The Scoop 

Official Newsletter of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers

"The CCPDT exists to be the industry leader in defining and maintaining competency in the dog training and behavior profession."


January/February 2014


In this issue

Certificants Bark Back

Message From the President

Barks from the Board -Introducing the CCPDT Public Member

Trainer Spotlight: Amie Glasgow, CPDT-KA

Call For Case Studies

Call for Legal Beagles

Contest! Contest! Contest!

Humane Hierarchy

Industry News

Dear Certificant,

So, it's another New Year; time to renew and reinvigorate. My business slows down markedly for several weeks over the holidays. Coming at the end of a very busy year the timing is perfect - right when I am feeling so drained that I want to go live on a desert island somewhere I get a lovely break. I welcome this slow season, and if your business cycle is like mine, you might be feeling the same way.

In the early 1990's, when I was working as Director of Operations for the Marin Humane Society (Novato, California) I got hooked on the Franklin Planner system. One of the things it had you do was create goals for yourself. In fact, when I look back through my old planner I see:

1. Obtain a 4-year degree in Business Administration by 10/97. Done: 5/18/96  

2. Recertify for Euthanasia by 9/1/93. Done: 3/22/94 

3. Learn to speak basic Spanish by 7/1/94. Done: 8/97 

4. Publish a book by 7/1/96. Done: 2001

Okay, so I didn't get them all done within the exact time frame I set out for myself, but the point is, I got them done.

I stopped using the Franklin system after I left Marin, but have held fast onto the idea of goal-setting. I find it really does help motivate me to get things accomplished. At the end of every year instead of making New Year's Resolutions, I create New Year's Goals - personal and professional. Here are some of mine for 2014:

1. Update reading lists for all academies by 1/31/14 

2. Finish next phase of "Do As I Do" training with Bonnie by 3/1/14 

3. Ride a horse at least once a week for the entire year of 2014 

4. Develop a new Level 3 Academy curriculum for 2015 by 9/1/14 

5. Freshen my marketing strategy by 4/30/2014

Do you, too, take this time to set your sights on concrete accomplishments for the coming year? If you do, send a few of yours to We'll pick some to print in the Scoop. 


Warm Woofs,   


Pat Miller, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA
Scoop Editor


(and Bonnie) 


Certificants Bark Back




To the Scoop, 


Re: Your November/December Column on R+ for Humans



I was compelled to write and thank you for what you wrote in the newsletter about incorporating positive reinforcement in all aspects of life.  This is a long standing personal goal of mine that can get so easily bogged down by all the negativity out there.  In my work it is the high priority not just reinforcing the dogs but almost even MORE importantly the people.  In my personal life it extends to my husband and my son has been a wonderful teaching tool for me to remind me that when you focus only on the negative it can bring the human spirit down, on both ends, the giver and receiver.  Then to take it a step further it extends out to the broader spheres of my influence which would be really anyone I come into contact with in life whether close friends or acquaintances or complete strangers. Definitely a challenge to remind ourselves of this each day to put it into action, but thank you for highlighting it since it really has to become a way of life, not something we just pick and choose to do based on potential outcomes or agendas.


Thanks :)





Cathy Bruce, CPDT-KA, CNWI 

APDT C.L.A.S.S. Evaluator/ Instructor 

K9 Nose Work® Certified Instructor


IAABC Associate
AKC Evaluator
VSPDT Member
(678) 982-7228


Thank you, Cathy, for incorporating positive reinforcement in all aspects of your life. No doubt the people around you benefit from that, 




I completely agree that as we try to shape behaviors in humans, we forget all about the learning principles that we put into practice when we are shaping behaviors in our dogs.  So, here are a few of the things I have found myself saying to reinforce my human students:



- Nice leash work. You are keeping just the right amount of slack in the leash.

