Yes, they renew on an annual basis.
We have three types of memberships. You will find a list here.
Yes. It costs $20.00 per year, Parents and children 18 and under can be part of this membership.
We have three memberships.
Individuals - $15.00
Family - $20.00
Associate - $15.00 but no voting rights.
We have three memberships.
Individuals - $15.00
Family - $20.00
Associate - $15.00 but no voting rights.
North Texas Barnhunters
Name and Objectives
Section 1. The name of the club shall be North Texas Barnhunters, hereinafter referred to as “the club.”
Section 2. The club is a trial-giving, non-profit organization affiliated with Barn Hunt Association LLC. The club is committed to the promotion and development of the sport of Barn Hunt without regard to breed, pedigree, or kennel club registration by:
- Conducting Barn Hunt trials;
- Stressing safety of dogs, rats, and humans, and good sportsmanship;
- Hosting training sessions, seminars, public demonstrations, and other such events to promote the sport.
Section 3. The club shall not be conducted or operated for profit, and no part of any profits, residue from dues or residue from donations to the club shall inure to the benefit of any member or individual.
Section 1. Eligibility.
Membership shall be open to any person who subscribes to the objectives of the club. No person will be excluded from membership on the basis of the breed, pedigree, or registration eligibility of any dog they own or handle.
Section 2. Types of Membership.
There shall be four types of membership:
- This membership is for individuals. The member shall be given all rights and privileges as stated in the Bylaws, and shall be entitled to one vote.
- This membership is for families. Family members shall be given all rights and privileges as stated in the Bylaws, and shall be entitled to two votes per membership.
- This membership is for individuals who wish to be included on mailing lists and in distributions of newsletters, or who simply wish to be affiliated with the club without benefit of rights and privileges as stated in the Bylaws. Corresponding members are not entitled to voting privileges.
- The Board of Directors may confer honorary memberships upon individuals for extraordinary service to the club or to the sport of Barn Hunt. These are lifetime in term, carry all rights and privileges accorded to individual members, and may only be terminated by resignation or expulsion (section 5.1 and 5.3 of this article). Honorary members pay no dues.
Section 3. Dues.
Dues for each type of membership shall be recommended by the Board of Directors and approved by the membership at any scheduled Membership meeting. Continuing membership dues must be paid in full on or before March 1 of the calendar year. Dues for new members will be prorated for the remainder of the year during which they join.
Section 4. Election to Membership.
Each applicant for individual or family membership shall apply via a form as approved by the Board of Directors, which shall indicate that the applicant agrees to abide by the Bylaws and rules of the club. The general membership shall vote on prospective members at the next scheduled Membership or Board meeting, provided that a complete application including the appropriate sum for dues for the remainder of the calendar year is submitted at least one week prior to that meeting, and a notice including the names of prospective members is sent to the club mailing list at least one week prior to that meeting. To vote on membership, a quorum of members must be present at the meeting. A majority of those present and voting in the affirmative shall constitute the acceptance of the application(s) for membership. Member prospects may attend the meeting, but may not be present during that part of the meeting devoted to discussing and voting on their or any other prospective member's acceptance for membership.
Section 5. Termination of Membership
Memberships may be terminated, with no dues refunded, in the following ways:
- By Resignation. Any member in good standing may resign from the club. Any debts owed by the resigning member to the club by must be paid before the resignation will be accepted. Any reimbursements owed by the club to the resigning member by the club will be paid at the Treasurer's earliest opportunity.
- By Lapsing. A membership will be considered as lapsed and automatically terminated if a member's dues remain unpaid after March 1 of the calendar year. Members whose memberships have been so terminated must reapply for membership if they wish to rejoin the club.
- By Expulsion. A membership may be terminated by expulsion as provided in Article VI of these Bylaws.
Section 1. Membership Meetings.
