A Breed’s Purpose? Danes Gotta Jump, Beagles Gotta Sniff, Labs Gotta swim.

Raising Your Paws Podcast episode 018.

Listen here: How to Read Your Dog’s Tail & Knowing a Dog Breed’s Original Purpose Explains their Behavior.


Full Show Notes for This Episode.

When a dog wags its tail, it is common to assume the dog is feeling happy and friendly. There are times, this is not the case at all. Find out how to interpret a dog’s tail then hear about when a wag may mean your dog is afraid, threatened or anxious.

Next, we’ll demystify some more ingredients in pet food, and explain the difference between protein meal and by-products, what is yucca schidigera and more.

You can call Genie Beur, Director of Customer Service, at NutriSource Pet Foods and ask her questions about your pets and pet food ingredients. Her direct line:  218-346-8312.

Then, if you understand the original purpose a particular breed of dog was bred for, it can explain how that breed is likely to behave. Hear fun, need-to-know facts about a few breeds in today’s “Meet a breed” feature.

Here are the photos of the dogs I spoke about on the podcast.

Here are some Great Danes.

Some Great Danes have cropped ears.
This is a Vizla.

Resources for the episode.

Do dogs really feel guilty?  Hear Jean Donaldson, leading dog trainer, talk about if dogs can tell the difference between right and wrong when they poop on the floor in Episode 002.  Listen to this episode here. 

We’d love to hear your comments about the podcast. You can write these at the end of our blog articles.



Blog – Dane’s Gotta Jump, Beagle’s Gotta Sniff, Lab’s Gotta Swim – a Breed’s Purpose.   

If you know what the reason a particular breed was bred for, then you will know some of the behaviors your dog may be likely to exhibit.

In episode 018 of the Raising Your Paws podcast, you can hear some of the reasons why Great Danes, Beagles and Labrador Retrievers do some of the annoying, I mean endearing things that they do.

Here’s a light hearted look at the Great Danes ability to jump.

Oh, alright, the Dane is not actually jumping that high on its own. It’s jumping on a trampoline. But they were bred to use their amazing jumping abilities.

Everyone knows that Labs love water – they were bred to jump in freezing water to collect game for hunters.

Watch this one. Walter, the dog, knows exactly where he’s going.



How Can CBD Oil Help So Many Different Areas of Your Dog’s Body?

In episode 17 of the Raising Your Paws podcast, I was talking about the medical benefits of CBD oil, which is made from hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant.  No, it is not medical marijuana. Listen here to the episode. 

Cannabidiol, (CBD) relieves pain, kills or slows bacterial growth, reduces blood sugar levels, reduces vomiting and nausea, reduces seizures and   inflammation, and inhibits cell growth in tumors and cancer cells to name just a few of the medical benefits. (Source: Cannabis and CBD Science for Dogs, by Dr. Caroline Colie, PH.D.

I bet you’re wondering how can one little plant do all that?

Hemp plant and CBD oil.

Before I tell you, let’s start with a crash course on the cannabis plant.

Cannabis plants produce a group of chemicals called cannabinoids, which produce mental and physical effects when consumed.

The two cannabinoids usually produced in greatest abundance are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC is the chemical compound that acts on the cells in the brain, that results in people getting high, (psychoactive component).


There are different varieties of the cannabis plant:  Marijuana is the name of the form of cannabis with high levels of THC.  (Psychoactive)

And hemp, commonly used to make products such as rope and fiber, is another variety of the plant that has high levels of a different chemical, cannabidiol or CBD, the non-psychoactive component.

Since the 1960’s scientists have demonstrated dozens of therapeutic applications for CBD. It does not get you or your pet high, and it is totally legal for anyone to buy – without prescriptions.

This is also a supplement that is offering numerous health benefits for people. You may have heard it talked about in the news and on television lately.

How does it work in your dog’s body (and yours)?

You have a special system in your body that all mammals, birds, reptiles and fish have that is called the endocannabinoid system (named after the plant).

It is a group of specialized receptors in the brain and the nervous system.  (Receptors are nerve endings in your body which react to changes and stimuli and make your body respond in a particular ways.) The system allows the cells in your brain and nervous system to communicate with each other and affects how almost every other system in the body works – especially the immune system.

And what is pretty remarkable is that these receptors are all over your brain and just about everywhere in your and your dog’s bodies!

Our natural, internal cannabinoids called, endocannabinoids regulate the chemicals (neurotransmitters) that carry messages from one nerve cell to another in your body, acting like a master of ceremonies, directing some to fight problems and others to restore the body to its normal state. For example, when we have an infection the endocannabinoids tell the immune system to turn up the temperature to fight it, and when the invader is destroyed, they signal it to turn back down.

Turns out that the chemicals found in the cannabis plant closely mimic the body’s internal cannabinoids and when you consume CBD it interacts with your body’s cannabinoid receptors to get the same beneficial response as your own naturally produced ones.  This is why cannabis can positively impact and affect so many parts of the body and help relieve a number of different illnesses.

When you use CBD oil, putting the correct dosage of drops under your tongue or in the mouth of your dog,  (the most effective way to ingest it,) the cannabinoids from the hemp plant fit into your body’s own cannabinoid receptor sites. What do you get? Health benefits!!

Cannabinoids are also found in other plants such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, flax and other vegetables but not to the extent they are in cannabis.  You’d need to eat a whole ton load of veges to get the same medical benefits. In fact, cannabis in the industrial hemp form,  is the most abundant plant source of CBD in the world and CBD is emerging as the most important cannabinoid for health.