- You are doing a great job of allowing your dog to hunt independently

- I can tell that you are really starting to read your dog's body language well


Puppy Soc

- Very nice work on that recall

- You are doing a great job of reading the level of play and interrupting before it has a chance to escalate

- I can tell you've been working hard at home. Your puppy has made a lot of progress with...

- Nice job on calling only once!



- Nice timing on your reward

- Great job remembering to release


Here is what I find to be key.  For the praise to be effective, it has to be specific and easy to assimilate as our students try hard to focus on their dogs, what their hands and feet are doing, where the treats are and then what I am saying on top of all that. So, I try to keep it short.  I also try to say the person's name at the beginning so they will know that they should pay attention to the rest of what I am saying.  So, any of the above may actually sound like: Susan, nice job on that recall; Amy good timing on your click; John, great focus with Buster.


Best regards,




Diana Wilkins, MA, CPDT-KA

Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant

APDT Professional Member

Certified UKI, USDAA Agility Judge

In Harmony with Dogs



Well done, Diana - thanks for your comments - great suggestions for positive training feedback! 

Message From the President

by Bradley Phifer CBCC-KA CPDT-KSA

President, CCPDT


President's letter - January 2014 


The CCPDT is a professional certification body. Our primary focus is the assessment of professional dog trainers and behavior consultants; independent of any provider of classes, courses, or programs.

In a non-licensed profession such as dog training, professional certification is a voluntary process. There are a number of assessment-based certificate programs available to dog trainers where we can earn a certificate, and the ability to use the organization's acronym, once we have successfully completed the course of study. The primary focus of an assessment-based certificate program is on the provision of education/training, with assessment(s) being used to confirm that participants have achieved the intended learning outcomes.

As a professional certification body, the CCPDT grants time-limited recognition and use of our credential to individuals who have demonstrated that they have met predetermined and standardized criteria for the required knowledge, skills, or competencies in the area of dog training and behavior consulting. Once an individual has earned the credential they are classified as a certificant. This too is sometimes confusing, with people referring to themselves as a member of the CCPDT.


The distinction between members vs. certificants is that professional and trade associationshave "members."  The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) would be such an example.  As long as you support the mission of the organization and pay the designated dues, you may join.  If you continue to pay dues annually, you continue to be a member.  Professional or trade associations usually offer member benefits such as discounts and educational events.


You cannot simply have an interest in dog training or behavior consulting in order to become a certificant of the CCPDT.  You must first demonstrate proficiency in the profession by passing an assessment.  There are no annual dues. And you cannot decide arbitrarily that you want to continue to be a certificant. Instead, a certificant must meet the requirements for recertifcation in order to retain the credential.


Although the CCPDT does offer some benefits, such as this newsletter, its primary purpose is notto offer tangible benefits to our certificants. Our primary purpose is to independently assess the knowledge and skills of professionals, and to provide the public with a recognizable way to identify proficient dog trainers and behavior consultants.


Happy Holidays 



Bradley Phifer CBCC-KA, CPDT-K SA 







Bradley Phifer CBCC-KA CPDT-KSA

President, CCPDT




Barks From the Board 

Introducing the CCPDT Public Member 



The CCPDT recently appointed a Public Member to its Board of Directors.


 Why have a Public Member on the Board?  First, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which accredits certification programs, requires it.  But public members are becoming more common in both the corporate and non-profit worlds and they provide a valuable perspective from outside the organization.


In its simplest definition the public member is there to represent the interests of the public!


The NCCA standards define a public member as "A representative of the consumers of services provided by a defined certificant population serving as a voting member of the governing body of a certification program." The public member cannot now or previously have been a member of the dog training or behavior consulting profession; cannot be an employer or employee of individuals in the dog training or behavior consulting profession; cannot be an employee of any certification organization; and cannot have worked in a consulting capacity to CCPDT. In other words, the Public Member must be totally independent and able to bring a truly unbiased viewpoint to the table. 


