Upcoming Events for:
Click for Tricks
Dock Diving Class
Dock Diving Class
North Park Class
CGC/TDI/Public Access/Service Dog Prep Class
Dock Diving Fun Trial
This was the first year that Misty Pines held two separate Kid's Camps. We were very happy that both weeks were filled and even had waiting lists! It's always at the forefront of our minds whether the kids are having a good time and the answer was an emphatic YES!
Two full weeks of kids and their dogs working together, training together and playing together was a real treat. The first days began with registration, picking up materials and t-shirts and spending some time in the park with the kids and their puppies. After everyone was signed in the kids and pups headed down stairs for their first agility and obedience sessions. The first time is a little rough as the kids and dogs are adjusting to the routine but everything quickly falls into place as our staff organizes the lines. Throughout the remainder of the day the kids and their dogs take walks on our nature trails, all the while continuing to train and walk nicely on a leash. More agility and obedience sessions are nestled between snacks, educational movies, walks and games.
Day Two is the first time the kids visit the pond. The pond time is always a huge hit with the kids and dogs. Some dogs know how to swim, some even know how to jump off the dock already, and they all dive right in. Some dogs, however, need a little help to get going so our staff helps the kids teach their dogs to swim so they can join in the fun too. Tuesday is also picture day! Each year we take a group photo so that we can look back at all of the kids' smiling faces and remember how much fun we had.
Tuesday and Wednesday also have group classes that take place while Kid's Camp is going on and we have the kids participate in class with adults. The result is avery fun class that has different distractions than most dogs are used to which will help them be "bomb proof" later in life. After three days of learning, playing and having fun we say goodbye to the kids and hope to see them in group classes with their parents.
We had such a fun time this year we truly can't wait to do it again next year. We'll have dates ready to go soon so be sure to sign up so your kids don't miss their opportunity to participate in next year's Misty Pines Kid's Camp!
Mutts N' Mingle
Maniac Magazine is a local fashion magazine and has a yearly issue with a focus on dogs. Maniac has launch parties for each of their issues so when we were approached with the idea of having one of their launch parties here and benefiting Animal Friends, well, how could we so no?
The party was held on Friday, July 25th from 6 - 8 and featured drinks, catered chicken, pasta from Alla Famiglia, a large amount of raffle items and a host of Vendors. The evening befitted Animal Friends and as such was the case, Animal Friends Chairwoman, Marleen Ashton, who is a long time client of Misty Pines, presented an obedience demonstration with her two German Shepherd Dogs, Lannie and Amy. The dogs performed beautifully for the entire 12+ minutes that they worked. After their performance, April Hubal and her dog Chloe did a short exhibition of obedience as well as Chloe's expert banana peeling and eating skills. Dave Hoover and Susan Lephart also put on impromptu demonstrations with their dogs Lambert and Indie, respectively. Dave had Lambert retrieve a dollar bill followed by a dime and Susan had Indie perform a very difficult recall with a spin and emergency down. If you'd like to see videos of all the performances, please visit our Facebook page.
All of the vendors who came out were excellent and mingled with the guests. There were two Mini Coopers provided by MINI of Pittsburgh that all the pups were welcome to take pictures in. There was also a BMW i3 from P&W BMW on display. The gentleman that accompanied the cars and was available to ask questions was a great help setting up and tearing down. Waymon was excellent, he stayed until we were almost completely done cleaning from the event. P&W could not have sent a nicer, more helpful spokesman!
We had a great turn out for the event and Maniac was able to raise a very large sum of money for Animal Friends. Thank you to all of those we donated, helped and supported this event and Animal Friends. Full pictures and videos on our Facebook page. For even more pictures, check out Maniac Magazine's Facebook page.
- Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale
- MINI of Pittsburgh
- Fragasso Financial Advisors
- Alla Famiglia
- Dr. Shannon Thieroff from BelaCoop
- Furrever Friends
- Pet Connections
Last month the Gazette was already ready to go out by the time we had Graduation so here are those that passed their Graduation last month and are now in the next level of classes. Congratulations to all of you!
