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.

September 28, 2010

Local author seeking stories of dogs and the Christchurch earthquake

Dog owners from throughout Canterbury are being encouraged to submit stories to a local author about their dog’s behaviour before and since Christchurch’s 4 September earthquake.

“I work as a canine massage therapist,” says Kathleen Crisley, Director of Canine Catering Ltd. “Since 4 September, many of my clients and colleagues have told me about how their dog reacted either before the earthquake or in the days since.”

“Like children, some dogs are suffering from anxiety and they manifest this stress in different ways. Other owners tell me of how their dog comforted them in the stressful days following the initial quake when aftershocks were strong and frequent. And for many owners, checking on their dog’s safety was the first thing that entered their mind when the shaking stopped.”

“There are also the dogs who, before the quake, exhibited ‘odd’ behaviour as if they knew that something was on its way”, she says.

Stories of how animals behave before natural disasters are not new. For example, before the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, there were reports that elephants moved to higher ground. However, Ms Crisley wants to tell the story of Christchurch’s earthquake through the unique experiences of dogs in the area.

“Dogs and their owners share a unique and often loving bond. To me, it only seems fair to tell the story of the earthquake from the perspective of Canterbury’s dogs. And I’d rather see a book about the earthquake with cute photos of dogs rather than any more photos of destroyed buildings!”

Ms Crisley aims to compile a minimum of 50 stories before seeking a publisher for her book.

People wanting to share their dog’s story should submit it in writing along with suitable photos to or by post to P O Box 5199, Papanui, Christchurch 8542. There is also a direct email link on Canine Catering’s homepage Owners should include their contact details so Kathleen can follow up with them.

For more information contact Kathleen Crisley, Canine Catering Ltd, 027 265 7648 or 03 354 0298

September 25, 2010

Do you look like your pet?

Dogs are hairy, slobbery and often have big floppy ears, but some dog owners like to think they and their canine companion share their good looks. MORE>>

So much so, that in Auckland this weekend, there is a competition to find the most convincing dog and owner look-a-like couple.

SPCA meets to discuss dog attack

Senior Wellington SPCA staff were meeting today to decide the fate of a dog under its care that bit a young girl.
The dog was being walked by an SPCA volunteer along Wellington's Southern Walkway on Saturday when the attack happened. SPCA spokeswoman Vanessa Hetherington told NZPA its caregivers and senior staff were meeting this morning to discuss the fate of the dog.

Why not the fate of the dog walker?

"Obviously the dog involved is in his run and will remain there until a decision is made as to what action to be taken with him," she said.
Hetherington said there were over 7000 dog walks undertaken every year at the SPCA, and this was the first reported attack.
She declined to say what injuries the victim received.

Well, it would help us understand the severity of the 'attack'...

"(However) we spoke to the father yesterday and she'd been discharged from hospital and was back home fine." She could not confirm the age of the victim.

September 21, 2010

Dog sitters offer service to food lovers

Two entrepreneurial teens have a win-win situation with a business they set up at Matakana Village Farmers Market.

From 8am every Saturday 13-year-olds Georgia Robson and Sydney Shead are set to look after dogs while their owners browse the stalls brimming with fresh local produce.

"We both love dogs so thought it was a good opportunity to help people out while we get to spend time with lots of gorgeous dogs," Georgia says.

Her parents operate an organic herbs and seedling stall in the carpark where the girls are based. MORE>>

I wonder how much they charge?

September 14, 2010

Chicken feed distracts guard dog

A Christchurch family who left their staffordshire terrier to guard their house were burgled after the thieves tempted the dog with a whole roast chicken.

The dastardly deed was just one of the "quake-crime" stories that began to emerge yesterday.

The Anderson and Skurr family left their Mitcham Place, Bexley, home on Saturday when floodwaters began to rise after the earthquake.

Mother Melissa Skurr said the family felt secure because they had left their "staffie", named Shady, at home to protect their property.

The burglars fed a whole cooked chicken to the dog through the cat door then broke in and stole all the family's electronic gear, including one child's portable DVD players.

