Tag Archives: BARCS

Exercising your dog may soon be illegal in Baltimore.

Does your dog use a backpack to burn extra energy on a walk? How about use a treadmill or weight pull equipment for sport or conditioning? These items may soon make you a target in Baltimore. Not only that, but with new laws already in place that have recently removed judicial review from animal matter hearings, if you’re targeted, there’s very little you can to about it, too. (Read more about that, here.)

According to CBS Baltimore, City Council is trying to make these items, and others, such as break sticks- commonly used to break up dog fights, considered “dog fighting paraphernalia,” and posession of them a crime, punishable by $1,000, and up to 90 days in prison. (For the record, some of our local shelters use break sticks to safely break up dog fights as needed, without injury.)

Why is this a problem? As someone that addresses 100% behavior modification training these days, adequate exercise is often a challenge for owners of working breeds, terriers, and others. I recommend dog treadmills, and weight pull training and equipment to clients on a weekly basis, or more often! Read “Weight Pull Saved my Dog-Life” by Kristina Vakharia, a friend, client, and city resident, to learn the benefits of such training. Additionally, there are legitimate competitive sports that utilize this equipment, such as APA weight pull, among others, which have competitions locally.

As with many other things, making these things illegal for outlaws (who, by definition, aren’t going to care about the laws, anyway) really only effects the responsible owners out there. For those of us who choose to have high maintenance dogs, maintaining their needs may get that much harder! Start writing City Council now. Be sure they’re aware that this equipment is NOT just for dog fighting, and that you’re not interested in seeing this law come into effect.

Office of the City Council President, 100 N. Holliday Street, Suite 400, Baltimore, MD 21202

Coucil President: Bernard Young, CouncilPresident@baltimorecity.gov

District 1: James Kraft, James.Kraft@baltimorecity.gov

District 2: Brandon Scott, Brandon.Scott@baltimorecity.gov

District 3: Robert Curran, Robert.Curran@baltimorecity.gov

District 4: Bill Henry, Bill.Henry@baltimorecity.gov

District 5: Rochelle Spector, Rochelle.Spector@baltimorecity.gov

District 6: Sharon Middleton, Sharon.Middleton@baltimorecity.gov

District 7: Nick Mosby, Nick.Mosby@baltimorecity.gov

District 8: Helen Holton, Helen.Holton@baltimorecity.gov

District 9: William Welch, William.Welch@baltimorecity.gov

District 10: Edward Reisinger, Edward.Reisinger@baltimorecity.gov

District 11: Eric Costello, Eric.Costello@baltimorecity.gov

District 12: Carl Stokes, Carl.Stokes@baltimorecity.gov

District 13: Warren Branch, Warren.Branch@baltimorecity.gov

District 14: Mary Pat Clarke, MaryPat.Clarke@baltimorecity.gov

Henry needs a home!

Henry needs a home!



Henry is a 6-year old, male, collie/hound mix, and as you can see he is a cutie! He loves long walks, chasing squirrels, and above all else affection from people. He makes a great running partner (currently runs 3-4 miles a few times per week).



Henry is neutered and up-to-date on all of his shots.  House-trained and knows various commands (sit, down, place, heel, paw, fetch). He is excitable, but well-trained and reliably obedient.  Not recommended for a home with children.

If you are interested in adopting Henry, please contact Aja, and she can give you more information on the adoption process. Thank you for reading!

Visit Mutt Magic online: www.muttmagic.com

New Dog Introductions

Selecting an appropriate new dog to bring home, as well as selecting new playmates for dogs in your household always requires introducing the dogs. There are a few points to remember to ensure that all new greetings are as successful as they can be. A few general rules to keep in mind are: 1. Male-Female pairs tend to do better long term; 2. Adult dogs that get along initially will typically continue to do so; and 3. Walking the dogs together before greeting can greatly improve chances for appropriate greetings, especially with dogs that are selective.

Male-Female pairs are best because there will be less competition between the dogs. In a pack, there is always an alpha male and an alpha female. (Of course, in your pack at home, you should be the dominant leader, although that’s another topic all together!) Keeping opposite sex pairings can reduce dominance scuffles, which can be intense. In multi-dog households or playgroups, it’s best to determine who the top dogs are, and keep a watchful eye to be sure that other dogs do not challenge this role.

Contrary to the popular myth, adult dogs are better new additions! Getting a puppy to have it “grow up” with the other dog or with the family greatly increases the risk that the puppy will challenge an adult dog as he/she matures. If you select a new addition to your household as an adult and your current dog is receptive from the initial greeting, chances are that the roles will not be challenged in the future because both dogs are mentally mature. Mental maturity in most dogs happens between the ages of 2-4 years, which often depends on the breed and the individual dog.

