Category Archives: Resources

10 Tips for New Puppy Owners

  1. Puppy GearHannah R Puppy Apr 2017

There are some basic supplies that all new puppy owners should have on hand: quality puppy food, a 6-foot cotton leash, an adjustable collar, food and water bowls, easily washable towels or blankets for bedding, poop bags, and some dog toys. Traditional Kong toys are great for stuffing with peanut butter and keeping a little one busy. A crate is also recommended as a safe place for the puppy to be when they can’t be attended, as well as a great housebreaking training tool.

  1. Clear your Calendar

When you first bring home the puppy, it’s great if you can plan to be home, spending time getting the puppy use to his or her new environment and bonding with you. Ideally you work up to leaving the puppy for short periods of time, gradually extending the time up to 3-4 hours over the course of a new days or a week. Remember, puppies can’t hold it very long in the beginning, so having someone available to let the puppy out regularly is important. A general rule of thumb is to not expect puppies to be able to hold it more than 1 hour per month in age, so at 8 weeks, the maximum a puppy should have to wait is 2 hours.

  1. Puppy Proof your Home

Look around and move or pick up anything that could be a potential danger for curious puppies; things such as electrical cords, poisonous plants and small items that could be easily swallowed. Now is also the time to put away shoes, socks and children’s toys. Put them in a closet with a door, or up out of puppy’s reach.

  1. Make Rules

Both puppies and dogs in general, thrive on consistency and pattern. Think about the dog your puppy will become and what you want that dog to do or not do. For example, will you allow your dog to get on the furniture. It’s much easier to prevent a bad habit than to break one that has already taken hold. This is also a good time to have a family meeting and make sure everyone knows the rules for the puppy and is in agreement. It’s very hard on the puppy if one family member allows something and another family member doesn’t.

  1. Be Patient

It’s easy to get frustrated when you think your puppy should understand more quickly than they seem to be. Like people, puppies learn at different rates, but a keep in mind that it can take 30-50 consistent repetitions before a dog understands a command.

  1. Introduce Other Family Pets in a Neutral Area

If you already have a dog, it’s best if the new puppy and existing dog can first meet outside, ideally in a neutral area such as a park. Go for a walk together and then go inside the house. This will allow the dogs to get to know each other a bit and reduce territorial concerns for the existing dog. When introducing an existing family cat to a new puppy, let the cat investigate, while keeping the puppy on leash or behind a gate. Both older dogs and cats need to be able to have a place they can go to get away from the puppy when they need a break or a little down time.

  1. Go to the Vet

Ask around to get input on the veterinarians in your area and visit them in advance to find one you are comfortable with. Soon after getting your puppy, take them to be looked at by the vet to make sure they are healthy and up to date on their vaccinations. Take cookies and make the experience as positive as possible for your puppy. If the vet you choose does not offer 24 hour emergency service, find out who to call in case of emergency and where the nearest 24 hour clinic is located.

  1. Identification and Registration

All puppies and dogs should have your contact information on their collar – include the dog’s name, your name, and a phone number or two. In addition to your own phone number, consider putting that of your veterinarian, or a trusted friend. Microchipping can be a good option as well. Some towns require a dog to be licensed, so make sure you know the regulations in your community.

  1. Enroll in a Puppy Class

Look for a puppy kindergarten or socialization class in your area. This is a good way to learn some basic training skills, as well as to give your puppy the opportunity to experience being in the company of different kinds of dogs and people during the puppy’s key developmental phase.

  1. Ask for Help

Having a new puppy can be overwhelming at times, even if you’ve had dogs before, so don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice. Talking to other people who are either going through a similar experience, or have done it in the past, can be both helpful and comforting. Here are some resources to consider: Seek out other puppy parents to share stories and ideas. Visit your local owner-operated pet supply store; usually these store owners are in the business because they care about pets and are happy to lend an ear, as well as offer advice. Talk to an area dog trainer or to your veterinarian.

Valentine’s Day & Pets Can be a Bad Mix

I bet from the headline you thought I was going to say don’t give a puppy or a kitten as a gift for Valentine’s Day. While that’s sound advice, this column is really about how common Valentine’s Day gifts or activities can be dangerous for dogs or cats.

Who doesn’t like chocolate on Valentine’s Day? But don’t share chocolates with your dog! All kinds of chocolates are dangerous for dogs. The darker the chocolate or the greater the quantity, the more dangerous it is. Chocolate can cause pancreatitis in dogs, a painful abdominal condition with symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea.

Staying on the topic of sweets, a number of sugar-free candies and baked goods now contain xylitol as a sugar substitute. This ingredient can lead to liver failure in dogs.

A beautiful bouquet of roses is almost synonymous with Valentine’s Day, but keep them up high and away from a curious dog or cat. Eating roses can cause constipation and an upset stomach, and thorns can cause injuries to the mouth or paws.