Public members can play one or more roles:


-        Advocate for the views of the users of your certificants' services

-        Advocate for the interests of the public

-        Add viewpoints to the board discussion which are free of bias within the profession

-        Provide a measure of public protection


The CCPDT Public Member has all of the rights of other Board members. She can fully participate in Board activities and discussion and is allowed to vote on all matters that come before the Board.


We have found that in Jan Wyatt, PhD, RN our new Public Member. Jan has helped raise CCPDT awareness about a number of policy issues and provided the perspective of the dog owning community in our discussion. Over the past 20 years Jan and her husband Ed have lived with two adopted rescue dogs and hope to add a Fox Hound to their family soon.  Jan has been involved in non-profit governance and management for a number of years.  She currently serves on the national Board of Directors of the Arthritis Foundation and is especially interested in the high incidence of arthritis in dogs.    Jan retired as the CEO of the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board in 2011 and is pleased to be able to offer her expertise regarding certification operations.  We are truly delighted to have Jan as part of our leadership team.


Trainer Spotlight:

Amie Glasgow, CPDT-KA by  

Monique Williams, CPDT-KA, NADOI, OSCT 


My name is Amie Glasgow, CPDT-KA, and I'm the Head Trainer and Behavior Consultant for the Maryland SPCA.  I handle group classes and private lessons in basic skills and dog reactivity, as well as doing phone/email consultations for the public and behavior work with both cats and dogs in the shelter.  I share my home with two pit bulls, twelve cats, a tortoise, a snake and an extremely patient man.


1. What was the first animal you remember training?
Cats and dogs all around my neighborhood.  I was always that kid at all the neighborhood birthday parties who was sitting in the corner making friend with the household pets rather than playing party games.  I still am!

2.What factors most influenced your decision to become a professional dog trainer?
I stumbled into the science of it on my own.  I'd found a pit bull - one of those dogs who mellows only slightly after a six mile hike - and started doing classes  with him to keep his mind happy.  We started with old-fashioned sports dog trainers who insisted on prong collars and I went along because I didn't know any better.  But I couldn't get him to stop leaning on me when I was trying to teach him to heel, and on a whim I grabbed a clicker and taught him how to do it correctly by myself in a weekend.  From then I was hooked and I started soaking up knowledge like a sponge.  It 
was horrifying for me to learn all the things I'd done to my love that I didn't need to do, all because an "expert" told me, and I vowed I'd never listen to someone "just because" again - I need to know for myself.  Now I strongly encourage that same attitude in my clients!


3. What influenced you to become a CPDT-KA?  Do you plan to maintain your certification when it is time to renew?  Why?
I really hesitated before I decided to get certified to begin with - the price alone is intimidating, and I wasn't sure how much it really mattered.  But there's been a huge upsurge of uneducated "trainers" in my area, and I just felt like I needed something beyond "he said/she said" to back up my knowledge.  I was surprised by how pleased I was to get that certificate in the mail!  I'll definitely maintain certification - I take as many courses and seminars as I can anyway, so now I'm able to put those CEUs to good use.


4. Do you have a training specialty?
I'm the Head Trainer for the Maryland SPCA, but shelter animals aren't just the major portion of my job, they're my passion.  Fearful/shy dogs are some of my favorites to work with, because I get such inspiration from watching them forgive and move forward.  Courage like that can really be contagious!  I have a thank you card on my desk from someone whose dog I brought into our shelter from another facility, worked with while he was here, and then the family came back after he was adopted and took classes from me.  It's so amazing to have such an ongoing relationship with a dog and to get to see him blossom in his forever home.


5. What have you found to be the most effective form of marketing for your business? 
Probably the shelter's Facebook page - people see a post about classes starting, and can either follow a link to our website or easily share the information with friends.

