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  Dog Beach Dog Wash News

            Because your dogs deserve the best  


                                  Summer 2014      

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Sat., June 21-July 7, 2014, Save on the Summer Solstice-Independence Day Dog Wash Coupon Book Sale:  Four washes for $44, and they don't expire until Dec. 31, 2014 (the coupons are always worth the $11 each you've paid for them).   Each book is a $12 savings.  They won't be on sale again until Thanksgiving.    



Sat., June 28, 2014, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. --  35th Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off Festival will offer attendees eclectic fun in the sun that's great for all ages.  Features 5 stages of continuous live music, a community art mural project, beachside beer garden, Wonderland children's area, food vendors, and lots of shopping.  Free bike valet parking, and free trolley rides from parking lots at Robb Field or at Sea World Drive (at Pacific Highway) from 9:30 am to 9 pm.  This annual event raises funds for the July 4th Fireworks.
We recommend you leave your dogs at home, because the heat and crowds can be overwhelming, if not dangerous, for your pooches.

Sat., June 28, 2014, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. -- Doggie Fun Run! by Luratics, an All-Breed Lure Coursing Club.  Dogs run after a "bunny" lure (usually a white plastic bag) attached to a 400-yard line in a safe, fenced grass field.  They can run as fast or slow as they want, and all dogs run individually.  At Dusty Rhodes Park in Ocean Beach.


Fri., July 4, 2014, 9 p.m. -- Fireworks off the Ocean Beach Pier.  This year the OB Town Council passed a unanimous resolution to cancel the notorious Marshmallow War following the Fireworks, after last year's dangerous and filthy melee.    

 Respect OB.  Enjoy the show, and return home to enjoy your s'mores. 

     We urge you to keep your dogs safely indoors on July 4th, before the fireworks start, since many dogs panic and run when the loud noises begin.  Dogs will crash through windows and fences in their attempt to get away from the noise.  Leave your pets in a secure room with a radio on with soothing music.  And make sure they always wear a collar and tag with your current contact information.   



Sat., July 5, 2014, 8-11 a.m. --  San Diego Surfrider's Morning After Mess cleanup series to help clean beaches after the 4th of July, at the Ocean Beach Pier, Belmont Park in Mission Beach, Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, and the Oceanside Harbor.  Friends of Dog Beach will be at Dog Beach to lend a hand at the north end of Ocean Beach. 




Sat., July 12, 2014, 9 to 11 a.m. -- Dog Beach Cleanup, with Friends of Dog Beach, at the pawprint entry to Dog Beach.  Bags & gloves, plus toys & treats will be provided for you and your friendly dogs. 

Sat., July 12, 2014, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- 6th Annual Doggie Street Fair, San Diego's largest pet adoption-focused festival with food, music, veterinarian tips, special guests and more.  At Liberty Station, NTC Park in Point Loma.  Free, and donations are tax deductible.

Sun., July 13, 2014, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- 9th Annual Surf Dog Contest, sponsored by Unleashed by Petco to benefit the San Diego Humane Society.  With contests for small to large dogs, and a tandem heat.  Also featuring sandcastle sculpting, a beginners agility course, dog adoptions, vendor booths, beer garden and food trucks.  At 2 Elder Ave. In Imperial Beach (to the left of the IB Pier).  Parking is on the street, or at the YMCA Camp Surf lot ($10 cash only) 4 blocks away at 560 Silver Strand Blvd.

Tues., July 29, 2014, 7:10 p.m. -- San Diego Padres' Dog Days of Summer, by Petco.  Watch the San Diego Padres take on the St. Louis Cardinals with your dog for this special promotion at PETCO Park, downtown San Diego.  Tickets $14 (Park at the Park) to $91 stadium seating.

Sat., August 2, 2014, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. -- 4th Annual Hounds for Hope Walk, by Labrador Harbor.  This fun morning begins with a walk around the perimeter of Liberty Station in Point Loma, and vendor booths with samples & shopping, and fun games for dogs.  All proceeds benefit Labs in Need.