Meetings of the general membership of the club shall be held periodically as designated by the President. Notice to members of a club meeting may be done by email, by notice in the club newsletter, on the club website, or by any other recognized method that will reach all members. The membership is to be notified of the meeting at least two weeks before the meeting date. Members desiring to place items on the meeting agenda shall submit such items to the President no fewer than seven days prior to the meeting. The quorum for such meetings shall be fifteen percent of the members in good standing, counting individual memberships singly and family memberships doubly.
Section 2. Board Meetings.
Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held periodically at times and places to be determined by the Board. The quorum for such meetings shall be fifty percent of the Board of Directors. Voting on club business at meetings of the Board of Directors shall be limited to members of the Board; however, any member in good standing may attend and participate in discussions. In extraordinary circumstances, the Board may invoke executive session at either a regularly-scheduled or an ad hoc Board meeting.
Section 3. Annual Meeting.
An Annual Meeting of the club will be held during the third calendar quarter of the year, for the purpose of taking nominations for the Board of Directors, Officers, and Committee Chairs, as well as for any other normal club business.
Directors, Officers, and Committee Chairs
Section 1. Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors shall be comprised of the following: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and two at-large positions, all of whom will serve for a period of one year. The positions of Secretary and Treasurer may be held by the same person. No two members of the same family shall serve simultaneously on the Board of Directors. The immediate past President is entitled to one of the at-large positions; if he or she declines this office or is elected to some other Board position, both of the at-large positions shall be nominated from the club membership. The general management of the club's affairs is entrusted to the Board of Directors.
Section 2. Officers.
The club's Officers shall consist of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. The maximum amount of time a member may hold an office shall be two consecutive terms, except in the case of a Vice President serving as Acting President for the remainder of the term of a resigning President, in which case the maximum time shall be that remainder plus two additional consecutive terms. The descriptions of these positions shall include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
- The President shall preside at all meetings of the club and shall have the duties, responsibilities, and powers normally assigned to the office of President. The President shall have the right to call meetings, appoint special committees, and coordinate officers, committees, and the Board.
- Vice President. The Vice President shall have the duties and exercise the powers of the President in the event of the incapacity or resignation of the President. This person shall assist the President in any manner which the President deems necessary.
- The Secretary shall keep a written record of all meetings of the club and handle all correspondence involving the club. The Secretary shall maintain a master file of necessary business and legal forms needed by the club. The Secretary shall also maintain a current master membership roster.
- The Treasurer shall collect and receive all monies due to the club and shall report to the club, at every meeting, the condition of the club's financial status, including a monthly income/expense summary. The Treasurer will monitor expenses and report discrepancies to the Board. The club's financial record shall be open to all members.
Section 3. Committee Chairs.
The Board of Directors may appoint Committee Chairs as appropriate and required. These positions may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
- Public Relations. The Public Relations Chair shall be responsible for any print materials required by the club, including (but not limited to) flyers, banners, signs, posters, or advertising material. The Public Relations Chair will also manage an inventory of apparel and other such items for the club, should the Board of Directors choose to offer such for sale to members or as a member benefit. The Public Relations Chair will manage any contact between the club and media or other organizations.
- Training and Demonstration Chair. This position will be responsible for scheduling and managing any training offered and demonstrations performed by the club, whether for special-interest groups or the general public.
- Newsletter Editor. The Newsletter Editor will periodically publish a club newsletter, should the Board of Directors choose to have one.
- Equipment Manager. The Equipment Manager will coordinate the construction or acquisition, as well as the maintenance and storage, of rat tubes, ramps, fencing, straw bales, and any other such materials required by the club.
Committee Chairs will solicit assistance from the membership to serve on these committees as necessary. Committee Chairs may serve on multiple committees, as well as on the Board of Directors. At the annual meeting, nominations for the Chairs of any currently active committees will be taken from the membership, and those nominees will be voted upon in the same manner as those for the Board of Directors.
Any vacancy in the Board of Directors shall be filled by nomination by the membership at a scheduled meeting and election by the general membership via secret ballot. Vacancies of Committee Chairs shall be filled by appointment by the Board of Directors. In any case, a vacancy replacement shall serve only the remainder of the year during which appointed or voted.