The burglars "turned the house upside down". MORE>>

September 10, 2010

Police dog handler awarded for bravery

A Tauranga police officer who confronted two armed teenagers in 2007 has been awarded the Charles Upham Award for Bravery. 

At a ceremony this morning, Police Minister Judith Collins honoured dog handler Constable James Muir in front of an audience including Capt Upham's daughter, Ms Virginia McKenzie. 

In June 2007, Mr Muir was involved in a police pursuit of two teenage males in a stolen car, armed with a large quantity of rifles and ammunition. 

Shots were fired during the chase. Afterwards, the youths threatened a fellow officer with a rifle. They then turned on Mr Muir, but the weapon failed to fire. MORE>>

September 08, 2010

Community work for killing neighbour's dog

A dog owner was crying in court while the woman who killed the family pet was sentenced to community work.
Henrietta Tania Campbell, 47, said she used an air rifle to scare a dog off her property but she was convicted in a defended hearing of ill-treating the neighbour's family pet, Pogi, and firing an air rifle near a house.

Defence counsel Serina Bailey said at the sentencing in Christchurch District Court that Campbell had previously lost a litter of kittens to a dog attack and was under stress.

She did not know it was her neighbour's dog and meant to scare it, not kill it, she said. After the dog was shot it walked down the drive, collapsed and died, so did not suffer for long.
She said it was not a cruelty matter, just extremely unfortunate. MORE>>

September 06, 2010

Missing pets add to post quake stress

It wasn't just humans shaken by the big quake - hundreds of terrified pets fled during the tremors.
Last night, many of those pets, mostly cats and dogs and the odd rabbit, were yet to return to their homes, adding to the stress of their owners, who are turning to the internet in a desperate attempt to find their furry friends.
"Prissy is a 4-year-old desexed female who ran out the door this morning after the earthquake ... She was terrified and I couldn't grab her as she ran past me," said one Christchurch cat owner on the Pets on the Net website.
"I am desperate to find her as she is so timid and was so frightened. I expect that she will be in a garage or shed somewhere hiding in a corner. Please look for her if you live in the area." MORE>>

September 04, 2010

Hide ready to get his teeth into dog laws

Local government Minister leader Rodney Hide will spearhead a wide-ranging review on dog laws once his commitments to the Auckland super city are wrapped up.

Hide said in a speech at the New Zealand Institute of Animal Control Officers' annual conference the review was likely to get under way in the next month or two and would address a range of difficult issues presented by dog ownership.

"I am concerned that the current regulatory regime is imposing burdens on responsible dog owners, while not preventing dog attacks or ensuring irresponsible dog owners are punished," he said.


"Good law is not made on the basis of emotion. Good law is not made on the basis of unclear facts. I am concerned that some key elements of the present dog laws were made in this way," he said.

He expected the review to examine whether or not the costs of the national dog database justified the benefits it presented, and to also look at tricky issues like breed-specific legislation.

Hide said the big challenge for the councils which administered dog laws was to hold irresponsible dog owners to account without putting onerous restrictions on responsible ones.


September 02, 2010

Why big dogs are perceived to be smarter than small dogs

Bigger dogs aren’t necessarily smarter than little dogs, but rather they’re just perceived by people to be smarter, according to a study done by a New Zealand researcher published in the September issue of Behavioural Processes.
Dog intelligence may seem an odd topic for a professor who teaches ergonomics – the study of work and workers – at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, to tackle.

“Our research would suggest that medium- (slightly large-) sized dogs are perceived to be the most trainable or intelligent generally. This is because they probably are the easiest to actually train physically.

“Really small dogs are hard to train. . . Really big dogs on the other hand are really hard to physically handle. . . Hence medium dogs, the Goldilocks’ dog, are seen as being the most intelligent. This does not mean they actually are the most intelligent, they are just perceived to be.”

One of the reasons for that perception may be the spacing of the eyes in a dog’s head and the way they see and then follow human cues, said Helton.

In analyzing data from a previous study done at another lab, Helton and his colleagues found that larger dogs were better at reading and executing a human pointing cue. MORE>>
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