to share? Email us!

Have a friend you think might enjoy the Newsletter? Please forward the link to them and suggest they sign up!

Please check out some of our upcoming classes!

We have lots of new services available now, including puppy and small dog daycare, daycamp and holiday shopping "puppy sitting". Check out the website, email or call us for more information!

Puppy Kindergarten - Starts Wednesday, November 18th.
Sign up online right away or call 206-708-3297 for information

Puppy PreSchool - Starts Saturday December 5th

Drop-In Class - December 5th - Do you just need to brush up on one or two behaviors? Need tips on how to perfect that heel or get better distance on a down? RSVP for the Drop-In class, first Saturday of every month (except on holidays).

Introduction to Conformation - December 4th. This class is unique, unlike any other conformation class in the Seattle area. If you or someone you know is interested in showing their dog, this is the class!

Puppy Play Groups - FREE every Sunday at 12:45pm. Play is limited to 12 dogs, so it's first come first served. Please do check the website for updates, as we are closed for major holidays. Starting in the new year, there will be a $5 charge for Puppy Play.

Small Dog Play Groups - Every Monday, 7:15pm. Small dog play is limited to 8 dogs under 30lb, and is likewise closed on major holidays.

Daycare and Daycamp - UCLA Dogs is now offering daycamp for puppies, as well as daycare for puppies and small dogs under 30lb.

Please see our schedule for more classes and information!

Newsletter Archive
We have a lot of great information in our past newsletters - don't let them pass you by! To view, click the appropriate month.

October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009