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dcox_and_dolly Thank you for all the great feedback on our 'return'!

In this issue: we profile a home pet care service, list upcoming events and fundraisers - and put the spotlight on an animal welfare group.

Plus, we find out the joys of 'oldie' pets in our lives, take a look at a link to a cats indoors website and get expert advice on dogs and children together.

Two readers tell us about Percy the woodpigeon and Donut the kitten.

denise and Dolly
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ia_hdr Newsletter                                                       June 2009
Our Features

Tell us about your group: Animal Care Society

On Sunday the 5th of July, Mr. And Mrs. Malcolm and Phemie Rose are opening their beautiful West Cork garden in Durrus (West Cork) for an ACS charity day. This garden has many unique and beautiful features and unusual plants.   A lovely day out on the shores of beautiful Dunmanus bay. This garden has featured in many national and international publications and on TV. Not to be missed !

acslogoIf you want to see committed animal lovers in action, meet the Cork Animal Care Society.

Founded in October 2000, this registered charity has as its mission “Their lives...Our passion” and they certainly embody this in their tireless work for the animals of Cork city and county. (

Comprised mostly of volunteers, Cork ACS has a cat sanctuary in Dromahane, just outside of Mallow in North Cork, where stray and abandoned cats are rehabilitated and cared for in a purpose-built cattery until loving new homes are found for them.

Cork ACS also works very closely with dog welfare groups whom they support through financial help and with transport. They campaign tirelessly for better animal welfare legislation and are founder members of the Spay Week Ireland project.

Since their foundation, they have rescued well over 7,000 animals comprising mostly cats and dogs but, in quite a few cases, wildlife and even farm animals too! For all the cruelty and indifference the people at Cork ACS encounter every day, they remain hopeful and they know that every life saved is a cause for celebration.

 Below are some stories of special animals who have been saved by the ACS and who, until recently, knew only fear, hunger and neglect, but who now have bright, happy futures in store.

fordnearlyTake, for instance, Ford Nearly, the cat who was recently saved by a Cork ACS volunteer. This cat, having been hit by a car, was found on the side of the road with severe injuries. His owner was notified but simply ignored his plight and dreadful suffering. Luckily for him, he was picked up by an ACS volunteer and brought to the vet where he is now on the road to recovery having undergone extensive surgery.

brenBren, a collie cross, is a special dog whose owner died. The owner’s relatives locked Bren, his sister and his mother into a shed for three years before someone finally took pity on them and Bren was brought to the ACS. Understandably, he is still very nervous of people but he is making progress in his foster home and, when he is ready, the ACS will find a safe home for him with people who understand his special needs and who will give him the time and love he deserves.

PrincessFrom time to time, there are animals who display incredible courage in the face of real adversity. An example of this is Princess, the cat who was paralysed but who still managed to give birth to six kittens and who lovingly cared for her babies despite her disability. How she managed to give birth, let alone care for her kittens with no warm bed or nice food to fill her hungry stomach, is nothing short of a miracle. This brave girl deserved the best home for all she had suffered and she found her very own angel in the form of an ACS volunteer who fell in love with her, having heard her story.

Princess, as she is aptly named, now lives in a fantastic home and, although she will always be paralysed, her new owner tells us that this does not slow her down at all and she is a happy and content cat who is enjoying life, probably for the first time, with a warm lap to curl up on.

For these animals and the others who come into the care of Cork ACS, there will be a happy ending. The people in Cork ACS share a vision that, through legislation and education, the huge problems of pet overpopulation and the numerous cases of cruelty and neglect will become a thing of the past. They know that there is no quick fix and that change takes a long time but they are committed, day in and day out, to making this change happen.

They say there is strength in numbers and Cork ACS would love to hear from anybody who is interested in helping them. For more information, take a look at our website

Happy together: Children and dogs


By Tara Choules, Dog Training Ireland

Children and dogs together seems to be a common theme to the calls we get to the training centre every day. Whether it is that a dog's behaviour towards a new baby, or young child is causing concern, or training a dog so as to manage the household better -- we are happy to help. (Photos contributed by members of the IrishAnimals chat forum - join us!)

dodgerThe importance of the socialisation of your puppy in the time period of up to 18 weeks of age cannot be underestimated.
(read more about this.) Supervised appropriate socialisation will build confidence, develop coping skills and most importantly teach bite inhibition.