6. What is your greatest challenge as a dog training business owner-marketing, time management...?
There aren't enough hours in the day to take all the classes I want to take and still work with all the customers and animals I want to work with.  It's especially hard when I've been burning that candle at both ends and I need a break, but the phone keeps ringing and the e-mail keeps alerting.  It's also really hard to keep up the work on my own dogs.  I'm very lucky they're as terrific as they are!


7. What are the most common training or behavior issues you solve for your clients?
Easily the most common two issues I have are leash reactivity and multi-animal relationships in the home.  I have multiple animals (and species) in my own home as well, so I really enjoy those questions - which is fortunate!

8. What mistake do you think is most common for dog owners to make?
Not seeing the small picture.  Yep, you read that right.  I think people get so focused on the final target that they miss seeing their smaller successes.  I try to remind students to celebrate those three steps in heel instead of wishing the dog could walk five miles like that.  Each tiny increment is a win to be celebrated!

9. What is your favorite tool in your training toolbox?

Humor & empathy.  People are usually embarrassed that their pets aren't "perfect."  I can't tell you how many people avoid eye contact and start to mutter when they tell me their dogs sleep in bed with them.  I like to get them laughing about silly misconceptions, and let them know that they're okay - your dog doesn't have to be perfect to deserve your love.  Force-free training can do so much for a relationship, not the least of which is turning the "trainer" into someone who really appreciates creative quirks in the learner!  (and yes, my dogs sleep in bed with me, too)

10. Is there a different animal you would like to train?  Or a training specialty you would like to learn?

Is a giraffe out of the question?  I've worked with horses, cats, and dogs.  I do have a tortoise that I'm slowly getting to know - any suggestions for turtle tricks?


11. What activities do you enjoy with your own dogs?
Work is so busy, my time with my dogs is all about easy-going fun.  I did really enjoy agility classes, but now that they're older, I love to go out in the woods and just hike for several miles, and let them sniff to their hearts content.  No one knows how to de-stress like a dog!



Networking News 

Update on the Central Florida Force-Free Dog Trainers Network

 by Terry Cuyler, CPDT-KA   




The Central Florida Force-Free Dog Trainers Network is growing by leaps and bounds! Group members are thrilled, as it gives them a larger presence of positive trainers in Central Florida.

It can be very challenging to get the whole group together - people have other jobs or full-time jobs. That said, they are excited to report that they have acquired their own booth, and for the very first time will be

going to a large dog event - Paws in the Park - in February. 


Some of the members have been hard at work facilitating a "Dog Speak" seminar and presenting it to doggie day care and veterinary professionals and at schools. The goal of this program is to help pet owners - adults and kids

- to learn about how dogs communicate, in order to keep everyone - dogs and humans - safer and happier!


We are looking for more trainer networking groups that our certificants are members of to highlight in this column each issue of Scoop. If you are a member of a trainer networking group and would like to be included in Scoop, please let us know at:




Call For Case Study Submissions 


We are seeking case studies from certificants to publish in alternate issues of Scoop.  Authors of cases selected for publication will be paid 15 cents per word. You can refer back to the January/February issue for details on how to present your case study. Here are some brief tips:


1. Respect client confidentiality. Do not include client or dog names. You may "change the names to protect the innocent" if you would like to be able to refer to client or dog throughout the article.

2. Article should be 1,000 to 1,500 words.

3. Protocols utilized for training or behavior modification should follow the Humane Hierarchy as described elsewhere in this newsletter.

4. Article should include an outcome - at least far enough into the modification program to describe the effect of the intervention/protocol.

5. Submitted articles will be peer reviewed and may or may not be selected for publication. 

6. Submit to:

7. Authors of articles selected for publication will be paid at a rate of $.15 per word. Payment will be made following actual publication.