Read more about it in the book, Cannabis and CBD Science for Dogs. Natural Supplements to Support Healthy Living and Graceful Aging.


Show Notes for Episode 017

Title: What is CBC Oil for Pets and What Does it Have to do With Marijuana & How to Get Your Puppies and Kittens to Stop Biting you.

My guest, Dr. Caroline Colie’s website.

Dr. Caroline Colie, Ph.D.


Read Dr. Coile’s blog.

Order Dr. Coile’s, book, Cannabis and CBD Science for Dogs.

Additional Books written by Dr. Coile.

Let us know what you think about the podcast. We’d love your feedback.

Please Rate and review it on iTunes  

Rate and Review on Stitcher.  (Use a tablet or desktop – can’t review on a phone.)




Watch Some Guinness World Record Breaking Dogs!

I recently took part in an event to try and set a new Guinness world record for the most people trained in pet CPR in one day. Cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR)  is that potentially life saving first aid technique where you use your hands to externally compress the heart to imitate the pumping of the heart so that it sends oxygen rich blood to the organs and brain and you breathe into the nose of the dog or cat to inflate the lungs, to mimic normal breathing by the animal.  The event was put on by Pet Tech , the  first international training center for Pet CPR and first aid.   

In Raising Your Paws episode, 016, I’ll tell you all about what we had to do to try to set a record, you’ll hear exactly what pet CPR is, how it’s done  and hear true stories of people who saved dogs lives by performing CPR on them. You can see some photos of the Pet CPR day event in the full show notes below.

If you want to take a pet first aid class,  go to Pet Tech’s website to find classes in your area and to register.  It is such a relief to know what to do if your dog or cat is injured or suddenly takes ill. I am one of the Pet Tech certified instructors and teach classes in the Chicagoland area.

What are the two most important pet first aid skills you want to know how to do? Thom Somes, co-founder of Pet Tech, tells you in episode 009 of Raising Your Paws podcast. Listen here.  

Back to Guinness world records, there are some silly and astonishing things that dogs do to win their record holding titles.

Here are some of the record breakers over the last few years.

Mochi, a Saint Bernard,  did not have to do anything – he won by just being the dog with the longest tongue.

Major upset! Jiff Pom, a Pomeranian, used to hold the title for being the fastest dog on two paws. But then Konjo, a Chihuahua mix, stole the title.

Does your dog do a lot of tricks?  You’ll be really interested in this one – it may inspire you to try to break the world record yourself.

Watch Smurf and his human show you their routine, doing the most tricks in one minute. Come 0n, you and your dog can beat that –  cant you?

If you want to try and set or break a record with your dog or cat, all the instructions for how to apply are on the Guinness World Records, website as well as a lot more videos to watch. They are a hoot! Some are funny or cute or I’ve got to say – down right weird.


Show Notes for Episode 016:

Title: Learning Pet CPR May Set a New Guinness World Record and Astonishing Facts about Your Dog’s Nose. 

 Here are some photos from the day’s event.

A group being trained in CPR. They are wearing the shirts we gave out that day.
Photo Credit. Porla & Pine. (porlaandpine.com)


Here is the dog, potato.
Photo credit: Porla & Pine. (porlaandpine.com)
Learning how to find a dog’s pulse.
Photo Credit: Porla & Pine.


Thom Somes beginning the relay to win a Guinness record for the most CPR compressions on a plush toy dog.
Photo Credit: Porla & Pine.
Our public lining up for the relay. Totally, people did CPR compressions for over 6 hours without stopping.
Photo Credit: Porla & Pine.


Cindy Buzas and Thom Somes, the founders of Pet Tech with their son Parker. Their dogs, Rio and Tandoori.
Photo Credit: Porla & Pine.


Find pet first aid classes at Pet Tech’s Website.

Here is Pet Tech Inc. on facebook to see the video of Pet CPR day.


 Guinness World Records Website.





Play Feline Fun Facts with me.

Be the 8th person to send me the answer to this question and you could win a free large bag of NutriSource brands (NutriSource, Pure Vita or Natural Planet) cat or dog food.

“Why does my cat bite and claw my hand when I try and pet its tummy?”

If you enjoy the podcast please support us, subscribe on your favorite podcast app. and tell all your friends. Thank you!















How to Keep Your Dog’s Immune System Healthy.

Did you know that very small amounts of a simple little mineral does a wealth of good for your dog?  It does!

Its called Selenium and it is one of the essential micro-nutrients that is necessary for proper growth, development and health for both you and your pets bodies.

Here are some of the things that selenium does.

Orchestrates normal growth.

Regulates metabolism.

Launches successful reproductive efforts.

Boosts the immune system by neutralizing free radicals. (unstable molecules that get naturally formed in the body that can leave cells open to disease.)

Defends the body against infections. (supports the immune system by boosting the activity of white blood cells that fight infection and disease.)

This is one busy mineral. Since it has such important jobs to do, you’d want the kind that is best absorbed and available for your dog’s body to utilize. And that kind is organic selenium  – as opposed to the inorganic type – (called sodium selenite in many pet foods.)

In fact, talking about the amount of the selenium that gets absorbed into the body so that it can have the beneficial effects its suppose to have, (called its bioavailability) researchers have proved that organic selenium has 120-200% more bioavailability than sodium selenite. Go organic selenium!