Club Year, Nominations, and Elections
Section 1. Club Year.
The club's year shall begin on the first day of January and end on the last day of December. The newly-elected Directors, Officers, and Chair shall take office on January 1.
Section 2. Annual Election.
The election of the Board of Directors, Officers, and Committee Chairs shall be conducted by written or electronic ballot in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
Section 3. Voting.
- Voting on club business shall be limited to those members in good standing who are present at meetings, except where written or electronic ballot shall be deemed necessary, such as the election of Board of Directors, Officers, and Committee Chairs and changes and amendments to the Bylaws. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted, except in the case of family memberships; i.e. when only one member of a family membership is present at a meeting; he or she may exercise both of their votes.
- All ballots, whether written or electronic, must identify the positions for which elections are being held, all candidates for each such position and, in the event that a candidate has elected to run for multiple positions, must explain the provisions of these Bylaws regarding multiple positions. No votes for write-in candidates will be tallied. The secretary must receive hand-delivered ballots no later than fourteen days from the date of the original postmark, in the case of mailed ballots. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than fourteen days from original postmark. In the event that the slate of an election for Board of Directors, Officers, and Committee Chairs is composed entirely of unopposed races, no election need be held. The Board of Directors may decide to submit other specific questions for decision of the members by written or electronic ballot.
- Electronic voting, via email or other internet-based means, may be used for any election or other vote, provided that the method for such is secure as to both the possibility of fraud and the protection of the identities of the voters. The Board of Directors will approve any such methodology, subject to objection from the general membership, said objection to be affirmed by majority vote at a scheduled meeting.
Section 4. Nominations.
- Nominations will be accepted from the general membership of the club at the Annual Meeting. Candidacy is open to all active members in good standing who accept their nominations. No member who has not been so nominated may be a candidate for any office. In the event that a nominee is not present at the Annual Meeting at the time of nomination; their acceptance may be taken by proxy or by telephone or other such communication before the meeting is adjourned. Members may nominate themselves.
- In the event that there are no nominees for any particular position, the Board of Directors shall solicit candidates from the general membership. Such solicitations shall be made before the Annual meeting is adjourned but may, if necessary, continue to be sought after the Annual meeting is adjourned and before ballots are mailed or electronic voting is initiated. If, at the time ballots are mailed or electronic voting is initiated, a particular position remains without a nomination, that position will remain vacant until the next Membership meeting, at which time nominations will once again be solicited. Nominations for open positions will continue to be so solicited at Membership meetings until one or more is made.
Special Committees and Appointments
Section 1. Special Committees and Appointments.
The Board of Directors and/or President may appoint special committees or positions to advance the work and interests of the club. These special committees may include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Barn Hunt Representative. The Barn Hunt representative shall establish and maintain communication between the club and Barn Hunt LLC. This position shall keep members informed of all Barn Hunt LLC activities and rule changes.
- Trial Committee. Trial committees are delegated responsibility for the coordination and conducting of individual trials and other such events.
- Volunteer of the Year. This committee will solicit, review, and make recommendations for the Volunteer of the Year award.
Section 1. Barn Hunt Suspension.
Any member who is suspended from the privileges of Barn Hunt LLC shall automatically come under review by the Board of Directors for their actions. The Board of Directors shall then decide whether to pursue any further disciplinary action.
Section 2. Charges.
Any member may prefer charges against another member for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the club or the sport of Barn Hunt. Written charges with specifications must be filed with the Secretary, who shall notify the Board. If the member charged is the Secretary, the charges and specifications may be filed with any other Board member. The Board shall meet and fix a hearing date of not less that three weeks nor more than six weeks thereafter. The Secretary (or, per the above, other Board member) shall promptly send one copy of the charges to the accused member by certified mail, together with the notice of the hearing and an assurance that the defendant may personally appear in his or her defense and bring witnesses or present evidence if so desired.
Section 3. Board Hearing.