Sat., August 9, 2014, 8 a.m. on -- 18th Annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals, with more than 300 dachshunds and their owners race to advance to the San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade.  At Qualcomm Stadium Rugby Fields (near Section J-5 in the Stadium Parking Lot.  Entry per dog is $10 (pre-registration thru July 30) and free to non-racing humans and dogs.

Sat., August 9, 2014,10 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- 9th Annual Cardiff Dog Days of Summer Canine Festival & Contest, presented by Cardiff 101 Main Street, featuring contests, crafts, pet adoptions, doggie photo booth, custom pet products & services, silent auction, and food vendors.

Sat ., August 23, 2014, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. -- Bark For Life, sponsored by the American Cancer Society Relay For Life event, offers an inspiring opportunity to honor cancer survivors, promote how individuals can reduce their cancer risk, and raise money to help end cancer.  At Dusty Rhodes Park in Ocean Beach.

Sun., September 7, 2014, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon + Beach Day, to benefit the Helen Woodward Animal Center, including dog surfing competition, kid's activities, pet and fitness related booths.  At Del Mar Dog Beach in Del Mar.  Free to watch, $35 to enter surf contest, $10 to enter costume contest.

Sun., September 14, 2014, 9 a.m. -- i Sweat 4 Pets 5K Doggie Dash 2014, sponsored by the FACE Foundation, at Road Runner Sports (5549 Copley Drive, San Diego 92111).  This dog-friendly 5K walk/run benefits local pets in need of life-saving veterinary care.  Also music, an agility area, drawings, and pet-friendly vendors.

Sat., September 20, 2014, 9a.m. -- Bark For Life of Valley Center, part of the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life event, at the Bates Nut Farm (15954 Woods Valley Road) in Valley Center.  Register for $10 a dog to enter.









 Are Your Dog Walks More Like the Iditarod?


    If your dog pulls and lunges on every walk as if he or she is on the "toughest race on earth," you could be seriously hurt

by being pulled off your feet.  Sled dogs wear harnesses, and most dogs pull against them.  There are plenty of options 

that will give you a mechanical advantage when walking your dog. 


Head Collars


   The Gentle Leader and the Halti head collars apply pressure around the nose that is one of the more effective ways to slow your dog down and inhibit pulling.  When correctly fitted, the tightened head collar will turn the dog's head back to you.  Where the head goes, the body follows.   


   The difference between them is the Gentle Leader has a locked nose loop, and the Halti has a loose loop that only constricts when the attached leash is tightened.  Both should only be used with a plain 6-foot leash, not a retractable one (which exerts a constant pressure on the nose). 


These head collars are most effective with dogs who are very strong pullers or aggressive dogs, because the handler has control of the head.  They also do not cause damage or pain to the dog's throat or trachea as can flat buckle collars, martingale collars, choke chains, or pinch collars when a dog pulls against them.


Walking Harnesses


   Many harnesses are selected for their fashion or ease of putting on, and all relieve pressure on the neck.  At least two, when correctly fitted, are effective for dogs who pull:  the Sensible Harness and the Freedom Harness.


   The Sensible Harness has a ring in the middle of the chest for the leash attachment instead of the back. The front connection applies pressure along the chest and shoulders which turns the dog back toward you to counteract pulling.  This harness is good for shy, nervous and fearful dogs with its gentle pressure, and prevents choking, stress and injuries.

   The Freedom Harness, considered by some trainers as "The Ferrari of Dog Walking Harnesses," has both a front connection to discourage pulling, and a back connection with a martingale loop to allow your dog to walk in a straight line without twisting or straining.  When two leashes, or a double-snap leash, are attached to both the front and back rings, the user has two control points that let you steer your dog and redirect his or her attention to make walking easier for you both.  This harness also has a soft velvet lining on the strap that goes behind the legs to prevent sores and chaffing.

Train Your Dog To Walk Nicely On Leash

   You can train your dog to "Heel," or walk closely by your side, with small tasty treats or peanut butter on a long-handled spoon.  As long as your dog does not pull on the leash, give him or her a small treat with your hand near your thigh, or a lick of peanut butter every few steps.  Practice this daily in your house, yard or local park.  After a few days, introduce the word "Heel" just as you give the treat or lower the spoon.