- Laura Kuo with Nell
- Ida Moseller with Sadie
- David Hoehn with Jackson
- Karen Melis with Kirby
- Traci Bailey with Zippy
- Karen Schogel with Gus
- Christina Hoffman with Piers
- Lynn Rueter with Hachi
- Katie D'Arcangelo with Bronson
- Mark Seifert with Boaz
- Jessica Kirsch with Loki
Swimming and Dock Diving
Summer is almost over! Make the most of what you've got left. This summer the place to be is the pond at Misty Pines! We've got Swimming, Dock Diving Classes and Dock Diving Competitions planned for this summer and on top of all that, you can use the pond any day of the week when visiting the park. For $6 you'll get full use of the park grounds for 2 hours and that includes full access to the pond.
Take a look below for some of the schedules or you can head over to our Specialty Classes page for a full description and list of dates for each class. If you need a bit of summer right now you can nose around our Facebook page for pictures of dogs having fun in the pond.
Sunday, August 3rd, 2014 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am | Taught by Dan Grachen
Sunday, August 10th, 2014 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm | Taught by Paul Leabhart of 3 Rivers Dock Diving
$15 per dog
Visit our Sign-up page to get registered!
This class will encompass all levels of dock diving - from beginners who want to start jumping off the dock to intermediates and advanced who want to work on high jumps, long distance jumps and continued water retrieve.
Registration is limited. The first 10 registered participants will be placed in the 9:00-10:30 a.m. section. If needed, a second section from 10:30a-12:30p will be added for an additional 10 participants. A very limited number of walk-in spots may be made available for $20 if time allows.
*Prerequisite: Your dog must know how to swim. If you would like to work on your dog's swimming skills, please attend our swimming classes.
Sunday, August 24th, 2014
There will be 2 rounds of jumps. One will be at 10 o'clock, and one at 12 o'clock. Each dog entered will get 2 jumps off the dock. The better of the two jumps will determine the dog’s division and place in that division. At 2 o'clock we will take the top 6 dogs of each division and have them jump for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in their division. The top three places will receive a ribbon and prizes.
Novice Division: 1 inch to 9 feet 11 inches.
Junior Division: 10 feet to 14 feet 11 inches.
Senior Division: 15 feet to 19 feet 11 inches.
Master Division: 20 feet to 22 feet 11 inches.
Elite Division: 23 feet to 24 feet 11 inches.
Super Elite Division: 25 feet and above.
Three Rivers Dockdog Club members will be present to help organize this competition. A practice with the Three Rivers Dockdog members will take place at 8:00 AM, so show up early and they’ll not only help you work on your jumps, but also run you through the process for the competition.
Misty Pines’ facility will be open and we will have refreshments that can be purchased, so come early or stay late and have some fun in the park or take a nice relaxing walk through the trails. Don’t forget to stop by the grill and grab a hotdog, drink and other concessions to get you through the day. If your dogs need a bath the grooming tubs and soap will be available for you to wash your dog at $10 per bath.
No parking will be permitted along the driveway. All parking will be in the parking lots at the top of the driveway. Each handler will need to sign in, pay and obtain a wrist band at the main office before proceeding to the dock.
Participants and spectators are asked to bring lawn chairs to sit along the hillside, which will provide a spectacular view of the event.
Each round of jumps, at 10:00 and 12:00, will have a 50 dog maximum, so be sure to get your spot soon. Participants will be organized into groups of 10 and each group will be assigned a jump time. Upon arriving at Misty Pines, participants will receive a flyer with each groups jump time, instructions for registration and rules for the event and park.
Each handler/dog team needs to be here 1 hour before their dock dive slot, which would be 9:00a or 11:00p.
$15 per entry.
Click here for Official Rules.
Please register for the June 22nd Fun Trial online by clicking here.
Please register for the August 24th Fun Trial online by clicking here.
Swimming Class will be held the First and Third Saturday of June, July and August
2:30 - 3:30 PM
Cost - $15
Does your dog need a swimming lesson? Is your dog a good swimmer but wants to have friends to swim with? We offer a Summer Swimming Class! This helpful class will be sure to get your dog in the water at our dog pond in no time. Be sure to bring a water toy, enticing dog treats, a long leash, your bathing suit or old clothes and water shoes. You Will Get Wet! Please pre-register.
Click here to sign up for our Swim Class Newsletter.