Now . . .you think you have found the perfect match. It’s time to introduce the dogs! Start on neutral territory, and do not allow the dogs to greet right away. Take the dogs on a long walk side-by-side to start. The longer the walk the better, as greetings will be less intense if the dogs have burned some energy. As you’re walking, take turns having one dog walk in front and the other behind. This will give both you and the dogs the opportunity to watch behaviors. Plus, it will give the dogs an opportunity to pick up on the other dogs scent.

Once the walk is over, as the handler, you must make the decision if it’s the right time to let the dogs greet. Happy, but relaxed, posture is key. Do not allow the dogs to greet head-on; this can present a challenge to some dogs. Head-to-tail, or a sideways greeting is better, as this allows the dogs to learn each others scent. With loose leashes, allow the dogs to approach naturally; you should notice one or both dogs veering slightly to one side, with bodies curved. If the dogs are pulling toward each other with tight leashes, more walking may be needed.

Some dogs are able to meet with new dogs quickly and easily, while other dogs may need more time to get used to a new household or playgroup addition. This depends greatly on the individual dog, with breed and gender playing a role in this as well. Always know your dog and his/her reactions, anticipate responses, and watch behaviors for the best new intros.

Have safe introductions, and enjoy your new addition!

It is NOT a Pit Bull problem. . .

. . .and I am not a “pit bull” person. I am a “dog” person.


. . .it's a human problem.

. . .it's a human problem.

Pit Bull News

It was noted on WJZ news on Tuesday morning/evening that there is a “pit bull problem” and that there is currently a pit bull overpopulation. A local “Pit Fix” program was also noted as a solution to overpopulation and abuse. The fact that the breed is, unfortunately, notoriously popular at the moment is true. That does not make our current situation a “pit bull” problem any more than there was a “cocker spaniel” problem in the 70’s or a “dalmatian” problem in the 80’s. The problem is people! The pit bull is just as abused and overbred as any other breed in history right now. It is probably more publicized than any other breed in history in part because of the internet- something that wasn’t in existence (or popular) when other breeds were under attack.

While spaying and neutering of pets is important and can certainly help overpopulation and homeless animals, breed specific clinics have the potential to give the wrong message. Much like this news report indicated, the message given is that pit bulls need to be spayed/neutered more than any other breed. This is simply not true. Keep in mind- spay and neuter programs are used by RESPONSIBLE dog owners. Individuals abusing dogs do not spay/neuter regardless of cost- it’s a completely different mindset. Promoting the spay/neuter of an individual breed will not prevent animal abuse any more than banning a breed will provide public safety. This is an effort that needs to be directed to individuals and it goes much deeper than spay/neuter.

We have created and bred dogs for companionship and service. It is our responsibility to care for them. Please do spay and neuter your pets, and encourage all to treat companion animals with love and respect. . .regardless of breed!

You breed. Do you also help rescue?

As a trainer, I work with dogs that come from all places- both reputable and backyard breeders, rescues, shelters, strays, and more. I take them all, work with them all, and love them all. I accept the dogs and the owners for who they are. Working with many rescues, I encounter a lot of individuals who have very strong feelings against breeding dogs. They would prefer to be out of business, having no more homeless animals to save. Of course breeders feel justified in their actions and beliefs as well- this goes for both reputable and backyard breeders, as often the backyard breeders don’t know who they are, unfortunately. As we all know: everybody’s dog is the best dog in the world!

My question to all of you is this: Is there a middle ground?

L-R: Reese, Dojo, and Caddy. . .and in the back is Star. All rescues.

L-R: Reese, Dojo, and Caddy. . .and in the back is Star. All rescues. Puppies are available for adoption through Mid Atlantic Bully Buddies.

As a working dog person, I prefer a purebred and intact dog to work with. I have never bred my dogs, and I don’t intend to. However, when I work a dog in the sport that I choose (Schutzhund), I prefer the uninterrupted drives of an intact dog that is specifically bred for a purpose. I also prefer the muscle development of intact dogs for such an athletic sport. Yes, I’ve successfully competed with spayed/neutered rescue dogs as well. It’s my preference, and I do see a difference. I also participate in rescue. Although I only contribute to the population by adding occasional demand, I find it both important and rewarding to assist in rescue efforts. Personally,  I believe that anybody who adds to the population in any way- whether that be breeding or seeking a purebred dog, should assist in rescue as well. It really is important to see both sides!

Now, this doesn’t mean that a typical family that purchases a purebred dog for the children needs to go out and adopt a rescue as well. Anybody can help, and there are a number of ways. Volunteering at a rescue or shelter can be a great help to them, and very rewarding to you. Donations are always welcomed, too- money, bedding, collars and leashes are all helpful. Of course, if you do feel compelled to take in a rescued life, foster and forever homes are always needed!

Take time today to consider what you can do to help your local animals in need. A few local all-breed shelters are:

Maryland SPCA


Baltimore Humane

Humane Society of Harford County

The puppies in the picture above are available for adoption once they have been fully vetted and spayed/neutered. Please contact Mid Atlantic Bully Buddies for details: MABB