   Your dog may want to explore the environment and stop to sniff or "potty," but you get to decide when, where and for how long.  If your dog pulls ahead, you should stop and move in the opposite direction with gentle pressure on the leash.  When your dog is walking nicely, praise and reward occasionally with a treat.  If your dog is lagging behind, use an upbeat voice and say "Let's go," and move in a different direction. 

   Or your walks could turn into the ultimate sensory exploration, as written by Francesco Marciuliano in his book
I could Chew on This: and other poems by Dogs (Chronicle Books LLC, 2013):

Can You Smell That?

I smell the air

I smell the dew

I smell that rock

I smell your shoe

I smell the leaves

I smell a slug

I smell the dirt

I inhale a bug

I smell the grass

I smell the grass

I smell each and every

Blade of grass

I smell a butt

Oh hey, it's Lou

I smell frustration

Oh hey, that's you!

I sniff, I snort, I even snuff

And with every scent my nose does sing

But you say quite sharply

  it's been two hours

So let's smell what the next foot

  of our walk does bring

How Well Do Dogs Hear?

   According to, dogs have a very acute sense of hearing.

   While their sense of smell ranks first, their hearing is not too far behind. Canines hear much better than humans do; over four times greater to be precise. You may see a dog cocking his head and while that could mean many things, often the reason is to hone in on a sound that is far in the distance.


   One reason that dogs hear better than humans might be that while a human has ears that are placed flatly on the sides of the head, dogs have ears on the top of their heads which are much larger and often erect. Dogs that have erect ears with little hair can hear better than dogs with floppy or excessively hairy ears.


   Another reason is that the frequencies that dogs hear are much higher and lower than what humans can hear. Dogs hear a frequency range of 40 to 60,000 Hz while a human range is between 20 and 20,000 Hz. Because of this, dogs have a difficult time with very loud noises. Sounds that may be acceptable to you can be uncomfortable to a dog.


   Yet another feature that makes a dog's hearing superior to humans is their ear muscles. A man may be able to wiggle his ears a little bit but a dog has over 18 muscles in his ears which allow him to rotate them, tilt them, and raise or lower them. His ears are like antennae or radar for honing in on sounds. This movement along with his sensitive range allows him to focus in and locate exactly where a sound is coming from.


   Humans are able to detect sound direction to a certain extent but out in the open we basically hear a sound with both ears and can tell the general direction of the noise. Dogs can hear  sound with each ear independently. This means that he can listen to you with one ear and hear a sound coming from the bushes with the other ear. Dogs are flooded with smells and sound all of the time. This is what makes them such great search and rescue creatures.  


   Because of their uncanny hearing, dogs are blessed with the ability to filter sounds. They can selectively pay attention to sounds or drown them out when they need to. Have you noticed that your dog can sleep through blaring music on the radio but jumps up when he hears the treat bag open up?


Keep Your Dog Safe This Summer

     As the weather heats up, what better way to cool off than with an afternoon swim?  Here are some tips to consider before allowing your best friend to make a splash:

   In the ocean:  If your dog likes to swim in the ocean, be careful that he/she doesn't drink the salt water.  Doing so can cause vomiting or diarrhea, and in some cases, severe toxicity.  Some dogs accidentally ingest salt water while playing "fetch" in the ocean, and some trainers recommend playing with flat or high floating objects to reduce the wide-open-mouth movement in retrieving bobbing balls.

   In the pool:  The chlorine in pools is typically diluted to a safe level for dogs.  Dogs should not swim in pools that have been recently "shocked," or super chlorinated.  Make sure your dog has a ramp or easy way to exit pools, and never let them swim unsupervised.

   On a boat:  If you take your dogs out on the water in your boat (lake or ocean) make sure they wear a life jacket (with reflective strips and a handle on top) at all times.  While most dogs can swim, fast-moving currents and tides can exhaust them quickly.  Avoid letting them swim in areas with globs of algae.

   After each swim session, it is best to rinse your dogs thoroughly to remove salt water, chlorine,  or lake water from their fur.  If out in the sun for more than an hour, it may be helpful to apply sunscreen for dogs on their ears, nose and groin area. 

Enjoy Your Summer!

Mindy & Jane (with Juno, Zydeco & Chipper)

"I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." 
--John Steinbeck