- Both sides shall be treated uniformly in Board hearings. If the charges are sustained, after hearing all of the evidence and testimony presented by the complainant and the defendant, the Board may, by a majority vote of those present, suspend the defendant from all privileges of the club for a period of time not to exceed one year, based on the nature of the charge. The Board may also recommend to the Membership other disciplinary action or expulsion. In this case, the defendant has the right to appear before his or her fellow members at the next club meeting which considers the Board's recommendation.
- Immediately after the Board's decision, its finding shall be put in written form and filed with the Secretary (or, per the above, other Board member), who shall, in turn, notify each part of the Board's decision and penalty, if any.
Section 4. Expulsion or Other Non-Suspension Penalty.
Expulsion, or penalty other than suspension not to exceed a year, of a member from the club may only be accomplished at a meeting of a quorum of the membership following a Board hearing and upon the Board's recommendation as provided in Section 3 of this Article. Such proceedings may occur at a regular or special meeting of the club to be held within sixty days but not earlier than thirty days after the Board's recommendation of expulsion or other disciplinary action. The defendant shall have the privilege of appearing on his or her own behalf, though no evidence will be taken at this meeting. The President shall read the charges and the Board's findings and recommendations, and shall invite the defendant, if present, to speak on his or her own behalf if he or she wishes. The Membership shall then vote, by secret written ballot, on the proposed expulsion or other disciplinary action. A quorum vote of those present at the meeting shall be necessary for the action to carry. If the action is not so voted, the Board's suspension shall stand.
Section 1. Amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws.
Amendments may be proposed by the Board of Directors or by written petition addressed to the Secretary, signed by a quorum of the Membership in good standing. Amendments proposed by such petition shall be promptly considered by the Board of Directors and must be submitted to the members with the recommendations of the Board by the Secretary for a vote within three months of the date when the petition was received by the secretary.
Section 2. Vote Amending Constitution and / or Bylaws.
Except as provided in Section 3 of this Article, the Constitution and Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any regular or special meeting called for this purpose, provided the proposed amendments have been included in the notice of the meeting and communicated to each member at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
Section 3. Amendments Relating to Kennel Club Registration.
The Constitution or Bylaws shall not be amended to restrict membership in the club to persons owning or handling dogs registered with any breed registry or kennel club except by a ninety-nine hundredths vote of the members present and voting at any regular or special meeting called for such purpose, provided that any such proposed amendments have been included in the notice of the meeting and communicated to each member at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
The club may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than a fifty percent vote of the entirety of the general membership. In the event of the dissolution of the club, whether voluntary or involuntary or by law, none of the property of the club nor any proceeds thereof nor any assets of the club shall be distributed to any members of the club, but after payment of all debts of the club, its property shall be sold to the highest bidder and assets shall be given to a charitable organization designated by the Board of Directors.
Article I, Section 4 was amended on January 17, 2019. The original text of this section was as follows:
Each applicant for individual or family membership shall apply via a form as approved by the Board of Directors, which shall indicate that the applicant agrees to abide by the Bylaws and rules of the club. The general membership shall vote on prospective members at the next scheduled Membership meeting, provided that a complete application including the appropriate sum for dues for the remainder of the calendar year is submitted. To vote on membership, a quorum of members must be present at the meeting. A majority of those present and voting in the affirmative shall constitute the acceptance of the application(s) for membership. Member prospects may attend the meeting, but may not be present during that part of the meeting devoted to discussing and voting on their or any other prospective member's acceptance for membership.
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Welcome to North Texas Barnhunters. We are proud to be a part of a new and quickly growing dog sport catching fire across the country! Barn Hunt is based on the traditional roles of many breeds in ridding farms, barns, crop storage areas, and homes of destructive vermin. Some breeds were specifically created to fill this role, and for many of those breeds, Barn Hunt provides their first true opportunity for responsible breeders to test proper working traits in their dogs. Barn Hunt is also open to any dog of any breed or mix who wishes to play the game and can fit through an 18" wide by bale-height tall tunnel. Barn Hunt has titles, levels of increasing difficulty, and championships. Barn Hunt is an independent sport, but titles are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the United Kennel Club (UKC), and the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC). To see how to get your title recognized, go to FAQs and About (AKC/UKC/CKC).