8. Deadline for submission for Jan/Feb issue is December 1, 2013. 


 The Legislative Committee Update
Call for Legal Beagles


The CCPDT is pleased to report that several certificants have stepped forward to be Legal Beagles in their communities. We now have volunteers working in:



Jami LoVullo, CPDT-KA 

Pasadena, CA 



Audrey Tucker, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KSA, CMT

Newington, CT



Nancy Driver, CPDT-KA, KPA, CTP
Minneapolis, MN  



Christine Vaught, CPDT-KA

Carson City, NV



Wanda Woodworth, CPDT-KA

Little Elm, TX 


The Legislative Committee is still looking for volunteers who are willing to track legislation in their states that are relevant to the dog training and behavior profession. We would like to have at least one volunteer in every state - still plenty of room for more!  


If you have any questions about the Legislative Committee, are interested in being on the committee, or are interested in/would like more information about being a Legal Beagle for yourstate, please contact the Legislative Committee Chair (that's me!):


Pat Miller, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA

Chair, Legislative Committee



Contest! Contest! Contest! Contest! Contest! 


Welcome to our Scoop contest - a word-find puzzle. Last issue's challenge was to find  16 words printed in purple and make them into the *correct* sentence. We had 32 entries last month - 29 correct ones. The winner of last issue's contest and recipient of a $25 Dogwise gift certificate is: Pat Engel, CPDT-KA owner of Co-Pilot Dog Training in Sebastapol, California.  Congratulations, Pat!


 The correct sentence was:  


"No one in your family will ever be as forgiving of your mistakes as your dog."


Pat also identified the author correctly as Susan Hyde.


In this issue there are 17 words in purple (not counting the words in this box). Same challenge, different sentence.  Send your entry to: Entry deadline is February 15, 2013. One entry per person. Contest open to CCPDT certificants only. 

Winner of the 
January/February contest will receive a $25 gift certificate to DogWise (WooHoo!!)

The Humane Hierarchy


Here is the oft-referred to Humane Hierarchy (from our website - ) to which our certificants are expected to adhere:


Purpose: This position statement serves to guide certificants of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) in the decision making process during dog training and behavior modification. Additionally, it will assist dog owners and dog care professionals in understanding the standard of care to be applied in the dog training industry in determining training practices and methodologies and the order of implementation for applying those training practices and methodologies.


Position of the CCPDT: The standard of care for CCPDT certificants is that the Humane Hierarchybe used when making decisions regarding training protocols and behavior interventions. This use should occur regardless of whether the certificant is performing the training or setting up a protocol for the dog owner or another professional to implement.


The Humane Hierarchy, as adopted by the CCPDT, is as follows:


Hierarchy of Procedures for Humane and Effective Practices


1. Health, Nutritional, and Physical Factors:

The certificant should ensure that any indicators for possible medical, nutritional, or health factors are addressed by a licensed veterinarian. The certificant should also ensure that potential factors in the physical environment are addressed. 


2. Antecedents:  

The certificant should redesign setting events, change motivations, and add or remove discriminative stimuli (cues) for the problem behavior.


3. Positive Reinforcement:  

The certificant should employ approaches that contingently deliver a consequence to increase the probability that the right behavior will occur, which is more reinforcing than the problem behavior.


4. Differential Reinforcement of Alternate Behavior:  

The certificant should reinforce an acceptable replacement behavior and remove the maintaining reinforcer for the problem behavior.


5. Negative Punishment, Negative Reinforcement, or Extinction

(these are not listed in any order of preference):

a. Negative Punishment - The certificant should contingently withdraw a positive reinforcer to reduce the probability that the problem behavior will occur.

b. Negative Reinforcement - The certificant should contingently withdraw an aversive antecedent stimulus to increase the probability that the right behavior will occur.


c. Extinction - The certificant should permanently remove the maintaining reinforcer to suppress the behavior or reduce it to baseline levels.


6. Positive Punishment: The certificant should contingently deliver an aversive consequence to reduce the probability that the problem behavior will occur.