You’ll be happy to know that we’ve got organic selenium in all of our dog food brands, including Pure Vita, Natural Planet and NutriSource pet foods!  And, we are one of the few pet food companies that uses organic selenium.

Our organic selenium is from a family owned company called Alltech and the patented, trademarked name of the selenium is called Sel-Plex®.

On the back of our bags of kibble, in the ingredients list, you will find the organic selenium listed as “selenium yeast” (the trademarked, brand name would not mean anything to a customer.)

Here is what the ingredient panel looks like.


     minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, selenium yeast

Now don’t get your whiskers in a snitch about the word “yeast.” In the next blog article, I’ll tell you about the myths and truths about yeast and why it’s used in pet food.  There are different types of yeast out there, ones that may cause allergies in your pets v.s. the nutritional types that are highly beneficial and DON’T cause problems.  More, to come.

Here is an explanation of the name in case you want to know. It’s called selenium yeast due to the way in which it’s made. The microorganism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, better known as  brewers yeast,  is grown in a selenium-enriched medium, it absorbs the selenium, and then converts it into the form that is……TA DA, organic selenium.  Phew. Did you follow that? I bet you did. You’re smart.

Sel-Plex® is Alltech’s proprietary organic form of selenium yeast and is the first EU-approved and only FDA-reviewed form of organic selenium.

Selenium is super important for the body – a shortage of it can cause diseases but too much of it can be harmful. So the right amount is crucial and this is why the FDA regulates the supplementation of Selenium (Se) into diets. Also, why NutriSource pet foods spends the money they do, to buy this really high quality form of organic selenium from Alltech, that is approved by the FDA.

Sel-plex® ensures that the mineral status is very high while using the least amount necessary, because, the selenium is supplied in a form that can be readily absorbed, used by the cells and stored in the body’s tissues.

So, now you get it……..this added mineral really helps your pet’s health.

It does all the things selenium is suppose to do, and Sel-Plex® works hard to maintain the overall immune system.

By feeding NutriSource dog foods with this organic selenium, you are helping keep your dog’s eyes bright and tail a-wagging.

Check out our website.


Full Show notes for Raising Your Paws Podcast Episode 015.

Why a Dog’s Growls Are a Good Thing & Reasons to NOT Vaccinate for Leptospirosis.

Resource for story about growling, Barking: The Sound of a Language by Turid Rugass.

Dr. Barbara Royal, DVM, CVA, website links.

Dr. Barbara Royal, DVM, CVA.

Royal Treatment Veterinary Center.

Royal Animal Health University.

Purchase Dr. Royal’s books.

Winning the Cat Food Give-Away.

Play our feline fast facts game. Answer this question, “Why does a cat claw and bite your hand when you pet its tummy?”

Send the answer to susan@raisingyourpaws.com.

The 8th person to respond will win a coupon for a free large bag of any flavor of NutriSource or Pure Vita cat food to redeem at your local independent dealer that sells our food. To find the closest store to you, see our dealer directory here.


See the different flavors of NutriSource cat food here.

See the different flavors of Pure Vita Cat food here.

Worry About Bedbugs In Hotels? Dogs to the Rescue!

If you worry that there may be bedbugs in the hotels in which you stay, you will be pleased to know that there are detection dogs who are hired to ensure the rooms are bug free or sniff them out so they can be eliminated.

In this past Raising Your Paws Podcast Episode,  we talked about the dogs that detect bedbugs with Dan Hughes, Co-owner of Dogs for Defense.

As a follow up to my talk with Dan,  I asked him some additional questions I wanted to know. His answers follow.

This is a bedbug.
Photo credit: CDC/ Harvard University, Dr. Gary Alpert; Dr. Harold Harlan; Richard Pollack. Photo Credit: Piotr Naskrecki

How prevalent is it that hotels use dogs to check for bedbugs?

Very prevalent, depending on geographic area and the type of guests. Many hotels will have a routine search set up monthly, weekly, etc. as a proactive approach.  If dogs are called in because bugs have already been seen, at a minimum the K9 team will search the rooms on each side and above and below.

Do you (Dogs For Defense) have many contracts with hotels?

We do not have direct contracts with hotels, we frequently work with Pest Control companies that may have the contracts.

Do most big hotel chains regularly employ bedbug detection dogs?

Most hotels are franchise owned so it is typically made on a more local level. As you can imagine an airport hotel may have a more diverse traveler than a small town mid America hotel.

Are there other companies like yours sending dogs into hotels?

What is becoming more prevalent is pest control companies bring a bedbug dog in house with their own handler. We have trained dog teams that work for pest control companies.

Can people feel reassured that most hotels are doing something to safeguard against bedbugs?

Yes, most hotels try very hard but it never hurts to take precautions as you travel. Such as keeping your luggage off the ground.

What other measures do hotels take to keep beds free of bugs?

A well trained cleaning staff will be doing a cursory visual inspection every time they change the sheets. They should be looking for small blood spots in the sheets or mattress or, of course, the bugs themselves. The bugs are similar in size and look to a common deer tick.

Much thanks to Dan Hughes for this reassuring information.

In the episode link below, you can hear Dan talk about how his dogs help rid airports of geese and his days serving in the U.S. secret service.

Full show notes for Raising Your Paws Podcast Episode Title Introducing Your New, Adopted Dog to the Family & Stories from a Dog Handling, Secret Service Agent.

