Dec 08
"Every Dog Wants To Be A Superdog. Together We Can Make It Happen!"


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I Wanna Talk About Me!

Well, actually I want to talk about my amazing transition from a casual observer of the sport of Flyball, to someone who might actually be able to compete. Now I'm not a very competitive person, which makes true competitors, like my daughter for instance, just makes them flinch! In my previous life, which means just about anytime farther back than 1986, I hauled my barrel racing horse to rodeos all summer for 3 or 4 seasons. The gas cost quite a bit (even in those days) and there were entry fees and meals and other expenses. Did I ever win anything even though I had one of the most talented horses going down the road? Nope, not a dime! Did I feel bad? Nope, not at all. I figured that if winning mattered so much to the other girls, then I would let them win. See!... not a competitive bone in my body.

However, I can see where Flyball could change all that. I got a really great little Kelpie dog from Shannen Jorgensen about a year ago and that Kelpie might just be one of the best companions a person like me could have. She patiently travels with me, curled up on the passenger side of the truck, day in and day out, while I do whatever it is that I'm doing for a living that day. However, periodically she gets to do something that SHE wants to do. Some days she gets to go with me when I take my horse for a leisurely ride. Some days she gets to romp with other dogs at the Superdog Dog DayCare. On really GREAT days she gets to herd sheep while I convince myself that I'm actually training her to do it. But last fall, the days that were HERS had really been too few and far between. I thought I needed to find something else to keep her very active mind, and equally active body, from imploding. After all, I was the one who had always criticized people who kept herding dogs in the city and afforded them no way to vent their inherent intelligence and desire to please...and then they couldn't cut the dog a bit of slack when it turned to destructive activities to combat utter boredom.

Not willing to be subjected to the same criticism, I signed the Kelpie and me up for introductory Flyball classes. We went through the first six classes only missing one class. Now, for those of you who don't know me, I've signed up for many, many classes over the past 8 years, but Hades might freeze over before I actually finished a whole set! Flyball was different. The Kelpie seemed to like it, and she caught on to the idea pretty quick, leaving me to wonder if someone was sneaking in to train her at night while I was sleeping! I HAD to go to all the classes because if I didn't I would fall hopelessly behind and the Kelpie would be VERY disappointed. Then, all of a sudden, Flyball 101 was over and we hadn't even gotten to the ball part yet. The Kelpie was frantic! She really wanted to do the "ball thing" that she had seen other dogs do so I had to sign her up for the next set of classes.

This time I didn't even miss one class. The Kelpie was so proud of me that she put in a nearly flawless performance every week! She got the box-thingy to spit balls at her and she worked hard to figure out how to let me know just where I was supposed to be. I know if she had thumbs she would have clicker trained might have been a lot easier! Anyway, we graduated from Flyball II and on the very last try, on the very last day, the Kelpie finally got me to cross the line while she still had the ball safely in her mouth. She was so proud! I just couldn't help it...I agreed to let her join the Flyball Team...and I'll do my best to at least TRY to act competitive!



Understanding Pack Mentality

Your very presence makes his tail wag, his bum wriggle, and his eyes light up. Now if that's not unconditional love, what is? Your dog adores you. That's because you're the leader of his pack. And although his loyalty to you knows no bounds, he also craves contact with other dogs.

Leader of the pack
The pack drive is made up of two main components: dominance and submission. He may take on either role in the park, but at home it's important that he defer to you.

Be thorough and consistent when it comes to training. He needs to know you're the alpha dog. And as such, must be submissive to you. Send signals that show weakness and he'll dominate you every chance he gets...and that behavior will translate negatively to his interactions with other dogs.

Here are some signs to look for:
- He refuses to walk on a loose leash; he thinks he's leading
- He gets food from your table; he believe he chooses who eats first
- He doesn't have to follow your commands; he's the boss

Watch for these signals and be firm in reversing the behaviors with clear and consistent commands. Once you understand some of the basics of "pack animal mentality," you'll come to understand your dog better.

Pack, play, and prey
The following components make up your dog's social, work and play behavior:
- Pack Drive: an affinity for people and other dogs
- Play Drive: the instinct to pounce, stalk, jump, and wrestle
- Prey Drive: a strong instinct to react to anything that moves

The pack drive is at the top of the's the most important. Dogs with a strong pack drive are protective of their owners (their boss) and as such make great guard dogs, but only when you're home. Their home is is wherever you are.

Golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, standard poodles, and other companion breeds have a high pack drive. That's why these wonderful breeds can make great "therapy" or "visiting" dogs and such loyal pets.

A den for the pack
Packs have been known to consist of as few as two members and up to over 40. So it's not a surprise that he takes well to any and all regular company.

Dog packs live in dens. It's natural for them. That's why he doesn't mind being trained to inhabit his crate, while we often see it as a cage. To him it's reminiscent of a warm and secure den. If you let him sleep in your bed, you'll see he loves it. Again, it's part of his pack animal heritage. They sleep together for warmth and security.

Part of your family
This inherent need for company and a den is also why he shouldn't be kept exclusively outside. Would you keep any other family member out in the backyard? At home, you and your family are his pack; it's unkind to keep him separated from you.

If your dog sees you as a fair leader who is generous with praise and other rewards, his pack drive will increase, as will his special bond with you. To him, you are home.



What Have You Heard About GREENIES™?

By now you have probably heard some of the stories about alleged problems arising from dogs eating a treat called Greenies™. The following information has come from the manufacturer of this popular treat.

February 1, 2006

Dear Friends of Greenies™,

We want to assure you that your pet can continue to safely enjoy Greenies™. As fellow dog owners, we feed Greenies™ to our own dog, Max. If we didn't have 100% confidence in the product, we wouldn't do that. Nor would the ninety-plus Greenies™ employees who keep their dogs' teeth healthy using Greenies™. We receive testimonials from thousands of pet owners who love our product, and we receive story after story of how our product has saved their dogs' life by improving their oral health.

We want to set the record straight and clear up some of the misinformation we've heard. One false story going around is that related to the FDA. The FDA, as it does with all consumer inquiries the agency receives, is examining pet owners' concerns over stories they have seen and heard about Greenies™. However, the FDA has NOT launched a formal investigation into Greenies™ or S&M NuTec's manufacturing practices.

Another false story you may have heard is that dogs can't digest Greenies™. We know that Greenies™ are about 85% digestible when adequately chewed&as digestible as the average dry dog food. If a dog swallows a large piece of Greenies™, or a whole treat, the digestion process will be extended because of the decrease of treat surface area to digestive liquids and stomach action. This would be similar if a dog swallowed any large piece of meat or vegetable.

Another point of confusion seems to be between digestibility and solubility. Digestibility means the treat can be processed by your dog's digestive system. Solubility means the treat will dissolve in water or other solutions. Many food products  for example a chunk of carrot, a piece of steak, or a Greenies™  don't dissolve in water. But they are digestible and they should always be chewed before they are swallowed.

It is very important for pet owners to read the labels on any food or treat they feed, and follow the feeding guidelines. We suggest that pet owners monitor their dogs when feeding any food or treat. Our feeding directions can be found on our packaging and on our web site.

We know you love your pet. That is why you are concerned about your dog's dental health and feed him or her Greenies™. We are pet lovers too and have dedicated our lives to making safe, healthy treats for dogs and cats. We assure you that Greenies™ are a safe product. We encourage you to contact us directly with any questions you might have by calling toll -free1-866-GREENIES or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Thank you,

Joe and Judy Roetheli
Founders of S&M NuTec, LLC,
Manufacturer of Greenies™


  • (TAG) - Website to address misinformation and other helpful information about our product and its usage.
  • - sample request fulfillment site that also provides education on ways to be a Smart Treater". When a consumer requests a sample from this site, they receive both Greenies™ (Feline or Canine) and valuable coupons.
  • Greenies™ have been safely and successfully used by millions of animals of all sizes and they have been found to be more digestible than the average dry dog food and safer than rawhide bones when adequately chewed. The independent testing we have conducted with Greenies™ shows them to be more digestible than the average dry dog food.
  • To ensure proper chewing and digestion, it is important that pet owners purchase the correct size Greenies™ according to the size, weight and age of their pet and supervise their pet's eating and chewing habits. We include feeding instructions prominently on every Greenies™ label.
  • Greenies™ are 100% edible. Every ingredient in our product begins as a human-grade edible ingredient.
  • Millions of Greenies™ are sold and safely eaten by pets every week. On rare occurrences a pet owner reports that his or her dog has had a problem with Greenies™. We always conduct a thorough investigation with the pet owner and the veterinarian involved. Typically our investigations reveal that the pet has been given the wrong size Greenies™ or the pet did not chew the Greenies™ properly.



