|author Amber Higgins|
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Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Thursday, December 26, 2019
Here is a video of my family dog, "Washee" learning to look for a family member.
The wind is blowing very hard making the scent trail blow around also.
Training note: Sand surfaces hold scent differently than dirt or grass surfaces. By watching and reading the dog on each different surface, the handler learns with the dog what to expect on those surfaces. Every surface type should be worked in training to gradually and eventually learn how scent behaves in each type of surface and environment.
Keep in Mind
Our family dogs can find lost or missing friends and family they know. Our dogs do this every day when they want attention, food or to go outside, they find us. So why not ask them to find mom, or whoever is missing from the pack?
I can show you how,...just ask or read my books or visit the Family Disaster Dogs site.
You can look us up on Facebook and Twitter, too!
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Monday, December 23, 2019
Merry Christmas !!
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
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Thursday, November 28, 2019
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Wow, what nice reviews for my latest book!!!
My Puppy Can Find Me children's book
5 Stars -
Reviewed By Amy Raines for Readers’ Favorite
My Puppy Can Find Me is written by Amber Higgins and illustrated by Helen “Scotty” King.
In this educational picture book, a child can learn how to utilize the family dog’s innate intelligence in a crisis situation. Dogs are naturally loyal to their humans, which makes it easy to teach children to use their pet's obedience training to help them during emergency situations. Each page of My Puppy Can Find Me reinforces the key points of a dog’s obedience in a fun way so that kids will easily remember that their furry friend can be a genuine hero. It is very difficult to think that the unthinkable could happen but children do sometimes get separated from their families. This picture book can help a child learn to keep calm, use their dog’s training, and wait for help to come.
I recommend My Puppy Can Find Me by Amber Higgins to anyone who has children and a family dog. Every page easily explains how important it is for a child to remain calm during a crisis because their dog can help them. I love how Higgins provided 'fill in the blanks' for a family dog’s name so that a child can clearly see that their dog can save them if they use the training exercises. The beautiful illustrations by Helen “Scotty” King are fun and interactive as they reinforce life-saving concepts of their pet’s ability to help them. What I loved the most about My Puppy Can Save Me is how Higgins made the story easy for early readers to comprehend.
5 Stars -
Review by Anastasia
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS BOOK!! It is the perfect book for children and their family to learn how the family dog can be their own real life Lassie hero dog! I love that it opens a deep level of trust between children and their dog by the child learning how special their dog is. Another great part is gives them a FUN and INTERACTIVE education on how to work together with their dog in the event of being scared, lost, or other emergencies, so it’s an enjoyable learning experience for children and their families!
Wonderful size book, BEAUTIFUL illustrations, and written so fun and easy to read!
Love love love!! You are an inspiration to us Amber Higgins!
See the Review Page HERE
Click to see reviews for Family Disaster Dogs book on Amazon
Thursday, November 7, 2019
When you are choosing a dog, you want one that will be a loyal member of the family. Shiba Inus are an incredibly loyal breed of dog and you will find that they take to family life very easily. When they are a small puppy, they are very affectionate dogs, but as they get older, they will take on the role of protector a bit more. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t want to play with you as well.
When people say that Shiba Inus are very intelligent, they don’t mean that they’re good at learning tricks. In fact, if you want a dog that will do lots of tricks for you then you should go for a different breed because they’re not that great at it. But they do have a very high emotional IQ. That means that they are very good at reading people and understanding when there is something wrong.
Good Overall Health
Certain breeds of dog, like King Charles Spaniels or Pugs are prone to a lot of health issues and as they get older, it is likely that you will spend a lot of time at the vets with them. When you are a dog owner, it’s important that you manage the health of your dog properly, and that can be tough with certain breeds. You also have to consider the financial aspect because vet bills can be very expensive and if your dog needs treatments on a regular basis, it’s tough to manage the cost. But you won’t have that problem with a Shiba Inu because they have very good overall health. They are very active dogs and they have a good build, and aside from a few potential eye issues and a slight risk of hip dyspepsia, they do not have any serious health problems.
