New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

May 30, 2010

Dog behaviour manageable with pheromones - trial

A pheromone-producing collar may provide the answer for anxious owners of anxious dogs.
Thought not yet available in New Zealand, synthetic dog appeasing pheromones (DAP) have been trialled here.

Professor of Veterinary Ethnoloy at Massey University, Dr Kevin Stafford says the infuser produced good results on Kiwi dogs.

“The use of DAP can help settle puppies into new homes, assist in training adult dogs, manage fear of objects and people, and decrease stress and barking,” he said.

The synthetically reproduced pheromone is worn in the form of a collar, or distributed through an infuser in the home, to help manage fear and stress in puppies and adult dogs.


May 28, 2010

Going to the dogs

There's a saying in television... "never work with children or animals". Inevitably they don't do what you want and it usually ends in disaster. But weekends are a different story. And a visit to our local dog park provides endless hours of entertainment.

For a start, it's Georgie's favourite place in the whole world. Not everyone enjoys the dog park but she certainly does. Dozens of dogs to meet and greet. Good ones, bad ones. Fat, thin, fast, slow. All shapes and sizes. It's amazing how the dog world keeps evolving. One day we encountered poodles, spoodles, schnoodles and a labra-doodle.


Surprisingly dog parks don't have universal support. In fact in Auckland there's debate over whether they're a good thing. Keeping dogs separate from the rest of the community, a man from the council explained, isn't necessarily good for a dog's long-term socialisation. I guess that means they have a great time racing round the dog park but aren't so well adapted to strolling round town where a better standard of behaviour is expected.

Someone else also pointed out that irresponsible dogs owners can be, well, just as irresponsible. I guess that means letting a badly trained dog loose at the dog park and turning a blind eye to any mayhem that follows.


Dog expert Mark Vette has a view on all this. He says half of us don't have control of our dogs. That's probably true. Forty percent have some control. Just 10% have good control, which means your dog comes when you call it. He says owners have a responsibility to keep their pets under control even at the dog park. Are they a good thing? Yes. Should there be more of them? Yes.

Recall... perfect recall... not hard to get, but can be hard to sustain!

May 25, 2010

Another victim tells of police dog attack

The title says "another"... hum... how many are there?

Checking a burglar alarm on a neighbour's property has left a south Auckland man with nerve damage to his hand after he was bitten by a police dog.

Kevin Oglesby, 44, from Papatoetoe went to investigate a burglar alarm at a neighbour's house before returning to his own property where the dog came over a fence and latched onto him, the Weekend Herald reported.

He said the police dog handler was ordering the dog to release him but it was not until the handler had his hands around the dog's neck that the dog released its grip.

Another well trained police dog!

I just heard from a person who was trialling a dog at their place (for rehoming possibility) that they decided not to keep the dog because their neighbour had a police dog who was constantly attacking the fence and trying to attack their dog.

The bite severed a nerve in his little finger and puncturing his arm in several places.

Doctors at Middlemore Hospital reattached the finger nerve.

This is not just a simple operation! Is the police dog going to die because of this? Other dogs do and their owners get fined and sentenced.

Mr Oglesby told his story after reading of another police dog incident when a lawnmowing contractor was bitten as he helped police track the teenage driver of a stolen car in Avondale on Thursday.

In February Auckland man Brett Abraham, 63, was attacked as he chased an intruder from his Epsom home.

Inspector Mark Hall of the Auckland dog section told the newspaper three incidents in four months was very unusual and the dog and handler from the incident with Mr Oglesby would be stood down until proven fit for duty.

Mr Oglesby said police had apologised and he bore no ill will.

That's nice of him... bearing no ill will. Not sure that the next victim will be so kind!

May 24, 2010

Vet students get up close and personal

One day soon your pets' lives may be in their hands – the one part of their body you are unlikely to be focusing on in this series of snaps.

Massey University third-year veterinary students have bared all – almost – for a calendar to raise funds for a trip to mark the halfway point in their degree, and also to raise money for Paw Justice, an organisation fighting animal abuse and neglect.