Please direct any questions regarding this standard of care to our administrator



Industry News
by Laura Roach, CPDT-KA 


Trainer Convicted of Animal Abuse Sentenced to Jail - Winchester, VA


Friday, December 6, 2013 - A courtroom packed with spectators watched as Frederick County Circuit Court Judge Clifford Athey sentenced Russell Ebersole, owner of Aberdeen Acres Pet Care Center to two years in jail,  followed by four years probation, during which time he is not allowed to have contact with animals.  The judge also ordered him to pay a $10,000 fine. 

Ebersole was found guilty for cases involving: Flash, a bloodhound that was kicked by Ebersole until he defecated on himself; Abby, a poodle that Ebersole shocked numerous times, threw and jabbed with a wooden agility pole; Achilles, an Italian mastiff that Ebersole choked until the blood vessels in his eyes burst; and Owen, a Labrador retriever puppy that Ebersole suspended off the ground by a choke collar so many times that he defecated on himself.


Ebersole had previously been convicted of defrauding the federal government when, post 9-11, he sold them dogs that he represented as trained bomb-detection dogs. According to testimony at that trial Ebersole's dogs were unable to detect any explosives whatsover.   





Dog Trainer Could Avoid Conviction in Service Dog's Death - Chapel Hill, NC 


Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - About 70 people and a half-dozen service dogs squeezed into a downtown courtroom Tuesday to support a Carrboro dog trainer charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty.

Debra Cunningham, the program director at Eyes Ears Nose and Paws, entered an Alford plea in Orange County District Court. An Alford plea lets someone accept punishment without admitting guilt. Her case was continued to May 20.

If Cunningham fulfills the terms of a deal with the District Attorney's Office - 100 hours of community volunteer work and continuing to train dogs under supervision - she could receive a prayer for judgment, avoiding conviction and a criminal record.

Carrboro police charged Cunningham last summer after she left the 2-year-old dog in her car for two hours on June 10. When she returned to the car, Worthy was unconscious and panting, according to records and EENP. He died the next day from hyperthermia, or elevated body temperature.

Cunningham has been under supervision at work and forbidden from traveling with dogs since she was charged. EENP secretary and board member Gretchen Aylsworth and Julie Jenkins, training manager with the animal welfare group Paws4ever, will choose a new person to supervise her.

Charlene Hayes, the "puppy parent" who raised Worthy, and his breeder were in court but declined to speak.

Link: Dog Trainer Could Avoid Conviction in Service Dog's Death 



New Virus Has Deadly Potential for Dogs - Sacramento, CA

November 15, 2013 - Dog owners beware. A new virus with deadly potential is attacking man's best friend in California, and there is no vaccine.

So far, cases of the illness - known as circovirus - have been limited to only California, Michigan and Ohio, reports Atlanta CBS affiliate WWBT. If it goes untreated, the virus has the potential of killing an infected animal within days. High rates of infection have been observed in other animals, and scientists are still not entirely certain how it's transmitted.


"They're suspecting the dogs can bleed into their cavities, their chest into their abdomen, and those are some of the more serious ones that would bleed to their deaths," VCA Total Care Animal Hospital Medical Director Dr. Olivia Pan told WWBT.

Circovirus may be present as a primary or co-infection with other intestinal pathogens, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Along with the virus' rapid death rate, this makes diagnosis difficult.

The cause of infection is still unknown, but - like any virus - direct contact is believed to present a higher risk of infection, according to the AVMA. The association warns that any area with large amounts of dogs creates a higher risk of infection. This is especially concerning to boarding daycare facilities and kennels. Also, puppies, senior dogs and dogs with compromised immune systems, face an increased risk, as is the case with many canine diseases. 

 "Until we see larger numbers (of infection), it may take a little longer to know the extent of (circovirus)," said Kelpe.

Circovirus was first reported in June 2012 as part of a genetic screening of canine samples for new viruses by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Infected dogs have been documented to suffer from progressive vomiting and diarrhea.

If your dog is not eating and experiencing these symptoms, Kelpe advises to take your pet in for an evaluation.

