Category archives: All Things Dog

Resources and information for the dog owner or breeder.

Six Common Training Mistakes that Hamper a Dog's Ability to Learn

Six Common Training Mistakes that Hamper a Dog's Ability to Learn

As humans, we gesture, talk, yell, squeal, use sarcasm and other means of communication to get our point across to other people. Unfortunately, we also use some of these communication vehicles when relating to and training our dogs. Which doesn’t work.

In this great article, the author points out 11 things humans do that dogs hate. Among those things: using words more than body language, hugging your dog, petting a dog’s face/head, walking up to a strange dog and looking it in the eye, lack of structure and rules, forcing a dog to interact with dogs or people they don’t like and keeping a tight leash on walks, among others.

The author does a good job of explaining how dogs perceive the world and why these things can interfere with your communication and relationship with a dog (in general, of course). To this general list of physical and psychological actions, I’d add smiling at a dog. In humans, smiling conveys happiness, but in the animal kingdom, even among many other primates, baring of teeth can be an aggressive action (used from either the dominant or submissive role).

Here are a couple of things I thought about that could also ...

Purina Sporting Dog Summit: An Experience with the Best in the Field

Purina Sporting Dog Summit: An Experience with the Best in the Field

Last week I attended the Purina Sporting Dog Summit in Gray Summit, Mo., at the Purina Event Center, which is part of the larger Purina Farms that is open to the public year-round and provides free family entertainment and education. The theme of the summit was “achieving a performance edge” and it featured some of the best trainers and handlers of high-performance sporting dogs from across the country, as well as media representatives.

Just to be in the same room with these trainers and handlers was an honor. The sheer amount of dog knowledge in that room, across all venues, was astounding. As a hunter and hunt-test fan, to meet and talk with the biggest names in the retriever and pointing-dog worlds was overwhelming – trying not to sound like a star-struck idiot was even more of a challenge. Here’s just a glimpse of the people in attendance:

Tom Dokken: Owner of Dokken’s Oak Ridge Kennels, the largest gun dog training kennel in the upper half of the US, and Dokken Dog Supply, Tom invented the popular Dokken Deadfowl Trainer and has been training gundogs for more than 30 years.

Danny Farmer: Elected to the Retriever Hall of Fame in ...

Do You and Your Dog Have Similar Personalities?

Do You and Your Dog Have Similar Personalities?

Research has shown that owners often choose dogs that look similar to them. Data also suggests that the dogs we choose to share our life with tend to have similar personalities.

One study asked owners to rank themselves and their dogs in five personality traits – neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness.

Owners ranked themselves and their dogs as having similar personalities in all five categories. To help combat the errors of self-reported data and projection by the owners, family members familiar with both the owner and dog were asked to rank each independently. In the third-person ranking, dogs and their owners were similar in four out of five categories.

The strongest association between dogs and their owners took place in neuroticism and extraversion. Neuroticism compared how sensitive and nervous a person was versus secure and confident. Extraversion looked at how outgoing, sociable and energetic a person/dog was versus solitary and reserved. The weakest association was in the openness category – or how inventive and curios versus consistent and cautious.

Another study compared personality type to the likelihood of owning certain breeds – traits displayed by the owners were generally found in the dog and increased the likelihood that ...

Socialization and Vaccination: Important Puppy Rules

Socialization and Vaccination: Important Puppy Rules

Socialization of your dog is an important step in raising a healthy, psychologically balanced dog. The critical socialization phase however, lasts only until about 16 weeks of age. This has presented people with a bit of a quandary when it comes to successfully introducing puppies to the world but maintaining their health safety.

Popular wisdom says to wait until a puppy has received all of its vaccinations before introducing it to the world. However, the final round of shots for a dog doesn’t happen until around six months of age – well beyond the important socialization period when puppies are less fearful and more curious about things. Postponing socialization – introduction to various stimuli such as automobiles, various environments, different types of people and other dogs – until six months could cause your pup to be fearful of numerous things.

According to recommendations from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, if your dog has had its first vaccinations, get them out into the world to explore and meet new friends. Prior to their first round of shots, and even afterward, maternal antibodies help protect your new pup from diseases. When those maternal antibodies begin to wear off and the pup’s ...

Embracing Customer Service and the Veterinary Leadership Institute

Embracing Customer Service and the Veterinary Leadership Institute

Customer service is of the highest priority at Paw Print Genetics. From the numerous positive reviews we have received on our Facebook page referencing our personal attention to detail, to the many emails we receive from our clients thanking us for a job well done, we recognized early on that we were on to something. After all, we know that without our loyal clients, we could simply not exist as a laboratory. The customer service goal established by our company culture is to exceed the expectations of every client that we have the privilege with which to work. We want our clients to come back to us for genetic testing, not because we are the only option, but because they have never had a better experience with a genetics laboratory.

Though the pursuit of exceeding client expectations is an ideal that most businesses strive for, the exact way to perform this level of service often remains elusive. In addition, there has been a long standing debate about whether the skills needed to provide great customer experiences are ones that can be taught or learned. One veterinary nonprofit organization, the Veterinary Leadership Institute, has helped prove that not only can these ...