Links for Dan Hughes.   You can see many more photos of Dan’s working dogs on Facebook and Instagram.

Dan Hughes and Bdak.

Dog for Defense Website
Dogs for Defense Facebook
Dogs for Defense Instagram 

Source for story about how to stop the yelling and the barking: The Other End of The Leash by Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D.  

How to find a certified animal behaviorist.

Please support this podcast by subscribing and telling your friends. To subscribe on iTunes so you can hear each episode, here is the link



Here are some additional photos of Dan’s dogs.

Bdak, a German Shepherd, is one of Dan’s current U.S. Army contracted dogs. Bdak is a male and an explosive detection dog.
Dan Hughes and K-9 Riki in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Annie is also one of Dan’s current U.S. Army contracted dogs. She is a German Shepherd and a drug dog.


Additional Resource from Raising Your Paws Podcast Episode 14.

In the above episode, I talked about how to introduce your newly adopted dog to your other dogs. Here are the basic steps written out for you.

Listen to Podcast Epsiode 14 for the complete story and also learn how to best introduce the new adopted dog to the human family.

1.  With multiple dogs at home, have your new dog meet the other dogs one at a time.

2.  Have them meet outside – not inside your house. Use your yard or a nearby park or sidewalk that is not busy with people.

3.  The space needs to be fairly open – not cramped.  If the dogs are crowded too close together, like in a doorway, gate, or small pen, this can cause tension and one or both dogs may react aggressively.

4.  Leashes on both dogs need to be held loosely, its easiest to use the long 10-12 foot leashes but if you are mindful and make sure you don’t pull the leash tight, you can use the 6 foot ones. You don’t want the dogs to feel trapped or spark any leash reactivity.  If you have a fenced in yard, best yet is to drop the leashes completely. If you’re thinking this is crazy, you’ve got to keep the leashes held tight so you can pull them back or apart quickly in case something happens, see the next caveat.

Caveat. If you are worried about step 4, because the dogs did not meet before you adopted the new cutie pie, and you know your dog has problems meeting new ones or if you’ve been told your new buddy has issues with other dogs, then you’ll probably want to get some assistance from a dog trainer or dog behaviorist and even have them attend the initial greeting. See the resources below for how to find a behaviorist in your area.

5.  Its a good idea to get the dogs moving. Do this by walking around yourself, striding away from them  and calling happily, “this way” and encourage the dogs to follow.

6.  Don’t have any toys or food around outside for the first meet and greet. You don’t want to bring out any resource guarding.  Even dropping a treat on the ground can force both of them to go for it and then you can have a fight on your hands.

7.  Speaking of resource guarding, before letting the dogs inside, make sure you’ve doggie proofed the house removing any bowls of dog food from off the floor and bones or toys laying around that could provoke possessiveness. Put them all away for now.

8.  When it is time to go inside the house – take your new pup in first. Then bring in the resident dog(s). This helps prevent your dog from becoming territorial – copping a negative attitude like “Wait, the newbie is coming into MY house”?

Is Your Cat a Finicky Eater?

Do you have a cat who is very fussy about food?

Are  you getting a new kitten and want to prevent this from happening? 

In Raising Your Paws podcast, Episode 13, (segment two) I talked about a common method of feeding cats that can contribute to the finicky eater syndrome.

Listen here and learn the MOST important rule to follow for feeding your cat.        

Getting into more detail about picky eaters, you may be surprised to read that there are things we  unknowingly do, that contributes to your cat rejecting food.  

Serving cold canned leftovers from the refrigerator. 

Domestic cats, like just wild cats, are designed to eat live prey – which means food that is warm. They are not scavengers like dogs who will eat anything on the ground they find – hot, cold, wet, dry, rancid, moldy, for a dog – its whatever globs they think are edible.

Because felines are not like this, they may commonly turn down food that is cold.  That means if you have canned cat food leftovers, your cat may refuse to eat it. Warm it up a bit. This also releases the aroma of the food which makes it smell more appetizing. Room temperature canned food is preferable.

Only feeding one flavor and type of food all the time.

If you have a new kitten, start right away and get them used to eating a variety of foods.  Feed different proteins and flavors, both wet and dry cat foods from a few different high quality food manufacturers.  Vary the proteins you serve by the meal or the day.  You’d get bored eating only one meat every single meal. Don’t do that to your cat.   

You may have already tried to get your adult cat to eat different brands, but she won’t. This can be frustrating – I know. My sister’s cat Amber prefers to eat one lower quality brand of dry food, turning down canned cat food, and better quality kibble. No matter what it is, Amber won’t eat healthier food on any consistent basis. She doesn’t even like human food that many other cats would beg, steal, murder or mortgage your home to get. She won’t eat tidbits of chicken, or turkey, or filet mignon. My sister tried these in an attempt to see if Amber would eat anything else. It took a number of years, but fortunately, she will now deign to dine on an occasional meal of wet food and, (this was a pleasant surprise) she’ll eat a bowl of our brand of Pure Vita grain free cat food now and then. 

I’ve heard from our pet food store dealers, that Pure Vita works for picky eaters but as there is no pickier cat I know than Amber, I was really glad when my sister told me Amber will eat this one other kibble.   

Amber is an extreme case. However, it is in a cat’s nature to be more particular about what they eat. They learn from their biological mothers (or you if you got your kitty very young) what is considered acceptable to eat. This means some cats will lock into eating the one specific food or the limited amount of foods that was first introduced to them.