CLASSES & EVENTS
CGC & TDI Test
Friday, August 1st Tests beginning @ 5:30 PM
Clicks are for Tricks
Saturday, August 2nd @ 8:00 AM
Saturday, August 2nd & August 16th @ 2:30 - 3:30 PM
Sunday, August 3rd @ 9:00 AM
Saturday, August 9th & 23rd @ 8:00 AM
Sunday, August 10th @ 11:00 AM
North Park Class
Tuesday, August 12th @ 6:30 - 7:30 PM
CGC/TDI/Service Dog/Public Access Prep Class
Saturday, August 16th @ 8:00 AM
Dock Diving Fun Jump
Sunday, August 24th @ 10:00 AM & 12:00 PM
Saturday, September 6th @ 8:00 AM
North Park Class
Tuesday, September 9th @ 6:30 - 7:30 PM
Saturday, September 13th & 27th @ 8:00 AM
CGC/TDI/Service Dog/Public Access Prep Class
Saturday, September 20th @ 8:00 AM
Saturday, September 24th @ 6:30 PM
Customer Appreciation Day
Saturday, September 27th - All Day Event
Socialization tips for puppy owners
Even though dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, each new puppy that comes into our world must learn about humans. Socialization is the process during which puppies develop positive relationships with other living beings. The most sensitive period for successful socialization is during the first 3 – 4 months of life. The experiences the pet has during this time will have a major influence on its developing personality and how well it gets along with people and other animals when it grows into adulthood. It is very important for puppies to have frequent, positive social experiences during these early months in order to prevent asocial behavior, fear, and biting. Puppies that are inadequately socialized may develop irreversible fears, leading to timidity or aggression. This is not to say that socialization is complete by 4 months of age; only that it should begin before that time. Continued exposure to a variety of people and other animals, as the pet grows and develops, is also an essential part of maintaining good social skills. It is also extremely important that your new puppy be exposed to new environments and stimuli at this time (e.g., sounds, odors, locations, sights, surfaces) to reduce the fear of the unfamiliar that might otherwise develop as the pet grows older.
Puppy socialization – what to do
It is essential that every puppy meets as many new people as possible (including babies, children, adults, and seniors), in a wide variety of situations, but be careful not to overwhelm it. Begin with calm introductions to one or two people at a time. If the pet handles this well, then more people, increased noise, and more activity can be added. It can be beneficial to ask each person who meets the puppy to give it a small piece of kibble or a tiny treat. This will teach the puppy to look forward to meeting people. It will also discourage handshyness, since the puppy will learn to associate new people and an outstretched hand with something positive.
Once the puppy has learned to sit on command, have each new friend ask it to sit before giving the treat. This teaches a proper greeting and will make the puppy less likely to jump up on people. You should make certain that the puppy has the opportunity to meet and receive biscuits from a wide variety of people, especially those who differ from those in the family home. In the case of puppy socialization, variety is definitely the spice of life.
The fear that might arise from the way a person looks, acts, sounds, moves, or perhaps even smells might be prevented by exposure during the socialization period. In particular, every effort must be made to see that the young pup has plenty of opportunities to learn about children. They can seem like a completely different species to dogs since they walk, act, and talk much differently than adults. Running, screaming, bicycles, roller blades and skateboards are also some of the varied stimuli that might be more common when children are around. Puppies that grow up without meeting children when they are young may never feel comfortable around them when they become adults. In addition, if you consider that perhaps you might want your pet one day to be a service or visitation dog, the range of possible sights, sounds, smells, actions, and interactions to which your dog might be exposed could also include riding on elevators, the sounds of hospital equipment, wheelchairs or the patient in a nursing home with a cane, walker, oxygen tank, or iv pole. Lack of experience with a variety of people during puppyhood is a common cause of social fear, avoidance, and biting.
Take the pup to visit friends ’ homes to interact with them and with their pets. The ideal home is one with calm children and calm pets that don ’ t go out to parks or other areas where they might pick up disease organisms and bring them back home, and where the pets have received appropriate immunizations and parasite control. As soon as your veterinarian determines that your puppy is adequately vaccinated, take it on as many walks and outings as possible. Just be careful to avoid areas where stray dogs roam that might carry diseases.