Gift Wrapping
An artfully wrapped gift is always a pleasure to receive, but after you open it be mindful of what you do with the ribbons and wrapping paper, especially metallic wrapping paper. Curious dogs or cats that ingest gift wrapping risk having blockages in the intestines.

Turning down the lights and basking in the glow of lit candles can be very romantic, but be cautious about where you put them. Tails, noses and whiskers run the risk of getting singed, or in a worse case scenario, accidentally tipping over the candles could start a fire.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these substances, please contact your veterinarian.

Sprakers Border Collie Update


Here’s the latest press release information from Glen Highland Farm on the Border Collies in Sprakers New York:

Glen Highland Farm was asked by the Montgomery County SPCA to assist in the seizure of the Flat Creek Border Collies in Sprakers, NY. There are now 35 Border Collies in our care, with 25 of them fully surrendered to Rescue. Ten are in our care awaiting court proceedings. 

Each dog is being fully evaluated by veterinarians and rescue staff with respect to their condition. A full report will be provided to the SPCA. 

The "Sprakers" dogs that are now part of GHF rescue
are NOT available for adoption at this time.
We will not be answering any inquiries at this time.

So the good news is that most of the Sprakers dogs have been surrendered and will now get the care they need. The big job for Glen Highland Farm right now is to get these dogs settled, vetted, cleaned up, and then to try to understand the personality and individual needs of each dog.

While the Farm is not taking inquiries about these dogs, you can help by donating a bag of food through Dog Wild Canine Supply. We deliver to the Farm regularly and Taste of the Wild is the food used by most dogs at this time. You can find out more about the donation process on the Glen Highland Farm website, or by calling Dog Wild at 607-547-5261.

Puppies as Commodities

I’m not usually too political, but this one hits close to home, literally.

ImageMany of you have met our latest rescue Fennec. He was very lucky, he was bought out of Spraker’s puppy mill and ultimately ended up at Glen Highland Farm Border Collie Rescue and then at our house. But the puppy mill is still there and it’s run by someone who clearly sees these dogs as a commodity. This video was taken Friday with all the dogs out in the sub-zero temperatures. In one frame you can see a young dog huddled by the gate hoping for compassion.

The police say the owner has not broken any laws and this may be true based on how the laws are written in NY. There is tougher legislation being proposed, but the governor needs to be encouraged to sign it. The deadline for a signature is January 10, 2014. Learn more about the legislation and consider adding your voice to let the governor know that we don’t condone this type of treatment of dogs.

Oh no… that smell!

Its spring and skunks are on the move. Most active during dusk, dawn and during a full moon, a startled skunk is likely to react by lifting his tail and letting loose his powerful defensive mechanism – and oh does it smell!Skunk

Skunks can carry rabies, so if you realize your dog has been sprayed, the first thing to do is put on protective rubber gloves and an apron or other coverall. Check your dog over for bites or injury. If any are found, stop and call your veterinarian right away.

If the dog hasn’t been injured, other than the insult of the smell, then a bath is in order.

While Coca-Cola or tomato juice is the storied remedy, experts seem to agree that the best recipe is this one:

1 quart hydrogen peroxide
¼ cup baking soda
1-2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap

This recipe works because of the chemical reactions, but there are some cautions to be aware of:

Do not store – it could explode
Do not substitute other ingredients
Do not get this solution near your dog’s eyes, ears or mouth!

With the solution ready to go, do not pre-rinse your dog, but just start right in with the solution, massaging it in and then if possible let it sit for about 5 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Repeat the process a second time and perhaps a third if necessary. Dry your dog well.

The oils from the skunk spray can re-surface with time, so if the smell comes back, another bath might be needed.

This peroxide solution can lighten what it comes in contact with, so be careful with your clothes or rugs.

It’s no fun for anyone to get skunked, but with this recipe handy, you’ll be prepared if your dog gets it from that “black kitty cat with the stripe down its back.”

Emergency Contact for the Dogs

On a regular basis, there are stories of car accidents where there are dogs in the car but the police have no information on how to help the dogs, or more importantly who to call to help the dogs.

If there is information in the car about what to do with the dogs, the police will do their best to follow it.

So take a couple minutes and do this today!

Create a document using the outline below as a guide and tuck it in your glove compartment for a day that hopefully never happens. Remember to agree on this plan with your contacts ahead of time, so they know what to do if they get the call.


[fill in the name of one or two reliable people to contact]

[fill in as many phone numbers are you have for these people]



C’Mon Get Happy

Gail and Ginger received their Cameo Canine portrait Saturday at Dog Wild Canine Supply. The portrait was won in the Dog Wild Halloween raffle to benefit Home-to-Home, the pet adoption alternative. When artist Cat Gareth asked Gail to tell her about Ginger, the one thing that stood out most was that Ginger is ALWAYS happy. The title for this portrait is “C’mon Get Happy”.