 This is most likely what happened with Amber – the one unnamed particular brand of kibble was the food that she was started on as a kitten,  and for her, it was initially the only food she perceived as being okay to eat. My sister adopted her at about one year old and this eating habit was already formed.

A cat’s preference or rejection of a food can depend upon not only its taste, but also the smell, size, texture and even shape of a kibble.  So keep trying. 

As much as possible vary their diet and start doing this as soon as you can. You CAN switch your cat onto new foods –yes, it’s going to be a slow process and the transition needs to be very gradual to avoid digestive upset and rejection of the food by your cat.

Listen to How to switch pet foods in segment 3 of  Raising Your Paws Podcast episode 4. 

Very Important Caution to Know!  With a cat you CAN’T play the game of standoff – putting out a food they don’t like and won’t eat – and not giving them anything else – figuring they’ll finally give in and eat it when they get hungry enough. A cat who refuses to eat for more than two days, can develop serious health issues. It’s called hepatic lipidosis. Your cat’s liver cannot deal with severe calorie restriction so if a number of meals are skipped in a row, fat gets deposited into the liver which causes liver failure. At anytime, if your cat stops eating for more than two days you need to take it to the vet.     


Full Show Notes for Episode 13. Title:  Why Dogs Rip their Plush Toys Apart & The Most Important Feeding Rule for Your Cat.     

How to adopt that specific pet you are looking for: Petfinder.com.

My guest, Jean Donaldson’s website.  

Jean Donaldson

Jean Donaldson’s book: The Culture Clash, A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding the Relationship between Humans and Domestic Dogs.

Source for story about the Primary Feeding Rule: The Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier with Norma Eckroate.

Please let us know what you think of the podcast. Rate and review it on iTunes.


Why Your Dog May Not Listen to You.

If you let your dog get away with too much, you may be losing authority in your dog’s eyes without even realizing it.  In Raising Your Paws Podcast (number 12,) my guest Camilla Gray-Nelson explained that over accommodating your dog’s desires can negatively affect how your dog perceives you.  

Here’s some questions to ask yourself to see if you are accommodating your dog.

Do you give in to your dog barking at you to give it a treat or the ball?   

Do you let your dog have a  treat after they jump up and practically tear it from your hand?

Do you let your dog determine how fast or slow you go on your walks?

Do you get out of your dog’s way, letting them lie in your spot on the couch?

Do you let your dog lead/pull you wherever they want when walking?

Do you let your dog get up after putting them in a down before you’ve released them?

Think about other things that you let your dog do, even if you don’t want it and know its probably not a good idea.   

I know at times, you just want your dog to be happy and so don’t always enforce your rules, and it can be a hassle to train consistently, however a dog who feels that they are in control, may not respect you as its leader and this can lead to misbehavior.  

In the book, Lipstick and the Leash, Dog Training a Woman’s Way, by Camilla Gray-Nelson, she writes, “Dogs live by two simple rules: Obey superiors and ignore subordinates.”  “In the animal world, accommodation is akin to subordination.”  

By giving in too much to what your dog wants, not setting limits,  your dog  may see you as being subordinate to them – no wonder they ignore your cues, (a word I like better than commands.)

For your dog to take you seriously, you’ll want to increase/take back your rank as its leader – this does not mean by yelling at them or hurting or punishing them, it means simply start following through with your cues, let your dog know what behaviors are not allowed and take back your control.

They will respect you more and you’ll be amazed at how life with your pooch improves.

So, ignore that bark, and only give the ball or treat when she is sitting quietly in front of you.  

Have your dog work for the treat, give a sit, or down or shake paws cue, etc. and then, give the treat.  Do this consistently to break any bad habits they’ve developed to make you give them food.

Teach your dog to walk by your side – not in front of you. Listen to segment two in episode 11 to learn how to do Camilla Gray-Nelson’s “Leadership Walk”.

Follow through with the “come” cue if your dog runs off and does not respond to you. Rather than yelling it over and over again, getting louder and madder, expecting them to come back to you when you sound like a raving lunatic, quietly, go get your dog. If they do come back on their own, even though a bit delayed, reward it with praise, a treat or toy whatever motivates your dog. If you punish them for coming back,  it may backfire on you the next time. Your dog may associate coming to you as being a bad thing. 


Listen to Podcast Episode 12.

Title: How to Quiet Your Dog’s Warning Bark & Why Dogs May Misbehave More with Women.   

Show Notes.

Camilla Grey-Nelson

Camilla Gray-Nelson’s website.

Camilla’s blog: Dog Talk Diva.

How to order Lipstick and the Leash: Dog Training a Woman’s way.

Pease let us know what you think of the podcast. Rate and review it on iTunes.


Why You Don’t Have to Toilet Train Your Cat.

Have you been wondering if you should toilet train your cat? Seen the videos of those cats using the toilet and feel like you should join the movement?

Don’t worry. You’re not hopelessly old school if you still lug the litter home. The biggest reason people toilet train their cats is they don’t have to clean the litter box ever again – and it does look impressive.  Of course that sounds appealing –  and of course, cats are clever, but don’t be overly swayed or fooled by those videos. It can take a lot of time to teach, it’s a messy process and doesn’t work with all cats.

But the biggest reason not to feel guilty that you’re still having your cat use a litter box  – it’s better for your cat!


Top 4 reasons To Let Your Cat Pee How a Cat Should.