In the Barely There 2010-11 calendar, the students are mostly naked but have animals or items such as books and instruments obscuring particular body parts. MORE>>

May 20, 2010

A man who stepped in to help Auckland police capture offenders on the run after a car chase, has been bitten on the leg by a police dog

A police pursuit in Auckland has ended with a crash and a dog bite.

Police chased a stolen vehicle from Mt Roskill to Rosebank Rd in Avondale this afternoon, where witnesses say the vehicle hit road spikes and veered into three other cars at speed.

The offenders ran off and a police dog unit was used to track them, but a man who stepped in to help, was bitten on his lower leg. He has been taken to Auckland City Hospital, although his injury is not thought to be serious.

Police have taken two men into custody.

Teenager proves she's a champion dog handler

Rotorua's Chelsea Marriner has won gold for New Zealand at the World Agility Championships in Britain.

The 18-year-old dog handler competed at the championships over the weekend - with a borrowed dog - and won first place in the jumpers competition. MORE>>

Well done... congrats!

May 14, 2010

Public kill vicious dog as it attacks poodle

A vicious dog was killed by members of the public, including an elderly man, after they leapt in to stop it mauling a poodle.

The man, said to be about 70, rugby tackled the Staffordshire bull terrier bitch when he saw the attack outside Strathmore Bakery and Cafe on Broadway, in Wellington, about 9am yesterday.

Vet Allan Probert said the loose dog dashed across the road and attacked a small black poodle in a "completely unprovoked" attack. Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean said "a number" of other people jumped into the melee, killing the attacking dog. "They felt compelled to get in there and help out," he said.

Couldn't have been nice....

It was a case of "rough justice" as the attacking dog could have ended up being destroyed the "normal way", Mr MacLean said. Definitely!

"It's a moral for dog owners not to let their dogs off the lead." It surely is, because one can say that if the poodle wasn't tie up, he'd be able to either defend itself, or run away... But we're all responsible dog owners who obey the law so this couldn't really be considered. ...

He said the poodle was being walked by its female owner and was on a leash.

The council and police would try to find the attacking dog's owner.

hum.. you really think it's registered or microchipped!

I feel sorry for the dead dog because he didn't know any better. His owners probably never took him to puppy class, never really walked him around, never really learned how to be a dog. What to do... ? These are probably the same people who scream at their kids, have no control over them, don't read them a book at night, and probably don't care. But they might not be those types of owners either. Alas... public education is the answer... in the schools and communities.

Mr Probert said the poodle was treated for a puncture mark and small lacerations on its belly.

May 13, 2010

Sydney's walkies on the wild side


Music for Dogs - a high-frequency concert that aims to captivate canines while being inaudible to their owners - takes over the northern boardwalk on June 5. It has been inspired by the music that Anderson, a legendary performance artist who is curating the festival with her rock legend husband, has been playing to her beloved rat terrier, Lollabelle, for 11 years.

"She likes things with a lot of smoothness but with beats in them,'' Anderson said from her Manhattan loft. ''Things with voices and lots of complicated high-end stuff. Chk-chk-chk-chk-chk ... that kind of stuff."

The free morning concert will be as short as, well, a chihuahua. "Dogs don't have a giant concentration span - 20 minutes tops,'' Anderson said. ''Actually, I think a lot of shows for people would be improved if they were 20 minutes. Shows are too long - my own included. I dream of making something that's a perfect half hour and then it just goes on and on." MORE>>

May 12, 2010

Council wants urgent dog execution powers

The Invercargill City Council, which wants the power to kill dogs when they attack people, has backed a call for the Government to treat the matter with more urgency.

Following a spate of dog attacks in Invercargill last year, the city council successfully got the majority support of councils nationwide to push for new laws allowing authorities to kill dogs that attacked people. or perhaps that might attack people. They are the council who killed puppies thinking that their breed automatically makes them to be attacking dogs in the future! ... Too bad they didn't come to listen to expert in 'dog'. Dr Ian Dunbar who here in Feb 2010!

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide subsequently said the Government would consider the issue when it reviewed the dog laws in 2011.

However, the city council yesterday supported a Hastings District Council remit to the local government annual conference, which suggests lobbying the Government to bring forward the dog law review and treat the matter with urgency.