Link: New Virus Has Deadly Potential for Dogs 

Fayette County dog trainers arrested on drug charges now face 20 counts of animal cruelty - Berry, Alabama


October 26, 2013 - The owner and three employees of the Tuscaloosa K9 Camp in Berry, Ala., who already have been charged with drug-related offenses now face additional charges for animal cruelty.


On the camp's website Litz is listed as the owner and head trainer, McQueen as kennel manager and construction foreman and the Vances as kennel assistants and canine companions.

The camp, which opened in 2007, serves to take in animals that other people see as lost causes, especially those that have been deemed unsafe. Trainers there work to rehabilitate some and train others to become working dogs for law enforcement agencies around the country.

The sheriff's office representative said the camp was raided around 2 p.m. Wednesday. Law enforcement officials found more than 100 dogs at the camp when it was raided.

Law enforcement and a veterinarian spent all day Thursday at the camp seeing to the health of the animals.


As of Thursday, the owners of dogs who were kenneled there or in the training process had not been allowed to access the camp and pick up their animals. Those with animals at the camp can call the sheriff's office at (205)932-3205 and leave their contact information and a description of their dogs with law enforcement.


Link: Fayette County Dog Trainers Face Animal Cruelty Charges



Wolf to Dog: Scientists Agree on How, but Not Where


November 14, 2013 - Where did dogs come from? That simple question is the subject of a scientific debate right now. In May, a team of scientists published a study pointing to East Asia as the place where dogs evolved from wolves. Now, another group of researchers has announced that dogs evolved several thousand miles to the west, in Europe.


This controversy is intriguing even if you're not a dog lover. It illuminates the challenges scientists face as they excavate the history of any species from its DNA. Scientists have long agreed that the closest living relatives of dogs are wolves, their link confirmed by both anatomy and DNA.

Somewhere, at some point, some wolves became domesticated. They evolved not only a different body shape, but also a different behavior. Instead of traveling in a pack to hunt down prey, dogs began lingering around humans. Eventually, those humans bred them into their many forms, from Shar-Peis to Newfoundlands.

In the 1990s, scientists started using new techniques to explore the origin of dogs. They sequenced bits of DNA from living dog breeds and wolves from various parts of the world to see how they were related. And the DNA told a different story than the bones. In fact, it told different stories.

A dog may have wolf-like DNA because it is a dog-wolf hybrid. In a paper that is not yet published, they analyze wolf and dog genomes to look for signs of ancient interbreeding. They cite evidence that, indeed, some of the DNA in dogs in East Asia comes from wolf interbreeding.

Now Dr. Wayne and his colleagues are introducing a new line of evidence to the dog debate: ancient DNA. Over the past two decades, scientists have developed increasingly powerful tools to rescue fragments of DNA from fossils, producing "an explosion in the samples," said Beth Shapiro of the University of California, Santa Cruz, a collaborator with Dr. Wayne.

On Thursday in the journal Science, Dr. Wayne, Dr. Shapiro and their colleagues report on the first large-scale comparison of DNA from both living and fossil dogs and wolves. They managed to extract DNA from 18 fossils found in Europe, Russia and the New World. They compared their genes to those from 49 wolves, 77 dogs and 4 coyotes.

The scientists did not find that living dogs were closely related to wolves from the Middle East or China. Instead, their closest relatives were ancient dogs and wolves from Europe. "It's a simple story, and the story is they were domesticated in Europe," Dr. Shapiro said.

Dr. Shapiro and Dr. Wayne and their colleagues estimate that dogs split off from European wolves sometime between 18,000 and 30,000 years ago. "Humans couldn't take everything, and that was a great treasure trove," Dr. Wayne said. Some wolves began to follow the European hunters to scavenge on the carcasses they left behind. As they migrated along with people, they became isolated from other wolves.

"But there have been so many surprises in the history of this research on dog domestication that I'm holding my breath till we get more information," Dr. Wayne said.