The only potential issue is weight gain because they are very active. If you don’t exercise them enough, they will quickly put weight on. But as long as you get the right dog food for Shiba Inu and you take them on regular walks, they should be fine. If you do not have the time to walk them regularly enough, you should go for a different breed that does not need as much exercise.
Any dog owner will tell you that owning a dog is going to be messy. Most dogs like to get outside and roll around in the dirt, and they won’t bother cleaning themselves off before they start running around the house when you get home from your walk either. It’s just part of owning a dog and you just get used to it. But if you really hate the idea of a dog that makes a big mess in your home, you should consider a Shiba Inu. They’re often described as being part cat because, unlike most dogs, they love to keep themselves clean.
If you are looking for a new dog and you are trying to decide on a breed, you should definitely consider a Shiba Inu.
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
|Image source Pixabay - CC0 Licence|
Have you ever seen a great Dane? These mammoth dogs look pretty intimidating at first glance, but get to know them and you’ll soon find out that they are the most quirky, gentle and lovable hounds known to humankind. The great Dane is not the most popular breed because of their sheer size. However, get to know these soppy giants and you will discover one of the most underrated and loyal breeds. Take a look at why there’s no greater dog than a great Dane.
They Are Laid Back
Now, you might think that you’re a pretty laid back human being. However, the great Dane is the ultimate laid back pooch. Even though they are huge, they don’t have much inclination to be too active. They are happiest when they are relaxing next to their human. Overgrown lap dog was a term conjured up specifically for this breed.
They Are Smart
Although they are very silly, they can be trained. If you welcome a great Dane into your family, you will have a mutt who will be eager to please. He’ll be keen to sit, stay, fetch, give paw and lie down.
They’ll Go At Your Pace
While they are known for their keenness to relax, the great Dane will be more eager to be by your side at all times because they are so loyal. If you’re out in the garden they’ll always be using their doggy door to take themselves outside with you.
Dog ownership is tough at times, especially if you are welcoming a puppy into your home. If you’re willing to give your new pooch love and attention, then a great dane will repay your kindness and love ten fold.
Friday, September 27, 2019
You are then going to need to think about whether you want to buy or rescue the dog that you are getting. If you are looking for puppies for sale, then you could take a look at Chocolatelabradorretriever.ca's site.Go through these, find the one that looks like it could be the perfect addition to your new family, and then head to the location to meet it. A lot of the time, these are still going to be puppies, so make sure you remember this when they are jumping at you and full of enthusiasm.
The big question is, are you going to be able to afford a puppy? Now, the reason that we are asking this is that it is not as simple as to pay a one off payment to the owner, become the owner and that’s that, no more money on the dog. Your dog is going to need food, and depending on what brand you get, this can be expensive. You then need to think about getting pet insurance in case they hurt themselves at any point. You don’t want to be standing there with a 900 bill that you can’t pay because the dog is not insured.
Friday, September 6, 2019
|Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/dog-playing-dog-pet-cute-playful-958213/|
Securing your outdoor space
Buying safe, suitable toys
Dogs love to play with toys, but they also tend to think that everything in their pathway is a play-thing. Your slippers, shoelaces, and children’s toys can all become part of your pooch’s play box if you’re not careful. To avoid losing your possessions and to keep your pet as healthy as possible, invest in suitable dog toys that meet safety standards. Look for products that are appropriate for your dog in terms of their size and weight and their activity levels. Buying toys is a fantastic way to encourage regular exercise, to keep your dog entertained, and to prevent boredom.
As a dog owner, there’s nothing more satisfying than watching your precious pup enjoying playtime. Although it’s hugely beneficial for dogs to exercise frequently, it is essential to ensure they have access to a secure environment, safe toys, and plenty of water.
Thursday, August 22, 2019
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Monday, August 19, 2019
Do you ever wonder?
What are we actually suppose to know or do when the media or police tell us to stay home and shelter-in-place, evacuate or bug-out?
|All Rights Reserved Photo by Amber Higgins|
Ready to Go!
What does evacuate mean?
"Bug-out" means what?
It has nothing to do with bugs !
What does Shelter-in-Place mean? Really what do you do?
Where is this shelter you're supposed to put where? :)
We are hearing more often of large cities residents told to "shelter-in-place" during power blackouts and I wonder how many people ask someone- "Do you know how to do this or what do they meant?"