A report to yesterday's city council meeting said better tools were needed to reduce the number of dog attacks and manage dangerous and menacing dogs in the community.

Really sad that the Council doesn't think that subsidising a good quality puppy socialisation classes could help. A lot of these dog attacks would be avoided if the dog was socially well-adjusted, and that dog owners took responsibility of educating themselves and their families about dogs. Learning how to train dogs can spill over to helping families understand the power of positive reinforcement...

Territorial authorities needed practical solutions to dog problems as a matter of priority, the report says.

If passed into law, animal control officers would be given the power to seize and kill a dog if it was known to have attacked a person or animal and was believed to be a continuing danger.

That is a lot of responsibility, and if they don't get it right, a lot of hatred towards authority would ensue! There is enough teeth in the law to keep dangerous dogs out of society... it is the amount of wait time to appear at the courts that is a problem. The process needs reviewing, not the law.

That's my opinion..

Heaps of sheep to test triallists

It is man and dog versus sheep all week at the Whangara dog trialling club ground for the TUX North Island Championship Trials.

There are 70 locals in the competition which has entrants from all over the North Island as well as around 50 from the South Island. Top triallists will go on to compete in the South Island and New Zealand Championships, to be held in Gore next month.

Every competitor gets three fresh sheep and with around 200 entries for each event, there will be close to 5000 used over the week. MORE>>

May 11, 2010

North Island sheep dog trials this week

The North Island sheep dog trial championships are being held at Pouawa, about 20km northeast of Gisborne city this week.

About 200 competitors and 500 dogs will compete in four events: the long head and short head and yard for heading dogs and the zig zag hunt and straight hunt for huntaways.

The championships are expected to end on Saturday.

The South Island and National championships will be held at Gore next month.

Vets from Massey University will take advantage of the North Island event to carry out a survey.

What's the survey about?

The centre for service and working dog health says New Zealand reportedly has more dogs working in the farming sector than any other country apart from Russia.

Despite this, Professor Boyd Jones says there's very little data on the health and welfare of these dogs.

May 10, 2010

Petcare at the click of a mouse

A pet care company thought up over a glass of wine, which now has about 100 part-time staff in Wellington, is just months away from a South Island launch.

Pet Angels, which allows pet owners to book services including pet walking, feeding and grooming entirely online is expecting to sign an out-licensing agreement for the firm to be launched in Christchurch in around two months' time.

The company, which is in the running for the emerging prize at this month's Wellington Gold Awards, has built a customer base of 2000 in just over three years. MORE>>

Who would have thought that kiwis are willing to spend $45 a night for dog boarding at someone's home.

We at Homestays for Dogs charge $30 and we're professional dog trainers! And we take our dogs kayaking :)

Maybe we aren't charging enough, but quite frankly, we charge what we'd pay for our services. I wouldn't be paying $45 a night at someone else home, but for us ?! well..

There's a business model for pet care, and good on them for making money. Just didn't think that Kiwis were prepared to spend that much money. Hum...

Missing sailor's dog back chasing rabbits

Juanita, a healthy and fit retriever cross who loves chasing rabbits, seems blissfully unaware of her tragic past.

Two months ago the 2-year-old dog was pulled, timid and shaking, from the sailing boat Tafadzwa.

She had survived the sailing trip that claimed the life of her owner Paul Janse van Rensburg, from Tauranga, who is believed to have fallen overboard in the Bay of Plenty on March 13.

Juanita remained on the boat for 17 days as it self-steered, with tattered sails, to seas near the Chatham Islands. MORE>>

May 09, 2010

Police dog bites toddler

A police dog's future in the force is under scrutiny after biting a Napier toddler during a kindergarten visit.

Hum... I think that the police dog handler's future should be in question. Why is it okay for police dog's to bite and get away with it, and joe-public's dog... well, they aren't allow to owned a dog for 5 years, and get fined thousands of dollars.... a rule for cops, is it?

The dog bit three-year-old Tyler Hatton during the visit to Riversdale Kindergarten, puncturing his lip and giving him a gash to the bridge of his nose.

Police have apologised to the family over the incident and have launched an investigation which will consider the dog's health, physical condition and behavioural status, the New Zealand Herald reported.

It will also review the kindergarten visits which are meant to promote dog safety.