Economics: Supply and Demand in the Gene Pool

Economics: Supply and Demand in the Gene Pool

When we breed to better a line of purebred dogs, many intangible or subjective variables come into play – conformation, athleticism, intelligence, trainability and more. Mentoring and experience, even the gut instinct borne from these teachings, can make assessing those variables easier. As we learn more and develop an eye for evaluating and reading dogs, the standards for what constitutes a ‘better’ dog, one worthy of breeding, usually rise. The comparative knowledge experience brings allows us to differentiate a ‘great dog’ from a ‘good’ one; what might have been an acceptable to us a decade ago, might not make the cut today. And therein creates the economic correlation of supply and demand among top breeders.

As we eliminate potential breeding partners in favor of ‘better’ dogs, those that will truly improve a line and therefore breed, fewer and fewer potential partners exist. That makes the remaining pool of dogs more desirable and valuable.

When the qualities that elevated a dog to the top of the gene pool are combined with the objective results of canine genetic screening, a breeder is truly ‘bettering the breed’ by passing along the best physical and mental qualities the dog possesses while reducing or eliminating detrimental ...

You’ve Ordered From Paw Print Genetics, Now What Are the Next Steps?

You’ve Ordered From Paw Print Genetics, Now What Are the Next Steps?

Tracking Your Order

Keeping clients up to date on their order status is a very important part of Paw Print Genetics’ customer service. Once an order is placed, you’ll receive email notifications and can see status updates every step of the way until your order is complete.

Below, you will find an outline of the testing process and the updates you will receive:

 

 

 

 

  • Email of Order Confirmation
  • Email notification of Kit Shipped (if applicable) with USPS tracking number.
    • Yes, we include free cheek swab kits and return prepaid postage (in the US)
    • We also offer expedited shipping options through the USPS.
  • Email notification of Samples Received by our laboratory. We will begin processing your sample on the day it is received or the next business day.
  • Status update of Testing in Progress
    • If any issues arise during the testing phase you will receive a personal phone call from a Laboratory Director.
  • Status update of Data in Review indicates that your laboratory tests are done and the report and Canine Genetic Health Certificate are being drafted and reviewed by one of our PhD geneticists and one of our veterinarians.
  • Email notification of Final Report Completed
    • Your order ...

Genetic Screening: Cornerstone of Bettering a Breed

Genetic Screening: Cornerstone of Bettering a Breed

Nearly everyone espouses the belief that we should produce puppies that better a breed. However, ‘better’ is a subjective term; what it means to one person is completely different than what it means to another. ‘Better’ is something that’s often based in our ultimate goals, the end results of which are sometimes dictated by success in the dog game we play.

What isn’t subjective is sound genetic health. Science seeks objective and discernable answers regardless of the subjective nature of an issue. Genetic screening therefor is the cornerstone of bettering a breed, regardless of the game being played. While we should always strive for proper and acceptable form and function, the perfect dog does not exist – we do the best we can with the sires and dams available to us.

When deciding pairings, we should seek dogs that complement each other in form and function so as to produce consistent puppies. We should also seek to strengthen weaknesses in both parents' conformation by pairing them with a dog that offers a contrast to the flaws in each. With the randomness of how genes combine in all aspects of puppy's physical, mental and psychological attributes, it’s a tough order ...

Paw Print Genetics Brings Value to Your Breeding Program

Paw Print Genetics Brings Value to Your Breeding Program

Paw Print Genetics is setting the industry’s benchmark for customer service, support and communication. We strive to make ourselves readily available - you can contact us by telephone, email or social media. We also give you the best genetic testing you need to breed or buy the healthiest canines possible.

Our user-friendly website is full of valuable information. It is also the epicenter of interactions with Paw Print Genetics. Through it, you can create and manage your account, track the progress of your dog’s sample in the testing process and view your final results.

You can make changes to your dogs at any stage! At Paw Print Genetics, we realize that changes take place – names change (“Puppy One” becomes “Larry”), pups are registered and they may receive microchips before they go to their new homes.

You can change your dog’s information prior to the laboratory receiving the your samples. Just click the edit button found on each of your dogs’ pages. After the lab has received the samples, you can still have information changed. All you have to do is submit a change request through our website and the data will be changed at no cost to you. The change ...

Taking a Bite Out of Crime: Paw Print Genetics and K-9 Police

Taking a Bite Out of Crime: Paw Print Genetics and K-9 Police

Early July is one of my favorite times of the year in the great and beautiful United States of America. Seeing our flag and colors displayed in so many different applications during this patriotic season always causes me to pause and reflect on the men, women and four-legged creatures whose hard work and bravery has gotten us to where we are today.

I grew up watching “Rin-Tin-Tin: K-9 Cop” religiously and was fascinated by the relationship that the German shepherd “Rinty” and his handler, Officer Hank Katts, shared as working partners and friends. The thrill of seeing them overtake the bad guys in every pursuit was highly appreciated by a budding animal lover. I’m sure at some point, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered, “A K-9 cop!” as I frolicked around with the family standard poodle, pretending he was a police dog.

Fast forward 20-plus years. I did not become a K-9 cop, but I do work for a company whose mission is to help all dogs, including those in uniform, achieve optimal genetic health through our DNA testing process. Paw Print Genetics is currently working on a research study involving police ...