North Texas Barnhunters is committed to creating a safe and fun sport for dogs, that also holds rat care at the highest level of consideration. The rats used in Barn Hunt are beloved family pets. They jump eagerly into their safe, comfortable aerated tubes and truly enjoy interacting with the dogs.
We're a great sport for older dogs, and older people too! Tripod dogs can compete, and so can deaf dogs. We would like to invite you to learn more about our club and sport. If you have a question just let us know.
Find our Facebook Group (North Texas Barnhunt) and YouTube by clicking the links above.
Visit the Barn Hunt Association home page for rules and more information about the sport.
Meanwhile, here's a photo of a few of our wonderful members:
Yes. The previous members are part of the database for all members, committee members, officers, directors, and previous members. When a user is entered into the database we have created flags for the various positions. A person can be designated to multiple groups. Our menuing system also has a flag for each group. WIth this system you maintain no website pages. It is all done for you.
Here is a link to the "Previous Members " list.
Yes. The members are part of the database for all members, committee members, officers, directors, and previous members. When a user is entered into the database we have created flags for the various positions. A person can be designated to multiple groups. Our menuing system also has a flag for each group. WIth this system you maintain no website pages. It is all done for you.
Here is a link to the "Members " list.
Yes. The committee members are part of the database for all members, committee members, officers, directors, and previous members. When a user is entered into the database we have created flags for the various positions. A person can be designated to multiple groups. Our menuing system also has a flag for each group. WIth this system you maintain no website pages. It is all done for you.
Here is a link to the "Committee Members " list.
Yes. The directors are part of the database for all members, committee members, officers, directors, and previous members. When a user is entered into the database we have created flags for the various positions. A person can be designated to multiple groups. Our menuing system also has a flag for each group. WIth this system you maintain no website pages. It is all done for you.
Here is a link to the "Director's " list.
Yes. The officers are part of the database for all members, committee members, officers, directors, and previous members. When a user is entered into the database we have created flags for the various positions. A person can be designated to multiple groups. Our menuing system also has a flag for each group. WIth this system you maintain no website pages. It is all done for you.
Here is a link to the "Officers" list.
Here is a good list of the things you need to have ready when you bring your new puppy home.
- Food designed specifically for puppies
- Treats for training
- Food and water dishes
- Crate (to be replaced by a bigger one as he grows)
- Crate bedding (at least 2 sets)
- Puppy house-training wee-wee pads
- Dog gate(s)
- Soft, adjustable collar (and new ones as he grows)
- At least one 4-to-6-foot leash, leather or webbed (an additional longer lead useful for training)
- At least 5 or 6 safe chew toys (the more the better — toys can be rotated)
- A brush the breeder recommends for your puppy’s coat and sturdy metal comb
- Gentle puppy shampoo
- Good-quality dog nail trimmer or Dremel made specifically for dogs
You should receive contact information from the breeder or seller and be encouraged to contact them with any questions or concerns you may have.
You should be able to ask many questions and in addition you should expect for questions to be asked of you. It is important to ensure puppies are going to good homes, with people who know what to expect and have made all the necessary preparations. Don't be surprised if you are asked to fill out a questionnaire detailing many facts about your family and your home.
Set the puppy down inside and let him explore. He may decide to run around a bit, or he may hide under the couch and stare at you. It's been a long day. Just give him some time and make sure you have rules and a schedule in place for when he gets settled.
It is important to find out what kind of guarantee is provided with your puppy. What happens if you find the puppy has a serious health condition? If you can no longer care for the puppy, will the breeder take it back or help you rehome the puppy?
If there are other pets in the house, don't be in a rush to introduce the puppy to them. Make his first day home all about him. There will be time for him to get acquainted with the other pets.
It is very important that puppies are properly socialized beginning at an early age so they become well-adjusted dogs. Early socialization will help the puppy better adjust to new surroundings and life with you after you bring him home.