Every city and town in America, and most of the world, no matter how large or small, has plans for handling emergencies and many offer classes for the public to learn more about evacuation and sheltering-in-place but that does not mean everyone attends the class or knows what to do.
So let's go over what these and other words or phrases mean during emergencies.
Sometimes you are given time or notice ahead of time...other times you have no choice but to evacuate now!!
Especial in wildfires and tsunami...Now means to evacuate right then and there without time to grab much at all in the way of personal belongings or survival gear. Every year people lose everything due to unexpected disasters.
Evacuate means to run! Run or drive fast away from impending death or threat.
Get the hell out of the way!
Go to safety! ASAP
Here is a picture of Daisy with her evacuation saddlebag...she is ready to "Bug-out" !
|"Wrinkledpups Daisy Mayham" founder of Family Disaster Dogs|
"Bug-out" means to EvacuateBug-out is a military phrase used for the same meaning.
Learn what to pack in a carry bag to survival evacuation and how to be ready to evacuate with and without a dog on the Bug-out page. The long list on the Bug-out page is also what is needed to store at home for sheltering in place too, along with stocking up on extra food and water.
Having a bag packed for each family member and ready to grab when you are ordered to evacuate saves critical time. Keep in mind, if you wait and try to pack at that moment, the danger might reach you as you scrabble to find everything and put your family's life in danger.
You do not need a dog to be ready but if you have a dog then preparing with your dog makes sense.
Read my Evacuate with Your Dog's Help book (Free to Read here) to learn how a dog can help.
Preparing in advance will save time which is critical in emergency evacuation.
Means the opposite of Evacuation or Bugging-out
When you are told to shelter-in-place this means to stay put for your safety. Or get to the safest nearby location and stay put.
Do not go outside because danger awaits.
Do not move but do sit-stay!
Hopefully, you are at home when told to shelter-in-place where you have everything you need for a few days or until the emergency is over. Food and water are critical for survival and in a major emergency the shelter-in-place order may last days or longer. It's best to stock up on food, bottled water and medicine, just in case.
If you are not at home, maybe you are at work or school, you will have to stay there until the emergency is over.
Again the evacuation bag comes in handy because if you grabbed the "bug-out bag" on the way out the door to work, school or you keep one in your vehicle for traveling (recommended to do so) you will have food, water, medicine and supplies no matter where you are when emergency strikes. You would be more comfortable and sustainable while you are more or less locked up shelter-in-place not allowed to go anywhere for food or supplies.
Be prepared to shelter-in-place at work, home or in public places.
In an active shooter event, yes, sadly this emergency event is becoming more common in the USA so I should mention;
In the event of an active shooter, everyone is told to Shelter-in-Place. In other words find a safe spot, a room if at all possible or hit the floor. Do not move and make yourself a target.
Hide (shelter) or Run (bug-out)
Another good idea is to look around when you first arrive at events or public places and mentally take note of a safe place to shelter-in-place or run to.
It's always best to be safe than sorry.
Go the Free Lesson Links Page
|photo credit FEMA|
Visit READY.gov for more info on how to shelter in place
Thursday, August 1, 2019
This article explains how your family dog can tell the difference between you and another person or object. This information applies to Family Disaster Dogs, Tracking Dogs and Trailing Dogs as well as any dog who is using its nose to find an object, person or pet.
Scent discrimination can be a complicated and complex subject.
When I was first learning Bloodhound handling and training with my dog Sue, our SAR dog mentor and instructor, Lt. Ezra Roberts explained the basics of scent discrimination to me in what I continue to believe is the easiest way possible.
|the author and bloodhound Sue|
I smile in remembrance of Ezra as I write this..I couldn't of asked for a better mentor.
He said, " When a Bloodhound smells a chocolate cake they smell every ingredient of the cake. The flour, sugar, eggs and coco while other dogs smell only the chocolate cake. "
This is the difference between a dog trained to scent discriminate. They smell one scent out of many many scents.