1.   Forcing them to use a toilet goes against your cats natural instinct and inherent wild nature.  A cat digs, eliminates and covers by instinct. This is why it’s so easy to teach them to use the box in the first place.  A box filled with an appealing litter most closely resembles how a cat would choose to eliminate outdoors. Covering waste is how they prevent predators from finding where they live – it doesn’t matter that your cat is indoors, that instinct doesn’t go away. In those videos, you’ll see the poor cats pawing at the toilet lid, trying to cover the water with something.  This is also sometimes when they fall in. 

  (Speaking of litter that appeals to your cat, in Raising Your Paws podcast episode 11, hear what the signs are that tell you your cat may not like the litter you are buying.)

2.       Straddling the toilet can be difficult and stressful for cats.   Especially for very young or old ones. Those seats can be slippery and not easy to negotiate especially if your cat is ill.  If they fall in, even if they get out on their own, they may be panicked or soaked and if the toilet bowl was full, they will need a major bath, yuck.  Remember, it can take only ONE traumatic experience for a cat to form a complete aversion to something. And if after a male human uses the bathroom and puts the toilet seat down, its a yay for a woman – bad news if you’re the cat. Nowhere to pee but on the rug.   The process of eliminating should not be a stressful event.

3.       The number of “bathrooms” and their locations are important for preventing elimination problems and creating security.  If you have multiple cats, sometimes one cat may be nervous about walking through another cat’s territory to get to its box,  so won’t use it, but you can always move the boxes to different places to solve that problem. Are you going to relocate your bathrooms?  Elimination problems can  also be caused by multiple cats not liking to share. (Listen to podcast episode 3 about this. ) No one likes a dirty toilet.  If your cat doesn’t flush, no matter how many times you tell her to, there could be lingering odor from the solid waste, and other cats in the household may object to using the same toilet. Are you going to build new bathrooms for each cat? Of course not. That would be crazy.

 4.       You can monitor its habits of elimination. If your cat is sick or having some medical issues, your vet may want you to monitor the amount of urine your cat is producing. You can see this when you scoop the litter box – you cannot tell if there has been an increase or decrease when the urine is going into a toilet. Just so you know, a significant change in the volume of your cat’s pee, can be a red flag to a potential medical problem.

Also, if your cat ever needs to be hospitalized or boarded it will be in a cage with a traditional litter box.  You may have to go through toilet training all over again when your kitty comes home. If you had kids, wasn’t that hard enough? You really want to do this with a feline?

Litter boxes and cats – like peanut butter and jelly. Compared to dogs, it’s ridiculous how easy it is. Why make it more complicated?

Source material for this blog posting comes from the certified cat behavior consultant, Pam Johnson-Bennett, in her book, Cat Wise. You can hear  my interview with Pam in Raising Your Paws podcast episode 2. She shares the top truths about a cats nature that is really useful to know.


Show Notes.

Podcast Episode 11.  Title:  How Women Can Better Control Their Dogs & How to Solve Barking Problems.

Not all barking is the same. Different sounding barks communicate different emotions and needs. If you’re trying to reduce the barking, recognizing what your dog is telling you is crucial. I’ll start with one that says your dog is excited.

Then, why do women sometimes have a harder time getting their dogs to obey them compared to men? Listen as Camilla Gray-Nelson, author of Lipstick and the Leash: Dog Training a Woman’s Way, explains the answer and tells you how to get control.

Next, if your cat is peeing outside its box, it might not like the brand of kitty litter you are buying. I’ll tell you the signs that indicate this may be the issue.

Resources for this episode.

Source for segment about barking. Barking: The Sound of a Language, by Turid Rugass.

Camilla Gray-Nelson’s websites:

Dairy Dell Doggy Dude Ranch and Training Center.

Blog: Dog Talk Diva.

Link to order her book, Lipstick and The Leash.

Please support this podcast by subscribing and telling your friends. To subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode, here is the link. 


How to Introduce Your Puppy to New People.

If you recently got a puppy or are planning on it, I hope you’ve heard that the most important thing to do with it, besides loving it, feeding it, getting it outside fast enough and often enough to pee and poo and keeping it from chewing up your entire wardrobe, is to socialize it.

Simply put this means exposing and introducing your pup to as many new experiences and people as you possibly can. And the first four months of your dogs life is the most important time to do this. For the reasons why, listen to the episode of the Raising Your Paws podcast, #8.

Let’s talk about exposing your puppy to new people. You want to take your dog to places where they will see as wide a variety of different age groups, sizes, sexes, shapes, colors and gaits of people as possible. Yes, you’ll be planning a lot of short field trips to go visit people and taking walks around the neighborhood so that your puppy walks by a lot of different types of people.

What do you actually do with your puppy once you get there or when they meet someone new?  When visiting, you want the experience to be overall positive so a bit of play, petting and gentle handling by others is involved.  The best thing single thing to do is plan to have everyone that meets your dog, hand feed it. Take small tasty treats with you, and give a bit to the teenagers you meet on your walk, or the man in the baseball cap and sunglasses and let them feed a bit to your dog.  Do the same thing for the children who want to come up and pat your dog. For younger children you will want to assist with the feeding. If your dog is not food motivated, but loves toys and balls, then the people can use the favorite toy to play with the puppy.

If you cant actually have the person hand feed, such as when your dog sees the UPS delivery person going next door, or when someone is walking by using crutches,  then you feed them a treat as near by the person as is feasible.  This also works for the bikes and skateboarders going by and is the method to use for babies as well. Simply feed a treat to your puppy as they are sniffing near the infant.