SuperDog DayCare Dogs on the Move!

We're sad to say that we are losing three of our Dog DayCare dogs as they are moving to other parts of the country. We must bid a fond farewell to Coco who is moving to Vancouver, Ruby who is moving to Toronto, and Zeke who is moving all the way to Dallas, Texas.

However, we are welcoming back Saucey, the Dachshund X Corgi girl who was with us nearly from the beginning. Saucey moved to South America on assignment 3 years ago, but we're pleased to say she is back in Canada and looking better than ever.



Wags of Welcome!!

Welcome to our Newest Playmates in the SuperDog DayCare!

Lucky - Border Collie
Taz - Golden Retreiver Mix
Coogee - German Shepherd
Charlie - Border Collie
Baggins - Cocker Spaniel
Shadow - Lab X Border Collie
Dakota - Shep X Collie
Java - Keeshond
Zeus - Wire Fox Terrier
Sarge - Border Collie Mix
Tess - Border Collie X Husky
Laci - Miniature Australian Shepherd
Teddy - Toy Pom
Hazel - Golden Doodle



CONGRATULATIONS! to some of the Superdog Spectrum'sSUPER CLASS GRADUATES!

Puppy All Star - Max, Abbey, Kody, Fergus, Kappi, Rufus, Baggins, Homer and Shiloh

Canine Communication - Hades, Chloe, Jack, Riley and Barkley

Radical Recall - Abbey, Finnegan, Taimei, Rodeo, Phoebe and Rocky

Better Manners - Murphy, Sam, Coogee, Midas and Tacoma




Dogs have no self control when it comes to food. Of course, some breeds are worse than others. Labrador Retrievers are affectionately called "Garbage Guts" for their tendency to eat anything and everything. The more we give our dogs, the more they eat; they have no say in the matter...we are their caretakers. And don't forget that your dog's diet includes every treat and table scrap, not just his regular feedings. Every bite impacts his health.

By giving in to your little beggar, you're setting yourself up for everlasting begging behavior. And while it may be cute at first, when you stop rewarding him the persistent attention-seeking behavior goes into full swing: crying, pawing, barking, and jumping. The solution is simple. Never give in. Never, never, never! This goes for every member of the family, and every person who sets foot in your home. Your dog has a great memory for that one time you gave in - and then you're back to square one. Persistence and consistency are crucial, as they are in all matters of dog training.

If you hang in there, eventually the begging will stop, which is important because beyond the irritation factor, begging can have real consequences for your dog's health. Overeating and obesity spawn countless health issues: joint, hip, and foot problems; bloat; pancreatitis; diabetes; and more. Your dog doesn't understand that to feel great and be long-lived, he needs to keep his weight down. But we certainly do. As he ages, his bones and joints become more painful. It's heartbreaking to know that your dog is in discomfort or pain.

Food FYI
Training rewards...use very small soft treat pieces to train your dog right from the start. Make sure it's a healthy treat and then mix it up a bit...small bits along with non-food rewards, like praise and petting. In time, he'll love it all.

"I'm starving!" Under some circumstances dogs can get unusually hungry. Some medications may make him hungrier, or maybe he's on a vet prescribed weigh-loss plan. An increase in exercise or more time spent in a cold climate will also boost the desire for food. In these cases, small, frequent meals can help your dog stay satisfied. Consult your vet if you have questions.

Evaluate often. Ask your vet to assess your dog's weight regularly to determine a suitable daily diet. They can also evaluate how much fat he's carrying around - and what to do about it.

Eating style. Consult your veterinarian to make sure your dog's eating often enough. This can be especially important for special health situations, such as small-breeds prone to hypoglycemia.

Watching your dog's weight and diet is your lifelong responsibility. It's the area of care that can make the most difference to him in terms of the quality - and quantity - of his life.


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