DOG E-News, July 2005

Rally-O, coyotes, laws, adolescent pets and more

Wow! DOG E-news certainly is a sporadic production! Our last issue was in January,
and much has happened since then in the dog world. So, here's a longer issue to help play catch-up.

Rally-O is AKC's newest sport

Folks who visit summer dog shows have a chance to see Rally-O, the newest event sanctioned by the American Kennel Club. Rally-O is a bridge between obedience classes and the more formal exercises and judging of obedience trials.

Rally is a blend of obedience and agility with a bit of sports car rally tossed in. Dogs and handlers attempt to complete a course within a time limit. Along the way, they perform 15-20 different exercises described on signs set at numbered stations. Unlike formal obedience, owners can talk to their dogs and encourage them to perform each exercise and to walk between stations on a loose leash.

Rally-O exercises use all basic obedience commands. Dogs must know how to heel, sit, stand, down, come, and stay and perform these commands without help. Judges watch the team work and subtract mistakes from the perfect score of 100 points. The sport has three levels of competition, each one harder than the previous level. Dogs that earn three qualifying scores of 70 or more points at each level qualify for Rally titles.

Rally is great for young dogs not yet ready for formal obedience and for older dogs that are retired or semi-retired from competition. For more information about Rally-O, see Rally-O!! AKC’s newest sport is fun for pets or the AKC website at

A DOG book favorite

Great summer reading with a bit of history woven in! "First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Best Friends" by Roy Rowan & Brooke Janis. Presidential pets have been privy to top-level meetings and have had the run of the White House. From George Washington's development of the American Foxhound breed to the first President Bush's beloved Millie, this delightful book profiles the Leaders of the Free World and the pooches who shared their lives.



Canid of the month: Coyote

Coyotes have spread their territory into the four corners of the US and are causing trouble because they have lost their fear of humans. While attacks on people are rare, they do happen, but the biggest problem so far is the wild dog's tendency to kill pet cats and small dogs. We've updated the coyote article to reflect the latest news about these wily critters. See "Adaptable and intelligent, the coyote goes east to seek his fortune and ends up in the doghouse" (

New state legislation: Dangerous dog law in Ohio

The Ohio Legislature is considering a bill to fix the state's dangerous dog law by providing due process for owners whose pets are accused of crimes and eliminating the breed specific portion of the current law. However, HB189 is opposed by the state Dog Warden's Association and has been held up in committee. For more information, see the bill at and the Ohio Valley Dog Owners position at

New federal legislation: AWA amendment in US Senate

Senator Richard Santorum of Pennsylvania has introduced S1139, an amendment to the federal Animal Welfare Act that will place USDA inspectors in private homes of some home breeders if it passes.

Federal law now regulates only commercial kennels that sell puppies and kittens through wholesale channels, i.e. to pet stores or other commercial kennels or research laboratories. USDA regulations currently exempt those who sell puppies and kittens directly to pet owners. Santorum's bill will eliminate that exemption for all breeders who produce more than six litters in their homes and for all who sell more than 25 dogs or cats.

Current regulations are written for commercial kennel buildings. Home breeders do not have floors impervious to moisture, drainage to wash feces and urine into septic systems, or ventilation systems to provide a certain number of air exchanges per hour. Passage of the bill will strain USDA's budget to write new regulations for homes, a long and costly process, and increase the number of USDA inspectors.

For years, Dog Owner's Guide has encouraged potential pet owners to seek out responsible breeders if they want to purchase a purebred puppy. Passage of S1139 or its House version (H2669) will undoubtedly diminish the number of puppies bred by responsible breeders who balk at having federal inspectors in their homes. For more information, see and

New import health rules: Massachusetts

The Bay State is a destination for thousands of dog imported by shelters and rescue groups each year, so the Massachusetts legislature approved an amendment to its animal law that requires importers to meet minimum health and identification requirements. See for more information.

The state's agriculture department also tightened its import rules when a puppy from Puerto Rice was diagnosed with rabies.


Vaccinations are available for four strains of leptospirosis, but there is still concern about side effects caused by the adjutants used in the vaccine. As a result, veterinarians often recommend against the vaccine unless the disease is a problem in local areas or the dog will be traveling to a lepto-endemic area. See "Leptospirosis outbreaks tough to diagnose" (

Summertime with Sassy

It's midsummer already, (at least in the Northern Hemisphere, where we are), but there's still lots of time for fun in the sun with the family dog. See "Summertime tips: Fun in the sun with Rover" (

You folks in the Southern Hemisphere can bookmark the article and come back when your turn in the sun comes.

Adolescent dogs

That Christmas puppy is approaching his first birthday and you're going crazy trying to stop him from bullying the kids, chasing the cat, stealing your lunch, and climbing on the furniture. Don't despair ... adolescent dogs outgrow their impish ways if you use patience, consistency, and training to let them know who's the boss. See "This dog is driving me crazy! Great expectations run amok" ( and "Puppy adolescence: trials and tribulations" (

Norma Bennett Woolf

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