When I started walking Rosy around the neighborhood in the first weeks after adopting her, each time we got closer to the person coming towards us on the sidewalk, before they passed by us, I said her name, got her attention and fed her a treat as the person walked by.

For a more detailed description of this method and more information about socialization, I highly recommend, Jean Donaldson’s book, The Culture Clash.

Speaking of puppies, NutriSource Pet Foods has new puppy food flavors!  In addition to our regular chicken flavor for both small/medium and large breed puppies, we now have turkey, grain free puppy food.

Greeting a new dog.

Were you taught that when approaching a new dog, to first,  hold your hand out for the dog to sniff? Have you taught your kids this?

Did you know that this method is the number one thing that can actually provoke a dog to feel threatened which may result in them biting?

Yikes!!!   Don’t worry. Teach yourself and your children the correct and safe way to meet new dogs.

Here is a great poster created by the late Dr. Sophia Yin, that shows the correct way greet an unfamiliar dog.

You can also download the poster for yourself and get copies.


In this week’s podcast, I spoke about paying attention to a cat’s tail. Its various positions can tell you a lot about how the cat is feeling. To supplement the episode, here is little video showing you cat tail positions.


Resources for the podcast episode #10 Title: Dogs Who Help Keep Hotels Free of Bedbugs & The Correct, Safer Way to Greet an Unfamiliar Dog.

Dan Hughes and Adak, who was the 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Award Winner in the Military category. Dan handled him in Afghanistan and the U.S.

Website for Dog For Defense Inc. website, http://www.dogsfordefense.us/ 


This is Annie, one of Adak’s puppies. She is a German Shepherd and a drug sniffing dog.
Here is Bdak, another one of Adak’s offspring. He is a German Shepherd and is a bomb sniffing dog.












Please support this podcast by subscribing and telling your friends. To subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode, here is the link. 



Your Dog’s Development Stages: What to Expect.

Just as with human children, dogs go through developmental stages – from puppyhood into adolescence and adulthood, exhibiting certain typical behaviors.

Here’s an overview of what you can expect during the different phases.

Your dog’s puppyhood, contains the critical socialization period and your efforts here will help  your dog grow up to get along well with all kinds of people and other dogs.

Listen to the Raising Your Paws podcast episode 8, that explains just what socialization means and how to do it. 


Your puppy begins to shed some of its goofy nature (unless you have a Lab) and adolescent behaviors that are driven by hormonal influences begin to arrive around 6 months of age, yet depending upon the size of your breed, it may be sooner. A small dog such as a Pomeranian, might mature at 5 months but a large dog, like a Great Dane will be later at 11 months.

Teen aged dogs get better control over elimination, the puppyhood habit of biting – lessens, their ability to focus on things improves and they begin to sense their considerable physical strength and agility.

Your dog will be more erratic and unpredictable than in puppyhood acting like a goofy, playful puppy one moment and then in the next, a teenager obsessed with anything and everything – except you, their owner.

You can have a rebellious teenager on your hand, ignoring you altogether, as they become very curious about the rest of the world and more comfortable wandering off. Due to the flooding hormones in their bodies, new challenges may emerge, like, intentionally mouthing  you,  more exuberant play including being bolder in jumping and body slamming,  they may exhibit more chewing, digging, counter surfing, stealing and  escaping.  You may find yourself yelling more, pulling your hair out, and chasing after the dog, what fun, huh – gotta love those teenagers.

Your dog will show more confidence towards you, which is good…… but as they’ve gained the ability to predict how you will react to certain things they do, they may mess with you.  You know, have a little fun at your expense, like stealing the remote control to get your attention, and instigate a game of chase.  Needless to say, obedience and manners training is mandatory at this stage if you haven’t started already.

Adolescent dogs become more concerned with their social status and territory and this leads to increased independence, assertiveness, territoriality, protectiveness over possessions, and heightened interest towards other dogs and strangers (with its possible, resulting, potential for heightened aggression as well.)

Your puppy, who may never have barked before, may start barking for the first time as an adolescent.  Until Rosy, my Sheltie/German Shephard mix, was about one year old, I had never heard her bark and was surprised the first time she did so while standing on my balcony looking down at a service worker who walked close to the building. Once you realize your dog does bark, the question will be how often it does it. Unless you want your dog to bark a lot, when it first appears, this is the right time to re-direct the dog quickly into another focus before barking has a chance to develop into a self-reinforcing behavior pattern. We can talk about barking in a future podcast episodes.

Now this is interesting and might help explain something you’ve noticed in your dog.  Some dogs who were confident puppies, can go through an adolescent  stage where they become fearful, startling more easily at new stimuli or strangers as they enter their teenage stage.

Has this happened to your dog? Patricia McConnell a leading certified, animal behaviorist, calls it, “juvenile onset – shyness,” where dogs become cautious as teenagers.

I’ve spoken about the first 3 months of your puppys life, being the critical socialization period, (podcast episode # 8) however this does not mean you can stop socializing your dog after 14 weeks, especially if your dog exhibits the adolescent fearful period.

You’ll want to continue your dog’s social education for at least the first year of its life.  As Patricia McConnell describes it, “Social animals like dogs and humans have a strong sense of familiar and unfamiliar and dogs need to learn that part of what’s normal and familiar in life is to meet unfamiliar people and dogs.” So bottom line, keep socializing your dog into adulthood.