kirstyRemember while your dog may be very friendly, accidents do happen. Likewise a confident, well socialised dog will be less likely to experience fear or anxiety in new situations or when they are meeting a new child. So invest in your dog's early weeks and months and socialise well under the supervision and guidance of a professional dog trainer. Dogs of all ages should receive regular health checks, especially in a home where children are present or if a new child is due. This should include adequate worming by a vet and a full physical check should be carried out. Vaccinations should be up to date and a check of the dog's ears, eyes, joints etc is advised, as a dog in any pain will be less tolerant. Every family is different. While some dog owners may think that when a child arrives they will be 'ok', there is sometimes a tendency to panic or stress on the first meeting.

babyewanIf this happens it is best to manage the situation as best you can without excluding the dog or panicking the child. The biggest mistake parents make is excluding the dog or banishing the dog to the back garden. The myriad problems this causes is endless, and fixing these problems can be difficult.

Instead, use the available tools such as baby gates, puppy pens and crates in a positive way. This will help you to safely and slowly introduce the dog to child and vice versa. You will be better equipped to manage the situation and this will help you to stay calm and organised about this).

Even if you have not considered the arrival of children into your home, it is vital that puppies learn all of the above so as to set them up for the eventualities that our human lives will inevitably throw at them. Bite inhibition means teaching your puppy that biting hurts, to decrease mouthing and ultimately teaching a soft mouth. A dog without bite inhibition will inflict a serious wound in an accident situation, whereas a dog with good bite inhibition may only inflict a pressure wound in the same situation. This is vital and it is every dog owner's responsibility to teach bite inhibition in every breed of dog.

Learn to read canine body language by purchasing DVDs or discussing this with a professional. 99% of dog owners get it wrong when reading their dog's signals. A wagging tail does not always mean a happy dog, a roll over is more than likely a request for space and not a request for a belly rub -- and a growl should be seen as a good thing, as the dog is giving a verbal warning giving you the time to deal with the situation.

bonnieForget dominance, pack theories and the notion that your dog has to be beneath your child in the pecking order. Rest assured that your dog does not have the ability to forward think and plan to take over the household. He is a dog and he will do things that make him feel good and that are worthwhile doing. Pack theories and dominance theories have long been disproved. Any qualified trainer or canine behaviourist will confirm this. The term 'calm submissive' is used a lot, but this is not what you are looking for. A relaxed dog that can listen to cues and perform these on cue should be your goal. A dog that is confident to leave a situation that he is not comfortable with is ideal. Remember to allow your dog to retreat and rest if this is what he wants. He needs a den, a place of safety where he can simply be uninterrupted.

katieAttend a training class so that you can teach your dogs basic cues such as sit, stay, leave, come here and how to walk on a loose lead. Never use interactive punishment when training your dog, as hand slaps or harsh handling or choke type corrections will cause your dog to be hand or lead shy. Children are all about hands and movement so hands and movement should be a good thing always. Classical Conditioning is your best friend. Child = something nice, repeat enough and your dog will associate the presence of children as a positive. This will mean that your dog will feel good when children are around.

Teach your child how to appropriately interact with your dog in an open space and without crowding either of them. Verbally praise both when they get it right. If a child gently pets the dog, let them know how well they are doing, if your dog gently licks your child on the hand reward him for that. Mark every good behaviour, feedback to the child and dog is vital if you want those good behaviours to be repeated.

sofaIf you know that your dog has behavioural issues, deal with them now. Attempting behaviour modification in conjunction with introducing dog to child is not going to work and you are simply setting yourself up for failure, while putting your child and dog at risk. If you have a dog that bites or has bitten in the past, has resource guarding issues or lacks socialisation consult with a professional behaviourist and have your dog assessed.

These DVDs from Dr Ian Dunbar titled 'Every Picture Tells a Story' and 'Dog Training for Children' are both an excellent investment. They are available online.

If you need further advice consult with a CCPDT or APDT UK certified dog trainer and one with a recognised college qualification in the area of canine training and behaviour.

Copyright Dog Training Ireland 2009. This article is for informational purposes only, if you have questions please contact a trained professional.

taraTara Choules, is Director at Dog Training Ireland in Dublin. DTI is a Canine Training and Behaviour company with CCPDT & APDT UK qualified trainers. Our mission at Dog Training Ireland is to help dogs live in our human world through better communication and understanding. This in turn will bring harmony and happiness to the home for everyone involved.

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