Socializing your puppy is the key to ensuring you’ll have a happy, confident, and well-adjusted dog. Below, learn the best time to socialize your puppy, how to do it right, and why it’s important.
When to Socialize Your Puppy
During your puppy’s first three months of life, he will experience a socialization period that will permanently shape his future personality and how he will react to his environment as an adult dog. Gently exposing him to a wide variety of people, places, and situations now makes a huge, permanent difference in his temperament.
When you buy a puppy from a responsible breeder, the socialization process should start before you even bring your puppy home. Gentle handling by the breeder in the first several weeks of your puppy’s life is helpful in the development of a friendly, confident dog. As early as 3 weeks of age, puppies may begin to approach a person who is passively observing them, so having a knowledgeable breeder who encourages a positive experience with people – adults and children — will help shape the puppy’s adult behavior. As their puppies develop, good breeders allow them to experience safe inside and outside environments, car rides, crates, sounds, smells, and gentle handling.
Why Socialize Your Puppy
The idea behind socialization is that you want to help your puppy become acclimated to all types of sights, sounds, and smells in a positive manner. Proper socialization can prevent a dog from being fearful of children, for example, or of riding in a car, and it will help him develop into a well-mannered, happy companion.
Having a dog who is well adjusted and confident can even go as far as to save his life one day. According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, improper socialization can lead to behavior problems later in life. The organization’s position statement on socialization reads: “Behavioral issues, not infectious diseases, are the number one cause of death for dogs under three years of age.” Start taking your dog out to public places once your veterinarian says it is safe, and he’ll learn to behave in a variety of situations and to enjoy interacting with different people.
How to Socialize Your Puppy
As mentioned earlier, your breeder will start the socialization process as early as the puppy’s first few days of life, by gently handling him and allowing him to explore his surroundings. But when the puppy comes home with you, the crucial socialization period continues, so your job is to keep the process going. Here are the basic steps to follow:
- Introduce the puppy to new sights, sounds, and smells: To a puppy, the whole world is new, strange, and unusual, so think of everything he encounters as an opportunity to make a new, positive association. Try to come up with as many different types of people, places, noises, and textures as you can and expose your puppy to them. That means, for instance, have him walk on carpet, hardwood, tile, and linoleum floors; have him meet a person in a wheelchair or using a cane, children, a person with a beard, wearing sunglasses, using an umbrella, or wearing a hood. Think of it as a scavenger hunt. Here’s a comprehensive checklist for puppy socialization that can be used as a guide.
- Make it positive: Most importantly, when introducing all of these new experiences to your puppy, make sure he’s getting an appropriate amount of treats and praise, so that he associates what he’s being exposed to and the feeling of seeing something new as a fun experience. Don’t forget to break the treats into small pieces that will be easy for your puppy to digest. Also, don’t be stressed yourself — dogs can read our emotions, so if you’re nervous when introducing your puppy to an older dog, for example, your puppy will be nervous, too, and may become fearful of other dogs in the future.
- Involve the family: By having different people take part in the socialization process, you’re continuously moving the puppy out of his comfort zone, letting him know that he might experience something new no matter who he’s with. Make it a fun game for the kids by having them write down a list of everything new the puppy experienced that day while with them, such as “someone in a baseball cap” or “a police siren.”
- Take baby steps: Try to avoid doing too much too fast. For instance, if you want your puppy to get accustomed to being handled by multiple people he doesn’t know, start with a few family members and slowly integrate one stranger, then two, and so on. Starting this process by taking your puppy to a huge party or a very busy public place can be overwhelming and result in a fearful response to groups of strangers in the future.
- Take it public: Once your puppy is used to the small amount of stimuli, move outside of his comfort zone to expand the amount of new experiences he’ll have. Take him to the pet store (after he’s started his vaccination series), over to a friend’s house for a puppy playdate, on different streets in the neighborhood, and so one. At seven-to-ten days after he’s received his full series of puppy vaccinations, it’s safe to take him to the dog park (but be sure to follow dog-park safety protocol.)