Cat Gareth, uses photographs and stories owners tell about their pet, to create unique, custom pet portraits that are more than just a likeness of the pet, but rather an illustration of the pet’s unique personality and experiences.

To see other pet portraits or to contact artist Cat Gareth, visit Cameo Canines on the Home-to-Home website.

Titans among Pet Food Manufacturers

Pet Food Industry LogoAt the annual meeting of the Pet Food Institute last October, the elected officers were:

Chairman of the Board – Bob Kelly from Bil-Jac Foods, Inc.

Vice-chairman – Dan Rajczak from P&G Pet Care

Treasurer – Rick Shields from Menu Foods, Ltd.

Secretary – Neil Thompson from Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.

The Pet Food Institute is the trade organization for pet food manufacturers. While I’m sure the men identified above are all perfectly respectable, I find it discouraging to see the trade organization dominated by the power-brokers, without any representation from companies that focus on what I would consider good food. In other words, there’s no representation on the board from manufacturers of products that don’t include corn, by-products, food coloring or chemical preservatives.

In the last several years, the big players in pet food manufacturing have been getting bigger through acquisition. And as pet food industry has expanded, a number of companies that specialize in products for people have bought a piece of the action.

Here are a few of the big companies and the foods they produce:

Nestlé’s bought Purina to form Nestlé Purina Petcare Company

Fancy Feast, Alpo, Friskies, Mighty Dog, Dog Chow, Cat Chow, Puppy Chow, Kitten Chow, Beneful, One, ProPlan, DeliCat, HiPro, Kit’n’Kaboodle, Tender Vittles, Purina Veterinary Diets

Del Monte bought Heinz

MeowMix, Gravy Train, Kibbles ’n Bits, Wagwells, 9Lives, Cycle, Skippy, Nature’s Recipe, and pet treats Milk Bone, Pup-Peroni, Snausages, Pounce

MasterFoods owns Mars, Inc., which bought Royal Canin

Pedigree, Waltham’s, Cesar, Sheba, Temptations, Goodlife Recipe, Sensible Choice, Excel

 Procter and Gamble (P&G) bought The Iams Company (Iams, Eukanuba) in 1999. P&G shortly thereafter introduced Iams into grocery stores.

Colgate-Palmolive bought Hill’s Science Diet in1976  

Hill’s Science Diet, Prescription Diets, Nature’s Best

It’s always good to know who you’re dealing with; especially when you see those cute commercials on TV or that really attractive packaging in the grocery store.

Cesar’s Magazine

If you haven’t seen it yet, Cesar Millan now has a quarterly magazine. The man is an amazing marketing machine. He seems to have endorsed about a zillion products and most of them are advertised in his magazine.

If you were hoping for a magazine full of information and training tips you will be disappointed. On the other hand, if you were hoping for a version of People magazine with dogs, you’ll be satisfied.

I discovered the second issue of his magazine while at the airport earlier this month. I saw it on the newsstand and picked it up to leaf through it. I stopped when I recognized the picture of someone I had worked with during the Hurricane Katrina rescue effort several years ago. With someone like Johanna Harris featured in the magazine, I figured it was worth the $4.99 cover price, so I picked it up.

Unfortunately the article on Johanna, as well as the other stories in the magazine, is all fluff with no real content to speak of. There are a lot of glossy pictures of dogs and celebrities, but even the sections that feature training advice don’t have enough details to give anyone guidance.

When the Cesar Millan television show first became popular, I would grimace at how he made everything look easy. It’s never that easy. Over time, his show has improved; he uses treats sometimes and he seems to explain his process a little better. I have no doubt that this man has a unique ability to communicate with dogs, but I’d take Victoria Stilwell any day if I could only watch one dog training TV personality.

Maybe someday Victoria will start a magazine, or maybe just sticking with wonderful trainers and writers such as Patricia McConnell and Pat Miller who are featured in magazines like Bark or Whole Dog Journal is good enough.

New Microchip Locator Tools

MicrMicrochip image from How Stuff Worksochips can be a great option for dogs and cats. They won’t come off like a tag or a collar can, but if your pet is lost someone has to have the ability to scan for the chip and then if a number is identified, they have to track the number.

Since there are seven different pet identification microchip registries, there are a couple new web tools trying to make it easier to link a lost pet back to their owner. Right now there are two services available, one from the American Animal Hospital Association and one from a company called Chloe Standard. Both services rely on information being provided from the microchip manufacturers and distributors. In addition both services are relatively new, so the databases of information are still in development.

If your pet has a microchip, try entering the number in the lookup tool from each company and see if your registration is found.

If the registration is located, take the next step to check with the registry to confirm that your current contact information is up to date. And if the registration is not found through either service, contact the registry you used to make sure you are still listed in their database.