Dogs that are not trained to scent discriminate will search for only one scent, such as, live human scent but not each individual person within that human scent. They will find any human scent and all human scent in a certain search area by air scenting, tracking and grid working. They will find every person or object's scent they are trained to find, such as bombs, drugs, humans live and remains. They are trained using only one scent article or smell.
Other dogs are trained to find many different scents or a scent they are given by the handler. These dogs are scent discriminating when they find a drug or object the handler asked them to find.
Service dogs who are trained to get the newspaper, slippers and dropped items of their owners are scent and sight discriminating. They know your slippers from another person's slippers.
Bloodhounds are different in that they process the ability to scent discriminate naturally. When a Bloodhound is given a scent article they start looking for that scent without much training at all. The handler gets most of the training and not the dog.
We don't train Bloodhounds they train us. Family dogs of all ages act naturally like the Bloodhounds when they stay close to their owners, follow the owner around the house or bond with a special family member.
Most dogs want to follow a person leaving their company, especially when the owner or a member of the family leave a dog behind a closed door or fence. If allowed to go the dog will do its best to find/follow the person they love.
These dogs are choosing to discriminate. All dogs can discriminate and they do naturally.
It is up to us humans to take advantage of this natural ability in the dog and teach our dogs what we wish them to find or who.
Here is my dog finding my daughter. This is the first time I asked the dog to find this person. I have only asked the dog to look for another person 3 times. She is not a trained tracking dog but I know she will find people she knows and wants to be near.
We had a chance to video tape this first time for everyone on the Family Disaster Dog site to watch and see how easy it is to teach your dog to find a family member or friend. Read the Scent Article page for more info about to use Scent Articles that tell your dog who to look for.
Watch this video
Click to Learn how-to Evacuate with your Dogs Help
Monday, July 15, 2019
This is one of the skills you can learn more about in my Family Disaster Dogs book. (free on Kindle unlimited)
This fun game of hide and seek is perfect for families to play with their own dogs. Knowing how-to ask your dog to find your child or partner sure would come in handy in the aftermath of a disaster or if a child or elderly person wandered away on a camping trip.
Teaching your dogs how to look for friends and family is one skill I hope you never have to use.
While knowing how to do this with your dogs may never be used, it sure does not hurt to know how!
Plus this gives you a fun activity to do with your dogs and family.
Here's a video of a family dog I'm teaching to find lost and missing persons with her owner. Bella is three years old and did not have an formal training before starting to learn how to find a missing person. She knows basic manners and obedience, enjoys the dog park and swims in the river fetching her toy. This video is one of the first times we asked her to find the boy she lived with. Watch her go!
Your dog can do the same, ask a family member to go hide while you hold the dog until the person is out of sight then let the dog go and see what happens !
You can use a leash or not. We are teaching this dog to be an official trailing-tracking dog and the leash in this case is part of the job. Family dogs can get the job done anyway they are comfortable looking for a family member.
Please leave a comment and let us know what you think. Thanks and stay safe everyone!
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With climate change rising seas and heatwaves, floods, wildfires and storms everywhere it's time to prepare for the worst and pray for the best.
|my Wrinkledpups Daisy Mayham 2000-2014|
Friday, June 14, 2019
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
The hot days of summer are here again and dogs generally know what to do when the weather is to warm. Unless we ask them to go with us or to do something for us dogs slow down in the warm weather, they find the coolest spot to relax and stay out of direct sunlight if possible.
There are plenty of articles online about what to look for when your pets are overheating, and I highly recommend reading a few to learn more about heat-related canine conditions because a heatstroke can kill your dog, cat or rabbit and actually any animal, including yourself. Here's a good article to start with from the AKC Canine Health Foundation
As a master groomer who has worked in many pet grooming shops and show or boarding kennels without air conditioning in some of the hottest locations in the USA, I have dealt with animals overheating and saved the life of quite a few. I also worked search dogs in 100 degree weather and have shown weight-pulling pit bulls in Texas summer heat over 100 degrees.
Here's a few tips I've learned through the years of raising and working with dogs indoors and outside.1. Watch your dog in the heat of the day, usually between the hours of 10am-4pm if they are not in a cool place.
2. Do not leave pets where they can overheat and not reach water. Like in cars, yards without shade, kennels on cement slabs without dirt or shade. Sunny house rooms without AC-pull the drapes to keep the heat out.