- Go to puppy classes: Once your puppy has started his vaccinations, he can also attend puppy classes. These classes not only help your puppy begin to understand basic commands, but the most important advantage is that they expose him to other dogs and people. Skilled trainers will mediate the meetings so that all dogs and people are safe and happy during the process. You can find puppy classes through local AKC training clubs and dog training facilities.
It is recommended for you to not expect to bring home the puppy until it is 8 to 12 weeks of age. Puppies need ample time to mature and socialize with their mother and litter mates.
Make sure that everyone is calm when the puppy arrives home. The best way to get your puppy to warm up to you is to be calm and relaxed. Too many loud noises or voices will likely frighten your puppy.
You should be sure that the puppy has been seen by a licensed veterinarian and know where the puppy is on their shot-schedule. This will also help you so that you have the proper medical information when you bring your puppy home and you will know what shots are needed next.
Which Shots Do Puppies Need?
Going to the vet repeatedly over several months for vaccinations, and then for boosters or titers throughout your dog’s life, may seem like an inconvenience, but the diseases that vaccinations will shield our pets from are dangerous, potentially deadly, and, thankfully, mostly preventable.
We read about so many different vaccinations, for so many different illnesses, that it can sometimes be confusing to know which vaccinations puppies need and which ones are important but optional. Here is an overview of the diseases that vaccinations will help your pet to avoid.
This highly infectious bacterium causes severe fits of coughing, whooping, vomiting, and, in rare cases, seizures and death. It is the primary cause of kennel cough. There are injectable and nasal spray vaccines available.
If you plan on boarding your puppy in the future, attending group training classes, or using dog daycare services, often proof of this vaccination will be a requirement.
A severe and contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI), and nervous systems of dogs, raccoons, skunks, and other animals, distemper spreads through airborne exposure (through sneezing or coughing) from an infected animal. The virus can also be transmitted by shared food and water bowls and equipment. It causes discharges from the eyes and nose, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, twitching, paralysis, and, often, death. This disease used to be known as “hard pad” because it causes the footpad to thicken and harden.
There is no cure for distemper. Treatment consists of supportive care and efforts to prevent secondary infections, control symptoms of vomiting, seizures and more. If the animal survives the symptoms, it is hoped that the dog’s immune system will have a chance to fight it off. Infected dogs can shed the virus for months.
Infectious canine hepatitis is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, and the eyes of the affected dog. This disease of the liver is caused by a virus that is unrelated to the human form of hepatitis. Symptoms range from a slight fever and congestion of the mucous membranes to vomiting, jaundice, stomach enlargement, and pain around the liver. Many dogs can overcome the mild form of the disease, but the severe form can kill. There is no cure, but doctors can treat the symptoms.
One of several viruses that can contribute to kennel cough.
The canine coronavirus is not the same virus that causes COVID-19 in people. COVID-19 is not thought to be a health threat to dogs, and there is no evidence it makes dogs sick. Canine coronavirus usually affects dogs’ gastrointestinal systems, though it can also cause respiratory infections. Signs include most GI symptoms, including loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Doctors can keep a dog hydrated, warm, and comfortable, and help alleviate nausea, but no drug kills coronaviruses.
When your puppy is around 12-to-16 weeks, talk to your vet about starting a heartworm preventive. Though there is no vaccine for this condition, it is preventable with regular medication that your veterinarian will prescribe.
The name is descriptive — these worms lodge in the right side of the heart and the pulmonary arteries (that send blood to the lungs), though they can travel through the rest of the body and sometimes invade the liver and kidneys. The worms can grow to 14 inches long and, if clumped together, block and injure organs.
A new heartworm infection often causes no symptoms, though dogs in later stages of the disease may cough, become lethargic, lose their appetite or have difficulty breathing. Infected dogs may tire after mild exercise. Unlike most of the conditions listed here, which are passed by urine, feces, and other body fluids, heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. Therefore, diagnosis is made via a blood test and not a fecal exam.