Attending puppy classes during the primary socialization period (which begins to wane by 12 – 14 weeks of age) is another excellent way of ensuring multiple contacts with a variety of people and other dogs. This relatively new concept in training involves enrolling puppies early, before they pick up bad habits, and at an age when they learn very quickly. Puppy training and socialization classes are now available in many communities where, with the proper healthcare precautions, puppies can be admitted as early as 8 – 10 weeks of age. These classes can help puppies get off to a great start with training, and offer an excellent opportunity for important social experiences with other puppies and a wide variety of people. Since there can be some health risks when exposing young puppies to other dogs and new environments, the best age to start your puppy in classes, and the best classes in your area, should be discussed with the family veterinarian. For further guidelines on puppy socialization and puppy classes, visit the American Society of Veterinary Behavior website at avsabonline.org.
Avoid unpleasant experiences
A young puppy ’ s interactions should always be supervised to ensure nothing happens that might make it afraid of people. Go slow with socialization exposure, and if the pet ever seems anxious, take some time out and then re-expose it to people in slightly calmer situations.
In addition, avoid all physical punishment. Harsh scolding or punishing a young pet will damage its bond with you and weaken its trust in people. Techniques such as swatting the pup, shaking it by the scruff, rubbing its face in a mess, and roughly forcing it onto its back should never be used. Pets that are raised using these methods may grow up to fear the human hand, and are more likely to display avoidance or become fear biters. In general, any interactions with people that might make a puppy anxious should be avoided, particularly during the early months of its life.
Socializing takes time and patience, but the benefits are worthwhile, so be sure not to miss the opportunity to guide your pup through this important process. Proper socialization will help ensure that your pet grows up to be social, friendly, and well adjusted.
Best wishes for a long and happy relationship!
Don't miss an opportunity to positively imprint your puppy! We have Puppy Pre-School for those pups between 8 and 12 weeks old who have had at least the first round of vaccinations (with the exception of rabies at this age). Everyone is welcome - kids, adults, those looking for puppies, and anyone who would like to play!
Puppy Pre-School is held each Saturday from 10:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and is $15.
Don't forget to download your free socialization checklist! - Provided by Dr. Sophia Yin.
Dogs and Motion Sickness
You and your dog are in your car headed to the dog park, when suddenly he’s not looking so good. Before you know it, those biscuits you gave him when he hopped into the car have reappeared -- in the mess he vomited all over your leather seats.
As you’ve probably already figured out, dog motion sickness is real, and it can make even the shortest trips stressful for you and your pooch. Fortunately, there are things you can do to quell your pup’s nausea, from conditioning your dog to car rides to using dog motion sickness medications.
What Causes Dog Motion Sickness?
Dog motion sickness is more commonly seen in puppies and young dogs than in older dogs, just as carsickness afflicts more children than adults. The reason for this is because the ear structures used for balance aren’t fully developed in puppies. This isn’t to say that all dogs will outgrow travel sickness, though many will.
If the first few car rides of your dog’s life left him nauseated, he may have been conditioned to equate travel with vomiting, even after his ears have fully matured. Stress can also add to travel sickness, so if your dog has only ever ridden in the car to go to the vet, he may literally worry himself sick on the road.
Signs of Dog Motion Sickness
Dogs don’t turn the unflattering shade of green that people do when they’re experiencing motion sickness, but there are some signs of dog travel sickness you can learn to identify.
- Excessive drooling
- Treatment for Dog Motion Sickness
The best way to prevent dog travel sickness is to make the car ride as comfortable as possible for your dog.
Your dog will experience fewer nauseating visual cues if he faces forward while you’re traveling, rather than looking out the side windows. One way to guarantee this is by using a specially designed dog seat belt. If you choose to have your dog ride on the front passenger seat, keep in mind that air bags do pose a potential hazard to dogs. Even though you can’t be sure your dog will face forward while riding in a travel crate, many people prefer to use crates for safety -- and they do have the added benefit of containing vomit, should your dog become ill.
Another thing that may help your dog’s motion sickness is to lower your car windows a couple of inches while the car is moving. This helps balance the air pressure inside the car with the air pressure outside, which may help reduce your dog’s nausea and discomfort. Also, be sure to keep the car cool and well ventilated, as a hot or stuffy vehicle can contribute to unpleasant sensations for your dog.