Promote dog safety! how hilarious. Perhaps if the dog handler understood how dog's communicate through their body language, this would not have happened. The dog was giving tons of signals saying that he wasn't comfortable, but the dog handler promoting dog safety couldn't even read those signs. What hope do we have to live in harmony with dogs .... Well, ask about the Doggone Safe Programme in Christchurch. They teach all about this and more!

Tyler's father Matthew said his son was recovering well at home.

Tyler said it appeared Tyler was patting the dog when it spun around and bit him on the face.

He said the family hoped the police investigation would stop such an incident happening again.

May 05, 2010

Dog training champ

Imagine having a mate who without hesitation would grab you a coke from the cupboard, a beer from the fridge and would shut up or sit down when they're told - all without complaint.

Eighteen-year-old Chelsea Marriner has eight of them, all of whom sleep in her bedroom and help make her a tidy living during the day.

Chelsea is part of the New Zealand Dog Agility team, who are heading off to the world champs in the UK this Friday. Watch the video>>

Is she bringing all her dogs to the UK??

Pair accused of dog slaughter opt for jury trial

The two men who allegedly shot 33 dogs on a rural property north of Auckland have elected to be tried by jury.

Tony Campbell and Russell Mendoza both face animal cruelty act and firearms charges.

Today the owner of the dogs told 3 News he has been receiving death threats.

The SPCA says the shootings are New Zealand’s worst atrocity against animals and the first time they've been seen on camera. MORE>>

May 03, 2010

Bill lifts penalties for people who abuse animals

People who own animals after having previously abused them may soon face stiffer penalties, including up to three years' prison or a $350,000 fine.

The recommendations are part of the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, reported back from the primary production select committee last week.

The bill, which would significantly increase penalties for cruelty to animals, was adopted by the Government after originally being a private bill sponsored by Tauranga MP Simon Bridges.


It would also increase penalties for all offences against animals, doubling the maximum fines and increasing the maximum prison sentence.

Maximum fines for wilful ill-treatment would double to $100,000 for an individual and $500,000 for a company.

A new recommendation from the committee is to increase penalties for those who own animals but have been previously disqualified from doing so.

For an individual, the maximum penalty would increase from a six-month prison term or a $50,000 fine to a three-year prison term and a $75,000 fine.

For a body corporate the fine would go from $250,000 to $350,000.

The report says this would "send a clear message that offending against animals will not be tolerated".

It also recommends that where an owner is convicted of animal abuse charges, his or her animals be put in the care of an approved organisation.

If the abuse was at the hands of someone other than the owner, the owner would be allowed to keep them.

The committee said the law changes alone would not bring about less cruelty to animals, "especially since only 10 people have ever been jailed in New Zealand as a result of animal cruelty charges".

"Some of us are concerned that there are only five Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry inspectors in New Zealand to undertake prosecutions for animal cruelty and there are insufficient resources to pursue all cases of cruelty, with 92 per cent of complaints made to the SPCA," the report says.

Agriculture Minister David Carter has said there is a need for more resources.

The bill will return to the House for its second reading.

May 02, 2010

Slashed police dog to defend title

Ila, the gutsy police dog which got her nose slashed in the line of duty last month, is well enough to defend her top title at the police national dog championships this week.

The german shepherd's chances of competing were put in doubt when a 42-year-old man swiped at her nose with a knife during a scuffle with police in the Porirua suburb of Camborne on April 20.

She need surgery to repair a deep gash and it was initially feared the injury would end her working life but Ila has made a full recovery.

"She's in great form - it hasn't slowed her down at all," handler Senior Constable Jason Todd told the Sunday Star Times.

The three-day championships will be held at Trentham, Upper Hutt.

May 01, 2010

Poo pots fix freedom camper problem

If it's good enough to clean up after your dog, it's good enough to clean up after yourself.

That's the view of Aoraki Mt Cook Department of Conservation staff, and they think they could just have the answer to the issue of toiletless freedom campers – poo pots, the human version of a doggy-bag.

Rural Women New Zealand has surveyed members nationwide on the environmental impact of the increasing use of sleeper vans with no on-board sanitation facilities. MORE>>

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