Also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, kennel cough results from inflammation of the upper airways. It can be caused by bacterial, viral, or other infections, such as Bordetella and canine parainfluenza, and often involves multiple infections simultaneously. Usually, the disease is mild, causing bouts of harsh, dry coughing; sometimes it’s severe enough to spur retching and gagging, along with a loss of appetite. In rare cases, it can be deadly. It is easily spread between dogs kept close together, which is why it passes quickly through kennels. Antibiotics are usually not necessary, except in severe, chronic cases. Cough suppressants can make a dog more comfortable.
Unlike most diseases on this list, Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria, and some dogs may show no symptoms at all. Leptospirosis can be found worldwide in soil and water. It is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be spread from animals to people. When symptoms do appear, they can include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, severe weakness and lethargy, stiffness, jaundice, muscle pain, infertility, kidney failure (with or without liver failure). Antibiotics are effective, and the sooner they are given, the better.
Unlike the famous “bull’s-eye” rash that people exposed to Lyme disease often spot, no such telltale symptom occurs in dogs. Lyme disease (or borreliosis) is an infectious, tick-borne disease caused by a type of bacteria called a spirochete. Transmitted via ticks, an infected dog often starts limping, his lymph nodes swell, his temperature rises, and he stops eating. The disease can affect his heart, kidney, and joints, among other things, or lead to neurological disorders if left untreated. If diagnosed quickly, a course of antibiotics is extremely helpful, though relapses can occur months or even years later.
Parvo is a highly contagious virus that affects all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies less than four months of age are at the most risk to contract it. The virus attacks the gastrointestinal system and creates a loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and often severe, bloody diarrhea. Extreme dehydration can come on rapidly and kill a dog within 48-to-72 hours, so prompt veterinary attention is crucial. There is no cure, so keeping the dog hydrated and controlling the secondary symptoms can keep him going until his immune system beats the illness.
Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that invades the central nervous system, causing headache, anxiety, hallucinations, excessive drooling, fear of water, paralysis, and death. It is most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Treatment within hours of infection is essential, otherwise, death is highly likely. Most states require a rabies vaccination. Check with your vet about rabies vaccination laws in your area.
Of course, your veterinarian should weigh in and can always provide more information and guidance if needed on necessary and optional vaccinations.
Puppy Vaccination Schedule
The first thing to know is that there is not just one puppy vaccination schedule for all dogs. Factors such as which part of the country you live in, and your dog’s individual risk factors will come into play. Some dogs do not need every vaccine. This decision is between you and your veterinarian. Always discuss puppy vaccinations at your regularly scheduled appointments.
That said, here is a generally accepted guideline of the puppy vaccination schedule for the first year.
|Puppy’s Age||Recommended Vaccinations||Optional Vaccinations|
|6 — 8 weeks||Distemper, parainfluenza||Bordetella|
|10 — 12 weeks||DHPP (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus [hepatitis], parainfluenza, and parvovirus)||Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease|
|12 — 24 weeks||Rabies||none|
|14 — 16 weeks||DHPP||Coronavirus, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis|
|12 — 16 months||Rabies, DHPP||Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease|
|Every 1 — 2 years||DHPP||Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease|
|Every 1 — 3 years||Rabies (as required by law)||none|
* Provided by AKC.org
Once you're home, take the puppy outside so he can do his business. Calmly walk him around his designated bathroom area. And make sure your yard is puppy-proofed ahead of time.
After picking up the puppy, go straight home. It may be tempting to share your new little bundle of joy with a few friends, but it's important that you get your puppy home and settled as soon as possible.
Be sure to pack paper towels, plastic bags, and odor neutralizer, in case the puppy has an accident.
On the way home, make sure that someone is either holding the puppy securely in her lap, or the puppy is in a crate.
Yes. The puppy will bond the most with the family members who go to pick him up to be brought home, so make it a family affair.
ring your puppy home on a long weekend or when you know you'll have time to focus on him. This will give you both a chance to get properly acquainted with each other, as well as help the puppy get used to his new home.
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