Other adult dogs may treat your adolescent differently then they treat harmless puppies. Improper behavior from an adolescent such as in-your-face greetings, body slamming during play or direct threats toward adult dogs will not be tolerated in the same way as it might be from a young pup.   Your juvenile is likely to get a “correction” in the form of growls, snaps, and pin downs to send the message to mind their manners.  The first fight I ever witnessed between Rosy and another dog, was with one she was romping with at a dog park. Rosy chose to body slam this older dog. The adult snarled at her, but Rosy looking away, missed the warning, and when she again mischievously threw herself against her, the older dog,  got angry and let her have it. Wow, seeing my “baby” in a dog fight was alarming but, it didn’t last long, neither was hurt, and Rosy did learn her lesson.   Now that Rosy is 6 years old, she herself, does not tolerate any youngster who wants to box her face and jump on her head. It’s an immediate pin-down.

Sexual maturity.  It’s defined as the time when a dog is capable of breeding.  This stage can arrive as early as 6 months for both males and females, an average is usually 12 months – but if you have a larger breed dog it can take as long as 2 years.

Male dogs start marking and lifting their leg for first time, and females may also start marking.  Not only is the female marking her territory, but she is also advertising her availability to any eligible males.  Dog to dog aggression is likely to increase during sexual maturity as dogs become more concerned with establishing territory, social status and access to potential mates.


This is the period when adolescence ends – usually sometime between 1-3 years of age depending upon the breed and individual dog.

Adults no longer experience rapid physical growth. Rather than continuing to get taller and longer, many dogs begin to fill out. The most common change you’ll normally see in your dog’s shape will be broadening of the chest and shoulders.

To your great relief, some of the troublesome behaviors that you may have experienced with your teenage dog starts to naturally calm down. Phew! They are not as excitable as when they were adolescents and adults can calm themselves more quickly and relax for longer periods.  Your mature dog is more confident as they are now experienced in many social interactions and have reached their physical prime.

This social confidence is a positive trait in well socialized and well trained adult dogs. It can be a  pleasure for you to take your dog out in public, but be mindful that this same adult confidence in dogs that have aggression issues, can become dangerous if they are not well managed and trained.

For adult dogs, it’s not end of their social development and learning. They are still influenced by the environment, and social interactions for the rest of their lives, so continue with established routines, good leadership, socialization, training and new opportunities for exercise throughout your adult dog’s life.


If you haven’t listened to our podcast yet, there’s a lot of great stories and quick tips for raising and caring for your four legged family members. Go to www.raisingyourpaws.com.

We’d really appreciate it if you could take a moment to rate and review the podcast. To do so, just click one of the directories on the homepage of the above website, on iTunes, Stitcher or Google play.   Thanks so much.


Resources for Episode 9 of the Raising Your Paws Podcast.

Title: The Two Most Important Pet First Aid Techniques To Know & Quick Answers About Your Dog’s Behavior.

For more information about Pet Tech, Click here to find pet first aid classes in your area and for more information about Pet Tech’s events and trainings available.

Thom Somes, my guest interview for this episode.

Thom Somes also known as the Pet Safety Guy™ is the president and founder of Pet Tech®, the first International Training Center dedicated to CPR, First Aid, Care & Safety for dogs and cats. Thom’s career started in the medical field over 40 years ago in Michigan. He trained with the Michigan State Police and worked as an EMT for several ambulance services. After moving to California he became an Affiliate Faculty Member for Sharp Hospital and was an American Heart Association Instructor teaching human CPR, First Aid & AED trainings. 

Twenty two years ago he merged his passion for pets, teaching and medicine to create the premiere pet CPR, First Aid & Care Training programs on the planet. Thom went back to school and earned his Veterinary Assistant 1 & 2 and volunteered hundreds of hours at Pet Emergency Hospitals and Specialty Centers. These programs were developed by Thom integrating the latest in the neurosciences of teaching and learning theory. Thom has his Practitioner, Master Practitioner and Trainer’s in NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) and has integrated it into all of the trainings, whether taught by Thom or one of the Family of Pet Tech® Instructors. Our unique style of teaching provides the student with an educational experience that is fun while allowing them to access the information in the event of a medical emergency involving their pet.

Pet Tech® offers CPR, First Aid & Care training for pet parents and Pet Care Professionals. There are over 700 Pet Tech® Instructors teaching the Pet Tech programs in 7 countries. 

Thom is the author of Knowing Your Pet’s Health, A Guide to Optimal Wellness from Snout-To-Tail. This book is responsible for saving thousands of pets’ lives. It first debuted in Dear Abby in 2001. Knowing the skills and techniques of pet first aid can mean the difference between life and death; temporary and permanent disability; and expensive veterinarian bills and reasonable home care. 

Thom is a renowned speaker and presenter specifically in the field of health and safety for pets.


Win a free bag of Pet Food.

Play our fast facts game. Answer this question, “Why do dog’s feet smell like corn chips”?

Send the answer to susan@raisingyourpaws.com before the release of our next episode which will be on Feb. 26, 2018.

The 8th person to send me an e-mail with the answer, will win a coupon for a free bag of any flavor/brand of NutriSource pet food to redeem at your nearby independent dealer that sells our food. To find the closest store to you, see our dealer directory here.


Once I have your answers, we’ll talk about it on a future episode. Silly sounding question I know, but there is a real legitimate answer.