3. Always try to make sure they are in a nice cool place with plenty of water.
4. Beware of grooming shops because when there are many pets in one room, in cages and hair dryers blowing the room can overheat quickly. Dogs die often in grooming shops because of this. (No I never lost a pet while working) Ask your groomer if they have AC ? and what do they do to ensure pets stay cool when hair dryers are running? Do they cage dry pets? Cage drying is Very dangerous in hot weather if they use heat. It's best to get an early morning appointment if you can.
5. Ask boarding kennels and pet sitters about air conditioning and how they keep pets cool too. Just think of the number of animals housed in one spot and how quickly that spot can heat up. Be sure to inspect the place your pets will stay in hot weather. Many kennels run misting water spray over outdoor runs and this keeps the wire and cement cooler. Pets can get burnt feet too if dog walkers or kennels are not careful.
Panting with the tongue hanging out is normal for dogs to do in many areas of daily life, they pant when they are happy, stressed or excited and also as a means to sweat off heat in the body. They cannot sweat like we do because of the fur covering their bodies so they sweat where there is no fur, the pads of the feet, a little bit on the ears, the belly or underarms a little but nothing like we humans do. Dogs don't get smelly sweaty underarms, thank god!
Panting is a good indicator for when your animal is overheating, especially in pet birds, chickens, rabbits and cats who do not pant unless they are overheating or really stressed out. When you see these animals panting then the time has come to cool them down by spraying water around and over them or moving them to a cool place. If stress related, calm them.
Keep an eye on panting dogs who are working or in warm location and watch for the dog's tongue to roll over at the end when they are panting and the mouth drying up, not slobbering as much means the dog is starting to overheat. Time to act and cool them down, now!
Frozen water bottles are great to place in cages and crates when transporting animals in hot weather. A large frozen soda bottle of water lasts a couple hours in outdoor rabbit cages or dog crates. Tie in place so the animal can lay next to the bottle. Of course make sure they have water or they will try to get the ice.
Stay cool and safe this summer everyone!
|copyright A. Higgins Daisy's pups pool|
Here's a good one to try!
Here's one like a collar too!
Last but not least, a really good idea for crates, car rides, elderly pets and puppies-a cooling blanket
I only get a very small % of sales to help support this site, thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy the articles on familydisasterdogs.com
Sunday, June 2, 2019
Friday, May 31, 2019
Feeding your dog good food will help them in more ways than one. Quality food that includes whole ingredients will nourish their body and it will also help them to have strong and healthy teeth. If you can, you should avoid foods that are made with cereal grains, meals and even by-products. The main reason for this is because they are much more likely to stick to your dog’s teeth and they may even cause them more problems in the future.
Dogs love snacks. A lot of dog owners also love giving them as well. The problem is that a lot of snacks are awful for your dog’s teeth. This is especially the case for ones that are high in cereal grains, fat or sugar. If you want to give your dog a healthy snack that won’t harm their teeth then consider carrot slices, apple and even squash. As your dog chews these food products, the plaque will slowly be scraped off their teeth and this can work wonders for their gums. Of course, when feeding your dog treats like this, you have to make sure that you don’t feed them more than 10% of their daily allowance.
There are a huge range of meat treats out there for your pet and they will give them an excellent amount of chewing action. They will help to keep their teeth clean and some of them can be really good for their immune system too. If you want to give your dog some treats then consider beef eats, dried tendons or even snouts. Sure, they might not seem the most appealing to us, but to a dog, it’s a tasty treat that will always be gratefully received.
If your dog loves to chew then don’t be afraid to let them. Give them a hard rubber or even a nylon chew toy. As your dog chews away, they will be scraping their teeth, and this can help to prevent plaque build-up. If you want your dog to get the best result, then you need to give them the toy at the end of every meal. If you want to give them some great dog food, then check out these Freshpet reviews.
Bones are great for keeping your dog’s teeth healthy. The best bones are ones that are uncooked and large. This can include cow bones. If you give your dog bones that are too small, then there is a high chance that they will splinter and break. They may get stuck in your dog’s mouth and this can cause you even more problems in the future.
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