Link: Wolf to Dog: Scientists Agree on How, But Not Where 



Fences for Fido - New Oregon Law Will Mean More Requests - Oregon


November 18, 2013 - Oregon's new anti-tethering law specifies that it will be considered second degree animal neglect if tethering a dog results in an injury to the animal, and first degree animal neglect if it causes the dog to be seriously injured or killed.

The law will likely create an increase in requests for help from the group Fences For Fido, which builds fences for dogs who would otherwise be tied up. Since 2009, they have given more freedom to over 230 dogs in Oregon and Washington by building them fences to free them from their chains.

Their work goes far beyond building fences. This volunteer organization also improves living conditions for dogs by providing shelter and veterinary care, including spay and neuter procedures when needed. Twice a year, they visit all the dogs they have helped in order to confirm that they remain unchained, healthy and safe. They report that many people with new fences spend more time with their dogs and that their connections to one another are stronger as a result.

Oregon's new law, which takes effect in January 2014, will increase many people's interest in fences for their dogs. Fences For Fido will have a lot of work to do, which means happier dogs, a safer community, and better relationships between people and their dogs.

Link: New Oregon Law Will Increase Requests for Fences for Their Dogs 



Obama Blasts Legislation Targeting Specific Dog Breeds; stands up against canine prejudice - Wash, DC

August 21, 2013 - President Obama is looking more and more like dogs' best friend.

In the same week the First family,  Obama also tried to take a bite out of laws that target specific dog breeds. In response to a petition against Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) posted on We The People, the government's official site for citizen suggestions and commentary, the Obama administration came out unequivocally against the mostly-local laws:

We don't support breed-specific legislation - research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources.

That the administration replied at all to this petition is perhaps the best evidence yet that the Obama's care deeply about canine rights. We The People's Terms of Participation clearly state that an administration response is only required once a petition reaches 100,000 signatures. This particular petition had only 30,000 supporters, meaning the administration voluntarily chose to make a public statement on the matter.

 "The White House is such a bully pulpit for important issues," Lisa LaFontaine, president of the Washington Humane Society, told the Huffington Post. "And certainly for them to come down against this type of discrimination I think will give pause to any communities that are thinking about putting something like this in place, and certainly will fuel the work that's already being done by advocates to overturn legislation that already exists."

"It's a really happy day," LaFontaine added.

Click Here to Read the Full Article: Obama Blast Legislation Targeting Specific Dog Breeds 



Animal Abuse Registry Created To Track Convicted Offenders - Cotati, California

November 5, 2013 - An animal rights group is creating a nationwide database of animal abusers after a decade of asking state governments to do so. But not all animal welfare societies are on board. The Animal Legal Defense Fund of Cotati, Calif. plans to create a "Do Not Adopt" registry in hopes of alerting adoption centers of convicted animal abusers. The group is asking for that public data from states, many of which told the ALDF that creating a registry was too expensive for them. Now, states will merely have to opt in to the database.

The privately funded group said that with so many different ways to obtain pets, there is little that organizations or individuals can do to keep pets out of the wrong hands. 

 "We're putting focus back on animal welfare," Green said of the revamped efforts.

The case for such a registry is especially felt in nearby San Francisco, where the city's Animal Care and Control has seen an unsettling spike in the number and severity of animal abuse instances this year. The group said that a common database of animal abuse offenders would streamline their protection efforts.


"We are the agency that does investigations of animal cruelty, but even we don't have all the information," Animal Care and Control director Rebecca Katz told the Chronicle. "If it was a statewide thing, nonprofits and public shelters have access to it and that would be helpful."

Green said he hopes to have a database up and running by the end of the year.

Read the full article here: Animal Abuse Registry 






Bradley Phifer, CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA

Indianapolis, IN 46205

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Shawn Smith, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA 
Whitewater, WI


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Bowie, MD


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