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Haute Dog 2011 Photo Contest Winner

We had a fun collection of entries! Grand Prize goes to Rebecca Gannon, with “Noah”. Fan Favorite was “Koopa” submitted by Amanda Yates. Two Honorable Mention awards to “Lola” photographed by Tori Ashton Quemada, and “Ziba” by Emily Conley.

We included two of our entries in a feature article in the fall edition of HauteDog magazine, and ALL of the other images will be seen as a group in the month of JULY in the calendar.

Using Body Language

Your dog reads and responds to your body language.  Can you do likewise?

Dogs bark to express thoughts and needs, and to send messages.  Research published in the journal Comparative Psychology speculates that barking may have evolved as an attempt to imitate human speech, and also shows that humans can interpret a dog’s bark as lonely, angry, or playful.1

Another study published in Bark explains that upright ears signal attentiveness, slightly pulled back ears indicate friendliness, and tightly pressed back ears fearfulness or timidity.2  A Current Biology article reports that even the direction of your dog’s wagging tail broadcasts his/her emotions; wagging predominantly to the right means friend, to the left foe.3

Reading each other’s signals correctly enriches your relationship with your dog, creating a genuine bond between lifelong friends.


1 Pongracz P, Molnar C, Miklosi A, Dsanyl V. Human listeners are able to classify dog (Canis familiaris) barks recorded in different situations. Comp Psychol. 2005; 119 (2):136-144.
2 Superior Senses: Hearing. Bark. February/March 2010:p18.
3 Quaranta A, Siniscalchi M, Vallortiagara G. Asymmetric tail-wagging responses by dogs to different emotive stimuli. Current Biology.  2007;17(6):199-201.


Most of us take for granted that we will live longer than our beloved pets, but what if that is not the case?  What would happen to your pets if something sudden and unexpected happened to you and your pets outlived you?

Many of us consider our pets to be members of our family.  Can you imagine not making plans to provide for your family members and loved ones in the event of your death or incapacity?  In my estate planning practice, I make a point of asking my clients about their companion animals so their estate plan can include provisions for their care.  This should be a common practice among estate planning attorneys.

Click here to read the entire article (pdf)

Included in article:

- How can I plan ahead to protect my pets?

- Do I need a pet trust?

- Special case animals?

- How much will all of this cost me?

- How do get this process started?

Sample documents:

- Information for Emergency Care Givers of My Pet Document

- Pet Alert Card

Dog Language:

The noises that your dog makes to communicate, typically represent one of the following:


Wolves howl to locate other members of their pack over long distances. Many domestic dogs still howl. Often dogs will also howl at fire and police sirens or train whistles. When dogs howl at sirens, they may very well be expressing this instinctual behavior. Some sirens sound like the faraway howl of a dog (at least to other dogs), and the dog may merely be being helpful by sending up a response. One howl often leads to another, which is why you may hear a whole
neighborhood of dogs howling in response.


This sound is often associated with aggression, threats or a display of dominance. But some dogs growl during play as well. Examine the dogs body language to distinguish one from another.


These are often heard when greeting humans or other dogs. They are really the equivalent of a human sigh.


A form of communication over intermediate distances that can signal anything from pain to submission to happiness at meeting someone; or being reunited with a beloved pack member / owner.


As with howling, barks can be used to get attention, to raise alarm, or to identify an individual. A dog who is anxious / nervous tends to bark in a high pitch. A dog who’s warning of an intruder, barks in a lower tone. Warning barks may become more rapid as a stranger or  fearful noise gets closer to the dog.


Q: If I bring an older dog into our family, will it bond with me as easily as a puppy bonds with a new family?

A: Adopting an adult dog into your family has the potential for being much smoother than raising a puppy.  There can be bumps in the road, or it may be smooth from the first.  If you can learn about the dog’s past, that would be great.  Utilize this information as the starting point for gaining the trust of the older dog.  Try not to stress the older dog when you receive it.   The adult dog’s temperament and other characteristics are easier to evaluate accurately than a puppy.

Dogs come to new homes ready to learn new rules, and open to new things.  Dogs are highly adaptable and will bond to you just as well as puppies, and often better.  The adult dog may become the best dog you’ve ever had.

Q: Sometimes it seems like my dog is actually watching TV. I have friends who leave the TV on the “Animal Planet” channel when they leave home – just for their dogs. Do dogs really watch TV, and see or interpret what we see?

A: I have noticed our female shepherd, the smart one,  stop to observe a segment on Animal Planet, but not for very long. All three of our dogs almost have me convinced that I might be wasting my time when I watch anything but Animal Planet or dog shows.

I don’t know if dogs interpret what they see on T.V. or not, but there is evidence suggesting they understand more than we give them credit for.  Playing a radio or leaving on the  T.V.  when you are away may very well be comforting. I have found that a low radio sometimes helps a new puppy and its owner get some sleep the first few days in a new environment.

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