One trick used on the show circuit to prevent dog motion sickness is to limit your dog’s food consumption prior to travel. Then, right before the trip, give your dog a small piece of sugary candy (like a jellybean), which seems to reduce sensations of nausea. Never give your dog chocolate candy or treats made with xylitol, however, because these are toxic to dogs.
If your dog has learned to associate riding in the car with feeling stressed and nauseated, there are a variety of conditioning techniques you can try to lessen this connection.
- Taking a break from car trips for a week or two
- Changing vehicles to avoid association with past unpleasant experiences
- Taking short car trips to places your dog enjoys, like the park
- Gradually building your dog’s tolerance to car trips; start by getting your dog used to approaching the car, then spend some time in the car with the engine off. When your dog is ready, take short trips (around the block, for example) to build tolerance before progressing to longer car rides.
- Using treats to make the car a fun place for your dog (but be careful you don’t give too many and make your dog nauseated)
- Buying special toys that your dog enjoys and only has access to in the car
- Dog Motion Sickness Medications
Dogs that don’t outgrow motion sickness and don’t respond to conditioning may benefit from the use of medication. There are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications that may decrease your dog’s motion sickness symptoms.
- Anti-nausea drugs
- Antihistamines, which can lessen dog motion sickness, reduce drooling, and offer sedation
- Prescription drugs, which reduce vomiting and provide sedation
Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before purchasing any over-the-counter treatment for dog motion sickness. You will need to know the correct dose to give.
Whether the issue is behavioral or otherwise, a safe natural supplement that can be used to help your dog deal with stress of any type is Melatonin. Melatonin has been found to be helpful when used with dogs who have “thunder-phobia,” other noise-related reactions and other stressful situations. For more information regarding Melatonin, feel free to download our pdf article.
Misty Pines carries Melatonin in our retail store in both regular and prolonged release formulas. If you have any questions regarding the use or dosage of Melatonin for your dog, please contact Misty Pines at 412.364.4122 or email@example.com.
Therapy Dog Visits
Once your dog has passed their Therapy Dog International certification, it's time for the fun to begin. These places are always looking for registered therapy dogs to brighten the day of the patients and residents:
West Haven Manor
Contact: Karen Zimmerman, Coordinator of Volunteer Services 724-727-3451
North Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center
Contact: Teri A. Slimick 724-935-3781
Contact: Susan Matlock 724-843-3400
Excela Health Home Care and Hospice (Westmoreland County)
Contact: Joan Roth, Volunteer Coordinator
Family Hospice Palliative Care
Contact: Pam Tomczak 412-572-8803
Western Pa. Humane Society coordinates visits to multiple locations in the community with volunteers who have Certified Therapy Dogs.
Contact: Joy Kealey
Odyssey Health Care
Cliff Mine Rd., Pittsburgh
Contact: Barbara Coulter 1-800-861-8584
Condordia of Franklin Park
Contact: Carol Kosela 724-935-1075 ext. 103
VA Hospitals in Pittsburgh
Activities Director: 412-688-6000 ext. 3682
Country Meadows (South Hills)
Activities Director: 412-257-4566
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
Volunteer Coordinator: 412-690-6508
Animal Friends also coordinates a Pet Assisted Therapy program that visits multiple locations. To join their therapy group contact:
Ann Cadman: (412) 847-7031
Allegheny General Hospital
Jennifer Kopar: 412-359-3067
Tail Waggin Tutors at Baden Library
Laura Bain: 724-869-3960
Barb Kralik, Volunteer Coordinator: 412-919-5617
Caring Hospice Services
Brittany Bailey, Volunteer Coordinator: 412-563-3300
Concordia of Wexford
Michelle Moon: 724-935-1266
Passavant Memorial Homes and Subsidiaries
Colleen Perry, Social Services Coordinator: 412-820-1015 ext. 521
Therapy Dog Services & Teams
If you would like to have Therapy Dogs visit your facility, please contact one of the following Therapy Dog Teams or contact Misty Pines to have your facility listed in the above section so that our teams may contact you. The Teams listed below are a small portion of those interested in visiting those in need of therapeutic visits from their furry friends:
Pets With Heart, Pet Therapy
Sister Sharon Costello: 724-869-6545